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1540 WADK.com Updates Archives for 2016-08

WWII hero to be buried after remains found in sunken ship

A World War II hero from Rhode Island who was killed in 1942 while trying to save fellow soldiers from a sinking ship will be laid to rest.

A funeral will be held for Army Capt. Elwood Euart today at St. Maria Goretti Church followed by a burial with full military honors at St. Francis Cemetery, both in Pawtucket.

Euart went down with the SS President Coolidge after it struck mines in the South Pacific.

Amateur divers discovered Euart's remains and dog tags in 2012. The Army recovered his remains in 2015 and identified him with DNA testing. He was returned to Rhode Island last weekend.

Euart was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, the Army's second-highest medal.

Cash stolen from hospital room of boy battling leukemia

Police are investigating after a Warwick mother reported that someone stole about $2,000 in cash donations from the hospital room of her 15-month-old son battling leukemia.

Kelly Smith says a fundraiser held for her son on Friday raised approximately $2,700 in checks and $3,730 in cash.

Smith was left with about $3,000 in cash after her husband paid some bills. The money was put in the front pocket of Smith's pants, which she left in a bathroom attached to her son's room at Hasbro Children's Hospital when she went to sleep Sunday night.

But on Monday morning, Smith says she woke to find just $1,075 in her pants. The boy's father's wedding band was also missing.

Hospital officials say they will assist the police investigation in any way necessary.

Man gets 12 years for wrong-way crash that killed couple

A Massachusetts man was sentenced to serve 12 years in prison for causing an Easter Sunday 2015 wrong-way crash that claimed the lives of a young couple in Providence.

Twenty-six-year-old Joel Norman was sentenced Tuesday in Providence Superior Court after reversing his plea to guilty on charges of driving under the influence with death resulting and several other offenses.

Police say Norman was drunk and driving the wrong way on U.S. Route 6 when a vehicle containing 21-year-old Tiffany Sical and 23-year-old Brayan Rodriguez-Solis collided with him on April 5, 2015.

The high school sweethearts were killed in the crash, leaving behind a daughter who is now 6 years old. Norman reportedly spent the night bar-hopping in Providence.

Norman apologized and took blame for the crash before he was sentenced.

Policymakers, defense businesses converge in Newport

Policymakers and defense industry representatives have come together in Newport to discuss trends within the industry and technologies being developed for military forces.

The Southeastern New England Defense Industry Alliance is hosting its third annual conference on defense innovation through today at the Hyatt Regency on Goat Island..

The group is discussing innovation in undersea technology, cybersecurity and warfighting.

Tuesday's agenda included talks by members of Rhode Island's congressional delegation and Gov. Gina Raimondo.

The chairman of the President's Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity, Tom Donilon, talked about improving the nation's cybersecurity posture.

Frank Kendall, an undersecretary of defense, discussed the Defense Department's modernization efforts.

Judge to decide if inmate serving a life sentence can marry

After hearing opposing arguments, a federal court judge in Providence will now determine if a convicted murderer serving a life sentence in Rhode Island state prison can get married.

Testimony was heard Monday in Cody-Allen Zab's request to marry college professor Shelby Ferreira, whom he met while she was teaching prisoners.

Zab is challenging a century-old state law stipulating that prisoners be considered "dead in all respects" as if they had died immediately following their conviction.

Attorney Sonya Deyoe argued that the legislation violates Zab's Equal Protection rights by denying his fundamental right to marry while also allowing already married inmates to retain their status while serving life sentences.

Prosecutors said the law is within its rights to punish the "worst of the worst criminals."

First Southwest objects to deal over 38 Studios

The company that acted as financial adviser to the state of Rhode Island in its $75 million deal with video game company 38 Studios is objecting to a partial settlement in a lawsuit brought over the deal.

38 Studios was started by former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling. It failed less than two years after getting the loan guarantee.

First Southwest filed an objection Monday to a proposed $25.6 million settlement announced last week with Wells Fargo Securities and Barclays Capital Inc.

First Southwest's filing takes issue with a state law passed to encourage settlements in the case. First Southwest says it has the effect of strong-arming others to pay for the state's mistakes.

A state Superior Court judge has scheduled a hearing about the settlement proposal for Sept. 6.

Gas prices in RI up 5 cents, to $2.20

Gas prices in Rhode Island have jumped five cents since last week.

AAA Northeast says its weekly survey on Monday found self-serve, regular gas selling for an average $2.20 per gallon.

The price in Rhode Island is two cents below the national average of $2.22.

A year ago, the price in Rhode Island was 18 cents higher, at an average $2.38.

AAA says prices heading in to the Labor Day weekend are the lowest they've been since 2004.

AAA found self-serve, regular gas selling in Rhode Island for as low as $2.06 per gallon and as high as $2.44.

2 workers rescued from bucket under bridge after truck tips

A bucket truck overturned on the Sakonnet River Bridge in Tiverton, leaving two workers stranded in the bucket as they inspected the underside of the bridge.

The workers were rescued just before 3 p.m. Monday.

The Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority said the truck, called a snooper, tipped over Monday afternoon while a private contractor was conducting the routine bridge inspection. The vehicle has an arm that extends out and underneath a bridge to inspect it.

The bridge was closed to all traffic while the workers were rescued. RITBA says the workers are safe.

RITBA says it's not yet clear why the vehicle malfunctioned. The agency says it believes all safety protocols and procedures were followed.

RITBA says it will conduct an internal investigation of the incident.

Newport fundraiser for Trump canceled

Campaign officials for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump have canceled an upcoming fundraiser in Rhode Island, shortly after the event was announced.

Republican state Rep. Joseph Trillo of Warwick says that Friday's event in Newport was scrapped because of a scheduling conflict. A new date hasn't yet been set.

Trillo had announced the event Monday morning. Attendees were asked to donate the individual contribution limit of $2,700. The invitation didn't list the event's exact time or place.

Trillo says the campaign wanted to keep the event as quiet as possible.

It would have marked Trump's first visit to Rhode Island since giving a speech in Warwick in April.

Review finds ex-Portsmouth Abbey chancellor did no wrong

A law firm hired by the Portsmouth Abbey School to investigate the sudden resignation of its chancellor in May found that the abbot did not engage in any illegal behavior prior to his departure.

The review by Debevoise & Plimpton LLP also found that the Right Rev. Dom Caedmon Holmes had not been inappropriate with any of the school's students, but the circumstances surrounding his resignation remain unclear.

On May 12, Portsmouth Abbey officials sent a letter to the community that announced Holmes' resignation following his "acknowledgment of personal struggles."

The firm was then hired to probe Holmes' departure and report any incidents of sexual abuse or misconduct that may come to light. Three incidents already known to past or present administrators were reported back.

Police arrest teen for devastating punch on 39-year-old man

Police have arrested a 17-year-old boy who they believe threw a punch that caused brain trauma in a 39-year-old man during an altercation earlier this month in South Kingstown.

The teen, who wasn't identified, was charged with felony assault in connection with the Aug. 12 incident.

Police say the victim and another 29-year-old man were assaulted after exchanging words with a group of young men walking along School Street after midnight. The teen charged allegedly landed the devastating blow on the victim.

Authorities say the boy is currently at the Rhode Island Training School while awaiting a hearing in Family Court. He's reportedly well-known to police and has been criminally charged in the past.

The investigation is ongoing and more arrests are expected.

New England governors and Eastern Canadian premiers to meet

Republican Gov. Charlie Baker is rolling out the red carpet for the 40th Conference of New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers to discuss issues ranging from energy needs to new technologies.

An actual red carpet was placed in the Statehouse ahead of the two-day event.

The conference will include an opening night reception and dinner Sunday at the Statehouse.

The governors and premiers will participate in two sessions Monday. One will be on innovative technologies and a second on the importance of diverse energy generation.

The Conference of New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers was established in 1973. Its members are the governors and the premiers of those states and provinces.

The meetings are held alternately in New England and eastern Canada.

Navy gets $2.7B attack submarine sponsored by Michelle Obama

A Connecticut company has delivered to the U.S. Navy an attack submarine that is sponsored by first lady Michelle Obama and will be named for her home state.

General Dynamics Electric Boat delivered the submarine that will become the USS Illinois on Saturday after more than five years of construction.

The first lady will be involved in the life of the submarine and the lives of its sailors and their families.

The submarine will begin its active service at a commissioning ceremony on Oct. 29.

It took thousands of shipyard employees in Connecticut, Rhode Island and Virginia and submarine supply businesses nationwide to build the $2.7 billion submarine.

States reviewing energy projects that would benefit region

Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island officials and electric utilities have joined together in evaluating more than 50 solicitations from energy companies to build in the region, generating power for all three states.

The three southern New England states hope to leverage their combined purchasing power and attract wind, solar and fuel cell projects they possibly couldn't lure on their own.

The goal is to lower consumers' utility costs in a high-price region of the country.

It's the first time states have joined in a coordinated procurement for clean resources. Officials say they need more time to evaluate the proposals. They hope to have approvals completed by the end of the year.

New England governors have called for working together to bring cleaner, affordable power to the region.

South Kingstown superintendent honored by her peers

The superintendent in South Kingstown has been named the 2017 Rhode Island Superintendent of the Year.

The Rhode Island School Superintendents' Association selected Kristen Stringfellow for the honor.

Stringfellow has served as the superintendent of the South Kingstown public schools since 2009. She was previously the assistant superintendent of the Scituate School District.

The award recognizes outstanding school district leaders who are dedicated to the education of all children, committed to the community and involved with the superintendents' association. Stringfellow has spearheaded new technology initiatives and curriculum reforms in South Kingstown.

Stringfellow will be honored by the American Association of School Administrators at a national conference in New Orleans in March. She is a lifelong Rhode Island resident.

Providence bus driver charged in New York City cold case

A Rhode Island school bus driver has been charged in connection with a 1990 cold case murder in New York City.

Authorities say 48-year-old Zunilda Rosario was taken into custody Thursday after she landed at JFK International Airport following a trip to the Dominican Republic.

The Providence woman has been accused of killing her then-boyfriend, 19-year-old Juan Deleon, in February 1990. Deleon was found fatally shot in his Harlem apartment.

Rosario was arrested following the new testimony of a reported eye witness.

Jen Biddinger, a spokeswoman for First Student, says Rosario has been driving for the company since 2000 and she passed a background check.

Rosario's family declined to comment.

RI to hold farmland acquisition meeting

Rhode Island environmental officials have planned another meeting about proposed rules that could allow the state to buy and protect farmland and sell it to interested farmers.

The public workshop will take place at 5:30 p.m. on Sept. 7 at the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography's Corless Auditorium in Narragansett.

Republican state lawmakers have expressed concerns about the proposed regulations. They called for the second workshop because the first one was held when many farmers were participating in the Washington County Fair.

The state Department of Environmental Management says the goal of the acquisition program is to preserve Rhode Island's historic farmlands. It says access to land is a challenge for aspiring farmers. About $3 million is available for farmland preservation through a 2014 bond measure.

No West Nile found in latest mosquito tests in RI

State environmental officials have not found West Nile virus in the latest round of mosquito tests in Rhode Island.

The Department of Environmental Management said Wednesday that 96 mosquito samples from 26 traps set statewide on Aug. 9 tested negative for both West Nile and eastern equine encephalitis.

Earlier this month, the agency reported one confirmed finding of West Nile virus and one confirmed finding of EEE in a mosquito sample in Rhode Island. There are no confirmed human cases in the state.

West Nile has been detected in mosquito samples trapped in Massachusetts and Connecticut. EEE was found in a mosquito trapped in southeastern Massachusetts.

The agency traps mosquitoes weekly and tests them at the state health laboratories.

Test results are pending for 32 traps set on Aug. 15.

Man pleads no contest to getting unemployment while working

A Rhode Island man has pleaded no contest to charges he collected unemployment insurance benefits while he was working.

Attorney General Peter Kilmartin said Wednesday the case against 50-year-old David Bassett has been continued for one year because Bassett paid full restitution of $18,777 at the time of his plea. He pleaded no contest to one count of obtaining money under false pretenses.

Prosecutors say the Johnston resident failed to accurately report his weekly earnings to the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training on various dates between December 1, 2007 and March 31, 2012.

Prosecutors say Bassett was working for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 99 in Cranston at the time.

Police investigating after body pulled from Pawtuxet River

Police are investigating after the body of a 27-year-old man was pulled from the Pawtuxet River in Cranston near a popular spot for thrill-seekers to jump and swim.

Rescue crews discovered the body of Alexander Higham in about 10 feet of water on Wednesday night following an extensive 90-minute search.

The West Warwick man had reportedly been jumping off the Arkwright Bridge into the river with friends when he did not resurface.

Swimmers told police the depth of the water underneath the historic 1888 steel-truss bridge ranges anywhere from 3 to 15 feet. Cranston Police Chief Bill McKenna says a lot of debris was found under the surface.

Police say Higham did have minor health issues but investigators don't believe drugs or alcohol were a factor in his death.

Bryant men's basketball team safe in Italy after earthquake

Officials say Bryant University's men's basketball team is safe and unharmed in Italy after a 6.2-magnitude earthquake rocked three regions of the country earlier this week.

Tremors from the quake woke the Bulldogs coaching staff and players at their hotel in Rome when it struck at about 3:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Head coach Tim O'Shea says he was startled by the sound of hangers in his closet knocking together before seeing news of the earthquake on TV.

The team is currently touring Italy for a series of exhibition games.

The Bulldogs were scheduled to play their first game on Wednesday in Spoleto, which sits about 20 minutes from one of the hardest-hit areas. The game was canceled after the gym they were scheduled to play in sustained minor damage.

Foxboro stolen Patriots memorabilia returned

An autographed Patriots helmet stolen from a Foxboro restaurant two weeks ago has been returned.

The thief was caught on surveillance video on the evening of Thursday, August 11th stealing the helmet and then running out before paying his bill.

The man called Skipjack’s the following day owning up to it and saying he would mail the helmet back.

The package came in yesterday with the stolen helmet plus eighty dollars in cash for his bill along with a note to the general manager saying, “sorry for the trouble!”

Man charged in fatal rollover crash on Block Island


A 20-year-old Narragansett man is facing charges related to a rollover crash on Block Island that killed a 17-year-old passenger.

Brandon McCrave was arraigned Tuesday. He's charged with driving under the influence of liquor, death resulting and related offenses.

Police say it is McCrave's second DUI offense in five years. Online court records did not list a lawyer for McCrave.

Police say McCrave was driving a Jeep Wrangler at a high rate of speed Monday in New Shoreham when he missed a corner. The Jeep left the road and overturned, ejecting the 17-year-old passenger, who died at the scene. Two other passengers were uninjured.

RI single-family home sales up 7.5 percent in July

Sales of single-family homes in Rhode Island rose 7.5 percent in July from a year ago, while the median price rose almost 10 percent to $262,500.

The Rhode Island Association of Realtors said this week that sales activity slowed in the condominium market, which fell 6.6 percent from a year earlier, and in multifamily homes, which fell almost 10 percent.

The median price of condos also declined, by more than 5 percent, but the median sales price of multifamily properties grew more than 10 percent to $190,000.

The group says there are signs of a more tempered market in single-family homes heading into the fall.

There was a more than 13 percent decrease in the number of homes for sale.

Newport pilot makes emergency landing on Mass. sandbar

A small plane has made an emergency landing on a sandbar in Massachusetts.

The pilot told state police that he was forced to land his plane on a sandbar in the Quabbin Reservoir in New Salem on Tuesday afternoon due to mechanical issues.

Officials say 42-year-old Guilluame De Ramel of Newport  was the only person on the plane, and was not hurt. The plane remained intact.

It was not immediately clear where the plane departed from or where it was headed to.

An investigation is ongoing.

Providence officials testing city's emergency sirens

Providence officials are testing the city's emergency siren systems.

The Providence Emergency Management Agency says testing of the Port of Providence Sirens Warning System began on Tuesday and will continue for two weeks, ending Sept. 2.

PEMA says the sirens will go off around 12 p.m. Monday through Friday. There may be two to three soundings of the sirens. The sirens will not be tested on weekends.

More closures ahead for beleaguered lobster bait fishery

The lobster industry's difficulty getting enough bait could be about to get worse because of upcoming closures in the herring fishery.

Herring is the preferred bait for lobster fishermen, who use the fish to lure the valuable crustaceans into traps. But herring have been in short supply this year because fishermen aren't catching many of them in offshore New England waters.

Fishing managers have instituted limits on inshore herring fishing to try to ensure a steady supply of herring throughout summer.

The interstate Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission is also closing an area off eastern Maine to herring fishing from Aug. 28 to Sept. 24.

The shortage of bait has not yet appeared to impact the price or availability of lobsters to consumers. Many fishermen say bait has been expensive.

Plan for apartments near Providence Station moves ahead

The developer of a proposed multi-story apartment building on land near Providence Station has applied for a variance with the city's Building Board of Review to allow construction to begin.

The application, filed by Capital Cove Development LLC, describes the structure as being six stories high with the first two floors reserved for parking.

The proposed 2.5-acre site on Smith Street sits next to Capitol Cove, an existing apartment building currently being rented by the developer to Johnson & Wales University for use as a dormitory. It is across the street from the Roger Williams National Memorial.

The land was the subject of a 2014 tax stabilization agreement with the city. The deal outlined the development of two more residential buildings on the site.

More Money Coming To RI Fire Departments

More money is on the way to Rhode Island fire departments.  U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse, with Congressmen Jim Langevin and David Cicilline, announced yesterday that 385-thousand dollars is being split between the Lincoln, Narragansett and Pawtucket fire departments.  The money will be used to buy new equipment, protective gear, training and other resources.  The money is being made available through the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program.

Gas Prices On The Rise In RI

Prices at the pumps are a little higher compared to last week in Rhode Island.  Triple-A reports that the average price for regular gas has gone up two-cents since last week, bringing it to two-dollars-15-cents per gallon.  However, it's still less than the average price for gas one year ago which was at two-dollars-47-cents.

Jury Duty Scam Circulating RI

U.S. Marshals are warning Rhode Island residents about a jury duty scam.  A spokesperson announced yesterday that they've received an uptick in reports about scammers calling people and threatening to arrest them if they don't pay a fine for missing jury duty.  The Marshals Service says they don't call people and ask for personal information over the phone.  People who believe that they've been targeted are encouraged to call their local police department.

Providence Nightclub Still Closed, Board Of Licenses Will Meet Thursday

A Providence nightclub is keeping its doors locked until the Board of Licenses makes a decision about its fate later this week.  The panel heard testimony yesterday about a stabbing outside Van Gogh Lounge on Saturday morning.  They're expected to decide on Thursday whether or not to keep the nightclub open.  Iquan Arnum was arrested in connection to the incident, and two men were taken to the hospital.

Central Falls Woman Accused Of Stabbing Boyfriend

A Central Falls woman is accused of stabbing her boyfriend.  Destiny Simas was in court yesterday and charged with domestic assault.  Police were called to her home yesterday morning after receiving reports about a disturbance and discovered Simas' boyfriend suffering from a stab wound.  The victim was taken to the hospital but is expected to be okay.  Simas is prohibited from contacting the man and is slated to appear in court again in October.

Club temporarily closed after stabbing, assault

The Providence Board of Licenses has ordered an immediate temporary closure of a nightclub following a stabbing and assault there over the weekend.

Providence police Sgt. David Tajeda told the board at Saturday's emergency hearing that police arrested 22-year-old L'Quan Arnum in connection with the stabbing. Online court records didn't list a lawyer for Arnum.

Tajeda says Arnum was on a party bus with about 20 passengers. Police recommended that Van Gogh Lounge be closed in case passengers on the bus tried to retaliate.

The violence happened outside the club around 2 a.m. Saturday. The stabbing victim was taken to an area hospital in critical but stable condition. The second victim was taken to a hospital for an evaluation.

The club must remain closed for 72 hours.

State officials warn of toxic blue-green algae in pond

Rhode Island officials are advising residents to avoid contact with water in a pond where a toxic blue-green algae bloom has been detected.

The state Health and Environmental Management departments said Friday people should not ingest water or eat fish from Warwick Pond in Warwick. Pet owners should not allow pets to drink the water or swim in it.

Test results are pending and are expected next week.

Skin contact with the algae can cause irritation of the nose, eyes and throat, and swallowing the water can cause diarrhea, vomiting and nausea and more rarely, serious complications. Anyone who has had contact with Warwick Pond and experienced those symptoms should contact their health care providers.

People are advised to avoid bright green water or algae they may see elsewhere.

RI asks public to report tree-damaging beetles

Rhode Island environmental officials are asking the public to report sightings of beetles that could cause extensive damage to trees.

The Department of Environmental Management is seeking reports about Asian longhorned beetles and emerald ash borers or any insect resembling them.

These beetles haven't been found in Rhode Island, but have been spotted in nearby Worcester, Massachusetts.

The Asian longhorned beetle has a large, glossy black body with irregular white spots. It's about one inch long.

The emerald ash borer is metallic green. It's about half an inch long and typically emerges between June and August. DEM set traps for it.

DEM asks people to slide a piece of cardboard underneath the beetle, if possible, and place it in a jar. The beetles don't bite. Report the finding to DEM.

Nonprofit awarded nearly $600k to help beginning farmers

A nonprofit in Providence has been awarded nearly $600,000 in federal funding to help expand training opportunities for beginning farmers and ranchers throughout Rhode Island.

The state's congressional delegation announced the grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to Southside Community Land Trust.

The agriculture department has a beginning farmer and rancher development program. Nationwide, it's awarding $17.8 million for 37 projects to help educate the next generation of farmers.

Southside Community Land Trust will use the money over three years to expand the reach of their training. The program provides training and technical assistance, provides space at farm incubator sites, offers apprenticeships on farms and helps farmers secure their own farmland.

The land trust says more than 425 beginning or aspiring farmers and ranchers are expected to benefit.

$5,000 reward offered for information on July arson fires

East Providence police and the Rhode Island State Fire Marshal's Office are offering a $5,000 reward for information that leads to the conviction of whoever was responsible for two arson fires last month.

Det. Lt. Raymond Blinn says both of the fires were started around 2:15 a.m. on July 25.

The first blaze was reported at a home on Earl Avenue by a neighbor. Blinn says the fire was started in a truck and then spread to a boat and garage.

While firefighters were extinguishing the first fire, the same resident who called it in reported that his own car was on fire across the street.

Convicted felon gets prison for having gun, illegal re-entry

A Jamaican national who is a convicted felon has been sentenced to prison for carrying a loaded gun and re-entering the country illegally.

Rhode Island U.S. Attorney Peter Neronha says 45-year-old Marlon Straw, of Hyde Park, Massachusetts, was sentenced Tuesday in federal court in Providence to 46 months behind bars followed by three years of probation. Straw will be subject to deportation proceedings following his sentence. He pleaded guilty May 23.

Prosecutors say Rhode Island State Police stopped a car being driven by Straw's wife in Exeter on March 31, 2015, for speeding. Straw provided troopers with false names and was arrested. Troopers later found a loaded pistol in his long underwear and sock.

Straw was previously removed from the United States and deported to Jamaica on August 29, 2013.

EB furloughs workers, says subs won't be delayed

Employees at U.S. Navy contractor Electric Boat are taking voluntary furloughs, but the company says that won't delay the delivery of submarines.

The Groton, Connecticut-based manufacturer says 138 employees at its Rhode Island facility volunteered for a 45-business day furlough.

Spokesman Timothy Boulay says the furloughs are needed because of late deliveries of major components, general materials and specialized raw materials.

He says the deliveries are late because of a multitude of issues involving several suppliers occurring simultaneously. The employees are mostly welders, pipefitters and shipfitters.

Boulay says the company is still on track to meet contracted delivery dates.

Electric Boat has 11 submarines in various phases of construction in Rhode Island, Connecticut and at Newport News Shipbuilding in Virginia.

The shipyards build Virginia-class attack submarines under a teaming agreement.

2 men plead no contest to unemployment benefit fraud

Two Rhode Island men have pleaded no contest to unemployment insurance benefit fraud.

Attorney General Peter Kilmartin says 27-year-old Jonathan Flores, of Pawtucket, was sentenced Tuesday to five years of probation and ordered to pay restitution. He pleaded no contest to one count of obtaining money under false pretenses.

Prosecutors say Flores collected $7,273 in employment insurance benefits while he was working between April 12, 2014 and July 31, 2014.

Warwick resident Robert Wright also pleaded no contest Tuesday to one count of obtaining money under false pretenses. A judge sentenced Wright to five years of probation and ordered him to pay restitution.

Prosecutors say the 71-year-old Wright collected $6,981 in unemployment insurance benefits while he was working between December 18, 2010 and January 17, 2012.

Providence firefighters revive infant who nearly drowned

A group of Providence firefighters were relieved after an infant near-drowning victim began breathing again and crying as they brought her through the doors of Hasbro Children's Hospital.

Firefighters were called to a home on Crandall Street just after 2:30 p.m. Wednesday following reports that a 6-month-old girl was found unresponsive after nearly drowning in a bathtub.

Acting Battalion Chief Stephen Capracotta says the baby was motionless and blue when first responders arrived at the home. The firefighters immediately began attempts to resuscitate the infant, which continued on their way to the children's hospital.

Firefighter John Wheeler says he started crying after he carried the baby in his arms through the emergency room doors and she resumed breathing.

The condition of the girl is unknown. Police are investigating the incident.

URI investigating complaints regarding housing department

University of Rhode Island officials say internal auditors are investigating several complaints regarding the school's Department of Housing and Residential Life.

URI spokeswoman Linda Acciardo tells The Providence Journal  the complaints were made through anonymous calls to the school's Ethics Hotline beginning last November.

Acciardo says the complaints involve administrative and management issues. She declined to comment further on the specifics of the complaints because the investigation remains active.

The complaints were also reported to the state Office of Internal Audit.

According to the Department of Housing and Residential Life's website, approximately 6,200 students live in 21 undergraduate residence halls, three undergraduate apartment complexes and one graduate apartment complex.

Bicyclist killed when he strikes trailer

An 18-year-old Rhode Island man was killed when the bicycle he was riding struck the side of a trailer being towed by a dump truck.

Cranston police say it happened around 9:45 a.m. Tuesday at the intersection of Western Promenade and Park Avenue.

Investigators say Sunkashka Soch, of Providence, was riding his bicycle at a high rate of speed when he entered the flow of traffic on Park Avenue without stopping and then crossed the westbound lane. His bike struck the trailer as he entered the eastbound lane.

Soch was taken to Rhode Island Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The operator of the dump truck was identified as 61-year-old Joseph Gonsalves, of Warwick. There's no word on whether he will face charges.

The incident remains under investigation.

Tiverton cemetery puts men in wrong plots

A Tiverton cemetery has buried two men in the wrong plots, and officials are trying to broker a solution.

One family wants their loved one to stay put, while the other wants their loved one put in the grave site they picked.

In October, a 65-year-old man was placed in the wrong family plot at Pocasset Hill Cemetery.

In March, an 87-year-old man who was supposed to be buried in that plot died. He was buried in the other man's plot. His family wants him to be moved to the plot they own. The move is opposed by the 65-year-old's family.

The head of the town cemetery commission says moving them would be "ridiculous."

The town solicitor says they're working on an agreement to switch the bodies.

State Senate president withdraws from Newport committee

The president of the Rhode Island Senate is withdrawing her membership on the Newport Democratic City Committee after almost 30 years in the group.

Committee Chairman Bud Cicilline wrote in an email last month that Teresa Paiva Weed asked to be withdrawn as a member because her schedule doesn't allow her to attend meetings.

Weed's biography on the Rhode Island General Assembly website says she's been a member of the committee since 1988.

Weed is facing a re-election challenge from Republican Sav Rebecchi. She says she hopes to win another term as Senate president next January. The Democrat represents Jamestown and Newport.

Weed couldn't immediately be reached for comment.

Lifeguards no longer on duty at 2 Warwick beaches

On the heels of the drowning death of a 6-year-old boy in Warwick this past weekend, city officials have announced that two beaches will no longer be staffed by lifeguards this season.

Lifeguards won't be on duty at Conimicut and Warwick City Park beaches for the rest of the summer season, which ends after Labor Day.

City officials say the announcement was made in response to a shortage of lifeguards, many of whom are students returning to school at this time of the year. The city employs 17 lifeguards.

Press Secretary Courtney Marciano says this has happened in the past and the city will warn beachgoers with posted signs.

Six-year-old Jamir Steward drowned Sunday at Warwick City Park. An investigation into his death is ongoing.

Wrecking crews work to demolish historic Larchwood Inn

Wrecking crews have been busy this week demolishing a historic mansion in the village of Wakefield that operated as an inn for 80 years until its closure.

An excavator sunk its teeth into the Larchwood Inn for the second day on Tuesday, bringing down the dilapidated 1831 structure piece by piece.

The mansion was a prominent mill owner's residence that was converted into an inn in 1926 and remained so until it shuttered in 2006.

Diann Browning, Larchwood's last owner, was forced to close the inn after renovations needed to meet Rhode Island's fire code were deemed too expensive.

The property's current owner, Roland Fiore, is working with a New York company to develop a 72-bed Alzheimer's care center and nursing home on the land.

Work at first US offshore wind farm is in its final phases

Construction on the nation's first offshore wind farm is in its final phases.

Deepwater Wind's five-turbine wind farm off Block Island, Rhode Island, is expected to be making electricity this fall.

Crews at the site are working on the tower sections for the fourth turbine this week. They'll begin working on the blades in the coming days, then the tower sections for the fifth, and final, turbine.

The $300 million project is expected to power about 17,000 homes.

Developers, federal regulators and industry experts say the opening will pave the way for many more wind farms that will eventually provide power for many Americans.

Deepwater Wind says it proves that wind farms can be built along the nation's coast.

Mass. casino generates $88M in taxes in 1st year

Massachusetts' only casino collected nearly $180 million in gambling revenues in its first year of operation.

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission reported Monday that Plainridge Park's revenues resulted in more than $88 million in state revenues from taxes and other assessments.

The state initially projected about $105 million in gambling taxes from the Plainville slots parlor and harness racing track, but those projections were lowered to about $83 million.

Monthly revenues have remained at around $11 million to $13 million.

The facility opened June 24, 2015. It's taxed on 49 percent of its gross gambling revenue. Eighty-two percent of that goes to the state, and 18 percent goes to a fund subsidizing the horse racing industry.

Plainridge Park General Manager Lance George says it's pleased with its performance.

Gas prices unchanged at $2.13 per gallon in RI


Gas prices in Rhode Island are unchanged from last week, staying at an average $2.13 per gallon for regular unleaded.

AAA Northeast says its weekly survey released Monday found the average price in Rhode Island is one cent higher than the national average of $2.12 per gallon.

Lloyd Albert, AAA Northeast Senior Vice President of Public and Government Affairs, says mid-summer gas prices have not been this low since 2004.

A year ago at this time, gas cost $2.55 per gallon in Rhode Island. That's 42 cents per gallon more or around 20 percent higher than the price now.

No West Nile found in latest mosquito tests in RI

State environmental officials have not found West Nile virus in the latest round of mosquito tests in Rhode Island.

The state Department of Environmental Management said Monday that the remaining 168 mosquito samples from 32 traps set statewide on Aug. 1 tested negative for both West Nile and eastern equine encephalitis.

Last week, DEM reported that a sample of mosquitoes collected Aug. 1 in Chapman Swamp in Westerly tested positive for EEE. It's the only confirmed finding of EEE in Rhode Island this year.

West Nile virus was detected in mosquitoes in Rhode Island two weeks ago for the first time this year. The virus has also been detected in mosquito samples trapped in Massachusetts and Connecticut.

The agency traps mosquitoes weekly and tests them at the state health laboratories.

Work begins on resurfacing of downtown Providence street

Work has begun on the resurfacing of a street in downtown Providence.

Construction crews on Monday were scraping pavement and digging in front of fire hydrants on Fountain Street. The project is expected to take two to four weeks.

City Deputy Chief Engineer Natale Urso says the asphalt will likely need to cure until mid-September.

The street's makeover is part of the city's ongoing street resurfacing program.

In 2014, work began to revamp LaSalle and Emmett squares to change the traffic pattern around Kennedy Plaza and convert Empire Street to a two-way.

A city spokeswoman says the plan to narrow Fountain Street by one lane and widen the sidewalks has been put on hold while officials consider having sidewalk cutouts for buses along the street.

State on track to reach Raimondo's computer science goal

Six months after Gov. Gina Raimondo announced an ambitious plan to offer computer science at every Rhode Island school by December 2017, the state is on track to reach its goal.

Richard Culatta, Raimondo's chief innovation officer, tells The Providence Journal about half of the state's public schools will have met this standard by the time they open later this month.

Culatta says the state is well ahead of its target for high schools.

Raimondo's plan seeks to address the skills gap between Rhode Island's graduates and high-paying jobs in the tech field.

The state has partnered with Microsoft, Code.org, Bootstrap and local universities to develop the curriculum and training for teachers. The governor allocated $260,000 for teacher training in her budget for the 2017 fiscal year.

Man dies while participating in charity swim


A man has died while participating in a charity swim in Rhode Island's Narragansett Bay.

The 56-year-old man was participating in the 40th annual Save The Bay Swim on Saturday morning when he was found unresponsive near Potter's Cove in Jamestown. He was pulled from the water and taken to Newport Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Police haven't identified the man pending notification of his family.

Jamestown police say the man appears to have suffered a medical problem. The state Medical Examiner's Office will perform an autopsy to determine the cause of death.

The swim is a fundraiser for Save The Bay, a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting Narragansett Bay.

Man in critical condition after getting stuck under bus tire

A man in Rhode Island is in critical condition after his leg got caught underneath the tire of a public bus as he tried to board.

It happened at about 5:15 p.m. Saturday outside of a grocery store in Providence.

Providence police Lt. George Smith says 49-year-old Alfredo Alomar was running after the bus as it pulled away from the stop when he lost his footing and fell. His right leg and foot were caught beneath the vehicle's rear tire.

Rhode Island Public Transit Authority spokeswoman Barbara Polichetti says there were no passengers on the bus at the time. She reminds pedestrians not to chase after a bus.

A Rhode Island Hospital spokeswoman on Sunday confirmed Alomar remains in critical condition.

Candidate runs on 'Sick of Scandals' ticket

A candidate trying to unseat the incumbent mayor of Rhode Island's fourth-biggest city isn't a Democrat or Republican.

He declares himself a member of the "Sick of Scandals" movement, and state election officials are allowing him to include the phrase on the ballot next to his name.

John Arcaro says he has a party platform that corruption-weary Pawtucket residents can get behind.

Independent candidates who don't belong to a registered party in Rhode Island can declare a political principle. It's included on the ballot if it's no more than three words.

Candidates in other states have gone as far as changing their names to show what they stand for. One added C.P.A. to his last name and was elected Kentucky's state treasurer in the 1980s.

RI Foundation gives out $18.2M in grants

Hundreds of initiatives throughout Rhode Island will share in more than $18 million in grants from the Rhode Island Foundation.

Among the projects receiving the funds include initiatives to help the homeless, to train public school teachers in teaching English as a second language and to help expand the Newport Jazz Festival.

The foundation says it spent $18.2 million in the first half of 2016.

The foundation was established in 1916. It works with donors and recipients to fund the needs of the people of Rhode Island.

Among the projects it is working on for its centennial is a $10 million campaign to restore Roger Williams Park with new signs, expanded paths and repairs to several of the park's buildings.

6-year-old boy drowns at Warwick City Park

Police say a 6-year-old Rhode Island boy drowned in waters off the beach at Warwick City Park over the weekend.

Lt. Joseph Petrarca says that officers were dispatched to the city-run park at about 5:50 p.m. Sunday after lifeguards called in to report the missing boy.

Swimmers were evacuated and lifeguards had beachgoers form a human chain to walk into the water to search for the boy. The victim was found by someone in the chain not far from the shoreline.

Petrarca says the boy was transported to Kent Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Officials say the victim wasn't a Warwick resident. He was visiting the park with family.

After delays, pedestrian bridge back on track in Providence

Officials say a proposal to build a pedestrian bridge over the Providence River that was marred by several long delays is back on track following recent negotiations.

State transportation spokeswoman Lisbeth Pettengill says Rhode Island Department of Transportation officials expect to award a bid for the project in October.

The DOT and the I-95 Redevelopment District Commission reached an agreement to spend about $6 million more than an earlier estimate for construction because July bids exceeded the $13.2 million allocated for the project.

The bridge would connect downtown Providence to the city's College Hill and Fox Point neighborhoods.

Sharon Steele, president of the nonprofit Building Bridges Providence, says it's time to celebrate after trying to get the bridge and parks built for 10 years.

Providence councilman denies theft, misappropriation charges

A Providence city councilman has denied charges he misused campaign funds and embezzled more than $127,000 from a youth organization he founded.

Kevin Jackson pleaded not guilty Wednesday. Jackson's attorney says his client doesn't plan to resign from the council.

Investigators say Jackson embezzled money between 2009 and 2016 from the Providence Cobras, a youth track and field organization.

Investigators say he used the money to support his campaign during his 2014 re-election bid, and to pay for clothes, car repairs and Netflix charges.

Jackson is also accused of using $12,000 in campaign funds for personal use, including paying a state Board of Elections fine.

The Democrat resigned from his position as majority leader in May but kept his seat on the council.

Man sentenced to prison for sex trafficking minors

A Rhode Island man has been sentenced to prison for conspiring to transport minors to motels across the state and in Massachusetts for the purpose of sex trafficking them.

Rhode Island U.S. Attorney Peter Neronha says Reginald Chaney, of East Providence, was sentenced Wednesday to 10 years behind bars followed by five years of probation. Chaney pleaded guilty on May 10.

Authorities say police responded to Hasbro Children's Hospital on January 28, 2015, for a report of sexual exploitation of a 16-year-old girl.

A subsequent investigation revealed that the 21-year-old Chaney and two male juveniles posted nude photographs online of the girl and a 15-year-old girl. Chaney and the co-conspirators then transported the girls to motels in Rhode Island and Massachusetts to offer them for prostitution.

Plans for maintenance on Narragansett Bay bridges announced

The Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority has released plans for a 10-year, $223.4 million maintenance project on the four Narragansett Bay bridges it owns.

The authority will spend an average of $22 million per year on repairs to the Newport Pell Bridge, the Mount Hope Bridge, the Jamestown Verrazzano Bridge and the Sakonnet River Bridge.

According to the plan, more than half of the spending will go toward the Pell Bridge.

Earl "Buddy" Croft III, the authority's executive director, says the project is an expensive undertaking, but it's important to let motorists know the bridges are safe.

The project will be funded through loans that will be repaid by toll revenue from the Pell Bridge and the authority's share of the state's gas-tax collections.

State officials: Convicted animal killer may strike again

The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management has released an advisory stating that they believe an East Providence sex offender convicted of torturing and killing small animals will kill again.

Environmental officials tipped off animal shelters to 25-year-old Anthony Stravato, a Level 3 sex offender who was released from prison last Friday. Stravato served an eight-month sentence for the brutal mutilation and slaying of his mother's cat in 2014.

The state's licensed animal-care facilities were also warned about Stravato's girlfriend, who environmental officials believe may help him adopt or purchase animals to harm.

Department of Corrections spokesman J.R. Ventura says Stravato's case deserves special attention based on his past history of violence, propensity to re-offend and other factors.

A court order prohibits Stravato from having any contact with animals.

Eastern equine encephalitis found in mosquitoes

Rhode Island officials are warning that Eastern equine encephalitis has been found in mosquitoes in the state for the first time this year.

The state Department of Environmental Management said Wednesday that a sample of mosquitoes collected August 1 in Chapman Swamp in Westerly tested positive for the disease.

The agency says the finding is not unexpected. The positive mosquito pool is a species that primarily bites birds and is largely responsible for maintaining the virus in the bird population. There are no confirmed human cases of Eastern equine encephalitis in Rhode Island.

West Nile virus also was found in mosquitoes in the state last week. It has also been detected in mosquitoes in Massachusetts and Connecticut.

Mosquitoes are trapped weekly by DEM and tested from late June through September.

No more West Nile virus found in RI mosquito traps

The latest round of mosquito samples collected in Rhode Island have tested negative for West Nile virus just days after the disease was confirmed in the state for the first time this year.

The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management reported last week that it found mosquitoes carrying the virus in Pawtucket from traps set on July 25.

The agency, which traps mosquitoes weekly, said Tuesday that remaining samples from the same 37 traps have all tested negative for the West Nile virus and another mosquito-borne disease, eastern equine encephalitis.

It's still waiting on test results from traps set on Aug. 1.

There have been no human cases in the state this year.

Gas prices in RI fall 7 cents to average $2.13

The price of a gallon of gasoline in the state of Rhode Island has dropped seven cents in the past week.

AAA Northeast said Tuesday its weekly survey found the average price of a gallon of self-serve, regular gas was $2.13, the lowest price in the state since April.

The price is significantly lower than the in-state price at this time last year, which was 46 cents higher at an average $2.59.

The price is one cent above the national average of $2.12.

AAA says prices at this point in the summer haven't been this low since 2004.

AAA found self-serve, regular gas selling in Rhode Island for as low as $1.94 per gallon and as high as $2.30.

Gov. Raimondo says she's redoubling efforts to help veterans

Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo says she's redoubling the state's efforts to help veterans.

The governor ceremoniously signed six bills affecting veterans at Warren Town Hall on Tuesday.

Raimondo says she wants state officials to reach out to veterans to find out what they need and do more to help them get jobs.

She says the state hasn't done enough to care for its more than 70,000 veterans and that they deserve a proper homecoming.

Among the laws include legislation to allow private employers to provide hiring preferences for veterans and to protect jobs for Rhode Island residents serving in the National Guard. Veterans applying for benefits can now get free copies of medical records.

Another law bans dogs from Rhode Island's veterans' cemetery, with the exception of service animals.

Governor: 'Best of luck' to Schilling if he runs for office

Gov. Gina Raimondo says she's still cleaning up the mess that former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling made in Rhode Island, but she says "best of luck" to him if he runs for office in Massachusetts.

The governor made the comments Tuesday when asked about Schilling's plans to run for office.

Schilling, a Massachusetts resident, said on Facebook on Monday that he'll run for state office first, then the presidency in eight years. He also criticized Rhode Island politicians.

Schilling moved his failed video game company 38 Studios from Massachusetts to Rhode Island in 2010 in exchange for a $75 million state loan guarantee.

Rhode Island is suing Schilling and several others involved.

Raimondo says she's fighting to get tax dollars back and that Schilling isn't popular in Rhode Island.

Woman pleads not guilty to driving wrong way while drunk

A Rhode Island woman has pleaded not guilty to charges she drove the wrong way on the highway while drunk.

State police say Jadali Burgess, of Woonsocket, was arraigned Tuesday. She's charged with driving under the influence of alcohol. She was released on personal recognizance.

Police say a trooper working a road construction detail on Route 295 in Johnston spotted a vehicle driving the wrong way around 3 a.m. Monday. The trooper was able to position his cruiser in the vehicle's path so that it came to a stop.

Police say the 21-year-old Burgess showed signs of impairment and failed field sobriety tests.

Burgess is due back in court Aug. 23.

Study finds ship noise disrupting humpback whale feeding

A study has found that noise from shipping in North Atlantic waters is impacting the feeding behavior of humpback whales.

Writing in the Royal Society's journal Biology Letters Wednesday, researchers found that some whales in the Gulf of Maine changed their foraging behavior due to ship noise. Some decreased the speed that they descended while others demonstrated fewer side-rolls - a technique used by the whales for feeding on the sand lance fish.

Humpbacks migrate to the Caribbean to mate and give birth and return to New England waters in the spring to feed. They live up to 50 years but face a myriad of threats, from ship strikes to becoming entangled in fishing gear. One dead humpback washed up on a New Hampshire beach in June.

Running boat with blood, broken glass turns up at marina

The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management is investigating after a running boat with blood and broken glass inside turned up at a marina in Warwick

Lt. Steve Criscione says the DEM was notified of the suspicious boat after it had become entangled with another vessel at Brewer's Marina at about 3 a.m. Tuesday.

The boat was found with damage to its hull and blood on the deck. Officials determined the vessel had recently been in an accident.

Criscione says boat accidents are common, but it's unusual for investigators to find nobody aboard upon their arrival.

Environmental police are investigating the incident as a boat accident, but are considering the possibility that the vessel was stolen.

Coventry fire truck damaged in crash that injured 1 person

Authorities say an accident in Coventry sent one person to the hospital and seriously damaged a Central Coventry Fire Department truck, which narrowly missed hitting an auto mechanic shop.

Police Col. John MacDonald says the crash occurred at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday when the fire truck was unable to avoid a collision with a vehicle that had entered the intersection of Tioga Avenue and Hopkins Hill Road.

Officials say the fire truck was headed to a medical emergency and had its lights and sirens activated at the time of the accident.

The driver of the vehicle was taken to Kent Hospital for treatment of injuries that aren't life-threatening. No firefighters were injured.

Fire Chief Peter Lamb says the damaged truck is the station's reserve engine.

More than 15,000 tickets sold on Providence-Newport ferry

Officials say more than 15,000 tickets have been sold on the new Providence-to-Newport ferry service.

The service that started July 1 has sold out on about three dozen trips. Weekends have been the strongest with a total ridership in the 600 and 700s on Saturdays and Sundays.

The 149-seat ferry connects India Point Park in Providence and Perrotti Park in Newport.

The pilot program runs seven days a week through Labor Day. Officials will look at the numbers at the end of the season to make a determination on the service for next year.

The state Department of Transportation may consider trips from Providence to places like East Greenwich, Bristol or Wickford.

Nightclub fire families upset over Pokemon Go stop at site

Relatives of 100 people killed in a 2003 Rhode Island nightclub fire and survivors are upset that the site is a stop in "Pokemon Go."

The Associated Press learned of the Pokestop when visiting the site last week. The site in West Warwick is currently surrounded by a fence while a memorial is built.

Family members and survivors called it outrageous when informed by the AP about the stop and called for it to be removed.

They were also not happy that the game incorrectly describes the fire as having killed 200 people, double the number killed.

An email to game developer Niantic was not immediately returned.

Pokestops have been removed from the atomic bomb memorial park in Hiroshima, Japan, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington and other sites.

Police: Man molested 13-year-old he met online

An East Providence man is facing charges after police say he molested a 13-year-old child he met online.

21-year-old Andrew DaSilva was arrested Saturday. He's charged with first-degree child molestation.

East Providence police launched an investigation after a parent reported that DaSilva may have sexually assaulted her child.

During the investigation, police learned that DaSilva was also under investigation in Burrillville after he solicited what he believed was a 13-year-old child for sex over social media. The child in that case was actually an undercover officer.

On Saturday, the officer, posing as the 13-year-old, arranged to meet with DaSilva at a nearby Burger King. DaSilva fled the restaurant when officers approached him. He was apprehended nearby.

It's unclear whether DaSilva has a lawyer.

Vitality for veterans: Sports camp challenges, changes them

A group of about 50 disabled veterans took part in the Veterans Affairs New England Summer Sports Clinic in Rhode Island for a week in July.

They kayaked, waterskied, cycled and sailed - activities designed to get them thinking more about what they can than can't do.

The rehabilitation clinic is open to veterans with spinal cord injuries, amputations, vision loss, mental health issues and other disabilities.

Fifty-two-year-old Marine veteran Joyce Ralph sometimes stays at her home in Halifax, Massachusetts, instead of riding her bike or doing other activities. She says she feels too anxious because of her post-traumatic stress disorder.

Ralph thought she would be too scared or fatigued to water ski, but she did it. She says she learned to push herself.

Board of Licenses votes to temporarily close Providence club

The Providence Board of Licenses unanimously voted to close a nightclub in the city for three days after four men were stabbed outside earlier this week.

Police say a fight broke out behind a laundromat across the street from Flow nightclub at about 1:15 a.m. Monday. Four men suffered serious but non-life threatening injuries after they were stabbed during the altercation.

Three of the victims were treated for their wounds and released. One remains hospitalized.

The board voted to close the club Monday night as police continue their investigation. A subsequent hearing has been scheduled for Thursday, where board members will discuss whether to shut down the club permanently or allow it to reopen.

Additional options include requiring the club to change its security procedures or hire a police detail.

Police: driver in fatal wreck had alcohol, pot in his system

State police say a wrong-way driver who killed himself and a Jamestown police officer in a crash on Interstate 95 had alcohol and marijuana in his system.

State police on Friday released the findings of their investigation into the May 23 head-on accident in East Greenwich.

Troopers say 23-year-old Dejae Pizarro of Bedford, Massachusetts, drove his car northbound on I-95 southbound and struck another car driven by 24-year-old Ryan Bourque of Coventry shortly after midnight.

Bourque was heading home after finishing a shift as a Jamestown police officer and died on the one-year anniversary of his graduation from the police academy.

Authorities said a toxicology report showed Pizarro's blood-alcohol content was 0.195, more than twice the legal limit of 0.08. The report said he also had marijuana in his system.

Providence Puerto Rican festival canceled over unpaid fees

The Puerto Rican Cultural Festival and Parade later this month in Providence has been canceled because organizers haven't paid nearly $17,000 in fees to the city.

The festival cancellation was announced Friday after city officials declined to grant a permit because of the unpaid police and park fees.

A city ordinance bans groups from getting permits if they are more than 60 days late in paying for police or fire details. City officials say the festival group owes about $14,300 for past police details and nearly $2,500 in parks fees.

There has been a Puerto Rican festival in the city every summer since 1984.

The president of the festival group says she's in talks with officials in Central Falls to hold the festival there.

Nearly $620K in funding awarded to protect Narragansett Bay

Hundreds of thousands in federal funding has been awarded to protect Narragansett Bay.

Rhode Island's congressional delegation announced that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration awarded nearly $620,000 to support the Narragansett Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve's work to preserve and restore the bay's coastal and estuarine ecosystems.

The research reserve is a partnership between NOAA and the state's Department of Environmental Management to promote informed management and sound stewardship of Rhode Island's coastal resources.

U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse says Narragansett Bay is Rhode Island's most important natural resource.

The Democrat says the money will help the research reserve protect the coastline and help the state address the effects of climate change.

The research reserve encompasses 4,453 acres of land and waterways on Prudence, Patience, Hope and Dyer islands.

RI law limits cell phone tracking without warrant

A new law in Rhode Island requires police to get a warrant before seeking location data collected by smartphones and other mobile devices.

Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo ceremonially signed the bill into law earlier this week. She officially signed it last month.

Mapping data on cellphones can track a user's movements as the devices connect from one cell tower to another.

Providence Democratic Rep. Edith Ajello says the legislation she sponsored makes obtaining that data subject to the same legal standard as other personal information.

The law aims to curtail what's known as "tower dumps." That's when service providers give police cellphone information about everyone who was near a particular tower.

The law provides exceptions, such as an emergency call for help, when search warrants aren't needed.

RI nightclub fire memorial nearing completion

A memorial to mark the site of a 2003 nightclub fire in Rhode Island that killed 100 people is nearing completion, and organizers say it has raised more than $1.9 million out of the $2 million it needs to build it and maintain it in perpetuity.

Station Fire Memorial Foundation president Gina Russo says the memorial park is expected to be finished in October, bringing to fruition a project that has been years in the making.

Russo was among more than 200 people injured in the Feb. 20, 2003, fire, which started when pyrotechnics for the rock band Great White set fire to flammable foam that lined the inside of the club.

Russo says she is ready to be done, and says support from the community has been overwhelming.

Providence police say they thwarted attempted jewelry heist

Providence police say they have thwarted an attempted midnight heist from a jewelry store after an alarm drew the attention of a patrolman.

 When the patrolman heard an alarm sounding at Rachana Jewelry, he saw a man in a dark blue hoodie running away into the woods behind the building.

Police said a 24-year-old man in the hoodie was found on his stomach among the trees with gloves, a cellphone, a walkie-talkie and black ski mask.

Police said they found a second man behind another tree with a lit headlamp and a cellphone that he tried to throw away. The two were arrested.

Police were working Sunday to identify the two men.

Investigators said they found footprints around a square hole cut into the roof that opened down into the store.

Raimondo to sign veterans' cemetery dog ban, other bills

Dogs are banned from Rhode Island's veterans' cemetery under a new state law that imposes a $500 fine on pet owners who break it.

Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo is scheduled to hold a signing ceremony Tuesday at Warren Town Hall for the pet ban and several other new laws affecting veterans.

Lawmakers introduced the legislation after cemetery visitors said it was disrespectful for dogs to roam the state's Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Exeter.

Service animals are exempted from the ban.

The other new laws allow private employers to provide hiring preferences for veterans; protect jobs for Rhode Island residents serving in the National Guard; and allow veterans applying for benefits to get free copies of medical records.

The event is ceremonial. Raimondo has already officially signed the bills into law.

RI to mark Victory Day Monday

State and municipal offices will be closed throughout Rhode Island on Monday as the state marks Victory Day.

Rhode Island is the last state to recognize the holiday.

It marks the Japanese surrender in World War II in 1945, which put an end to the war.

Public buses are operating on a holiday schedule, and trash pickups are delayed a day.

The post office is still delivering mail, and federal offices and most retail stores will be open.

There have been attempts over the years to drop the holiday.

Critics note that the state doesn't celebrate the Allies' victory over Germany a few months before Japan surrendered.

State GOP Calls On Carnevale To resign

The state Republican Party is calling for the resignation or expulsion of State Representative John Carnevale.   The Democrat announced last week he won't seek another term after Providence election officials determined he doesn't live in the district he represents.  GOP Chair Brandon Bell says taxpayer's shouldn't continue to pay for fraud.  Carnevale's term expires at the end of this year.   

Prep School Reaches Settlement With Abuse Victims

There's an undisclosed financial settlement between a prep school in Middletown and as many as 30 alumni who say they were sexually abused.  According to a joint statement, a mediator will oversee individual awards that Saint George's School will make to the abuse survivors.  The abuse complaints range from the 1970s up to 2000.  A state police investigation ended with no criminal charges.  The results of an independent investigation are expected soon. 

Statewide Drought Declaration Considered In RI

State leaders are meeting to discuss the state's drought problem.  Officials are expected to decide today whether to declare a statewide drought because of the shortage of rainfall this year.  They'll also decide if more areas across the state will face water restrictions.  Currently, multiple communities are urging residents to limit water use. 

High School Dean Resigns After Drug-Related Arrest

The dean of Mount Hope High School in Bristol is stepping down.  William Pabst resigned on Tuesday after a drug-related arrest last month.  Police say Pabst was pulled over after driving erratically and allegedly had cocaine and prescription pills with him.  School officials say he stepped down because of "personal reasons" and that it was his decision. 

State pension fund loses money for 2nd consecutive year

Rhode Island officials say the state pension fund lost $466 million during the past fiscal year, shrinking its assets by more than 5 percent from just under $7.7 billion to $7.5 billion.

Officials with the Office of the General say that 2016 marks the second straight year the fund lost money because benefits payouts outweighed the return on investments and contributions.

The market value for investments in the Employees' Retirement System of Rhode Island also fell by $26 million for the fiscal year that ended June 30.

David Ortiz, Gen. Treasurer Seth Magaziner's spokesman, says the poor investment performance was due to a "highly volatile year in the financial markets."

Ortiz says the diversification of the fund's investments protected it from a larger fall.

Rev. Jesse Jackson attends midnight basketball league game

In Providence this week, civil rights activist the Rev. Jesse Jackson took the opportunity to check out the city-sponsored Providence Midnight Basketball League.

Jackson, who was in town for the funeral of longtime friend and major Democratic donor Mark Weiner, attended two league games at Bucklin Park on Tuesday night. Jackson spent time with locals and spoke to players in the middle of the court.

He said that Providence is headed in the right direction with the league, which he says offers hope and inspiration to the community.

Jackson praised the city for attempting to bridge the gap between law enforcement and the community, but he says more work can be done.

Jackson says he hopes to relay what he learned in Providence to leaders in other communities.

Wrongful arrest records to be destroyed under new law

A new law in Rhode Island inspired by a mistaken arrest in California requires law enforcement agencies to destroy arrest records of people who were wrongfully arrested.

Gov. Gina Raimondo held a signing ceremony Tuesday calling attention to the legislation and other bills she recently signed into law.

Known as an "auto-erase" law, it's meant to protect the reputation of people mistakenly detained because they were thought to be a suspect.

Los Angeles resident Charles Belk is pushing for the bill nationwide. Police in Beverly Hills, California, detained him after a 2014 bank robbery. He was released hours later but found his arrest record online.

Belk attended Tuesday's event at the Rhode Island State House.

He's also successfully pushed for similar laws in Colorado, Illinois and North Carolina.

Open government groups urge release of 38 Studios details

Open government groups are calling on Rhode Island officials to release all the information they have about the state's failed $75 million deal with 38 Studios, the video game company started by former Red Sox player Curt Schilling.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Rhode Island, the New England First Amendment Coalition and other groups on Tuesday sent a letter to Attorney General Peter Kilmartin and Rhode Island State Police Col. Steven O'Donnell, urging them to disclose the documents.

Kilmartin and O'Donnell announced on Friday that there would be no criminal charges following a yearslong investigation. They provided a summary report but gave no new information.

Democratic House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello on Monday released a statement urging officials to release the documents.

New law bans use of prone restraints in state facilities

A new Rhode Island law bans the use of prone restraints at residential care homes and other state-licensed facilities.

Gov. Gina Raimondo held a ceremonial bill signing Tuesday to call attention to the legislation and other bills she officially signed in June or July.

Restraining people chest-down in the prone position has been linked to several deaths nationwide.

The ban applies to any state-licensed facility providing residential support, health care services, education or direct supervision.

Excluded from the ban are police officers, prisons, the youth detention facility and the forensic unit at Eleanor Slater Hospital.

The law also creates a commission to study restraint reporting practices.

The bill was sponsored by Sen. Gayle Goldin, a Providence Democrat, and Rep. Dennis Canario, a Democrat representing Portsmouth, Little Compton and Tiverton.

Probe of ex-finance director's alleged embezzlement launched

Rhode Island State Police has launched an investigation into the alleged embezzlement of hundreds of thousands of dollars from The Providence Plan by ex-finance director Charles Denno.

Maj. Joseph Philbin confirmed that the probe began Tuesday following a request by the nonprofit after they terminated Denno last week.

Patrick McGuigan, The Providence Plan's executive director, says Denno was fired after leadership received information it deemed credible regarding the alleged embezzlement. Denno had served as the organization's director of finance and administration since 2009.

The Providence Plan runs educational and job training initiatives for youths and high school dropouts in the state. The nonprofit was founded 25 years ago and is supported by an annual budget of $8 million.

Denno declined to comment.

N. Providence seeks guidance on police department issues

The North Providence Town Council voted to send a letter to Rhode Island State Police officials requesting guidance in their dealing with the town's embattled police department.

Tuesday's vote came following two hours of testimony from police officers and town attorneys regarding recent complaints against the force.

Police union president Dennis Stone requested that the council launch an investigation into alleged bullying tactics used by Acting Police Chief Christopher Pelagio as well as sexual harassment accusations and the overall "dysfunction" of the department.

Dino Autiello, town council president, says he was disheartened to hear of the problems with the police force.

Autiello says he hopes to work with the police union and administration to reach a resolution.

RI receives $200k to detect Zika birth defects

Rhode Island will receive $200,000 in federal funding to enhance its efforts to detect microcephaly and other birth defects caused by the Zika virus.

Rhode Island's congressional delegation announced the grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday. It will be administered through the Rhode Island Birth Defects Program at the state Department of Health.

Sen. Jack Reed says the funding "will help Rhode Island take necessary steps to mitigate the risks of this growing threat."

Reed, a member of the Appropriations Committee, is seeking $1.9 billion in emergency funds to combat Zika. He has hosted CDC officials in Rhode Island to join local infectious disease experts in discussing the state's response to Zika.

To date, there have been 21 confirmed Zika cases in Rhode Island.

Gas prices drop 1 cent in RI to average $2.20

Gas prices have fallen slightly in Rhode Island, down a penny from last week to an average $2.20 per gallon for regular unleaded.

AAA Northeast says its weekly survey released Monday found the price in Rhode Island is seven cents above the national average of $2.13.

A year ago at this time, the price of gas in Rhode Island was $2.67 per gallon on average, 47 cents more. That's 21 percent more than today.

Lloyd Albert, senior vice president of public and government affairs for AAA Northeast, says the combination of falling oil prices and strong supplies is providing savings at the pump.

No West Nile found in latest mosquito tests in RI

State environmental officials have not found West Nile virus in the latest round of mosquito tests in Rhode Island.

The state Department of Environmental Management said Monday that 176 mosquito samples from 37 traps set statewide on July 19 tested negative for both West Nile and eastern equine encephalitis.

Results from additional samples collected from 37 traps set on July 25 are pending.

The agency says the best prevention against mosquito-borne illness is avoiding bites.

Residents are urged to use mosquito repellent but with no more than 30 percent DEET, put screens on windows and doors and eliminate areas of standing water where mosquitoes breed.

The agency traps mosquitoes weekly and tests them at the state health laboratories. Weekly advisories on test results are issued from late June through September.

House speaker calls for release of 38 Studios information

Rhode Island House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello has called on the state police and attorney general's office to release all the information they have about the state's failed $75 million deal with 38 Studios, the video game company started by former Red Sox player Curt Schilling.

Attorney General Peter Kilmartin and State Police Col. Steven O'Donnell announced on Friday that there would be no criminal charges following a yearslong investigation. They released an eight-page report that summarized what happened, but gave no new information.

Mattiello, a Democrat, released a statement on Monday saying "taxpayers have a right to the complete story."

O'Donnell says he agrees the public has a right to know, but that the investigation remains open and authorities must abide by laws and rules that govern grand juries.

Bill Clinton to eulogize longtime friend in RI

Former President Bill Clinton will deliver a eulogy at the Rhode Island funeral for a longtime friend and major Democratic donor and fundraiser.

The service for Mark Weiner will be held Tuesday at noon at the Temple Beth-El synagogue in Providence.

Weiner died last week in Newport after a long battle with cancer. He was 62.

Weiner has been friends with the Clintons since 1976, when he worked with Hillary Clinton on Jimmy Carter's presidential campaign.

The night Weiner died, Bill Clinton addressed the Democratic National Convention and told the crowd that he and Hillary had cried upon learning of his death.

Weiner's company, Financial Innovations Inc., has provided official campaign merchandise and other mass marketing services to numerous Democratic political campaigns, including Barack Obama's 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns.

Cranston Plan Commission approves master plan for solar farm

The city of Cranston's Plan Commission has approved a master development plan for a large solar farm proposed for land near the West Warwick town line.

The solar array would cover 60 acres of the 108-acre site and would generate approximately 21 megawatts of electricity. The property is zoned A-80 residential, which allows for commercial- and industrial-grade solar facilities in addition to housing.

Ralph Palumbo, co-owner of developer Southern Sky Renewable Energy RI LLC, says the solar farm would produce enough energy on average to power 3,000 households.

The solar farm would be Cranston's second if the project is completed. The first is planned for a cornfield just north of the Southern Sky site, but the project is currently held up by legal issues.

N. Providence police officials, mayor named in complaint

The highest ranking female officer in the history of the North Providence Police Department has filed a complaint alleging that she was subjected to abusive comments by superiors.

Lt. Diana Perez filed a petition with the state Human Rights Commission last month that also states that she routinely experienced discrimination based on her gender.

Among her claims, Perez recalls an embarrassing moment where Acting Chief Christopher Pelagio allegedly quoted Sir Mix-A-Lot's 1992 hit "Baby Got Back" in reference to her backside. When confronted later, Perez says Pelagio told her she was no longer part of the "inner circle."

Mayor Charles Lombardi and Pelagio were among the defendants named in the complaint.

Pelagio declined to comment. Lombardi says he will fire Pelagio if Perez's claims are proven true.

RI to launch online voter registration portal

For the first time, Rhode Island residents will be able to register to vote online beginning this week.

The state's new online voter registration website is scheduled to go live on Monday.

Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea says Rhode Island now joins 31 other states in letting eligible residents register to vote or update their voter information online. The state's General Assembly passed legislation this year allowing online voter registration.

The website can be found at vote.ri.gov and in Spanish at vota.ri.gov.

Mobile background check services to be offered in Aug.

The Rhode Island attorney general's office is offering state and national criminal background check services at locations across the state in August.

The mobile background check services will be offered to anyone required by statute to have a national background check conducted through the attorney general's office and for those required to have a state background check for employment or volunteering.

The checks will be available Aug. 2 in North Kingstown, Aug. 3 in Middletown, Aug. 10 in Lincoln, Aug. 11 in Charlestown, Aug. 16 in Cranston and Aug. 18 in Bristol. All of the events are from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the municipalities' police departments.

They are in addition to the regular hours for the Bureau of Criminal Identification at the attorney general's office in Providence.

Nightclub fire victim's father calls out Trump's 'ignorance'

The father of the youngest victim of a 2003 Rhode Island nightclub fire that killed 100 people is hitting back at GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump for disparaging the Colorado Springs fire marshal's capping attendance at a rally there.

Dave Kane said Sunday that Trump's comments demonstrate his "trademark ignorance and apparent disregard for public safety."

Kane's 18-year-old son Nicholas O'Neill perished in the Station nightclub fire in West Warwick. Authorities have said the club was packed with 458 people, 54 more than capacity.

Trump on Friday criticized Fire Marshal Brett Lacey for limiting capacity at the University of Colorado building where his event was held. Lacey told the Colorado Springs Gazette he had already allowed a 10 percent increase in seating.

A message left with a Trump spokeswoman wasn't immediately returned Sunday.

RI's 2 US senators maintain fundraising push

Rhode Island's two Democratic U.S. senators are trying to maintain their campaign accounts, even though neither is facing re-election this year.

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse ended June with just under $1 million in his campaign account. That's according to campaign finance reports filed with the Federal Election Commission. Whitehouse won't face re-election until 2018.

Fellow Democratic Sen. Jack Reed has also maintained a healthy campaign account. Reed ended June with more than $1.7 million in his campaign account, even as he's spending more than he's taking in. Reed won't face re-election until 2020.

Both senators raised the bulk of their contributions from individual donations.

Both also accepted contributions from political action committees, also known as PACs.

Dairy farm in Exeter honored as RI's best

A dairy farm in Exeter is being honored as Rhode Island's best.

The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management says EMMA Acres was named the 2016 Outstanding Dairy Farm by the Rhode Island Green Pastures Committee.

DEM Chief of Agriculture Ken Ayars says EMMA Acres is one of Rhode Island's finest dairy farms. He says the award raises awareness of the value of dairy farming.

Rhode Island is one of the few states where the number of farms is increasing.

DEM says EMMA Acres was honored because of the owners' commitment to farming best practices, community ties and involvement in dairy farming advocacy and growth.

Owners Cynthia and Scooter LaPrise purchased the Exeter property in 1990 and named it after their children, Elizabeth, Matthew, Maggie and Alexandra.

RI DMV rolls out new and improved driver's license

The Rhode Island Department of Motor Vehicles has begun issuing new driver's licenses that officials say will better protect residents from fraud and identity theft.

The new design replaces the license configuration introduced in 2003 to comply with more strengthened federal security standards.

Among the changes include an optically variable pattern including that includes the state name, state seal, an anchor and stars. The background of the new license now features the Claiborne Pell Newport Bridge.

The tamper-resistant cards include a large primary license-holder portrait as well as a smaller "ghost" portrait.

Current Rhode Island licenses remain valid until their respective expiration dates. The fee for driver's licenses will not change as result of the new design.


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