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(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: An update on the availability of the COVID-19 vaccine in Rhode Island.  A scaled-down budget is proposed in the RI House.  The Patriots are set to play in L.A. -- again -- tonight.

[[ watch for updates ]]

>>COVID-19 Vaccine Shots Could Be Available In RI Next Week

(Providence, RI)  --  Rhode Island is preparing for the first doses of the coronavirus vaccine.  The FDA is set to review Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccines for emergency use today.  RI Health Department officials said Wednesday the vaccine could be ready for distribution by next week.  They said hospital workers will be the first to receive the shot in the Ocean State.

>>Scaled-Down Budget Unveiled In Rhode Island House

(Providence, RI)  --  The Rhode Island House Finance Committee approved what it referred to as a pared-down state budget for the 2021 fiscal year on Wednesday.  According to a State House press release, the budget restores cuts that had been proposed by Governor Raimondo, and in some cases temporarily instituted, to municipal aid, including car tax reimbursements.  A 275-million-dollar budget gap was plugged with federal coronavirus relief, but without additional federal COVID-19 help, House leaders expect to face "extremely difficult" challenges in next year's budget.  The proposal includes asking voters to approve 400-million dollars in bonds in a special election next March.  The budget is set to be considered by the full House next Wednesday, which would then pass it on to the Rhode Island Senate.

>>Patriots Versus Rams Tonight

(Inglewood, CA)  --  The New England Patriots are getting set for a Super Bowl rematch tonight.  The Pats are in Los Angeles playing the Rams, with kickoff at 8:20 Eastern time.  New England won the 2019 Super Bowl against the L.A. Rams, plus the 2002 Super Bowl when the Rams were based out of St. Louis.  The Patriots are fighting to get into the playoff field with four games remaining in the 2020 NFL regular season.

>>Warwick, Smithfield Schools Latest To Announce Remote Learning Switch

(Undated)  --  Two more Rhode Island school districts are announcing returns to distance learning.  The Warwick school district says hundreds of students and staff have either gotten sick or have had to quarantine because of the coronavirus, so it is switching back from December 14th to the 23rd.  Smithfield is also transitioning its schools back to distance learning over the next few weeks, with no end date announced.

>>Ethics Commission Investigating Complaint Against Outgoing Warwick City Council President

(Warwick, RI)  --  The Rhode Island Ethics Commission is investigating a complaint against Warwick City Council president Steven Merolla.  It alleges that an executive for an accounting firm brought on by the city council was Merolla's campaign treasurer, and that the connection wasn't disclosed.  The firm was given a contract of nearly a quarter-million dollars to look into financial issues concerning the Warwick Fire Department.  Merolla did not run for another term on the city council, and he lost a primary bid for a state senate seat.  His attorney calls the complaint unfounded.

>>U.S. District Court In RI Moving Civil Trials Online

(Providence, RI)  --  The United States District Court in Rhode Island says civil trials are moving to Zoom until further notice.  A statement from the court indicates the move is being made in the interests of efficient and effective administration of justice in civil actions.  The court also says this is part of reasonable public health measures taken to fight the spread of COVID-19.  

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Jim McCabe/djc           RI)
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12-10-2020 01:37:10

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