The New England Patriots are playing in the NFL's first round of the playoffs for the first time since 2009 after losing their final regular-season game. The Patriots were upset at home against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday, 27-to-24, and the bye they were seeking went to the Kansas City Chiefs, who won yesterday. The Pats enjoyed a first-round bye for nine straight seasons. New England will host the Tennessee Titans at Gillette Stadium next weekend.
The arrival of a Topgolf entertainment complex in Cranston is getting closer. The project planned for the old Citizens Bank headquarters on Sockanosset Cross Road took a step forward this month by getting approval from the Cranston planning commission. The project's developer, The Carpionato Group, is hoping to break ground in February.
The passing of radio legend Don Imus has some remembering back to his on-air interviews with former Providence mayor Buddy Cianci. Imus died on Friday at age 79. Cianci was a frequent guest on his radio program and appeared on it in the middle of his "Plunderdome" trial in 2002. That show was at the Biltmore Hotel.
Three Stop and Shop locations in Rhode Island are getting new landlords. The Providence Business News reports the locations have been sold by Philip Morris Capital Corporation to Winstanley Enterprises LLC of Concord, Massachusetts, and Surrey Equities LLC of New York, as part of a 150-million-dollar package that includes 23 total East Coast stores. Those properties, which will continue to operate as Stop and Shops, are on West River Street in Providence, and in Smithfield and North Smithfield.
The Providence Bruins have an important pair of games this weekend. The Bruins are neck-and-neck with the Hartford Wolf Pack atop the American Hockey League's Atlantic Division. The Bruins are at the Springfield Thunderbirds tonight, and then they close out the December schedule on Saturday at Hartford.
The New England Patriots are closing out the 2019 NFL regular season with a home game versus the Miami Dolphins. The Pats might need to win against Miami to clinch the number-two seed in the conference and therefore earn a first-round playoff bye. Or, a loss from Kansas City would take care of that. Both games are at 1 p.m. Sunday.
Funds are being awarded in Rhode Island to several developers for high-efficiency housing for low-and-moderate-income residents. The Rhode Island Housing and Mortgage Finance Corporation and state Office of Energy Resources are awarding 675-thousand dollars in grants for a pilot program called Zero Energy for the Ocean State. The public-private partnership includes RI Housing, the state, and National Grid. The recipients are getting the money for housing projects in North Kingstown, Jamestown and Aquidneck Island, and the Olneyville section of Providence.
The Smithfield Police Department says a police dog on the force made a fast recovery after exposure to fentanyl. The police department says K-9 officer Ajax had to receive veterinary treatment after police executed a search warrant at a Smithfield house on December 20th as part of a months-long investigation into illegal drug sales in East Providence and Fall River, dubbed "Operation Mouse Trap."
Organizers say a Christmas tradition in East Providence is still growing. Hundreds of people attended a free dinner Wednesday at the Brightridge Club. It started with about 80 attendees four years ago and this year nearly 600 people were served. The food, as well as toiletries, clothing, and toys were all donated for the Christmas Day event.
Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza is reportedly considering his political options. The Boston Globe reports Elorza is not ruling out a run for governor in 2022. He says he'll make a decision by the end of 2020. Incumbent Governor Gina Raimondo can't seek reelection because of term limits.
The flu is now considered widespread in Rhode Island according to the state Department of Health. Widespread is the highest of a five-tier system used to measure flu activity. Experts say everyone older than six months should get a flu shot. It's especially important for pregnant women, young children, people over 50, nursing home or group residents, and anyone with chronic conditions.
Rhode Island's T.F. Green Airport is in the running for a national award. It's among 20 airports nominated for the 2020 Best Small Airport by the USA Today 10 Best Readers' Choice Awards. USA Today says travelers like T.F. Green as an alternative to Boston's Logan International Airport with easy access to Providence and Boston via a dedicated train station. The award winner will be announced on January 24th.
The man who was arrested for trespassing - he was collecting seaweed on a beach in front of private property in South County - is running for a town council seat. The Westerly Sun reports Scott Keeley intends to run for a seat on the Charlestown Town Council next November. Keeley was arrested in June on a beach near the border between Charlestown and South Kingstown in a case that prompted the Charlestown council to ask the state legislature to clarify the constitutional right of Rhode Islanders to beach access.
Another 50-million dollars in federal government money is being invested in Rhode Island's bridges. Senator Jack Reed and the Rhode Island Department of Transportation made that announcement on Monday underneath Route 10 in Cranston. The grant money will be used to rehab a half-dozen bridges in Providence and Cranston.
The state of Rhode Island is lifting recreational advisories that have been in place for a number of water bodies because of blue-green algae. They are for the following: in Providence, Elm Lake, Mashapaug Pond, Pleasure Lake, and Roosevelt Lake. For the rest of the state: Sisson Pond and Melville Ponds in Portsmouth, Paradise Pond in Middletown, Slack Reservoir in Smithfield and Johnston, Carbuncle Pond in Coventry, Almy Pond in Newport, and JL Curran Reservoir in Cranston. An advisory is still in effect for the Watson Reservoir in Little Compton.
Police from the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management are offering boat safety tips at the Rhode Island Boat Show next month. The DEM will have a booth set up at the boat show at the Rhode Island Convention Center, which will run from January 3rd to the 5th. Information on boating safety and laws, registration and renewals, boater education courses, boating safety challenge exam books, and related topics will all be available.
Newport Mayor Jamie Bova says the Rhode Island Department of Transportation has extended the public comment period on the Pell Bridge ramp redesign project. It was originally set to end earlier this week, but the period has been extended until January 21st, according to Bova. The Newport City Council had passed a resolution seeking more time for the public comment, saying the original deadline fell during Hanukkah and Christmas celebrations and therefore residents were not given much time to review.
A five-hundred-dollar reward is being offered for information that leads to an arrest after a CBD product theft. The CBD Store in Warwick is offering the reward, saying someone stole twenty-thousand dollars' worth of products from the store on Post Road. A surveillance image of the suspect is up on the social media pages of the business.
You may have noticed downtown Providence has been a little bit brighter at night this holiday season. A new city initiative called Illuminate PVD has something to do with that. The chair of the Providence Tourism Council says the city invested about sixty-thousand dollars in LED light installations. Some of them are permanent, and some are seasonal.
A white Christmas is ruled out for Rhode Island this year. The National Weather Service forecast calls for a dry day in the Ocean State. It'll be sunshine and a high near 40 degrees.
They can't believe how much garbage they are finding in the rivers in downtown Providence during an ongoing dredging operation. The dredging of the Woonasquatucket and Providence rivers has exhumed thirteen electric scooters, countless bicycles, old clothing and other items. An official with the Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council says the unexpectedly-high trash volume is one of several factors causing delays in the project, which was originally supposed to be finished by Christmas.
A federal judge is signing a restraining order to block a food stamp recipient from having to repay alleged over-payments, at least temporarily. Carmen Correa, a woman from Woonsocket, had received a notice about the Rhode Island Department of Human Services trying to collect the overpayments from years previous, but the Rhode Island ACLU said the notice contained insufficient information about the matter. Furthermore, the ACLU said it was likely the data used to determine the alleged over-issuance was faulty due to problems with the state's benefit-management computer program, known as UHIP.
Providence is ranked as the 48h rudest city in America. The website businessinsider.com ranked the 50 rudest cities. Besides Providence, the only other New England city on the list is Boston, ranked 5th. A large majority of survey respondents say New York City is the rudest city in the country.
Attorney General Peter Neronha is suing the Woonsocket City Council. The lawsuit alleges willful or knowing violation of Rhode Island's Opening Meetings Act. The Council is accused of violating the law three times in 2019. The lawsuit seeks a court order preventing the City Council from using an improper agenda item, as well as civil penalties.
Rhode Island's Roman Catholic Bishop is expecting to remain in that role until his 75th birthday. Bishop Thomas Tobin will turn 75 in 2023, when he will be required to submit his letter of resignation to the Pope. The bishop says it may or may not be immediately accepted. Tobin says that decision is up to the Pope.
The New England Patriots held off the Buffalo Bills on Saturday to clinch their eleventh-straight division title. The final score from Foxboro was 24-to-17. The Pats are guaranteed a home game to open the playoffs, but need a win versus Miami next weekend to secure a first-round playoff bye.
Warwick firefighters are still waiting for a new contract after a special meeting held Friday night didn't produce one. The vote was postponed because of concerns about violating the city's charter due to not all of the council members receiving proper notification about the meeting. The next-scheduled Warwick City Council meeting is January 6th.
The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management is working to identify suspects after an officer was injured by a booby trap in Bristol. Officers were reportedly working to remove illegal and baited tree stands from town property on Friday when one of the officers was injured by the trap, which included boards with nails sticking up, concealed in some leaves, on a trail. Anyone with information is asked to contact the DEM.
The New England Patriots can clinch a division title with a win over the Buffalo Bills on Saturday. At a record of 11-and-3, the Pats could also clinch a first-round bye if they win and the Kansas City Chiefs lose. The game versus Buffalo tomorrow at Gillette Stadium is at 4:30 p.m.
Pawtucket Red Sox Chairman Larry Lucchino is recovering from cancer surgery. The team says Lucchino had a cancerous blockage removed from his kidney area at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. The Red Sox say this is the third time Lucchino has been treated for cancer since 1985.
The Providence City Council gave initial approval for a 115-million-dollar bond on Thursday. The bond is for the first two years of a capital improvement plan. The bond does not have to go through voters because it will be borrowed from the Providence Public Building Authority. A second council vote will be required.
The Rhode Island Supreme Court is issuing an opinion on the topic of firefighters who are afflicted with cancer. The court says state law is not conclusive about whether all cancer cases are job-related. The court says this is something the General Assembly could have mandated, but that there is no clear language in state law indicating it has done so. The case goes back to a decision several years ago by the state's Retirement Board to deny a disability pension to a Cranston firefighter, saying he did not prove that his cancer was connected to being a firefighter.
A new Rhode Island State Police unit has been formed to specifically focus on impaired drivers. The state police are announcing the creation of the new task force in conjunction with the state department of transportation and attorney general. It consists of a significantly-increased overnight road presence. While police generally get funded for specific enforcement periods, this marks the first time there will be a year-round unit of troopers dedicated to enforcing impaired driving laws.
Local and state police and the Rhode Island Attorney General's Office are investigating Thursday's fatal shooting in Westerly. Authorities say a 66-year-old resident of the Babcock Village Apartments fatally shot the building manager, identified in reports as Julie Cardinal, wounded two others near the entrance to the complex at around 10:30 a.m., then returned to his apartment and killed himself. Law enforcement sources with direct knowledge of the investigation, report the gunman, who has not been identified, was being evicted from the complex before the shooting. Residents yesterday were instructed to shelter in place while police searched for the shooter, and public schools in Westerly were put on lockdown.
There's an agreement by the city council and school committee on a set of deadlines for the submission of an application to the state Department of Education for a new high school and an addition to an elementary school in Newport. The application must be submitted by February 17th. The Newport Daily News reports a neighborhood meeting is tentatively scheduled for January 20th.
A North Providence legislator is planning to sponsor a bill next month to impose a stiffer penalty on so-called porch pirates. State Representative William O'Brien says it's awful, especially during the Christmas season, to hear about packages being stolen right off people's porches. He wants the vehicles used in the theft by those convicted to be seized. O'Brien says money generated from the seized vehicles would be used to support the financially-struggling Rhode Island Veterans Home.
The unemployment rate for November in Rhode Island is three-point-five percent. That's one-tenth of a point lower than it was in October. Nationally, the jobless rate for last month is also three-point-five percent.
The six members of the Conservation Commission in North Smithfield have resigned. It's apparently because no action has been taken by town officials on a request by three commission members whose terms expired in October to be reappointed. The town administrator says he's interested in giving more residents the opportunity to serve on town boards.
Top state Democrats are promising to redirect political contributions received from a former casino executive who is under indictment Governor Gina Raimondo, Senate President Dominick Ruggerio and House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello will donate the money they received from Michael Barlow. The former Twin River Casino executive has pleaded not guilty to charges in a kickback and bribery scheme.
The Rhode Island Foundation is awarding 180-thousand-dollars in grants to agencies that provide food to low-income households. The grants come as proposed cuts to federal safety net programs threaten to overwhelm food pantries, which are near capacity. The Rhode Island Community Food Bank's 2019 Report on Hunger finds needy Rhode Islanders missed over eleven-million meals last year.
Rhode Island's U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse agree with this week's House vote to impeach President Trump. Now that it moves to the Senate, Reed says he hopes that all of his colleagues will take the impeachment trial seriously. Whitehouse says he hopes his colleagues will do impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws.
Providence Catholic Bishop Thomas Tobin is rescinding his decree for the permanent closing of a church building in Woonsocket. Decreased attendance and finances were previously cited as the reasons for closing the St. Charles Borromeo Church. But, the Diocese of Providence now says the church can still be used for things like funerals and weddings beyond January 13th, the date the church was set to permanently close. The Diocese says that date will still represent the closing of the parish and that Tobin intends to create a special task force to figure out the future of the building.
Former Providence City Council member Luis Aponte is being allowed to continue receiving a city pension. The city's Retirement Board of the Employees' Retirement System voted 8-to-1 on Tuesday not to take any action regarding Aponte's five-hundred-dollar-per-month pension. Aponte resigned in July after he pleaded no contest to embezzling from his own campaign account. Newly-elected board chair and city treasurer James Lombardi said he voted not to take any action because he didn't consider Aponte's crimes to be directly connected to his service as a council member.
The Rhode Island Board of Elections is taking action to make the state's voting system more secure. The board unanimously voted on Tuesday to purchase new modems for machines that count votes and also to embrace other recommendations from a security assessment. Those recommendations include disconnecting the voting system from the public internet and setting up a private connection to transmit unofficial results to election headquarters on election night.
The TSA says a loaded handgun was found in a passenger's carry-on bag at T.F. Green Airport on Tuesday. A Foster man was reportedly detained for questioning after officers caught him with the gun and a magazine containing ten bullets at the security checkpoint. The TSA says last year, officers detected four firearms at the T.F. Green checkpoint.
A Friday night meeting is being scheduled for the Warwick City Council to take up a firefighter contract. Mayor Joseph Solomon announced a tentative agreement on a three-year deal last month. The decision for the Friday meeting, made by a majority of the council, has reportedly caught some of the other councilors off-guard. Council President Steven Merolla is among those expressing concerns that the contract process may be getting rushed.
The U.S. House of Representatives voted for just the third time in U.S. history on Wednesday to impeach the President. Donald Trump was impeached on articles of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, primarily on party lines. Speaking on the House floor, Rhode Island Congressman David Cicilline said Trump abused his powers by soliciting foreign interference for the purpose of getting re-elected in 2020. Fellow Ocean State Democrat Jim Langevin remarked that President Trump has consistently engaged in a pattern of behavior inconsistent with the rule of law.
Coventry residents are being warned about a scam. Police say a resident received a letter from Walmart and a check from "Statewide Federal Credit." The person made some calls and discovered the check was bogus. Police say typically a person receiving such a check is asked to cash it and send some or all of the money back to the sender as some sort of retailers test. That often leaves the victim as a target of a bank fraud investigation while the sender has the cash.
Three members of the New England Patriots are named to the Pro Bowl. Cornerback Stephon Gilmore, linebacker Donta Hightower, and special teams captain Matthew Slater will represent the Pats. The Pro Bowl is scheduled for January 26th, in Orlando, Florida.
The Rhode Island Department of Transportation is announcing lane closures on sections of Route 6 and I-295 today. The closures are for the purpose of improving the visibility of temporary lane striping in bridge construction zones. The closures will be on Route 6 between the Hartford Avenue exit and the Glenbridge Avenue overpass in Providence, in both directions, and for 295, it'll be northbound only from the Phenix Avenue overpass in Cranston to Exit 7 in Johnston. This is scheduled from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. today.
Interim Providence Schools Superintendent Frances Gallo is nearing the end of her time on the job. Gallo will conclude her time on the clock in the 2019 calendar year at the end of this week due to retirement limits. She said in a letter this week to school staff that she saved a few days in 2020. Dorothy Smith, a longtime school district administrator who previously filled in as acting superintendent following the resignation of Christopher Maher, will be named the new interim.
An update on the potential future legalization of marijuana in Rhode Island. State Senate President Dominick Ruggerio commented on the matter on Tuesday; he said he opposes legalization at this time, and added that he doesn't think there's a good handle on the state's medical-marijuana program. Governor Gina Raimondo has said she plans to propose legalizing adult-use cannabis in her upcoming state budget, which she did a year ago, but the General Assembly nixed the proposal the last time.
Dozens of people rallied in favor of impeaching President Trump at the Rhode Island State House on Tuesday. The rally comes as articles of impeachment are scheduled for debate in the U.S. House today. There were no counter-protesters last night at the rally, which organizers said was coordinated with other similar demonstrations across the country.
A special election is set for March 3rd to fill a House vacancy in District 56. If needed, there will be a primary on February 4th. Central Falls State Representative Shelby Maldonado resigned yesterday, effective immediately, to take a job in New York.
Three people are under indictment for their roles in a kickback scheme. Former Twin River Casino executive Michael Barlow is accused of accepting bribes from food court vendor Yehuda Amar in return for steering business his way. In a statement, Twin River says Barlow is no longer employed by the casino and that it continues to fully cooperate with investigators. The indictment from a statewide grand jury also alleges that Amar and his business associate Jill Feldman did not file corporate tax returns and report business income from 2016 to 2018.
After three years on Thayer Street in Providence, Durk's Bar*B*Q is closing this Sunday night. In a statement, ownership says it will relocate the restaurant from the East Side to a location closer to downtown next spring. In the meantime, the company says its catering service will continue to operate.
President Trump on Friday signed into a law a bill re-naming the U.S. Postal Service facility in Central Falls. It'll be named for Elizabeth Buffum Chace, a Rhode Island native who was a leader in the abolitionist and suffrage movements. The bill was introduced by Rhode Island's Congressional delegation.
The East Providence Police Department says it will be taking a break from participating in the A-and-E Channel show Live PD. The East Providence PD says the TV show's production crew has been with the department for the last seven months, and that Live PD might return, but no decisions have been made. Live PD previously followed officers around in Warwick from 2018 to earlier this year.
The Rhode Island American Civil Liberties Union is filing another lawsuit related to the state's public benefits management system, UHIP. The ACLU says a Woonsocket woman who is a SNAP recipient was asked by the state Department of Human Services to re-pay over-payments from years previous, but that the state did not provide an adequate explanation in the notice it sent. The civil rights group also claims in the suit that it's highly probable the data used to determine alleged overpayments is erroneous, citing long-standing issues with UHIP that have been the subject of previous ACLU suits.
A necropsy is planned for that dead humpback whale that's out of the water near the Charlestown Breachway. A team from the Mystic Aquarium is set to conduct the examination of the whale tomorrow. The discovery of the body of the 20-foot humpback was reported on Sunday.
The former top marijuana regulator for the state of Rhode Island is going to lead marijuana legalization efforts in New York state. Norman Birenbaum left the Ocean State earlier this month. Governor Andrew Cuomo says Birenbaum has been appointed as Director of Cannabis Programs. The New York Legislature is expected to consider legalizing marijuana in 2020.
A Central Falls state legislator is leaving the General for an out-of-state job. State Representative Shelby Maldonado says her resignation is effective immediately. The Democrat has held the seat since 2015 and had been named Deputy Majority Leader earlier this year.
There are some schedule changes on the Providence-Stoughton commuter rail line. The new winter/spring changes are in off-peak and weekend hours and they go into effect today. There are no changes to the rush-hour schedules. More information is available online at mbta.com.
The state Department of Health is continuing to stress the importance of getting a flu shot. Flu activity in the state is nearly at a widespread level. DOH director Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott says a flu shot can help avoid serious illness, doctor visits, missed work and school. Health experts note that even if a person who is vaccinated gets sick, a flu shot can reduce the severity of the illness.
There's going to be an increase in police patrols statewide in Rhode Island through the end of the year. It's part of the national "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" impaired driving campaign. The 60-thousand-dollar cost of the additional patrols is being funded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The U.S. Supreme Court is not picking up a case involving firefighter and police officer retirement benefits in Cranston. The case focused on the city's decision to temporarily suspend cost-of-living payments. Mayor Allan Fung said Monday that the city received word about the SCOTUS decision not to review, according to a report from The Providence Journal.
The body of a humpback whale was found near the Charlestown Breachway on Sunday. A spokesperson for the Mystic Aquarium says initial evaluations of the dead humpback are being conducted by the organization's animal rescue unit.
After a plea to the public, a young boy is getting a valuable personal device that helps him hear returned. Seven-year-old Benjamin Woodrup depends on cochlear implant sound processors to hear after he was born deaf; he lost them over the weekend. His mother says another child accidentally took the items during an event at the YMCA in Lincoln.
A boy who made headlines earlier this year for paying off the lunch debts of his classmates visited Rhode Island last week. According to a State House press release, ten-year-old Ryan Kyote of Napa, California met with state Representative Marcia Ranglin-Vassell on Friday in support of her bill for universal free school lunch. The issue of outstanding student school lunch debt, known as "lunch-shaming", popped up in Rhode Island this year, in the city of Warwick, which drew national attention. Ranglin-Vassell says she plans on re-introducing the bill to address the issue in the upcoming legislative session.
A settlement is being reached in a Rhode Island beach access case. The town of South Kingstown says Scott Keeley will receive 25-thousand dollars in the settlement. Keeley was arrested for trespassing while collecting seaweed in an area of beach where there were private homes back in June. South Kingstown Town Manager Robert Zarnetse says the settlement only puts this particular claim to rest, but does not answer any questions raised about the controversial issue of beach access.
The Rhode Island State Police trooper who was caught on video punching a man who was in custody has been fired. In a letter published by the website GoLocalProv from RISP Superintendent Colonel James Manni, he tells James Donnelly-Taylor that the firing is for non-disciplinary reasons and that he denied a request for disability pension because the injury was traceable to the attack on Lionel Monsanto. This happened at the Lincoln state police barracks in 2014. This past summer, Manni said he would have fired Donnelly-Taylor then if he had been the state police superintendent at the time.
The New England Patriots clinched a playoff spot on Sunday. New England beat the Cincinnati Bengals in Cincy, 34-to-13. The Buffalo Bills also won on Sunday and clinched a playoff berth, and are one game back of the Pats for the division lead with two games to play. It's Buffalo at New England this upcoming Saturday.
We're down to the last three games of the 2019 regular season for the New England Patriots. The Pats can once-again clinch a playoff spot with a win this weekend, versus Cincinnati. Kickoff from Paul Brown Stadium is scheduled for 1 p.m. The Bengals only have one win in thirteen games.
Construction on the first two commercial solar farms in the city of Woonsocket is moving forward. The city zoning board approved two applications on Monday. Direct Energy Solar, a division of Centrica, a UK company, and Woonsocket-based Singleton Group are both expecting to start their projects on former industrial space on the city's riverfront in the next few months, pending state permits.
The CEO of Care New England is making new comments about merging with Lifespan. Despite encouragement to get the merger done from Governor Gina Raimondo, Care New England called it off earlier this year, marking the third failed attempt since the 1990s. In an interview with WPRI-TV, CNE president Dr. James Fanale said he is ready to restart negotiations if Partners Healthcare in Massachusetts is included. The newest effort to merge the two Rhode Island health care organizations resulted in Partners withdrawing is bid to take over Care New England. Lifespan responded by saying a local unified solution between CNE, Lifespan and Brown University should first be reached.
The land being eyed for a new soccer stadium in Pawtucket will first need an environmental cleanup. The stadium is planned for the west bank of the Seekonk River. Investigators found high levels of toxic waste in the ground at the closed Pawtucket Gas Company "Tidewater" property off Taft Street in 1996; the site has since been fenced off. National Grid, which now owns the site, submitted a cleanup plan this summer. A spokesperson for Mayor Donald Grebien says there will need to also be remediation on some city-owned land where the stadium is proposed.
A new analysis of the Providence School District is being released. Findings from the financial report from Ernst and Young include that the city's previous budget deficit estimates for the district in the coming years are too high. It also suggests cutting the budget to the district's central office and re-allocating that money to schools, and the analysis says the system needs more resources to be given for services like English language-learning and special needs students. State education commissioner Angelica Infante-Green has said she was waiting for the analysis to make certain decisions for her turnaround plan, expected to be completed next year.
The House Judiciary Committee is set to vote this morning on articles of impeachment against President Trump. A marathon session ended Thursday night with that announcement from committee chair Jerry Nadler. Rhode Island Congressman David Cicilline, a Judiciary Committee member, insisted on Thursday that there is overwhelming evidence against Trump, arguing that he schemed to withhold vital military aid to Ukraine while pushing for an investigation of Democrats.
With flu now just short of widespread in Rhode Island, the public is again being urged to get vaccinated. Flu activity is already reported as widespread in neighboring Connecticut and Massachusetts. So far this season, there has been one flu-related death and 24 flu-related hospitalizations in Rhode Island. The state Department of Health continues to stress that a flu shot is the best protection.
A cafe/bakery that opened in the Providence Jewelry District in 1997, is closing. The last day for Olga's Cup and Saucer on Point Street will be December 24th. The location will reportedly become a Seven Stars Bakery.
Congressman David Cicilline is asking House Republicans to wake up, and remember they didn't swear an oath to Donald Trump. He says they swore an oath to protect and defend the Constitution. The Rhode Island Democrat made his remarks as the House Judiciary Committee debated articles of impeachment against President Trump.
Four elected officials in Rhode Island are endorsing Joe Biden for president. The former vice president's campaign made the announcement on Wednesday. The four are Lieutenant Governor Dan McKee, state Senator Lou DiPalma, state Representative Carlos Tobon, and Central Falls Mayor James Diossa.
The director of the Rhode Island Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals is stepping down. Rebecca Boss says she is leaving at the end of the year to pursue new opportunities. She had held the position for about two-and-a-half years.
The state Department of Environmental Management is re-issuing a notice about snow disposal sites. The DEM is advising businesses, community groups, and state and local government agencies about identifying potential sites with winter approaching and the season's first snowfall already in the books. Local sites should be near or on permeable surfaces in upland areas, away from water resources and wells. Snow collected from roads, parking lots, bridges and sidewalks can contain harmful contaminants such as road salt, sand and litter.
Trinity Repertory Company is bringing back its record-breaking "The Prince of Providence" in June of 2021. It was sold-out during its seven-week run this fall. The play about the political career of the late Providence mayor Vincent "Buddy" Cianci, was the highest-grossing non-holiday production in the theater's history.
Two Boston Red Sox players are named to the 2019 All-MLB Team. Shortstop Xander Bogaerts is a first-team selection. Outfielder Mookie Betts is on the second team. The All-MLB Team recognizes the performances of players during the 2019 regular season who are selected by fans, the media, broadcasters, and former players.
Foolproof Brewing in Pawtucket is for sale. Founder Nick Garrison says it's time for a change for himself and his family. In the meantime, he says the brewery will continue to produce and sell beer.
The Providence City Council is giving final approval to a tax deal for a proposed Westminster Street hotel The vote on Tuesday for the 20-year tax-stabilization agreement, valued at about two-and-a-half-million dollars, passed on a 9-to-5 vote. The developer of the project, being called the Hotel Hive, says it's a 39-million-dollar overall investment.
Hundreds of immigration activists returned to the Wyatt Detention Facility in Central Falls on Tuesday night. The same group that has staged previous protests, Never Again Action, was once again behind this one, calling for the Wyatt to stop housing detainees of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
The National Weather Service has a Winter Weather Advisory in effect for Rhode Island until noon today. Forecasters are calling for one to four inches for the Ocean State and other parts of Southern New England. Rain from Tuesday is changing over to snow overnight through daybreak.
Shannon Smith of Hopkinton is charged with passing a counterfeit bill, which is a felony. Police say she's due in Washington County Superior Court next month following her November 21st arrest. She allegedly used a counterfeit 100-dollar bill at a convenience store in the Richmond village of Wyoming earlier in November.
The Homes RI Coalition is holding a summit today at Rhode Island College. The intent is to advance an action plan to address the state's housing crisis. Organizers say the Homes RI Summit is already a sell-out.
Unionized workers at Butler Hospital in Providence are planning to picket. The union says that management has been ignoring the patient safety concerns of frontline staff and has been denying benefits to employees in defiance of a collective bargaining agreement. Picketing is planned for four p.m. today.
Five tractor-trailers owned by a North Kingstown company are impounded in Maine. Maine State Police say Commodity Haulers Express is facing felony theft of services charges for 75-thousand-dollars in unpaid tolls over the past three years. As a result of an investigation, the trucks were seized last Friday.
Twin River Worldwide Holdings is announcing that John Taylor is stepping down as executive chair and as a member of the board of directors. Taylor has been the Twin River board chairman since 2010 and the executive chair since 2017. He is being replaced as board chair by Soohyung Kim, a founding partner of a significant shareholder in the company. In addition to its two Rhode Island casinos, Twin River also runs properties in Mississippi, Delaware and Colorado.
Veteran Rhode Island prosecutor Lauren Zurier has been sworn in as an assistant U.S. Attorney in the state. Zurier had been working in the appellate unit of the Rhode Island Department of the Attorney General since 1993. She has been appointed by U.S. Attorney Aaron Weisman as Appellate Chief.
After Portsmouth High School shared info on Sunday night about an alleged threat from a student, the Portsmouth Police Department now says no threats were made against the school. An anonymous tip reported concerns over pictures of a firearm and an alleged threat that had been posted on Snapchat, according to police. Investigators determined no threats had been made by anyone.
An update on a fatal house fire in Newport in September. The Office of the State Fire Marshal has determined the fire that resulted in the death of James Crookes was set by him. The office found Crookes ignited a couch cushion in his home with a lighter.
Congressman David Cicilline spoke during Monday's House Judiciary Committee impeachment hearing. Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz of Florida suggested that Democrats are too busy trying to impeach President Trump when there are far more important issues. The Democrat Cicilline said in response that this has been one of the most productive Congresses in modern history and that the Congress was also elected to hold the president accountable. House Democrats are planning to lay out articles of impeachment this morning.
We're tracking snow for Rhode Island late tonight into tomorrow morning. The National Weather Service says accumulations of one to four inches are likely for Rhode Island, all of Massachusetts east of Berkshire County and northern Connecticut. However, forecasters say there is lots of uncertainty on the exact location of the heaviest snowfall.
Congressman David Cicilline was called a "loser" by President Trump in a tweet on Sunday. Trump was questioning Cicilline's appearance on Fox News Sunday as the Rhode Island Democrat talked about the topic of impeachment. Cicilline said the evidence dug up by the House's impeachment inquiry is a classic example of an impeachable offense. He said a timeline for impeachment is still unclear.
The town of East Greenwich has reportedly been hit by a ransomware attack. Town Manager Andrew Nota said on Saturday that the town's computer system was shut down so the problem could be dealt with. Nota is not saying what portion of the system was compromised. He says normal town operations have resumed, but are running more slowly because of the technology loss.
A notice from the principal of Portsmouth High School shared Sunday night indicates there is no imminent danger after a student's alleged threat. The Portsmouth Police Department reportedly investigated and will have a presence on campus today, according to the message. Details of the alleged threat were not provided.
Three teenagers from Burrillville are being charged for a series of BB gun shootings that caused property damage. The Burrillville Police Department said the teens are being held responsible for nearly a dozen incidents in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Connecticut. Two of the teens are not being identified because of their age - 14 and 15 - while the third has been ID'd as 18-year-old Drew Fafard.
A police officer-involved shooting in Cranston is being investigated. At around 11 a.m. Saturday, a Providence man identified as Anthony McKinney reportedly drove at a Cranston officer, after which authorities say the officer fired a round through the windshield. The officer had reportedly tried to pull McKinney over for a seat belt violation on Cranston Street before it got to that point. No injuries were reported.
An airline mistake apparently resulted in the Kansas City Chiefs not getting their equipment until right before last night's game against the Patriots. According to ESPN, an equipment container that held the bags of about three-dozen Chiefs players was not unloaded after the Chiefs arrived at T.F. Green Airport on Saturday, and the container accidentally then went to Newark, New Jersey. A spokesperson for the Rhode Island Airport Commission says the equipment was flown to Logan Airport in Boston yesterday morning. ESPN cited a source that said the Chiefs would have had to forfeit had the equipment not made it in time.
The New England Patriots are involved in their first losing streak of the 2019 NFL season. The Pats lost at home to the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday evening, 23-to-16. New England is now 10-and-3 on the year and has to wait another week to clinch a playoff spot. Next up on the schedule is a game at Cincinnati next Sunday afternoon.
The University of Rhode Island has received a 15-million-dollar gift. It comes from former Hasbro CEO Alfred Verrecchia, a URI alum, and his wife Geraldine. The school says in honor of the gift and years of dedication, URI will establish the Alfred Verrecchia Center for Business Excellence. The gift will create a scholarship for high-achieving students and several other benefits.
The Rhode Island Department of Transportation is celebrating the early completion of the replacement of the Oxford Street Bridge in Providence. The bridge carries one of the busiest sections of I-95 in the city. RIDOT says the project was completed six months ahead of schedule and about a half-million dollars under budget using accelerated bridge construction methods.
The full Providence City Council took an initial vote on a tax stabilization agreement for a hotel project on Thursday. The council's Finance Committee had voted to postpone a vote on the proposed hotel on Westminster Street, but eight council members who signed a discharge petition to force the matter out of committee voted for the agreement last night, versus six "no" votes. Union members protested the 20-year, two-and-a-half-million-dollar agreement, saying the city needs to be more accountable for these treaties, especially when it comes to hiring standards.
A judge is ruling that a filer of a lawsuit against Rhode Island's sports-betting operation has legal standing to sue. The Providence Journal reports a Superior Court judge made the ruling yesterday concerning the case of Daniel Harrop, a former candidate for Providence mayor. The case had been dismissed in September, but Harrop then revealed a bet he had made on a New England Patriots game and amended his complaint. The suit seeks to have state-sponsored sports-betting stopped until it gains approval by voters.
Santa Claus has come to Middletown. Local firefighters have been escorting Old Saint Nick throughout the community for more than ten years and took to the streets once again this week. The fire department goes through thousands of candy canes each year as Santa hands them out to children in the community. If you want to see where Santa will be heading next, check out the Middletown Fire Department's Facebook page.
Gotham Greens is celebrating the first harvest at its newest greenhouse in Providence. Governor Gina Raimondo was on hand yesterday at the high-tech facility in the old General Electric lighting factory along the Woonasquatucket River. It's expected to produce more than six million heads of lettuce every year. This is the New York-based company's first greenhouse in New England, and it's seventh nationwide.
The president of Rhode Island Hospital and Hasbro Children's Hospital is stepping down. Margaret Van Bree will leave her position at the end of the year. The news comes after the hospitals' parent company Lifespan announced losses of 55-million-dollars for the fiscal year 2019. Officials wouldn't say why Van Bree is leaving but confirmed that Lifespan executive vice-president of physician affairs John Murphy will serve as interim president.
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse is being recognized for his environmental leadership. The American Society of Landscape Architects awarded Whitehouse the Olmsted Medal this week for being at the forefront in Congress in addressing climate change. Officials with the ASLA say Senator Whitehouse has a history of deep personal commitment to the values of environmental stewardship and respect for the natural world.
There are plenty of warnings about shoveling snow safely, but Providence first responders say they're seeing more snow-blower accidents. Officials caution users to follow safety tips which include stopping the engine and using a long stick to unclog wet snow and debris. It's important not to leave the machine running in an enclosed area and don't add gas to a running or hot engine. The Consumer Product Safety Commission has more tips posted on its website.
An estimated seven-thousand Rhode Islanders are in danger of losing their SNAP benefits and state legislators aren't happy about it. A change of rules by the U.S. Department of Agriculture is tightening work requirements which will lead to many being cut from the rolls. People between the ages of 18 and 49, considered able-bodied adults without dependents would be limited to three months of benefits in a 36 month period unless they prove they're unable to work or they volunteer. Congressman David Cicilline says eliminating thousands of Rhode Islanders from SNAP benefits is a disgrace and House Democrats in Washington won't stand by while President Trump continues his assault on hard-working families and seniors.
In basketball, the Celtics beat the Miami Heat at home last night, 112-to-93. The C's run their record to 15-and-5. T.D. Garden will be converted to hockey tonight as the Bruins look to extend their winning streak, currently at eight games, versus the Chicago Blackhawks.
The timeline of a vote on a tax deal for a proposed hotel project in Providence could be changing. A majority of the City Council now supports forcing a vote for the tax deal for the Westminster Street project. The developer previously said the project was on hold after the Providence City Council Finance Committee voted to indefinitely postpone making a decision on a 20-year tax-stabilization agreement.
Woonsocket is cracking down on out-of-state vehicle registrations. The mayor and police chief announced today that notices will be sent to residents when a vehicle is seen parked overnight that isn't registered in Rhode Island. They will get property tax bills. Mayor Lisa Baldelli-Hunt says it's an important issue because tax revenue is impacted.
The state's biggest hospital group is looking to cut costs after ending fiscal 2019 with a 35-million-dollar loss. Lifespan CEO Dr. Timothy Babineau says job cuts will be the last resort. He blames several factors for the fiscal year loss including a reduction in Medicare funding, and Care New England's decision to close Memorial Hospital in Pawtucket in 2017, which he says has put excessive demands on The Miriam Hospital and Rhode Island Hospital.
Newport police are investigating recent alleged thefts from mailboxes. There were four reported between October 30th and November 1st. A police spokesman says the theft reports were filed between November 2nd and 25th. Police say there have been no other reported incidents.
Senate President Dominick Ruggerio isn't happy with Governor Gina Raimondo's decision to designate Brett Smiley as acting director of the Department of Administration. Ruggerio says there is a statute that suggests the governor is required to submit Smiley's name for Senate confirmation within days of when he formally takes the job next month. Smiley, who has been Raimondo's chief of staff, will replace current DOA Director Michael DiBiase, who is leaving to work for the Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council.
The Rhode Island Department of Health is letting consumers know about a flour recall. The brand is Wild Harvest Organic All-Purpose Flour that has a "best if used by" date of January 8th, 2020. The recall is over potential E. coli presence.
Governor Gina Raimondo is shuffling her senior staff. Brett Smiley is set to become the acting director of the Department of Administration. Smiley is replacing Michael DiBiase, who is leaving the office to take a new job next month. Taking Smiley's place as Raimondo's chief of staff will be senior adviser David Ortiz. Raimondo is also announcing former state Senate Majority Leader Daniel Connors will replace Ortiz.
Providence City Councilwoman Sabina Matos is proposing new measures for committee consideration to increase safety for nightlife patrons. Included in the proposal: prohibiting new 2 a.m. liquor licenses in certain zones and requiring clubs to have video surveillance. Providence nightclubs have been plagued by violent incidents recently.
Providence County got the most snow in Rhode Island from the New England winter storm that went on for the first three days of December. The Glocester village of Chepachet topped the list with an official measurement of eleven-point-eight inches, followed closely by measurements out of Burrillville, Cumberland and North Foster, according to the National Weather Service. High totals in Bristol, Kent, Newport and Washington counties were about five inches.
The holiday season is getting underway in Providence. A tree lighting ceremony is set for Friday evening on the steps of City Hall, while the third annual Winter Lights Market officially gets underway. Another tree-lighting ceremony is set for Saturday at the BankNewport City Center, which will be followed by a figure skating show hosted by Olympian Nancy Kerrigan.
Police agencies around Rhode Island are hosting Stuff-A-Cruiser holiday toy drives. The University of Rhode Island police are accepting toys through December 15th which will be donated to local charities and Hasbro Children's Hospital. Barrington police are hosting a toy drive at Barrington Town Hall on Saturday afternoon with those toys going to Toys for Tots. Area police have posted information about the Stuff-A-Cruiser campaign online.
The Rhode Island Department of Transportation is rescheduling its highway renumbering project. Road crews were supposed to change the exit numbers from the I-95 split to the Massachusetts state line this week, but that has been postponed. RIDOT says the work will begin on Monday and will ultimately match the exit numbers to the mile markers.
Christmas tree growers in the Ocean State are not happy about the holiday tree in the State House Rotunda. Several growers say they feel it's a slap in the face to have an artificial tree at the capitol. Thomas Leyden says the governor is turning her back on local farmers. The National Christmas Tree Association called it a very unfortunate decision by the governor to choose a tree made from plastic in a Chinese factory.
A small earthquake was recorded near Newport on Sunday night. The U.S. Geological Survey says the two-point-oh-magnitude quake hit about three miles southeast of the city at around 7 p.m. Some people have reported feeling the quake, but there have been no reports of damage.
Senator Jack Reed has announced a massive Navy contract for new submarines. Reed says construction of the nine new Virginia-class subs will start at the Electric Boat facilities at Quonset Point in North Kingstowt. The contract, for over 22-billion dollars, was awarded Monday to Electric Boat parent company General Dynamics and one other company.
The 18-foot Christmas tree in the State House rotunda this year is artificial. Governor Gina Raimondo says it has been a challenge in past years to keep a real tree alive in the building from Thanksgiving through New Year's Day. The governor's office says the tree was purchased with funds remaining from the 2017 National Governor's Association conference.
A four-hundred-million-dollar redevelopment plan has been proposed for downtown Pawtucket that includes a 75-hundred seat professional soccer stadium. The mixed-use proposal would be on three sites along the waterfront and would include an indoor sports complex, market-rate housing, a hotel and commercial office space. The soccer stadium would be home to a United Soccer League Championship team, a minor league affiliate of Major League Soccer, starting in 2022. McCoy Stadium which will be vacant when the PawSox leave for Worcester after next season, is not part of the plan.
For the second time recently St. Paul's Catholic Church in Cranston has been targeted by a vandal. Several stain glass windows were broken a couple of weeks ago, and it happened again late Friday night. The cost to repair the damage is still being determined and the pastor says it's likely that security cameras will be installed,
Rhode Island is under a wintry blanket after a bout of snow, sleet and rain moved into the area. Most of the major highways and main roads were in pretty good condition this morning, but many area side and secondary roads were covered with a slippery, slushy mess. State Police say troopers responded to nearly two dozen weather-related crashes overnight. No serious injuries were reported.
The chief of regulating medical marijuana in Rhode Island is becoming a vacant position. Reports indicate Norman Birenbaum is leaving his position with the Department of Business Regulation for a new job this week. Birenbaum was selected to lead the way on medical cannabis in the state in 2016.
The state Department of Environmental Management and the Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank are announcing new grants. Five-million dollars is being made available to address natural hazards that are expected to increase due to climate change. These are matching grants available for publicly-owned wastewater treatment facility protection projects. A request for proposals period is open now until the end of January.
The New England Patriots have lost for just the second time this season. The Pats mounted a fourth-quarter comeback but lost on Sunday Night Football to the Houston Texans in Houston, 28-to-22. The loss drops New England to 10-and-2 on the year and delays them in clinching a playoff spot. Next up is a home game against Kansas City next Sunday afternoon.
Sunday was day one of a multi-day snow event to start off the month of December. Rhode Island topped out at five-point-three inches measured in Burrillville, according to the National Weather Service. Snow totals were generally higher in the northern part of the state. Forecasters are calling for rain up and down Rhode Island on Monday and then snow again into tomorrow night, with northern RI again likely to see the higher totals.