(Undated) -- Here is the latest news: The National Weather Service is predicting up to a foot-and-a-half of snow for parts of Rhode Island this weekend. RI state treasurer Seth Magaziner is no-longer running for governor; he is now focusing on running for Congress. An arrest has been made in connection to a homicide at a Pawtucket cigar lounge.
[[ watch for updates ]]
>>Winter Storm Watch For Rhode Island
(Undated) -- All of Rhode Island is under a Winter Storm Watch from the National Weather Service from Friday night to Saturday night. As of this morning's forecast, the weather service is predicting 8-to-12 inches of snow for most of mainland RI. The predicted range for Aquidneck Island and Block Island, as well as southeastern Massachusetts, is 12-to-18 inches.
>>RI Treasurer Magaziner Running For Congress
(Cranston, RI) -- Rhode Island Treasurer Seth Magaziner is focusing his political future on an open Congressional seat. Magaziner announced Wednesday he is dropping his bid for governor and focusing on the RI 2nd District. Incumbent Representative Jim Langevin [[ LAN-juh-vin ]] is retiring after the end of his current term. Magaziner at a press conference in Cranston yesterday stressed how important it was that the seat remains in the Democratic Party's control.
>>Coronavirus Death Toll In Rhode Island: 3,275
(Providence, RI) -- Rhode Island reported twelve new coronavirus deaths on Wednesday. The pandemic death toll in the Ocean State increased to three-thousand-275. There were about 16-hundred new virus cases yesterday. The COVID hospital patient count was four-hundred-79.
>>Arrest Made After Pawtucket Cigar Bar Shooting
(Pawtucket, RI) -- An arrest has been made in connection to a fatal shooting in Pawtucket. Trequan Baker of Providence was picked up on charges including first-degree murder for the shooting outside of the Fab City Cigar Lounge on Newport Avenue earlier this week. The shooting apparently stemmed from a fight inside the bar, which has been temporarily closed by the city's board of license commissioners. The Pawtucket Police Department pointed out that the arrest was made possible by the new license plate-reading surveillance camera system that is being used in the city of Cranston.
>>Man Wanted For Deadly RI Crash Was Staying At Hotel
(Undated) -- A man who was wanted for a deadly crash in Rhode Island is in custody. Keith Brown of Fall River, Massachusetts was reportedly located at a hotel in Seekonk, Mass on Monday. Brown apparently skipped an arraignment in December. He was wanted on charges including DUI and driving to endanger resulting in death for the crash in Hopkinton on Halloween last year which killed 88-year-old Elisabeth Thayer of Westerly.
>>Men's BB: Friars Beat Xavier
(Cincinnati, OH) -- In men's basketball, Providence College continued its best start in decades with a 65-to-62 road win over Xavier on Wednesday. The Friars are now 17-and-2. Weather-permitting, they'll host Marquette at the Dunk on Saturday.
The 100-year-old Feast of the Blessed Sacrament may not return to the Madeira Feast Grounds in New Bedford’s North End this summer, even after 2 years that it has not been held.
Dr. Jha has said on national television: “I think the next couple of weeks are the critical time. My guess is after that it’s going to really get down to pretty low numbers. … The good news is we can see the end of this surge in front of us. Once we get out of this surge and life begins to return more to a normal phase with low infection numbers and high vaccination rates, especially here in New England, we’ve got to start preparing like crazy for the next surge.”
Omicron will ease first in the Northeast, and then in the rest of United States.
The Massachusetts State House is planning to be partially reopened in February.
Sen. Jack Reed announced $2 Million for an Emergency Food and Shelter Program funding with the United Way of Rhode Island for homeless, housing, food, and other payments. $1.25 is allocated to Providence area needs.
Boston Mayor has extended the vaccine mandate by one week (should have been enacted this
1700 people filed for unemployment in RI in Dec of 2021.
Roger Williams Park Zoo reports the most visitors since they started keeping track took place in 2021.
9:00am-11:00am – AAA Northeast – 45 Royal Little Drive, Providence – Pfizer (12+)
5:00pm-7:30pm – McCoy Stadium – Pawtucket – J&J, Moderna, Pfizer (12+)
3:00pm-7:00pm – Monsignor Gadoury – 1371 Park Ave, Woonsocket – Moderna, Pfizer (12+)11:00am-1:45pm – Northern Plaza – 301 Main St, Pawtucket – J&J, Moderna, Pfizer (12+)
4:00pm-7:00pm – Providence Children’s Museum – Pfizer, Pfizer (5-11)
3:00pm-4:30pm – United Church of Christ – 4 Commons – Little Compton – Pfizer (12+)
3:30pm-6:30pm – West End Comm Center – 109 Bucklin St, Prov – Moderna, Pfizer (12+)
4:00pm-7:30pm – Park View Middle School – 25 Park View Blvd, Cranston – Pfizer (12+)
4:00pm-7:00pm – Glen Hills Elementary – 50 Glen Hills Drive,Cranston – Pfizer (5-11)
4:00pm-8:00pm – Narragansett Pier Middle School – 235 So. Pier Rd, Narra – Pfizer (12+), Pfizer (5-11)
NATIONAL & INTERNATIONAL
93 Olympics-related people “in the bubble” of the Olympic village have tested positive – new lockdowns are going into place to protect the games.
N95s do not have as long of a lifecycle. They are not washable. Throw them out if they get wet or dirty. If your mask stays clean, consider it good for about a week. However, tossing it in a purse or backpack with your phone, keys, wallet isn’t a good idea. Store it in a paper bag between each use.
The Department of Labor said on Tuesday it will withdraw its COVID-19 vaccine-and-testing requirement for large U.S. employers after the U.S. Supreme Court blocked the rule, ending a controversial bid to increase vaccination rates.
The Social Security Administration is preparing to reopen some of its offices.
A New York State judge ruled on Monday that the state’s mask mandate had been enacted unlawfully and is now void, according to court documents.
Globally, the number of new COVID-19 cases increased in the past week by 5%, while the number of new deaths remained similar to that reported during the previous week. 21 million new cases were reported this week, representing the highest number of weekly cases recorded since the beginning of the pandemic.
Dr. Fauci says we may soon enter a period of “control” – where the virus lives among us and can be dealt with as other viruses.
Thousands marched on the Washington DC Mall against vaccine mandates this past weekend – making a point to say they are not against the vaccines.
Pfizer and BioNTech begin testing omicron-specific vaccine on adults
Only 44% say they trust the CDC as a trusted authority.
6 in 10 people polled say their most trusted authority on COVID is their – employer.
Tax filing season began Mon, 1/24, though IRS staff is down, and long delays are expected.
Some manufacturers are saying they have less than 5 days supply of computer chips.
The SAT is going totally digital and will be much shorter.
New coronavirus cases have started to fall nationally, signaling that the Omicron-fueled spike that has infected tens of millions of Americans, packed hospitals and shattered records has finally begun to relent.
New Zealand prime minister puts her wedding on hold due to concerns of COVID spread
Non-US citizens can fly into the US only if they are vaccinated (does not apply to US citizens)
Testing of the more than 2,000 Olympic athletes already in China are negative.
Remdesivir now expanded to high-risk, hospitalized patients with COVID.
Three subvariants of Omicron have been identified: BA.1, BA.2 and BA.3. – Worldwide, BA.1 account for most of Omicron-cases.
Many Food Banks are spending more on personnel, because of a lack of volunteers due to COVID
The World Health Organization said coronavirus vaccine boosters should now be offered to all people, starting with the most vulnerable, in a move away from its previous insistence that boosters were unnecessary for healthy adults and an acknowledgment that the vaccine supply is improving globally.
Researchers found children infected during the Omicron surge had a 29% lower risk of emergency department visits, a 67% lower risk of hospitalization, a 68% lower risk of needing intensive care, and a 71% lower risk of needing machines to breathe, compared to children infected with Delta.
15.1% of U.S small businesses required employee COVID-19 vaccination and 15.8% a negative COVID-19 test before physically coming to work in the last week
Starbucks has removed mandatory vaccine requirement for employees
The NFL has made some broad changes. They will now allow individuals who are asymptomatic to return after five days. The NFL and NFL Players Association have agreed to eliminate daily COVID-19 testing for unvaccinated players. Unvaccinated players number about 12.
A preliminary study published by Israel’s Sheba Medical Centre found that the fourth shot increases antibodies to even higher levels than the third but “probably” not to the point that it could completely fend off the highly transmissible Omicron variant.
The shortage in baby formula results in a statement from the Infant Nutrition Council of America: “Coronavirus hasn’t caused a baby formula shortage, but COVID-19 has shoppers hoarding necessities including baby formula. Don’t panic if you can’t find yours.” – they refer people to an article in Parents Magazine which says, “Supply chain issues and labor shortages have left some parents scrambling to find baby formula.”
COVID-19 tests for fully vaccinated travelers arriving in England can be stopped.
Japan fought COVID-19 by hammering away at the message of the “Three C’s”. They even declared the buzzword of the year in Japan in 2020. People should avoid the three C’s, which are closed spaces, crowded places and close-contact settings. Science was used to create an effective strategy and a digestible message. That message — to avoid the three C’s — was actionable without being alarmist and prescribed a solution that could outlast changing circumstances. It worked because of an underlying trust between the public and pandemic responders.
Sarah Palin has COVID, announced at the first day of her NYT trial case.
Study in Jama found rapid reductions in COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy among Black individuals in the US. Although Black and White individuals entered the period of vaccine availability with a comparable willingness to get vaccinated, Black individuals overcame their hesitancy more quickly. A key factor associated with this pattern seems to be the fact that Black individuals more rapidly came to believe that vaccines were necessary to protect themselves and their communities. This research underscores the importance of ongoing research and practical efforts to ameliorate a range of barriers to receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.
Monoclonal antibody treatments from Regeneron and Eli Lilly have had their Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) revoked by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) after both drugmakers said the treatments are less effective against the COVID-19 Omicron variant.
In Washington state, a BA2 sub-variant of the Omicron variant has been detected – it is in several other countries, too, but less than 100 cases so far across the globe. It is shown to be difficult to detect by standard tests.
Pfizer is working on an annual vaccination for all strains of COVID-19.
The Grammy Awards have been rescheduled from January 31 to April 3.
Government approved masks will soon be free at Stop & Shop, CVS, Walgreens and Walmart. Should be available at the end of the week.
(Undated) -- Here is the latest news: The National Weather Service says there is still much uncertainty about an upcoming potential winter storm. People want the state of Rhode Island to charge a man with murder for a fatal crash on I-95 over the holidays. A Pawtucket cigar lounge has been temporarily closed after a deadly shooting.
[[ watch for updates ]]
>>No Snow Total Predictions Yet From National Weather Service
(Boston, MA) -- The National Weather Service is not yet ready to make snow measurement predictions for a potential major winter storm in Southern New England this weekend. As of Tuesday night, the weather service said there was still too much uncertainty. In addition to heavy snow, forecasters say the storm could cause coastal flooding and beach erosion.
>>Coronavirus Death Toll In Rhode Island: 3,263
(Providence, RI) -- Rhode Island reported ten new coronavirus deaths on Tuesday. The pandemic death toll for the Ocean State increased to three-thousand-263. There were over 13-hundred new virus cases. The number of COVID-19 patients at Rhode Island hospitals as of yesterday's report was four-hundred-sixty.
>>State Pressed To Charge Rhode Islander With Murder For NYE Crash
(Cranston, RI) -- Public pressure is continuing for the Rhode Island Attorney General's Office to file a murder charge in connection to a fatal New Year's Eve crash. A rally held outside the A.G.'s office last weekend sought the upgraded charge against Aramis Segura of Charlestown. Segura is accused of causing a crash on Route 95 in Warwick that killed a 17-year-old girl driving the second vehicle, Olivia Passaretti, who was from East Greenwich. Segura is currently charged with driving to endanger, death resulting. When asked if a murder charge could be added, Attorney General Peter Neronha told WJAR-TV on Tuesday his office is approaching this case the same way it looks at every significant case, and that he did not want to rule anything in or out.
>>East Providence Hiring Social Worker For Emergency Responses
(East Providence, RI) -- East Providence is becoming the first Rhode Island municipality to hire a social worker to help police and other first responders during emergencies, according to a report from The Providence Journal. The city is currently searching for someone to hire for the position, which is being funded by money from the American Rescue Plan Act. East Providence Mayor Bob DaSilva says it's possible a second social worker will be paid for by the opioid distributor settlement that was announced by the state on Tuesday.
>>Pawtucket Cigar Bar Closed Following Fatal Shooting
(Pawtucket, RI) -- The Fab City Cigar Lounge in Pawtucket has been closed following a deadly shooting. Police believe the shooting that killed one person and injured another outside the lounge on Newport Avenue Monday stemmed from a fight inside the business. The Pawtucket Board of License Commissioners voted on Tuesday to shut down the bar until February 9th, at which time there will be another hearing.
>>RIPTA Says Wave App Issues Fixed
(Providence, RI) -- The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority says it has resolved issues with its fare payment mobile phone app. Earlier this week, RIPTA said it became aware that some passengers were unable to properly use the Wave app. WPRI-TV reports RIPTA announced Tuesday that all features were fully-functional. The transit agency recently shifted to a paper-free fare system.
>>P-Bruins Lose To Utica
(Utica, NY) -- The Providence Bruins got shut out in Utica on Tuesday night. The Comets won the game 4-to-0. This season, the top six teams in the American Hockey League Atlantic Division will make the playoffs. The P-Bruins are in fourth place after last night's loss.
Hi gang! If you didn’t know or hear -“Ron and Jen’s Great Escape” is coming to terrestrial radio! We’re breaking thru on a local radio station in Newport, RI – WADK 1540AM, 101.1FM, Saturday, Feb 19th from 1-3pm. Some will have to listen on the APP or try out the live stream they offer, BUT seeing how streaming has boomed over the last 2 years you guys know the drill. Find WADK on your phone or IPAD and VOILA! You can listen! Welcome in to 2 hours of good conversation, laughs and connection. YOU ALL can call in and catch up with us. We’re so excited to be able to speak with you about life, things and what not again. There are so many things we want to say about society, this culture, JOE BIDEN, DONALD TRUMP, music, getting old, this woke GENERATION, local politics, and so on. So, listen, if you’re free on Saturdays 1-3 or just want to try out a different flavor of talk radio give us a whirl. As that guy in the commercial says “you’ll be GLAD YOU DID”.
Nice Work If You Can Get It
Outgoing Rhode Island Health Director Dr. Nicole Alexander Scott will make $46,000 a month… your eyes didn’t deceive you… FORTY SIX THOUSAND DOLLARS a month as a consultant to the state starting in March according to a contract the state released this week. While we didn’t know there would be math involved in this week’s commentary, the calculator on our smart phone tells us that’s three times her annual salary of $143,000. As the George Gershwin song goes “nice work if you can get it, and if you get it, won’t you tell me how?”
2nd Congressional District Scramble
It’s actually more like a scrum right now as names are coming out of the woodwork of Democratic candidates for Congressman Jim Langevin’s soon to be vacated seat. One of those names is highly paid consultant, come March, Dr. Nicole Alexander Scott, who is said to be mulling a run at District 2. Sure, there will be a conga line of names, both Democrats and Republicans in the early going, but that list will be dwindled down as always, and it will come down to name recognition and scarole. The big winners? Local TV stations already salivating at the political $$ to be spent on that race.
Brother Can You Spare a Dime?
A new survey from BANKRATE says less than half of Americans polled say they have $1,000 to cover an unexpected emergency. For those who don’t have such scratch, 20% say they’d put it on plastic, 10% asking for a handout from a family member or friend.
Do You Feel Lucky… Well, Do Ya’?
24/7 Wall Street just came out with a list of the luckiest states, basing their findings on average lottery winnings per adult, number of traffic fatalities, total number of accidental deaths and life expectancy. New England scored three of the top ten, with Massachusetts coming in first, New Hampshire, second, and…wait for it… Rhode Island coming in third! On the flip side, WalletHub ranked Rhody as the 7th worst state in which to retire based on affordability, healthcare and overall quality of life.
Ron St. Pierre is a veteran broadcaster whose career has spanned over four decades. Ron has programmed, performed on and managed WHJJ, WPRO, WWRX, 790 The Score in Providence, as well as WBZT and WKGR in West Palm Beach and WABC in New York City. Ron also anchored sports on WPRI Ch 12 in Providence. He is a member of both the Rhode Island Radio and Television and the City of Pawtucket Halls of Fame. He was born and raised in Pawtucket.
Jen Brien has over 20 years of radio broadcast experience having hosted shows on WPRO and WHJJ with Ron as well as her own shows on WRKO and WBZ in Boston, WXTK on Cape Cod and WHAM in Rochester, New York. Jen was born and raised in Woonsocket and served six years in the Army MP Canine Unit.
Hazel, Ron’s dog, makes regular appearances.
“Ron and Jen’s Great Escape” podcast, a more lighthearted reaction to the events happening around us, can be found on YouTube and wherever you get your podcasts, with new episodes premiering Mondays and Wednesdays.
(Undated) -- Here is the latest news: The outgoing director of the Rhode Island health department is taking a consultant role with the state. Authorities have identified the victim of a shooting at a cigar bar in Pawtucket. Lawmakers are considering a bill to legalize happy hours at Rhode Island restaurants.
[[ watch for updates ]]
>>Snow Chances Until Tuesday Morning In Southern New England
(Providence, RI) -- The Providence area got a coating of snow last night. The National Weather Service says more snow could fall in Southern New England through 7 a.m. Tuesday. The weather service continues to watch a potential coastal storm bringing snow and wind Friday into Saturday.
>>Coronavirus Death Toll In Rhode Island: 3,253
(Providence, RI) -- Rhode Island reported thirteen new coronavirus deaths over the weekend on Monday. The pandemic death toll in the Ocean State increased to three-thousand-253. There were nearly six-thousand new virus cases. The number of COVID-19 patients in Rhode Island hospitals has dropped down to four-hundred-92.
>>Outgoing RIDOH Director Will Take Consultant Role
(Providence, RI) -- Outgoing Rhode Island Department of Health director Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott is transitioning into a consulting role with the state. The doctor will earn nearly fifty-thousand dollars per month on the temporary contract to advise the state on the COVID-19 pandemic and the merger of the two-largest RI healthcare systems. Alexander-Scott is considered a potential candidate to run for Congress. She says her focus right now is on the many important issues before the health department, but that she is weighing a number of options for the future.
>>Cigar Lounge Shooting Victim ID'd, Pawtucket Board To Discuss Incident
(Pawtucket, RI) -- The name of the person who was killed in a shooting outside of a cigar bar in Pawtucket has been released. Police identified the victim of the shooting near the Fab City Cigar Lounge on Newport Avenue as Qudus Kafo of Pawtucket. Reports indicate the shooting apparently stemmed from a fight inside the lounge. A second shooting victim is still receiving care at Rhode Island Hospital. WPRI-TV reports Pawtucket Mayor Donald Grebien [[ GRAY-be-in ]] called the bar a nuisance. The news station reports an emergency board of license commissioners meeting has been scheduled for Tuesday night.
>>Lawmakers Considering Bill To Bring Back Happy Hours In RI
(Providence, RI) -- Rhode Island law currently forbids happy hours, but the state legislature is now considering a bill to change that. Happy hours are when bars and restaurants sell drinks at discount prices. They were outlawed in Rhode Island in the mid-1980s over concerns they were contributing to drunk-driving. The legislation proposed by state Representative Karen Alzate [[ AL-ZAH-tay ]] would require patrons to also order a full meal. Alzate says the bill, which is scheduled to be considered at the State House on Tuesday, aims to help the restaurant industry recover from the pandemic.
>>P-Bruins At Utica
(Utica, NY) -- The Providence Bruins are playing at the Utica Comets Tuesday night. Puck drop is at 7 p.m. The first-place P-Bruins are in the middle of a six-game road trip.
By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues
On Aug. 3, 2020, The Decade of Healthy Aging 2020-2030 proposal was endorsed by the 73rd World Health Assembly. It was presented to the U.N. General Assembly Dec. 14, 2020, (Resolution 75/131), leading to the proclamation of a U.N. Decade of Healthy Aging (2021-2030).
The four-page Resolution expressed concern that, despite the predictability of population aging and its accelerating pace, the world is not sufficiently prepared to respond to the rights and needs of older people. It acknowledges that the aging of the population impacts our health systems but also many other aspects of society, including labor and financial markets and the demand for goods and services, such as education, housing, long-term care, social protection and information. It thus requires a total whole-of-society approach to make changes.
The passed Resolution called on the World Health Organization (WHO) to lead the implementation of the decade, in collaboration with the other U.N. organizations. Governments, international and regional organizations, civil society, the private sector, academia and the media are urged to actively support the decade’s goals.
According to WHO, the world’s population is aging at a swifter pace than any time in the past and this will have an impact on all aspects of society. There are more than 1 billion people aged 60 years or older, most of these individuals living in low- and middle-income countries. “Many do not have access to even the basic resources necessary for a life of meaning and of dignity. Many others confront multiple barriers that prevent their full participation in society,” says WHO.
In a December 14, 2020, statement announcing the passage of Resolution 75/131, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization, stated that it “sends a clear signal that it is only by working as one, within the United Nations system and with governments, civil society and the private sector that we will be able to not only add years to life, but also life to years.”
“By adopting a U.N.-wide approach in support of healthy aging, we will be able to galvanize international action to improve the lives of older people, their families and communities, both during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond,” Dr Etienne Krug, Director of the Department of Social Determinants of Health at added World Health Organization (WHO).
The WHO says that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic highlights the seriousness of existing gaps in policies, systems and services and a decade of concerted global action is urgently needed to ensure that older people can fulfil their potential in dignity and equality and in a healthy environment.
WHO’s worldwide initiatives would seek to change “how we think, feel and act toward age and aging; facilitate the ability of older people to participate in and contribute to their communities and society; deliver integrated care and primary health services that are responsive to the needs of the individual; and provide access to long-term care for older people who need it.”
Healthy Aging Baseline Data Released
Just days ago, WHO released, “Decade of Healthy Ageing: Baseline Report,” in all official U.N. languages, to support member states, academia, civil society, U.N. partners and others to aid in evidence-based decision making on the policies, programmes and services needed to support all people, in particular older persons, to live long and healthy lives.
The Baseline report, released January 20, 2021, brings together data available for measuring healthy aging, defined by WHO as “the process of developing and maintaining the functional ability that enables well-being in older age.”
According to WHO, optimizing “functional ability” is the goal of the Decade of Healthy Aging, which began in 2021 and addresses five interrelated abilities that all older people should enjoy: ?the ability to meet basic needs; to continue to learn and make decisions; to be mobile; to build and maintain relationships; and to contribute to society. The report also takes a look at people’s capacities (including physical and mental) and the environments (spanning attitudes, services, natural and built) in which people live, which contribute to functional ability.
The 203-page baseline report, now available in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish, introduces the concepts of health aging and strategies for achieving the initiatives goals by 2030. It provides a first-time baseline (in 2020) for healthy aging worldwide and takes a look at what improvements that can be made by 2030. It documents progress and scenarios for improvement. The report addresses how stakeholders can work together and impact the functional abilities of older people. Finally, it outlines next steps detailing opportunities that can increase collaboration and impact by 2023, the next reporting period.
Is Rhode Island Becoming Age Friendly?
Maureen Maigret, policy consultant and chair of the Aging in Community Subcommittee of Rhode Island’s Long-Term Care Coordinating Council, says that many Rhode Island communities are involved to 1 degree or another in what we consider age-friendly activities. “The initiative is usually led by the local senior center and in some instances volunteer programs such as RSVP and AARP and The Village Common of RI,” she says.
According to Maigret, over the last five years the state’s Long-Term Care Coordinating Council Aging (LTCCC) in Community Subcommittee has adopted and continues to work to support WHO’s decadelong initiative, adding the domains of Food & Nutrition and Economic Security and Supports to Remain at Home.
Maigret noted that Newport was the first community to join the AARP age-friendly network; Cranston, Providence and Westerly following. The state’s Office of Healthy Aging has adopted its State Plan on Aging, calling for Rhode Island to become an age-friendly state.
Governor Dan McKee’s proposed budget for FY2023 includes an additional $200,000 for local senior programs increasing the total amount to $1 million. Maigret calls for adding an additional $800,000 so each municipality would be allocated $10 per person aged 65 and over to support local senior programs. Advocates had promoted this since at least 2018 to make up for prior budget cuts and inflation, she says.
Don’t forget improving and expanding the state’s transportation options for older Rhode Islanders who have mobility needs and are no longer able to drive. “This could be accomplished by adding trip types to the state funded Elderly Transportation Program,” she says, noting that trips are now limited for trips to medical appointments, adult day care services, meal sites and Insight. Why not provide trips for older adults to access volunteer activities, she adds.
“We also need to adequately fund our subsidized home care programs by providing realistic reimbursement to address the huge workforce challenges we face,” warns Maigret, noting that seniors are waiting over two months to get service. “This is a travesty,” she says.
“It is tragic that the state’s Office of Healthy Aging is so under resourced in so many areas,” says Maigret, putting the spotlight on the lack of affordable home maintenance and chore services to keep people in their homes. “There is also a need to provide greater supports for our family caregivers who provide the vast majority of caregiving in our state and nation,” she adds.
Getting Municipalities Involved
Maigret suggests that Rhode Island’s cities and towns review their community’s Comprehensive Plans to see how age-friendliness is addressed. “This is what Newport did. They can also form local Steering Committees to identify local needs and develop recommendations to address them both at the local and state level,” she says.
Governor Dan McKee can also issue an Executive Order directing all state departments and agencies to review programs and policies for age-friendliness and provide incentive funding for local communities to assess their communities. Several states have done this. NY, MA, CO, FL, MI, ME, CA, she says.
While aging advocates pushed for McKee and lawmakers to allocate ARPA COVID-19 federal funds to make Rhode Island a more age friendly, it’s gotten little attention, says West Warwick resident Vin Marzullo. “Quite frankly its shocking — that there is yet an explicit acknowledgement that the aging community needs resources, support, more collaborative arrangements, to extend living in-place. There seems not to be any sensitivity to the fact that 90% of the COVID deaths were adults 60 and over – and 53% were in congregate care,” says Marzullo, a well-known aging advocate who served as a federal civil rights and national service administrator.
“The ARPA funds were authorized to be used to ameliorate the impact on the populations, communities, sectors, etc. that were adversely impacted. Our older adults must be in the conversation and not neglected,” says Marzullo.
Maigret agrees. “It is tragic that neither the McKee-Matos’ “Rhode Island 2030 Plan” nor the Rhode Island Foundation report outlining the use of ARPA funds gave sufficient attention to the needs of our state’s older population, she says, warning that this population is increasing, and getting more economically insecure and diverse,” she says.
“When we look at the exceedingly high cost of residential institutional care, much of which is paid for taxpayers through government programs, we can make a strong case that funding programs helping older persons remain healthy and living in their homes and communities are important investments,” says Maigret.
To obtain a copy of WHO’s “Decade of Healthy Ageing: Baseline Report,” go to:
Herb Weiss, LRI’12 is a Pawtucket writer covering aging, health care and medical issues. To purchase Taking Charge: Collected Stories on Aging Boldly and its sequel, Taking Charge: Vol 2 More Stories on Aging Boldly, go to herbweiss.com.
(Undated) -- Here is the latest news: Military medical teams are in place at several short-staffed hospitals in Rhode Island. Another Republican candidate has declared for the Rhode Island 2nd Congressional District race. Tom Brady is denied another chance to win back-to-back Super Bowls.
>>FEMA Teams Helping With Staffing At RI Hospitals
(Providence, RI) -- A military team of doctors, nurses and other personnel is now in place at Rhode Island Hospital. Governor Dan McKee requested the federal help to alleviate staffing shortages at the state's largest hospital, located in Providence. The team of nearly two-dozen arrived on Friday and is expected to be here for at least a month. A smaller unit was also deployed to Kent Hospital in Warwick. Governor McKee has also signed an executive order that delays the start of a new state law imposing minimum staffing requirements at nursing homes.
>>State Senator De La Cruz Running For Congress
(North Smithfield, RI) -- A Rhode Island state senator is running for a Congressional seat which just became available. WJAR-TV reports Republican Jessica de la Cruz is running in the 2nd District after incumbent Democrat Jim Langevin [[ LAN-juh-vin ]] announced last week he was not running for re-election. The GOP field also includes former state rep Robert Lancia [[ LAN-see-uh ]]. The 2nd District covers southern and western Rhode Island.
>>Homeless Encampment Cleared Out In Providence
(Providence, RI) -- Providence police officers and other city workers disbanded a homeless encampment on Friday. The Providence Journal reported the camp where about ten people were staying was on a spot of land near Randall Square. A spokesperson for the Providence Department of Public Safety said it was dangerous for the occupants to stay there because of the drop in temperatures. The police reportedly worked with social service agencies on temporary shelter options.
>>Hells Angels Leader Gets Jail Time For Shooting
(Providence, RI) -- The president of the Rhode Island chapter of the Hells Angels motorcycle club is going to prison. Joseph Lancia was sentenced on Friday to five years in the ACI with ten years suspended with probation. Lancia pleaded no contest to state charges of felony assault and carrying a gun without a license. Lancia allegedly fired a gunshot at a former prospective club member outside the Hells Angels clubhouse in Providence in 2019.
>>Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Bucs Bounced From NFL Playoffs
(Tampa, FL) -- There will be no repeat Super Bowl title for ex-New England Patriot Tom Brady. He engineered a signature comeback effort for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in their second-round NFL playoff match versus the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday, but the Rams won 30-to-27. The 44-year-old Brady, who was the last quarterback to win back-to-back Super Bowls when he was with New England, was asked after yesterday's game if he plans to come back next season, and he would not commit to a decision. The Rams face another former Patriots quarterback, Jimmy Garoppolo, and the San Francisco 49ers in the conference championship game.
>>Friars Basketball Off To 16-2 Start
(Providence, RI) -- Providence College men's basketball is off to its best start in decades. The Friars beat Butler at the Dunk on Sunday, 69-to-62. PC improved to 16-and-2 overall for the first time since the 1977-78 season. The Friars play next at Xaiver on Wednesday night.
Rhode Island Secretary of State, Nellie Gorbea, has announced she is running for Governor of Rhode Island as a Democratic candidate.
Weekly, Joe Paolino, Jr. interviews interesting people in Rhode Island. Here is his interview this week with Gorbea. They talk about issues in Rhode Island, COVID, housing, investment of new funds into the state, etc.
Each week Joe Paolino, Jr. interviews people of interest on his program, “In The Arena”. The show airs at 7am on Sundays on ABC6.
Posted About A Week Ago
(Undated) -- Here is the latest news: Some snow is in the Thursday morning forecast for Rhode Island. The COVID hospital patient count in the Ocean State is continuing to increase. A bill has been introduced in the RI General Assembly to ban the sale of miniature plastic liquor bottles known as "nips".
[[ watch for updates ]]
>>Snow Expected This Morning
(Undated) -- The National Weather Service is predicting at least one inch of snow for all of Rhode Island on Thursday. The weather service says rain will develop this morning and change over. Some interior parts of the state could measure three inches of snow before it concludes by noon.
>>Coronavirus Death Toll In Rhode Island: 3,215
(Providence, RI) -- Rhode Island reported fifteen new coronavirus deaths on Wednesday. The pandemic death toll for the Ocean State increased to three-thousand-215. The COVID patient count at RI hospitals as of yesterday was up to five-hundred-47.
>>RI Hospitals Getting Staffing Help
(Providence, RI) -- Emergency medical personnel are arriving to support hospital staff in Rhode Island. Governor Dan Mckee provided an update on the help secured through FEMA on Wednesday. A task force has already shown up at Kent Hospital in Warwick, while another team is expected to arrive at Rhode Island Hospital in Providence by the end of this week.
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>>Man Arrested For More Illegal Naked Activity
(Lincoln, RI) -- A Rhode Island man who was recently accused of breaking into a home while naked is facing new charges. Paul Sawyer of Woonsocket allegedly walked around a neighborhood in Lincoln without any clothes on earlier this week. Sawyer had been arrested in Cranston for approaching a security guard and breaking into a house in Cranston while in the nude in December.
>>Legislation Introduced To Ban Liquor Nips
(Providence, RI) -- A Rhode Island lawmaker is proposing a ban on alcoholic "nip" bottle sales. The bill has been introduced by Democratic state Representative David Bennett of Warwick. The miniature liquor bottles are considered a plastic pollution source. Detractors also say purchasing nips makes it easier to get away with drinking and driving.
>>Men's BB: Rhody Beats La Salle, PC Hosting Georgetown
(Undated) -- URI men's basketball notched a 56-to-54 win over La Salle at home Wednesday. The Rams are now 3-and-1 in the Atlantic 10 Conference. Providence College is returning from a COVID pause to host Georgetown at the Dunk at 5:00 Thursday evening.
By Emilio DiSpirito, Realtor and Co-Owner of Engel & Volkers Rhode Island
In the 90’s, it was believed that someone became an expert in their profession or passion after 10,000 hours, while according to Anders Ericsson of University of Florida, a world-renowned expert on peak performance and author of “Peak: The New Science of Expertise”, he believes its more like 20,000 to 25,000 hours.
With roughly a decade of selling real estate and an estimated 45,000 hours of experience, I’ve seen a few things in this field. I’ve noticed which homes sell, which homes do not, and have learned the reasons behind them, some of which may actually shock you.
With mental health taking a strong decline across the country, after two years of uncertainty, mandates, media fear mongering, inflation, unrest, division, and so on, the public has never been so hard to reason with or please.
My hope is that this story will be read, understood, and implemented by not only real estate professionals, but more importantly, homeowners. That the failures of home sellers who came before them will serve as reassurance that there is a way to come out on top, to not only succeed, but to earn more money, and with ease.
Below, I share two stories of two different sellers, who both reach two massively different outcomes. All names are of course “fictitious”, and any personal details of the stories have been somewhat altered, to protect the confidentiality of past clients.
Ron and Paula:
Ron and Paula found us through an online service that connected them with four Realtors to interview. After meeting with Ron and Paula, we found out that they were interviewing seven Realtors in total. Upon first speaking with them, they explained that their bottom line was the most important thing to them and that they did not want to pay the traditional “6%” they have heard real estate agents charge. Of course, understanding that people want to get the most money when selling their home, I explained to them that I understood their thought and was looking forward to meeting with them.
I believe my team and I were the 3rd or 4th Realtors in for a meeting. We did the same thing we always do on listing appointments – we had a full in-depth and customized marketing plan for their home, in addition, a fair market value report, seller net sheet showing them what they would walk away with, best case and worst case scenarios. We also discussed with our potential clients in detail what their goals were, what they wanted for the home, where they were moving and what we believed they had to do to get the highest price for their home within a reasonable amount of time and for the least amount of money out of their pocket, for the highest return on investment.
Our prospective clients shook our hands at the end and explained how excited they were to finally meet subject matter experts. They explained that they would like to work with us and asked to sign the listing paperwork. They agreed with us on how to prepare their home for market and where to price the home. We scheduled their home to list two weeks out and connected them with a Realtor in our network in Fort Lauderdale Florida, where they planned to relocate.
Two days before the listing went live, we received a call from Paula. “Hi Emilio, I was cutting one of my client’s hair, and she explained to me that our home is worth about $100,000 more than where you priced it. I don’t appreciate pricing it so low and we will not list unless we price the property where she told me to.” After picking my jaw up off the floor, I explained that I would be happy to run the comparable sales again for her in the event we had grossly missed a home sale or three that would affect her home’s pricing so drastically. I then asked if her client was a licensed real estate appraiser or real estate agent. She was neither. After running an additional fair market value analysis, I uncovered that the pricing did not change and that we were dead on the money with the price we suggested. After sharing an immense amount of data with Paula that pricing her home so high would actually leave her with much less in her pocket later, she screamed at me, demanded it, and hung up.
Reluctantly, we pushed forward and listed their home $100,000 over our suggested list price. Keep in mind, according to studies done by Engel & Volkers, when you list a property 10% too high, you only reach 2% of the buyers. This property was listed 15% higher than it should have been. After three weeks on market, 6 open houses and a very aggressive marketing plan, we had two visitors, one person they planted, and a nosey neighbor. Paula berated us, explained that our marketing was ineffective and that they wanted to let us go, and she again hung up on us. Ron immediately called back, apologized, and explained that he did not fully agree with her, however said he was disappointed in the activity. We shared additional data with Ron that proved without a doubt they were simply priced out of the market, and they needed to price the home appropriately, in order to sell.
Seven weeks went by in total, over a dozen open houses, paid advertisements, professional photos, video, drone shots, enhanced website profiles and their property listed not only on Rhode Island, but Connecticut and Massachusetts MLS and we still had only two guests in total. The sellers finally agreed to list the home at our suggested list price.
Seeing that we were now entering the winter market, we took brand new exterior photos and relisted the property as a new listing with the original, suggested list price. Even in a much slower winter market, we were able to get them a full priced offer within ten days on the market and fantastic terms. Paula would not speak with us, but Ron thanked us profusely!
The unfortunate thing is that when we originally listed their home, we were in a very robust fall market. Had these sellers taken our advice, they would have walked away with multiple bids and most likely between $10,000 to $20,000 over asking.
Nieman and Sherry:
Nieman and Sherry owned a beautiful waterfront home in Barrington and had suffered with their home sitting on the market for 5 years, with 6 other brokers. When I saw that their home had come off the market yet again, I remembered showing their home to some of my prospective buyers and reached out, as I knew what the house needed to sell.
This time, Nieman and Sherry were determined to list their home with the right brokerage, and they did extra homework. They interviewed 9 agents in total and ultimately selected me. They literally video recorded my listing appointment and said that they have never seen such in-depth information before on their home and the market.
Despite the fact that I was not the cheapest price, and on first appearance, my brokerages fee was to cost them “roughly $50,000 more than the lowest fee they received”, they realized the value they would be getting with my brokerage and me. They also explained how I was the only one with an outside of the box plan that they believed was needed to get it sold. They were a bit apprehensive on pricing it at the $2.3 million that I had suggested as 7 other agents explained they need to list around $1.8 million and one other at $2 million.
I reassured them that they would be leaving hundreds of thousands on the table and told them I was certain, with the low inventory and the current market dynamics, mixed with my marketing plan, that we would get their list price. They agreed with me, signed our listing agreement, and took every last piece of advice I had offered on getting their home prepared for the market. We brought in a professional stager, took down the dated window valance and window treatments that blocked the ocean view, let in light, and removed dated furnishings to replace them with modern pieces buyers would love, rearranged the flow of the rooms, added flowers and other accents. We virtually staged their massive 3,000 sq ft basement and virtually staged a 150 ft dock to show the potential this home had, with an approval in hand from Coastal on installing a new dock. A very rare opportunity for that area.
In addition to the staging, we also brought a model in, exotic cars, and shot a lifestyle video that was cast out far and wide. We hooked a buyer within 10 days on market and sold the home for $200,000 over asking price and $600,000 over where 7 other agents told them to even list! We broke a record for the highest price ever, per sq ft, in Barrington at the time. Our clients could not have been happier and acknowledged that they received that extra money because they hired my team and me.
No one ever wants to lose money or waste time. When hiring someone to sell your home, make sure you thoroughly vet real estate agents by searching for consumer reviews online, an online presence, that they work with a reputable brokerage are in tune with the market conditions and are able to negotiate. Avoid the agents that tell you what you want to hear, drop their fee and or slap a lock box on your home. Someone so quick to drop their own fee in my opinion will not be able to negotiate your home sale, will not be incentivized to spend the time needed on your home, nor will they be likely to invest in the proper marketing. Your home is a valuable asset, and you should hire someone who has the experience and expertise to get you the absolute most, walk you through the transaction and help you to make the right decisions. Take their advice and run to the bank with it!
If you would have asked me what I wanted to be growing up, little Emilio would have told you “an archeologist” or “an architect” despite the fact that at age 8 I had my first lemonade stand, landscaping business and was recording my first “news show” on my boombox! Well, I never was much good at trigonometry and did could not see myself traveling for months and possibly years at a time, so becoming an architect or archaeologist clearly did not happen!
Fast forward 26 years later and I’m running a team of the finest residential real estate professionals, own a media company and host my very own radio news show about real estate!
For 7 years straight it seemed that I had put in more hours than the day had to give on my real estate business. 7 days a week, 14 to 16 hour days, without a break! Why? My friends and family did not understand the sheer magnitude of moving parts and services we offer to our clients during a transaction! One slip up or one missed call could mean make or break for someone’s dream home or even a lost deposit!
Running a team of like-minded, highly qualified and capable professionals has allowed me to offer a very streamlined, simplified and efficient approach to the sales process for our clients and allowed me to earn personal time again with my family while not missing a beat for my clients!
When I’m not working, I’m with family and friends, riding my mountain bike, eating at local restaurants, enjoying live entertainment, hiking, skiing or reading!
(Undated) -- Here is the latest news: A winter storm is hitting Southern New England today. The Providence City Council holds an emergency meeting to address the mass firing of police for not getting vaccinated against COVID. The Patriots get bounced by Buffalo in the first round of the playoffs.
[[ watch for updates ]]
>>Winter Storm Impacting RI Monday
(Providence, RI) -- A steady snow fell in the Providence area overnight Monday before there was a changeover to rain. The National Weather Service says the winter storm impacting Southern New England today could cause damaging winds on the Rhode Island south coast. Forecasters say wind gusts of up to 70 miles per hour are possible.
>>Two Dead In Separate Fire, Shooting In Providence
(Providence, RI) -- One person is dead after a weekend house fire in Providence and another died in a shooting, the first homicide in the capital city in 2022. Firefighters arrived at the Hillcrest Village Apartments on Leander Street overnight Sunday and found a resident unresponsive. The male victim reportedly died from smoke inhalation. Also overnight Sunday, a fatal shooting took place in the area of Elmwood and Potters Avenue. No names have been released.
>>No Mass Firing Of Providence Police For Missing Vax Deadline
(Providence, RI) -- There was no mass firing of Providence police because of a missed coronavirus vaccination deadline on Friday as some on the City Council had feared. Council president John Igliozzi called an emergency meeting to consider an ordinance that would regulate such a mass firing, but it was referred to a committee. Igliozzi said the council was pleased that the city administration has taken a reasonable approach to what could have been a disastrous public safety situation.
>>Officer-Involved Shooting At Warwick Police Department
(Warwick, RI) -- Law enforcement officers shot a man inside the Warwick Police Department headquarters on Friday. Reports indicate the man stabbed an officer in the lobby of the building, but that the officer's bullet-proof vest kept them safe. The suspect was reported in stable condition at Rhode Island Hospital. Four officers, including the one who was stabbed, have been placed on leave while the shooting is investigated.
>>Amtrak Conductor Dies After Falling Off Train
(Westerly, RI) -- An Amtrak conductor died Saturday after reportedly falling off a train in Rhode Island. Police say the 26-year-old woman from Massachusetts fell off the train before it pulled into the Westerly station. Amtrak is investigating the incident.
>>Patriots Season Over After Playoff Loss To Buffalo
(Undated) -- The New England Patriots' season is over after a 47-to-17 loss versus the Buffalo Bills in the first round of the NFL playoffs on Saturday. Mac Jones, a rookie of the year nominee, had two touchdown passes and two interceptions for the Pats. New England Nation now turns its attention to Tom Brady's quest for a repeat championship with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Brady led the Bucs to a 31-to-15 win over Philadelphia in their playoff opener on Sunday.
(Undated) -- Here is the latest news: Tonight's forecast in Rhode Island calls for subzero wind chills. The Patriots are at the Buffalo Bills this weekend for the first round of the NFL playoffs. Rhode Island Department of Health director Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott is resigning.
[[ watch for updates ]]
>>Weekend Starts Chilly, Could End With Snow
(Undated) -- Rhode Island is dealing with dangerous wind chills ahead of the next potential winter storm. The National Weather Service is predicting the temperature will feel as cold as 20-degrees below zero in northern and central RI Friday night and Saturday morning. The weather service is tracking a storm that's expected to impact Southern New England Sunday night into Monday.
>>Patriots Versus Bills In First Round Of NFL Playoffs
(Orchard Park, NY) -- The New England Patriots are getting set for their first playoff game since the departure of Tom Brady. Rookie Pats quarterback Mac Jones led the team to a 10-and-7 record this season. Jones and the rest of the Patriots face frigid conditions when they play the Buffalo Bills in the first round on Saturday night. It's expected to be single digits for the 8:15 p.m. kickoff in Western New York. Brady will enjoy much warmer conditions in Tampa as his Buccaneers host the Philadelphia Eagles Sunday afternoon.
>>Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott Resigning From RI Department Of Health
(Providence, RI) -- The woman who, for many Rhode Islanders, has been the face of the state government's response to the COVID-19 pandemic is resigning from her post. Doctor Nicole Alexander-Scott is stepping down as the director of the Rhode Island Department of Health. Alexander-Scott, who had a background on the topic of infectious diseases, earned praise for the information she provided during former governor Gina Raimondo's daily pandemic updates. However, a vaccine mandate for healthcare workers enacted by RIDOH during her time as director was met with resistance. Alexander-Scott says she is ready for the next chapter of her work in public health.
>>Center For COVID Control Closes
(Providence, RI) -- A coronavirus testing facility in Rhode Island is shutting down. Illinois-based Center for COVID Control has been the source of complaints from patients across the country. The company says it is temporarily pausing operations. WJAR-TV reports the Rhode Island Department of Health has ordered two test sites to cease-and-desist operations in Smithfield and West Warwick because Center for COVID Control was not authorized to operate in the state.
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>>Temporary Nursing Licenses, Military Help For RI Hospitals
(Providence, RI) -- Rhode Island leaders are working to address hospital staffing issues. The state is allowing recent graduates of nursing schools to work under temporary licenses. Healthcare employers are conducting outreach this week. A virtual job fair is being held on Friday for Eleanor Slater Hospital and the Rhode Island Veterans Home. Several hospitals in Rhode Island are getting federal military and National Guard assistance.
>>Rhode Island Man Gets Prison Time For Scam Conspiracy
(Providence, RI) -- A Rhode Island man is being sentenced to federal prison for laundering the proceeds of a number of online scams. The Justice Department says Samson Ikotun of East Providence moved nearly one-million-dollars to co-conspirators in Nigeria. Ikotun has been sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison. A restitution order is pending.
(Undated) -- Here is the latest news: A Rhode Island man whose death was reported a couple of years ago has been found alive overseas. The former coach of the Mount Saint Charles hockey team has passed. The Providence City Council is meeting on Friday to consider an ordinance that would fight the mayor's COVID vaccine mandate for public workers.
>>Rhode Islander Reported Dead In 2020 Has Been Found Alive
(Undated) -- A Rhode Island man is accused of faking his own death. The Providence Journal reports Nicholas Alahverdian was located in Scotland about a month ago. Alahverdian apparently had COVID and was on a ventilator at a hospital. Alahverdian was known as an outspoken critic of Rhode Island's child welfare system. His death was announced in 2020 after he told media outlets he had terminal cancer. Alahverdian is being sought for various criminal complaints in the U.S., including a 2018 sexual assault case in Utah. The Journal reports extradition proceedings are underway.
>>Longtime Mount Saint Charles Hockey Coach Has Died
(Woonsocket, RI) -- A legendary former high school hockey coach in Rhode Island has died. Bill Belisle won 32 state championships for Mount Saint Charles Academy in Woonsocket and saw 20 players advance to the NHL. Belisle, who retired in 2019, passed away on Wednesday at the age of 92.
>>Coronavirus Death Toll In Rhode Island: 3,151
(Providence, RI) -- Rhode Island reported seven new coronavirus deaths on Wednesday. The pandemic death toll for the Ocean State increased to three-thousand-151. The COVID patient hospital count in Rhode Island swelled to four-hundred-85.
>>Providence City Council Meeting Called Over Public Worker Vax Mandate
(Providence, RI) -- An emergency Providence City Council meeting is being called on Friday to address Mayor Jorge Elorza's COVID-19 vaccination mandate for public workers. Friday is the deadline for the employees to get vaxxed or they will be fired. City Council president John Igliozzi says that could mean a job loss for about 80 Providence police officers, which he says would create a significant public safety issue. The city council will consider an ordinance that would block such mass terminations.
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>>Attleboro Man Sentenced For Rape
(New Bedford, MA) -- An Attleboro man is being sentenced to prison for a sex crime. The Bristol District Attorney's Office says Jason White, age 40, repeatedly raped a teenage girl who was the daughter of a woman he was dating in 2018. White has been sentenced to 15-to-18 years.
>>Men's Basketball: URI Beats Saint Joe's
(Kingston, RI) -- Rhode Island men's basketball is back on the court after seeing several games canceled over the holidays. The Rams beat Saint Joseph's 75-to-64 at home on Wednesday night for their first Atlantic 10 Conference win of the season. Rhody's next game is at UMass on Saturday.
(Undated) -- Here is the latest news: Rhode Island's coronavirus hospital patient count is continuing to go up. A humpback whale has washed ashore on an Ocean State beach. COVID cases are impacting the Providence College men's basketball team.
[[ watch for updates ]]
>>More Cold Air Coming, Possible Weekend Storm In Forecast
(Undated) -- The next batch of winter weather in Southern New England could be right around the corner. The National Weather Service says a strong storm is possible next Sunday into Monday. Ahead of that, the weather service says another shot of arctic air may result in wind chills dropping to subzero again Friday night into Saturday morning.
>>Coronavirus Death Toll In Rhode Island: 3,144
(Providence, RI) -- Rhode Island reported eight new coronavirus deaths on Tuesday. The pandemic death toll in the Ocean State increased to three-thousand-144. There were over four-thousand new virus cases. The number of COVID-19 patients in Rhode Island hospitals as of yesterday's update was up to four-hundred-59.
>>Fatal South County Crash On Route 1
(South Kingstown, RI) -- Police are investigating a fatal crash in South Kingstown. Reports indicate the wrong-way crash happened on Route 1 Tuesday at around 5 p.m. One person died. Their name was not immediately released.
>>Dead Humpback Whale On Little Compton Beach
(Little Compton, RI) -- A humpback whale that washed ashore in Little Compton is likely going to remain there until the spring and nature will be allowed to take its course. The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management says the young male whale, about 25 feet long, was discovered dead on a remote beach over the weekend. Officials say in a few months, it's not likely there will be much of the carcass left. The DEM and the Mystic Aquarium are hoping to conduct a necropsy on Wednesday.
>>Man Sentenced On Fentanyl Charge
(Providence, RI) -- A Providence man is getting federal prison for trafficking fentanyl. The Justice Department says Andre Monroe admitted to being involved in two deliveries of around fifty grams of fentanyl each time in 2019. Monroe was sentenced on Tuesday to six years.
>>Friars Basketball Takes Virus Hit
(Providence, RI) -- Tuesday's night's Providence College men's basketball game was canceled because of COVID issues. The Friars were scheduled to play at Creighton University. There will be an attempt to make the game up. The Providence Journal reports this is the first time PC has had to postpone a game because of virus protocols within the program during the pandemic. The Friars' next-scheduled game is at the Dunk on Saturday versus UConn.
>>Tuukka Rask Back With Boston
(Boston, MA) -- The Boston Bruins are officially signing free agent goaltender Tuukka Rask to a one-year, one-million-dollar contract. Rask returns to Boston after recovering from offseason hip surgery. The 34-year-old is the franchise's all-time leader in wins, games played, and save percentage. To make room on the roster, rookie goaltender Jeremy Swayman was sent down to the Providence Bruins.
(Undated) -- Here is the latest news: Rhode Island's COVID-19 patient count in hospital care remains high. New visitation rules are in effect for nursing homes and assisted living centers in the Ocean State. The mayor of Attleboro, Massachusetts is running for sheriff.
>>Bundle Up Today
(Providence, RI) -- Tuesday is going to be a very cold day in Rhode Island. The Providence forecast from the National Weather Service is sunny with a high near 15, with wind chill values around negative-five. The real temperature will drop down to single digits Tuesday night before a jump back to above-freezing temps on Wednesday.
>>Coronavirus Death Toll In Rhode Island: 3,136
(Providence, RI) -- Rhode Island reported fifteen new coronavirus deaths over the weekend. The pandemic death toll in the Ocean State has risen to three-thousand-136. There were over 13-thousand new virus cases reported on Monday. The number of COVID patients hospitalized in Rhode Island as of yesterday's update was four-hundred-ten.
>>New RI Nursing Home Visitation Rules
(Providence, RI) -- Rhode Island Governor Dan McKee is announcing new visitation measures for nursing homes and assisted living facilities. All visitors must now be vaccinated against COVID-19 or have a negative COVID test result. A PCR test has to be from within three days, and an antigen test has to be within two days. All visitors, regardless of vaccination status, must wear masks. McKee said this is a crucial step in protecting the state's most-vulnerable residents.
>>Help For Rhode Island Homeowners Who Have Suffered Pandemic Hardships
(Providence, RI) -- The state of Rhode Island is launching a homeowner assistance program for people who have struggled to pay the bills during the pandemic. The fifty-million dollars being provided is from the American Rescue Plan Act. Applications can be filled out by visiting the Rhode Island Homeowner Assistance Fund website.
>>Attleboro Mayor Running For Bristol MA Sheriff
(Undated) -- Attleboro Mayor Paul Heroux [[ hero ]] is running for Bristol County Massachusetts Sheriff. Incumbent Thomas Hodgson has indicated he is seeking another term. Heroux thinks 24 years, which is how long Hodgson has held the office, is too long. Heroux, a former Democratic state representative, says his qualifications include working in the Philadelphia county jail and Massachusetts prison systems. Hodgson was a vocal Republican supporter of President Trump. Last year, a scathing report from the Massachusetts Attorney General on civil rights violations caused the Bristol County Jail to lose its contract to house federal immigration detainees.
>>Offer Made To Buy WooSox
(Worcester, MA) -- A company is reportedly making a pitch to buy the Worcester Red Sox. According to multiple media outlets, Beverly Hills, California-based Endeavor Sports wants to add the WooSox to its portfolio of minor league baseball teams. WooSox chairman Larry Lucchino told the Boston Globe and Worcester Telegram and Gazette that an offer was received, but would not comment on the status of any negotiations. The newspapers reported Lucchino's partners were not in favor of the proposal.
(Undated) -- Here is the latest news: The Patriots lock in their playoff opponent after a loss to Miami on Sunday. Rhode Island schools are being given new pandemic guidelines to follow. Bundle up in the Ocean State Monday and Tuesday night.
>>Patriots Close Out Regular Season With Loss To Dolphins
(Undated) -- The New England Patriots lost their regular-season finale to the Miami Dolphins on the road Sunday, 33-to-24. The Patriots finished the 2021 season with a record of 10-and-7. They are playing at the Buffalo Bills in the first round of the NFL playoffs on Saturday, January 15th. Tom Brady's Tampa Bay Buccaneers finished the regular season with a 13-and-4 record. The Bucs are playing the Philadelphia Eagles in the first round.
>>New Pandemic Guidelines Issued For Rhode Island Schools
(Providence, RI) -- New COVID-19 protocols are being implemented in Rhode Island public schools starting Monday. The headline is that the quarantine period is being shortened from ten to five days. The state says it is adopting CDC guidance. The full details are on the Rhode Island Department of Health website.
>>Judge Refuses To Block RI Healthcare Worker COVID Vaccine Mandate
(Providence, RI) -- The Providence Journal reports a federal judge refused to issue an order stopping the state of Rhode Island from enforcing a coronavirus vaccinate mandate for healthcare workers on Friday. The judge observed that the state has a history of requiring vaccinations for people working in the industry. The mandate was challenged for failing to provide a religious exemption.
>>U.S. Attorney Opens Investigation In Connection To Alleged Fat Test Scandal
(North Kingstown, RI) -- WPRI-TV reports the Rhode Island U.S. Attorney's Office is opening an investigation into the North Kingstown School Department's handling of allegations against the former boys' basketball coach. The feds have launched a civil rights probe, while at the same time the state attorney general is also looking into whether Aaron Thomas conducted inappropriate body fat tests on players. Thomas has not been criminally charged and has denied the allegations against him.
>>Very Cold Nighttime Temps To Start Week
(Providence, RI) -- Cold temperatures are headed to Southern New England. The National Weather Service says it will get down to ten degrees in Providence on Monday night and down to five degrees Tuesday night. Forecasters say there will be sub-zero windchills.
>>PC Basketball Coach Earns 300th Win
(Providence, RI) -- Providence College men's basketball coach Ed Cooley won his 300th career game over the weekend. The Friars beat St. John's at the Dunk on Saturday 83-to-73. Cooley has been with Providence for eleven years and previously coached five seasons at Fairfield University.
(Undated) -- Here is the latest news: Rhode Island is under a Winter Storm Warning for Friday. A federal civil rights complaint is filed against Rhode Island's largest water utility. A new CEO has been named at Hasbro.
>>Winter Storm Warning For RI
(Undated) -- All of Rhode Island except for Block Island is under a Winter Storm Warning from the National Weather Service from 1 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday. Heavy snow is expected. The weather service is predicting five-to-eight inches in the warning area which also includes portions of eastern Massachusetts.
>>Coronavirus Death Toll In Rhode Island: 3,107
(Providence, RI) -- Rhode Island reported eleven new coronavirus deaths on Wednesday. The pandemic death toll increased to three-thousand-107. The number of new virus cases reported yesterday was four-thousand-885. The number of COVID-19 patients in Rhode Island hospitals increased to more than four-hundred.
>>Driver Killed In Westerly Crash
(Westerly, RI) -- A Westerly man was killed in a car crash in the town on Wednesday. The 28-year-old driver, whose name was not immediately released, reportedly hydroplaned off Route 78 and was ejected at around 2:30 p.m. The Westerly Police Department says speed was a factor.
>>Rhode Island Schools Going Remote
(Undated) -- A number of Rhode Island school districts are switching to virtual learning this week. Coronavirus concerns and staff shortages are driving school leaders to go remote. Barrington High School has distance-learning plans in place through next Monday. Meanwhile, decisions have been made to start the spring semester virtually at Rhode Island College, Community College of Rhode Island and the RI School of Design.
>>Complaint Filed With EPA Against Providence Water Supply Board
(Providence, RI) -- A civil rights complaint is being filed against the Providence Water Supply Board. Several groups filed the complaint with the Environmental Protection Agency, alleging that the board is replacing lead pipes in a manner that increases the risk of exposure for people of color. They say ProvWater, the largest water utility in the state, should not charge property owners to pay to replace their portion of the infrastructure, and should conduct a full replacement instead.
>>New Hasbro CEO
(Pawtucket, RI) -- Hasbro has named a new CEO. The job is going to Chris Cocks, the head of the division that includes the game Dungeons and Dragons and also the digital gaming department. Longtime Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner died last year.
>>Unique First NHL Goal For Former P-Bruin Oskar Steen
(Boston, MA) -- A Providence Bruin who got the call-up to Boston scored a memorable first NHL goal on Tuesday. Oskar Steen, who played 99 games for Providence, scored in the Boston Bruins' 5-to-3 win over New Jersey at T.D. Garden. The puck was on top of the Devils' net when Steen poked at it from inside the cage, and it fell in after bouncing off the New Jersey goalie. The referees discussed the goal and determined it was not contacted with an illegal high stick.
(Undated) -- Here is the latest news: Snow is in the forecast in Rhode Island Thursday to Friday. A vigil is held for a Rhode Island teen who was killed in a crash on I-95 last weekend. State lawmakers have returned to Providence for the 2022 legislative session.
[[ watch for updates ]]
>>Up To Half-Foot Of Snow Forecast For RI
(Undated) -- The National Weather Service is calling for snow in Rhode Island late Thursday into Friday. As of last night's forecast, the weather service was predicting four-to-six inches across mainland RI, and two-to-three inches for Block Island. Ahead of that storm, northern Rhode Island is under a Winter Weather Advisory until noon Wednesday for mixed precipitation.
>>Coronavirus Death Toll In Rhode Island: 3,096
(Providence, RI) -- Rhode Island reported four new coronavirus deaths on Tuesday. The pandemic death toll in the Ocean State increased to three-thousand-96. There were over four-thousand new virus cases reported.
>>Vigil Held For Teen Crash Victim
(East Greenwich, RI) -- A vigil was held Tuesday night for the Rhode Island teen who was killed in a car crash on New Year's Day. Police say 17-year-old Olivia Passaretti's car was hit on I-95 in Warwick. The other driver, Aramis Segura of Charlestown, allegedly bragged about drinking and driving on Facebook before authorities say he caused the crash and then fled the scene. Passaretti was a softball player at East Greenwich High School. Hundreds of people gathered at the softball field last night to remember her.
>>Uber Driver Arrested For DUI On NYE
(Tiverton, RI) -- A Rhode Island Uber driver is accused of driving drunk while on the job on New Year's Eve. Carlos Cordova of Warwick was pulled over for a missing headlight in Tiverton while he had two passengers in tow. The Tiverton Police Department says Cordova's blood-alcohol level was three times the legal limit.
>>Rhode Island Lawmakers Return For 2022 Session
(Providence, RI) -- The 2022 Rhode Island legislative session is underway. Lawmakers returned to the State House for their first day of the session on Tuesday. A 119-million-dollar chunk of American Rescue Plan Act money was approved for earmarking. The General Assembly overrode two vetoes from Governor Dan McKee, including legislation that requires auto-insurers in the Ocean State to pay the cost of auto-body shop markups and another bill that creates a registry for short-term house rentals. Several Republican state representatives did not wear masks yesterday in defiance of a policy set by the Democratic House speaker.
>>Men's Basketball: Providence College Loses To Marquette
(Undated) -- In men's college basketball, Providence lost to Marquette on the road Tuesday, 88-to-56. It was just the second loss of the season for the Friars, who fell to 3-and-1 in Big East conference play. PC's next game is Saturday versus St. John's at the Dunk. Meanwhile, the University of Rhode Island's Atlantic 10 opener versus George Mason on Wednesday has been postponed because of COVID issues.
(Undated) -- Here is the latest news: A Rhode Island driver arrested for a fatal New Year's Day crash allegedly bragged about drinking and driving beforehand. The RI Health Department says COVID-positive healthcare workers can clock in if there's a staffing crisis. More speed cameras are going online in the Providence area.
>>RI Driver Allegedly Bragged About Drinking And Driving Before Fatal Wreck
(Undated) -- A Rhode Island man who is being charged for a fatal hit-and-run crash on I-95 on January 1st has a notable criminal history. Aramis Segura, of Charlestown, was once-convicted of breaking into former governor Gina Raimondo's SUV, according to The Providence Journal. Segura allegedly left the scene of the two-vehicle crash on the interstate in Warwick overnight Saturday which killed the second driver, 17-year-old Olivia Passaretti of East Greenwich. Segura apparently bragged about drinking and driving his Mercedes Benz on Facebook prior to the incident. He is currently facing charges of driving to endanger and driving with a suspended license, but WJAR-TV reports Passaretti's family is calling for a murder charge from the state.
>>Driver In Other RI New Year's Day Fatal Crash In Custody
(Lincoln, RI) -- A suspect in a separate Rhode Island crash in the early-morning hours of New Year's Day has turned himself in. The Providence Journal reports Gregory Miller of Pawtucket is accused of causing a crash in Lincoln which killed his girlfriend, Nanleomariz Albizu. She was from Providence. Miller is currently charged with leaving the scene of a crash, death resulting.
>>Feds Intercept Drug Package Inside Old TV
(Providence, RI) -- A Pawtucket man is facing federal charges for allegedly receiving a shipment of cocaine that was packed inside an old television set. The Justice Department says the package intended for Jomar Cruz-Aponte was intercepted from Colombia on December 22nd. Federal agents and Pawtucket police conducted a controlled delivery one week later.
>>RIDOH: Virus-Positive Healthcare Workers OK If Staffing Crisis Declared
(Providence, RI) -- Hospitals and nursing homes in Rhode Island are undergoing a change in pandemic protocol. COVID-positive staff can now go to work if the hospital declare a staffing crisis. According to a report from WJAR-TV, the Rhode Island Department of Health is aligning with updated CDC guidance to accommodate staffing shortages.
>>School Speed Zone Cameras Active In East Providence
(East Providence, RI) -- School-zone speed-watching cameras are online in East Providence. Police will begin issuing fifty-dollar tickets for any driver caught speeding in the five areas where the cameras are located. All but one of them are on Pawtucket Avenue. The cameras are active weekdays from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.
>>URI Hosting Springtime TED Talk
(Kingston, RI) -- The University of Rhode Island is hosting the popular TED Talk series this semester. The theme of the April 2nd event is "A Recipe For Hope" as the university notes the very challenging times currently being faced. Speakers are being sought to talk about how they have stayed hopeful during a specific situation. Video auditions of three minutes or less are due by the end of this month. An application form is available at URI.edu.
(Undated) -- Here is the latest news: Snow is in the forecast on Monday. One man has been arrested for a fatal crash in Rhode Island early on New Year's Day and police are looking for another driver in a separate incident. The New England Patriots are returning to the NFL playoffs.
[[ watch for updates ]]
>>Monday Forecast Calls For Snow On Block Island
(Undated) -- The National Weather Service is predicting two-to-three inches of snow on Block Island on Monday. The snow is expected to be out of the area by the evening. The weather service is calling for one-to-two inches in Newport. The rest of mainland Rhode Island is only looking at a dusting, according to the latest forecast.
>>Deadly New Year's Day Crashes In Warwick, Lincoln
(Undated) -- Police have one person in custody and are searching for another individual allegedly responsible for deadly motor vehicle crashes overnight Saturday in Rhode Island. Aramis Segura of Charlestown was arrested for a fatal two-vehicle crash on I-95 in Warwick which killed Olivia Passaretti, a student at East Greenwich High School who was in the second vehicle. Meanwhile, authorities are seeking Gregory Miller of Pawtucket after he apparently fled the scene of a single-vehicle crash on Cobble Hill Road in Lincoln. The passenger who died was identified was Nanleomariz Albizu of Providence.
>>Patriots Clinch Playoff Spot With Win Over Jaguars
(Foxboro, MA) -- The New England Patriots are going back to the playoffs. The Pats clinched a postseason berth on Sunday with a 50-to-10 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars at Gillette Stadium. New England missed the playoffs last season for the first time in over a decade. At 10-and-6, the Patriots have the same record as Buffalo atop the AFC East Division, but the Bills hold the tiebreaker. The final regular season games next week are New England versus Miami and Buffalo versus the New York Jets.
>>Rhode Islanders Seeking To Be Tested For Coronavirus
(Providence, RI) -- The state of Rhode Island is addressing a high demand for COVID-19 testing. Governor Dan McKee directed over a half-dozen testing sites to remain open on New Year's Day Saturday. WJAR-TV reported some people at the Providence Career and Technical Academy on Sunday left without getting a test because of how long the line was. The state is planning to re-open the Rhode Island Convention Center in Providence for coronavirus testing and vaccinations next week.
>>Alleged Providence Bank Robber Arrested
(Providence, RI) -- A man has been arrested for a bank robbery in Providence. Thirty-three-year-old Victor Sanchez is accused of robbing the Citizens Bank in Kennedy Plaza on December 20th. Sanchez is being held until he appears in court.
>>Men's Basketball: URI Beats American International College
(Kingston, RI) -- The University of Rhode Island men's basketball team beat American International College at home Sunday, 70-to-55. URI had a twenty-day break caused by the pandemic, and the game against Division 2 A-I-C was a last-second schedule change. The 9-and-3 Rams are set to open their conference schedule versus George Mason University in Virginia on Wednesday.
(Undated) -- Here is the latest news: A man was arrested after an armed standoff in Providence last night. Two police officers in Seekonk, Massachusetts have been cleared of wrongdoing in connection to a fatal shooting last month. A data breach at the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority is being investigated.
>>Man Arrested After Armed Standoff In Providence
(Providence, RI) -- A man was taken into custody after an armed standoff with police in Providence that lasted nearly three hours Wednesday evening. Negotiators convinced Elliot Britto to surrender from a residence on Ledge Street at around 6 p.m. No injuries were reported. Britto was taken to Rhode Island Hospital for an evaluation. Charges are pending.
>>Seekonk Officers Cleared In Fatal Shooting
(Seekonk, MA) -- The Bristol County Massachusetts District Attorney's Office is clearing two police officers in Seekonk of wrongdoing for a fatal shooting. Reports indicate Jeffrey Groulx of New Hampshire was caught in a breaking-and-entering at the New England Tire Care store on Route 6 on November 28th. Groulx crashed a stolen vehicle while trying to flee police and shot at the unnamed officers with an assault rifle as they attempted to render aid. They returned fire, resulting in his death. The D.A.'s office says Groulx had a long history of using deadly weapons for violent crimes.
>>Coronavirus Death Toll In Rhode Island: 3,062
(Providence, RI) -- Rhode Island reported sixteen new coronavirus deaths on Wednesday. The pandemic death toll for the Ocean State increased to three-thousand-62. There were over three-thousand new virus cases.
>>Warwick Mayor Reveals COVID Diagnosis
(Warwick, RI) -- Warwick Mayor Frank Picozzi has COVID-19. Picozzi says he is experiencing symptoms of the virus. He says he is fully-vaccinated and has gotten a booster shot. Picozzi says he will perform his mayoral duties while working from home.
>>Glocester Town Council President Has Died
(Glocester, RI) -- The president of the Glocester Town Council has died. The Providence Journal reports Julian Forgue passed away on Monday. The council's vice president told the newspaper he had gone to the hospital with an apparent heart attack a few weeks ago. Forgue was in his third year on the board.
>>RIPTA Data Breach Under Investigation
(Providence, RI) -- The Rhode Island Attorney General's Office is investigating a data breach at the RI Public Transit Authority. Thousands of Rhode Islanders, including current and former state employees who say they never worked for the agency or took public transit, have been receiving letters that said their personal information was compromised. The breach reportedly happened over the summer, but the victims were not notified until this month.
>>Friars Win Over Seton Hall
(Providence, RI) -- In men's college basketball, Providence College beat Seton Hall University at home Wednesday night, 70-to-65. The Friars are off to a 12-and-1 start this season. PC next plays at DePaul on New Year's Day.
(Undated) -- Here is the latest news: Rhode Island reported nearly thirty new COVID deaths over the holiday weekend. A white Rhode Island legislator is being criticized for a tweet about her black friend. The New England Patriots are placing several players on the COVID-reserve list.
>>Coronavirus Death Toll In Rhode Island: 3,046
(Providence, RI) -- Rhode Island reported 28 new coronavirus deaths over the Christmas weekend. The pandemic death toll in the Ocean State as of Tuesday's update Was three-thousand-46. Nearly seven-thousand virus cases were added this past weekend.
>>Route 95 Crash Victim ID'd
(Undated) -- The Massachusetts State Police is identifying the victim of a fatal crash on I-95 in Mansfield. The crash last Thursday killed Manny Roman of Attleboro. Authorities are continuing to investigate.
>>State Rep Criticized For Tweet About Black Friend
(Providence, RI) -- Rhode Island state Representative Patricia Morgan is under fire for a racially-charged tweet. Morgan, who is white, said she had a black friend who became hostile towards her, and she blamed the teaching of critical race theory. The Black Lives Matter Rhode Island Political Action Committee called the tweet offensive and said the Republican Morgan should be removed from her House committee assignments.
>>New Rule Aims To Keep Wandering Police Officers In Check
(Providence, RI) -- Rhode Island police officers are working under a new regulation this year. The Providence Journal reports the state Police Officers Commission on Standards and Training adopted a policy which requires police to be re-certified if they jump from one department to another. The commission says this is meant to address a nationwide trend of quote-unquote "rogue" officers from landing at a new department without a review. Previously, a Rhode Island police officer's certification remained intact for three years after they left an agency.
>>Patriots Go On COVID List
(Foxboro, MA) -- The New England Patriots have a number of players on the COVID-injury list. It currently includes backup quarterback Brian Hoyer and linebacker Matt Judon. The players might be able to return in time for Sunday's game versus Jacksonville.
>>Men's Basketball: Providence College Hosts Seton Hall
(Providence, RI) -- Providence College men's basketball returns to action Wednesday night. The Friars have been off since December 18th. It will be a pair of top-25 teams as PC hosts Seton Hall at the Dunkin' Donuts Center at 7 p.m.
(Undated) -- Here is the latest news: The Patriots lost to Buffalo on Sunday and lost the division lead as a result. Two twin brothers from Rhode Island are killed in a highway crash in Massachusetts. Gas prices in the Ocean State have dropped seven cents in the last month.
>>Patriots Lose To Bills
(Foxboro, MA) -- The New England Patriots no-longer have the division lead following a 33-to-21 loss to the Buffalo Bills at Gillette Stadium on Sunday. Mac Jones completed just 14 of 23 passes for 145 yards and registered two interceptions. Damien Harris had 103 yards rushing for the Pats and scored the team's three touchdowns. New England fell to 9-and-6, but the Patriots are still in the playoff bubble. They host Jacksonville next Sunday.
>>Twins From RI Killed In MA Crash
(Pawtucket, RI) -- Two twin brothers from Rhode Island were killed in a motor vehicle crash in Massachusetts on Friday morning. According to state police, the single-car wreck happened on Interstate 195 in Mattapoisett. WPRI-TV reports authorities have identified the victims as Alberto and Ruddy Morales of Pawtucket. The crash is under investigation.
>>North Providence Police Issue Missing Teen Alert
(North Providence, RI) -- The North Providence Police Department is asking for the public's help to find a missing 15-year-old boy. Jules Lopes was reportedly last seen on December 16th. Lopes is known to frequent the area of the Providence Place Mall, according to the police department, which has description details of the missing teen on its Facebook page.
>>Longtime Warren Pizzeria Owner Dies After Catching COVID
(Warren, RI) -- A popular pizza shop owner in the East Bay has lost a battle with COVID-19. Steve Balasco, who was 61, owned Balasco's Pizzeria in Warren for over three decades. Balasco was reportedly stricken with COVID-related pneumonia. His family released a statement calling Balasco a giant in the community who always put others first.
>>Providence Apartment Temporarily Evacuated
(Providence, RI) -- A Providence apartment complex was briefly evacuated on Sunday. WJAR-TV reports firefighters responded to a residence on Chestnut Street for a boiler overheating yesterday afternoon. Some smoke was found throughout the building, but not fire. There were no injuries reported.
>>Rhode Island Gas Prices Down Slightly
(Undated) -- Rhode Island gas prices are inching downward. The current average price for a gallon is three dollars and 35 cents, according to RhodeIslandGasPrices.com. One month ago, the average in the Ocean State was three-42.
by John A Cianci, Department Veterans Service Officer,
Italian American War Veterans (ITAM)
Did you know a caregiver, family member, or friend who provides care to a Veteran can also receive the VA vaccine and booster shot at the VA? For COVID-19 vaccine eligibility, we define a caregiver as a family member or friend who provides care to a Veteran. Caregivers may help a Veteran with personal needs like feeding, bathing, or dressing. They may also help a Veteran with tasks like shopping or transportation.
Question – How do I get a booster shot from Providence Veterans Administration? Mike C, Mapleville, RI
Answer – The easiest would be to call your VA provider directly, (401) 273-7100, Ext. 13021 or the COVID-19 clinic to schedule an appointment:
RINEWSTODAY.com contacted the Providence Veterans Medical facility, (401) 273-7100 , select zero for operator, and when operator answers tell them you are inquiring about the booster shots. A pre-recorded message will communicate to the caller the following information:
1. Current clinic is open from 7:30am-3:30pm. Veterans, spouses, and caregivers are eligible for boosters.
2. Providence VA clinic is offering both boosters; as of December 22, 2021, Providence VA Medical clinic is offering Pfizer and Moderna boosters.
3. The clinic is currently scheduling appointments.
4. Walk-ins are also welcomed.
5. If you would like to schedule an appointment, leave your last name, and last four of your social security numbers, and the clinic will call you back and schedule an appointment.
Veterans with COVID-19 booster appointments are reminded of the following policies at the Providence VA Hospital:
Veterans with out-patient appointments will be allowed one caregiver if they are needed to assist Veterans to their appointments.
Veterans and Visitors will continue to be screened with screening questions and temperature checks.
All Veterans and visitors need to be masked while at the Medical Center. If you do not have a mask, one will be provided.
VETTIP Don’t forget to bring your vaccine record card with you.
Another option, is to contact your VA provider thru MyHealthVet.com and send a secure message:
More Information on COVID-19 booster shots and additional from va.gov:
COVID-19 booster shots and additional doses.
We follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance on COVID-19 booster shots and additional vaccine doses.
Why experts recommend booster shots and additional doses
COVID-19 vaccines continue to work well to prevent severe illness and death. Together, vaccines and booster shots provide the best protection against coronavirus variants like Delta and Omicron.
We expect these 2 variants to be the major causes of COVID-19 over the holidays.
Data shows that booster shots and additional doses can help people stay fully protected:
A booster shot can help you stay fully protected over time. Data shows that protection against milder illness lessens over time. This is especially true for certain groups of people. The CDC recommends that everyone who is at least 18 years old should get a booster shot. Teens ages 16 to 17 can also now get a booster shot. Learn about getting a booster shot.
Some people need an additional dose to get full protection. Certain groups of people may not have had a strong enough immune response from the first 2 doses. These groups should get both a third dose and then a booster shot 6 months after their third dose. Learn about getting an additional dose.
Note: Scientists are still studying how strong protection from the current COVID-19 vaccines will be against the new Omicron variant. But the vaccines offer strong protection against other variants. If we do find that there’s a variant different enough that a current vaccine won’t protect against it, you may need to get an updated vaccine. That shouldn’t prevent you from getting a booster now.
Getting a booster shot
The CDC recommends that everyone who is at least 18 years old should get a booster shot. Teens ages 16 and 17 can also now get a booster shot.
When to get your booster shot
If you got 2 doses of the Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine: Get your booster 6 months after your second dose.
If you got the single-dose Janssen (J&J) COVID-19 vaccine: Get your booster 2 months after you got your vaccine.
Which vaccine to get for your booster
If you’re at least 18 years old, you can choose which vaccine to get for your booster dose. This is based on CDC recommendations that allow you to choose the same or a different type of vaccine for your booster.
The CDC now strongly recommends getting either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine for your booster.
Teens ages 16 and 17 can only get the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for their booster dose. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is the only vaccine currently authorized for teens ages 16 and 17.
Not all VA health facilities have all types of vaccines right now. And facilities may offer different vaccines at different times. Confirm that the facility has the vaccine you want before you come in to get your booster.
If you have questions about which vaccine to get, talk to your health care team.
Send a secure message to your VA provider.
How to get a booster shot at VA
· You can only get a booster shot if you completed your primary vaccine series.
· If you’re a Veteran who receives care through VA
· Your local VA health facility will contact you when you’re due for your shot. Your facility may offer you a booster by appointment or in a walk-in vaccine clinic.
VFW State Commander Wants You – Christmas Carolers on Christmas Morning
Veterans of Foreign War State Commander Dora Vasquez-Hellner will lead Christmas carolers Christmas morning bringing cheer and holiday spirit to our veterans at the Rhode Island Veterans Home, Bristol, RI.
Hellner is looking for volunteers to participate as carolers. She encourages Christmas attire to lift the Veterans spirits at the Veterans home. Even if caroling is not your thing, show up and be part of an effort to bring holiday cheer to the veterans.
Unbeknown to many, a good portion of the Veterans have no family or friends, many outliving their own children. Moreover, their Christmas will be residing in their home, the Rhode Island Veteran Home.
With the challenges of staffing, the Veterans home will have skeleton staff to care and ensure the safety of the 127 current residents at the home.
Hellner, a retired First Sergeant, hopes the morning caroling will bring some holiday cheer to the Veterans at the home.
VETTIP: Be on time. Hellner being a retired airborne first sergeant, special forces group will be starting promptly at 900am.
Carolers and all participants will gather in the back parking lot of the Veterans Home at 0845 on Christmas morning and then proceed from courtyard to courtyard of neighborhoods A, B, C, D and E to sing carols and bring cheer to the 130 residents.
All activities will be outdoors; please dress for the weather. Holiday costumes and attire are highly encouraged.
Song books, hot chocolate, and water will be provided. Comrades are encouraged to bring snacks and treats to share. More information: email firstname.lastname@example.org
January 22, 2022, 2-8 p.m., Rhode Island National Guard Reunion, Orlando Florida, 13110 Lake Mary Jane Road, Orlando FL., $20 per person. More information contact Patti Ryan, email@example.com.
If you have an event, meeting, other pertinent veteran information, or email questions or help needed, contact the Italian American War Veteran Service Officer, John A Cianci, firstname.lastname@example.org, ITAM Office 1-(401)677-9VET(9838).
Applebee’s – Military Discount. With more than 2,000 locations, Applebee’s is a family grill restaurant. Applebee’s gives 10% off for active duty and veteran. Last verified 07/31/2028
Denny’s, Hartford Save Johnston Offers 10% discount for veterans and active duty . Denny’s is a table service diner-style restaurant chain. Last verified 07/31/2028 (PS I had breakfast there on Saturday).
Outback Steakhouse 10% Discount to active and veterans. Last verified 07/28/2021
99 Restaurant & Pub: The 99 Restaurant & Pub offers a 10% military discount to members of Veterans Advantage. Available at select locations only. Bring valid military ID
Advance Auto Parts 10% for Active Duty, Veterans and families. Last verified 07/28/2021
Bass Pro Shops: Bass Pro Shops offers a 5% discount to active-duty military, reservists, and National Guard. Sign up and verify your status online or bring your military ID when you shop at your nearest Bass Pro store (source).
BJs Wholesale Reduced membership fee. J’s offers all military personnel over 25% off their Membership. Last verified 07/28/2021
Lowes. Enroll in the Lowe’s Military Discount Program to Activate Your 10% Discount
Our way of saying “Thank You” to our active duty, retired and military veterans and their spouses with a 10% discount on eligible items.
Verification of your military status is fast and easy through our partner, ID.me.
ID.me is our trusted technology partner in helping to keep your personal information safe.
GameStop is offering a 10% in-store military discount on all pre-owned products, collectibles, and select new products. Available to current and former military members who bring any valid proof of service or when they verify through ID.me
Home Depot Home Depot offers a 10% OFF military discount on regularly priced merchandise for in-store purchases for active duty, retired military, and reservists at participating locations. Customers are required to show a valid government-issued military ID card to redeem this offer.
Kohls 15% Kohl’s offers active military, veterans, retirees ,and their immediate family members a 15% discount on purchases made on Mondays, in store only. In order to receive the military discount, eligible customers must present proper identification along with any tender type.
Jiffy Lube. HONORING VETERANS ALL DAY EVERY DAY!
We didn’t want to wait for Veteran’s Day to express our appreciation and gratitude for your service. That’s why every Team Car Care owned and operated Jiffy Lube® service center is offering our BEST discount of 15% OFF as a “Thank You” to the men and women of our Armed Forces for their service to our country. *Disclaimer*- I.D. required. No coupon is required. Excludes batteries and brakes, alignment, and diagnostic services. Available only at select locations listed below:
Tioque Ave, Coventry RI
Bald Hill Road, Warwick RI
Park Ave, Cranston RI
Michaels Stores offers a 15% OFF military discount on the entire in-store purchase including sale items for active duty, retired military, guard, reservists, Veterans and family members. How to get:
1. Create an Account. Log in or create a Michaels Rewards account.
2. Get Verified. Provide your military information to get verified instantly.
3. Go Shopping! To use your discount online and in store, just sign into your account or provide your Michaels Rewards phone number at checkout.
O’Reilly Auto Parts 10% discount on in store items for Active Duty, Veterans and families. Last verified 3/4/21.
If you are a retailer and or a veteran aware of a business not listed above, please forward , email@example.com: the business’s name , location, and military and Veteran discount offered
If you have an event, meeting, other pertinent veteran information, or email questions or help needed, contact the Italian American War Veteran Service Officer, John A Cianci, firstname.lastname@example.org, ITAM Office 1-(401)677-9VET(9838)
John A. Cianci is a Veteran Service Officer. Retired, U.S. Army MSgt., Persian Gulf War and Iraq War combat theater.
Cianci, a combat disabled Veteran, served in Desert Shield/Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom. His awards include Bronze Star, Combat Action Badge, Good Conduct, and others.
Cianci belongs to numerous veterans organizations – Italian American War Veterans, American Legion, Veterans of Foreign War, United Veterans Council of Rhode Island, and many more organizations. He is an active volunteer assisting veterans to navigate federal and state benefits they have earned. He is Department of Rhode Island Department Commander Italian American War Veterans and Veteran Service Officer.
He is a graduate of Roger Williams University (BS Finance), UCONN business school* (Entrepreneur Bootcamp For Veterans), Solar Energy International Residential, Commercial and Battery Based Photovoltaic Systems certificate programs, numerous certificates from the Department of Defense renewable energy programs, including graduate of the Solar Ready Vets Program.
(Undated) -- Here is the latest news: Multiple people are hospitalized after a police chase and crash in Attleboro, Massachusetts Wednesday night. COVID deaths and cases are increasing in Rhode Island. The Ocean State's largest hospital system is announcing a new visitor policy.
>>Crash After Shooting, Police Chase In Attleboro
(Attleboro, MA) -- A shooting in Attleboro turned into a police chase and car crash Wednesday night. Someone in an SUV allegedly fired shots at parked cars on James Street at around 8:30 p.m. The SUV reportedly drove off from an officer's attempt to pull them over and crashed into another vehicle on County Street. Multiple occupants, including the three shooting suspects, were taken to the hospital.
>>Ruling Issued On Fall River Officer-Involved Shooting
(Fall River, MA) -- A police-involved shooting in Fall River last month was justified, according to the Bristol County Massachusetts District Attorney. Police responded to the residence of Anthony Harden for a previous domestic violence incident. Harden reportedly attempted to stab an officer during a struggle and a second officer, who was not identified, fatally shot him. The D.A.'s office said the use of force complied with Fall River Police Department policy.
>>Two Bank Robberies In Downtown Providence
(Providence, RI) -- There were two bank robberies in as many days earlier this week in downtown Providence. The Citizens Bank on Kennedy Plaza was hit on Monday. Then on Tuesday, it was the Santander on Financial Plaza. Police say the robberies are not connected.
>>Coronavirus Death Toll In Rhode Island: 3,015
(Providence, RI) -- Rhode Island reported nine new coronavirus deaths on Wednesday. The pandemic death toll in the Ocean State increased to three-thousand-15. There were over 14-hundred new virus cases.
>>RI University Delays Semester Start; More Schools Requiring Booster Shots
(Undated) -- Salve Regina University in Newport is delaying the start of the spring semester by one week because of coronavirus concerns. Classes at Salve will now begin on January 17th. Meanwhile, Rhode Island appears to trending towards having its institutions of higher learning require booster shots for next semester. Joining the list are Bryant University and the Rhode Island School of Design.
>>Lifespan Requiring Vaccination Or Negative COVID Test For Most Visitors
(Providence, RI) -- Lifespan is requiring proof of COVID vaccination or a negative virus test for hospital visitors. The new policy takes effect next Monday. The test has to be a PCR that was administered within 48 hours. There are several exceptions to the new policy, including end-of-life visits. Lifespan's network includes Rhode Island Hospital and Hasbro Children's Hospital.
>>Woonsocket Directing ARPA Money To Shelter, Feed Homeless
(Woonsocket, RI) -- The city of Woonsocket is directing American Rescue Plan Act money to homeless services after a public outcry. The Providence Journal reports the City Council on Monday authorized spending seventy-thousand dollars to house the local homeless at the Woonsocket Motor Inn for the winter. Another fifty-grand goes to the New Beginnings soup kitchen. Members of the public criticized the city last month for spending ARPA money on items including a synthetic ice rink and upgrades to the city council chambers instead of what they said was a more-pressing issue.