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1540 Updates Archives for 2019-03

Overnight South Kingstown motor vehicle accident hospitalizes three

South Kingstown police are currently investigating a motor vehicle accident that happened on Curtis Corner Road at 11:17 p.m on Friday.South Kingstown police say this was a single motor vehicle crash involving a 2003 Volkswagon Jetta. The car was being operated by 18-year-old Evan Conover, of Wakefield. 18-year-old Aidan Mulligan, and a juvenile were passengers. According to police, the vehicle left the lane of travel and drove through a fence, coming to rest in a horse pasture. Mulligan was transported by helicopter to Rhode Island Hospital to be treated for serious injuries. Conover and the juvenile passenger were transported to South County Hospital for treatment.

Nonprofit to move memorial for fallen soldiers to Newport

A Rhode Island nonprofit that helps veterans says it's moving its memorial to U.S. service members killed in action. Operation Stand Down Rhode Island said Friday that it will place boots at Fort Adams State Park in Newport for Memorial Day weekend. The "Boots on the Ground for Heroes Memorial" was in Roger Williams Park in Providence over Memorial Day weekend for the past three years. The nonprofit displays nearly 7,000 boots, one for each service member killed in action since Sept. 11, 2001.

Providence May Adopt Emergency Parking Ban Guidelines

The Providence City Council may adopt emergency parking ban guidelines when four inches or more of snow is forecast. An ordinance proposed by two council members has been sent to the Committee on Ordinances for review. Supporters say the current system is not efficient and not properly enforced, resulting in difficulty plowing streets. However, the mayor's office says the proposal could cause unnecessary and potentially costly burdens for businesses and schools.

Newport Closer To Armory Sale

Officials from the National Sailing Hall of Fame and the city of Newport expect to finalize the sale of most of the municipal Armory later this month. Newport City Manager Joseph Nicholson Jr. said Wednesday the details of the sale have been worked out and "everything is in place." The Hall of Fame had originally targeted the end of January for the closing date.

"The Prince Of Providence" At Trinity Rep

 "The Prince of Providence" will open Trinity Repertory Company's 2019-2020 season. The play is an adaptation of the book of the same title about former Providence Mayor Vincent "Buddy" Cianci who died in 2016. He was mayor for more than 20 years and spent several years in federal prison following his 2002 corruption conviction. A Trinity Rep spokesman calls Cianci larger than life and says the theater company has wanted to tell his story for a long time.

Union Authorizes A Strike At Fatima Hospital

The possibility of a strike by union employees at Fatima Hospital who have been working without a contract since the end of January is looming. Members of the United Nurses & Allied Professionals voted this week to issue a ten-day strike notice if necessary. The union claims the health care management company Prospect CharterCARE has failed in the area of patient and worker safety.

New Dual-Language School Opening In Central Falls

A new dual-language school is being announced in Central Falls. The new school will teach English and Spanish to pre-K through sixth grade students using the existing Robertson School building. Central Falls School District Superintendent Victor Capellan [[ CAP-ay-YAN ]] says many non-English-speaking parents of students in the district do not teach their native language to their kids.

City Working To Move Employees From VIN Building

Providence officials are announcing plans to clear out the building that houses the Vehicle Identification Number check station. Concern has been raised that the building on Ernest Street is in bad shape. The city is working on plans to move all employees out, potentially by the end of the month. The building also houses the sewer department and is an equipment storage location.

Package Includes Re-Introduced Pay Equity Bill

A new package of bills being introduced in Rhode Island aims to establish more economic equality. State Representative Susan Donovan announced the bills yesterday at a "women's economic justice platform" event, including a pay equity law that failed last year after it was heavily revised by House leadership.

Bill To Hike Minimum Wage For City Workers

There's a bill in the House that would require city workers in Providence to be paid a minimum of 15-dollars per hour. Co-sponsored by a group of Democratic legislators, it would add a provision to the state's minimum wage law that would require the city to start paying 15-dollars an hour on January 1st, 2020.  A spokesperson for Mayor Jorge Elorza says the proposal is under review to understand the financial impact it could have on the city.

URI Men's Basketball Edges St. Joe's In OT

The University of Rhode Island men's basketball team is hoping to generate some momentum heading into the postseason. The Rams edged St. Joseph's in overtime on Tuesday, 86-to-85, on a 41-point effort from sophomore guard Fatts Russell. URI closes out the regular season on Saturday versus UMass.

State Offering Higher Wages This Summer

The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management is hoping to attract workers for summertime positions by offering more pay. The DEM officially launched its recruitment to staff state parks and beaches for the upcoming season yesterday, and director Janet Coit says higher pay than ever before is being offered for lifeguards and beach managers. The department also says it is looking to recruit active senior citizens and retired military personnel who might want to work part-time to make up for a lack of younger applicants. 

Discussion Monday On RI Plastic Ban Proposal

Rhode Island's Senate Environment and Agriculture Committee will hear legislation Monday relating to plastic waste, specifically giving up single-use plastic item permanently. One bill, introduced would prohibit a food service establishment from providing a single-use plastic straw unless requested by the consumer.

Democrat Wins East Bay State Rep Race

The Democratic candidate is the winner of a special election for an open Rhode Island House seat. June Speakman won the election last night for the East Bay-based District 86 seat with about 40 percent of the vote over Libertarian William Hunt, who has run for the position before, and independents Kenneth Marshall and James McCanna the Third. The candidates were running to replace Laufton Ascencao, who stepped down before being sworn in to his first term because of a campaign scandal.

AG's Office Offering Consumer Protection Info

This is National Consumer Protection Week. The Rhode Island attorney general's office is taking the opportunity to remind the public its Consumer Protection Unit has available information on protecting against identity theft, fraud and scams. Attorney General Peter Neronha says protecting people from predatory interests is one of the office's top priorities.

Bristol- Warren Voters Cast Ballots Today

There's an election today for the District 68 House seat. Voters in Bristol and Warren will choose a replacement for Representative Laufton Ascencao. He was elected last fall but resigned before ever taking office due to a campaign scandal. Candidates on the ballot are Democrat June Speakman, independents Ken Marshall and James McCanna and Libertarian Bill Hunt.

Christiansen's Diary Is Closing

Christiansen's Dairy is going out of business. The North Providence-based dairy has been in business for nearly one-hundred years. It will cease operations on March 10th. A spokesman for Christiansen's says the company will recommend East Providence-based Munroe Dairy to its customers.

Another Superior Court Vacancy Has Opened

There is another judge vacancy being created in the Rhode Island Superior Court. Judge Bennett R. Gallo informed Governor Gina Raimondo last week that he was retiring, effective last Thursday, after eleven years on the bench. The state Judicial Nominating Commission last week selected 16 lawyers to interview for two Superior Court vacancies. Last month, the state Senate approved attorney Melissa Darigan to take the Superior Court seat left vacant by the death of Judge Walter R. Stone in September of 2017.

Another Fire Station Closing In Pawtucket, This One Is Temporary

Another fire station is being shut down in Pawtucket. The station on Columbus Avenue in front of McCoy Stadium will close at the beginning of next month for up to two months to allow for over three-hundred-thousand dollars in repairs to be made. One other fire station in the city, on West Avenue, was recently closed permanently because of the deteriorating conditions of the building. Fire officials say the newest closure should not affect response times.

Two Rescued From Providence Fire

Two people were rescued from a house fire in Providence on Monday night. Officials say the structure on Arch Street appeared vacant when they arrived at around 10:00 but they checked for people inside anyway. One of the individuals was reportedly hospitalized, while the other was treated on the scene.

Power Restored Following Over Foot Of Snow In Some Spots

National Grid says the power is back on for everyone in Rhode Island after a winter storm dumped heavy, wet snow overnight Monday.  As many as ten-thousand outages were listed, as Cranston, Providence, Pawtucket, Warwick and Hopkinton appeared to be hit the hardest. That number was down to about two-thousand by mid-morning yesterday. The National Weather Service says much of Providence and Kent counties received at least ten inches of snow.

D.E.M. Offers Food And Farming Funding

The state is offering $270,000 in grant funding to help food and farming businesses start or expand their operations in Rhode Island. The state Department of Environmental Management says Friday is the application deadline. The department says the Local Agriculture and Seafood Act and Farm Viability grant programs, combined, have invested over $3 million to accelerate growth of Rhode Island's green economy.

Alzheimer's Gets More State Backing

Lt. Governor Daniel McKee says a state plan directed at Alzheimer's disease has been updated with recommendations for providing better support and services. Among the ideas are allocating a director-level position within the health department to coordinate implementing the plan, and promoting research opportunities. McKee says Alzheimer's disease is a challenging public health issue and the state's response needs to be unified.

Raimondo Launching Essay Contest

Gov. Gina Raimondo is once again asking young girls what they would do if they were Rhode Island's governor for a day. She’s holding her annual Governor for a Day essay contest to encourage young girls to become leaders as part of Women's History Month. Raimondo says despite progress in electing women to public office, too many young girls grow up without seeing themselves represented in their government. She says she wants them to know their ideas, and futures, are limitless.

Democrats Promote Langevin

U.S. Rep. Jim Langevin has been appointed by House Democratic leaders to serve as a senior whip for the 116th Congress. Langevin, a Democrat, was elected in November to serve a 10th term representing the 2nd Congressional District in western Rhode Island. Senior whips are experienced members of Congress who meet regularly to discuss some of the key issues facing Congress. Langevin, of Warwick, says he's honored to be selected for this position, to help shape the legislative agenda.

State Abortion Law Vote Scheduled For Tuesday

A vote is scheduled for tomorrow in the Rhode Island House Judiciary Committee on a bill to keep Roe v. Wade legal in the state, regardless of federal decisions made about legal abortion moving forward. A re-worked version of the bill, introduced by state Representative Anastasia Williams, includes a ban on all late-term abortions unless it is necessary for the mother's survival, and language affirming a federal law that bans so-called partial-birth abortion. The new version has the support of the Coalition for Reproductive Freedom, which has fought to get a state law protecting legal abortion passed. Meanwhile, leaders of the Right to Life lobbying group are criticizing House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello, who is pro-life, for allowing the vote to be taken.

Legislation To Create A Sales Tax Holiday

Bills are pending in the House and Senate finance committees to create a sales tax holiday in Rhode Island. Items under 25-hundred-dollars would be exempt from the state's seven-percent sales tax. The legislation, filed by Warwick Representative Joseph Solomon and Warwick Senator Mark McKenny, would establish the holiday on the weekend of August 10th and 11th this year.

Langevin Cosponsors Medicare For All Act

Rhode Island Congressman Jim Langevin is a cosponsor of the Medicare For All Act 2019. It would guarantee access to healthcare with benefits for every person living in the United States. Currently only people who are 65 and older and some others are eligible for Medicare.

House Speaker Says No Beach Fee Increase

House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello is rejecting Governor Gina Raimondo's proposal to increase beach fees. He says Rhode Island's beaches are one of the state's greatest assets and they must be kept affordable for families. Mattiello says Providence state Representative Grace Diaz is submitting a bill to freeze beach fees for three years.

Plant Towers Coming Down

The two cooling towers of an old power plant in Somerset  are being taken down. An implosion is set for the towers at the former coal-fired energy plant in Brayton Point in Somerset in late April. Officials with the new owner of the property say a rolling roadblock will be set up on Interstate 195.

State Police Head Confirmed, Committee Supports DCYF Director

The Rhode Island Senate confirmed the appointment of the new state police superintendent on Thursday. James Manni will be sworn in today after the unanimous Senate vote. In other state Senate news, the Judiciary Committee unanimously voted yesterday to support the re-appointment of Department of Children, Youth and Families director Trista Piccola.

Medical Transit Company Will Pay For Poor Service

The company criticized for its problematic rollout of non-emergency medical transportation service in Rhode Island is about to open its wallet. The state Executive Office of Health and Human Services has re-negotiated its contract with Medical Transportation Management, which began providing the service this year. The amended contract includes a one-million-dollar sanction to be paid for poor performance this month and last.


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