1540 WADK.com Updates Archives for 2019-09

Patriots Get By Bills

The Patriots' defense had four interceptions and five sacks in a 16-10 win at Buffalo. Tom Brady threw for just 150 yards with an interception and no TD's, but the Pats still improved to 4-and-0. New England visits winless Washington this Sunday.

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Prof. Pens Controversial Chapter About Tom Brady

 A University of Rhode Island professor's writings about New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady are getting attention. In a chapter of a newly-published book called The Palgrave Handbook of Masculinity and Sport, URI professor Kyle Kusz says Brady has gained popularity due to the latest wave of white rage and white supremacy since the Obama presidency. Kusz compared an Under Armour advertisement done by Brady to a Nazi propaganda film. The University released a statement in response to the media attention the chapter has gotten, saying the university is bound by the First Amendment.

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Lawsuit Filed By Man Arrested While Collecting Seaweed

The individual who was arrested for trespassing on a beach in South Kingstown earlier this year is filing a lawsuit. Scott Keely's suit, filed in federal court last week, alleges that the town and the police officer, David Marler, violated his rights in the state and federal constitution when he was arrested for collecting seaweed in June. The charge against Keeley was dropped, an apology was issued and the police department made a policy change after the arrest. Keeley says his goal is to initiate change across the state and expand shoreline access.

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Pawt. Extends Warning Period For Speed Cameras

The city of Pawtucket is extending the warning time frame for its new speed camera program. Drivers will now receive warnings up until October 28th. The city says thousands of motorists have been caught violating the speed limit after the cameras became active last month.

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Probe Expected After Incident At Wyatt Center

It's expected that a grand jury is going to investigate the incident involving protesters at the Wyatt Detention Center and an employee of the facility in August. An attorney for former Wyatt officer Thomas Woodworth says he believes a grand jury probe will take place this week. Woodworth was driving a pickup truck that was seen on video driving through a group protesting Wyatt's housing of immigrant detainees. At least one protester was reportedly seriously injured.

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Patriots On The Road To Take On Bills

 A pair of unbeaten division rivals battle on Sunday when the Patriots go to Buffalo to take on the Bills. Kickoff at New Era Field in Orchard Park is at 1 p.m. Both teams are 3-and-0. This the 119th game played between the Pats and Bills.

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Newport City Council Passes First Reading Of Business Development Moratorium

Business development in the north end of Newport is being halted. The Newport City Council voted on Wednesday to impose a moratorium for an area highlighted in the city's comprehensive plan that was adopted a couple of years ago. An attorney for the Carpionato Group argued the moratorium is aimed at that developer, as it is proposing to construct two hotels and other buildings on the Newport Grand site. A second vote will be required for the moratorium to pass next month.

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Vaping Shops Worried About State Order

Rhode Island vape shops are considering an uncertain future after action taken by Governor Gina Raimondo to ban flavored vape products. The owner of White Horse Vapor in North Providence says that at least 90 percent of sales come from flavored products and that the ban is a doomsday scenario. Right now, however, stores say business is booming as users stock up because, unlike in Massachusetts, the ban doesn't start right away.

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Plastic Bags In Prov. To Be Thing In The Past

In less than a month, plastic bags will no longer be available at store check-out counters in Providence. The single-use bags will be banned beginning October 22nd. The ban was approved by the city council on Earth Day in April and signed into law May 1st.

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HS Student Group Promoting Opioid Prevention

Barrington High School is joining the effort to raise awareness about the opioid crisis. Members of the school's Hope Club are spreading the word today about an app designed by FEND. The "Full Energy, No Drugs" opioid prevention campaign is now being helped by the new app which lets students earn gift cards and concert tickets for learning how to save lives. The FEND app is available at the Apple Store and Google Play.

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Organic Farming Incubator Gutted By Fire

Organic farming business burned to the ground in North Kingstown. Firefighters were called to the Rhode Island Farm Incubator on Exeter Road shortly after midnight Wednesday where they found the building in flames. The incubator runs an education program in organic farming. A firefighter was treated for minor injuries and the cause remains under investigation.

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Mayor Correia Says He's Staying Put

The mayor of Fall River denies he's resigning. Jasiel Correia told reporters Thursday it's a rumor that he's planning to step down. The speculation that he will resign has been following the mayor in recent weeks. He's facing 24 federal charges and the city council voted 8-to-1 earlier this month to temporarily remove him from office while his legal issues were litigated.

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Boscov's Dept. Store To Open At Prov. Place Mall

Boscov's, America's largest family-owned department store, is preparing for it's a grand opening at Providence Place mall this weekend. It was first reported nearly a year ago that Boscov's would be moving into the former site of Nordstrom, which shuttered its doors back in January. CEO and Chairman Jim Boscov said his company was invited to visit the location after Nordstrom announced it was closing since Boscov's is one of the few companies of its kind experiencing growth. The Providence Place Mall location will be the chain's 48th store.

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N. Providence Safety Complex Officially Online

North Providence's new Safety Complex is officially up and running. The new building is not only home to both the police and fire department but also has a municipal courthouse. It's located just half of a mile east of the old location on Mineral spring avenue. The building had a 27-million-dollar price tag that was funded thanks to a settlement with Google over misleading online advertising.

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Warwick Dog Park Re-Opening

Warwick's dog park is set to re-open today. Officials closed the park a couple of weeks ago because of an animal contracting parvovirus, which can be fatal. The city says dogs must be fully vaccinated to use the park.

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More Approval For Proposed Prov. Skyscraper

Downtown Providence is one step closer to getting a new skyscraper. The I-195 Redevelopment District Commission on Wednesday night approved the final design for the 46-story proposed Hope Point Tower. Opponents of the building have said it's too tall for its location and that Providence needs more affordable housing, not the luxury residences that will be featured with this building. Developer Jason Fane says the next step in the process is to get design approval from the State Historic Preservation offices.

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Gov. Raimondo Signs Order Banning Flavored E-Cigarettes

Governor Gina Raimondo signed an executive order on Wednesday banning sales of flavored e-cigarettes in Rhode Island. Raimondo cited the growing public health crisis of e-cigarette use, echoing the words of Governor Charlie Baker one day after he enacted a temporary ban on all vaping products in Massachusetts. The order allows non-flavored e-cigs to stay on the shelves, according to Raimondo, who is directing the Department of Health to establish emergency regulations. The state health department has not reported any vaping-related illnesses in Rhode Island.

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Providence Place Bed Bath & Beyond Is Closing

The lease for Bed Bath & Beyond at the Providence Place Mall is expiring and the store is closing. The Providence Business News says the store is having a clearance event but no closing date was given. Neither the store or mall officials had a comment. Bed Bath & Beyond was one of the first tenants in the mall which opened in 1999.

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Fall River Council Taking Mayor's Ouster To Court

City council members in Fall River will have to wait until October 1st before a judge hears its request to remove Mayor Jasiel Correia from office. The council filed their motion in Bristol Superior Court following an 8-to-1 vote earlier this month to remove the mayor because of federal indictments he is facing. Correia has not acknowledged that vote and refuses to step down. That prompted the council's move to take the issue to court.

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Brown Alumna Reaches Outer Space

NASA Astronaut Jessica Meir is the first Brown University alumna to travel to outer space. Meir is part of a special mission to the International Space Station. She will also serve on the International Space Station for Expedition 61 and 62 before returning to earth in spring 2020. Meir graduated from Brown with a bachelors degree in Biology before going on to earn her Masters in Space Studies from the International Space University and her Doctorate in Marine Biology from Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

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RI Receives Grant To Prevent Drownings

 Rhode Island is receiving a grant from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission in hopes of helping to prevent pool and spa drownings. The money will be applied towards education, training, and enforcement of pool safety rules at both the state and local levels. It comes as drownings are the leading cause of accidental deaths among pre-school aged children. Florida, Virginia, Columbus and Las Vegas also are receiving funding.

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Kenny Chesney Performing At Gillette Stadium Next Year

Kenny Chesney is bringing his "Chillaxification" tour to Gillette Stadium in 2020. This will be the country music star's 20th show at Gillette. Supporting acts for Chesney will include Florida Georgia Line when the show happens on August 28th of next year. Tickets go on sale on October 4th.

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ACLU Resolves Tax Issue Affecting Certain Authors

The ACLU of Rhode Island says it has resolved a lawsuit over alleged state discrimination against non-fiction authors. The civil rights group challenged on First Amendment grounds the state Division of Taxation's position that a specific sales tax exemption for authors applied only to works of fiction because non-fiction was not considered creative and original. The ACLU says the affected authors who now apply for exemptions have had them granted.

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Family Dollar Resolves ADA Complaint

Family Dollar Stores of Rhode Island are addressing Americans with Disabilities Act compliance issues. The U.S. Justice Department says the company has agreed to address the issues inside and outside of all 29 stores located in the state and bring them up to code, plus pay a civil penalty. A federal investigation showed insufficient access to parking spaces, front entrances, and store aisles.

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Raimondo Testifies In Favor Of IGT Extension

Governor Raimondo testified in front of the House Finance Committee on Tuesday to urge lawmakers to extend a contract with state lottery runner IGT. Raimondo, who helped negotiate the 20-year, billion-dollar extension, told the committee the state is at risk of losing a thousand high-paying jobs if approval isn't given because IGT will move its headquarters. Some state representatives questioned the length and price of the deal. Additional legislative hearings are scheduled in the coming weeks.

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RI Gov. To Make Vaping Announcement

Rhode Island could be banning sales on vape products after neighboring Massachusetts took that action on Tuesday. Mass Governor Charlie Baker declared a public health emergency in that state yesterday and announced a temporary, four-month ban on the sale of all products. Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo told reporters yesterday she'll be making a special announcement regarding vaping sales today, and that she will take as much action as legally possible, echoing Baker's comments about vaping being a public health crisis.

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FABRIC Arts Festival Opens Today

The FABRIC Arts Festival is opening in Fall River today. Several downtown venues are hosting events through Saturday including Purchase Street, the Carousel at Battleship Cove and the Eagle Event Center. The festival will feature outdoor murals, music, films, and open artist studios.

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Fed Reserve Chair To Speak At Chamber's Meeting

Federal Reserve Board Chairman Jerome Powell will be visiting Rhode Island to deliver a speech to the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce. The chamber's annual meeting is Monday, November 25th. Senator Jack Reed said Powell is working to support the economy at a critical time and he's thrilled Rhode Islanders will hear directly from the chairman in person.

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Vacant School Could Provide Classroom Space During Renovations

Schools in Providence are set to undergo a number of desperately-needed renovations, and a vacant elementary school north of the city could temporarily house classes. North Providence Mayor Charles Lombardi says he received a call on Monday about potentially leasing out the former Marieville Elementary School site. It comes as Providence schools work towards its new ambitious school plan for renovations. Current conditions of Providence schools were the central component of a recent negative review by Johns Hopkins University.

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Chariho Regional School District Considers Consolidation

The Chariho Regional School District is considering consolidating. The school committee discussed it at its meeting yesterday, where a subcommittee was formed to explore the elimination of at least one of the four elementary schools in the district. Under the state's Department of Education, funding is being made available through its "new and fewer" initiative, which is a push for consolidation.

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E. Greenwich Considering Changes To Noise Ordinance

The East Greenwich Town Council is considering potential changes to the town's noise ordinance. It comes after a number of complaints from residents about the noise levels coming from the waterfront restaurants and bars. Some of the proposed changes include lowing the acceptable decibel levels and updates to the violations and penalties.

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East Providence Fire Chief Retires

East Providence Fire Chief, Oscar Elmasian, has officially retired. The city said Tuesday morning that Elmasian officially turned in his badge on September 16th. Elmasian was appointed as acting fire chief in 2012 by then-City manager Peter Graczykowski, and was later named the official fire chief in September 2013. He spent 33 years with the department prior to his retirement. Glenn Quick has been appointed as the city's acting fire chief while a search is conducted for Elmasian's replacement.

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R.I. Gas Prices Increase 2 Cents

The average price of self-serve, regular unleaded gasoline in Rhode Island increased 2 cents to $2.51 per gallon, 15 cents below the national average of $2.66 per gallon, according to AAA Northeast Monday. Prices were 31 cents lower than prices at this time last year. Prices ranged 34 cents, from $2.38 to $2.72 per gallon. 

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Retired Superior Court Justice John Orton Dies

 A retired Rhode Island Superior Court justice has died. John E. Orton the Third passed away on Friday in Narragansett. Orton presided over some high-profile cases in the 1980s. One was Rhode Island Housing and Mortgage Finance Corporation director Ralph Pari admitting to improper use of agency funds, and another was state Turnpike and Bridge Authority head James Canning being convicted of filing false expense vouchers and obtaining money through false pretenses.

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Lincoln Man Accused Of Wage Theft

 A Lincoln man is facing wage theft charges after a joint investigation from the state attorney general, state police and labor department. David Pelino allegedly failed to pay over seven-thousand dollars in wages to four former employees of his Warwick construction business, Bright Sky Solar. Attorney General Peter Neronha says he is committed to changing wage theft practices that have been allowed to exist in the state for too long.

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State Police Plans To Close Barracks, Open Substations

The Rhode Island State Police is planning to add new substations and close some barracks. Superintendent Colonel James Manni says the substations will be in Exeter, one at the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority in Jamestown, and one in Bristol at the mouth of the Mount Hope Bridge. Along with that, Manni says the plan is to close the Hope Valley barracks in Richmond and the Wickford barracks in North Kingstown, keep the closed Portsmouth barracks closed, and condense operations.

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Bristol Announces New Police Chief

The town of Bristol has a new police chief. The town administrator announced yesterday former Cranston Police Commander Kevin Lynch will take over the reins of the department with a date for a formal swearing-in ceremony to be announced. Lynch retired from the Cranston Police Department in 2009 and has been the interim administrator for the Rhode Island Division of Public Utilities.

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Fall River Mayor Facing Additional Federal Charges

Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia is pleading not guilty to federal extortion charges. Correia was due back in court October 2nd for arraignment, but waved his appearance today and requested his not guilty plea be entered on his behalf. In addition to prior fraud charges regarding his smartphone app company, Correia is now accused of extorting marijuana companies looking to open a business in Fall River.

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RI At Top Of Rankings For Women, Children's Health

Rhode Island is the top state in the nation in this year's Health of Women and Children ranking. The annual report by the United Health Foundation looks at things such as infant mortality rates, prenatal care, and substance abuse numbers. Rhode Island was praised for the small numbers of uninsured women, the high rates of women who receive prenatal care and low rates of infant mortality. However, the study did say Rhode Island could improve by reducing the high cost of child care in the state.

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Woman To Bike Around RI For Recycling Awareness

Rhode Island resident Maggie Sheerin will be biking around the state in hopes of raising awareness about recycling. Starting yesterday, Sheerin is participating in a week-long ride around the state, stopping in all 39 municipalities and logging more than 350 miles. In 2016, Rhode Island became the first state to begin using bin labeling from Recycle Across America to help people figure out how to properly sort what is recyclable.

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State To Conduct Aerial Spraying For EEE

Areas of Rhode Island that are still are a critical risk for Eastern Equine Encephalitis will receive more aerial spraying this week. The Rhode Island Department of Health said there were several factors that went into determining the treatment areas, such as information about new cases, places where mosquito samples tested positive for EEE and environments where mosquitoes breed. Officials say while spraying is important in fighting EEE, residents are encouraged to stay inside around sunrise and sunset when mosquitoes are most active.

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Patriots Defeat Jets To Go To 3-0

The New England Patriots are still undefeated to start the 2019 NFL season. The Pats beat the New York Jets at home on Sunday, 30-to-14 to move to three wins and zero losses. Next up is the Buffalo Bills at Buffalo.

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Grant Money For Rhode Island Fire Departments

Rhode Island's Congressional delegation announced over four-million dollars in grants for fire departments in the state on Friday. The Warwick Fire Department nets just over a million dollars for new equipment and training, while East Providence was granted about 800-thousand dollars for new communications equipment. Fire departments in Warwick, East Providence, Woonsocket, Middletown, Chepachet, Little Compton, Coventry, North Scituate, and Lincoln also received grant money.

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Chairman Nominated For Wyatt Board

Providence City Treasurer James Lombardi is being picked as chairman for the Wyatt Detention Facility board. Central Falls Mayor James Diossa made the nomination in a letter to the Central Falls City Council last week. The Central Falls Detention Facility Corporation has faced protests at recent meetings over Wyatt's housing of immigrant detainees. The council is set to vote on the nomination tonight.

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Patriots Play The Jets On Sunday

The Patriots are looking for a three-win-and no-loss start to the 2019 NFL season this weekend with a home game versus the New York Jets. Kickoff from Gillette Stadium is at 1 p.m. Sunday. The Pats have won their first two games by a lopsided combined score of 76-to-3.

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Scooter Shuffle In Providence

The rentable scooter lineup is changing in Providence. Lime and Bird scooters have both pulled their fleets. Bird pulled its scooters because its permit was not renewed, while Lime says it wasn't issued permits for a high-enough number of the mobility units. Providence officials say the city has already offered new permits to two other scooter companies: Spin and VeoRide, and that the number of permits is being increased.

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Another Round Of Mosquito Spraying Announced

The state of Rhode Island is announcing another round of aerial spraying targeting mosquitoes to battle the triple-E virus. This comes as two more human EEE cases have been identified. Weather-permitting, the spraying could begin Monday night in the West Warwick area and the southwest part of the state. The state says no adverse health risks are expected with the pesticide that is being used for mosquito control, and that spraying will not occur in certain protected areas.

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First IGT Contract Extension Hearing Held

Hearings are underway in the Rhode Island General Assembly over a proposed contract extension for state lottery runner IGT. Rhode Island Department of Revenue officials urged the Senate Finance Committee last night to keep IGT, which the state wants to offer a twenty-year, one-billion-dollar, no-bid contract. State casinos operator Twin River wants consideration of its new proposal with rival lottery operator Camelot, which it says costs half-a-billion dollars less and is only for twelve years.

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Replica Of Vietnam Veterans Memorial In Newport

The Moving Wall, a replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., is in Newport. It's on display in Touro Park from now through the weekend. Last night there was a candlelight vigil held including a remembrance ceremony for the more than two-hundred Rhode Islanders who died in Vietnam.

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RIPTA Holding Proposed Fare Structure Hearings

The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority is embarking on a series of public hearings on a proposed new fare structure. The smart fare system using re-loadable cards is expected to begin next year. The Wave Card app will cost five-dollars to activate and the base fare will remain unchanged at two-dollars. There's a hearing tonight at six o'clock at the Barrington Public Library with other hearings scheduled around the state through October 3rd.

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Slight Increase In RI's Unemployment Rate

Rhode Island's August unemployment rate is up one-tenth of a percent from July. The state Department of Labor and Training says last month's jobless number is three-point-six percent. The national unemployment for August is three-point-seven percent.

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Boscov's Opening At Prov. Place Next Week

Regional department store chain Boscov's is opening its first location in Rhode Island next week. The Providence Place mall says the grand opening is next Saturday, September 28th. Boscov's is opening up in the mall space previously occupied by Nordstrom. A charity event to benefit Rhode Island non-profits and a sneak-peak for shoppers are planned ahead of the grand opening.

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Ex-Cumberland Fire Chief Placed On Leave Received Severance

New details are being reported about ex-Cumberland Fire Chief Kenneth Finlay leaving the job. A published story indicates Finlay received a payout of about 66-thousand dollars under a severance agreement that was finalized last month. According to the agreement, Finlay decided to retire on August 24th after being placed on leave a month earlier.

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RIDE Makes Attendance Tool Available Statewide

The Rhode Island Department of Education is battling chronic absenteeism in schools. The Attendance Nudge Tool, now available statewide, aims to give principals a better look at student attendance trends. RIDE is making public a student attendance leaderboard on its website. The department says it's also launching a portal for teacher absenteeism soon.

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Twin River Trying For Competing Lottery Proposal

Rhode Island casino operator Twin River is making a new effort against a proposed state lottery contract extension for IGT. Twin River says it's submitting a competing contract bid with London-based Camelot Lottery Solutions, which recently took over the lottery gaming system from IGT in Illinois. The timing coincides with the first Senate Finance Committee hearing to review the IGT contract extension proposal, happening at the State House this evening. The House Finance Committee is also set to hear testimony on the proposed extension next week.

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Temporary Lane Restrictions Planned On Route 4

Traffic is going to be reduced to one lane on Route 4 in North Kingstown for an accelerated bridge replacement project. The northbound side of the Lafayette Road Bridge will be replaced between nine p.m. on Friday, September 27th and six a.m. on Monday, September 30th. The state Department of Transportation says the southbound side of the bridge will be replaced in October.

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RI Legislative Scorecard Released By Think Tank

 A legislative scorecard released by a conservative public policy think tank gives mostly failing grades. The Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity says only 12 legislators, all Republicans, scored above a zero in the 2019 session. The nonprofit claims the General Assembly violated economic, individual and constitutional liberties.

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Survey:CCRI Warwick Among Ugliest Campuses

According to an online magazine, the Community College of Rhode Island in Warwick is among the 50 ugliest campuses in the country. The lifesytle website Complex, ranks CCRI 9th on its list. It says the harsh, brutalist architecture of the Knight Campus is cold, intrusive and anything but inviting.

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Taylor Swift Performing In Foxboro Next Summer

Taylor Swift is performing at Gillette Stadium next summer. Swift has two shows in Foxboro as part of her Lover Fest tour, on July 31st and August 1st. Tickets will go on sale next month.

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Disney Musical Theater Program Coming To Providence Schools

The Providence Performing Arts Center is getting money from Disney to fund a theater education program. The Disney Musicals in Schools initiative puts selected schools in a 17-week musical theater residency led by a team of teaching artists trained by P-PAC and the Disney Theatrical Group. Five public elementary schools will be selected for this academic year, and another five next year.

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State Lawmaker To Propose Flavored E-Cigarette Ban

As public concern ramps up over vaping, a Rhode Island lawmaker is planning to introduce a bill to ban flavored e-cigarettes. State Representative Julie Casimiro says she'll put the legislation on the agenda for the upcoming 2020 General Assembly session. Casimiro says her ban will be modeled after one that was recently imposed in Michigan, the first state in the country to take such action.

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DOJ Investigation Of English Learners In Providence Schools Made Public

A memo from the U.S. Justice Department that is being made public looks at how the Providence School District handles English-language learners. The DOJ said in the document from last year that it found a dozen violations of the Equal Educational Opportunities Act, and that the school department was setting up English-language learners to fail. Interim Superintendent Frances Gallo says the district is working hard to address the shortcomings.

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Two More Human EEE Cases In RI

Two more cases of triple-E in people are being reported in Rhode Island. The state says one patient is a child younger than ten who lives in Coventry, while the second person is a Charlestown resident in their 50s. The two are said to be recovering after being discharged from a hospital. The first human EEE case in the state this year resulted in a death. The state Department of Environmental Management and Department of Health are considering additional aerial spraying of mosquitoes.

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Boat Fire Investigation In East Greenwich

The cause of a boat fire is under investigation in East Greenwich. At least two vessels in dry dock burned around nine o'clock Monday night. No injuries were reported.

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Temporary Lane Split On Route 146

 A series of temporary lane splits are going to be installed Thursday night on Route 146 south in North Smithfield. The traffic pattern changes are needed for a seven-million-dollar bridge preservation and rehabilitation project. The state Department of Transportation says lane splits are already in place on the northbound side. The two bridges involved in the project are the Old Great Bridge, just south of the Massachusetts border, and the Forestdale Bridge.

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Major Renovations At Hasbro Children's Hospital

A major renovation project is getting underway at Hasbro Children's Hospital which is now 25-years-old. The renovations include the emergency department, patient and exam rooms, and work stations. Surgical suites, the intensive care unit, and the hematology/oncology clinic will also be upgraded. Hospital officials say the multi-million-dollar project is expected to be completed by early 2022.

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Prov. City Councilwoman's Bike Is Stolen

Providence City Councilwoman Nirva LaFortune is angry that someone stole her bicycle. It was taken from her yard in the Summit neighborhood. In a Facebook post,  LaFortune writes to the thief, "I hope you needed it more than I did." She says the person who stole the bike also took vegetables from her garden.

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State Troopers To Present Checks To Families

Rhode Island state troopers who ran the Boston Marathon in April to raise money for the "Cops for Kids with Cancer" program are going to present checks tomorrow. Five-thousand-dollars is being given to each of the five area families who have a child affected by cancer. The six troopers who ran the Marathon raised more than 20-thousand-dollars for the charity this year.

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Prince Of Providence Opens At Trinity Rep

The much-anticipated play about the life of late Providence Mayor Vincent "Buddy" Cianci is already setting attendance records. The Prince of Providence opened Monday night at Trinity Repertory Company. It's already the highest-grossing non-holiday show in the theater's history. The play is scheduled to end on October 27th.

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Newport School Dept. To Turn Off Heat

Newport school officials will shut down boilers in two schools heated by natural gas for limited periods of time during cold snaps. The Newport Daily News reports Thompson Middle School and Rogers High School will be heated to 73-degrees and then the boilers will go offline from six a.m. to nine a.m. The intent is to ease the strain on the distribution system on Aquidneck Island. National Grid will reimburse the school department 25-thousand-dollars for shutting down the natural gas boilers four to six times per winter.

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URI Researcher Develops Laser Scarecrows

The future is laser scarecrows. A University of Rhode Island researcher has created the technology, housed in a five-gallon bucket, and says it has had a high success rate of scaring birds from cornfields. The goal now is to find an interested company to manufacture the device.

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Trucking Company Owners Sentenced For Ordering Falsified Reports

The owners of two Rhode Island trucking companies that have since closed are being sentenced on charges of scheming to falsify federal safety records. The U.S. Justice Department says Leslie and Robert Cucino, both of Foster, received a year of probation on Monday for directing employees to say there were no issues with their trucks on U.S. Department of Transportation inspection reports, and to allow trucks in need of repair to remain on the road.

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Prov. School District To Go Through Financial Analysis

The Providence School District is undergoing a complete financial analysis this fall. State education commissioner Angelica Infante-Green made that announcement on Monday. The state is in the process of taking over the city's public school district after a blistering report on the state of the district from Johns Hopkins earlier this year. The financial analysis will be conducted by the firm Ernst and Young and will be funded by the Partnership for Rhode Island.

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Protesters Again At Wyatt Detention Center

Protesters returned to Wyatt Detention Center in Central Falls on Monday night. The Never Again movement was previously at the jail when a pickup truck driven by an employee who has since resigned drove into some demonstrators. Never Again was there last night to once more protest Wyatt's cooperation with ICE at a board of governors meeting. 

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35-Million-Dollar Gift To URI

The University of Rhode Island is the recipient of a 35-million-dollar gift from Tom Ryan, Class of '75 and the former president and CEO of CVS, and his wife Cathy Ryan. It's the largest private contribution in URI's history. It includes 24-million-dollars to expand research and teaching in neuroscience, ten-million-dollars for a scholars program to attract more high-performing students, and one-million-dollars for the men's and women's basketball programs. With the gift announced Monday, the Ryan's have now donated a total of 56-million-dollars to URI.

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New Tenant For Closed Cinema Location

 A Worcester-based company is taking over the South Main Street site of the now-closed Cable Car Cinema in Providence. An official opening date for Acoustic Java Café and Microcinema hasn't yet been announced. After 42 years, the Cable Car Cinema closed in late May of 2018.

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Consumers Advised To Avoid Carancis Products

The state Department of Health is advising people to avoid eating products from a Woonsocket-based company. Rolls and bread produced by Dupras Baking Company under the brand name Carancis, are potentially contaminated. The advisory was prompted by a DOH inspection last Thursday that found evidence of rodents and unsanitary conditions.

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Hurricane Humberto To Kick Up The Surf

Hurricane Humberto is no threat to the U.S. mainland as it moves far out to sea. However, it's expected to kick up the surf locally. Forecasters say wave heights by mid-week may reach six-to-eight feet, or higher, along south and east facing beaches in southern New England.

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Amended Sports-Betting Lawsuit Filed

Former Republican mayor for Providence Daniel Harrop is filing an amended lawsuit against sports-betting in Rhode Island. Harrop says in the amended complaint that he bet on the New England Patriots and lost money at Twin River Casino in Tiverton in December. A Superior Court judge previously ruled Harrop didn't demonstrate that he was personally affected by sports-betting and suggested that someone who had lost money on a bet would need to be a plaintiff.

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Providence Police Brutality Case Settled

The city of Providence is reaching a settlement of about 72-thousand dollars in a police brutality case. Joshua Robinson alleged during a March 2013 traffic stop on Eddy Street that he was hit in the head with a flashlight and further assaulted by a police sergeant and officer, and that other arriving officer failed to step in. The case was resolved with no finding of liability against law enforcement.

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Grant For Northbound I-95 Viaduct Announced

Rhode Island's Congressional delegation is celebrating a federal grant to upgrade the northbound I-95 Viaduct in Providence. The 60-million-dollar grant from the Infrastructure for Rebuilding America program, developed by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, was announced on Friday. Replacement of the southbound Providence Viaduct was completed in 2017, but the northbound side remains structurally deficient. Other financing for the project is anticipated from federal and state sources.

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Education Commissioner Denies Group's Request For Role In Takeover Plan

 Rhode Island Education Commissioner Angelica  Infante-Green is denying a request for a legal role in the state takeover of Providence public schools. A group of parents, students, and other community members filed a motion with the state education department to be added as a party to the order to intervene, joining the Providence School Board, the superintendent, City Council, and mayor. Infante-Green ruled against the motion at a hearing on Friday but gave assurance that the community will have involvement in the plan to turn around the school district.

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Former Military Chaplain, Bishop Francis Roque Dies

The Providence Catholic Diocese is announcing the passing of a former bishop. Francis Roque, who had first served as an assistant pastor at St. Luke's in Barrington and Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul in Providence, died last Thursday. The Providence native later served as a chaplain in the U.S. Army and was in Vietnam, among other places, then was Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese for the Military Services from 1983 to 2004.

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Racing Great Killed In Plane Crash Near CT-RI Border

NASCAR champion Mike Stefanik died in a plane crash near the Rhode Island state line in Sterling, Connecticut on Sunday. Police say the single-engine plane took off from the Riconn Airport in Coventry and was turning back to the airport when it crashed in a wooded area. Stefanik won seven titles in NASCAR's Modified race series.

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Patriots At Dolphins Sunday

The New England Patriots are playing their first road game of the 2019 NFL season on Sunday. The Pats are at the Miami Dolphins for a 1 p.m. kickoff. New England beat Pittsburgh in its season opener last Sunday night, 33-to-3.

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Cranston Portuguese Club Discrimination Complaint Settled

A discrimination complaint against the Cranston Portuguese Club is being resolved. The U.S. Attorney's Office and the Rhode Island Commission for Human Rights said the club had a policy of asking first-time patrons if they were Cambodian, and if so, the club then contacted the Cranston Police Department about having detail officers for an event and charged the individual for the detail. The agreement stipulates that the club will establish a victim compensation fund and post a framed apology to the Rhode Island Cambodian community.

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Brown Study Says RI Emission Rates Higher Than Expected

 A new study from Brown University is focusing on emission levels in Rhode Island. The study, commissioned after Governor Gina Raimondo's office expressed interest in deeper emission reduction targets if they are feasible, says the levels in the state are 45 percent higher than previously estimated. The study indicates it is feasible to reduce the levels by as much as 80 percent over the next one-to-two decades.

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Ruling: State Must Pay For Private Property Section Of Bike Path

A Rhode Island Superior Court judge is ruling that the state built a section of a bike path on private property and must compensate the owner. The ruling that was handed down involves a section of the Blackstone River Bikeway near Gano Street in the Fox Point part of Providence. A construction company, H.V. Collins, sued the state Department of Transportation in 2016 after RIDOT began building the path. A spokesperson for the DOT says the agency plans to appeal the ruling.

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Warwick Dog Park Closed Due To Parvovirus

The dog park in Warwick is being closed because of health concerns. The Warwick Animal Shelter says the park is closed until further notice due to a case of parvovirus, which puts dogs under six months, health-compromised and unvaccinated dogs at the highest risk. Parvovirus can be fatal if left untreated, and the animal shelter is advising pet owners to watch out for symptoms.

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RI AG Doesn't Agree With Drug Settlement

Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Neronha says the state has not agreed to a proposed settlement with Purdue Pharma and the Sackler family which owns the drugmaker. The family has been fighting lawsuits brought by states, cities, and others, accusing the company of helping spread opioid addiction Purdue Pharma now has widespread support for a multi-billion-dollar settlement through a planned bankruptcy restructuring. Neronha says more information is needed to be confident that Rhode Island is adequately compensated for the devastation caused by the distribution of highly addictive opioids.

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RIDOT: Resurfacing Project Finished In Barrington

The state Department of Transportation says the resurfacing of a major connector route in Barrington is complete. Nyatt Road provides access to the Nyatt School, the Rhode Island Country Club and Barrington Beach as well as residential neighborhoods.

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Newport Resident Cut From Food Network Competition

Newport resident Peter Smerlas is eliminated from a Food Network competition. He was a participant in the 17th season of Worst Cooks in America. Smerlas was one of 14 competitors split into teams headed by celebrity chefs. The network confirms he was eliminated earlier this week in episode six of the eight-episode series. The winning cook will get a 25-thousand-dollar prize.

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Middletown Woman Subdued In Backyard Confrontation

A 36-year-old Middletown woman is facing simple assault and resisting arrest charges. Daniele Arantes was arrested after a physical confrontation with a police officer and firefighters regarding an open burn in her backyard for which a permit is required. Police say a taser was deployed during the struggle to take Arantes into custody. She's been released and is scheduled for arraignment next month.

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Hasbro Introduces Miss Monopoly

Pawtucket based Hasbro is introducing a new version of Monopoly where women earn more than men. The twist in the new Miss Monopoly creates a world where women have an advantage often enjoyed by men, according to Hasbro, which says while Mister Monopoly is a real-estate mogul, Miss Monopoly is an advocate whose mission is to invest in female entrepreneurs. Hasbro says properties in this game are replaced by inventions and innovations made possible by women throughout history.

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Pawtucket: Thousands Of Warnings Sent Out Since Traffic Cameras Activated

The city of Pawtucket says 13-thousand warnings have been sent to drivers for violations caught by a new traffic camera system. The cameras, which began operation late last month, are set up to catch red light infractions and school zone speeders. The city said it was starting off with warnings and transitioning to mailed fines.

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Doctor Arrested For Unlicensed Acupuncture

A Rhode Island acupuncturist is accused of practicing without a license. The Rhode Island State Police says it received complaints from the state health department about Dr. Tadeusz Sztykowski performing the service from the Center for Integrative Medicine and Healing in Providence and made an arrest yesterday. The doctor had to surrender his state acupuncture license indefinitely in 2017 for disciplinary reasons.

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Prince Of Providence Opening Night Tonight

 A theatre presentation about former Providence Mayor Buddy Cianci is opening tonight. The Prince of Providence, based on the non-fictional book of the same name, focuses on America's most notorious mayor who won re-election despite being arrested for assault, and who was praised for transforming the city but was also sentenced to prison for racketeering. The Providence Trinity Rep Theater is putting on the show until October 27th.

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Senate Confirms RI District Court Judge

The U.S. Senate confirmed the nomination of Mary McElroy to be a U.S. District Court judge in Rhode Island on Wednesday. McElroy, Rhode Island's public defender, was first nominated in 2015 by then-president Barack Obama, but the nomination was held up by Washington gridlock. President Trump followed up with two nominations for McElroy before she was finally confirmed by the full Senate.

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RI A.G. Not Agreeing To Opioid Settlement

Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Neronha is commenting on a tentative opioid settlement. The Sackler family, the owners of Purdue Pharma, is expected to pay three-billion dollars and arrange for the profits from Oxycontin to go to the plaintiffs. The agreement is with lawyers representing thousands of municipal governments, tribes and states. Neronha says his office has not agreed to the settlement, and that more information is needed to make sure it adequately compensates the state.

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Patriots Coach Deflects Questions About Antonio Brown

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick says he's focused on the next opponent, the Miami Dolphins. When peppered with questions from reporters yesterday about the federal lawsuit filed against newly acquired wide receiver Antonio Brown, Belichick would only say the organization is taking the situation very seriously. In the lawsuit, a woman who worked as his personal trainer accuses Brown of sexual assault and rape. Belichick says he doesn't have a definitive answer on Brown's playing status for Sunday's game.

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Gun Buyback Saturday In Pawtucket

Police in Pawtucket are holding a gun buyback event this Saturday. It's from 11 a.m. to three p.m. at the police substation on Armistice Boulevard. It's only for city residents who must provide proof of residency. In return for guns gift cards valued between one-and-two-hundred-dollars will be handed out, depending on the type of weapon turned in.

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Anniversary of 9/11 Observed in RI

Yesterday's 18th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks was observed in Rhode Island. Governor Gina Raimondo ordered all flags lowered to half-staff. A plaque was unveiled Wednesday morning at the State House containing the names of Rhode Islanders who lost their lives that day. In Warwick a ceremony was held at Oakland Beach near the city's 9/11 monument, followed at sunset by a candlelight vigil. Memorial ceremonies were also planned in other communities.

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Officials Discuss South Fork Wind Farm Project

Commercial fishermen from Rhode Island met with Orsted and Eversource Energy on Monday to discuss the new South Fork Wind Farm. Members of the state's Fishermen's Advisory Board stressed they need at least one nautical mile between wind turbines for the sake of navigating safely at the meeting in Narragansett. Offshore wind developers are proposing tighter spacing because they want to maximize how much energy they generate.

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T-Swift House Break-In Suspect Allegedly Vandalized Trump Golf Course

The man previously arrested for breaking into Taylor Swift's Rhode Island house is back in the news. Richard McEwan of Milford, New Jersey is now accused of vandalizing President Trump's New Jersey golf course by doing donuts in a car twice this month. McEwan reportedly broke into Swift's Westerly home on August 30th and told police he took his shoes off before going inside to be polite. Swift was not there at the time.

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RI Airport Corporation Official Resigns

 A top executive of the Rhode Island Airport Corporation is stepping down. A spokesperson for the RIAC says that senior vice president Richard McCurley resigned, effective yesterday. No reason was given. The step-down comes as T.F. Green Airport has recently dealt with a series of airline service cutbacks.

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Candidate Forum Held For Luis Aponte's Prov. City Council Seat

Five candidates competing for Providence City Council member Luis Aponte's seat gathered at a community forum on Tuesday night. Aponte, representing the Lower South Providence and Washington Park parts of the city in Ward 10 for two decades, resigned in July as part of a court plea for embezzlement charges.

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DEM: Aerial Mosquito-Spraying Missions Completed

The Rhode Island Department of Health said aerial mosquito-spraying operations were completed last night. Planes hit critical-risk areas for the third straight night. Spraying of the southwest part of the state was delayed because of weather conditions on Monday. The sole human case of the mosquito-transmitted triple-E virus in the state this year died on Sunday.

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RI Victims Of 9/11 Attacks Added To Plaque

 A plaque with the added names of Rhode Island victims of the 9/11 attacks is being unveiled at the State House today. The names of nine victims are being added: David Lawrence Angell, Carol Marie Bouchard, Mark Lawrence Charette, James Edward Hayden, Amy Nicole Jarret, Kathryn L. Laborie, Shawn M. Nassaney, Rene Tetreault Newell, and Jessica Leigh Sachs. The memorial was first unveiled in 2002, one year after the attacks.

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Local Nominees For Best New Restaurants

Two Providence restaurants are among Bon Appetit's 50 nominees for America's Best New Restaurants 2019. Aleppo Sweets is a Syrian bakery and cafe on Ives Street in the Fox Point Neighborhood. Big King located at Luongo Square on the West Side serves asian cuisine. The magazine will announce its Hot 10 list next week.

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Brown Receives Alzheimer's Research Grant

Brown University is a recipient of a more than 53-million-dollar federal grant for Alzheimer's disease research. Brown, and Hebrew SeniorLife, a Boston-based research affiliate of Harvard Medical School, will lead a nationwide effort to improve health care and quality of life for people with Alzheimer's and related dementia, as well as their caregivers. The grant will fund a collaborative incubator to develop trials to evaluate interventions for Alzheimer's or related dementia.

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Prov. License Board Director Proposes New Night Club District

As Providence looks at how to address the problem of night club violence, the city's Board of Licenses director is proposing a 24-hour night club district. The suggestion from Dylan Conley is for a non-residential area of the city on Allens Avenue and Poe Street between Lehigh and Public streets. Conley says in addition to drawing away the problems neighborhoods experience with clubs currently scattered about, it would make it easier for police to do their job, and he adds it could make Providence a regional nightlife destination.

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Judge Dismisses Sports-Betting Suit

 A Rhode Island Superior Court judge is dismissing a lawsuit aimed at stopping legalized sports-betting because the person who filed the suit did not have standing. Attorneys for former Republican candidate for Providence mayor Daniel Harrop say they'll be looking to add a sports bettor who lost money and possibly the town of Tiverton as plaintiffs after the judge said yesterday that Harrop was not personally affected by the decision to legalize sports-betting last year. The case claimed sports-betting should have been approved by Rhode Island voters as a matter of following the state constitution.

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Wyatt Detention Center Board Reschedules Meeting

The Wyatt Detention Center's Board of Directors postponed a meeting Monday night in anticipation of a large turnout. The group planning a presence was the Never Again movement, which was at Wyatt in August when a pickup truck was driven by a prison employee into a group of demonstrators. Never Again, which is protesting the placement of ICE detainees at the detention center, says it will continue to prevent business as usual there until it has achieved its goal to shut down the facility and get ICE out of Rhode Island.

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Red Sox Dump Team President Dave Dombrowski

Dave Dombrowski is out. The Red Sox confirmed early Monday morning that the president of baseball operations was fired Sunday night after Boston's 10-5 loss to the New York Yankees. Dombrowski's departure comes less than a year after the Sox set a franchise record for victories and won the World Series. This year the struggling third-place team has been a big disappointment.

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School Votes Pending On Aquidneck Island

The Newport City Council and the Portsmouth Town Council are expected to vote this week on preliminary plans for either new schools or to renovate buildings. The votes are on applications to the state Department of Education. The cost of school plans in Newport range from 110-to-178-million-dollars. In Portsmouth school plans range between 75 and two-hundred-million-dollars. 

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RI'ers Warned About Hurricane Relief Scam

Rhode Islanders are being warned about potential Hurricane Dorian disaster relief scams. U.S. Attorney Aaron Weisman says emails commonly appear after a major natural disaster and often contain links or attachments that direct people to malicious websites. He advises extreme caution with any email that has a hurricane related subject line, attachment or hyperlink. Weisman also urges caution about social media pleas, texts, or door-to-door solicitations.

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9/11 Remembrance Ceremonies Planned In Warwick

 A 9/11 memorial service is being held Wednesday at 10:15 a.m. in Warwick for the victims of the terrorist attacks. It's at Oakland Beach near the city's 9/11 monument. At sunset at the same location, a candlelight vigil is planned in observance of the 18th anniversary of the attacks.

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RI Gets $17M To Fight Opioid Addiction, Overdoses

Rhode Island has been awarded $17.1 million in federal funding to combat opioid addiction and overdose deaths.  The grants aim to help the state reduce overdose deaths through prevention, treatment and recovery efforts, and help the health department better track overdose deaths so authorities have access to data faster. 

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Public Hearings For Proposed Lottery Contract Extension

The Rhode Island Senate Finance Committee is holding public hearings on a proposed lottery contract extension. IGT would continue to run lottery games and provide slot machines at Twin River Casino until 2043 in a deal extension that will keep the gaming giant's headquarters in the state. The first hearing is on September 19th, followed by four in October.

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Police Watching For Violators On Pell Bridge

 A new police crackdown on speeding and distracted driving has been announced for the Newport Pell Bridge. The Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority says the effort is starting this week as a necessity for the second phase of the bridge's road deck project. The speed limit on the Pell Bridge has been reduced to 25 miles per hour during the project.

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Sun Country Airlines Ends Seasonal T.F. Green Service Early

Sun Country Airlines is canceling seasonal flight service early at T.F. Green Airport. The Rhode Island Airport Corporation says the budget airline is ending its flights to Minneapolis-St. Paul, Las Vegas, Nashville and New Orleans after October 28th instead of the first four months of 2020. The airport corporation says the 737 Max plane situation is putting a higher demand on airplane availability. Officials say Sun Country is scheduled to re-start seasonal service in April, but that the company is still evaluating its schedule for next year.

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Aerial Spraying For Mosquitoes Happening

Aerial spraying for mosquitoes to combat triple-E virus is happening in Rhode Island. The state departments of health and environmental management said as of 10:30 last night, spraying took place in all of West Warwick and parts of Coventry, Cranston, Warwick, East Greenwich, and West Greenwich. Treatment is also happening in all of Central Falls, Pawtucket and North Providence and parts of Providence, East Providence, Smithfield, Cumberland and Lincoln, followed by parts of Burrillville, North Smithfield, and Woonsocket in the northern tier, and parts of Westerly, Hopkinton and Charlestown in the southwest corner. So far, there has been one human EEE case in Rhode Island, and one horse tested positive.

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Patriots Beat Steelers To Start 2019 Campaign

The Patriots are looking good for the start of their defense of their sixth Super Bowl title. Tom Brady threw for over three-hundred yards and had three touchdown passes as New England melted the Pittsburgh Steelers in Foxboro on Sunday night, 33-to-3, to win their 2019 NFL season opener. The Patriots unveiled their championship banner at Gillette Stadium before the game, with the retired Rob Gronkowski in attendance.

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Fifth Human Case Of EEE Found In Bay State

The fifth human case of EEE this year has been found in Massachusetts. In a press release on Thursday, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health announced that a man in his 70’s from Middlesex County tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis. In addition to the five human cases, nine confirmed cases of EEE have been found in animals this year Officials are urging people to continue to be very careful to avoid mosquito bites, even if the summer is cooling down.

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Trump Rips 'Will & Grace' Star Again

President Trump's feud with "Will & Grace" star Debra Messing is escalating. Trump tweeted that Messing, who grew up in Rhode Island, is a bad actress who wants to create a blacklist of Trump supporters. That was a reference to Messing and co-star Eric McCormack urging the Hollywood Reporter to publish a list of attendees at an upcoming Trump fundraiser. 

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Governor Signs Education Reform Bills

Education reform bills were signed by Governor Gina Raimondo earlier this week. The first law requires the state education commissioner to develop statewide academic standards and curriculum frameworks for core subjects. The second law requires a fast-track program to be established for new principals. The third law expands the duties of principals and school improvement teams in the area of school management. And, the fourth law requires licensed elementary-level teachers to be proficient in scientific reading instruction.

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Resolution Passed To Conduct Review Of Prov. Board Of Licenses

 The Providence City Council passed a resolution on Thursday for a review of the city's Board of Licenses. The authorization to pay a consultant to conduct the review comes after a rash of nightclub violence incidents this year. Councilors who voted against the review noted that a similar one was conducted five years ago, which led to reforms and an audit of the board.

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Proposed Kennedy Plaza Changes Would Create Tunnel, Move Bus Stops

A proposal was unveiled by state officials on Thursday to redesign Kennedy Plaza in downtown Providence. The plan, presented to the Providence Foundation board, would create an underground bus tunnel and connect Kennedy with Burnside Park. It would get rid of bus stops at Kennedy and would build new ones in four other locations. The project would be paid for through a 35-million-dollar infrastructure bond approved by Rhode Island voters in 2014.

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RI National Guard Flying Planes To Bahamas

The Rhode Island National Guard is announcing support for The Bahamas after Hurricane Dorian caused devastation to that country. The Guard says it is mobilizing three C-130-J aircraft to assist in relief efforts, which will depart from Quonset Air National Guard Base on today. The RI-NG says it has worked alongside the Royal Bahamas Defence Force since 2005 in a joint training capacity.

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JUMP Not Coming To Pawtucket Yet Because Of Providence Issues

Pawtucket officials are holding off on the rolling-out of JUMP bikes. The rental bikes were pulled from the streets of Providence last month because of complaints that they were being used for illegal activity. Pawtucket Police Chief Tina Goncalves says JUMP plans to address the issues in Providence before expanding to other markets in the area.

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Sports-Betting Phone App Launched

Days before the New England Patriots begin the defense of their latest Super Bowl title, sports-betting in Rhode Island is now available on mobile devices. Gamblers who want to use the Sportsbook Rhode Island app must activate it at Twin River Casino in Lincoln, and will eventually be able to also do so in Tiverton. Sports-betting began at Twin River last year. It currently is facing a legal challenge from plaintiffs who argue the state constitution requires voter approval for the activity.

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Aerial Spraying For Mosquitoes Announced

State environmental management and public health officials are announcing aerial spraying to deal with mosquitoes carrying dangerous diseases. The larvicide application today will be at Chapman Swamp in Westerly, the South Branch part of the Pawtuxet River in West Warwick, and the Valley Marsh area around Lincoln, Cumberland and Central Falls. Triple-E and West Nile virus have been detected in mosquitoes in Rhode Island this year and there has been one human case of triple-E.

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State Rep-Elect Who Resigned Faces Embezzlement Charge

An East Bay state representative-elect who resigned before he was able to take his General Assembly seat is now facing an embezzlement charge. Laufton Ascencao of Bristol, who won the District 68 House seat last year, is due for arraignment in District Court in Providence today, according to his attorney. The Rhode Island State Police says the charge stems from allegations in a state election board report that Ascencao used money for his campaign from the Sierra Club while he worked there as a treasurer. Ascencao resigned after it was discovered that he lied about sending out campaign mailers for town council candidates in Warren.

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RI Schools Urge Literacy Achievement For Youth

September is National Literacy Month and Rhode Island pays close attention to reading achievement among young people. The Rhode Island Board of Education requires school districts to focus on Pre K through 12 literacy curriculum instruction and assessment. The libraries across the state provide programs through the Rhode Island Family Literacy Initiative which aims to help adults learn to read. Officials say people can help solve the problem by helping adults prepare for the GED and citizenship test and reading to and tutoring young people.

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Belmont Building In Narragansett To Be Redeveloped

The proposal to sell the Belmont building in Narragansett to a private developer is approved. The town council voted 3-2  to allow the plan to convert the space to a European style food court. The approval upset many residents who wanted the building to be the town's new library after voters approve that plan in 2016.Many people are also concerned that the deal involves the town and not a bank for loaning money to developer Carlos Mouta of Connecticut whose company previously filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

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Sen. Reed Rips Decision To Divert Money From Military

Senator Jack Reed is not happy with President Trump's decision to divert money from military construction projects to build a wall along the Mexican border. The Rhode Island Democrat said yesterday the president's immigration efforts have failed since day one and diverting the funds is an attempt to protect his political right flank. Reed says the decision could ultimately put Americans at risk because it short-changes the troops. Reed says defense spending is supposed to be for national defense.

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Walmart To Stop Selling Handgun Ammunition

Walmart says it will discontinue the sale of handgun ammunition and also publicly request that customers refrain from openly carrying firearms in stores even where state laws allow it. The announcement comes just days after a mass shooting claimed seven lives in Odessa, Texas and follows two other back-to-back shootings last month, one of them at a Walmart store. 

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Election Board Holds Off Vote On New HQ

The Rhode Island Board of Elections is pushing back a vote on a move to a new office in Cranston. The state Department of Administration is continuing to negotiate the proposed lease for the Plainfield Pike location, the board chair says. The vote has been rescheduled for the board's next meeting on September 17th.

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Police: Man Broke Into Taylor Swift's Home, Took Shoes Off

There is another report of a man seeking unauthorized access to Taylor Swift's Rhode Island property, the third since July. Westerly Police Chief Shawn Lacey tells the Westerly Sun this is the first time he can remember someone making it into the Watch Hill house. Police arrested Richard Joseph McEwan of Milford, New Jersey on Friday night after they say he broke a glass door to gain entry. McEwan apparently took his shoes off because, he told police, he wanted to be polite before wandering the house to look for Swift.

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Another Mosquito Sample Has EEE, RI Has First Human Case

Triple-E is being reported in another mosquito sample. The Rhode Island environmental management and health departments say there have now been four EEE detections, two in Westerly and in Central Falls, after the latest in Westerly. The first human case of triple-E was reported last week in West Warwick, and there was also a confirmed case for a horse in Westerly. The departments also are confirming that mosquitoes trapped in Tiverton have become the first sample to test positive for West Nile virus in the state this year.

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Dorian Will Cause Dangerous Surf, Rip Currents

Rhode Island is going to avoid a direct hit from Hurricane Dorian, but there will still be effects felt from the storm. The National Weather Service says from late tonight to Sunday, a southerly swell associated with the system will affect southern Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts. Forecasters say there will be dangerous surf conditions expected and a high risk of rip currents, along ocean-exposed coastlines. There also remains a threat for tropical storm-force winds.

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School Wants Kids To Be Smart About Technology

The Gordon School in East Providence is incorporating a new program called "Digital Citizenship" into its curriculum. The class is taken by students once a week beginning in third grade. Discussions take place on how technology impacts relationships, what smart media consumption is and how to find real news information. It also will teach children about how to represent themselves online and how to deal with online bullying.

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Red Cross Volunteers Deploy For Dorian Relief Efforts

Volunteers with the Rhode Island Red Cross are making their way down the coast to help with Hurricane Dorian relief efforts. As of Monday evening, eight volunteers from Rhode Island have been deployed to lend a hand. They're expected to remain in the southeastern region of the United States for at least two weeks.

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Speed Cameras Back On In Providence

Speed cameras around Providence are back on as children return to school. Providence Public Safety is urging drivers to be safe on the roadways, especially around children. In addition to the previous speed cameras, new cameras have been installed at six other locations. Officials say the cameras will be posted within a quarter mile of a school and will be tracking drivers' speeds between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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Gas Prices Sliding In RI, Fall Drop Predicted

Rhode Island gas prices have dropped sixteen cents in the last month, according to RIGasPrices.com. The current average for a gallon is two dollars and fifty-five cents. Economic predictions made last month were for gas prices to slide in the U.S. this fall.

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Pot Store Opens In Somerset

Another Massachusetts marijuana dispensary close to Rhode Island is open for business. Monday was the first day for Solar Therapeutics in Somerset. This is the second adult-use cannabis store to open in Bristol County, following Northeast Alternatives in Fall River.

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Board Of Elections Set To Vote On Move To Cranston

There is a planned vote today for the Rhode Island Board of Elections to move into a new headquarters in Cranston from its current offices in Providence. Board Vice Chairman Stephen Erickson says the board plans to execute a lease today, and that the goal is to be in the new building by December 1st. The process is being marked by a Superior Court lawsuit which claims the state abandoned a bidding process after receiving five bids in order to cut a deal for the Plainfield Pike property.

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First Day Of School For Providence Students Today

Today is the first day of classes for public school students in Providence. Interim superintendent Dr. Frances Gallo will visit several schools, including the Providence Career and Technical Academy and Carnevale Academy. Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza and state education commissioner Angelica Infante-Green are also expected to make a few visits. The state is set to take over Providence schools after a scathing report on the district's state of affairs from Johns Hopkins this summer.

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Hurricane Dorian To Move Up East Coast

We're keeping an eye on Hurricane Dorian as it gets set to move up the East Coast this week. The latest forecast from the National Weather Service, issued 2 a.m. Tuesday, has what will be left of Dorian still possibly scraping Rhode Island Friday into Saturday, along with southeast Massachusetts. Dorian is currently still sitting over the Bahamas.

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Triple E Threat Temporarily Closes Observatory

North Scituate is temporarily closed due to the threat of Eastern Equine Encephalitis. It says there will be no nighttime observing as a precaution until further notice. In a message on the website theskyscraper.org, the observatory says it hopes to reopen either late this month or in early October.

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Small Kitchen Fire At RI Hospital

There are no injuries or significant damage as the result of a small kitchen fire at Rhode Island Hospital. after a stove caught fire this morning. The gas was shut off while the flames were extinguished.

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Barrington Little League Team Honored By PawSox

The Pawtucket Red Sox are donating a portion of last Saturday's ticket sales to the Barrington Little League. The team which recently represented New England in the Little League World Series was honored at McCoy Stadium on Saturday. Barrington is the fifth Rhode Island team in the last six years to advance to the Little League World Series.

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RISD Drops Standardized Test Requirement For Applicants

The Rhode Island School of Design is joining a growing list of schools to incorporate a test-optional admissions policy. RISD says first-year applicants do not have to submit results from SAT or ACT standardized tests, starting with students applying for entrance in 2020. The school says the new policy is being implemented in part to help increase access for under-represented students.

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New DCYF Acting Director Chosen

The Rhode Island Department of Children, Youth and Families has a new acting director. Current Deputy Director Kevin Aucoin will replace Trista Piccola, who announced her resignation in July. The step-down came about a month after an investigation by the state child advocate that explained how ineptitude at DCYF contributed to a nine-year-old Warwick girl's death. Aucoin will serve as director while a permanent replacement search takes place.

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House Fires In Woonsocket, Newport Injure Two Men

Two men are in critical condition after separate house fires in Woonsocket and Newport. The Woonsocket fire happened Saturday night; police say a dog died at the North Main Street residence. The fire in Newport was for a home on Dudley Street, which also happened last night.

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