1540 WADK.com Updates Archives for 2019-06

More State Police Patrols As 4th Approaches

More State Police patrols are going to be on the roads right through the 4th of July holiday. With additional traffic anticipated throughout the period, Rhode Island troopers will be looking to arrest DUI drivers. They'll also be alert for violations including speeding, aggressive driving and distracted driving.

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Three Dozen New RI State Troopers

There are 37 new state troopers. They graduated from the Rhode Island State Police Training Academy Friday. They were presented with their diplomas and badges by Governor Gina Raimondo and Colonel James Manni during a commencement ceremony at the CCRI campus in Lincoln.

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Lawmakers Recess For Summer Passing A Range Of Bills

Rhode Island lawmakers have recessed for the summer by approving a range of bills, including one that would move up the state's primary elections. The General Assembly on Friday gave final approval to setting the state primaries to the eight Tuesday before Election Day. That means they'll fall on Sept. 8 next year. Lawmakers also passed contentious legislation giving Pawtucket broad powers to redevelop its downtown as it faces economic development challenges. The Pawtucket Red Sox are decamping for Worcester and toy maker Hasbro is also considering leaving Pawtucket.

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Golden Anniversary For Newport Pell Bridge

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the Newport Pell Bridge. The Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority says a fireworks celebration is being held at Fort Adams State Park tonight from 6:00 to 10:00. The bridge was constructed from 1966 to 1969.

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AG Says Office Combatting Unfair Ticket Sales

The state Attorney General's office is fighting deceptive and unfair practices in the ticket re-sale marketplace in Rhode Island. A.G. Peter Neronha says consumers who purchased speculative tickets to see the Broadway hit show Hamilton in Providence paid nearly three-and-a-half times the price of an average ticket from the venue. Neronha's office says settlements with three online sellers were filed on Wednesday in Providence Superior Court to stop the future sale of inadequately-disclosed speculative tickets in the state

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Contract Extended For R.I. Lottery Partner

A deal is being reached to keep gambling company International Game Technology - or IGT - for a continued partnership with the Rhode Island Lottery. According to the terms of the 20-year contract extension, IGT will be responsible for a 25-million-dollar payment to the state, 150-million dollars in capital investments, and at least 11-hundred permanent jobs in the state. The company is also agreeing to maintain its corporate lottery office in downtown Providence and to install new machines at the Twin River Lincoln Casino.

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Census Committee Reacts To SCOTUS Citizenship Question Decision

Members of a state committee who are being tasked with making sure all Rhode Islanders are counted in the 2020 U.S. Census are reacting to the U.S. Supreme Court decision to not allow onto the Census a question about citizenship. The members of the Rhode Island Complete Count Committee praised the decision yesterday and said it will allow for exactly that - a complete count of everyone in the state. They warn that an undercount could cost the state political representatives in Congress.

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Budget Passed By Senate

The Rhode Island Senate has passed a nine-point-nine-billion-dollar budget. The current legislative session ends this week. The House has already passed the budget and it now heads to Governor Gina Raimondo's desk.

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Providence Mayor Headed To Hawaii On Business

Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza is headed to Hawaii for the 87th meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. According to the conference website, Elorza is scheduled to moderate a session on immigration. The conference takes place from tomorrow to Monday in Honolulu.

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Legislation Passed To Help Avoid School Violence

Legislation designed to help avoid school violence is headed to Governor Gina Raimondo. The House and Senate have passed bills to increase safety by creating threat assessment teams within schools. Similar measures have been adopted in other states in the aftermath of the mass shooting that left 17 dead last year at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

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Strong Reaction To Critical Providence School Report

There's strong reaction to an independent report that's highly critical of the Providence public school system Barbara Cottam who chairs the Rhode Island Board of Education, says she's outraged and that action must be taken with a sense of urgency. Neil Steinberg, president of the Rhode Island Foundation says the report is heartbreaking and that a plan forward can't come soon enough.

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Legislative Leap Is Postponed

Because of the potential for showers on Sunday, the third annual Legislative Leap is postponed to July 7th. The Leap feature state legislators and their guests jumping out of an airplane to raise money for the Rhode Island Military Family Relief Fund. The event will take place at Skydive Newport, in Middletown.

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Newport Summer Traffic Safety Enforcement

Responding to a large number of complaints, Newport police are cracking down on speeding, distracted driving and bicycle violations. As of yesterday, 148 drivers had been stopped on Memorial Boulevard alone in the last 30 days. Police will also monitor other in an effort to keep the streets safe as traffic increases for the summer.

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Portsmouth Hires Former Deputy Police Chief As New Chief

The town of Portsmouth is naming its next police chief. Former deputy chief Brian Peters, who retired last year, is being selected to come back and succeed Chief Thomas Lee, who himself is retiring. Peters was named as the interim chief of police in Bristol earlier this year.

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RIDOT Replacing Outdated Signs On Rt. 146

All signs on Route 146 from I-95 in Providence to the Massachusetts border in North Smithfield are being replaced. The state Department of Transportation says the signs have deteriorated and don't meet modern standards. The first phase of the nine-and-a-half-million-dollar project is scheduled for completion this fall. Phase two will begin in the summer of 2020.

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Governor Says Providence Schools Are In Crisis

Governor Gina Raimondo says the Providence public schools are broken and in crisis. She says an independent report from Johns Hopkins University is devastating and that the district needs a complete redo. The report lists numerous problems and says most students are not learning on or even near grade level. The governor says the situation is much worse than she realized and that the state will have to become more involved in the schools.

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Gas Prices Fall A Few More Cents

Gas prices are down a few more cents from a week ago in Rhode Island. The current average for a gallon of gas is two dollars and sixty-eight cents, according to RIGasPrices.com. A week ago, it was two-seventy, and one month ago, it was two-eighty-five. The national average is currently one cent higher than the Rhode Island average.

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Senate Finance Committee To Take Up State Budget

Today is a big day for the state budget for the upcoming fiscal year in Rhode Island. The Senate Finance Committee is set to take up the nine-point-nine-billion-dollar spending plan. The House approved the budget this past Saturday. The current legislative session concludes this week.

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Dysfunction In Providence Schools The Main Topic At Forum

Some parents called for the state to take over Providence public schools at a forum on Wednesday. Hundreds of people attended the meeting hosted by Education Commissioner Angelica Infante-Green at William D'Abate Elementary School a day after a scathing report was released indicating Providence students are not doing a lot of learning. Green heard stories from parents about bad teachers and out-of-control students. More forums are scheduled in the coming weeks.

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