The Beachcomber Café in Portsmouth is gearing up for the 2015 Plunge into the Sakonnet River on New Year's Day. They're hosting the event for the first time this year after The Beach House restaurant closed down. At noon on Friday, the brave and possibly crazy participants will jump into the freezing river to raise money. Proceeds this year are going to two local residents suffering from bone cancer.
Police in South Kingstown have arrested a 37-year-old man after he allegedly made a violent anti-Muslim rant against a convenience store clerk on Christmas Eve. They say Thomas Giese was caught on video threatening to kill the man and telling him he didn't want any Muslim stores in his neighborhood. Giese, who is facing disorderly conduct charges, told police he had been drinking that night and got angry after thinking about 9/11.
The Harbormaster at Allen Harbor in Wickford Monday captured a rare but beautiful sight on camera: a humpback whale. Ed Hughes said he thought the whale was a boat at first as he was watching the water in North Kingstown. He said she stuck around for the better part of an hour before heading back out to sea. Whales typically don't come this far north until the summer months.
Russell Athletic awarded Central High School in Providence the 2015 Fight Like Dylan Award yesterday, which comes with a 50-thousand-dollar grant. The sports apparel company said they choose one high school football team each year for showing perseverance through challenges. One of the players on Central's team was murdered last year, and they faced funding issues as well, but they still had a winning season. Fans can watch on ESPN as they'll be recognized on the field at the Russell Athletic Bowl in Orlando today.
Officials with the National Weather Service are warning about dangerous driving conditions in Providence this morning. A winter weather advisory is in effect until 1 p.m. today. Meteorologists expect the overnight snow and sleet to change to freezing rain as temperatures rise around 9 a.m., making roads slippery. This is the same storm that created deadly tornadoes in Texas over the weekend.
The season's first snow is expected to hit Rhode Island. Forecasters report a mix of snow and sleet is expected tonight. There is an 80-percent chance of rain and up to two-inches of snow is possible. More wintry weather is expected to continue through Tuesday morning.
Police are releasing the name of a man who was stabbed to death in Providence. Julio Perez-Mejia was allegedly stabbed by Miguel Tebalan-Rivera last week. The "Providence Journal" reports Tebalan-Rivera ran into the police headquarters and was hysterically screaming in Spanish. He allegedly told officers that he killed his friend and led them back to the apartment where the stabbing occurred. Tebalan-Rivera is being held without bail and is charged with murder and possessing a knife.
Police are investigating a robbery at a drug store in Providence. A man walked into a Walgreens in the Wanskuck neighborhood wearing a black ski mask, jacket and gloves and demanded money from an employee while holding a knife. The suspect grabbed money from the register after demanding that the clerk open it. This is the second time in a month that location has been robbed by a man carrying a knife.
Police are searching for a missing elderly woman in Providence. Ana Martinez was reported missing last Friday. Fire crews spent yesterday searching the banks of Woonasquatucket River but were unsuccessful. Martinez suffers from schizophrenia and dementia. She was last seen wearing a white nightgown and green sweater. Her family says that she has wandered off before. Anyone with information about her whereabouts is urged to call police.
Five people are hospitalized, including two firefighters, after a house fire in Providence. Police were called to a home on Calla Street yesterday morning. Three people needed to be rescued from the home's second floor. Three people and two firefighters were taken to the hospital but they're all expected to be okay. The home sustained significant damages. The cause of the fire is unknown.
Police are investigating a shooting in Rhode Island. Police say an 18-year-old man walked into the emergency room early Saturday morning with a gunshot wound. The teenage victim was allegedly drunk and wouldn't tell police where the shooting occurred. The man is expected to be okay.
Students in Newport, Providence and Westerly public schools may soon have the opportunity to earn their high school diplomas and associate's degrees simultaneously. Officials with the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation is expected to vote tonight on whether to award 200-thousand-dollars to three school districts, allowing them to implement the six-year education program. The program also aims to partner with area businesses to prepare students for jobs in a variety of fields.
A man is facing multiple charges in connection a burglary in Providence. Sandry Russell was arraigned in court late last week for allegedly breaking into a home in July. Police say Russell forced his way into the home and allegedly shot a person inside, killing a dog and stealing marijuana and cash. Russell is already behind bars for a previous burglary attempt. He pled guilty to that incident in October.
A Cumberland man is accused of driving drunk after crashing into a Triple-A tow truck. James Bernier was arrested over the weekend after crashing his car into the truck on I-195. Police say Bernier was briefly hospitalized and no other injuries were reported. Bernier is expected to be in court today for DWI charges.
Police say that a traffic stop in Providence led to the discovery of a brutal attack at a nearby apartment. Robert Rigollet was attacked by two men with a baseball bat and sledgehammer in his apartment before the suspects took off in a car. During the pair's attempt to get away, police pulled their car over for suspected drunken driving. Officers found a bloody hammer on the floor of the car. The men were arrested and charged with assault with a dangerous weapon and conspiracy. An investigation is ongoing.
A Rhode Island group says the state needs to lower probation sentences. The "Providence Journal" reports that the Justice Reinvention Working Group recently found recidivism is high in the state because of a high number of probation violations. More than half of convicts are sent back to prison, costing the state about 49-million dollars a year. The group recommended limiting probation sentences to one to three years instead.
A gym in East Greenwich is staying open through the end of next month, despite being ordered to close. A judge ordered a Gold's Gym to lock up for good after concerns of not having enough cash to keep it open. Yesterday the landlord agreed to waive rent for next month which will allow the gym to pay employees. If the gym doesn't find a new space by January 31st they'll have to move out by mid-February.
A man is behind bars in connection to a decades-old murder case in Warwick. David Roscoe was recently charged with murder and sexual assault for allegedly killing Germaine Mouchon in 1990. Police reopened the woman's unsolved case last year after meeting with the victim's son. Roscoe was linked to DNA evidence left at the crime scene. He is due back in court early next year.
Hoverboards are banned on at least one college campus in Rhode Island. Salve Regina University ordered a ban on the products this week amid a safety investigation by federal officials. This means hoverboards are no longer allowed in dorms, academic buildings or elsewhere in the area. School officials say they'll lift the ban if the safety issue is addressed. In recent weeks there have been reports of the lithium ion batteries causing explosions and fires.
A man working outside of a Providence home is now hospitalized after hitting a power line. Police say the man was on a lift on Pearl Street yesterday when he was shocked, causing a home to catch fire. The home sustained extensive damage and exterior lights were blown off the house. Three people are displaced from the home, and the man suffers life-threatening burns.
Woonsocket is searching for a DMV location. Mayor Lisa Baldelli-Hunt is accepting proposals for a commercial office space. They're also requesting that the location offer at least 65 parking spots and be 55-hundred-square feet. Baldelli-Hunt says the DMV will draw more people to the city and generate more business revenue.
Police are searching for a man who robbed a teenage boy in Providence. The 13-year-old called police on Sunday morning after a man with a knife approached him on Cambridge Street. The man demanded that the boy give him all of his belongings, which included a cell phone and gold chain. No injuries were reported, but the suspect is described as five-foot-eight and weighing about 180-pounds.
A former Marine is spending the next seven years on probation for attacking a Brown University student and leaving him permanently impaired. Tory Lussier of Connecticut was sentenced yesterday in connection to the 2013 incident. Police say Lussier beat up Joseph Sharkey who had to undergo lengthy rehabilitation. He continues to suffer from long-term mental and physical impairments.
The police chief in New Bedford is dead. David Provencher died unexpectedly Sunday in the hospital. Mayor Jon Mitchell released a statement praising Provencher for his work and offering condolences to his family. Provencher was a throat cancer survivor but had appeared to be in excellent health recently. The cause of his death was respiratory arrest. So far no funeral arrangements have been announced.
A Johnston firefighter is facing charges stemming from a drunken driving related crash in Glocester. Police say Michael Calise was driving along Pine Orchard Road last weekend when he crossed the center lane and struck another car. Three people were hospitalized for non-life-threatening injuries. During the investigation, police found cans of beer outside of Calise's car. He is charged with DUI and is expected to be in court tomorrow.
Police are searching for two men in connection to a robbery attempt in Providence. Two men walked into the Khoo Kitchen on Charles Street late last week and demanded money from an employee. WPRI reports that one man was carrying a machete and knocked everything off a counter. After the pair unsuccessfully attempted to open the cash register they fled on foot. So far no arrests have been made, but they're described as being light-skinned. One suspect was wearing a black jacket and bandana and the other was wearing black jeans. Anyone with information is urged to call police.
Two people are facing animal cruelty charges in Exeter. Police were called to a home earlier this month after receiving reports about a noise complaint. Officers entered the home after neighbors said that the lights had been on for several days and found six dogs locked in crates covered in feces without water or food. Ten other dogs were found in the backyard suffering similar conditions. Altogether officers removed 16 dogs and one cat. Donald Perkins and Kathleen Perkins were arrested in connection to the incident after arriving home from vacation. The pets were taken by animal control.
A man is hospitalized after being shot in the head in Providence. Police say the man was injured on Saturday near Matthewson and Washington streets. Investigators say the 25-year-old victim is in critical condition, but no additional information has been released. So far no arrests have been made, but an investigation is ongoing.
Providence officials say that their city website was hacked. The city website remained down yesterday afternoon with a message from the suspects offering to sell, quote, "all sensitive data and database." A city spokesperson confirmed that there is no evidence that the "back-end database" was compromised. An investigation is ongoing.
A Cranston teen is hospitalized after being shot in the foot at a house party. Police were called to 74 Garden Street on Sunday morning after neighbors reported hearing gunshots in the area. A 21-year-old man told investigators that he was leaving the party around 3 a.m. when a dark-colored SUV pulled up and started shooting. The victim was shot in the foot and taken to the hospital by friends. Two other houses in the area were also shot at. Police are continuing to investigate.
The Rhode Island Secretary of State's office has canceled the voting rights of Narragansett's Indian chief sachem because he has left the state.
Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles documents indicate Matthew Thomas got a Florida driver's license March 10 and registered to vote in the Sunshine State.
Tribal election rules require the chief to live in Rhode Island or within a 50-mile radius.
WPRI reports that Thomas has not returned phone calls or emails. William Devereaux, the tribe's lawyer, said that as far as he knows, Thomas is a Rhode Island resident. He said the chief sachem is in Rhode Island more than in Florida.
Tribal Election Committee member Darlene Monroe says Thomas is "rarely here" and should step down.
Police say a Providence woman has turned herself in, saying she fatally struck a high school teacher and fled the scene.
The Providence Journal reports that Tarchae Powell was charged with due care by operator and failure to yield right of way to a pedestrian in a crosswalk.
School officials say Anne-Marie Dansicker of Mt. Pleasant High School in Providence died after being struck at about 5 p.m. Wednesday. Police say the 19-year-old Powell turned herself in about two hours later.
It was not known Thursday night if she is represented by a lawyer.
Dansicker was struck outside the school where co-workers said she stayed late to tutor on her own time.
Police have asked the state attorney general's office to review the case. An investigation continues.
Dozens of residents of a Coventry assisted living facility had to be evacuated after a fire filled the building with smoke, and one was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
Fire authorities say the blaze at Summer Villa was reported at about 4 a.m. Friday.
Chief Robert Warren said the fire started on the second floor and when firefighters arrived, the facility was filled with smoke and some residents were still inside.
He confirmed one person was taken to the hospital.
The other residents will be taken to another facility.
The cause remains under investigation.
A retired officer is being recognized for turning in thousands-of-dollars that he found in a Providence street. David Tikoian was driving along Smith Street recently when he spotted a binder sitting in the middle of the road. The binder contained four-thousand-dollars in cash. Instead of keeping it for himself, he turned in the money to the police who tracked down the owner. The cash belonged to a man in Connecticut who is using the money to buy a car for his son. Tikoian declined a finder's fee.
Police are investigating after a woman was found dead in East Providence. The body was spotted near Larissa Park Tuesday morning. She is described as white, in her late 20s with shoulder-length brown hair. Police haven't released her name. Police say her death is "suspicious."
Police are investigating a robbery at Brown University in Providence. Police say two students were robbed by a man with a gun near Waterman and Hope streets on Sunday. The suspect was wearing a mask and demanded cash and credit cards. No injuries were reported, and anyone with information is urged to call police.
Rhode Island leaders are preparing people on what to do during a train derailment. An exercise was held yesterday at the Wyatt Detention Center to prepare responders and the community in the event of an incident. The exercise comes after a train derailment in Tennessee and Philadelphia. Cameras were shut out of the drill.
Police are searching for the person responsible for setting multiple brush fires in Rhode Island. Police say the fires were spotted on Route 95 yesterday afternoon. Traffic was backed up as fire crews worked to put out the flames. An investigation into the incident is ongoing.
Pawtucket is in need of new police officers. The city's police department released a recruitment video yesterday to attract at least two dozen new officers over the next year. The video includes five current officers and Mayor Don Grebien says he hopes the video will inspire others to join the department. The deadline to apply is December 31st. Multiple officers are expected to retire in the coming year.
Free-standing emergency rooms could be on the way to Rhode Island. Texas-based Neighbors Emergency Center is hoping to eliminate the long wait times for people at hospitals, and limited hours at urgent care centers. A free-standing ER is proposed to open in West Warwick, but currently the facility can't accept health insurance coverage from Medicare members. However, opponents fear that the facilities will increase overall costs for healthcare across the state.
A man is behind bars in connection to a deadly Woonsocket car accident. Johnny Sak of Providence was recently arrested for allegedly driving drunk, crashing his car into a pole, killing a woman and injuring three others. Police responded to Mendon Road early yesterday morning after receiving 9-1-1 reports about a car accident. Alexandra Parenteau died shortly later in the hospital and three other passengers were treated for non-life-threatening injuries. Sak is facing multiple charges including DUI, reckless driving and serious bodily injury.
There's a new spokesperson for the Rhode Island Department of Corrections. Starting next week, Jhomphy Ventura will take on the role as chief of information and public relations. Ventura brings several years of experience and insight to the department. The current interim chief will help Ventura successfully transition into the role.
Governor Gina Raimondo is holding a conference to discuss ways to reduce gun violence. Today, Raimondo and other state officials will be meeting to discuss ways to keep the state and country safer. The discussion will begin at the state Department of Administration at 4 p.m. The meeting comes after a Providence advisory group was recently asked to propose ways to reduce gun violence in their community. Providence has the most gun-related crimes in the state.
There's a new dean at Bryant University. Madan Annavarjula was recently tapped to head the school's College of Business. In the past, Annavarjula served as the college's associate dean, an associate professor to an International Business program coordination and received the Bryant's Excellence in Teaching Award.
Money is coming to Rhode Island to repair bridges and roads. Officials announced Monday that over the next five years, the state will receive one-point-35-billion dollars. The money will be used to rebuild 200 bridges across the state, as well as go towards thousands of construction jobs.
A Cranston officer is filing a formal claim asking for hundreds-of-thousands-of-dollars, alleging that he was mistreated by his superior officers. Matthew Josefson recently filed the claim asking for 800-thousand-dollars from the city government for lost wages and benefits, as well as emotional distress. Josefson alleges that he was tricked into accepting a demotion. City officials and Josefson have tried to negotiate a plan that would give the officer a promotion but so far their efforts have been unsuccessful.
The Barrington Police Department is accused of being too hard on children who have allegedly violated the state's social media laws. The ACLU wrote a letter to the police chief, asking the department to reexamine three cases involving minors. One incident involved a 12-year-old boy sending an inappropriate picture to a 12-year-old girl. The second, involved a teenage boy posting an explicit video clip of a girl. The final incident involved a 15-year-old boy cyberstalking four girls. The ACLU says that the department is being, quote, "overenthusiastic" when it comes to social media crimes.
People who live in Rhode Island aren't big spenders. According to the U.S. Commerce Department, Rhode Island spent 39-thousand-700-dollars per capita last year, the lowest amount spent in New England. However, Rhode Island did spend more than the national average. The average Rhode Islander brings home more than 48-thousand-dollars a year, ranking number four among the six states for income levels. Massachusetts spent the most in the country at 48-thousand-dollars.
The Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency is preparing how to handle a railway incident. This Wednesday, officials in Central Falls are conducting an exercise aimed at improving community preparedness in the event of an incident. Governor Gina Raimondo is expected to participate in the event.
The Narragansett police chief is now leading the law enforcement division of the Department of Environmental Management. The agency tapped Dean Hoxsie late last week to begin heading DEM starting next month. Hoxsie brings 30 years of law enforcement experience. DEM is in charge of enforcing environmental laws, including hunting, fishing and boating.
A man is accused of a double stabbing in Central Falls. Police responded to 911 reports at a home on Summer Street early Saturday morning and found two men suffering from stab wounds. Police followed a blood trail to an apartment in the building and arrested Etifano Perez-Ardon in connection to the incident. The victims are hospitalized, but are expected to be okay. There's no word what led up to the incident. An investigation is ongoing.
Lawmakers in Rhode Island are weighing in on the nation's controversial gun debate. Congressman David Cicilline is proposing to ban assault-style weapons this coming week. A similar law was previously in place, but expired in 2004. Other proposed measures include banning people from buying guns who are on the FBI's terrorist watchlist, and another would expand background checks. The San Bernardino, California shooting marks the 355th mass shooting this year.
Providence firefighters are looking to fill vacancies within the department. A fire spokesman told WPRI.com that they're working to "reshuffle resources" in an effort to combat a lack of firefighters on duty. Over the weekend they were nearly a dozen people short, making it difficult to properly staff the department. Not a lot of information was released about the changes, but fire engines were staffed with three people on Saturday, despite typically having four members. The firefighters union is arguing that crew members should be paid time-and-a-half for overtime.
More information is coming to light about an evacuation at a Wakefield school. School officials at Monsignor Matthew F. Clarke School released a statement yesterday saying the evacuation stemmed from a water heater malfunction. Black smoke and a loud noise was heard from a closet in the cafeteria and the building was evacuated as a precaution. The school is a private Catholic elementary and middle school.
Providence police are releasing surveillance footage of a car that they believe to be responsible for a deadly hit-and-run accident. Theresa Fernandez was killed last week after being hit by a car on Marshall Street. Investigators haven't made an arrest in the case yet, but believe that the suspect is driving a newer model, dark-colored SUV with damage to its frontside. Anyone with information about the incident is urged to call police.
Police in Cranston are ramping up patrol after a 12-year-old boy reported being chased by a man. The boy told police that he was walking to his bus stop on Tuesday morning when a man pulled up next to him near Aqueduct and Bridgeton roads. The man offered the boy a ride, but when the victim refused the suspect jumped out and chased him. The man is described as having gray hair and a gray mustache. So far, no arrests have been made, but an investigation is ongoing.
The Dancing Cop isn't angry that East Providence isn't hiring him to direct traffic this holiday season. Tony Lepore recently spoke to WPRI.com and said that he has no regrets about his decision to organize a boycot against a Dunkin Donuts location. The move came after an employee wrote "Black lives matter" on an officer's coffee cup. Mayor Tommy Rose had proposed hiring Lepore back this year, but the topic was removed from the city council meeting's agenda because of backlash from the community. Lepore says another city has reached out to him to direct traffic, but he isn't revealing which city it is.
Police continue to search for a suspect who allegedly broke into a home with a large brick in Cranston. The incident happened late last month at a home on Alexander Street. Police say the suspect set off the alarm inside of the home after throwing a large brick through a front window. Police took to their Facebook page to post a surveillance picture of the suspect
Police are searching for a package thief in Pawtucket. A package from Amazon was delivered to a home on John Street on Monday, and hours later a man wearing a hooded sweatshirt and vest swiped it from the homeowner's doorstep. The package contained clothes and board games. Anyone with information about the person's identity is urged to call police. People in the area are urged to take extra precautions to avoid similar incidents by getting packages mailed to a safe place.
A woman is charged with murder stemming from the death of her partner in Middletown. Melissa Castle is accused of choking her partner to death earlier this year at their apartment on Jean Street. Prosecutors say the suspect admitted to police she killed the woman. Castle is due back in court next week.
A second person is behind bars in connection to guns stolen from a Worcester armory last month. Ashley Bigsbee of Dorchester is facing gun possession charges after police found her with an assault rifle that was stolen from the U.S. Army Reserve Center. James Morales was arrested earlier last month also stemming from the incident. Sixteen weapons were stolen from the facility, and so far ten have been recovered. The FBI is offering a 15-thousand-dollar reward for information about the whereabouts of the remaining firearms.
Brown University officials are asking for a judge to dismiss a lawsuit brought by a male student who is accusing the campus of gender-bias. The unidentified man filed the lawsuit earlier this year after a female student accused him of sexual assault and he was kicked off campus. A lawyer from Brown says the accusations are, quote, "overwrought," and based on speculation. The man is also suing the female student, saying that she allegedly defamed him for filing the sexual-misconduct report. A decision is expected to be reached in the coming weeks.
A former Rhode Island youth basketball coach is pleading no contest to child pornography charges. Jason Elliott entered the plea yesterday in connection to having hundreds of images and videos of child pornography on his computer. Police say Elliott posed as a teenage girl on social media and asked for inappropriate photos and videos from his former players. A judge sentenced the man to 12 years, with eight years of probation.
A man is hospitalized stemming from a car accident in Warwick. Police say the man was driving on Route-95 when he lost control of his car, drove up a median and hit a tree. The man is hospitalized with minor injuries despite having to be extricated from the car. Police say the incident is, quote, "probably a case of poor driving." An investigation is ongoing.
A Cranston man is accused of killing a person at a New York bar. Police were called to the Palm Gardens Bar over the weekend after receiving reports about a stabbing. A man was found suffering from a stab wound in the parking lot, and died shortly after in the hospital. Mark Dill was arrested in connection to the incident and charged with manslaughter. Police say Dill and the victim were arguing shortly before the deadly altercation occurred. An investigation is ongoing.
Police are releasing the name of an elderly woman who was killed in a hit-and-run accident in Providence. Theresa Fernandez and her 31-year-old granddaughter were hit by a car Sunday afternoon. Fernandez died at the scene and her granddaughter is at the hospital in stable condition. The suspect is believed to driving a dark-colored SUV. Anyone with information about the incident is urged to call police.
In honor of World AIDS Day,Rhode Island officials are pledging to encourage more people to get tested for HIV. During a State House ceremony yesterday, lawmakers and doctors agreed that the first step to avoid spreading the virus is to push people to learn their HIV status. The move is part of the 90-90-90 AIDS campaign. The campaign calls for testing 90-percent o fRhode Island residents, getting 90-percent who test positive medical care, and getting blood viral levels in 90-percent of infected people to undetectable levels.
The "Dancing Cop" controversy is back on the table for City Council members in East Providence. Every holiday season, Tony Lepore, or the "Dancing Cop," takes to the streets of Providence to direct traffic while dancing. He was ousted from the position after orchestrating a protest against a local Dunkin' Donuts shop concerning the Black Lives Matter movement. One councilman offered Lepore two-thousand dollars to direct traffic, but not everyone is in favor of the move. Some fear that the dancing officer will bring negative attention to the city, while others think it is a great idea. The City Council is expected to vote on the matter today.
Click here for severe weather information.