1540 WADK.com Updates

Arizona Senator Calls CNN Report A 'Liberal Hack'

Arizona Senator and Warwick native Martha McSally refused to answer questions from a CNN reporter on Thursday, calling him a liberal hack. The network's Manu Raju tried to ask McSally if new evidence revealed this week would be part of the impeachment of President Trump. McSally refused to answer. After Raju tweeted about it, McSally also tweeted it, including posting a video from her staff that showed the incident.

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Middletown Council President Calls For Firefighter Union President's Ouster

Middletown Town Council President Robert Sylvia is calling for town firefighters to remove their union president. This comes while there is public scrutiny of the Middletown Fire Department's staffing levels for its response to a New Year's Eve fire, and the town is in the middle of arbitration hearings with the union. Sylvia, in a statement, accuses John Jordan, who was off-duty from his firefighter position, of responding to the scene of the fire on Woolsey Road not to help suppress the fire, but to apparently hold a press conference, and that Jordan took advantage of a close tragedy. Jordan disputed that allegation and said his firefighters are behind him.

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Budget Includes Another Attempt To Legalize Recreational Marijuana

Governor Gina Raimondo's proposed 2020 budget plan released on Thursday would go past the ten-billion-dollar mark for the first time in state history, at ten-point-two-billion. The budget includes another attempt to legalize adult-use cannabis featuring state-run stores, modeled after liquor stores in New Hampshire.

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State Police Raid Illegal Marijuana Operation

 Four people have been arrested as the result of a State Police raid on a suspected illegal marijuana operation in West Warwick. Troopers also seized about 50 pot plants from a space rented in a building on Industrial Lane. The building is owned by the family of former State Representative Jared Nunes. Nunes says he didn't know anything about the raid or his tenant's activities.

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Rabid Bat Found In Portsmouth

The state Department of Health is warning that a bat in Portsmouth tested positive for rabies. It was found Saturday morning in the vicinity of Massachusetts Boulevard and Anthony Road. Rabies is a fatal disease and any person or pet that may have had contact with the bat is advised to immediately call the Center for Acute Infectious Disease Epidemiology for treatment guidance.

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Tree Cutting Mystery In Tiverton

There's an unsolved mystery in Tiverton. About two dozen trees on town-owned waterfront property have been cut down to a height of about four feet. Charges could include vandalism and destruction of town property. Anyone with information is asked to contact Tiverton police.

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Plowable Snow Likely This Weekend

Snow is expected to overspread Rhode Island late Saturday afternoon. Forecasters say it's likely there will be a plowable amount of accumulation especially inland. The snow is likely to change to rain late Saturday night.

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Orsted Announces New Innovation Hub In Providence

Offshore wind company Orsted is announcing plans for a new innovation hub in Providence. Orsted said yesterday the plan is to open at the Cambridge Innovation Center on Dyer Street this spring. Orsted owns the Block Island Wind Farm and got approval from state regulators last year for a power purchase agreement for the four-hundred-megawatt Revolution Wind project.

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New Civil Division Chief Announced By Rhode Island A.G.

Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Neronha is appointing his office's new Civil Division leader. That will be Miriam Weizenbaum, who is taking over for the retiring Rebecca Partington. Weizenbaum, a founding member of the Rhode Island Center for Justice, has been a trial attorney in private practice, with work in civil litigation concentrated in medical negligence and products liability. The A.G.'s office says she has litigated dozens of cases to settlement and verdict and argued before the state Supreme Court and in federal appeals court.

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Raimondo Calls For Line Item Veto

Governor Gina Raimondo in her State of the State speech on Tuesday asked to be given the power of line-item veto. Raimondo said nearly every other state uses the executive office power to reduce waste in government spending and corruption and to ensure fair use of tax dollars. She asked for the General Assembly to put the measure on the ballot. But House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello, who has opposed the line-item veto, indicated to reporters after Tuesday's speech that he remains opposed.

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New Nonstop Service From T.F. Green Airport

Allegiant Airlines is going to offer new nonstop service between T.F, Green Airport and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The seasonal route will operate twice weekly on Monday and Friday starting June fifth. A spokesman for the Rhode Island Airport Corporation says the new route will provide travelers with another popular destination.

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Cranston City Council President Running For Mayor

Cranston City Council President Michael Farina is running for mayor. He says his goal is to work for every resident regardless of political affiliation to ensure that no neighborhood is left behind. Farina is the first formally announced candidate. Incumbent Mayor Allan Fung is leaving due to term limits.

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State Police Veteran Under Investigation

 A 25 year veteran of the Rhode Island State Police is the subject of an internal investigation. Patrol Commander Jay Gibbs is the co-owner of Ocean State Scale and Balance. State troopers are not allowed to operate outside businesses without the approval of the superintendent. The investigation is reportedly focused on Gibbs' outside business activities and the use of state equipment.

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Thousands File For Unclaimed Money

Thousands of Rhode Islanders are filing claims for over one-million-dollars in missing money. It follows Monday's announcement from Treasurer Seth Magaziner that the Unclaimed Property division received an additional 23-million-dollars in 2019. Unclaimed property can include money left in old bank accounts and safe deposit boxes, uncashed paychecks, unused balances on gift certificates, uncollected insurance payments and forgotten stocks and dividends.

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Middletown Native Flynn Seeks To Withdraw Guilty Plea

Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn is asking to withdraw his guilty plea. The Middletown native's lawyers filed a motion earlier this week, claiming the government breached a plea agreement. Flynn pleaded guilty for lying to the FBI about his contacts with the Russian ambassador during President Trump's transition period. He's scheduled for sentencing later this month.

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Governor Names Energy Leadership Team

Governor Gina Raimondo is expected to submit three names to the Senate for confirmation to leadership positions on the state energy team. She says the leadership nominees will help fulfill Rhode Island's vision for an energy system that is cleaner, more affordable and more reliable.

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Cicilline Endorses Kennedy In MA Senate Race

Rhode Island Congressman David Cicilline is supporting Massachusetts Congressman Joe Kennedy's campaign for the U.S. Senate. Kennedy is challenging incumbent Senator Ed Markey for the Democratic Party nomination. Cicilline says Kennedy will be an outstanding U.S. senator. Rhode Island Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse have endorsed Markey's bid for reelection.

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Woman Goes After E. Providence For Live PD Filming

A woman from East Providence is seeking one-million dollars in damages from the city for being filmed by the reality TV show Live PD at home wearing only a towel. A complaint filed on behalf of Desiree Spitaleri says she was at home one night last July when police came to ask about a 911 call that was apparently made by a child asking for help with his homework. Spitaleri said in the complaint that the officers did not inform her that she was being recorded or ask for permission to put her on TV. The East Providence Police Department announced last month it was taking a break from the show, one month after the claim was filed.

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Former State Emergency Management Director Confirmed To Lead FEMA

Former Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency director Pete Gaynor is the new administrator of FEMA. The U.S. Senate has confirmed Gaynor for the position, removing the "acting" part of his title. He had been acting administrator since March.

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Highlights From Gov. Raimondo's State Of The State Address

Governor Gina Raimondo delivered her sixth State of the State Address on Tuesday night. Raimondo proposed expanding the Real Jobs RI initiative and making permanent the Promise Scholarship, which allows high school graduates to attend Community College of Rhode Island tuition-free. Raimondo said she'll sign an executive order this week to make Rhode Island the first U.S. state to be powered by 100-percent renewable energy by the end of the decade. The governor said she wants the car tax cut again for every driver in the state this year, plus small business tax cuts, and said there is going to be another cut in unemployment insurance taxes.

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Alex Cora Is Out As Manager Of Red Sox

The Boston Red Sox and manager Alex Cora are mutually agreeing to part ways, according to a joint statement from Cora and the team. Cora was the bench coach for the Houston Astros in 2017 when they stole signs and won the World Series, and Major League Baseball's commissioner is naming him as a key person in planning the scheme. The Red Sox won the World Series with Cora as the manager in 2018. Cora says he does not want to be a distraction to the team.

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Gov. Raimondo's 2020 State Of The State Tonight

Governor Gina Raimondo is delivering her annual State of the State Address tonight. It is scheduled for 7:00 in the House chamber of the State House. It will be broadcast live on Capitol TV and on the Rhode Island Legislature's website.

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E. Providence School Bus Worker Union Takes Strike Authorization Vote

he union representing East Providence school bus workers is approving a strike authorization, according to a report from WLNE-TV. Teamsters Local 251 overwhelmingly approved the vote last night, according to a union representative, who tells the news station a strike would be a last resort. The union is looking for a new contract with Ocean State Transit.

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Report: Middletown Fire Chief Plans To Retire

 An update on the affairs of the Middletown Fire Department. A statement provided to WPRI-TV from Fire Chief Peter Faerber indicates he plans to retire next month. Faeber was the subject of union criticism at a recent Town Council meeting where claims of inadequate staffing were made following a New Year's Day fire which was first responded to by firefighters from Newport. environment for him and town employees.

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Providence City Official Terminated

The director of inspections and standards for the city of Providence is fired. Jeffrey Lykins, who has held the position since 2009, tells The Boston Globe he was let go last Thursday but wasn't given a reason. A spokesperson for Mayor Jorge Elorza's office tells the Globe there is a review of permitting records underway, but did not comment further on Lykins' departure.

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