1540 WADK.com Updates

What a beauty! New Rocky Point Pier

What a beauty! New Rocky Point Pier

July 2, 2020/RINewsToday

Thank you to Rep. Camille Vella-Wilkinson, of Warwick, who allowed us to use these beautiful pictures of the new pier at Rocky Point.


The replacement project was done jointly with the City of Warwick.


Warwick Mayor Solomon

The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) and Warwick Mayor Joseph J. Solomon today held a ribbon-cutting event to celebrate the completion of a new timber fishing pier at the iconic Rocky Point State Park in Warwick. Financed by RI Capital Plan and Green Economy Bond funding, the $1.8 million project provides anglers of all abilities with access to one of the state’s prime fishing areas.


Participants included:


Jason McNamee, Deputy Director, Department of Environmental Management


Megan DiPrete, Chief, Planning & Development, Department of Environmental Management


The Honorable Joseph Solomon, Mayor, City of Warwick


Jonathan Stone, Executive Director, Save The Bay – Narragansett Bay


John Howell, Chairman and President, Rocky Point Foundation


Steve Medeiros, Executive Director, Rhode Island Saltwater Anglers Association


“Public access to clean, safe, and attractive recreational facilities is a public good,” said Governor Gina M. Raimondo. “Being active outdoors is important for our physical and mental health. I hope that Rhode Island anglers will enjoy this new fishing pier at Rocky Point, cast a line into the waters of Narragansett Bay, and appreciate the beauty of our state.”


“Expanding shoreline and fishing access is core to our mission at DEM and we’re thrilled that the new pier will enable anglers, regardless of their physical abilities, to experience the joy and bounty of fishing on Narragansett Bay,” said DEM Director Janet Coit. “I hope that the public will benefit from this recreational investment and asset for decades to come.”


“I have been involved with efforts to preserve Rocky Point for two decades and it has truly been a labor of love. Previously, as Council President, I was proud to support the City of Warwick’s acquisition of the land at Rocky Point, which was a long, complicated process. I convened a special meeting of the Warwick City Council to grant permission for the State to purchase the remaining portion of the land at Rocky Point, and I also docketed legislation for the easement needed to build this pier. Now, as Mayor, I am very gratified to continue making improvements at our iconic park, and to stand with my partners from state and federal offices to officially open the fishing pier at Rocky Point,” said Mayor Joseph J. Solomon. “We have, working together, ensured the preservation of Rocky Point for the public so that generations of Rhode Islanders can continue to enjoy it. This project is just the latest in a series of enhancements that I have championed at our beloved park, and it is one multiple investments I am making in Warwick’s open spaces and recreational opportunities.”


The new fishing pier features a 280-foot-long, T-shaped pier with a shade structure, benches, railings, and solar lighting. Railing heights vary to allow people of all ages and abilities to enjoy access to Narragansett Bay.


The fishing pier moved forward as a result of a partnership between DEM, the City of Warwick, The Nature Conservancy, and others to create and improve public access sites for fishing and boating. The project provides saltwater fishing access less than 10 miles from Downtown Providence, advancing a key element of this coastal public park. The fishing pier also complements a variety of recreational opportunities at Rocky Point State Park, including walking, bird-watching, rock climbing, a youth fishing camp, DEM’s popular “Come Clam With Me” workshops, and open spaces for picnics as well as family-focused events like Food Truck Nights and Movie Nights run by the City and other gatherings.


DEM Director Coit noted that DEM works in close partnership with the Rhode Island Saltwater Anglers Association (RISAA) to promote recreational fishing and introduce the sport to young Rhode Islanders through its popular fishing camp at Rocky Point State Park. Fishing is an important part of Rhode Island’s social and cultural fabric and an important driver for the state’s economy. Rhode Island’s marine recreational fishing industry contributes $420 million to the state’s economy and supports over 4,000 jobs.


“This new pier will provide a safe place for recreational anglers to catch fish and hopefully teach fishing to our children and grandchildren,” said Stephen Medeiros, Executive Director of RISAA.


Located along Warwick Neck and overlooking Narragansett Bay, the 124-acre Rocky Point State Park property is one of Rhode Island’s most beloved natural assets and has a 150+ year history of being a popular summer attraction for Rhode Islanders and visitors. Over the decades, attractions at Rocky Point have come and gone – nature trails, a ferry pier, the end of a trolley line running from Providence through Buttonwoods and Oakland Beach, an observation tower, hotels, clambakes, restaurants, swimming pool, rides, games, and concerts – but the attraction of publicly accessible land so close to Providence has been a consistent draw since 1850.


In March 2013, following voter approval of a $10 million bond in 2010 that was spearheaded by the Rocky Point Foundation with help from Save The Bay, DEM acquired 83 acres at the site of the former Rocky Point amusement park, creating Rhode Island’s newest state park. The state’s parcel on the interior of the park was integrated with the 41 acres of shoreline at Rocky Point that was bought by the City of Warwick with the help of state and federal funding in 2007.


“When Save The Bay joined the effort to acquire 82 acres of the Rocky Point Park site in 2010, we hoped it would once again become a place where Rhode Islanders could access, use, and enjoy Narragansett Bay,” said Jonathan Stone, Executive Director of Save The Bay. “We congratulate the DEM on completing this important project, which enhances Rocky Point and offers residents of Warwick and visitors alike a new way to appreciate the Bay and the shore.”


The contractor for the fishing pier project was ACK Marine & General Contracting LLC of Quincy, MA, and the engineering company was Pare Corporation, based in Lincoln, RI.


According to the RI DEM website: “The project is another example of Governor Raimondo’s and DEM’s commitment to invest in Rhode Island’s system of parks and beaches – which, according to a recent study, rank 1st in visits per park acre but 47th in state spending per visit. DEM is leading the Governor’s multi-year initiative to increase staffing at state parks and beaches, offer new amenities to users, adopt best practices, engage further with partners, and do more to realize the opportunities afforded by this magnificent system. Rhode Island’s natural and public assets are magnets, attracting more than 9 million Rhode Islanders and tourists a year. They’re also an engine that adds an estimated $315 million to the economy, generating nearly $40 million in state and local taxes and supporting nearly 4,000 jobs a year. However, more visitors (a 37% increase in beach visitation from 2010 to 2017), far fewer employees (full-time staffing in DEM’s Parks and Recreation Division has dropped by 67%, to 42 FTEs from 123, since 1989), longer seasons, and aging facilities are hindering DEM’s ability to meet some park users’ expectations.”


About Rocky Point Park

Opened for the first time in nearly twenty years in 2014, Rocky Point State Park serves as a memory for many Rhode Islanders of generation’s past. Over the 150+ years of the property’s existence, it has served as a location for nature trails, a ferry pier, an observation tower, hotels, clambakes, restaurants, swimming pool, rides, games, and concerts – but the attraction of 120 acres of land for public use within 10 miles of downtown Providence has been a consistent draw since 1850.


A the state’s newest coastal state park, visitors can enjoy the property they once made so many memories at, while the younger generations of park-goers can make new ones.


If you are planning to visit the Rocky Point property…


Please keep in mind that this is now a passive use park, and certain guidelines exist for its preservation. The State of Rhode Island and the City of Warwick ask that you adhere to the following rules:


  1. You are welcome to visit the property, but please do not park on the neighborhood roads.
  2. The removal of anything 
  3. (natural or man-made) from the property is strictly prohibited. This includes, but is not limited to, historic remains or artifacts, and natural rock material (including fossils & minerals).
  4. For your safety, do not climb any of the structures in the park.
  5. The harming or removing of any plant or animal life is strictly prohibited. This includes hunting, or trapping, or the cutting of plants or trees. Fishing is permitted with a valid license.
  6. Overnight Camping and/or building of fires is not permitted. The property is available for day use only.
  7. The use metal detectors, or any kind of digging tools or equipment, is not permitted.
  8. Leave nothing behind. Do not litter or leave any trace of your visit. Please keep the property clean and pristine so that others may enjoy it as much as you have.
  9. Off road vehicle use is not permitted. The use of motorized dirt-bikes and ATV’s is strictly prohibited.
  10. The use of the property is “at you own risk”. Please remember that this is a very rugged natural area with many hazards and pitfalls. Hiking in the areas off the main path can be dangerous, and should be attempted by capable hikers only.


The property has no drinking water, toilets, communications, or emergency assistance facilities. It is recommended that you come well prepared to handle your needs during your visit.


From the RI Division of Parks and Recreation


Imagine all the people living life...re-imagine, if you can

Imagine all the people living life… re-imagine, if you can…

July 2, 2020/Nancy Thomas

By Nancy Thomas, editor and publisher


“It’s time to totally reimagine how we care for seniors…” – Gov. Raimondo


It has not been that unusual for the smallest state in the country, with about 1 million stable (not mobile) people, with measurable media, and little overlap to be the site of something new – something bold – something to be tested. The items have mostly been products – such as the 2-liter bottle – or a new flavor of Coca-Cola. A nitro system for Dunkin’ Donuts. But campaigns such as the Women’s Heart Health Study and some tobacco control programs were also tested here.


But imagine this – what if the smallest state in the union tested something new on a human scale – how to care for each other when we age, and when that age brings a frailty or chronic disease, rehabilitation need, or conditions that need a level of expertise beyond that of a spouse or family members being able to handle alone.


Said softly in the middle of a regular “presser”, the idea was floated by Rhode Island’s Governor Raimondo at yesterday’s availability. “It’s time to totally re-imagine how we care for our seniors”. Challenging the existing care groups to think about redoing their medical and business model so that every senior in a nursing home had a single room and a single bathroom. She talked about specialty care and compensating those who do this work, mainly women and mainly minority women. Those of us who spend some time in nursing homes and see the farming of our loved ones into “congregate care” settings sat up straight when we heard those wordsIt doesn’t work that way – it would half the census of a home – but how more humane would it all be?


Reimagine, indeed.


And there is money behind this grand idea. This human idea. This idea whose time came generations ago. It will come from the federal money given to states to fight COVID19. RINewsToday rushed to find information on a website – information that allows long term care settings, nursing homes, group homes, assisted living centers, home health groups, to apply – now – for these re-imaging ideas. Soon a press release came out, making the idea a little more formal, but there it was, nonetheless, an imagining moment put into a real project – with enormous potential for all of us.


The release:


Time to Consider Changes to RI’s Long-Term Care System


Investments to Create More Home-Based Care Options Amidst Spread of COVID-19 in Congregate Living Facilities


Governor Gina Raimondo announced a plan to expand home-based care options in Rhode Island as the state continues to grapple with the spread of COVID-19 in congregate living facilities. Before COVID-19, 61% of the state’s long-term care recipients lived in nursing facilities, which have struggled to contain the spread and impact of COVID-19 on residents and staff.


“This is the right direction for Rhode Island,” said Governor Gina M. Raimondo. “We have been in response mode, and our facilities and staff are doing their best, but as we continue to fight this virus, we need to reduce our reliance on nursing facilities and expand home-based care options. We also need to make sure that our direct care workforce is valued in institutions and in the community with training, support and good wages.”


Raimondo’s $25M plan includes investments in nursing facility supports to implement infection control, investments in capital and program changes to fundamentally re-orient the delivery of care in nursing facilities, and targeted investments to expand home-base care options, through home-based workforce incentives, training and supports. The state will also invest to assist families in better understanding long-term care options and accessing home-based care options when discharged from hospitals.


“The pandemic exposed structural and organizational weaknesses within the long-term care system — inadequate staffing, high turn-over, low pay and lack training” said Patrick Quinn, Executive Vice President of SEIU 1199 New England, “We need to build a more resilient long-term care system that gives consumers and their families more independence when choosing a long term care setting and creates a living wage for caregivers as we rebalance our long term care system and drive more investment to direct care of the elderly and individuals living with disabilities. The status quo in nursing homes and home care is failing Rhode Island residents and families which is unacceptable.”


“COVID-19’s impact on older adults and persons living with disabilities with long term care needs has been dramatic,” said Maureen Maigret, co-chair of the State’s Long-Term Care Coordinating Council. “I am pleased the Governor has announced this long term supports and services resiliency plan. We need to reimagine how we deliver and finance long term care. To make home and community-based services – where persons overwhelmingly prefer to receive care — more accessible and to support our families in assisting their loved ones to remain at home. Our nursing homes provide essential services to those with high care needs. This plan will address the resources and workforce needed to better provide high quality, resident-centered care and nursing home care.”


“Historically, we’ve discharged thousands of hospital patients to nursing facilities every year. Times have changed now. Our colleagues are talking about this across the country. We need to build a system of home-based workforce and care that can work with us as we discharge patients safely to their homes to recover with the supports they need.” said Tim Babineau, CEO of Lifespan.


Further information is available on the Executive Office of Health & Human Services’ website at www.eohhs.ri.gov.


A response from the RI Partnership for Home Care


Home Care Providers Respond to Raimondo’s Long-Term Care Resiliency Plan Release


Nicholas Oliver, Executive Director for the Rhode Island Partnership for Home Care, issues the following statement regarding today’s announcement by Governor Gina Raimondo (D-RI) concerning the release of the State’s new ‘Long-Term Care Resiliency Plan’:


“Home care providers have not benefited from the State’s allocation of COVID-19 related funding and personal protective equipment (PPE) needs in parity with our nursing home colleagues to date. Our association is looking forward to working with Governor Raimondo and her administration to address the issues identified within the ‘Long-Term Care Resiliency Plan’. While the plan’s content does not adequately address the immediate funding and resource needs of home care providers, it is our desire to continue the dialogue with the Governor’s leadership team on maintaining a sustainable network of home care providers during the ongoing public health emergency for all Rhode Islanders in need, including COVID-19 survivors requiring post-acute and sub-acute home care services. The Rhode Island Partnership for Home Care will continue to advocate for these needs, along with our proposals to save taxpayer dollars by rebalancing long-term care financing that shifts federal and state funds from costly nursing homes to strengthen home care operations and services, reduce taxpayer-funded duplication of state programs that provide lesser quality home care services, incentivize Rhode Islanders to choose home care as a career choice and a preferred healthcare setting to work, improve state case management of Medicaid beneficiaries and hold all home care providers accountable to the optimal healthcare delivery standards of the Rhode Island Partnership for Home Care.”


About the RI Partnership for Home Care


Established in 1990, the Rhode Island Partnership for Home Care (“The Partnership”) represents home care, home nursing care and hospice agencies licensed by the Rhode Island Department of Health to serve patients and clients in every Rhode Island community. As the only association in our state to promote access to quality home healthcare, The Partnership is committed to promoting quality home healthcare service delivery, ethical healthcare business practices and positive patient and client outcomes to ensure that access to home care and hospice remains an integral component of our post-acute and long-term healthcare system.




Each week, RINewsToday drills down on the nursing home data and we publish the cases and deaths, as we hold a bright light on the fate of people we are losing – steadily – week in and week out – thankfully below 100 now – but we hear the stats every day – spoken by RIDOH’s Dr. Scott – “1 in their 70s, 2 in their 80s, 6 in their 90s, 2 over 100”.


This virus, it is said, “isn’t the big one” heading our way. Infectious disease sounds like it has come to stay as a concern. “Life may never return to normal,” the Governor said. So it’s time to blow up the system which seems pretty blown up anyway right about now – and get it as right as we can.


Disclosure – Aunt Alice, in the photo above, is 93 years old and lives in an average room in a nursing home. She and a roommate she never met live in this small room. Since the second week of March she has been restricted to her room because of the COVID19. There is about 2 feet of space on one side, a curtain on the other, right up against her bed, and a walkway with the bathroom door in front of her bed. She has had no visitors. She can’t eat with other residents, or have activities, or get her hair done, or walk to the windows. No one has come to visit. A month ago her roommate died. They’ve left her bed with a black plastic mattress on it – not made up, homelike. So far, no COVID-19, and for that we’re grateful. She calls often – midnight, 2am, 4am, 6am. She’s cold and wants a blanket. I call the nurse’s station at 4am because she can’t go out to ask them, and can’t figure out the call buzzer. And so it goes. She lived all on her own before this, in her own apartment, with more needs as time passed. A little fall landed her in the hospital – and now here. She had never even visited a nursing home before. And it’s one of the better ones. She takes no medication, and is about 100 lbs. She can be feisty.


One nursing home administrator in Warren, RI asked how he has kept the virus out of his facility. He said it was not some magic formula – it was two things – a small facility – and being in a community that isn’t dense and that has a small number of cases that draws its workforce from there.


We will go back to the words Gov. Raimondo spoke at the “presser” because these words have spirit behind them – they have a re-imagining behind them – and we encourage whatever groups begin to plan for this that they begin by some exercise every single time they meet, that gives them a moment to realize the greatness of the task before them. There’s $25Million to start – let’s not blow this, Rhode Island. We could change the world for our country, for the people we love, for the years that we have to look forward to as well. We are 1 million people. We’re a test site. We can do it.


John Lennon died at 40. Yoko Ono is 87 years old.


Your Coronavirus Update Today 7/2/20 from RINewsToday.com

Your Coronavirus Update Today – July 2, 2020

July 2, 2020/RINewsToday


Photo: Casey Farm in RI says, “Keep THREE Chickens away from each other!”



The Grand Floridian, The Yacht Club, and The Gran Destino hotels have been rented out in Disney for the NBA. NBA to paint “Black Lives Matter” on all sidelines.


Australia steps up police patrols in Melbourne’s locked down coronavirus hotspots as authorities struggle to contain new outbreaks.


Havana, Cuba to ease lockdown as they move to phase 2.


Houston moves COVID-19 patients to other cities: “we don’t have capacity”.


More than 54,000 Americans living or working in long-term care have died of the coronavirus, representing 40% of all Covid-19 fatalities, according to a NYT article.


Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, warned the Senate that the number of cases could soon reach 100,000 a day if the country does not act quickly.


14 states have statewide mask mandates, and more than 20 others have mask-wearing requirements for business patrons and employees.


Banks around the U.S. are running low on coins – nickels, dimes, quarters and even pennies. And the Federal Reserve, which supplies banks, has been forced to ration scarce supplies. https://www.npr.org/2020/06/21/880958665/the-latest-pandemic-shortage-coins-are-the-new-toilet-paper


One third of the prisoners at San Quentin Prison in California are probably infected now with the virus – 42% of the prison’s population are considered “medically vulnerable”.


All MLB games are off for the season.


Space Camp has resumed at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center after shutting down because of the coronavirus pandemic.


the operator of 1,200 Pizza Hut and nearly 400 Wendy’s restaurants in the United States, has filed for bankruptcy, according to the company. Pizza Hut & Wendy’s, owned by the same company have filed for bankruptcy – they employ 7,500 full time and 28,500 part time workers throughout the US. This step is expected to help them restructure.


In Phoenix, Arizona: The governor ordered bars, nightclubs and water parks to close again for at least a month starting Monday night


Trenton, New Jersey: Gov. Phil Murphy said he’s postponing the restarting of indoor dining, possibly for weeks, because of a lack of compliance on face masks and social distancing


Philadelphia: The city is halting its plans to allow indoor dining, bars, gyms and fitness centers to reopen.


Quarantine rules for New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut have added eight new states where travelers will be required to quarantine. Added to the list were California, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada and Tennessee, raising the total to 16 states under the quarantine orders.


Airbus says to cut around 15,000 jobs


NFL reportedly will cut preseason in half because of pandemic


Apple said it would re-close 30 stores, including 15 in its home state of California.


A temporary extension of a subsidy program for small businesses slammed by the coronavirus has been approved and will be signed by the president.


The New York Subway is now equipped with touch screen PPE vending machines distributing masks, sanitizer, and gloves.


The 2020 MTV Video Music Awards will go on, but without audience.


The CEO of Gilead, maker of remdesivir, estimated to cost over $3,000/dose, said, “We’re going to make sure that access is not an issue with this medicine”. 


Lowe’s will up the pay of their staff as their business is booming during the pandemic.


Grocery supply chains tighten once again and prices rise.


Sports stadium designers are starting to re-imagine stadiums of the future with requirements for social distance seating, etc. See more, here: https://cnb.cx/2ByqFRc



Kent Hospital endoscopy unit temporarily closed due to potential exposure to COVID-19 – employees are being quarantined for 14 days.


Gov. Raimondo is featured in Oprah Magazine‘s article “Meet the Rockstar Governors Who Came to our Rescue”

Massachusetts casinos could reopen as soon as next week, but in the face of reduced capacity, Encore Boston Harbor announced plans Monday to furlough a substantial portion of its staff. Approximately 3,000 employees and managers will be furloughed


Maine did not release the quarantine requirement for travelers coming from RI.


All Providence pools will be closed for the season – water parks are open.


Providence may reassign 40% of students to their neighborhood schools.


Kountry Clam Shack, a new addition to the menu at the Kountry Kitchen in Smithfield has opened, offering outdoor dining,


MA Governor Charlie Baker said Tuesday that he was relaxing the state’s 14-day self-quarantine guidance for visitors, exempting people arriving from seven other states in the Northeast that are making progress in the battle against the coronavirus. The update to the self-quarantine advisory, effective July 1, applies to people coming to Massachusetts from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire.


These campgrounds are open in RI:
• Burlingame State Campground, Charlestown
• Charlestown Breachway, Charlestown
• Fishermen’s Memorial Campground, Narragansett
• George Washington Memorial Campground, Glocester


Findings of a Fleming study for the Hassenfeld Institute:

*Sixty-six percent of Rhode Island voters said the Governor is opening the State at the right pace


*Almost two-thirds of Rhode Islanders said they are very or somewhat comfortable returning to work outside the home


*More than half of Rhode Islanders are somewhat or very uncomfortable dining in a restaurant


*Voters are divided if they are comfortable attending religious services


*Sixty-five percent of Rhode Island voters said they are very or somewhat comfortable going to a barber or hair salon


*Rhode Islanders are divided on if they are comfortable sending students in K thru 12 back to school in the fall


*Voters between the ages of 40 and 59, Republicans and people who earn over $200K are the most comfortable with doing things outside the home.


*Over three-fourths of voters said that unemployment is a big or moderate problem


Go here for the full study: https://hassenfeld.bryant.edu/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Hassenfeld-Survey-Report-June-2020.pdf


PawSox 2020 season is canceled


This week Mass. reported 0 new coronavirus deaths one day for the first time in months


Woonsocket’s Autumnfest is canceled


Dragon Boat Races in Pawtucket canceled


King Richard’s Faire canceled


Showcase will reopen Friday and will run old movies.


Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market will reopened Wednesday.


Providence Libraries opened Wednesday. Brief visits, outdoor seating, no public computers yet (but coming soon). Wear a mask, wash your hands, maintain social distancing.


Oatley’s Restaurant in North Kingstown will not open.

Newport International Boat Show will not be held this year.


RI Data


Deaths: 6.  1 in 40s, 2 in 60s, 1 in 70s, 1 in 80s, 1 in 90s. (4 were in long term care)


Data will be updated Thurs & Fri, not weekend and not Monday – then again on Tuesday.


Gov’s updates won’t take place now until next Tuesday.


4th of July: We can have fun, but please follow the rules – masks, distancing, sanitizing. Don’t want to see a spike in 2, 3, 4 weeks. No more than 250 people at any events. 6 feet apart, or where your mask. Every city/town will get 1,000 masks to distribute. RIDEM will also distribute masks this weekend at masks and parks.


Inspections: More than 90% compliance with mask wearing by customers and employees. Not so good news is issue of congregating in lines at beaches, bars. 18% of bar inspections not adequate social distancing – we need to do better, don’t want to shut them down.


Senior care support from state: Continuing wage bonuses for front line workers. Immediate relief for costs with additional cleaning, PPE purchases. Increase nursing home inspections. High standards for infection control – hold nursing homes responsible for infection control.  


NEW: Support and provision for nursing homes to totally reimagine care for seniors: How can they accommodate single rooms, single bathrooms, specialty units. Innovate, change business, change clinical and business model to be better and stronger – learn from lessons we’ve learned. Grow and strengthen our home based systems to have better options other than nursing homes. Hard to find home care community supports so RI will commit to make it easier for you to provide care and make nursing homes more innovative. Job training for home care. Options for nights, weekends, holidays, overnights. Working with hospitals so family can receive options at discharge of loved ones. Many direct care workers are women, and women of color – important we make these jobs good paying jobs, career jobs. Going to use Covid funds to support this.


ChildCare: 70% of childcare providers have opened their doors. Additional $5M from Cares for structural changes to help centers get open. DHS partnering with LISC to provide funds.



Kathy Gregg story on BCG Contract – Gov says she has been transparent – expenditures are online – no? – I was moving fast and I’ll defend it all along. $2M pro bono work, we were impressed with them, and we gave them a contract to go ahead. They helped us figure out testing, contact tracing – they embedded in our teams and helped us figure it out. “It’s been excellent”.


Rental Assistance: WPRI’s Kim Kalunian asked about distribution of rental assistance money. “We partnered with Crossroads RI and it’s not going as fast as it needs to.”  Said they are getting more involved to figure out how it needs to work faster. Housing Help RI – if you are behind on your rent call Crossroads or go to HousingHelpRI – there is money available – “we haven’t done a good job about getting the money out – we will do better”. Expect a spike in evictions in August – hope to have a mediation program to announce next week.


UI Boost: Will UI continue? This is what’s buoying the economy at the moment – what will we do?  Economists are predicting bad consequences beginning in August. “I think it will be devastating if we don’t get another stimulus” – everything will be on the table – devastating cuts, massive layoffs, etc. Trump administration supports another stimulus as does every governor and our federal legislators.  Looks like we will get another one in last week of July. Don’t know about PPP. Don’t know about extra $600. RI is preparing for everything.


HEZ – Health Equity Zones – how much money in budget? Gov. says she does not know, as it will depend on budget scenario. “It’s a priority of mine that we will continue to invest in.” But I don’t know the numbers.


Pawtucket stadium project – Tidewater Landing – with coronavirus problems – “It’s slower and harder” – company continues to raise money – Gov says, “no, we’re not even close to throwing in the towel on the development”.  Re McCoy – we have to look at all options – single A and double A teams were interested, but the world has changed now. We need to get back to it.


Nursing Homes: Phase 3 – Can people see their loved ones now? We do have drive-by with some nursing homes. Closest way and safest way right now. Next week some more developments should be announced. Mental health assistance for those family members who have lost loved ones in nursing homes – Director Power has contacted nursing home team to offer behavioral health services.


RIPTA: Has state looked at giving out masks here? Dr. Scott: absolutely. And looking at more locations for masks, sanitizers and social distancing info.


Elderly deaths every day: Assisted living and nursing homes still experiencing deaths every day. Virus continues to be present – still targeted to frail and elderly for the most part – while cases are lower, deaths are lower, but are still occurring.


DEATHS: 720 Deaths have taken place in nursing homes; 45 in assisted living facilities. Total deaths are 956 – this means 80% of all deaths were people in nursing homes/assisted living facilities.


Hospital visitations: will announce next week


PPE Petition for release of funds by Lt. Gov. – you can look for info on transparency portal and it’s updated monthly.


Rhode News as of 07/02/20 of 6:58am

>>Petition Calls For Removal Of Christopher Columbus Statue In Newport

(Newport, RI) -- A petition is asking the City of Newport to remove a statue of Christopher Columbus. Almost twenty-five hundred people have signed the petition to remove the statue from the intersection of Bellevue Avenue and Memorial Boulevard, where it has stood for more than sixty years. Mayor Jamie Bova said she is "open to the conversation" about removing the statue.

>>International Boat Show Canceled

(Newport, RI) -- This year's International Boat Show in Newport is canceled due to a spike in COVID-19 cases across the country. Newport Restaurant Group CEO Paul O'Reilly said there was a very high probability that the show would not be allowed to move forward, and that the group is shifting its focus to 2021. The event was scheduled for September 17th to the 20th at the Newport Yachting Center.


Fireworks are Illegal in RI and MA

Fireworks are Illegal in RI and MA. Period.

July 1, 2020/RINewsToday

As the Fourth of July and summer celebrations approach, Chief Steven Pinch and the Union Fire District of South Kingstown reminds residents that the use of fireworks is illegal in Rhode Island.


It is illegal in Rhode Island for non-professional, non-licensed individuals to sell, use or possess display fireworks or aerial consumer fireworks. Firecrackers, rockets, mortars or any other device that launches a projectile or makes a detonation noise are also illegal. Additionally, residents are prohibited from purchasing fireworks elsewhere and transporting them into the state.


Items such as ground-based and hand-held sparkling devices are legal for use by the general public. Legal items include fountains, illuminating torches, wheels or spinners, party poppers, snappers, toy smoke devices, snakes, glow worms, wire sparklers and dipped sticks.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, there were an estimated 9,100 fireworks-related, emergency department-treated injuries in 2018.


The Union Fire District of South Kingstown recommends that residents only attend displays put on by a licensed professional to ensure safety.

“Due to COVID-19 safety concerns it was necessary for our annual fireworks display at Old Mountain Field to be cancelled this year. We understand how many people look forward to this event each year,” Chief Pinch said. “While this may disrupt the plans of many residents and visitors, we would like to remind our community members that they should not create or partake in their own fireworks display in the absence of the community’s professional display. The illegal use of fireworks isn’t worth the trip to the emergency room or the destruction of property.”


Residents should always:

Call 911 if anyone gets injured by fireworks.


Set a positive example for children by not using illegal fireworks. If kids see adults using them, they may not realize the dangers and could be encouraged to pick up matches or lighters.


Be careful around even the smallest fireworks. Sparklers burn at 1,800 degrees and could easily cause severe burns and injuries.


According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the misuse of fireworks can cause death and injuries including severe burns, contusions, lacerations, eye injuries and more.


Editor’s Note: This information comes from South Kingstown, but has been received from several fire chiefs in RI and MA.http://RINewsToday.com


Rhode News as of 07/01/20 of 7:58am

Undated)  --  Here is the latest news:  RI driver's licenses can now be gender-neutral.  The RI DOH issues a food recall advisory.  Four state-run campgrounds in RI are open. 

>>Driver's Licenses Can Be Gender-Neutral

(Providence, RI)  --  Rhode Islanders can now choose a gender-neutral designation on their driver's license.  The new option will appear as an X on licenses.  To make the change, people must fill out the appropriate forms and make an appointment to paperwork in person to the DMV.   

>>RI DOH Alerts Consumers To Food Recall

(Providence RI)  --  The Rhode Island Department of Health is advising consumers about a recall of Fresh Express salad products containing iceberg lettuce, red cabbage, and/or carrot ingredients due to a potential risk from Cyclospora.  It's a condition that can cause diarrhea, stomach cramps, nausea, and fatigue.  The recalled products were sold under various brand names in Rhode Island and Massachusetts in June.  More details are available at health.ri.gov.    

>>Four RI State Campgrounds Now Open

(Providence, RI)  --  Four Rhode Island state campgrounds are now open daily with COVID-19 restrictions in place.  They include Burlingame State Campground in Charlestown, Charlestown Breachway in Charlestown, Fishermen's Memorial Campground in Narragansett, and George Washington Memorial Campground in Glocester.  Detailed information is available online at the Department of Environmental Management web site.

>>Man Charged With Impersonating An Officer

(Burrillville, RI)  --  A 25-year-old Burrillville man is charged with impersonating an officer.  WPRI-TV reports Brett Hopkins is accused of using his personal vehicle to stop an out-of-state driver because of concern about the spread of COVID-19.  The woman says she had crossed from Connecticut into Rhode Island on her way to work at a hospital when she was pulled over and questioned.  Police say the incident happened in March and that Hopkins will face a court appearance.

>>Red Sox Players Reporting To Fenway Park

(Boston, MA)  --  Red Sox players are reporting to Fenway Park today to be tested for COVID-19.  The results will determine how many of them will be allowed to start working out on Friday.  It will be the first time the team has held spring training in Massachusetts since 1943.  Major League Baseball is set to begin a 60 game schedule on July 23rd and 24th.




Rhode News as of 06/30/20 of 11:00am

Here is the latest news:  The latest COVID-19 data for RI is released.  The Twin River casinos are now open with coronavirus restrictions in place.  The annual Autumnfest in Woonsocket is canceled because of COVID-19. 

>>Latest COVID-19 Data For RI

(Providence, RI)  --   The COVID-19 death toll in Rhode Island is now 950 with four more deaths reported today.  There are 36 newly confirmed cases.  Seventy-four people were hospitalized with 13 in intensive care.

>>Twin River Casinos Reopen With Restrictions

(Undated)  --  The Twin River casinos in Lincoln and Tiverton are open to the general public as of today with COVID-19 restrictions in place.  Patron capacity in Lincoln is capped at 34-hundred and the cap is 900 in Tiverton.  Everyone must have their temperature checked before entry, they must wear face masks and observe social distancing from anyone not in their party.  Hours are ten a.m. to three a.m. and there is no valet parking.

>>Woonsocket's Annual Autumnfest Is Canceled

(Woonsocket, RI)  --  Woonsocket's annual Autumnfest is canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.  Organizers say because of guidelines and restrictions, it would be nearly impossible to hold the event.  Autumnfest has been held every October for 42 years.

>>Four RI State Campgrounds Now Open

(Providence, RI)  --  Four state campgrounds in Rhode Island are now open daily with COVID-19 restrictions in place.  They include Burlingame State Campground in Charlestown, Charlestown Breachway in Charlestown, Fishermen's Memorial Campground in Narragansett, and George Washington Memorial Campground in Glocester.  Detailed information is available online at the Department of Environmental Management web site. 

>>Rhode Islanders Don't Have To Quarantine In MA

(Boston, MA)  --  Starting tomorrow, visitors to Massachusetts from Rhode Island and the other New England states, New York and New Jersey will not be asked to self-quarantine for 14 days.  Governor Charlie Baker says that like Massachusetts, nearby states are seeing a significant drop in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.  The northeast is currently doing better than many parts of the country coping with the coronavirus.



Rhode News as of 06/28/20 of 11:25am

Here is the latest news:  Reopening enters phase three tomorrow.  The latest COVID-19 data for RI is released.  A Woonsocket murder suspect is ordered held without bail.

>>Reopening Phase 3 Starts Tomorrow In RI

(Providence, RI)  --  Rhode Island is moving to phase three of reopening tomorrow.  With COVID-19 safety protocols in place, private social gatherings will be limited to 25 people indoors and 50 people outdoors.  Governor Gina Raimondo says she feels confident and safe to enter into phase three.  However, noting that cases are spiking in several states, the governor says she's asking everyone to do the right thing and continue wearing masks and to maintain social distancing. 

>>Latest COVID-19 Data For RI

(Providence, RI)  --  The COVID-19 death toll in Rhode Island is now 946.  Since Friday, there have been 19 virus-related deaths and 107 new cases.  Seventy-three people were hospitalized with 15 patients in intensive care, 14 of them on ventilators.

>>Woonsocket Murder Suspect Held Without Bail

(Providence, RI)  --  A 26-year-old Woonsocket man charged with first-degree murder is being held without bail.  No plea was entered when Paul Raposo was arraigned today for the shooting death of his 30-year-old roommate Derek Desjardin.  The victim was found dead in his apartment shortly after eight o'clock Friday morning.  

>>Murder Suspect Is Charged In Providence

(Providence, RI)  --  A 20-year-old homeless man is charged with murder in the death of a 50-year-old woman in Providence on Friday.  Investigators say Mai Jweinat surprised Isaiah Arujo as he allegedly tried to steal items inside her now-closed restaurant on Admiral Street.  The victim's son arrived at the scene and was injured in a violent struggle with Arujo.  The suspect fled but he was captured a short time later.

>>Rhode Island-Based Retailer Is Closing

(Updated)  --  Cumberland-based Ann & Hope is closing all of its Curtain and Bath Outlet stores in the next three to four months.  The company says the decision is largely based on the significant economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.  Closing sales will begin on July 9th.  There are 11 Ann & Hope locations in Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Massachusetts.    

>>Deadly Pedestrian Accident Victim Is Identified

(Updated)  --  The pedestrian who was struck on Route 146 in North Smithfield around 9:30 last night is now identified.  State Police say 57-year-old Raymond Mercier of Attleboro, Massachusetts, was attempting to cross the highway when he was hit.  He later died at Rhode Island Hospital.  The North Smithfield resident driving the vehicle was not hurt and police say speed or impairment do not initially appear to be factors.  



Rhode Island News as of 6/26/20 6.26am

>>Columbus Statue In Providence Taken Down

(Providence, RI)  --  The Christopher Columbus statue in Providence is taking at least a temporary break from public display.  Crews removed it on Thursday as Mayor Jorge Elorza announced the Special Committee for Commemorative Works will get community feedback and advise the city Board of Parks Commissioners, which will determine the statue's future.  Those who wanted the statue removed say the real history of Columbus warranted the action.  Last year on Columbus Day, a sign that said "stop celebrating genocide" was placed on the statue in the city's Elmwood neighborhood, one of several times it has been recently vandalized.

>>Burrillville Declares Itself Sanctuary From State COVID-19 Orders

(Burrillville, RI)  --  Burrillville made headlines previously for becoming the first town in Rhode Island to become a "Second Amendment sanctuary town".  Now, it's the first RI municipality to make the same declaration with the First Amendment.  The Town Council voted 5-to-2 on Wednesday to pass the resolution which was introduced in response to Governor Gina Raimondo's coronavirus executive orders and restrictions.  It asks the town police department to use discretion in enforcing the state directives and says town funds will not be spent on them.  A spokesperson for the Raimondo administration says the measures that have been taken are fully constitutional and have drastically slowed the spread of the virus.

>>Johnson And Wales Closing Two Campuses

(Providence, RI)  --  Johnson and Wales University is closing its campuses in Florida and Colorado at the end next school year.  University Chancellor Mim Runey says students at the North Miami and Denver campuses will have the option to transfer to the main campus in Providence, Rhode Island and the other one in Charlotte, North Carolina.  Runey also says JWU is working to attract a broader reach of students while maintaining its hospitality and culinary arts offerings.  She says the coronavirus pandemic was not the deciding factor in all of this.

>>Candidates Must Be Allowed To Skip In-Person Signature-Gathering

(Providence, RI)  --  A federal judge is ruling that Rhode Island must allow alternate methods of signature requirements for state legislative candidates.  Six candidates for state Senate, including incumbent Gayle Goldin, sued the RI Secretary of State, Board of Elections and the state's canvassing boards, arguing that collecting in-person signatures would put them at risk for coronavirus exposure.  The ruling indicates for this year only, the candidates must be allowed to collect signatures electronically.

>>State Republican Party Pulls Endorsement Of Senate Candidate

(Warwick, RI)  --  The Rhode Island Republican Party is revoking its endorsement of a U.S. Senate candidate.  The decision not to support Allen Waters, who is running against Democratic incumbent Jack Reed, is due to reports of Waters being involved in a domestic disturbance last year.  RI GOP chairwoman Sue Cienki says Waters will still be able to run as a Republican if he gathers the required signatures, but he will not have the backing of the party.

>>Illegal Fireworks Task Force Assembles In Providence

(Providence, RI)  --  Authorities will be looking for illegal fireworks in Providence this weekend.  The city police and fire departments are teaming up with the Rhode Island State Fire Marshal's Office on a task force in response to complaints about the activity.  Providence Police Chief Hugh Clements says an uptick in illegal fireworks is connected to the cancellation of many displays and other celebrations due to the coronavirus pandemic.


Rhode Island News as of 06/25/20 of 7:58am

24/7 News Source 06/25/2020 07:57:21
Rhode Island Summary PM (1)

>>The Latest

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news:  A nursing home in Providence is closing.  A Warwick man is sentenced for a deadly pedestrian accident.  A MA man jumps from a steep ledge in Tiverton.

>>A Nursing Home In Providence Is Closing

(Providence, RI)  --  A nursing home on the East Side of Providence is going to shut down by the end of August.  A spokesperson for the Hallworth House cites the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the facility which was already struggling financially.  A dozen of the 19 residents who tested positive for COVID-19 have died.  Administrators are working with families and the state Department of Health to relocate the 23 current residents. 

>>Driver Sentenced For Deadly Pedestrian Accident

(Undated)  --  A Warwick man is sentenced for his role in a deadly pedestrian accident three years ago.  WJAR-TV reports Marshall Howard faces a three year suspended sentence, three years probation and he's ordered to get substance abuse and mental health counseling.  He was convicted in February of drug possession but a DUI death resulting charge was dismissed by a judge.  David Bustin was fatally injured as he walked on Main Avenue in May of 2017. 

>>Man Jumps From Steep Ledge In Tiverton

(Tiverton, RI)  --  An 18-year-old Fall River Massachusetts is being treated for serious injuries after police say he jumped from a 50-to-60 foot ledge along Route 24 in Tiverton.  The Newport Daily News reports he was with friends atop Blueberry Hill early Tuesday night when he reportedly made suicidal comments.  The man was listed in stable condition yesterday at Rhode Island Hospital. 

>>East Providence Is Opening A Dog Park

(East Providence, RI)  --  East Providence is going to open its first dog park.   It will be located near Hunts Mills in the city's Rumford neighborhood.  The park is only for East Providence residents who will need to get a dog park permit.  An official opening date has not yet been announced. 

>>Red Sox Player Tested Positive For COVID-19

(Boston, MA)  --  The Red Sox say an unnamed player has tested positive for the coronavirus.  A club spokesman says he was exposed in his hometown and he's recovering. A shortened major league baseball season is expected to start in late July.


Mill Fire On Pawtucket-Central Falls Line

A massive fire blazed through a group of mill buildings on the Pawtucket-Central Falls line early Saturday morning. This was at the Conant Thread complex. Fire officials say over two-hundred residents from nearby apartments were displaced. The cause of the fire is being investigated. The National Weather Service said the fire was picked up on radar.


Providence Closes Two Businesses Who Allegedly Violated Patron Limit

The city of Providence said on Sunday that it has issued closure orders to a pair of businesses that violated the new limit to one-hundred patrons enacted due to the coronavirus. The violation letters went to the Wonderland strip club on Allens Avenue and Parkview Bakery Café on Broad Street. The closures are to remain in effect until further notice.


Coronavirus Impacts State Court Calendar; Closures Include Casinos

Here's a list of coronavirus-caused closures in Rhode Island announced this weekend. The state court system's calendar is canceled this week, and the federal courthouse in Providence is closed starting today until further notice. Providence City Hall is closed for two weeks. Also on the list: the Twin River casinos, the Newport mansions, YMCAs in the state, and the Roger Williams Park Zoo.


Westerly Girl With COVID-19 Reportedly Got Autograph From Infected NBA Player

Westerly Police Chief Shawn Lacey said on Friday that two children in the town tested positive for coronavirus and that one of them got an autograph from one of the two Utah Jazz players who have also tested positive. This was from when the Jazz played at the Boston Celtics on March 6th. Lacey didn't say which of the two players gave the autograph to the child.


Entire School Community Quarantined; No Change On RI School Status

Rhode Island's coronavirus "positive" number remained at 20 on Sunday. A data update from the state also indicated about 23-hundred people in Rhode Island are being asked to self-quarantine, including about 17-hundred students and others from Cranston High School West as one of the positives is a student there. Rhode Island has gone unchanged from its plan to have schools just be off for this week thanks to a rescheduled spring vacation, while neighboring Massachusetts announced Sunday night that all schools in that state are closing for three weeks. Governor Gina Raimondo is directing child care centers in Rhode Island to close.


Movie-Filming Tax Credit Legislation Goes To Gov's Desk

A motion picture tax credit bill is passed by the General Assembly. The legislation amends the current program by allowing productions to access tax credits even if the majority of the production is not done within the state, if a minimum of ten-million dollars is spent in the state within a year. The bill heads to the governor's desk.


January 2020 Unemployment Report In Rhode Island

The Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training said Thursday that the unemployment rate in January dropped to three-point-four percent. That rate was one-tenth of a percentage point lower than December and three-tenths of a percentage point down from January 2019.


Lifespan Cuts Jobs After Fiscal Year In The Red

Lifespan has announced the elimination of 87 jobs as part of a restructuring effort. Lifespan says it laid off 55 people from its corporate services office, and that another 216 employees have agreed to retire by March 28th. President and CEO Timothy Babineau says Lifesan lost 35-million dollars in Fiscal Year 2019.


RIIL Basketball, Hockey Championships Being Played

The Rhode Island Interscholastic League is keeping the lights on this weekend for winter sports championships. A number of boys' and girls' basketball Sweet 16 playoff games were played on Thursday. Basketball and ice hockey action will continue this weekend. The Rhode Island Interscholastic League says there will not be any fans allowed and that the effort is being made to have all the games streamed.


Entertainment Licenses Revoked In Prov. For Emergency Declaration

Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza declared a state of emergency on Thursday over the coronavirus pandemic and said all entertainment licenses in the city would be temporarily revoked. Restaurants and bars can stay open but cannot serve over one-hundred people at a time. All city events scheduled for the next two weeks are being postponed and non-essential public meetings are being canceled. Providence Municipal Court Chief Judge Frank Caprio announced the closure of the court until further notice because of the virus. The Providence Bruins' season was halted yesterday as part of the American Hockey League's decision to suspend games.


Brown And RISD Campuses Will Close

Brown University and the Rhode Island School of Design are the latest schools moving to virtual online learning because of the coronavirus threat. Both schools say the change will be effective at the end of the month. Additionally, all residence halls on both campuses will close on March 22nd, and students will have to complete the semester from their homes or an alternate location.


Atlantic 10 And Big East Tournaments Are Canceled

The Atlantic 10 and the Big East Tournaments are now canceled due to the threat of the coronavirus. The University of Rhode Island Rams were to begin tournament play in Brooklyn, New York, against an opponent that would have been determined.  The Providence College Friars were scheduled to play Butler University at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Several other college conferences have also canceled their tournaments.


Diocese Announces Dispensation From Mass Obligation

The Diocese of Providence is going to continue offering Masses, however, due to the threat of the coronavirus, Catholics are released from their obligation to attend Sunday Mass for the time being. Parishioners over 60 years of age and anyone with underlying health conditions are especially encouraged to take advantage of the dispensation. Pastors and Catholic school administrators are also directed to carefully evaluate the advisability of holding any social events scheduled for a parish or school.


Visitor Restrictions Implemented At RWMC And Fatima Hospitals

A no visitor policy is now in effect at Roger Williams Medical Center in Providence and Our Lady of Fatima Hospital in North Providence until further notice. CharterCARE Health Partners says it's an effort to protect patients and staff and limit potential exposure to the coronavirus. All patients, including those arriving for outpatient procedures, are advised to access both hospitals via Emergency Department entrances where they will be screened and directed to the appropriate location. A no visitor policy is also in effect at all Lifespan and Care New England hospitals.


Providence School Superintendent Announces Priorities

Providence School Superintendent Harrison Peters says he has 34 priorities. The new state-appointed superintendent released a ten-page plan this week. Priorities include a review of the transportation policy, reducing employee vacancies, a recruitment drive to attract diverse and effective teachers and a school facilities capital plan.


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