1540 WADK.com Updates

Patriots Play Bengals Sunday

We're down to the last three games of the 2019 regular season for the New England Patriots. The Pats can once-again clinch a playoff spot with a win this weekend, versus Cincinnati. Kickoff from Paul Brown Stadium is scheduled for 1 p.m. The Bengals only have one win in thirteen games.

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Woonsocket Zoning Board Approves Commercial Solar Applications

Construction on the first two commercial solar farms in the city of Woonsocket is moving forward. The city zoning board approved two applications on Monday. Direct Energy Solar, a division of Centrica, a UK company, and Woonsocket-based Singleton Group are both expecting to start their projects on former industrial space on the city's riverfront in the next few months, pending state permits.

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Care New England CEO Makes New Merger Comments

The CEO of Care New England is making new comments about merging with Lifespan. Despite encouragement to get the merger done from Governor Gina Raimondo, Care New England called it off earlier this year, marking the third failed attempt since the 1990s. In an interview with WPRI-TV, CNE president Dr. James Fanale said he is ready to restart negotiations if Partners Healthcare in Massachusetts is included. The newest effort to merge the two Rhode Island health care organizations resulted in Partners withdrawing is bid to take over Care New England. Lifespan responded by saying a local unified solution between CNE, Lifespan and Brown University should first be reached.

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Environmental Cleanup Needed For Pawtucket Soccer Stadium Site

The land being eyed for a new soccer stadium in Pawtucket will first need an environmental cleanup. The stadium is planned for the west bank of the Seekonk River. Investigators found high levels of toxic waste in the ground at the closed Pawtucket Gas Company "Tidewater" property off Taft Street in 1996; the site has since been fenced off.  National Grid, which now owns the site, submitted a cleanup plan this summer. A spokesperson for Mayor Donald Grebien says there will need to also be remediation on some city-owned land where the stadium is proposed.

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Providence Schools Financial Analysis Released

 A new analysis of the Providence School District is being released. Findings from the financial report from Ernst and Young include that the city's previous budget deficit estimates for the district in the coming years are too high. It also suggests cutting the budget to the district's central office and re-allocating that money to schools, and the analysis says the system needs more resources to be given for services like English language-learning and special needs students. State education commissioner Angelica Infante-Green has said she was waiting for the analysis to make certain decisions for her turnaround plan, expected to be completed next year.

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Cicilline Speaks During Judiciary Committee Impeachment Hearing

The House Judiciary Committee is set to vote this morning on articles of impeachment against President Trump. A marathon session ended Thursday night with that announcement from committee chair Jerry Nadler. Rhode Island Congressman David Cicilline, a Judiciary Committee member, insisted on Thursday that there is overwhelming evidence against Trump, arguing that he schemed to withhold vital military aid to Ukraine while pushing for an investigation of Democrats.

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Public Urged To Get A Flu Shot

With flu now just short of widespread in Rhode Island, the public is again being urged to get vaccinated. Flu activity is already reported as widespread in neighboring Connecticut and Massachusetts. So far this season, there has been one flu-related death and 24 flu-related hospitalizations in Rhode Island. The state Department of Health continues to stress that a flu shot is the best protection.

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Longtime Cafe/Bakery In Jewelry District Closing

 A cafe/bakery that opened in the Providence Jewelry District in 1997, is closing. The last day for Olga's Cup and Saucer on Point Street will be December 24th. The location will reportedly become a Seven Stars Bakery.

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Cicilline Asks House Republicans To "Wake Up"

 Congressman David Cicilline is asking House Republicans to wake up, and remember they didn't swear an oath to Donald Trump. He says they swore an oath to protect and defend the Constitution. The Rhode Island Democrat made his remarks as the House Judiciary Committee debated articles of impeachment against President Trump.

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Four Endorsements Announced For Joe Biden For President

Four elected officials in Rhode Island are endorsing Joe Biden for president. The former vice president's campaign made the announcement on Wednesday. The four are Lieutenant Governor Dan McKee, state Senator Lou DiPalma, state Representative Carlos Tobon, and Central Falls Mayor James Diossa.

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State Director Stepping Down

The director of the Rhode Island Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals is stepping down. Rebecca Boss says she is leaving at the end of the year to pursue new opportunities. She had held the position for about two-and-a-half years.

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State DEM Issues Reminder About Snow Disposal

The state Department of Environmental Management is re-issuing a notice about snow disposal sites. The DEM is advising businesses, community groups, and state and local government agencies about identifying potential sites with winter approaching and the season's first snowfall already in the books. Local sites should be near or on permeable surfaces in upland areas, away from water resources and wells. Snow collected from roads, parking lots, bridges and sidewalks can contain harmful contaminants such as road salt, sand and litter.

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Trinity Rep: The Prince Of Providence Will Return

Trinity Repertory Company is bringing back its record-breaking "The Prince of Providence" in June of 2021. It was sold-out during its seven-week run this fall. The play about the political career of the late Providence mayor Vincent "Buddy" Cianci, was the highest-grossing non-holiday production in the theater's history.

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Two Sox Players On 2019 All-MLB Team

Two Boston Red Sox players are named to the 2019 All-MLB Team. Shortstop Xander Bogaerts is a first-team selection. Outfielder Mookie Betts is on the second team. The All-MLB Team recognizes the performances of players during the 2019 regular season who are selected by fans, the media, broadcasters, and former players.

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A Pawtucket Brewery Is For Sale

Foolproof Brewing in Pawtucket is for sale. Founder Nick Garrison says it's time for a change for himself and his family. In the meantime, he says the brewery will continue to produce and sell beer.

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Providence Council Approves Hotel Tax Agreement

The Providence City Council is giving final approval to a tax deal for a proposed Westminster Street hotel  The vote on Tuesday for the 20-year tax-stabilization agreement, valued at about two-and-a-half-million dollars, passed on a 9-to-5 vote. The developer of the project, being called the Hotel Hive, says it's a 39-million-dollar overall investment.

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Wyatt Facility Protesters Return

Hundreds of immigration activists returned to the Wyatt Detention Facility in Central Falls on Tuesday night. The same group that has staged previous protests, Never Again Action, was once again behind this one, calling for the Wyatt to stop housing detainees of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

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Winter Weather Advisory Remains In Effect For RI

The National Weather Service has a Winter Weather Advisory in effect for Rhode Island until noon today. Forecasters are calling for one to four inches for the Ocean State and other parts of Southern New England. Rain from Tuesday is changing over to snow overnight through daybreak.

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Hopkinton Woman Faces Counterfeit Charge

Shannon Smith of Hopkinton is charged with passing a counterfeit bill, which is a felony. Police say she's due in Washington County Superior Court next month following her November 21st arrest. She allegedly used a counterfeit 100-dollar bill at a convenience store in the Richmond village of Wyoming earlier in November. 

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Housing Summit Being Held

The Homes RI Coalition is holding a summit today at Rhode Island College. The intent is to advance an action plan to address the state's housing crisis. Organizers say the Homes RI Summit is already a sell-out.

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Butler Hospital Workers Plan To Picket

Unionized workers at Butler Hospital in Providence are planning to picket. The union says that management has been ignoring the patient safety concerns of frontline staff and has been denying benefits to employees in defiance of a collective bargaining agreement. Picketing is planned for four p.m. today.

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Maine State Police Seize Five RI Trucks

Five tractor-trailers owned by a North Kingstown company are impounded in Maine. Maine State Police say Commodity Haulers Express is facing felony theft of services charges for 75-thousand-dollars in unpaid tolls over the past three years. As a result of an investigation, the trucks were seized last Friday.

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Twin River Leadership Change Announced

Twin River Worldwide Holdings is announcing that John Taylor is stepping down as executive chair and as a member of the board of directors. Taylor has been the Twin River board chairman since 2010 and the executive chair since 2017. He is being replaced as board chair by Soohyung Kim, a founding partner of a significant shareholder in the company. In addition to its two Rhode Island casinos, Twin River also runs properties in Mississippi, Delaware and Colorado.

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U.S. Attorney's Office In RI Adds State Prosecutor

Veteran Rhode Island prosecutor Lauren Zurier has been sworn in as an assistant U.S. Attorney in the state. Zurier had been working in the appellate unit of the Rhode Island Department of the Attorney General since 1993. She has been appointed by U.S. Attorney Aaron Weisman as Appellate Chief.

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Portsmouth PD Says No Threat Made Against High School

After Portsmouth High School shared info on Sunday night about an alleged threat from a student, the Portsmouth Police Department now says no threats were made against the school. An anonymous tip reported concerns over pictures of a firearm and an alleged threat that had been posted on Snapchat, according to police. Investigators determined no threats had been made by anyone.

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