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1540 Updates Archives for 2014-11

R.I. To Mark World AIDS Day

Rhode Island residents will be marking World AIDS Day with events around the state.

Gov. Lincoln Chafee will be joined at the Statehouse on Monday by health care workers and advocates who work on issues related to HIV and AIDS.

The Rhode Island HIV Prevention Coalition says 74 people were newly diagnosed with HIV in Rhode Island last year.

Kristen Pfeiffer of the HIV Prevention Coalition says rates of other sexually transmitted diseases such as gonorrhea and syphilis are on the rise, and that can increase the likelihood of HIV infection.

Other events happening Monday include a display of four panels from the National AIDS Quilts at the Rhode Island School of Design

Lawmakers To Meet To Review R.I. Ebola Plans

Lawmakers are meeting to continue reviewing the state's plans for dealing with Ebola.

Rep. Joseph McNamara has called a second hearing of the House Committee on Health, Education and Welfare on Tuesday afternoon at the State House to discuss health care preparations and prevention planning.

The committee invited medical professionals from the Hospital Association of Rhode Island, Rhode Island Health Center Association, Rhode Island Partnership for Home Care and Rhode Island Medical Society to testify.

Health care workers have expressed concerns over the state's readiness.         

Rhode Island's health director met with lawmakers Nov. 12 to answer questions about the state's response plan. Dr. Michael Fine says his department is redirecting personnel to work on Ebola planning and monitoring people who traveled to affected areas of West Africa.

Newport Teen Clocked at 127 m.p.h. On New Hampshire Highway

New Hampshire State Police say an airborne patrol unit clocked a man driving 127 miles per hour on Interstate 93 in the town of Northfield.

The State Police Special Enforcement Unit was using an airplane to monitor traffic Saturday morning when the trooper in the aircraft saw a northbound vehicle traveling quickly.

Police say the tactical flight officer twice clocked the vehicle traveling in excess of 100 mph, the fastest at 127 mph.

The driver, stopped by troopers on the ground, was identified as 19-year-old Ryan Quinn of Newport.

Quinn was charged with reckless driving and two counts of possession of a controlled drug. He's due to appear in Franklin District Court in January.

RIPTA To Honor Rosa Parks

The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority is paying tribute to the late activist Rosa Parks with a re-enactment of her refusal to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama, bus on Dec. 1, 1955.

Monday is Rosa Parks Day, named for the civil rights pioneer.

RIPTA plans to mark it with a re-enactment of Parks' historic refusal to move from her seat 59 years ago. It's being run by the Rosa Parks Human Rights Day Committee. The event is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. at 280 Broad Street in Providence, near Central High School.

RIPTA also plans to place an ad and digital display on board buses during the month of December that will highlight Parks' role in the civil rights movement.

Parks died in 2005.

State Leaders May Try Again To Settle R.I. Pension Lawsuit

State leaders seem to be on a path to try again to reach an out-of-court settlement in a lawsuit over Rhode Island's landmark pension overhaul, citing continuing fiscal uncertainty, the legal costs and the near success of the last attempt.

Democratic Gov.-elect Gina Raimondo, who crafted the 2011 pension law, has called the agreement that fell apart this year a "good deal" for Rhode Island. She has said she'd love to see it back on the table, even though she maintains the state would prevail in court.

The incoming treasurer, Seth Magaziner, also favors a negotiated settlement, and a spokesman for Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed said last week that it would be in the state's best interest.

Larry Berman, House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello's spokesman, said the speaker will work with all parties to help facilitate an acceptable settlement.

The next status conference in the case before Superior Court Judge Sarah Taft-Carter is scheduled for Tuesday. She is expected to rule on the state's request for a jury trial. A trial date hasn't been set.

Coventery Fire Chief Not Discussed At Special Meeting

 Members of a board that oversees the Coventry Fire District say an ongoing investigation of possible misconduct by the fire chief was not discussed during a special meeting.

The board met for three-and-a-half hours behind closed doors on Saturday. No specific reason was given in advance for the meeting, and it wasn't part of the board's regular meeting schedule.

Chief Paul Labbadia was suspended with pay Nov. 3 after a news video report showed him drinking alcohol during the workday, using a department-paid vehicle to go golfing during work and driving the fire vehicle to a party.

Labbadia has denied wrongdoing and says he's on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Board chairman James Beckham says financial matters and the firefighters' contract were discussed at Saturday's meeting.

Red Cross Assisting 5 Familes After Pawtucket Fire

 The American Red Cross says it is assisting 17 people from five families after a fire in Pawtucket.

 The blaze started Friday afternoon in a third floor apartment of the building on Woodbine Street. Firefighters were able to put out the blaze and no injuries were reported.

The Red Cross says it providing emergency housing along with food, clothing and other items for four families temporarily displaced by the fire. Two members of a fifth family are receiving food and clothing assistance.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.


R.I. General Assembly To Hold Orientation For18 New Members

The Rhode Island General Assembly is holding an orientation for 15 newly elected members of the House and three incoming lawmakers in the Senate.

The all-day session is scheduled for Tuesday at the Statehouse. It will include welcomes and addresses from House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello and Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed. It will also include a budget presentation, introductions to the House and Senate chiefs of staff and a focus on the legislative process and legislative duties.

The House majority and minority leaders, John DeSimone and Brian Newberry, will also welcome the new members. Senate Majority Leader Dominick Ruggerio and Minority Leader Dennis Algiere are also expected to be on hand.

The new members will be sworn in Jan. 6, the first day of the 2015 session.

Coventry Fire District Calls Special Weekend Meeting Amid Chief Controversy

 The board that oversees the Coventry Fire District is holding a special meeting that comes amid an investigation of possible misconduct by the fire chief.

No reason was officially given for the meeting on Saturday.

Chief Paul Labbadia was suspended with pay Nov. 3 after a news video report showed him drinking alcohol during the workday, using a department-paid vehicle to go golfing during work and driving the fire vehicle to a party.

Labbadia has denied wrongdoing and says he was on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The district's board hired attorney J. William W. Harsch to investigate the matter. Harsch is a former member of the state Ethics Commission and a one-time Republican candidate for attorney general.

Correctional Officer Dies After North Kingstown Crash

A correctional officer involved in a three-car accident in North Kingstown on Thanksgiving has died.

Rhode Island Hospital says Jeffrey Golding died Friday at the hospital. The Rhode Island Department of Corrections says Golding worked at the intake service center at the Adult Correctional Institutions in Cranston after entering the training academy in 1991.

The 41-year-old Narragansett resident struck two other cars in the southbound lane of Route 1 and rolled over Thursday night. No one else was seriously injured.

The accident is under investigation.

Cranston Ratifies Labor Contracts

 The Cranston City Council has ratified labor contracts costing about $470,000 over three years for school bus drivers and mechanics and for tradespeople such as plumbers.

The final cost is unclear because the two contracts allow the union-represented employees to seek additional wage increases for the 2016-2017 school year.

Bus drivers and mechanics will get pay raises from 6.5 percent to 7.7 percent in the first year and 2 percent in the second.

Plumbers, electricians and heating and cooling workers and others will receive pay raises of 4 percent in the first year and 2 percent in the second.

The agreements were endorsed by the administration of Mayor Allan W. Fung and ratified by unanimous council votes.

Providence Hosting Huge Bridge Championship

  Thousands of card players are in Providence this weekend for a championship event in the game of bridge.  The eleven day North American Bridge Championship is being held at the Rhode Island Convention Center.  Players from 15 different countries will play over 300-thousand hands of bridge before the event wraps up next week.  The winners receive cash prizes.

D.U.I. Taskforce Makes Several Arrests

The Southern Rhode Island DUI Task force is reporting a busy start to the Thanksgiving weekend.  Between Wednesday night and early yesterday, task force officers made 14 drunk driving arrests.  The task force is made up of officers from several cities and towns in the state, along with officials from the Department of Transportation and the attorney general's office.  The crackdown will continue through the rest of the holiday weekend.

Fire Displaces 3 Providence Families

An electrical malfunction is being blamed for a fire that displaced eight residents of a Providence apartment building early on Thanksgiving day.

Officials say the fire in the Calla Street home was contained to electrical wires in the basement, but the power had to be shut off and be turned back on until the wires are repaired.

Three families were displaced and three of the residents are children.

The Red Cross has provided the families with emergency housing and food.

Providence firefighters also dealt with a fire in a home on View Street on Thursday morning. Although the home suffered heavy damage, no one was home at the time.

The cause is under investigation.

Providence Non-Profit To Open New Facility

A nonprofit agency that works with the homeless and those who have struggled with substance abuse is beginning construction on a new facility in Providence.

The Amos House will hold a groundbreaking ceremony Monday for the 29,000-square-foot community center that will be built behind its soup kitchen.

The $6 million building will house a new soup kitchen with a larger dining hall, classrooms, community rooms, training centers and staff offices.

In addition to the soup kitchen, the agency provides transitional and permanent supportive housing, runs job training and literacy programs and offers other social services.

U.S. Sens. Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse helped secure federal funding for the project and are expected to speak at the ceremony. Gov. Lincoln Chafee and other local officials also plan to attend.

Providence P.D. Recognized Nationally

 The Providence Police Department has earned national accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies.

The department says it is the largest municipal police department in New England to be nationally accredited. It met 188 standards to show it is working within the best practices of law enforcement.

Police Chief Hugh Clements Jr. says earning the accreditation is a remarkable accomplishment and will be an invaluable asset in the future.

The commission also awarded an "accreditation with excellence" under the most stringent assessment model to the Rhode Island State Police. It was the seventh accreditation award for the agency.

About 5 percent of U.S. law enforcement agencies are accredited nationally by the commission.

The awards were presented last week in Albuquerque, New Mexico.


Downtown Providence Traffic Alterations On Way This Weekend

 Holiday shoppers and others driving through downtown Providence will see some traffic changes around the Providence Place mall after Thanksgiving.

The city of Providence is rerouting some traffic around the mall on Friday and Saturday to accommodate an anticipated increase in vehicle and pedestrian traffic around the center of the city's retail activity. Friday is traditionally the busiest shopping day of the year.

The changes will be in effect between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. both days.

Several streets around the mall that normally have two-way traffic will instead be one way, including parts of Francis and Hayes streets. Other detours will also be in place.


Joy Ride On Boat Leads To Arrests

 Authorities say two men were rescued and taken into custody by Rhode Island environmental police after a boat they took for a Thanksgiving joy ride ran aground.

Charlestown police were contacted by the Coast Guard for a vessel in distress in the Charlestown Breachway early Wednesday. Charlestown Rescue marine units found a 22-foot sport fishing boat that had run aground in Charlestown Pond. It had lost its hydraulic system and steering.

The men were uninjured but had mild hypothermia because they had been out since about 3 a.m.

Authorities learned the boat was taken without the consent of owner Robert Dickau of South Glastonbury, Connecticut. Rescue personnel said the men were out for a joy ride.

Environmental police couldn't immediately be reached about any pending charges. The men weren't identified.


R.I. Awarded Traffic Safety Funding

Rhode Island has been awarded nearly $341,000 for traffic and vehicle safety programs.

The state's congressional delegation announced that the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration awarded the funding to the Rhode Island Department of Transportation.

The federal grant funds can be used to improve prevention efforts in traffic safety priority areas such as seat belt use, impaired driving, motorcycle safety and educating young drivers.

U.S. Sens. Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and U.S. Reps. Jim Langevin and David Cicilline say the funds will support critical traffic safety programs and make roads safer.

RIDOT Director Michael Lewis says traffic safety campaigns help reduce fatalities and serious injuries on the road.

A.G. Says Portsmouth School Board Violated Open Meetings Act

  Attorney General Peter Kilmartin says the Portsmouth School Committee violated the state Open Meeting Act twice this year.  Kilmartin says gatherings referred to as meet and greet events for superintendent candidates had a quorum of members.  The legal opinion also says that business was discussed outside the view of the public.  The attorney general will not be filing suit in the matter, but says Councilor Fredrick Faerber who filed the complaint can if he wishes.


Providence Woman Dies In Foster Crash

 A 45-year-old woman was killed in a two-car crash in Foster that authorities suspect was caused by bad weather.

Rhode Island State Police said the accident that killed Siobhan Ross-Humphries of Providence happened on Route 101 early Wednesday afternoon.

An initial investigation found Ross-Humphries was headed westbound near the Connecticut border when she lost control of her Honda Fit because of poor road conditions. Her car crossed into the eastbound lane and was hit by a Toyota Corolla driven by 77-year-old George Loiselle of Warwick.

Authorities said he was taken to Day Kimble Hospital in Connecticut. The hospital said Wednesday evening it had no record of a patient by that name. 

Rhode Island and Connecticut State Police and the Foster Police Department are investigating.


Raimondo Names Team To Head Inauguration Plans

Gov.-elect Gina Raimondo has announced the members of her inaugural committee and says she's planning an event that will celebrate Rhode Island's strengths.

Committee co-chairs are GTech Chairman Donald Sweitzer and Democratic fundraisers Johnnie Chace and Mark Weiner. The mayors of Central Falls, Pawtucket and North Providence are also on the committee along with several state lawmakers and community, business and labor leaders.

Raimondo, who has served the last four years as state treasurer, said Wednesday committee members will give her input on the best ways to champion Rhode Island and ensure an inauguration that's open and inclusive.

Raimondo will be sworn in on Jan. 6. She is replacing Lincoln Chafee, who didn't

Longtime Director Of Providence Children's Museum Stepping Down

The longtime executive director of the Providence Children's Museum is stepping down.

The museum says Janice O'Donnell will leave the museum on Friday.

O'Donnell was named executive director in 1985, and has been with the museum since 1979, two years after it opened in its original location in Pawtucket.

Under her leadership, the museum relocated to Providence's Jewelry District in 1997 and underwent a major building restoration and exhibit expansion in 2010.

O'Donnell says it has been a privilege to lead the museum, and says her next ventures will focus on kids' free choice learning and play.

The museum's board is launching a search for a replacement.

R.I. Hospital Takes Precautions Against Spread of Legionella

 Rhode Island Hospital is taking precautionary measures to stop the spread of the water-borne bacterial disease legionella after two patients came down with it.

The hospital is investigating the source of the disease, and is using bottled water for drinking, instead of tap water, for hospitalized patients in potentially-affected areas. The hospital will also "superheat" and flush the water supply in those areas.

Legionella is a bacterial disease found in the natural environment, usually in warm water, and is a risk mainly to patients with compromised immune systems. It can cause a type of pneumonia commonly known as Legionnaires disease.

It is not transmitted person-to-person.

State Recieves Funds For Traffic Safety

  Rhode Island is receiving more than 300-thousand dollars from the federal government to help make state roads safer.  The U.S. Department of Transportation grant is designed to support traffic and vehicle safety programs.  Senator Jack Reed says the money will enhance safety conditions for drivers and pedestrians in the state.  The money can be used for things that include the promotion of seat belt use, motorcycle safety or to educate young drivers.


Providence Marks End Of Major Repaving Project

 It's the end of the road for a two-year, $40 million project that resurfaced 56 miles of roads in Providence. Mayor Angel Taveras marked the milestone Tuesday morning. Taveras called a news conference to mark the conclusion of what he says is a significant accomplishment of his administration.

The effort was supported by paving work by the state, Providence Water Supply Board and National Grid. The utility is replacing natural gas line replacement program and was particularly active on the city's northeast side.

Taveras said the work so far has used about $37 million, with about 5 miles remaining early next year. The city estimates that when it is over, about 16 percent of the 370 miles of city-maintained streets will have been repaved.

Five I-95 Protesters To Appear In Court

 Five people who helped shut down Interstate 95 through Providence during a protest sparked by the events in Ferguson, Missouri, are scheduled to appear in court.

State Police Col. Steven O'Donnell says that the protesters had marched peacefully from Central High School to the Providence police station on Tuesday when a group of about 100 to 150 people broke off and decided to go on the highway.

He says they jumped a 5-foot fence and streamed onto I-95 South and North. He said a "mob mentality" took over.

Protests erupted across the country following Monday's announcement that a grand jury declined to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson.

Raimondo To Hold Transition Policy Summit

 The incoming governor plans to hold a transition policy summit next month to talk about strategies for boosting Rhode Island's long struggling economy.

Gov.-elect Gina Raimondo says the summit will be held on Dec. 16 at her transition headquarters. The Democrat said Tuesday that more than 80 leaders from a variety of sectors will be invited to participate.

Raimondo's top issue during the campaign was the economy, and she pledged to be the "jobs governor." She outlined plans to oversee a resurgence of manufacturing in Rhode Island. She also wants to invest in areas where the state already has competitive advantages.

She says the summit will help her get ideas and feedback from those "on the front lines of policy, business, labor, social service and innovation."


Protesters Briefly Shut Down I-95

PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island — Traffic is moving again on Interstate 95 after protesters briefly shutdown part of it in response to a grand jury's decision not to indict a white police officer in the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri. About 150 people were sitting on the highway across from the Providence police station Tuesday night

Protests have erupted throughout the country following Monday's announcement that a grand jury declined to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown.

A.C.L.U. Challenges North Kingstown Vicious Dog Law

 The Rhode Island Affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union has launched a legal challenge to the enforcement of a North Kingstown ordinance prohibiting families from owning a vicious dog and living near a school or daycare facility. The law allows the town to seize a dog if officials determine it's vicious.

Mark Morse, a lawyer for the ACLU, says the town ordinance conflicts with state law that has established procedures and penalties.

Police told a North Kingstown family they could not own a vicious dog within a mile of a school or daycare center. The police ordered two dogs removed and were seized last month and placed in a town shelter.

If the ordinance is upheld next week, the dogs could be euthanized

Newport County Jury Finds Murder Suspect Not Guilty

A one-time homeless man has been acquitted of murder charges in the stabbing death of his cousin.

After deliberating for about 10 hours over three days, a Newport County jury found Joseph J. Perryman not guilty Tuesday in the death of Anthony Simmons after the two got into an argument in December 2012.

Minutes after leaving the court, the 43-year-old Perryman said he's "about to combust."

During his testimony, Perryman said Simmons pushed him and he pushed his cousin back, knocking him over a chair. He says Simmons had a knife in his hand and was stabbed as the two men fought.

Amy S. Kempe, spokeswoman for Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin, said authorities did not believe Perryman acted in self-defense according to the law, but respect the jury's decision.

Chafee Sets Statehouse Christmas Tree Lighting

 The annual lighting of the Christmas tree in the Statehouse rotunda has been scheduled for next week.

Gov. Lincoln Chafee announced Tuesday that Secretary of State Ralph Mollis will preside over the tree lighting ceremony on Dec. 3. The 15-foot Fraser fir was donated by a farm in South Kingstown.

The conifer generated controversy in past years when Chafee referred to it as a holiday tree in a nod to Rhode Island's religious diversity. One lawmaker called the Democrat a Grinch, though previous governors had used the same term. Last year, Chafee abandoned the moniker, saying it generated too much anger.

The Heroes' Tree will be lit the same evening in the State Room. It honors those who are in or have served in the military.


A.C.L.U. Asking Chafee To Change Immigration Policy

The American Civil Liberties Union is asking Gov. Lincoln Chafee to change state immigration policy before leaving office, following President Barack Obama's action to defer deportation for millions of people in the country illegally.

The ACLU says it's sending a letter asking Chafee to change immigration detainer policy.

A U.S. citizen held on an immigration detainer is suing the state in federal court. A judge found her constitutional rights were violated.

Chafee for a brief period this year directed the Department of Corrections to require a warrant for detainers. A month later the Democrat pulled back, requiring only that detainers be accompanied by a judicial deportation or removal order.

Chafee's spokeswoman says he'll review the letter.

Democratic Gov.-elect Gina Raimondo's office says she plans to review immigration policies when she takes office.


R.I. Unemployment Stiil 3rd Worst In U.S.

 Rhode Island's unemployment rate of 7.4 percent remains the third highest rate in the country despite a drop in October.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says Georgia had the highest rate, 7.7 percent, and Mississippi had the second highest, 7.6 percent. The District of Columbia also had a 7.6 percent rate.

The Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training reported last week that the state's rate had fallen two-tenths of 1 percentage point from September. But the new labor report also showed the state shed 2,600 jobs.

Rhode Island has suffered one of the highest jobless rates in the country for years.

The U.S. unemployment rate in October was 5.8 percent.


Tickets Now On Sale For Friday Of Jazz Festival

 Tickets for the “Friday at the Fort” portion of the 2015 Newport Jazz Festival, scheduled for July 31, went on sale today.

The Friday event, which was initiated last year, will return this year to showcase emerging artists as part of the annual festival at Fort Adams State Park. The lineup will include Kneebody, a sophomore appearance of Snarky Puppy and other artists who are emerging and maintaining the tradition of jazz.

Tickets for the Friday at the Fort event cost $40 for general admission and $20 for students and can be purchased online
at or

Tickets also can be purchased at the Gateway Visitors Center, 23 America’s Cup Ave. Reserved seating is not available on Friday and no service charges will apply if tickets are purchased at the Visitors Center.

Flex tickets, which can be used for general admission on any day at Fort Adams, giving attendees the option of which day they wish to attend, also will be on sale online and at the Visitors Center. Flex tickets cost $55 for adults, $20 for students and $15 for children. They are not valid for reserved seats or the Friday evening concert at the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

Regular tickets for Saturday, Aug. 1, and Sunday, Aug. 2, will cost $74.

The complete lineup for the Newport Jazz Festival will be announced at a later date. For more information, visit www.

Providence Marks Final Phase Of Citywide Road Project

Providence is marking the final phase of a citywide project under which more than 60 miles of roads are being repaved.

Mayor Angel Taveras plans to mark the last phase of the project at an event today on Warren Street. He is expected to be joined by members of the city council, the Department of Public Works and others.

Voters approved a $40 million road bond in 2012.

Residents consistently complain about the condition of streets in Providence and elsewhere in Rhode Island. Officials have said the project is addressing some 15 percent of the capital's roads.

The work began last year.

Extension Cord Blamed In House Fire

 The fire marshal says a fire that drove a family of five from their home and destroyed it was caused by a malfunction in an extension cord on the home's back porch.

The family survived the early Monday morning fire and was taken to South County Hospital for evaluation, then released.

Their home, near the University of Rhode Island campus, burned to the ground.

Homeowners Kim and Michael Jones say they lost nearly everything they owned. Kim Jones says she was only able to recover a few photos.

She says the family's chickens, which were housed on the porch, somehow survived.

The family had lived there for more than 20 years.

The closest fire hydrant was 1,500 feet from the home, and tanker trucks had to be used.


R.I. Gas Prices Drop Again

 Gasoline prices are continuing to drop in Rhode Island.  Triple-A Southern New England says a gallon of self serve regular is selling for an average of two-dollars-95-cents.  That's down three-cents over the last week and 20-cents lower than a month ago.  However, the current price is still 14-cents higher than the national average of two-dollars-81-cents a gallon.

Woman Robbed After Casino Win

  A Providence woman is out three-thousand-dollars after returning to her home from a casino trip and being robbed outside.  La Yang says she won the money during a successful trip to Twin River Casino Sunday night.  She parked behind her home on Waverly Street in Providence and says a man snatched her purse and ran off.  Yang was left with minor injuries after falling during the incident, and the suspect was able to escape in a waiting car.


Reed Not Interested In Top Defense Post

  The name of Rhode Island Senator Jack Reed can be crossed off the list of possible candidates for U.S. defense secretary.  A spokesman for Reed quickly ended any speculation yesterday, saying the senator loves his job and wants to continue doing it.  Reed is a former Army officer and serves on the Senate Armed Services Committee, which has led to his name being mentioned whenever the position opens. Current U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced he was stepping down yesterday.


Police Investigagte Allegation Of Sexual Assault On Bryant Campus

 Smithfield police are investigating allegations of a sexual assault on the Bryant University campus.

A campus-wide email sent to students says the alleged incident occurred Sunday morning.

The school's Department of Public Safety and Smithfield police were called to remove a male suspect from campus. The student has been suspended, pending a hearing, and will not be allowed to attend the university in the meantime.

School officials did not identify the suspect.

Another man was arrested at the school in late September after he allegedly broke into a student's dorm room and sexually assaulted her.


Family Of 5 Taken To Hospital After South Kingstown Fire

Three children were among the five people taken to a hospital after a fire destroyed their South Kingstown home.

The family managed to escape the Monday morning fire and were taken to South County Hospital for evaluation.

The home near the University of Rhode Island campus burned to the ground.

Deputy Fire Chief Rich Collinson says  that a propane tank behind the home fueled the fire.

The closest fire hydrant was 1,500 feet from the home, and tanker trucks had to be used.

Fire officials said the fire does not appear to be suspicious.

Seat Belt Use Rises In R.I.

(Providence, RI)  --  A new study indicates that the use of seat belts is increasing in Rhode Island.  The state Department of Transportation says the new report shows that 87-percent of state drivers are wearing seat belts.  That's up 15 points since 2008, when only 72-percent of Rhode Islanders were buckling up.  The highest percentage locally is in Providence County, where 91-percent are wearing seat belts.


College Hill Tunnel Re-Opens Today

  Buses are back moving in the College Hill Tunnel after it was forced to close last week because of flooding.  The bus tunnel was closed Thursday night after a water main break caused the flooding.  The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority says inspections have been conducted and the tunnel is structurally sound.  All affected bus routes have returned to a regular schedule.


Passenger Numbers Down At T.F. Green

  Passenger numbers are down at TF Green Airport.  The Rhode Island Airport Corporation says 20-thousand fewer passengers flew into and out of the Warwick airport in October compared to the same month last year.  The drop is directly in passengers who fly the airport's two largest carriers, Southwest and United.  The other three major carriers posted gains for the month, identified as JetBlue, Delta and U.S. Airways.


First Week Busy At Healthsource R.I.

 The state's health insurance exchange is off to a good start of this year's enrollment period.  HealthSource RI says more than 18-hundred people renewed their insurance in the first six days, with over 300 new customers signing up as well.  The state is offering 40 different plans for consumers to choose from, up from 28 last year.  The program is currently facing a projected operating loss of more than 14-million-dollars in next year's budget.


Brown Student Among 32 New Rhodes Scholars

BOSTON — Two people from Massachusetts are among the 32 new Rhodes scholars named this weekend, and 11 others have ties to universities in New England.

Noam Angrist of Brookline and Kate Nussenbaum of Newton are among the scholars who will attend the University of Oxford in England beginning in October 2015.

Angrist graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge in 2013 with majors in economics and mathematics. He did economic research for the World Bank, the White House and the Affordable Care Act while at MIT.

Nussenbaum is a senior at Brown University in Providence, majoring in cognitive neuroscience and science and society. Her academic work has focused on how social factors distort learning capacity.

The other new Rhodes scholars include students at Yale, Harvard and Dartmouth.


Providence Mayor-Elect Elorza Schedules Public Forums

PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island — Providence Mayor-elect Jorge Elorza and members of his transition team are hosting public forums to get input from city residents.

The meetings are called "One Providence listening forums" and are planned through Dec. 1.

A forum will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday at the Esek Hopkins Middle School and from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Juanita Sanchez Educational Complex.

The final forum will be held from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 1, at the Nathan Bishop Middle School.

Elorza says he looks forward to hearing from Providence residents and incorporating their ideas into his administration.


HealthSource R.I. Opens New Warwick Walk-In Center

PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island — Rhode Island's health benefits exchange has opened a new walk-in center and holding a series of events to help individuals sign up for health coverage during the second open enrollment period.

The HealthSource RI center at 1923 Post Road in Warwick opened Sunday. There is an existing center at 70 Royal Little Drive in Providence where people can get help signing up for insurance.

HealthSource is also holding information sessions across the state to present health plan options, explain federal tax credit eligibility and assist with enrollment. Sessions are planned at the public libraries in Westerly and Cumberland on Monday. Others will follow.

Open enrollment runs through Feb. 15. Rhode Islanders must enroll and pay by Dec. 23 for coverage to take effect on Jan. 1.

R.I. Transportation Officials Launch New Winter Weather Website

PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island — Rhode Island officials have launched a new website with winter driving tips, statistics and links to travel planning resources.

The state Department of Transportation created the site to help Rhode Islanders prepare for winter weather.

DOT Director Michael Lewis says it's a good time to remind everyone about safe driving practices and steps to take to prepare their vehicles, such as checking tires, fluids and brakes.

The site features links to traffic cameras, travel advisories and detour and construction maps.

More information can be found on the site, .


Worcester-Providence Commuter Rail Under Study

WORCESTER, Massachusetts — A newly formed company says it's studying the feasibility of creating a commuter rail service between Worcester and Providence.

The Worcester Telegram & Gazette reports Boston Surface Railroad Co. hopes to eventually introduce three trains a day between the cities, with a stop in Woonsocket.

General Manager Vincent Bono says an engineering study will determine what improvements would need to be made on the existing line for a 70-minute trip time. The study is expected to take six months.

The paper reports the project still has hurdles to overcome, including an agreement with Providence and Worcester Railroad. Railroad officials joined Bono Friday for a symbolic rail ride to Providence to launch the project.

The service is projected to cost about $3 million to set up and operate.

New Narragansett Brew To Honor H.P. Lovecraft

PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island — Providence native son and horror writer H.P. Lovecraft is getting his own beer.

Narragansett Beer President Mark Hellendrung said  Saturday  the company is launching a Lovecraft Honey Ale to celebrate the late writer's literary work. It's being launched on Jan. 19, the birthday of Edgar Allan Poe whom Lovecraft admired.

Narragansett has launched several other locally-inspired brews, including a Del's Shandy and an Autocrat Coffee Milk Stout.

Lovecraft lived for years on Angell Street near Brown University, and local landmarks were used in some of his works. There was a big convention of his fans in Providence last year. The capital also has an intersection named in honor of Lovecraft, and the historical society has held Lovecraft walking tours.

Brown University Appoints Vice Provost For The Arts

PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island — Brown University is adding a vice provost for the arts as part of an effort to expand the school's focus in the area.

The school announced Friday Michael Steinberg has been appointed to the newly created position and will begin in January. He will remain in his current role as director of the Cogut Center for the Humanities at Brown through June 30. The vice provost for arts will serve as a member of the president's cabinet.

Brown says its arts initiative will expand and enhance existing programs and bring new creative and performing arts projects to campus.

A group of faculty and staff working last year with an independent consultant recommended expanding Brown's performing arts facilities, including building a new performance and production facility for music and dance.


8 Winter Farmer's Markets Open In R.I.

PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island — Eight indoor winter farmers' markets are now open throughout Rhode Island.

The Department of Environmental Management's agriculture division and its partners are helping sponsor the markets as part of a statewide campaign to promote buying locally-grown specialty crops.

The markets that are open Saturdays include the South Kingstown Indoor Winter Farmers' Market, the Coastal Growers' Winter Market in North Kingstown, the Mount Hope Market in Bristol, the Farm Fresh RI Wintertime Farmers' Market in Pawtucket, the Hope Valley Indoor Winter Farmers' Market in Wyoming and the Aquidneck Growers' Market in Middletown.

In East Greenwich, the St. Luke's "Arts And Farms" Indoor Winter Farmers' Market is open on Mondays. The Woonsocket Indoor Winter Farmers' Market is open on Tuesdays.


Mass. Regulators Set Deadline For Final Bay State Casino License

BOSTON — Gambling regulators have set new application deadlines for Massachusetts' third and final resort casino license.

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission announced Friday that initial applications for the southeastern region, which is centered on Fall River and New Bedford, will be due Jan. 30. The second part of the application is due May 26.

The commission, which hopes to award the license by next fall, has pushed back the deadlines a number of times already and eased other application requirements to help drum up interest.

The southeast region is generally seen as the least lucrative of the state's three designated casino regions (east, west and southeast). Gambling companies have also been watching to see if the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe receives federal land-in trust approval as they seek to develop a resort on an industrial park in Taunton.

To date, the commission has received just one initial application in the southeastern region: KG Urban, which hopes to develop a casino at a former power plant on the New Bedford waterfront. Foxwoods has floated the idea of a casino for Fall River while other operators have suggested casinos elsewhere. None have formally filed applications with the state, which also require a $400,000 fee.

Massachusetts' casino law authorizes up to three regional resort casinos and one slots parlor. Already licensed are an $800 million MGM project in Springfield, a $1.6 billion Wynn casino in Everett and a $225 million Penn National Gaming slots parlor in Plainville

Animal Rights Group Objects To Tiverton Coyote Kill Plan

PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island — An animal rights group is criticizing a plan by some residents in Tiverton to hunt down a pack of coyotes blamed for attacking and killing several pets.

Defenders of Animals calls the plan inhumane, and it's criticizing the state Department of Environmental Management for signing off on it.

Dennis Tabella of the group says the best way of getting rid of coyotes is to make sure they have no food sources. That means properly disposing of trash, keeping dogs on leashes and not letting cats roam.

He says if that's not done, new coyotes will move in.

The state approved the plan as long as the professional hunter the residents hired doesn't hunt at night and only baits the coyotes on private property.


Following Alleged Threat,Westerly Teachers Demand Officials Provide More Information

WESTERLY, Rhode Island — Scores of angry teachers have demanded that Westerly school officials do a better job informing them of threats such as one that's alleged to have been made against a Westerly High School teacher.

The Westerly Sun reports that teachers said at a recent School Committee meeting they learned of the allegations in media reports, not from school officials.

A physical threat policy approved by the School Committee in 2009 requires that any confirmed written or oral threat against the health, safety and well-being of any member of the school community will immediate prompt notification to police, students, faculty and staff.

A Superior Court judge continued a restraining order Wednesday for Maryjane Utley, head of the high school's science department. A student allegedly threatened to snap her neck.

Welcome Center Hearings Set

Two special meetings of the Newport Zoning Board of Review have been scheduled to consider the Preservation Society’s application for a special use permit to construct a welcome center at The Breakers.

The back-to-back hearings are set for Monday and Tuesday, Dec. 1 and 2. They were originally set for late September, but were canceled after recusals by Zoning Board Chair Rebecca McSweeney and Vice Chair Lynn Ceglie presented quorum issues.

There is considerable public interest in the proceedings, with proponents and opponents disagreeing as to the merits and necessity of the much-debated project.

College Hill Tunnel In Providence Floods;Busses Detoured

PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island — A tunnel that buses use to travel up and down College Hill in Providence has been temporarily closed due to flooding.

The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority says Friday it closed the 100-year-old tunnel because water was discovered late Thursday coming through the ceiling and walls.

Providence Water says there is a leak in a water main near Benefit and Waterman Streets, and it's working to fix it.

A RIPTA spokeswoman says they're working to get the water out of the tunnel, and that structural engineers will look for damage.

In the meantime, buses that normally use the tunnel are being re-routed around the East Side of the city.


R.I. Jobless Rate Falls To 7.4 Percent

PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island — Rhode Island's unemployment rate fell to 7.4 percent in October, but the state shed 2,600 jobs.

The state Department of Labor and Training reported Thursday that the rate had fallen two-tenths of 1 percentage point from September.

The number of unemployed residents was down 1,400, to 40,900. The figure has declined for 15 straight months to the lowest unemployment level since April 2008. The number of unemployed dropped 11,200 over the year.

But the state lost 2,600 jobs from the revised September estimate. The number of nonfarm jobs in Rhode Island was 476,500.

The size of the labor force was also down 400, to 555,400. But that's up 3,400 from a year ago.

The U.S. unemployment rate is 5.8 percent.

A year

Newport Cop Charged With Making False 911 Call

NEWPORT, Rhode Island — A Newport police officer has been arrested and accused of making a fake 911 call.

The Newport Daily News reports that Sgt. Adam Conheeny was arrested Thursday for allegedly making false statements during a call he made on Halloween. Police released few details about the call, but said it resulted in the dispatch of emergency services.

Conheeny pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor charge in District Court and was released on $1,000 personal recognizance.

He has been with the department for 16 years.

Lt. William T. Fitzgerald Jr. says he has been suspended with pay while the court case is pending and once that's done, an internal affairs investigation will be launched.

New Details Emerge In Brown Sex Assault

(Providence, RI)  --  New details are coming to light about an incident at Brown University last year where a young woman claims she was drugged and raped.  The woman says she did not have much alcohol to drink but everything became foggy while at a Providence bar in November of last year.  The woman later took a taxi to Brown, where she claims the sexual assault took place.  A grand jury declined to file charges against the two Brown football players accused by the Providence College student.


Cop Suing City Set For Promotion

(Cranston, RI)  --  A Cranston police captain who is suing the city and its mayor is getting a promotion.  Captain Todd Patalano has been provisionally appointed major, despite his accusations that former Chief Marco Palumbo engaged in a personal vendetta against him.  His suit names Palumbo, Mayor Allan Fung and other officers.  Patalano spent 18 months on paid administrative leave over accusations that he violated department rules, and was later cleared by a state police investigation.


No Ballot Tampering By Cianci Helpers

(Providence, RI)  --  State Police say they have found no evidence that volunteers with Buddy Cianci's campaign tampered with ballots.  The investigation began when residents at the Fox Point Manor senior housing complex reported that campaign workers were helping residents with their ballots.  Police determined that there were some discrepancies in the story, there were no violations of law.  Cianci lost to Democrat Jorge Elorza on Election Day.


Mattiello Raises Concerns About Rate Hike

(Providence, RI)  --  Rhode Island House Speaker Mattiello is expressing concerns about National Grid's proposed 23-percent electric rate hike.  Mattiello says he sat down with National Grid officials a few months ago and told them that double digit increases would not be acceptable.  The speaker says he will be meeting with officials from National Grid and the state Office of Energy Resources on Tuesday to further discuss the matter.  

URI Receives $24 Million To Rebuild Ghana Fisheries

KINGSTON, Rhode Island — The Coastal Resources Center at the University of Rhode Island has received a $24 million grant to lead a five-year project to rebuild depleted fisheries in Ghana.

The Providence Journal reports ( ) that the grant from the U.S. Agency for International Development is part of a federal effort to boost food resources in developing countries. Brian Crawford, interim director of the Coastal Resources Center, says Ghana is seen as a good fit for the program because of its stable government and growing economy.

The Coastal Resources Center is part of URI's Graduate School of Oceanography. It has worked on fisheries and coastal resilience projects in other parts of west Africa.

The grant is the largest in the university's history and represents nearly one-fourth of total grants of $100 million to URI each year.


Man Says Bank Robbery Was For Church

Police are looking for a man who robbed a Providence bank and declared that the stolen money was for the church.  The white man believed to be in his 50s entered the Citizen's Bank Tuesday and handed the teller a note demanding money.  After politely thanking the teller, the man escaped with around three-thousand-dollars.  Police have released a clear picture of the suspect,who was wearing sunglasses but otherwise made no effort to hide his face. 

Tuition Increase Approved At RI Colleges

It is probably going to cost a little more for students to attend classes at Rhode Island's three public colleges.  The Council on Postsecondary Education voted yesterday to approve a rate hike of just under three-percent at the University of Rhode Island.  They also approved an eight-percent increase for Rhode Island College and Community College of Rhode Island.  The Board of Education will vote on the proposal next week.

Reputed RI Mobster Sentenced

A reputed high ranking mobster is avoiding additional prison time in his sentence related to a Rhode Island gambling ring.  Edward Lato pleaded no contest to a felony charge of conspiracy to commit racketeering.  The conviction was related to an investigation into a large scale sports betting ring that led to 22 arrests.  After Lato received a ten year suspended sentence yesterday, he began the trip back to a federal prison in South Carolina to continue his sentence for extorting Providence strip clubs. 

National Grid Seeks Huge Rate Hike

National Grid is asking state regulators to approve a 23-percent electric generation rate increase.  The company says natural gas prices are expected to remain high this winter, making the increase necessary.  Under the proposed rate, the average residential customer will see their bill go from 88-dollars to 109-dollars a month.  The price of electricity is largely linked to the cost of natural gas, which is the fuel used in most New England power plants. 

Planning Council Delays RhodeMap RI Vote

The Rhode Island Planning Council will not be voting on the RhodeMap RI development plan today.  The council yesterday agreed to delay the vote on the controversial plan that has been in the works for more than three years.  Officials say the delay came at the request of House Speaker Nick Mattiello and was approved by Governor Lincoln Chafee.  Mattiello says the delay was requested in order to give some lawmakers a chance to become more familiar with the plan. 

Whitehouse Pleased By Pipeline Rejection

Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse is pleased that the Senate failed to advance the Keystone XL Pipeline.  Whitehouse says the pipeline would transport one of the dirtiest forms of oil from Canada through the U.S.  He also says the bill would have set a dangerous precedent and undermine the administration's authority to ensure the project is in the national interest.

State Drug Overdose Deaths Soar

Public health officials say 188 people have died from drug overdoses in Rhode Island since the beginning of the year.  The vast majority of the deaths involved an overdose of opioids, with many related to the painkiller Fentanyl.  The victims were 136 men and 52 women, hailing from 31 different Rhode Island cities and towns.  Most victims were between the ages of 30 and 50-years-old.

Council President Pays Ethics Fine

Providence City Council President Michael Solomon is paying a two-thousand-dollar fine to settle an ethics complaint.  Solomon was accused of failing to disclose his financial dealings over a period of several years.  The complaint was filed by Republican Councilman Michael Long as Solomon was battling for the Democratic nomination for mayor.  Solomon lost the race to now Mayor-elect Jorge Elorza. 

Man Sentenced For Killing Puppy

A Providence man is heading to prison for two years for the killing of his former girlfriend's puppy.  Luis Laboy admits that he killed the puppy and threw it at the woman, and again throwing it at her car as she drove away.  In addition to the prison time, Laboy must complete community service and cannot own a dog for at least 15 years. 

Providence Lands 2016 NCAA Tournament

The NCAA men's basketball tournament is coming to Providence in 2016.  The NCAA says Providence will host second and third round games at the Dunkin Donuts Center in March of 2016.  The city's bid was submitted by Providence College, the arena and the Greater Providence Warwick Convention and Visitors Bureau.  The final four in 2016 will be held in Houston. 

Teacher Facing New Sex Charges

A Chariro High School teacher already accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a student is facing new charges.  Paul LaFrance is now charged with third degree sexual assault, possession of child pornography and electronic dissemination of indecent material to a minor.  The 52-year-old LaFrance was rearrested at his home yesterday and arraigned on the new charges in Kent County District Court.  

State Agencies Overspending Budgets

Rhode Island state agencies are overspending their approved budgets this fiscal year by an estimated 66-million dollars.  Medicaid is the largest culprit, with the program running an estimated 37-million dollars in the red.  The Department of Children and Families is the agency running the largest deficit at 17-million dollars.  The House Finance Committee has called a hearing for Thursday to begin addressing the problem. 

Governor Elect Will Have A Full Plate

Governor Elect Gina Raimondo will be faced with some big challenges after she takes office as the state’s 75th Governor. The state is faced with continued high unemployment, a projected budget deficit, and a pension overhaul that’s locked in litigation.   Raimondo will be sworn in as Governor on January 6th.

Health Source RI Enrollment Period Opens

It’s time for Rhode Island residents to start looking at the state’s health insurance marketplace.  Health Source RI’s open enrollment period runs through February 15th.  This year, plans being offered through the exchange are from Blue Cross & Blue Shield, United HealthCare and Neighborhood Health Plan of RI.

Concert By Newport Musicians Will Benefit Homeless

Newport Musicians will be performing their annual concert to benenfit the homeless on Thursday December 4th.  The concert will take place at Channing Memorial Church in Newport.  Tickets are $15 for adults, children are free. Proceeds from the concert will benefit Lucy’s Hearth and the McKinney Shelter. For tickets call 849-4250.

Three Arrested In Tiverton In Connection With Aquidneck Island Thefts

Three people have been arrested in connection with thefts from several stores on Aquidneck Island.  Tiverton Police stopped a car on Route 24 last week that contained stolen items including over the counter medications, cosmetics and pregnancy and fertility tests.  Maria Breggia and Guy Tortis of North Providence along Paul Costanzo of Providence face a variety of charges. The case is still under investigation.

Study Finds Millions In Work Needed For Some Portsmouth Schools

Four public schools in Portsmouth are in need of immediate repairs that will cost almost $2 million dollars.  According to the Daily News, a study has identified more than $17.5 million in work needed as long term projects for the continued functioning of the four buildings.  Most of that work is not deemed critical.  Topping the critical list are the bleachers at the high school used for the visiting team. They have been found to be structurally unsafe.  The cost to replace them has been estimated at $31,000. The report is scheduled for discussion at tonight’s School Committee meeting. That meeting will be held at 6 in the Town Hall.

Raimondo To Reappoint O'Donnell

Governor-elect Gina Raimondo is reappointing Colonel Steven O'Donnell as superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police.  Raimondo says she's confident that O'Donnell continues to be the best person to lead the agency.  O'Donnell has served as superintendent since 2011, overseeing State Police and various other public safety agencies.  They include the fire marshal's office, county sheriffs and capitol police.

Mastrosefano Will Sit On Jamestown School Committee

Melissa Mastrostefano ran for Jamestown School Committee and lost. She came in third in the race when there were only two seats open. However, Mastrostefano will be taking a seat on the committee because committee member Ryan Conlon has submitted his resignation. Conlon is leaving because he has accepted a job in Maryland. Matrostefano will take her seat at the next School Committee meeting next Thursday.

Recount In Portsmouth Delays Swearing In Ceremony

Portsmouth has to delay the swearing in of the Town Council and School Committee until after a recount vote for the results of the November 4th election.  According to the Daily News, the original recount vote was focused on the race for town clerk, but Connie Harding, an independent candidate for Town Council has also asked for a recount. She finished in eighth place for the seven member council, losing by 46 votes. The date for the recount has not been set. Once it’s complete the results will be certified by the Board of Canvassers and a date for a swearing in ceremony will be set.

Portsmouth Town Administrator Not Renewing Contract

Portsmouth will be looking for a new Town Administrator.  John Klimm, has decided not to renew his contract with the town.  His current agreement expires at the end of January.  Klimm has helped the town establish a Triple A bond rating, and may stay on a bit to help with the 2016 budget. He is leaving to explore other opportunities. 

Raimondo Names Transition Team

Governor-elect Gina Raimondo's full transition team is in place.  Raimondo has assembled a 13-member team to transition the state to her administration in January.  The team includes labor and business leaders, a teacher, and even a Republican.  Senator Minority Leader Dennis Algiere will bring the GOP perspective to the transition effort.

State College Graduates Carrying Big Debt

Graduates of Rhode Island colleges and universities on average are leaving school with a large amount of debt.  A new report indicates the average debt for a Rhode Island college student graduating in 2013 was over 31-thousand-dollars.  That places state students as having the third largest student debt load in the nation.  New Hampshire is the only New England state above Rhode Island, as their graduates have average debt of 32-thousand-dollars.

Newport City Council-Elect Votes Napolitano As Mayor

The Newport City Council-elect met yesterday morning and voted to fill some of the city’s key positions. The council-elect unanimously voted Jeanne-Marie Napolitano as Mayor, Marco Camacho as Vice Chairman, and Joseph Nicholson Jr. as Interim City Manager.

Permanent Barrier Installation On Newport Bridge To Begin Next Month

The Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority announced that the project to install a permanent median barrier on the Newport Bridge will begin next month.  The $5.9 million dollar project to improve safety on the bridge was approved by the agency’s board yesterday.  The project should be complete by mid-April.

Tiverton Board Of Elections Certifies Results

The Tiverton Board of Elections met yesterday and was able to certify the election results for Town Council.  According to the Daily News, the race was so close that only 13 votes separated the seventh and eighth place finishers for Town Council.  The deadline for recounts was yesterday at 4pm and none of the candidates had petitioned for one.  The Tiverton Town Council will be sworn in a t ceremony on November 24th along with others elected to town posts.

Newport Man Busted For Child Solicitation

A Newport man is jailed on charges accusing him of soliciting sex from a child on the Internet.  Police say 24-year-old Edwin Cintron engaged in a sexually explicit chat with a 14-year-old West Greenwich child on Facebook.  The parents of the child discovered the chat and alerted police, who assumed the child's identity and later allegedly received naked pictures through the account from Cintron.  He's charged with indecent solicitation of a child and electronic dissemination of indecent material. 

Providence Police Focused on Gun Control Unit Program

Providence Police have a new unit in place that is focused on keeping illegal guns off city streets.  The Providence Gun Control Unit is working to help identify suspects in shootings, and those selling illegal guns in the city.  Police say the biggest problem is that people who purchase guns legally end up selling them illegally and they end up being used to commit crimes.  Police plan to lobby state lawmakers to toughen penalties for those who sell their guns illegally.

Sylvia Hopes To Lead Council

Three-term councilman Robert J. Sylvia is expected to take over the lead of Middletown Town Council. Sylvia was informally chosen as council president during a weekend meeting at town hall, with political newcomer Robert Kempenaar as vice president. The Daily News says nothing becomes official until the new seven-member council is inaugurated Monday, November 24th at 6 p.m. in the Gaudet Middle School cafeteria.

Group To Hold Emergency Prepardness Expo

A new group, the Aquidneck Island Emergency Volunteer Alliance, was formed to go into action at a moment’s notice after blizzards, hurricanes, and other disasters. According to the Daily news, the nonprofit alliance is prepared to send 20 trained volunteers to help staff the regional emergency shelter in Middletown should a disaster strike. To attract more volunteers, the group is sponsoring a free Emergency Preparedness Expo on Saturday from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Edward King House Senior Center on 35 King St.

Pell Elementary School Launches Open House Series Today

The Pell Elementary School community is launching their open house tour series today beginning at 1 p.m. The open houses will take place on the second Wednesday of every month throughout the 2014-2015 academic year. The tours will be co-led by a Pell-Elementary School administrator and a Pell Elementary School parent and  take place between 1 and 2 p.m. To RSVP contact Mark McKenna  at 401-842-1900 or visit the school website at

Lawmakers Are Meeting To Discuss Ebola

Representative Joseph McNamara has called a hearing of the House Committee of Health, Education and Welfare this afternoon at the State House to review the state’s health care preparations and prevention planning for Ebola. Officials from the Department of Health and leaders of United Nurses & Allied Professionals, and the Rhode Island State Nurses Association are also invited to the hearing. There have been no cases of Ebola in Rhode Island.

Providence College Student Reports Sexual Assault

A Providence College student is reporting that she was sexually assaulted off campus this past weekend.  The young woman says she was assaulted Saturday night by someone who is not a student at the school.  The incident is being investigated by Providence Police.  School officials are weighing whether the student body should be directly notified about the incident, which is required by federal law when there is an ongoing threat to a campus community.

The Supreme Court Decides State Not Liable for Cliff Walk Damages

Rhode Island’s highest court says the state doesn't have to pay damages to a man left paralyzed by a fall at Newport's Cliff Walk.  The state Supreme Court is rejecting Simcha Berman's request for a new trial.  A lower court ruled that the state has a very limited rule at Cliff Walk and no evidence of negligence by the state exists.  The New York City man is a quadriplegic following the fall more than a decade ago, and was seeking 30-million dollars in damages.

Recount For Portsmouth Town Clerk Scheduled for Friday

The newly elected Portsmouth Town Council is scheduled to take oath of office on Monday, as long as the race for town clerk is decided by Friday. According to the Daily News, Democrat Jennifer M. West trails Republican Town Clerk Joanne M. Mower by 69 votes. West called for a recount, which the Board of elections will hold on Friday at its office in Providence. If the recount settles the race, the results of the Nov.4th election for town council, school committee and town clerk can be certified the same day.

Portsmouth Schools Pleased With State Aid For Next Fiscal Year

Portsmouth schools are in line to receive more in state aid in the next fiscal year than originally thought. According to the Daily News, the school department has been losing abut $250,000  a year in state aid for the past five years but the loss for the fiscal year starting July 1st, 2015 will only be about $70,000 . Town Finance Director James Lathrop said that one of the factors that influenced the change was the revaluation of town property in Portsmouth and how the revised valuation compared with other towns around the state. The department also recalculated the number of students who are eligible for free or reduced-price lunches in town schools, which Lathrop said is a big factor in determining the amount of school aid a community receives.

Jamestown Community Theatre Presents 'Peter Pan'

The Jamestown Community Theatre will hold its production of “Peter Pan” over the course of two weekends starting Friday at Jamestown Community Theatre, 41 Conanicus Avenue. The Friday and Saturday performances will be held at 7 p.m., and the Sunday shows will be held at 4 p.m. Tickets cost $12 for adults and $5 for seniors and students in advance; and $15 for adults and $8 for seniors and students at the door. Tickets can be purchased at Baker's Pharmacy, 53 Narragasnett Ave.; Cathryn Jamieson Salon, 16 Narragansett Ave.; the Ship's Store at Conanicut Marine, 20 Narragansett Ave.; and the Secret Garden, 12 Southwest Ave. For more information, contact Mary Wright, artistic director, at 401-741-9818 or

Perryman Trial Set To Begin Today

The trial of a Newport man charged with murder is scheduled to begin today. Joseph Perryman is accused of stabbing 44 year old Anthony Simmons of Newport to death after the pair had been arguing in an apartment back in December of 2012.

Veterans Day Activities And Celebrations

Tomorrow is Veterans Day. WADK’s Talk Of The Town with Bruce Newbury will be live at Custom House Coffee, 769 Aquidneck Avenue in Middletown from 9 until noon. There will be free Veteran Coffee Roasters brand coffee served to all Veterans, all day.  Purchase a pound of Veteran Coffee Roasters brand coffee tomorrow and a portions of the proceeds will benefit the Wounded Warrior Project.  Purchase two pounds and Veteran Coffee Roasters will donate a pound to the all new military lounge at T.F. Green Airport.


Portsmouth will honor all veterans tomorrow at Portsmouth High School at 9am. There will be a focus on Vietnam-era vets with a guest speaker from the Naval War College.


The United Veterans Council of Newport and the VFW Conover-Leary Post 406 are sponsoring a ceremony at Newport City Hall tomorrow at 11am.  Capt. David Welch, the commanding officer of the Surface Warfare Officers School Command will be the guest speaker.


The Jane Pickens Theater will host a free Veterans Day screening of Good Morning Vietnam in honor of Vietnam Veterans. The screening is at 1pm tomorrow and is sponsored in part by American Legion Post 18, VFW 5390 and The Jane Pickens Theater.

Student Tests Positive For Date Rape Drug

A Brown University student who became very intoxicated after drinking punch at a fraternity party tested positive for a date rape drug.  School officials say the student tested positive for a common drug known as GBH after attending the party at Sears House.  The Phi Kappa Psi fraternity that hosted the party has been suspended.  Brown students were notified of the positive test over the weekend in an e-mail from administrators.

Westerly Buildings Condemned After Fire

Arson is believed to be the cause of a fire that destroyed a house and a commercial building in Westerly.  Officials say the fire started early yesterday in the vacant home on Canal Street and quickly spread to the building housing the Trash and Treasures store.  The arson determination was made because the town-owned home was unoccupied and did not have electricity.  The town purchased the home with federal grant money after it was heavily damaged by Pawcatuck River flooding in 2010.


Raimondo Reminds Residents Of Flu Shots

Governor-elect Gina Raimondo is reminding Rhode Island residents to get their flu vaccine shot as soon as possible.  Raimondo says she got her shot on Friday, and that her family gets one every year because it's the best defense against the flu.  Last year, more than 600 state residents were hospitalized with the flu, with 32 flu related deaths.  People can get flu vaccine shots from their doctor, pharmacies and at public or school clinics.

Portsmouth Approves Plan For New Wind Turbine

The Portsmouth Town Council voted last night to accept an offer from Wind Energy Group to replace the failed wind turbine at the high school with a new and improved model.  According to the Daily News, the agreement calls for the new turbine to be operations within two years and for the town to purchase the electricity produced by the turbine.  Wind Energy plans to have the turbine built on the same spot and operational by November of next year.

Health Source RI Marketplace Will Have More Plans

Health Source RI has announced that there will be 40 individual and group plans available through their health insurance marketplace.  Last year only 28 plans were offered. There is a new carrier joining the marketplace next year as well, United Health Care is joining Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island and Neighborhood Health Plan in offering individual coverage. There are more options for next year and some plans will cost less although most will cost more.

Discussions To Continue About Newport Grand

What’s next for Newport Grand? The Daily News reports that Joe Paolino is going to meet with his partners today to see if it is feasible to do upgrades to Newport Grand and turn it into an entertainment center without the addition of table games.  If they can make the numbers work, Paolino plans to sit with current Newport Grand owner Diane Hurley to see if a new deal could be made that would make economic sense for both sides.

No Ballot Tampering In Crossroads Case

State Police are closing their investigation into allegations of ballot tampering at Crossroads Rhode Island in Providence.  The investigation began when two off duty police officers working for Buddy Cianci's campaign for mayor entered the facility to collect ballots from residents.  It has been determined that the four ballots picked up by the officers were not tampered with, and there is no basis for criminal charges.  The four ballots ended up being disqualified anyway because they all lacked a verification signature.

Raimondo Meets With Governor Chafee

 Governor Lincoln Chafee says he feels Rhode Island will be in good hands when the newly-elected Gina Raimondo replaces him.  Chafee and Raimondo sat down yesterday in his State House office to discuss the transition of power.  Chafee says he is comfortable with the decision not to seek reelection after a single term in office.  Raimondo takes office January 6th, and says she is ready to get to work.

Jo Eva Gaines Hopes to Lead Newport School Committee

Current Newport School Committee Vice Chairwoman Jo Eva Gaines said she would like to lead the committee as chairwoman for the next two years, replacing Chairman Charles Shoemaker, who did not run for re-election. The Daily News says Gaines has served on the school committee since 2001. An official vote for chairman and vice chairman will take place on Inauguration Day.

Rhode Island Governor-elect Gina Raimondo Starting Transition Team

Rhode Island Governor-elect Gina Raimondo says she will be naming a transition team in the next few days.  Raimondo defeated Republican Allan Fung Tuesday to become the first woman elected as governor of the state.  Raimondo is calling on Governor Lincoln Chafee to hold off on making any key appointments as his term winds down.  She pledges to hire talented people for her administration, and says the team will seek new faces.

Local Boy Recoverimg From Dog Attack

A 5 year old local boy is recovering from about one hundred dog bites and scratch wounds he suffered when he was attacked by a dog in the Park Holm apartment complex Tuesday. According to the daily news, police said the boy was playing in the grass outside an apartment in his neighborhood when a 9 month old pit bull attacked him. The dog is presently at the Potter Shelter quarantine pending a vicious dog hearing. The dog’s owner, Zita L. Saunders, 33, of Fall River, was charged with failing to properly restrain her dog and issued her summons to appear in Municipal Court on December 1st.

Prospective Newport Grand Developer Still Open To Investing

The prospective developer of a casino at Newport Grand and former providence mayor Joseph Paolino Jr said Wednesday he is still considering investing in the property even though voters rejected a proposal to add table games. A ballot question on permitting table games at the slots parlor was approved statewide Tuesday, but rejected in Newport. It needed majority approval of both statewide and local voters to pass. Paolino said moving forward with the project isn’t out of the question, but it’s more of a challenge now for Newport Grand to remain competitive with other area casinos.

Portsmouth School Committee Approves Plan For Turbine

Replacement of the failed wind turbine at Porstmouth High School moved a step closer during a meeting last night, when the School Committee gave its approval to a 25 year agreement to purchase its electricity from Wind Energy Development of North Kingstown. According to the Daily News, the committee’s unanimous vote clears the way for the Town Council to formally accept Wind Energy Developments offer to allow the town to pay off the remaining two million dollars of the bond voters approved in 2007 to build the turbine. The council will meet tonight at 7 to formally approve the agreement.

Winthrop Voted Off Town Council

Newport Mayor Harry Winthrop was voted off the town council.  Winthrop told the Daily News that there was no doubt that he was swept out by the anti-casino vote. Winthrop supported the addition of table games at Newport Grand.

Election Brief

Nationwide, Republicans now control the majority of seats in the House and the Senate. Locally Democrats had a sweep of offices throughout the state. Rhode Island has its first female Governor, says no to full casino gambling at Newport Grand and Mayor Harry Winthrop was voted off the Newport City Council. Get complete election results by visiting:

Raimondo Elected Governor

Rhode Island has its first female governor.  Democratic General Treasurer Gina Raimondo has defeated Republican Cranston Mayor Allan Fung to win the governor's office.  In her victory speech, Raimondo pledged to rebuild the state's schools, roads and institutions while reducing unemployment.  Fung called Raimondo and conceded the race before her speech, saying she ran a good campaign and pledging his support.

Cianci Loses Providence Mayoral Race

Buddy Cianci has come up short in his effort to become mayor of Providence for a third time.  Democrat Jorge Elorza has defeated Cianci by more than three-thousand votes, driven by a strong showing in the city's East Side.  Elorza says the eyes of the nation were on this race and the people of Providence have spoken.  Elorza is a Roger Williams University school of law professor and a former housing court judge.

Table Games Rejected At Newport Grand

Rhode Island is saying no to full casino gambling at Newport Grand.  Voters rejected a referendum yesterday, ending a fierce and emotional battle over the addition of table games.  The rejection means the planned 40-million-dollar renovation of Newport Grand will not happen, and it will not be sold to an investment group.  Voters did approve a referendum giving local voters a say on where casinos are located.

Senator Jack Reed Wins Reelection

Rhode Island Senator Jack Reed is heading back to Washington for six more years.  Reed collected more than 70 percent of the vote in rolling past Republican Mark Zaccaria in yesterday's election to win a fourth term in the Senate.  In his victory speech, Reed pledged to continue his work in Washington on expanding education, protecting the environment and working towards immigration reform.

Coventry Fire District Chief Suspended

Coventry Fire District Chief Labbadia is suspended with pay as the district investigates job misconduct allegations against him.  Labbadia is accused of taking a department vehicle and going to play golf and to attend a party on Federal Hill.  Labbadia has been chief in Coventry since 2008, and he cannot enter the fire station while the suspension is in place.  The chief denies the allegations.

Town of Middletown Formally Requests New West Side Park

The town of Middletown is formally requesting 25 acres from the Navy for a new west side park on Burma Road. According to the Daily News, the town council voted 7-0 during a meeting last night in town hall to pursue a public benefit conveyance to get the land, part of 225 acres being considered for disposal in the ongoing Base Realignment and Closure process. Town officials said just because the community is seeking the Burma Road land doesn’t mean it is guaranteed to happen, there are a number of hurdles to jump through to complete the process. Council members did not discuss a projected timeline for when the town might take over the land.

City of Newport Pursuing New Skating Rink

The city of Newport is pursuing an initiative to set up a skating rink in the parking lot of the Gateway Center at America’s Cup Avenue for the winter season. According to the Daily News, the city council began searching for an alternative location for skating after the Newport Yachting Center announced it’s property including the skating rink was sold in September. Interim City Manager Joseph Nicholson Jr. said electrical power, water, restroom facilities, seating and support for the rink’s infrastructure all were matters that have to be resolved before the plan is finalized. The Gateway Center property is owned by the city and any expenses and agreement for a new facility there would require a City Council vote.

Rhode Island Voters Choose New Governor Today

Rhode Island voters are choosing a new governor today.  New Jersey Governor Chris Christie made a third appearance in the state to support Republican Allan Fung as part of his final push for votes yesterday.  Democrat Gina Raimondo was also out reaching as many voters as possible on the final day before the vote.  Fung and Raimondo are seeking to replace Governor Lincoln Chafee, who decided not to seek reelection.

Pell Elementary School Hosting Series Of Open Houses

The Pell Elementary School will be hosting a series of Open houses for the Newport community. The open houses will take place on the second Wednesday of every month throughout the 2014-2015 academic year beginning on Wednesday, Nov. 12th. The tours will take place between 1 and 2 p.m. and will be co-led by a Pell Elementary school administrator and a pell elementary school parent. If interested, rsvp by visiting the school website at or calling 401-842-1900 ext. 20107.

Federal Hill Bar License Decision Stands

The revocation of the liquor license will stand for the Three Dollar Bar on Federal Hill in Providence.  The city Board of Licenses says bar staff did nothing to help a man who was being badly beaten behind the bar on July 23rd.  That man later died, and no bar employee ever called police to report the incident.  Daniel Lastarza is charged with murder for the killing of Jonathan Stack in a dispute over money.

Stormwater System Repairs Begin Today In Newport

The stormwater system repair and upgrade project will begin today in Newport.  Today they will be working at the intersection of Garfield Street and Prescott Hall Road. The work is expected to begin at 7 each morning and end at 5.  The construction is expected to continue through January.

RI Comic Con Organizers Apologize

Rhode Island Comic Con organizers are apologizing after having to turn away ticket holders after the venue went over capacity.  About 1500 people were turned away on Saturday that had already purchased tickets. The fire marshal had to temporarily shut down Comic Con when the Convention Center hit its maximum capacity of 17,000 people. 

Outside Groups Spending Big

Big money is being spent by independent groups trying to influence this year's elections in Rhode Island.  Over four-million-dollars has been spent by independent groups this cycle, with over half targeting the governor's race.  Another 800-thousand-dollars have been spent on ballot questions one and two, which would let Newport Grand add table games and become a full casino instead of just a slot parlor.  Over 100-thousand-dollars has been spent by groups on the race for mayor of Providence.

Find Your Polling Place

Tomorrow is election day.  The polls will be open from 7am – 8pm.  We want to remind everyone that a photo ID will be required to vote. You can find your polling place by visiting


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