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Your Coronavirus Update - Today January 31, 2020

Your Coronavirus Update – Today, Jan. 31, 2021

January 31, 2021/RINewsToday


PHOTO: An impromptu roadside vaccination in rural southern Oregon during a snowstorm, when public health workers realized their remaining doses of vaccine would expire while they were stranded. Credit, CBC




Vaccination Plan for RI – January 30th – February 3rd: Limited COVID-19 


Vaccination Pilot for ages 75+



Based on RIDOH’s guidance, many municipalities are working through their existing special needs emergency registry to identify small groups for this initial push however some other municipalities chose to create local registries and open more widely to their 75+ population. You can visit your city or town’s website for more information. When the state opens vaccination to the wider 75+ population, information on how to register for a public clinic will be posted on this page as well as shared in our press releases, through the media, pharmacies and multiple venues of direct communication. Please be aware that expressing an interest in vaccination on such lists does not guarantee a priority vaccination.


RI received an unexpected 5,000 vaccines and without formal systems put in place, there was a lot of disorganization – once regular doses are underway a more formal system should be in place.


Vaccines are going to those 75 years of age and older who live in the community. (there are some variances)


Each city and town is being allocated a number of vaccines that relate to the number of people of this age in that city or town.


Each city/town has its own registration system.


There are 5 regional clinics serving multiple cities – they are in Providence, East Greenwich, Bristol, Smithfield and Narragansett. Others will be set up in coming weeks.


Barrington: 80 doses will be administered Monday at Quinta-Gamelin Community Center in Bristol. Seniors were signed up at a housing center.


Bristol: Eligible residents can add their names to a waitlist at: or by calling Parks & Recreation at 253-1611, Monday – Friday 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 a.m. They will be contacted when an appointment time is available at the Bristol Community Center.


Central Falls: All residents 18+ are eligible due to the density of positive cases. Residents can sign up at:


Cranston: 390 doses will be administered Feb. 1–3 at Swift Community Center in East Greenwich. Residents should call or go to the Cranston Senior Services Center (Cranston St) at 780-6000 to pre-register. The city will call and prioritize by oldest first, as each group of vaccine becomes available.


Cumberland: Cumberland EMS will be vaccinating residents 75 and older at the six elderly apartment complexes in town. As more vaccine becomes available, the town will plan clinics in the community.


East Greenwich: Residents 65 and older should call or email 886-8626 ext. 1, , or the senior center office at (401) 886-8669, to pre-register.


East Providence: The city will call residents over 75 in the next few days to register them. More info, here:


Exeter: Residents 75 and older should call town hall at 294-3891 and leave contact information to be called when a vaccine is available.


Glocester: Vaccine will become available to those 75+ after Feb. 14. Residents will receive notification of locations, how to register, etc. Residents can go to the town’s website and social media page for updates.


Hopkinton: A meeting will be held this week to create a plan, and residents should wait for more information. They need to do nothing at this time.


Foster: Foster residents over 60 should email Carol Mauro at or call 392-9208. Three priority waitlists are being complied, 75 and older, ages 65-74, and 60-64. Residents will be contacted to register for a time, though there are no specific dates or locations right now.  


Jamestown: Residents born in 1928 or earlier who have not been contacted, should call 423-1213 ext. 4328. They only have 30 doses at this time.


Little Compton: The town will contact residents soon. They will have 20 doses the week of Feb. 14th at this time, though that could change. They will use the registered voter list as their main resource. If you are not a registered voter, call 635-4400 to leave your name, address and phone number.


Middletown: 80 doses will be administered next week in Bristol. Residents 75 and older who are on the Rhode Island Special Needs Registry. If any doses remain after that, other seniors will be selected at random.


Narragansett: Narragansett will use the South Road Elementary School for residents 75+. Eligible individuals will be randomly selected from the town’s database and contacted by town staff who will register them via phone, or you can call or email 782-0654 or .


Newport: 120 doses will be administered at the Bristol site Officials say they’re reaching out to seniors and encouraging them to sign up for the existing emergency alert database so they can be contacted.


North Kingstown: 130 doses for seniors 75 and older on Jan. 31 and Feb. 3 will be given out at the South Road Elementary School in South Kingstown. Residents on the R.I. special needs registry database will be contacted via phone between Jan. 28 and Feb. 2 to schedule an appointment. The town will use multiple databases to contact seniors, or you can call 294-3331 ext. 405 or visit their website .


North Providence: Residents should sign up online and the city will be using the senior center’s call list – vaccinations will be done at Neutaconkanut Recreation Center in Providence. More information here .


Pawtucket: Residents will go to the Neutaconkanut Recreation Center in Providence once they have been notified by the city – they can also call the BEAT COVID-19 Hotline at 855-843-7620. Learn more here .


Portsmouth: Multiple locations will be set up. Find updates on their website .


Providence: 850 doses will be given out at Neutaconkanut Recreation Center. Residents over 75 should call 311 to book an appointment. People under 75 can express interest in receiving the vaccine at . Also in Providence: the Center for Primary Care is the only Lifespan facility that is currently offering the vaccine by appointment only. Staff at the center contacted all 460 of the patients on their rolls who qualified; with approx. 150 vaccinations scheduled for this weekend.


Richmond: Only 40 doses for the week are available now. Databases will be used to identify the oldest individuals in the town and they will be called. 75 doses should be done through the middle of February. 


Scituate: Scituate Senior Center beginning the week of Feb. 14. All seniors will be notified for an appointment.


Smithfield: Residents will be contacted by the town.


South Kingstown: 150 doses will be administered at Regional South Road School. Senior residents who qualify will be contacted by phone 2 to schedule appointments. Learn more here .


Tiverton: Eligible residents will be contacted to book appointments using their special needs registry, along with voter rolls. Updates posted on their website .


Warren: 50 doses to begiven out at a regional clinic next week for seniors 75 and older were selected from their special needs registry. All doses have been allotted. There should be 70 doses a week. Call 247-1930 or  and provide your name, date of birth and phone number.


Warwick: 390 doses will be given out this week at Swift Community Center in East Greenwich. All appointments are booked, and residents should keep checking the city’s website.


Westerly: 110 vaccines will begiven out by lottery from the voter roll. Residents will be contacted. Check their website for updates .


West Greenwich: Contact to get registered for a vaccine, a list will be kept of who to contact when a clinic becomes available.


West Warwick: West Warwick will provide vaccine distribution information the week of Feb. 1 on their website .


Newport and Middletown will join to create a Southern Aquidneck Island Vaccination Center at the Community College of Rhode Island campus. 


Vaccine quantities for cities/towns are based on population of those 75 years of age and older.


In an informal poll by RINewsToday, 72% of people responding said they only have a cell phone and no landline.


Dr. Jha said in an interview with the Providence Journal that relaxing restaurant rules right now does not make sense with the surge in virus just hitting us.


More than 2,400 businesses and people in Maine have been approved for over $221 million in forgivable loans in the first two weeks of the reopening of the Paycheck Protection Program.


The RI Convention Center Authority has laid off 70% of their special event staff – their facilities have been repurposed from a press conference location to a field hospital, training facility, and COVID testing.


From the New York report on nursing home deaths and the Governor’s involvement, this chart appears, referencing RI’s high nursing home death rate:



Rhode Island ranks 41 out of 50 states in percentage of residents who have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine.


RI AG Peter Neronha responded to a question about the NY report on nursing homes saying that they would respond to odd trends in RI nursing home data, if necessary. He also said he did not get the vaccine, and won’t until his parents in their 90s get theirs.


30% of Latina owned businesses in RI have closed.


The Boston Marathon has been re-scheduled for Oct. 11th.


COVID-19 Vaccine Update for RI Veterans:

  • Enrolled Veterans are now receiving COVID-19 vaccinations based on the VA distribution plan and vaccine availability, starting with those at highest risk of severe illness.
  • The VA Providence HCS is currently vaccinating Veterans 85 years and older, and those who are: on dialysis, transplant patients, institutional chemotherapy patients, or in group living situations, such as nursing homes and homeless shelters. The next group will be Veterans over 75.
  • There is no need to call for an appointment – they will contact our patients directly when we are scheduling Veterans in their risk category.
  • We strongly believe that reaching out to Veterans and scheduling them based on their risk is the safest and fairest way to proceed while we have a limited supply of the vaccine.
  • The goal is to offer free COVID-19 vaccinations to all enrolled Veterans as soon as sufficient supply is available.


CALL 273-7100, ext. 12496 if questions or need to be seen and haven’t been at the VA in some time to make sure your contact info is in the system.


Data – Jan 29, 2021

Deaths: 10

Tests – 19,057 – Positives – 550 – Percent positive – 2.9%

Hospitalized – 324 – In ICU – 50 – Ventilated – 31

Deaths in hospital – 3 – New Admissions – 46 – New Discharges – 57

First vaccines: 66,778 – Total fully vaccinated – 2 shots: 22,983


Vaccinations in Central Falls continue with over 1,000 over 18 now being vaccinated.





The New York report on Gov. Cuomo and Nursing Home Deaths – Factors Associated with Nursing Home Infections and Fatalities in New York StateDuring the COVID-19 Global Health Crisis – is here:


Effective Monday, mask wearing is required on all planes, trains, buses, etc. – federally run or state run.


Frustration at getting vaccines happening nationwide, with one state having 100 phone numbers to call, 200 locations and 63 websites to check.


Mass vaccination sites are opening throughout the country.


Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine was hailed as good news, even though the company reported that its one-shot vaccine had a lower efficacy rate than its two-shot rivals — Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech — which are already being administered to people across the US. 


NFL teams lost almost $4 billion in revenue due to coronavirus pandemic


40 Detainees at Guantanamo Bay, including Khalid Shaikh Mohammed were to begin receiving COVID-19 vaccinations according to the New York Times. Late on Saturday, The Pentagon announced that these plans were put on hold.


Chicago teachers are still refusing to return to school, even though they are beginning to be vaccinated.


Highly transmissible So. Africa strain is now found in Maryland and South Carolina. Vaccines don’t work as well though they are highly effective. Two dozen states have the UK strain and it should be the top strain by mid-March. White House has put restrictions on travel to/from So.. Africa, and mask mandate on travel venues.


9 retired Nuns in Michigan died of COVID19


Tanzania president has ended lockdown and vaccine distribution, saying God will protect people.


The United States will likely start vaccinating children by late spring or early summer, top U.S. infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci said on Friday.


Italy to relax COVID restrictions in many regions, worrying some medical experts


Federal govt reported that there is twice as much vaccine distributed as has been administered to people.


Anti-vaxxers shut down one of the largest vaccination sites in the country, in LA, at Dodgers Stadium, temporarily.


China has built a massive quarantine camp with more than 4,000 rooms in what looks like trailers


Hospitals and vaccination clinics are advised to have a plan in place for extra doses of vaccine left over after a clinic


1,600 Seattle residents came out at 3am to get vaccinations when a health dept. storage facility failed and notification went out that they had vaccine that would go bad.


The American Journal of Medicine noted the use of various substances in a new study, resulting in an algorithm for treatment with the goal of treating COVID19 positive patients in the home setting. You can read the article, here: – The American Journal of Medicine – “The Green Journal” – publishes original clinical research of interest to physicians in internal medicine, in both academia and community-based practice. AJM is the official journal of the Alliance for Academic Internal Medicine, a prestigious group comprising chairs of departments of internal medicine at more than 125 medical schools across the U.S.

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Henry "Hank" Aaron, An American treasure

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Henry “Hank” Aaron, an American treasure – John Cardullo

January 30, 2021/John Cardullo


by John Cardullo, RINewsToday sportswriter


The news of Henry Aaron’s death on Thursday, January 21, 2021 came across the news feed almost like a footnote, it broke in many ways just like the man himself was – quiet, unassuming and low key. As the news began to circulate, the news grew bigger and bigger and it began to hit home. One of the biggest baseball legends in the history of the game had died, and it was time for this humble man who played a child’s game to finally receive the honor that a true superstar deserved.


It is funny how the word “superstar” is thrown around nowadays for those who are average professional athletes. In baseball Ruth, Williams, Mays, Robinson and Cobb were the best of the best but never known as superstars. The term began in the 1970’s when Sports Illustrated put Reggie Jackson on their cover with the title of “Super Duper Star!” As talented as Jackson was it was those who came before him playing a game for little money and small perks that came with adoring fans, but they played for something bigger than they were; they played with a drive and passion to be the best that many of us will ever know.


As for Hank Aaron who was born on February 5, 1934, in as far south as you can get, Mobile, Alabama, at the height of the Jim Crow south where Blacks were looked down upon. Segregation was very much alive in the deep south of America when Aaron was born. Separate schools, separate stores, separate job opportunities, separate, separate, separate everything. The great depression had a hold on the country, World War II was about to explode, and opportunities were hard to come by for everyone. As Aaron grew up he was all too reminded where he was and how he had to conduct himself daily. But for Henry and his brother, Tommie, they discovered the sport of baseball, listening to games on the family radio or they were to be found sneaking into the local baseball field and watching teams play the game. Then they would go back home to make balls out of string and rags, using tree branches as bats and finding a field to convert to their own baseball diamond.


Nobody knew at the time when they played their pickup games, they were playing alongside with someone who would one day become bigger than the players that they grew to look up to and admired. But during those days Black players did not play in the major leagues, they played in the Negro leagues because they were not allowed to play with white players. For the time being both Hank and Tommie played on fields that barely resembled a baseball diamond. They became Boy Scouts; it was with the Boy Scouts where the opportunity presented itself within their organized baseball league. Word of the Aaron brothers reached the ear of a local scout for a Black only semi-pro team, it was also during this time where another Black ball player named Jackie Robinson was signed by the Brooklyn Dodgers breaking the Major League baseball’s color barrier in 1949. Becoming a hero and inspiration to the young Aaron.


In 1954 Henry Aaron made his major league debut after being drafted by the Milwaukee Braves. Aaron spent 23 years in the Major leagues playing for Milwaukee then went with the team when they moved to Atlanta and finished his career back at Milwaukee. But this time it was with the Brewers where he retired in 1976. All he did was hit 755 total career home runs, passing Babe Ruth as the leader of all time. His ability to hit home runs out of any major league baseball park earned him the nick name of “Hammering Hank”. 


Over his career Aaron hit 24 or more home runs in a single season from 1955 to 1973 and hit 30 or more home runs 15 times. Aaron played in at a time when many players hit balls that were considered “dead”, bats that were heavy as tree branches. There were no batting helmets, and pitchers would throw at batters frequently. Another thing that set Aaron apart other than the fact that he was not this massive mountain of a man, was the fact that he never wore batting gloves. He was an Outfielder that played every outfield position and in his final two seasons back in the American League’s Milwaukee Brewers, Aaron finished his career as the designated hitter before retiring in 1976.


The Hammer appeared in 20 All Star games, 20 for the National league and 1 for the American League, but he holds the record for most All-Star game appearances with 25 but playing in only 24 (Aaron played at a time when the All-Star game was held twice a season). He was on one World Series Championship team with the Milwaukee Braves, he won the National League Most Valuable Player and won the Gold Glove as his positions best defensive player three times. In his career Aaron holds the all-time record for runs batted in (2,297), extra base hits (1,477), and total bases (6,856). Aaron finished his career in the top 5 players for career hits (3,771) and runs scored (2,174). He was one of only four players ever to hit 150 hits or more for 17 seasons. He was elected to the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982.


The thing I remembered most was the evening Hank Arron overtook Babe Ruth to claim the home run title. I was rooting for him like everyone in Atlanta’s stadium that night. The game was against the now Los Angeles Dodgers on National television. I remember the pitch and that perfectly smooth swing and the ball left the confines of the ballpark and history was made. The stadium erupted with cheers that only a few years earlier would not have happened in this part of the country – for a Black man that just passed what many considered the greatest baseball player who ever lived. What I recalled the most was after the ball left the bat and cleared the fence, Henry Aaron put his head down and briskly jogged around the bases as if this was just another home run. People jumped out of the stands and onto the field, security which was on high alert given the fact that Aaron received many death threats leading up to this moment which had to add to this enormous pressure. After an uncomfortable curtain call the game resumed but every homerun after that night that Aaron hit, it was a record breaker.


Henry Aaron went on to become the Senior Vice President with the Braves and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by then President George H. Bush. Henry Aaron became a philanthropist and an ambassador of the game that he loved. He was not out to make history, but history found this quiet, low-keyed man and made him a legend. Since that magical night when the whole world stopped to watch history happen, other players made noise when it came to home runs, Mark McGwire and Jose Canseco in another season chased each other to the all-time seasonal home run record, only to be tainted with the accusations of use performance enhancing drugs as was Barry Bonds who also used PED’s as he shattered Aaron’s record with the added cloud that juiced balls and altered bats were used when they all hit the bulk of the home runs. But for Aaron, there was never any mention of this or of other rumors. The class act that was Henry Aaron, he offered only congratulations to Barry Bonds.


So last week the Nation lost a sports legend, a true hero in every sense of the word. Where for one moment he brought the entire world together and made us forget what sets us apart even if it were only for a moment. Rest in Peace, Henry Louis “Hank” Aaron.



John Cardullo


John Cardullo is a sportswriter with RINewsToday and a co-owner of Coastal Printing and Graphi

Your Coronavirus Update - Today Jan 29, 2021



Your Coronavirus Update – Today, Jan. 29, 2021

January 29, 2021/RINewsToday




Vaccinations will begin in RI for those over 75: Every city/town will handle registration for the vaccines differently. Warwick had a registration site on their website which closed after over 300 vaccine slots were filled. Cranston begins today with people calling the Cranston Sr. Center to register. Providence had a signup online. Newport has a signup. East Providence is calling seniors. The state has plans for statewide registration coming up soon. These early registrations that are happening now are set for vaccinations next Monday, Tuesday, and might be other days. Stay in close contact with your city officials. Note: Vaccination sites may not be in the city/town where you live – note: Cranston is in East Greenwich; Newport is in Bristol; Warwick is in East Greenwich, etc.


Refer to this chart for more details about who, and when…



A Central Falls clinic last Saturday was organized/led by Asthenis Pharmacy and vaccinated a total of 500 with the Moderna vaccine. Of these vaccines, 220 went to those who are age 50 or older; 280 went to those under 50. Another clinic will be held this Saturday.


In Pawtucket, House of Hope CDC and the city is proposing creation of ECHO Village, or Emergency COVID Housing Opportunities, a temporary shelter situation for Pawtucket during the pandemic. They now have 10 temporary structures, with a goal of 100 people in Pawtucket on an emergency basis in their own compartments. This is seen as an 18-month solution as they look for longer-term solutions for tiny houses as more permanent homes for homeless people.


The Rhode Island National Guard is ramping up its effort to provide more community-based COVID-19 rapid test sites and is seeking organizations to host sites throughout the state.


Boston Colleges, hospitals, and other institutions are all wrestling with the same problem: what to do with their surplus vaccine doses.


RI Health Department spokesman Joseph Wendelken on Wednesday said there was no one cause for the “very few” wasted doses in Rhode Island.


Central Falls has consistently experienced some of the state’s highest rates of COVID-19 spread and hospitalizations within the city’s One Square Mile with nearly 20,000 residents. To continue combating the pandemic locally, CF started to expand its vaccine efforts to include all adult CF residents to help tackle the spread.


The next Central Falls Clinic is at Asthenis Pharmacy on Sunday (Jan. 31) aiming to vaccinate 550 people. It’s open to adult Central Falls residents – the registration process is still open as of this email.


At the RI Dept. of Corrections, 775 staff members had been vaccinated as of Monday, with 109 fully vaccinated. (Both authorized vaccines on the U.S. market right now require two shots a few weeks apart.) Ventura said 247 staffers refused the vaccine. Among inmates, 477 had been vaccinated, with 97 fully vaccinated. There are about 2,000 inmates at the ACI. Refusal rates weren’t available for inmates. The Department of Corrections had offered vaccines to everyone at high risk, which is based on age and health condition., Ventura said.


Dr. Jennifer Clarke, former director of medical programs at the state Department of Corrections, has assumed a new role as medical director within the state Department of Health’s COVID Unit, supporting outbreakresponse personnel.


Group homes: With over 600 positive residents in RI since last week, at least 1,300 residents and staff of group homes for adults with developmental disabilities in Rhode Island have been vaccinated against COVID-19 since Jan. 16, with another 500 vaccinations scheduled this week, and plans underway for additional clinics next week, according to a spokeswoman for group home operators, Tina Spears, executive director of the Community Provider Network of Rhode Island.


Wyatt reported 18 active COVID cases among the detainees, 4 of which were in the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Fifteen staff were also infected.


After a decade marked by bankruptcy and hundreds of store closures, Friendly’s Restaurants LLC is poised for a revival under new ownership, including the potential to reenter the Rhode Island market.


Roger Williams University is starting the spring semester with a testing program that requires students to get tested twice per week.


Describing this week’s rollout of expanded COVID-19 vaccine eligibility as “a mess,” Cape Cod Sen. Julian Cyr said the Baker administration should have done a better job setting expectations for vaccine availability for seniors, and might have benefited by waiting until supply to the state increased.


In Vermont, more than 13,000 residents 75 or older signed up to be vaccinated against COVID-19 in the first few hours a state signup site was open Monday.


In Massachusetts, although the Baker administration has described the vaccine rollout as “bumpy,” the Biden administration is promising a faster turnaround of vaccines, a senior state Department of Public Health official said Wednesday that a target to make doses available to the general public starting in April is still in play.


In Massachusetts, the $45.6 billion budget does not include any tax increases on residents and Baker is proposing to cut state spending by about $300 million or 0.7 percent while state tax revenue is expected to rise 3.5 percent over the current budget year.


DoorDash is providing $250,000 in COVID-19 relief grants for Rhode Island restaurants. As part of the company’s $200 million, five-year Main Street Strong Pledge program, restaurants will be able to apply for $5,000 grants to be used to offset costs associated with the pandemic. Applications, available online, are being accepted through Feb. 17. Eligible restaurants in RI and MA will be required to have three stores or fewer currently operating, $3 million or less in 2019 revenue per store and employ 50 or fewer people per store.


MA has plans to have 165 vaccination sites available by mid-February and has moved people 75 and older ahead in receiving the COVID-19 vaccine,


In Massachusetts: Concerned about the potential for another year of declines in college enrollment, especially among groups including students of color and those from low-income families, officials at state schools are exploring ways to encourage high school seniors to complete financial aid applications.


The Massachusetts Lottery saw greater sales and profit performance during the six months from July through December 2020 than it did during the same six months in pre-pandemic 2019


The leaders of two statewide teachers unions and the Boston Teachers Union say they are alarmed by the new vaccination plan Massachusetts officials unveiled Monday, which prioritizes people ages 65 and older over many essential workers, including K-12 educators.


Newport: the city should receive 120 doses for Newport residents, 75 and older, for Feb. 3 and Feb. 5 administration in Bristol. A regional COVID vaccination center, a joint venture between Newport and Middletown that will operate out of the Community College of Rhode Island campus on John H. Chafee Boulevard. The “Southern Aquidneck Island Vaccination Center” will serve Newport and Middletown residents who are 75 and older first, according to information from Shevlin. 


URI students to be tested every other week throughout spring semester


TF Green Airport added new cleaning equipment to high touch areas.


LaSalette Shrine will vaccinate 80 Attleboro residents or workers on Friday, by appt.


Massachusetts residents who are 75 and older can sign up Wednesday to get the coronavirus vaccine and they can start getting their shots next Monday,


Gyms, movie theaters and museums are among the businesses in Boston that will be allowed to reopen Monday with a limited capacity,


The 125th running of the Boston Marathon is scheduled for Monday, Oct. 11


Amazon plans to add 3,000 more jobs in major tech expansion in Seaport


Plans for a new Holyoke Soldiers’ Home should include about 100 more beds than the state has proposed, a group of veterans and their families said Tuesday


RI Data – Jan 27, 2021

Deaths: 9 – Tests – 16,424 – Positives – 520 – Percent positive – 3.2%

Hospitalized – 334 – In ICU – 50 – Ventilated – 35 – Deaths in hospital – 5

New Admissions – 39 – New Discharges – 54

First vaccines: 62,620 Total fully vaccinated – 2 shots: 19,683



RI Data – Jan. 28, 2021

Deaths: 9 – Tests – 18,678 – Positives – 618 – Percent positive – 3.3%

Hospitalized – 335 – In ICU – 47 – Ventilated – 31 – Deaths in hospital – 9

New Admissions – 44  – New Discharges – 44

First vaccines: 64,435 Total fully vaccinated – 2 shots: 21,880



RI Dept. of Health Update: 1-28-2021:


Attending: Dr. Scott, CommerceRI Prayor, Lt. Gov. McKee


Note: Vaccine registration by city was not mentioned at the press conference – registration activity began Thursday late in the day – if you live in Providence, East Providence, Warwick, Newport, or Cranston, and are over 75, please check with your local city website or city hall.


Extending current restrictions through February, not lifting restrictions – acknowledging struggle with restaurants, effective Sunday, establishments can now close at normal closure times but must adhere to all other standards.


Vaccination update: RI is doing well; campaign is strategic about who is vaccinated, due to small supply. Doing healthcare workers, nursing homes, assisted living, public safety workers, outpatient healthcare providers – all this takes more time than opening a big public clinic somewhere. This accomplishes our goal, though of reaching who we need to reach.


Very close to starting campaign focusing on age. Starting this weekend, 5,000 of those over 75 who are on the “need extra help” list at the Health Dept. will get vaccinated. Then 2 weeks from then, another group. No one needs to take any action now.


Mid-February will focus on those most at risk for hospitalizations and death. After careful review, and grounded in science, identified 3 criteria – age, high risk conditions, geography. 65-74 years of age – First 60-64, then 50-59, then 40-49, then 16-39 years of age. Each level doesn’t need to complete before moving to another.


This assumes the amt of vaccine we are getting now – though we hope that supplies will increase over time.


Second consideration is high risk group: 16-64 years of age with a variety of conditions (see… ) will have increased access. This will include pregnant women.


Next will be geography. Certain communities are at elevated risk.Vaccine will be accelerated in these communities – Central Falls, Pawtucket, North Providence, Providence, and Cranston. People in these communities are at greater risk. In CF, 67% higher hospitalization rate. Providence is 58% higher.


10% of RIslanders have diabetes; 30% who have COVID have diabetes.


58% of teachers and staff in schools fall into one of the above categories. Although schools are not higher risk, it is important to reach these groups with vaccines.


Treatment: RI has recommended treatment for COVID19. 1500 people have been treated already and done well.


Testing: New sites – Lowe’s, Route 10, Cranston – Knights of Columbus, Middletown.


Protecting Your Household – vaccines, treatment and testing are key.




Q: How much is moving up 65 year olds is due to public pressure?

A: We have wanted to do this, but with small supply we haven’t been able. But we can get ready for it.


Q: How would you grade the vaccine program so far?

A: We are moving as effectively as we can. I would give it a B+, A-


Q: Is anyone getting the flu?

A: Dr. Scott will get back, but flu numbers are low, though it is early on.


Q: Next Wed, Gov. Raimondo will be voted in – do you feel up to speed to take over (to Dan McKee)

A: Yes, that’s the process we anticipate. Picking Lt. Gov will happen before end of Feb.


Q: Lt. Gov: are you 100% behind this new method without teacher prioritization?

A: I’ve met with Dr. Scott and yes, I think based on health conditions and vaccine, I am on board – we will capture 58% of teachers with the plan that it is in place.


Q: Registration process – is there a plan for what happens at the end of a clinic if there is vaccine left over?

A: There is a robust process to insure vaccine is not wasted or thrown out. 0.2% throw away rate, one of the lowest in US.


Q: Ch. 12 reporting Dr. Fine said that Central Falls is one of the most infected places in the world…we asked about health equity or inclusiveness…why did you treat this location the same?

A: You asked why aren’t we treating them differently? And we are. Because of the conditions – higher density, more multi-generational housing, more front-line workers, etc.


Q: How are people going to get the shot who are over 65? Step by step.

A: We will be coming back with more specific details.


Q: How much online will this be for older people?

A: We’re engaging on this with senior homes, senior centers, etc.


Q: Why not roll out early closing today rather than Sunday and not lose another weekend?

A: We need to wait for the data to assure us it is ok. (Pryor: I think it’s terrific we can do this, but it’s more than the restaurants – people still need to exercise caution).


Q: End of fiscal year – what about budget – shared cuts, furloughs

A: McKee – these are extraordinary times – we have to see the numbers and that’s what we need to do.


Q: Do you need to go city by city?

A: Ultimate goal – vaccinate more – less emphasis on where you live. In hardest hit communities – while others will be vaccinating 65 and over, hardest hit might be doing 50 and over at the same time.


Q: To McKee – what will be big differences between you and Gov. Raimondo

A: He’ll be in 39 cities/towns – up to the media to make their decision.


Link to the press conference on Thursday:




CVS Health administered the first round of COVID-19 vaccine doses to nearly 8,000 skilled nursing facilities across the country, delivering on goals established early in the process and communicated to participating states and jurisdictions months ago.1 Administration of second doses is well underway and expected to be complete within four weeks.


Bernie Sanders ran a fundraising campaign from his meme and mittens photo and raised $1.8M for Meals on Wheels in New Hampshire.


The NY Attorney General released a scathing report on the behavior of Gov. Cuomo to place COVID positive people in nursing homes – saying he obscured the nursing home deaths.


President Biden will reopen the health exchanges to accommodate those who have lost health insurance. He is also expected to make Medicaid easier to qualify for.


Masks – Adrianna Rodriguez reports. “If you have a physical covering with one layer, you put another layer on, it just makes common sense that it likely would be more effective,” Dr. Anthony Fauci told NBC News’ “TODAY.” A study from July found that wearing two masks could increase protection from virus particles by 50% up to 75%. It also makes masks fit more snugly around the face, said study author Dr. Loretta Fernandez. Americans’ renewed interest in double masking also comes as variants that appear to be more contagious emerge from the U.K, South Africa, Brazil and California.


Lyft is urging the Biden administration to plan for potential transportation access issues in open mass vaccination sites.


Some researchers in China say they have found a more accurate way to test for the virus – an anal swab. Li Tongzeng, deputy director of infectious disease at Beijing You’an Hospital, told China’s Global Times that studies show the virus survives longer in the anus or excrement than in upper-body tracts, so anal swabs would help avoid false negative results.


Hyatt Hotels announced Tuesday, the same day the requirement took effect, that it would offer free coronavirus testing at19 of its resorts in Mexico, Costa Rica, the Caribbean and South America for guests traveling to the U.S.


Alaska and Kentucky have detected their states’ first known cases of the coronavirus variants


A Canadian casino CEO took a flight to the Arctic to jump the line to get a vaccine – he has been terminated.


If you plan to travel internationally, you will need to get tested no more than 3 days before you travel by air into the United States. You will need to show your negative result to the airline before you board your flight, or be prepared to show documentation of recovery. This can be proof of a recent positive viral test and a letter from your healthcare provider or a public health official stating that you were cleared to travel.


The EU, composed of 27 countries, is angry with Astra-Zeneca as it now says it will deliver 60% less vaccine than promised – much has gone to England, US, and other countries. The EU hasn’t even reached 2% vaccination rate. They are now putting a control on Pfizer exporting it out of the country.


Carnival Cruises cancels most cruises – moves others out until November.


New Hampshire nonresidents are no longer eligible to get COVID-19 vaccinations in the state, officials now say, updating guidance after some backlash against letting anyone who owns New Hampshire property to get a shot in the state.


College students struggled with mental health problems before the pandemic. Now, some vulnerable students are even more at risk. sciencenews­.org 


CVS completes first round of COVID-19 vaccination at 8,000 U.S. nursing homes


Tom Brady’s parents revealed a scary battle with COVID-19 that had the QB’s dad in the hospital for weeks.


Colombian Defense Minister Carlos Holmes Trujillo dies from COVID-19 at age 69


Novavax says its Covid-19 vaccine is 90% effective, but far less so against one variant


German health committee says AstraZeneca vaccine should not be given to people over 65


Biden says U.S. will have enough vaccine doses for 300 million Americans by end of summer – “We will both increase the supply in the short term by more than 15% and give our state and local partners more certainty about when the deliveries will arrive,”


Several hundred White House employees had been vaccinated for Covid-19 as of Tuesday, two Biden administration officials told CNN, with more expected in the coming weeks.


The NFL is inviting 7,500 vaccinated health care workers to attend Super Bowl LV to thank and honor them for their continued extraordinary service during the pandemic.


Anti-inflammatory oral drug colchicine improved COVID-19 outcomes for patients with relatively mild cases, according to certain topline results from the COLCORONA trial announced in a brief press release.  Overall, the drug used for gout and rheumatic diseases reduced risk of death or hospitalizations by 21% versus placebo, which “approached statistical significance.”


Fact Sheet: President Biden Announces New Steps to Boost Vaccine Supply and Increase Transparency for States, Tribes, and Territories


Administration to Purchase Additional 200 Million Doses to Be Delivered This Summer


Just over a year since the first COVID-19 case was confirmed in the United States, the nation has hit another grim milestone in the pandemic, reaching 25 million infections and counting. The pace in which this virus has spread throughout the U.S. is staggering and with new variants emerging, the spread is not slowing any time soon. That’s why it is critical that we vaccinate as many people as possible, as quickly as possible.


President Biden has a comprehensive National Action Strategy to put the pandemic behind us and he and the COVID-19 response team are aggressively implementing it.  Today, the President is announcing bold steps that will help meet the goal of administering 100 million shots in 100 days and ramp up vaccine supply as fast as possible. As a result of these actions, the federal government will have enough vaccine supply for the entire U.S. population by the end of the summer.


The President is taking the following actions today:


An Increase in Weekly Vaccine Supply to States, Tribes and Territories: The Biden-Harris Administration will increase overall, weekly vaccine supply to states, Tribes and territories from 8.6 million doses to a minimum of 10 million doses. This increase of 1.4 million doses per week will allow millions more Americans to get vaccinated sooner than previously anticipated. The Administration is committing to maintaining this as the minimum supply level for the next three weeks.


Increased transparency for States, Tribes, and Territories to Help Their Vaccination Efforts: The Biden-Harris Administration is taking action to provide states, Tribes and territories with a reliable three-week supply look-ahead. The Department of Health and Human Services will provide allocation estimates for the upcoming three weeks as opposed to the one week look-ahead that they previously received. This increased transparency will give state and local leaders greater certainty around supply so that they can plan their vaccination efforts and administer vaccines effectively and efficiently.


Purchase 200 Million Additional Doses to Be Delivered This Summer, Double the Nation’s Vaccine Supply: President Biden directed his COVID-19 Response Coordinator to work with HHS to increase our total vaccine supply for the American people.  The Biden-Harris Administration is working to purchase an additional 100 million doses of each of the two Food and Drug Administration-authorized vaccines – Pfizer and Moderna.This increases the total vaccine order for the U.S. by 50%, from 400 million to 600 million with these additional doses expected to deliver this summer. With these additional doses, the U.S. will have enough vaccine to fully vaccinate 300 million Americans by the end of this summer.


Posted in 

Plans announced for the next phase of RI COVID-19 vaccinations

Plans Announced for Next Phase of RI COVID-19 Vaccinations

January 28, 2021/RINewsToday


This was released by the RI Dept. of Health this afternoon:


Aims to reopen economy as quickly as possible by reaching those most at risk of hospitalization and death 


The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) announced a plan today for the next phase of the State’s COVID-19 vaccination campaign. The plan incorporates national public health guidance and local advisory committee input, making vaccine available to Rhode Islanders over the coming months based on age, geography, and health status.


“The approach we are taking for the next phase of the vaccination campaign is firmly grounded in the science and the data on how to use our currently limited vaccine supply to prevent the most hospitalizations, to prevent the most deaths, and to get the economy fully open again as quickly as possible,” said Nicole Alexander-Scott, MD, MPH. “We want to get as many people as possible vaccinated as quickly as possible. But without enough vaccine to vaccinate all eligible people right away, we have to be extremely targeted and strategic in our approach.” 


This next phase of the vaccination campaign will likely begin in mid-February, depending on general vaccine availability. At that point, access to vaccine will depend on three factors:

  • Age: When the next phase of the vaccination campaign begins, Rhode Islanders who are 65 to 74 years of age will be able to begin making appointments to get vaccinated. (Older adults in congregate settings and people who are 75 years of age and older will have already had access to vaccine.) It will take some time for everyone in this group to schedule appointments and get vaccinated. Age will continue to be the primary consideration as more people become eligible for vaccine. As more vaccine becomes available, people will become eligible for vaccine in the following order: 60 to 64 years old, 50 to 59 years old, 40 to 49 years old, 39 to 16 years old. There will be some overlap in the vaccination of each age group as additional vaccine becomes available. (A link to a tentative timeline based on current vaccine allocations is available online.)
  • High-risk conditions: People who are 16 to 64 years of age who have certain underlying health conditions that put them at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 will have access to vaccine. These conditions fall into the general categories of kidney disease, heart disease, diabetes, lung disease, and those who are immunocompromised. People with underlying health conditions in one of these five categories will be able to be vaccinated at the same time that vaccinating starts for 60 to 64-year-olds. Additional information, including definitions of these underlying health conditions, is available at online.
  • Geography: The residents of certain communities are at elevated risk for COVID-19-associated hospitalizations and deaths. Due to this disparity and given that minimizing COVID-19-associated hospitalizations is critical to Rhode Island’s ability to manage the pandemic and reopen the economy, vaccine distribution will continue in these communities. They include Central Falls and parts of Pawtucket, Providence, North Providence, and Cranston.


This approach to the next phase of the vaccination campaign was developed in consultation with Rhode Island’s COVID-19 Vaccine Subcommittee and was informed by national recommendations, community input, and a careful review of Rhode Island data on hospitalizations, deaths, case rates, and chronic conditions.


For the next portion of the vaccination campaign, vaccine will likely be available in a variety of locations, including community clinics, housing sites, and pharmacies. More information about where vaccines will be available will be announced in the coming weeks, as will information about how to register to be vaccinated. Accessibility will be a priority, both in the venues where the vaccine is available and in how people will be able to register to be vaccinated. 


“We wish we could vaccinate many more people, but for now, we must put out the fire where it is burning the most intensely,” said Pablo Rodriguez, MD, physician and COVID-19 Vaccine Subcommittee member. “Our problem is not one of prioritization, it is one of supply. Science and data are guiding the COVID-19 Vaccine Subcommittee and the State.”


“Given the nationally limited COVID-19 vaccine supply, I appreciate the State’s commitment to using science and Rhode Island’s specific COVID-19 infection experience to develop a vaccine delivery system,” said Elizabeth Lange, MD, Rhode Island pediatrician and COVID-19 Vaccine Subcommittee member. “We all want the pandemic to end, so no program is fast enough for everyone’s liking. I appreciate Rhode Island’s thoughtful approach given the multitude of challenges at this time.”


Focusing on age, geography, and high-risk conditions rather than an occupation for this next phase of the vaccination campaign will allow the State and its partners to move quickly to vaccinate more Rhode Islanders as we receive more vaccine. This updated approach for Phase 2 will reach significant proportions of critical workers in Rhode Island. For example, approximately 58% of K-12 teachers and staff will be included in the population at increased risk of hospitalization or death due to age, health risk and geography. 


While vaccination will prevent most people from developing severe illness, research is still needed to determine whether it will prevent a person from getting infected entirely and spreading COVID-19 to others. For this reason, people in critical infrastructure occupations and all Rhode Islanders will need to continue following all quarantine and isolation protocols if they are exposed to or are positive for COVID-19, and they must continue to wear masks.


The aims of the first phase of Rhode Island’s vaccination campaign were to ensure the stability of the healthcare system and to protect the residents of nursing homes and other congregate settings. The people currently being vaccinated are primarily residents in congregate settings (such as nursing homes and assisted living facilities), healthcare workers, and people in public safety. Vaccination will start for people 75 years of age and older who have not already been vaccinated in Phase 1 in early February. Adults 65 years of age and older will follow after that. To date, 86,315 doses of vaccine have been administered.



  • Of Rhode Island’s COVID-19 hospitalizations, 27% have been among people who are age 70 or older. Fourteen percent of hospitalizations have been among 60 to 69-year-olds.
  • Rhode Islanders age 60 and older are at the highest risk of COVID-19-associated death. Of Rhode Island’s COVID-19 associated fatalities, 59% have been among people 80 or older, 23% have been among people 70 to 79, and 12% have been among people 60 to 69.
  • Rhode Islanders with kidney disease, heart disease, lung disease, and diabetes, and who are immunocompromised are more likely to be hospitalized if they have COVID-19. For example, while 10% of Rhode Islanders have diabetes, 30% of people who are hospitalized with COVID-19 have diabetes; while 4% of Rhode Islanders have heart disease, 30% of people who are hospitalized with COVID-19 have heart disease.
  • Throughout the pandemic, the rates of COVID-19 hospitalizations have been consistently higher in certain Rhode Island ZIP codes compared to communities outside those ZIP codes. For example, in seven ZIP codes across Central Falls, Pawtucket, Providence, North Providence, and Cranston, the hospitalization rate in April 2020 was 201 hospitalizations per capita, compared to 34 outside those communities. In November 2020 the difference was 194 hospitalizations per capita compared to 93 hospitalizations per capita. Disparities also exist by race/ethnicity, highlighting the importance of a targeted approach that considers underlying factors in communities, such as population density, income, and healthcare access, that create higher risks for exposure, hospitalization, and death. For example, African American/Black and Latino Rhode Islanders age 35 to 44 years old have hospitalization rates that are three times higher than the rate of White Rhode Islanders age 75 to 84 years old.


Additional resources:

Posted in 

Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: Older Rhode Islanders are being prioritized in the state's next phase of COVID-19 vaccine distribution.  A months-long curfew on RI businesses is being lifted.  There has been an outpouring of support for a local high school hockey player who was seriously injured in a game.

>>Next Vaccine Phase Targets Seniors, Sick And Communities At Risk

(Providence, RI)  --  Rhode Island Public Health Director Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott says the state is taking an extremely-targeted and strategic approach to its next phase of COVID-19 vaccine distribution.  Phase 2 is expected to begin in mid-February and includes eligibility for Rhode Islanders 65 and older.  Also being prioritized are people with high-risk medical conditions.  The plan also includes a geography-based component to cover certain elevated-risk communities, including Central Falls and parts of Pawtucket, Providence, North Providence and Cranston.

>>RI Teachers Not Being Specifically Included In Next Vaccine Phase

(Providence, RI)  --  Specific occupations, including teachers, were left out of Thursday's health department announcement about the next phase of COVID vaccine distribution.  The National Education Association of Rhode Island said the announcement, quote, "left us frustrated and has left us with more questions than answers".  Lieutenant Governor Dan McKee, who is set to take over the governor's office soon, had advocated for teachers to be given higher priority for the shot.  But McKee said Thursday he was completely behind the Phase 2 plan and noted more than half of the teachers in the state will be eligible.

>>State Lifting Business Curfew

(Providence, RI)  --  Rhode Island is lifting its curfew on businesses on Sunday.  Restaurants, bars, gyms and other facilities have had to close at 10 p.m. weeknights and 10:30 weekends since last November.  The state's lowering coronavirus positivity rate is being cited as the reason for the move.

>>Projo Reports On Speculation That Activist Faked Death

(Undated)  --  There is significant speculation that an activist at the Rhode Island State House faked his death.  Nicholas Alahverdian was known for his push for reforms in the state's child welfare program.  His death was reported last year at the age of 32.  A former lawyer of his tells The Providence Journal the timing was suspicious since the FBI was apparently probing Alahverdian over a credit card and loan fraud complaint from his former foster mother.  Both the former attorney and foster mother think Alahverdian is alive, as does the Rhode Island State Police, according to the Journal report.  But Alahverdian's presumptive widow told the newspaper the speculation is disgraceful.

>>Funds Raised For Injured Hockey Player, Bruins Honor Him Before Game

(Undated)  --  Over half-a-million dollars has been raised for a high school hockey player from North Providence who was seriously injured this week.  A.J. Quetta was playing a game for Attleboro, Massachusetts-based Bishop Feehan High School in Springfield on Tuesday when he crashed head-first into the boards.  The GoFundMe page set up by his family says Quetta might not be able to move his body again, and that the donations will help him get the best doctors to do everything possible to help him.  The Boston Bruins hung Quetta's jersey on the glass behind their bench before Thursday's home game versus Pittsburgh.

>>Providence Police Department Adds New Major Position

(Providence, RI)  --  Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza says a new position is being added in the city police department.  Elorza says the addition of the community relations and diversion services major will bring community voices to the highest levels of leadership within the Providence PD.  Among the roles of the major will be to reduce responses to police calls through intervention methods from mental health services or other support networks.

Jim McCabe/jb         RI) MA) 
Copyright © 2021
TTWN Media Networks Inc. 

01-29-2021 02:37:05

Vaccine Decision - Getting to "YES"


Vaccine Decision – Getting to ‘YES’ – by Herb Weiss

January 28, 2021/Herb Weiss


Study Takes Look at Decision Making in Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine


By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging


Last month, the first shipment of COVID-19 vaccines came to Rhode Island. With limited stockpiles, debate in the state is heating up as to who gets priority in getting vaccinated. While many Rhode Islanders are waiting for the opportunity to be vaccinated, it has been reported that others, including health care workers, are declining to be inoculated. They turned down the chance to get the COVID-19 vaccine because of their concerns it may not be safe or effective. 


Now research studies are being reported as how to increase a person’s likelihood to be vaccinated. Last week, the COVID-19 Vaccine Education and Equity Project Survey, a group whose mission is to increase public dialogue on vaccine education, released survey findings that ranked preferred locations to receive COVID-19 vaccines, as well as leading information sources that would influence a person’s decision to get vaccinated.


The CARAVAN survey was conducted live on December 18-20, 2020 by Engine Insights, among a sample of 1,002 adults over the age of 18 who had previously volunteered to participate in online surveys and polls. The data was weighted to reflect the demographic composition of the population.


The researchers found that nearly two-thirds of the public (63 percent) say they will “definitely” or “probably” get vaccinated against COVID-19. The numbers of those indicating they would “definitely” or “probably” get vaccinated varied widely by race. While 67 percent of white respondents indicated they would get a vaccine, the numbers fell to 58 percent among Hispanic respondents and only 42 percent among Black respondents.


Note, other recent surveys in Texas shows 26% of Hispanic respondents were willing to get the vaccine, as compared with 46% of white respondents in the same area – mostly out of concern of immigration status. Similar figures were seen in Florida and other border states.


Influencing a Person’s Decision to Get a COVID-19 Vaccine


The study, commissioned by the Washington, DC based Alliance for Aging Research, one of the three nonprofit organizations leading the project, found the majority (51 percent) of respondents ranked their healthcare provider or pharmacist as one of the sources most likely to influence their decision to get a COVID-19 vaccine. Almost two-thirds (64 percent) of respondents said they would prefer to receive a COVID-19 vaccine in their healthcare provider’s office.


After healthcare providers and pharmacists, when asked to provide the top two additional sources of information about COVID-19 vaccines that would most influence their decision to get vaccinated, 32 percent of respondents cited nationally recognized health experts, and 30 percent named family and friends. However, older respondents were increasingly more likely (75 percent ages 65 and older) to trust their healthcare provider or pharmacist, followed by 43 percent (ages 65 and older) trusting nationally recognized health experts.


“While we’re encouraged to see the majority of respondents planning to get vaccinated, we need to continue to educate about the safety of receiving COVID-19 vaccines from various healthcare professionals, including pharmacists in drug stores, supermarkets, and vaccine clinics,” said Susan Peschin, President and CEO of the Alliance for Aging Research, in a Jan. 14 statement released announcing the study’s findings.  “It is critical to our pursuit of health equity that all Americans have confidence in and access to COVID-19 vaccines,” she said.


Overall, the researchers say that survey responses provided important information about the factors influencing the likelihood to get vaccinated and where respondents prefer to receive COVID-19 vaccinations.


As to the likelihood to be vaccinated, the study’s findings reveal that about a quarter (24 percent) of respondents said they would “probably not” or “definitely not” get a vaccine, with Black respondents more likely to say they would not receive the vaccine (25 percent), compared to Hispanic (15 percent) and white (13 percent) respondents. Respondents that said they will “probably not” get a vaccine also tend to be younger (13 percent ages 18-34, 14 percent ages 35-44).


Identifying Preferred Locations to be Vaccinated


Researchers looked into what is the preferred location to be vaccinated. The survey asked respondents to select one or multiple locations where they would prefer to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. The majority (64 percent) of respondents indicated they would prefer COVID-19 vaccination in their healthcare provider’s office, while 29 percent prefer a pharmacy, 20 percent a drive-thru vaccine clinic, and only 13 percent would like to receive the vaccine at a grocery store pharmacy.


Researchers found a generational split among these options (health care providers office, pharmacy, drive-thru clinic and grocery store-based pharmacy). When asked about their top two considerations, older respondents were much more likely (72 percent ages 65 and older) to cite preference for receiving COVID-19 vaccines in their healthcare provider’s office, compared to over half (56 percent) of respondents ages 18-34. More than a third (36 percent) of those ages 18-34 prefer to be vaccinated at a pharmacy. In evaluating location preferences, nearly two-thirds (61 percent) of respondents said they would prefer to get vaccinated from a healthcare provider they know. This percentage was higher when looking at respondents over the age of 65 (74 percent).


Additional factors driving the location where respondents would like to receive the vaccine included the ability to get the vaccine quickly or not have to wait in line (45 percent) and a location close to home (41 percent), the study found.


Debunking Some Myths and Misconceptions


RIDOH has compiled a listing of frequently asked questions about COVID-19. Here is a sampling:


Some believe that vaccines are ineffective due to the vaccine’s fast track development, fearing corners have been cut during the clinical trials. The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) stresses that “the vaccines are 95% effective in preventing symptomatic laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 and in preventing severe disease.”


It’s been reported that some people may choose to not get vaccinated because that believe that the vaccine contain a microchip.  That’s not true, says RIDOH. “There is no vaccine microchip, and the vaccine will not track people or gather personal information into a database. This myth started after comments made by Bill Gates from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation about a digital certificate of vaccine records. The technology he was referencing is not a microchip, has not been implemented in any manner, and is not tied to the development, testing, or distribution of COVID-19 vaccines,” says RIDOH. 


Others express concerns that MRNA vaccines can alter your DNA.  “The COVID-19 vaccines currently available, which are messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines, will not alter your DNA. Messenger RNA vaccines work by instructing cells in the body how to make a protein that triggers an immune response, according to CDC. Messenger RNA injected into your body does not enter the cell nucleus where DNA is located and will not interact with or do anything to the DNA of your cells. Human cells break down and get rid of the messenger RNA soon after they have finished using the instructions,” states RIDOH.  


A vaccine will not give you COVID-19. RIDOH says: “None of the COVID-19 vaccines currently in development or in use in the US contain the live virus that causes COVID-19. The goal for each of the vaccines is to teach our immune system how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19. Sometimes this process can cause symptoms, such as fever. These symptoms are normal and are a sign that the body is building immunity. It typically takes a few weeks for the body to build immunity after vaccination. That means it’s possible a person could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or just after vaccination and get sick, but this is not because they got the vaccine. This is because the vaccine has not had enough time to provide protection.”


For more resources on the impact of COVID-19 vaccination uptake in protecting individuals, families and communities, and for details on how organizations can partner with the COVID-19 Vaccine Education and Equity Project, visit


Editor’s note: We could take a page from the book of social media gurus who are always looking for key influencers that they can use to target a specific audience with a specific, tailored message. The CDC has some print ads with graphics of drawn figures, such as this one:


We have local banners featuring RI health leaders that are popping up on Facebook and other websites. Some states with particular challenges have gone all out with creative campaigns such as the Mardi Gras theme from New Orleans, called “Sleeves Up, NOLA!”


We need to do more hyper-local research on who is complying and who is not, and how best to reach them with the messages they need to hear to ease their decision-making.


In New Orleans:



In Rhode Island:





One from Europe:



Want to know more about COVID-19 Vaccinations?  Go to





Herb Weiss, LRI’12, is a Pawtucket writer covering aging, health care and medical issues. To purchase Taking Charge: Collected Stories on Aging Boldly, a collection of 79 of his weekly commentaries, go to

Posted in 

Going all-out to rescue Rhode Island wedding and events

Going all-out to rescue Rhode Island Weddings & Events

January 28, 2021/RINewsToday


RI Coalition of Wedding/Event Professionals stages Mock “Safe” Wedding


A Mock Wedding took place at Ocean Cliff on Tuesday. Organized by the Rhode Island Coalition of Wedding & Event Professionals, this project is a partnership with Rhode Island Commerce and the RI Department of Health, the RI Department of Business Regulation, and the Providence Warwick Convention and Visitors Bureau.


The mock wedding was part of the plan to put together a training video on how event professionals can align with the state’s public health measures, implement enhanced safety protocols, and lay the foundation for a safe and successful 2021 season for weddings and events in Rhode Island. 


During this training event, an introduction of the BinaxNOW rapid test was given as testing took place of the wedding professionals and the guests at the event. For testing at actual events, as of now the group says the arrangement is that the kits would be free, and the biohazard bag with all the used tests are picked up once scheduled for free.  As a venue, there is a one time $180 fee and 2 forms need to be completed in order to get the tests.  The test results must be submitted online after each event. At the mock event, 42 tests were done, and all were negative.



There was also the introduction of an innovative concept, the COVID Safety Officer. Throughout events, a COVID Safety Officer can assist in maintaining the safety procedures that are in place, including mask wearing, social distancing and all other restrictions. This “Officer” can be an employee of the venue who has gone through the training. They would also assist in providing the COVID testing.


The video was being funded by Rhode Island Commerce and is being filmed and produced by Montage Media Productions and photographed by Sara Zarrella Photography. The result will be a training video both in English and in Spanish to help the Wedding and Event Industry follow the state’s public health measures, adopt additional safety precautions, and make progress towards the Coalition’s vision for a successful 2021 wedding and event season.


The Coalition is hopeful that this will help pave the way for the future of weddings and events by increasing the safety of guests and staff and eventually lightening restrictions set forth so those who have a wedding, or an event planned are able to move forward and celebrate their wedding or event in Rhode Island this year.


RICWEP Task Force Leaders are Luke Renchan, Erica Trombetti, MikeHenriques, Meagan Peters, Kate DeCosta, Kenneth Ferrara, and Faith Dugan.


Further Information: – Luke Renchan 401-323-1997 –



You can also watch and listen to more information on this topic at:


Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: An update is expected today on the next phase of COVID-19 vaccine distribution in Rhode Island.  Bundle up, Rhode Islanders, chilly weather is coming tonight.  A man is suing over a wrongful arrest in connection to a 1980s murder in Pawtucket.

>>RI Vaccination Campaign Update Expected Today

(Providence, RI)  --  The state of Rhode Island is expected to announce the next phase of coronavirus distribution on Thursday.  WPRI-TV reports the RI Department of Health plans to vaccinate some adults over 75 years of age who live at home.  Neighboring Massachusetts is expanding vaccine access to the 75-plus crowd starting next week.  According to a story from The Providence Journal, Rhode Island has received more than 40 written requests or inquiries about being prioritized for the shot from businesses and special interest groups.

>>Cold Air Moving In

(Providence, RI)  --  A bitter cold air mass is expected to move into Southern New England late tonight into Friday, according to the National Weather Service.  Widespread subzero wind chills are predicted.  Rhode Island is avoiding any additional measurable snow in the immediate forecast.  A daily snowfall record was set in Providence on Tuesday, with a measurement of three-point-eight inches, according to the weather service.

>>Man Sues Over Wrongful Arrest In Connection To Pawtucket Murder

(Pawtucket, RI)  --  A federal lawsuit is being filed over a wrongful arrest in connection to a murder case in Pawtucket.  Joao Monterio, a legal immigrant from Cape Verde, was arrested in 2019 for the 1988 murder of ten-year-old Christine Cole, but the case was dismissed.  The lawsuit is going after the city, several of its police officers and a state forensic scientist.  Among the claims it makes is that the defendants bypassed standard procedure by excluding representatives of the Rhode Island Attorney General's Office from the arrest process and by not seeking a grand jury indictment.

>>Donation To Help Brown University Brain Science Research

(Providence, RI)  --  Brown University is receiving a 25-million-dollar gift.  Brown says the money will serve as the latest major investment in the Ivy League university's cutting-edge brain science research.  The school says the donor asked to remain anonymous.

>>Big Blue Bug Creator Dies

(Providence, RI)  --  The man who created and constructed the iconic Big Blue Bug in Providence, according to his obituary, has died.  George Cardono died on Tuesday at the age of 88.  The bug overlooking Route 95, which is part of the Big Blue Bug Solutions pest control business, was built in 1980.

>>Rhode Island Gas Prices Up Several Cents

(Undated)  --  Gas prices have increased three cents in the last week in the Ocean State. says the current average is two dollars and thirty-seven cents.  The average price one month ago was two-twenty.

Jim McCabe/djc           RI)
Copyright © 2021
TTWN Media Networks Inc. 

01-28-2021 01:44:15

Memorial Hospital to become Veterans Hospital

Memorial Hospital to become Veterans Center – updated

January 26, 2021/RINewsToday


Developer Closes on Former Memorial Hospital Site


Plans Set for Veterans Housing and Education Center 


Mayor Donald R. Grebien and Lockwood Development Partners’ President Charles Everhardt are pleased to announce that they have finalized the closing of the former Memorial Hospital site from Care New England. Lockwood has proposed redeveloping the long-vacant property into a housing and education center for veterans. 


“The City of Pawtucket has long supported the redevelopment of the underutilized former Memorial Hospital site to a project that benefits and meets the community’s needs,” said Mayor Donald R. Grebien, who introduced Lockwood to Care New England. “We thank Charles and his team for their transformational vision to bring a veterans’ facility and the ancillary economic development that it will create to our community.


The City will also continue to fiercely advocate for medical services for the community as a whole.” Lockwood and Veteran Services USA (VSUSA) are designing a revitalization plan with the view to transform the vacant Memorial Hospital into a safe, clean, and enjoyable place to live for Rhode Island’s aging veteran community. 


“For our senior veterans, our goal is to create affordable housing with therapeutic amenities. Our staff will strive to instill a positive spirit while aiming to enhance a better quality of life for every resident,” said Charles Everhardt. “For our younger veterans, our goal is to provide training and education to carefully position them into the healthcare workforce, enabling each veteran to excel and shine with their passion to serve others.” Lockwood’s purchase of the site, which includes the main hospital building, is the culmination of over 18 months of work and thorough review, with the completion of an approval process by the Rhode Island Attorney General, using the “Cy Prés” doctrine. 


Lockwood and VSUSA will develop the site into a 390,000 sq ft campus that will include over 200 apartments prioritized for senior veterans, an adult day healthcare facility for therapy and other social services, a career training and education program for newly-transitioned veterans intent on reskilling or upskilling for the civilian workforce, and medical and lab space to address veteran’s, as well as the community’s whole health needs. The development will also include dormitory space for veterans participating in the career training and education program with an emphasis on medical careers. This economic development project is expected to cost $70 million and create up to 500 jobs during construction, which includes 3rd-party consultants and construction workers, and up to 60 permanent jobs in the community after the project is complete. 


All buildings on the site will be retained and enhanced as part of this historic preservation project. Lockwood is committed to following sustainable practices in the redevelopment of this project and will include extensive landscaping and other amenities within the campus. The zoning and permitting process is set to begin by mid-2021 with interior demolition anticipated for late-2021. Construction for the project is slated to commence in 2022 with completion in 2023. As part of a transparent process, the project will include opportunities for community input. Lockwood intends to conduct community outreach throughout the redevelopment process and looks forward to working with the City and the neighborhood in transforming Memorial Hospital into a new community asset.


Some community responses:


John Cianci, Friends of RI Veterans Home and Italian American War Veterans of Rhode Island: This is a BIG Score for Veterans. Private and government partnership serving veterans. I was involved with Arlene Violet submitting similar plan when Joe Paolino was willing to donate St. Joseph’s Hospital. Grants and funding based on performance. This organization has track record of success. Awesome day for Veterans.


Jeanne Marion: As a 45 year employee I would love to see this happen. The Sayles family did not intend to let an abandoned building rot because of poor management. The intent was to provide medical care, not greed.


More about Veterans Services USA:


Provide for the needs of America’s veterans and seniors by offering a universe of services that include housing, education and training programs, healthcare, and mental health services.


Deliver exceptional, innovative services that empower veterans and seniors to thrive by living healthy, happy, and productive lives.


Veteran Services USA is a non-profit organization committed to supporting veterans and seniors by offering programs that ensure successful life transitions. For our recently discharged veterans, we provide transitional sponsorship and career support programs, with a focus on mental health and suicide reduction. For our seniors, we offer affordable, independent housing, healthcare, and social service programs across the United States. VSUSA has assembled an accomplished group of individuals, including retired military officers, academics, entrepreneurs, experts in finance, media, and industry to achieve our mission of helping our nation’s veterans and seniors.



Editor’s Note: To read more about VSUSA go to:



This is a developing story…

Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: Light snow will linger this morning for part of the Ocean State.  Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo is questioned by the U.S. Senate about her nomination as U.S. Commerce Secretary.  Slater Mill in Pawtucket is being added by the National Park Service.

>>Winter Weather Advisory For Northern RI

(Undated)  --  The National Weather Service has northern Rhode Island and interior eastern Massachusetts under a Winter Weather Advisory until 1:00 this afternoon.  Two-to-four inches of snow fell in parts of northern and central RI on Tuesday.  The weather service said the main part of the snow was moving offshore last night, leaving only scattered showers with minor additional accumulation expected overnight.

>>Raimondo Answers Question During Commerce Secretary Nomination Hearing

(Washington, DC)  --  Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo answered questions before a U.S. Senate committee on Tuesday in relation to her nomination for President Biden's Commerce Secretary.  Raimondo was asked by Senator Ted Cruz to give assurances that her performance would be better than the state of Rhode Island has done to create a plentiful number of jobs.  Raimondo said when she ran for governor, Rhode Island had the highest unemployment rate.  Fast-forward to right before the pandemic, and she said the rate fell to the lowest in state history, and added that Rhode Island had its highest number of jobs.  Cruz also questioned Raimondo on Commerce Department policy with China and her take on the Keystone XL Pipeline.

>>Suspect Linked To Additional Bank Robberies

(Providence, RI)  --  A Providence man arrested for a bank robbery in Cranston is also being connected to a pair of other bank robberies in Providence.  Vaughn Watrous is accused of robbing the Santander Bank on North Main Street on January 19th and the Citizens Bank on Kennedy Plaza the next day, according to the Providence Police Department.  Watrous has a history that includes a prison sentence from 2016 for robbing four banks in four days.

>>City Announces Closing Of Memorial Hospital Deal

(Pawtucket, RI)  --  The city of Pawtucket is announcing that a developer has closed on the former Memorial Hospital site.  The city says Mayor Donald Grebien [[ GRAY-bee-inn ]] and Lockwood Development Partners have finalized the purchase of the hospital from Care New England.  Lockwood has proposed the long-vacant property be turned into a housing and education center for veterans.

>>Slater Mill Transferred To National Park Service

(Pawtucket, RI)  --  Senator Jack Reed says Pawtucket's Slater Mill and a number of key historic buildings in the Old Slater Mill Historic District are being acquired by the U.S. National Park Service.  Legislation signed in 2015 directed the NPS to establish the Blackstone River Valley National Historic Park.  Reed says Slater Mill will now be a keystone of that park.  The transfer is being made by the Old Slater Mill Association, to which Reed says the nation owes a debt of gratitude for preserving the national treasure.  Slater Mill is the first successful water-powered spinning mill in the United States.

>>Former PawSox Manager Has Died

(Undated)  --  Former Pawtucket Red Sox manager Ron Johnson has died.  Johnson was the PawSox skipper from 2005 to 2009.  He went on to serve as the first base coach for the major league Red Sox for several seasons.  Johnson died on Tuesday at the age of 64.

>>Suit Filed After Portsmouth Man Receives Notice About Signs

(Portsmouth, RI)  --  The ACLU of Rhode Island is filing a federal lawsuit challenging a Portsmouth town ordinance that it says bans the posting of political signs on residential property.  The lawsuit is on behalf of resident Michael DiPaola, who recently erected a series of signs on his property to express his opinions about the town government.  This was related to a running feud he has had over code enforcement.  The ACLU says DiPaola received an ordinance violation notice about the signs on January 14th.

Jim McCabe/djc           RI) MA)
Copyright © 2021
TTWN Media Networks Inc. 

01-27-2021 01:17:05

RECALL: Processed Butternut Squash Items


Lancaster Foods Recalls Processed Butternut Squash Items


The Rhode Island Department of Health is advising people of a voluntary recall by Lancaster Foods LLC of its processed butternut squash items due to potential for Listeria Monocytogenes contamination.  


The recalled items were distributed in retail stores in several states, including Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Connecticut. Lancaster Foods has temporarily halted production of these items while it investigates the source of the issue. Consumers who have purchased the products listed below are urged to return them to the place of purchase for a full refund.  


Recalled items include:  


  • 16 oz Autumn Medley - UPC 8 13055 01115 6; with the expiration dates of 01/05/21, 01/07/21, and 01/09/21 noted on the bottom scan label. The brand name is Lancaster Foods and the package is a clear plastic tamper-evident clamshell. 
  • 12 oz Butternut Squash Noodles - UPC 8 13055 01749 3; with the expiration date of 01/10/21 noted on the bottom scan label. The brand name is Lancaster Foods and the package is a clear plastic tamper-evident clamshell. 
  • 12 oz Butternut Squash Noodles - UPC 8 13055 01864 3; with the expiration dates of 01/05/21, 01/08/21, 01/10/21, 01/11/21, 01/12/21, 01/15/21, and 01/17/21 noted on the bottom scan label. The brand name is Lancaster Foods and the package is a clear plastic tamper-evident clamshell. 
  • 12 oz Butternut Squash Noodles - UPC 6 88267 17259 5; with the expiration dates of 01/08/21, 01/10/21, 01/12/21, 01/13/21, 01/14/21, 01/15/21, and 01/17/21 noted on the bottom scan label. The brand name is Store Brand and the package is a clear plastic tamper-evident clamshell. 
  • 21 oz Butternut Squash Planks - UPC 8 13055 01272 6; with the expiration dates of 01/02/21, 01/08/21, 01/12/21, 01/15/21, and 01/17/21 noted on the bottom scan label. The brand name is Lancaster Foods and the package is a clear plastic tamper-evident clamshell. 
  • 20 oz Squash Noodle Medley - UPC 8 13055 01836 0; with the expiration dates of 01/05/21, 01/08/21, 01/13/21, 01/14/21, and 01/16/21 noted on the bottom scan label. The brand name is Lancaster Foods and the package is a clear plastic tamper-evident clamshell. 
  • 20 oz Squash Noodle Medley - UPC 6 88267 18585 4; with the expiration dates of 01/03/21, 01/08/21, 01/11/21, 01/17/21, 01/18/21, and 01/19/21 noted on the bottom scan label. The brand name is Store Brand and the package is a clear plastic tamper-evident clamshell. 
  • 2.5# Butternut Squash Chunks - UPC 8 13055 01596 3; with the expiration dates of 01/04/21, 01/12/21, 01/15/21, and 01/18/21 noted on the bottom scan label. The brand name is Lancaster Foods and the package is a clear plastic tamper-evident clamshell. 
  • 20 oz Butternut Squash Chunks - UPC 8 13055 01150 7; with the expiration dates of 01/05/21, 01/08/21, 01/09/21, 01/13/21, and 01/16/21 noted on the bottom scan label. The brand name is Lancaster Foods and the package is a clear plastic tamper-evident clamshell. 
  • 24 oz Butternut Squash Chunks - UPC 8 13055 01300 6; with the expiration dates of 01/12/21, 01/13/21, 01/15/21 noted on the bottom scan label. The brand name is Lancaster Foods and the package is a clear plastic tamper-evident clamshell. 
  • 12 oz Butternut Squash Chunks - UPC 8 13055 01391 4; with the expiration dates of 01/04/21, 01/05/21, 01/07/21, 01/11/21, 01/12/21, 01/15/21, 01/17/21, and 01/20/21 noted on the bottom scan labels. The brand name is Lancaster Foods and the package is a clear plastic tamper-evident clamshell. 
  • 15 oz Veggie Rice Blend - UPC 8 13055 01014 2; with the expiration dates of 01/07/21 and 01/09/21 noted on the bottom scan labels. The brand name is Lancaster Foods and the package is a stand-up steam pouch with 'grab & steam' printed on the header. 


Listeria Monocytogenes is an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women. 


No illnesses have been reported to date in connection with this problem. 


Consumers with questions may contact the company at 1-410-799-0010, extension 1530. The hours are from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Eastern time zone on the days of Monday through Sunday. Voicemails received after hours will be returned the next day. 

Your Coronavirus Update - Today January 26, 2021

Your Coronavirus Update Today, Jan. 26, 2021

January 26, 2021/RINewsToday


Photo: Massachusetts new promotion for additional priority groups for Feb. 1st.




Bloomberg News is ranking RI close to the bottom in distributing the vaccine to people. The data is based on local government/CDC data – this ranks RI as 3rd worst state in US.


Office of Lt. Governor McKee: will hold a Small Business Town Hall today, Tuesday at 12pm – you can join and watch, listen and ask questions in real time on Facebook live, at: []


Massachusetts Removed From Rhode Island Coronavirus travel ban


NBC10 reports that Lifespan is operating the 600-bed field hospital at the Convention Center in Providence, which on Monday had 30 patients. Care New England is running the 350-bed facility in Cranston, which had 10 patients on Monday. The facilities cost $22million to build and the state pays over $1million a month to maintain them. The state “may” be eligible for FEMA reimbursement of 75% of some of the costs. In-hospital numbers in RI are now below 400, statewide, back to where they were in November.


Infosys, a global leader in consulting, technology, and next-generation services announced that it plans to hire 500 additional tech workers in Rhode Island by 2023. 


No businesses have received citations for violations in RI since Jan. 13th.


Delta Airlines will resume service to T.F. Green Airport in March


In Connecticut, 3 new vaccine centers opened Monday as the state continues to vaccinate those 75 and over. ½ million doses have been administered and CT ranks 4th nationally for distribution. The state has one 10 lane drive thru clinic open 7 days a week. CT plans on opening 7 to 10 more sites.


Cranston Parkade Shopping Center, Gansett Ave. opens Rapid Test site, Tues-Sat, 9 to 5


School districts across New Hampshire are losing money because the state’s funding formula is based on metrics heavily affected by the coronavirus pandemic.


The casino at Encore Boston Harbor will resume around-the-clock operations by the middle of next week.


Massachusetts prioritizing of those over 65 has changed into a phased plan to prioritize life preservation and ensure distribution of vaccines to people of color and other vulnerable populations that have experienced the most severe impacts of COVID. The “over 65” directive from the CDC is now at the end of the second tier.


From the Veterans Home in Bristol we hear; No residents were positive in over a week. Three residents recovering had their quarantine suspended. They can now leave their rooms and eat in the dining area. Visitation for two units will start next week, while two units remain quarantined until the 26th, and another unit until Feb. 2nd due to a staff member testing positive. 96% of residents have received their first vaccination. No numbers on how many staff were vaccinated. Two residents passed away this week.


MBTA weekend trains are not running in Fitchburg, Franklin, Greenbush, Haverhill, Kingston/Plymouth, Lowell and Needham lines. The MBTA will only offer weekend service on the Newburyport/Rockport, Framingham/Worcester, Fairmount, Providence and Middleborough lines. More trains have been added to those lines.


Letter from Dr. Chan, RIDOH:


“As of this morning, 66,070 doses of vaccine had been administered in Rhode Island (52,925 first doses, and 13,145 second doses). We are working hard to distribute vaccine, but supply remains very limited. Right now, we’re receiving enough first doses each week for about 1.5% of our population. While other states are in the same position, Rhode Island ranks among the top states nationally in terms of the rate of second doses administered.


We are currently in Phase 1 of our vaccination campaign. The aim of Phase 1 has been to ensure the stability of our healthcare system and to protect people in congregate living settings, as well as to start vaccinating in some of our hardest hit areas.


When it comes to older adults, we began vaccinating in nursing homes in December. This week, we started to vaccinate in assisted living facilities and other congregate living settings. By the middle of February, we expect the vaccine will be available for adults 75 and older. We have received a lot of questions about vaccination of older adults. In Rhode Island, there are 187,000 Rhode Islanders age 65 or older. Since we are only getting about 14,000 first doses of vaccine a week, we are taking a stepwise approach with this group as well. 


Please note that there is no action that older adults need to take at this time to get a vaccine. When we are ready to start vaccinating this population, we will communicate with the public, healthcare providers, and community organizations to provide instructions. We will also continue to share updates through this newsletter and other outlets. 


While the vaccine rollout will take time, there is a lot you can do in the meantime to protect yourself and others from COVID-19. Testing is more available now than it has ever been in Rhode Island. If you go online right now to, you can make a same-day appointment to get tested at many sites throughout the state. If you test positive, Rhode Island also has a new doctor-recommended treatment. This fast, easy, and highly effective treatment helps keep you from getting sicker and being hospitalized. However, the earlier you start treatment, the more effective it is. If you test positive for COVID-19 and are 65 or older or have an underlying health condition, immediately call your healthcare provider and ask about treatment for COVID-19. You can find out more information about this treatment here


Lastly, I want to echo the sentiments shared by Dr. Alexander-Scott at yesterday’s COVID-19 press conference and thank everyone. It’s been a very long 10 months. I think we’ve all learned a lot. Crisis is a very powerful teacher. One thing that we’ve seen and learned time and time again is that we do so much better when we come together and support each other. Our goal is to offer a COVID-19 vaccine to everyone in Rhode Island as quickly as we can. We all want to be healthy and safe, to keep our loved ones healthy and safe, and to get COVID-19 behind us. We are getting there. Thank you for your patience and sacrifices to this point. We need to keep it going for a little while longer, and we need to remember that we’re all in this together. So please, let’s keep supporting each other.


We will continue to share regular updates as more information becomes available. You can find updates on vaccination planning and answers to frequently asked questions on RIDOH’s COVID-19 Vaccine page.  – Philip A. Chan, MD, MS, Consultant Medical Director, RIDOH


Lt. Governor McKee sent out an email outlining his activities on COVID19 last week including attending the state’s COVID-19 Response Team Vaccination Briefing, participating in the State of the Spread and Response Strategy Briefing with the RIDOH and the Governor’s Cabinet, participated in a call with the Dean of Brown’s School of Public Health, Dr. Ashish Jha, had calls with leadership of both Care New England, Lifespan and CharterCARE.


McKee has mentioned vaccinating teachers – and now legislators and certain politicians – as a priority group.


RI’s AG Neronha has begun questioning hospitals about why they were vaccinating board members and others not in the immediate patient-facing roles.


The RI Music Education Assoc has asked for music classes to open again – with students 16 feet apart, etc.


Funeral workers in Massachusetts are asking to be included in the first phase of the state’s COVID-19 vaccination plan, but so far state officials have resisted the request.


In RI, 1,990 teachers, 46% are over the age of 50 — the danger zone for the risk of the coronavirus. 15% of the faculty at Providence Schools are over 60.


Sen. Jack Reed announced that $70.4 million in federal funding is coming to RIDOH to expand COVID-19 testing and vaccine distribution in Rhode Island will be coming to the state. $60.9 million will be used to support testing capacity and contact tracing, as well as containment and mitigation efforts. Another $9.5 million will be used for vaccine distribution.


Rhode Island is the ONLY state to not finalize its plan for prioritization of groups to receive the vaccine.


Today’s Data – Jan 25, 2021


Deaths: 9 (21 in 23 days); Tests – 7,984; Positives – 370; 3.8% positive


Hospitalized – 347 – In ICU – 50 – Ventilated – 33


Deaths in hospital – 3 – New Admissions – 43 – New Discharges – 30


First vaccines: 59,259 – Total fully vaccinated – 2 shots: 14,735





The CDC says 41 million of doses have gone to states, but just 22 million have been distributed, because states are holding back their 2nd shots. Only 3.2 million people have received both doses. When the CDC released all its supply, it told the states to use everything and not hold back the 2nd shots.


States planned poorly on getting permission slips from nursing home and congregate residing individuals and family members, causing a delay.


The holiday surge in COVID seems to be waning, especially in hospitalization.


Michigan is reopening indoor dining on Feb. 1.


Nursing home residents lead the way on COVID-19 vaccinations, as preliminary data shows that new cases in nursing homes are falling.


Pfizer says its Covid vaccine trial for kids ages 12 to 15 is fully enrolled


Getting the vaccine and posting it is the hottest thing you could be doing on a dating app right now,” said OK Cupid spokesperson.


The Miami Heat will screen fans at its arena with coronavirus-sniffing dogs.


The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission released guidance in December telling employers federal law allows them to require employees to get vaccinated, with exceptions for those who are medically unable to get it and for those with sincerely held religious beliefs that prevent them from doing so.


Mexican President Tests Positive for COVID-19

The Washington Post had an editorial saying people who have had COVID should go to the end of the line on vaccines, as they have natural immunity for a period of time.

A promising sign of a bounce back in the pandemic-ravaged economy has stalled: Fewer borrowers are resuming mortgage payments. According to the Wall Street Journal, the proportion of homeowners postponing mortgage payments had been falling steadily from June to November, an indication that people were returning to work and the economy was beginning to recover. But the decrease has largely flattened since November, when the current wave of coronavirus cases surged in communities across the country.

In Vermont, free public transportation to vaccine clinics is available to Vermont residents who do not have access to their own transportation and are not ill. The Vermont Public Transportation Association (VPTA) is the central point of contact for any part of the state. VPTA will bill the ride to the appropriate funding source (Medicaid, Elderly/Disabled program or a special federal source for COVID-19 if no other funding source applies).

The new head of the CDC says she does not know how much vaccine the US has.

Pres. Biden restricts travel into the US from Europe, South Africa, and in an attempt to curtail the spread of a new virus strain.

An NBA team will use coronavirus-sniffing dogs at its arena to screen fans who want to attend games.

President Biden to ban most non-U.S. citizens who have recently visited South Africa from entering the country over concerns of a new variant of COVID-19

South Carolina has over a 25% infection rate.

Dr. Birx, in an interview on Face the Nation said she “…saw the president presenting graphs that I never made – someone inside was creating a parallel set of data and graphics that were shown to the president”. She also said “there was parallel data streams coming into the WH and I needed to stop that” – She was not asked why she, as a scientist, didn’t say something or leave her position. (Link to interview:

Israel closing its borders to most international flights.

The University of Michigan’s athletic department announced Saturday that it is shutting down “until further notice” due to confirmed cases of the B.1.1.7 variant among several individuals. The B.1.1.7 variant, first discovered in the United Kingdom, may be about 30% more deadly than previous versions of the disease

Mali picks AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine for 4.2 million people

UK doctors call for shorter gap between Pfizer vaccine doses – though some research shows the length of time can be as much as 6 weeks

Former Dodgers manager Davey Johnson hospitalized with COVID-19

Larry King died at 87, weeks after leaving a hospital where he battled COVID-19

WHO to consider two Chinese COVID-19 vaccines next week

Washington State Partners with Starbucks, Microsoft, Costco On Vaccine Efforts

Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine Retains Neutralizing Activity Against Emerging Variants First Identified in the U.K. and the Republic of South Africa

Japan’s immunization program is slower than thought, and they probably won’t achieve herd immunity to COVID-19 through mass inoculations until months after the Tokyo Olympics.

Nashville: The B.1.1.7 variant strain of the coronavirus, believed to be more contagious, has been detected in the state and is expected to be the “dominant” strain in Tennessee

A study of NFL players found that coronavirus transmission is still possible even if exposure didn’t surpass 15 total minutes within six feet.

Maine school districts are cutting back on in-person classes in response to staffing shortages as a result of a statewide surge in COVID-19 cases. The shortages are affecting not just teachers but also transportation and custodial staff,

The first case of a new variant of the coronavirus has been identified in a resident of northern Virginia who had no reported recent travel history.

Merck has announced it will end its vaccine development efforts and focus on therapeutics.

Amsterdam is having protests in the streets over their lockdown from 9pm to 5am

Chicago teachers are refusing to go back to school tomorrow until they are vaccinating. This is happening at schools, mostly union led, throughout the US. Private schools tend to be back, in-person. 76% of private schools in-person, 36% of public schools in-person.

Hong Kong officials imposed a strict 48-hour lockdown Saturday, forcing thousands of residents to stay in their homes as the coronavirus outbreak in the city has worsened.

Pres. Biden’s COVID plan sets a “goal of getting a majority of K-8 schools safely open in 100 days” — the end of April.

California Governor Newsome is being sued for holding back coronavirus data from the public, because he feels that citizens would be confused by it.

40 Capitol police in D.C. have now tested positive and over 120 National Guard members

One Nevada school district is opening public schools after 14 children have committed suicide over the last few months.

Researchers have concluded that young children — while not invulnerable — are about half as likely to be as susceptible to COVID-19 infection as are adults. children have fewer ACE2 receptors in their respiratory tract, which the virus uses to latch onto cells.

Godiva will close all of their independent stores.

The WHO is changing CCP Virus Test criteria in attempt to reduce false positives. Scientists and physicians have raised concerns for many months of an over-reliance on and a misuse of the PCR test as a diagnostic tool since it can’t differentiate between a live infectious virus from an inactivated virus fragment that is not infectious. More:

President Biden: ‘Nothing We Can Do’ to Change Trajectory of COVID-19 Pandemic in Next Months

In Washington, D.C., some teachers spend one day a week going door to door, above, tracking down students who aren’t logging on, and whose education is suffering.

CDC’s suggestions for those having home repairs done: politely communicate to a service provider that he or she will be expected to wear a mask and use hand sanitizer before entering the home. Independent service employees can do likewise; they can state expectations regarding their personal safety before entering a client’s home. Further safety measures involving service providers include:

• Minimize indoor conversations about the service; discuss outdoors, if possible.

• Occupants of the home, especially individuals considered at high risk of contracting the virus, should consider staying confined to a closed area of the dwelling, away from where the service person is working, or leave the home.

• Increase ventilation by turning on air conditioner or fans or opening windows.

• Dispose of any protective gear, such as a mask or gloves, left by a service person.

The president has ordered the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to come up with new, stricter guidance for employers to protect their workers from catching or spreading the virus while on the job. Mr. Biden’s order will establish national standards and give OSHA the power to enforce them. 

India said it will administer homegrown coronavirus vaccine COVAXIN in seven more states as it seeks to inoculate 30 million healthcare workers.

Australia recorded no new local coronavirus cases on Sunday, maintaining a recent run of success in keeping the virus at bay, but nevertheless is keen to press on with its vaccination campaign.

Germany expects AstraZeneca to deliver 3 million COVID-19 vaccine doses in February

Russia reported 21,127 new coronavirus cases in the preceding 24 hours on Sunday, including 3,069 in Moscow, taking the national tally to 3,719,400.

US has invoked the Defense Production Act to speed up production of coronavirus vaccines, but manufacturers can only go so fast. 

In France, the National Academy of Medicine advises its citizens “Don’t talk on the subway. Passengers on public transport systems should avoid talking to one another or on the phone in order to minimize the risk of spreading coronavirus.

Jan 6th events are thought to be super-spreader events for law enforcement, Capitol Police and National Guard. Over 40 Capitol Police and over 140 National Guard test positive. Former President Trump heard that troops were being housed in parking garages and opened up the public areas of his Trump Hotel in Washington, DC.

Posted in 

High School Sports set to play again

RI Winter High School Sports set to play again

January 26, 2021/John Cardullo


by John Cardullo, RINewsToday sportswriter


Photo (above): During a time out, Central Lady Knights Head Coach Vin Sandura keeps social distancing a priority while instructing his team


It has been pretty much 10 months to the day since the Rhode Island Inter Scholastic League shut down all winter sports due to the increasing threat of the Coronavirus that had begun sweeping across the country. At the time, March of 2020 to be exact, the winter sports scene was wrapping up a successful season. Basketball, Hockey, Wrestling, Cheerleading were crowning their state champions. In both the boy’s and girls’ basketball program, teams were preparing to play in the popular State Basketball Tournament that was going to be held at URI’s Ryan Center. As everyone is aware of by now, the pandemic hit full force and everything across the globe came to a screeching stop.


It was not until the fall of 2020 when high school sports ventured back into competition again, but with new rules, regulations and protocols put into place allowing those sports deemed as low risk to venture out onto the field of competition again. Track, Field Hockey, and Soccer were a few of the low-risk sports that played a shorter than normal schedule and were able to crown champions, and some of those schedules were interrupted with COVID-19 outbreaks and games were either rescheduled or canceled altogether.


It was clear that the Rhode Island Interscholastic League and the members schools were not gambling with the safety and health of their student athletes and under the leadership of their new executive director, Mike Lunney, the RIIL, was going to be patient and work something out in order to get the students athletes back into competition as soon as possible. High risk sports such as Wrestling, Football and Competitive Cheer were put on pause for when a plan could be made and executed for those student athletes to play and remain safe.


In a zoom news conference held last week, Lunney outlined the guideline and protocols that will be in place as the winter sports season begins. “For Basketball, instead of playing halves, the games will turn to four 8-minute quarters, altering the number of time outs each team receives, extending the length of time during time out so teams will be able social distance and sanitize, and adjusting the time between quarters and halves to limit exposure in a confined spaces such as locker rooms.” He went on to point out that both pre- and post-game handshakes are being eliminated, and that traditions such as line up introductions and the National Anthem will be conducted while both teams are on the court and socially distanced.


“The adjustments and alterations have been made with a safety-first mindset for the players, officials, coaching, and game day staff in mind,” said Central High School’s Athletic Director Michelle Rawcliffe. Rawcliffe continued “we realize that this isn’t what anyone wanted for the season, but given the alternative, we were all willing to make the adjustments to get back to playing. Additional basketball modifications include that everyone in the arena must wear masks at all times, and two balls will be rotated for play – while one is being used the other is being sanitized and will be used quarterly. Players entering the game as substitutions report to the scorer’s table and must stand in a designated spot before being allowed to enter the game. Multiple substitutions must maintain social distance from each other while waiting to be allowed in the game. Finally, hand sanitizer will be available to all personal involved with the game, but the players will be encouraged to use the hand sanitizer before the game, substitution from the bench before entering the game, when coming off the court, between quarters and at the conclusion of the game.” Rawcliffe concluded, “we have limited personnel at the table to essential personnel, the timer, home (official) scorekeeper, and the scoreboard operator. All will be socially distanced from each other. We even have staggered each team’s bench area to help with social distancing. The league has asked each team to limit their rosters to only those players that will play in the game to limit the risk of exposure.”

Central’s Captain Zeeha-Cook pushes the ball up against Smithfield while wearing face masks is mandatory for all athletes playing high school winter sports.

As far as the players are concerned, Central Lady Knight’s senior Captain Ze-Harra Cook said it best. “We will do what we have to do to be able to get back onto the court and play!” This being her senior year she does not know what lies a head for her future athletic career, but she is certain that she and her fellow seniors of both the girls’ and boys’ teams want to play their senior year. “If it means that we must wear a mask while we play, we will wear a mask. If we have to socially distance, we will distance. If we must use sanitizer in order to play, well I will shower in the stuff to be able to play!” Cook is not the only Lady Knight player who feels this way. The same sentiment is echoed throughout the team.


The officials have been instructed on the penalties that are in place for mask violations. The penalty could run from an official warning to ejection, and technical fouls would be accessed to the player and coach. Because the officials themselves are required to wear masks as well, a handheld whistle device is being used for stoppage of play and foul violations. It is with this hope of everyone’s cooperation, that the RIIL hopes to limit the risk of exposure to all participants involved it the game. As far as the families and friends who would like to go to the game but can not because of crowd limitations, each school is looking into live streaming each sporting event.


Anyone interested in signing on to the stream is encouraged to contact their schools Athletic Director to get the information.


One thing is certain, there aren’t many more challenges than having to organize and manage sports through a worldwide pandemic and as far grading the efforts and execution of both the schools and the Rhode Island Interscholastic League they are doing it right and should be praised for getting the athletes back on the courts, ice and gyms. It hasn’t been easy, but they are getting it done!

Posted in 

Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: An update on Rhode Island's COVID-19 vaccine situation.  Rhode Island is removing several states from its COVID travel advisory list.  Congressman David Cicilline takes part in a ceremony Monday to deliver articles of impeachment against former president Donald Trump.

>>COVID Vaccine Plan In RI Put Into State Of Flux

(Providence, RI)  --  Questions are being asked about who should get the COVID-19 vaccine next in Rhode Island, and also about who has already gotten it.  Lieutenant Governor Dan McKee says the Ocean State should make teachers and people 65 and older a higher priority.  Those groups are not part of the ongoing Phase 1 of distribution.  Meanwhile, Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Neronha [[ nair-OH-nuh ]] sent letters to Lifespan and Care New England on Monday asking for documentation of how the state's two largest hospital groups are administering the vaccine.  This comes after outcry over reports that board members got the shot prematurely.  The head of Care New England Dr. James Fanale [[ fuh-NAHL-ee ]] said in an interview with WPRI-TV there was no line-jumping, and that the shots were given out based on state health department recommendations.

>>Rhode Island Removes Massachusetts From Quarantine List

(Providence, RI)  --  Rhode Island is removing Massachusetts from its coronavirus travel advisory list.  People coming in from states on the list are instructed to quarantine until they receive a COVID test result.  The move wasn't reciprocated by Massachusetts, which has every state except Hawaii on its high-risk list.  The states of Maine, Minnesota, Colorado and Oregon were also removed from the Rhode Island list on Monday.

[[ watch for updates ]]

>>David Cicilline Takes Part In Impeachment Article Delivery

(Washington, DC)  --  Impeachment managers in the U.S. House of Representatives delivered an article of impeachment against former president Donald Trump to the Senate on Monday.  Rhode Island Congressman David Cicilline [[ siss-uh-LEE-NEE ]] was one of the managers and took part in a ceremony.  Cicilline was also a co-author of the impeachment article.  Senate members will be sworn in as jurors in the trial against Trump for allegedly inciting an insurrection at the U.S. Capitol earlier this month.

>>Man Sentenced For Stabbing In Providence

(Providence, RI)  --  A Providence man is being sentenced to five years in the ACI for a stabbing in the capital city last year.  The state attorney general's office says Justin Logan pleaded no contest to one count of assault with a dangerous weapon.  The A.G.'s office says Logan stabbed someone during an altercation at a residence on Elmwood Avenue, causing serious injuries, last April.

>>Arrest Made In Connection To Bank Robbery In Cranston

(Cranston, RI)  --  A Providence man has been arrested for a bank robbery in Cranston.  Authorities picked up Vaughn Watrous for the reported robbery at the Santander Bank on Reservoir Avenue last Thursday.  Watrous has a history that includes a prison sentence from 2016 for robbing four banks in four days.

>>Judge Rules On Lawsuit From Former Westerly Zoning Official

(Westerly, RI)  --  A Rhode Island Superior Court judge has ruled against a former Westerly zoning officer in a defamation lawsuit against former and current town officials.  The Westerly Sun reports a motion for summary judgment was granted earlier this month in the case brought on by Elizabeth Burdick.  The suit was one of a number of legal claims filed in connection to a controversy over a quarry operation in Westerly about a decade ago.  The judge said Burdick did not establish material fact on charges that included whistleblower retaliation.

Jim McCabe/djc           RI) MA)
Copyright © 2021
TTWN Media Networks Inc. 

01-26-2021 01:32:07

Women Rise. Just like a well-baked loaf



Women Rise. Just like a well-baked loaf – by Mary T. O’Sullivan

January 25, 2021/Mary OSullivan


by Mary T. O’Sullivan, MSOL


“There’s too much that’s out of your hands, but you can be flexible enough with what you control to make things work” – Jordan Baines, 13 Things Baking Bread Has Taught Me About Life, A Baker’s Dozen of Valuable Lessons”. January 4, 2014 (Web Reference)


Whenever I read or hear the word “rise”, I think of making homemade bread from scratch, in my own kitchen. It’s tricky. You have to intuitively grasp concepts of the chemistry and physics of baking. If you don’t get each step just right, the dough won’t rise, and you’ll have to throw the whole batch away. Depending on which step you’re on, you’ll end up wasting a lot of time, and all those ingredients. So, from the type of flour, how you knead the dough, the temperature of the water, the freshness of the yeast, timing of each step, and the temperature of the environment where the dough rises, and when to punch it down, each time, you can end up with a magnificent loaf, or a rock-hard brick.


It depends on the quality of your ingredients and how meticulous you are in performing each step. For a great homemade product, there are no shortcuts, no bread machines or pre-made mixes. Just careful planning, attention to detail, some instinct and your own hard work.


You can see where I’m headed with this analogy. To rise in our careers, we need a plan. We need the right credentials, we need timing, and strategic hard work. We need instinct and an intuitive sense of our progress. We may be punched down, only to rise again, because that is part of the process.


In his landmark book, How Women Rise, Marshall Goldsmith and his co-author Sally Helgesen, describe 12 “habits” women need to change in order to claim success in the workplace. In this essay series, I’ve talked about habits 1-10.


Let’s now take a look at number 11, “Ruminating”.


You might think this is part of the digestive process of bovines, but for us humans, it has a more pernicious meaning. According to the American Psychological Association, some common reasons for rumination include “belief that by ruminating, you’ll gain insight into your life or a problem, having a history of emotional or physical trauma, facing ongoing stressors that can’t be controlled.” In plain language, it’s the process of overthinking and over examining every aspect of an event and never letting go of the accompanying negative thoughts.


The authors describe ruminating as “Clinging to the Past”, the “if onlys…” Those repetitive thoughts that take up a lot of energy and make us feel less than successful. Women are not the only ones subject to rumination. I’ve coached many men, who just can’t let go of the bad stuff that have happened. But in my experience, women are far more likely to fall into the rumination trap. With women, the emotion most often experienced with rumination is – regret. And we often turn that regret into blaming ourselves, and even further into self-hatred, feeling as if our mistakes have made us worthless or failures. We may fool ourselves into thinking rumination is “reflecting”. Not really. If you are reflecting, you figure out how to move on – rumination just pulls us further down the rabbit hole of doubt and self-loathing. How can that help us grow and rise in our professions?


Who can say after a period of rumination, you feel better? In fact, ruminating only makes us feel worse, even more depressed than we did before. In my experience, it’s best to break that cycle of going over and over any event, stop blaming ourselves, and ask instead, what about this situation can we control. You’ll soon realize that you can only control yourself alone. You are not responsible for how others feel or think or the actions they take. We women need to shed ourselves of that burden. And when we stay stuck in that negative thinking, we can’t move ahead, we can’t get around our own feelings to progress. We stay angry and depressed and see everything through a cynical lens. The cynics may have their own club, but they usually don’t get the shoulder tap that says, let’s move you up.


The most common setting for rumination happens when there is a management change. Suddenly roles shift, the power dynamic shifts, and people get left out. What’s the use of reviewing every word exchanged when this change takes place? The only thinking that’s needed is an understanding of what your particular situation is.


Are you no longer consulted on major decisions? Did someone you admired get let go? What systems are now in place that you may not like? You have no control over any of this. Best to figure out where you stand in the grand scheme of things, and make decisions that work for you, maybe even looking for a new job. I’ve noticed among people who survive regime after regime in a big company, they all manage to adapt. They stay under the radar. If they don’t like something, they either learn to get around it, or move along.


To be successful, we have to follow a recipe, and not mess up any of the steps. Your career is just like making bread. Too much kneading ruins the dough, wrong temperature for water ruins the yeast, not enough proofing time, and the dough will not rise. Overthinking our situation and blaming ourselves won’t give us the results we want. We may end up with a solid brick and not a nice, crusty loaf.


“Nothing can harm you as much as your own thoughts unguarded.”– Buddha





Mary T. O’Sullivan, Master of Science, Organizational Leadership, International Coaching Federation Professional Certified Coach, Society of Human Resource Management, “Senior Certified Professional. Graduate Certificate in Executive and Professional Career Coaching, University of Texas at Dallas.

Member, Beta Gamma Sigma, the International Honor Society.

Advanced Studies in Education from Montclair University, SUNY Oswego and Syracuse University.

Mary is also a certified Six Sigma Specialist, Contract Specialist, IPT Leader and holds a Certificate in Essentials of Human Resource Management from SHRM.

(401) 742-1965


Fashion Fete virtal Thursday series

fashion fete


Fashion Fete virtual Thursday series

anuary 25, 2021/RINewsToday


Join FASHION FETE VIRTUAL SERIES every Thursday at 7:30 PM.


Enjoy the works of fashion, apparel and accessory designers from all around the world, get wardrobe styling tips and learn about the inspiration of the most talented industry creatives!


Join us for the new season of Fashion Fete the virtual series that brings you fashion from all over the world.


The lineup for our first episode includes:

– Whisper Designs by Shereen, MA
– Jade Alycia Inc, NJ
– Martin Huang, Taiwan
– Wardrobe styling tips by The Style Sherpa


Register to receive your weekly link to YouTube:


Fashion Fete is a compendium of services that caters to fashion and accessory industry professionals. Its three divisions include- The fashion & beauty expo- The designer consortium- The online fashion & beauty series.


Our Mission: To provide consulting, educational and business support services that will help facilitate the growth of apparel and accessory designers.


Our Vision: To build an international consortium of designers by presenting their work to a broad audience both through interpersonal and virtual channels, enabling our members to gain direct access to their target markets, and build their design business into a viable occupation.

AARP: Vaccinate Seniors Now!

AARP: Vaccinate seniors now! Leaders respond. Add YOUR voice.

January 25, 2021/Herb Weiss


By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues


The debate heats up as to how Rhode Island should distribute its limited stock of COVID-19 vaccine. Days ago, AARP Rhode Island urged state officials and lawmakers to put seniors on the top of the list to protect their lives. Older Rhode Islanders should be a priority in getting vaccinated, says the state’s largest nonprofit. 


AARP Rhode Island, generally speaking, reserves sending public letters to public officials for the most critical of issues. Because of the pandemic, a critical issue, AARP is reaching out to its 132,000 Ocean State members and the public at large to demand immediate change.


“The message AARP wants sent to the Governor and State Leaders reads, in part, “Rhode Islanders 50 and older account for 98% of the state’s more than 2,000 COVID deaths. Yet only a quarter of vaccinations to date have been administered to older Rhode Islanders. You must revise the plan to vaccinate the most vulnerable among us. I am therefore calling on you to revise the state vaccination plan immediately to prioritize vaccinating our 50 and older population. There is no time to waste,” said AARP Rhode Island State Director Kathleen Connell.


A Call to Revising the State’s Vaccination Distribution Plan


Connell added, “Now that the state has responded to AARP Rhode Island’s call to make the state’s COVID vaccination plan and its execution more transparent, I am alarmed and dismayed to find data only now available reveals that just 25% of vaccinations to date have been administered to Rhode Islanders age 60 and older.”


“The current disparity — which flies in the face of federal health recommendations and causes great concern for many older Rhode Islanders and their families — is inexplicable, life threatening and unacceptable,” says Connell. 


AARP Rhode Island’s work is part of a nationwide effort, says Connell. “AARP is advocating hard to ensure every older American who wants to get the vaccine can get it,” said AARP Executive Vice President and Chief Advocacy & Engagement Officer Nancy A. LeaMond.


“It’s also vital that distribution plans for authorized vaccines are smoothly implemented,” LeaMond added. “There’s no time to waste: it’s time for full-scale mobilization, and any delays or early bottlenecks in distribution systems need to be addressed urgently. AARP remains committed to protecting the health and well-being of our nearly 38 million members and all Americans as we work together to defeat this virus,” she said.


Rhode Island leaders respond to AARP’s call


Speaker of the House of Representatives Shekarchi:


“We all want the most at-risk people, including our seniors, to have access to the vaccine absolutely as soon as possible. My father is 94, and it will be a tremendous relief to me and my family when he is protected,” said House Speaker Joseph Shekarchi (D-Dist. 23 Warwick). “President Biden’s timeline includes prioritizing access to the vaccine for those 65 and older, and it’s important that we comply with it,” he says.  


“I understand we need greater supply. Our House COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force will vigilantly monitor the distribution to ensure our state is doing everything we can to get the vaccine to those most at risk, particularly those 65 and older, as soon as possible, in cooperation with the federal government,” adds Shekarchi.


Dr. Chan, RI Dept. of Health:


In a Jan. 22 email vaccine update, Dr. Phillip A. Chan, MD, MS, the Rhode Island Department of Health’s (RIDOH) Consultant Medical Director, reported that 66,070 doses of vaccine had been administered in Rhode Island (52,925 first doses, and 13,145 second doses). “We are working hard to distribute vaccine, but supply remains very limited. Right now, we’re receiving enough first doses each week for about 1.5 percent of our population. While other states are in the same position, Rhode Island ranks among the top states nationally in terms of the rate of second doses administered,” he said.


As to the vaccination distribution timetable, Chan noted that nursing home residents and staff began to get vaccinated in December. “This week, we started to vaccinate in assisted living facilities and other congregate living settings.  By middle of February, we expect the vaccine will be available for adults 75 and older,” he says. 


According to Chan, there are 187,000 Rhode Islanders age 65 or older. “Since we are only getting 14,000 first doses of vaccine a week, we are taking a stepwise approach to this group as well,” he noted in RIDOH’s vaccine update.  “Please note that there is no action older adults need to take at this time to get a vaccine. When we are ready to start vaccinating this population, we will communicate with the public, healthcare providers, and community organizations to provide instructions.”


Incoming Governor, Lt. Gov. McKee:


Meeting outside Lt. Gov. Dan McKee’s Cumberland home, WPRI reporters, Eli Sherman and Brittany Schaefer, got insight into McKee’s thoughts about the state’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout strategy and issues surrounding this distribution. They report the details in a Jan. 23 WPRI blog article, “McKee: Teachers should get vaccine before others in Rhode Island.” McKee will move into the governor’s seat once Gov. Gina Raimondo is confirmed as U.S. Commerce Secretary.  


Here are some points from McKee’s interview in the Sherman and Schaefer’s blog article: 


“We need to really move up on the list teachers and the support staff in schools,” McKee said. “We’re not going to open the economy until we do that, and teachers are not going to feel comfortable by and large until we get them vaccinated.” (Teachers are not in the Rhode Island Department of Health’s phase one vaccination rollout)


“Prioritizing educators would inevitably delay vaccinations for all non-educators, and McKee did not name any other group Saturday that he thought should be prioritized. When asked specifically about adults 65 years and older, McKee said he expected they would also be prioritized, but underscored the state is only receiving a limited amount of supply of the vaccine from the federal government,” says the WPRI blog.


President Joe Biden encourages states to make it a priority to vaccinate people age 65 and over, along with grocery store workers and teachers. No specifics have been released yet by his administration. 


“I think it’s a supply issue, but that age group is a priority,” McKee said. “We’re going to follow the lead of the Biden administration”.  


Stay tuned as the debate continues on how Rhode Island should disseminate its limited COVID-19 stockpile – and what it can move to when the flow of vaccine becomes more generous.


Give Governor Gina Raimondo your thoughts as to AARP Rhode Island’s call for vaccinating people age 50 and over “immediately”.  Here’s the governor’s contact details:  Governor Gina Raimondo, 82 Smith Street, Providence, RI 02903; email:; phone: (401) 222-8096. 


Herb Weiss, LRI’12, is a Pawtucket writer covering aging, health care and medical issues. To purchase Taking Charge: Collected Stories on Aging Boldly, a collection of 79 of his weekly commentaries, go to




Herb Weiss has enjoyed a distinguished 41 year career in journalism, earning a national reputation as an expert on aging, health care and medical issues. Over 780 articles that he has authored or coauthored have appeared in national, state and local publications. Governor Gina Raimondo appointed Him to the Rhode Island Advisory Commission on aging. Today, Herb’s weekly newspaper column appears in the Pawtucket Times and Woonsocket call, two North Rhode Island daily newspapers, and will now run in Herb and his wife, Patty Zacks, reside in Pawtucket, Rhode Island.

Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: Rhode Island's next governor will address the state's COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan.  A cause has been determined for a fire on Prudence Island in Narragansett Bay last week.  Former New England Patriots stars Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski are headed back to the Super Bowl.

>>Dan McKee Pondering Vaccine Priority Changes, Assembles COVID Advisory Panel

(Providence, RI)  --  Rhode Island Lieutenant Governor Dan McKee is considering changing the COVID-19 vaccine priority schedule being followed by the state when he becomes governor.  McKee told reporters over the weekend he wants to get the shots out to everyone 65 and older more quickly.  McKee is set to replace Gina Raimondo sometime next month when she becomes President Biden's new Commerce Secretary.  The current lieutenant governor says he is assembling a COVID-19 advisory panel which includes the dean of Brown University's School of Public Health.  McKee said in an interview with The Providence Journal that the state's public health director, Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott, is among the members of Raimondo's cabinet who is expected to continue leading their agency upon the transition to his administration.

>>More Arctic Air Coming After Weekend Cold Blast

(Providence, RI)  --  A cold weekend in Providence is in the books, and the forecast calls for more seasonably-cold temperatures to start this week.  The National Weather Service reported wind chills overnight Sunday made the feels-like temperature close to zero degrees in the Rhode Island capital city.  The weather service says a few periods of light snow or flurries are possible in Southern New England through the mid-week.  Another shot of arctic air is expected to overspread the region on the first weekend of February.

>>Fire Marshal Blames Stove For Prudence Island Fire

(Portsmouth, RI)  --  The Rhode Island Fire Marshal's Office is blaming a faulty wood stove for the fire last Thursday night on Prudence Island.  The huge fire destroyed the home housing the stove and two neighboring houses.  Reports indicate only one person had been inside the original home that caught fire and was able to get out safely, and the other two buildings were unoccupied summer homes.

>>Victim Of Warwick Vehicle-Pedestrian Fatal Collision ID'd

(Warwick, RI)  --  Police have identified the victim of a vehicle-versus-pedestrian collision last week on a busy street in Warwick.  Police say Gustavo Lopez Giron of Providence was trying to cross Bald Hill Road on Wednesday night when he was hit.  The driver was not faulted for the crash and no charges are being filed.

>>Former New England Patriots Brady, Gronk Return To Super Bowl

(Undated)  --  Former New England Patriots stars Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski are going to this year's Super Bowl with their new team.  The Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat the Green Bay Packers in the NFL conference finals 31-to-26 on Sunday to face the defending NFL champion Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl 55.  Brady won six Super Bowls for the Pats, including three with Gronkowski.  No NFL team has previously played a Super Bowl in their home stadium, but the Buccaneers will do just that on February 7th.

>>Alleged Leader Of Theft Scheme Arrested

(Providence, RI)  --  A Cranston man who allegedly led a conspiracy to steal and sell about 700-thousand dollars' worth of construction equipment and recreational vehicles has been arrested.  The Justice Department says Jose Montes was picked up in Winter Park, Florida last Wednesday by the U.S. Marshals.  The DOJ says excavators, boats, jet skis, ATVs and trailers were stolen from businesses in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Hampshire, and then stashed back in Rhode Island during the scheme that was carried out last year.

>>Complaint Filed Over Planned Changes To Downtown Providence Transit Center

(Providence, RI)  --  A federal discrimination complaint has been filed over a plan to reimagine Providence's downtown transit hub.  The groups Grow Smart RI and the South Providence Neighborhood Association filed the civil rights complaint against the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority and the state transportation department.  The complaint says the state's plan to break up the bus stops in Kennedy Plaza will be harmful to riders, especially people of color and low-income populations.

Jim McCabe/djc          RI) MA) CT) NH) FL)
Copyright © 2021
TTWN Media Networks Inc. 

01-25-2021 01:11:43

Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: A large structure fire was reported on Prudence Island overnight.  Arrests are made in connection to a racist graffiti incident in Smithfield.  Providence police officers will get pay raises, while contributing more to their pensions, if a new contract gets final approval.

[[ watch for updates ]]

>>Large Structure Fire On Prudence Island

(Portsmouth, RI)  --  WPRI-TV reported there was a massive fire on Prudence Island at around midnight last night.  Channel 12 reported several structures appeared to be fully engulfed.  The Portsmouth Marine Patrol Unit was shuttling firefighters across Narragansett Bay.  It's not clear if there are injuries related to the fire or what caused it.

>>Three Juveniles Arrested For Racist Graffiti Incident

(Smithfield, RI)  --  Three people have been arrested in connection to a racist graffiti incident in Smithfield.  The Valley Breeze reports the trio that was picked up for the vandalism on the Stillwater Scenic Trail were juveniles who are being charged with malicious damage and conspiracy.  The graffiti got national attention after a statement of condemnation was released by the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

>>Agreement Reached On New Providence Police Contract

(Providence, RI)  --  An agreement has been reached between the city of Providence and the police union on a new contract.  Officers will see a pay raise of about 17 percent over a four-year period, retroactive to 2019.  But police officers will also have to contribute more to their pensions.  As the city grapples with a pension liability of over a billion dollars, Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza said this contract achieves historic pension reform.  Elorza also said it makes a meaningful investment in the future of the police department.  The deal will require City Council approval.

>>Most Veterans, About Half Of Staff At Veterans' Home Vaccinated

(Bristol, RI)  --  About half of the staff members at the Rhode Island Veterans Home have not received a COVID-19 vaccine shot, according to a report from the Providence Journal.  As of Monday, over 90 percent of the residents at the Bristol facility have gotten vaccinated.  As for the staff, a spokesperson for the state Office of Veterans Services says it's expected the percentage of those who have gotten the shot will increase with more access to community-based clinics.  There are concerns that continuing high virus positivity rates among staffers could cause a delay in restoring visitor access.

>>Providence Company Provides Pen For Biden Signatures

(Washington, DC)  --  A Providence company provided the pen used by President Joe Biden to sign his first executive orders after he was inaugurated on Wednesday.  A.T. Cross Company said Biden used a Cross Century Two Rollerball Pen with a black lacquer finish and 23-karat-gold-plated appointments.  The company says Cross pens have been used in the Oval Office since the 1970s.

>>Obstruction Issues Impacting Runways At Newport Airport

(Newport, RI)  --  The Newport State Airport is dealing with an issue of growing trees obstructing its runways.  That's according to an official with the Rhode Island Airport Corporation, speaking to The Newport Daily News.  The newspaper reports the RIAC and a homeowner have stalemated on the issue of a tree that is creating a hazard on one of the runways, which will result in the runway being shortened by five-hundred feet.  The spokesperson for the quasi-state agency says more runways could be impacted if the issue isn't addressed.  Legislation was proposed last year to allow state intervention in such matters, but it did not become law.

Jim McCabe/djc          RI)
Copyright © 2021
TTWN Media Networks Inc. 

01-22-2021 01:11:36

Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: A large structure fire was reported on Prudence Island overnight.  Arrests are made in connection to a racist graffiti incident in Smithfield.  Providence police officers will get pay raises, while contributing more to their pensions, if a new contract gets final approval.

[[ watch for updates ]]

>>Large Structure Fire On Prudence Island

(Portsmouth, RI)  --  WPRI-TV reported there was a massive fire on Prudence Island at around midnight last night.  Channel 12 reported several structures appeared to be fully engulfed.  The Portsmouth Marine Patrol Unit was shuttling firefighters across Narragansett Bay.  It's not clear if there are injuries related to the fire or what caused it.

>>Three Juveniles Arrested For Racist Graffiti Incident

(Smithfield, RI)  --  Three people have been arrested in connection to a racist graffiti incident in Smithfield.  The Valley Breeze reports the trio that was picked up for the vandalism on the Stillwater Scenic Trail were juveniles who are being charged with malicious damage and conspiracy.  The graffiti got national attention after a statement of condemnation was released by the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

>>Agreement Reached On New Providence Police Contract

(Providence, RI)  --  An agreement has been reached between the city of Providence and the police union on a new contract.  Officers will see a pay raise of about 17 percent over a four-year period, retroactive to 2019.  But police officers will also have to contribute more to their pensions.  As the city grapples with a pension liability of over a billion dollars, Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza said this contract achieves historic pension reform.  Elorza also said it makes a meaningful investment in the future of the police department.  The deal will require City Council approval.

>>Most Veterans, About Half Of Staff At Veterans' Home Vaccinated

(Bristol, RI)  --  About half of the staff members at the Rhode Island Veterans Home have not received a COVID-19 vaccine shot, according to a report from the Providence Journal.  As of Monday, over 90 percent of the residents at the Bristol facility have gotten vaccinated.  As for the staff, a spokesperson for the state Office of Veterans Services says it's expected the percentage of those who have gotten the shot will increase with more access to community-based clinics.  There are concerns that continuing high virus positivity rates among staffers could cause a delay in restoring visitor access.

>>Providence Company Provides Pen For Biden Signatures

(Washington, DC)  --  A Providence company provided the pen used by President Joe Biden to sign his first executive orders after he was inaugurated on Wednesday.  A.T. Cross Company said Biden used a Cross Century Two Rollerball Pen with a black lacquer finish and 23-karat-gold-plated appointments.  The company says Cross pens have been used in the Oval Office since the 1970s.

>>Obstruction Issues Impacting Runways At Newport Airport

(Newport, RI)  --  The Newport State Airport is dealing with an issue of growing trees obstructing its runways.  That's according to an official with the Rhode Island Airport Corporation, speaking to The Newport Daily News.  The newspaper reports the RIAC and a homeowner have stalemated on the issue of a tree that is creating a hazard on one of the runways, which will result in the runway being shortened by five-hundred feet.  The spokesperson for the quasi-state agency says more runways could be impacted if the issue isn't addressed.  Legislation was proposed last year to allow state intervention in such matters, but it did not become law.

Jim McCabe/djc          RI)
Copyright © 2021
TTWN Media Networks Inc. 

01-22-2021 01:11:36

Your Coronavirus Update - Today January 21, 2021

Your Coronavirus Update – Today, Jan. 21, 2021

January 21, 2021/RINewsToday


Photo: Flags at the inauguration, representing the 200,000 people who would normally have been there, who cannot be due to the coronavirus.


Rhode Island & Vicinity


RI Attorney General Investigating Vaccine Distribution at Hospitals – Peter Neronha’s office has responded to the Providence Journal investigation of vaccines going to board members, volunteers and non front-facing staff at Lifespan and Care New England hospitals groups. From Neronha’s office: “We have been in communication with the Department of Health regarding the distribution of vaccines by Lifespan and Care New England,” said Kristy dosReis, spokeswoman for Attorney General Peter Neronha. “Vaccine distribution should be guided by public health and done in accordance with the guidelines provided by RIDOH. Any deviation from those guidelines is of great concern to this office. We intend to look into any improper distribution to determine whether legal violations occurred. Whether or not any legal violations occurred, we urge the entities that are charged with vaccine administration to do so in an equitable and transparent manner and in strict compliance with RIDOH guidance.” Rhode Island Hospital is saying it followed the RIDOH guidelines which included those with direct patient care, then supporting staff, then trustees and volunteers.


Big changes for school sports are underway – here is the statement from the RI Interscholastic League:


The federal government has announced it will be releasing all second doses of the vaccine to the states so that individuals 65 years and older can get vaccinated, but we have not received any additional information on if or when that will happen. In RI there are close to 190,000 Rhode Islanders age 65 or older. If we said today that all of those people were eligible, no one would be able to make an appointment to get vaccinated. We are hopeful that the federal government will increase our supply in the future which will allow us to expand the eligible population by age but until they do, we don’t think its responsible or strategic to open the eligibility criteria and create a demand that we know we cannot accommodate.


Gov. Raimondo received a vaccine as part of vaccinating all cabinet members.


A second case of the more infectious coronavirus variant first found in the United Kingdom has been confirmed in Massachusetts..


Dr. Alax Goldfarb, a doctor at Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess who had volunteered to treat COVID patients in NYC died on a mountain climbing trip in Pakistan.


The RI First Amendment Coalition has asked Gov. Raimondo to stop her silence to Rhode Island, and to speak to reporters on matters of extreme interest in the state, especially the vaccination plans for the state.


Dr. Michael Fine is calling on the RI attorney general and the Health Dept. to investigate Lifespan and Care New England for vaccinating non-medical board members who were not eligible for vaccinations under the state’s Phase I guidance.


A new COVID-19 rapid testing site for people without symptoms opened Wednesday in Warwick, open 9 to 5, Tuesdays through Saturdays, at the Shops at Greenwood, Suite 15 and 17, near the Rhode Island Blood Center on Greenwich Avenue.


In CT, hundreds of schoolteachers were able to sign up for vaccine appointments before they were actually eligible.


The Rutland (Maine) Regional Medical Center is developing a plan to allow COVID-19 patients to recover at home, rather than in the hospital, if they are willing and have support systems in place.


A live webinar will be held on Tues, February 2nd, at noon – The Association between Vitamin D Levels and COVID-19 Positivity – presented by Dr. Harvey Kaufman and moderated by Dr. Damian Alagia. The webinar presents results of a new study finding COVID19 positivity rates are higher among people with low Vitamin D levels. Register, here:


Listen to “Dr. Jim McDonald – RI Vaccine Distribution – 1/20/21” by Cumulus Providence via #spreaker as he talks with WPRO’s Tara Granahan in her morning radio program. He talks about vaccine distribution and cases in RI.


In Massachusetts CVS and Walgreens will receive 10,000 doses – it will include 15 pharmacies. On Feb. 1st, Fenway will open as a second site and UMassAmherst will open as a third mass vaccination site. Other pharmacies include Wegmans, Big Y, Price Chopper, Stop & Shop and Hannaford to serve as vaccination sites.


RI’s vaccine doses have been about 14,000/week and will go up to 19,000/week next week.


St. Patrick’s Day Parades in RI: Providence’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade will move to September; Newport’s will be rescheduled to March, and Pawtucket’s will take place as a motorcade.


A media briefing was set for a coronavirus update today at 1pm at the Veterans Auditorium with Dr. Scott and other department spokespeople.


RI Data: Jan 20, 2021


Deaths: 13; Tests – 14,532; Positives – 722; Percent positive – 5%

Hospitalized – 379; In ICU – 48; Ventilated – 36

Deaths in hospital – 7; New Admissions – 52; New Discharges – 41

First vaccines: 49,113 Second vaccines: 11,780


COVID19 cases by city –




Taiwan called off its largest Lunar New Year lantern festival for the first time on Tuesday, as authorities rushed to stem a Covid-19 cluster


In Israel, the Health Ministry is likely to recommend that pregnant women get vaccinated, according to its deputy director-general, Itamar Grotto. “We know that pregnancy” puts women at high-risk for a serious case of coronavirus, Grotto said in an interview with KAN News. “We recommend that pregnant women get vaccinated.”


The White House spent 1/2 million dollars deep cleaning for the transition to the Biden administration, and put several new policies into effect to protect the president and staff.


Norwegian Cruise Lines will suspend until further notice.


Longtime co-host and meteorologist Al Roker received the Covid-19 vaccine Tuesday morning, live and on-air.


While all 49 other states signed on to a federal program partnering with CVS and Walgreens to distribute vaccines in long term care facilities, West Virginia opted to distribute their shots through over 250 independent pharmacies. Since long term care facilities already relied upon local pharmacies for other vaccines, medicines, and regular COVID testing, West Virginia was able to bypass the delays in advance paperwork and vaccination logistics that have been barriers to distribution in other states. 


A study proposes a new “alternating quarantine strategy” and models its effectiveness in controlling COVID. In this strategy, half the population remains under lockdown while the other half remains active, with the group that quarantines switching every week. The researchers found that this strategy provides a dramatic reduction in COVID transmission similar to what can be achieved by a population-wide lockdown, even though it only cuts socioeconomic activity by around 50 percent. The weekly alterations also synchronize with the natural progression of COVID, since the majority of infected people will be quarantined around the time of their peak infection. Read the study.


A study projects that COVID will reduce life expectancy in the U.S. in 2020 by 1.13 years.


The state is expanding eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine in the initial phase of the rollout to include people age 65 and over as well as younger people with serious health conditions that put them at higher risk


New York: Gov. Andrew Cuomo warned Tuesday that his state will pursue legal action if Congress doesn’t send $15 billion in unrestricted emergency pandemic aid. Meanwhile, New York City will run out of first doses of COVID-19 vaccines sometime Thursday without fresh supplies, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday.


Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, has promoted itself as the ideal pandemic vacation spot. With peak tourism season in full swing, coronavirus infections are surging to unprecedented heights. Daily case counts have nearly tripled in the past month, forcing Britain to slam shut its travel corridor with Dubai last week. But in the face of a growing economic crisis, the city won’t lock down.


First 100 Days Mask Mandate: Pres. Biden signed his Executive Order. Use of masks and social distancing in all federal buildings, on federal lands and by federal employees and contractors. Pres. Biden is challenging all Americans to wear a mask for the first 100 days of his administration.


President Biden’s goal is to have 100 million shots in 100 days into Americans.


President Biden rejoined the United States into the WHO.


Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: Rhode Island's Congressional delegation reacted positively to yesterday's inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala [[ COMMA-la ]] Harris.  The Rhode Island Attorney General's Office is looking into how vaccines are being distributed in the Ocean State.  A Rhode Island woman suffers injuries in a stabbing at a Massachusetts hotel.

>>RI Congressional Delegation Reacts To Biden-Harris Inauguration

(Washington, DC)  --  Rounding up the reactions from the Rhode Island Congressional delegation to the inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala [[ COMMA-la ]] Harris on Wednesday.  Congressman David Cicilline said he is looking forward to finally having a president who will stand up for everyone once again.  With the first-ever woman VP, Representative Jim Langevin said the Biden-Harris swearing-in shattered another glass ceiling.  Senator Jack Reed was supportive of Biden's inauguration speech, saying he spoke from the heart about rising to meet the moment.  And Senator Sheldon Whitehouse said he was a big fan of the poem read by Amanda Gorman, the youngest inaugural poet in U.S. history.

>>Vaccine Rollout Catches Attention Of Rhode Island Attorney General's Office

(Providence, RI)  --  The Rhode Island Attorney General's Office is taking a look at the state's COVID-19 vaccine distribution process.  This comes after The Providence Journal reported board members at Lifespan and trustees at Care New England have been offered vaccines while Rhode Island seniors continue to wait.  A spokesperson for the A.G.'s office says any deviation from the guidelines provided by the Rhode Island Department of Health is a great concern.  The health department said hospital infrastructure was prioritized for the first phase of the vaccine rollout, including non-patient-facing workers.

>>Gina Raimondo Has Received COVID-19 Shot

(Providence, RI)  --  Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo's office says she received her first COVID-19 vaccine dose on Tuesday.  Raimondo's office says she was given the shot because she is in the line of succession for president as the incoming Commerce Secretary.  Raimondo expressed gratitude for the scientists, researchers and others who came together to develop and distribute the vaccine.  She added: "this has been a long and difficult year, but the end is in sight".

>>Pedestrian Killed In Warwick

(Warwick, RI)  --  A man was killed trying to cross Bald Hill Road in Warwick on Wednesday night.  Warwick police did not immediately name the victim, but said he was 53 years old.  The incident happened at around 5:00.  The driver reportedly stopped and tried to render aid.  Authorities do not believe that speed, alcohol or impaired driving were factors in the collision.

>>Rhode Islander Stabbed At Dedham, MA Hotel

(Dedham, MA)  --  A Rhode Island woman was reportedly stabbed at a Massachusetts hotel Wednesday morning.  Authorities say the 18-year-old from Providence was stabbed at the Holiday Inn in Dedham and suffered non-life-threatening injuries.  A 911 call indicated a man had entered a hotel room and threatened to shoot the people inside before stealing their wallets and other items.  Police are investigating.

>>RI Interscholastic Winter Sports Season Can Finally Start

(Providence, RI)  --  The interscholastic winter sports season in Rhode Island is being given the green light to start on Friday.  The sports that can start are: indoor track and field, basketball, hockey, gymnastics, and swimming.  The state released new guidance on Wednesday which strongly encourages teams and leagues to require weekly COVID-19 tests for athletes, coaches and officials.

Jim McCabe/djc           RI) MA)
Copyright © 2021
TTWN Media Networks Inc. 

01-21-2021 01:12:21

Inauguration today: Joe Biden, 46th President of the United States of America

Inauguration today: Joe Biden, 46th President of the United States of America

January 20, 2021/RINewsToday


Today’s Ceremonies



8am – President Trump will leave for Florida from Andrews Air Force Base on Air Force One and arrives before noon at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach.


The Inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris | Wednesday, Jan. 20 – Starts at 10 a.m. – The United States of America’s historic inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will take place from the West Front of the U.S. Capitol.


Biden will begin the day with a church service where bi-partisan congressional leaders have been invited.


Noon – President inauguration begins.


In-person attendance is limited to Congress due to safety protocols.


Instead of a traditional inaugural parade, the Bidens will arrive at the White House with a presidential escort consisting of representatives from every branch of the military.


Performances by Lady Gaga and Jennifer Lopez will headline the swearing-in ceremony, with Gaga singing the national anthem. Garth Brooks is also expected to perform.


President Biden will focus his inaugural address on a message of unity and the need to quickly implement policies to address the significant challenges that the country faces.


The president is expected to go to his office and issue a number of Executive Orders.


He will make a visit to Arlington Cemetery.


A “virtual parade” showcasing communities across the country will be televised.


Tune in to the Biden Inaugural Committee YouTube channel to watch official Presidential Inauguration events. Live events include:

  • COVID-19 Memorial | Tuesday, Jan. 19 – 5:30 p.m. – A memorial to remember and honor the lives lost to COVID-19 in cities and towns across the country. A Washington, D.C. ceremony will feature a lighting around the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool.
  • We Are One | Tuesday, Jan. 19 – 8:30 p.m. – A celebration of the accomplishments of the African-American and black community and the historic inauguration of Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.
  • Celebrating America hosted by Tom Hanks | Wednesday, Jan. 20 – 8:30 p.m. – The primetime special hosted by Tom Hanks will feature remarks from President Biden and Vice President Harris and performances that represent the rich diversity and extensive talent America offers. President Biden and Vice President Harris will give remarks during the 90-minute television special. It will also honor health care workers, teachers and other Americans who have worked during the pandemic.


Jon Bon Jovi, Demi Lovato Ant Clemons, and Justin Timberlake.and other celebrities are slated to perform.




Check back later today when we will post President Biden’s inaugural address.


Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: A man charged with the murder of a couple in Lincoln has died while in custody.  A hearing date is set for Gina Raimondo to be considered for U.S. Commerce Secretary, as the Rhode Island governor faces calls to set a stepdown date for her current job.  Congressman Jim Langevin has invited a guest to attend Joe Biden's presidential inauguration.

[[ watch for updates ]]

>>More Snow In Forecast Wednesday

(Undated)  --  More scattered snow showers are in the forecast for Southern New England on Wednesday.  The National Weather Service is highlighting some locally-heavy snow showers that will be possible this morning across Connecticut and towards the south coasts of Rhode Island and Massachusetts which may result in slippery travel.  Very cold temperatures will follow tonight.

>>Man Charged With Murdering Lincoln Couple Found Dead At ACI

(Cranston, RI)  --  A Lincoln man charged in a double-murder case has died.  The Rhode Island Department of Corrections says Timothy McQuesten was found unresponsive in his cell at the Adult Correctional Institutions intake center on Monday night.  He later died at Rhode Island Hospital.  McQuesten was accused of beating a couple inside their Lincoln apartment, identified as Kimberly and Mark Dupre.  The state Department of Corrections says no foul play is suspected in McQuesten's death.

>>Rhode Island Residents Die In Crashes In Massachusetts, Connecticut

(Undated)  --  Two Rhode Islanders are dead after being involved in out-of-state car accidents.  The Massachusetts State Police says Pawtucket resident Emerizialina Moreira died after a single-vehicle crash on Route 195 in Rehoboth last weekend.  And in Connecticut, authorities reported a two-vehicle crash in North Stonington on Monday afternoon which claimed the life of Ryan Poland of North Providence.  Both crashes are under investigation.

>>Hearing Date Set For Raimondo Commerce Secretary Nomination

(Providence, RI)  --  The U.S. Senate is scheduling a January 26th hearing for Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo's nomination as U.S. Secretary of Commerce.  Republicans in the Rhode Island House of Representatives are calling for Raimondo to set a specific date for stepping down and allow for the transference of power to Lieutenant Governor Dan McKee.  The GOP House members said in an open letter to Raimondo that it is "unmanageable" for her to deal with several state-level crises while also preparing for the Commerce Secretary position.  Raimondo plans on remaining in office to deliver a final State of the State speech on February 3rd, according to her office.

>>Doctor Invited To Biden Inauguration As Guest Of Congressman Langevin

(Washington, DC)  --  A Rhode Island doctor who has been on the frontline of the battle against COVID-19 is being invited to attend Joe Biden's presidential inauguration today.  Congressman Jim Langevin says Dr. Megan Ranney, the director of the Brown-Lifespan Center for Digital Health, is a renowned emergency physician and researcher who has been instrumental in Rhode Island's response and recovery operations during the pandemic.  Ranney said she's confident that with Biden in the White House, we will continue on a path to crush the virus and reinvigorate the nation.

>>RI Saint Patrick's Parades Could Still Be Held In 2021

(Undated)  --  Organizers of the Saint Patrick's Day Parade in Boston have announced it won't happen again this year, but some Rhode Island versions are not ready to pull the plug.  The Boston parade is off due to ongoing state restrictions limiting outdoor public events to twenty-five people.  According to a report from WJAR-TV, the Providence parade has been postponed until September, and the city of Newport is possibly considering doing the same.  Channel 10 reports the city of Pawtucket is planning a modified parade to meet COVID safety standards.

Jim McCabe/djc           RI) MA) CT)
Copyright © 2021
TTWN Media Networks Inc. 

01-20-2021 01:12:06

Chiropractors: Help Straighten Up RI!


Chiropractors: Help Straighten Up, RI!

anuary 19, 2021/RINewsToday


Have you spent the pandemic hunched over your computer or not moving around too much? The Chiropractic Society of RI looks to help Ocean Staters improve spinal health with Straighten Up, RI campaign. 


While staying home, working and learning from home, has helped fight the pandemic, it’s taken a toll on many Rhode Islanders in terms of their back and spinal health. The Straighten Up, RI campaign, sponsored by the Chiropractic Society of Rhode Island (CSRI), seeks to remedy that with on-going advice from the Ocean State’s chiropractic physicians.


Dr. Kristin Fabris, a chiropractic physician at Be Well Chiropractic in Providence, RI and Dr. Michael Gottfried, a chiropractic physician at Aquidneck Chiropractic in Middletown, RI discuss the launch of the Straighten Up, RI campaign that kicks of January 15, 2021 and the associated how to find health and wellness tips.


Spoiler alert, Dr. K strongly recommends a 2 minute dance party to break up the stress.



Straighten Up Tip #1





For the better part of the last year, Rhode Islanders, along with the world, have hunkered down for the pandemic. While staying home, working and learning from home, has helped fight the pandemic, it’s taken a toll on many Rhode Islanders in terms of their back and spinal health. The Straighten Up, RI campaign, sponsored by the Chiropractic Society of Rhode Island (CSRI), seeks to remedy that with on-going advice from the Ocean State’s chiropractic physicians.


Starting January 15, 2021, the Straighten Up, RI campaign will begin a campaign to get Rhode Islanders moving and address overall back health. It will feature articles, videos and blogs at covering a range of topics on stretching, home office ergonomics, pain reduction and overall wellness during and beyond the pandemic. 


“With this campaign, we look to educate and inform, Rhode Islanders and, most of all, get them moving to improve overall back health, reduce chronic pain, and stay well—during the remainder of the pandemic and beyond,” said Dr. Kristin Fabris, a chiropractic physician at Be Well Chiropractic in Providence and a member of CSRI’s board of directors. “


The Straighten up, RI campaign will address such topics as: How to move during Covid (Tips for online yoga, T’ai Chi, and basic exercises/stretches); Working from home (Tips for improving posture and ergonomic setup for workstation); Schooling from home (What’s the best ergonomic set up for kids? How do you keep the kids active and keep screen time to a minimum); Keep moving from home for Seniors (Basic movements, exercises, stretches and resources for seniors who are mostly indoors at this time); and Tips for maintaining Spinal Health (Wellness tips from Rhode Island’s leading chiropractors). 


The Straighten Up, RI campaign offers sponsorship opportunities for businesses and organizations looking to help spread the message of health and wellness during the pandemic. Sponsorship opportunities include three levels: Naming sponsorship – $5,000; Partner sponsorship – $2,500; and Friend sponsorship – $1,000. 


Interested sponsors should contact Dr. Kristin Fabris at  or 401-(401) 337-5684.


To generate as much helpful content as possible, CSRI invites all Rhode Island chiropractors to participate. There’s no fee involved. Content can be submitted by e-mail to


“We’ve extended this campaign to CSRI members and other RI chiropractors so that we can help get the word out to as many Rhode Islanders as possible,” said Dr. Michael Gottfried, a CSRI board member and chiropractic physician at Aquidneck Chiropractic in Middletown, RI. “When it comes to keeping people healthy during the pandemic, it literally is all hands on deck.”


About Chiropractic Society of Rhode Island (CSRI)


Founded in 1918, CSRI is one of the oldest chiropractic associations in the United States and represents more than 25 percent of the chiropractic physicians in the Ocean State. In addition to providing a regional voice for chiropractors in the business and legislative arenas, CSRI also helps educate the general public on the benefits of chiropractic. Those all-natural benefits can include relief from headaches, asthma, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, carpal tunnel, colic, and stress, just to name a few. The Chiropractic Society of Rhode Island is located at 1272 West Main Road, Building 2, Middletown, RI 02842. For more information, call (401) 207-0700 or visit


In Health care, follow the money

20210116-161333-20190929-124352-simon peter

In health care, follow the money – ConvergenceRI

January 19, 2021/Richard Asinof


by Richard Asinof, ConvergenceRI, contributing writer


Article submitted by Peter Simon:


A history lesson provided Dr. Peter Simon about the importance of asking the right questions


It is almost always about money. Whether the subject is defense spending, food policy, road building, and yes, education, what I have learned over the years is that to understand the politics, you need to follow the money.


How did I learn this, other than reading books like Confessions of an Economic Hitman? I listened to stories told by my mentors in Social Medicine, and I observed how health policies were designed to limit the power of government oversight of insurance companies and hospitals.


As Will Rogers used to say, nothing teaches us quite as well as seeing it up front, close and personal.


The color of money
Two events have shaped my attitude about the importance of following the money.


Understanding what is happening in our health care delivery “system” – what some have called a “wealth extraction process” – is not easy, looking in from the outside.


My first lesson about health care financing happened in the late 1970s. I was working in the Division of Epidemiology as a rookie medical epidemiologist, supervised by a career epidemiologist assigned to Rhode Island by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC].


We had just received one of the first federal grants to establish a Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program in the nation. Dr. Faich asked me to serve as the medical director for the Program; one of my first tasks was to review the performance of the clinical team following cases of lead poisoning that would be our official “go to” medical home for these children and families.


It made sense to continue to work with the team at Rhode Island Hospital, led by Dr. Jeff Brown, MD, and Lois Brown, RN, who had started screening and treatment in the late 1960s.


My review of their performance confirmed that impression. I had finished my pediatric training at Rhode Island Hospital and knew most of the staff in the Ambulatory Section of the Department of Pediatrics, directed at the time by Dr. John O’Shea, MD.


After reviewing a dozen or so records, I was impressed that the care was comprehensive, culturally competent and well coordinated with the staff of the R.I. Department of Health, which was doing inspections and enforcement of lead hazard reduction practices and interventions.


Over the first few years of the program, screening volume grew in other clinical settings as well through outreach into high-prevalence neighborhoods during the summer months, using trained college-age screeners to collect finger stick specimens, going door-to-door in neighborhoods with loads of old housing in poor condition.


The population referred to the clinic at Rhode Island Hospital grew substantially. Program staff participated in the clinic to assure that referrals were completed and the information needed for our lead hazard assessment to be scheduled could be captured.


Too much volume
About a year after being awarded the grant from the Center for Environmental Health at CDC, I got a call from Dr. O’Shea that there was a problem he needed to discuss with me. That afternoon, I showed up at his office, where he told me that the Chief Financial Officer of Rhode Island Hospital was not happy about the mounting losses that the hospital was taking by operating the Lead Poisoning clinic.


I was a bit unsure at the time about the number of children who were uninsured, so I asked for a bit of time to review our records. The next day, I reviewed all the files for children being followed by the clinic and confirmed that they were entirely insured, mostly by the Medicaid program. I shared this with Dr. O’Shea and suggested that we sit down with someone from the Finance Office to see how it could be that the hospital was losing money when there were no uninsured patients.


I heard nothing for two weeks. Dr. O’Shea’s secretary called, finally, with a date and time to meet with the finance folks. At that meeting, a very junior person reported again that the clinic would have to be discontinued because of losses incurred. I asked how it could be that a hospital could be losing money taking care of children insured primarily by Medicaid, since I knew that the law gave cost-based reimbursement to hospital providers. I got no answer.


After failing to get any concessions from the hospital, there was nothing left to do but find another place to hold a clinic for treating lead-poisoned children identified through our screening program.


Luckily, St. Joseph Hospital was willing to adopt the clinic and Dr. Brown was able to go along with the children to continue to follow and treat them.


About a month after the clinic at St. Joe’s had started to operate, I ran into the Chief of Pediatrics at Rhode Island Hospital at a reception for the newly arrived President of Brown University. The Chief saw me entering the home used to house the President and called me over. Our families had become friendly, so I knew him better than most young pediatricians in Rhode Island.


Before I could say “hello,” he angrily said to me: “Peter, if the Lead Clinic is not returned to Rhode Island Hospital, I will embarrass you publicly.”


It took me a second to respond by asking him if Dr. O’Shea had shared with him how the clinic had been forced to leave by leadership of the hospital. He said nothing, and I turned and walked away.


Lesson Two
Lesson Two occurred 35 years later. I was asked by the Director of the R.I. Department of Health to attend a meeting between the department and the TB Clinic run by the Department of Infectious Diseases at the Miriam Hospital.


The TB Clinic was not a responsibility of my Division, but I did what I was asked. The meeting was held in the conference room outside the door of the Director of Health. There were staff from our Division of Disease Control and staff from the Miriam Hospital, along with the president of the hospital.


I listened but said nothing. It was a deja vu feeling that came over me as I heard the Miriam staff talk about the financial losses to the hospital. Our Division of Disease Control had a small contract with the Clinic, but it fell short of making up their “losses.”


Finally, after a little discussion about volume of cases and services that were responsible for their losses, they turned to me and asked if I had anything to share. I asked one question: Were any of them present when the reimbursement rates for the clinic were negotiated with the payers?


The answer was: no. I then asked what they had done internally at the hospital to meet with their payers to show them the losses from rates that were set too low. Same response: nope.


Moral of the history lessons
I never heard anything about how the issue was resolved, other to ask whether the contract with the TB clinic had been renegotiated. It had not.


So, what explains their practice of negotiating reimbursement rates inadequate to meet their costs, you ask? The answer is complicated and I hesitate to tell you my conclusion: but since hospitals often use losses to help them with fundraising, I will leave you to ponder further.


Dr. Peter Simon, MD, a retired pediatrician and epidemiologist, is a frequent contributor to ConvergenceRI


To read entire story:,6278



Richard Asinof


Richard Asinof is the founder and editor of ConvergenceRI, an online subscription newsletter offering news and analysis at the convergence of health, science, technology and innovation in Rhode Island.

Your Coronavirus Update - January 19, 2021

Your Coronavirus Update – Today, Jan. 19, 2021

January 19, 2021/RINewsToday


Photo: Gillette Stadium doing healthcare workers in mass vaccinations, 500 a day, leading up to 5,000 a day, eventually the general public. – CBS, Boston


Rhode Island & Vicinity


No mass vaccination sites have been announced. Schools are being informally mentioned for the future, as well as the Sockanosset facility in Cranston, to be run by the RI National Guard. Also mentioned turning testing sites over to vaccination sites.


Governor Raimondo will no longer appear at RI coronavirus state update press conferences. Dr. Scott will take over. No update has been scheduled so far this week.


Lt. Gov. McKee will hold a live update, particularly for small businesses, but also touching on other topics at NOON TODAY: []


Massachusetts has identified its first case of COVID-19 variant virus.


Connecticut residents aged 75+ can now schedule vaccines, though it is expected that, for now, demand will exceed supply.


RI has received approx. 108,000 doses and administered approximately 48,000 vaccines.


40% of nursing home staff have not been vaccinated and that number is expected to decrease in 2nd round of visits to nursing homes.


Massachusetts is pondering mixing vaccinations and voting for an upcoming special election.


New rules in Massachusestts take effect for students learning from home. Live instruction must be 3.5 hours a day for hybrid models and 4 hours a day for fully remote schools.


One Massachusetts vendor is offering those who get vaccinated at Gillette a free big pretzel.


New Bedford is demanding a local mass vaccination site in the SouthCoast area for their residents.


The Boston Marathon is setting up a virtual training room for those who would normally have participated in the marathon, which is being canceled for 2021.


As of Fri, 1/15, 51,220 vaccines were administered – 41,977 were first doses. 72,175 doses have been delivered to the state – leaving 20,955 unused at this point.


Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island said making telemedicine rules created during the pandemic permanent ‘may not necessarily achieve the goals of high quality, affordable care,’


1,549 doses have been given out in Central Falls, extending now to pharmacies and healthcare providers to reach more people.


An online registry for people to sign up for vaccinations is “being considered” but nothing developed yet.


What identification will be required when the public or non-groups are vaccinated is being “talked about” but no decision yet.


A new testing site has been located in Johnston at St. Jesus Church – check RIDOH’s site for hours.


Rhode Island officials have seen a spike in fraudulent unemployment insurance claims since the beginning of the year,


A new asymptomatic testing site has been set up at Roger Williams Park Zoo


From Lt.. Gov. Dan McKee – updates:


Incoming Governor McKee spoke separately with Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker and Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont to discuss how their states will cooperate to achieve an effective pandemic response and economic recovery in the region. He also met with Rhode Island State Police Colonel James Manni earlier this week. The Colonel updated the Incoming Governor on how the State Police has adapted its public safety operations during COVID-19 and highlighted their role in Rhode Island’s pandemic response.


McKee met with RI’s Office of Management & Budget. The Incoming Governor will be submitting a budget to the General Assembly in March.


Reimburse states for deploying the National Guard to support vaccinations, and provide additional FEMA assistance.


Massachusetts is removing its flu vaccine requirement for students due to data showing a mild flu season


Over 180 dealers at Twin River will have their hours cut, which will also cut off their healthcare, according to media reports.



This Thursday at a special Cranston City Council meeting city council Vice-President Edward Brady and Council President Councilman Chris Paplauskas in a bi-partisan effort, will be introducing a resolution in support of our small businesses. The resolution asks Governor Raimondo to act without delay to allow small businesses to resume their normal operating hours. If the state cannot remove the restriction, we respectfully ask the state to advocate for financial dollars on behalf of impacted small businesses:



From Dr. Alexander-Scott to Rhode Islanders:

Right now, the biggest challenge facing Rhode Island’s vaccine program – like most other states throughout the country – is that we are not receiving a lot of vaccine. Still, we are doing the best we can with what we have. To date, we have administered more than 51,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. That puts Rhode Island near the top of the CDC’s rankings of states by the number of doses administered per capita. Our systems are working, and I’m proud of the job we’re doing. Getting those doses administered is very operationally complex. From beginning to end, it involves ordering, shipping, receiving, redistribution, and more. We’re grateful to everyone throughout the state who is working to make that happen.

I want to provide a little more detail on who has been vaccinated this week:
Almost all of the nursing homes in the state were visited once.Many hospital workers are receiving their second doses now. Urgent care staff and respiratory clinic staff are getting vaccinated, and we are continuing to hold clinics for EMS personnel, school nurses, and others.The Rhode Island National Guard is operating a clinic at Sockanosset for people who are doing COVID-19 testing, some pharmacy staff, and staff from our two Alternate Hospital Sites.Some limited vaccinating is still happening in Central Falls.

There was a lot of news this week about the federal government urging states to vaccinate people who are 65 years of age and older. We want to get vaccine to people older than 65 too. The limiting factor is not federal rules, or our approach in Rhode Island. The limiting factor is the amount of vaccine we are getting. We are getting 14,000 first doses of vaccine a week. There are close to 190,000 people in Rhode Island who are 65 years of age and older. It would not be honest or fair of us to say that all Rhode Islanders older than 65 can get vaccinated tomorrow, because we just don’t have the vaccine.
We’ve seen the confusion and frustration that has resulted in states that have opened eligibility to groups that they did not have enough vaccine for. In Rhode Island, we are vaccinating older adults incrementally and thoughtfully. That means that when we tell you you can get vaccinated, you know that there is a real, physical vaccine waiting for you – not just that you fall into a broad category that is eligible to get a vaccine when we eventually have one. Please know that if we could, we would make sure that everyone got vaccinated immediately. But we’re just not getting enough vaccine right now, so we’re doing the best we can with what we have.
I know that there is tremendous demand for vaccine, and I understand why. Frankly, this high demand gives me hope. This has been an enormously trying 10 months for so many Rhode Islanders. There will come a time when vaccine will be available for every person who wants to get vaccinated in Rhode Island. Until that time comes, we’re asking for you to be patient, and to take all the other steps we know can help keep you and the people you love safe. That means wearing a mask, practicing social distancing, and washing your hands regularly.
Nicole-Alexander Scott, MD, MPHDirector, Rhode Island Department of Health


National & International


Melinda Gates said: “It’s a shame the situation that we’re in today with so much vaccine widely available, but not yet actually given to people.” As of Friday, only about a third of the 30 million vaccination doses distributed so far in the U.S. have been administered


President-elect Biden said he would deploy the National Guard and FEMA to help with mass vaccinations around the US..


Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar will resign when President-elect Joe Biden takes office, citing the Capitol riots in his resignation letter.


New Jersey identifies smoking as high-risk for coronavirus vaccination – one of two states to do so


4 States are in Phase 2 vaccination – Michigan, New York, Utah and Virginia


The US has ordered 600 million more Moderna doses.


Officials in Essex County, New Jersey sat down, about a month before vaccinations began, on Dec. 26, to work out a plan to vaccinate residents, as highlighted in the Wall Street Journal. Before getting a vaccination, residents make an appointment by calling or answering a few short questions on the county’s website. They are then sent a unique number to bring with them to check in at a vaccination site before receiving a shot; the visit usually takes about 20 minutes. police officers and sheriff’s deputies usher doses of Moderna Inc.’s Covid-19 vaccine to sites. Extra shots are rushed to the local prison and promptly injected so they don’t go to waste. College students and laid-off moms volunteer to work at registration desks and answer phones. Patients who receive shots at schools line up 6 feet apart next to gym lockers.


Starbucks is partnering with Washington state to consult on vaccination models. Oregon’s governor is encouraging states to partner with an operations-based company who knows how to do detailed efforts like this.


Portugal’s public health system is on the verge of collapsing as hospitals in the areas worst-affected by a worrying surge in coronavirus cases are quickly running out of intensive care beds to treat COVID-19 patients.


47 tennis players are in strict hotel quarantine after four coronavirus cases were detected on flights to Melbourne for the Australian Open.


West Virginia uses local pharmacists, not just big chains. Smaller states are not served as much by chains such as CVS and Walgreens are in larger states.


2,600 Houston vaccination appointments get booked up in 16 minutes


Dr. Anthony Fauci said Sunday that the U.S. is “weeks away, not months away” from considering the approval of new coronavirus vaccines US Approval of AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson Vaccines Likely ‘Weeks Away’


The world is on the brink of “catastrophic moral failure” in sharing COVID-19 vaccines, the head of the World Health Organization said on Monday, urging countries and manufacturers to spread doses more fairly around the world.


Suicide rates in Japan have jumped in the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly among women and children, even though they fell in the first wave


A California man who told police that the coronavirus pandemic left him afraid to fly has been arrested on charges that he hid in a secured area at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport for three months.


India Kicks Off A Massive COVID-19 Vaccination Drive


CVS Health “has more than 90,000 trained health care professionals standing by, with the capacity to administer approximately 1 million shots per day through our 10,000 CVS Pharmacy locations across the country once the federal program is fully activated.’


The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are “essentially 100 percent effective against serious disease,” Dr. Paul Offit, the director of the Vaccine Education Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, said. “It’s ridiculously encouraging.”


Creative in Lichfield, England…

Posted in 

Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: Free masks were handed out on MLK Day in two Rhode Island cities hard-hit by COVID.  The ACLU says Providence police need to do a better job of using their body cameras.  Trouble for a Rhode Island-based contender in the America's Cup yacht race.

>>Masks Distributed For MLK Day Of Service

(Pawtucket, RI)  --  Celebrating Martin Luther King Day as a day of service.  That's what volunteers did in Pawtucket and Central Falls on Monday when they handed out face masks to residents.  According to a WPRI-TV report, the city of Pawtucket distributed over twenty-thousand free masks yesterday.  Pawtucket and Central Falls have been some of the hardest-hit communities in Rhode Island during the coronavirus pandemic.

>>ACLU: Providence Officers Must Do Better Job With Body Cameras

(Providence, RI)  --  The ACLU of Rhode Island is calling on the Providence Police Department to shore up its body camera policy.  The organization describes instances of officers failing to activate their cameras as a persistent problem with not a lot of repercussions, and says this undermines the transparency promised by the cameras.  The ACLU points out there have been three highly-publicized incidents of alleged police misconduct in the capital city within the last year in which officers failed to activate their cameras.  In a statement reported by WJAR-TV, Providence Police Chief Hugh Clements defended the police department's camera usage and said internal audits have shown most of the time that officers' actions were appropriate.

>>Providence Man Arrested On Drug And Gun Charges

(Providence, RI)  --  A Providence man is facing gun and drug charges.  Police reportedly executed a search warrant on Friday at the Cromwell Street apartment of George Estrella and seized drugs and guns.  Estrella faces charges including possession with intent to deliver fentanyl and methamphetamine.

>>Gas Prices Go Up In Ocean State

(Undated)  --  Gas prices are increasing in Rhode Island.  The website indicates the current average is two dollars and thirty-four cents per gallon.  That's an increase of 16 cents from one month ago.  The current national average is two-thirty-nine.

>>America's Cup Hopeful Capsizes

(New Zealand)  --  A sailing team based in Rhode Island is dealing with difficult times in its effort to challenge for the America's Cup.  The New York Yacht Club, under the team name American Magic, says its yacht capsized during a qualifying race in New Zealand on Sunday and was damaged.  The crew was safe.  The plan is to get the boat back in action and to continue contending.

>>Giraffe At Providence Zoo Has Died

(Providence, RI)  --  A beloved giraffe at the Roger Williams Park Zoo has died.  The zoo announced last week that "Tufani", a nine-year-old, had been dealing with a medical issue and efforts to treat her were unsuccessful.  The zoo is encouraging people to share their memories on its Facebook page for the benefit of the giraffe's keepers.

Jim McCabe/jb          RI) NY) 
Copyright © 2021
TTWN Media Networks Inc. 

01-19-2021 01:11:40

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day - a day of service, honor

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day – a day of service, honor

January 18, 2021/RINewsToday


This year MLK Day seems more significant than ever. Maybe it’s because we’ve come through a year of racial tension and unrest. Maybe it’s because of the political climate that has torn the country apart. But tomorrow is a day to stop and honor the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Whether you choose a day of “pause”, which can be so restorative, personally, or a day of activity in recognition and service, Monday is a day not to gloss over as a “day off”.


Here’s some thoughts for you and your family.


In 1994, Congress passed the King Holiday and Service Act, designating the Martin Luther King Jr. Federal Holiday as a national day of service. MLK Day of Service is the only federal holiday observed as a national day of service – a “day on, not a day off”


In the Blackstone Valley:


Keep Blackstone Valley Beautiful has some suggestions.


You can simply get outside and do a small cleanup on your street, neighborhood, or nearby open lot on this (or any day)!


Small actions also matter and by sharing a social media post about helping the environment with your friends using #GreenBlackstone for them to share or talking to your children about litter, we can increase the reach of these important messages. Big actions are always welcome too, such as joining a cleanup or organizing a litter cleanup with your school, scout group or office is easy… and Keep Blackstone Valley Beautiful is here to help if you need. You can also offer ideas for meaningful projects KBVB might partner on, or maybe consider sharing your knowledge to expand their understanding of important environmental issues.


You can sign up today to become a Keep Blackstone Valley Beautiful volunteer HERE


Woonsocket Harris Public Library has Martin Luther King Jr. Take and Make Craft Kits.


The Woonsocket MLK Community Committee is hosting on Monday, January 18 @ 2:00 pm a virtual Community Conversation in Civil Rights.


The Martin Luther King Jr. Virtual Celebration with the City of Central Falls will be held on Monday, January 18, at 5:00 .


From Dr. Michael Fine:


“Our culture is out of control. Cell phones which allow no privacy. Sexting and hook-ups. Video games that confuse reality with violent sexualized fantasies.  Narcissism. Consumerism. Isolation.  Arrogance. Greed. Fractured families, in which people who should only love one another don’t speak because of politics, because of the division and discord dreamed up by people with something to sell, in the interest of profit which has become the only value of our culture.  We no longer think about the right thing to do.  We are completely focused on the upside, on the business model, how any and every thought and idea can be monetized, on what’s in it for me, not on what is best for one another and for our democracy.


Scratch us, and we are decent people.  Kind people.  Respectful people.  Caring people.  People who believe deeply in the very democracy that is slipping through our fingers.


What is to be done?


It is time to hit the pause button.  To take a step backward.  To listen instead of speak.  To walk instead of run.  To think about repentance for what we’ve thought and done as each of us, trying to find the best path, have missed the mark.  To make space for other people, with other ideas.  To seek reconciliation before it is too late.


Some of us want to focus on Donald J. Trump, the President. Others want to focus on Joe Biden, the President-elect. We think it is time to remember Dr. Martin Luther King Jr and a host of other brave men and women of all colors and kinds, from all traditions, who said and say the same thing, over and over again. Feed the hungry. Cloth the naked. House the homeless. Let justice well up as the waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream.  Dr King himself said the “a riot is the language of the unheard,” that “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” and that “we must learn to live together as brothers and sisters or perish together as fools.” We would do well to listen close and listen now.


Let’s honor his memory and use his day to heal this nation.  Let’s fast and fall silent, listening for the still small voice of that which remains great within us.  Let’s gather and walk, in every city and town, silently. Let’s reflect on our own transgressions before our passions push this nation, and our democracy, over the edge.


We fasted and walked on January 15. We hope you will find a way to honor Dr. King and reflect on healing in this country, today.


Michael Fine


Marcus Mitchell


In Pawtucket



The City of Pawtucket, Project Health CV, YMCA of Pawtucket, Mixed Magic Theatre and the Pawtucket Foundation with donations from the Pawtucket-Central Falls Health Equity Zone will host a service day in remembrance of the work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr and be providing over 20,000 FREE masks for the community. No information will be asked! Please see flyer for more details. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s dedication to service and community is an example to all of us to how we should serve our community especially during the pandemic.


At the MLK Center in Newport



In celebration of Dr. King’s 92nd birthday, the MLK Center will hold a special MLK Day Grab ‘n Go meal on Monday, January 18th (MLK Day) from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., in service for those in need and to celebrate his life. A festive meal and sides will be served, plus a delicious dessert treat. Masks required, and no eating on-site permitted. Please note that all Grab ‘n Go meals have moved around the corner to our Edward St. entrance for the colder months ahead.


With Stages of Freedom



Attend “Where Do We Go From Here” – a free 4-day Webinar & Film Festival – January 15 – 18, 2021


17 Virtual Events to Celebrate MLK’s Legacy with Your Kids.


Tap to Learn More



The Martin Luther King Jr. holiday is an official day of service and celebrates the civil rights leader’s life and legacy.


Observed each year on the third Monday in January as “a day on, not a day off,” MLK Day is the only federal holiday designated as a national day of service to encourage all Americans to volunteer to improve their communities. AmeriCorps has been charged with leading this effort for the past quarter century.


AmeriCorps is collaborating with the Presidential Inaugural Committee on the MLK National Day of Service.


Together we encourage you to engage in volunteer service in honor of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service. If you are hosting a service project, please register it on the Presidential Inaugural website. Make a commitment to serve in your community on MLK Day and throughout 2021.



Monday, January 18 – 9am – 8pm EST


Virtual event – Join from anywhere – Hosted in Warwick, RI



About this event


With all basic public health precautions taking place, we thought that our advocacy to the public at-large we be to have a Card & Note Writing Campaign to have people adopt their local First-Responders, area Hospital Personnel for such dedication and Patients befallen with the Virus tolerating such adversity as a ‘caring’ method to celebrate service to community.



On January 18, 2021, thousands of volunteers across the country will participate in the National Day of Service – an opportunity for all Americans to unite and serve at a time when the global pandemic calls on us to work together and support our communities. The day will culminate in an hour-long celebration that will feature a diverse array of entertainers, inspiring speakers, and stories of service celebrating the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. and the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to service.


Special guests include Aloe Blacc, Rev. Dr. Bernice King, Martin Luther King III, Chesca, Rep. Sharice Davids, Rosario Dawson, Andra Day, Yo-Yo Ma, Rev. Al Sharpton, Sean Patrick Thomas, Diane Warren, Lynn Whitfield, Bebe Winans, and more.


Rhode Island Martin Luther King Jr. celebration goes virtual. 



Here’s how to watch:


Rhode Island Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Commission in the midst of Covid 19, delivers Rhode Island residents a Celebration virtually.  


The Celebration will feature musical selections by RPM Voices. Award presentation includes the Living Dream Award to former State Senator Harold Metts and Community Service Award recipient is former Richmond Town Councilor B. Joe Reddish III.  The Dr. King essay contest winners will also be presented during the virtual  


The Celebration will air for two weeks beginning Monday, January 18 at 7p.m. on Capitol TV, Cox Channel 15  and Verizon Channel 34.  Viewers can also live stream the presentation on TV on Channel 1. 


Martin Luther King, Jr. State Holiday Commission was created administer, in conjunction with the federal Martin Luther King Day Commission and the Martin Luther King Center for Non-Violent Social Change, an appropriate celebration to commemorate the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the annual observance of Dr. Martin Luther King Day, which is observed on the third Monday in January each year.


Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: The National Guard is helping protect the Rhode Island Capitol.  A local doctor's license is suspended for allegedly exposing others to COVID-19.  The National Weather Service says Providence recorded its warmest-ever average temperature last year.

>>Heavy Security Presence At Rhode Island Capitol

(Providence, RI)  --  The National Guard and Rhode Island State Police are protecting the RI State House ahead of President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration.  Humvees could be seen driving around the building this weekend, as well as soldiers with "military police" displayed on tactical vests.  Officials say they are not aware of local credible threats at this time.  The Rhode Island National Guard has also been deployed to Washington, DC ahead of Wednesday's inauguration.

>>Doctor Suspended By State For Alleged Virus Exposure

(North Providence, RI)  --  The Rhode Island Health Department has issued an emergency suspension of a doctor's license for allegedly exposing patients and staff members to COVID-19.  Dr. Anthony Farina of North Providence is accused of continuing to come to work after testing positive and knowingly exposing others last November.  Farina, who operates at least a half-dozen practices in the state, strongly denies the allegations and plans to file an appeal.

>>CVS Statement Released After Biden's COVID Update

(Woonsocket, RI)  --  CVS Health is reacting to President-elect Joe Biden's COVID-19 update on Friday.  The Woonsocket-based company said it agrees with Biden that pharmacies will play a critical role in the next phase of the vaccine rollout and expressed appreciation for his leadership in the pandemic response.  CVS says it has the ability to administer one-million shots per day through its ten-thousand pharmacy locations across the U.S. once the federal program is fully activated.

[[ note nature ]]

>>More Details From Last Week's Double-Murder In Lincoln

(Lincoln, RI)  --  A Lincoln man is being charged with murdering a couple in the town.  Timothy McQuesten was arraigned in Kent County District Court on Friday and was ordered to undergo a competency hearing.  Authorities say Kimberly and Mark Dupre suffered blunt-force trauma injuries, possibly from a hammer.  McQuesten reportedly knew the Dupres.  He called police after the incident at their apartment last week and referred to the killings, leading police to get a warrant and search his dwelling where they found evidence.

>>Last Year Was Warmest Average Temperature On Record For Providence

(Providence, RI)  --  The National Weather Service has posted its 2020 climate summary for Providence.  The weather service says the Rhode Island capital city saw its warmest year on record.  The average temperature was 54 degrees, breaking the record set in 2012 by two-tenths of a degree.  The weather service also says less than half the normal amount of snow fell in Providence last year, but the precipitation total was close to average.

>>Bill Introduced To Increase RI Minimum Wage

(Providence, RI)  --  New legislation is being introduced to increase Rhode Island's minimum wage.  State Senator Ana Quezada, a Providence Democrat, wants to gradually raise the wage up to 15 dollars an hour in 2024.  The legislation has been referred to the Rhode Island Senate Committee on Labor.  Currently, the wage is eleven dollars and fifty cents.

>>Report: Patriots Offensive Coordinator Considered For Eagles Head Coaching Job

(Foxboro, MA)  --  Another member of the New England Patriots staff is being considered for a head coaching position.  The Athletic reported offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels was set to meet with the Philadelphia Eagles about their open position this weekend.  McDaniels would be the second member of the Pats coaching staff to line up for the Eagles gig, following inside linebackers coach Jerod Mayo.

Jim McCabe/bs          RI) PHL)
Copyright © 2021
TTWN Media Networks Inc. 

01-18-2021 01:12:32

Leonard Lardaro measures RI's economic climate

Leonard Lardaro measures RI’s economic climate

January 15, 2021/RINewsToday


The Current Conditions Index, created by URI Professor of Economics Leonard Lardaro, measures the strength of the present economic climate in Rhode Island by following the behavior of 12 indicators pertaining to housing, retail sales, fiscal pressures, the employment situation, and labor supply:

  • Government Employment
  • Employment Services Jobs*
  • Retail Sales
  • University of Michigan US Consumer Sentiment Index**
  • Single-Unit Housing Permits
  • Private Service-Producing Employment***
  • Manufacturing Man-hours****
  • Average Hourly Manufacturing Wage
  • Seasonally Adjusted Unemployment Rate
  • Resident Labor Force
  • New Initial Claims for Unemployment Insurance
  • Unemployment Insurance Regular Benefit Exhaustions


Rhode Island’s overall Current Conditions Index (CCI) value returned to 25 in the month of November, returning to where it sat for the bulk of the summer after dipping to 17 during the month of October.


While this is a slight improvement, URI economist Leonard Lardaro notes this is far below where the economy stood in January and February of 2020.


One bright spot, Single Use Permits, which is reflective of new home construction, were up for the first time since August. However, several indicators, including Total Manufacturing Hours, Employment Service Jobs, Unemployment and Benefits Exhaustion continued to move in the wrong direction.


Although Lardaro’s CCI is predicated on year-over-year changes, comparisons on a month-over-month basis had shown improvement in recent months. Unfortunately, the monthly value for November fell back to 42 after two months of improvement, leading Lardaro to put discussions of the possibility that the state may have been in the early stages of a recovery on hold. 


More details:


The CCI ranges from 0, when no indicators improve compared to year-earlier levels, to 100, when all twelve show improvement. Values above 50, the “neutral” value, indicate that the Rhode Island economy is expanding, while values below 50 are indicative of contraction.


Prior to “The Great Recession” that began in June of 2007, the CCI had never attained a value of 0, indicating that no indicators improved relative to year-earlier values. This changed in 2008, when the CCI fell to 0 on three occasions, and in 2009, when another value of 0 was recorded. Prior to this, the low for the CCI had been 8, which occurred for only a single month on several occasions. For almost all of 2008, the CCI recorded values of 8.


The CCI attained its maximum value of 100 on several occasions, for almost all of 1984 and once in 1986. Note that these values occurred exclusively when Rhode Island was still a manufacturing-based economy.





Leonard Lardaro is Professor of Economics at the University of Rhode Island

COVID-19 in RI Nursing Homes, Long Term Care; 67% of RI deaths

Nursing_home2 3

COVID-19 in RI Nursing Homes, Long Term Care: 67%+ of RI deaths

January 15, 2021/RINewsToday


This week there are 298 new cases and 55 more deaths. Cumulative numbers are 6,233 cases with 1,343 deaths – 26% With a total of 1,996 deaths in RI to COVID19, over 67% are men and women living in these congregate care settings.


This tracks the week, new cases recorded since last date, and additional fatalities:


Week of – New Cases – Additional Fatalities

Oct. 21 – 25 – 20

Oct. 28 – 25 – 15

Nov. 4 – 85 – 10

Nov. 11 – 175 – 15

Nov. 18 – 353 – 15

Nov. 25 – 215 – 30

Dec. 9 – 603 – 85

Dec. 16 – 553 – 50

Dec. 23 – 523 – 60

Jan. 8 – 423 – 95

Jan. 14 – 298 – 55


PERIOD ENDING Jan. 14, 2021

Cases: 6,233 (185-298 more)

Cumulative resident fatalities: 1,343 (55 more)


Period Ending Jan. 8, 2021

Cases: 6,048 (423 more)

Cumulative resident fatalities: 1,288 (95 more)


Period Ending Dec. 23, 2020

Cases: 5,518 (523 more)

Cumulative resident fatalities: 1,193 (60 more)


Period Ending Dec. 17, 2020

Cases: 5,178 (553 more)

Cumulative resident fatalities: 1,133 (50 more)


Period Ending Dec. 9, 2020

Cases: 4,823 (603 more)

Cumulative resident fatalities: 1,083 (85 more)


Period Ending Nov. 25, 2020

Cases: 4,103 (215 more)

Cumulative resident fatalities: 998 (30 more)


Period ending Nov. 18, 2020

Cases: 3,888 (353 more)

Cumulative resident fatalities: 968 (15 more)

Total facilities with new cases: 25 (up from 17)


Period ending Nov. 11, 2020 w/increases through 11/11/2020

Cases: 3,688 (175 more)

Cumulative resident fatalities: 953 (15 more)


Period ending November 4, 2020 w/increases since 10/28/2020

Cases: approx. 3,513 (85 more)

Cumulative resident fatalities: 938 (10 more)


Period ending October 28, 2020 w/increases since 10/21/2020

Cases: approx. 3,428 (25 more)

Cumulative resident fatalities: 928 (15 more)


Period ending Oct. 21th, 2020 w/increases since 10/14/2020

Cases: approx. 3,403 (25 more)

Cumulative resident fatalities: 913 (20 more)

603+ Cases, 85+ Fatalities (12/9/20)

Posted in 

Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: A mass coronavirus vaccination site has opened in Cranston.  Lifespan is seeking volunteers for a new COVID vaccine trial.  Rhode Island College cancels a no-bid contract after criticism from state legislators.

[[ watch dating ]]

>>Watch Out For Black Ice This Morning

(Undated)  --  The National Weather Service is warning early-morning drivers in much of Southern New England this morning to watch out for black ice.  The weather service says it's because of temperatures cooling into the upper 20s combined with leftover road moisture from some rain yesterday.  Conditions will improve as temperatures rise above freezing.

>>Mass COVID Vaccination Site Operating In Cranston

(Cranston, RI)  --  The Rhode Island National Guard and state health department have opened a new mass vaccination site for COVID-19 vaccines at the field hospital in Cranston.  National Guard members are receiving shots there, as well as members of the public who are part of the state's first phase of distribution.  Hundreds of shots have already been distributed at the field hospital at the former Citizens Bank building on Sockanosset Cross Road.

>>Lifespan Seeking Participants For Another Coronavirus Vaccine

(Providence, RI)  --  Lifespan is seeking volunteers to participate in clinical trials of another COVID-19 vaccine.  This one is from Novavax, which is entering the third phase of its trial.  Two-thirds of participants will receive the vaccine, while one-third will receive a placebo.  More information is available on the Lifespan website.

[[ watch for updates ]]

>>Police: Two Found Dead In Lincoln Were Married Couple

(Lincoln, RI)  --  Names are not out yet from the two people found dead in an apartment in Lincoln on Thursday.  But the Lincoln Police Department has shared that it was a married couple.  Police were reportedly called about a disturbance at the residence on Main Street at around 8 a.m. yesterday and found a woman dead and a man with significant injuries.  He later died at Rhode Island Hospital.  The deaths are considered suspicious.

>>Two More Arrests Made From New Year's Day Incident In Cranston

(Cranston, RI)  --  Two more arrests have been made in connection to the New Year's Day incident involving a pack of ATV and dirt bike riders in Cranston.  Two Warwick men, Scott Campbell and Nicholas Capuano, are charged with reckless driving.  Police ID'd the pair as being part of the rider pack that was assembled on Atwood Avenue which then gathered around a police officer who arrested one operator.  The drivers fled the scene after one of them allegedly ran over the officer's legs.

>>Rhode Island College Ends No-Bid Contract Criticized By Lawmakers

(Providence, RI)  --  Rhode Island College has canceled a controversial consulting contract.  The no-bid, 76-thousand-dollar-a-week contract with the New York firm Alvarez and Marsal was awarded last month and was set to expire at the end of February.  The firm was tasked with reviewing RIC's overall operations.  Rhode Island legislators criticized the contract at a time when Rhode Island College is facing a ten-million-dollar budget deficit.

Jim McCabe/djc           RI) NY) MA) CT)
Copyright © 2021
TTWN Media Networks Inc. 

01-15-2021 01:12:23

Wickford Art - First Exhibit of 2021


Wickford Art – First Exhibit of 2021

January 14, 2021/RINewsToday


Photo: Crazy Burger, by Marc Jaffe – Photography


Wickford Art – First Exhibit of 2021: BLACK ‘N WHITE…an artist’s interpretation


Wickford Art Association announces its first exhibit of 2021, which will open at their North Kingstown Beach Street Gallery on Friday, January 15. 


Black ‘N White is an all media, open exhibit, juried for entry and prizes by Mary Dondero, a founding artist of Imago Foundation for the Arts in Warren, Exhibition Curator for the Bristol Art Museum, and faculty member in the Department of Art & Art History at Bridgewater State University


All works were selected through a new online registration system recently launched by the Wickford Art Association. Black ‘N White was installed in early January following major interior improvements funded through The Champlin Foundations and Commerce RI.  The exhibit will launch Friday, January 15 (noon-4pm, plus an opening reception requiring reservation that evening if State of Rhode Island physical distancing restrictions allow) and will be available to the public through February 7, 2021.  Prize-winning works will be announced opening night, live and through social media.


All work will also be placed online for virtual viewing as well, ensuring its accessibility for the community-at-large.  Selected works will be available for post-exhibit viewing and purchase on WAA’s new webstore, launching in January.


About Mary Dondero, Jurist: 


An interdisciplinary artist whose focus is on large-scale works-on-paper, mixed media, and photography, she earned her B.F.A. at Roger Williams University in Bristol RI, where she concentrated in Graphic Design, Printmaking and Photography.  Dondero holds an M.A.T. from Rhode Island School of Design, and an M.F.A. from U-Mass Dartmouth.  In 2011, Dondero was awarded a position as “Artist in Resident” at Zion National Park in Utah, which resulted in a body of work titled “Perception, Time & Memory;” one of the resulting paintings is held in the permanent collection at Zion Human History Museum in Springdale, UT.  Dondero’s artwork is regularly exhibited at Atelier Gallery in Newport RI. Her work is also exhibited nationally and internationally including the permanent collection of Naestved International Print Studio in Denmark, Bridgewater State University, the Newport Art Museum RI, Healing Arts at RI Hospital, and the Wentworth-Coolidge Mansion in New Hampshire.  For more information on Mary Dondero, visit


For more information on individual exhibits or programs, contact or visit  All programming is subject to change; all juried and judged exhibits will be featured through online virtual galleries as well as in-gallery hours (Wednesday through Saturday: noon to 4pm, Sunday: noon-3pm) at WAA’s beach-front North Kingstown home.


About the Artists:


See the artists whose work will be exhibited:


About Wickford Art Association


The Wickford Art Association is a non-profit organization with approximately 450 members from Rhode Island and New England. The association hosts art exhibits, classes, lectures, and workshops in its North Kingstown gallery and has produced the summertime Wickford Art Festival since 1962.  Wickford Art Association is dedicated to educating, encouraging and inspiring artists and art lovers throughout the community. For more information, (401) 294-6840 or visit

Wickford Art - First Exhibit of 2021


Wickford Art – First Exhibit of 2021

January 14, 2021/RINewsToday


Photo: Crazy Burger, by Marc Jaffe – Photography


Wickford Art – First Exhibit of 2021: BLACK ‘N WHITE…an artist’s interpretation


Wickford Art Association announces its first exhibit of 2021, which will open at their North Kingstown Beach Street Gallery on Friday, January 15. 


Black ‘N White is an all media, open exhibit, juried for entry and prizes by Mary Dondero, a founding artist of Imago Foundation for the Arts in Warren, Exhibition Curator for the Bristol Art Museum, and faculty member in the Department of Art & Art History at Bridgewater State University


All works were selected through a new online registration system recently launched by the Wickford Art Association. Black ‘N White was installed in early January following major interior improvements funded through The Champlin Foundations and Commerce RI.  The exhibit will launch Friday, January 15 (noon-4pm, plus an opening reception requiring reservation that evening if State of Rhode Island physical distancing restrictions allow) and will be available to the public through February 7, 2021.  Prize-winning works will be announced opening night, live and through social media.


All work will also be placed online for virtual viewing as well, ensuring its accessibility for the community-at-large.  Selected works will be available for post-exhibit viewing and purchase on WAA’s new webstore, launching in January.


About Mary Dondero, Jurist: 


An interdisciplinary artist whose focus is on large-scale works-on-paper, mixed media, and photography, she earned her B.F.A. at Roger Williams University in Bristol RI, where she concentrated in Graphic Design, Printmaking and Photography.  Dondero holds an M.A.T. from Rhode Island School of Design, and an M.F.A. from U-Mass Dartmouth.  In 2011, Dondero was awarded a position as “Artist in Resident” at Zion National Park in Utah, which resulted in a body of work titled “Perception, Time & Memory;” one of the resulting paintings is held in the permanent collection at Zion Human History Museum in Springdale, UT.  Dondero’s artwork is regularly exhibited at Atelier Gallery in Newport RI. Her work is also exhibited nationally and internationally including the permanent collection of Naestved International Print Studio in Denmark, Bridgewater State University, the Newport Art Museum RI, Healing Arts at RI Hospital, and the Wentworth-Coolidge Mansion in New Hampshire.  For more information on Mary Dondero, visit


For more information on individual exhibits or programs, contact or visit  All programming is subject to change; all juried and judged exhibits will be featured through online virtual galleries as well as in-gallery hours (Wednesday through Saturday: noon to 4pm, Sunday: noon-3pm) at WAA’s beach-front North Kingstown home.


About the Artists:


See the artists whose work will be exhibited:


About Wickford Art Association


The Wickford Art Association is a non-profit organization with approximately 450 members from Rhode Island and New England. The association hosts art exhibits, classes, lectures, and workshops in its North Kingstown gallery and has produced the summertime Wickford Art Festival since 1962.  Wickford Art Association is dedicated to educating, encouraging and inspiring artists and art lovers throughout the community. For more information, (401) 294-6840 or visit

Your Coronavirus Update - January 14, 2021

Your Coronavirus Update – Today, Jan. 14, 2021

January 14, 2021/RINewsToday


Photo: Gov. Raimondo’s last press conference on COVID19 crisis


Today’s Press Conference was unusual in that the Governor refused to take any questions and left immediately after speaking – she would not take questions outside as well. Media were left surprised and several stories have been done about this. Yesterday, the RI Press Association, representing newspapers and media outlets in RI issued this statement:



Coronavirus Update…




COVID-19 Vaccinations Begin In Mass. Addiction Treatment Programs


Most new COVID-19 infections in North Adams, Ma linked to restaurants


Massachusetts will start administering the COVID-19 vaccine Monday to the more than 94,000 people who live and work in congregate care settings such as prisons, shelters, and certain private special education schools.


Connecticut is authorizing vaccines to begin on those 65 and over.


Maine’s vaccination plan will be updated to follow new federal guidelines recommending states prioritize residents 65 and older. Maine has the nation’s oldest population.


Worcester students will not be returning to the classroom until March at the least.


Rhode Island has “lost” 2.59% of its public school students, or 3,937 children (141,000 students are enrolled in the state). Homeschooling or opting out of preschool or kindergarten are factors.


Worcester students will not be returning to the classroom until March at the least.


All RI state-operated COVID-19 test sites will be closed on MLK Day, Monday. Regular hours of testing will resume on Tuesday, January 19.  


The USDA Food and Nutrition Service recently granted Rhode Island approval to again issue Pandemic-EBT benefits to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and non-SNAP households with one or more school-age children who receive free and reduced-price meals at school through the National School Lunch Program, but were unable to receive those meals at school due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Students are entitled to this benefit if the school is closed or has been operating with reduced attendance or hours for at least 5 consecutive days in the current school year.


Gov. Raimondo’s address:


Inauguration is a week away – Senate confirmation takes place after that. I remain as your Governor until the moment I am confirmed. I have daily phone calls with leaders of the state on our COVID response team. We will not miss a beat. We have a well-oiled machine in RI. Have every confidence in Lt. Gov. McKee stepping up on day one. We are planning a seamless transition. I’ve asked McKee to keep the COVID team in place and he has agreed.


Today is the 125th time I’ve done personal updates on COVID in RI. Going forward I’ll continue the weekly briefings and daily emails. Format will change. Dr. Scott and her team will continue multiple updates and a vaccine-specific briefing every week, and a general update every Thursday at Vets Auditorium.


Data review – we’re on a good path – plan for future is to stay the course. No backlog in contact tracing and testing is good. No backlog in K-12 tracing. Ramped up in quarantine and isolation supports.


Extending current guidance through mid-February – re-upping executive orders.


School sports – existing guidance impacts school sports – more guidance coming next week.


K-12 – key is to get tested often. Massive ramp-up in testing in schools.


All teachers, all children. We want to build confidence that schools are safe.


More drive-thru rapid testing sites w/results in 15 minutes are being launched.


Working with companies to bring testing to businesses. Ramping up testing in neighborhoods.


Dr. McKee addressed the group.


Governor has done a great job. Worked hard to keep us safe.


Says he is in a good spot for a transition. Transitions are not new as he has done this several times. Understands the dynamics. Only room for one Governor at a time.


This is one of the most difficult economic and health crises that our state has ever seen. Thanked health workers for saving lives. Small businesses are struggling as never before.


Leaves podium saying press can see him outside – and will have an event for press tomorrow.


Dr. Scott:


Vaccination update:


RI is not receiving a lot of vaccine supply. We are doing the best that we can with what we have. CDC posts a map that ranks states per 100,000 people – RI is near the top. Be assured that when we receive the vaccines our system can deliver them.


14,000 doses a week is received. Tiny fraction. Specific requirements within that set of allotments. 2,000 doses are getting out each day. We are administering almost all of what comes in each week.


RI can’t have crowds of people showing up (stadiums, mass vaccination) because of COVID.


72,175 doses received total to date. 16,757 went straight to CVS/Walgreens.


This week vaccinations: nursing homes by pharmacies; By end of week all nursing homes would have been visited at least once. Working on a total of 3 visits.


Hospital workers – now receiving 2nd dosages.


Urgent care/respiratory clinic staff – “swabbers” – being done now.


Clinics for EMS, school nurses, etc. are being held.


RI National Guard is operating a clinic at Sockanosset for other medical staff.


Central Falls is continuing some additional vaccinating.


Next Week: 1/18: continuing with groups, based on supply in hand. One big change is group home vaccinations will start – 65+, elderly in facilities, assisted living. Majority will be used for assisted living facilities. Also will do outpatient providers (doctor’s office, dentist’s office, behavioral healthcare providers). This phase will continue for several weeks.


Older adults – broaden out from here. Residential units first. Need to take an incremental approach because of the large size of population and limited vaccine supply.


Next month – all older adults 75 and up.


Federal govt says vaccinate over 65: RI agrees, but limiting factor is delivering of vaccine. How will that change when deliveries change? We will change, too.


For those over 65 – 190,000 people. It is challenging to move faster than what we are doing right now. Waiting on supplies. We don’t want to be irresponsible in communicating.


Other states have approached it differently. They have run out, long lines, etc.


Many states have a lot of confusion and disorganization. We are vaccinating incrementally and thoughtfully. Tremendous demand right now.


There are no waitlists. No vaccine sitting on a shelf. When we get more they will let us know.




Dentists: Why waiting for vaccinations? They are a priority group. We’ve not seen transmission at all – kudos to them, and PPE precautions. Top of the list.


What will we do when supply dramatically increases? RI is prepared; partnerships are ready. Still waiting on 2nd dose supplies to be part of that, too.


Why wouldn’t Gov take questions? Others can handle it. Dr. Scott is the point person going forward.


Pawtucket schools’ closing: they say it is not safe. Should they get vaccinated? Unfortunate interpretation of school people in the city – we have tried to reassure the teachers, and parents.


When will someone in senior government answer to us about failing businesses aroumd us – with this complete vacumn in leadership? We have been following up and directing local and federal funds. Didn’t you just hold on to money that was available to them months ago and now it is a sock-through to them?


Vaccine rejection rates: 56 of 84 nursing homes have been visited at least once. We will go back for 3 total visits. After that we will assess picture of acceptance.


Rhode Island Data:



Today’s Data – Jan 13, 2021


Deaths: 17

Tests – 16,521 – Positives – 823 – Percent positive – 5%

Hospitalized – 402 – In ICU – 49 – Ventilated – 35 –

Deaths in hospital – 9 –

New Admissions – 56 – New Discharges – 50

Vaccinations – 1st: 38,197 – 2 shots: 7,446 – Total Vaccinated: 45,643




Dr. Ashish Jha, Dean of Public Health at Brown University has a plan for vaccination – his op-ed in the New York Times. We reprint it, here:



The miraculous development of two Covid-19 vaccines offers us a real chance to end the pandemic in 2021. However, with a limited supply, a halting rollout and the threat of an even more contagious version of the virus now in the mix, the debate over who goes first has become increasingly contentious.


There are plans that try to take into account the disproportionate toll of Covid-19 on people of color, the inability of certain workers to avoid exposure, and the higher risk of illness and death in the elderly and in individuals with underlying health conditions.


But in their well-meaning effort to achieve equity and fairness, these plans threaten to become excessively complex — and thus ripe for manipulation by the privileged, including myriad interest groups that are vying for a place at the front of the line. This would only sow distrust in the broader public.


We suggest a more straightforward approach. By the end of January, we should be done vaccinating health care workers and long-term-care residents. Then we should vaccinate all people over 55, from oldest to youngest, a group of approximately 97 million that accounts for the vast majority of Covid-19 deaths.


Then, to determine the order for the remaining 150 million or so American adults, use a lottery.


Lotteries are hardly a perfect way to distribute vaccines. But, as Winston Churchill might have said, it’s the worst system except for all the others.


The current plans to vaccinate essential workers and people with medical conditions early have obvious merit. But the crucial test of the next few months will not be whether we have devised an allocation system that accurately parses whether a 27-year-old Latino bus driver should go before or after a 52-year-old white store manager with diabetes. The test is whether the system is easy to implement, transparent, broadly acceptable, generally equitable and resistant to abuse.


Already in the past two weeks, vaccine distribution in several top health systems — which enjoy world-class computer systems and have robust human resources departments that can track their employees — have devolved into line-jumping, cheating and noisy protests over who goes first. If vaccinating a few thousand health care workers is this complicated, one can only imagine the chaos in store as we try to vaccinate a few hundred million Americans.


The takeaway is that attempts to prioritize groups by granular categories aren’t just impractical. They’re poised to initiate another wave of injustices and are guaranteed to generate the same kinds of discord that turned face masks into symbols of partisanship.


States are already facing substantial lobbying over which professions should be deemed frontline. If mass transit workers count, what about Uber drivers? Then there’s the practical question of how a pharmacy will determine whether someone truly is a preschool teacher or a grocery store clerk. A note from H.R.? The honor system?


Sorting out existing health conditions is even thornier. There are dozens of varieties of heart failure, diabetes and emphysema. Do they all qualify? Again there’s the matter of documentation — will pharmacies require a physician’s note? What about people who don’t have a regular doctor? Is there any doubt that the system will be gamed, with the advantage going to the privileged?


We should focus on people over 55 instead for two reasons: First, they are dying in the greatest numbers, accounting for 29 percent of the population but 92 percent of Covid-19 deaths. Just as important, it’s operationally simple: Age can be ascertained easily by a pharmacy or hospital, and people are already comfortable with the idea of getting carded. Plus, many essential workers and the vast majority of people with serious medical conditions are in this group.


And for the rest, a lottery, perhaps a national or state-based one that selects a number at random every two weeks, corresponding to the month or last digit of people’s birthdays. Few would love the idea, but it would be equitable and apolitical, and people would know that their number will be called sometime in the next several months.


The oil crisis of the 1970s, when the last number of your license plate determined which days you could gas up your car, provides one model. Odd number, odd days; even number, even days. It was easy to understand, simple to implement, and fair. And it worked.


The United States was traumatized in 2020, not only by a novel virus but also by the bitterness and division that marked our response. We can’t get it wrong again.




Gov. Biden will give a coronavirus plan update today.


Moderna believes its vaccine will protect for at least a year.


Delta Dental has offered its 5,000 dentists to provide shots as a possible additional resource, saying they are a cavalry “ready, willing, and able” to serve – also saying they are “fully equipped in their offices or in community settings”.


More than 10% of the US Congress has tested positive.


Portugal has gone into lockdown due to an uptick in cases.


UK may begin using hotels for some patients in need of recovery care.


Rep. Ayanna Pressley and her husband are in quarantine – her husband testing positive.


Rhode Island had administered about 47% of the 80,225 vaccinations it had received, according to the CDC. On a per capita basis, Rhode Island is doing better than most other states, but it ranks second-to-last in New England, behind only Massachusetts.


The University of Vermont has erected two large tents with solid floors, lighting, wiring and propane heaters to give students alternate places to gather to study.


Houston Texans home stadium, NRG Park will be the site of a vaccination drive-thru clinic to vaccinate about 13,000 people who are 65 and older.


Oregon will expand vaccinations to include people age 65 and older, as well as child care providers and early learning and K-12 educators and staff, starting Jan. 23, when additional vaccine shipments are expected to start arriving from the federal government.


In New Jersey, residents 65 and older, and those 16 to 64 with serious medical conditions such as cancer, heart, and kidney disease, can begin to be vaccinated today.


Ontario issues stay-at-home order, extends school closure.


Pharmacy job postings were up 9.7% in December compared to a year ago,


Israel is on track to vaccinate 25% of its population by the end of January and every Israeli by the end of March. To reach herd immunity goals, it must also vaccinate Palestinians, which presents a political quandry.



Today’s end of the press conference…

Posted in 

Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: Rhode Island's Congressmen are part of the vote to impeach Donald Trump.  The Ocean State's health director said on Wednesday the state's coronavirus vaccine supply is limited.  A lawsuit has been filed in connection to a moped crash in Providence last year.

>>RI Representatives' Comments On Impeachment

(Washington, DC)  --  The U.S. House of Representatives voted to impeach Donald Trump on Wednesday, marking the first time in American history one president has been impeached twice.  The resolution accuses Trump of inciting the deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol last week.  Rhode Island Congressman David Cicilline, who led the impeachment charge, said what happened last week was a desperate attempt by Trump to seize power and overturn the will of the American people.  Cicilline said the House took the first step yesterday towards holding Trump accountable for a failed coup.  Fellow Ocean State representative and Democrat Jim Langevin called Trump a clear and present danger to our democracy.

>>Rhode Island National Guard Going To DC

(Washington, DC)  --  The Rhode Island National Guard is sending troops to Washington DC ahead of President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration.  Multiple media reports indicate at least 75 personnel are being sent down.  Even though there is more publicity this time around, officials note that the RI National Guard has provided security for previous inaugurations.

>>Rhode Island COVID Vaccine Distribution Update

(Providence, RI)  --  The effort to provide coronavirus vaccines in Rhode Island is being bounded by the short supply.  That was according to RI Health Director Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott on Wednesday.  The state is receiving about 14-thousand doses per week.  Scott said that's not enough to expand to everyone 65 and older, as the federal government is now directing.  Rhode Island's COVID-19 death toll is approaching two-thousand.

>>Lawsuit Filed Over Moped Crash

(Providence, RI)  --  A lawsuit is being filed as promised in connection to a police officer-involved moped crash in Providence last year.  The federal suit on behalf of injured vehicle operator Jhamal Gonsalves accuses the Providence Police Department of using excessive force.  The Rhode Island Attorney General's Office did not charge the police with criminal recklessness.  The officer who was driving behind Gonsalves, Kyle Endres, received a suspension for violating the Providence PD's policy on safe driving.

[[ note nature ]]

>>Man Sentenced For Sexual Assault Near URI Narragansett Campus

(Providence, RI)  --  A South County man is being sentenced to over a decade in prison for sexual assault.  The Rhode Island Attorney General's Office says Angelo Fraley of Charlestown received a twelve-year ACI sentence last week after being convicted on a first-degree assault charge in a jury-waived trial in Superior Court.  The A.G.'s office says Fraley assaulted an 18-year-old victim near an abandoned building close to the beach at the University of Rhode Island's Bay Campus in Narragansett in 2015.  Prosecutors said the two were part of a group that was spending time at local beaches.

>>Report: Patriots' Mayo Expected To Interview For Head Coach Job

(Undated)  --  Former New England Patriots player and now-coach for the team Jerod Mayo is reportedly expected to interview for a head coaching position.  The vacancy is with the Philadelphia Eagles.  This is according to reporting from the NFL Network.  Mayo won a Super Bowl with the Pats before retiring from playing in 2015.

Jim McCabe/djc           RI)
Copyright © 2021
TTWN Media Networks Inc. 

01-14-2021 01:41:15

Your Coronavirus Update - Today January 13, 2021

Your Coronavirus Update – Today, Jan. 13, 2021

January 13, 2021/RINewsToday


Photo: Image from NBC Nightly News – RI is one of 5 stats with hotspots of COVID19.




Gov. Raimondo has not been public or held a COVID19 briefing in 25 days – this was mentioned in most of the RI media yesterday. Early this morning Gov. Raimondo issued a release that she and Gov-elect McKee will do a briefing at 1pm TODAY.


Governor Gina Raimondo and incoming Governor McKee agreed that the team leading RI’s COVID response will remain in place throughout the pandemic. Participants joining the Incoming Governor in the meeting included: Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott, Director, RI Department of Health; Major General Christopher Callahan, Adjutant General, Rhode Island National Guard; Dacia Reed, Deputy Chief of Staff, Office of the Governor; and Courtney Hawkins, Director, RI Department of Human Services.


RI health officials are not in line with the new initiative from the federal government about using all the vaccine supplies, saying they don”t know how much vaccine they can get per week, etc. RI says 75 and over won’t even begin until February or March


Dr. Ashish Jha, dean of Brown’s School of Public Health, quoted in the Providence Journal, recommends that a lottery system be used to get more needles into more arms after health-care workers and long-term care residents are done being vaccinated, and then moving to everyone 55 and older, starting with the oldest first. He proposed this in an op-ed to the New York Times which ran on Sunday. Here the podcast in the ProJo, here:


RI vaccination progress: RI says it is receiving 14,000 doses a week of the vaccine – to date 42,723 vaccines have been delivered, including 6,074 who received their 2nd shot, since vaccinations began on Dec. 14th, 5 weeks ago. (approx. 70,000+ shots received to date, with 42,723 administered).


If this rate of vaccination continues it would take over 2 years for eligible Rhode Islanders to be fully vaccinated.


RI passed 100,000 or 1 in every 10, or 10% of its population having been infected with COVID19


The speed camera near a Providence testing center has totaled $100K in fines.


On Sunday, incoming Governor McKee received an initial virtual briefing from members of the state COVID response team. The team highlighted the latest updates on the virus management strategy, hospital capacity and vaccination rollout.


In Connecticut, residents 75 and older will be able to begin signing up for vaccination appointments next week, a process Gov. Ned Lamont promised will be more orderly than in states where senior citizens have waited outdoors in long lines. Vaccines will be administered by appointment only, with sign-ups available online or by telephone.


The legislature is considering exempting unemployment benefits that were paid in 2020 from state income taxes.


Loretta Laroche, popular regional humorist is recovering from COVID, along with her partner.


New Bedford Mayor John Mitchell tests positive – his staff and family are testing negative.


Dr. Jha and Dr. Ranney are offering a 6-week course for COVID19 and pandemic management: Pandemic Problem-Solving: Surviving and Thriving in the Age of Pandemics – Cost is $1995. More, here:


RI College has hired a consultant at $72K a week to address the dire financial hardships of the college – an investigation into that no-bid contract is underway.


Jimmy’s Pub in Mansfield received a grant of $10K from Barstool Sports to keep open.


The MBTA will run a reduced Hingham and Hull ferry schedule starting Jan. 23


Massachusetts will begin doing pool testing in schools.


The Rhode Island National Guard set up a testing station, with results available within 15 minutes, at the south baggage claim at the state airport.


URI pharmacy technicians are allowed to administer the vaccine, meaning those who have not previously administered vaccines need to be trained. They now join pharmacists, who have been allowed to give vaccinations in the state for about a decade.


Massachusetts statewide plan to begin vaccinating police, firefighters and emergency medical personnel begins this week.


The VA Providence Healthcare System began distributing COVID-19 vaccinations to veterans


Jury trials will begin again in some Massachusetts courtrooms after they were halted for months due to the coronavirus outbreak.


The 10,000 Chances Project, announced recently by Gov. Gina M. Raimondo’s Overdose Prevention and Intervention Task Force, aims to distribute more than 10,000 kits containing naloxone, a medication that reverses opioid overdoses. Overdoses have increased dramatically since COVID19.


Warwick middle and high school students will be returning to in-person learning for the first time, starting Jan. 21.


Cranston will begin going back to school.


Pawtucket remains the only school system with no schools open.. Brother Gary Danzler, CEO of Black Lives Matter, with 3 children in the city’s school system said children need to get back to school, particularly minority children.


Pawtucket School Committee has voted not to return to in-person school for the rest of the academic year.


RI Data – Jan 11, 2021

Deaths: 8 yesterday (31, 3 days)

Tests – 8,328 – Positives – 568 – Percent positive – 6.8 %

Hospitalized – 399 –  In ICU – 47  –  Ventilated – 33

Deaths in hospital – 6

New Admissions – 52

New Discharges – 32

Vaccinations – 1st shot: 31,007- 2 shots: 4,642



RI Data – Jan 12, 2021

Deaths: 23 Tests – 11,580 – Positives – 661 – Percent positive – 5.7%

Hospitalized – 402 – In ICU – 53 – Ventilated – 34

Deaths in hospital – 5

New Admissions – 37

New Discharges – 38

Vaccinations – 1st shot: 36,649- 2 shots: 6.074

Total Vaccinated: 42,723




Dr. Fauci said today that the death toll and cases are likely to continue for weeks to come.


Arkansas has lowered their age for vaccination from 75 to 70.


Queen Elizabeth and Prince Andrew were vaccinated.


With 4 NBA games having been called off because of COVID19, for “at least the next two weeks,” the league and union said, players and team staff will have to remain at their residence when in their home markets and prohibited from leaving their hotels or having outside guests when on the road.


4 states have moved into Phase 2 with vaccinations – Michigan, Utah, New York, and Virginia – some doing those over 75 years old and teachers, among other prioritized groups.


Dr. Fauci said tonight that he is hopeful we can return to some semblance of normalcy by the fall of 2021.


Astra Zeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are coming soon.


A leading physician at George Washington Medical Center in DC advises:  “Open the vaccines to all groups. Allow people >75 to make reservations at pharmacies, etc and have walk-in first come, first served mass vaccination events open to everyone.”


New Jersey Rep. Bonnie Watson, who was in confinement at the US Capitol, tested positive, and was not wearing a mask during that time in a small room with other representatives and senators.


In South Dakota, for the second straight day, no new deaths were reported.


Pennsylvania will speed up vaccines for seniors ages 65 and older at the urging of the CDC.


Prisoners being vaccinated first in several states has been causing controversy.


Pope Francis ok’d vaccinations, saying, “It’s an ethical choice, because you are playing with health, life, but you are also playing with the lives of others,” Pope Francis told the station. “I’ve signed up. One must do it.”


Increased calls for hospitals to have family presence, especially if death may be imminent. Family presence at the bedside, along with regular communication between health care providers and their patients and families, are not indulgences — they need to be part of the standard of care. Richard Leiter and Samantha Gelfand are palliative care physicians at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, both in Boston” –


Britain will open seven large-scale vaccination centres helping to accelerate the rollout of COVID-19 shots that the government wants to deliver to all vulnerable people by mid-February.


The New Hampshire Senate is moving to remote public hearings and sessions, while the House is still figuring out how to conduct its business safely during the coronavirus pandemic.


The new strain of coronavirus has now been reported here: Georgia: 1 New York: 1 Pennsylvania: 1 Texas: 1 Connecticut: 2 Colorado: 3 Minnesota: 5 Florida: 22 California: 32


Pope Francis’s personal physician died from complications of the virus. Francis himself expects to be vaccinated as soon as this week.


In Pennsylvania, the state on Friday released an updated vaccine plan that makes more people eligible for shots in the initial phases of the rollout. Health care workers and nursing home residents remain at the front of the line, followed by people 75 years and older and “essential workers” such as police officers, grocery store clerks and teachers.


LA essential workers are being asked to wear masks in their own homes


New Jersey opening megasites to speed vaccinations


Disneyworld in California will open to become a mass vaccination site.


Dodgers Stadium in California will host a mass vaccination site.


New York Governor saying the state must get back to business or there will be nothing left – must do so safely and smartly.


Moderna says COVID-19 vaccine immunity to stay at least a year


Moderna does not expect to have vaccine efficacy data for young children until 2022.


Chancellor Angela Merkel has told lawmakers in her conservative party that she expects a lockdown in Germany to curb the spread of the coronavirus to last until the start of April.


In New Hampshire, residents who are fully vaccinated or were previously infected with the coronavirus no longer need to quarantine after being exposed to an infected person or after traveling.


In Nebraska, over 40% of the state’s 90,000 health care workers have received the first of two doses.


Uber has agreed to help promote vaccinations by sending reminder messages to over 78 million subscribers with apps on their phones.


2 gorillas in the San Diego Zoo have gotten coronavirus from their handler


Indian airlines started delivering batches of COVID-19 vaccines nationwide on Tuesday, preparing for the launch of a campaign to offer shots to 1.3 billion people, in what officials call the world’s biggest vaccination drive. 300 million high-risk people inoculated over the next six to eight months.


Democratic Representatives Brad Schneider, Bonnie Watson Coleman and Pramila Jayapal all test positive – they were hiding in the US Capitol


New Jersey’s failure to provide home health care services to qualifying elderly and disabled people puts them at risk of ending up in nursing homes that have been hard-hit by the coronavirus pandemic, according to a lawsuit filed against health officials


In New Jersey, more than 200,000 people have been vaccinated so far, double the number from a week ago.


New Yorkers are rushing to sign up for late-night vaccination slots, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Monday. Midnight to- 4 a.m. appointments at two 24hour vaccination sites were quickly snapped up, he said. “The city that never sleeps, people are immediately grabbing those opportunities to get vaccinated,” the mayor said.


Joe Biden received his 2nd vaccine shot.


Bruce Willis asked to leave pharmacy for refusing to wear a mask


J & J in ‘final stages’ of analyzing trial results for its one-dose COVID vaccine


Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: The Rhode Island Senate passes a resolution calling for President Trump to leave office.  The RI Health Department says it is sticking with its COVID-19 vaccine plan despite Trump's Health Secretary telling states to expand access.  The Pawtucket School District is keeping most classes remote through the end of the semester.

[[ watch for updates ]]

>>Cicilline Selected As Impeachment Manager

(Washington, DC)  --  Rhode Island Congressman David Cicilline is being selected as a manager of President Trump's impeachment trial.  The House is expected to impeach Trump on Wednesday.  House Speaker Nancy Pelosi named nine impeachment managers altogether.  Cicilline was one of the authors of the impeachment article introduced against Trump for incitement of insurrection related to the events at the U.S. Capitol last week.

>>State Senate Approves Resolution Calling For President Trump's Removal From Office

(Providence, RI)  --  The Rhode Island Senate approved a resolution on Tuesday calling for President Trump to be removed from office.  No Republicans spoke against the resolution, which was approved through a voice vote.  A similar article is pending in the RI House of Representatives.  The Senate resolution said Trump misled supporters about the results of the election and tried to coerce election officials into changing the results, before calling on supporters in Washington last Wednesday to, quote, "fight like hell".

>>RI Plans To Stick To Vaccine Plan Despite White House Update

(Providence, RI)  --  The Rhode Island Health Department is not planning to follow the Trump administration's directive to open COVID-19 vaccinations to people 65 or older, according to a report from The Providence Journal.  The state is currently prioritizing a group including hospital workers, nursing homes, first-responders, people at the ACI, and Central Falls residents, whose city has been hard-hit.  Rhode Island's plan is to have shots in the arms of people 75 and older in the next couple of months.  A Health Department spokesperson tells the Journal the state is receiving a limited supply of vaccines at this time.

>>Pawtucket Keeping Most Students Remote Through End Of Semester

(Pawtucket, RI)  --  The Pawtucket School District is keeping classes remote for most students for the rest of the school year.  The school committee voted Tuesday to keep grades one through twelve virtual.  State Education Commissioner Angélica Infante-Green [[ ahn-HELL-ick-uh in-FAHN-tay ]] sent a letter to Pawtucket last week that said the state had addressed the district's concerns about re-opening.  In an interview with WPRI-TV, Infante-Green said she's concerned because Pawtucket is a diverse district with a lot of learners who need additional support.  Infante-Green says Pawtucket is the only district in the state that has not returned to classroom learning.

>>All Quiet On Weather Front This Week, Tracking Weekend Precip

(Undated)  --  Southern New Englanders are enjoying a comfortable mid-January week of weather.  The National Weather Service is predicting a dry and quiet pattern for the rest of the work week with continuing above-normal temperatures.  Forecasters are tracking a couple of systems for the weekend, but only rain is in store at this point.

>>Another Arrest Made From New Year's Day Incident In Cranston

(Cranston, RI)  --  Another individual is facing charges in connection to an incident involving a pack of ATV and dirt bike riders in Cranston on New Year's Day.  Nineteen-year-old Nicholas Zabawar Jr. of Warwick is accused of smashing a police cruiser with his bike helmet.  An officer engaged with the group that had been riding through the city and was reportedly run over by one of the ATV operators before the riders scattered.  Zabawar is the fourth person to be arrested, and police say more could be coming as they continue to investigate.

Jim McCabe/djc           RI)
Copyright © 2021
TTWN Media Networks Inc. 

01-13-2021 01:11:39

The interview that never happened by ConvergenceRI


The interview that never happened – by ConvergenceRI

anuary 12, 2021/Richard Asinof


by Richard Asinof, ConvergenceRI, contributing writer


With the Governor on her way to Washington D.C., her refusal to sit down with ConvergenceRI for a one-on-one interview, despite six years of persistent attempts, must be worn as a badge of honor.


I’ve interviewed hundreds if not thousands of people during my journalism career, which has spanned five decades.


From Charles Mingus to Toni Morrison to Robert Bly to Seamus Heany, from Sen. John Glenn to Gov. Jerry Brown to Sen. Paul Simon, from Odetta to Larry Coryell to Steve Miller, from Rambling Jack Elliot to Phil Ochs to Nikki Giovanni.


My work has been published by The New York Times, the Los Angeles Timesthe Boston Globe, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Village VoiceBoston MagazineRhode Island Monthly, the Real Paper, the Boston PhoenixIn These Times, the National Law JournalNew Times Magazine, the Providence Business News, and the Berkshire Eagle, among others.


I have conducted in-person interviews with numerous elected officials, including: Sen. Reed, Sen. Whitehouse, Rep. Cicilline, Rep. Langevin, Mayor Elorza, Mayor Diossa, and Gov. Lincoln Chafee, Gov. Mitt Romney, Gov. Michael Dukakis, and Gov. Madeleine Kunin, to name a few.


Also, I have conducted in-person interviews with numerous CEOs, including Kim Keck and Peter Andruszkiewicz at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island,; G. Alan Kurose at Coastal Medical; Mary Ellen Ashe at Ortho Rhode Island; Dennis Keefe and Dr. James Fanale at Care New England, Lou Giancola at South County Health, Neil Steinberg and George Graboys at the Rhode Island Foundation, and Dr. Annie De Groot, to name a few.


And, I have conducted numerous in-person interviews with top state agency directors, including Elizabeth Roberts, Steve Costantino, Stefan Pryor, Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott, Dr. Michael Fine, Neil Sarkar, Anya Rader Wallack, Becky Boss, and Womazetta Jones, to name a few.


And, I have conducted interviews with elite academic medical researchers, including Dr. Jack Elias, dead of the Brown Medical School; Dr. James Padbury, principal investigator for Translational Research program in Rhode Island and pediatrician in chief and chief of Neonatal/Perinatal Medicine at Women and Infants; and Christopher Moore, associate director of the Robert J. and Nancy D. Carney Institute for Brain Science at Brown University.


10 on a scale of difficulty
I have conducted interviews in dicey situations: with the Saturday Evening Post editor for Norman Rockwell, right before Rockwell’s funeral in Stockbridge; with Waswanapi Chief Peter Gull in the small village of Miquelon, Quebec, talking about mercury pollution; with N.H. Gov. Meldrim Thomson at the 1977 Seabrook, N.H., occupation; and with the Rev. Jesse Jackson, in a ride from Midway Airport to his home, after which I had to call a taxi cab to leave.


For sure, some interviews just didn’t happen:


• In 1982, a scheduled interview with Mass. Senate President William Bulger did not occur; he refused to come out of his Statehouse office. After I sat in the foyer for several hours, his top aide, Francis X. Joyce, finally spoke to me.


• In 1975, an interview with Bruce Springsteen, backstage at a concert in Washington, D.C., did not occur, my way blocked by his band mate, Little Steven [in large part because Little Steven was apparently more interested in my date – and was upset that she was not, ah, “available.”


What a handshake doesn’t mean
And, my attempt to conduct a one-on-one, in-person interview with Gov. Gina Raimondo has never happened, despite numerous, persistent requests, despite her having agreed in person twice, shaking my hand and looking me in the eye when she did so. [It makes me want to sing along with Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show, on “Cover of the Rolling Stone.”]


For sure, I have shouted questions in media scrums after events and at news conferences, for much of the last six years since the Governor was first elected – which she has dutifully answered.


Through four press secretaries – Joy Fox, Mike Raia, Jennifer Bogdan and Josh Block – I have been stonewalled. My calls did not ever seem to get returned; my requests for an interview were never answered. It took five attempts to get Margie O’Brien at R.I. Capitol TV to correctly pronounce my last name, Respect; find out what it means to me.


I know, from feedback coming from inside her administration, that the Governor and team were paying careful attention to what I wrote.


I don’t feel so all alone, because…
I am not alone in the inability to gain access to interview Gov. Raimondo. Both Steve Ahlquist of Uprise RI and Frank Carini, editor of ecoRI News, told me that they have never been granted a one-on-one audience with the Governor, and further, their requests for information and answers to questions were rarely if ever forthcoming from her communications team.


What comes to mind is the image of Anne Gorsuch Burford [the mother of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch], who, as head of the scandal-ridden U.S. EPA in 1983, announced a new program to evacuate residents of Times Beach, MO, because of dioxin contamination, as anxious families and children that had been excluded from the event had their noses pressed up against the glass windows.


What questions would I ask?
If I were to be granted a 20-minute in-person interview, I would ask the following questions:


• Why did you refuse to do an in-person interview with me for six years? Were you afraid of answering my questions?


• How would you evaluate the successes and failures of the Reinvention of Medicaid program?


• What was the reason why you didn’t respond to the briefing book that outgoing Health Exchange Director Christy Ferguson left for you, which first identified the glitches with UHIP’s implementation?


• In your efforts to change the dynamics around nursing home care in Rhode Island, how important do you think it is to understand the role that hospitals play in pushing patients out of inpatient care, and how would you change that?


• What investments would you recommend that Rhode Island make in its public health infrastructure, given what has been learned as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and the breakdown of the health care system?


• What role has Jon Duffy played as an “informal” advisor to your communications efforts?


And, if time permits, two last questions:


• What influenced your efforts around tackling substance use disorders and overdose deaths from opioids?


• Is there a need to better regulated plastics and chemicals in our environment, which have become ubiquitous in our oceans, in our drinking water, and in our own bodies?



Richard Asinof

Richard Asinof is the founder and editor of ConvergenceRI, an online subscription newsletter offering news and analysis at the convergence of health, science, technology and innovation in Rhode Island.

Big tech. Too big, too powerful

Big tech. Too big, too powerful.

January 12, 2021/RINewsToday


There has been rapid developments in the way censorship has grown from the first action of Twitter taking down the President’s tweets for inciting a riot and violence in the nation’s capital. We deplore the violence that happened and we hope a full and thorough investigation will be done.


As the censoring of select messages or individuals can be warranted, companies now seem to be on an unbridled, and unregulated roll. We face the first amendment versus the rights of individual companies to do what they want, arbitrarily so. But we also see how much too-big companies have control over how we communicate in our daily lives. Calls for splitting up these mega companies, much like what was done with the banking system, have been slow to take action. How these considerations will move forward in a new congress is unclear.




The now-retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, called the cyber age a revolution of historic proportions, noting that “we cannot appreciate yet its full dimensions and vast potential to alter how we think, express ourselves, and define who we want to be.” Kennedy said cyberspace, and social media in particular, was among the “most important places … for the exchange of views.” He compared the internet to a public forum, akin to a public street or park. Although Justice Samuel A. Alito concurred in the opinion, he also chastised Kennedy for his “undisciplined dicta” and “unnecessary rhetoric.” This hot battleground raises serious concerns about the future of free speech on social media, the shifting standards of private platforms to censor online expression and the rise of hate and extremist speech in the digital world. Given Justice Kennedy’s language about the importance of cyberspace as a vast public forum—the question becomes whether the First Amendment could be applied to limit the censorial actions of private companies. However, under the First Amendment, hate speech is a form of protected speech unless it crosses the line into narrow unprotected categories of speech, such as true threats, incitement to imminent lawless action, or fighting words. Social media companies—much like private universities—would aspire to behave under First Amendment principles, and at a minimum not discriminate against political speech based on viewpoint, but realistically, these are for-profit businesses that privilege profits and their own financial gains and as of now can do whatever they want. We are free to change what social media outlets we use – but that may be impossible when they are nearly all owned and controlled by two or three entities.




It started with Twitter slapping the President of the United States’ wrist by taking his account temporarily down. It deepened when Twitter said the take-down would be permanent out of fear that further tweets could incite insurrection.. Twitter stock fell 12% on Monday, June 11th.


Facebook decided to do the same and suspended the President’s account indefinitely.


Instagram – did the same.


Snapchat – did the same.


WhatsApp – did the same.


Pinterest – did the same.


PayPal – suspended accounts of groups who traveled to Washington, DC. They have also blocked the Christian crowdfunding site, GiveSendGo.


Apple shut down the ability to download the conservative Parler social networking service


GooglePlay shut down Parler’s accessibility, too.


Amazon which hosts Parler pulled access for Parler and shut down their servers, essentially bankrupting the owners and shutting down the app used by 20 million people.


Parler filed suit against Amazon.


Vimeo, owned by IAC, an American holding company that owns brands across 100 countries, mostly in media and internet services, shut down paid accounts with any videos relating to President Trump (including our own press conference editing videos). IAC also owns popular sites such as Angie’s List and Home Advisor, and news sites such as The Daily Beast.


YouTube is owned by Google. YouTube has taken down many videos and video channels relating to the election and to the President




Several people have been put on the no-fly list for flying to Washington, DC at the time of the US Capitol riots, not for participating in the Capitol riots.




There are reports of people being fired (most employment is at-will) for having gone to Washington, DC or expressing an extreme right political viewpoint. Forbes Magazine says no company should hire anyone who worked in the President’s administration. Let it be known to the business world: Hire any of Trump’s fellow fabulists above, and Forbes will assume that everything your company or firm talks about is a lie. We’re going to scrutinize, double-check, investigate with the same skepticism we’d approach a Trump tweet. Want to ensure the world’s biggest business media brand approaches you as a potential funnel of disinformation? Then hire away.




CNN has petitioned for cable companies to take down Fox News Network.


Cumulus Media wrote to all of their radio stations, saying: “We need to help induce national calm NOW,” Cumulus and its program syndication arm, Westwood One, “will not tolerate any suggestion that the election has not ended. The election has been resolved and there are no alternate acceptable ‘paths.’ Please inform your staffs that we have ZERO TOLERANCE for any suggestion otherwise. If you transgress this policy, you can expect to separate from the company immediately. There will be no dog-whistle talk about “stolen elections”, “civil wars” or any other language that infers violent public disobedience is warranted, ever. Through all of our communication channels, including social, we will work to urge restoration of PEACE AND ORDER.” In Rhode Island, Cumulus radio stations are WPRO-AM, WPRO-FM (WEAN), WPRV-AM, LITE105, WWKX (KIX106).




AT&T, Hallmark, American Express, Google, Facebook, Airbnb, JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs, bpAmerica, Dow Chemical, FedEx, Ford, Stripe, Facebook, BCBS, CitiGroup, VISA, Verizon, Mattiott Corp, Commerce Bank, among companies pulling political contributions from Republican candidates and causes or financial services.




Amazon canceled a movie about Michael Brown, which addressed Black Lives Matter issues in a critical way.


Simon and Schuster canceled a book contract with author, Sen. Josh Hawley, titled, “The Tyranny of Big Tech”.




Locally, there are calls for a Republican representative from Exeter to resign. This is because he said he went to DC for the protest. He said he did not go into the Capitol building. The effort is being led by a Democratic freshman representative from Cranston.




The digital revolution has produced the most diverse, participatory, and amplified communications medium humans have ever had: the Internet. The ACLU believes in an uncensored Internet, a vast free-speech zone deserving at least as much First Amendment protection as that afforded to traditional media such as books, newspapers, and magazines. – Without equal access to the internet, we lose our rights to be heard and to hear others. – A free media functions as a watchdog that can investigate and report on government wrongdoing. It is also a vibrant marketplace of ideas, a vehicle for ordinary citizens to express themselves and gain exposure to a wide range of information and opinions.




German chancellor, Angela Merkel – hardly known for her affection for the US president – made it clear that she thought it was “problematic” that Trump had been blocked. Her spokesperson, Steffen Seibert, called freedom of speech “a fundamental right of elementary significance”. She said any restriction should be “according to the law and within the framework defined by legislators – not according to a decision by the management of social media platforms”.




Silkie Carlo, director of Big Brother Watch, “but this corporate power grab does nothing to benefit American democracy in practice or in principle.” – “Social media companies are censoring views and deleting accounts haphazardly, often in response to political tides rather than rule breaches, effectively playing judge and jury with our rights.”


Elon Musk, Tesla CEO said, “A lot of people are going to be super unhappy with West Coast high tech as the de facto arbiter of free speech,” – Time to break up Amazon, monopolies are wrong.”

Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: Rhode Island Congressman David Cicilline files an article of impeachment against Donald Trump.  Patriots head coach Bill Belichick is turning down a Presidential Medal of Freedom.  The first person of color to serve as a justice on the Rhode Island Supreme Court was sworn in yesterday.

>>Cicilline Files Article Of Impeachment Against President Trump

(Washington, DC)  --  Rhode Island Congressman David Cicilline filed an article of impeachment against President Trump on Monday.  The article alleges Trump repeatedly issued false statements asserting the presidential election results were the product of widespread fraud and should not be accepted.  Then last Wednesday, it says he made statements while addressing a crowd in Washington, DC that led to the lawless action at the U.S. Capitol while Congress was meeting to certify the results of the presidential election.  Cicilline says there are enough votes in the House to impeach the president.

>>FBI Issues Warning About Possible Upcoming Protests At Capital Buildings

(Boston, MA)  --  The FBI has issued a warning about possible upcoming armed protests at all of the state capitol buildings in the U.S.  The warning covers a time frame beginning Saturday and lasting until President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration next Wednesday.  The agency's Boston division tells WPRI-TV they do not currently have evidence of any events being planned at the state capitals of Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Maine or New Hampshire.

>>Patriots Coach Turns Down Medal Of Freedom

(Foxboro, MA)  --  New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick will not be accepting the Presidential Medal of Freedom.  In an announcement made Monday, Belichick said he was flattered by the offer.  He cited the tragic events of last week, suggesting the siege on the Capitol by President Trump's supporters, but did not say as much.  He said continuing the efforts of social justice, equality, and human rights "while remaining true to the people, team and country I love outweigh the benefits of any individual award."

>>First Person Of Color Serving As RI Supreme Court Justice

(Providence, RI)  --  The Rhode Island Supreme Court has its first person of color serving as a justice.  Melissa Long was sworn in at the State House on Monday.  Long is one of two new members of the state Supreme Court; former state senator Erin Lynch Prata was sworn in last week.

>>New Rhode Island House Democratic Whip, Deputy Whip Elected

(Providence, RI)  --  Rhode Island House Democrats are electing new members of their leadership team.  Representative Katherine Kazarian was picked as the new majority whip and Mia Ackerman as the new deputy whip at a House Democratic Caucus meeting on Monday night.  The caucus chair, deputy speaker and speaker pro tempore, respectively representatives Grace Diaz, Charlene Lima and Brian Kennedy, were all re-elected.

>>MBTA Will Keep Weekend Rail Service Going On Providence Line

(Providence, RI)  --  The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority is adjusting its wintertime passenger rail schedule.  Starting January 23rd, the MBTA says weekday service will increase slightly, while weekend service will only run on select lines.  The Providence route is one of the lines that will remain active on the weekends.  The T says the new schedule aligns with lower ridership levels experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic.  The new schedules will be published Friday on

Jim McCabe/Stephen Gugliociello/djc            RI) MA) NH) ME) BN)
Copyright © 2021
TTWN Media Networks Inc. 

01-12-2021 01:11:47

Advocates call for vaccination of high-risk DD population/caregivers



Advocates call for Vaccination of High-Risk DD Population/Caregivers

January 11, 2021/RINewsToday


By Gina Macriscontributing writer, Developmental Disability News


While there is growing research that COVID-19 puts people with developmental disabilities at a higher risk for serious illness or death than virtually any other compromised group, Rhode Island’s disability rights advocates remain uncertain whether the state will follow through on intentions to include this population in the initial vaccination phase.


Since the pandemic hit Rhode Island last March, it has affected nearly 30 percent of adults with developmental disabilities living in group homes and an uncounted number of others with intellectual or developmental challenges living in other settings. A total of about 550 group home staff have tested positive for the virus.


On Dec. 28, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced that it had added Down syndrome — one of the most common developmental disabilities — to the list of conditions that put people at risk from serious illness or death from COVID-19.


People with Down syndrome are at higher risk for early-onset dementia as well as congenital heart disease, obesity, gastrointestinal disorders, and other chronic medical conditions.


On Jan. 8, the chair of the Rhode Island Developmental Disabilities Nurses Association (RIDDNA), wrote to the state’s public health epidemiologist, as well as coordinators for vaccine distribution, seeking confirmation that Phase 1 vaccinations, now underway, will include adults with developmental disabilities and the nurses and direct care staff who work with them.


Others are also pressing for similar assurances from officials of the Department of Health (DOH), including the health department’s counterparts at the state Department of Behavioral Health, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals (BHDDH) and the Community Provider Network of Rhode Island (CPNRI), a trade association of private service agencies operating group homes and offering daytime services to adults with developmental disabilities.


Tina Spears, CPNRI’s executive director, said initial advice from DOH was that adults with developmental disabilities are to be prioritized for vaccination in the ongoing Phase 1 distribution.


At the same time, this population does not appear on the patient list of the CVS-Walgreen’s partnership assigned by DOH to handle long-term care vaccinations, Spears said.


She said state officials need to “step up” and make the Phase 1 designation explicit.


The DOH COVID-19 portal says Phase 1 includes “long-term care facility staff and residents” but does not specifically mention adults with developmental disabilities. As examples of long-term care settings, DOH lists “group homes for individuals primarily 65 and older, assisted living, (and) elderly housing with residential services.”


Spears, meanwhile, said that she considers anyone eligible for developmental disability services from BHDDH to be receiving long-term care, whether in a residential setting or during the day in the community.


Fournier, the chair of the nurses’ group, highlighted the conclusions of research that has shown adults with developmental disabilities have greater incidences of the same underlying chronic medical conditions that have already been recognized as risk factors in non-disabled adults. These underlying conditions include heart disease, diabetes, various cancers, and asthma, as well as obesity and seizure activity.


Fournier cited joint recommendations of the American Academy of Developmental Medicine and Dentistry (AADMD) and a coalition of more than a dozen nationwide disability rights organizations that vaccine programs prioritize adults with developmental disabilities and all those who care for them, whether paid caregivers or unpaid family members.


Those living and working in group homes and other congregate care settings should be considered at the same risk as patients and staffs of nursing homes, according to a joint position paper issued by the AADMD and the disability rights groups.


Several research studies analyzing COVID-19 cases indicate that that those with intellectual or developmental challenges are more likely to die from COVID-19 than most, if not all, risk groups. They include an case analysis of privately-insured COVID-19 patients completed in November ty the nonprofit FAIR Health in conjunction with the John Hopkins School of Medicine.


Only 10 states, none of them in New England, have explicitly prioritized adults with developmental disabilities in their vaccination programs, according to the American Network of Community Options and Resources (ANCOR).


In Rhode Island, Fournier’s letter to public health epidemiologist Genevieve Caron pointed out that home care nurses have been receiving the vaccine, but nurses who work with the developmental disabilities population also work in home settings and have not been identified as vaccine-eligible.  


DOH did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


As of Jan. 6, a total of 351 of 1,212 residents in congregate care had tested positive for COVID-19 since the counting began last spring, according to figures compiled by state officials and obtained by Developmental Disability News.


The virus has affected a total of 214 group homes – all but 77 facilities in the privately-run system under license from the state, according to these figures.


A total of 14 group home residents and staff members have died.


In November, BHDDH had reported 12 deaths, including 9 group home residents and 3 staff members, but more recently, BHDDH lawyers, through a spokesman, declined to say whether the two most recent deaths were staff members or residents, They cited patient privacy concerns.


In its most recent update on COVID -19 on Jan. 8, BHDDH officials acknowledged they have received many inquiries about vaccination from the developmental disabilities community.


In a statement, officials said:


“We believe that all at-risk individuals, providers, and staff should be vaccinated and we have strongly and repeatedly advocated for that – however it is a challenge with a very limited supply of vaccine at this time. We expect that as more pharmaceutical firms get their vaccines approved, the timetable will become more generous. As soon as vaccinations dates become available, we will make information available.”


global vaccine tracker maintained by Bloomberg News shows that Rhode Island has administered 2.98 per 100 people, for a total of 32,000 injections, or 43.7 percent of the state’s total current supply of 72,000 units. The tracker shows that 1,798 persons have received a second dose.





Gina Macris is a career journalist with 43 years’ experience as a reporter for the Providence Journal in Providence, RI. She retired in 2012. During her time at the newspaper, she wrote two series about her first-born son, Michael M. Smith. Both series won prizes from the New England Associated Press News Executives Association.  Michael, now in his 30s, appears on the cover page, in front of the Rhode Island State House. 

Seniors must be the priorities for vaccines

Seniors must be the priority for vaccine – AARP-RI, by Herb Weiss

January 11, 2021/Herb Weiss


By Herb Weisscontributing writer on aging issues


Last month, in a statement by the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) received a recommendation from the Rhode Island COVID-19 Vaccine Subcommittee for hospitals to begin vaccinating front line hospital workers against COVID-19. This recommendation was made at an emergency meeting of the Subcommittee. RIDOH has accepted the recommendation and has communicated to hospitals that they may begin vaccinating these workers, as soon as vaccine arrives.


Two doses will be needed for someone to be fully immunized, as we know. Rhode Island receives weekly vaccine deliveries. At this point 1/2 of those are kept in storage for that second shot. Expect to see changes in the vaccine distribution system. Whether it comes before January 20th in the form of changes in where and how the vaccine is delivered, or after January 20th, when President-elect Joe Biden has said he will release all of the vaccine to the states. It’s time for Rhode Island to be ready for any of these changes.


Epidemiologists, primary care providers, pharmacists, pediatricians, long-term care advocates, ethicists, nonprofit leaders, school leaders, faith leaders serve on Rhode Island’s COVID-19 Vaccine Subcommittee.  This group is responsible for performing an independent review of the process for evaluating the safety and efficacy of the vaccine. The Subcommittee is advising RIDOH on how to prioritize distribution of the vaccine to ensure that it is done equitably, and in a way that best protects the State as a whole.

Making COVID-19 Vaccine Available Throughout the Ocean State
Some history just before the vaccines were made available in RI: “After a rigorous scientific review, we know that COVID-19 vaccine is safe. We also know that it is one of the most effective vaccines ever developed,” said Director of Health Nicole Alexander-Scott, MD, MPH in her Dec. 14 statement. “In the coming weeks and months, as vaccine becomes more available, getting vaccinated will be one of the most powerful things you can do to keep yourself and the people you love safe from COVID-19. We are going to work to ensure that every person in every community in Rhode Island has access to the vaccine, especially those communities hardest hit by this virus,” she said.


Added, Philip Chan, MD, MS, Consultant Medical Director for RIDOH’s Division of Preparedness, Response, Infectious Disease, and Emergency Medical Services, “We have never had a vaccine that has been – or will be – more closely monitored than the COVID-19 vaccine. Teams of scientists at the national level have been scrutinizing thousands of pages of technical data for weeks, focusing on vaccine effectiveness, safety, and the manufacturing process, and our own local review has happened here in Rhode Island. I absolutely plan on getting vaccinated when it is my turn,” said Chan.


The national vaccine trials for the COVID-19 vaccine involved tens of thousands of people to make sure they meet safety standards and people of different ages, races, and ethnicities. There were no serious safety concerns. (When vaccinated against COVID-19, people do sometimes develop post-vaccination symptoms such as soreness at the spot of the shot and headaches. This is normal, healthy, and expected. It means your immune system is working to develop protection.) Several systems are in place to do ongoing safety monitoring of the vaccine. There have been some allergic reactions, all handled well by stand-by medical intervention – almost everyone experiencing reactions knew they were at greater risk for them.


As of January 8, the last update on RIDOH’s COVID-19 Data Tracker, out of the 31,541 does administered, 29,743 have been vaccinated with their first of two doses, only 1,798 people were fully vaccinated with two doses. Don’t look for the roll out of COVID-19 to take days or weeks, it will take months to complete, warned RIDOH officials. 


Phase 1 of the vaccination program is expected to run through late March. At press time, the state is currently working its way through the top three tiers of this phase, including hospital staff, healthcare workers, EMS personnel, home health and hospice workers, nursing home staff and residents, high-risk incarcerated persons, first responders, school nurses, and even hard-hit communities. 


Finally, those in the final two tiers of Phase 1 to be vaccinated include outpatient providers (Dentists, primary care), Dialysis Center workers and death care professionals, expected to begin Jan. 25, and adults over 75 years of age, expected to start by February.  Phase 2 is expected to kick-in by late March.  A number of factors are being considered to target the distribution of COVID-19 vaccinations a persons age, high-risk conditions, occupation and geography.  And don’t forget – changes are coming in distribution – sooner rather than later to increase total vaccines given which will move these timelines.


Make Older Rhode Islanders a Priority


AARP Rhode Island, representing 132,000 older Rhode Islanders, has called for Governor Gina Raimondo to make the state’s seniors a priority in its time-line for on distributing COVID-19 vaccine.  The Jan. 8 correspondence, cosigned by Kathleen Connell, State Director of AARP Rhode Island and Phil Zarlengo, the group’s State President, called on Raimondo “to increase COVID vaccination transparency,” as it relates to older Rhode Islanders.


“In order to increase public awareness of vaccine allocations and improve confidence in a fair distribution process, it is important that all Rhode Islanders have access to accurate and transparent information,” states the AARP Rhode Island’s correspondence.  AARP Rhode Island asked the Governor to include the numbers of Rhode Islanders vaccinated by age and other criteria on a daily/weekly basis on RIDOH’s COVID-19 Data Tracker.  Specifically, the largest state-wide advocacy group called for the state’s website to include:


1. the numbers and percentages of older Rhode Islanders by race and ethnicity, that have been vaccinated.


2. the number of Rhode Islanders vaccinated and their age demographics on a daily/weekly basis.


3. a clear and easy-to-understand schedule of vaccine administration for all populations; and the process by which individuals may seek and obtain a vaccine.


4. the numbers and percentages of long-term care residents, by facility, that have received their first and second doses of vaccines.


5. the numbers and percentages of long-term care staff, by facility, that have received their first and second doses of vaccines.


Over 50?


While acknowledging the many challenges the state officials must tackle in determining how to equitably, safely and effectively distribute COVID-19 vaccines, Connell and Zarlengo call for Rhode Islanders age 50 and older to be made a priority in receiving a vaccine.


“The data clearly show that the older people are, the higher risk they face if they contract COVID-19.  Given that older individuals are at a greater risk of death from COVID-19, we strongly urge you to ensure that Rhode Islanders age 50 and older are prioritized to receive a vaccine.  These individuals must be given priority access to vaccines, in addition to those individuals receiving care in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities,” they say. 


“For years, the long-term care system has been shifting away from institutional care in nursing homes to home and community-based settings (HCBS). Here in Rhode Island, a significant percentage of long-term services and supports are provided in the home or settings such as assisted living facilities, residential care facilities, veterans homes, and in individuals’ own homes,” says Connell and Zarlengo, stressing that this why the state should prioritize seniors, especially those with underlying conditions, receiving care in these additional settings and the staff providing care, to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.


Finally, Connell and Zarlengo urge Raimondo to ensure that all providers fully comply with established state procedures for vaccine distribution and prioritization. “We urge you to investigate and take swift action against anyone who attempts to commit fraud, including by inappropriately selling the vaccine or intentionally providing vaccines to those who do not meet qualifying criteria in an attempt to circumvent the distribution process,” they said, noting that “public confidence in the vaccine and its fair distribution is dependent on the state’s strong oversight and enforcement.” 


“We urge public health officials at the state and local level, as they decide on vaccine allocations, to rely on the evidence and make plans backed by science.  As production is ramping up, AARP is advocating hard to ensure every older American who wants to get the vaccine can get it.  It’s also vital that distribution plans for authorized vaccines are smoothly implemented.  There’s no time to waste: it’s time for full-scale mobilization, and any delays or early bottlenecks in distribution systems need to be addressed urgently,” says AARP Executive Vice President and Chief Advocacy & Engagement Officer, Nancy A. LeaMond



Herb Weiss, LRI’12, is a Pawtucket writer covering aging, health care and medical issues. To purchase Taking Charge: Collected Stories on Aging Boldly, a collection of 79 of his weekly commentaries, go to

Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: Rhode Island Congressman David Cicilline [[ siss-uh-LEE-NEE ]] writes articles of impeachment against President Trump.  Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo has been picked to serve as Joe Biden's U.S. Secretary of Commerce.  The city of Pawtucket is suing the outgoing PawSox baseball team.

[[ watch for updates ]]

>>Cicilline Helps Write Articles Of Impeachment

(Washington, DC)  --  Rhode Island Congressman David Cicilline [[ siss-uh-LEE-NEE ]] said as of Sunday evening that there were over two-hundred co-sponsors to articles of impeachment he introduced against President Donald Trump.  Cicilline said he wrote the articles with Congressmen Ted Lieu and Jamie Raskin to remove Trump for inciting an insurrection at the U.S. Capitol last Wednesday as Congress met to certify the electoral college vote for the presidential election.  Democrats are alternatively seeking Trump's ouster through the use of the 25th Amendment.

>>GOP State Rep Went To DC Last Week

(Undated)  --  Some calls are coming in for a Rhode Island state rep to resign for going to the U.S. Capitol last week.  Republican Justin Price, of Richmond, said he marched to the capitol but did not go inside.  Price blamed Antifa and Black Lives Matter for infiltrating a peaceful movement.  State Representative Brandon Potter and state Treasurer Seth Magaziner, both Democrats, are both calling for Price to quit.  RI House Republican Leader Blake Filippi has responded that Price didn't do anything wrong except attend what he believed to be a lawful protest.

>>Raimondo Introduced As Commerce Secretary Pick

(Wilmington, DE)  --  President-elect Joe Biden announced Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo as his incoming Commerce Secretary on Friday.  Biden said Raimondo is one of the most effective and forward-thinking governors in the United States and also commended her for the job she previously did as the treasurer of the Ocean State.  Raimondo would be tenth in the presidential line of succession.

>>Dan McKee In Quarantine As He Awaits Governor's Office

(Providence, RI)  --  Rhode Island Lieutenant Governor Dan McKee is quarantining due to possible COVID-19 exposure.  Reports indicate McKee has tested negative, and his quarantine will end on Tuesday.  McKee says he is looking forward to a seamless transition to the governor's office.  Raimondo plans to continue as Rhode Island governor during the Senate confirmation process for her selection as Commerce Secretary.

>>Bills Introduced To Give State Legislature Power To Pick Lieutenant Governor

(Providence, RI)  --  How to fill the Rhode Island's lieutenant governor position is a question that may receive some debate at the State House.  A couple of bills have been filed to divert the power currently enjoyed by the governor to appoint a new L.G., including one that would allow the General Assembly to choose instead.  The state Supreme Court sided with then-Governor Lincoln Almond in 1997 in a battle with the state Senate over his lieutenant governor pick, the last time the office became vacant mid-term.

>>City Of Pawtucket Is Suing The PawSox

(Pawtucket, RI)  --  The city of Pawtucket is suing the Pawtucket Red Sox.  The city says the team failed to fully perform required maintenance, repair and other obligations in connection to its lease and use of McCoy Stadium, which is owned by the city.  The suit filed in Rhode Island Superior Court alleges Pawtucket is entitled to significant damages, including repair work at the stadium.  The city says the PawSox have sent notice that they will not extend their lease past January 31st, as they get ready to play their next season in Worcester, Massachusetts.

[[ watch for updates ]]

>>Fatal Shooting In Providence Sunday

(Providence, RI)  --  The first homicide of 2021 in Providence has been reported.  A man was reportedly taken to Rhode Island Hospital with gunshot wounds on Sunday.  Police did not immediately report where the shooting took place, but said it happened around 8 a.m. yesterday.

Jim McCabe/Source Staff/djc           RI) MA)
Copyright © 2021
TTWN Media Networks Inc. 

01-11-2021 01:12:33

Your Coronavirus Update - Today January 8, 2021

Your Coronavirus Update – Today – Jan. 8, 2021

January 8, 2021/RINewsToday




RI said to have the 2nd highest infection rate in the world.


“Because of concerns of increased coronavirus transmission after holiday gatherings, many Massachusetts school districts are returning from winter break in a remote-only model to prevent in-school and further community transmission.”


Massachusetts announced Thursday that the state’s current restrictions for gatherings and business capacity will be extended for at least two weeks. 10 people indoors and 25 outdoors. Most businesses, including restaurants, are limited to 25% capacity.


The Newport Winter Festival has been canceled for 2021


Providence Restaurant Week will be held Jan. 10-Feb 6, regardless of COVID19 uptick.


Ocean State Job Lot provides substantial food, supplies for Family Service of R.I


Harry’s Bar & Burger, in Newport, is being sold – the building comes with a 2-level restaurant and a 2-bedroom apartment.


Beginning January 15th RI Elder Info will be hosting a free Caregiver Support Group on the 3rd Friday of the month at 10am.Zoom login can be found by clicking here


A Brigham and Women’s doctor is predicting lockdowns are on the horizon to deal with the post-holiday surge in COVID-19 cases.


Rhode Island is adhering to the two-dose plan, rather than the 1-dose or ½ dose being adopted by many states to quicken vaccinations.


New Bedford set to open COVID surge facility – one of two facilities associated with SouthCoast Hospitals being prepared for opening


Phoenix House has been taken over by a court master, claiming pandemic has devastated the nonprofit recovery group. The intent is to wind down PH operations.


RI will begin offering testing of public school students and teachers beginning this month. Consent must be given and participation is not mandatory. Scituate and Lincoln schools have opted out, saying it is too labor intensive for their nursing staff.


The Worcester County Jail & House of Correction is on a modified lockdown after an uptick in COVID-19 cases among inmates, with 57 of 570 inmates positive.


The RI Air Show may come back on June 26th weekend.


Most ACI inmates, and 100% of staff opt for COVID vaccine


Brookside Rehabilitation and Healthcare in Webster, MA is under investigation after 51 of the 58 residents tested positive for COVID-19, and three patients have died.


Joseph Molina Flynn, newly appointed Municipal Court judge in Central Falls, is recovering from COVID19


Today’s Data – Jan 7, 2020

Deaths: 20

Tests – 18,960. Positives – 1,155. Percent positive – 6.1%

Hospitalized – 397. In ICU – 59. Ventilated – 40

Deaths in hospital – 7. New Admissions – 45. New Discharges – 53

Vaccinations – 1st shot: 28,603 – 2 shots: 1,103



Data by City:





Arizona is the new hotspot for COVID19


Yesterday, the CDC said the states need to change their priorities and get the most shots out to the most people they can reach – rather than focusing on levels of individuals most at risk. This could dramatically change vaccine delivery in the very near future.


LA County is making plans to vaccinate low priority groups as well in an all-out effort to get more people vaccinated.


“With the holidays over, “once you get rolling and get some momentum, I think we can achieve 1 million a day or even more,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert.


Moderna said it will be able to make at least 600 million doses of its Covid-19 vaccine this year.


Studies to see if Moderna COVID-19 vaccine doses can be halved may take two months


LA County Public Health Director: “You run the risk of an exposure whenever you leave your home.”


Virus variant found in Pennsylvania


Walmart is requiring all associates and customers to wear face coverings when inside stores, has implemented adjusted store hours to allow for deep cleanings, and extended its COVID-19 emergency leave policy for all associates. The extension goes through June, 2021.


Japan declares emergency for Tokyo area as cases spike. 


China’s CNBG has supplied 3 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to UAE


Operation Warp Speed’s Moncef Slaoui will stay on as a consultant for Biden.


Amazon has announced $2 billion in loans and grants to secure affordable housing in three U.S.   cities where it has major operations, including a Seattle suburb where the online retail giant employs at least 5,000 workers.


In one ICU in hospital in Egypt – all coronavirus patients died after oxygen supply failed – “the oxygen level almost below 2% & neither enough pressure nor enough oxygen”. El Husseineya Central Hospital


Japan’s top-ranked sumo wrestler, Hakuho, has tested positive for coronavirus, the Japan Sumo Association


Amazon reports it purchased 11 new jets to help with its delivery network.


Manufacturing in US rose by 60% in December.


Local researchers are studying whether vitamin D could lessen the severity of COVID symptoms.


45 Macy’s stores will close in 2021 – no locations were yet announced – RI stores will NOT close.


In Florida, several counties are using the event platform, Eventbrite, known for selling concert tickets and coordinating happy hours, to schedule COVID-19 vaccine appointments.


Updated guidelines from the U.K. allowing people to mix-and-match different vaccines. The new guidelines permit patients to receive a different vaccine for their second dose if the shot from their first dose is no longer available or unknown to the recipient. So far, the U.K. has approved vaccines from Pfizer and AstraZeneca, which use different ingredients and technologies to provide immunity. While it’s possible that mixed vaccines could help protect against the virus, there is no safety or efficacy data yet for mixing doses. The new vaccination guidelines are part of the U.K.’s effort to vaccinate as many people as possible, regardless of likely delays between doses. 


In Florida, the hospital system was used to disseminate vaccines for the 70% of residents are seniors. Some have not been able to vaccinate quickly enough. The hospitals who are slow will have their allocations redistributed to other hospitals who can handle the influx. The state is now working to convert state-run testing sites into vaccination centers, working to hire 1,000 extra nurses to administer shots and is even planning to use churches as vaccination sites to target under-served communities.


95% of COVID-19 deaths are people over 50. Some 40% have been residents and staff in nursing homes. 


CVS Health is now administering COVID-19 vaccines in skilled nursing facilities in 49 states, with the rollout beginning in 36 states and Washington, D.C. last week.


Within the next two weeks, Operation Warp Speed, the federal government’s vaccine accelerator, estimates 3,000 to 6,000 pharmacies could begin administering Covid-19 shots, according to a senior HHS official.


A study has shown that loss of smell happens in 86% of COVID19 cases.


A Northern California hospital has shown it’s possible to get the COVID-19 vaccine into the arms of people fast. Adventist Health Ukiah Valley Medical Center learned Monday morning the refrigerator holding Mendocino County’s most recent distribution of 850 Moderna vaccines had failed. Racing to beat the clock before the vaccines spoiled, they successfully administered the entire supply in 2.5 hours in collaboration with the county’s health department and skilled nursing facilities. They aimed to issue the vaccine to high-risk individuals, but “the highest priority was making sure that nothing went to waste.” At 11:30 a.m. Monday, Howe and his colleague Bessant Parker, the hospital’s medical officer, received the call that the compressor on the refrigerator was broken. The vaccines need to be stored at a temperature of 36-46 degrees, and they had been sitting at room temperature since 2 a.m. “Moderna has a 12-hour shelf life at room temperature,” said Howe, who noted that a refrigerator failure is unusual. Hospital officials acted quickly, treating the situation like an emergency, and devised a plan to issue several dozen vaccines directly to a nursing home and 200 to the county, which administered its allotment to everyone from county workers to jail inmates. They offered the remaining 600 inoculations to the general public on a first-come, first-served basis, with an emphasis on getting the word out to high-risk individuals. “We set up four vaccination centers, three on our campus and one in a church close by,” said Parker, who added that it took a workforce of about 40 people to administer the shots at the four locations. They alerted the public through social media and by making phone calls to places such as nursing homes. Employees also helped spread the news.

Rhode Island Foundation awards grants for animal welfare

Rhode Island Foundation awards $481,000 for animal welfare

January 8, 2021/RINewsToday


Uses include funding low-cost vet care for pets of low-income households, preparing animals for adoption and wildlife rehabilitation


The Rhode Island Foundation has awarded $481,000 in grants to dozens of animal welfare programs across the state. The funding will support a range of uses including low-cost vet care for pets of low-income households, preparing animals for adoption and wildlife rehabilitation.


“The generosity of our donors and the commitment of our grantee partners is expanding humane education, increasing care options for shelter animals and pets owned by low-income households, and improving the quality of animal care in Rhode Island,” said Adrian Bonéy, who oversees the Foundation’s Program for Animal Welfare (PAW). “Their work is producing innovation, new approaches to animal welfare and increasing the number of animals receiving direct care across Rhode Island.”


PAW funds organizations that promote and provide humane treatment of animals or work more generally on the welfare of animals. Grants are for projects or programs that have a positive impact locally or statewide on animal care, education about the humane treatment of animals and animal welfare in general.


Thirteen special funds at the Foundation relate to the humane treatment and protection of animals. These funds collectively enable the Foundation to take a leading role on animal welfare issues.


The single largest grant recipient is the Potter League for Animals, which received $70,000 for surgeries, supplies and staffing for its on-site medical suite in Middletown the Potter League Spay and Neuter Clinic in Warwick for pet owners who cannot afford the procedures.


“Many animals are sick or injured when they come to us. Some are just old and have special needs that must be taken care before they can be adopted into new homes. Now we can give orphaned animals the care they need and deserve,” said Brad Shear, executive director.


The Potter League also received $7,500 as the fiscal sponsor for the CoyoteSmarts public education program, which is offered in partnership with the Conservation Agency, R.I. Natural History Survey, Aquidneck Land Trust and Norman Bird Sanctuary. The funds will support the program’s campaign coordinator and in-classroom education programs at local schools.


“For many years, we’ve worked cooperatively to address the growing presence of coyotes in our community. Our objective is to raise public awareness of coyotes, encourage best management practices and promote effective strategies for keeping pets and people safe,” said Shear.


The other recipients include:


Animal Rescue Rhode Island (ARRI) in South Kingstown received $15,600 for the conversion of an existing food pantry storage room into an isolation room with two kennels. The organization estimates that adding two additional kennels will enable it to rescue an additional 30 to 60 dogs per year.


“In 2019, we found forever homes for 475 animals. The new isolation kennels will give us more space for dogs while readying them for adoption,” said Liz Skrobisch, interim executive director.


“We provide training and enrichment services because many have never had homes, regular meals or medical care such as immunizations or spay/neuter treatment. There is such a high demand for adoption that the majority of the animals are adopted as soon as they as released from the isolation period,” said Skrobisch.


The Audubon Society of Rhode Island in Smithfield received $7,500 for food and supplies for the 28 animals that participate in its educational programs.


“All of our hawks, owls, ravens, turtles, snakes, frogs and the grackle are either former pets or permanently injured animals who cannot be released back into the wild. Audubon provides these creatures with a ‘forever home’ and is committed to giving them with the best care possible throughout their lives,” said Lawrence J.F. Taft, executive director.


Audubon serves approximately 22,000 children and adults a year with educational programs on-site and at schools, libraries and senior centers and other community organizations. Many of the programs are now presented online due to the COVID-19 crisis.


“We created ‘Audubon at Home.’ These web pages are filled with activities, backyard investigations, resources, videos and more. Organized in weekly themes, our animal ambassadors play a large part in the programming. Audubon educators are also conducting virtual ‘Raptors of Rhode Island’ programs for classrooms around the state free of charge for the schools. They help us educate the public about the value of wildlife and the importance of biodiversity,” said Taft.


The East Greenwich Animal Protection League received $6,300 to upgrade its laundry facilities with energy-efficient, high-capacity commercial washers and dryers. The organization serves hundreds of companion animals a year.


“The daily laundry routine is all day, every day because we currently only have small capacity equipment designed for family use. Due to the volume and weight of laundry the machines are inefficient and poorly suited for shelter laundry. The inefficiency and low capacity require too much staff time and use a huge amount of energy and detergent. It is time to switch to quality, large capacity commercial equipment that will be more energy efficient and have quicker cycles times,” said Tammy Gallo.


The organization will purchase two commercial, large capacity washer/dryer units, In addition to serving a growing number of companion animals, it has added a new cat room and completed the new clinic and surgical suite.


“With large capacity equipment, they will be able to do more in less time and use less power and water. We anticipate the savings in staff time will enable staff to work on other tasks with the time freed up by a new shorter cycle times. In fact, the increased capacity and shorter cycle time may make it possible to simply have a staff person oversee our volunteer group to handle laundry freeing staff up to get other work done,” said Gallo.


Foster Parrots in Hope Valley received $25,000 for vet care, food, enrichment supplies, educational material, utility expenses and adoption services.


“This will enable us to provide exemplary care for the parrots and other displaced exotic animals in our care, and enable us to provide services for a greater number of unwanted pet birds through our adoption and home support programs,” said Karen Windsor, executive director.


The organization expects to serve more than 400 birds and animals with the support of the grant. More than 60 birds were placed in adoptive homes in 2019.


“Direct care support for items like nutritional diets and medical care is essential, enabling us to not only maintain exceptional standards for the health of resident birds and animals, but to begin to address and improve chronic health and nutritional issues,” said Windsor.


In addition, the grant will provide partial salary support for the organization’s Adoption & Community Education Director.


“Not only does she work to locate outstanding homes for our human-bonded parrots, she also invests a great deal of time educating guardians and ensuring that standards of care for adopted birds are optimal,” said Windsor.


Friends of Central Falls Animals received $25,000 for its Fix Me 6 initiative, which underwrites the cost of spay and neuter procedures; testing and treatments, including vaccinations, preventative medicines and implanting microchips for pet cats and dogs.


“Our work with spay and neuter of friendly and owned cats and kittens has always been our major area of success. Each year, as more and more people learn about the program and its benefits, they are taking advantage of everything it has to offer. Many residents could not afford to have their pets ‘fixed’ without our help,” said David Riseberg, president.


The goal is to spay or neuter a total of approximately 200 cats, both feral, free-roaming cats and pet cats, as well as approximately 50 dogs. Medical care includes distemper and rabies vaccines for cats and distemper/parvo and rabies vaccines for dogs. Dogs will also receive a heartworm or more extensive blood test at the time of spay or neuter. And all pets being spayed or neutered can receive a microchip as well.


“Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic had a major impact on our last program, since there were no spay or neuters occurring for the two months our program was in shut-down. Both locations are now accepting spay and neuters of both cats and dogs, with new protocols in place,” said Riseberg.


Friends of Animals In Need in North Kingstown received $15,000 for its Veterinary Care Assistance Program, which provides veterinary care for companion animals whose owners are economically challenged in an effort to help keep them together with their pets in order to prevent the abandonment, surrender or euthanizing of a pet.


“Our goal is to keep people and their beloved pets together. These are people whose pets have been an integral part of their family life. In some cases, as with the elderly or widowed, their pets fill an emotional void by providing them with love, companionship, comfort and purpose,” said Russ Shabo, executive director.


The COVID-19 crisis is having a severe impact on pet owners who were already under financial pressure, according to Shabo.


“During 2019, we helped over 300 clients at a cost of just over $50,000. As a result of rising vet prices, the COVID19 virus, a depressed economy and financial challenges affecting many of Rhode Island’s population, many more people are coming to us,” said Shabo.


Friends of the Scituate Animal Shelter received $13,000 to fund veterinary expenses and medications for animals taken into the shelter. In 2019, 94 percent of the animals taken into the shelter were successfully placed.


“In addition to relieving pain and suffering, correcting medical problems with our animals improves their chances for adoption tremendously. Given the frequency of medical issues among the incoming animals, our actions to address these issues has a major positive impact on adoption rates,” said shelter President Nicholas Murphy.


In addition, a portion of the grant will be used to install a roof over the outdoor dog exercise area, which will enable volunteers to exercise and socialize with dogs more often.


“This will enable the use of the pens in sunny hot weather as well as in rain, ice or snow. Allowing the dogs full-time access to exercise and socialization while they are staying at the shelter leads to dogs that are better suited for successful placements and adoptions,” said Murphy.


“In addition, many of the volunteers at the shelter are seniors. A covered pavilion would enable them to use the exercise area with the dogs in adverse weather conditions when these areas would not normally be usable,” he said.


Mystic Aquarium received a $15,000 grant through the Sea Research Foundation to support the rescue and rehabilitation of injured or sick marine mammals and sea turtles in Rhode Island. Nearly 75 percent of the animals brought to the aquarium for treatment each year are rescued in Rhode Island.


“Year after year, dozens of these animals end up on stranded on our shores due to illness, malnutrition and dehydration as a result of marine debris and pollution and diminishing food sources among other reasons,” said Stephen M. Coan, president and CEO of Mystic Aquarium. “They would not otherwise be able to return to the ocean environment without the specialized and compassionate care provided by our world-class team.”


PAAWS RI received $28,000 to spay/neuter feral, stray community and owned cats living in the city of Providence in partnership with Providence Animal Care and Control.


“The city of Providence has long been overrun with intact feral and pet cats. They contribute to the over-population of intact, discarded, abandoned and suffering cats. The Gimme Shelter Spay and Neuter for Cats Program will spay and neuter these two demographics of cats and return them to the family they already have, be it community feeder and outdoor shelter or loving family home, thus reducing feline populations in shelters and on the street, and limiting the suffering of cats generally through hoarding situations and survival on the streets as yet another roaming stray,” said Erika Cole, director of Providence Animal Care and Control (PACC).


PACC will be responsible for trapping feral cats, coordinating surgical appointments for owned cats and transporting cats from Providence to PAAWS RI’s veterinary clinic in Warwick. PAAWS RI will provide veterinary care, including a complete physical exam, spay/neuter surgery, distemper and rabies vaccines, flea/deworming medication and a microchip if desired by the pet owner.


“Many cat owners in these communities truly want their cats spayed or neutered but simply cannot afford the services, down payments, travel accommodations or time out of work needed to transport their cats to any one of the low-cost clinics that exist. A portion of cat owners are not aware that spay or neuter may solve behavioral issues they are experiencing with their cats, and others do not desire litter after litter of kittens but are unable to help their cat by themselves and require assistance,” said Cole


PawsWatch received $35,000 to expand its statewide efforts to manage Rhode Island’s free-roaming-cat population through its trap, neuter and return program, which provides sterilization surgeries and vaccinations at its clinic in Johnston.


“We care for the thousands of free-roaming cats and the kittens born to them, whose lives are miserable and short. Seventy-five percent of kittens die within their first six months, and average adult age at death is only about five years,” said Nancy Pottish, vice president. “The funding will also benefit the people in the community who feed and care for the colonies while watching these tragedies play out.”


Veterinary restrictions and shelter-in-place orders due to COVID-19 reduced the number of cats PawsWatch will spay or neuter by approximately 30 percent to an estimated 900 in 2020.


“We are still doing as much as possible to help these abandoned cats and their caretakers. While some services like education and cat-trap training are on hold because of the pandemic, we are still doing equipment loans, subsidized sterilization surgery, vaccinations, medical care for injured free-roaming cats, kitten care and pre- and post-surgery boarding of the free-roaming cats brought to our facility,” said Pottish.


The RIVMA Companion Animal Foundation in Providence received $25,000 to help pet owners who are experiencing financial hardship to pay for veterinary care for their animals. The grant is expected to help more than 200 pet owners.


“The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating financial impact on many Rhode Islanders. Job losses and illness have limited many people’s ability to pay for basic expenses, including veterinary care for their pets. This will help an increased number of low-income pet owners across the state access veterinary care for their pets,” said Elizabeth Suever, president of the board of directors.


Stand Up for Animals in Westerly received $15,000 to support its work assisting in the care of animals at the Westerly Animal Shelter. The funding will be used for veterinary services and medications.


“Our goal is to support a place where animals will be treated with compassion and dignity; where suffering and abuse will not be tolerated; where education and understanding will play an integral role in eliminating overpopulation, animal cruelty and abandonment; where every possible effort is made to return an animal to its owner, or to place that animal in a new, safe and forever loving home,” said Deb Turrisi, executive director.


West Place Animal Sanctuary in Tiverton received $25,000, primarily for food and health care, such as medication and hoof care, shearing, teeth filing and winter animal blankets. The organization provides shelter and rehabilitation for a variety of livestock and wildlife, including many that are injured, disabled or suffering from abuse or neglect.


“This is a yearly, ongoing program, which grows and expands each year, as our organization does,” said Wendy Taylor, executive director. West Place cared for more than 60 farm and 150 wild animals in 2020.


The Wildlife Rehabilitators Association of Rhode Island in North Kingstown received $10,200 to purchase diagnostic and treatment equipment to detect and treat lead poisoning in the birds it cares for. The funds will be used to purchase basic diagnostic testing equipment as well as a cage for large birds, including eagles. The organization cares for approximately 5,500 wild birds and animals from across the state a year.


“Hundreds of water birds, seabirds and raptors are at risk of lead poisoning. Life-saving treatment depends on timely, accurate diagnoses. Current turnaround time for off-site testing is four days. This lapse of time during the initial care of critical wild patients hampers accurate diagnosis and creates difficulty in instituting an effective plan for medical care,” said Kristin Fletcher, executive director.


The remaining organizations receiving grants are the North Kingstown Animal Protection League, Providence Animal Rescue League, Rhode Island Parrot Rescue, Rhode Island Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Roger Williams Park Zoo, Scruffy Paws Animal Rescue, Ten Lives Cat Rescue, Town of Cumberland, Town of North Providence and Town of Westerly.



The Rhode Island Foundation is the largest and most comprehensive funder of nonprofit organizations in Rhode Island. Through leadership, fundraising and grantmaking activities, often in partnership with individuals and organizations, the Foundation is helping Rhode Island reach its true potential.

Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: Governor Raimondo has been selected to President-elect Biden's cabinet.  Members of Rhode Island's Congressional delegation say Donald Trump should leave office or be removed.  Charges will not be filed in connection to the police-involved moped crash last year in Providence.

>>Biden Selects Raimondo For Commerce Secretary

(Washington, DC)  --  Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo has been chosen to be President-elect Joe Biden's Commerce Secretary.  Raimondo was the first woman to be elected governor in the Ocean State and has held the office since 2015.  Rhode Island Lieutenant Governor Dan McKee will take over for the remaining two years of Raimondo's current term.  Biden is also taking Boston mayor Marty Walsh as his Labor secretary.

>>'Resign, 25th Amendment Or Impeach' Echoing Among RI Delegation

(Undated)  --  More statements have been released by members of Rhode Island's Congressional delegation in response to the attack on the U.S. Capitol by supporters of President Trump on Wednesday.  Congressman Jim Langevin [[ LAN-juh-vin ]] says the only course of action is for the president to resign, or in place of that, the 25th Amendment should be invoked or Trump should be impeached.  Those are the three options Senator Sheldon Whitehouse is going with, also.  Senator Jack Reed stopped short of calling for one of the choices in a statement released yesterday, but Reed said this about Trump: while he remains president for a few more days, he has abdicated the responsibilities of his office.

>>No Charges To Be Filed For Officer-Involved Moped Crash

(Providence, RI)  --  The family of the moped operator seriously injured in a police officer-involved crash in Providence last year is planning to make the incident a civil matter after the state said no criminal charges would be filed.  Attorney General Peter Neronha said his office concluded that evidence did not support charges against officer Kyle Endres or any other officer.  Endres pulled behind Gonsalves and followed him before a crash happened at the intersection of Elmwood Avenue and Bissell Street on October 18th.  A reconstruction report from the Rhode Island State Police indicated Endres' cruiser did not strike Gonsalves, who has been in a coma since the crash.  His family said yesterday a lawsuit will be filed in federal court.

>>Local Veteran News Reporter Bill Rappleye Has Died

(Providence, RI)  --  Longtime Providence TV reporter Bill Rappleye [[ RAP-plee ]] has died.  Rappleye was a political reporter for WJAR-TV; he worked for Channel 10 for almost twenty years.  He moved to WSBE-TV last year and was the host of Rhode Island PBS Weekly.  Rappleye passed away on Thursday from cancer at the age of 66.

>>RI-CT Bridge Reopened With Cows

(Westerly, RI)  --  The cows literally came home across state lines in Rhode Island and Connecticut this week.  According to a report from the Westerly Sun, a rancher on Wednesday guided a half-dozen cattle across a recently-reconstructed bridge that had been closed for over a decade connecting Westerly and North Stonington, to signify a "grand opening".  Repairs to the Boombridge Road bridge going over the Pawcatuck River cost about one-and-a-half-million dollars, which was split by the two states.

>>Bruins Name Patrice Bergeron New Captain

(Boston, MA)  --  The Boston Bruins have named Patrice Bergeron [[ puh-TREECE burr-zhur-ON ]] their new captain.  The move was expected after longtime Bruins captain Zdeno Chara [[ zuh-DAY-no CHAR-uh ]] departed for the Washington Capitals.  Bergeron has played over a thousand games for the Bruins and is fifth all-time in goals scored for the team.

Jim McCabe/djc          RI) CT)
Copyright © 2021
TTWN Media Networks Inc. 

01-08-2021 01:12:38

Our shame seen around the world.


Our shame seen round the world

January 7, 2021/RINewsToday


Photo: Protester in Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi’s office


Rioters broke into the US Congress building after a speech by members of the Trump family and President Trump.


VP Pence was called upon to make a definitive statement about not accepting the electoral college votes, and just before Congress went into session, he sent a message that he would not be taking that step, but would just read and accept the electoral votes of the state.


The country – if not the world – was stunned as the scene played out live on television all afternoon and into the evening – culminated by a 4am acceptance of the electoral college votes.


Members of congress hid on the floor, in their offices, put on their “gas hoods” – plastic bags with breathing devices at the bottom as tear gas was deployed in and out of the building. The glass doors of the House chamber were broken.


A young woman was part of a group storming the House doors. Law enforcement tried to get the crowd to step back, a shot was fired by law enforcement, not yet known who or why, and the young woman went down. A few hours later she died of the gunshot wound to her chest.


After what seemed to be an interminable amount of time, some law enforcement backup came. There seem to be a clear decision to use only Capitol Police in a de-escalation attempt. But the sheer numbers of those storming the building and outside – 10s of thousands – went well beyond what they could handle. Still unanswered is the question of how a crowd was able to infiltrate the building with members of Congress – and the vice president – in an active session. One of the most secure locations in the world.

A moment of humanity between protester and law enforcement.

Rep. Susan Wild, taking cover





















Tonight, Vice President Mike Pence changed his Twitter banner to show an imagine of Pres-elect Joe Biden and Vice Pres-elect Kamala Harris.



President-elect Joe Biden issued a statement intended to calm down the situation. He spoke from a podium, and took no questions. Here is part of that, released on Twitter.


President’s video message to the American people to calm down and go home was first tagged by Twitter, then his account was suspended for 12 hours. Here is the video:


Citizen protesters were thought to have been joined by other organized groups intent on causing chaos in the country. Several leaders had been identified in other major protests in other states.

The people’s work continued

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sent a letter to lawmakers that after consulting with the Pentagon, the Justice Department and the vice president, Congress should proceed with the counting and confirming of electoral votes once the Capitol is cleared.


Late last night Congress reconvened, and went through the roll call of states. After a few encounters with members, the electoral college votes were accepted, with several Republicans backing down against their opposition, and Joe Biden/Kamala Harris victories were upheld at 4am.


Twitter at first took down the President’s Tweet and then locked President Trump’s account for 12 hours, saying they would make it permanent if his negative actions continued. Facebook followed by taking down his page.


President Trump issued a statement through his Chief of Staff, saying that while he disagrees, he will accept the actions of congress and is committed now to a peaceful transition of power on January 20th. His statement in total:


“Even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out, nevertheless there will be an orderly transition on January 20th. I have always said we would continue our… fight to ensure that only legal votes were counted. While this represents the end of the greatest first term in presidential history, it’s only the beginning of our fight to Make America Great Again!”


This morning there are reports of 4 dead, 52 arrested, 14 police officers injured.


Several transitions are occuring in rapid order. The first lady’s chief of staff resigned. The Deputy National Security Advisor resigned. the National Security Advisor and Deputy Chief of Staff are rumored to be resigning. Other congressional staff members have been said to be considering leaving Washington.


President Trump has banned Vice President Pence and his Chief of Staff from the West Wing of the White House.


This is a developing story – and will be updated throughout the day.

Patriotism, By the people, for the people.

Patriotism. By the people, for the people. – by Michael Morse

January 7, 2021/Michael Morse


by Michael Morse, contributing writer – commentary


Patriots? How dare you call yourself patriots? Patriots do not rally around a man, they rally around an ideal. They rally around a threat to decency, courage, compassion, service, pride and freedom. Patriots do not wrap themselves in flags with another person’s name on it, they carry the colors of their country, their history, their shared belief that no man is bigger than the laws of the land, on their backs. 


Patriots do not storm buildings, they do not desecrate the machinations and inner workings of their republic. Patriots do not act on emotion alone; they use their emotion to carry out well planned, well vetted, well discussed, and when there are no more options, well executed rebellion against tyranny.


Our fringe right has joined our fringe left in creating anarchy. Neither is better than the other. Both have proven unworthy of anything but scorn. President Trump squandered his opportunity to drain the swamp by failing to prove his allegations of mass voter fraud. He allowed his ego to destroy his message, and in doing so threw his supporters in the trash.


So now we have a golden opportunity to turn our backs on the left, and the right, to find true common ground, to reject the fringe, and recreate that which made this country great. 


It is time to personify patriotism. Not Donald Trump’s vision, not Joe Biden’s past failures, rather something created by the people responsible for making America work. 


We have reached rock bottom. Time to start climbing out of the pit of despair, one step at a time, not afraid to carry when needed, or be carried when necessary. 


All of us have a lot to learn from each other. Nobody is 100% right, or wrong. The time is upon us. Let us begin to define patriotism in our image, not theirs. We can carry each other to greatness. 


It is past time to start.






Michael Morse spent 23 years as a firefighter/EMT with the Providence Fire Department before retiring in 2013 as Captain, Rescue Co. 5. He is an author of several books, most offering fellow firefighter/EMTs and the general population alike a poignant glimpse into one person’s journey through life, work and hope for the future. He is a Warwick resident.

Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: Rhode Island Congressman David Cicilline [[ siss-uh-LEE-nee ]] is calling for action against the president following the incident at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.  The Cranston Police Department has taken "corrective action" against an officer who responded to an off-road vehicle incident last week.  A new Rhode Island postsecondary education commissioner has been named.

>>Cicilline Calls For Trump Impeachment, Invoking Of 25th Amendment

(Washington, DC)  --  Rhode Island Congressman David Cicilline [[ siss-uh-LEE-nee ]] is calling for President Donald Trump to be impeached and for 25th Amendment proceedings to take place following what happened in Washington, DC on Wednesday.  A letter signed by Cicilline and other Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee was sent to Vice President Pence calling on him and sitting Cabinet secretaries to invoke the Constitutional amendment that gives them the authority to determine if a president is unfit for the duties of his office.  Cicilline called Trump supporters storming the U.S. Capitol an attempted coup.  He said it was outrageous, and that Trump caused it.

>>Heightened Police Presence At Rhode Island State House

(Providence, RI)  --  Back home, law enforcement was prepared for potential unrest at the Rhode Island Capitol on Wednesday evening.  WJAR-TV reports there was an increased state police presence at the State House.  The head of the state police said there was no intel about any organized protests or credible threats to security at the State House or elsewhere in Rhode Island.

>>'Corrective Action' Against Officer Involved In Off-Road Vehicle Incident

(Cranston, RI)  --  The chief of police in Cranston says corrective action has been taken against an officer involved in last Friday's incident with a pack of ATV and dirt bike riders.  Authorities initially claimed Shyanne Boisvert, one of the three people arrested during the incident, had initiated contact with a policeman, but security video reported by WJAR-TV shows her backing away before the arresting officer took her to the ground.  That officer then appeared to have his legs partially run over by an ATV rider; later, he pushed Boisvert into a police cruiser while swearing at her.  Police Chief Michael Winquist told Channel 10 the department expects professional conduct even in trying circumstances, but noted the officer was in pain from being struck by the ATV.  And he said Boisvert was being noncompliant by not voluntarily getting into the cruiser.

>>Woman Fatally Struck By SUV In Cranston ID'd

(Cranston, RI)  --  Police have released the name of a woman killed in a collision with an SUV in Cranston on Tuesday night.  She was a resident of the city, Janet Rochon.  Reports indicate Rochon was walking her dog as they crossed at a non-crosswalk location on Reservoir Avenue.  Authorities say speed was not a factor, the driver showed no signs of impairment and no charges are being filed.

>>West Warwick Fire Victim Name Released

(West Warwick, RI)  --  The name of a West Warwick fire victim who is being called a hero for saving a family member is being released.  The victim of the early-Wednesday morning fire at a home on New London Turnpike was Jason Mather.  Fire officials say Mather woke up his uncle, who safely escaped.

>>New RI Postsecondary Education Commissioner

(Providence, RI)  --  A new Rhode Island Commissioner of Postsecondary Education has been announced.  Shannon Gilkey was appointed by the Council on Postsecondary Ed, which has authority over Rhode Island College and the Community College of RI.  Gilkey was a vice-chancellor of academics and workforce development in the Kentucky community college system.  Among his previous career highlights was leading a team that worked on the development of Rhode Island's college attainment plan.

Jim McCabe/djc           RI) KY)
Copyright © 2021
TTWN Media Networks Inc. 

01-07-2021 01:12:36

Saying goodbye to Zdeno Chara, Boston Bruin's Captain, local sports hero....



Saying goodbye to Zdeno Chara, Boston Bruin’s Captain; local sports hero

January 6, 2021/John Cardullo


by John Cardullo, sportswriter


We say goodbye to Zdeno Chara, Boston Bruin’s Captain, and local sports hero leaving town to finish out a great career.


The news hit like a bolt out of the blue to many, the Boston Bruins and Zdeno Chara had parted company. Chara had been a fixture in the Bruins for 14 seasons, for all of that time, serving as the team’s captain, a position that is not freely given. The title commands respect of both teammates and competitors, alike. It was a title that fit him perfectly, a low-key player who let his actions on the ice speak for themselves. But it was the way he carried himself off the ice that gained him the admiration of everyone who encountered him. This only made the news more surprising, or even stunning. The fact of the matter was that Zdeno Chara was no longer a Boston Bruin, and just like that the Boston professional fan base had been dealt another blow; the second within a year.


A player in the NHL since 1997, Chara signed a one-year contract with the Washington Capitals. The question is why do these iconic professional players leave Boston to extend or end their careers elsewhere? Wade Boggs left the Red Sox to head to the New York Yankees and win a World Series; Tom Brady left the Patriots only to put his new team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, in a position to make a Super Bowl run, and now the Boston Bruins wanting to go in a different direction, parted ways with their 43-year-old captain.



For us as fans, it is hard to say goodbye to these players. They have become our guys, the guys that we stood by and rooted for through thick and thin. We stuck by them when we won championships, or made a play-off run, or even when they were also-rans. No matter how much business sense this may make, they are still our guys, and watching them leave is a hard thing for us fans to do.


It is hard to imagine the path that led the 6’9” defenseman here from Slovakia (part of the Soviet bloc known as the Iron Curtain), where talented athletes competed for their country as they made their way through mandatory military service. As the restrictions began to erode and northern European athletes were allowed and encouraged to play professionally, Chara found himself drafted by the New York Islanders in 1997 as he was drafted in the 3rd round as the 56th selection overall. All through his four-year career with the Islanders, his role never grew much from a defensive player to an offensive threat. In 2001 Chara was traded to the Ottawa Senators. It was with Ottawa that Chara began to establish himself more on offense and as an All-Star, having one of the hardest and fastest slap shots in the league. But more importantly, Chara established himself a Norris trophy candidate for being the league’s best defensive player on an annual basis.


During the 2004 lock-out that derailed the entire NHL season Chara’s contract expired and he could not come to terms with Ottawa and as a free agent Chara signed with the Bruins the first day of free agency. During his time in Boston, his career blossomed both as a tough defenseman, an offensive threat and he found himself on the ice killing penalties and as an intimidating force. Each of Chara’s season’s in the NHL his numbers improved both in goal scoring and assists, often among the leaders in each category and his penalty minutes were among the lowest on the Bruins. Chara became a permanent fixture in the NHL’s All-Star game and he and the Bruins were frequent participants in the NHL’s play-offs. It was in 2010-11 where Chara reached the very top of the NHL’s mountain when he became the player born in a country behind the Iron Curtain to Captain and lead their team to the Stanley Cup championship. The team captured the imaginations and admiration of hockey fans and non-hockey fans alike. The perfect mixture of talent and a goal tender who stopped everything that came his way, Chara was the silent leader who let his steady performance speak for itself. When he lifted the Stanley Cup over his head to be the first player (as tradition dictates the team Captain gets to take the first victory lap with the cup), Chara lifted the entire Northeastern region over his head and for all Boston Bruins fans, far and wide. Chara was the guy who earned it the most and he represented to everyone what a true leader was; what a true Captain was.


Under his leadership and title of Captain, Chara had led his Boston Bruins to three Stanley Cup final winning ones, he became the oldest player to ever score a goal in a Stanley Cup final and still has one of the fastest and hardest slap shots ever recorded. His professional resume reads like this; 6-time NHL All Star, the winner of the NHL’s Hardest shot competition five times topping out with a shot recorded at 108.8 mph. In 2009 he won the NHL’s James Norris Trophy as the league’s best defensive player. In 2013 The Hockey News gave him the John Ferguson Award as the toughest player in the NHL. Named a member of the NHL’s All decade team from 2010-19 and to the IIHF All-Time Slovakia team.


The cold fact is that professional sports is all about the bottom line and when a player comes and joins your favorite team, you are asked to support that player. You are asked to purchase that player’s jersey and a ticket to go see that player play. The organization’s investment is monetary where a fan’s investment is emotional, and this is never considered when the organization makes the decision to part with that player. If you have your doubts, you can look behind Chara to Tom Brady.


Professional sports are a cold, cold business. Chara will be the only local sports hero to leave in the same fashion and we will wish him well and continue to cheer for him with his new team – only when he is not playing against the Bruins. It is also our hopes when the Captain hangs up his skates for good, that the Bruins will sign him to that infamous “one day contract” and he retires a Boston Bruin with all the fan are that goes along with it, including a “Zdeno Chara Night” at the Boston Garden as we celebrate him hoisting his number “33” to the rafters along side all the other Bruins greats. It will be a fitting end to a great career and to show one of “our guys” that he will always be one of “our guys”.


John Cardullo
John Cardullo, sportswriter


John Cardullo is a lifelong Rhode Islander. His sports experience is extensive, as a player of youth and high school sports in Cranston, Rhode Island, a coach, and the Public Address announcer for several local High Schools over the last 16 years for Cranston East, Cranston West, Central, and Scituate as well as CCRI Men’s and Women’s Soccer.

In his spare time John is a Softball Umpire in Warwick and for 56 years he has been active in Men’s Slow Pitch softball and was inducted into the Rhode Island Slow Pitch Softball Hall of Fame in 2019. John has been in the Printing industry for over 42 years and currently is the managing partner of Coastal Printing & Graphics Inc.

COVID-19 Vaccines and older Americans - AARP, CDC, Etc.

COVID-19 Vaccines and older Americans – AARP, CDC, etc.

January 6, 2021/RINewsToday


Photo: AARP


95% of COVID-19 deaths are people over 50. AARP is fighting for older Americans to be prioritized for vaccine


The AARP is upping its involvement in advocating for those over 50 when it comes to vaccine dissemination. They have issued a Statement on Distribution of COVID Vaccines, which addresses distribution planning and implementation.


From AARP Executive Vice President and Chief Advocacy & Engagement Officer Nancy A. LeaMond:


“More than 333,000 American lives now have been lost due to COVID, and nearly 95% of those who have died were age 50 or over.  Some 40% have been residents and staff in nursing homes.  With remarkable speed, vaccines have been developed, and continue to be developed, and now it’s time to put them to good use.  AARP is fighting for older Americans to be prioritized in getting COVID-19 vaccines because the science has clearly shown that older people are at higher risk of death. 


“We urge public health officials at the state and local level, as they decide on vaccine allocations, to rely on the evidence and make plans backed by science.  As production is ramping up, AARP is advocating hard to ensure every older American who wants to get the vaccine can get it.  It’s also vital that distribution plans for authorized vaccines are smoothly implemented.  There’s no time to waste: it’s time for full-scale mobilization, and any delays or early bottlenecks in distribution systems need to be addressed urgently.  AARP remains committed to protecting the health and well-being of our nearly 38 million members and all Americans as we work together to defeat this virus.”


AARP will continue to provide information about COVID-19 vaccines at and in Spanish at


In Florida


In Florida, where 70% of residents are seniors, Governor DeSantis explains that the state utilized their hospital systems as dissemination sites, but some have not been able to vaccinate quickly enough. Yesterday he said that hospitals who are slow will have their allocations redistributed to other hospitals who can handle the influx.


The state’s plan has resulted in senior citizens in long lines waiting for vaccinations and overwhelmed hospital phone lines, and glitches have exposed shortcomings in both the supply chain and Florida’s mass vaccination plan. Yesterday, DeSantis said that the state is now working to convert state-run testing sites into vaccination centers, working to hire 1,000 extra nurses to administer shots and is even planning to use churches as vaccination sites to target under-served communities.


In Rhode Islnd – Chart of Prioritization for COVID-19 Vaccinations:



Note that not each subset needs to be done before the next is done – all can be operating simultaneously.


From the CDC:


While the CDC acknowledges that each state has flexibility in their vaccine program, they do offer their recommendations on priority groups.


FIRST: (1a) –


Healthcare personnel and residents of long-term care facilities should be offered the first doses of COVID-19 vaccines


SECOND: (1b) –


  • Frontline essential workers such as fire fighters, police officers, corrections officers, food and agricultural workers, United States Postal Service workers, manufacturing workers, grocery store workers, public transit workers, and those who work in the educational sector (teachers, support staff, and daycare workers.)
  • People aged 75 years and older because they are at high risk of hospitalization, illness, and death from COVID-19. People aged 75 years and older who are also residents of long-term care facilities should be offered vaccination in Phase 1a.


THIRD: (1c) –

  • People aged 65—74 years because they are at high risk of hospitalization, illness, and death from COVID-19. People aged 65—74 years who are also residents of long-term care facilities should be offered vaccination in Phase 1a.
  • People aged 16—64 years with underlying medical conditions which increase the risk of serious, life-threatening complications from COVID-19.
  • Other essential workers, such as people who work in transportation and logistics, food service, housing construction and finance, information technology, communications, energy, law, media, public safety, and public health.


As vaccine availability increases, vaccination recommendations will expand to include more groups, according to the CDC.


Posted in 

Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: The Rhode Island Health Department is making sure only eligible people receive the COVID-19 vaccine.  The Rhode Island General Assembly has selected its chamber leadership.  A new settlement is being announced for the St. Joseph pension plan.

[[ watch dating ]]

>>Some Snow Showers Continuing Into Morning Hours

(Undated)  --  The National Weather Service is expecting occasional snow showers that began on Tuesday night will persist across much of Southern New England on Wednesday morning.  That statement covers all of Rhode Island.  Forecasters say up to an inch will fall towards interior SNE, while the coast will receive a rain-snow mix.

>>Ineligible COVID-19 Vaccine Appointments Voided

(Providence, RI)  --  The Rhode Island Department of Health on Monday canceled hundreds of COVID-19 vaccine appointments that were made by people said to be "cutting the line" to get the shot.  Officials say eligible individuals were sharing appointment-registration links to help those deemed currently ineligible by the health department's guidelines in order to get inoculated sooner.  New measures will be attempted to prevent this from continuing.  Officials said at a health department briefing yesterday that other states have dealt with the same problem.

>>New Rhode Island House Speaker Chosen, Senate President Re-Elected

(Providence, RI)  --  The Rhode Island General Assembly went with a new House Speaker and a re-elected Senate President to kick off the 2021 legislative session.  Democrat K. Joseph Shekarchi [[ shuh-CAR-chee ]] will lead the House after a 59-to-9 vote, with four abstentions, for him as Speaker.  Fellow Democrat Dominick Ruggerio [[ roo-JEER-ee-oh ]] will continue to serve as Senate President, a position he has held since 2017.

>>Man Charged With Threatening Woonsocket Mayor; Weapons Found In Home

(Woonsocket, RI)  --  A man is being charged with making threats against Woonsocket Mayor Lisa Baldelli-Hunt.  Authorities say Michael Roy called dispatchers on December 23rd and threatened to go Baldelli-Hunt's house while stating he had loaded weapons.  The Woonsocket Police Department reported it was able to de-escalate the situation, and Roy was reportedly arrested at his home; he said he lived only a block away from the mayor.  Authorities searched the residence and reportedly found several loaded firearms.

>>New St. Joseph Pension Settlement Announced

(Providence, RI)  --  A newly-announced settlement affects the pensions of about three-thousand current and former employees of Our Lady of Fatima and Roger Williams Hospitals.  The St. Joseph Health Services pension plan was left insolvent when contributions ceased after the sale of the hospitals in Providence and North Providence to Prospect Medical Holdings in 2014.  The settlement is for more than thirty-million dollars, most of which is being paid for by Prospect.  Rhode Island Treasurer Seth Magaziner called the agreement, which must still get court approval, positive news for the workers relying on the pension.

>>Report: Texans Closing In On Patriots' Caserio For GM Job

(Houston, TX)  --  The Houston Texans are reportedly closing in on New England Patriots executive Nick Caserio to be their new general manager.  That's according to the NFL Network.  Houston tried to make a move for Caserio a year ago, but New England blocked the attempt.
Jim McCabe/Charles Rahrig/jb         RI) 
Copyright © 2021
TTWN Media Networks Inc. 

01-06-2021 01:11:38

Your Coronavirus Update - Today January 5, 2021

Your Coronavirus Update – Today, Jan. 5, 2021

January 5, 2021/RINewsToday


Photo: Floridians, waiting in line for their vaccine shots. In Florida it is open to all people over 75.




Gov. Raimondo has gone into quarantine again, tests negative, and her Thursday press conference will now be held on Friday.


Mayor Alan Fung tested positive just before attending the inauguration of Mayor-Elect Ken Hopkins – he will go into quarantine – Michael Traficante administered the oath of office to Hopkins.


Rep. Barbara Ann Fenton-Fung will not participate in the swearing in at the RI House of Representatives – though she has had COVID19, because her husband tested positive, she is a direct contact and will stay home.


Medical professionals are considering administering ½ doses of the vaccine to do more vaccinations.


Massachusetts has announced it will move those over 75 to top priority for vaccines. Added to that will be people with 2 or more chronic medical conditions.


Massachusetts is making plans for four mass vaccination sites.


Genesis Church in Woburn MA held 4 Christmas Eve services and now have over 57 positive people with more anticipated


Dr. Jha, tweeted on Sunday afternoon that he has reversed his position opposing using all doses of vaccine now rather than hold ½ of them in storage for the 2nd doses, due to the rapidly spreading virus and the difficulty in vaccination programs. On Monday, he made that in a formal op ed to the Washington Post to delay the 2nd dose and focus on the first for a few weeks.


The RIDOH says, “We will be vaccinating additional communities that have been harder hit by COVID-19…we don’t have those plans finalized yet, but will share all the details when we do,” said Joseph Wendelken, spokesperson.


RI House of Representatives will hold their sessions, for now, at the Veterans Auditorium. The RI Senate will hold their sessions at Sapinsley Hall at RI College. First day is Tues at 2pm for House and 4pm for Senate.


RI Supreme Court Justice Francis X. Flaherty tested positive


Dr. Christian Arbelaez, ER doctor at Lifespan, was first Rhode Islander to receive the 2nd and last vaccine shot this weekend.


A Foster, RI dispatcher has died of COVID19.


Dave Witham, co-owner of Proclamation Ale, died of COVID19, on Christmas Day. Witham partnered with Frog & Toad to produce “Knock it off” beer, promoting safe steps promoted by Governor Raimondo.


Stamford, VT’s select board voted to overturn the Governor’s restrictions on restaurants and certain closures.


College students have been among the most frequently tested in Massachusetts for COVID, but they may be among the last to get vaccinated against the illness.


Festival Ballet’s $100K grant from RI’s Take It Outside campaign for a temporary outdoor performance venue was not realized as COVID19 precautions made it impossible. If you register with your contact info on their site you can view a free Nutcracker Sweets performance on line.


The RIDOH says about the wearing of gloves for giving vaccinations: “Gloves are not a requirement, but it is a best practice.”


New Hampshire officials are currently drafting a vaccine plan for Phase 2 which has a goal of administering 100 shots per hour at each of the 13 fixed sites statewide.


Providence Bruins will play at the New England Sports Center in Marlboro, MA as their season begins – unable to play at the Dunk being used for COVID19 testing.


RIDOH recommends all close contacts of people with COVID-19 get tested on day 5 of quarantine or later. If the result is negative, a close contact can end their quarantine after day 7 but should continue to watch for symptoms for 14 days from exposure. If they choose not to test, close contacts should quarantine for 10 days from exposure and continue to watch for symptoms for 14 days. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, isolate at home, call your healthcare provider, and get a COVID-19 test. Learn more at


A second COVID-19 field hospital will be opening in Massachusetts on Monday. The Lowell General Hospital Alternative Care site, which is located inside the UMass Lowell Recreation Center, will have capacity for up to 80 patients when fully-staffed


112 year old Hazel Plummer became the oldest MA resident to be vaccinated


Retired RI Supreme Court justice Flaherty tests positive for coronavirus


Teachers and parents are opposing mandatory in-person ELL testing of students because it brings students outside of their pods together.


Vaccinations for first responders in Massachusetts will begin on January 11.


RI administration is offering an incentive to retire, available only to those working for the executive branch, with payments as high as $40K.


Not Your Average Joe’s has changed hours in many of their restaurants – in Seekonk they are: |Mon-Thu: 12pm-8pm|Fri-Sat: 12pm-9pm|Sun: 12pm-8pm – and in Warwick they are: Mon: closed-closed|Tue-Thu: 4pm-8pm|Fri-Sat: 12pm-9pm|Sun: 12pm-8pm


Massachusetts outlined plans to begin vaccinating police officers, firefighters and emergency medical crews starting next week. Those plans include allowing some departments to vaccinate their own members, launching approximately 60 vaccination sites across the state and, eventually, creating four mass vaccination sites that may also be used for subsequent groups as the rollout continues.


Massachusetts is moving residents age 75 or older up on the vaccine priority list for distribution.


Wachusett ski resort has created a ski-through snack bar


RI Data – Jan. 4, 2020 (1st in 5 days)


Deaths: 16 yesterday (78 total, 5 days)


Tests – 8,691 – Positives – 633 (4,759/5 days) – Percent positive – 7.3%


Hospitalized – 415 – In ICU – 53 – Ventilated – 40


Deaths in hospital – 5 (yesterday) – New Admissions – 40


New Discharges – 33


Vaccinations – 1st shot: 24,145 – 2 shots: 121





Rep. Gwen Moore (D-Wis.) tested positive for COVID-19 but arrived at the Capitol on Sunday in order to cast her vote for Speaker, and was allowed to do so. There was little social distancing at the event in the House Sunday.


The more contagious COVID-19 variant found in New York


AARP nationally is calling for more focus on seniors and clear direction in the distribution of vaccines.


With 90% of the American population living within 10 miles of a Walmart, the retailer will play an important part in making sure that those who want a vaccine can get one


5,000+ Walmart and Sam’s Club pharmacies prepare for the vaccine


Chicago schools to resume in-person learning next week

France has vaccinated only a few hundred people after the first week and rekindling anger over the government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic. Of their 67 million people, just 516 people were vaccinated in the first six days while Germany’s first-week total surpassed 200,000 and Italy’s was over 100,000. Millions, meanwhile, have been vaccinated in the U.S. and China. The slow vaccine rollout is being blamed on mismanagement and staffing as well as a complex consent policy designed to accommodate broad vaccine skepticism among the French public.


Japan’s prime minister said vaccine approval was being speeded up as the coronavirus spreads in the nation scheduled to hold the already-delayed 2020 Olympics this summer.


Airports are packed with travelers – and a surge is expected in US in 1-2 weeks.


You can still test positive after the first vaccine; it can take weeks for a person’s body to build up its 50% immunity as a 2nd shot is scheduled 3 weeks later. t’s still possible to test positive for the coronavirus even after getting vaccinated, experts said.


Vaccinations are about ½ million a day – goal is to reach 1 million a day.


March Madness 2021 Entire Tourney To Be Played In Indiana … NCAA Confirms


Dr. Fauci said that he is “sure” vaccinations will be mandatory at schools and healthcare facilities.


Scotland will enter a national lockdown from midnight tonight. Legal requirement for everyone in Scotland to stay at home except for essential purposes.


Florida – 1 in 5 residents over 65. Lines go for miles, with most people willing to wait for hours. Websites and phone lines are down for appointment making.


U.K. teachers’ union urges schools to close as country hits COVID-19 daily record


The Baltimore Sun reports there is no clear idea of when central Maryland students might get back to in-person classes. Few in suburban Maryland counties have been back inside a school during the pandemic.


The Canadian government said Wednesday that all airline passengers entering the country must have a negative coronavirus test within three days before they arrive.


Arizona has replaced RI as the hotspot in the US.


1.3million people were screened at airports in the US over the weekend.


Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Sen. McConnell had their homes vandalized because the stimulus bill to pay people $2000 was not passed.


A hospital employee wore an “air-powered” costume on Christmas Day, and within days 44 staffers had tested positive.


60% of Ohio nursing home workers refusing to get vaccinated


Sen. Chafin of Virginia has died of COVID19.


New Orleans Titans switching out players as they and other NFL teams try to get to the playoffs.


In LA, the Army Corps of Engineers are onsite to assist with high flow oxygen delivery systems.


Lebanon will begin a 25-day nationwide lockdown Thursday to battle a surge in coronavirus infections during the holiday season.


One California hospital had 43 medical staff test positive.


California has identified 2 cases of new COVID19 variants


Colorado has identified 2 cases of new COVID19 variants – in Big Bear ski resort – exposure to Europe travelers


SNAP is expected to see a 15% increase in benefit amounts.


In France, an alleged organizer of an illegal New Year’s Eve rave that at least 2,500 people attended for more than a day was charged with endangering lives amid a coronavirus curfew and other restrictions.


Vatican City plans swift COVID-19 vaccination drive for residents


Dr. Drew is recovering at home after having coronavirus


Larry King is hospitalized with coronavirus at 96 years old. After over a week in ICU, he is now out and not intubated and said to be recovering.


AstraZeneca expects to supply two million doses of COVID-19 vaccine every week in UK 


UK reactivating field hospitals


US team is saying that there is more evidence that the virus came from a Wuhan Lab, and not a Chinese market.


Mount Sinai Health System became one of the first providers in the nation to open a COVID-19 recovery clinic, offering care for so-called long-haulers.


Germany will extend their lockdown past Jan 10th.


India approves 2 coronavirus vaccines.


Gov. Sununu in New Hampshire had to have armed demonstrators arrested from his backyard – they were demonstrating his order of mask-wearing


Actor Morgan Freeman tweeted that his mother was in an ambulance outside of an LA hospital – on hour 3 waiting for the facility to have capacity to allow her in; other tweets are saying ambulances are operating like mini-ERs, circling or parked outside of hospitals for up to 7 hours.

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Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: The Providence Bruins will be playing in Massachusetts this season.  One of the individuals charged in connection to an incident involving a group of ATV and dirt bike riders in Cranston on New Year's Day made a court appearance on Monday.  Governor Raimondo is again quarantining.

>>Providence Bruins To Play Season In Massachusetts

(Providence, RI)  --  There will be no professional hockey played in Rhode Island this season.  The Providence Bruins have announced they will play their 2020-2021 American Hockey League schedule at the New England Sports Center in Marlborough, Massachusetts.  P-Bruins owner H. Larue Renfroe is also the owner of the NESC.  The team says it cannot play at the Dunkin' Donuts Center in Providence because of its use by the state of Rhode Island for various COVID-19-related initiatives.

>>Individual Charged In Connection To Cranston Incident Makes Court Appearance

(Cranston, RI)  --  The trio charged in connection to an incident involving police officers and several ATV and dirt bike riders in Cranston is out on bail.  One of the suspects, Kemoni Mitchell of Providence, appeared in court on Monday.  Mitchell is accused of providing a ride on an ATV for another man, Eduardo Rivera of Warwick, who fled the scene after allegedly running over the legs of a police officer on Atwood Avenue on New Year's Day.  The alleged assault happened after a woman who reportedly laid down her motorcycle blocking traffic, Shyanne Boisvert of North Providence, was being arrested.  Members of the bike community said the incident originally was sparked by an SUV running over another dirt bike in the pack.  Rivera and Boisvert have upcoming court appearances scheduled.

>>Judge Tosses Providence Murder Conviction

(Providence, RI)  --  A judge has thrown out a conviction for a 2015 murder case in Providence.  Miguel Tebalan Rivera received a sixty-year sentence for the stabbing of Julio Francisco Perez.  The Providence Journal reports a state Superior Court judge last week found that Rivera's attorney violated his rights by discouraging him from testifying during his trial.  Although he didn't take the stand, he said at sentencing that the stabbing was self-defense.  The judge also said that police improperly interviewed Rivera after he asked for a lawyer.

>>Governor Raimondo Again Quarantines

(Providence, RI)  --  Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo is once-again in coronavirus-related quarantine.  A spokesperson says Raimondo was informed she had a close contact last week who tested positive.  Raimondo herself has tested negative for the virus.  The governor's COVID press briefing this week has been moved from Thursday to Friday.

>>Allan Fung Now COVID-Positive

(Cranston, RI)  --  Now-former Cranston Mayor Allan Fung is positive for COVID-19.  Fung says he took a precautionary test before Monday night's swearing-in ceremony for his successor.  He says he is asymptomatic.

>>Concerns About Virtual Learners Taking In-Person Test In Providence

(Providence, RI)  --  Some Providence School District teachers are concerned about COVID risk this week due to required in-person testing that's being taken.  The district's English language learners who have been enrolled in a virtual learning academy are coming in to take the federally-mandated ACCESS test, which measures proficiency in the English language.  The concern is that the students are coming in right after the holiday break.  But the Providence district says doing this now allows the virtual learning academy students to take the tests in empty buildings, as traditional in-person learning has not yet resumed.

>>Barrington Car Tax Bills Going Out

(Barrington, RI)  -- reports Barrington town officials are in the process of sending car tax bills out.  The town held off on sending out the bills for the first six months of the fiscal year because the state's budget was delayed.  Residents will still receive all four quarterly bills.

Jim McCabe/djc           RI) MA)
Copyright © 2021
TTWN Media Networks Inc. 

01-05-2021 01:11:48

Business Monday: Digital marketing tune-up for 2021


Business Monday: Digital marketing tune-ups for 2021

January 4, 2021/RINewsToday

Monday has always been our day for business stories. Recently, Taylor J. Cacciola, Co-founder at Namra Consulting Group LLC contacted us with an offer to provide us with easy content for the average small business to get started – and dig deeper – into social media working for them.

As we begin to think about life after COVID-19, it’s time to spruce up in 2021. Here are four ways to address FACEBOOK for your business.

You DO have a Facebook page, right? If not, let us know and we can help you with some basic how-tos.


Video #1 –
How-To: Invite All Facebook Friends To Like Facebook Business Page

Video #2-
How-To: Ban Someone from your Facebook Business Page

Video #3 –
How-To: Making a Marketing Strategy For Your Business Page

Video #4 –
Digital Marketing Q&A’s – Where Should I Be Posting? You Might Not Even Know This Platform Exists

Thank you to…

Taylor J. Cacciola

Co-founder at Namra Consulting Group LLC

C: 401.255.2220 – E:


Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: Three people are facing charges in connection to a reported police officer assault incident in Cranston.  The administration of the second shot that's part of the COVID-19 vaccine has begun.  The New England Patriots' 2020 season is over.

[[ watch dating ]]

>>Winter Weather Advisory For Part Of RI

(Undated)  --  The National Weather Service has included northwest Providence County in a Winter Weather Advisory lasting until 7:00 this morning.  Forecasters are calling for mixed precipitation with possible snow totals of two to three inches and up to a light glaze of ice.  The advisory also covers northern Connecticut and western-to-northeastern Massachusetts.

>>Charges Filed In Connection To Alleged Police Officer Assault Incident

(Cranston, RI)  --  A police officer has been released from Rhode Island Hospital after an assault incident reported in Cranston Friday night.  The officer's attention had been drawn by a large group of dirt bike and ATV drivers who were allegedly driving recklessly on Atwood Avenue.  Eduardo Rivera of Warwick is accused of running over the legs of the policeman as he was arresting a motorcycle rider that was blocking traffic, Shyanne Boisvert of North Providence, according to Cranston Police Chief Michael Winquist.  After the incident, police chased Rivera to Johnston; his ATV reportedly collided with a police cruiser on Route 14.  Winquist says Rivera then got onto another ATV ridden by Kemoni Mitchell of Providence, the two made it to Union Avenue in Providence, struck a car, and were captured by police.

>>Second COVID Shot Administered In Ocean State For First Time

(Providence, RI)  --  More COVID-19 vaccine history is made in Rhode Island.  Lifespan emergency physician Dr. Christian Arbelaez [[ ARE-buh-lez ]], who received the first-ever COVID-19 shot in the state, is also the first one to get the secondary shot that is part of the vaccine.  A number of other Lifespan workers also got the second shot this weekend.

>>Foster Police Department Reports Dispatcher Death After COVID Battle

(Foster, RI)  --  A sad coronavirus update from the town of Foster.  The police department there says dispatcher Patrick Dragon died after a battle with the disease caused by the virus.  Dragon was a retired Connecticut State Police trooper and a former deputy fire chief in the Connecticut town of Brooklyn.

>>Fatal Jeep Rollover On Trail In Northwest RI

(Burrillville, RI)  --  One person is dead after a Jeep accident in Burrillville.  Authorities say Anthony Pollini of Rockland, Massachusetts rolled over on an off-road trail overnight Sunday.  Pollini's passenger reportedly suffered serious injuries and was pronounced dead at UMass Medical Center in Worcester.  This happened near the Munyon Trail in the state-owned George Washington Management Area.  The crash is under investigation.

>>Patriots Win Final Game Of Season Over NY Jets

(Foxboro, MA)  --  The New England Patriots won their final game of the season on Sunday over the New York Jets.  The score from Gillette Stadium, which didn't host any fans this season, was 28-to-14, giving the Pats a final record of 7-and-9.  New England finished below 500 and will not be in the playoffs, both rarities in the era of head coach Bill Belichick.  First-year Patriots quarterback Cam Newton threw for three touchdowns and caught one in yesterday's win.  Belichick refuted a report from ESPN after the game that the team was moving on from Newton as QB.

Jim McCabe/djc          RI) MA) CT)
Copyright © 2021
TTWN Media Networks Inc. 

01-04-2021 01:12:31


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