The state Senate is reviewing proposed legislation that could allow a 10 percent tax on gun purchases. Money from the proposed tax would be allocated to local police departments. According to the AP, supporters say it would help make communities safe. Opponents say it would punish law-abiding citizens.
A 69-year-old federal court security officer is dead from injuries sustained when he was hit by a RIPTA bus. Frank McKnight of North Kingstown died last night at Rhode Island Hospital. He was struck while crossing Washington Street near the U.S. District Court in Providence on Wednesday afternoon. The bus driver is on paid administrative leave pending the completion of the investigation.
The Middletown Town Council will meet Monday night and on the agenda is the high school unification issue. The council is expected to vote on whether or not to place the issue on the ballot in November. The meeting will be at the Town Hall at 7pm.
The owner of The Beach House in Portsmouth pleased guilty yesterday in federal court to three counts of tax evasion. Kenneth O’Brien is accused of not paying almost a million dollars in taxes. He could be facing up to five years in prison.
The Newport City Council rejected the Preservation Society’s application for a victualing license. The Preservation Society had been serving food to tourists at two of the mansions for years. The application was opposed by the Bellevue Ochre Point Neighborhood association.
The City of Providence is suing Santander Bank alleging discrimination against the city's minority communities. The federal lawsuit claims the bank has refused to make prime mortgage loans available in minority neighborhoods while expanding its business in predominantly white areas. Mayor Angel Taveras says many borrowers in minority neighborhoods are qualified for prime loans. The mayor says Santander's practices violate federal laws and hurt Providence families.
The Newport City Council voted 4-3 in favor of a resolution to ask the General Assembly to put a referendum before voters in November to decide whether table games should be allowed at Newport Grand. The referendum now moves to the General Assembly where it must be approved to get on the ballot for Election Day.
The Middletown Town Council held it’s second public hearing last night on the proposed $70 million dollar budget. Attendees continued to ask that the council to find a way to fully fund the 2015 school budget. The council is expected to vote on the budget at the June 2nd meeting at Town Hall.
The Director of Health Source RI, Christine Ferguson, told that House Finance Committee yesterday that if Rhode Island gave up on HealthSource it may have to pay a financial penalty. The state received about $140 million dollars in federal funds to build and operate Health Source RI and not all the money has been spent yet. A bill was reviewed by the panel yesterday directing the governor to transfer operations to the federal government due to the financial burden it could put on the state. The AP reports that Ferguson said ratepayers will still have costs to bear if Rhode Island uses the federal exchange and she is working to bring down operation costs to about $16.9 million dollars if HealthSource remains in state hands.
First Lady Michelle Obama is going to be in Rhode Island on Monday to attend the keel-laying ceremony for a submarine. The Chicago native will deliver remarks to recognize the start of construction for the USS Illinois, a Virginia-class attack sub. Mrs. Obama, who is the official sponsor of the vessel, will also meet with the crew of the Illinois and their families.
Former Patriot Aaron Hernandez pleaded not guilty yesterday in Suffolk Superior Court. Hernandez was in court after being indicted on charges of gunning down 2 men in their car in 2012 after an incident at Boston night club. Hernandez is already awaiting trial on charges he murdered semi-pro football player Odin Lloyd just over a year ago.
The Newport City Council is expected to vote tonight on a resolution asking the General Assembly to allow a casino ballot question this November. The referendum would let city voters decide whether to allow table games at Newport Grand. An investment group is proposing turning the slot parlor into a full-service casino. In 2012 city voters rejected a similar proposal.
The Middletown Town Council held it’s first public hearing on the proposed $70 million dollar budget last Wednesday night. Attendees asked that the council find a way to fully fund the 2015 school budget without increasing tax rates. The second public hearing will be held tonight at 6pm at the Town Hall.
The Portsmouth Town Council approved a $1.75 million dollar Capital Improvement Plan last night. Included in that plan is $1 million dollars for road paving and $200,000 to be used for work at the Transfer Station.
The $15.7 Million Dollar expansion and renovation plans to the International Tennis Hall of Fame have begun. Yesterday they moved the historic Congdon House. The 158 year old home was moved to Rhode Island Avenue. A few spectators watched as the house made its relocation journey about 850 feet down the road.
RI State Police have released the results of their increased efforts over the Memorial Day Weekend. There were 10 arrests for driving while intoxicated and 60 other arrests on miscellaneous charges. There were 763 citations, including 228 seatbelt/child restraint violations. They also handled 31 accidents, four of them involving intoxicated operators.
Newport kicked off its 375th Anniversary celebration this weekend. Over a hundred descendants of the original families that settled in Newport in 1639 met to re-enact the signing of the Newport Compact in front of the Colony House.
The Middletown Town Council held it’s first public hearing on the proposed $70 million dollar budget last Wednesday night. Attendees asked that the council find a way to fully fund the 2015 school budget without increasing tax rates. The second public hearing will be held this tomorrow night at 6pm at the Town Hall.
Demand for tickets to the Newport Folk Festival is at an all time high. That’s created an opportunity for scam artists to try to sell fake tickets on craigslist. The festival organizers say they have not shipped or lifted the print delay on any of their tickets. They have posted a warning on their facebook page and are advising people not to buy tickets from craigslist…those tickets are fake.
State Police administered Narcan to an overdose victim on Monday for the first time. Trooper James D’Angelo was assisting a Hopkinton Police Officer on a traffic stop when they noticed the passenger in the vehicle was unconscious and unresponsive. The operator of the vehicle told officers that the passenger may have ingested a large quantity of Oxycodone pills. Trooper D’Angelo administered the Narcan to the passenger through a nasal mist. The passenger then received and intravenous dose of the drug while being transported to Westerly Hospital. The subject regained consciousness a short time later and is expected to recover.
Rhode Island is just one of many states concerned about rising costs of health care. More people have signed up for Medicaid since the federal health care law has gone into effect and that means rising costs for the state’s version of the Medicaid program.
A 24-year-old Manchester, New Hampshire, man faces charges as the result of alleged gang violence. State Police say he was stabbed and a Fall River, Massachusetts, man was shot on Sunday at Colt State Park. The New Hampshire man faces weapons and assault charges. Both men remained hospitalized as of yesterday afternoon.
Newport’s Brewer Rowe has been named the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Man of the Year. Rowe along with 10 other candidates raised over $400,000 for LLS during the Man or The Year/Woman Of the Year Campaign. The Woman of the Year was awarded to Amanda Leonardo.
James Currier, a former North Kingstown attorney, was arrested and charged with unlawful appropriation. The charges stem from a 2010 incident where Currier deposited a check for over $46,000 from an insurance company into his client account and later used the funds for his own use. Currier was arraigned at Providence Superior Court and released on $15,000 personal recognizance.
The Newport City Council meeting Wednesday night will address putting a table games question for Newport Grand on the November 4th ballot. If approved at the council meeting, the question then moves to the General Assembly. A group of investors that includes former Providence Mayor Joseph Paolino is looking to buy the facility from its current owner if the addition of table games is allowed there.
Rhode Island's health insurance marketplace needs four-point-six-million-dollars from the state for the next fiscal year. The addition of the state money would result in a budget of about 55-million-dollars for the agency, most of it federally funded. Healthsource RI director Christine Ferguson says the money is needed for expenses that won't be covered by the federal government. The state budget proposed by Governor Chafee's earlier this year for the fiscal year that starts July 1st, did not include any money for Healthsource RI and the state is facing a projected budget hole of 67-million dollars.
Governor Chafee is nominating his administration director to a Superior Court judgeship. Richard Licht is a former lieutenant governor and state senator. Chafee calls Licht a skilled attorney who has devoted much of his career to public service. The nomination needs Senate confirmation.
The Providence VA Medial Center has undergone two external audits of the facility’s procedure in the wake of a national scandal. According to WPRI, a spokeswoman for the facility says the audit findings confirmed that all things are above board and transparent.
Contractors will need a few more weeks to finish their work on Cliff Walk. That extra time will be needed to properly stabilize the final stretch of the Walk. The full re-opening is now scheduled for the middle of July at the latest. Hurricane Sandy had destroyed sections of the walkway in October 2012.
Ralph Mariano the leader of an $18 million dollar kickback scheme targeting the Navy is looking to have his 10-year sentence thrown out. The AP reports that an attorney for Mariano is asking the federal appeals court to throw out the sentence because the judge failed to award him credit at sentencing for accepting responsibility. Mariano was promised by the government that they would recommend a more lenient sentence for accepting responsibility; they did not make the recommendation due to Mariano denying the scheme in his complaints to the judge and the Justice Department about the alleged prosecutorial misconduct. The US Attorney has not commented.
Portsmouth Police are looking for help in identifying a person of interest for passing a counterfeit check at the Dunkin Donuts on East Main Road. They have posted pictures of the person on the Portsmouth Police Facebook page and anyone with information is being asked to contact the Detective Division at 683-0994.
Prosecutors are seeking help from tattoo artists in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and three other states in connection with the double-murder case against Aaron Hernandez. Authorities want to talk to the tattoo artists who may have worked on specific tattoos on his right forearm after the murders in Boston in July of 2012. The former New England Patriots player was charged in the double drive-by shooting last week. Hernandez already faces charges in the death of a 27-year-old man in North Attleboro last June.
Rhode Island's economy is growing at an annual rate of just over two-percent. That's based on figures from the first quarter compiled by Bryant University and the Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council. The state's economic growth is generally keeping pace with regional and national economic rates according to various indicators. The economic improvement was driven by job growth in the leisure and hospitality, construction, professional and business service industries.
RI State Police will be increasing enforcement of seat belt laws and child restraint laws though the beginning of June. The increase is part of the nationwide “Click it or Ticket” and “Buckle Up America” safety initiatives.
The vote on legislation that would establish a fund to pay for road and bridge repairs and remove the toll from the Sakonnet River Bridge has been postponed again. According to the Daily News, no vote has been scheduled for this week in the Senate and House leaders want to fold the proposal into the state budget.
Fire officials are reporting that improperly stored painting materials spontaneously combusted and were the cause of the fire Monday at Easton’s Beach. The demolition of the bath houses that went up in flames began yesterday. Portable restrooms have been brought in until the bath houses are rebuilt. The snack bar, the carousel, and the rotunda were not damaged in that blaze. They beach reopens this weekend.
The Middletown Town Council will meet at 6pm tonight at the Town Hall for the first public hearing on the proposed $70 million dollar budget. The second public hearing on the budget will be held next Wednesday, May 28th.
Tiverton will have no tax increase for the next fiscal year. Voters backed a petition that called for no tax increase and to take a little over $600,000 out of the town’s general fund to offset the increase.
Rhode Island is not a great place for military retirees to settle down. According to wallethub.com the Ocean State is ranked 43rd overall among the 50 states. Based on a series of criteria, Rhode Island is ranked 13th for quality of life, but 48th for economic environment and 46th for health care. The survey finds the best state for military retirees is Wyoming and the worst is California.
Nearly 130 establishments in Rhode Island are being notified they received ground beef from a Michigan distributor that may be contaminated with E. coli bacteria. There have been 11 illnesses reported in four states, including one in Massachusetts. The state Department of Health says anyone who has eaten ground beef and experiences severe cramps, nausea, bloody diarreah or other symptoms, should seek immediate medical care.
The cause of a fire at Easton's Beach in Newport is under investigation. A two-alarm fire that erupted yesterday afternoon heavily damaged a portion of the bath houses. The building is expected to be torn down today. The snack bar and the Rotunda were not damaged, and the beach is still expected to officially open on Memorial Day weekend.
A House panel will be voting on legislation that would place a question on the ballot as to whether Rhode Island should hold its first constitutional convention in almost 30 years. According the AP, The Senate has already approved a companion bill. If a constitutional convention is held, voters would get the chance to endorse proposed amendments to the state constitution.
Providence mayor and candidate for governor Angel Taveras has a plan to pump five-million-dollars into the tourism industry. The Democrat says his proposal would bring together the "best minds in tourism" to improve the marketing and promotion of Rhode Island. Taveras says his plan would attract more tourists and create 26-hundred new jobs.
Westerly will be receiving almost $1 million dollars of federal funds to remove more than 65,000 cubic yards of sediment from Winnapaug Pond. Senator Jack Reed made the announcement yesterday regarding the funds for hydraulic dredging which is to begin in June. The pond was filled with sediment during Superstorm Sandy. According to the AP, Reed calls the pond a natural treasure, and says the money provides the opportunity to clean it up and restore it. The work is being overseen by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council.
The state Budget Office is reporting the eight-and-a-half-billion dollar spending plan proposed by Governor Chafee in January, is now out of balance by more than 38-million-dollars. The numbers are based largely on rising Medicaid costs and mixed revenue estimates. The House Finance Committee is expected to start work on next year's budget this afternoon.
A Coventry woman has been arrested and charged with embezzlement and computer fraud. Maria Bennison, a court clerk in the Rhode Island Third Division District Court allegedly embezzled just under $15,000 in cash. She was arraigned in Kent County Superior Court and released on $10,000 personal recognizance. If convicted, she could be facing up to 20 years in prison, a fine of up to $50,000 or both.
Just days after allegedly committing murder, former Patriot tight end, Aaron Hernandez was in Newport with some friends. WPRI reports that Thomas Welby, the owner of Scooter World had his picture taken with Hernandez and they discussed which clubs he and his friends should check out while in Newport. Welby told WRPI that he was shocked that someone could commit a crime like that and then go on and pretend like nothing happened. Hernandez was indicted last week for a double murder in July of 2012 and is currently being held at the Bristol House of Corrections.
Rhode Island is ranked 41st among the 50 states for charitable giving. According to a Gallup Poll only 29-percent of Rhode Islanders said they had donated money to a charity or volunteered time in the previous month. The poll of 600 residents was conducted between June and December of last year.
The Charles W. Morgan has set sail on a three month journey to ports in Southern New England. The 19th Century ship is the last whaling fleet survivor and had not left Mystic Seaport since it arrived in 1941.
The RI State Police arrested two Virginia women on drug and stun gun charges this weekend. The women were pulled over after speeding on RT 95 near Exeter. The troopers seized hundreds of packets of heroin and the stun gun.
Former House Speaker Gordon Fox's lawyer says more than 100 grand jury subpoenas have been issued for what he describes as a federal and state investigation that includes the 38 Studios loan. He made the comment yesterday during a Superior Court hearing regarding the lawsuit the state Economic Development Corporation filed against 38 Studios founder Curt Schilling and others. A judge has delayed until next week a decision on whether Fox must provide information in the civil case. Fox resigned the speakership in March after investigators raided his State House office and his Providence home.
Jamestown’s Debra Greenhalgh an engineer at the Naval Undersea Warfare Center has been selected as a Daily Points of Light by the Points of Light Foundation for her work with the Wounded Warrior Program. The Foundation honors groups and individuals daily who spark change and improve the world through their demonstrated volunteer efforts.
Three seals were released back in to the wild yesterday at Blue Shutters Beach in Charlestown. The AP Reports that the two harp seals and the grey seal had been nursed back to health by the Mystic Aquarium after being rescued earlier this year.
CVS is clear to open seven "MinuteClinics" in Rhode Island. The clinics are located inside CVS pharmacies and offer walk-in care for minor illnesses and injuries. The state Department of Health has approved the application with a set of nearly two-dozen conditions and regulations. CVS currently owns 800 clinics, but up to now, none in Rhode Island.
The Rhode Island unemployment rate is dropping. It was down four-tenths of a percent last month to eight-point-three percent. It's the third straight month the number has gone down. The state Department of Labor and Training says the unemployment rate is now at its lowest point since of August of 2008.
Citizens Concerned About Casino Gambling had their chance last night to voice their concerns over the proposed expansion of Newport Grand in front of the Newport City Council. The group is opposed to the $40 million dollar expansion arguing that the expanded casino would take away from tourism dollars, hurt the local businesses and the local economy. The investors will be unveiling their plans at the next city council meeting on May 28th.
Emma Watson is graduating from Brown University this month with a degree in English literature. Watson is best known for starring as Hermoine Granger in the Harry Potter film franchise.
Middletown High Schools has been ranked as the number 5 high school in the state. The ranking comes from US News & World Reports annual ranking of best high schools. The schools are ranked based on student-teacher ratio, proficiency in reading and math and college readiness. Fourteen schools made the list and Barrington ranked number one.
Comedian Aziz Ansari will be able to perform two shows at the Newport Yachting Center in July. Last night the Newport City Council granted a one-hour extension of the normal closing time. The closing time is now set for 10:30pm and the center needs to install a noise barrier to address complaints by neighbors. The cost for the sound barrier is expected to be about $100,000.
The state Senate is supporting a delay in implementing the New England Common Assessment Program, commonly referred to as NECAP, until the Class of 2017. The sponsor of the bill which passed yesterday on a 29-5 vote, says the delay will give school districts more time to introduce the new Common Core curriculum. The bill now goes to the House. Earlier this week the state Board of Education voted to keep using NECAP as a graduation requirement, despite widespread opposition to the high-stakes testing.
RIPTA announced that trolley service will be detoured on Sunday to accommodate Salve Regina University’s Commencement Ceremony. All inbound and outbound trips will travel straight on Bellevue Ave from 9am-2pm. You can get more information by calling RIPTA at 781-9400 or visit ripta.com
The field for the 16th annual CVS Caremark Charity Golf Tournament is set. Organizers say it includes four of the top 20 men's golfer's in the world plus the sixth-ranked woman and an LPGA Hall of Famer. This year's tournament is June 22nd to the 24th at Rhode Island Country Club in Barrington.
Portsmouth Water & Fire District customers can expect a significant jump in water rates this year. The average increase of 29.8% will be for the fiscal year 2015, which begins May 1st. The rate increase is due in part to debt service for the replacement of the Lawton Valley Water Treatment Plant.
The Volvo Ocean Race is a year away but Newport and the surrounding communities are already starting to see the boost to the economy that it will bring with it. According to the Daily News, organizers have said that hotel space is booked and the whole city will be sold out. That will push demand farther out from the city so that other communities will benefit as well. The North American Stopover of the Volvo Ocean Race is May 5th-May 17th 2015.
Governor Chafee is criticizing the two Republicans running for governor for saying the state should default on its 38 Studios debt. Cranston Mayor Allan Fung and businessman Ken Block say the state should not pay. Chafee says paying the 75-million-dollar debt is necessary for the state to continue its recovery from the recession and to get back taxpayer money through the courts. The governor says anyone who doesn't understand the consequences of default on the state's bond rating is "unfit to be governor."
The state Board of Education has decided to keep the New England Common Assessment Program or NECAP, as a high school graduation requirement. Yesterday the board rejected a petition from the state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and a group of students to continue more public debate about the controversial requirement. The vote was 7-4 after more than an hour of testimony for and against the high-stakes testing.
The state Board of Education has endorsed legislation for a nursing education facility in Providence. The $206 million dollar project would redevelop a former power plant and the space would be shared by U.R.I., R.I.C and Brown University. The legislation must now be approved by the General Assembly and the State Properties Committee.
RIPTA announced that trolley service will be detoured on Sunday to accommodate Salve Regina University’s Commencement Ceremony. All inbound and outbound trips will travel straight on Bellevue Ave from 9am-2pm. You can get more information by calling RIPTA at 781-9400 or visit ripta.com
Canine influenza virus is present in Rhode Island. According to the Rhode Island Veterinary Medical Association it was diagnosed at a kennel and day care center in Providence last month. The strain is causing mild symptoms and dogs have responded to antibiotics or other medications. The association says owners should consider having their dogs vaccinated against the virus if they spend time around other dogs.
RI’s bond rating has been put on negative watch by Standard & Poor. The AP reports that the change was made due to the uncertainty over whether the state will be honoring the debt from the failed 38 Studios.
The first phase of the $15.7 million dollar renovation project at the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum begins on Wednesday. The AP reports that the upgrades to the museum include additional tennis courts and facilities, improved amenities, along with new technology, retail space and new Hall Of Fame offices.
A 27 year old Warren man has been arrested and charged with felony assault with a dangerous weapon. Ralph Delullo was charged after he allegedly took off after hitting a Cranston Police Officer with his car while leaving Club Mardi Gras in Cranston. If found guilty, Delullo could face up to 20 years in prison. The officer did not sustain any injuries.
A former URI assistant coach was one of the three people killed in a hot air balloon accident in Virginia. The AP reports that Ginny Doyle, was aboard a hot air balloon that burned and crashed at the Atlantic Balloon Festival in Virginia on Friday.
The head of the state environmental agency has been honored with the John H. Chaffee Conservation Leadership Award. Janet Colt, received the award for her continued work to improve the health of the state’s environmental health.
The parent company of Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus is thanking the people of Providence. The letter is in response to the accident that injured eight acrobats in a fall at the Dunkin' Donuts Center earlier this month. The company commends first responders and the medical team at Rhode Island Hospital and says quote, "Providence will hold a special place in our hearts.”
Police in Narragansett are increasing patrols in the aftermath of last weekend's alcohol-fueled college party. More than a dozen arrests were made last Saturday when police say an estimated gathering of up to one-thousand people turned into what the town manager describes as a riot. A University of Rhode Island spokesman says the situation is "intolerable" and the school will take disciplinary action against students identified violating policy and the law.
Citizens Concerned About Casino Gambling will be addressing the Newport Town Council at the Council Meeting on May 14th. The group is opposed to a referendum for casino gambling at Newport Grand.
The first set of permits for Deepwater Wind’s five-turbine wind farm off Block Island have been approved. The Journal reports the state Department of Environmental management has approved the water quality certificates that will allow dredging and marine construction for the wind farm and cables that will run from Block Island to Narragansett. There are still many permits needed to be approved before they can build the wind farm. The Coastal Resources Management Council will meet Tuesday night to consider Deepwater’s application. Recommendations for approval have come from the Council staff and a subcommittee.
The executive director of the RI Public Expenditure Council, John Simmons, testified yesterday before the Oversight Committee. According to the AP he reported that if RI defaulted on the 38 Studios bond payments the state’s bond ratings would go down and future borrowing costs would go up, costing the State millions more. Those costs would be more than the $87 million the state currently owes for the $75 million dollar state backed loan.
The Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus is back performing following last week’s accident that injured 9 performers at the Dunkin Donuts Center. The show resumed last night at the XL Center in Hartford.
The House Oversight Committee is scheduled to meet today to hear testimony on whether RI should honor its bond debt from the failed 38 Studios. The AP Reports the Chaffee Administration as saying - repercussions from defaulting on the debt could include increased future borrowing costs and harm the state’s financial reputation.
Former House Speaker Gordon Fox is citing his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. It's in an effort to quash a subpoena from one of the defendants in the state's lawsuit in the 38 Studios deal. The subpoena from Wells Fargo requests any documents Fox has related to the state Economic Development Corporation and 38 Studios. Wells Fargo is one of the financial firms sued by the state for its role in putting the deal together. A hearing on Fox's motion to quash the subpoena is scheduled for May 15th, in Providence Superior Court.
The Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority is delaying changes in toll rates that were scheduled for May 16th. Implementation of the changes will be delayed until mid-June. Yesterday's vote to delay was recommended by an authority member who says it will give the General Assembly time to work on legislation that could affect the agency's finances.
The recovery process for the group of acrobats injured in Sunday's circus performance at the Dunkin' Donuts Center is going to take many months. Doctor's at Rhode Island Hospital also say it may be a year or more before it is known if two of the women who suffered severe spinal cord injuries will walk again. One of the eight women hospitalized when the group fell about 30 feet, has been released and some of the others could be released within days to begin physical therapy.
Four of Rhode Island's state beaches will officially open on weekends starting Saturday. They include Scarborough, Roger Wheeler, East Matunuck and Misquamicut beaches. The Department of Environmental Management says all state beaches will open on a daily basis starting on May 24th, that's the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend.
Keith Stokes, the former Executive Director for the Economic Development Corporation will not be testifying before the House Oversight Committee as it reviews the $75 Million 38 Studios loan guarantee. The AP reports that the attorney representing Stokes stated that Stokes can’t testify due to the litigation from a law suit the agency has filed against Stokes, Curt Shilling and others involved in the 38 Studios loan guarantee.
The Senate Finance Committee is supporting a bill that would prohibit tolls on the Sakonnet River Bridge. The bill passed unanimously by the committee yesterday would also create a transportation infrastructure fund to pay for bridge and road maintenance. The bill is now headed to the Senate for a vote, then onto the House where it is expected to clear as well.
Gordon Fox, the former state Speaker of the House, failed to report his latest campaign finances on time and the AP reports that he’s been slapped with a campaign finance violation. On March 21st the FBI and IRS raided Fox’s home and Statehouse office and there is still no word from Federal authorities on what they are investigating.
Tiverton Police are asking for assistance in identifying a suspect that is wanted for questioning in several house break-ins. They have posted pictures of the suspect on their Facebook page. If you have any information you can contact the Tiverton Police Department at (401) 625-6719.
A cracked metal clamp belonging to Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Baily Circus has been turned over to federal investigators. The clamp designed to hold performers failed on Sunday causing eight acrobats to fall as much as 40 feet to the floor of the Dunkin' Donuts Center. One of the acrobats that had fallen to the ground has been released from the hospital, the others still remain hospitalized. A circus spokesman says the act will not be included in upcoming performances elsewhere.
Rhode Island is ranked as the 29th best state for retirement. The Bankrate.com rankings are determined by criteria including cost of living, taxes, healthcare, crime and climate. South Dakota was ranked number one.
The circus performers injured when they fell 25 to 40 feet Sunday morning at the Dunkin' Donuts Center due to an equipment failure are expected to recover. Eight remained hospitalized, four were in serious condition, but none of the injuries were thought to be life-threatening. The four remaining performances of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus in Providence Sunday and yesterday were canceled after the accident.
The Secretary of State’s Office is looking into a potential violation of the States lobbying rules involving the failed 38 studios. An investigation into the states database alleges that no one from 38 studios ever registered to lobby state lawmakers. According the WPRI report, Secretary of State, Ralph Mollis said he has an obligation and responsibility to look into the allegations.
A proposed hotel at Naval Station Newport has concerned many Middletown residents and businesses. At Monday nights town council meeting, concerns were that the planned 200 room hotel could have a negative impact and take away business from local business. According to the Daily News, opponents for the hotel would like to meet with Navy Base officials to learn more about the impact of the project.
The Senate Finance Committee will once again be looking at the controversial tolls on the Sakonnet River Bridge. The meeting today involves the ownership of the bridge being handed over to the RI DOT and establishing an alternate way to pay for bridge maintenance and repairs throughout the state.
At least eight Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus performers are hospitalized with serious injuries due to an accident at the Dunkin' Donuts Center. The acrobats fell 25 to 40 feet around noon yesterday. At least over a dozen other people were treated for injuries. A metal apparatus holding the performers collapsed causing the accident. The cause is under investigation and OSHA has been called in to help with the investigation. Help is available for anyone in need of counseling after seeing the circus accident that injured several performers at the Dunkin' Donuts Center. The Disaster Distress Hotline is 800-985-5990. The hotline is operated by the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
Developers want to spend $40 million to turn the Newport Grand slot parlor on into a Monte Carlo-style casino. The investors, that include former real estate developer and former Providence Mayor Joseph Paolino, have signed and agreement to buy Newport Grand from current owner Diane Hurley contingent upon Newport voters approving the addition of table games to the slot parlor. The Daily News reports that developers have asked to get it on the upcoming November Ballot and that the resolution be voted on at the city councils May 28th meeting.
RI State troopers will now carry Narcan in response to the drug overdose crisis. Narcan, administered as a nasal spray can counter the effects of an overdose. State Police Colonel Steven O'Donnell says Narcan will keep someone live long enough for medical personnel to arrive and get the victim to the hospital.
General Dynamics is going to hire 450 people thanks to a nearly 18-billion-dollar Navy contract to build ten Virginia-class attack submarines. The company's Electric Boat division is expected to start hiring this summer for positions at the Quonset Point shipyard. "The Providence Journal" reports positions to be filled include welders, electricians and pipefitters.
The state paid out the $2.4 Million dollars for an interest-only payment to bondholders for it’s failed investment in Curt Shillings video game company, 38 studios. The next installment due is $12.5 million dollars. The AP reports that the debate whether to default on the rest is expected to heat up in the General Assembly.F
71 to 0 was the vote count to eliminate the master lever from election ballots. According to the Journal, the Rhode Island House passed a bill to get rid of straight party voting. Representative Dennis Canario of Portsmouth said they didn’t want to kick the can down the road. The bill now moves on to the Senate.
The chairman of the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority is stepping down. David Darlington cites health reasons for his decision to resign. The agency's board is expected to name a successor at its meeting this month. Governor Chafee will appoint someone to replace Darlington on the board.
Amos House is accepting a five-thousand-dollar donation that was rejected by Mothers Against Drunk Driving. The donation is from a North Kingstown woman who was accused of violating the state's social host law when police found more than 100 teens on her property at an underage drinking party. MADD said it didn't want the money in exchange for charges being dropped. Amos house says it will use the cash to help fund its recovery and sobriety-based work and training.
Vanderbilt International Properties of Newport says Merrilton just of Broadway in Newport has been sold for over 8.6 million dollars. The Journal reports the real estate agent didn’t identify the buyer other than to say they were from outside the country.
Business owners near the Galilee boat ramp in Narragansett say the construction project is not moving quick enough. According to NBC 10, as the summer approaches, the deadline to complete the project is June 7th. The business owners hoped it would be finished before Memorial Day.
Candidate for governor, Clay Pell is proposing a wide-ranging education plan. Pell says his plan would stabilize tuition rates at the state's public colleges, expand access to early childhood learning programs, and create an education cabinet to direct school policy statewide. The plan also includes two-years of free tuition for qualifying students at the Community College of Rhode Island. Pell, who has the endorsement of the state chapter of the National Education Association, faces state Treasurer Gina Raimondo and Providence Mayor Angel Taveras in the Democratic primary.
Rhode Island Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed took a trip to Spain last fall and a New Jersey organization picked up part of the tab. The Journal reports the trip was reported in her filing with the Rhode Island Ethics Commission. She described the trip to Madrid as a conference for business and political leaders on the economy and tourism. Her spokesman said no state money was spent on the trip.
Former House Speaker Gordon Fox is back at the State House. Until yesterday, Fox had not attended a General Assembly session since state and federal investigators raided his State House office and his Providence home last month. He resigned his leadership position soon after the raids. Fox, who will not seek re-election, says he returned to represent his district.
State Representative Deborah Ruggeiro from Jamestown will propose a bill that would prohibit casinos from going after debt from gamblers by attaching liens on their homes. WPRI TV reports the committee that would address the proposed legislation has not been determined.
The Newport Police will host their annual awards ceremony on Monday at the Thompson Middle School. Officers receiving awards will muster in front of the police station on Broadway and march to Thompson with Captain Russell Hayes leading the procession with his bagpipes.