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Police in Little Compton are asking for the public's help in locating a missing 39-year-old man who was last seen in the coastal Rhode Island town on Tuesday morning.

The search for Michael Godles came up empty over the weekend. Police say Godles' family believes he is without medication that he needs to take for an undisclosed medical condition.

Godles was reportedly last seen by his mother Tuesday in a wooded area behind the West Main Road home that they share. He was reported missing on Friday.

Members of Rhode Island State Police's K-9 units scoured the surrounding area on Saturday along with Little Compton police and fire. A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter was also called to assist in searching approximately 500 acres of woodland for Godles.

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There's a bill in the General Assembly to create a special license plate.  The "Dstrong" plate would benefit the Dorian Murray Foundation.  It was established in memory of the eight-year-old boy Westerly boy who succumbed to cancer last month.  Before Dorian died, the "Dstrong" movement made news nationally and around the world.

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State officials are advising Rhode Island drivers to call 9-1-1 in an emergency rather than star-77.  That number was established in 1988 but it's difficult to determine the callers precise location.  Due to technological advances, the  9-1-1 system gives authorities the location of the vehicle.  State police say star-77 will remain operational for one-year during the transition to 9-1-1.  State officials are advising Rhode Island drivers to call 9-1-1 in an emergency rather than star-77.  That number was established in 1988 but it's difficult to determine the callers precise location.  Due to technological advances, the  9-1-1 system gives authorities the location of the vehicle.  State police say star-77 will remain operational for one-year during the transition to 9-1-1.

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Two men are facing charges for an altercation after Donald Trump's rally in Warwick earlier this week.  State Police say Josh Sandin of Warwick and Alexander Carrion of Providence are charged with simple assault and disorderly conduct.  They're free on personal recognizance with a court appearance scheduled next month. 

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A new poll shows Rhode Island's U.S. Senators have solid job approval ratings.  The website Morning Consult gives Senator Jack Reed a 59-percent approval rating.  Senator Sheldon Whitehouse has a 52-percent approval rating.  The poll of 277 registered voters has a margin of error of six-percent.

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Education officials in Rhode Island are considering making it no longer mandatory for graduating students to pass one of the state's standardized tests.  If approved, teenagers would no longer be required to pass the PARCC.  An education spokesperson says schools should take more responsibility for students' performance instead.  The council is expected to consider the proposal over the next few months.  A public hearing is slated for the fall.

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Police in Rhode Island are trying to get to the bottom of a violent confrontation outside of a Donald Trump rally in Warwick.  A video was posted on YouTube earlier this week showing two men fighting.  Police say one man approached another man, and spit on him.  The second man then punched the first man in the face.  So far no arrests have been made.

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A man who is accused of killing a Seekonk town official during a hit-and-run car accident is spending the next three years in prison.  Jacob Lacourse was sentenced yesterday after changing his plea to guilty last month.  Lacourse is accused of striking and killing Seekonk's Assistant Town Clerk, Karen McHugh, last year.  Lacourse allegedly fled the scene but was arrested months later.

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The unexpected death of a child in Burrillville is being investigated.  Police say a 15-month-old boy was found unresponsive Tuesday by his parents.  WPRI-TV reports investigators are awaiting the results of an autopsy.  

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Common Cause Rhode Island says too many voters showed up at the wrong polling place yesterday or waited a long time to cast their ballot.  The watchdog group is calling for improvements to the voting process such as a system of early voting that includes weekends.  Common Cause executive director John Marion says it became apparent yesterday that the process needs to be speeded up.

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The Secretary of State's office says about 179-thousand people voted in Tuesday's primary.  That's about 25-percent of Rhode Island's registered voters.  Voter turnout was up significantly for Republicans and down for Democrats.  

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A Woonsocket Middle School teacher is facing charges coming from an incident of domestic violence.  Corey Lamoureux was arrested at the school this morning.  The victim in the case identifies herself as his girlfriend.  She says he showed up drunk and forced his way into her apartment on Sunday.  Charges against Lamoureux include domestic assault, breaking and entering and disorderly conduct.

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It could soon cost more to park at Middletown's town beaches.

The Newport Daily News reports that the town's proposed budget for the next fiscal year suggests raising the daily parking fees at Sachuest and Third beaches by $5, bringing the rate for patrons without stickers to $15 on weekdays and $25 on weekends and holidays.

The proposal would have no impact on the cost of seasonal parking stickers.

The money generated by the increase would be placed into a dedicated account to pay for improvements and equipment at the beaches. Based on last year's figures, when the town brought in more than $1 million in beach parking fees, the proposed rate hikes would generate about $300,000 more per summer if approved by the Town Council.

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The Rhode Island Commerce Corporation has voted to approve a $20 million renovation project at the Providence Place mall that will bring additional parking and streetscape changes.

The mall's owner, General Growth Properties, decided to convert the first two floors of the former J.C. Penney store into 150 parking spaces after failing to find a tenant for the space. The store closed last summer, and officials say its third floor will remain available for smaller retail use.

The Commerce Corporation owns Providence Place's land and leases it to General Growth Properties under a long-term arrangement. Commerce President Darin Early says the renovations are being made to combat "stress in the mid-sized retail box marketplace" by hopefully attracting more visitors.

Additional upgrades include repairs and enhancements along Hayes and Francis streets.

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No records were broken in terms of turn out in Tuesday’s Rhode Island Primary.

Just under 25% of eligible voters cast ballots, which was much better than the presidential primary four years ago, in 2012, when less than 4% went to the polls.

But this year's 25% is still well under 32%, which was the turnout in the 2008 presidential primary. Many thought turnout would at least match that number considering the race is still up in the air.

William West, Acting Chair of the Board of Elections, says the long lines at polling locations across the state were a bit deceiving because the total number of polling locations were cut.

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Bernie Sanders has won the Democratic presidential primary in Rhode Island.

The victory was an upset over rival Hillary Clinton who historically has had strong support in the state.

Clinton won endorsements from the state's Democratic establishment and handily beat Barack Obama in the last contested Democratic primary in 2008, but Sanders drew thousands of supporters when he spoke at a Providence park Sunday, a day after Clinton held a more intimate event in Central Falls.

State-wide, election officials reported heavy turnout in several liberal strongholds.     

Democrat turnout was so high on Block Island that a ferry had to ship extra Democratic ballots to the remote community Tuesday evening.

Up for grabs were 24 of the state's 33 Democratic delegates. The other nine are super-delegates, all of whom have said they are supporting Clinton.

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A nonpartisan good government group is encouraging voters to be prepared before heading to the polls for Rhode Island's presidential primary.

John Marion of Common Cause says many polling places have been consolidated for Tuesday's vote, so voters should make sure they know the location of their polling place, which may be different from where they voted in the past.

He reminds people that they must bring proper identification. Registered voters may cast a provisional ballot if they forget their ID. That ballot will be counted if their registration is verified.

Marion says high turnout is expected, and urges voters to avoid the early-morning and after-work rush if they can.

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The Rhode Island Medical Examiner's office has released the cause of death for the South Kingstown woman whose body was found late last week after she had been missing since April 15.

State Department of Health spokesman Joseph Wendelken says  that the cause of death for 21-year-old Alicia Storti was a gunshot wound to the head.

Storti's body was found Thursday in a wooded area not far from her home. She was reportedly buried on Monday.

Wendelken says his office would not release the manner of her death, although he did say that foul play was not involved.

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President Bill Clinton made his second visit to Rhode Island this month to drum up more support for front-runner Hillary Clinton one day before the state’s primary election.

Both stops in the state on Monday were un-announced.

Clinton’s first stop was at the Woonsocket Senior Center where he gave a short speech to the crowd of around 100.

The President told the group that it all boils down to the question of who has the best ideas and who can actually implement them.

Clinton's second stop in the state was at the South Street Landing construction site in Providence.

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The number of single-family homes sold in Rhode Island in March shot up by 23 percent when compared to the same month a year ago.

The Rhode Island Association of Realtors reported Monday that median prices rose by nearly 12 percent year over year to $230,000, while 750 transactions were completed, making it the busiest March in more than a decade.

Association President Arthur Yatsko says buyers are taking advantage of low mortgage rates and new lending programs, and even former homeowners hurt by the recession are qualifying.

The condominium market showed strong gains, with sales rising almost 10 percent in March, and the median sales price increasing nearly 17 percent to $201,500.

Sales of multi-family homes rose less than 2 percent, but median prices were up 10 percent.

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A Brown University poll gives Republican Donald Trump a lead 38-to-25 percent over John Kasich in Rhode Island with Ted Cruz at 14-percent.  However, a Public Policy Polling survey Monday gives Trump a much wider lead over Kasich at 61-to-23 percent, with 13-percent for Cruz.  

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There are conflicting polls about the Democratic presidential race in Rhode Island.  A Brown University poll released Sunday gives Hillary Clinton a 43-to-34 percent lead over Bernie Sanders.  But a survey released yesterday from Public Policy Polling shows Sanders with a 49-to-45 percent lead.

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Rhode Island is one of five states holding primaries today.  It's the only state of the five that allows independents to select either a Democratic or Republican ballot.  At stake in the Ocean State, 19 Republican delegates and 33 Democratic delegates who’ll head to the party conventions this summer.   

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Massachusetts regulators are set to decide whether to award the state's third and final gambling license.

The state Gaming Commission is beginning a multi-day review of a proposed resort casino for the Brockton Fairgrounds on Tuesday that will include scrutiny of the development's site plan, finances and other factors. The five-member panel is expected to vote as soon as Thursday.

But the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe broke ground last month on a projected $1 billion project in nearby Taunton, raising questions about whether Massachusetts' southeast corner is oversaturated with gambling.

The region is already home to Plainville's Plainridge Park slots parlor and Twin River Casino in Lincoln, Rhode Island.

The $677 million Brockton project by Rush Street Gaming calls for a full scale casino, 250-room hotel and restaurant, bar and entertainment options.

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Rhode Island could impose compulsory attendance for all kindergarteners under a bill scheduled for an upcoming state Senate vote.

The legislation would require any child enrolled in public kindergarten to attend school for all the days and hours it's in session.

Sen. Roger Picard introduced the bill. The Woonsocket Democrat is a school counselor and former truant officer.

The Senate Education Committee has recommended the bill's passage. It's scheduled for a Tuesday vote in the Senate.

Rhode Island already has compulsory school attendance for children ages 6 through 18.

Parents can be fined up to $50 for each day or part of the day the child isn't in school. Fines of up to six months in prison can be imposed if a child misses more than 30 days of school.

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The state's congressional delegation is meeting with business leaders for an annual forum on jobs and the economy.

The Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce says it is hosting its 2016 Congressional Breakfast on Monday morning.

U.S. Sens. Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and U.S. Reps. James Langevin and David Cicilline plan to participate.

The chamber says the Democratic congressmen will answer questions about critical issues facing the business community.

Laurie White, the chamber president, and other business leaders will also speak.

The chamber says it expects about 500 business and civic leaders to attend the event at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Warwick.

The chamber advocates for the state's business community.

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Donald Trump is in Rhode Island today.  The Republican presidential candidate is holding an event at Crowne Plaza in Warwick.  It starts at 1 p.m. but doors will open at 10 a.m.  People can register for up to two tickets on Trump's website.

 

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A Middletown elite prep school under fire for allegations of sexual abuse is canceling a "healing" event after many victims spoke against it.  St. George's School announced last week that the event would have taken place in May.  However, school leaders opted to cancel the event after victims said it was inappropriate because of the ongoing investigation.  A half dozen former and current faculty members are accused of sexual assault.

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Candidates for the White House are working to earn votes in Rhode Island.  Republican presidential candidate John Kasich held a town hall event Saturday morning at Bryant University in Smithfield, while Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton held a rally at Central Falls High school over the weekend. The former secretary of state discussed her plans to raise income for families and to break down the barriers that hold people back.  Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders held a rally in Providence yesterday.  Rhode Island voters head to the polls for the primary tomorrow.

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More information is coming to light about a missing Wakefield woman.  Alicia Storti's body was found less than a week after her family reported her missing.  Police released a statement last Friday saying Storti was found dead in a wooded area near her home.  Her death doesn't appear to be suspicious, but the official cause hasn't been released.  Alicia and her two siblings graduated from the Prout School.  A counseling staff will be on hand today for any students who need support.

 

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State Treasurer Seth Magaziner wants more diversity on corporate boards of companies the state invests in.  Magaziner says Rhode Island will vote "no" this spring at investor meetings of publicly traded companies if less than 30 percent of corporate board nominees are women and racial minorities.  The treasurer says research shows diverse leadership helps companies improve financial performance.

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At least one Providence councilman is pushing to lower the minimum credit card charge on parking meters.  Sam Zurier is proposing to reduce the charge to one-dollar, which is one-dollar-and-50-cents less compared to now.  He says he worries that the fee is discouraging people from visiting shops in the area.  People who aren't paying with a credit card can continue paying 25-cents for 12 minutes with change.

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Rhode Islanders are urged to plan accordingly before heading out to the polling places next Tuesday.  The state's Board of Elections is opening 144 out of its 419 polling places because turnout is much lower than the November election.  However, since the election has been more controversial than usual this year, officials are expecting a surge in turnout for the presidential primary.  Visit sos.ri.gov to find a polling location.

 

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A Pennsylvania man is accused of bringing hundreds-of-pounds of pot through Warwick.  A police officer stopped Jian Zhi Li early yesterday morning on Route 95.  During the traffic stop the officer detected marijuana.  Afterwards, a search of the van turned up more than 300 pounds of weed.  The suspect is being held without bail and is slated for court next month.

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Police are trying to get court approval to search a missing Wakefield woman's cellphone records.  Alicia Storti disappeared from her home last week.  A police spokesperson says they're examining Storti's computer and interviewing friends to see what she was up to before going missing.  Foul play isn't suspected, and police can't track her location through her cell phone because it's off.  An investigation is ongoing.

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North Providence Mayor Charles Lombardi is facing a challenge this year.  Town Councilwoman Kristen Catanzaro announced last night she's running for mayor.  She was first elected to the council in 2010 and has served two terms as council president. 

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Rhode Island is ranked as the 21st most financially savvy state in the nation.  The WalletHub.com survey is based on 20 factors ranging from total debt as a percentage of median income to average credit score.  Minnesota is ranked as the most financially savvy state.

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More information is coming to light about a missing Wakefield woman.  Police told the "Providence Journal" that Alicia Storti "might have been not in a good state of mind," when she left home last week.  Search crews have been scouring the area around the family home on Bittersweet Farm Way in Narragansett since the woman's disappearance.  Investigators are still following-up on multiple leads.

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A Providence man is facing charges for threatening his son with a rifle.  Police were called to a home in the city's Elmwood neighborhood on Monday night.  The son told officers that the pair had gotten into a fight over money and he was afraid.  The father, Yang Khang, was arrested because of a strong language barrier and police couldn't get his side of the story.  After Khang was arrested, the son refused to give more information and became uncooperative.  An investigation is ongoing.

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The first case of the Zika virus is being reported in Rhode Island.  Health officials confirmed yesterday that a man in his 60s recently traveled to Haiti and was diagnosed with Zika.  The illness is spread through bites from infected mosquitoes.  It can also be spread sexually.  Symptoms include: fever, rash, headache, joint and muscle pains.  Zika can cause birth defects in newborns.

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Rhode Island Department of Transportation officials are interested in bringing back a daily ferry service that would link Providence to Newport.

Transportation officials are searching for a company to run the proposed seven-day-a-week ferries that would run from a site on India Point to Newport's Perotti Park beginning July 1.

The proposed ferry would be the first to run from Providence to Newport since 2009, when the Rhode Island Public Transit Agency canceled its seasonal route due to the lack of federal funding.

DOT spokesman Charles St. Martin says the new ferry service would cater to both casual summer visitors and commuters.

The DOT's request for proposals stipulates that the ferry would have to run between 10 a.m. and midnight at minimum.

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Republican  is planning an event in Rhode Island ahead of the state's presidential primary, and other candidates are considering doing the same.

The Ohio governor is the first presidential candidate this primary season to book a Rhode Island event. Kasich is scheduled to speak at Bryant University in Smithfield on Saturday, ahead of the April 26 primary.

The Rhode Island Republican Party will send 19 delegates to the convention, and the Rhode Island Democratic Party will send 33 delegates to the convention.

The campaigns for  and said on Monday it's possible that their candidates will visit, too.

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Officials say at least two volunteer search parties have joined police in investigating the disappearance of a 21-year-old woman who was last seen in South Kingstown late last week.

Police say Alicia Storti was last seen just after midnight Friday in the southern Rhode Island town.

Capt. Joel Ewing-Chow reported Monday that both South Kingstown and Narragansett officers have been investigating places that Storti was known to frequent, but no "credible information or evidence" has led police to search any specific locations.

Groups of volunteers assembled Monday in South Kingstown and Exeter to comb the area for clues regarding Storti's whereabouts.

Police say Storti is 5 feet, 2 inches, and weighs about 105 pounds. She has fair skin, shoulder-length brown hair and brown eyes.

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Gas prices in Rhode Island have jumped again, up 11 cents per gallon in a week.

AAA Northeast said Monday its weekly survey found the average price of a gallon of regular had climbed to $2.15.

The Rhode Island price is now above the national average of $2.11.

The price of gas in Rhode Island last year at this time was $2.47 per gallon, or 32 cents higher.

AAA says high fuel demand, declining refinery production and rising oil costs have pushed prices higher.

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Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza's Office has announced that 15 people were arrested this month in a sting operation targeting drug dealers working in the city's Kennedy Plaza.

Officials say among those taken in as a result of the bust include 52-year-old Steven Mondon, who died after collapsing in police custody on April 4. Police say Mondon was the 15th suspect arrested in the sting.

The investigation found that many of those arrested were involved in the sale of Klonopin, Xanax, amphetamines and cocaine in and around the area of the plaza.

Police say officers conducted a number of "controlled purchases" from dealers operating in the downtown park with the help of confidential informants.

Public Safety Commissioner Steven Paré says police are looking for other culprits and more arrests are expected.

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The Cranston police officer at the center of the city's ticketing scandal has left the force after more than two years' paid leave.

Capt. Stephen Antonucci's last day on the payroll was Friday under a disputed retirement deal arranged by Mayor Allan Fung.

According to a state police review, in November 2013 Antonucci ordered a ticketing blitz in which citations were issued in the wards of two city councilors who voted against a police union contract. He was president of the union at the time. Antonucci said the timing was coincidental and done at the request of the mayor and the council, who wanted the city's overnight parking ban enforced.

Democratic members of the council denounced the Republican mayor for making the Antonucci deal.

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  • A Rhode Island lawmaker is asking for input on how well the state teaches children with dyslexia.
  • Rep. Eileen Naughton, a Warwick Democrat, leads a special legislative commission charged with making recommendations about the educational needs of children with dyslexia and reading disabilities.
  • She's asking Rhode Island residents affected by dyslexia to speak at a public hearing scheduled for 10 a.m. Wednesday at the Warwick Public Library.
  • The legislative commission includes members of the Rhode Island Department of Education, elected officials and parents.
  • The commission is also accepting written testimony.

 

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Rhode Island has introduced a new mobile website tool to help smartphone-carrying voters on Election Day.

Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea says the tool will allow voters to check their registration status and find a polling location using a mobile device.

They can also view a sample ballot, check election hours and get a map to their polling place.

The tool has been launched in time for the state's presidential primary on April 26.

Both the mobile and desktop versions of the tool can be accessed at sos.ri.gov/vic.

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A fire that broke out over the weekend below the state Route 10 overpass is under investigation by the Providence Fire Department.

Fire officials say that trash on Cranston Street caught fire around 7:30 p.m. Sunday and spread to tents nearby. The blaze was under control after about 10 minutes and no injuries were reported.

Investigators are looking into the possibility that cooking at a homeless camp was the source of the fire.

Flames also made contact with the overpass itself. Department of Transportation officials were called to the scene to assess any potential damage.

Fire officials confirmed that there was no structural damage to the overpass, just minor soot staining.

The cause of the fire has not yet been determined.

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The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management will host a series of fly-fishing clinics throughout the spring and early summer.

The agency says the series begins Saturday in Carolina with a fly-fishing workshop for families.

Workshops will range from introductory classes for children to advanced instruction for experienced anglers. They'll be held April 23, in Burrillville, June 4, in Newport, June 25, in Burrillville, and July 9, in Carolina. Some of the events are free and include lunch.

The agency says the workshops are led by experienced fly-fishing instructors as part of DEM's Aquatic Resource Education program, a federally funded outreach program designed to provide fishing training to the public.

Registration is now open and is required for all clinics.

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Researchers at the Providence VA Medical Center have been awarded funding to look for new ways to provide long-term care for veterans.

The medical center says the VA Center of Innovation in Long-Term Services and Supports for Vulnerable Veterans will receive $550,000 per year for five years to continue its research.

Dr. James Rudolph, the research center's director, says there's a critical need for innovative ways to provide long-term care that meets veterans' needs and promotes their independence.

He says researchers are focused on keeping veterans in their homes as long as possible because it's cost-effective and what the veterans prefer.

The goal of the research is to improve the access, quality and value of long-term care programs.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs awarded the funding.

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A Providence man with a plan to expand multicultural tourism in Rhode Island is the recipient of a $300,000 innovation fellowship awarded by the Rhode Island Foundation.

Raymond Two Hawks Watson is the 2016 winner of the three-year grant, funded by philanthropists Letitia and John Carter.

Watson is the executive director of the Mount Hope Neighborhood Association.

He also created the Providence Cultural Equity Initiative, which recently held the International Indigenous Peoples Cultural Conference at Roger Williams Park.

Watson says Rhode Island's cultural heritage, history and diversity are untapped resources for drawing more tourists to the state. Along with Providence's artistic reputation, he says they can help drive economic development.

This is the fifth year of the fellowship program.

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The company that provides food and beverage services for Roger Williams Park Zoo in Providence has asked the city's Board of Licenses to permit them to sell beer at the zoo.

The proposal from Centerplate states that the company would like to set up a tent next to the zoo's Wilderness Cafe and begin charging $6 for 16-ounce cans of Miller Lite and Corona as well as $7 for draft beer from the Union Station Brewery year-round.

Under the proposal, the tent would also sell bottled water in addition to hot dogs, pretzels and other snack options.

Centerplate will limit customers to purchasing one beer each and has projected $19,000 in annual beer sales.

A spokesman for Mayor Jorge Elorza says the city is considering the request.

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A state report released this week shows that clean energy jobs in Rhode Island have increased 40 percent since last year.

The report released Wednesday by the Office of Energy Resources and the Executive Office of Commerce found that 84 percent of Rhode Island's nearly 14,000 clean energy jobs are in energy efficiency.

Gov. Gina Raimondo said the state has made "extraordinary strides in promoting renewable energy."

Officials say the growth can be attributed to the state's programs providing incentives for conserving energy and the steady growth of solar power in Rhode Island.

Energy Commissioner Marion Gold says the state's commitment to clean energy not only produces jobs, but also helps to "shrink our carbon footprint and lead private industry into new, exciting territory."

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Rhode Island Commerce Secretary Stefan Pryor says the state's moving forward with a multimillion-dollar tourism campaign to attract summertime vacationers but has no plans to replace its poorly received "Cooler & Warmer" marketing slogan.

He told reporters today he took responsibility for last month's botched campaign rollout that included a video with a scene from Iceland and an error-filled website. The mistakes led the state's chief marketing officer Betsy Wall to resign on April 1st.

Pryor also testified today before a House Finance Committee seeking another $4.5 million for the tourism campaign next year.

He says about half of this year's budget is still to be spent but much of that will be spent just before the summer season to attract what he called "near-cationers" from other Northeast states.

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The sign at the bottom of the hill at CCRI’s Warwick location reads: Welcome President Clinton. He'll be on the schools Knights Campus Thursday to campaign for his wife, Hillary Clinton. The visit comes 2 weeks ahead of the state's primary, but was announced last minute.

The President will speak to voters in the Great Hall.

Republican front runner Donald Drumpf was also considering coming to the ocean state this week, but has since decided against the Friday visit it citing security concerns. Still, CCRI officials say if he does come in the future they have a space for him to speak.

The event is free and open to the public. Great hall holds 1,500 people. Seating is first come first serve. Doors open at 11:30 am and the speaking portion is set to start at 12:30.

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A $54 million National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association fisheries research vessel will make its permanent home in Newport.

U.S. Sen. Jack Reed made the announcement Tuesday about the state-of-the-art research ship the Henry B. Bigelow.

The 209-foot ship is used to study New England's Northeast Marine Fisheries. It uses high-tech sonar and can drop nets to trawl as deep as 6,000 feet. It is also used to observe weather, survey mammal and bird populations, among other tasks.

Reed says homeporting the ship in Newport will help NOAA to coordinate with agencies like the U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard.

NOAA's deep sea exploration ship Okeanos Explorer is currently homeported across the bay at Quonset Point.

Officials have recommended moving it so both vessels would be homeported at Naval Station Newport.

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Salads made at a Whole Foods Market facility in Massachusetts and distributed to more than a dozen stores around the Northeast have been recalled because they were mislabeled and contain an egg allergen.

The company says 10-ounce packages of asparagus, pea and ricotta salad actually contained miniature asparagus, sun-dried tomato and Swiss frittatas.

People with egg allergies run the risk of serious or life-threatening reaction if they eat the salad. No illnesses have been reported. The salads were sold on April 10.

They were sold in Darien and West Hartford, Connecticut; Millburn, Middletown, Montclair, and Ridgewood, New Jersey; the Upper West Side in New York City; University Heights in Providence, Rhode Island; and Wellesley, Dedham, Hingham, Wayland and the Prospect Street and Fresh Pond stores in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Consumers who purchased the salads can return them for a refund.

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Providence fire officials say a blaze that injured eight firefighters and left more than 20 people displaced was accidental.

The fire department said Tuesday that the March 31 fire that burned two houses, three cars and a boat in the city's Silver Lake neighborhood was caused by a cigarette that was discarded in some leaves.

Investigators determined that the cigarette caused the leaves to catch fire, which then spread to a wooden fence between the two Laurel Hill Avenue homes. Winds gusting to more than 50 miles per hour helped fan the flames.

One of the homes was destroyed. The other sustained damages estimated at $250,000.

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Seventeen people have been arrested in what Rhode Island State Police say is an Internet-based gambling ring.

Colonel Steven O'Donnell says on Tuesday that the arrests are the result of an 8-month-long investigation by state, federal and local officials.

The men were arrested Tuesday morning in Cranston, Warwick, Scituate, North Providence, Narragansett and South Kingstown.

They're facing charges including bookmaking, organized criminal gambling, conspiracy and drug charges.

All were set to be arraigned in district court in Warwick Tuesday afternoon.

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A series of sexual abuse scandals is forcing a reckoning at some of New England's most exclusive boarding schools and sending a shudder through similar institutions around the country.

At St. George's School in Middletown, scores of alumni have come forward to complain of being sexually violated by teachers or schoolmates.

At St. Paul's in New Hampshire, a rape trial revealed a tradition in which senior boys competed to have sex with younger girls.

And at New Hampshire's Phillips Exeter Academy, several graduates have accused faculty members of sexual abuse and other wrongdoing.

Those schools and ones that have yet to be touched by scandal are now rushing to adopt safeguards and reassure parents. They are also asking former students and others to come forward if they know of any misconduct.

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Tens of thousands of Verizon landline and cable workers on the East Coast have walked off the job after working without a contract since August.

The strike Wednesday morning involves about 39,000 members of the Communications Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers in nine eastern states and Washington, D.C.

The unions say they're striking because Verizon wants to freeze pensions, make layoffs easier and rely more on contract workers.        

The telecom giant has said there are health care issues that need to be addressed for both retirees and workers as medical costs have grown.

Verizon Communications Inc. says it has trained thousands of non-union employees to fill in during the strike.

The last Verizon strike was in 2011 and lasted for two weeks.

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The cost of a gallon of gasoline in Rhode Island is holding steady.

The price had increased over the last five weeks. AAA Northeast found in its weekly survey that self-serve, regular gasoline is selling for an average of $2.04 per gallon, the same as last week.

That price is 32 cents lower than the same time a year ago, when a gallon sold for $2.36. Rhode Island's price is the same as the national average.

AAA found self-serve, regular gas selling for as low as $1.95 per gallon and as high as $2.10 in Rhode Island.

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A survivor of the Boston Marathon bombings has been invited to deliver the commencement address at Providence College.

Newport resident Heather Abbott will also receive an honorary degree at the May 15 ceremony.

She created The Heather Abbott Foundation last year to help amputees obtain prostheses.

Abbott's lower leg was amputated in 2013 after she was struck by bomb shrapnel at the finish line and thrown through a doorway by the explosion.

She received her MBA from Providence College in 2003.

Others getting honorary degrees include George Wein (ween), who founded Newport's jazz and folk festivals; actor and singer Rose Weaver; retired Phoenix Life Insurance CEO Robert Fiondella; and physician Timothy Flanigan, a Brown University professor of medicine who treated Ebola patients in Liberia.

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Investigators are searching for the cause of a fire that ripped through a two-family home in Woonsocket.

Fire Chief Brian Gould tells The Providence Journal that the fire broke out around 7 p.m. on Monday. He says firefighters only saw a small amount of smoke when they arrived but found fire on the first floor extending into the second floor when they entered the building.

It took firefighters about 45 minutes to control the fire.

No injuries were reported during the blaze.

The fire is under investigation.

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The Rhode Island Supreme Court says the right to privacy outweighs the public's right to know details of a state police investigation into the son of former Gov. Lincoln Chafee, who pleaded no contest to giving alcohol to underage people at a party on the governor's property in 2012.

The Providence Journal sued to get the records from state police.

In Monday's ruling, the court said that the newspaper had not pointed to any evidence that state police or others acted improperly during the investigation. It said that when the release of sensitive personal information is at stake, the person seeking the information must provide some evidence of government negligence or impropriety.

The ACLU said it was very disappointed and called for a change in the open records law.

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Unions representing more than 36,000 Verizon landline phone and cable workers are threatening a strike starting Wednesday morning if the company doesn't agree to a new contract.

The unions, the Communications Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, say Verizon wants to freeze pensions, make layoffs easier and rely more on contract workers. Verizon says there are health care issues that need to be addressed for both retirees and workers as medical costs have grown.

The latest contract had expired last August. Both sides say negotiations have been unsuccessful.

Verizon Communications Inc. says it has trained thousands of non-union employees to fill in if the strike takes place in nine Eastern states and Washington, D.C.

The last Verizon strike was in 2011 and lasted for two weeks.

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Providence's budget woes are continuing to widen.

Mayor Jorge Elorza released key findings Monday from a forthcoming study suggesting the capital city's annual deficits will only continue to grow in the coming decade. It projects a $176-million shortfall by 2026 if no action taken.

The study says Providence continues to struggle with an underfunded pension system, growing healthcare and benefit costs, cuts to state aid and deferred maintenance on city roads, bridges and schools.

Elorza says city budgeting "rewards short-term thinking" that results in "one time fixes," making it nearly impossible to budget long term.

The study is part of a project Providence launched using a White House grant to explore new budgeting options. The mayor's office says the full report with recommendations will be released in the coming weeks.

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Former President Bill Clinton is campaigning in Rhode Island on behalf of his wife, Hillary Clinton.

The Clinton campaign announced Monday that Bill Clinton will visit Rhode Island on Thursday ahead of the state's April 26 presidential primary.

The campaign says Bill Clinton will speak at a public event at a location to be announced later. He'll talk about why Hillary Clinton is the best candidate to raise wages and help families.

Hillary Clinton is battling Vermont U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders for the Democratic presidential nomination. Both candidates recently opened campaign offices in Providence.

The Clinton campaign didn't say whether Hillary Clinton would come to Rhode Island before the primary. Bill Clinton raised money for the campaign in December in Rhode Island.

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Police are investigating after a man was struck and killed by a car on West Main Road Friday.

According to police, Corey Houle of Bristol, 37, was struck around 9:40 p.m. near Prescott Farm. He was transported to Newport Hospital and later succumbed to his injuries.

Police say the driver has not been charged and their investigation has not found any evidence of criminal intent.

 

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State lawmakers who represent the town of Burrillville are opposing a plan to build a gas-fired power plant there.

Sen. Paul Fogarty and Rep. Cale Keable sent a letter to the state Energy Facility Siting Board opposing the $700 million project.

Both Democrats represent the northwest corner of the state where Chicago-based Invenergy wants to build a 900-megawatt plant in the village of Pascoag.

The lawmakers say Burrillville has already done more than its share because of other energy facilities located in the town. They say they decided to speak up after hearing from many constituents.

Invenergy has said its proposed Clear River Energy Center on Wallum Lake Road will benefit the region by displacing dirtier power plants and reducing energy costs. Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo has supported the proposal.

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Stop & Shop has reached a tentative agreement with unionized workers in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut.

The Massachusetts-based supermarket chain says it reached the agreements for new contracts with the five local chapters of the United Food and Commercial Workers union that represent workers in those three states this weekend. Details of the accords were not immediately released.

The union, which represents some 35,000 Stop and Shop workers, said in a statement that the agreement represents a "victory" for "working people in New England." The agreements still require approval by union members. Local meetings are being scheduled, union officials say.

The two sides have been negotiating since January. The previous contract expired in February. Union workers had authorized a strike in the event of an impasse.

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A professor who was disciplined by Wheaton College in Illinois after showing solidarity with Muslims is visiting Wheaton College in Massachusetts to talk about the experience.

Larycia Hawkins was set to be fired last year by the Wheaton in Illinois, an evangelical Christian school, after she posed in a photo wearing a headscarf in support of Muslims. It sparked a national debate and caused headaches at the Wheaton in Massachusetts, which is unrelated but often confused with the Illinois Wheaton.

Hawkins is speaking at the Massachusetts Wheaton, which is near the Rhode Island state line, at 7 p.m. on April 13. She left the Illinois college in February.

President Dennis Hanno of the Wheaton in Massachusetts says Hawkins' display of solidarity exemplifies the school's commitment to diversity.

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Woonsocket residents are on edge as last month's stabbing death of an 81-year old city official remains unsolved.

Police and city leaders held a community meeting Saturday at St. Agatha's Church to assure residents they're working to solve the crime. The church is located not far from where Connie Gauthier was found dead on March 23 in her home.

Officials say she died from multiple stab wounds.

Gauthier was chair of the city personnel board that oversees hiring, hears employee grievances, among other duties.

Officials Saturday provided little details about the progress of the investigation. There have been no arrests and police have not named a suspect.

Acting Police Chief Michael Lemoine said investigators do not believe it was a random act and that there's no broader threat to residents.

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The family of a man killed by Pawtucket police is seeking more answers about the night he was shot after brandishing a BB gun.

The family of 24-year-old Dominique Silva told WPRI-TV that no public official reached out to the family after his death.

Members of the family held a peaceful demonstration Saturday in front of City Hall. Pawtucket Mayor Donald Grebien told the station he'll personally call Silva's family to apologize and offer his condolences this week.

Silva was shot March 24 after police responded to reports of a man making threats with a handgun.

Silva fled when approached by Officer Julianne Borsari. She shot him after he pointed the gun at her at least twice. The state Attorney General's office is reviewing the shooting.

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