A Rhode Island lawmaker who introduced a bill that would ban outhouses in the state says he is withdrawing the legislation.
Republican Rep. Justin Price said Wednesday he is pulling the measure ahead of a scheduled State house hearing. Price says the issue should be addressed by local municipalities, not the state.
The bill would have required any outhouse existing as of Jan. 1, 2019, to be "abandoned, filled up and destroyed" within one year.
A Rhode Island renewable energy company has started construction on an $84 million wind farm. North Kingstown-based company Green Development recently started preparing the Johnston site where seven wind turbines will be erected. Green Development has contracts with both the Rhode Island Convention Center Authority and the National Grid.
Trinity Repertory Company is commissioning a stage version of the Book "The Prince of Providence." The 2004 book chronicles the life of late Providence Mayor Vincent "Buddy" Cianci. He was forced from office twice and served prison time following his conviction on federal corruption charges in 2002. Cianci died in 2016.
More than two-hundred people are losing their jobs at a food company plant in North Kingstown. Greencore, based in Dublin Ireland, makes sandwiches and other prepared foods for clients including major retailers and convenience stores. The company says its production plant at the Quonset Business Park has been losing money and will cease operations on March 25th. The state Department of Labor and Training will deploy a Rapid Response team to try to help laid off employees find work.
Former boxer Vinny Paz is on probation for a year after pleading no contest yesterday to a charge for assaulting his girlfriend. Paz was arrested around 4 a.m. yesterday at his Warwick home. He is also ordered not to have any contact with the victim.
Providence shoppers are being encouraged to use reusable bags. City council approved an ordinance last night that requires shoppers to pay a fee for reusable plastic bags available at stores. It's estimated that the city will save about one-million dollars annually while it removes 95-million single use plastic bags from the landfill.
Some Providence residents want city council to scrap its new speed camera program. More than 17-thousand drivers have received tickets since the program started in January. At last night's meeting city council voted to review the program after Municipal Court Chief Judge Frank Caprio dismissed a number of tickets citing errors with the process.
A company official at Pawtucket-based Hasbro says the Toys R Us closing will have a short-term impact on the company's business. Spokeswoman Julie Duffy says over the long term the company will prosper. Kohl's and JC Penney have indicated that with Toys R Us closing they plan to expand their toy lineup. Currently the top toy retailers are Walmart and Target.
A Massachusetts company has announced it will buy the parent company of a former Rhode Island credit union.
In an announcement Wednesday, Coastway Community Bank says it has been sold to HarborOne Bankcorp Inc., of Brockton, Massachusetts, for $125.6 million cash.
The companies say the deal is expected to close later this year. It needs the approval of Coastway stockholders, who would receive $28.25 for each share they own.
Former boxer Vinny Paz was arrested Thursday morning for assault, according to Warwick police.
Police say that Paz was arrested at approximately 4 a.m. at his Tivoli Court house.
Captain Michael Gilbert says that they received a call from a third-party who told police that Paz’s girlfriend was possibly assaulted.
When officers arrived at Paz’s Warwick home, he allegedly refused to answer the door and turned off all of the lights in the house.
Captain Gilbert says police had to force their way into the home through the garage door and took Paz into custody without incident.
The state House of Representatives has passed a bill to allow children in Rhode Island public schools to bring in sunscreen without a doctor's note. The House passed the measure unanimously Wednesday. The Senate is considering identical legislation. Many school systems categorize sunscreen as an over-the-counter medication requiring special paperwork.
The University Of Rhode Island is responding to an increased demand for active shooter trainings after the recent shooting in Parkland, Florida. The University’s Department of Public Safety has provided its officers with such training for a number of years, and is adding community trainings. They're scheduling additional 90-minute sessions to accommodate interest.
Attorney General Peter Kilmartin is seeking General Assembly approval to name a new building after one of his predecessors. He wants to name a building that will house the Consumer Protection Unit and other divisions of the AG's office after former Attorney General Julius Michaelson. Michaelson served in the office from 1974-to-1979 and is considered the architect of many of Rhode Island's customer service protection laws. The new building on Howard Avenue in Cranston is expected to be completed this summer.
Warwick Police are offering free rides to those that may have been partying too much on Saint Patrick's Day. The department is taking part in the "Safe Rides Program" to cut down on DUI crashes and drunk driving. The rides are available Saturday from 6 p.m. until midnight.
State lawmakers are trying to ease up on penalties handed out through Providence's school zone traffic cameras. A House bill would let first offenders off with a warning and require flashing lights on camera warning signs. Currently first time offenders are fined 95-dollars. More than 17-thousand tickets have been given in the first two months that five new speed cameras became operational.
Transportation officials are closing the Bath Street East Bridge in Providence. RIDOT says after an inspection the bridge is structurally deficient. The bridge spans the Woonasquatucket River between Kinsley Avenue and Promenade Street. Traffic is being detoured to the Pleasant Valley Parkway and Park Street bridges.
High school students across Rhode Island say by raising their voices when it comes to gun control they will be heard. Thousands of students participated in yesterday's National Walkout Day honoring the 17 victims of last month's deadly shootings in Florida. Students say unless there's change students won't feel safe.
The Red Cross is assisting two residents after a fire destroyed their home in Seekonk. The fire occurred around 10 a.m. yesterday in a barn converted to apartments on County Street. The residents were not at home when the fire broke out, but two dogs and two ferrets were killed in the blaze. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
Hundreds of crews have been working through the night to restore power to Rhode Islanders. National Grid reports more than six-thousand customers are without service this morning due to downed tree limbs and wires from the nor'easter that swept the region. National Grid says it expects to have power fully restored by 11 p.m.
Providence police arrested 48-year-old Iris Rodriguez-Jones after they say she tried to use a fake bill for pay a cover charge at a Providence nightclub. When a security officer asked her to use "real money," Jones became argumentative, and said to call the police. They called her bluff. Rodriguez-Jones, a 27-year corrections official, was charged in District Court for passing a counterfeit bill, and disorderly conduct.
The Providence Journal is challenging the state's refusal to release its pitch for Amazon's new headquarters even though Rhode Island didn't make the cut for potential sites. The newspaper reports it filed a complaint with Rhode Island's attorney general, arguing the decision violates state law allowing access to public records. The governor has said the state didn't release its pitch for competitive reasons,
Electric Boat Quonset is holding a job fair next week, as it continues to expand its workforce. The job fair is being held on Thursday, March 22 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the New England Institute of Technology on Post Road in Warwick. For those unable to attend, information about job opportunities is available on the company’s website.
The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management is voicing opposition to offshore drilling. DEM says the Trump administration's proposal to lift the ban on drilling would endanger the health of the state's environment and marine resources. In comments submitted to the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, DEM Director Janet Coit says oil and gas drilling pose major, direct and adverse impacts to marine resources relied on for food, jobs and recreation.
St. Patrick Academy on Smith Street in Providence was placed on a temporary lockdown Monday afternoon.
Principal Bruce Daigle says the school is on the same property as a soup kitchen, where a patron told an employee there was a weapon in his backpack.
The school was placed on lockdown and police searched the building. Authorities gave it the all-clear about 20 minutes later.
Nothing was found, and the patron had left by the time police arrived.
A foundation that's backing an art project built around a Detroit house where Rosa Parks once lived says it's considering legal options now that Brown University has said the project was canceled. The Wisconsin-based Nash Family Foundation says it paid Brown $45,000 and the university agreed to use the money for artist Ryan Mendoza to reconstruct the house in Providence. Brown says it did not breach any agreements.
There's a movie crew in Newport. Shooting was scheduled to start yesterday on a feature film entitled "Anastasia." It's described as a family movie that follows the adventures of Anastasia Romanov as she travels in time, escaping the 1917 Russian Revolution. TheRhode Island Film and Television Office says production actually started last summer in Lexington, Kentucky.
A temporary marine traffic restriction was scheduled to start Monday through the Sakonnet River Channel, weather permitting. The state Department of Transportation says the restriction, which is expected to last for approximately a month, is needed as the removal of the old Sakonnet River Bridge continues. Demolition work started last year.
Northern Rhode Island legislators are asking that the resurfacing of Route 146 between I-295 and the Massachusetts border be made a priority. They say the highway isn't scheduled for maintenance until 2022, but that the road surface has deteriorated to the point where four years is too long to wait. Twenty representatives and senators have sent a letter to RIDOT noting that Route 146 is one of five main highway entry points to the state. They argue the poor condition of the road gives visitors and residents alike the wrong impression about the state.
A winter storm warning is in effect as a nor'easter begins to hammer the state. Heavy snow and strong winds will create blizzard conditions. Governor Raimondo has issued a travel ban for tractor-trailers and urges residents to stay home so roads can be plowed. Providence and the eastern part of the state can expect up to 18 inches of snow, while the western part will get about a foot of accumulation.
Rhode Island residents are paying less to keep their vehicles running this week. AAA Northeast reported Monday that self-serve, regular gasoline is selling for an average of $2.53 per gallon, 3 cents lower than last week.
The University of Rhode Island is looking for volunteers to help monitor the water quality in local waterways. Volunteers in URI's Watershed Watch program check the water clarity, temperature, algae concentrations and dissolved oxygen in 220 lakes, ponds, streams and bays weekly or biweekly, from May through October. They also collect water samples. The program is beginning its 31st year of monitoring.
Providence City Council will consider an ordinance that will go further than just banning the use of plastic shopping bags. The ordinance would also require retailers to charge ten-cents for replacement paper bags or more durable plastic bags. The ordinance, if approved, would be an effort to change shoppers' habits and get them to use more durable reusable bags. The ordinance goes before council Thursday.
A former Providence police officer is in trouble with the law. Authorities arrested 41-year-old Jesse Farrell at the Mobil gas station on Atwells Avenue on Saturday for illegally using a city of Providence gas card. Authorities say they also seized an illegal firearm from his apartment. Farrell was fired from the police department in 2016 for his involvement in a coupon scam for which he was later convicted.
A winter storm watch is in effect for tonight into tomorrow. The third nor'easter to hit the state in ten days is expected to dump a foot or more of snow at the rate of one to three inches an hour. Strong winds causing poor visibility and some coastal flooding can also be expected.
There's movement in the General Assembly to amend a state law that let Providence put speed cameras near schools. Controversy has recently erupted because of thousands of violations at 95-dollars per violation. House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello reportedly says he's working with other legislators to change the law to provide warnings before tickets are issued, and to reduce the amount of the fines.
Rhode Island officials say some state residents may see plastic pinwheel-shaped objects washing ashore, but say they come from a wastewater treatment facility and aren't contaminated. The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management says Friday the objects, known as "media," were flushed out of East Providence's wastewater treatment facility during a March 2 storm. They're used to help the wastewater system remove nutrients before the treated water is disinfected and discharged.
Brown University suspended its men's swimming and diving team after investigation finds alcohol and hazing violations. In a statement released Friday, Brown said the team will be suspended through May 27 and any team activity is prohibited. Brown also issued the team a deferred suspension through Dec. 21. During that period, the team can practice but not represent the university.
Rhode Island lawmakers are pursuing changes to a state law that allowed Providence to install speed cameras that have generated more than 17,000 violations and $600,000 in fines.
The House voted 54-16 in 2016 to pass the bill allowing municipalities to install speed cameras within a quarter-mile of any school. Providence City Council voted to allow cameras be installed in the city last year, and they started monitoring drivers Jan. 16.
Democratic Rep. Robert Craven, who introduced the bill, says the city is abusing the bill's intent. Democratic House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello said Thursday he is working with Craven on a bill to reduce the $95 fine and turn more tickets into warnings.
Brown University has canceled plans to display the house where Rosa Parks lived for a time after she left the south and moved to Detroit. The house had been on a demolition list until it was saved by Parks' niece and an artist who moved it to Berlin. Brown cited an unspecified dispute involving the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self Development. Park's niece, Rhea McCauley, called it a missed opportunity.
Rhode Island's unemployment rate has kept steady at 4.5 percent. The state Department of Labor and Training said Thursday the jobless rate for January was the same as in December. The state's unemployment rate was higher than the national rate of 4.1 percent in January, which is also the same as December.
A state Senate committee was scheduled to deal with health-related bills on Thursday. A late afternoon vote was expected by the Health and Human Services Committee on legislation regarding the development of incentives to lower staff turnover at nursing homes. The committee was also to hold a hearing on a bill to ban minors from using tanning beds.
Attorney General Peter Kilmartin is among 54 state and territorial attorneys general calling for passage of federal legislation pending in the U.S. House making it easier for child pornography victims to receive timely restitution. Kilmartin says the faster victims can get the restitution they deserve, the faster they can move forward with their lives. A similar bill was passed by the Senate in 2015 but failed in the House.
A 16-year-old boy is facing charges after police say he was shooting his BB gun at a passing bus in Providence. Police say the boy was shooting from his apartment at Dexter Manor and, at one point, fired at a security officer. Police went to the boy's apartment, where they seized a BB rifle and pistol.
Residents of Block Island want to see a man being detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement released. ICE took 29-year-old Mariton Gurguri into custody last week as he was working at the grocery store he manages. A native of Kosovo, Gurguri has been living on Block Island for seven years and residents have been raising money to assist with his legal bills. Gurguri came to the island in 2010 on a student visa.
Foster-Glocester schools in North Scituate will be closed today as cleanup from the nor'easter continues. Crews are working to restore power in the area after the weight of wet snow downed trees and wires. Around two-thousand Rhode Islanders were without power overnight.
The Portsmouth Police Department is investigating the theft of an AK-47 semiautomatic rifle from a North Drive home in the Sunny Acres complex and is asking the public for any tips regarding the incident.
Nine empty magazines for the firearm also were taken, along with a television and video game console.
There's a House bill to keep guns out of schools in Rhode Island except for law enforcement and approved persons for educational purposes. The Safe Schools Act has been reintroduced by East Providence state Representative Katherine Kazarian. The bill would ban firearms from any public or private school and school buses. Violators would face prison time and fines. The bill has been sent to the House Judiciary Committee.
Lieutenant Governor Dan McKee is calling for passage of House and Senate bills to hold National Grid responsible for its storm response. He says it's not about crews who have worked around-the-clock since last week's nor'easter to restore power. McKee says it's about a company based overseas that is not responsive to the needs of its Rhode Island customers. He says there must be strict performance and preparedness standards for utility companies and improved communications between the utilities and communities.
Decocking a revolver and drinking wine result in a Providence man being shot in the foot. Police say Michael Leonardo was doing that around midnight Tuesday in his Radcliffe Street apartment when the revolver fired. Leonardo was taken to Rhode Island Hospital for treatment, and police seized the revolver and another pistol for safekeeping.
The state Department of Health says the J.M. Smucker Company is recalling several of its canned dog food brands. The Gravy Train, Kibbles 'N Bits, Ol' Roy and Skippy brands may be contaminated with pentobarbital. The drug is used as a sedative and anesthetic, and sometimes for euthanasia in animals. FDA tests show the low level of the drug detected is unlikely to pose a health risk.
Providence schools appear to be the exception when it comes to officials working with students on a national walkout next Wednesday. School Superintendent Christopher Maher says students who leave the school grounds face disciplinary action. The American Civil Liberties Union says any punishment that is greater than that for any other departure from campus is unconstitutional. Other Rhode Island schools are working with students planning to walk out and not against them.
Rhode Island Republicans aren’t giving up their quest to prove Gov. Gina Raimondo’s re-election campaign acted nefariously when it entered into a fundraising agreement with the Providence Democratic City Committee. State GOP Chairman Brandon Bell said Wednesday he has filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission arguing that the mutual support agreement between Raimondo and the local party does not comply with federal campaign laws.
Former Rhode Island Secretary of State Matt Brown is running for governor after filing paperwork earlier this week with the state Board of Elections. It's unclear if he plans to run as a Democrat or an independent as he's currently listed as unaffiliated. Brown was elected secretary of state in 2002, but disappeared from politics after dropping out of the U.S. Senate race in 2006.
Woonsocket-based CVS says it's installing safe medication disposal systems in its Rhode Island stores. The disposal sites give people a place to get rid of prescription painkillers that are no longer needed or have expired. The goal is to help fight the opioid epidemic. The first location for the safe disposal system in the state is the CVS pharmacy on Newport Avenue in Pawtucket.
Governor Gina Raimondo is in a tight race in her bid for a second-term, according to a WPRI-TV/Roger Williams University poll. Raimondo is ahead of Republican Cranston Mayor Alan Fung 38- to 36-percent with 17-percent undecided. The governor has much bigger leads over another Republican contender, House Minority Leader Patricia Morgan and independent candidate Joe Trillo. The poll of 419 registered voters has a margin of error of four-point-eight percent.
Fall River taxpayers are giving their approval to going forward with building a new high school. Nearly five-thousand residents voted yes yesterday to spending more than 98-million dollars for the new school. The state will kick in the remaining 165-million dollars. Durfee High School has had to deal with structural issues in recent years.
The Department of Children Youth and Families is cutting ties with a Pawtucket group home. The move comes after a report that detailed drug use and sex trafficking. The announcement by DCYF that it was canceling its contract with Blackstone Valley Youth and Family Collaborative came yesterday.
Hundreds of Rhode Islanders are expressing their thoughts on gun-related bills. The state House and Senate are considering ten bills and it appeared those opposed to the measures outweighed the supporters during yesterday's hearings. Jennifer Boylan of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense of Rhode Island says so many opposed to the bills showed up because they're afraid they'll lose their guns.
Two candidates for Rhode Island governor are slinging insults at each other. Independent candidate Joe Trillo, a former Republican lawmaker, said Tuesday that Republican Cranston Mayor Allan Fung is a chameleon and "stands for nothing." Trillo's comments came after Fung earlier dubbed him "Good Old Trader Joe," saying Trillo "loves to cut deals with his pals up at the Statehouse."
A Rhode Island couple has filed suit over a drug company's alleged kickback scheme encouraging doctors to push a highly addictive opioid spray. Woonsocket residents Lisa and Angelo Mencucci are suing Arizona-based Insys Therapeutics Inc. and Jerrold Rosenberg, a North Providence doctor. Rosenberg is awaiting sentencing for taking money to unnecessarily prescribe the fentanyl spray Subsys. The company's former CEO has pleaded not guilty.
Rhode Island is receiving a $20 million grant to improve conditions along Route 37, which connects Cranston and Warwick. Democratic U.S. Sen. Jack Reed joined with the state's congressional delegation and Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo to announce the funding Tuesday. The money will help pay for the Route 37 Bridge and Roadway Improvement Project, estimated to cost $76 million.
A wintry mix of snow and rain is falling along the East Coast as another nor'easter takes aim at the region.
The new storm is expected to drop more than a foot of snow in some interior areas on Wednesday. Pennsylvania's Poconos Mountains and parts of Massachusetts could see up to 18 inches.
This comes just days after another storm knocked out power to millions, some of whom are still waiting to have their service restored.
A slight consolation is that the storm is not expected to bring the coastal flooding like the one last week. Some coastal New England and New Jersey communities are still feeling the effects of that storm.
A fire at The Rhode Island Lottery building is under investigation.
Cranston Fire officials say that crews responded to the building on Pontiac Ave just after 6 Tuesday evening.
Upon arrival, it was discovered that a bird nest under a light had caught fire, sending smoke inside and tripping alarms.
The State Fire Marshal was called to the scene, officials said, and although it was a minor fire an investigation was initiated.
The business sustained minor smoke and fire damage.
No injuries were reported.
A Rhode Island lawmaker says he has introduced legislation to end the use of traffic cameras, as thousands of people in Providence were contesting tickets they received from a new school zone speed camera program that issued 12,000 citations in its first month. Republican Rep. Anthony Giarrusso, of East Greenwich, says his legislation would eliminate all red-light and speed cameras. Hundreds of people flooded municipal court Monday to contest their tickets.
Rhode Island officials say a tax amnesty program brought in $21 million, $8.7 million more than expected. The Rhode Island Division of Taxation on Monday says it processed more than 10,000 applications for the amnesty when the program ran from December to February. The program waived penalties and cut interest 25 percent for people who paid what they owned in back taxes.
Gas prices are holding steady this week in Rhode Island. AAA Northeast said Monday in its weekly survey that self-serve, regular unleaded is averaging $2.56 per gallon. That's unchanged from last week. The average price is three cents above the national average of $2.53. It's also 33 cents higher than the price in Rhode Island was a year ago.
Rhode Island is being given a "B-plus" in a 2017 ranking of each state's gun laws. The ranking from the Gifford Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence notes the state has strengthened its laws to keep guns away from domestic abusers. It also says the General Assembly should pass more gun safety laws.
Warwick state Representative Joseph Solomon is proposing that power lines be buried in areas plagued by long-lasting outages. Noting the widespread service disruptions from the latest nor'easter, he says losing electricity is more than an inconvenience, it can become a public safety and public health issue. Under the bill, utility companies would have to create and carry out a plan to bury transmission lines serving residential customers within two years of a service disruption.
A former state lawmaker is being ordered to make restitution of more than 31-thousand-dollars. Peter Palumbo pled guilty yesterday to an illegal appropriation of more than one-thousand-dollars after an embezzlement investigation into campaign funds. Palumbo was also sentenced to three years suspended sentence and three years probation.
Providence's speed cameras are overwhelming the city's municipal court. The court had nearly 27-hundred speed-camera violations on yesterday's docket on a day it would normally have 300. Chief Judge Frank Caprio dismissed numerous cases due to people receiving multiple notices for the same offense, dark pictures where the vehicle was unidentifiable and some notices with contradictory information. Caprio noted that the purpose of the violations should be public safety and not to increase revenue.
Crews are working to restore power to thousands of homes across Rhode Island and southern Massachusetts. National Grid says it hopes to have everyone back online today. A few thousand customers in Rhode Island and about 20-thousand in Massachusetts are still without electricity.
The seasonal fee for the Second Beach Family Campground in Middletown will increase $4,000 over four years instead of two.
The Newport Daily News reports that during a well-attended meeting last night at Town Hall, Town Council President Robert Sylvia rolled out a new plan to increase the fee by $1,000 for this season and $1,000 each summer through 2022, when the fees would be subject to an annual review by local leaders.
The council voted 6-1 to approve the new rates . The council still needs to formally approve an ordinance finalizing the fee, including holding a public hearing over the next two meetings.
According to the Newport Daily News, the city of Newport is contemplating asking for a 1 percent increase in the state meals and beverage and lodging taxes.
City Council members and the state legislative delegation met in City Hall on Saturday morning to go over the proposal, which was pitched as a way to raise new money for needed capital projects.
One of the last remaining dairy farms in Rhode Island may be forced to sell its cows after more than a century in business because of crushing debt. The Cottrell family’s farm in South Kingstown is one of only nine in the state. In the 1950s, there were nearly 400. Matt Cottrell says he recently bought enough grain for three weeks. When that runs out, the Cottrells will need to get rid of their cows and lease their fields to a turf farm.
Republican and Democratic lawmakers in Rhode Island are pressing for the creation of an Office of Inspector General to root out government abuse, fraud and waste. Republican Rep. Robert Lancia says that the state’s budget shortfall makes the need for the watchdog role more urgent. He is the lead sponsor of a bill to create the office.
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