Today is the annual Buy Nothing Day in Rhode Island. The intent is to provide warm coats for the needy. It started on Black Friday 23 years ago on the State House grounds, across from the Providence Place Mall. In addition to Providence, it's now held at several sites around the state including Cranston, East Greenwich, Newport, North Kingstown, Pawtucket, Warwick and Wakefield. Hours vary.
Nine historic houses of worship in Newport will hold open houses from noon-to-three p.m. on Monday, December 23rd. Visitors will have the opportunity learn about their roles in the city's religious freedom and diversity. More information is available online at tourosynagogue.org.
Mayor Jorge Elorza says despite some high-profile incidents, the Providence Place Mall is as safe as any urban mall in the country. The mayor is encouraging Christmas shoppers to visit the mall saying violent incidents are the exception rather than the rule. Elorza says city police closely coordinate with mall security to ensure public safety.
In an effort to support small businesses during the Christmas shopping season, Providence is offering two-hours of free on-street parking starting today and lasting through New Years Day. The time limit on free parking in various commercial areas will be strictly enforced. More information is available online at goprovidence.com.
The executive director of the Rhode Island Interscholastic League is retiring. Tom Mezzanotte will step down at the end of the school year, according to a report. This is the 16th year Mezzanotte has led the RIIL.
A software glitch is causing people in East Providence to receive delinquency notices regarding their car tax payments. About eight-thousand car owners received the letters from the Department of Motor Vehicles this week. A city spokesperson says an error in the city's tax software caused residents who should not have gotten a notice to get one. The DMV will follow up with residents to let them know if the notice they got was by mistake.
Senator Jack Reed has announced a federal grant of about eight-million dollars for RIPTA to build new mobility hubs. They will be at the University of Rhode Island in South Kingstown and the Community College of Rhode Island's Knight Campus in Warwick. The investment includes funding for additional buses, according to Reed's office.
Rhode Island's Temporary Disability Insurance tax rate is going up. The state Department of Labor and Training indicates it will take one-point-three-percent of a worker's pay instead of one-point-one percent in 2020, which means someone earning 50-thousand dollars per year will see about one-hundred dollars more taken out. The increase is due to more people in the state receiving state disability and caregiver benefits. The tax hadn't gone up in five years.
University of Rhode Island researchers are testing a few anti-terrorism tech items. CBS This Morning checked in with URI as the TSA anticipates a record level of Thanksgiving holiday travel. One of the solutions being tested is called a digital dog nose, which is a sensor that can help Homeland Security sniff out explosives just as well as or better than a bomb-sniffing dog. Another creation being tested is called "schmoo", which can flash-freeze an explosive.
A Cumberland Farms in Westerly was closed for a period of time on Monday due to a drug-related hazmat situation. Westerly Police Chief Shawn Lacey says officers discovered a white powder that contained fentanyl on the floor of a bathroom, and that someone stepped in it and tracked the substance into the store, prompting the closure so that the cleanup could happen. This was at the Cumbie's on Friendship Street. Police are investigating.
Governor Gina Raimondo has returned from what she called a productive economic development trip to Israel. Raimondo and Rhode Island Commerce Secretary Stefan Pryor held a series of meetings focusing on the cybersecurity, bioscience, marine and food-based industries of the Ocean State, according to a statement from the Commerce Corporation. As part of the mission, Raimondo signed a memorandum of understanding with Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, which will involve RIHub, the state's new innovation center.
The name that many had already given the future Worcester triple-A Boston Red Sox affiliate is now its official new name. When the Sox move out of Pawtucket to Worcester for the 2021 season, they'll be known as the WooSox. The team name was unveiled last night, as well as the logo. It features a smiley face as a nod to the smiley that was invented by Worcester native Harvey Ball. It also includes a heart inside the "W" for WooSox, which alludes to Worcester's claim as the heart of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
The public now has 30 days to comment on a proposed plan to redesign the ramp system on the Newport side of the Newport Pell Bridge. The plan prepared by the state Department of Transportation was released on Friday. After the comment period, the Federal Highway Administration will determine the next step. Construction on the new ramp system could start in the spring of 2021 with a completion date sometime in 2024.
The Providence Bruins came away with five out of a possible six points in their American Hockey League schedule this weekend. The P-Bruins blanked Bridgeport 5-to-0 on Friday, then went to Springfield and lost to the Thunderbirds 5-to-4 in overtime on Saturday, before coming back to the Dunk and doubling up Hershey on Sunday, 6-to-3. Providence is two points out of first place in the AHL's Atlantic Division.
The Rhode Island Department of Transportation is acknowledging it is behind schedule for installing new truck tolls. A previously-provided schedule indicated RIDOT hoped to have seven of the thirteen planned locations online at this point in time, but only four are currently in operation, A spokesperson says there have been some delays in installing the toll gantries because of problems getting the needed materials out of the Midwest, where there has been severe flooding.
Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell is speaking in Providence this evening. Powell will be the keynote speaker at the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce meeting at the Rhode Island Convention Center. Powell assumed office in 2018.
Bryant University officials are investigating an alleged racist incident on campus. A student's comedy act for an open mic night last week was loaded with racist comments, according to a video of the act that has been shared widely on social media. A university committee has determined that a bias incident happened, but it is still collecting information, according to school officials.
The Providence Police Department is deciding not to hire a probationary police officer after he was charged with assaulting his girlfriend. The Providence PD says Craig Amado is no longer on the force. He was arrested for the incident earlier this month.
Democratic presidential candidate and former vice president Joe Biden was in Providence on Sunday for a campaign fundraiser. The event was private at an East Side residence, with nearly two-hundred people reportedly in attendance. A throng of reporters greeted Biden as he left and quickly got into a waiting vehicle. There was also a protester there who asked Biden why he was going back on a pledge to not take money from super political action committees, which Biden refuted before closing the door.
The New England Patriots and Dallas Cowboys played through rainy and windy conditions at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro on Sunday night. It was the Patriots coming out on top, 13-to-9 to win their tenth game of the season. The Buffalo Bills also won yesterday, so the New England lead for first place in the AFC East division is two games, with five left to play in the 2019 NFL season. A Sunday Night Football trip to Houston is next for the Pats.
The New England Patriots are returning home to take on the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday night. The Pats are coming off a Super Bowl rematch against the Philadelphia Eagles in which they earned a measure of revenge with a win in Philly last weekend. They are now at nine wins and one loss on the season. Kickoff versus the Cowboys is at 4:25 p.m. at Gillette Stadium.
The relocated Pawtucket Red Sox are going to announce their new team name on Monday. With the pending move to Worcester, many have already taken to calling the team the WooSox, but that hasn't been set in stone. The name reveal is scheduled for 7 p.m. and is set to be broadcast on regional sports network NESN.
State Treasurer Seth Magaziner says the state's Small Business Loan Program is expanding. The treasurer's office says the BankLOCAL incentive initiative for local banks and credit unions has expanded by ten-million dollars. Nearly three-hundred businesses have benefited since the program launched in 2017, according to Magaziner.
The city of Providence is expecting a fourth consecutive fiscal surplus under Mayor Jorge Elorza. The mayor announced on Wednesday that the city is expecting a year-end operating surplus of eight-and-a-half-million dollars and that the city's rainy-day fund has now grown to twenty-million. Chief Financial Officer Lawrence Mancini says the city's unfunded pension liability of one-billion dollars remains a concern, but that the surplus is good news.
Regulations are being proposed for new marijuana dispensaries in Rhode Island. The proposal, released Thursday by the RI Department of Business Regulation, calls for limiting new dispensaries from growing cannabis but allowing existing growers to do so if they get a license to become a dispensary. With six new dispensaries set to come to the state, the regulations also create a lottery system to select applicants.
The skating rink in downtown Providence formally known as the Alex & Ani City Center, is now the BankNewport City Center. Yesterday marked the official opening of the rink for the 2019-2020 winter season. Mayor Jorge Elorza and other city officials used the occasion to announce a series of events planned at the venue.
Adjunct professors at Rhode Island College are seeking a two-and-a-half-percent pay raise. They say their last contract expired in August of 2018, and that negotiations are stalled. The professors staged an informational picket on campus Wednesday to call public attention to the stalemate.
License processing services are now restored at the state Department of Motor Vehicles. Transactions stopped Wednesday due to a technical issue with a vendor. No other DMV services were disrupted by the outage.
In basketball, the Celtics lost for just the third time this season on Wednesday night. The C's lost in overtime at the Los Angeles Clippers, 107-to-104. Boston is on the road for one more game tomorrow at Denver before returning home. In hockey, the Bruins are home tonight versus the Buffalo Sabres.
Popular Rhode Island bakery Seven Stars is looking to expand. Its owners want to open a baking facility and corporate headquarters in downtown Pawtucket near City Hall. Seven Stars is reportedly seeking a five-year tax stabilization agreement from the city. The owners say there will be about 50 associated jobs.
A dredging project is set to begin on the Providence and Woonasquatucket rivers. The project, being coordinated by the Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council, is expected to take about a month. The stretch of rivers runs from the Providence Place Mall to the Crawford Street bridge. Voters passed a bond to pay for the dredging last November.
Warwick is the best community in Rhode Island to live in according to the financial website 24/7 Wall Street. The ranking is based on ten factors including income, homeownership, commute time and crime rate.
Parishioners at St. Mark Catholic Church in Jamestown are being warned to erase a bogus email that appears to be sent by the pastor. Reverend Stephen Amaral tells police he believes his email was hacked and his contact list was lifted. The email impersonating the priest asks for a favor and a response.
The interim East Providence fire chief is now in the permanent chief. Glenn Quick's appointment became effective on Monday. Mayor Bob DaSilva says the new chief has decades of experience and is well-respected. Quick succeeds Chief Oscar Elmasian who retired in September.
The Rhode Island Division of Motor Vehicles is unable to process license transactions due to a service disruption. According to the DMV, the vendor that provides licensing data is having technical problems. Other services are not affected. It's unclear when licensing services will resume.
A popular tulip farm is moving from Johnston to Exeter. The Wicked Tulip Flower Farm is relocating to leased land at Schartner Farms. The owners say the soil at their Johnston property needs a rest. The farm is expected to be in operation at its new location in the spring.
A report of a possible fentanyl exposure is what prompted an emergency response to The Miriam Hospital in Providence Wednesday morning. First responders in hazmat gear entered the emergency room when a patient was found in possession of a small bag of an unknown white powder. Authorities now say the substance tested negative for fentanyl, but that there were trace amounts of cocaine.
Leaseholders of New England wind energy ventures are announcing a new joint proposal. The companies - Equinor, Mayflower Wind, Orsted-Eversource and Vineyard Wind - are proposing to the U.S. Coast Guard a uniform turbine layout with one nautical mile spacing between turbines. The companies say the proposal is in response to feedback from key stakeholders. In response, the executive director of pro-fishing industry advocate Saving Seafood said many fishing industry leaders have concerns about this type of announcement before the Coast Guard finishes a study on potential safety effects of turbine spacing.
The Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority is announcing the completion of the first sequence of the deck repair project for the Newport Pell Bridge. The RITBA says the completion is happening several weeks ahead of the originally scheduled finish. The next part of the project is expected to begin next March.
Residents were angry at Monday's Hopkinton Town Council meeting about a large commercial solar project. They alleged that trees were clear-cut from the site without all necessary approvals and that a promised buffer zone with neighbors was violated. A group of residents has filed a legal challenge against the project on about 140 acres on Main Street.
A new ordinance affecting short-term rentals like Airbnb in Providence is starting up at the end of this month. The city says hosts and visitors should review the policy. Provisions stipulate, among other things, that non-owner-occupied dwellings cannot have short-term rental properties in most of the city's residential zones. Also, renting out an entire dwelling will require a permit.
The former Rhode Island Democratic Party's Women's Caucus is splitting from the party. State Democrats on Monday night passed new rules that prevent the caucus from endorsing candidates, spending money or making statements as a group without approval from the party chairman, which caused the split, according to a Providence Journal report. State Democratic Party chair Joseph McNamara says the purpose of the new bylaws is to put forth a unified party message. The group is now just called the Rhode Island Democratic Women's Caucus.
The chair of the Federal Reserve Board is going to be in Providence next week. Jerome Powell will deliver the keynote speech at the annual meeting of the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce. The meeting is set for six p.m. next Monday at the Rhode Island Convention Center.
The operators of a lobster board are expected to federal face charges. Federal and state investigators boarded the vessel at Point Judith and seized 116 undersized lobsters and four female lobsters identified as breeders that are protected from being harvested. The lobsters have been returned to the ocean, alive. The boat has not been identified.
More than 500 people have already signed a petition to stop a proposed access road in Warwick. Residents are against the request from Dave's Marketplace as it plans to move from its current location to the former Benny's on West Shore Road. Opponents say the access road has been closed for more than 20 years and reopening it would be harmful to the neighborhood.
State Treasurer Seth Magaziner is encouraging Rhode Islanders to buy state bonds. Magaziner is calling to attention the state's plans to offer 153-million dollars in bonds to support school construction and other projects throughout Rhode Island. Starting next Tuesday, information about the upcoming bond sale will be available at RhodeIslandBonds.com. The bonds will be sold in December.
The city of Providence is reaching a settlement agreement with the city police union regarding overtime payments. The Providence Journal reports the agreement was reached earlier this month for one-point-five-million dollars being paid out to over four-hundred officers. The police union filed a suit in 2013 accusing the city of violating federal fair-labor standards. The agreement needs federal court approval.
The Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council is approving the extension of a seawall in the village of Matunuck, South Kingstown. The first phase of the wall was completed in 2017; this was a 350-foot extension that was approved at a council meeting last week. Town officials are aiming to protect Matunuck Beach Road and the people that rely on the road from the effects of coastal erosion.
The Providence Catholic Diocese is closing a church in Woonsocket. It's the St. Charles Borromeo Church. The last-scheduled Masses are the weekend of January 11th and 12th. Church officials said they sought permission from the diocese to close because of declining attendance and financial reasons.
Fire officials across Rhode Island say it's never too early to think about holiday safety. Officials say Christmas tree sales will be starting up soon and it's important to water natural trees daily and keep them hydrated. It's also critical to make sure the tree is not blocking an exit and is at least three feet away from any heat source like fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights. Firefighters warn not to overload extension cords with strings of holiday lights.
The Providence Police children's coat drive is underway. The police department and community partners are collecting new and gently used coats for newborns through 18-years-old. Donations will be accepted through December 2nd at United Way of Rhode Island on Valley Street, the Providence Public Safety complex on Washington Street, the Non-Violence Institute on Oxford and the Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island on Elmgrove Road, which is open Saturday and Sunday.
The Rhode Island State Police are investigating the theft of a Providence police officer's personal weapon. Providence Chief Hugh Clements Junior says the theft was discovered Monday morning. The gun is a rifle and was stolen in Foster from the officer's car. The rifle hasn't been recovered.
The police chief of North Providence is retiring. It was announced Monday that Chief David Tikoian will retire as of January 1st. He has served more than 25 years in law enforcement. Supporters say some of the chief's top accomplishments include re-establishing the K-9 unit, adding resource officers to the schools and increasing officer presence in the community through outreach initiatives.
Rhode Island is seeing a positive trend regarding pedestrian deaths. Fewer people have been hit and killed on foot in the Ocean State this year than any of the last three years. Twenty-one pedestrians were killed in 2017 and 14 in 2016. Last year there were seven pedestrian fatalities and this year stands at five.
Governor Gina Raimondo is on a policy mission to Israel. The governor is leading a group of democratic governors to the Middle East for this week's meetings with elected officials and policy experts as well as entrepreneurs. The states are looking to build new partnerships with Israel's business community. The delegation will have a series of meetings that focus on cyber security and bio-manufacturing before returning Friday.
Multiple state agencies are back online after experiencing Internet outages. Service was restored around 10:30 Monday morning to most of the departments including the DMV, Department of Human Services, Department of Children, Youth, and Families' Bristol Office and the Lottery. Department of Administration.
A state commission set up to encourage more people of color to enter education careers is holding its first meeting tomorrow. State Representative Karen Alzate's resolution, passed earlier this year, created the commission. Alzate says it will be an important first step to attaining a diverse teacher pool, with the goal of benefiting students of all racial backgrounds. The commission is due to report its findings and recommendations to the House of Representatives no later than April 17th of next year.
Rhode Island's history with slavery is being brought to attention About 50 people, including Congressman David Cicilline, gathered at Patriots Park in Portsmouth on Saturday for the unveiling of a bronze slave medallion, which features a QR code that people can scan with their phones to learn more. This particular memorial calls to attention the slaves who were purchased to fight in the Battle of Rhode Island during the Revolutionary War.
The mother-in-law of former Rhode Island governor and senator Lincoln Chafee has died. The former first lady of the state Stephanie Chafee says Sophie Danforth passed away over the weekend. Danforth was a philanthropist who founded the Rhode Island Zoological Society to benefit the Roger Williams Park Zoo.
A Newport man is facing a DUI charge after a fatal crash in Middletown. Police say a car flipped on Third Beach Road overnight Saturday, killing a passenger, identified as Kailyn Newton of Westport, Massachusetts. The vehicle operator has been identified as Patrick Carson. Carson is scheduled for a court appearance in Newport today.
The New England Patriots are back at it after their first loss of the season and a bye week. The Pats have a rematch against their recent Super Bowl nemesis, the Philadelphia Eagles, on Sunday afternoon. Kickoff from Philly is set for 4:25 p.m. New England's record is 8-and-1.
AAA is predicting the highest volume of Americans traveling for Thanksgiving this year since 2005. AAA expects more than 54-million people in the country will journey 50 miles or more away from home, about five percent more than last year. The worst time for driving in the local area will be 4 to 6 p.m. on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, on I-495 south in Massachusetts from exits 41 to 33, according to the travel agency.
Governor Gina Raimondo is focusing on increasing housing availability in the state. Raimondo spoke at a state housing forum at the Rhode Island Convention Center on Thursday and said she intends to make the construction of a higher number of new homes a priority next year. Raimondo said she was open to floating affordable-housing bonds, but she pointed to other states like Massachusetts with an annual revenue stream and said that might be the way to go.
A tentative deal has been struck between the city of Warwick and its firefighter union. Mayor Joe Solomon announced the three-year contract on Thursday, saying it will save the city almost a half-million dollars in the first year. The deal must be ratified by the Warwick City Council.
RIDOT is announcing an upcoming lane shift for the start of a new I-95 bridge project in Providence. The twelve-point-seven-million-dollar project is to repair five bridges along 95 in the city. The department will implement a left lane shift on the Eddy Street Bridge starting today for I-95 south only. The project is expected to fully wrap up in the spring of 2022.
There's a boil water advisory for customers of the Quonochontaug East Beach Water Association in Charlestown. E coli bacteria was detected on Tuesday in one of two wells. The boil water order will remain in effect until the source of the bacteria is identified, the water system is disinfected and there are three consecutive days of bacteria-free samples.
Governor Gina Raimondo is going to Israel next week on an economic development and policy mission. As chair of the Democratic Governors Association, she will lead a group of governors in an effort to strengthen their states' relationships with Israel. The trip is from November 17th to the 22nd.
Schools in Rhode Island have received a report card. The state Department of Education released its 2019 school accountability results on Thursday. Schools are ranked on one to five stars based on factors including attendance and test scores. There are 22 five-star schools in the state, 49 four-star schools, 134 schools with three stars, and 35 one-star schools.
The owners of Waites Wharf in Newport are seeking demolition permits to take down all the existing structures to make way for a waterfront hotel. According to a permits application all of the existing buildings are in fair to poor condition. The Newport Daily News also reports the Planning Board will hold a special meeting at seven p.m. on Monday to consider the application.
The pastor of Saint Charles Borromeo Catholic Church in Woonsocket is asking the Diocese of Providence to close the parish. Reverend Joseph Upton cites declining attendance, rising expenses and more than a million-dollars worth of needed repairs to the more than century-old church. He is asking that the final day be Sunday, January 5th, 2020.
A doorbell camera video is being shared on social media by a North Kingstown man showing a deer smashing into his home. John Ross' doorbell cam shows a buck charging towards his door, smashing the glass, and then quickly running away. The deer was apparently unharmed.
Rhode Island's largest community solar project is starting in North Smithfield. The project, developed by Nautilus Solar and Turning Point Energy, benefits residential customers without traditional access to solar power on their living space. A groundbreaking was held on Wednesday for the 65-acre renewable energy farm on a Superfund site off Pound Hill Road.
The Rhode Island Board of Education has voted to raise tuition at three state-run universities. The increase is about five-hundred dollars for in-state students at the University of Rhode Island and Rhode Island College, while in-state students at Community College of Rhode Island would see an increase of about two-hundred.
Women and Infants Hospital in Providence is naming a new president. Care New England says it's Matt Quin replacing Rick Majzun, who left in April. Since that time, Quin has served as chief operating officer. CNE says Quin has been with Women and Infants since 2013; prior to that, he was the director of the surgical and burn trauma ICU at Brigham and Women's in Boston.
The Providence weather station for the National Weather Service broke a cold temperature record on Wednesday. The NWS says the mark for lowest high temperature was shattered with the temp set at 32 degrees. The previous record for the date was 37 degrees, set in 1911.
A Cranston firefighter's complaint about inappropriate behavior by others is under investigation. Details about the alleged behavior have not been released. Mayor Allan Fung says once the independent investigation is complete, the next course of action will be determined. The president of the firefighters union local says it will await the findings of what it trusts will be a fair and impartial investigation.
The number of homeless veterans in Rhode Island dropped 11-percent between 2018 and 2019, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The data is based on estimates of the number of people in emergency shelters, transitional housing and living in unsheltered conditions.
Police say four youths are in custody following a threat against Woonsocket High School. A telephone call warning of a shooting was received around 11 o'clock yesterday morning. The school was placed on lockdown as a precaution, but police say they found nothing credible and there is no indication an actual weapon was involved.
A Brown University student's answer on Final Jeopardy helped him and fellow contestants show their love for host Alex Trebek. During his appearance on the show's annual Tournament of Champions, contestant Dhruv Gaur wrote "We (heart) you Alex!" instead of a Final Jeopardy answer. The gesture nearly brought Trebek to tears. The host continues to battle stage four pancreatic cancer.
Woonsocket native and former Bishop Hendricken standout Rocco Baldelli is the winner of baseball's American League Manager of the Year. At 38-years old, Baldelli is the youngest manager to win the award. He led the Minnesota Twins to 101 wins and a divisional title this season, his first.
A noise ordinance has gotten final approval in East Greenwich. Neighbors have complained about the noise coming from live entertainment hosted by businesses on the waterfront. The town council approved the ordinance last night.
The state is ruling in favor of a former Providence tax assessor in a case against the city. The Department of Labor and Training Board of Review said last week Thaddeus Jankowski cannot be denied benefits because he was not fired from his job for reasons of work-related misconduct, according to a Providence Journal report. The city said Jankowski was fired in July because of unauthorized vacation days. He was seeking about four-thousand-dollars' pay.
North Providence and Pawtucket are planning to centralize fire dispatch calls according to North Providence Mayor Charlie Lombardi. He says an agreement has been reached to handle Pawtucket's calls through his town's new public safety complex. In a broadcast interview today, Lombardi said the deal will be a significant cost-saver for both communities. Pawtucket Mayor Don Grebien has commented.
The deputy chief operating officer for the Boston Public School Department may be headed to the Providence School District. Zack Scott's appointment as chief operating officer is on the Providence School Board's agenda for tonight. The move comes less than two weeks after the state takeover of the troubled district.
Brown University is planning to increase financial aid for student veterans in the next three to five years. The university will try to raise a 25-million-dollar endowment. The funding will be raised as part of a 500-million-dollar goal for undergraduate financial aid that was set in 2015 as part of the three-billion-dollar BrownTogether campaign.
More than a dozen Rhode Island cities and towns are filing a lawsuit against the state's lifetime contracts law. They oppose it saying it will be costly to taxpayers. Public employee unions say without it they'll be at the mercy of management. The lifetime contracts law signed by Governor Gina Raimondo in May, extends contracts indefinitely after they expire.
The state's official Veterans Day ceremony was held on Monday at the Rhode Island Veterans Home in Bristol. Governor Gina Raimondo and all of Rhode Island's Congressional delegation spoke. As part of an overall tribute to veterans, yesterday's keynote speaker praised Rhode Island native Esek Hopkins, who commanded the Navy during the American Revolutionary War.
Rhode Island municipal leaders are set to file suit today to challenge a new law affecting public employee union contracts. The mayors and town administrators are set for a news conference in North Providence to explain their suit against the General Assembly and Governor Gina Raimondo. The bill extends those contracts indefinitely after they expire. Proponents said the law was aimed at preventing unilateral pay cuts during contract disputes.
The pilot who was involved in an emergency landing of a small plane on I-95 in Exeter on Saturday is speaking out. Rafael Campos of New York says he had taken off from T.F. Green Airport and was on his way home with his sister when his aircraft experienced problems and the engine stopped, leading to him calling an emergency mayday. The pilot of eight years said landing on the highway was his only option.
Authorities have identified the woman who died after falling down the stairs at a Westerly bar on Friday. The woman has been ID'd as Traci Kiriakou of Westerly. This incident happened at the Hill Top Cafe on Canal Street. Witnesses told police the women were heading outside to smoke when they fell down the concrete steps.
A restaurant in Coventry is no longer open. The owner of the Westcott House Family Restaurant says the location was not able to survive. Dave Azverde says running a small business is a unique challenge and he says the place wouldn't have survived five years without the support of the community and employees. The restaurant's West Warwick location remains open.
Former Beatle Ringo Starr is going to perform in Providence. He'll be at the Providence Performing Arts Center with his All-Starr Band next June. Tickets go sale this Friday at ten a.m.
The number of high school students in Rhode Island who report frequently using vaping products has spiked in the last two years. That's according to the state Department of Health's 2019 Youth Risk Behavior Survey. Over ten-percent of high schoolers now report frequent use of electronic vapor products compared to less than four-percent in 2017. Governor Gina Raimondo calls the numbers a wake-up call for everyone. She says that's why she signed an executive order in September banning the sale of electronic nicotine delivery system products.
There are 17 new deputy sheriffs. They graduate Friday from the Rhode Island Division of Sheriffs Training Academy. Deputy sheriffs are responsible for the custody and safety of prisoners while being taken to courts and other locations. They also provide security in court buildings.
More than 21-million-dollars is going to be available to help eligible Rhode Islanders with their heating bills this winter. The Trump administration is releasing the money through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program. About 35-thousand Ocean State residents received assistance last year.
Governor Raimondo signed a bill on Friday to allow gay and transgender military discharges be recorded as honorable so that they can receive benefits. By some estimates, as many as 100-thousand service members were discharged for being gay between World War Two and the "don't' ask, don't tell" policy; many received undesirable discharges, which barred them from veterans' benefits. State rep. Camille F.J. Vella-Wilkinson says while the military is upgrading some discharges to honorable, the process can take a long time.
Rhode Island lawmakers want to dismiss Governor Gina Raimondo's lawsuit filed over the regulation of marijuana. The legal challenge is over a new law that gives the legislature veto power for new medical marijuana and hemp rules. But in motions filed in Superior Court on Friday, an attorney said the law is already set for a repeal. The provision had been included in this year's state budget.
Mayor Pete was in Providence on Sunday. Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg held a rally and fundraiser at the Veterans Memorial Auditorium, which was not open to the press. He also took part in a high-end donor event at Nick's restaurant. Congressman David Cicilline spoke at both events.
The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management says an incident involving an officer firing his gun is being investigated. The DEM says the officer had been struck and injured by a man on a dirt bike in the Big River Management Area in West Greenwich at around 12:30 p.m. Saturday. Authorities say a Coventry man, Austin DiPeitro, was arrested on charges including assaulting a police officer. The officer involved was reportedly taken to Kent County Hospital by ambulance.
A woman is dead after reportedly falling down the stairs of a bar in Westerly. Police responded to Hill Top Café on Friday night and said two women fell down a set of steps leading to the bar's basement area. A 31-year-old woman from Westerly reportedly died after being taken to Rhode Island Hospital. Police are investigating.
An airplane made an emergency landing on I-95 in South County on Saturday night. State police say the single-engine plane took off from T.F. Green Airport with a destination of Long Island and landed safely in the breakdown lane on 95 north in Exeter without any injuries on board, and no cars were hit. State police didn't immediately identify the pilot, but said he is from Woodhaven, New York and had almost a decade of flying experience. Police said the plane, which had been towed to a pullout area, was being relocated to Westerly on Sunday.
University of Rhode Island researchers say the state's conditions are excellent for growing the world's most expensive spice. Saffron is mostly harvested out of Iran and isn't commonly grown in the U.S. A professor who is overseeing a study to test how well it grows in Rhode Island says until the last couple of years, no one had tried to grow it in Southern New England's moist, rich soils.
A captain for the Rhode Island State Police who filed a racial discrimination complaint is retiring. Captain Gerald McKinney claimed RISP superintendent Colonel James Manni tried to force him off his command staff by re-opening an investigation into an incident in 2014 when he filed the complaint with the state Commission for Human Rights. Manni asked Connecticut State Police to review an incident involving a member of the RISP command staff, reported as McKinney, who allegedly struck a suspect in custody. McKinney is stepping down after 25 years with the state police.
A Providence City Council member introduced a resolution on Thursday regarding the placement of the Christopher Columbus statue. The statue has been vandalized multiple times, including this past Columbus Day when someone dumped red paint on it. Ward 8 council member James Taylor said the statue was a gift to the Elmwood Neighborhood Association and says residents of the neighborhood should have a say. Others have said it should be moved.
Several Rhode Island mayors are objecting to a program that helped homeless New York City families relocate here. A New York Post story about NYC exporting the homeless to elsewhere in the U.S. mentions several families moved to Providence, Pawtucket and Woonsocket. The mayors of the three cities called the program an outrageous example of bad public policy and that they want state human services officials to jump in.
The executive director of Direct Action for Rights and Equality is stepping down after ten years. Fred Ordonez says it's time younger people to lead the nonprofit's mission of advancing change through community organizing and grassroots efforts. Commonly referred to as DARE, the group says it campaigns for policies and legislation to help the most marginalized residents of Providence.
The Raimondo administration is seeking the release of grand jury records from the 38 Studios investigation. The governor's lawyer argued the case yesterday before the state Supreme Court. The video game company owned by former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling went bankrupt in 2012, leaving taxpayers on the hook for loan guarantees that were used to lure the company from Massachusetts to Rhode Island. A decision from the high court is expected in six to eight weeks.
The Smithfield Town Council is proposing an ordinance that would ban the sale of animals in any retail pet store or commercial establishment. Supporters say the proposal is meant to prevent the sale of puppies and kittens bred from so-called puppy mills. A public hearing and a vote on the ordinance are scheduled for December 17th at the Town Hall.
Providence is partially withholding payments to its speed camera operator in a contract dispute. The city treasurer started withholding payments when it was learned that neither the City Council or the Board of Contract and Supply approved a 2018 contract amendment. Some city officials argue the amendment didn't have to be approved because it did not a significantly change the contract.
The Pawtucket Red Sox are providing an update on the annual tradition of sending a pair of children to the World Series. The team tells MassLive.com it plans to start including a pair of kids from Worcester, Massachusetts when the team moves there in 2021. Also, the team says Pawtucket will continue to be included in the tradition, which has been ongoing for the last three decades in collaboration with the Boys and Girls Club.
CVS Health stores are closing. The company says about two-dozen will shut their doors next year. The drug store chain says underperforming stores are affected, but locations haven't been released.
A new federal grant is being announced to help with repairs to part of the Washington Bridge carrying Route 195. Members of Rhode Island's Congressional delegation say the project will get a 25-million-dollar boost from the grant, meaning the federal government is now committed to a total of 56-million of the proposed 70-million-dollar job. Officials say the westbound span of the bridge is in poor structural condition.
There was more criticism on Wednesday at a hearing for non-emergency Medicaid patient transport company MTM. The House Oversight Committee has been keeping close tabs on MTM since their contract began at the start of the year, resulting in a high number of complaints. But at a committee hearing on Wednesday, state Medicaid officials said the complaints have gone down significantly, while MTM leaders said the company is complying with its contract. Nonetheless, Committee chair Patricia Serpa said maybe it is time to cut the state's losses and void the deal.
A legislative task force studying Rhode Island's education funding formula is meeting today. Members will hear a presentation on the Basic Education Plan, which is a set of regulations for the state's public school system. The meeting is set for this afternoon at four in Room 313 at the State House.
New traffic patterns on Route 6 near the Woonasquatucket River Bridge in Providence are expected to remain in place through next year. It's part of the project to replace the structurally deficient bridge which is used by 60-thousand vehicles daily. Eastbound lanes were to be shifted to the right in time for Wednesday morning's commute and the westbound shift for this morning's commute.
As part of the state takeover of the Providence School Department, changes are being made in the central office. Art Nevins, education policy advisor to the governor is the new interim chief of staff. A new chief operations officer replaces the chief human relations person to oversee administration, finances and human resources. Because state Education Commissioner Angelica Infante-Green now has total control of the district, the mayor, city council and school board are no longer part of the organizational chart.
A sushi restaurant to open in Bristol is being told it has to remove a display with Chinese calligraphy because it violates the town's sign ordinance. A representative for the restaurant's developer appealed a zoning enforcement officer's finding at a Bristol Zoning Board of Review meeting on Monday. The developer said the Chinese character for "Papa", the name of the restaurant on Thames Street, was intended as art, but the zoning board ruled it was a sign.
The city of Providence is releasing a report on the first year of bike and scooter-sharing programs. In the first year, the report says there were 169-thousand trips taken on scooters and about 283-thousand on bikes. But the City Council member who requested the report, Majority Leader Jo-Ann Ryan says she found what was released to be inadequate with alot of information missing and that she feels the report downplayed public safety concerns.
The MBTA board is calling for a multi-billion-dollar commuter rail system upgrade. Work is expected to start right away on electrifying the Providence-Stoughton line and several others. Officials note the Providence line already has the infrastructure for electric trains because of the presence of Amtrak on the corridor.
A Rhode Island Superior Court judge is allowing Governor Gina Raimondo's ban on flavored vaping products to stand. The judge made the decision on Tuesday after a challenge was brought by the Washington-based Vapor Technology Association and the owner of RI e-Cig and Vapes shop in Warwick. They argued the ban exceeded the governor's constitutional authority.
There was election activity on Tuesday in Providence, North Kingstown and East Greenwich. In the capital city, Democrat Pedro Espinal was the winner of a City Council seat vacated by longtime Ward 10 councilman Luis Aponte. In North Kingstown, voters said no to paying for improvements to the town hall, while approving a town lease of property for a renewable energy project. In East Greenwich, voters approved money for work on schools and the sewer system.
Meeting Street School is celebrating the completion of its campus expansion project. It includes new classrooms. new athletic fields and an adaptive playground. The next project is a new building focused on early childhood development and care. Work is expected to begin next spring.
Governor Gina Raimondo says January's natural gas outage on Aquidneck Island was unacceptable and National Grid must be accountable because it wasn't prepared. The outage left thousands or Middletown and Newport residents without service and caused many businesses to close for about a week. An investigation found a high demand for gas and equipment malfunctions caused the disruption. The governor says Rhode Island ratepayers should not and will not bear the cost for the utility company's mistakes.
Rhode Islander Rocco Baldelli is a finalist for American League Manager of the Year. In his rookie season as a big-league skipper, the Woonsocket native led the Minnesota Twins to the Central Division title and the post season before losing to the New York Yankees. The other Manager of the Year finalists are Tampa Bay's Kevin Cash and New York's Aaron Boone.
The Prince of Providence is the highest-grossing non-holiday production for Trinity Repertory Company in its 56-year history. During its seven-week run, the play about the late Providence Mayor Vincent "Buddy" Cianci drew 13-thousand people from 30 states. The theater's old record was set by My Fair Lady in 2000.
Providence Bishop Thomas Tobin is in Rome for meetings including an audience with Pope Francis. Catholic bishops are required to travel to Rome periodically to discuss the state of their diocese and issues facing the Church. WPRI-TV reports Tobin is attending the meetings and religious services with his fellow New England bishops.
Rhode Island is launching an electric vehicle charging station incentive program. The Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources says Electrify RI seeks to make more charging stations available to drivers, which it says will encourage more switching to EVs and reduce carbon emission and pollution. The one-and-a-half-million-dollar program will help fund the installation of new charging stations at businesses, residences and government properties on a first-come, first-served basis.
The Rhode Island House Oversight Committee is scheduling another hearing concerning Medical Transportation Management. The Missouri-based company began providing services for Medicaid patients for non-emergencies this year, but has been plagued with complaints of delayed service or worse. Most recently, the state Division of Public Utilities and Carriers has been investigating allegations that MTM conspired with taxi drivers to operate outside of authorized territories and charge illegal rates. The committee is meeting tomorrow at 5 p.m.
Elections are being held today in several parts of Rhode Island. In Providence, it's only voters in Ward 10 who are hitting the polls to choose a replacement for Luis Aponte, the longtime City Council member who resigned after admitting to embezzlement allegations. The two candidates are Democrat Pedro Espinal and independent Jeffrey Lemire. East Greenwich and North Kingstown voters have several spending questions.
A federal judge ruled Monday on the high-profile insurance claim case of Nathan Carman. He's the Vermont man who departed for a fishing trip with his mother out of South Kingstown in 2016, claimed his boat sunk, and was rescued by himself a week later, with his mother presumed dead. The judge ruled that insurers don't have to pay Carman's insurance claim, finding that he made faulty repairs to his boat.
There's a chance Rhode Island will see it's first snowfall of the season later this week. A cold front moving down from the north combined with low pressure south of New England could bring rain Thursday night that could mix with or change to wet snow Friday morning. The biggest risk for wintry conditions will be north and west of Providence according to forecasters.
Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg is expected in Providence for fundraisers next Sunday. The South Bend, Indiana, mayor will attend events hosted by a committee that includes Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza and former Providence Mayor Joe Paolino. There will be a reception for major donors followed by a grassroots fundraiser. The locations for the events have not been announced.
State Education Commissioner Angelica Infante-Green says a nearly 132-thousand-dollar donation is going to fund 261 teacher projects statewide. The money is from Partnership Rhode Island and the online charity, DonorsChoose. The Department of Education says that 100 schools in 24 districts, serving nearly 25-thousand students will benefit from the donation. The teacher projects deal with issues ranging from literacy to social and emotional learning.
For the fourth consecutive year, Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts is a Gold Glove Award winner for right field. The award honors the best defensive player at each position in both leagues. Betts is only the fifth Red Sox player since the award's inception in 1957 to be recognized as many as four times.
Point Judith Pond in Narragansett is reopened for shellfishing. A precautionary closure was imposed a week ago after the heavy rains of the October 27th storm created unsafe bacteria levels. The state Department of Environmental Management says that based on subsequent testing of water samples, it was determined the area is now suitable for the harvesting of shellfish.
Governor Gina Raimondo's administration is offering a redesigned website for Rhode Island parents. Kids.RI.gov aims to provide resources on early childhood education and development from pre-natal to pre-K. Raimondo's office says the enhanced website was funded by a federal grant.
The Rhode Island House is going to pay for an independent study of a proposed lottery contract extension with IGT. The Providence Journal reports House Speaker Nick Mattiello, a Democrat, has approved a request for the study by House Republican leader Blake Filippi, and that invitations to bid are going out this week, according to a spokesperson. Senate President Dom Ruggerio says the Senate is not taking part in the study, citing what he called a thorough review of the proposal conducted by the Senate Finance Committee.
Work has been completed on a bridge in East Providence. Leaders gathered on Friday to celebrate the early completion of the Horton Farm Bridge, which carries the East Shore Expressway to I-195 west. RIDOT says the 34-year-old bridge had severe concrete and steel deterioration, and the entire superstructure of the bridge was replaced for about 16-and-a-half-million dollars.
The Warwick Police Department is putting out a traffic advisory today for Airport Road. The Warwick PD says a water main leak will bring traffic down to one lane in each direction, with construction impacting the morning commute. Motorists are being urged to seek an alternate route.
The New England Patriots are perfect this NFL season no longer. New England lost a Sunday Night Football match at the Baltimore Ravens last night, 37-to-20, ending a run of eight wins in eight games. Only one NFL team remains unbeaten: the 8-and-0 San Francisco 49ers, led by former Pats quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo The Pats are now entering their bye week.
State officials are finding vape shops are not fully complying with a ban on flavored e-cigarette products. Officials say 75 businesses have been inspected, and 16 of them were still selling banned products. A spokesperson for the state Department of Health says the inspections are initially focusing on education and not punishment, so the stores where the banned products were found are not being fined.
The ACLU of Rhode Island is calling legal action from the Barrington School Committee against a student outrageous and shameful. The school committee is challenging in state Superior Court a decision by the state education board to vacate the suspension of a middle school student who reportedly made comments about a school shooting last year. Barrington police had concluded that the student posed no credible threat, and it was determined by a state council that the comments did not meet the general requirement for out-of-school suspensions.
A pair of bills were signed by Governor Raimondo on Thursday. One of them was for a new law that makes non-competition agreements unenforceable against hourly and low-wage employees as well as children and college students. The other bill allows domestic violence protective orders sought in Family Court to include any children of the plaintiff who are not related to the defendant.
A call is being made for tougher utility regulations after a report on the January Aquidneck Island natural gas outage was released this week. The report from the Rhode Island Public Utilities and Carriers places blame with National Grid and pipeline company Enbridge for the incident. Governor Gina Raimondo says she pushed for legislation to give more regulatory power to the RI PUC immediately after the crisis, but that legislators didn't comply. She said she will call on the General Assembly again to pass legislation when it reconvenes in January.
Today marks the start of the state takeover of Providence public schools. The takeover was prompted by a scathing report by Johns Hopkins earlier this year that concluded the district was broken. A turnaround superintendent has not yet been named by state education commissioner Angelica Infante-Green.
A blustering wind storm is causing plenty of power outages across the state. Overnight, National Grid's outage number was over 26-thousand. Initial reports from the National Weather Service indicated there were trees and power lines down in Providence, Warwick and Coventry.
Narragansett police say they are trying to identify a woman who abandoned a dog on Scarborough Beach. Authorities say she tried to leave the small dog at an animal rescue last Saturday and said she'd be back with proof of rabies vaccination, a requirement for giving up a dog. The same dog was later found abandoned at the beach. A surveillance video of the woman is posted on the police department's Facebook page.
Three of the four chalices stolen last week are safely back at St. Rocco's Church in Johnston. The were returned by police yesterday morning. The fourth chalice was damaged and part of it is missing. Police say they are still looking for 63-year-old David Ferrara whose last known address was in Providence. He was seen on surveillance video taking the chalices from the church sacristy.
Rhode Island Congressmen David Cicilline and Jim Langevin voted for a resolution Thursday to establish procedures in the public phase of impeachment proceedings against President Trump. Cicilline says Trump abused his power and undermined national security when he sought help from another country for his re-election campaign. Langevin says the evidence gathered so far paints a bleak picture of a president who seemingly violated his oath of office.
According to the travel website TripAdvisor, the Graduate Providence is a haunted hotel. It's included on a list of haunted hotels in all 50 states based on the website's database of reviews. The Graduate Providence was formerly known as the Biltmore.