All of Rhode Island except for the northern and northwestern parts are under a High Wind Watch from the National Weather Service. It's in effect tonight until early tomorrow morning. Winds of 20 to 30 miles per hour out of the southwest with gusts between 50 and 60 are possible. Damaging winds could blow down some trees and power lines.
A report is out about the natural gas outage on Aquidneck Island earlier this year. The Rhode Island Public Utilities and Carriers say three key factors caused a drop in low pressure that resulted in National Grid shutting down its gas distribution system in January: a sudden and high demand for gas due to cold weather, a failed power system at a facility in Providence, and a malfunctioning valve that was caused by a programming problem at a Weymouth, Massachusetts meter station. The RI PUC says it will oppose any attempt by National Grid to get back 25-million dollars in costs it incurred from the outage.
The tuition freeze for new students at Roger Williams University in Bristol is over. The Providence Journal reports school officials say that faced with rising costs the freeze was no longer sustainable. Tuition including room and board is over 52-thousand-dollars annually.
A spokesman for Twin River claims Governor Gina Raimondo's chief of staff Brett Smiley, threatened regulatory retaliation if it continues to oppose a contract extension for IGT, giving that company near total control of lottery and slot machines. Twin River executive Marc Crisfulli, released a letter yesterday naming Smiley. Twin River wants to bid on the contract to operate the machines, but the governor wants IGT to keep it arguing there are jobs at stake.
A report is to be released today on the causes for a natural gas service outage on Aquidneck Island. National Grid shut down service as a precaution when there was a dramatic loss of pressure in gas lines. Thousands of people in Newport and Middletown were affected by the service disruption for a week in January.
Brown University has been awarded a couple of grants to combat the opioid abuse crisis. The two five-year grants worth about seven-million dollars come from the National Institutes of Health. One grant will launch a partnership with the state to engage in neighborhood-based intervention strategies using a new predictive forecasting model, while the second will allow researchers to evaluate the effectiveness of test strips used to detect fentanyl, according to Brown.
The Rhode Island Board of Elections is getting approval to move to a new headquarters. The Providence Journal reports the State Properties Committee unanimously endorsed a ten-year, five-and-half-million-dollar lease with the owner of the former Honeywell plant on Plainfield Pike in Cranston on Tuesday. The board currently operates out of Providence. The approval came despite a pending Superior Court lawsuit filed by a couple of other bidders for the lease who said the bidding process was a sham.
Nearly half-a-dozen public hearings have now been held over the proposed lottery contract extension for IGT after the latest Tuesday. The Senate Finance Committee's hearing took public testimony from employees of both IGT and Twin River Casino. Twin River is trying to convince the state to open the bidding process for the lottery and consider its proposal. But the IGT employees testified how much they valued their jobs, which could be at stake if IGT does not receive the extended contract.
Police say a report of a gun at Hope High School in Providence on Tuesday was unfounded. The school reportedly went into a lockdown after a student was overheard talking about having a weapon, according to a Providence Public Schools spokesperson. Officers responded at around 2:45 p.m. and reportedly took a couple of students into custody for questioning.
Cranston police are establishing a Halloween safety initiative. It includes additional patrols this Thursday night, and a trunk or treat location in front of the police station where officers will hand out candy between 5:30 and 7:00 p.m. Police will also conduct registration compliance checks for sex offenders at various locations throughout the city.
There's a new website to make it easier for parents in Rhode Island to find resources for their children. Kids.ri.gov helps parents find programs ranging from head start to developmental resources. The website specifically focuses on pre-natal care to kindergarten.
It's believed a higher than normal tide washed a car parked along the shore into the water in Warwick. There was no one inside the vehicle when a passerby spotted it this morning off Samuel Gorton Avenue and alerted the police. It took about 20 minutes for a tow truck to pull the car out of the water.
An offer has been made to a candidate for school superintendent in Providence. A state Department of Education spokeswoman says should that person not accept the job, that individual is not the only one Commissioner Angelica Infante-Green has been speaking with. The official start of the state takeover of the Providence school system is this Friday.
The 7th annual WaterFire Salute to Veterans is this Saturday night in Providence. There will be an opening ceremony at four p.m. at the State House followed by the lighting at Sunset at 5:39 p.m. The evening will include performances by the Navy Band Northeast and the Army 88th Band. The fires on the river will remain lit until ten p.m.
Part of the Blackstone River Bikeway in Lincoln and Cumberland is closing on Thursday for repairs. The state Department of Transportation says tree roots have pushed up the pavement along nearly six-and-a-half miles of the bike path. Only the section being worked at the time on will be closed from seven a.m. to seven p.m. weekdays. The entire bike path will be open on weekends and holidays.
A new bus service between Providence and Worcester, Massachusetts is coming. Boston Surface Railroad Company says the inter-city bus service starts next February. The route also includes a stop in Woonsocket. Tickets will be on sale on the transit company's website. Boston Surface Railroad Company is also seeking to begin running trains between the cities.
The state of Rhode Island is sharing details on its portion of a larger Medicaid settlement. The state attorney general says the five-and-a-half-million-dollar agreement with pharmaceutical distributor Reckitt Benckiser Group settles allegations that the company improperly marketed and otherwise promoted the drug Suboxone. The state says the money will be returned to state and federal agencies.
The Senate Finance Committee is holding another state lottery contract hearing today. Today will be the day for public testimony on the legislation to extend the contract with gaming company IGT. The hearing is at 5 p.m. at the State House.
Rhode Islanders are in store for a drop in gas bills from National Grid. National Grid says the state Public Utilities Commission has approved rate proposals, which will see the average residential heating customer be charged about 150 dollars less per year. The change is for the period between November 1st this year and the end of next October.
Two men and a dog are OK after they were the subject of a U.S. Coast Guard search. Ryan Hollis and Joshua Kane Cairone were reported missing over the weekend after a sailing boat they were on departed out of the East Bay. The Coast Guard searched up and down the East Coast seaboard for the boat before the trio was reportedly located. A Coast Guard official says the men were unaware they were the subject of a search.
Chaim Bloom is the new chief baseball officer for the Boston Red Sox. Principal owner John Henry says Bloom is the right person to lead the club's baseball operations. He comes to Boston after 15 years with the Tampa Bay Rays, most recently as senior vice president, baseball operations. Bloom replaces Dave Dombrowski who was fired in early September.
The warning period for drivers caught on camera speeding in Pawtucket is over. Starting today, tickets will be issued. Traffic cameras are located in school zones and are operational on school days from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. with a speed limits of 20 miles-per-hour. Speeding violations will cost 50-dollars and red light violations fines are 95-dollars.
Rhode Island Senator Jack Reed is proposing legislation to create a new national three-digit suicide hotline. A bill co-sponsored by Reed would replace the current ten-digit number. He says for someone in crisis, a shorter number is easier to remember. State Department of Health Director Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott says the shorter hotline number will get people compassionate and effective help quickly.
The Rhode Island Foundation is making 425-thousand-dollars available to fund outreach for the 2020 census. The funding to nonprofit's, municipalities, libraries, and schools is to educate the public on the importance of being counted. Applications for the first round of grants for up to 25-thousand-dollars are due by November 25th. The upcoming census will determine how many congressional seats each state gets and the allocation of federal funding.
A new memorial is honoring Rhode Island firefighters. The memorial was dedicated on Saturday outside of the Rhode Island Fire Academy in Exeter. Included on the memorial are the names of 97 firefighters who have died in the line of duty since the 19th century.
More now on the placement of Burrillville High School athletics on probation after allegations of racist remarks at a game last month. The Burrillville School Committee has responded to a plea from the town council to reconsider not appealing that probation decision from the Rhode Island Interscholastic League. In a statement, the committee says despite its disagreement about appealing, it fully supports the council's concerns about what it calls irresponsible accusations leveled against its students, school, and town.
Scooters are expected to be back on the streets of Providence starting today. Scooter-share company Spin, which is owned by Ford, plans on dropping one-hundred initially, but the city of Providence has permitted Spin to put three-hundred e-scooters on the streets. VeoRide also is planning to drop its scooters in the next week or so. Two other e-scooter businesses, Bird and Lime, exited Providence last month.
Still perfect: the New England Patriots. The Pats ran their record this NFL season to 8-and-0 with a 27-to-13 win in Foxboro over the Cleveland Browns on Sunday. New England head coach Bill Belichick won his 300th game. It'll be a battle of division leaders as the Patriots play the Baltimore Ravens in a highly-anticipated Sunday Night Football matchup next week.
Chalices that were swiped from a Catholic church in Johnston have been recovered. The Johnston Police Department says all four chalices that were stolen from St. Rocco's Church were gotten back, but one of them was in pieces as it was to be sold for scrap. The suspect wanted by Johnston police has been identified as David Ferrara, whose last-known address was in Providence.
The Rhode Island State Police says there is an internal and criminal investigation ongoing after a trooper's gun was stolen from his car. RISP says the service weapon was taken from the vehicle in Federal Hill in Providence on Friday night. The off-duty officer was reportedly attending a family function when someone broke in and took the firearm, plus a pair of handcuffs. Officials say the trooper is still on the job.
The U.S. Coast Guard is searching for a pair of people who set off on a sailing boat journey from Jamestown. The Coast Guard says Ryan Hollis, Joshua Kane Cairone, and a dog have not been seen since Wednesday when the 43-foot boat left for Norfolk, Virginia with a final intended destination of Miami. The Guard said on Sunday that urgent marine bulletins were being broadcast along the eastern seaboard and that aircrews were involved in the search.
An artificial reef is being constructed in Upper Narragansett Bay. The Nature Conservancy and the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management are constructing the reef near Sabin Point Park in East Providence with the goal of improving the bottom habitat for fish. Officials say this will be the first of its kind in Rhode Island waters. Construction started on Wednesday and it is expected to be finished today.
The Burrillville Town Council is urging the town's school committee to appeal a penalty on its sports teams. The Rhode Island Interscholastic League placed the high school's athletics program on probation for one year after allegations of racial taunts at a girls' volleyball game in September. The town council said the reputation of Burrillville and its school district have been tarnished by false allegations, noting the state investigation concluded there were no racist words overheard by any officials in that game.
Providence officials are launching a campaign targeting student absenteeism. The campaign, called PVD-180, engages youth through videos from local and national celebrities. The social media campaign posted a message on Wednesday from Law and Order star Ice-T, who urged kids to stay in school. It's estimated that 45 percent of Providence students are chronically absent over the course of a school year.
Southern New England's governors came together again for a summit on Thursday. Ned Lamont of Connecticut, Charlie Baker of Massachusetts and Gina Raimondo of Rhode Island met at Rhode Island College to discuss a number of topics, a few months after they last got together in Connecticut. One big discussion point was schools; with Rhode Island set to take over Providence public schools, Raimondo said she learned a great deal from Baker about schools in Lawrence, Massachusetts being placed in receivership. The governors also talked about marijuana, vaping regulations and transportation.
The town manager of Block Island is leaving.l. Ed Roberge isn't giving a reason for his departure, which he says will be in December. Previous reports have documented how a longtime islander left her estate to the town with the directive to have it help Block Island police officers find housing. Instead, town managers are using it to build a new house for the town manager.
Some people in northern Rhode Island who are waiting for a new post office construction to be finished are getting some good news. A new contractor is taking over the job at the Albion Post Office. The project has been hit with delays since work began about two years ago after the original post office was destroyed by a fire.
A new park is open in Providence. The Woonasquatucket Adventure Park opened on Wednesday, which features a parkour course, a bicycle track and a multi-use trail system. It is on a former brownfield site.
A substitute teacher is no longer working in Providence Public Schools after failing to report what looked like a BB gun possession by a student. The teacher at Esek Hopkins Middle School apparently didn't report the finding until the next day. Officials say these types of incidents should be reported right away.
Rhode Island is looking to be part of a joint regional approach to cannabis and vaping policies. The governors of New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania all co-hosted a regional cannabis regulation and vaping summit last week and were joined by officials from those states, plus Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Governor Gina Raimondo said on Tuesday that the regional states are considering a similar tax structure if and when recreational marijuana is approved.
A lawsuit is being filed over Rhode Island's new ban on flavored e-cigarettes. Vapor Technology Association and the owner of RI e-Cigs and Vapes, which lists locations in Warwick and Coventry, are involved. A temporary injunction is being sought against the emergency regulations enacted through a recent executive order.
The Mount Hope Bridge is going to be lit with red, white and blue lights from today through Sunday. It's in recognition of the 90th anniversary of its opening on October 24th, 1929. The Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority says it was the longest suspension bridge in New England until the opening of the Newport Pell Bridge in June of 1969. The Mount Hope Bridge is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
There will be no criminal charges filed against a former Wyatt Detention Center officer who drove his truck into a group of protestors in August. Attorney General Peter Neronha says a grand jury decided not to bring charges against former Captain Thomas Woodworth or anyone else. The protestors were demonstrating against the Detention Center's agreement with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to house detainees.
Speed camera infractions are rocketing back up in Pawtucket. The latest number of camera-captured speeding incidents is thirty-thousand over a two-week period. That comes after a drop to the lowest number of incidents since the camera program began. A deadline for real tickets to start being sent out instead of just warnings is October 28th.
Twin River is announcing a new partnership in its effort to put a state lottery contract out for a bid. Twin River has added another gambling company to a team it has assembled: U.S.-based Scientific Games. The announcement coincides with hearings being held this week by the Senate Finance Committee to review legislation authorizing an extension of the lottery contract with IGT.
Joe Biden is expected to come to Rhode Island next month for a presidential campaign fundraiser. Multiple media outlets report the event is set for November 25th at the East Side Providence home of real estate investors Sally Lapides and Art Solomon. Biden's national finance committee includes Solomon as a member.
One of the people picked as an "honorary state chair" of President Trump's re-election campaign in Rhode Island says she's been fired from her job for taking the position. Doreen Costa, a former Republican state representative, says she was fired from her sales job at WLNE-TV ABC 6 in Providence. She says she was told that station ownership did not want her involved in politics. Station officials have not commented on the matter.
Rhode Island Education Commissioner Angelica Infante-Green says she is sticking with the job. The Boston Globe reported Monday officials from New York were aggressively recruiting Infante-Green to be that state's education commissioner. She grew up in New York City and previously was the deputy commissioner for the New York State Education Department. A spokesperson for RIDE says Infante-Green is committed to the work of the state takeover of Providence schools.
The ban on retailers providing single-use plastic bags is now in effect in Providence. As of yesterday, businesses can offer only reusable or recycled paper bags. Violators will be warned for a first offense but they'll be fined for any subsequent violations. There are some exemptions including dry cleaning, laundry, and frozen food bags.
Governor Gina Raimondi claims the General Assembly's control of marijuana regulations is unconstitutional She argues it's a violation of the separation of powers and she's filed a lawsuit seeking a Superior Court ruling. The governor says medical marijuana is a growing industry and the state has a responsibility to regulate it in a transparent way that is fair for businesses and consumers. Raimondo says the state can't go back to when business decisions were made through inside deals and behind-the-scenes influence.
Former North Kingstown State Representative Doreen Costa and Block Island Republican Chair Jerry Zarrella are the honorary state chairs of President Trump's reelection campaign. The chairwoman of the Republican National Committee made the announcement. Ronna McDaniel says the Rhode Island Trump Victory team will work to elect Republicans statewide as well.
Brown University graduate Jessica Meir talked to reporters from the International Space Station on Monday following a historic spacewalk. Last week, she and Christina Koch [[ cook ]] were involved in the first-ever all-female spacewalk to repair a malfunctioning battery charger. The spacewalk took eight hours. Meir said she hopes there are a few more spacewalks while she's on the ISS.
Twin River Worldwide Holdings is settling a claim made against it by the state of Rhode Island that it violated terms of its debt-to-revenue ratio. The settlement calls for Twin River to make a 180-thousand-dollar payment to the state and boost the amount of money it spends at its Lincoln casino over the next three years by about twenty-million dollars. The problem came about after Twin River became a publicly-traded company earlier this year.
The Rhode Island Department of Transportation is closing a Route 10 on-ramp in Providence. Effective November 4th, it'll be the on-ramp to 10 South from Westminster Street. This is for the Route 6-10 Interchange project, specifically to install steel beams for a new ramp that is expected to open in the fall of 2023.
The Providence Police Department is recruiting for its 70th Training Academy. Public Safety Commissioner Steven Pare says they are looking for a bold and diverse group of applicants. An application must be completed online and will be accepted through December 31st.
The Barrington River and the Palmer River bridges along the East Bay Bike Path are going to be closed on November 1st. The wooden bridges are structurally deficient and will be replaced. Signs will direct path users to walk their bikes on the sidewalks of the nearby vehicular bridges. State officials say riding over the bridges is not recommended due to narrow shoulder widths.
Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse are urging speedy release of Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program funding. The Rhode Island Democrats are among a bipartisan group of senators who say the LIHEAP funding is an indispensable lifeline during challenging economic times. They've written a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services, noting the funding helps ensure low-income families and seniors don't have to choose between paying energy bills or for necessities like food and medicine.
Providence police are investigating the theft of more than 60-thousand-dollars from a Federal Hill business. The money was allegedly stolen during a breaking and entering at the offices of Costantino's Venda Ravioli on October 14th. The cash was a portion of the sale of food from the four-day Columbus Day Festival.
The cause of a dormitory fire at Rhode Island College is being investigated. Reports say firefighters responded to the fourth floor of Sweet Hall Saturday night just before 6:30. The fire caused some damage but there were no injuries.
The Patriots are looking to go 7-and-0 to start the season with a Monday Night Football game tonight. The Pats are visiting the 1-and-4 New York Jets. New England has had one prior perfect regular season in the Tom Brady-Bill Belichick era.
Celebrity spotters were on-hand on Saturday for the wedding of actress Jennifer Lawrence in Newport. The event was at Belcourt Castle. The Academy Award-winning Lawrence married art gallery director Cooke Maroney. Some big names reported in town this weekend included Kris Jenner and Adele.
The chief judge of the U.S. District Court in Rhode Island is relinquishing the role. The Providence Journal reports William Smith announced at a conference on Friday he is stepping down from the position, one year short of a seven-year term. His colleague, U.S. District Court Judge John J. McConnell Jr., will take over on December 1st, according to the court.
The city of Providence starts a retail plastic bag ban tomorrow. Stores will no-longer be able to give out single-use bags, with some granted exceptions. The Providence City Council passed an ordinance earlier this year as a way to reduce waste.
An arrest is being made in a Federal Hill murder case. Joel Francisco was picked up in New Braunfels, Texas, near San Antonio, by a U.S. Marshal on Saturday, according to Providence Police Chief Hugh Clements. Francisco is accused of stabbing Troy Pine at the Nara hookah lounge on Atwells Avenue earlier this month.
The attorney for Jeff Britt, the former campaign aide for Rhode Island House Speaker Nick Mattiello, says he is anxious to clear his name. That statement came after Britt was indicted on Friday on a felony money-laundering charge and a misdemeanor charge of making a prohibited contribution for Mattiello's 2016 re-election campaign, with an investigation focusing on a campaign mailer from an opponent. Britt's lawyer, former U.S. Attorney Bob Corrente, said evidence at a trial will show he was used by the Mattiello campaign as a "fall guy."
Rhode Island's unemployment rate for the month of September was at three-point-six-percent. That was the number released by the state Department of Labor and Training on Thursday. The rate is unchanged from August. The number of jobs in the state month-to-month was down four-hundred.
Charges are being dropped against a local TV anchor. Charges of simple assault and disorderly conduct against Thomas Patrick Little, an anchor for WPRI-TV, were dismissed by Newport police yesterday. Reports indicated Little was involved in a confrontation with staff of the Newport Blues Café on October 6th, after which he was taken into custody. He apologized for the attention the incident brought to the station and said he fully cooperated with the investigation.
Activist group Never Again staged a demonstration at the state House on Thursday. The immigrant-rights group, which has protested at the Wyatt Detention Center, was prepared to stay overnight at the state capitol building to pressure state leaders to close Wyatt. However, the protest softened after the group received positive news from Governor Gina Raimondo. Organizer J. Aaron Regunberg, a former state representative, told his group he learned that Raimondo had promised to back legislation to ban private prisons in Rhode Island. Raimondo later released a statement on Thursday confirming that position.
Following this week's nor'easter, there is a precautionary closure of a body of water for shellfishing. The DEM is closing all waters of Point Judith Pond until further notice. Available data indicates it is likely bacteria levels in Point Judith water samples will exceed levels safe for shellfish consumption.
As of overnight Friday, National Grid is reporting twelve-thousand Rhode Island customers are still without power after a late-week nor'easter. National Grid says it has crews working around the clock on restoration efforts. The utility says some Rhode Islanders may not have electricity back until the weekend, but the majority of customers should have it back by Saturday night.
A new survey says Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo is one of the most unpopular governors in the country. According to MorningConsult.com, her approval rating is 36-percent and her disapproval rating is 56-percent. Once again, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker is the most popular, with an approval rating of 73-percent.
The cleanup is underway in the aftermath of the powerful coastal storm that pounded Rhode Island this week. High winds caused power outages that left tens-of-thousands of utility customers without service. There was tree damage reported in many communities and some schools were closed for the day. All Block Island Ferry service was canceled.
National Grid is repairing a hole at the base of the historic Slater Dam in Pawtucket. Experts say the hole is causing water to flow underneath, threatening the foundation. The dam was built in 1792 and is a major part of the history of the Slater Mill grounds. Once repairs are completed, ownership of the dam will be transferred from National Grid to the Old Slater Mill Association.
The executive director of the Rhode Island Bridge and Turnpike Authority is planning to retire by the end of January. Earl "Buddy" Croft informed the authority's board of directors at yesterday's regularly scheduled meeting. He's credited with overseeing several changes during his tenure including the implementation of electronic tolling, E-ZPass and several reconstruction and bridge maintenance projects. Croft has been executive director since July of 2006.
A judge is allowing the controversial construction of a house for the town manager of Block Island. The Providence Journal reported a longtime islander requested part of her estate be left to the town to help house island police officers, but that the officers said in a suit they were never made aware of those intentions. The Projo reports a Superior Court judge ruled on the matter on Wednesday. Police had requested construction stop while their lawsuit against the town proceeds.
The Tiverton Police Department is investigating an incident during a soccer game on Tuesday. The alleged incident, physical in nature, reportedly happened during a game between Tiverton High School and Providence Country Day. The police department says it's talking to those involved and to those who saw what happened.
No classes for students at Woonsocket High School and the Woonsocket Career and Technical Center today because of a heating unit fire. Superintendent Patrick McGee said in a community letter that students, faculty, and staff were evacuated from the high school at around 12:30 yesterday afternoon. McGee said the fire was immediately contained and put out. The school will resume Friday to allow for work to clean the classrooms and hallways.
An overnight wind storm from an early-season nor'easter is forcing National Grid crews to spring into action. The utility says as of 2 a.m. there were over 32-thousand customers without power in the state. Over half of those outages are coming from South County. The National Weather Service reported a 70-mile-per-hour wind gust in Westerly at midnight and said wind damage reports were coming in fast.
A group protesting federal immigration policies say it plans to occupy the State House tonight. Former State Representative Aaron Regunberg says the protestors want the Wyatt Detention Center in Central Fall that is used by federal immigration authorities to be shut down. Capitol Police say anyone in the building after it closes at 4:30 p.m. could be arrested for trespassing if they refuse to leave.
Providence City Councilor Katherine Kerwin says she supports Monday's vandalism of the Christopher Columbus statue. In a broadcast interview today, Kerwin said she doesn't know who is responsible but that she thinks healthy civil disobedience is good for the city. The statue in Elmwood was splattered with red paint and a sign that said "stop celebrating genocide." There's an ongoing move nationwide to change Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples Day to acknowledge centuries of genocide against indigenous people.
A Providence state representative is planning to introduce legislation to provide free meals to public school students statewide. Representative Marcia Ranglin-Vassell says the research is quite clear that hungry students are unable to reach their academic potential. The Providence School District recently announced free breakfast and lunch will be provided for all public school students. Ranglin-Vassell says every child deserves a hot and nutritious meal daily.
Providence's downtown ice rink is getting a new name. It'll now have the business of BankNewport attached, replacing jewelry company Alex and Ani. BankNewport submitted a 275-thousand-dollar bid for a five-year period, which was approved by a city board on Tuesday.
Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza talked about the state takeover of city public schools at a meeting on Tuesday night. Earlier yesterday, state Education Commissioner Angelica Infante-Green said the takeover would last at least five years. Elorza, speaking at the Providence Coalition of Neighborhood Associations, said he doesn't see a complete turnaround in five years and that the city has to engage in a long-term process.
A 57-year-old East Providence man is charged with obtaining money under false pretenses and unlawful appropriation. Anthony DeBarros is accused of scamming 58 people out of one-thousand-dollars each for a vacation to Aruba. Police say he never booked any trips and used the money to cover his personal expenses. The investigation is ongoing and DeBarros may face more charges if more scam victims come forward.
The state is taking control of the Providence public school system on November first. State Education Commissioner Angelica Infante-Green's order released yesterday, also extends the length of the takeover from three years to five years. The commissioner says a turnaround plan for the troubled district will be put together after a new superintendent is hired, which is expected ahead of the takeover date.
The state Department of Environmental Management is seeking public input on how to use ten-million-dollars for climate resilience projects. The money is from a green economy and clean water bond approved by voters last year. D-E-M is holding a public hearing at it headquarters in Providence today at ten a.m.
A round of bad weather from a passing coastal storm is in the forecast. Rain by late this afternoon is expected to become heavy tonight with scattered thunderstorms. There's the potential for one-to-three inches of rainfall in Rhode Island. Winds will gust as high as 45 miles per hour tonight into Thursday.
A Rhode Island brewery is on the move. Woonsocket's Ravenous Brewing Company is relocating to Cumberland. Ravenous says the new building on Industrial Road will be a larger space. This is set to happen later this month.
According to multiple media outlets, Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia is planning to take a leave of absence from office. A spokesman says that he also plans to suspend his re-election campaign. A press release issued Monday indicated Correia is scheduled to make an announcement today. Correia has been the subject of a federal investigation from two separate grand jury indictments but has thus far remained in office.
The state Department of Transportation is embarking on a project to replace the Hawkins Street Bridge in Providence. It crosses the West River between Branch Avenue and Corliss Park, and it's been closed since October of 2017 because of deterioration. The work is starting with tree clearing and utility relocation. Next Spring demolition and reconstruction will begin. The scheduled completion is in mid-2021.
Some initial decisions on school issues are expected soon in Newport. The City Council and the School Committee are holding a joint meeting on Wednesday night. The meeting agenda includes the size and configuration of a new Rogers High School and where to create space for preschool and kindergarten students. However, no votes will be taken at Wednesday's meeting.
There's a State House hearing scheduled tomorrow on school funding. The Special Legislative Task Force to Study Rhode Island's Education Funding Formula will meet at 5:30 p.m. The goal is to compile a report on the current formula and opportunities moving forward.
Providence police are investigating multiple vehicle break-ins at Roger Williams Park Zoo. A zoo spokeswoman says 15 vehicles were broken into Saturday night during the Jack-o-Lantern Spectacular. It happened in the vicinity of the Botanical Gardens and the Museum of Natural History and Planetarium.
A Cumberland man is this year's winner of the annual Columbus Day weekend Pumpkin Weigh-Off Russ Klowan's giant pumpkin weighed in at two-thousand-74 pounds at Frerich's Farm in Warren. A Pomfret, Connecticut man finished a close second with a pumpkin that weighed two-thousand-58 pounds.
One person who was aboard a sailboat in distress is safe. The Coast Guard responded when the vessel lost its motor Sunday afternoon while passing through the Point Judith breakwater. According to the Coast Guard, a strong current pushed the boat onto the jetty near Salty Brine Beach.
A statue of Christopher Columbus in Providence was targeted by vandals who splattered it with red paint. The damage was found on Columbus Day, a federal holiday. In recent years there's been a movement to change the name of the day to acknowledge the violence Indigenous people faced from European explorers like Columbus. However, there is some pushback as many Italian Americans consider Columbus Day a celebration of their heritage and the contributions of Italian Americans to the U.S.
The Providence Bruins had their first home games of the 2019-2020 American Hockey League schedule this weekend. The P-Bruins beat the Rochester Americans, 3-to-2, and lost to the Springfield Thunderbirds, 5-to-2. The B's will have two more home games at the Dunkin Donuts Center this month.
Rhode Island School of Design celebrated the opening of a new dorm on Saturday. North Hall is the college’s first newly constructed residential facility to open in 34 years. The building is the first cross-laminated timber-steel hybrid residence hall in New England. The 40,790-square-foot structure will house 148 first-year students on six floors, featuring amenities such as living spaces, workrooms, social lounges, a shared kitchen and studio, a gallery space, and bike storage. RISD says that North Hall is an innovative model for reducing energy use, limiting environmental impact, and providing a customized space designed to help students thrive.
Governor Gina Raimondo is not on-board with a plan to charge a fifteen-dollar fee for going to the Rhode Island DMV. It was reported last week that the DMV was proposing the fee for customers who go to the department in person to take care of things that could be done online, such as license and registration renewals. A Raimondo spokesperson says she does not support the recommendation and will not include it in her budget for next year.
A flight was delayed over the weekend at T.F. Green Airport after a reported security incident. Rhode Island Airport Corporation officials say the American Airlines flight to Philadelphia was delayed early Saturday. A woman apparently tripped an alarm while going through security but still boarded the flight. Passengers had to be re-screened. The woman was detained and was eventually allowed to get on another flight, according to officials.
An anchor for WPRI-TV is facing criminal charges. Newport police arrested Patrick Little for simple assault and disorderly conduct after an arrest overnight Sunday. Police say Little was in a confrontation with staff at the Newport Blues Café. WPRI says it is conducting a review.
The Rhode Island Attorney General's office is not filing charges against a member of the Warren Town Council. Joseph DePasquale was accused last month of biting the finger of a musician outside a bar. The A.G.'s office says it couldn't determine who the primary aggressor was.
Two members of the Tiverton Town Council are getting recalled. The Thursday election saw council president Robert Coulter and vice president Justin Katz lose their seats, pending the results being made official. The petitioner who filed the recall listed a number of issues with Coulter and Katz, including not following the will of the people and misleading voters on issues before the council.
The winner of Thursday's primary for the Ward 10 seat on the Providence City Council is Pedro Espinal. He edged out three other Democrats for the right to face independent Jeff Lemire next month. Espinal faced controversies during the primary election, including reports that he owes almost 100-thousand dollars in property taxes to the city of Providence.
The Route 195 Redevelopment District Commission is giving developer Jason Fane one more extension to submit an application for a tax treaty. Fane wants to build the 46-story Hope Point Tower on former 195 land in Providence, which some have criticized for being too tall and for hosting luxury residences. The new deadline to file the tax-stabilization agreement is December 1st. Several extensions have been previously granted.
Make it a half-dozen wins to start the 2019 NFL season for the New England Patriots. They downed the New York Giants 35-to-14 in Foxboro last night. Tom Brady scored two rushing touchdowns. New England, which is one of only two unbeatens remaining in the NFL, is off until October 21st when the Pats are at the New York Jets for a Monday Night Football tilt.
The Providence College men's basketball team is picked to finish in a fourth-place tie with Marquette University. That's according to the Big East Preseason Coaches' Poll released yesterday. The Friars open the regular season on November 5th, hosting Sacred Heart University at the Dunkin' Donuts Center.
Every public school student in Providence is now getting access to free breakfasts and lunches without having to apply. The policy has been in effect since the start of the school year last month. However, she school board gave it first passage Wednesday night. A school district spokeswoman says the city is expecting about 16-million-dollars in federal reimbursement for the free meals program.
Ready-to-eat chicken products are being recalled due to possible listeria contamination. WPRI-TV reports the products produced by Tip Top Poultry were sold nationally, including at Dave's Marketplace and Aldi store locations in Rhode Island. The frozen cooked, diced or shredded, RTE chicken products were produced between January 21st and September 24th of this year.
The New England Patriots are looking to stay perfect as they play a Thursday Night Football home game tonight. The Pats host the New York Giants at 8:20. So far in five wins, New England has scored 155 points and only given up 34. They are one of two remaining undefeated NFL teams this season.
Rhode Island Republicans want to see an independent study on the proposed lottery contract extension for IGT and a counter-proposal from Twin River. House Republican Finance Committee members called for the study yesterday. The key disputed issues, according to the GOP, including whether the proposed IGT contract includes a premium on services as a subsidy to keep jobs in the state and the performance of IGT video lottery terminals versus their competitors at the casinos in Lincoln and Tiverton.
The Burrillville School District says the Rhode Island Interscholastic League is planning a hearing soon after an alleged racial incident. Student-athletes from Central Falls were apparently subjected to racist taunts during a girls' volleyball game at Burrillville last month. Officials say corrective action being taken includes the school district working with the Rhode Island Racial Equality Institute and other organizations.
The Newport City Council has approved a six-month moratorium on development in the city's North End. Residents support the moratorium, but it is opposed by businesses, in particular, the one that is seeking to redevelop the Newport Grand site. The moratorium is being put in place so that the city can update its zoning codes.
There is a Democratic primary race for Providence City Council's Ward 10 seat today. Four candidates - Monica Huertas, Natalia Rosa Sosa, Orlando Correa, and Pedro Espinal - are on the ballot. The winner will face independent candidate Jeffrey Lemire on November 5th. Longtime Ward 10 representative Luis Aponte resigned earlier this year.
The Rhode Island Department of Transportation is re-opening the Gano Street exit on I-195 west in Providence. RIDOT says the exit, which was closed last year, will stay open until the beginning of an expansion project on the Washington Bridge, plans for which include the permanent closure of the exit and the re-routing of traffic over the Henderson Bridge. The plan has drawn criticism from commuters and residents concerned about new traffic congestion and from business owners in the Gano Street area who say their bottom lines are being affected.
Pawtucket officials are pointing to lower violation numbers for the city's new traffic camera program. A spokesperson for Mayor Donald Grebien says there were under eleven-thousand warnings issued to drivers over a five-day period last week, mostly for school speed zone violations. That's down from 15-thousand the previous week and the lowest for any week since the cameras were turned on at the end of August.
Media reports indicate a statewide grand jury is actively investigating part of Rhode Island House Speaker Nick Mattiello's 2016 re-election campaign. Sources say the jury is probing the endorsement of Mattiello in a mailer by his original Republican opponent, Shawna Lawton. An investigation from the Board of Elections found two Mattiello aides were involved in paying for and distributing the mailer, even though it was reported as an independent expenditure.
The town of Hopkinton has voted to prevent wind turbines from going up. The town council voted 3-to-2 on Monday in favor of two amendments that would effectively prohibit the installation of industrial turbines in all zoning. There are currently no industrial wind turbines in Hopkinton. Council President Frank Landolfi, one of the no-votes, warned that there is still the option to apply for zoning amendments to build renewable energy devices.
Despite failing to qualify for the playoffs this season, the Boston Red Sox have announced an increase in ticket prices for the 2020 season. The average increase is one-point-seven percent. The team says it will continue to offer special reduced pricing for students, clergy, veterans and active-duty members of the military.
Time is running out for the prize money from two winning lottery tickets to be claimed. The Rhode Island Lottery says the deadline for a Powerball ticket worth 50-thousand-dollars sold at a gas station on Valley Street in Providence, is this Thursday. The deadline for a Mega Millions ticket worth ten-thousand-dollars sold at a convenience store on Main Street in West Warwick is October 18th. Unclaimed lottery prize money goes into the state's general fund.
A proposal for an ordinance on behavior guidelines for town meetings in Narragansett is not moving forward after The Town Council rejected the idea this week. Supporters argued an ordinance is needed because meetings have become too emotional including personal verbal attacks. The state chapter of the ACLU had warned such a proposal would go too far and could have a chilling effect.
It's believed that a dam repair project in Providence is responsible for a large fish die-off. The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management was informed about the problem from a city contractor earlier this month after water levels were lowered at the Canada Pond Dam on the Providence-North Providence line. A city official tells The Providence Journal water levels are not being lowered any further while the issue is being addressed.
Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza's proposal to expand Achievement First Charter School is getting approval from the school board. The proposal to expand to three-thousand students has the backing of the state's governor and education commissioner, but must still get the OK from the Rhode Island Council on Elementary and Secondary Education. Elorza previously proposed allowing Achievement First to expand while restricting the growth of other charters in Providence with the goal of protecting traditional public schools, but that idea has not received support.
Governor Gina Raimondo is making new comments on the state of Providence public schools. Raimondo said during a live podcast taping in Chicago that some schools probably have to be merged or closed as part of the state's takeover. Raimondo said some of the schools are, quote, "just so far gone, physically".
Brown University is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to preserve the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. DACA protects immigrants who were brought to the United States as children. Brown and more than a dozen other colleges and universities have filed a brief arguing that rescinding DACA would impede their ability to advance their education and research missions, and harm students and alumni.
The Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council says the state's economy has grown faster than the national economy over the last 40 years. However, it lags behind the other New England states. Reports indicate that since 1979, Rhode Island's economy grew five-point-two percent annually compared to the region's five-point-six percent growth. The national growth annually was two-point-three percent.
The Rhode Island Soccer Association is seeking to have sports suspended at Burrillville High School. It comes after accusations that student fans made racist comments during a recent volleyball game against Central Fall High School. The Rhode Island Interscholastic League has said member schools are responsible for the conduct of spectators at games they are hosting. The league also says that upon completion of an investigation, the Principal's Committee will review the information and make a decision.
Police are investigating the theft of seven-thousand-dollars worth of Apple watches at the Providence Place Mall. WPRI-TV reports two people are accused of stealing 11 of the latest generation watches from the Apple store in separate incidents on Saturday. The thefts were reported to the police on Monday
There's a distemper outbreak in Warwick and Jamestown which could increase the risk for pet dogs. The state Department of Environmental Management says a high number of raccoons and skunks in both communities were apparently infected with the contagious virus. Distemper vaccination is not required by law, but DEM is urging pet owners to get their dogs vaccinations up to date.
There's confirmation of Eastern Equine Encephalitis in Richmond. The virus has been detected in mosquitoes that primarily bite birds. The test results are from mosquitoes trapped in that South County community on September 24th through the 26th. State health and environmental experts warn that the risk from mosquito-borne viruses remains until the first hard frost.
The new AHL regular season is underway. On Sunday, Providence was a 2-1 winner at Hershey in overtime.
Jayson Tatum scored 20 points to lead the Celtics to a 107-106 win over the Hornets in the preseason opener at TD Garden. Jevonte Green added 15 points off the bench for Boston, shooting 7-of-7 from the field. The C's play the Magic Friday in Orlando.
The Bruins will try to make it three straight road wins to start the season tomorrow at Vegas. Boston won 1-0 Saturday at Arizona after opening the season with a 2-1 win at Dallas last Thursday. The B's finish their road trip Thursday at Colorado.
The New England Patriots are one of only two unbeaten teams remaining in the NFL this season after a win against Washington yesterday. The Pats trailed after one quarter but beat the Redskins, 33-to-7 at Washington. New England, now with a 5-and-0 record, returns home for a Thursday night matchup against the New York Giants.
The police chief of North Smithfield is retiring. Steven Reynolds announced last week that he will be stepping down in February. Reynolds was appointed chief in 1996 after a previous 22-year career with the Rhode Island State Police.
A Cranston woman is facing an operating under the influence charge after reportedly slamming into a house in Massachusetts. Police in Rehoboth say the car hit a house overnight Sunday, narrowly missing a sleeping resident. The driver was identified as Lindsay Fornaciari, who was hospitalized for injuries. Fornaciari will be arraigned in court in Taunton.
Rhode Island's emergency ban on flavored e-cigarette products is now officially in place. The Department of Health announced the start of the ban on Friday after Governor Gina Raimondo signed an executive order the previous week. It will last up to 180 days before permanent regulations are issued. The state says the use of the products among youth has become a public health epidemic in Rhode Island.
The Celtics are almost ready to play ball. They play their preseason opener Sunday night at home against the Hornets. It will be the first of four exhibition games in all for Boston. The Celtics tip-off the regular season October 23rd at Philadelphia.
The Patriots look to keep rolling this week on the road against the Redskins. New England is 4-and-0 and alone atop the AFC East after winning 16-10 at Buffalo last weekend. Washington is 0-and-4, one of six teams still without a win this year.
The Bruins scored twice in the first six minutes and held on to beat the Stars 2-1 in the season opener at Dallas. Brett Ritchie and Danton Heinen scored in support of 28 saves from Tuukka Rask. The Bruins will skate at Arizona tomorrow night.
Officials with Rhode Island casino operator Twin River testified for the first time about their interest in a new state lottery contract on Thursday. It was disclosed at a House Finance Committee meeting that Greek gambling technology company Intralot is joining a partnership with Camelot Lottery Solutions and Twin River in an effort to dissuade state lawmakers from approving a no-bid extension deal with IGT. Camelot and Intralot are partners in Illinois, where Camelot recently took a contract away from IGT to manage the state lottery there.
Two cases of lung injury associated with e-cigarette use from Rhode Island are being added to a national federal investigation. The Rhode Island Department of Health says both individuals experienced symptoms last month and were hospitalized. The health department says the cases were not linked. Products were reportedly obtained from both and have been submitted to labs for testing.
A tornado on the low end of the intensity scale hit Portsmouth on Wednesday, causing a small amount of damage, according to the National Weather Service. A report from the weather service indicates the EF-0 tornado lasted a quarter-mile and reached a maximum wind speed of 65 miles per hour. There were several videos reportedly taken that showed a funnel touching down.
A retired East Providence firefighter is being credited with saving passengers who were on a World War Two plane that crashed in Connecticut, killing seven. James Traficante, a member of the Connecticut Air National Guard who was also previously in the Rhode Island National Guard, was hailed as a hero on Thursday for opening a hatch door on the bomber plane that crashed at Bradley Airport near Hartford on Wednesday, allowing some passengers on the flight to escape safely. Traficante reportedly brought flame-retardant flight gloves for the ride
RIDOT is scheduling a series of temporary traffic pattern changes for Route 146 in North Smithfield starting Friday. The changes are on the Spring Brook Bridge, which carries Route 146 North over Route 146A. The changes will allow RIDOT to make repairs to the bridge, which it expects to be done by late this month or early November.
A Providence doctor had his Jeopardy! run aired on Wednesday night. Dr. William Sikov, a breast cancer surgeon at Women and Infants Hospital, answered the Final Jeopardy! question correctly in the category of "Animal AKAs", with the correction question being "What is a sturgeon?" to the answer "It's also called the czar fish". Sikov's wager brought him to 21-thousand-610-dollars, but he was edged out by the returning champion on the show.
A settlement has been reached in a discrimination suit against the Newport Grand Casino. The ACLU of Rhode Island says a female employee, Paula Borrelli, who worked at Newport Grand from 2007 until it closed last year, claimed she had been paid less than a younger male employee performing the same duties in the same position. The ACLU says the company, without admitting liability, has agreed to pay Borelli a confidential amount for her damages.
A new scooter-share company is on the ground in Providence. Spin dropped one-hundred of the mobility devices in the city on Tuesday. A spokesperson for Spin, which is owned by Ford, says the company will increase the number of available scooters over the course of the next month to three-hundred.
Some flights that were scheduled for Bradley Airport in Connecticut were redirected to T.F. Green Airport on Wednesday after a fatal plane crash. Seven people are reported dead and seven others injured after the World War Two aircraft crashed at Bradley yesterday morning, causing the airport to be closed for several hours.
The Graduate Providence Hotel is on a New York Times list of five standout hotels in American college towns. It opened earlier this year in the former Biltmore Providence location. The Times says the Graduate incorporates the old with the new and includes various activities and events. It also notes Johnson & Wales University, the Rhode Island School of Design and Brown University are nearby.
The newest hotel in Providence is now open. The 176-room Residence Inn by Marriott Downtown Providence, opened for business Tuesday. It's located on the former site of the Fogarty Building which was torn down.
Resurfacing of three-and-a-half miles of Route 6 in Scituate is now finished. Officials say the new pavement was needed because that stretch of road between Route 101 and Route 102 in western Rhode Island had deteriorated. The state Department of Transportation says the project was completed on time and 250-thousand-dollars under budget.
A Rhode Island doctor is scheduled to appear on Jeopardy! tonight. William Sikov is a breast cancer oncologist at Women and Infants Hospital. You can watch the episode featuring Sikov on WPRI-TV at 7:30 p.m.
The Atlantic Shark Institute in Wakefield is reporting on the presence of great white sharks off the coast of Rhode Island this summer. The institute says one of them visited the Block Island Wind Farm, while another was detected near the island's Southwest Ledge, both in July. Officials say this was the first time great whites have been confirmed in state waters using acoustic receiver technology tracking tagged marine life.
Governor Gina Raimondo once again asked lawmakers on Tuesday night to back the IGT lottery deal in the latest hearing about it. Raimondo repeated her pitch to the Senate Finance Committee during a three-and-a-half-hour hearing after urging the House Finance Committee to take action on the deal last week. The House committee will hold another hearing tomorrow, which will feature testimony from officials from IGT, state casino operator Twin River, and Camelot Lottery Solutions. IGT is partnering with Solutions to try and convince lawmakers to consider an alternate contract.
The fisherman who reportedly drowned yesterday morning in Middletown has been identified. Police say the victim who fell off the rocks at the Sachuest Point Wildlife Refuge was Joaquin Almeida of Central Falls. He was pronounced dead at Newport Hospital after the morning incident.
Congressman David Cicilline predicts the impeachment inquiry into the Ukraine issue will take just a matter of weeks. In a weekend interview with National Public Radio, Cicilline said the issues regarding President Trump's phone call with the president of Ukraine are easy to understand compared to the Mueller investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. The Rhode Island Democrat sits on the House Judiciary Committee, which will bring together the findings of several House committees to determine whether to formally draw up articles of impeachment against President Trump.
The latest testing finds no new evidence of Eastern Equine Encephalitis or West Nile Virus in Rhode Island. Nevertheless, with no additional aerial spraying planned, the public is advised to continue protecting themselves and others from mosquito bites. State health and environmental experts say the risk from mosquito-borne viruses will continue until the first hard frost of the season.
Woonsocket-based CVS is no longer selling a popular anti-heartburn medicine because it may contain small amounts of a cancer-causing chemical. The largest pharmacy chain in the country has pulled Zantac and its own generic brand off the shelves. Other pharmacies including Walgreens and Walmart have also stopped selling the medication.
Police are looking for a shrimp thief. They say a woman shoplifted 100-dollars worth of frozen shrimp from the Stop and Shop on Atwood Avenue in Cranston on September 13th. Surveillance photos of her are posted on the police department's Facebook page. Anyone with information is urged to contact Cranston police.
The Bruins will drop the puck on regular-season play Thursday against the Stars in Dallas. Boston begins with a four-game road trip to Dallas, Arizona, Vegas, and Colorado. The defending Eastern Conference champions don't play their home opener until a week from Saturday against New Jersey.
Providence city treasurer James Lombardi is the new chairman of the Wyatt Detention Center board of directors. The Central Falls City Council approved the nomination on Monday. Lombardi replaces Joseph Molina Flynn, an immigration attorney and the president of the Rhode Island Latino Political Action Committee, who resigned earlier this year.
The total cost to taxpayers is more than 125-thousand dollars for the city of Providence to remove a two-way bike lane it previously installed. Officials say outcry from neighbors is leading to the dismantling of the city's first such bike lane on Eaton Street, which was completed earlier this month. Providence's "Great Streets" initiative, unveiled earlier this year, proposed bike lanes throughout the city.
Legislation dubbed a student loan bill of rights, was signed on Monday by Governor Gina Raimondo. The legislation, which had backing from the state treasurer and attorney general, requires student loan servicers to register with the state and allows state regulators to examine their business practices. It also allows the state to penalize servicers who violate borrower rights and to seek restitution on their behalf.
The Senate Finance Committee is holding a second hearing today on authorizing the extension of Rhode Island's lottery contract with IGT Global Solutions Corporation. Governor Gina Raimondo is expected to speak at the five p.m. hearing. Administration officials will also discuss terms of the proposal and the negotiating process.