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1540 WADK.com Updates

Raimondo To Give State Of State Tonight


Gov. Gina Raimondo will deliver her State of the State address tonight, seeking to convince voters she is making progress on tackling the state’s problems even as her opponents ramp up their criticism ahead of the November election. Raimondo is scheduled to speak at 7 p.m. at the State House before a joint session of Rhode Island’s 113 state lawmakers and other dignitaries in the House chamber

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Gas prices fall to $2.51 per gallon in RI


Gas prices have fallen slightly in Rhode Island, to an average $2.51 per gallon for regular unleaded.

AAA Northeast says its weekly survey on Monday found that the price of gas in the state had fallen an average of two cents per gallon from last week.

The price in Rhode Island is two cents below the average price nationally, of $2.53 per gallon.

But it's 20 cents higher than at this time last year, when gas was averaging $2.31 per gallon in the Ocean State.

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Kilmartin Opposed To Burrillville Power Plant


Attorney General Peter Kilmartin says he's opposed to construction of the Invenergy power plant in Burrillville.  He says he plans to seek court permission to file a brief in Superior Court challenging the plant's water-supply plan. Kilmartin remarked that much has changed since the plant was proposed in 2015.  He added that there's growing evidence it's not needed and is not in the best interest of taxpayers or the state's natural resources. 

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Bill Would Increase Protections For Internet Users


There's a bill that would give Internet users in Rhode Island more protections.  Warwick Representative Evan Shanley's legislation would protect people from having their personal information disclosed by operators of commercial web sites or online services.  The bill notes that personal information is being collected, shared and sold in ways not considered or covered by current state and federal laws.  The measure has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee.

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Norwegian Air Drops Flight


Norwegian Air is dropping its flight from T.F. Green Airport in Warwick to Bergen, Norway.  The biweekly flights are being shifted to Shannon, Ireland.  Travelers who have already booked flights to Norway will get a refund or can reschedule their flight.  The airline is also reducing the number of weekly flights to Edinburgh, Scotland, from four to three.

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Authorities Look For Arsonist, Reward Offered


A five-thousand-dollar reward is being offered leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for setting two fires in Warwick.  The fires happened about two hours apart yesterday morning on Strand Avenue and Sea View Drive.  No one was injured, but both homes are heavily damaged.  The owner of one of the homes only lives there during the summer. 

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Gov. pushes for bill to give her office line-item veto


Gov. Gina Raimondo is pushing for a bill that would give the governor power to veto parts of the state budget. The governor says that she's launching a stronger push for line-item veto power this year. Most states already allow governors to strike individual budget items without having to veto an entire appropriations bill. A bill has been introduced in Rhode Island to give voters the chance to vote on a constitutional amendment.

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State offers grants for local farm and food businesses


Rhode Island is offering grants to help grow local farm and food businesses and increase the competitiveness of their products in the marketplace. The Department of Environmental Management says $380,000 is available through two grant programs that have invested about $3 million in the state. DEM Director Janet Coit says farming and fishing are increasingly vital to the state's economy.

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WWII vet receives overdue military honors


U.S. Jack Reed has presented a 92-year-old World War II veteran with military honors he earned during the war but never received. Reed said Saturday that Willard "Bud" Voigt now has his overdue Bronze Star, Purple Heart and other prestigious honors. Voigt, of Warwick, grew up in Fall River and joined the U.S. Army after graduating from high school in 1943. Voigt served with the 90th Infantry Division in France.

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Unemployment Website Back Online


State residents can once again access their unemployment claims online.  Flooding at the Department of Labor and Training's data center in Cranston forced the web site to go off line Saturday morning.   By yesterday everything was up and running again.  

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Governor To Deliver State Of The State


Governor  Gina Raimondo is planning to tout the state's economic success and education in the State of the State address.  Raimondo is to address both chambers of the General Assembly tomorrow at 7 p.m.  The governor will outline how incentives and job training has helped the state recover from the recession. 

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Missing Man's Kayak Recovered


Authorities say they have recovered a missing man's kayak.  The kayak of 46-year old Michael Perry was found around 10:30 a.m. yesterday in East Providence.  Perry has been missing since Friday afternoon after he went kayaking at Conimicut Point in Warwick.

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Relative Opposed To Airport Name Change


A descendent of T.F. Green Airport's namesake says she opposes a proposal to change the name of the Rhode Island airport.

Keena Palmer, the grandniece of former Gov. Theodore Francis Green, says officials should instead add "international" to the end of the airport's name.

House Majority leader Joseph Shekarchi previously announced a bill to change the name of the Warwick airport, saying  he wants the name to reflect the airport's international status.

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CVS to add sites for discarding unwanted opioids


CVS Health Corp. plans to install medication disposal units in dozens of pharmacies around Massachusetts as part of the state's effort to fight opioid abuse.

The units allow customers to safely dispose of prescription painkillers that have expired or are no longer being used.

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RI looking for its first youth poetry ambassador


Rhode Island is looking for its first youth poetry ambassador. Rhode Island Poet Laureate Tina Cane and the Rhode Island Center for the Book at the Rhode Island Council on the Humanities are partnering to look for a high school student to serve in the role. The winner will have an opportunity to publish a guest column in The Providence Journal, have their poetry featured on public buses and record an episode for Cane's podcast.

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Officials blame flu for long ER wait times


Some Rhode Island residents say they were forced to wait hours in the emergency room, and state officials say the flu is to blame.

The state Department of Health says they have seen "higher than usual" volumes at emergency departments statewide. A spokesman says the driving factor has been an extremely significant jump in flu cases across the state.

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New England reps' bill would prohibit offshore drilling


Bipartisan members of New England's congressional delegations have introduced a bill to prohibit oil and gas drilling off the New England coast. The New England Coastline Protection Act would prohibit oil and gas extraction activities in New Hampshire, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. It's a response to the Trump administration's plan to open nearly all U.S. coastlines to offshore oil and gas drilling.

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Date Set For Special State Senate Election


A special election for Senate District 8 in Pawtucket is set for April 3rd.  The vote is needed to fill the seat vacated by the departure of Senator Jaime Doyle.  Citing his struggle with alcohol, Doyle unexpectedly announced his immediate resignation on Tuesday.  If more than one candidate from either party qualifies to be on the ballot, a special primary will be held on February 27th.

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Governor Announces Initiative To Help Foster Families


The state is proposing an investment of nearly one-and-a-half-million-dollars in resources to foster families.  Governor Gina Raimondo says it's part of her administration's effort to increase the number of children in foster care and reduce the number living in group homes.  The governor says there's a need for 250 loving, supportive families for children currently in institutional care.

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Brown University Challenging Sale Of CNE


Brown University is mounting a challenge to the sale of Care New England to Boston-based Partners HealthCare.  In a campus letter, Brown President Christina Paxson says the sale to Partners is not in the best interest of Rhode Island and not in the best interest of Brown and its medical school.  Partners is closely aligned with Harvard Medical School. Brown is partnering with Prospect Medical of California in an effort to buy financially-struggling Care New England.  Prospect is already in Rhode Island, operating Roger Williams Medical Center and Fatima Hospital.

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Cats Abandoned At Shipyard, Reward Offered


A two-thousand-dollar reward is being offered after several cats were left abandoned at the Newport Shipyard.  The Potter League for Animals says someone found the cats in lobster crates and brought them to the shelter.  The cats were covered in flea dirt and scabs and were malnourished.  The reward is being offered for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for abandoning the cats. 

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National Grid Reduces Rate Increase Request


National Grid is reducing its proposed rate hike with the state Public Utilities Commission.  The utility initially sought a 71-million-dollar rate hike for electric and gas.  It has now reduced that amount by about 25-million-dollars.  The utility cites the recent federal tax changes as the reason for the reduction.  If approved, the rate increase would not take effect until September.

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Multiple Injuries Suffered After Explosions On Barge


A number of people were hurt and two are being treated for serious injuries after explosions on a barge in North Kingstown.  Authorities say the explosions happened while work was being done on a barge at Senesco Marine around 3:30 p.m. yesterday.  Fire officials say there were multiple injuries and two people were taken to Rhode Island Hospital.  One person has burns over 70-percent of his body, while the other suffered severe leg injuries.

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Newport Police Officers Awarded Pay Increase


The Newport Daily News reports that The Newport City Council unanimously approved Wednesday night a three-year labor contract for police officers that will provide them with a total pay increase of 6 percent over the life of the contract.
The council members approved the new personnel salaries on first reading, with a second and final vote scheduled for Jan. 24.

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Newport Foundation Announces New Leader


The Newport Restoration Foundation announced Wednesday that Mark Thompson will serve as the organization's next executive director, replacing Pieter Roos who left at the end of February last year. Thompson begins work on Feb. 5.
Thompson has been serving as the executive director of the Jefferson Patterson Park & Museum in St. Leonard, Maryland, since 2011

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Medical marijuana sellers lose ability to take debit cards


Two Rhode Island medical marijuana dispensaries have lost their ability to accept debit cards after Attorney General Jeff Sessions last week reversed an Obama-era policy not to prosecute marijuana cases. Dispensaries in Warwick and Portsmouth are accepting only cash and checks. Both used a payment processing company that worked with a bank in Massachusetts, where the U.S. attorney says there's no guarantee medical marijuana operations won't be prosecuted.

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PawSox 2018 Coaching Staff Is Announced


Kevin Boles is returning in 2018 for his fifth season as manager of the Pawtucket Red Sox.  Kevin Walker is the new pitching coach after three seasons in that position at Double-A Portland.  Rich Gedman returns for a fourth year as Pawtucket's hitting coach.  The PawSox home season begins on Friday, April 6th. 

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RI's Whitehouse Appointed To Senate Finance Committee


Rhode  Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse is joining the Senate Finance Committee.  Whitehouse says that in his new assignment he'll work to protect Social Security, Medicare and making the tax code fairer for middle-class families.  Two Republicans, former state Supreme Court Justice Robert Flanders and Coventry Representative Robert Nardolillo, are vying for the GOP nomination to challenge Whitehouse in his bid for re-election this year.  

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Bill Makes DUI With Children A Felony


A House bill is being introduced soon to make DUI with a child under 13 in the vehicle a felony punishable by up to five years in prison, stiff fines and license suspension.  Coventry Representative Robert Nardolillo says there's been an increase in the number of DUI cases involving children in the vehicle.  Companion legislation is expected to be filed in the Senate by Providence Senator Mary Ellen Goodwin.

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Ice Cream Bars Recalled


Several brands of ice cream bars are being recalled in Rhode Island because they could be contaminated with listeria   The treats are manufactured by Fieldbrook Foods Corporation and labeled under the Hood and Stop and Shop brands.  The products being recalled are orange ice cream bars and chocolate-coated vanilla ice cream bars.  Anyone who purchased the products can return them for a refund. 

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Electrical Fire Causes Partial Evacuation Of Mall


An electrical fire is being blamed for the partial evacuation of Providence Place Mall.  The fire happened around 6:30 last evening.  The third floor and cinema area were evacuated to the lower levels as firefighters dealt with the situation in the parking garage.  Everything was back to normal about an hour later. 

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Classes Resuming For Two Cranston Schools


Classes are resuming today at two Cranston schools that have been closed because of water issues.  Cranston East High School closed Monday after a pipe burst, while Edgewood Highland Elementary School has been closed since last week after water from a burst water main cascaded into the school's first floor.  Classes for Edgewood Highland students will be held at the Norwood Avenue School until the mess is cleaned up.  Preschool classes will be held at Rhodes School.

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Flood Watch Issued


A flood watch is being issued for all of Rhode Island and southern New England.  The National Weather Service expects the heaviest rain to fall tomorrow night into early Saturday.  As much as four inches of rain could fall along the coast.  The rain, combined with melting snow, could cause localized flooding along streams and clogged storm drains.

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RI's official tall ship is moving to Virginia


Rhode Island's official tall ship is moving to Virginia.

A  foundation in Alexandria, Virginia, has purchased the 110-foot sloop-of-war Providence.

The Tall Ship Providence Foundation says the ship will arrive in its new homeport in the summer of 2019.

The foundation bought it for $175,000 and is renovating it to host maritime educational programs.

The sloop Providence was built for the 1976 bicentennial and is a replica of John Paul Jones' first command ship.

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Female lawmakers wear black at RI Statehouse


Many female lawmakers are wearing black at the Rhode Island Statehouse in solidarity with the Time's Up movement and as a statement against sexual misconduct. Female senators and House members were asked to wear black on Tuesday. More than a dozen lawmakers posed for pictures at the speaker's rostrum after the session started, flexing their muscles like Rosie the Riveter, a symbol of female empowerment.

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Ikea Reported To Be Eyeing Warwick For New Store


Ikea is eyeing Warwick as the possible site of a new store.  GoLocalProv-dot-com reports that the Swedish furniture and home goods store has been in discussion with city officials about different locations.  One location is reported to be near the city line with West Warwick on Route 2. 

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Warwick City Hall Annex Offices Temporarily Relocated


Crews are busy cleaning up the Warwick City Hall Annex after a pipe burst this past weekend, causing damage.  The tax assessor and the building and planning departments sustained substantial damage.  Those services will operate from the old John Green Elementary School on Draper Avenue starting today.  Working from the temporary location may last as long as six weeks. 

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Senator Doyle Resigns To Battle Alcoholism


State Senator Jamie Doyle is stepping down due to his battle with alcoholism.  In making the announcement yesterday, Doyle says he needs to focus on his recovery and family.  Doyle has held the seat since 2004.  Doyle's immediate resignation means there will have to be a special election to fill the Senate District Eight seat. 

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Senate Committee Approves PawSox Stadium Bill


Legislation for a new Pawtucket Red Sox stadium is moving forward.  The Senate Finance Committee approved the plan yesterday.  The bill now goes to the full Senate, which is expected to vote on it Tuesday.  Approval of the financing bill still needs to come from the House. 

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Raimondo to address school issues


Frustrations are rising as two Cranston schools remain closed today due to weather related damage.

Governor Gina Raimondo met with school superintendents from across Rhode Island at the State House Tuesday following days of damage, closures and cleanup at local schools.

Raimondo said she plans to unveil a proposal next week for funding the rebuilding of schools across the state.

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RI OKs settlement over child welfare system


Rhode Island has agreed to settle a long-running lawsuit that alleged systemic abuse and neglect of the nearly 2,000 children living in state custody.

State officials and the advocacy group Children's Rights on Monday announced the settlement of the lawsuit first filed in 2007.

Under the terms of the settlement, the state Department of Children, Youth and Families must meet a number of new requirements. For example, it is barred placing children in shelters. It also agrees to put children in group homes or residential treatment centers only when they need that level of care.

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Former Obama official to help combat RI opioid crisis


Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo has hired a former Obama administration official to help tackle the state's opioid crisis. Former Democratic Sen. Tom Coderre will return to the state as a senior adviser to the governor. Raimondo's chief of staff says Coderre will help coordinate various departments and agencies to respond to the opioid crisis.

Coderre worked in the state senate from 1995 to 2014 before Obama appointed him as a senior adviser in the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

His salary is reported at $150,797 a year.

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Senate Finance Committee To Consider Stadium Bills


The Senate Finance Committee is now scheduled to consider public financing bills today for a new Pawtucket Red Sox stadium.  The bills address lease and financing issues and redevelopment plans.  The committee was originally set to consider the bills last Thursday, but the General Assembly session was canceled due to a snowstorm.

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McKee Wants Electric Rate Adjustments


The Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission is being asked to recalculate National Grid's current rates and proposed six-percent electric rate increase.  Lieutenant Governor Dan McKee wants the PUC to adjust rates to reflect the reduction of the federal corporate tax from 35-to-21 percent.  McKee says unless rates are adjusted, consumers will be substantially overpaying National Grid.   

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Ceremony Launches 6-10 Interchange Project


City, state and federal officials are hailing yesterday’s  launch of the 6-10 Interchange project.  The 410-million-dollar project will use an approach that will save time and money according to the state Department of Transportation. Governor Gina Raimondo says that for too long, the disrepair of the interchange near downtown Providence, symbolized Rhode Island's failure to invest in itself. 

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Restrictions Placed On Metal Recycling Facility


Restrictions are being placed on a metal recycling company in Johnston.  Residents have complained about explosions coming from the Sims Metal Management facility as well as the smell.  City Council last night mandated that Sims cease the explosions and that shredding can only be done between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. weekdays. 

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Gas prices rise 2 cents a gallon in RI


Gas prices have ticked up two cents per gallon in Rhode Island.

AAA Northeast says its weekly survey found that the average price of a gallon of regular unleaded gas grew to $2.53.

That's four cents above the national average of $2.49 per gallon.

It's also 7 percent higher than at this time last year, when prices were averaging $2.35 per gallon, a difference of 18 cents.

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Camacho Returned To Council


Marco Camacho is back on the Newport City Council.
According to the Newport Daily News, the council voted 4-2 Monday evening to appoint Camacho to the councilman-at- large position that was vacated by Councilman John Florez, who resigned effective last month. Camacho previously served on the City Council as the Ward 1 councilman beginning in 2012 and served as vice chair from 2014 to 2016.

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Boston murder suspect arrested in Middletown


WPRI-TV reports a man wanted for a deadly shooting in Dorchester was arrested Sunday in Middletown.

Boston Police say Marquis Martin, 28, of Roxbury was hiding out at a hotel in Middletown. Officers from the Boston Police Fugitive and Homicide units made the arrest with the assistance of U.S. Marshals and Rhode Island law enforcement. Authorities forced their way into Martin’s motel room, and took him into custody without incident. He had been on the run for a little more than two months.

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Area Hospitals Kept Busy From Storm


Hospitals in Rhode Island are treating dozens of storm-related injuries as the region gritted through a deep freeze that followed a powerful blizzard. Hospitals in Providence and Newport have treated at least 16 heart attacks, 16 snowblower or shoveling injuries, 7 motor vehicle accidents, 1 case of frostbite or hypothermia and nearly 30 other snow-related injuries.

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Programs that help the homeless get $5.8M in federal funding


Programs that help the homeless in Rhode Island have been awarded nearly $5.8 million in federal funding.

U.S. Sen. Jack Reed announced that grants from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development will support 38 homeless assistance programs that deliver safe, affordable housing and supportive services.

The federal grants will be administered by HUD, coordinated at the state level by Rhode Island Housing and jointly administered by nonprofits.

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Former Providence Mayor To Be Honored


An officials portrait of former Providence Mayor Angel Taveras is set to be hung in City Hall.  Taveras' official mayoral portrait will be unveiled April 7 at a ceremony in City Hall. The Democrat served as mayor from 2011 to 2015.

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Senate Finance Committee To Consider Stadium Bills


The Senate Finance Committee is now scheduled to consider public financing bills this week for a new Pawtucket Red Sox stadium.  The bills address lease and financing issues and redevelopment plans.  The committee was originally set to consider the bills last Thursday, but the General Assembly session was canceled due to the winter storm.

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New Name Reportedly Considered For Airport


A new name is reportedly being considered for T.F. Green Airport.  The "Warwick Beacon" reports the state Airport Corporation is considering a name change to Rhode Island International Airport.  A change would require approval from the General Assembly. The airport is currently named for Theodore Francis Green, a former Rhode Island governor and U.S. senator. 

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Portsmouth Mobile Home Destroyed By Fire


WPRI-TV reports a fire destroyed a mobile home and damaged two others in a Portsmouth mobile home park on North Drive Sunday morning.The fire started around 10:19.  The people in the mobile home where the fire began escaped with their two dogs. Portsmouth police officers who were first on the scene evacuated the other two mobile homes. No residents or firefighters were injured and the cause is still under investigation though it was not believed to be suspicious.

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Animals Die In Barn Fire


Cranston fire officials say they may never learn the cause of a fire that destroyed a barn and killed numerous animals.  The fire happened around 9:30 a.m. yesterday on Seven Mile Road.  No one was injured, but several horses, ponies, goats and dogs died in the blaze.  Fire officials say the damage was so bad it will be difficult to determine a cause. 

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No Classes Today And Tomorrow At Cranston School


There will be no classes today and tomorrow at Cranston's Edgewood Highland Elementary School due to water damage.  A water line under a nearby fire hydrant burst Wednesday causing damage to the bottom floor.  The Cranston School Department is working on a plan for where students will go while the building is repaired.

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3 hospitals divert patients due to flu, accidents


Officials say three hospitals in Providence have started diverting ambulances from their emergency rooms because they were overcome with patients.

Rhode Island Hospital first notified the state Department of Health it was going on diversion around 5 a.m. Wednesday. The Miriam Hospital followed around 6:40 a.m., and Roger Williams Medical Center sent the same notification around 11 a.m.

State regulations prevent more than two hospitals in the Northern Hospital Group from diverting ambulances at the same time. Officials say the three hospitals were required to reopen their emergency departments.

Officials blame the increase in patients on a flu outbreak and accidents attributed to the deep freeze.

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Gorbea: Voter fraud panel was an attempt to distract voters


Rhode Island Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea says President Donald Trump’s voter fraud commission was an attempt to distract voters from the real dangers for election systems and she’s not surprised he disbanded it.

Gorbea, a Democrat, says the danger is lack of funding for modernization and security, including cyber threats from foreign actors.

The Republican president has signed an order dissolving the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity and asked the Department of Homeland Security to determine the administration’s next steps.

Gorbea says she wouldn’t release voters’ private information and didn’t comply with the commission’s “overly broad request for data.”

Past studies have found voter fraud to be exceptionally rare.

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Agency Warns Of Outages


The head of the R.I. Emergency Management Agency said Thursday the possibility of power outages remains a key concern as state officials monitor a major winter storm making its way toward the region.

The concern is especially high for people who depend on their electricity working to heat their homes, since frigid temperatures are expected to follow in the storm’s wake.

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A.C.L.U. Takes Satate To Court


The Rhode Island ACLU has sued the state over alleged improper notification of benefit denials, blaming the problematic benefits system. ACLU says Rhode Island Legal Services began receiving calls from clients who learned their Medicare premiums were no longer being paid shortly after the computer system went live. A spokeswoman says the state is working to address the issue, which she blames on a vendor.

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Flu In R.I. Widespread


Unvaccinated healthcare workers are being ordered to wear surgical masks when working with patients due to widespread flu.  The state department of health requirement is to protect healthcare workers and patients with serious health issues.  Health officials say it's not too late to get a flu shot. 

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Airlines Offering Waivers


Airlines are allowing passengers to change their flights with paying a fee because of the winter storm.  The airlines are releasing travel waivers as a result.  Travelers should also call the airline before going to the airport to see if their flight has been delayed or canceled.

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Broken Water Main Floods School


Crews are cleaning up flood damage at a Cranston school.  A water main under Pawtuxet Avenue burst around 1 p.m. yesterday sending water into Edgewood Highland Elementary School.  Students and staff were bused to Park View Middle School.  It's expected to take several days to remove the four-feet of water that flooded the lower level.   

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Raimondo's State of the State set for Jan. 16


Gov. Gina Raimondo will deliver her State of the State speech on Jan. 16, a spokesman confirmed Wednesday.

Larry Berman, a spokesman for House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello, said the governor and General Assembly leaders have scheduled the speech for Tuesday, Jan. 16, at 7 p.m. The annual address is given to a joint session of lawmakers in the House chamber.

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AAA: Gas prices up 3 cents per gallon due to holiday travel


The price of gasoline in Rhode Island is up three cents this week. AAA Northeast said Tuesday in its weekly survey that self-serve, regular unleaded is averaging $2.51 per gallon. That price is two cents above the national average. AAA says high travel volume in the northeast over the holidays helped drive up the price of gasoline.

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General Assembly opens new legislative session


The Rhode Island General Assembly has opened the 2018 legislative session. House and Senate leaders gaveled their respective chambers to order on Tuesday. In the Senate, a bill was introduced for the state to help fund a new stadium for the Pawtucket Red Sox, the Triple-A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox. Legislative leaders are also focusing on a $260 million budget gap.

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Ex Boxing Champ Vinny Paz surrenders to assault charge


Police say that ex-boxing champion Vinny Paz, whose comeback story after a car crash was dramatized in the 2016 film "Bleed for This," has turned himself to face a felony assault charge.

Paz surrendered this morning, a day after Providence Police issued an arrest warrant. Paz is accused of beating a man and sending him to the hospital.

Paz made a series of statements on Tuesday defending his actions saying  that he got robbed, "and when that happens, you gotta do what you gotta do."

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Officials Prepare For Storm


State officials are preparing for the storm with the possibility that the emergency operations center will be activated.  Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency Director Peter Gaynor says RIDOT is pre-mixing road salt and sand ahead of the storm.  Strong winds are also a concern due to the potential of power outages that could leave people without heat.   

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Winter Storm Watch Issued


A winter storm watch is being issued for Rhode Island and southern New England.  The National Weather Service says the watch is in effect from late tonight through late tomorrow night.  A high wind watch is also being issued for Thursday, meaning there could be blizzard-like conditions as up to a foot of snow is expected across the state. 

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Newport Fire Under Investigation


Fire officials are investigating the cause of a two-alarm fire in a multifamily home that broke out around 5:30 p.m. in Newport Tuesday.

Crews responded to a house at 419 Broadway at the corner of Ledyard  for initial reports of a fire on the outside of the building.

The fast-moving fire made it’s way up the building, eventually engulfing all three floors in flames.

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Animal Rescue Struggling To Stay Open


A local animal rescue is asking the Glocester community for help.  Alyssa Danielson has been running Abandoned Dogs of Rhode Island on Paris Irons Road for about two years.  She has a good relationship with the owners of the boarding facility where the organization is located, but it comes down to funding.  Danielson says she needs about 30-thousand-dollars to make a down payment on the property, otherwise she'll have to shut the organization down.

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Faith leaders call on lawmakers to back anti-poverty agenda


The state's faith leaders are calling on elected officials to pass legislation to reduce poverty. The new legislative session begins today. Tomorrow,  the General Assembly's first full working day, faith leaders plan to march to the State House and hold a vigil inside at 3 p.m. They're calling it "fighting poverty with faith." It's the 10th annual vigil.

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State's Minimum Wage Increase In Effect


Rhode Island's minimum wage has climbed from $9.60 an hour to $10.10. The increase took effect Monday for the start of the new year. Lawmakers approved increasing the state's minimum wage by 90 cents within two years in 2017. It rises to $10.50 in January 2019. The minimum wage in Massachusetts is holding steady at $11 and Connecticut's hourly rate remains $10.10.

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Newport City Council to name Florez's replacement


The six members of the Newport City Council have called a special meeting for Thursday, beginning at 5 p.m., to appoint one of 10 applicants for the seventh council position. The new council member will replace Councilman-at-Large John Florez, who has resigned effective Jan. 9.

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