Straight Talk Money - Mike Robertson, Chase Robertson, and Peggy Tuck
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Straight Talk Money

1540 Updates Archives for 2019-08

Firefighters Battle Fire At Brayton Point Power Plant

Crews battled a three-alarm fire at the Brayton Point Power Plant in Somerset Friday night. Multiple fire departments from nearby towns were called to assist Somerset in battling the fire. No injuries were reported.

Two RI Fire Departments Receive Federal Aid

Two Rhode Island fire departments have received federal funding for training and new equipment. U.S. Sens. Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and Rep. Jim Langevin announced about $300,000 in funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to help the West Warwick and Narragansett fire departments.

Dog's From Afghanistan Arrive In RI

Four dogs from Afghanistan are now in Rhode Island. They were rescued from the streets of Kabul and arrived in the Ocean State last Wednesday. The Potter League for Animals in Middletown says the dogs will soon be ready for adoption.

Vote Set For Newport School Plan

The Newport City Council is expected to vote September 11th, on a Stage 1 application to the state for a new high school.  A statewide report in 2017 determined that Rogers is the high school in most need of replacement in Rhode Island. The City Council must approve the Stage 1 plan and submit it to the state Department of Education by September 16th, to keep the project going.

Financial Services Company Moving To Providence

Mutual of America Life Insurance Company is moving its Boston regional office to Providence. The New York-based company, which offers insurance and retirement products, plans to move 20 employees from Westborough, Massachusetts, into the Blue Cross building on Exchange Street downtown.  A  spokesman for the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation says the company is not receiving any tax incentives for the move.

PawSox Wrapping Up 2019 Season

The Pawtucket Red Sox are playing their final home games of the 2019 season this weekend. The PawSox lost three of four to the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders at McCoy Stadium this week, including a doubleheader split yesterday. They are going to pack five games in for their final series against Lehigh Valley. Pawtucket will finish last in the International League North division and will not make the playoffs.

State: Don't Eat Food From RI-Based We Share Hope

The Rhode Island Department of Health is putting out an advisory about food from a Rhode Island non-profit food provider. The state says food products that are not commercially sealed from We Share Hope of Warren and East Providence should not be eaten because of the potential for Listeria contamination. The advisory is until further notice. No illnesses have been reported.

State Planning Council Votes To Shift Alternative Transportation Funding

Despite cries from bike and walking path advocates, the State Planning Council voted to shift transportation funding yesterday. The vote means about 37-million dollars is being moved from the Transportation Alternatives Program to the state transportation department's ten-year spending plan. Supporters of the shift said the state needs more money for road and bridge projects, but RIDOT Director Peter Alviti said yesterday that overall spending on bike and pedestrian projects will actually increase over the next decade.

Suit Seeks Info From Prov. Schools English Language Learner Case

The Rhode Island ACLU and Rhode Island Legal Services are filing a public records lawsuit against the Providence School District. The suit alleges the school district is withholding information about extensive violations of the rights of English Language Learner students that led to a settlement between the school system and the U.S. Justice Department over a year ago. The suit says the city of Providence refused to provide a copy of documents from the DOJ earlier this year, claiming attorney-client privilege and that the records were preliminary.

Teacher Reportedly Shocked By Light Switch At Providence School

 A teacher reportedly suffered injuries from a defective light switch at a school in Providence  Superintendent Frances Gallo said the teacher was given an electric shock when she flipped the switch at DelSesto Middle School, suffering a burned hand. Gallo said electricians will evaluate that school and the nearby Carnevale school this weekend, ahead of classes starting on Tuesday.

EEE Reported In Westerly

The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management is reporting the presence of the Eastern equine encephalitis virus in Westerly. A horse tested positive on August 24th, according to the DEM, which also notes a mosquito sample pool in Westerly has yielded EEE-carrying pests. That brings the total in the state this year up to three. 

Gov. Appoints Associate Director Of E-911

David Smith is the new Associate Director of Rhode Island's E-911 emergency telephone system. He's the former director of the state Emergency Management Agency and the former police chief in both Narragansett and Westerly. Governor Gina Raimondo appointed Smith on the recommendation of State Police Colonel James Manni.

Water Heater Thieves Being Sought

Warwick police are looking for water heater thieves. They took ten water heaters and scrap metal from Riley Plumbing and Heating on New England Way. The suspects made four trips earlier this week to haul the stolen goods. A surveillance photo is posted on the police department's Facebook page.

Prov. School Board Won't Fight State Takeover

The Providence School Board is not going to fight a state takeover of the district. The decision was made earlier this week at a closed door meeting. State Education Commissioner Angelica Infante-Green has pushed for the takeover after a scathing independent report on the district's performance. The new school year in the city begins next Tuesday.

USCG Conducts Exercise On Block Island Wind Turbine

The U.S. Coast Guard recently conducted a search-and-rescue drill on top of a Block Island Wind Farm turbine. Officials say the exercise on June 24th involving a Jayhawk helicopter was the first of its kind conducted in the U.S. Additional exercises in coordination with power companies Orsted and General Electric are anticipated in the future. The turbine was turned off for the practice run.

Cumberland Town Council Removes President, Who Is Suing Over Move

There's a battle happening on the Cumberland Town Council. The council voted to remove Council President Peter Bradley from the presidency last week, with Bradley providing the only "no" vote. The matter appears to center around accusations that Bradley spread a rumor about two town employees having sex in the town's public safety complex after-hours. Bradley has filed a Superior Court lawsuit over the action.

Another Man Arrested For Ill-Advised Taylor Swift Plan

 Another man has been arrested for trespassing at Taylor Swift's Rhode Island home. Police in Westerly say a 30-year-old individual allegedly tried to get inside the gate of Swift's mansion yesterday morning with the hopes of marrying her. Authorities say the man previously trespassed earlier this month. This is the second time this summer someone was arrested for trying to break into Swift's Watch Hill residence.

Lawmakers Don't Want Bike, Pedestrian Path Funding To Be Diverted

 Ahead of a planned vote, some Rhode Island lawmakers are looking to protect state resources for bike and pedestrian projects. Letters signed by over 50 state senators and representatives are urging the State Planning Council to reject a proposed amendment to the state's ten-year transportation spending plans. 

National Grid: This Year's Winter Rate Increase Not As Bad

The Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission approved a National Grid rate hike on Wednesday for a six-month period starting in October. Residential bills will increase by about eight-percent, or nine-dollars a month. National Grid officials said this year's winter increase won't be as substantial as the last two winter seasons.

Another Step In The Paw Sox Departure

 Another step was taken yesterday in the eventual departure of the Pawtucket Red Sox from Rhode Island. The first demolition to make way for Polar Park, the future home of the Boston Red Sox Triple-A affiliate took place in Worcester. The Paw Sox will play their final season at McCoy Stadium in 2020.

Tiverton Police Looking For Shoplifter

Tiverton police are asking the public for help to identify a shoplifter. Authorities say a woman took more than six-hundred-dollars worth of merchandise from the Rite Aid pharmacy on Main Road earlier this week. A surveillance photo of the suspect is posted on the police department's Facebook page.

E. Providence Mayor Warns Of Phony Facebook

East Providence Mayor Bob DaSilva warns that someone stole his profile picture and created a phony Facebook page. He says it's a scam targeting his friends by asking them to click on a link to free money. DaSilva says he was concerned it was a scheme to steal identities or cause people to lose money. The mayor reported the fake account to Facebook and it has been taken down.

New Cranston Fire Chief Approved Despite Concerns About Alleged Comments

The Cranston City Council approved a new fire chief on Monday. Stephen MacIntosh had been appointed acting chief after the retirement of Paul Valletta last month. The vote came despite concerns raised about MacIntosh allegedly making racist comments about hiring standards for firefighters in Providence at a recent Cranston Diversity Commission meeting. 

EEE Detected In Mosquitoes In Several CT. Border Towns

Mosquitoes are testing positive for EEE in several Connecticut towns bordering Rhode Island. They are Voluntown, Stonington and North Stonington. Health officials are urging people to take additional precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

Another Wind Turbine Maintenance Company Coming To RI

Global wind turbine maintenance company Boston Energy is selecting Rhode Island as its home for U.S. operations. Governor Gina Raimondo's office says Boston Energy, which will be based out of the Cambridge Innovation Center in Providence, will add more than 50 jobs. The Rhode Island Commerce Corporation has approved nearly a million dollars in tax credits. This is the second wind turbine servicer to come to the state this year; in June, it was announced that GEV Wind Power was going to open up a United States HQ in Quonset Business Park.

RI, Massachusetts Looking At More Providence-Boston Rail Trips

Rhode Island and Massachusetts officials are looking into expanding train service between Providence and Boston as part of an effort to curb motor vehicle traffic. Massachusetts Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack said at a National Governors Association meeting in Boston yesterday that Amtrak is being approached about leasing locomotives that could run on diesel or electric for a pilot project. 

Gronk Wants Major Sports To Allow CBD

Former New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski wants the major sports leagues to allow medical marijuana treatment for players. Gronk says the pain inflicted on his body by football wore him down but since his retirement in March, he's pain-free thanks to CBD, which is an active ingredient found in marijuana. He's now a business partner with CBD Medic to support the company's products and collaborate in the development and marketing of new products. As for a return to football, Gronkowski says physically he can do it, but mentally he's not there.

RIPTA Offering RIC Students Unlimited Rides

The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority is offering Rhode Island College students unlimited rides. By showing their student ID cards they get access to all bus routes including nights, weekends and vacation periods. RIPTA says almost every private college and university in the state takes part in it's U-Pass program. It's funded by the participating schools.

Traffic Cameras Operational In Pawtucket Today

Traffic cameras in and/or near school zones have been activated in Pawtucket, to coincide with the first day of classes. The intent is to slow down traffic near schools. Drivers found to be speeding will get a warning for the first 30 days. After that, they will be fined 50-dollars per violation.

DOH Recommends Smart Scheduling For Outdoor Events

The Rhode Island Department of Health is recommending smart scheduling to school and municipal officials. Activities such as games, practices and other outdoor events that are scheduled for early morning or near dusk should be rescheduled for earlier in the afternoon or moved indoors. The intent is to minimize the risk of bites from mosquitoes infected with Eastern Equine Encephalitis. 

Farmer's Almanac Predicts A Bleak Winter

The Lewiston, Maine-based, Farmer's Almanac is predicting a bleak winter in its annual forecast. The two centuries-old publication warns of a good amount of snow, sleet and colder-than-normal temperatures throughout the Northeast. It also predicts wintry conditions will linger into April.

Three RI Restaurants Among Most Scenic

Three Rhode Island restaurants are among the 100 most scenic in America according to the online reservation service Open Table. They are: the Boat House in Tiverton, the Coast Guard House in Narragansett and the Mooring in Newport. Open Table's list is generated by dinner reviews collected between June 1st of last year to May 31st of this year.

RIPTA Fall Schedule Changes Announced

The fall schedule for the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority goes into effect this Saturday. The schedule is tweaked three times a year in response to seasonal changes and ridership levels. Details are available online at ripta-dot-com.

School Bells Start Ringing In RI

The new school year is getting underway in some Rhode Island communities. Classes began yesterday in Scituate, Smithfield and West Warwick. School starts today in Cumberland, East Greenwich, East Providence, Johnston, Pawtucket, Tiverton and Woonsocket. And on Thursday classes begin in Burrillville, Coventry, Exeter-West Greenwich, North Smithfield and Warwick. The rest of the districts start school next week.

Showtime Developing Potential Series Featuring Davis As Michelle Obama

Central Falls native Viola Davis is possibly taking on the acting role of former First Lady Michelle Obama. Showtime has cast Davis for a potential series called First Ladies, focusing on presidential wives throughout U.S. history. The Academy, Emmy and Tony Award-winning Davis is starring in the final season of ABC's How to Get Away with Murder.

Temporary Injunction Slows Medical Marijuana Dispensary Sale

A Rhode Island Superior Court judge is blocking the sale of a medical marijuana dispensary in Portsmouth. Judge Richard Licht on Friday issued a temporary injunction against the sale of Greenleaf to major U.S. cannabis company Acreage Holdings, preventing state regulators from making a final sale determination. Another marijuana business whose CEO is one of the founders of the Summit medical pot dispensary in Warwick alleged that Acreage is violating state rules against having a financial interest in more than one dispensary.

Deal Reached To Sell Most Of Memorial Hospital

A deal is being reached to sell most of the old Memorial Hospital campus in Pawtucket. Reports indicate Care New England executives have a purchase-and-sale agreement with New York-based Lockwood Development Partners, which hopes to transform the campus into a military veteran wellness and residential center. A Care New England spokesperson says more details should be released after Labor Day. Memorial closed in 2017, but some non-hospital medical services are still being offered there.

Warwick Police Looking For Shoplifting Suspect

Warwick police are asking the public to help identify a shoplifting suspect. A man is being sought for stealing over 650-dollars worth of merchandise from the Macy's store in the Warwick Mall on July 29th. Police say it's not the first time he's shoplifted there. A surveillance photo of the suspect is posted on the police department's Facebook page.

Candidates For Prov. Superintendent Down To Three

State Education Commissioner Angelica Infante-Green says the list of candidates for school superintendent in Providence is down to three. She made the comment Sunday while attending an event in Barrington. Interim Superintendent Frances Gallo is currently overseeing the troubled district. Classes in the capital city begin on September 3rd.

Gov. Raimondo At Summit In Boston

Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo is scheduled to attend a two-day Infrastructure Stakeholder Summit in Boston through today. The focus is innovative ways to reduce congestion to boost economic competitiveness in states. Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker is hosting the summit. Other governors attending include New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu and Maryland Governor Larry Hogan.

Negative Results For Mosquito-Borne Viruses In RI

The latest test results for both West Nile Virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis in Rhode Island are negative. To date there has been no evidence of WNV and just one finding of Triple E. However both of the mosquito-borne viruses have been confirmed in dozens of communities in nearby southeastern Massachusetts. Sunday, a 50-year-old woman from Fairhaven in Bristol County, Massachusetts, died  from Triple E.

Traffic Pattern Change On Big River Bridge

A new traffic pattern is being implemented today on the Big River Bridge in West Greenwich. The state Department of Transportation says northbound traffic is being shifted to a newly built part of the bridge for a week to ten days. Southbound traffic will stay on the old half. The structurally deficient bridge on Route 3, Nooseneck Hill Road, is being replaced in phases.

Governors Of 4 States To Take Part In Transportation Summit

The governors of Massachusetts, Maryland, Rhode Island and New Hampshire are planning to meet to discuss transportation issues. Republican Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker is hosting the National Governors Association infrastructure summit in Boston on today and tomorrow. It's the first of four summits pushed by the organization's chairman, Republican Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, to help explore ways to improve Americans' quality of life with a well-functioning infrastructure.

Policymakers And Defense Businesses To Meet In RI

Policymakers and defense industry representatives are coming together in Newport to discuss innovation and technologies in development for the military. The Southeastern New England Defense Industry Alliance is hosting its sixth annual conference on defense innovation today through Wednesday. Defense Secretary Mark Esper plans to participate tomorrow. 

Woman Dies From EEE Virus In Fairhaven

A woman from Fairhaven, Massachusetts has died after contracting the EEE virus. The death of Laurie Sylvia was reported on Sunday. Sylvia was the fourth EEE case reported in the state this year, but the first death.

Swimming Closures For Beaches In Charlestown, Middletown

The Rhode Island Department of Health is closing the Burlingame State Park Camping Area in Charlestown for swimming because of high bacteria levels. Surfer's End of Sachuest Beach in Middletown and Dyer Woods Campground Beach in Foster remain closed for swimming. The state has re-opened Bristol Town Beach.

State Fined For UHIP Problems

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is fining the state of Rhode Island over two-million dollars for problems connected to the UHIP computer system. The federal government says the penalty is for payment errors -- mostly overpayments -- in the fiscal year ending in September of 2018. UHIP was cited as the primary reason for the state's high error rate. The problem-plagued benefit management system has taken years to fix since going online in September of 2016.

Hasbro Buying Entertainment Company E-One

Peppa Pig is now a Hasbro brand. The Pawtucket toymaker announced yesterday that it is adding media and entertainment company E-One for four-billion dollars, which adds the brand of the preschool animated show, as well as another animated children's series, PJ Masks. Hasbro says the deal will allow its existing brands to be marketed in more media formats.

Trump Tweets Support For Spicer On DWTS

President Trump weighed in Thursday night on the appearance of Rhode Island native Sean Spicer, Trump's former press secretary, going on Dancing with the Stars. Trump said Spicer will do great and called him a terrific person who loves the country dearly. 

Chafee Says He's Open To Presidential Candidacy

A former Rhode Island governor and U.S. Senator says he might be open to another presidential campaign. Lincoln Chafee was a Democratic presidential candidate for about six months back in 2015. He says he's anti-war, concerned about the deficit and very motivated. Chafee moved from Rhode Island to Wyoming earlier this year and recently became a Libertarian, his fourth party affiliation.

Jump Bikes Being Pulled Off Providence Streets

Hundreds of Jump bikes are being pulled off the streets of Providence. The bikes which are owned by Uber have been vandalized and police say they've been used to commit crimes. A spokesman for Mayor Jorge Elorza says the future of the Jump bike program will be evaluated. 

Low-Flying Fighter Jets Caused Alarm

Loud, low-flying fighter jets caused some alarm earlier this week, however, The Rhode Island National Guard says the Navy Blue Angels were just passing by. The fighters were on their way to the New York International Air Show.

Barrington Welcomes Little League Team Home

The Barrington team is home after playing in the Little League World Series. The players received a State Police escort and a heroes welcome when they got back to town Wednesday. The New England Region champs played three games in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, before being eliminated.

Man Who Got Banned From Casinos For Counterfeiting Sentenced Again

The Rhode Island man known as "The Coin" is being sentenced to prison for counterfeiting one-hundred-dollar bills. The U.S. Justice Department says Louis Colavecchio was sentenced yesterday to fifteen months in federal prison after the feds seized 29-thousand-dollars' worth of hundred-dollar counterfeits last December from his Coventry residence. Colavecchio has previously been convicted of counterfeiting large numbers of casino slot machine tokens, which caused him to be banned from every casino in the U.S.

Block Island Ferry Jumper Fined

The U.S. Coast Guard is fining someone who jumped from a Block Island Ferry ship. A notice of violation for interfering with the safe operation of a vessel, with a proposed 25-hundred-dollar penalty, was issued last month for 19-year-old Andrew Myers, who was accused of jumping off the Anna C in Block Island on July 28th. The Coast Guard announced the same penalty for a teen who jumped off a ferry in Falmouth, Massachusetts.

Notice Put Out About Possible Link Between O.D.'s, Counterfeit Pills

The state of Rhode Island is warning about an overdose increase. The state health department says between August 12th and 18th, there were 44 reports of suspected, non-fatal opioid overdoses in the state, or 13 more than the average weekly number for the first six months of 2019. At the same time, law enforcement is warning that there has been an increase in counterfeit pills containing fentanyl. The health department says the majority of the 44 OD victims who were screened were positive for fentanyl.

Providence Teacher Absenteeism Comes Into Focus

The issue of teacher absenteeism in Providence Public Schools is being highlighted this week.School district data  indicates five-hundred teachers were absent at least 18 times this past school year, a level that gets students labeled as chronically-absent. Attendance was flagged as an issue in a recent review of Prov Schools by Johns Hopkins. Rhode Island Education Commissioner Angelica Infante-Green has said schools will start to notify parents about teacher absences.

Langevin Supports Trump Impeachment Inquiry

Rhode Island Congressman Jim Langevin is supporting an impeachment inquiry for President Trump. Langevin cited Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report on Russian interference in the 2016 election and the president's effort to undermine the investigation in making the announcement on Wednesday. Langevin joins fellow Rhode Island representative David Cicilline and over a hundred other House Democrats to call for an impeachment inquiry.

Spicer Joins Cast Of Dancing With The Stars

Barrington native Sean Spicer is joining the cast of ABC's "Dancing with the Stars" for the new season. The Portsmouth Abbey School graduate is a former White House press secretary in the Trump administration. The show's host, Tom Bergeron, says he disagrees with the decision to have Spicer join this season's cast.

Longtime ProJo Sports Writer Announces Semi-Retirement

Veteran Providence Journal sports columnist Bill Reynolds is going into semi-retirement. At 74-years-old, Reynolds says he's decided to stop working full-time. He'll just continue writing his once-a-week "For What It's Worth" column. Reynold's, who has written 11 books, joined the Journal's sports department in 1981 and he says he's getting tired.

Sewage Discharge Into Newport Harbor

The state Department of Environmental Management doesn't expect a sewage discharge into Newport Harbor to further affect shellfishing in the area. A sewer line owned by Naval Station Newport failed earlier this week, allowing the discharge of ten thousand gallons of untreated sewage into the harbor. It happened just east of an area where a shellfishing ban is already in effect due to pollution.

Hasbro Phasing Out Plastic From Toy, Game Packaging

Hasbro says it is removing plastic from its new toy and game packaging. Starting next year, the company says it will phase out plastic elements like polybags, elastic bands, shrink wrap, window sheets and blister packs. The hope is to virtually eliminate all plastic in packaging for new products by the end of 2022. Hasbro says it has had a long-standing commitment to environmental sustainability.

Reward Offered After Portable Toilets Blown Up In Southern RI

The Rhode Island Fire Marshal is offering a reward to help catch whoever blew up a couple of portable toilets over the weekend. The Fire Marshal as well as the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are investigating the incidents in Charlestown and Westerly. The incidents are not believed to be due to terrorist activity. The reward is up to five-thousand dollars for information leading to an arrest and conviction.

Providence Grays Photo Sells At Auction

A rare photo of the National League champion Providence Grays baseball team from 1879 has sold. Auction company Robert Edward Auctions says the composite photo sold for thirty-thousand dollars on Sunday night. It features ten members of the team with Hall of Fame player-manager George Wright at the center. The Grays played in the NL from 1878 to 1885 and won two league titles.

Barrington Bounced Out Of L.L World Series

Rhode Island's run in the 2019 Little League World Series is over. The New England regional champs from Barrington were shut out by New Jersey's Little League squad, two-to-nothing on Tuesday night. The Barrington boys had not gotten a hit until the final inning and had the tying run at the plate, but fell short.

Mayor Elorza's Charter School Proposal Criticized

Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza followed up on Tuesday on a proposal he made the previous day that would affect charter schools. Elorza, serving in his capacity as chairman, suggested at a board meeting of Achievement First charter school that there should be expansion for Achievement First, plus a closing of another school in exchange. The idea drew immediate critics, including the state's charter school league and Republican Party, and even Achievement First officials opposed it. 

Providence PD Report Another Criminal Incident Involving JUMP Bikes

There's been another report of an incident involving JUMP bikes in Providence. Police say three teenagers were arrested and a fourth suspect was being sought after a man was attacked and robbed on Penn Street in Federal Hill on Monday. Reports indicate JUMP and Providence officials are meeting soon to discuss the problem of the recent rash of crimes committed by people who are disabling the bikes and riding on them for free.

Website Says RI Not A Friendly State

According to the website Big 7, Rhode Island is not a friendly state and ranks it 41st. The website says it's likely that people who weren't born in the state will always be seen as outsiders. New York is ranked as the most unfriendly state and Minnesota is the friendliest.

Legislator Seeks Review Of Airport Management

State Representative Samuel Bell is asking for a performance review of the managers at T.F. Green Airport. The Providence Democrat says the decision of Norwegian Air to end Trans-Atlantic service leaves him questioning the management team. Bell says there are serious problems at the airport. He cites route cuts by Sun Country, Frontier and Southwest airlines and the attempt to generate revenue through high fees on ride-sharing providers like Uber and Lyft, which he says caused disruptions and inconvenience for travelers

Ethics Commission To Investigate Gov. Raimondo

The state Ethic Commission is going to investigate Governor Gina Raimondo's proposed deal with IGT. The state Republican Party filed a complaint arguing she violated ethics laws by secretly negotiating a no-bid contract extension with IGT to provide slot machines and other services for Twin River casinos in Lincoln and Tiverton. Raimondo has said the 20-year deal would keep more than a thousand jobs in Rhode Island Legislative hearings are planned in the fall.

Activists Want The Wyatt Detention Facility Closed

 Activists are calling for the closing of the Wyatt Detention Facility in Central Falls. The group Never Again Action is also demanding the release of all federal immigration detainees at Wyatt and a ban on all private prisons in Rhode Island. At a State House rally yesterday, members of the group said they will not be silent in the face of what they describe as civil rights abuses in the prison.

Call For Larger Airline Seats

Three members of the Rhode Island congressional delegation are calling on the Federal Aviation Administration to set a reasonable minimum size for airplane seats. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse says airlines are cramming more seats into aircraft to increase profits at the expense of passenger comfort. By law, the FAA must propose a minimum seat width and minimum distance between rows of seats by this October. 

Funding Package Announced For Prov. Rail Station Upgrades

Senator Jack Reed announced new federal funds for the modernizing of Providence Station on Monday. It's a 25-million-dollar package that is one-half Federal Railroad Administration grant money and matching funds from Amtrak and the Rhode Island Department of Transportation. The project will include expansion of the train station's interior space, major roof repairs, and changes to Amtrak property that will allow for more of a police presence.

Details On Boat Crash Still Pending

We're still waiting for more details on a fatal boat crash in Narragansett Bay earlier this month. A Tiverton woman who was involved in a sailboat regatta, Sandra Tartaglino, was killed in the collision involving a powerboat near the Newport Pell Bridge on August 11th. An official with the state Department of Environmental Management initially said more details would be released the same week, but told the Newport Daily News that the investigation is still early-going and that it could take weeks longer to get through it. The DEM has said alcohol was not a factor in the crash.

Principal Admits To Not Reporting Abuse In Timely Manner

A former principal at a Providence school is admitting to failing to immediately report alleged abuse. The Rhode Island Attorney General's Office said on Monday that Violet LeMar, a former principal at Harry Kizirian Elementary School, entered a no-contest plea connected to a failure to inform the state DCYF within 24 hours about two female students reporting abuse two years ago from a gym teacher, James Duffy, who has been charged. A Superior Court judge gave LeMar a one-year filing partially retroactive to February, according to the A.G.'s office. She had been convicted in District Court but appealed.

Monday Storms Include Lightning Damage In Coventry

A lot of people in the Providence area got a lightning show, then a big rainbow from storms that hit in the early evening hours on Monday. There were at least a couple of damage reports. In Coventry, the fire chief there says that lightning was to blame for a pair of house fires. The homeowner at one of the affected properties was hospitalized as a precaution, according to the report. Overnight, National Grid was working on restoring power for over two-hundred customers in Cranston.

Last Friendly's Restaurant In RI Is Closed

The last Friendly's restaurant in Rhode Island is now closed. A sign on the door in North Providence yesterday says the closing is permanent and it thanks customers for their patronage over the years. The financially-struggling Wilbraham, Massachusetts-based company, has been closing locations throughout the region in recent years.

Kithes Officially The Winner In Woonsocket

Political newcomer Alexander Kithes is now officially the winner of the August 6th special election for a vacant seat on the Woonsocket City Council after results were certified by the city's Board of Canvassers. Kithes defeated former Councilor Roger Jalette. The city council's next regularly scheduled meeting is on September 16th.

Cell Phone Store Burglary In Woonsocket

A burglary at a cell phone repair store in Woonsocket is being investigated. Surveillance video shows a man breaking in to "Buycellfix" on Main Street over the weekend by smashing a window. The suspect stole the cash register which reportedly contained over a thousand-dollars.

A.G. Says Opioid Suit Will Continue

The Rhode Island Attorney General's office says an opioid lawsuit is moving forward. A.G. Peter Neronha said on Friday that a state Superior Court judge denied an attempt by drug manufacturers to have the state's lawsuit dismissed. The state is suing over the public health crisis that has been allegedly created by marketing, producing, promoting and distributing opioids in Rhode Island.

Twin River Also Laying Off Table Games Dealers

There are more layoffs to report from Twin River Casino. The list now includes nearly 65 part-time table games dealers. The initial reports of layoffs focused on about 30 table games supervisors. All of this activity is being blamed on competition from the newly-opened Encore Casino in Massachusetts.

Barrington At One Win, One Loss In LLWS

The Barrington Little League team is off today at the Little League World Series. Barrington will face the winner of a game between Hawaii and New Jersey, which is being completed today after it was suspended on Sunday due to weather. The New England representatives lost their opener to Virginia, three-to-nothing on Friday, then won six-to-one against Kentucky

Warwick PD Investigating Fatal Shooting Of Dogs By Officer

The Warwick Police Department is investigating a use of force incident involving the fatal shooting of two dogs last Thursday. Officers responded to the Buttonwoods area for an aggressive large dogs call, and when two of them charged, Officer Jeremy Smith fired the shots, according to reports. The police department is releasing video that appears to show one of the dogs that was involved jumping on a woman at a CVS store, and is asking the public to submit any photos or videos they may have to piece together what happened.

Complaints Of Crimes Involving JUMP Bikes In Providence

Some bicycles obtained through the JUMP bikeshare program in Providence are apparently being used for mischief. The Providence Police Department says a mob of juveniles, many on JUMP bikes, spread out and committed assaults and other crimes last Thursday. Authorities say that was the latest in a recent series of incidents where JUMP bikes were allegedly used, including one man earlier this month saying he was robbed at gunpoint. 

Pedestrian Hit By Vehicle In Highway Ramp In Pawtucket

A pedestrian was killed in a collision with a motor vehicle on an I-95 ramp in Pawtucket on Friday. Rhode Island State Police reports indicate Joao Daveiga of Pawtucket was hit by a vehicle as he was crossing the on-ramp on Lonsdale Avenue. Police say the driver is cooperating and they are continuing to investigate the incident.

Inmate Fight Leads To ACI Lockdown

The ACI in Cranston was put on lockdown Sunday night after a reported fight that landed an inmate in the hospital. An ACI spokesperson says this was an isolated incident in the Medium Security facility, and the other inmate involved was being questioned. Jail visits will be allowed again on today.

Wyatt Detention Center Employee Resigns After Incident

The Wyatt Detention Facility employee who reportedly drove a pickup truck into a group of protesters outside the center last week has resigned. Captain Thomas Woodworth?s resignation was announced on Friday, one day after he was put on leave and two days after the incident. The group Never Again was protesting the placement of ICE detainees in the jail when the truck was seen on video driving forward to go into a parking lot and making contact with some protesters, reportedly causing serious injuries to at least one.

Rare Calico Lobster Caught

 An East Bay business has a rare lobster on display. Sakonnet Lobster Company in Little Compton posted on its Facebook page on Monday a picture of a calico lobster caught by one of its boats on a previous trip. It's estimated that a calico lobster, characterized by its spotted black-yellow-orange shell, has a rarity number of one in thirty-million.

Barrington Will Play L.L. World Series Opener This Morning

The Barrington Little League team will play its first game of the Little League World Series today. The Barrington team was supposed to play its opener yesterday but it got rained out. The team, which is representing the New England region, will take on the Southeast regional reps from Virginia at 10 a.m. on ESPN.

Retired State Supreme Court Justice Dies

Retired Rhode Island Supreme Court Justice Donald Shea has died. Shea was on the court from 1981 to 1995 after having previously served almost a decade on the state Superior Court. Shea, who lived in Providence, died on Wednesday at the age of 93, according to the Rhode Island Judiciary. He authored over five-hundred opinions while on the Supreme Court.

EEE Found In Mosquito Sample From Central Falls

The first positive findings of Eastern equine encephalitis of the year in Rhode Island are being found in a mosquito sample. The state DEM and health department say the samples were collected in Central Falls on August 6th. People are being urged to take precautions against mosquito bites. No human cases of EEE have been reported in Rhode Island, but there is one case currently in Southeastern Massachusetts.

Wyatt Correctional Officer Placed On Leave

A correctional officer for Wyatt Detention Facility is being placed on leave after a pickup truck drove into protesters outside of the facility on Wednesday night. Video shows the truck driving towards a parking lot which was blocked by people, hitting the brakes then proceeding again despite there still being protesters in the way. At least one person reportedly suffered serious injuries. Wyatt identified the officer on leave as Captain Thomas Woodworth, who appears to have been the driver.

Tournament Committee: Cheating Accusation Issue Closed

The Little League International Tournament Committee says it considers the accusation of cheating against the Barrington Little League team is a closed issue. The coach of the Goffstown, New Hampshire, team which lost to Barrington in the New England Region championship game, accused the Rhode Island kids of stealing signs. The committee says it has full confidence that the umpires and tournament officials handled the situation appropriately.

Newport Hospital Celebrates Expanded ER

There's now a newly expanded emergency department at Newport Hospital. The number of beds has been increased from 17 to 29, allowing for the treatment of more than 40-thousand patients a year. Hospital officials say the last time the emergency department was renovated was 20 years ago.

Tires Slashed In West End Of Providence

Providence police are investigating widespread vandalism in the West End. As many as two dozen cars had slashed tires Wednesday morning. According to a police report, witnesses say they saw three juveniles on bikes flee the area Tuesday night.

Jesse James Dog Found In Newport

TV personality Jesse James is letting everyone know that his lost dog has been found in Rhode Island. The West Coast Choppers star said on Instagram on Wednesday that police in Newport found the dog, named Coco, and that he'll be coming to pick her up. James had offered a cash reward for the return of the dog. He said he learned that the dog fell through a basement window into a vacant house, where she had apparently been for a month's time.

New Health Services Org. Being Formed From Merger

A coming-together of two groups will result in one of the largest non-profit health services organizations in New England. Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and Tufts Health Plan announced their intent to combine yesterday. The new organization will serve almost two-and-a-half-million members in Massachusetts, Maine, Connecticut, New Hampshire and Rhode Island. The agreement is subject to regulatory approvals.

Transportation Contractor Laws Being Updated

Laws concerning the work done by road and bridge contractors for the state DOT are being updated. State Senator Valarie Lawson's legislation that has been signed by Governor Raimondo requires the contractors to provide a bond equal to at least half of the contract price on contracts in excess of 150-thousand dollars. Lawson said the changes will ensure the projects are being done correctly and safely and will also allow for taxpayer funds to be used in the most cost-effective manner.

Third Truck Toll Location Active

A new toll is now being collected for truck drivers going through the Ocean State. The state Department of Transportation began charging big rigs west of Hartford Avenue on Route 6 in Providence on Tuesday night, bringing the total number of currently-active tolls to three. RIDOT plans to have a dozen tolling locations operational by next summer.

White Shark Sighting Near Narragansett Beach

There was a confirmed sighting of a great white shark near Narragansett Beach on Wednesday. The Atlantic White Shark Conservancy said the confirmation was based on a photo that was sent in. The presence of the sharks has been well-documented on Cape Cod and has resulted in almost-daily closures of Cape beaches this summer. In Rhode Island, their presence has been limited; last year, a fisherman reported catching a great white near Misquamicut Beach.

Wyatt Protest Turns Unpeaceful

Hundreds of protesters returned outside the Wyatt Detention Center in Central Falls on Wednesday. The demonstrators were part of the Never Again movement, which compares how immigrants are being treated in the U.S. currently to how Jewish people were treated during the Holocaust. A similar protest last month resulted in arrests. Several media reports have indicated that a pickup truck tried to push through a group of people that was blocking an entrance at the facility at one point last night, and that at least one person was apparently hospitalized after being pepper-sprayed.

Traffic Control Cameras Activating In Pawtucket Soon

School zone speeders and red light beaters in Pawtucket only have a few more weeks before those activities will cost them. City officials tell the Valley Breeze all school zone cameras and some red light cameras will be operational on August 28th, and the rest of the red light cameras will be incrementally added in the following weeks. Drivers will get a thirty-day warning period starting on the 28th before they start to receive violation notices.

Trump Appears Supportive Of Schilling Congress Run

President Trump appears to be endorsing former Red Sox pitcher and 38 Studios founder Curt Schilling to run for Congress in Arizona. Trump tweeted that Schilling is a great pitcher and patriot and thought the idea of him running for a House seat is "terrific." Schilling told Armed American Radio on Sunday that he's considering returning to Arizona to run for a congressional seat currently held by a Democrat.

Twin River Laying Off Table Games Supervisors

Layoffs are coming to Twin River Casino. Twin River is planning to lay off thirty table games supervisors and is telling investors that revenue from table games at its Lincoln casino went through a big decline in July because of the opening of the new Encore Casino in Everett, Massachusetts.

State Leaders Request More Info About IGT Deal

Rhode Island's legislative leaders are requesting additional information about a proposed lottery contract extension for IGT. House Speaker Nick Mattiello and Senate President Dom Ruggerio delivered a letter to Governor Gina Raimondo yesterday asking for the info by the end of the month so that public hearings can be held. 

RI Firefighter Appointed Chief In Western MA

Michael Andrews who has served as acting deputy fire chief in Central Falls, is heading west. reports he's been appointed as the fire chief in the western Massachusetts town of Wilbraham. Andrews has been a firefighter in Central Falls since 2005.

Norwegian Ending Flights From T.F. Green Airport

Norwegian Air is ending its transatlantic flights from T.F. Green Airport to Dublin, Cork and Shannon, Ireland, on September 15th. The low-cost airline cites the safety-related grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX used on the routes from Providence and some other airports. The company says it's assisting customers by rerouting them to other Norwegian services to ensure they reach their destination. Those who no longer wish to travel will be offered a full refund.

Surprise Performance By Jay Leno In Newport

Former Tonight Show host Jay Leno is preparing for a comedy tour. Friday night he tested out new material in front of a capacity audience at the Firehouse Theater in Newport. The theater's artistic director says he initially thought it was a prank when he got a call from someone claiming to be Leno asking for permission to do a set on stage. Leno owns a home on Ocean Drive in Newport.

Vinny Paz Being Inducted Into Nevada Boxing Hall Of Fame

Rhode Island boxing champion Vinny Paz is being inducted into the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame later this week. The organization was founded in 2012 and has inducted other boxers such as Mike Tyson and Sugar Ray Leonard. Paz was a five-time champ and was the subject of the movie Bleed for This. The induction ceremony is Saturday.

Bill Murray Sings At Ri Show

Actor Bill Murray loves making surprise appearances, and he did it again this weekend in Rhode Island. Murray appeared in South Kingstown and performed with local band Steve Smith and the Nakeds at Roy Carpenter's Beach on Saturday. Murray was with director Peter Farrelly and the two had gone to Fall River, Mass to get pierogis before moving on to the concert, according to published reports.

Route From T.F. Green To Punta Cana Canceled

A new route from T.F. Green Airport is being canceled before it even gets off the ground. The Sun Country Airlines trip to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic won't be happening. The company cited a decline in demand for the flight. Anyone who already booked tickets can either get an alternate Sun Country destination or a full refund.

N. Providence Police Dept. In New Building

The North Providence Police Department moved into a new building on Monday. The new public safety complex on Mineral Spring Avenue is directly across from North Providence High School. The phone number to call the police department is unchanged.

Fire Burns Down Warren Home

A large fire consumed a house in Warren on Monday. The waterfront home on Circuit Drive was destroyed by a blaze that began at around 10:30 a.m. Firefighters were challenged by the lack of fire hydrants and reportedly had to tap into nearby swimming pools for a water source. A small secondary fire started on a nearby property from embers flying through the neighborhood. No injuries were reported.

Westerly Motorcycle Crash Victim ID'd

 A woman who was killed in a deadly motorcycle crash in Westerly on Sunday night is being identified. Her name is Doreen Billman of Westerly. Police said Billman was a passenger on a bike being driven on East Avenue and was thrown from the bike after it crashed into some trees.

Latest Mosquito Test Results Negative In RI

The latest mosquito test results are negative for both West Nile Virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis in Rhode Island. Nevertheless, state health officials are urging residents to take precautions to avoid mosquito bites. The risk from triple E is rising in many communities in nearby southeastern Massachusetts where aerial spraying has been conducted.

Providence Mayor Elorza Now Married

Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza is now a married man. He wed his long-time girlfriend Stephanie over the weekend. In a tweet he thanked those who attended the ceremony to help celebrate a special day.

Uber Bikes Now A Cheaper Ride In Prov.

Uber is reducing the rental fee on JUMP bikes in Providence. The reduction comes less than a month after an increase. The new fee is three-dollars for 20 minutes and 15-cents per minute after that. Uber says the fee is in line with other markets.

Patrick Kennedy Shuns Family Curse

Former Rhode Island Congressman Patrick Kennedy says any suggestion that his family is cursed is offensive. His comment comes less than a week after the death of 22-year-old Saoirse Kennedy Hill, who was found unresponsive in a house at the Kennedy compound in Hyannis Port. In an opinion piece in USA Today, Kennedy praises his late cousin for her openness about her struggles with mental health. While in Congress, Kennedy was lead sponsor of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008.

Newport Pell Bridge Rehab Begins Today

Phase two of the Newport Pell Bridge rehabilitation project starts today. The Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority says forty-five hundred feet of bridge deck will be replaced. Travel speed will be reduced to 25 miles-per-hour and shifting traffic patterns will be used in an effort to reduce delays during the morning and afternoon commuting hours. Only one lane in each direction will be open during non-rush hours.

RI Back In Little League World Series

Rhode Island is back in the Little League World Series. The team from Barrington beat the boys from Goffstown, New Hampshire in the New England Regional final on Saturday, 6-to-4 to punch their ticket to Williamsport. This is the fifth time in six years RI has made it. Barrington plays the team from Virginia in its series opener on Thursday.

Blue-Green Algae In Several Roger Williams Park Lakes, Elsewhere

State agencies are putting out notice to avoid seven bodies of water for blue-green algae problems. Three of them are in Roger Williams Park in Providence: Pleasure Lake, Roosevelt Lake, and Elm Lake. Elsewhere: Almy Pond in Newport, Sisson Pond in Portsmouth, JL Curran Reservoir in Cranston, and the Mashapaug Pond in Providence. All recreation activities, including fishing, are being discouraged.

Oldest Black Church In State Celebrates 200 Years

Rhode Island's oldest black church is celebrating a milestone. The Congdon Street Baptist Church in Providence marked two-hundred years of existence with its service on Sunday. The original church was started at the nearby African Union Meeting House.

Prov. School Zone Speed Cameras Firing Up Sept. 3rd

School is starting soon, so here's a reminder that the city of Providence is going to be activating its school-zone speed cameras. The city has fifteen cameras that will be active starting September 3rd, including six new locations for schools on Broad, Cranston and Dexter streets, and Branch, Douglas and Academy avenues. Automatic violations will be issued for vehicles going eleven miles an hour or more over the speed limit.

Woman On Sailboat Dies After Reported Collision With Powerboat

One person is dead after a pair of boats collided in Narragansett Bay near the Newport Pell Bridge on Sunday. The Coast Guard says a sailing vessel and a power boat ran into each other at around 2:45 p.m. A woman who was involved in a sailing regatta was reportedly knocked into the water and was unconscious when she was pulled out by the Newport harbormaster on the Jamestown side of the bridge. It has been determined at this point that alcohol was not a factor in the crash.

RI State Police Major Drugs/Weapons Bust

Rhode Island State Police say 21 people are facing charges as the result of Operation Heat. Using 45 search warrants of vehicles, residences and electronic devices, authorities seized guns, more than a dozen vehicles, drugs including cocaine, heroin and fentanyl and over 48-thousand-dollars in cash. The investigation is ongoing and more arrests are expected.

NOAA Increases Odds of Hurricanes To Above-Average For Season

NOAA is increasing the number of hurricanes and tropical storms it expects this season in the Atlantic Ocean. The new forecast shows there will be 10-to-17 named storms, five-to-nine hurricanes, and up to four major hurricanes this season. These numbers include the two named storms that have already occurred, Andrea and Barry. The increase is based on rising numbers from the end of El Nino conditions in the Pacific.

Scituate Police Chief Back On Duty

The chief of police in Scituate is back on the job, according to town officials. No further comment was provided. According to the town, Donald Dalaere  was placed on leave on July 21st, the night after an emergency meeting was called, but then canceled. Delaere claimed he was getting operational interference from Scituate Town Council President James Brady, an allegation Brady has denied.

Gov. Signs Order To Create Justice Working Group

Governor Gina Raimondo is signing an executive order creating a juvenile justice and criminal justice working group. Raimondo says she'd like to see the state address barriers to re-entry, particularly around employment, and evaluate ways to better support justice-involved youth. The governor wants the working group to issue a report by the end of the year that includes, among other things, any policy, administrative and-or legislative changes to improve the state's criminal justice system.

Legislators Gather Again For DCYF Matters

 Another state legislative hearing following the death of a child this year. The House Committee on Oversight met on Thursday to review recommendations from the Child Fatality Review Panel, issued after nine-year-old Zha-Nae Rothgeb died at the home of her adoptive mother in Warwick in January.

Report Highlights Election Security Concerns Over RI Voting Machines

Rhode Island election officials are considering possible alternatives for transmitting election results after a new report about election security. The election systems in a number of states, including RI, have been found to have been logged on to the internet, which potentially exposes them to cyber-attacks, according to an investigation from 

RI Delegation Joins Call For Senate Action

Rhode Island Congressmen David Cicilline and Jim Langevin are joining the call for the Senate to return from its August break. They want passage of two House-passed bills for background checks. They say that since passage of the bills many people have died in mass shootings. In a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House members say background checks save lives and the Senate's inaction must stop.

State Takeover Of Providence Schools Moving Forward

The state takeover of the troubled Providence public school system is moving forward. State Education Commissioner Angelica Infante-Green's initial order was delivered today to Mayor Jorge Elorza, and other city and school officials. The takeover comes after release of a scathing independent report that declared students are not being adequately prepared academically or socially. 

Interim Superintendent: School Buildings Will Be Ready

Interim Providence School Superintendent Frances Gallo says all the school buildings will be clean and safe for the September 3rd start of classes.  She made the prediction under questioning by the City Council at a special meeting regarding the condition of the buildings. There have been concerns raised since a report released in June detailed poor conditions inside some schools.

State Rep Unhappy With RIDOT

North Smithfield State Representative Brian Newberry says a delay in repaving Route 146 is unacceptable. The Department of Transportation recently announced it will delay the project which was originally scheduled for 2022 to 2024 in order to evaluate paving conditions and funding availability. The decision comes after last year's request from twenty northern Rhode Island legislators that repaving be moved up from 2022 to an earlier date.

Water Wizz Of Westerly Saying Goodbye

 A Westerly water slide park is closing after the current season. Water Wizz in Misquamicut has been in business for 40 years. The water park says an aging infrastructure, the ever-increasing cost of operating a small, seasonable business, and ongoing recovery from Superstorm Sandy have all factored into the decision to close.

Suspect At Taylor Swift's House Won't Be Charged

The Rhode Island Attorney General's Office is not pursuing charges against a man who apparently had plans to meet up with Taylor Swift. David Page Liddle of Des Moines, Iowa was arrested last month after police said he was in possession of burglary tools and had been loitering around Swift's Westerly house. Swift's security detail previously indicated Liddle was on their watch list. The A.G.'s office says the decision to not pursue charges was based on a lack of evidence.

Official Impact Of Stop & Shop Strike Announced

The parent company of Stop and Shop is releasing official numbers pertaining to the financial hit it took during this year's employee strike. The eleven-day strike in April impacted stores across Southern New England. It cost the Netherlands-based Ahold Delhaize about 345-million dollars in U.S. sales, translating into a virtually-flat second quarter, the company announced yesterday. The CEO and president of Ahold Delhaize says no significant impact from the strike is expected for the second half of 2019.

DCYF Announces Added Positions

The state Department of Children, Youth and Families is hiring almost two-dozen additional workers, including 17 social case workers. The DCYF says the hires are in line with recent recommendations made by the Child Advocate in a report that was issued after a Warwick child died earlier this year. The new hires will cost the state about two-million dollars in the 2020 fiscal year.

Non-Binary Gender Option Coming To Key Documents

 A non-binary gender option is being added to Rhode Island driver's licenses and birth certificates. Governor Gina Raimondo said on Wednesday that she is directing state agencies to add an "X" option to male and female. Raimondo said her administration has heard about this from the transgender and LGBTQ community and said it's an issue of treating everyone equally. She expects the change to be implemented within a year.

Dates Set For Prov. City Council Seat Special Election

Information is out about a special election for a Providence City Council seat. Longtime Ward 10 councilman Luis Aponte resigned from the seat last week. The Rhode Island Board of Elections says the special election is set for Tuesday, November 5th, with a primary on Tuesday, October 8th. Council hopefuls must declare their candidacy on August 29th and 30th.

Readiness Of Prov. School Buildings Is Current Focus

 After a recent report highlighted the poor condition of Providence public schools, the physical state of the facilities was discussed on Wednesday. Interim school superintendent Frances Gallo told the Prov City Council that all of the buildings will be ready for the first day of classes on September 3rd. About 20-million dollars has been invested this summer for school repairs, according to a city official.

Pops Concert Postponed Due To Weather

Last night's seven p.m. Pops concert by the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra at Roger Williams Park was postponed. The decision was made due to the possibility of strong or severe thunderstorms. The free concert has been rescheduled for tonight.

All RI Beaches Currently Open To Swimmers

With the reopening of Roy Carpenter's Beach in South Kingstown for swimming, all beaches in Rhode Island are currently open. The state Department of Health monitors bacteria levels in the water. The status of beaches is updated at 401-222-2751 and online at

Political Newcomer Declares Victory In Woonsocket

Political newcomer Alexander Kithes is the winner of a special election for a vacant seat on the Woonsocket City Council. Unofficial results showed Kithes with a four-percent edge over form city councilor Roger Jalette. A small number of provisional ballots were to be counted yesterday.

Newport School Computers Targeted In Malware Attack

Experts are working to eliminate a suspected malware attack on the Newport School Department's computer network. The city manager says it appears the problem is isolated to the school department network and city operations have not been affected. Joseph Nicholson also says it's not believed that any sensitive student or financial information has been compromised.

Food Stamp Waivers Will Expire For 13 More RI Communities

The Rhode Island Department of Human Services is putting out a notice about food stamp availability. The department says starting on September 1st, there will be 13 additional communities that lose a waiver that allows recipients to receive benefits indefinitely. Able-bodied adults without dependents may be subject to a three-month time limit, according to the department. Those places include   Middletown, Portsmouth and Tiverton.

No Beaches Currently Closed For Swimming

All Rhode Island beaches are back open for swimming. The state Department of Health has recommended re-opening Roy Carpenter's Beach in South Kingstown after bacteria counts returned to safe levels. That beach had been closed since Friday.

Woonsocket City Council Seat Filled In Election

Alexander Kithes is the winner of a special election for a vacant Woonsocket City Council seat. Unofficial results Tuesday night had Kithes narrowly beating former councilor Roger Jalette. The election was for the seat of Julia Brown, who stepped down in May.

Woman Charged After Dog Dies From Being Left In Car

A Portsmouth woman is charged with unnecessary cruelty to animals for the death of a family dog that was left in a car. Police say Emily Foley, her children and the golden retriever came home from errands on Monday, but the dog didn't go in the house with them, and was reportedly left in the vehicle for several hours. Foley has been arraigned in Newport District Court.

Missing Girl Recovered In Warwick, Man Faces Charges

A missing girl from Michigan is safe after she was recovered in Warwick. The Warwick Police Department says it got a call for help yesterday from the Allegan County Sheriff's office in the western part of Lower Peninsula Michigan about a missing 15-year-old who was subsequently located in Warwick. Forty-three-year-old Charles Morancey of Warwick was arrested on charges of sexual assault. Media reports out of Michigan indicated the girl may have been in the custody of a man she met online.

Barrington Little League Team Wins Regional Opener

Barrington's Little League team is a winner in its first game in the New England regional. Barrington beat the Connecticut Valley North team from Bradley, Vermont on Monday, 6-to-4. Barrington would be the fifth team from the Ocean State in the last six years to reach the Little League World Series in Williamsport if they can win the regional tournament.

New Assistant U.S. Attorney Named

 A veteran state prosecutor is joining the U.S. Attorney's office in Providence. Stacey Veroni has been appointed and sworn in as an Assistant U.S. Attorney. Veroni was most-recently a Senior Trial Attorney with the Rhode Island Attorney General's office and began her career as a state prosecutor in 1992.

S. Kingstown Beach Is Only Current Beach Closure

There is currently one no-swimming order from the Rhode Island Department of Health. It is Roy Carpenter Beach in South Kingstown. The health department on Monday lifted swim bans at the Kent County YMCA Upper and Lower Ponds, which had been closed since last Thursday.

Coast Guard Suspends Search Near Block Island

Monday evening, the Coast Guard said it was suspending an active search near Block Island. Earlier in the day, crews were searching for a possible missing person after locating an unmanned paddle board and life jacket. The search was suspended because of new information, according to the Coast Guard.

Raimondo Talking About IGT Contract Extension

Governor Gina Raimondo is continuing to push a proposed state lottery contract extension for gaming giant IGT. Raimondo said to reporters yesterday that the president of IGT told her the contract extension would be necessary to keep the company's North American headquarters in Rhode Island, and about one-thousand jobs that come with it. 

Slater Park Carousel Reopens Next Month

The carousel at Slater Park in Pawtucket is scheduled to reopen next month. The 124-year-old attraction has been closed for repairs since March.  City officials say work should be completed in time for Pawtucket's 21st Art's Fest.

Latest Test Results Negative For Triple E/WNV

The latest test results for both West Nile Virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis are negative in Rhode Island. Nevertheless, experts advise taking common sense precautions to avoid mosquito bites. The risk from both viruses is elevated in several nearby southeastern Massachusetts communities.

Flags In RI Lowered To Half-Staff

U.S. and Rhode Island flags on all state government buildings are at half-staff. They will fly lower until sunset on Thursday in honor of the victims of the mass shootings in Texas and Ohio over the weekend. Governor Gina Raimondo says she is heartbroken by the loss of lives. The governor says it's long past time to take action against gun violence.

Cicilline: Congress Should Cancel August Recess

In the aftermath of the mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, over the weekend, Congressman David Cicilline says Congress should cancel its August recess. He says it's a time that demands not words but actions. The Rhode Island Democrat says the House has sent two gun violence bills to the Senate where Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has refused to allow a vote. Cicilline wants the Senate to take up those bills and he says the House must consider additional measures such as a ban on assault weapons.

Langevin: Congress Must Act On Gun Violence

Congressman Jim Langevin says with two mass shootings over the weekend and three in one week, Congress can no longer sit idly by. The Rhode Island Democrat says no words can describe the pain and suffering caused by the senseless shootings that ravage communities across the country. Langevin says Congress should reconvene immediately to address the gun violence epidemic.

U.S. Senate Passes Bill Renaming Post Office

The effort to rename a post office in Rhode Island in honor of a 19th-century abolitionist and suffrage leader is moving forward. The U.S. Senate has passed a bill to name the post office on Dexter Street in Central Falls after Elizabeth Buffum Chase. The bill awaits a House vote.

Hair-Braiding Law Signed

A new law affecting natural hair braiders in Rhode Island is being signed. They are now exempt from having to become licensed hairdressers and cosmeticians. Governor Gina Raimondo signed the law on Friday. The bill's sponsors said forcing braiders to meet the same requirements as cosmetologists is a clear injustice, noting that hairdressing and barbering requires licensing due to the use of chemicals and sharp instruments.

S. Kingstown Police Issued Guidance After Trespassing Arrest

South Kingstown police officers are being given new guidance as part of the longstanding issue of access to the shoreline and the rights of property owners. This comes after a Charlestown resident was arrested earlier this year for trespassing while collecting seaweed on a beach in front of private property.

Nicholas Cardi Jr. Of Cardi's Furniture Dies

One of the Cardi brothers of Southern New England's Cardi's Furniture has died. Nicholas Cardi Jr. passed away on Friday after a battle with cancer at the age of 71. The three Cardi brothers - Nick, Ron and Pete - have been the faces of the furniture store's advertising campaign for years. The original Cardi's opened as a general store in Cranston in 1928.

Sea Plane Flips On Landing Attempt In Charlestown, No Injuries

No injuries are being reported after a small plane wrecked in South County on Saturday. The small sea plane flipped after the pilot, identified as Bryan Hassett, attempted to land on Watchaug Pond in Charlestown. The state Department of Environmental Management says Hassett didn't raise the retractable wheels on the plane after taking off in Westerly, which led to the crash.

RI Congressmen Call For Action After Mass Shootings

Rhode Island's Congressional delegation is reacting to the two mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio this weekend. Congressmen David Cicilline and Jim Langevin and Senator Jack Reed are among those calling for the cancellation of this month's Congressional recess so that the issue of gun violence can be addressed. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse said the shootings have become a grim routine of America at the hands of the NRA and the firearms industry.

URI Professor Looking For Amelia Earhart's Airplane

 A University of Rhode Island professor is off to find Amelia Earhart's airplane. Oceanography professor Robert Ballard and his team are traveling on a research vessel to Nikumaroro Island in the Pacific Ocean, where it is believed Earhart may have crashed in 1937 when she tried to fly around the world. Ballard says if his team finds the wreck, and with the permission from the Republic of Kiribati, it plans to raise portions of the plane, including its engines, for conservation and preservation. National Geographic is involved in the trip.

Firefighters Hospitalized After Responding To Home Where Insecticide Was Sprayed

Five firefighters were hospitalized after responding to a house in East Providence on Thursday. Officials say a woman sprayed a large amount of pesticide indoors which caused everyone to have breathing problems. The woman was also taken to the hospital. Everyone is expected to be OK.

Providence Police Department Looking Into Alleged Incident Involving Officer

A Providence police officer is facing charges of simple assault and disorderly conduct. Francisco Guerra of Providence is in trouble for an alleged incident in the city on June 8th. One other person is also facing charges for the same incident. An internal investigation is taking place, and in the meantime, Guerra is on administrative duty with pay.

Sex Extortion Charges Dropped Against Former State Senator

Charges are being dropped against a former state senator accused of sex extortion. Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Neronha says his office is dropping the case against Nicholas Kettle because of new evidence: specifically, communications between Kettle and the complainant, who apparently wasn't willing to testify.

Another Traffic Pattern Change On I-95

The next step in a series of traffic pattern changes on I-95 in Providence is planned for this weekend. The state Department of Transportation says the current split lane pattern between exit 18 at Thurbers Avenue and the I-195 interchange will shift slightly. The periodic lane changes are necessary as the Oxford Street rehabilitation project continues. Drivers are advised to plan for extra travel time, especially during the peak morning and afternoon rush hours.

Day One For Prov. Interim School Superintendent

The new interim school superintendent in Providence is on the job. Frances Gallo was appointed Wednesday night by the school board and she spent time yesterday touring some of the city's schools. Her appointment is for 90-days. State Education Commissioner Angelica Infante-Green is expected to appoint her own superintendent when the state takes control of the Providence school district this fall.

Warwick Police Issue A Scam Alert

Warwick police are warning about scam phone calls. The scammers identify themselves as a Warwick police officer using the names and ranks of actual members of the department. The call recipients are told there is a warrant for their arrest and they are instructed to get a prepaid credit card or a cashiers check to settle the warrant. Anyone getting such a call is urged to notify Warwick police immediately.

Buddy Cianci Portraits That Were In Hotel Being Sold Off

For sale: portraits of former Providence mayor Buddy Cianci. The portraits of Cianci hung in the rooms of the Graduate Hotel, formerly known as The Biltmore, before they were recently taken down. The Cianci Foundation received them and is now selling them to support scholarships.

Providence Schools Interim Superintendent Appointed

The Providence School Board appointed Dr. Frances Gallo as interim superintendent on Wednesday night. Gallo, the former Central Falls superintendent, came out of retirement to take the Providence job. State education commissioner Angelica Infante-Green has stated her intention to install her own superintendent later this year as the state takes over the struggling school district.

State Brings In About 2-Million In Sports-Betting Revenue

The month of June was a big rebound for Rhode Island's legal sports-betting operation. The state scored about two-million dollars last month against over 14-and-a-half-million dollars in wagers, earning seven-figure revenue for the first time since betting began. The grand revenue total for the 2018-2019 fiscal year is about seven-million dollars, well below the original estimate from the governor's administration of 23-and-a-half million.

Car Recovered From The Water In Barrington

No injuries are reported after a car rolled into the water at 100 Acre Cove in Barrington this morning. The BMW rolled into the water at the Walker Farm boat ramp. The tow truck operator who pulled the car out says the driver put the vehicle in neutral instead of park and got out.

Part Of Scarborough Beach Reopens For Swimming

The north side of Scarborough Beach is now reopened for swimming. However, Scarborough Beach South remains closed due to high levels of bacteria in the water. The state Department of Health says the south side of the beach will be cleared for swimming once bacteria levels are back within the acceptable range.

City Councilor Wants Moratorium On E-Bike/E-Scooters

Providence City Councilor Michael Correia wants a moratorium on e-bikes and e-scooters in his Ward 6 until there's a community meeting. He says they are a nuisance to pedestrians and an eyesore for residents. Correia says he's received numerous complaints about bikes being left all over the neighborhood. He wants a community meeting in September with representatives from JUMP, Bird and Lime, the companies that own the bikes and scooters.


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