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1540 WADK.com Updates

Former Lawmaker Begins Fraud Sentence

A once-influential Rhode Island lawmaker is beginning nine-months of home confinement after pleading no contest to perjury charges. Former state Rep. John Carnevale was placed in handcuffs following his sentencing in state Superior Court in Providence on Wednesday. The 56-year-old Providence Democrat was indicted last year after a WPRI-TV investigation raised questions about whether he lived in the district he represented.

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More West Nile Found In RI

Environmental officials say three mosquito samples in Rhode Island have tested positive for West Nile virus. The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management said Wednesday that the positive test results came from mosquito samples from traps set in Warren, Tiverton and Providence. The department says the findings are expected because this is the highest risk period for transmission of mosquito-related illness to humans.

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New Electric RIPTA Bus Fleet Gets Federal Funding

Senator Jack Reed is announcing that Rhode Island is receiving a federal grant to help pay for new Rhode Island Public Transit Authority buses.  RIPTA will get one-and-a-half-million-dollars from a U.S. Department of Transportation program to purchase the all-electric buses and charging infrastructure.  Reed says the grant will help RIPTA curb pollution and accelerate the transition to a greener fleet, plus reduce maintenance costs.  The state is also using a portion of funds it received in a settlement with Volkswagen over diesel emissions fraud to help pay for the buses. 

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New Bio-Medical Office To Be Built In Warwick

Details regarding a new bio-medical center in Warwick are being shared.  Warwick Mayor Joseph Solomon and property developer the Carpionato Group announced the plan for the 100-thousand-square-foot, three-story building across from the Crowne Plaza Hotel, which will serve as a medical office and surgery center for Ortho Rhode Island.  The facility is expected to bring 125 construction jobs and 275 permanent jobs.  Construction is expected to start by early next year and be finished by the end of 2019. 

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Replacement Building Rented For Students Attending School Destroyed By Fire

The students that attended a South County school that was destroyed in a fire are getting a new educational home.  The Meadowbrook Waldorf School says the nearly 150 pre-K through eighth-graders will attend the South Road School, a former public school that is being rented out from South Kingstown, for the upcoming school year, which starts on September 4th.  Meadowbrook's previous school went up in flames last month after an apparent lightning strike.  Meadowbrook says it has the option to extend at South Road beyond this school year. 

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Pawtucket Company Getting Incentives To Hire 100 Additional Employees

Pawtucket is getting a couple of dashes of good news following the bad news of the PawSox leaving.  At a conference at Slater Mill on Wednesday, it was announced that the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation will provide the city a three-hundred-thousand-dollar grant for streetscape improvements around a planned commuter rail station.  Agency officials also announced they are prepared to offer one-point-two-million-dollars in state incentives to Pawtucket-based Collette Vacations for the hiring of an additional one-hundred employees.

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Union Members Approve New Hospital Contract

A new contract is being approved by unionized nurses at Rhode Island Hospital and Hasbro Children's Hospital.  A statement from the United Nurses and Allied Professionals Local 5098 on Wednesday indicates union members approved the five-year deal after a tentative agreement was reached last Friday.  The terms of the agreement include across-the-board salary increases and a competitive wage plan, establishing a new committee to address unsafe staffing and resources concerns, and several other provisions.  A three-day strike was held in July, followed by a one-day lockout.

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RI Companies Collaborate To Create A Treat

Two Rhode Island companies are collaborating on a sweet treat.  Warwick Ice Cream and Del's Frozen Lemonade are marketing a lemon ice cream.  The first batch was made yesterday. It will be available at Dave's Marketplace stores and other retail locations around the state.

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Public Input Sought On Bridge Redesign

The public is being urged to provide input on the redesign of the Newport Pell Bridge access ramps.  The state Department of Transportation is accepting public comment for the environmental assessment of the project.  Newport/Jamestown State Senator Dawn Euer says the state needs to hear from residents and small businesses.  The project is intended to reduce congestion and backup on the bridge and reduce traffic in downtown Newport.

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Providence City Hall Thief Being Sought

Police are trying to identify a man who broke into Providence City Hall over the weekend.  Investigators say he got into the building by breaking a window around 2:30 Saturday morning.  Among the items he reportedly stole are two laptops, a projector and a camera.  Anyone with information is urged to contact the police.

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Health-Related Closures In Warwick, Portsmouth, Smithfield, Roger Williams Park

The Rhode Island Department of Health is recommending closing the Kent County YMCA Upper and Lower ponds in Warwick to swimming because of high bacteria levels.  Sandy Point Beach in Portsmouth is also closed to swimming because of the high bacteria numbers.  State officials are also closing Georgiaville Pond in Smithfield and Pleasant Lake in Roger Williams Park because of a blue-green algae bloom. 

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Warwick Police Seeking Info On DPW Vandalism Suspects

The Warwick Police Department is looking for help in identifying two people who gained access to the Warwick Public Works Yard.  The department says the two individuals broke in last week and severely damaged seven vehicles, stole a window air-conditioning unit and vandalized a building.  Surveillance video is posted on the department's Facebook page.
 

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Worcester Council Meets For First Time Since New Ballpark Announcement

The Worcester City Council reviewed the financing package for a new baseball stadium intended to host the Pawtucket Red Sox on Tuesday.  That city plans to borrow 100-million dollars in bonds and have the team contribute 30-million toward the new ballpark, which would open in 2021.  Council members pledged due diligence regarding the fiscal responsibility of the city and said they would not serve as a rubber stamp, with some noting there are members of the community that do not believe the deal is a good one for the city.  Mayor Joseph Petty, who supports the new stadium, has said he hopes the council will take a final vote before the end of next month. 

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The Westerly Sun Sold

The Record-Journal Publishing Co. has agreed to sell The Westerly Sun to a publishing group that owns newspapers in Rhode Island. The Record-Journal reports the sale to Rhode Island Suburban Newspapers was announced Monday and is effective Aug. 31. Rhode Island Suburban Newspapers will also acquire several related publications, including the weekly Mystic River Press.

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Lt. Governor McKee Reacts To PawSox Departure

Lieutenant Governor Dan McKee says the departure of the PawSox to Worcester is a missed opportunity for economic development in the Blackstone Valley.  He says he has great admiration for the tireless fight Pawtucket Mayor Don Grebien waged to keep the team.  McKee says he's calling on state leaders to commit to helping jump-start the economic revitalization that Pawtucket deserves.

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Teen Driver In Portsmouth Crash May Be Charged

The teenage driver in a crash in Portsmouth might be facing traffic-related charges pending the results of an investigation.  The car that five high school students were riding in left Middle Road and slammed into a stone wall on Saturday night.  The teens were all taken to Hasbro Children's Hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries.  

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July Jobless Rate Drops In RI

The July unemployment rate in Rhode Island is four-point-one percent.  That's a two-tenths of a percent drop from June.  The national jobless rate for July is three-point-nine percent.   

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RI Little Leaguers Win Consolation Game

The Little League team from Coventry is ending its participation in the Little League World Series on a high note.  Coventry, representing the New England region, blasted Queensland, Australia, fifteen-to-nothing in a consolation game on Monday.  Coventry lost both games of a double-elimination set in Williamsport last week.

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ACLU Suing City Of Woonsocket Over Withheld Grant Money

The American Civil Liberties Union of Rhode Island is filing a lawsuit against the city of Woonsocket.  The ACLU said it filed the suit on Monday because Woonsocket has illegally withheld critically needed grant funds from Sojourner House, a social service agency that helps domestic violence victims.  The ACLU adds that the city retaliated against the agency after it petitioned other government agencies for help in resolving the dispute and also banned the agency from receiving any similar funding in the future.

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Child Sex Abuse Victims, Lawmakers Want Statute Of Limitations Expansion

Victims of sex abuse are calling for Rhode Island lawmakers to change the statute of limitations on sex crimes against children, an effort that has been previously defeated.  A new rally at the State House on Monday came in the wake of explosive new allegations in Pennsylvania against hundreds of Catholic priests in a grand jury indictment.  Currently underage sex abuse victims have seven years to file a claim, but the push is being made to extend the time period to 35 years.

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Transportation Officials Note Yesterday's I-195 Headache

Rhode Island Department of Transportation officials are promising to find a way to ease traffic congestion on Interstate 195.  Motorists going from East Providence to Providence were crawling on Monday due to a lane shift accommodating reconstruction work on the Washington Bridge, plus this week starts the long-term closure of the Gano Street exit in Providence.  A RIDOT spokesperson is urging drivers to stay in their lanes to allow for better traffic flow, and the DOT is also installing additional barrels along the Taunton Avenue on-ramp in East Providence to help alleviate the logjam.

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Historic Train Station In Westerly Re-Opens

The historic Westerly Train Station is re-opening.  State and Congressional officials were on hand on Friday for the ribbon-cutting for The Artists' Cooperative Gallery of Westerly, which moved into the station previously this month.  The gallery is being called a unique partnership with the Rhode Island Department of Transportation which will give Amtrak passengers a more colorful waiting area.  The station as closed for two years following changes to Amtrak's online and smartphone ticketing system. 

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Navy Moving Chaplain School To Newport

The U.S. Navy is planning to relocate its chaplains' school to the Naval Station in Newport.  Senator Jack Reed made that announcement on Friday regarding the school that's currently in Columbia, South Carolina, effective at the beginning of next March.  The Navy Chaplaincy School and Center is responsible for the education and professional development of chaplains, who work to serve the spiritual and emotional needs of people serving in the Navy.
 

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Lifespan, Nurses Reach Tentative Agreement For New Contract

Rhode Island Hospital's ownership Lifespan and the union representing the hospital's nurses are reaching an agreement on a new contract.  The tentative five-year deal was announced by both sides on Friday night, with a vote by the union's members scheduled for Wednesday. 

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Coventry Little Leaguers Bounced From 2018 World Series

The Coventry Little League baseball team is out of the Little League World Series.  The team was eliminated on Saturday with a 9-to-5 loss to a team from Des Moines, Iowa.  Coventry had been beaten by a team from Houston, Texas in the series opener last Thursday in Williamsport.  They'll play a consolation game today. 

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