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1540 WADK.com Updates Archives for 2015-10

Volvo Ocean Race Returning to Newport in May 2018


Governor Gina M. Raimondo, in partnership with Speaker Nicholas Mattiello and Senate President Paiva Weed, joined Volvo Ocean Race and Sail Newport today to announce the return of the Volvo Ocean Race to Newport in 2018. Rhode Island will again be the only North American stopover port for the grand prix sailing event.
 
"We are thrilled to welcome the Volvo Ocean Race back to Rhode Island," Raimondo said. "We look forward to working together with Volvo Ocean Race and Sail Newport, across all levels of government to build on this year's success. Together, we will continue to showcase the Ocean State to the world as a premiere destination to visit and grow a business."
 
Nearly 130,000 fans participated in Race festivities during the 13-day event last spring, with more than half traveling to Rhode Island from other U.S. states and abroad.  According to a recent report commissioned by Sail Newport, the economic impact of the 2015 stopover on Rhode Island is estimated over $47 million.

 

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FBI, US health officials search ambulance firm in probe


 

FBI agents and federal health officials have searched a Providence ambulance company as part of an investigation.

Jim Martin, spokesman for U.S. Attorney Peter F. Neronha, said FBI agents and Department of Health and Human Services officials executed federal search warrants Thursday at Professional Ambulance LLC.

The business's founders, Joe and Brenda Baginski, said through an attorney that the company is cooperating. They said criminal or civil charges have not been filed and the company continues to conduct business.

 

 

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Judge to hear ACLU challenge to sex offender residency law


A federal judge is scheduled to hear a challenge by the ACLU of Rhode Island to Rhode Island's newly enacted law making it a crime for certain sex offenders to live within 1,000 feet of a school.

The hearing by U.S. District Court Judge John J. McConnell, Jr. is set for 3 p.m. Friday in Providence.

The ACLU says the residency prohibition on all Level 3 sex offenders is unconstitutionally vague, violates due process, retroactively punishes those who already completed their sentences and interferes with privacy interests without a legitimate purpose.

Dozens of Providence residents have been ordered to move and the ACLU is seeking to stop enforcement of the law while its complaint is being litigated.

 

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Providence police to receive 20 body cameras for trial phase


 Providence police are about to receive 20 body cameras as part of a trial phase.

Chief Hugh Clements at a City Council Finance Committee hearing Thursday said the city is actively looking at providing police with body cameras. He says he's in the process of drafting a formal policy on how they'll be implemented.

The federal government announced earlier this year that it plans on providing body cameras and training to police departments around the country as part of a $20 million pilot program.

President Barack Obama has also said that he wants to give local law enforcement agencies more than 50,000 body cameras over the next three years.

Clements says the city is seeking federal support for the initiative.

 

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Man charged in baseball bat beating of married couple


 Police have arrested a 25-year-old Providence man they say beat a married couple with a metal baseball bat after their car ran out of gas.

Viden Chhoeun is facing assault charges in connection with Wednesday night's attack in Providence.

Police say Chhoeun beat 72-year-old Rafael Carrasco and his 70-year-old wife, Maricela, after the man's car ran out of gas and his wife arrived in another vehicle to help.

The victims were found on the ground. She was unconscious and he was too injured to speak. They were taken to a hospital, where Rafael Carrasco is in critical condition and his wife is in serious condition.

Chhoeun is scheduled to be arraigned Friday. It's unclear if he has an attorney.

Police have not said what led to the attack, which remains under investigation.

 

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Middletown PD To Partake In 'Movember' Next Month


The Middletown Police Department is partaking in "Movember" this year.  The "Newport Daily News" reports that the department is lifting its ban on facial hair, which means officers will be allowed to grow mustaches and beards to raise awareness for prostate and testicular cancers.  The department launched a campaign a few weeks ago and has already raised nearly two-thousand-dollars for the California-based Movember Foundation.

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Warwick Police Trying To Find Wallet's Owner


The Warwick Police Department is trying to reunite a misplaced wallet with its rightful owner.  A U.S. Marine Corps wallet containing a lot of cash was found at the McDonald's on Bald Hill Road last year.  Officials believe the Marine who lost his wallet is a recent boot camp graduate and likely lives in the state.  They posted a photo of the owner to their Facebook page in hopes that someone can identify him.  Anyone with information is asked to call the police.

 

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Providence Man Denied Bail In Arson Case


A man accused of setting a Providence strip mall on fire is being held behind bars.  A judge denied bail for William Roberts in court yesterday.  Roberts was allegedly seen on surveillance footage starting the fire which destroyed three businesses and injured three firefighters.  Roberts allegedly confessed to the incident and is being charged with arson.  If convicted he faces up to life behind bars.

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Donut Shop Employees Hospitalized For Respiratory Issues


Several employees of an Exeter donut shop are hospitalized after experiencing trouble breathing.  Crews were called to a Dunkin' Donuts on South County Trail yesterday morning after they complained of respiratory issues.  A fire spokesperson says an electrical element in an oven shorted out, causing smoke to fill the building.  The shop was locked up for several hours for inspection but was reopened by noon.

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Police: Woman Found Dead In Providence


Police are searching for a murder suspect in Providence.  Zenaida Pacheco was found dead Tuesday night inside an apartment on Randall Street.  The woman's death marks the city's 14th homicide of the year.  There's no word how the woman died, but police have confirmed that she was murdered.

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Police: Road Rage Suspects Out On Bail


Two  Rhode  Island men, who are accused in a road rage incident, are now out on bail.  The "Sun Chronicle" reports that Yomar Romero and Justin Smith were recently granted bail and are pleading not guilty to weapons charges.  A driver told police last week that he was driving along I-95 when a car cut him off and a passenger pointed a gun at him.  A gun was found in Romero's car, but the suspect claimed he didn't know it was there.  The pair is returning to court November 25th.

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R.I. State Police Celebrating 90th Anniversary Next Month


The Rhode  Island State Police is getting ready to celebrate its 90th anniversary.  The public is invited to come to the headquarters on November 6th to learn more about the RISP.  Along with hearing from Governor Gina Raimondo, there will also be patrol cars, tools and equipment on display.  The event was originally slated for earlier in the week, but the date was pushed back due to bad weather.

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URI Names Forensic Sciences Center After Alumnus


The University of Rhode Island is naming a new center after a generous alumnus.  The new building is being dedicated to Richard Beaupre after he donated two-point-five-million-dollars to the university.  Construction to the Richard E. Beaupre Center for Chemical and Forensic Sciences kicked off in 2013.  Doors are expected to open next year.

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Police Search For Paintball Shooters In Providence


A teenager says he was shot with a paintball gun in Providence.  Police responded to the Elmwood neighborhood earlier this week after the 17-year-old victim said he was walking along Hamilton and Stanwood streets when he was allegedly shot in the chest and hands.  He told officers a dark-colored Honda pulled up next to him, several shots were fired and it and sped off.  Four passengers were in the car at the time, but the teen couldn't give officers a description. Anyone with information is urged to call police.

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Suspended Officer In Florida For Treatment


A Providence police officer is getting treatment at a Florida facility.  Suspended Officer Scott Logan was released from court on Monday after being accused of sending threatening messages to his doctor and superior officers.  He'll return to court next month and is undergoing 30 days of treatment.

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Man Accused Of Setting Strip Mall On Fire


A man is accused of setting fire to a Providence strip mall.  William Roberts was recently charged with arson in connection to the incident earlier this month.  Police say Roberts started the blaze on Reservoir Avenue, causing serious damage to several businesses.  A handful of firefighters was treated for injuries.  Roberts is expected to be in court today.

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Sonic Opens First Location In Rhode Island


There's a new place for people to get their hot dog fix in Smithfield.  Sonic Drive-In opened its first location in the state yesterday on Putnam Pike.  The unique eatery serves up burgers, fries and shakes car-side by a roller-skating server.  The fast food joint will be open 7 a.m. until midnight.  Construction kicked off in July.

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Couple Files Suit Against Movie-Maker


The owners of a Rhode Island house featured in a 2013 horror movie are suing Warner Brothers.  Norma Sutcliffe and her husband recently filed a lawsuit against the filmmakers for using their Harrisville home in the movie "The Conjuring."  They say trespassers are making their home difficult to live in because their privacy is invaded.  They're asking for unspecified monetary damages, as well as funds to pay for a security system.

 

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New Welcome Center Coming To Rhode Island


A new welcome center is coming to Rhode Island.  The state recently won a 12-million-dollar grant to build the new facility off of Route 95 near the Connecticut border.  The center will include a gas station, restaurants, tourist information, bus stop and a parking lot.  It is slated to open in 2019.  The old welcome center was locked up in 2011 because of insufficient funding.

 

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State House Being Used In 2016 Thriller Movie



The Rhode Island State House is making a cameo in an upcoming thriller movie.  Crews for "Purge 3: Assassins" were at the capitol building yesterday shooting a scene that'll feature an impromptu news conference.  The Speaker's Office, the Governor's State Room and the State House basement are also being used for the set.  Shooting is expected to wrap up today.  The movie will be in theaters next summer.

 

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Man Facing Murder Charges Enters Not Guilty Plea


A Providence man is pleading not guilty to strangling a woman to death.  Daniel Tejeda is accused of killing Ashley Masi, after the pair met online.  Masi, a mother of three, was discovered dead inside her apartment and later died in the hospital.  Police say Tejeda had reached out to the woman about an escort service ad.

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Suspected Identified In Hit-And-Run Crash


Police are releasing the name of a man in connection to a hit-and-run in Providence.  Lee Carrazana allegedly hit a Providence firefighter over the weekend and took off.  Carrazana turned himself in to police yesterday afternoon and complained of injuries suffered during the accident.  He was taken to the hospital but spent last night at police headquarters.  The victim, Matthew Gallant, remains hospitalized in serious condition.

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Judge Rules To Not Euthanize Dog


A dog is now back home in Warwick after a judge ruled that he wasn't vicious after all.  The family spoke to NBC-10 and said the pup, Kolby, was trying to play with another dog when he nipped its ear.  A judge recently ruled during a hearing to not euthanize Kolby.  He will be required to wear a muzzle while walking and now has a microchip.

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Whole Foods Recalls Prepacked Food Items


A couple of prepackaged food items are being pulled from Whole Foods Market shelves in several states, including Rhode Island.  The state's Health Department says the health food store voluntarily recalled curry chicken salad and classic deli pasta due to a possible listeria contamination.  The items were sold at several stores in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, New Hampshire and Maine.  So far there have been no reports of illnesses.  Listeria monocytogenes can cause serious symptoms including fever, headache, nausea or abdominal pain.

 

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Scam Alert: Sheriff's Office Imposter Calling Victim In RI



A new scam is circulating in Rhode Island.  State officials say people are calling victims claiming to be with the sheriff's office and telling them that they missed jury duty.  The imposter also says that the person can avoid jail time if they pay immediately by phone.  At least one person has already paid 900-dollars in connection to the scam.  The number is a 401 area code.  Anyone who has received a suspicious call is urged to call police.

 

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Police: Missing Girl Is Okay After Being Reported Missing


A missing girl from West Greenwich is now safely back at home.  Police said yesterday that Kaley Lachance is in, quote, "good health."  Kaley left her apartment Friday night and had been missing for several hours before being found.  No word as to where she was during the search.

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Firefighter Injured In Hit-And-Run Crash Improving


There's more information about the condition of a Providence firefighter who was involved in a hit-and-run accident.  Officials say Matthew Gallant is improving in the hospital after being struck by an SUV Saturday morning.  After 30 minutes of extrication Gallant was pulled from his truck and underwent surgery.  Investigators believe the SUV involved was a rental car and the driver fled on-foot.  Anyone with information about the crash is urged to call police.

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Armed Woman Robs Victim, No Arrest Yet


Police are searching for a robbery suspect in north Providence.  A woman called 911 after the female robber held up a gun and demanded money from her.  The robber is described as in her 40s or 50s with a heavy build.  Police say they believe they've identified the suspect, but she hasn't been arrested yet.  Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call police.

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Man Arrested After Barricading Himself In House



A man is behind bars after he barricaded himself inside a Woonsocket home.  Police say the man locked himself inside the house on Sayles Street yesterday for several hours.  The suspect was taken out of the home, but is hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries.  The investigation is ongoing and the man's name hasn't been released.

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12 Students Busted For Underage Drinking In Providence


Police are cracking down on underage drinking in Providence.  A dozen college students were arrested last week during a weekly patrol of the area.  A police spokesperson says their efforts to bust people who are drinking underage will continue through the coming months.  Students who were arrested attend Roger Williams University, Brown University and Providence College.

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Bail Set For Johnson & Wales University Students Involved In Rape Case


Bail is set for three Johnson & Wales University students who are suspects in a rape case.  Bail was set at 100-thousand-dollars each for the trio.  The three men were accused of sexually assaulting an 18-year-old woman earlier this month.  A fourth man allegedly involved in the incident was accused of groping the woman's friend and was released earlier this week.  The men have been ordered to have no contact with the victim and were required to surrender their passports.

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Autistic Applebee's Employee Went Unpaid For A Year


An autistic man says he was working for a year at a Middletown restaurant before realizing he had never been paid.  A spokeswoman for Applebee's says she'll get a check to Caleb Dyl as soon as possible.  Dyl was originally hired for a training program last year, but after the employer decided he was a good fit for the position he was supposed to start getting paid.  The eatery is sending the man a checked for 166 hours worth of work.

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Vicious Dog Bill Approved By Governor


Governor Gina Raimondo is approving a bill that aims to help vicious dogs.  Raimondo signed the bill yesterday, which now makes it a law to put seized dogs in the care of the state's Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.  One of the dogs saved from NFL player Michael Vick's dog fighting ring now lives inRhode  Island with the president of a local rescue.

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Brown University Apologizes For Malia Obama After Recent Campus Visit


Brown University is apologizing to Malia Obama after students took to social media to say she was partying during a recent college visit.  A photo that was seen online shows the President's daughter standing next to a table with cups earlier this month.  People wrote on Twitter that Malia was playing beer pong at a party.  Yesterday the "Brown Daily Herald" published a story apologizing to Malia, and also said, quote, "we will 'have more chill,'" if she ever decides to return to the campus.

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One Suspect Released In JWU Rape Case


One of four Johnson & Wales University students in a rape case has been released.  Yazeed Alasiri was let go yesterday afternoon after he surrendered his passport.  Alasiri is accused of touching an 18-year-old woman inappropriately at a Pawtucket apartment earlier this month.  Three other men remain behind bars.  Investigators say the two women were drugged and raped after smoking marijuana and hookah with the suspects.

 

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Police: Missing Person In Fall River


Police are searching for a missing man in Fall River.  Xiao Chen hasn't been seen since earlier this month.  A person may have spotted Chen in the parking lot of an area hotel, but no additional information has been released.  Anyone with information about the 46-year-old's whereabouts is urged to call FRPD.

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Road Rage Incident Involved Hatchet In Rehoboth


A driver is accused of threatening another man on the road in Rehoboth.  Witnesses called 911 last week after Brian Art was spotted driving erratically along Route 118.  At some point, Art allegedly got out of his SUV with a hatchet and waved it at the victim.  The suspect was arrested shortly after and charged with assault with a dangerous weapon and disorderly conduct.

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Smoking Ban Proposed In Downtown Providence


A former Providence mayor is proposing a smoking ban downtown.  Joseph Paolino urged City Council members to approve the ban, citing community health issues.  If the proposal is passed, smoking would be prohibited on all non-enclosed sidewalks.  Citations start at 50-bucks and go up to 250-dollars for the third offense.  However, opponents argue that the law would disproportionately affect homeless people who can't afford to pay the fines.

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Shootings Leads To Bar Closure In Providence


A bar in Providence is going to remain locked up stemming from a triple shooting.  The El Tiburon Sports Bar was shut down on Saturday after an argument ended with a man and two woman being shot inside the bar.  NBC-10 reports the Board of Licenses voted yesterday to keep the nightclub closed until early next month.  So far no arrests have been made in connection to the shooting.

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Woman, Child Trapped Under Car In Portsmouth


A mother and child are expected to be okay after being trapped under a car in Portsmouth.  Fire crews responded to the 911 report over the weekend after a car rolled, pinning a woman and child underneath on Prudence View Drive.  Firefighters were able to push the car off the pair, and their injuries are considered non-life-threatening. 

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Ex-State Senator Pleads No Contest To DUI Charges


A former Rhode Island senator allegedly admitted to driving drunk and crashing into a truck earlier this year.  Stephen Alves pled no contest in court yesterday.  In exchange for the plea his license is suspended for three months and a breathalyzer will be installed in his car.  Police say Alves hit a truck in January, causing another car to lose control and swerve into a guardrail.  A witness at the scene said Alves was slurring his speech and was wobbly.

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Allegations Of Bribery Involving Providence Board Of Licenses


The Providence Board of Licenses is under fire in connection to allegedly taking bribes.  NBC-10 reports a woman who is affiliated with Ada's Creations paid the license board 29-thousand-dollars in September.  Police are looking into the accusations.  Earlier this year the state's former Speaker of the House, Gordon Fox, was sentenced to three years behind bars for taking tens-of-thousands-of-dollars in bribes in 2008.

 

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Man Hospitalized After Saw Injury


A construction worker is hospitalized in Woonsocket stemming from an accident involving a saw.  Police say the man was working at a home on Aylsworth Avenue when he was severely cut.  His condition isn't known, but OSHA is at the scene investigating.  The victim's name hasn't been released.

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2 Dead, 1 Injured In North Kingstown Car Accident


Two people are death stemming from a car accident in North Kingstown.  Three people were driving along West Allenton Road near the intersection of Route 4  Saturday night when they struck another car head-on.  A third passenger in the car is in serious condition

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Man Files Lawsuit Against Brown University For Sexual Assault Complaint


A man is suing Brown University in connection to a sexual misconduct complaint.  The former student was suspended from campus for two-and-a-half years last October after a woman accused him of making unwanted sexual advances.  The lawsuit claims Brown officials violated his due process rights and discriminated against him based on his gender.  Brown has declined to comment on the incident.  The man was enrolled in the class of 2017 and had hoped to earn his degree in neuroscience.

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Lane On Bridge To Be Closed Until Sunday Night


Drivers who take the Jamestown-Verrazzano Bridge are urged to plan ahead this week.  Starting this morning the eastbound lane will be closed for reconstruction and repairs.  The shutdown is expected to last through Sunday night, as long as the weather is okay.  Work being done includes replacement of steel hatches, drainage troughs and repairs of expansion joints and damaged guard rails.

 

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Providence Bar Shut Down In Connection To Triple Shooting


A Providence bar is locking its doors in connection to a triple shooting.  Police say three people were shot at El Tiburon on Valley Street early Saturday morning.  A man and two women were found wounded, but so far no arrests have been made.  Witnesses tell WPRI that the shooter is a black male who is about five-foot-four.  The Board of Licenses is expected to meet today to discuss the fate of the bar.

 

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Three Kayakers Rescued From Chilly Water


Three kayakers are expected to be okay after being rescued near a Rhode Island lighthouse.  A fire spokesperson says a group was kayaking in Warwick yesterday when winds flipped three people over.  Rescue crews were able to get them out of the chilly water and no injuries were reported.  None of the people were wearing a lifejacket at the time of the incident.

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Providence nightclub to remain closed as board deliberates


A Providence nightclub is remaining closed as the city's board of licenses deliberates its future.

Van Gogh Lounge was shut down Sunday after police say two men were shot outside following a fight that began inside the nightclub.

Surveillance video provided at a hearing Thursday shows a man with a gun and the crowd scattering during the shooting.

One man was shot in the chest and another was shot in the legs.

WPRI-TV reports the board will make a decision on the club's future in the next 10 days. The nightclub will remain closed until then.

An attorney for the club says the case is full of hearsay and that the city did not try to bring in witnesses. He says the board is treating his client unfairly.

 

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Rhode Island works to reach Latino business owners


Rhode Island is launching a fully bilingual website as part of an effort to reach out to Latino business owners and entrepreneurs.

The Providence Journal reports that the website is expected to go live Thursday. It will showcase Latino business people and detail how the state's Commerce Corporation can help Latino businesses.

Gov. Gina Raimondo says the state's Latino population is growing, which means the state must be supportive of that area of the economy. She says the site is overdue.

As part of the effort, a Commerce Corporation employee will work with an advisory council of Latino businesspeople. Officials say Latino business people have also committed to work as mentors with others in the community.

 

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Raimondo concerned PawSox are interested in Massachusetts


Rhode Island Gov. says she's concerned the owners of the Pawtucket Red Sox are talking to officials in Massachusetts about the possibility of moving the minor league baseball team to the Bay State.

The Democratic governor said Thursday she wants the Pawtucket-based team to stay in Rhode Island.

The team recently ended its pursuit of waterfront land in downtown Providence for a new stadium.

Mayor Domenic Sarno told The Republican he could envision a stadium for the Triple-A franchise in Springfield. He said there have been initial talks, which included PawSox co-owner .

Raimondo says Providence officials are working with the PawSox to find an alternative site in Providence.

She says she doesn't know if they're focused on a specific location.

 

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Suspended Providence officer found competent to stand trial


 

A suspended Providence police officer has been found competent to stand trial on charges of carrying an illegal gun and threatening three superior officers and his doctor.

Police charged 45-year-old Scott Logan, of Johnston, with cyber-stalking and disorderly conduct. He was indicted in August on accusations he had a gun with an altered serial number and then sent a text message threatening three superior officers before subsequently sending threatening texts to his doctor.

Logan was ordered to undergo a mental health and substance abuse evaluation last week after his third felony arrest in three months.

Logan has pleaded not guilty to all of the charges.

His attorney tells WPRI-TV he cannot comment about the pending cases. Logan is expected back in court on Oct. 22.

 

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School bus, SUV involved in Lincoln crash; no kids hurt


Authorities say two people were injured in a crash involving an SUV and a school bus in Lincoln, but no children on the bus were hurt.

The crash occurred at Arnold and Livingston streets at about 7:15 a.m. Friday.

At least one woman who was in the SUV was taken to the hospital with injuries not considered life threatening. The SUV was towed.

No names were released.

The children on the school bus were picked up by another bus and taken to school.

The original bus was driven from the scene.

The crash remains under investigation.

 

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Man filming movie falls from wall in Providence


 Officials say a man was seriously hurt after he fell from a wall in Providence while filming a movie with friends.

Fire Department Battalion Chief Jeffrey Varone says the man, described as in his 20s, fell at Prospect Terrace Park early Tuesday morning. He was walking along a wall near the park's statue of Roger Williams and fell between 20 and 40 feet.

Varone says the man was wearing a mask which may have obscured his vision. Two other men participating in the movie called for help around 1:30 a.m. The man regained consciousness while being treated and was taken to Rhode Island Hospital.

Varone says the man sustained a shoulder fracture and possible head injury.

His name was not available.

 

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Raimondo: Clinton should talk about the issues, not emails


 Rhode Island Gov. says that Democratic presidential candidate needs to talk about the issues instead of her private email server.

Raimondo spoke at a Fortune magazine event Tuesday in Washington D.C., saying that the discussion should focus on Clinton's ideas and solutions rather than her emails.

Raimondo says she's "confident" that the former first lady will shine once that happens.

The first female governor in Rhode Island was among speakers at the "Most Powerful Women Summit" where she was interviewed by a senior editor. Other speakers included , Fox News anchor and .

 

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Gas prices up 1 cent per gallon in Rhode Island


 The price of gas in Rhode Island has increased, but remains lower than the national average.

AAA Northeast finds in its weekly survey released Tuesday that the price of a gallon of regular unleaded increased one cent from last week to an average of $2.21.

That price is still 9 cents lower than a month ago and 10 cents less than the national average of $2.31 per gallon.

Gas in Rhode Island costs much less than it did a year ago at this time, when it cost $1.07 more per gallon. At that time, a gallon of regular was averaging $3.28.

AAA found that self-serve, regular gas is now selling for as low as $2.07 per gallon and as high as $2.38.

Gas prices had been falling each week since July.

 

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Republican state senator says he's resigning


 A Republican state senator says he's resigning to focus on a new job.

Sen. Christopher Ottiano, a physician, is accepting a position at Neighborhood Health Plan.

Ottiano was elected in 2010 to represent District 11 in Bristol, Portsmouth and Tiverton.

State law doesn't require Ottiano to resign to take the job. But he says serving as an associate medical director will demand his time and attention.

Ottiano says he wants to be fair to his constituents and new employer.

The secretary of state's office says a special election will be called.

Ottiano is one of five Republicans in the 38-member Senate.

Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed says Ottiano's perspective was valuable, and he was "instrumental" in passing legislation to reduce overdose deaths.

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Extensive work begins on Jamestown-Verrazzano Bridge


Infrastructure repairs have begun on a Rhode Island bridge and are expected to take weeks to complete.

The extensive upgrades began Tuesday on the Jamestown-Verrazzano Bridge.

The Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority says work on the bridge is expected to take about six weeks. Repairs include parts of the concrete deck, damaged guardrails and expansion joints. Crews are also supposed to replace steel hatches and drainage troughs.

Officials say eastbound lanes will periodically close between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. and westbound lanes will periodically close between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m.

The inside high-speed eastbound lane will be closed for a week, beginning on Oct. 19. It's scheduled to reopen on Oct. 25.

 

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Flu Shot Available For Free In RI Schools


Rhode Island officials are launching an effort to get the flu shot for free in schools across the state.  The state's Department of Health is teaming up with schools to create nearly 300 flu clinics.  Students can now get the flu vaccine for free, and many of the facilities are also open to the public.  Every person older than six-months old is urged to get the flu shot every year.

 

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Majority Of Law Enforcement Officials, Courts White In RI


The majority of law enforcement and court officials in Rhode Island are white.  A "Providence Journal" investigation found that the state's criminal justice system is made up of several white police officers, judges and lawyers.  The newspaper also found that there are only three judges and four lawyers of color in the state, out of nearly 100.  The Providence NAACP says the racial disparity directly affects the community's confidence in the state's criminal justice system.

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Police Arrest Person Of Interest In Double Nightclub Shooting


Police are questioning a "person of interest" in connection to a double shooting outside of a Providence nightclub.  The victims are hospitalized but are said to be in good condition, despite being shot at the Van Gogh Lounge on Sunday morning.  The nightclub was shut down and will go before the board again tomorrow.  Massachusetts police pulled over a car matching a similar description of the shooter's, and took the driver into custody.

 

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'Black Lives Matter' Protest Held In Providence


Dozens of people in Providence are trying to get the community talking after a donut shop employee wrote "BlackLivesMatter" on a coffee cup.  The incident happened more than a week ago after a Providence officer felt disrespected after he received a coffee cup with "BlackLivesMatter" written on the side.  About 50 protesters rallied outside of the Dunkin' Donuts on Federal Hill to say police could have opened a dialogue about the meaning of the "Black Lives Matter" statement.  The Dunkin' Donuts employee was fired after the incident.

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URI Essay Contest Inspired By Gandhi Quote


The University of Rhode Island is launching a writing contest inspired by Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi.  The school's Center for Nonviolence and Peace Studies holds an essay contest each year for 8th graders throughout the state.  This year, students are urged to submit essays on their interpretation of the Gandhi quote, "An eye for an eye will only make the whole world blind."  Essays are due by January 30th.

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RI Treasurer Offers Incentive For College Savings Plans


There's a new incentive for opening a college savings plan in Rhode Island this month.  General Treasurer Seth Magaziner says families that open a CollegeBoundFund account by the end of the month will receive a 25-dollar contribution to celebrate National Financial Planning Month.  Magaziner says he hopes the move will encourage parents to start planning for their children's future.

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Teenager Released From Hospital After Being Struck By Car


A teenage girl is out of the hospital after being hit by a car in Providence.  Borjeh Koliyah was crossing the street on Hartford Avenue when Omotayo Ogunmokun struck her.  Ogunmokun said his windshield wiper wasn't working and he didn't see the 14-year-old victim.  The girl was released from the hospital the following afternoon.

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Two Men Shot Outside Of Providence Night Club


Two people are hospitalized after being shot outside of a Providence nightclub.  Police responded to the double shooting at the Van Gogh Lounge on Harris Avenue early yesterday morning.  One man was shot in the chest, and the other was shot in the lower back.  Officials say neither of their injuries is life-threatening.  No additional information about the incident has been released.

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Accused Bank Robber Killed By SWAT Team Member


A Connecticut man who is accused of robbing several banks across Rhode Island is dead.  Police say Richard Love was shot and killed at a motel in Connecticut on Saturday.  Investigators responded to the motel after receiving reports that Love was staying there.  When police arrived Love refused to put down his gun and was shot by a SWAT team member.  The suspect allegedly robbed banks in Connecticut and Rhode Island.  Police found drugs and guns in his room.

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Obese Man Kicked Out Of Hospital Weight Loss Program


An 800-pound Rhode Island man says he was kicked out of a weight loss program for ordering pizza.  Steven Assanti said he is addicted to food and was enrolled in a program at Rhode Island Hospital for 80 days.  He had already lost more than 20 pounds when he decided to order a pizza earlier this week.  He was asked to leave shortly after for breaking the rules and is now homeless.  The hospital hasn't commented on the issue.

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ACLU To Challenge Law Targeting Sex Offenders


The Rhode Island ACLU is challenging a new law that would bar sex offenders from living within one-thousand feet of a school.  The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit recently, saying there is no evidence that the ordinance will be beneficial to the community.  Last week officials announced that sex offenders who live within one-thousand feet of schools must find a new home by the beginning of November.  The law was passed earlier this summer and only applies to level three sex offenders.

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More Information About Providence Officer's Suspension


More information is coming to light about a suspended Providence police officer.  Scott Logan was arrested on Wednesday for threatening a doctor.  Police say he sent the doctor several text messages and threatened to snap his neck like a "turkey bone."  He was arrested on cyber harassment and disorderly conduct charges in connection to the accusations.  "The Providence Journal" reports a Superior Court magistrate also ordered Logan to undergo mental health and substance abuse evaluation.

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Providence Man Charged With Attacking, Raping Woman


A Providence man is accused of raping and beating a woman.  Richard Lopes was formally charged yesterday with sexual assault and threatening a police officer.  Lopes allegedly attacked the woman in April.  Officers found her semi-conscious in a driveway.  Investigators followed a trail of blood to a basement where they found Lopes passed out with blood on his clothes.  The suspect also allegedly threatened to kill one of the officers.  He is scheduled to appear in court later this month.

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Gas Station Under Fire For Upside Down Flag


People are boycotting a gas station in Cranston after an American flag outside was placed upside down.  The Bestway gas station on Park Avenue reopened yesterday after a four-month renovation.  A customer said the American flag outside was upside down, which is an official sign of distress.  The daughter of the owner told the "Providence Journal" that the placement was an honest mistake and they didn't mean to offend anyone.

 

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Police: Man Arrested For Oxycodone Pills In Car


A New Bedford man is behind bars for allegedly having more than one-thousand oxycodone pills inside his car.  Jose Cabrera was arrested on Wednesday along Route 96 in West Greenwich.  Police say they searched Cabrera's car after smelling pot and found a backpack full of oxycodone pills.  He is facing several charges including drug possession and driving with a controlled substance.

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Children's Psych Expansion Completed At Children's Hospital


A Providence children's hospital is wrapping up the expansion of its pediatric psych program.  Hasbro Children's Hospital recently added additional beds to treat more children, ages six to 18, for a variety of physical and psychiatric issues.  A daytime care program was also added for children and teens who are a lower risk.

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Police Searching For Missing Freetown Man


Police are searching for a missing man in Freetown.  Joaquim "Jack" Prata hasn't been seen since Sunday.  A note found in Prata's truck asked his family not to look for him.  Police have searched the area around his office, but have been unsuccessful so far.  He is described as 55-years-old, white, about six-foot-two, 180-pounds with brown hair.  Anyone with information about his whereabouts is urged to call police.

 

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Brown University Newspaper Issues Apology For 'Racist' Column


The newspaper at Brown University is apologizing for running two offensive columns.  The "Brown Daily Herald" published an editor's note yesterday, to say sorry for the racist columns written by student Dzhali Maier.  The writer has not commented on the incidents, and the publication said they'll make changes to its editorial process.  The stories have since been removed from the website.

 

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Officer Accused Of Sending Threatening Text Messages To Doctor


A suspended Providence cop is now facing new charges after being accused of threatening a doctor.  Officer Scott Logan was arrested yesterday after a doctor allegedly received threatening text messages from him.  Information about the text messages hasn't been released, but Logan is charged with cyber-harassment and disorderly conduct.  In a separate case last week, Logan allegedly made threatening comments about his superiors to a coworker.

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Four JWU Students Accused Of Sexual Assault


A total of four Johnson and Wales University students are accused of sexual assault.  Police say Mohammed Aljohani and Tareq Alharbi were charged with sexual assault yesterday, and two other students were arraigned on Tuesday.  The group invited two 18-year-old girls back to a Pawtucket apartment last week and allegedly drugged and raped them.  The victims' names haven't been released.

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URI Teachers Union Asking For Police Body Cameras On Campus


A teachers union at the University o fRhode Island is calling for body cameras on campus police officers.  The URI Chapter of the American Association of University Professors said yesterday that every officer on campus should be equipped with body cameras.  The cameras would cost less than 500-dollars per officer, but it would protect police and people from inaccurate reports of incidents involving deadly force.

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Patrick Kennedy's Memoir Creates Issues Among Family


Family members of former U.S. Representative Patrick Kennedy aren't happy about the release of his recent memoir.  "A Common Struggle" went on sale earlier this week, and his mother and brother are denying Kennedy's portrayal of family secrecy, substance abuse and mental illness.  Yesterday, Kennedy said he loves his family but it's important to talk about mental illness openly.  His mother said she received a copy of the book but hasn't read it.

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Former DCYF Director Accused Of Suspicious Payments


An audit is revealing that the former director of Rhode Island's Department of Children, Youth and Families received suspicious payments from a vendor.  DCYF official requested the report after spotting questionable activity with the Center for South East Asians.  The audit found that ex-Director Janice DeFrances received thousands of dollars from the nonprofit for simultaneously acting as their consultant.  DeFrances has denied the accusations.

 

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Car Chase Ends In 6 Arrests


Six people are behind bars stemming from an officer-involved car chase from Scituate to Providence.  Police say a 17-year-old girl is accused of breaking into a home.  She allegedly jumped into an SUV with five passengers and side-swiped three cars and rear-ended a pickup truck.  The three-town chase ended on Smith Street after the female driver crashed the car.  Police found six-pounds of pot and a gun inside the SUV.  All six people face a slew of charges, including reckless driving, possession and obstruction of a police officer.  The name of the driver hasn't been released.

 

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Police: 2 Johnson and Wales University Students Accused Of Rape


A couple of students from Johnson and Wales University are accused of raping two women in Pawtucket.  Mohammed Alsaqer and Yazeed Alasiri were in court yesterday on charges of sexual assault.  Police responded to a Providence hospital late last week after an 18-year-old woman reported the incident.  She told officers that she met Alsaqer at a club and went back to his house.  She was raped by the suspect and then woke up in his apartment to another man on top of her.  She also said a friend had been raped by Alasiri.  Additional suspects may be charged, but an investigation is ongoing.

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Rhode Island Blood Center Lays Off Dozens


The Rhode Island Blood Center is laying off employees.  The "Providence Journal" reports the move comes in response to an emerging tick-borne disease called babesiosis and the high cost of collecting blood.  Nearly 40 people were recently laid off, bringing the number of people on staff to 360. Rhode  Island is one of nine states with a high reported rate of babesiosis.

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Cumberland Principal Awarded 2016 Principal Of The Year


The principal at Cumberland High School is being named "2016 National Principal of the Year."  The National Association of Secondary School Principals announced the award to Alan Tenreiro yesterday during a surprise assembly at the high school.  Tenreiro is being honored for the school's increases in academic achievement, graduation rates and college admissions.  He also won a six-thousand-dollar grant to go towards learning improvements on campus.

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More Information About Affordable Housing Complex In West Elmwood


Rhode  Island lawmakers are unveiling plans to build an affordable housing complex in West Elmwood.  During a ceremony yesterday morning U.S. Senator Jack Reed, Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza and others revealed architectural renderings for the Sankofa development.  The 13-million-dollar complex will be near Elmwood and Dexter Street and provide 50 rental homes in eleven buildings.  The energy efficient apartments will offer one, two, three, and four-bedrooms and an agricultural center and community facility will be onsite.  Construction is expected to be completed next summer.

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Alligator Confiscated From Providence Home


 A Providence person is accused of keeping a pet alligator in their home.  The four-foot long alligator was recently taken by Pure Paradise Pets and is now living in a 300-gallon pond.  Alligators aren't illegal in the state, but people are required to have a permit to purchase one.  The homeowner is charged with possessing an exotic animal without a permit.  The suspect is expected to be in court next month.

 

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More Information Released In URI Football Players' Arrests


More information is coming to light about an incident at a University of  Rhode Island fraternity house.  Barrett Lyons and Michael LeBlanc, both URI football players, were arrested at the Chi Phi house early Sunday morning.  The pair is charged with assault stemming from an incident that left six fraternity brothers injured.  LeBlanc has been kicked off the team, and Lyons is suspended during the investigation.  The fraternity hasn't commented on the arrests, and no additional information has been released.

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Ex-Congressman Patrick Kennedy To Release Memoir


A former Rhode Island congressman is hoping to change the way people view mental illness and addiction.  Patrick Kennedy is releasing a memoir today called "A Common Struggle" in which he talks about his family's struggle; which may stir up some controversy.  His brother released a statement yesterday saying many of the details in the book are untrue, and it's an inaccurate portrayal of his family.  Kennedy hopes one day mental illness will be treated with more urgency, similar to how heart disease and cancer are handled.

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Man Accused Of Drunk Driving Hits Firetruck


A Providence man is accused of driving drunk and crashing into a firetruck.  Jeremy Ramirez was arrested Saturday after he lost control of his car on Route 95 and slammed into a Pawtucket firetruck and concrete barrier.  Ramirez was briefly hospitalized before being charged with a DUI, reckless driving and driving with a suspended license.  He is expected to be in court today.

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Police Union Speaking Out In Response To Slogan On Coffee Cup


Union police representatives in Providence are putting their foot down after a coffee shop employee wrote a controversial slogan on an officer's cup.  An officer stopped into the Dunkin' Donuts on Atwells Avenue on Friday, and noticed "hashtag-black lives matter" written on his cup.  The union says the #Blacklivesmatter organizations across the country are only increasing tensions between police and communities.  To counter the slogan, the union suggested saying "all lives matter" instead.

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Sex Offenders To Live 1,000 Feet From Schools


Many sex offenders are going to have to find a new place to live in Rhode Island after lawmakers recently passed a law tripling the distance that they can live near a school.  Currently level three sex offenders have to live at least 300 feet away from a private or public school, but last week lawmakers raised the distance to one-thousand feet.  Convicted offenders have 30 days to find a new place.  Opponents of the new law worry that this will cause sex offenders to move frequently, or resort to living on the streets; which isn't safer for anyone.

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Police Seek Richmond Bank Robber


Police are trying to locate a man they believe is responsible for the robbery of a bank in Richmond last week.  Police say Richard Love held up the Citizen's Bank branch inside a Stop and Shop supermarket on September 24th.  Police say they determined that Love is the suspect by viewing surveillance video of the robbery.  Anyone with information about Love's whereabouts is urged to contact Richmond Police.

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Mill Project Lands Tax Credits


A developer has landed 375-thousand-dollars in tax credits to help rehabilitate a historic Pawtucket mill.  The state Division of Taxation has approved historic preservation tax credits for the Standard Paper Box Mill on Kenyon Avenue.  The current owners are planning to convert the former mill into a mix of commercial space and live-work units.  The total project is expected to cost one and a half-million-dollars.

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State Chooses Firms For Tourism, Branding


The Rhode Island Commerce Corporation is negotiating with three firms who will develop the state's tourism and branding campaign.  One of those selected for the campaign is Milton Glazer, the man behind the I Love New York campaign in the 1970s.  The others are New York based Havas PR and Epic Decade of Rhode Island.  The agencies will share a contract of more than four-million-dollars to create a compelling message attracting people to live and work in Rhode Island.

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Chafee Relied On Official On 38 Studios


Former Governor Lincoln Chafee says he had counted on the head of the Economic Development Corporation to spot problems with the 38 Studios deal.  The deal was executed under his predecessor Donald Carcieri, but Chafee pledged to closely monitor it.  However, Curt Schilling's video game company did not appear on the development panel's agenda until early 2012, when the company was about to collapse.  Chafee says he counted on the executive director of the development panel to alert him to any issues, and hearing none he assumed all was well.

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Raimondo Makes Major DOT Changes


Governor Gina Raimondo is outlining plans to make major changes at the state Department of Transportation.  Raimondo says the overhaul began earlier this year as she began forcing out ineffective or dishonest managers.  She says the DOT had become dysfunctional, and best practices will be used going forward.  Also, 40 new maintenance workers are being hired by the agency to have the state begin handling routine tasks that are currently done by contractors.

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