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1540 WADK.com Updates Archives for 2021-08

Gov. McKee signs legislation to support Rhode Island Seniors

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Governor McKee signs legislation to support Rhode Island Seniors

August 31, 2021/RINewsToday


Governor Dan McKee, joined by Senator Cynthia A. Coyne, and Representatives Joseph J. Solomon and Jason Knight today ceremonially signed into law two pieces of legislation to support Rhode Island’s aging population.


The first piece of legislation (2021-S 0264A2021-H 5642A) requires financial institutions to report suspected financial exploitation of seniors to the Office of Healthy Aging.


“I am proud to serve Rhode Island’s aging community in any way possible,” said Governor McKee. “Ensuring that our most dear neighbors are not taken advantage of financially is a no-brainer and I thank the bill sponsors and advocates who make Rhode Island better for everyone, including folks like my mom, every day. I’d also like to commend my colleagues in the House and Senate for developing such an innovative volunteer program; congratulations!”


“Financial exploitation is a serious and growing problem for the elderly,” said Sen. Coyne (D-Dist. 32, Barrington, Bristol, East Providence). “Many elderly people rely on caregivers to handle their financial matters, and unfortunately, some people abuse that trust. Banks, credit card companies and other financial institutions can be very helpful in preventing that abuse, because they are often able to identify suspicious activity in accounts. We should make sure we are taking full advantage of their tools, and making them our partner in protecting senior citizens from this type of abuse.”


“Abuse and exploitation of the elderly is a growing concern and one of the most egregious crimes committed in this state,” said Rep. Solomon (D-Dist. 22, Warwick). “A recent study estimates that one in five older Americans are victims of financial exploitation, losing $3 billion annually. As our population ages, crimes of this nature will become more prevalent, and we need to do everything we can to protect our older citizens.”


The second piece of legislation (2021-S 01032021-H 6238) authorizes cities and towns to establish programs to offer tax credits to property owners age 60 or older in exchange for volunteer hours, allowing seniors to earn up to $1,500 off their property taxes.


“Many older property owners, particularly retirees, struggle under the burden of their property taxes. Allowing them to reduce their tax liability by volunteering for their city or town lets them use some of resources they have — time and skills — to lighten the load,” said Sen. Coyne. “This is an idea that would benefit seniors and municipalities alike. Seniors are very dependable volunteers who have a lifetime of skills and experience to offer. In these days of tight municipal budgets, it could bring in some very valuable volunteers for cash-strapped towns.”


“Besides the obvious financial benefits for both seniors and the towns, this is an idea that can also strengthen our communities, creating new opportunities for town residents to meet and interact with their neighbors, and helping older residents maintain connections and form new ones in their neighborhood,” said Rep. Knight (D-Dist. 67, Barrington, Warren).


“This is good legislation that not only protects our senior population against exploitation but also enables our seniors, many of whom are on a fixed income, to give back to the community and benefiting from some tax savings,” East Providence Mayor Bob DaSilva said.


Details of the bill show that the specific activities are up to each individual city and town but could be approximately 125 hours of “service”.


The bill signing took place at the East Providence Senior Center.

CVS survey shows confidence up to flu shots, with 71% planning to get one

CVS survey shows confidence up in flu shots, with over 71% planning to get one

August 31, 2021/RINewsToday


Nearly three quarters of Americans say they plan to get a flu shot this year, with 45 percent planning on getting their vaccine at a retail pharmacy


CVS Health is reminding Americans that as the country continues to deal with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic it is more important than ever to stay current with vaccinations and other routine health care needs. By getting a flu shot this fall and taking other proactive measures to improve general health and immunity, individuals and families can protect themselves against seasonal flu and help safeguard the overall health of the community.


According to a survey commissioned by CVS Health and conducted among a general population of U.S. consumers, consumers’ intention to get vaccinated against seasonal flu increased five percentage points from June 2020 to June 2021, with 71 percent of those surveyed saying they definitely or likely will get a flu shot this season. In addition, 45 percent of consumers surveyed said they planned to get a flu shot at a retail pharmacy, the most preferred destination cited, followed by a doctor’s office (27%).


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that individuals make plans to get vaccinated early in the fall, before flu season begins, and ideally no later than the end of October.


“CVS Health has administered approximately 30 million COVID-19 vaccinations to date, in addition to more than 20 million flu and other vaccinations over the past twelve months,” said Neela Montgomery, Executive Vice President, CVS Health and President, CVS Pharmacy. “We have built a simple vaccination experience where customers appreciate the convenience and safety.”


Flu shots are now available at all CVS Pharmacy and MinuteClinic locations across the country. Both CVS Pharmacy and MinuteClinic, the retail health clinic of CVS Health inside select CVS Pharmacy and Target stores, offer convenient options for people of all ages to get their flu shot, seven days a week with expanded evening and weekend hours.


“Getting your flu shot is a great way to be proactive about your health and the health of your community,” said Angela Patterson, DNP, FNP-BC, NEA-BC, FAANP, Chief Nurse Practitioner Officer, MinuteClinic and Vice President, CVS Health. “It’s an easy way to protect yourself and those around you who may be more vulnerable to serious complications from the flu, such as infants and young children, older adults, and people with certain chronic health conditions.”


Patients can quickly and easily make vaccination appointments at CVS Pharmacy by visiting CVS.com, through the CVS app, or by texting FLU to 287898. Patients may also schedule an immunization appointment with a MinuteClinic provider at MinuteClinic.com. In addition, walk-in appointments are welcome at both CVS Pharmacy and MinuteClinic throughout flu season.


Businesses, senior living facilities, schools, municipalities, and other groups may also schedule an on-site flu vaccination clinic staffed by qualified CVS Pharmacy vaccinators to help make vaccines convenient and accessible to employees, staff, residents, and students. On-site flu vaccine clinics are available in all states, Washington D.C., and Puerto Rico. For more information or to schedule a vaccination clinic please visit https://www.cvs.com/immunizations/flu/clinics


For a limited time while supplies last in participating states, customers will receive a $5 off $20 shopping pass with any vaccine visit at CVS Pharmacy or MinuteClinic, valid through 12/31.2 Patients who receive a flu shot at CVS Pharmacy or MinuteClinic locations inside select Target stores will receive a $5 off $20 Target coupon from September through the end of the year.


Editor’s Note: CVS adds that “the CDC has confirmed that patients can get any of the currently authorized COVID-19 vaccines at the same time as the flu vaccine”. Medical experts have also said that shots can be given in either – or the same – arm, if people will be getting a COVID and a flu shot at the same time. Some people who get a mildly sore arm may want to get both shots in one arm.


Video and photo assets from MinuteClinic and CVS Pharmacy are available in the CVS Health Media Gallery.


About CVS Health


CVS Health is the leading health solutions company, delivering care in ways no one else can. We reach more people and improve the health of communities across America through our local presence, digital channels and our nearly 300,000 dedicated colleagues – including more than 40,000 physicians, pharmacists, nurses, and nurse practitioners. Wherever and whenever people need us, we help them with their health – whether that’s managing chronic diseases, staying compliant with their medications, or accessing affordable health and wellness services in the most convenient ways. We help people navigate the health care system – and their personal health care – by improving access, lowering costs and being a trusted partner for every meaningful moment of health. And we do it all with heart, each and every day. 


Photo: CVS

Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: Forecasters say parts of Southern New England could face flooding from the remnants of Hurricane Ida.  The chief of staff for Rhode Island Governor Dan McKee has resigned.  The Ocean State reported five new COVID deaths this past weekend.

[[ watch for updates ]]

>>Flash Flood Watch For Ida Remnants

(Undated)  --  The National Weather Service is including Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts in a Flash Flood Watch from Wednesday afternoon through Thursday afternoon.  The weather service says remnants of Hurricane Ida will possibly bring heavy rain and flooding to Southern New England.  Ida made landfall in Louisiana on Sunday as a Category 4 hurricane.

>>Governor's Chief Of Staff Resigns Over Cumberland Development Controversy

(Providence, RI)  --  Rhode Island Governor Dan McKee's chief of staff Anthony Silva has resigned.  Silva is facing an investigation from the RI Attorney General's Office into whether he exerted improper political influence to develop a family-owned parcel in Cumberland which was mostly covered by wetlands.  The state Department of Environmental Management issued a permit for the project despite opposition from the town.  The proposal has since been withdrawn.  McKee called Silva's situation a distraction from the critical work his administration has moving forward.

>>Group Protests Vaccine Mandates

(Providence, RI)  --  A group protested vaccination mandates at the Rhode Island State House on Monday afternoon.  The Providence Journal reports capitol and state police manned the entrance to the building and protesters did not get inside.  The newspaper reported the protest appeared to be aimed at Governor Dan McKee's order that all Rhode Island healthcare workers must get the COVID-19 shot.

>>Rescheduled Licensing Board Hearing For Prov Lounge Where Shooting Happened

(Providence, RI)  --  A hearing scheduled by the Providence Board of Licenses concerning the future of a club where a fatal shooting took place over the weekend has been rescheduled.  WPRI-TV reports the hearing for the Revel Lounge on O'Connell Street was initially set for Monday, but it will now take place on Wednesday.  Investigating police say 24-year-old Daniel Zairis was shot while leaving the lounge overnight Saturday.

>>Coronavirus Death Toll In Rhode Island: 2,769

(Providence, RI)  --  Rhode Island reported five new coronavirus deaths over the weekend. The pandemic death toll in the Ocean State increased to two-thousand-769.  Rhode Island reported seven-hundred-57 new virus cases over the weekend to increase the pandemic total to 162-thousand-325.

>>RI Gas Prices Virtually Unchanged In August

(Undated)  --  Gas prices are staying a few cents above three dollars per gallon in Rhode Island.  GasBuddy reports the current average is three dollars and six cents.  One month ago, the price was three-oh-four.  There is concern that prices could go up because of Hurricane Ida's impact on the U.S. Gulf Coast.

>>Castle Hill Light Gets New Paint Job

(Newport, RI)  --  Newport's iconic Castle Hill Lighthouse has gotten a makeover.  The Newport Daily News reports the Castle Hill Inn reached an agreement earlier this year to maintain the lighthouse which is owned by the United States Coast Guard.  A fresh coat of white paint was applied to cover visible streaks of rust.  Castle Hill is a popular backdrop for wedding photos.  The inn's facilities director said the paint job was completed in time for this year's wedding season.

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

08-31-2021 01:14:16

Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: Two men were shot and killed in Providence this weekend.  Former governor Gina Raimondo visits Rhode Island to promote President Biden's jobs plan.  The New England Patriots have wrapped up their preseason.

>>Two Deadly Shootings This Weekend In Providence

(Providence, RI)  --  There were two fatal shootings in Providence this weekend.  Both happened overnight Saturday.  Police say a 25-year-old man was killed at the Revel Lounge on the Lower South Side.  The club has been shut down by the city with a licensing board hearing scheduled for Monday.  A 23-year-old man was reportedly shot and killed at a Cumberland Farms store on Branch Avenue.  Authorities do not believe the shootings are related.  They are both being investigated as homicides, the 17th and 18th of the year in the capital city.

>>Gina Raimondo Visits Rhode Island To Promote Biden Jobs Plan

(Pawtucket, RI)  --  U.S. Commerce Secretary and former Rhode Island governor Gina Raimondo visited the Ocean State on Friday.  Raimondo was at the Boys and Girls Club in Pawtucket with members of RI's congressional delegation to promote President Biden's "Build Back Better" jobs plan.  The Republican National Committee released a statement that was critical of Raimondo's visit, accusing the Biden administration of attempting to shift the focus away from the crisis in Afghanistan.  Raimondo expressed her condolences to the U.S. military members who died in last week's attack in Kabul and told reporters, "we will continue to work as hard as we can to meet the mission and continue the evacuations."

>>Patriots Beat Giants In Final Preseason Game

(East Rutherford, NJ)  --  The New England Patriots are finishing the 2021 NFL preseason with a perfect record after a 22-to-20 win over the New York Giants on the road Sunday evening.  The Pats went 3-and-0.  The league shortened the preseason by one game and increased the number of regular season games from 16 to 17 this year.  Cam Newton only saw limited action last night, which is leading pundits to predict him as the Week 1 starter.  Mac Jones notched his first and only passing touchdown of the preseason versus the Giants, going 10 for 14 and picking up 156 yards.  The Patriots open the regular season at home versus the Miami Dolphins on Sunday, September 12th at 4:25 p.m.

>>Tree Damage Cleanup In State Park Continuing

(Charlestown, RI)  --  The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management says extensive storm damage is keeping Burlingame State Campground in Charlestown closed until at least Tuesday.  The DEM says about one-hundred-fifty trees came down during Tropical Storm Henri.  The state agency's acting director says crews are checking all campsite areas for dangerous hanging limbs and leaning trees.

>>Blue Cross Blue Shield Mandating Employee COVID Vaccinations

(Providence, RI)  --  Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island is mandating the COVID-19 vaccine for its employees.  A deadline to submit proof of vaccination is set for November 1st.  Blue Cross Blue Shield RI employs about 750 people.  The mandate includes those are working remotely.

>>Hasbro Children's Hospital Offering COVID Antibody Treatment

(Providence, RI)  --  Hasbro Children's Hospital is now offering monoclonal antibody treatment to fight COVID-19.  The FDA recently approved the use of the treatment for children twelve and older.  Hasbro is providing the infusion to outpatients only.  Director of pediatric infectious diseases Dr. Michael Koster says kids are eligible if they themselves have gotten COVID or if their parents have.

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

08-30-2021 00:33:02

20+ Medical Organizations strongly urge pregnant women to be vaccinated


20+ medical organizations strongly urge pregnant women to be vaccinated against COVID-19

August 27, 2021/RINewsToday


Photo: Mother & Child, Gustave Klimt


The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) had issued a new statement strongly recommending that all eligible persons, especially those who are pregnant or lactating, receive full COVID-19 vaccination as soon as possible. It also dispels rumors that vaccination has shown any adverse effects on fertility.


Going further, the premier professional membership organization for obstetrician–gynecologists also joined with over 20 other organizations concerned with pregnant women and healthcare for an even stronger recommendation, recognizing that as many as 3 out of 4 pregnant women are unvaccinated at this time.


Recently countries have prioritized reaching pregnant women with vaccines, with Japan’s Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology in the news after several pregnant women and babies have died from COVID who were unvaccinated.


Statement of Strong Medical Consensus for Vaccination of Pregnant Individuals Against COVID-19



The following is a joint statement among these organizations:


The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

The American Academy of Family Physicians

American Academy of PAs

American Academy of Pediatrics

American Association of Nurse Practitioners

American College of Nurse-Midwives

American College of Osteopathic Obstetricians & Gynecologists

American College of Physicians

American Pharmacists Association

Association of Immunization Managers

Association of State and Territorial Health Officials

Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses

Infectious Diseases Society of America

Infectious Diseases Society for Obstetrics and Gynecology

National Association of Chain Drug Stores

National Association of County & City Health Officials

National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health

National Foundation for Infectious Diseases

National Hispanic Medical Association

North American Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology

Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine

Society of OB/GYN Hospitalists

Vaccinate Your Family


“As the leading organizations representing experts in maternal care and public health professionals that advocate and educate about vaccination, we strongly urge all pregnant individuals—along with recently pregnant, planning to become pregnant, lactating and other eligible individuals—to be vaccinated against COVID-19.


“Pregnant individuals are at increased risk of severe COVID-19 infection, including death. With cases rising as a result of the Delta variant, the best way for pregnant individuals to protect themselves against the potential harm from COVID-19 infection is to be vaccinated.


“Maternal care experts want the best outcomes for their patients, and that means both a healthy parent and a healthy baby. Data from tens of thousands of reporting individuals have shown that the COVID-19 vaccine is both safe and effective when administered during pregnancy. The same data have been equally reassuring when it comes to infants born to vaccinated individuals. Moreover, COVID-19 vaccines have no impact on fertility.


“Pregnant individuals and those planning to become pregnant should feel confident in choosing vaccination to protect themselves, their infants, their families, and their communities.”



ACOG Statement on Medical Misinformation


The following is a statement from J. Martin Tucker, MD, President of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), about the U.S. Surgeon General’s Advisory on Building a Healthy Information Environment:


“ACOG is grateful to Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, MD, MBA, for his timely report on the threat of health misinformation and its outsized, harmful impact during the COVID-19 pandemic.


“Throughout the pandemic, misinformation has proliferated when it comes to COVID-19 and women’s health, especially specific to the COVID-19 vaccines. ACOG, its partners, and its members have worked hard to rebut dangerous myths—such as the lie that the COVID-19 vaccines cause infertility or the conspiracy that the COVID-19 vaccines can shed to unvaccinated people, impacting their reproductive health. This misinformation has compromised our patients’ health by discouraging many of them from receiving the life-saving vaccines. Misinformation may have also exacerbated the health inequities we have seen during the pandemic, particularly in communities of color. And with nearly all recent deaths from COVID-19 occurring among unvaccinated people, this health misinformation has cost lives.


“ACOG is especially aware of the dangers of health misinformation because the field of obstetrics and gynecology has long been the subject of mistruths and myths. These have led to underutilization of proven routine immunizations or other needed health interventions during pregnancy. They also have led to confusion about how contraceptives work—and how they prevent, rather than end, pregnancies. Further, misinformation about the provision of medical care has led our members and their patients to be targeted with threats of violence.


“We join the call for additional research to more comprehensively understand the real-life impact of health misinformation on our patients, and we will continue to do our part by communicating evidence-based, patient-centered information with the public and partnering with other organizations who share in that commitment. Discourse and shared decision-making are at the heart of clinical practice, and it is essential that those conversations be informed by reliable scientific information and transparent dialogue—not by dishonest interference.” 




Women who have hesitancy about the vaccine and concern for their personal medical condition, underlying condition or concerns should always contact their physician and OB/GYN in making a decision about vaccination.


The RI Department of Health has this information for Rhode Islanders concerned with pregnancy, lactation, and COVID19:


For people who are pregnant: 


Pregnant people are more likely to get severely ill with COVID-19 compared to non-pregnant people. Pregnant people with COVID-19 might be at increased risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes, such as preterm birth, compared with pregnant women without COVID-19. 


CDC recommends that pregnant people receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine during pregnancy can protect against severe COVID-19.  


Pregnant people should consider their risk of exposure to COVID-19, the risks of severe disease, the known benefits of vaccination, and the limited but growing evidence on the safety of COVID-19 vaccines during pregnancy.


A conversation with a healthcare provider may help them decide when to be vaccinated. 


CDC and FDA have safety monitoring systems in place to gather information about vaccination during pregnancy and will closely monitor that information.


Most of the pregnancies in these systems are ongoing, so we don’t yet have information on the outcomes of these pregnancies. We need to continue to follow pregnancies long-term to understand effects on pregnancy and infants. 

Read the CDC’s new report in the New England Journal of Medicine: Preliminary Findings of mRNA COVID-19 Vaccine Safety in Pregnant Persons


For more information, see CDC’s page on COVID-19 vaccination considerations for people who are pregnant.


For people who are breastfeeding:  


Clinical trials for the COVID-19 vaccines currently authorized for use under an Emergency Use Authorization in the United States did not include people who are breastfeeding. Because the vaccines have not been studied on lactating people, there are no data available on: 


  • The safety of COVID-19 vaccines in lactating people 
  • The effects of vaccination on the breastfed infant 
  • The effects on milk production or excretion 


The COVID-19 vaccines authorized now are non-replicating vaccines, meaning they are able to create an immune response but do not reproduce inside host cells. Because non-replicating vaccines pose no risk for lactating people or their infants, COVID-19 vaccines are also thought to not be a risk to the breastfeeding infant. Therefore, lactating people may choose to be vaccinated.


Rhode Island News Today

Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: Rhode Island Congressman Jim Langevin [[ LAN-jiv-in ]] is among those reacting to the news of American deaths from a bombing in Afghanistan.  Illegal ATVs and dirt bikes are being seized in Providence.  The Patriots play their final preseason game this weekend.

>>RI Congressman Reacts To Bombing In Afghanistan

(Undated)  --  Rhode Island Congressman Jim Langevin [[ LAN-jiv-in ]] said Thursday night he is devastated to hear about the dozen American service members who were killed in suicide bombings in Afghanistan.  Langevin says he is praying for the families of the victims and for the brave men and women who are still on the ground in Kabul.  Langevin, who earlier this month called the military withdrawal from Afghanistan a "disaster", said last night it is more important than ever that the U.S. finishes its mission and gets the remaining Americans and Afghan partners out of the country safely.

>>Providence Seizing Dirt Bikes, ATVs

(Providence, RI)  --  Providence is cracking down on off-road vehicles illegally ridden in city streets.  Police Chief Hugh Clements tells the Providence Business News about thirty ATVs and dirt bikes have been seized in the last two weeks as part of a confiscation policy that has been on the books since 2017.  The Providence City Council held an emergency meeting earlier this month to discuss the problem after a woman was dragged out of a car and beaten by a group of riders.  Clements says police are conducting sting operations and targeting riding "hot spots".

>>McKee Chief Of Staff Resigns From Part-Time Cumberland Job

(Cumberland, RI)  --  Rhode Island Governor Dan McKee's chief of staff who is under investigation is resigning from a part-time job.  Anthony Silva has informed the mayor of Cumberland about his decision to step down as deputy director of emergency management.  McKee has asked the state attorney general to look into whether Silva tried to unfairly influence development of a family-owned parcel in Cumberland which was opposed by the town because the property was on wetlands.  According to a report from The Providence Journal, Silva was appointed to the emergency management position in 2007 after he had retired as Cumberland police chief and while McKee was the town's mayor.

>>No Conscientious Mask Objections In Glocester Schools

(Glocester, RI)  --  Parents who send their kids to schools in Glocester are not being given the option to file "conscientious objections" to mask-wearing after all.  Officials are reversing course after the Glocester School Committee voted in favor of the allowance earlier this week.  The school district now plans to follow the state's mask-wearing mandate.

>>State Lifts Shellfishing Ban In Westerly

(Westerly, RI)  --  Winnapaug Pond in Westerly is being re-opened for shellfishing activity.  The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management lifted the closure on Thursday.  It went into effect earlier this week because of intense rainfall from Tropical Storm Henri.

>>Patriots Final Preseason Game Sunday 

(East Rutherford, NJ)  --  The New England Patriots are gearing up for their final preseason game this weekend.  The Pats are at the New York Giants on Sunday with a 6 p.m. kickoff.  Patriots coach Bill Belichick did not name a starting quarterback for the team's regular season opener when asked the question on Thursday.  2021 first-round pick Mac Jones had the spotlight this week in training camp, which New England ran jointly with the Giants.  Incumbent starter Cam Newton returned to practice on Thursday after missing time because of a misunderstanding about NFL coronavirus-testing rules.

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

08-27-2021 01:31:14

RI Veterans: Did you know?

RI Veterans: Did you know? 26 August 21 – John A. Cianci

August 26, 2021/John Cianci


by John A. Cianci,


Department Veterans Service Officer, Italian American War Veterans (ITAM)


Email: itamri4vets@gmail.com or phone (401)677-9VET


New VA Rules to Benefit Desert Shield/Storm and Other Veterans for Respiratory Conditions 


Did you know the VA just passed a new rule for veterans who have respiratory issues after returning from overseas deployments?


Did you know the new rules applied could result in thousands of dollars of retroactive benefits and a service-connected disability for your entire life?




Desert Shield/Storm veterans are familiar with the words denied and not service connected. 


Many of my brothers and sisters who gallantly served during Operation Desert Shield/Storm over 31 years ago became sick after returning from Operation Desert Shield/Storm. 


For years, to include me, we sought assistance from the VA and our government, to explain many of the ailments we were encountering. In the beginning, the VA told us it was “all in our head”. VA doctors often chastised those Veterans seeking a medical explanation for the unexplained illnesses we were facing.


With the new VA ruling, the veteran has the opportunity to reopen his/her claim which would link his/her respiratory issues to their service.


Now, 31 years later, on August 5, 2021, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) amended its adjudication regulations to establish presumptive service connection for three chronic respiratory health conditions, i.e., asthma, rhinitis, and sinusitis, to include rhinosinusitis, in association with presumed exposures to fine, particulate matter. 


Three new respiratory conditions are now considered presumptive by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).  Starting August 2, 2021, veterans diagnosed with chronic asthma, rhinitis, and sinusitis within 10 years of a qualifying period of service in Southwest Asia and certain other areas will have their disability claims processed on a presumptive basis.


Layman’s terms, if you are a Desert Shield/Storm veteran who has any respiratory issues file a VA disability claim. To support the claim, you should have a medical diagnosis of respiratory illness. Linking it to your service with medical documentation within 10 years after returning should be sufficient evidence for the VA to award you a service-connected disability.


What are the current VA disability rates?


As of December 1st, 2020, the VA disability rate benefit amounts are as follows:


0 percent disability rating: $0.00 per month


10 percent disability rating: $144.14 per month


20 percent disability rating: $284.93 per month


30 percent disability rating: $441.35 per month


40 percent disability rating: $635.77 per month


50 percent disability rating: $905.04 per month


60 percent disability rating: $1,146.39 per month


70 percent disability rating: $1,444.71 per month


80 percent disability rating: $1,679.35 per month


90 percent disability rating: $1,887.18 per month


100 percent disability rating: $3,146.42 per month


Adding Dependents for Additional Compensation


If you have a combined disability rating of 30 percent rating or higher, you may be eligible for additional monthly compensation for qualifying dependents, including:


Children under 18 years old


Children ages 18-23 years old and still in school




Dependent parents


VETTIP: Even a 0% rating matters. One, you become entitled to a VA identification card. Two, any medical services for the illness are 100% covered by the VA. For example, many veterans get 0 % disability rating for hearing loss. However, the veteran is entitled to FREE hearing aids and batteries his entire life from the VA.


Many of the veterans before Gulf War veterans conclude its easier for the VA to deny, a word intertwined with not service connected. Many senior veterans, like Vietnam veterans exposed to agent orange, often rattle off the words “deny until we die”. From my own experience, DON’T GIVE UP if denied. Veterans must educate themselves on the VA disability process and spend the time reading the denial.


These presumptions for respiratory not only apply to Desert Shield/Storm Veterans, but they would also apply to veterans with a qualifying period of service, i.e., who served on active military, naval, or air service in the Southwest Asia theater of operations during the Persian Gulf War (hereafter Gulf War), as well as in Afghanistan, Syria, Djibouti, or Uzbekistan, on or after September 19, 2001, during the Gulf War. 


This amendment is necessary to provide expeditious health care, services, and benefits to Gulf War Veterans who were potentially exposed to fine, particulate matter associated with deployment to Southwest Asia theater of operations, as well as Afghanistan, Syria, Djibouti, and Uzbekistan. 


The intended effect of this amendment is to address the needs and concerns of Gulf War Veterans and service members who have served and continue to serve in these locations as military operations in the Southwest Asia theater of operations have been ongoing from August 1990 until the present time. Neither Congress nor the President has established an end date for the Gulf War. 


Therefore, to provide immediate health care, services, and benefits to current and future Gulf War Veterans who may be affected by particulate matter due to their military service, VA intends to provide presumptive service connection for the chronic disabilities of asthma, rhinitis, and sinusitis, to include rhinosinusitis, as well as a presumption of exposure to fine, particulate matter. This will ease the evidentiary burden of Gulf War Veterans who file claims with VA for these three conditions, which are among the most commonly claimed respiratory conditions.


The VA considers a Gulf War Veteran for purposes of VA Disability benefits if you’re a  veteran of the Southwest Asia theater of military operations, not including Afghanistan, may obtain benefits for certain undiagnosed illnesses, certain diagnosable chronic disability patterns, and certain presumptive diseases. This includes veterans who served Operation Iraqi Freedom  (2003-2010) and Operation New Dawn (2010-2011) in the following locations: Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, the neutral zone between Iraq and Saudi Arabia, Bahrain,Qatar, the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.), Oman, Gulf of Aden, Gulf of Oman, Waters of the Persian Gulf, the Arabian Sea, and the Red Sea and the airspace above these locations.


In conclusion, the VA disability process is complicated. However, a veteran can be successful by understanding the process. However, I strongly encourage contacting a Veteran Service Officer (hereafter, VSO) who is trained and knowledgeable in the process. Veteran organizations provide FREE assistance to all veterans and their families in filing VA claims. The State of Rhode Island has some of the BEST VSOs working for the DAV, VFW, Italian American War Veterans of the United States who provide FREE assistance. 


Questions & Answers


How do I file my claim?


You can file your disability compensation claim online – https://www.va.gov/disability/file-disability-claim-form-21-526ez/start


By mail


File your claim by mail using an Application for Disability Compensation and Related Compensation Benefits (VA Form 21-526EZ).

Download VA Form 21-526EZ (PDF)


Print the form, fill it out, and send it to this address:


Department of Veterans Affairs
Claims Intake Center
PO Box 4444
Janesville, WI 53547-4444


In person


Bring your application to a VA regional office near you.:

Providence Regional Office

380 Westminster St.

Providence RI 02903





Benefits Office at providence VA Medical Center

830 Chalkstone Ave Room 146 (main building)

Providence RI 02908



VETTIP: Recommend you get help with your claim by contacting FREE Veteran Service Officers at one of the veteran organizations assisting Veteran with benefits and claims; Veterans Service Officer (VSO). We trust these professionals because they’re trained and certified in the VA claims and appeals processes and can help you with VA-related needs. The Veterans Foreign War, Vietnam Veterans of America, Italian American war veterans, and DAV, are some of the local veteran organizations assisting veterans filing claims and appeals.




Saturday, August 28th, 12NOON – 4PM, “14th Annual Macaroni & Meatball Dinner Fundraiser”, hosted by the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association, Rhode Island Chapter 9-1, VFW Post #237, 850 Hope Street, Bristol.  Point of contact is Gary Rehak at 401.829.3004 (cell), or via email at sfcgadget@aol.com


Monday September 6, 2021, Federal Hill Coffee House, 900-1100am, ROMA, 353 Atwells Ave, Providence RI. All Veterans and their guest are invited. The coffee house is FREE, and where else can you start off your day with a gathering with baked Italian toast? More information, contact itamri4vets@gmail.com or (401) 677-9VET.


September 17 (Friday) to September (Saturday) 18 2021, Operation Stand Down. New Location! 1010 Hartford Ave, Johnston RI.  The event will be held at our Johnston office: 1010 Hartford Avenue on Friday, September 17th & Saturday, September 18th from 8:00-4:30


September 11-12, 20th Annual Military Vehicle and Swap Meet, Canonicus Camp and Conference Center, 54 Exeter Rd. Exeter RI 02822. Saturday (9am-5pm) – Sunday (9am-3pm)More information contact Russ Erwin, (401) 434-0881, email kosovoruss45@yahoo.com


September 14, 2021, Tuesday, Northern Rhode Island Coffee House. Sponsored by the America Legion Berard Dejaris Post #88  and Italian American War Veterans. Free for all veterans and their guest.


September 24, 2021, Sunday. War Vet Car Show, Rhode Island Veterans Home, Metacom Ave, Bristol RI.




September 15-20, 2021, USMC Tankers Association Facility: Crown Plaza Providence-Warwick, 801 Greenwich Ave., Warwick RI 02886. Point of Contact Name: John Wear. Point of Contact Telephone: 719-495-5998. Point of Contact Email: johnwear2@verizon.net . Comments: The USMC Vietnam Tankers Association will be holding our 12th biennial reunion. Anyone who served with any of the Marine tank battalions or Ontos units in Vietnam . . . in any capacity is welcome!!! 


November 20, 2021, Comedy/Dinner show at Officers Club, Newport Navy Base. The event is open to all, and all profits and donations will be for Rhode Island Military Lounge located at TF Greene Airport – the lounge is open to all traveling member of the military and veterans and their families, often left awaiting a delayed flight for hours. All staffing is volunteer. For more information for tickets, sponsorship and or donated, contact itamri4vets@gmail.com

Hafar Al Batan, Saudi Arabia. Members of the 119th Military Police Company, stirring human feces burning in diesel fuel in 1991. A daily assignment required to burn human feces of an estimate 150 Rhode Island Army National Guard activated for Desert Shield/Storm and assigned to the 402nd MP POW Camp, under the command of the 800th MP Brigade in the Middle East




John A. Cianci is a Veteran Service Officer. Retired, U.S. Army MSgt., Persian Gulf War and Iraq War combat theater.


Cianci, a combat disabled Veteran, served in Desert Shield/Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom. His awards include Bronze Star, Combat Action Badge, Good Conduct, and others.

Cianci belongs to numerous veterans organizations – Italian American War Veterans, American Legion, Veterans of Foreign War, United Veterans Council of Rhode Island, and many more organizations. He is an active volunteer assisting veterans to navigate federal and state benefits they have earned. He is Department of Rhode Island Department Commander Italian American War Veterans and Veteran Service Officer.

He is a graduate of Roger Williams University (BS Finance), UCONN business school* (Entrepreneur Bootcamp For Veterans), Solar Energy International Residential, Commercial and Battery Based Photovoltaic Systems certificate programs, numerous certificates from the Department of Defense renewable energy programs, including graduate of the Solar Ready Vets Program.


Trinity Rep, PPAC 7 more performance venues partner on

Trinity Rep, PPAC, 7 more performance venues partner on audience vaccination, mask rules 

August 26, 2021/RINewsToday


Photo: Cris Fisher, Ed Week


Trinity Rep joins eight other Rhode Island performance venues and organizations in a partnership to provide for the safety of their audiences, artists, staff, and volunteers, based on current scientific evidence and best practices around the country.


Organizations included in this effort include Festival Ballet Providence, Gamm Theatre, Island Moving Company, Providence Performing Arts Center, Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra & Music School, Trinity Repertory Company, United Theatre, Veteran’s Memorial Auditorium, and Wilbury Theatre Group.


Effective immediately and until further notice: All patrons, including children, attending Trinity Rep performances must either show proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 (at least 14 days have passed since the final dose), or proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken in the prior 72-hours, or proof of a negative COVID-19 antigen test taken in the prior 6-hours.


All patrons regardless of vaccination status must wear masks over their nose and mouth at all times while inside the venue (unless actively eating or drinking).


Details may be revisited or revised based on CDC guidance and the evolving circumstances of the pandemic. Please visit the websites of the other individual venues for any additional restrictions or details. Please visit the websites of the other individual venues for any additional restrictions or details, specific to their organization.

PPAC ushers/staff ready to go


Each venue will have specific regulations for their facility – for instance, Trinity Rep lists this information for their patrons:


Trinity Rep is now a fully vaccinated workplace, and our staff is starting to return to onsite work. Outside guests are limited and must undergo a health screening at reception before access is granted to any space.


Masks for staff, artists, students, and guests are currently required when moving through the buildings and may be removed for staff only when at their work space, socially distanced from others.


Our spaces and high-touch surfaces are being regularly cleaned and disinfected. In addition, all of Trinity Rep’s facilities have been disinfected and treated by Infection Prevention Specialists (IPS) with MicroShield 360, creating a microscopic, preventative, and long-lasting 360 degree shield that combats viruses, bacteria, mold, odors, and disease while diminishing cross-contamination every second of every day. This cutting-edge biomed technology has been studied, lab-tested, and comes approved and certified by the CDC, FDA, and EPA. Hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes are located throughout the facilities and frequent hand washing is expected of all staff, artists, students, and patrons. Posters regarding proper hygiene and social distancing are located throughout the premises.


In 2018, funded by the Rhode Island Creative and Cultural Economy Bond, Trinity Rep completed a $1.9 million upgrade to the HVAC systems serving the Chace Theater and public spaces. Air filters in all of Trinity Rep’s facilities have been upgraded to MERV-13 where possible.


Five COVID compliance officers have been trained and certified to ensure that Trinity Rep adheres to all required protocols. As the situation develops, we will adapt our policies and procedures accordingly.


Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: A Warwick woman charged in connection to the death of her adopted daughter is set for sentencing later this year after entering a plea.  Providence returns to high temperatures in the 90s one more time this summer.  Rhode Island student-athletes are being told they don't need to wear masks for their upcoming games in the fall.

>>Woman Enters Plea In Case Of Warwick Child's Death

(Providence, RI)  --  A woman is facing prison time for the death of a girl she was supposed to be taking care of at her Warwick home.  The Rhode Island Attorney General's Office says Michelle Rothgeb has pleaded no contest to charges including manslaughter and child cruelty and neglect.  A sentencing hearing is set for November.  Rothgeb was the caretaker for eight adopted children, nearly all with special needs.  Nine-year-old Zhanae Rothgeb was found unresponsive in the home on January 3rd, 2019 and was pronounced dead shortly thereafter.

>>Former West Warwick State Rep Has Died

(West Warwick, RI)  --  Rhode Island Governor Dan McKee ordered state flags to be flown at half-staff Wednesday in honor of a former state representative who died.  William "Bud" Alves passed away last week at the age of 85.  Alves was a West Warwick native who represented his home town.

>>High Temps In 90s Next Two Days

(Providence, RI)  --  Providence won't officially hit a heat wave this week, but the area is receiving one more shot of hot weather before the end of August.  The recorded high temperature at T.F. Green Airport Tuesday and Wednesday was 89 degrees, according to the National Weather Service.  The forecast calls for highs in the lower 90s Thursday and Friday before a cool-down for the weekend.

>>Dump Truck Debris Spill On I-495 Causes Flat Tires, Delays

(Plainville, MA)  --  A dump truck accident caused big delays for morning commuters on Route 495 on Wednesday.  The rollover happened on I-495 north in Plainville, Massachusetts at around 6 a.m.  The truck reportedly spilled debris, causing several other drivers to get flat tires.  No injuries were reported.

>>RI Performance Venues Requiring Vaccination Or Negative Test

(Providence, RI)  --  A group of Rhode Island performance venues are now requiring audience members to show proof of COVID-19 vaccinations.  The list includes the Providence Performing Arts Center, the Rhode Island Philharmonic, and Trinity Repertory Company.  Negative COVID tests are required for unvaccinated patrons.  The theatre groups are also mandating that everyone mask up.

>>No Mask Requirement For Student-Athletes During Games This Fall

(Warwick, RI)  --  The Rhode Island Interscholastic League is not requiring high school student-athletes to wear face masks in the upcoming fall sports season.  That's according to a report from WPRI-TV.  The allowance is being made despite the state now mandating masks in schools.  Players and coaches will have to comply with the mandate when they are inside school buildings.

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

08-26-2021 00:57:05

RECALL: Willow Tree Poultry Farm Recalls Chicken Salad and Dip Products

Willow Tree Poultry Farm Recalls Chicken Salad and Dip Products Due to Possible Foreign Matter Contamination


FSIS Announcement

WASHINGTON, Aug. 24, 2021 – Willow Tree Poultry Farm, an Attleboro, Mass. establishment, is recalling approximately 52,022 pounds of various chicken salads and dip products that may be contaminated with extraneous materials, specifically hard white plastic the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.

The ready-to-eat (RTE) various chicken salads and dip items were produced on August 10, 2021 through August 13, 2021. The following products are subject to recall:

  • 5-lb container of “Willow Tree Premium White Meat Caesar Chicken Dip” with sell by dates of 09/03/2021 and 09/06/2021.
  • 5-lb and 12-oz containers of “Willow Tree Premium White Meat Buffalo Chicken Dip” with sell by dates of 09/03/2021 and 09/05/2021.
  • 5-lb container of “Willow Tree Premium White Meat Buffalo Chicken Salad” with a sell by date of 09/07/2021.
  • 15-oz container of “Willow Tree Premium White Meat Buffalo Chicken Salad” with sell by dates of 09/07/2021 and 09/09/2021.
  • 15-oz container of “Willow Tree Premium White Meat Cranberry Walnut Chicken Salad” with a sell by date of 09/08/2021.
  • 15-oz container of “Willow Tree Premium White Meat Classic Chicken Salad” with sell by dates of 09/07/2021, 09/08/2021, 09/09/2021, 09/10/2021.
  • 7.5-oz container of “Willow Tree Premium White Meat Classic Chicken Salad” with sell by dates of 09/07/2021 and 09/09/2021.
  • 10-lb container of “Willow Tree Premium White Meat Classic Chicken Salad” with a sell by date of 09/08/2021.

The products subject to recall bear establishment number “EST. P-8827” inside the USDA mark of inspection. These items have been shipped to wholesale and retail locations in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

The problem was discovered after the company received a consumer complaint and notified FSIS.

There have been no confirmed reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products. Anyone concerned about an injury or illness should contact a healthcare provider.

FSIS is concerned that some product may be frozen and in consumers’ freezers. Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them. These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase.

FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to verify recalling firms notify their customers of the recall and that steps are taken to make certain that the product is no longer available to consumers. When available, the retail distribution lists will be posted on the FSIS website at www.fsis.usda.gov/recalls.

Members of the media with questions about the recall can contact Walter Cekala, President, Willow Tree Poultry Farm at wcekala@willowtreefarm.com. Consumers with questions about the recall can contact Alex Cekala, General Manager, Willow Tree Poultry Farm at acekala@willowtreefarm.com or (508) 951-8351.  

Consumers with food safety questions can call the toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854) or live chat via Ask USDA from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday. Consumers can also browse food safety messages at Ask USDA or send a question via email to MPHotline@usda.gov. For consumers that need to report a problem with a meat, poultry, or egg product, the online Electronic Consumer Complaint Monitoring System can be accessed 24 hours a day at https://foodcomplaint.fsis.usda.gov/eCCF/.


Company Information



Attleboro, MA




Fully Cooked - Not Shelf Stable

Your Coronavirus Update

Your Coronavirus Update – Aug. 25, 2021

August 25, 2021/RINewsToday


Photo: The artist, Banksy, honors a new superhero – the nurse and medical workers.




“We are doing so well with vaccinations we were hoping we would not see an equivalent increase in hospitalizations and deaths,” RIDOH’s Dr. Chan said. “Now we are seeing hospital admissions are increasing, and it is projected to keep increasing over the next few weeks. Deaths are also starting to tick up.”


Unvaccinated children face an “unprecedented threat” when schools open, said Liz Winterbauer, a consulting epidemiologist and public health instructor at St. Michael’s College and the University of Vermont. https://vtdigger.org/2021/08/20/vermont-is-the-most-vaccinated-state-in-america-is-that-enough/


Masks will be a part of high school athletics. RIIL and the Principals’ Committee on Athletics is scheduled to meet as to what the fall season will look like will be available after that.


Cranston Field Hospital has “turned the lights on” to get ready, if it is needed.


The CDC now recommends masks for all of Rhode Island counties when indoors.


Masks are expected to be mandated for back-to-school in Massachusetts, but not yet.


Miriam Hospital is looking for volunteers ages 18 to 29 who have not been vaccinated to test the Moderna vaccine. More info at: https://preventcovidu.org.


RIDOH says there are fake vaccine/mask exemption forms circulating in RI – there are no official forms.


RIC: In order to provide additional time for students to complete the vaccination requirement and upload all necessary documents into the MediCat system, we will delay the start of academic instruction until Wednesday, September 8.


In Westport, MA, all K-12 students, educators and staff will be required to wear a mask while in schools through Oct. 1 to ensure schools fully reopen safely and to provide ample time for more students and educators to get vaccinated. After Oct. 1, the policy will allow middle and high schools to lift the mask mandate for vaccinated students and staff only if the school meets a certain vaccination rate – at least 80 percent of students and staff in a school building are vaccinated. Unvaccinated students and staff would still be required to wear masks


Two new vaccination sites prior to school opening:


Wednesday, August 25 – East Providence POD, 585 Taunton Ave., East Providence (plaza across from high school)Register at https://www.vaccinateri.org/. Additional clinics scheduled September 3, 7, 10, 24.


Friday, August 27 – 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm, 4:00 to 7:00 pm – Portsmouth High School, 120 Education Lane, Portsmouth


Register at https://www.vaccinateri.org. First dose clinic. Second dose clinic is scheduled for September 17 during the same hours.


The Governor does not feel as though the uptick is enough to warrant mandatory mask wearing at this time.


The Glocester School Committee is suing the state over the mask requirement.



Governor McKee’s Press Conference – Aug. 24, 2021:

Watch, here: https://fb.watch/7AXC6I8Bjy/







Pfizer has been officially approved by the FDA


The CDC has said that vaccine protection under the Delta variant has gone from 90+% efficacy to 66%; unvaccinated 5 X more likely to be vaccinated and 25 X more likely to end up in the hospital.


Dr. Fauci says “society may get back to normality in the spring of 2022”.


CDC has advised, regardless of vaccination, if you are high risk you should avoid cruises – includes pregnant women, the elderly, and those with underlying medical conditions – the odds of getting COVID is high on cruises.


The US Military will now develop guidelines requiring all military to be vaccinated. 1.4 million people.


8 fully vaccinated healthcare workers who went to a Vegas pool party got COVID-19 with mild symptoms — and at least 7 caught the Delta variant – workers had symptoms similar to allergies or the common cold and chose to get tested. They self-isolated, and they didn’t spread the virus to anyone else,


The President has encouraged employers and other groups to mandate vaccines now that one has been officially approved.


All ICU beds full at most hospitals in every major Tennessee metro area


First death from COVID recorded of a traveler on a Carnival cruise line


Moderna mandates COVID-19 vaccination for U.S. employees


China says it has zero COVID cases after mass-testing millions


Hawaii Governor asks tourists to stay away as COVID cases rise.


U.S. shipping COVID-19 vaccine doses to Togo, Angola – officia


More young and healthy pregnant people are ending up hospitalized on ventilators, delivering babies prematurely and sometimes dying from COVID-19 during the delta-fueled spike in cases.


National Guard in Georgia will “be joining the 2,800 state-supported medical staff to help hospitals across our state deliver care to Georgians in need.”


NY is requiring all teachers and staff to be vaccinated – without a testing option alternative – 148,000 people


Antibody testing programme to be launched UK-wide – Participants will be sent two finger-prick tests to complete at home to inform the UK Health Security Agency of the antibody response to different coronavirus variants.


The Rev. Jesse Jackson, 79, and his wife, Jacqueline, 77, have been hospitalized after testing positive for COVID-19. They are said to be responding well to treatment.


One Alabama general practitioner has refused to treat any of his patients who are unvaccinated in an attempt to protect all of his patients from COVID19.


Some scientists are saying that this 3rd COVID19 vaccine – the booster – could be the last needed. https://www.medpagetoday.com/special-reports/exclusives/94089?xid=nl_mpt_DHE_2021-08-22&eun=g626538d0r&utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Weekly%20Review%202021-08-22&utm_term=NL_DHE_Weekly_Active


Governor of Kentucky removes mandatory mask requirement for schools as local courts say it can’t be mandated – in the first 3 days of school, Kentucky had 700 quarantines


Pfizer expects a vaccine to be approved for children between the ages of 5 and 11 in September.


Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: National Grid has restored power to almost all of its Rhode Island customers who lost it from Sunday's tropical storm.  The RI Republican Party wants to know if the Democratic governor's chief of staff exerted political pressure on a proposed land development.  CVS Health is announcing a COVID vaccine requirement for some of its employees.

>>National Grid Restores Power To Virtually All Rhode Island Homes

(Undated)  --  Less than one-thousand National Grid customers in Rhode Island remained without electricity as of overnight Wednesday.  Tropical Storm Henri initially knocked out power to 75-thousand in the Ocean State on Sunday.  The remaining outages are in South County.

>>State Park Closed For Tree Cleanup

(Charlestown, RI)  --  Burlingame State Campground in Charlestown is closed because of extensive tree damage caused by Tropical Storm Henri, according to the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management.  Officials tell The Providence Journal there were one-hundred-fifty downed trees counted from the Sunday storm.  The DEM says the campground will remain closed until at least Thursday.

>>Storm Causes Buoy To Wash Up On Beach

(South Kingstown, RI)  --  Tropical Storm Henri also caused a navigational buoy to wash ashore in South Kingstown.  The large buoy from the Block Island Sound wound up at Roy Carpenter's Beach on Monday.  The Coast Guard has notified mariners navigating through the area and plans to put the buoy back this week.

>>Questions Asked About McKee Aide's Involvement In Controversial Cumberland Development

(Providence, RI)  --  The Republican Party of Rhode Island is asking the state attorney general to investigate Democratic Governor Dan McKee's chief of staff Tony Silva.  The GOP wants it determined whether Silva used unfair political influence to push a controversial wetlands property development in Cumberland.  Governor McKee said on Tuesday there was no undue influence on the state Department of Environmental Management when it issued a permit for the project despite objections from the town.  McKee also said he saw nothing wrong with Silva having conservations with the Cumberland mayor.  Plans for the development have since been withdrawn.

[[ note nature ]]

>>Johnston Police Officer Arrested For Allegedly Soliciting Sex Worker

(Johnston, RI)  --  A Johnston police officer was caught up in a sex-trafficking sting earlier this month in Rockland, Massachusetts.  The Providence Journal reports Viet Hung Nguyen, a 13-year member of the force, has been suspended without pay.  An undercover law enforcement agent posed as a sex worker online and told respondents to meet them at a hotel.  Nguyen and four other men were arrested on August 5th.

>>CVS Announces Employee Vaccine Requirement

(Woonsocket, RI)  --  CVS Health is requiring certain employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19.  The shot is being mandated for workers who interact with patients, including nurses, care managers and pharmacists.  Also, all corporate staff.  Everyone has until the end of October to get fully-vaccinated, except for the pharmacists, who have until the end of November.

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

08-25-2021 00:12:44

It's time. Staff vaccinations required for nursing homes as 10 Rhode Island

It’s time. Staff vaccinations required for nursing homes as 10 RI facilities see new COVID cases – Herb Weiss

August 24, 2021/Herb Weiss


By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues


With the COVID-19 Delta variant spiking across the country especially among the unvaccinated, last Wednesday, President Joe Biden announced at an afternoon address at the White House that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will require nursing homes to require all workers to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition for those facilities to continue receiving federal Medicare and Medicaid funding.


According to federal data, of the 1.6 million nursing home workers across the  nation, about 540,000 — 40 percent of the work force — are unvaccinated.  


Since the spread of the Delta variant, there has been a rise in the number of COVID-19 cases, especially in those states that have low rates of vaccinated workers. Both the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) data confirm a strong relationship between the increase of COVID-19 cases among nursing home residents and the rate of vaccination among nursing home workers.


These new emergency federal regulations, crafted  by CDC and CMS, would apply to nearly 15,000 nursing home facilities, which employ approximately 1.6 million workers and serve approximately 1.3 million nursing home residents.


Rhode Island Gov. Dan J. McKee, along with other states, has already taken a similar step to protect nursing home residents by requiring all staff to be vaccinated and the new federal mandate will ensure consistent and equitable standards throughout the country. 


At a COVID-19 update held at the state the state capitol in early August, McKee called for the new vaccine mandate (as a term of employment) to take effect on Oct. 1st.


On August 23rd, Pfizer’s vaccine was fully approved by the FDA. Approvals of Moderna, Johnson & Johnson and booster shots are expected to follow soon.


According to CMS, the new mandate is a key component of protecting the health and safety of nursing home residents and staff by ensuring that all nursing home staff receive COVID-19 vaccinations. Over the past several months, millions of vaccinations have been administered to nursing home residents and staff, and these vaccines have shown to help prevent COVID-19 and have proven to be effective against the Delta variant.


“Keeping nursing home residents and staff safe is our priority. The data are clear that higher levels of staff vaccination are linked to fewer outbreaks among residents, many of whom are at an increased risk of infection, hospitalization, or death,” said CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure in a statement announcing the new vaccine mandate.  “We will continue to work closely with our partners at the CDC, long-term care associations, unions, and other stakeholders to advance policies that keep residents and staff safe. As we advance these new requirements, we’ll work with nursing homes to address staff and resident concerns with compassion and by following the science,” she said.


CMS says that it’s requiring all nursing home staff to be vaccinated is in keeping with the federal agency’s authority to establish requirements to ensure the health and safety of individuals receiving care from all providers and suppliers participating in the Medicare and Medicaid programs. About 62% of nursing home staff are currently vaccinated as of August 8 nationally, and vaccination among staff at the state level ranges from a high of 88% to a low of 44%. The emergence of the Delta variant in the United States has driven a rise in cases among nursing home residents from a low of 319 cases on June 27, to 2,696 cases on August 8, with many of the recent outbreaks occurring in facilities located in areas of the United States with the lowest staff vaccination rates.


Last May, CMS issued new regulations that require Long-Term Care (LTC) facilities and Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities (ICFs/IID) to educate residents, clients, and staff about COVID-19 vaccination and, when available, offer a COVID-19 vaccine to these individuals. These regulations also mandate that LTC facilities report weekly COVID-19 vaccination data for residents and staff to the CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN).


CMS will continue to analyze vaccination data for residents and staff from the CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) data as an additional method of compliance monitoring and in keeping with current practice, as well as deploy the Quality Improvement Organizations (QIOs)—operated under the Medicare Quality Improvement Program—to educate and engage nursing homes with low rates of vaccinations.


CMS strongly encourages nursing home residents and staff members to get vaccinated as the Agency undergoes the necessary steps in the rule-making process over the course of the next several weeks. CMS expects nursing home operators to act in the best interest of residents and their staff by complying with these new rules, which the Agency expects to issue next month.  CMS also expects nursing home operators to use all available resources to support employees in getting vaccinated, including employee education and vaccination clinics, as they work to meet this staff vaccination requirement.


Rhode Island Long Term Care Facilities with new cases in the last 14 days (as of 8/14/2020):


These RI nursing homes are on the RI Dept. of Health list with increased cases –


Alpine – Coventry – 5-9 cases


Avalone – Warwick – less than 5


St. Antoine – North Smithfield – less than 5


Woonsocket Health – Woonsocket – less than 5


All America Assisted Living – Warwick – less than 5


Anchor Bay – Johnston – less than 5


Smithfield Woods – Smithfield – less than 5


Sunrise House – Providence – less than 5


Bridge at Cherry Hill – Johnston – 5-9


Tockwotton – Providence – less than 5



AARP Strongly Supports Biden’s Vaccine Mandate in Nursing Homes 


In response to the Biden Administration directing all nursing homes that receive Medicare or Medicaid funds to require vaccinations for all staff, Nancy A. LeaMond, AARP Executive Vice President and Chief Advocacy & Engagement Officer, stated:  


“The Administration’s announcement today requiring vaccinations for nursing home staff is a significant step in the fight against this pandemic. Around 30% of COVID deaths have been among residents and staff in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities, even though they represent less than 1% of the population. As the new variants are emerging, facilities cannot let preventable problems be repeated. Increasing vaccination rates in nursing homes is one of the most common sense and powerful actions we can take to protect the lives of vulnerable older adults.”


The AARP Public Policy Institute, in collaboration with the Scripps Gerontology Center at Miami University in Ohio, created the dashboard to provide snapshots of the virus’ infiltration into nursing homes and impact on nursing home residents and staff, with the goal of identifying specific areas of concern at the national and state levels in a timely manner.


Don’t Just Single Out Nursing Homes 


“We appreciate the Administration’s efforts to increase COVID-19 vaccinations in long term care. Unfortunately, this action does not go far enough. The government should not single out one provider group for mandatory vaccinations. Vaccination mandates for health care personnel should be applied to all health care settings. Without this, nursing homes face a disastrous workforce challenge,” warns Mark Parkinson, president and CEO of the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) 


“Focusing only on nursing homes will cause vaccine hesitant workers to flee to other health care providers and leave many centers without adequate staff to care for residents. It will make an already difficult workforce shortage even worse. The net effect of this action will be the opposite of its intent and will affect the ability to provide quality care to our residents. We look forward to working with the Administration in the coming days to develop solutions to overcome this challenge,” says Parkinson.


The full Nursing Home COVID-19 Dashboard is available at www.aarp.org/nursinghomedashboard. For more information on how COVID is impacting nursing homes and AARP’s advocacy on this issue, visit www.aarp.org/nursinghomes.




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 herbweiss.com. The sequel, Vol. 2 Taking Charge: More Stories on Aging Boldly will be available for purchase in August.



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 RINewsToday.com. Herb and his wife, Patty Zacks, reside in Pawtucket, Rhode Island.


Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: National Grid is continuing to restore electricity in Rhode Island after a tropical storm knocked out power on Sunday.  Rhode Island Republicans are speaking out against the Democratic governor's latest coronavirus emergency order.  The Ocean State reported four new COVID deaths this past weekend.

>>National Grid Continues To Restore Power In RI After Henri

(Undated)  --  National Grid was still reporting 13-thousand power outages in Rhode Island as of overnight Tuesday.  The number of outages initially reported from Tropical Storm Henri [[ awn-REE ]] on Sunday was 75-thousand.  The majority of customers still without electricity are in the southern part of the state.  National Grid says to expect full service restoration by Wednesday.

>>RI Republicans Blast Latest COVID Order

(Providence, RI)  --  Republican lawmakers in Rhode Island are challenging Democratic Governor Dan McKee's new executive order extending the coronavirus state of emergency.  The state Senate GOP caucus issued a statement Monday claiming that last week's order by McKee is an end-run around restrictions the legislature placed on the governor's powers earlier this year.  Minority Whip Jessica de la Cruz called on the General Assembly to immediately reconvene and cancel it.

>>Glocester Committee Takes Action On State Mask Mandate

(Glocester, RI)  --  A Rhode Island school district is pushing back against the state's COVID-related mask mandate.  The Providence Journal reports the Glocester School Committee voted on Monday to pursue litigation against the state Council of Elementary and Secondary Education over a vote last week to require the masks.  The committee says the education board's vote possibly violated open meeting laws.  The Glocester committee also voted to allow "conscientious objections" to the rule.

>>Coronavirus Death Toll In Rhode Island: 2,757

(Providence, RI)  --  Rhode Island reported four new coronavirus deaths over the weekend.  The updated pandemic death toll for the Ocean State is two-thousand-757.  The number of new virus cases reported in RI was five-hundred-77 to increase the pandemic total to 160-thousand-329.

>>Providence Man Charged With Fatally-Stabbing Roommate

(Providence, RI)  --  A Providence man is being charged in connection to a fatal stabbing.  Marcus Huffman Jones was arrested for murder on Saturday.  The stabbing was reported at an apartment on Superior Street in the city's West End last Thursday.  The victim was a roommate of Jones, identified as Kenneth McClain, who reportedly died from his injuries over the weekend at Rhode Island Hospital.

>>Shellfishing Closure In Westerly

(Westerly, RI)  --  The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management is announcing a temporary shellfishing closure because of the effects of Tropical Storm Henri.  The closure is in effect until further notice at Westerly's Winnapaug Pond.  Officials say intense rainfall and coastal flooding could have caused an influx of contaminants.  The DEM says to expect updated results from water samples from the pond later this week.

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

08-24-2021 01:24:09

After the Storm

After the storm…

August 23, 2021/RINewsToday


At the height of the storm over 73,000 Rhode Islanders were without power. Today that figure is estimated to be less than 44,000 and they are centered in South County.


Most of Rhode Island was surprised to have a more moderate storm – downgraded to a Tropical Storm just before hitting our shores – with little significant damage north of South County.


However, trees and poor tree maintenance continue to plague Rhode Island – sometimes with just a slight wind – again, a heads-up to take care of those trees just waiting to cause power outages or danger to our homes and our families.


Here is the link to check on power outages – it is in real time and can be checked throughout the day for updates. Remember to call in your power outage if you have not done it.






All state offices will be open today.



T.F. Green Airport has many delays – check before heading for takeoff or pickupp.



The ferries to Block Island, Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket, and Newport will reopen today.


State testing sites will reopen today at noon except for the Westerly site (police dept) which will open on Tuesday.


Twin River Casinos will reopen at 9am.


Food Safety During Power Outage


Refrigerated Food and Power Outages: When to Save It and When to Throw It Out


As the USDA notes in Keeping Food Safe During an Emergency, your refrigerator will keep food safe for up to 4 hours during a power outage. Keep the door closed as much as possible. Discard refrigerated perishable food such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and leftovers after 4 hours without power.


After a power outage never taste food to determine its safety. You will have to evaluate each item separately—use this chart as a guide. When in Doubt, Throw it Out!


While there are some items that are in the freezer that can be saved, we’d advise, unless the items could immediately be refrigerated and then used, toss it out – good time for a deep cleaning, too.

Type of Food Held above 40 °F for more than 2 hours
Meat, poultry, seafood
Raw or leftover cooked meat, poultry, fish, or seafood;
soy meat substitutes
Thawing meat or poultry Discard
Salads: Meat, tuna, shrimp, chicken, or egg salad Discard
Gravy, stuffing, broth Discard
Lunchmeats, hot dogs, bacon, sausage, dried beef Discard
Pizza with any topping Discard
Canned hams labeled “Keep Refrigerated” Discard
Canned meats and fish, opened Discard
Casseroles, soups, stews Discard
Soft cheeses: blue/bleu, Roquefort, Brie, Camembert, cottage, cream, Edam, Monterey Jack, ricotta, mozzarella, Muenster, Neufchatel, queso blanco, queso fresco Discard
Hard cheeses: Cheddar, Colby, Swiss, Parmesan, provolone, Romano Keep
Processed cheeses Keep
Shredded cheeses Discard
Low-fat cheeses Discard
Grated Parmesan, Romano, or combination (in can or jar) Keep
Milk, cream, sour cream, buttermilk, evaporated milk, yogurt, eggnog, soy milk Discard
Butter, margarine Keep
Baby formula, opened Discard
Fresh shell eggs, eggs hard-cooked in shell, egg dishes, egg products Discard
Custards and puddings, quiche Discard
Fresh fruits, cut Discard
Fresh fruits, uncut Keep
Fruit juices, opened Keep
Canned fruits, opened Keep
Dried fruits, raisins, candied fruits, dates Keep
Sliced or shredded coconut Discard
Sauces, Spreads, Jams
Opened mayonnaise, tartar sauce, horseradish Discard
(if above 50 °F for more than 8 hrs)
Peanut butter Keep
Jelly, relish, taco sauce, mustard, catsup, olives, pickles Keep
Worcestershire, soy, barbecue, hoisin sauces Keep
Fish sauces, oyster sauce Discard
Opened vinegar-based dressings Keep
Opened creamy-based dressings Discard
Spaghetti sauce, opened Discard
Bread, cakes, cookies, pasta, grains
Bread, rolls, cakes, muffins, quick breads, tortillas Keep
Refrigerator biscuits, rolls, cookie dough Discard
Cooked pasta, rice, potatoes Discard
Pasta salads with mayonnaise or vinaigrette Discard
Fresh pasta Discard
Cheesecake Discard
Breakfast foods: waffles, pancakes, bagels Keep
Pies and pastry
Cream filled pastries Discard
Pies: Any with filling containing eggs or milk, e.g., custard, cheese-filled, or chiffon; quiche. Discard
Fruit pies Keep
Fresh vegetables, cut Discard
Fresh vegetables, uncut Keep
Fresh mushrooms, herbs, spices Keep
Greens, pre-cut, pre-washed, packaged Discard
Vegetables, cooked Discard
Tofu, cooked Discard
Vegetable juice, opened Discard
Baked potatoes Discard
Commercial garlic in oil Discard
Potato salad Discard
Casseroles, soups, stews Discard

After the Storm – Tips from 



Minimizing damage after hurricane flooding.


We know how strong winds, rain and storm surge can disrupt lives and cause water damage to businesses and homes in our community. ServiceMaster By Mason can help you minimize additional water damage with our 24/7 prompt response, equipment rentals for DIY-ers, and by considering the following steps. After experiencing water damage, businesses should:


  • Use fans to circulate the air and assist drying.
  • Use dehumidifiers if available.
  • Remove as much water as possible by mopping and blotting.
  • Prop up wet furniture cushions for even drying and place small wood blocks or aluminum foil under all furniture legs.
  • Remove wet area rugs or other floor coverings. Wipe furniture and shelves dry. 
  • Open desk drawers, and closet and office doors to enhance drying.
  • Document any property damage with photographs.
  • Do not remove damp books from shelves. Leave tight to prevent pages from rippling.
  • Control interior temperatures with heat or air conditioning. Keep interior temperatures between 70 and 80 degrees.


Important warnings on water damage:


  • Do not use an ordinary “household” vacuum to remove water.
  • Do not use electrical equipment while on wet carpet or wet floors.
  • Do not go into your building until it has been inspected for damage, gas lines, septic systems and water lines.
  • Do not lift tacked down carpet without professional help.


During these warm temperatures, it’s important to dry or discard wet items within 48 to 72 hours to avoid harmful mold growth. Even after wet items are removed, mold may remain hidden in drywall, carpeting and HVAC systems. The sooner a ServiceMaster By Mason remediation expert can get to items covered in mold, the less long-term damage and costs.


Should your business need water, fire, biohazard, mold or other clean-up or restoration services after a storm, the team at ServiceMaster By Mason is available to help 24/7 and get you back in business – fast!


For additional details or to schedule assistance, contact us at 800-934-5869 or visit us at www.servicemasterbymason.com



Big Trees – from RI Tree Council:


Big trees are under siege from a variety of threats. They need attention and care. Here are some tips on how to care for big, old trees:


  • Protect the bark from damage from yard equipment
  • Spread mulch around the base to insulate the soil
  • Avoid compacting the ground around a big tree
  • Keep branches free from hanging things
  • Water when dry to avoid stress when it’s hot


Also, big trees should be inspected by a certified arborist periodically. The arborist can spot trouble early, like diseases, rot, and heavy dead branches. He or she can also spot problems early and recommend pruning or other measures that can preserve the tree’s life.


Research shows that the benefits derived from a large tree far outweigh the costs of caring for them—sometimes by as much as eight to one. In most communities in the U.S., big trees cost as little as $13 per year.


Each big tree, on the other hand, returns an average of $65 in energy savings, cleaner air, better-managed stormwater, extended life of programs, and higher property values. Given these figures, urban communities afford not to invest in large trees.


More info here: https://ritree.org




Posted in 

Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: Rhode Island was impacted by Tropical Storm Henri [[ awn-REE ]] on Sunday.  National Grid is working to restore power to Rhode Islanders who lost it during yesterday's storm.  A Rhode Island police-officer involved shooting is under investigation.

>>Tropical Storm Henri Recap

(Undated)  --  Rhode Island just missed its first direct impact from a hurricane in 30 years on Sunday.  The National Weather Service says Tropical Storm Henri [[ awn-REE ]] made landfall near Westerly yesterday afternoon, causing significant flooding on Main Street and Atlantic Avenue.  The weather service also reported flooding in Narragansett, Newport and North Kingstown.  The top-measured wind gust was 70 miles per hour at Point Judith.  Governor Dan McKee asked Rhode Islanders to shelter in place during yesterday's storm.  The Newport, Jamestown and Mount Hope bridges were all closed for several hours.

>>National Grid Working On Restoring Henri-Caused Outages

(Undated)  --  National Grid is racing to get electricity restored for tens of thousands of Rhode Island customers who experienced a power outage due to Tropical Storm Henri.  High temperatures of around 90 degrees are in the forecast for Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, so there will be a big need for the air conditioners.  Overnight Monday, National Grid was still reporting 45-thousand outages.  Governor Dan McKee said on Sunday it will take several days to fully assess the damage from yesterday's storm caused by downed trees.  Rhode Island is one of three states that has been approved for federal emergency funding.

>>Officer-Involved Shooting Investigated In Burrillville

(Burrillville, RI)  --  A police officer-involved shooting is under investigation in Burrillville.  Reports indicate officers responded to a domestic disturbance Friday night and encountered a man who had locked himself in a backyard shed. The suspect identified as Kyle Gaudet allegedly pointed a firearm that was later determined to be a pellet gun at Officer Ryan Turner.  The officer returned fire, but did not hit Gaudet, who was then hospitalized from a self-inflicted injury apparently caused by the weapon.  Turner has been placed on leave, and Gaudet faces an assault charge.

>>Pawtucket Man Gets Federal Prison For Gun Possession

(Providence, RI)  --  A Pawtucket man is being sentenced to five years in federal prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm.  The Justice Department said Jonathan Reyes was stopped by Pawtucket police in October 2020 and was found to be in possession of a gun with an obliterated serial number.  Reyes was convicted in state court twice in the 2000s on drug-trafficking charges.

>>Patriots Team Plane Used To Help Haiti Earthquake Relief Effort

(Boston, MA)  --  The New England Patriots team airplane has once-again been used for a humanitarian effort.  The plane was loaded with supplies at Logan Airport in Boston on Saturday to fly to Haiti to help that country following the recent devastating earthquake.  The mission was organized by a non-profit group in Massachusetts.  The Pats plane has also been used to deliver COVID-19 vaccines to El Salvador and to transport personal protective equipment from China to Massachusetts frontline workers in the early days of the pandemic.

>>Infamous Elusive Johnston Steer Has Been Placed In Forever Home

(North Kingstown, RI)  --  A steer which escaped the slaughterhouse in Johnston and remained on the loose for over a month has found a "forever home".  WJAR-TV reports the steer was taken in by an animal shelter farm in North Kingstown, which gave him the name "Mojo".  The animal escaped in February and remained on the lam in Johnston before its original owner recaptured it in March.

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

08-23-2021 01:16:06

Scarborough South State Beach Closes Monday

Scarborough South State Beach closes Monday

August 22, 2021/RINewsToday


The state of Rhode Island has announced that Scarborough South State Beach will close weekdays starting on Monday, August 23 until Labor Day.


The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management announced on Saturday that Scarborough South State Beach in Narragansett will be closed weekdays starting Monday, August 23, and open weekends only for the last two weeks of the summer beach season.


All beach facilities will close for the season the day after Labor Day, Monday, September 6.


For several years, DEM has closed Scarborough South on weekdays in late-August as it contends with a shrinking summertime labor force with lifeguards, rangers, and facility attendants returning to college and high school. Patrons will still have access to the facilities at Scarborough North State Beach and all other surf state beaches during the week through Labor Day.


For more information on DEM programs and initiatives, visit www.dem.ri.gov. Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/RhodeIslandDEM or on Twitter (@RhodeIslandDEM) for timely updates.


Posted in 

Your Coronavirus Update

Your Coronavirus Update – Today, Aug. 20, 2021

August 20, 2021/RINewsToday




COVID-19 testing at: http://portal.ri.gov or call 401-222-8022. Or call 211 (press 6 or 9 to speak with a scheduler). The 211 call center has agents who speak multiple languages.


Governor of RI released a special list of back-to-school vaccination clinics, visit back2schoolri.com.


Masks in schools – Gov. McKee said in his weekly report that “all students, teachers, school staff and visitors will be required to wear face masks inside public school buildings at the start of the 2021-2022 school year.”


Healthcare workers demonstrated against mandatory vaccinations, saying they will quit or be fired before conceding. Legal authority supports the employer’s right to require vaccinations.


RI now requires mask in all state buildings.


Cranston School Committee votes 5-0 to mandate masks in school.


Electric Boat will require all employees to wear masks regardless of vaccination status, except those who work in social distancing situations


RI has reinstated mask-wearing requirement at all state courts, “regardless of vaccination status.”


RI College, URI, and PC are requiring masks for all, regardless of vaccination status.


Gov. McKee has instituted a new state of emergency in RI.


The Rhode Island Health Care Association, representing nursing homes in RI, says it supports mandating vaccines by health care setting employees, throughout the state.  


Vermont – employees at state prisons, the Vermont Veterans’ Home, and state-owned psychiatric facilities must be vaccinated


ARIA, the Association of RI Authors, had moved its meetings back to in-person, and now they will revert to ZOOM due to the virus upticks.


RI Sect. of State, Nellie Gorbea and RI Treasurer Seth Magaziner – both declared candidates for Governor – have supported call for mask mandates for schools.


MA DOC in Shirley, MA has 30 inmates with COVID


South County Hospital estimates more than 75% of their staff are vaccinated.


Westerly Hospital estimates more than 80% of their staff are vaccinated.


Landmark Medical Center estimates more than 87% of their staff are vaccinated.


Lifespan has vaccinated 71% of their employees – those vaccinated elsewhere are not included in this figure so vaccination rights likely to be higher.


70% of Cherry Hill Nursing Home staff are vaccinated, according to the facility. They have said they will follow the guidelines of CDC and RIDOH and their parent company, whichever is more stringent.


Governor Dan McKee signed legislation allowing restaurants to continue to sell alcohol with takeout orders.


UNAP, the union representing nursing home medical staff, responded to the mandatory vaccination policy in Rhode Island for nursing home and medical workers by saying it should be part of bargaining agreements.


74 people on Martha’s Vineyard have tested positive – the most since April – though they could not directly be related to former Pres. Obama’s birthday party.


The Patriots held their first game with fans in the stadium.


Providence Performing Arts Center (PPAC) requires masks for all patrons – performers wearing masks is optional.


Columbus Theatre requires masks and proof of vaccination by all patrons and employees – the owner questions, when asked about his decision, “shoulder to shoulder in the theatre? For two hours?”


Immunocompromised people can get third doses at the Sockanosset Crossroads vaccination site and at hospital vaccination sites. To schedule an appointment for Sockanosset Crossroads, visit www.vaccinateri.org or call 844-930-1779. RIDOH expects third doses to be available at retail pharmacies in the coming days.


In an editorial by GoLocalProv, it was noted that at the beginning of the pandemic, “the Rhode Island Department of Health’s Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott made the decision to return those who had been infected and hospitalized back to their nursing homes despite there being clear evidence that this would spread the disease to the most vulnerable populations. Data from the first American outbreaks in the state of Washington at a nursing home facility and from China clearly indicated that RI’s program was fully flawed — truly flawed”.


RI has reopened 2 new testing sites – one at Barrington Shopping Center and one at the Smithfield Veterans of Foreign Wars Post.


Brewed Awakenings in Johnston has closed until further notice due to staff shortages – store chain is hiring at all locations.


The Governor’s COVID-19 update will come back to a weekly event – Thursdays at 2pm.


Connecticut Governor issued statewide mask mandate – order will expire end of September, when Governor’s executive powers expire


General Treasurer Seth Magaziner announced today that, in the week since he announced the policy requiring staff in his office to either provide proof of vaccination or submit to regular testing, all of the 82 active staff in his office have demonstrated compliance. The Treasurer further stated this success demonstrates the policy can and should be expanded to all state and school employees.


Gov. Baker announced tens of thousands of state employees of MA must prove they have been vaccinated by Oct. 17 or risk being fired. Applies to telework employees too. Estimated to be 42,000 people.


Newport Hospital is preparing for an overflow of cases, having reinstituted their COVID command center at the hospital.


The RI Council on Elementary & Secondary Education has said there will be a statewide mandate requiring wearing of masks in schools.


United Nurses and Allied Professionals president Lynn Blais said her union “supports a mandatory vaccine for healthcare workers in Rhode Island. Without question, the vaccine is the best shot we have to end this pandemic, and we will do everything in our power to ensure as many of the nurses and health professionals we represent are vaccinated.” She went on to say “there are issues surrounding the implementation of the mandate that we believe should be bargained, including the scope of medical exemptions and flexibility around the October 1st deadline for our members who have yet to get their first vaccine shot.”


In Vermont, state health officials directed clinic staff to decide if and how to verify whether a patient is eligible for coronavirus boosters. Some clinics are taking people at their word. Others are asking for prescriptions.


Governor McKee, will hold a Back 2 School Town Hall Monday at 5:30pm with Department of Health Director Nicole Alexander-Scott, MD, MPH and Education Commissioner Angélica Infante- Location: www.facebook.com/RIDeptEd


Protests have taken place by healthcare workers not wanting to be vaccinated as a condition of continuing employment.


RI Legislature said the Governor should have consulted with them about returning to session to help manage COVID crisis before he “said it to the media”.





The FDA has authorized booster shots for those with weakened immune systems – about 3% of population – yet 40% of hospitalized population. Further booster shot candidates may be identified soon.


NIH study shows no significant benefit of convalescent plasma for COVID-19 outpatients with early symptoms


3 US Senators have had breakthrough COVID (after being vaccinated) – Sens. Angus King, I-Maine; Roger Wicker, R-Miss; John Hickenlooper, D-Colo. – all credit being vaccinated with mild or asymptomatic cases.


Gov. of Texas tests positive – but no symptoms – he has been testing daily.


Gov. of Oregon has ordered all teachers/staff to be vaccinated.


Moderna vaccine may be linked to higher possibility of rare complication of myocarditis.


Georgia Gov. Kemp signs executive order preventing local officials from requiring businesses to enact Covid-related mandates and other restrictions aimed at limiting the virus’ spread.


The Lambda strain of COVID is being detected in South Africa – and in California – it appears to be just as contagious as Delta, but not as serious.


In Florida at a mask optional school, on the 2nd day of schools, 51 positive staff/students with over 450 in quarantine.


Clinicians deployed to Covid hot zones are overwhelmed by unvaccinated patients 


From a JAMA study: “The administration of Covid-19 convalescent plasma to high-risk outpatients within 1 week after the onset of symptoms of Covid-19 did not prevent disease progression.”


Quinnipiac University to Restrict Internet Access for Unvaccinated Students


A new Covid treatment – that uses a pair of laboratory-made antibodies to attack the virus – has been approved for use in the UK.


In Philadelphia, all employees will be required to be vaccinated – those who have not will need to wear TWO masks when working indoors.


Live Nation employees, artists, fans must be vaccinated. Fans can show an optional COVID test.


LA Raiders fans must show proof of vaccination by uploading when getting their tickets – no others will be allowed into the stadium.


Garth Brooks cancels all concert tour dates out of concern over COVID spread


Airlines will continue to require masks into 2022 for travel industry experts say.


In NYC there are no medical exemptions allowed from the vaccine passport.


Florida is launching a Rapid Response Team to dispense monoclonal antibodies to tackle Florida’s rising number of COVID-19 cases and reduce serious symptoms, preventing the potential for hospital overcrowding.  For seniors—the most vulnerable population in Florida—Gov. DeSantis said he would be initiating “strike teams” to enter nursing homes that had had an outbreak and perform the antibody treatment on those who were exposed to COVID-19 to stop the spread.


Ontario will mandate vaccines for hospital and LTC workers and begin targeted booster shots while keeping current pandemic restrictions indefinitely.


Australia is less than 30% fully vaccinated


Food stamps – SNAP – will go up 25% in response to COVID


There has been discussion by the CDC about vaccination passports for traveling interstate.


One fifth of UK adults had a relationship breakdown during COVID


New Zealand’s borders will remain closed until the end of 2021, but that fully vaccinated individuals from low-risk countries would be able to visit in 2022 without needing to quarantine.


Libraries are being used as Monoclonal Treatment clinics because the hospitals in Duval, Florida are full.


The state department has issued warnings that due to a perceived vulnerability because of the resurgence of COVID19, there may be increased terrorism threats, particularly around Sept. 11th.


A researcher from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital has said that a vaccine for 5-12 year olds may be available by the end of this month – children 2-5 by January, 6 mos to 2 about 3-4 months after that.


A federal judge on Friday refused landlords’ request to put the Biden administration’s new eviction moratorium on hold, though she ruled that the freeze is illegal.


Stevie Nicks has canceled five forthcoming performances at music festivals, citing coronavirus concerns.


The Society of Professional Journalists has decided to convert the SPJ21 journalism conference from a hybrid event to a fully virtual one, canceling the in-person New Orleans national event completely.


The WHO now wants to re-look at the Wuhan Lab – China is resisting.  A scientist from WHO is now calling a lab leak “probable”.


CVS is not giving out the J&J vaccine because of a supply shortage.


Boosters are now available for those 50 and up in Israel.


So far, 203 COVID-19 cases have been linked to the Lollapalooza festival – out of 350,000 attendees


Arkansas, Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi are seeing increased vaccination rates – as cases have also increased.


Fauci Says Teachers Should Be Required To Be Vaccinated


The federal government is going into Mississippi where the hospital system is expected “to fail” in 5-10 days.


Gilead to require U.S. workers receive Covid-19 vaccine.


Higher risk of Bell’s Palsy after Sinovac’s COVID-19 vaccine


Thailand to start human trials on COVID-19 shots via nasal spray


Hawaii will re-impose COVID-19 restrictions limiting social gatherings to avert straining the state’s healthcare


Illinois launches new portal called “Vax Verify” that allows residents to check their Covid-19 vaccination record.


New York Stock Exchange will now require vaccinations for all who want to be on the trading floor.


All Amtrak employees must be fully vaccinated against COVID by Nov. 1 or get tested weekly.


San Francisco will require proof of COVID vaccination inside bars, restaurants, and gyms, becoming the first major city to mandate the shots for a variety of indoor activities.


Carnival Cruise has 27 people on board of a cruise to Cozumel, Mexico, who are testing positive, all vaccinated. 26 are crew members and one is a guest. All are vaccinated, and most have either mild or no symptoms.


Reuters is reporting that the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines for people in American nursing homes and long-term care facilities, where residents are often elderly and frail, has dropped since the Delta variant became dominant.

Posted in 

Friday Fishing Tips

Friday Fishing Tips – Jeff Gross

August 20, 2021/Jeff Gross


by Jeff Gross, contributing writer


As we all know it is summer grilling season. Some of those great trout we all enjoyed catching this spring are still in the freezer. A friend mentioned some years ago that he grills his trout by adding some onions and some lemon and dill to the cavity of a cleaned trout. 


This writer prefers filleted fish. Even the trout are filleted. The RI DEM stocked some fantastic large trout this spring which made the filleting very easy. So since it is grilling season, time to break out those trout from the freezer and grill them up before freezer burn sets in. The trout pictured had just a tiny spot or two of freezer burn setting in.


Years ago a great marinade called Chef Myron’s 20 Gauge Sauce was available locally and directly through the company. First contact with 20 Gauge Sauce occurred in 2008 at the Worcester Centrum during a Fishing and Hunting Expo. Chef Myron was grilling fish fillets and chicken with his 20 Gauge Sauce. The taste and aroma was phenomenal. A case went home with me that night. Retail Purchases were small at first, 2 or 3  1/2 qt containers, however later on purchases of a case of half gallons were frequent.


As popularity rose so did some problems. The local “tree huggers” were offended by the Bottle label art of a hunter holding a double barrel shotgun. Myron tried a 20 Gauge bland bottle label but that label blended in with the other sauces and became indistinguishable. Some “Green Sneakers” still had a problem as the label said “20 Gauge” (I wonder if these same people formed the Mom’s against Guns Group)  As a result, the 20 Gauge line was discontinued.


Continuing to develop a major interest in cooking, this author about 2 months ago started playing around with various sauce combinations in an effort to duplicate the 20 Gauge Sauce. 



Pictured is what is considered a great marinade for trout. The same marinade is also great for other fish, shrimp, beef and white meats.  After thawing the trout, a mixture of 1/2 cup Soy Vay Island Teriyaki sauce, 1/4 cup Italian dressing and 1/8 cup Barefoot Fruitscato Apple Wine is combined in a 1 gallon ziplock bag and the trout is then placed in the bag and allowed to marinate for 4-6 hours in the refrigerator. Fire up the grill afterwards and place a sheet of aluminum foil on the grate to keep the drippings and fish from making a mess. Grill until your desired amount of tenderness is achieved. Serve with whatever sides appeal to you. 


Bon Appétit!





Jeffrey “Jeff” Gross spent 21 years as an Analytical Chemist at the USCG R&D Center in Groton, Connecticut, Woods Hole Laboratories, and Helix Technologies. Changing careers is a “great learning experience for everyone”, Jeff says, and I’m an avid outdoorsman and conservationist, a student of the sciences, and the world. The US holds too many wonders not to take a chance and explore them”.

Jeff is the Model Train and Railroad entrepreneur. Proud Golden Retriever owner. Ultra strong Second Amendment Advocate and Constitutionalist. “Determined seeker of the truth”. 

Jeff is a RIFGPA Legislative and Legal Officer, Freshwater Chairman, NRA Liaison.

His subjects include Outdoors, Second Amendment, Model Railroading, and Whimsical.

He can be reached at: trainsbythe144@aol.com

Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: A hurricane or tropical storm is expected to impact Southern New England by the end of the weekend.  Rhode Island's governor has passed a mask mandate for schools.  Some are criticizing Providence police for the latest use-of-force incident that's being investigated, while others are saying the focus should be on what led to the chaotic moments.

[[ watch for updates ]]

>>Henri Expected To Become Hurricane On Approach To New England

(Undated)  --  The National Weather Service is tracking Tropical Storm Henri [[ awn-ree ]] to move over Southern New England Sunday evening.  The weather service says the system is forecast to track near Cape Cod and the Islands or just offshore.  There will be the potential for damaging winds, flooding rainfall and storm surge flooding.  Henri is expected to strengthen into a hurricane on the way up the Atlantic coast, but it's not clear yet if it will still have hurricane status by the time it gets here.

>>Rhode Island Governor Passes Mask Mandate For Schools

(Providence, RI)  --  Rhode Island Governor Dan McKee has issue an executive order mandating masks in all schools this fall.  McKee said Thursday masks are needed in schools until more students can be vaccinated against the coronavirus.  Rhode Island is the 14th U.S. state to pass such a mandate and the second in New England, after Connecticut.

>>More On Latest Providence Police Use-Of-Force Incident

(Providence, RI)  --  The latest Providence police use-of-force incident is once-again polarizing the community.  Two officers were suspended after an incident that started the night of July 8th when three juveniles allegedly drove around the capital city firing BB guns at people.  Police pursued the teens before they crashed in the Olneyville neighborhood.  In body camera footage released this week, officers are seen throwing punches and one of the suspended policemen, Domingo Diaz, is seen spitting in front of an arrested suspect who is on the ground.  The Black Lives Matter Rhode Island Political Action Committee is planning a rally for the repeal of the Law Enforcement Officers' Bill of Rights on Friday.  Meanwhile, the Providence police union is asking the public to take into consideration the alleged terrorizing of the city to which police were responding.

>>Medical Examiner: Man Handcuffed By Prov Officers Died From Drugs

(Providence, RI)  --  The state medical examiner says the death of a man who was handcuffed by Providence police in May was drug-related.  Police responded to a park where Joseph Ventre of Warwick was reportedly causing a disturbance.  Police said they detained Ventre after a small struggle, and he was later pronounced dead at Rhode Island Hospital.  The medical examiner concluded his death was caused by the toxic effects of methamphetamine and methadone.  The Rhode Island Attorney General's Office is continuing to review the matter.

>>Patriots Blank Eagles On Road In Second Preseason Game

(Philadelphia, PA)  --  The New England Patriots are 2-and-0 in the 2021 NFL preseason after a 35-to-nothing shutout over the Philadelphia Eagles in Philly Thursday night.  Cam Newton started at quarterback for the Patriots and went eight-for-nine passing for 103 yards and a touchdown.  Rookie quarterback Mac Jones was 13-of-19 for 146 yards.  The Pats' final preseason game is Sunday, August 29th at the New York Giants.

>>More West Nile Mosquitoes Reported

(Providence, RI)  --  The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management is alerting the public about three more mosquitoes testing positive for West Nile virus.  The samples were collected in East Providence and in Warren.  Zero mosquitoes have tested positive for triple-E virus.

Jim McCabe/jb          RI) 
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08-20-2021 01:10:15

RI Veterans: Did you know?

RI Veterans: Did you know? 19 August 21 – John A. Cianci

August 19, 2021/John Cianci


by John A. Cianci, Department Veterans Service Officer, Italian American War Veterans (ITAM)


PAWS Act Await President Biden’s Signature

Louie & Potato – Louie is a 97 year old Rhode Island Veteran’s Home resident

Did you know the VA does not pay for PTSD service and or emotional dogs?


Did you know a service dog is trained to stand in front of, or behind, their handler to fend off crowds or approaching people?


Did you know a service dog may be trained to wake a person from a nightmare, “sweep” a room before their handler enters, or turn on lights?


On August 9, 2021, the U.S. Senate has unanimously passed the Puppies Assisting Wounded Servicemembers (PAWS) for Veterans Therapy Act. The bill authorizes the Veterans Affairs secretary to create a pilot program on dog training therapy based on the “train the trainer model,” that will provide dog-training skills and service dogs to veterans with mental illnesses, regardless of whether or not they have mobility issues.


The legislation is awaiting President Joe Biden’s desk for signature. 


The legislation will allow the Secretary of Veteran Affairs to carry out a pilot program under which the Secretary shall make grants to one or more appropriate non-government entities for the purpose of assessing the effectiveness for a Veteran of addressing post-deployment mental health and the symptoms of post-traumatic stress (PTSD) through a therapeutic medium of training service dogs for veterans with disabilities. 


Currently, a veteran seeking a service or emotional dog bears the cost, unless he or she is fortunate to be selected by one on the non-profits who provide, at no cost, the veteran a service emotional dog. 


The legislation will allow organizations and entities that are 501 (c) (3) to provide service dogs to veterans with PTSD. The organization must be accredited, and leadership must be recognized with expertise in the training of service dogs and education in the use of service dogs, along with numerous other requirements.  


A veteran would be eligible for a service dog under this legislation if:


He or she is enrolled in the patient enrollment system of the Veterans Affairs, and

·      Has been recommended to participate in the program, and

·      Agrees to successfully complete training provided by a non-government entity in receipt of the grant. 


Service and emotional dogs can have a life-changing impact in mitigating a veteran’s symptoms associated not only with PTSD, but other mental or physical illnesses the veteran is dealing with. 


The Italian American War Veterans of Rhode Island currently has two puppies, Potato and Gnocchi, in training to be emotional dogs. Both have already visited Veterans not only residing at the Rhode Island Veterans Home, veterans in hospice and or confined to their home. The dogs are siblings, brother and sister, and a member of the ITAM adopted both on May 20, 2021, National Rescue Day, in the U. S. Virgin Islands. They are the only 2 survivors of a litter of 4 found in a box in front of a grocery store when they were only 2-3 days old. 


From my first-hand experiences with Gnocchi and Potato visiting Veterans, doggy kisses and tail-wagging sure do bring out the smiles in our Veterans. If you know a Veteran who would benefit from visits from Gnocchi and Potato, both fully vaccinated, please contact the Italian American War Veterans of Rhode Island, itamri4vets@gmail.com or leave a message at 1-401-677-9VET. 


The PAWS Act is one of the few bipartisan acts we have seen between Democrats and Republicans this year, and only awaits President Biden’s signature to begin the process of connecting more Veterans in need of service dogs.


Now you know more about service dogs and the PAWS Act awaiting President Biden’s signature. 

Normand and Gnocchi, 85 year old Korean Era Veteran


The Italian American War Veterans, Inc. is a Veteran service organization available to assist any Veteran in understanding the Veteran claim process and assist in navigating the process to file a claim for health or compensation benefits. All ITAM services are FREE. Contact information, itamri4vets@gmail.com or by telephone, (401) 677-9VETS. 




Questions & Answers


How do I file my claim?


You can file your disability compensation claim online:




You can file your disability claim by mail:


File your claim by mail using an Application for Disability Compensation and Related Compensation Benefits (VA Form 21-526EZ).

Download VA Form 21-526EZ (PDF)


Print the form, fill it out, and send it to this address:


Department of Veterans Affairs
Claims Intake Center
PO Box 4444
Janesville, WI 53547-4444


You can file in-person:


Bring your application to a VA regional office near you.:


Providence Regional Office

380 Westminster St.

Providence RI 02903





Benefits Office at providence VA Medical Center

830 Chalkstone Ave Room 146 (main building)

Providence RI 02908



VETTIP – Recommend you get help with your claim by contacting FREE Veteran Service Officers at one of the veteran organizations assisting Veterans with benefits and claims; Veterans Service Officer (VSO). We trust these professionals because they’re trained and certified in the VA claims and appeals processes and can help you with VA-related needs. The Veterans Foreign War, Vietnam Veterans of America, Italian American War Veterans, and DAV, are some of the local veteran’s organizations assisting Veterans filing claims and appeals.




Saturday, August 28th, 12NOON – 4PM, “14th Annual Macaroni & Meatball Dinner Fundraiser”, hosted by the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association, Rhode Island Chapter 9-1, VFW Post #237, 850 Hope Street, Bristol.  Point of contact is Gary Rehak at 401.829.3004 (cell), or via email at sfcgadget@aol.com




September 15-20, 2021, USMC Tankers Association Facility: Crown Plaza Providence-Warwick, 801 Greenwich Ave., Warwick RI 02886. Point of Contact Name: John Wear. Point of Contact Telephone: 719-495-5998. Point of Contact Email: johnwear2@verizon.net . Comments: The USMC Vietnam Tankers Association will be holding our 12th biennial reunion. Anyone who served with any of the Marine tank battalions or Ontos units in Vietnam . . . in any capacity is welcome!!!     


November 20, 2021, Comedy/Dinner show at Officers Club, Newport Navy Base. The event is open to all, and all profits and donations will be for Rhode Island Military Lounge located at TF Greene Airport; the lounge is open to all traveling member of the military and veterans and their families, often left awaiting a delayed flight for hours. All staffing is volunteers. For more information for tickets, sponsorship and or donated, contact itamri4vets@gmail.com.





John A. Cianci is a Veteran Service Officer. Retired, U.S. Army MSgt., Persian Gulf War and Iraq War combat theater.


Cianci, a combat disabled Veteran, served in Desert Shield/Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom. His awards include Bronze Star, Combat Action Badge, Good Conduct, and others.


Cianci belongs to numerous veterans organizations – Italian American War Veterans, American Legion, Veterans of Foreign War, United Veterans Council of Rhode Island, and many more organizations. He is an active volunteer assisting veterans to navigate federal and state benefits they have earned. He is Department of Rhode Island Department Commander Italian American War Veterans and Veteran Service Officer.


He is a graduate of Roger Williams University (BS Finance), UCONN business school* (Entrepreneur Bootcamp For Veterans), Solar Energy International Residential, Commercial and Battery Based Photovoltaic Systems certificate programs, numerous certificates from the Department of Defense renewable energy programs, including graduate of the Solar Ready Vets Program.


Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: The Providence Police Department is releasing video related to use of force during an arrest last month.  A judge has dismissed a federal lawsuit from the Rise of the Moors.  Today is the 30th anniversary of the last hurricane to make landfall in New England.

>>Footage Released Of Controversial Providence Police Response In July

(Providence, RI)  --  The Providence Police Department has released body camera footage of an incident in July which resulted in the suspensions of two officers.  Law enforcement was led on a chase through the capital city the night of July 8th by three teenagers in a BMW.  The suspects allegedly pointed BB guns at police and civilians.  The body camera footage shows officers punching and spitting at the suspects.  Providence Public Safety Commissioner Steven Paré [[ parry ]] has previously called the use of force from officers "appalling".  The investigation into the incident is ongoing.

>>Woonsocket, Pawtucket Also Part Of License Plate Recognition Camera Trial

(Cranston, RI)  --  License plate recognition cameras are not just going online in Cranston.  The police chiefs of Pawtucket and Woonsocket have announced they're using them, too.  All three cities say they're participating in a sixty-day trial run.  The cameras were installed by Flock Safety of Atlanta.  The surveillance tech is causing privacy concerns, but police say the goal of using it is to prevent and reduce crime.

>>Man Arrested For Fatal Double-Shooting At Providence Club

(Providence, RI)  --  An arrest has been made in a Providence double-homicide.  Miguel Lacourt was picked up Wednesday in Johnston for the shootings of two Boston men, Mario Diaz and Kerwins Pimental, at the Fuego Lounge in Elmwood on August 7th.  A fight reportedly broke out after a birthday party celebration, resulting in the shooting.

>>Judge Dismisses Rise Of Moors Defamation Suit

(Providence, RI)  --  A federal judge is dismissing a lawsuit brought on by the Rise of the Moors.  The Rhode Island-based militia group was arrested after an armed standoff with police on I-95 in Massachusetts on the Fourth of July weekend.  The Moors sued the Mass State Police and several news organizations for defamation and discrimination.  The Providence Journal reports the judge ruled the federal court could not interfere with state proceedings and that there were procedural errors with the court filing.

>>Patriots Preseason Continues Against Eagles

(Philadelphia, PA)  --  The New England Patriots play their second preseason game Thursday night.  The Pats are at the Philadelphia Eagles, with whom they have been practicing this week during training camp.  Kickoff from Lincoln Financial Field is at 7:30 p.m.

>>30th Anniversary Of Hurricane Bob

(Undated)  --  Thursday marks the 30th anniversary of Hurricane Bob making landfall in Rhode Island.  A hurricane has not had a direct hit on New England since then.  Bob's impact was felt across the region, but the worst action was in the Cape Cod area.  The hurricane cost New England about one-and-a-half billion dollars, and thirteen people died.

>>Garth Brooks Cancels Gillette Stadium Concert

(Foxboro, MA)  --  Country music superstar Garth Brooks is canceling his scheduled October ninth concert at Gillette Stadium.  The tour stop is one of several canceled by Brooks Wednesday because of the nationwide surge in coronavirus cases.  The singer says he thought the pandemic was going away when the tour was scheduled, but clearly that is not the case.  This would have been the first visit by Brooks to Gillette.

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

08-19-2021 01:27:11

Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: The Rhode Island Council on Elementary and Secondary Education wants all school districts to adopt mask-wearing requirements this fall.  No new virus deaths reported yesterday in the Ocean State, about three-hundred new cases.  A Rhode Island city is trying out a new camera surveillance program.

>>Education Department Instructed To Reject Fall Plans Lacking Mask Requirements

(Providence, RI)  --  The push is on for a statewide mask mandate in Rhode Island schools.  The Council on Elementary and Secondary Education voted Tuesday night to have the Department of Ed reject any back-to-school plan submitted by a district that has not mandated masks.  An attorney for the education department told the council it did not have the authority to mandate masks and said the decision could result in legal action from uncooperative districts.  Earlier yesterday, Governor Dan McKee said about 80-percent of Rhode Island students are already under a requirement to wear masks at this point.  McKee said his administration would work with the remaining districts to follow suit.

>>No New COVID Deaths In RI, Nearly 300 New Cases

(Providence, RI)  --  There were zero new coronavirus deaths reported in Rhode Island on Tuesday.  The state reported two-hundred-94 new virus cases.  The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 as of yesterday's update was ninety-three.

>>New Surveillance Cameras In Cranston

(Cranston, RI)  --  New cameras that have been installed in Cranston are being used to fight crime, according to the chief of police.  Michael Winquist tells WJAR-TV the cameras are license-plate readers and that the city is using them on a trial basis.  The ACLU of Rhode Island is concerned about the impact the cameras will have on the privacy of Cranston residents and others passing through.

>>Driver Involved In Fatal Cranston Crash ID'd

(Cranston, RI)  --  Police have identified the driver of a single-vehicle fatal crash in Cranston last week.  The motorist killed in the crash on Laten Knight Road near the John L. Curran State Park was Kyle Segee of Glocester.  Authorities say the car was traveling at a high rate of speed and crashed into a tree.  The vehicle was found fully engulfed in flames and Segee on the ground.  He was pronounced dead at the scene.

>>Driver Arrested For Going Over 100 MPH With Child Passenger

(Portsmouth, RI)  --  A Newport woman was arrested in Portsmouth for allegedly driving 105 miles per hour with a toddler in the car on Monday night.  Brittney Fowlkes was charged with reckless driving on the Sakonnet River Bridge on Route 24.  The posted speed limit was 50.  WJAR-TV reports Fowlkes received probation and a suspended sentence in the case on Tuesday, according to Portsmouth police.

>>Providence Bruins Hire New Coach

(Providence, RI)  --  The Providence Bruins have named a new head coach.  Ryan Mougenel [[ MOO-jen-null ]], the thirteenth coach in the team's history, spent the last three seasons as the assistant.  Mougenel replaces Jay Leach, who left to join the coaching staff for the NHL's expansion team in Seattle.  The P-Bruins played their home games in Marlboro, Massachusetts last season, but they will return to the Dunkin' Donuts Center for the 2021-2022 American Hockey League schedule.  Opening night is on October 16th.

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

08-18-2021 00:21:13

Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: COVID-19 booster vaccines are now available in Rhode Island.  Some members of the General Assembly are urging the governor to mandate masks in schools for the upcoming school year.  Breaking down Rhode Island's latest Census data.

>>Rhode Island Approves Third Doses Of COVID Vaccines

(Providence, RI)  --  The administration of a third COVID-19 vaccine dose for people who are moderately-to-severely immunocompromised is being approved in Rhode Island.  The state says 35-thousand residents fit that category.  The U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized the third doses last week.  The shots are immediately available at the vaccination site at Sockanosset Cross Road in Cranston and at Ocean State hospitals, and should also be in retail pharmacies soon.

>>State Lawmakers Send Governor Letter Calling For Masks In Schools

(Providence, RI)  --  Rhode Island Governor Dan McKee is under pressure to issue a statewide mask-wearing mandate for kids in schools this fall.  More than thirty state legislators have signed a letter urging the action because of the spike in COVID-19 cases this summer.  McKee has so-far resisted calls for such a mandate, instead indicating that individual school districts ought to make those decisions.

>>Group Arrested In Providence Claims To Be Sovereign Citizens

(Providence, RI)  --  Three people who were reportedly seen in downtown Providence carrying loaded handguns were arrested on Friday.  The Providence Journal reports the individuals were inside the building on Westminster Street that houses the offices of the U.S. Attorney in Rhode Island.  The trio is charged with carrying unlicensed firearms.  According to a report from WPRI-TV, Commander Thomas Verdi of the Providence Police Department said they claimed to be sovereign citizens, but were not connected to the Pawtucket-based "Rise of the Moors" militia group which was arrested after a standoff with Massachusetts police last month.

>>Motorcyclist Dead After Crash In Narragansett

(Narragansett, RI)  --  A fatal motorcycle crash occurred in Narragansett on Sunday.  Police say the two-vehicle collision happened on Ocean Road at around 5:30 p.m.  The motorcycle driver, who has not been identified, was taken to South County Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

>>Census Reveals Increased Latino Population In RI, Less White People

(Undated)  --  Rhode Island's racial demographics are changing.  New data released from the 2020 U.S. Census indicates the number of residents who identified as Hispanic or Latino increased by about fifty-thousand over the last decade.  The higher number is thanks in part to an increased effort to make sure everyone was counted in the city of Central Falls, which is a predominately Latino community.  The number of Rhode Islanders who identified themselves as white in the Census dropped from about 80 to 70 percent.

>>Alleged ADA Violations At Brown Resolved

(Providence, RI)  --  The Justice Department is announcing a settlement after finding that Brown University violated the Americans with Disabilities Act.  The feds alleged that the Ivy League school unfairly denied readmission applications from dozens of undergraduate students who took a mental health-related medical leave.  As part of the settlement, the DOJ says Brown will revise its policies on such breaks being taken and will pay over a half-million dollars to the students who were impacted.

>>Former Patriots RB Dion Lewis Retires

(Undated)  --  Former New England Patriots running back Dion Lewis is retiring from the NFL.  Lewis, who is 30 years old, played for the Pats for three seasons.  He was part of the New England team that won the Super Bowl in 2017 over Atlanta, and he became the first player to score a rushing, receiving and kickoff return touchdown all in the same playoff game earlier in that postseason.

Jim McCabe/djc           RI) MA)
Copyright © 2021
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08-16-2021 00:19:04

Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: The Patriots win their preseason opener.  A man was shot outside of a restaurant in Providence last night.  The University of Rhode Island and Providence College are requiring everyone to mask up on campus.

>>Patriots Win Preseason Opener

(Foxboro, MA)  --  The New England Patriots won their only home game on the 2021 NFL preseason schedule Thursday night.  The Pats beat the Washington Football Team 22-to-13.  Fans were allowed in Gillette Stadium for the first time since before the coronavirus pandemic.  First round draft pick Mac Jones made his NFL quarterback debut for New England, completing 13 of 19 passes and zero touchdowns or interceptions.

>>Third Day Of Heat Wave Today

(Providence, RI)  --  Friday will mark an official heatwave in Providence.  It reached 90 degrees for a high temperature on Wednesday and 93 on Thursday.  A high temp near 95 is predicted for the capital city on Friday and 93 degrees on Saturday.  It'll fall back into the 80s next week.

>>Man In Critical Condition After Being Shot Outside Providence Restaurant

(Providence, RI)  --  A man was listed in critical condition following a shooting in Providence Thursday night.  Two shooters reportedly approached the 26-year-old who had just walked out of the Mandarin Garden Restaurant on Chalkstone Avenue in Smith Hill and opened fire at around 7 p.m.  Police say the shooting appeared to be targeted.

>>Victim Of South County Crash Was URI Student

(Washington County, RI)  --  Police have released the name of a car crash victim on Route 2 in North Kingstown earlier this week.  The person who died in the two-car collision was twenty-year-old Leah Ribner-Martin of North Kingstown.  The crash remains under investigation.  The University of Rhode Island says Leah was a double-major who was heavily involved in the school's 4-H program.  Ribner-Martin's life was celebrated at the Washington County Fair on Thursday, as a statement from the 4-H club indicated the fair was near and dear to her heart.

>>Commission Filled To Study RI Coastal Resources Management Council

(Providence, RI)  --  State representatives and other stakeholders in coastal Rhode Island towns are been appointed to a special General Assembly commission to study the Coastal Resources Management Council.  The agency which has control of four-hundred miles of coastline in the Ocean State has faced criticism over a number of decisions recently made, and its chairperson stepped down in July.  Sponsor of the legislation creating the commission, state rep Deborah Ruggiero [[ roo-JEER-ee-oh ]], says she believes its time to review coastal management procedures, the composition and experience of the board, and identify ways to make it better for the future of Rhode Island and its residents.

>>Universal Masking At University Of Rhode Island, Providence College

(Undated)  --  Masks will be part of life on campus at the University of Rhode Island and Providence College this upcoming semester.  WJAR-TV reports both schools announced universal masking rules on Thursday effective immediately, regardless of vaccination status.  URI and PC join Brown University in mandating masking-up this fall.  Channel 10 reports Rhode Island College is requiring face coverings for employees and visitors of campus buildings.

>>West Nile Detected In RI Mosquito For First Time This Summer

(Cranston, RI)  --  West Nile virus has been found in a Rhode Island mosquito for the first time this year.  The virus was detected in Cranston on July 29th.  The state says no samples have tested positive thus far for Eastern Equine Encephalitis.

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

08-13-2021 01:00:16

Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: Police are searching for a suspect in a stabbing on a RIPTA bus in Providence.  A Brown University scientist died during a New England bike race.  A Congressional redistricting panel has been formed in the Rhode Island legislature.
>>Heat Wave Continues
(Undated)  --  A mid-August heat wave is continuing in Rhode Island Thursday.  The northern part of the state is under an Excessive Heat Warning from the National Weather Service.  The heat index could reach 109 degrees today.
[[ watch for updates ]]
>>Police Searching For Suspect In Stabbing On RIPTA Bus
(Providence, RI)  --  Providence police are looking for a suspect in a stabbing on a Rhode Island Public Transportation Authority bus.  Reports indicate the stabbing happened after two passengers got into a fight on the bus that was near Fountain and Empire Streets on Wednesday afternoon.  The suspect reportedly fled the scene.  The victim was taken to Rhode Island Hospital with a serious arm injury, but was listed in stable condition.
>>North Attleboro Man Arrested For Jewelry Store Robbery
(Franklin, MA)  --  A North Attleboro man is under arrest for a jewelry store robbery in Franklin, Massachusetts.  Patrick Maranda allegedly smashed into the Vallee's Fine Jewelers business on July 31st and fled with ten-thousand dollars' worth of items.  The Franklin Police Department says the suspect caught on surveillance was wearing a hoodie featuring the logo of a landscaping business in Plainville, Mass, and says their cooperation was a tremendous help in the investigation.
>>Fatal Crash On Route 295
(Smithfield, RI)  --  There was a fatal crash on I-295 in Smithfield Tuesday night.  The Rhode Island State Police identified the victim as 48-year-old Donald Houde Jr. of Smithfield.  An SUV reportedly left the northbound interstate and struck a large rock in the median.
>>Brown University Scientist Dies During Bike Race
(Concord, NH)  --  A scientist at Brown University died during a regional New England bicycle race last weekend.  Thirty-three-year-old Evan Barr-Beare was competing in a race in Concord, New Hampshire.  He was leading the pack when he suffered a medical issue and crashed, according to race organizers.  Barr-Beare had gone on the record about living in Providence without a car in favor of commuting via bike.  At Brown, he was on the staff of the Mouse Transgenic and Gene Targeting Facility.
>>Appointments Required For COVID Testing Because Of Increased Demand
(Providence, RI)  --  The state of Rhode Island is requiring appointments for most state-run coronavirus testing sites.  The RI public health department says the move comes in response to a recent increase in demand for testing.  The state is advising unvaccinated individuals to get tested for COVID-19 weekly.  Appointments can be made at portal.RI.gov or by calling 401-222-8022.
>>Congressional Redistricting Panel Formed
(Providence, RI)  --  Rhode Island legislative leaders are announcing a General Assembly panel to tackle the topic of congressional re-districting.  The action routinely takes place following the release of the once-a-decade U.S. Census.  It was feared that Rhode Island would go down to a single representative after the 2020 Census came out, but the Ocean State learned earlier this year it would keep the two seats in the U.S. House.
Jim McCabe/djc           RI) MA)
 Copyright © 2021
TTWN Media Networks Inc. 
08-12-2021 01:41:08

Your Coronavirus Update

Your Coronavirus Update – Aug. 11, 2021

August 11, 2021/RINewsToday




Chatham, MA has canceled their summer camp program because of positive cases.


RI has decreased its risk from very high to high.


Newport Secret Gardens Tour is canceled for 2021


Salem, MA has mandated masks for indoors – this will include popular Halloween season.


RI School departments have to submit mask/COVID mitigation plans by Saturday


Chariho will not mandate masks.


Washington Co. Fair will be held – masks required on the shuttle from the parking lots to the grounds.


Some retail locations in Vermont are opting to close for one week as the surge of vaccine rises.


Secretary Gorbea consulted with local health experts and senior staff. Due to the higher transmissibility of the Delta variant, she is implementing the following policies as of Monday, 8/16:

  • In-person services from the Department of State will be available by appointment only.
    • This includes research at the State Archives, Business Services filings, Public Information support, and the Elections Division. 
    • While the State House remains open to the public, all research requests involving the State Library can and should be done virtually.
  • All of the Department’s in-person events will be cancelled through at least mid-October or until it is deemed safe to congregate in-person. 
  • All in-person State House tours are cancelled through at least mid-October or until it deemed safe to congregate in-person. 
  • Anyone entering Department of State offices is required to be masked. 
  • Department of State staff working in communal areas or with the public will be masked at all times. 




RI Press Conference


TY to press and educators who are working to get out the information to the RI people.


Important for RI to know our team is in direct daily contact and looking at the data to keep Rhode Islanders safe and in the recovery mode.


We know the best weapon we have is to get vaccinated. 99.1% of those vaccinated will not be in the hospital or die if they get the new variant.


Data: 145 new cases yesterday. 3.2% positivity. 1 death. We are 5th and 6th in US for 1st and 2nd shots. We have the lowest death rate in the US. Only 3 states are stronger than us. We’re in a good spot – but we still need to do everything we can.


Every week we will count down the vaccination number from over 205,000 unvaccinated – today it is below 200,000. 80% over 18 are vaccinated – and give progress updates.


Past 4 weeks we’ve seen increase in vaccinations.


Vaccinations: RI is in top 5 in the US for percent vaccinated.


NEW POLICY: RI Healthcare workers, state licensed healthcare facilities will be required to be fully vaccinated by Oct. 1st. All workers who are unvaccinated, until then, will have to wear a surgical mask and be tested with a PCR test twice a week – applies to public and private facilities.


RI Gives Back: we reached first 25,000 goal – more than 27,000 vaccinated since challenge began – thought it would be October – done by August 10th. New nonprofits have received grants.


SCHOOLS: RIDOH, RIDE, GOV OFFICE agree: Not vaccinated need to get vaccinated. Kids over 12 can be vaccinated. Every district will be matched with school vaccination clinic for ease of access. CDC is requesting all students, staff, faculty wear masks at the beginning of school year. We must protect children, especially those under 12, who can’t receive vaccine. RI supports the CDC recommendation, but stops short at a mandate. MASKS: Delta variant is more contagious. Possible to get COVID after vaccinated, and important to know that there are often side effects from COVID that last.


No one suggesting RI impose mask mandate – you and your family need to know risks and you need to make the best decision for you.  Mask wearing is going to be dependent on where you are – some retail locations will require it – some won’t.


If you look around you can see many people wearing masks and our vaccination sites are picking up – a lot of this is what we are doing already.


We will continue to monitor RI’s numbers closely.


Our campaign is a simple one:  “It is time” – Time to get vaccinated.


Visit VaccinateRI.org


The panel took questions. Q&A


Mask wearing at RI State House and public buildings will be required.  If you work for the state, you will be wearing a mask. Discussing with unions policy about this.


AAP letter saying every student should wear a mask under the age of 12 – what do you think?


Dr. Scott: We appreciate the AAP’s position. We know what the CDC has recommended.


Some districts will not implement a mask mandate for children under 12.


Dr. Scott: They need to recognize how important masks can be. If children are too young to b vaccinated, a mask is another layer of protection.


A couple of weeks ago you said you would only have to take emergency steps if you saw “a fire” – what would you have to see?


Gov: We’re following science and the govt.


Why not mandate masks?


Gov: I expect supt. to follow the CDC guidance. We may have to huddle with the Health Dept. to see what next steps are.


Do you support mandatory vaccinations among teachers?


Gov: No – but I would be interested in learning more – ATF’s position, etc. Our teachers are at 90% – working staff are at 90% – child care workers at 90%. We’ll continue to watch this. Now we want to see the student population follow the teachers’ lead.


Expect to see a booster campaign?


Tom McCarthy: We do. Anticipate we will open additional testing sites, easily accessible. Expanding capacity tomorrow – just over 5,000 appts a day will be available. We’ve been planning for boosters from Day #1 – we have several plans already prepared – must streamline them through the federal governments.


Haven’t seen Dr. Scott? Why? Was that responsible?


Dr. Scott – From public health perspective, always important to get the message out – this is only one way I am doing this. If people want more info through this route, we are ready to do that. We’ll use whatever we need to get the message out.


RIDOH is working at 110% level – burnout? State resources at RIDOH and frontline health workers?


Dr. Scott – our colleagues are my heroes – sacrifices to families, etc. – burnout is very real. Exhausted hours and days, skipped vacations, continues to remain top priority what other resources are out there, what tools can we put in place to support them.


Oct. 1st mandate for state licensed facilities – what are they?


Gov: Nursing homes, group homes, any health organization licensed by state, including state hospitals, congregate care – if they are not, we will deal with that. We don’t want to take any risks.


NY Times story about 15% of population will NOT get vaccinated. That # won’t budge. That defies national averages. Are you giving us false hope?


Dr. Scott: We always strive for the best. Similar to seat belts, smoking, etc. We are putting policies in place that allow for the path of least resistance. We’ve always led the national in immunizations. No reason why we can’t do better than that,


30-40% of firefighters in Providence aren’t vaccinated? Will you consider all first responders should be mandated to be vaccinated.


Gov: yes, I would consider it – there is a path there for greater compliance. Colleges, healthcare workers, there is a path. When Pfizer gets FDA approval that will be a game changer and that will be in the next few weeks.


What changed your opinion about vaccine mandates?


Gov: after meeting with nursing homeowners and know that they will support it – and hospitals will do a 9/1 date for vaccines, it makes sense to do this.


RI is looking to do genome sequencing for every test – to test for variants.


RI Data – August 10, 2021:





FEMA will test the National Alert System today at 2:20pm – could be on TV, radio, and cell phones.


Randi Weingarten of the largest teacher’s union now believes vaccinations should be mandatory


There are approx.1 million more job openings than people looking for work.


Florida’s Board of Education approved letting families take their money to other schools if they do not agree with their school’s masking policy.


Moderna offered a contradictory message yesterday, saying a booster “will likely be necessary prior to the winter season” even though “emerging data also confirms effectiveness against variants.”


Pfizer has said boosters may be needed within a year.


Forecast sees most U.S. weddings in 38 years


CDC urges avoiding travel to Israel, France, Thailand


Rep. Sharice Davids, D-Kansas, tested positive, has mild symptoms and is quarantining at home – she had been vaccinated and recently underwent a surgical procedure


The Union Square Hospitality Group became one of the first restaurant groups to require all staff and dine-in customers be vaccinated. The group operates New York’s Gramercy Tavern, Manhattan, and Union Square Café, as well as Anchovy Social in Washington, D.C.


The business review platform Yelp said it will add COVID-19 guidelines to its business listings, which will allow people to filter companies based on whether they require proof of vaccination and whether staff are fully vaccinated.


New York City, Microsoft, Tyson Foods and the U.S. auto industry joined state and local governments and big employers that are requiring vaccinations. Vaccination cards or state and city apps will be accepted as proof of inoculation.


Some Atlanta schools have been back in session, in person, for 5 days, and are now on quarantine due to positive cases.


Cruise lines can require proof of vaccination, legally.


Restaurants may likely keep many of the changes instituted in the pandemic such as spacing, single use menus, etc.


Some Texas hospitals are now sending patients out of state for care, as they begin to run out of space.


The U.S. is averaging more than 100,000 new cases a day, the most since February.


Florida is averaging more than 19,000 new cases a day.


Austin, TX has declared a state of emergency with only 6 ICU beds available.


Arkansas Governor who had signed into law that mask mandates were illegal, has changed his mind.


New Orleans Jazz Fest canceled for 2nd year in a row.


North Carolina will enter a state of emergency this Monday.


430 positive tests came from the Olympics


Baltimore – indoor mask mandate now in effect.


Country star Reba McEntire is urging everyone to “stay safe” as she and her boyfriend have both tested positive – but had been vaccinated.


Florida leads the country in hospitalized children.


Doctors are advising Floridians who are not vaccinated not to go into a bar or other public place – “you will absolutely contract COVID”.


Head of notorious Wuhan lab warns more COVID-19 mutations are coming


The Lambda variant is becoming a prominent strain in South America.


Dick Farrel, a former television commentator and radio talk show host denied the coronavirus was real and was described as an “anti-vaxxer”, has died at 65 of COVID19. One of his colleagues wrote: “RIP Dick Farrel. He is the reason I took the shot! He texted me and told me to ‘Get it!’ He told me that this virus is no joke and he said, ‘I wish I had gotten it!’


Texas Republican H. Scott Apley, died on the same day as Dick Farrel, five days after posting mask-mocking memes and questioning the vaccine.


Stephen Harmon, who belonged to a California mega church and joked that he had “99 problems but a vax ain’t one” has died of COVID19.


6 members of a church in Florida died of Covid-19 in less than 2 weeks. None of the victims were vaccinated, and 4 of them were healthy and under the age of 35


The Portuguese government has announced a staged plan to lift restrictions, with all current limits being removed by October 2021. This comes as Portugal’s vaccination rate has surpassed that of the United States, with 55% vaccination rate, and an 80% goal by October.


France’s ‘sanitary pass’ was extended to cafes, restaurants and other venues. The pass — which will be used to show proof of vaccination, a recent negative Covid-19 test or recovery from infection — was already required for large venues


Moderna will build a manufacturing plant in Canada.


China reported on Monday more COVID-19 infections in its latest outbreak of the disease, while some cities added rounds of mass testing in the bid to stamp out locally-transmitted infections.


The Pentagon will require all military members to receive vaccinations by 9/15 or sooner – they must also wear masks, keep distances, and limit travel until fully vaccinated.


Canada has opened its borders to US travelers – must use the app and be tested – borders aren’t opened for Canadians to come to US.


In Israel, despite the Delta variant, vaccines are delivering high protection, and the rate of serious infections is six times higher among those 60+ who are not vaccinated than others of the same age who are.  


Birthright cancels dozens of trips to Israel due to new quarantine rules


On behalf of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), a non-profit professional organization of more than 67,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists, and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety, and well-being of all infants, children, adolescents, and young adults, I write to urge the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to continue working aggressively towards authorizing safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines for children under age 12 as soon as possible.


Here is the letter sent by AAP to the FDA:


Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: A heat wave is set to impact Southern New England for the rest of the week.  The Providence City Council held an emergency meeting last night to address an uptick in violence, with a focus on illegal ATV and dirt bike riders.  The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority says it has suffered a cyberattack.

>>High Heat And Humidity To Close Out Workweek

(Undated)  --  A heat wave is coming to Greater Providence.  The National Weather Service says it might crack 90 degrees today, then daily high temperatures in the 90s will last through Saturday.  The weather service is predicting oppressive-to-dangerous heat and humidity the next three days.

>>Providence City Council Emergency Meeting Focuses On ATV, Dirt Bike Riders

(Providence, RI)  --  The Providence City Council held an emergency meeting Tuesday night regarding a late-summer crime wave.  The focus of the meeting was illegal off-road vehicle riders in the capital city streets.  In one of the recent incidents, a woman was pulled from a car and beaten by a group of people on ATVs and dirt bikes.  Police Chief Hugh Clements said the Providence Police Department is accepting help from the Rhode Island State Police to combat the issue.  Clements said the number of officers on his force has fallen below the minimum level.

>>RIPTA Addressing Cyberattack 

(Providence, RI)  --  The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority says it suffered a cyberattack last week, according to a report from WPRI-TV.  The attack disrupted passengers' ability to pay for rides using the Wave smart-fare system, which utilizes a card or cellphone.  But it has not stopped the buses from running, according to RIPTA CEO Scott Avadisian.  Channel 12 reports RIPTA drivers have been instructed to allow any passengers with the Wave app on board, even if it is not functioning.

>>Rhode Island Requiring Vaccines For All Healthcare Workers

(Providence, RI)  --  Rhode Island Governor Dan McKee on Tuesday announced all staff at state-licensed healthcare facilities must get vaccinated against COVID-19 or they will face additional regulations.  The deadline for full vaccination is October 1st.  Those who do not comply must be tested for COVID twice a week and wear a mask on the job.  Lifespan and Care New England, the state's largest two hospital groups, announced employee vaccine mandates last month.

>>Citizens Bank Closing Branch In Downtown Prov HQ

(Providence, RI)  --  Citizens Bank is closing the branch inside its downtown Providence headquarters.  A spokesperson tells the Providence Business News the closure of the branch at One Citizens Plaza will happen in November.  The spokesperson says the action was taken because of the renovation of the bank's Kennedy Plaza branch a half-mile away.

>>West Nile Virus Detected In Mosquito From Attleboro

(Attleboro, MA)  --  West Nile virus has been detected in a mosquito in Attleboro, Massachusetts.  The Mass Department of Public Health is warning people in the area to take precautions against mosquito bites.  The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management said Tuesday all of the most-recent samples obtained from statewide mosquito traps tested negative for West Nile and Eastern Equine Encephalitis.  

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

08-11-2021 00:34:10

Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: The mayor of Providence commented Monday on this past weekend's gun violence.  Prosecutors in Massachusetts get an extension in the case against the Rhode Island-based Rise of the Moors militia group.  COVID modifications are in place at Gillette Stadium as Patriots fans make their return.

>>Hot Weather Stretch Upcoming

(Undated)  --  The National Weather Service says Southern New England can expect a return of hot summer weather Wednesday through Friday.  The weather service says the heat index will surpass one-hundred degrees during the three-day stretch.  A temperature drop-down is predicted this weekend.

>>Providence Mayor Calls Violence Inexcusable, But Says City Safer Than Previously

(Providence, RI)  --  Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza said Monday he understood why people are concerned about the late-summertime crime wave impacting the capital city.  In a statement about a fatal nightclub shooting and a separate non-fatal triple-shooting over the weekend, Elorza called the violence inexcusable.  But the mayor also told reporters yesterday that the city is safer than it was decades ago.  Providence Police Major David Lapatin [[ luh-PAY-tin ]] said a current problem is illegal guns and that authorities have already seized more firearms in 2021 then they get for an entire average year.  Monday night, the latest incident reported in the Providence crime wave was a stabbing of a man who was walking on Cranston Street.  The Providence City Council is holding an emergency meeting tonight.

>>Extension Granted To Prosecutors In Rise Of Moors Case

(Medford, MA)  --  A Massachusetts judge is allowing for a prosecutor's request to have additional time in the case against the Rhode Island-based Rise of the Moors, the group arrested after a police standoff in the Bay State.  The Middlesex District Attorney's Office said Monday it needed more time to process evidence, according to a report from The Providence Journal.  A large number of firearms were seized from the Moors, a self-described militia group which was involved in the standoff with police on I-95 in Wakefield, Mass on the Fourth of July weekend.

>>Skilled Nursing Facilities Denied Admission To Patients Using Opioid Disorder Medication

(Providence, RI)  --  The U.S. government is announcing an agreement with a group of skilled nursing facilities in Rhode Island and Massachusetts to resolve alleged denial of admission to prospective residents.  The Justice Department says the dozen facilities operated by Genesis HealthCare violated several federal laws when they issued the rejections because the patients were taking FDA-approved medical treatment for opioid use disorder.  Pennsylvania-based Genesis will adopt a non-discrimination policy as part of the agreement.

[[ note nature ]]

>>Brown Sued Over Alleged Improper Management Of Sexual Misconduct Cases

(Providence, RI)  --  Brown University students are suing the school.  The federal class-action lawsuit by four female students alleges the Ivy League institution has failed to protect women from sexual violence and has actively discouraged reporting of incidents.  All of the school's women from the class of 2018 to the current graduating year are eligible.  Brown has released a statement disputing the lawsuit's claims.

>>Patriots Fans Notified Of Stadium Changes Ahead Of Preseason Opener

(Foxboro, MA)  --  The New England Patriots are set to welcome back fans to Gillette Stadium this week for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic began.  The Pats are hosting the Washington Football Club on Thursday night.  Gillette has undergone several pandemic safety modifications, including tickets only being accessible via smartphone and no cash sales.  The policy also indicates COVID-19 vaccinations will not be required for entry into the stadium, but ticketholders must agree to not attend if they have recently tested positive or been exposed.  Unvaccinated fans are being asked mask up.

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

08-10-2021 00:55:10

AARP concerned for working caregivers.

AARP concerned for working caregivers. Advice from Dr. Michael Fine – Herb Weiss

August 9, 2021/Herb Weiss



By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues


After the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic initially shuttered the nation’s businesses over a year ago and with Delta variant cases now surging among the 50 percent of the population not fully vaccinated, AARP releases a 17-page report exploring the concerns of working caregivers about returning to pre-pandemic business routines. 


AARP’s national survey, examining caregiver concerns during the COVID-19 pandemic, was conducted by phone and online panel on July 1-7, 2021, and included 800 U.S. residents 18 years or older who are currently providing unpaid care to an adult relative or friend and employed either full-time or part-time (but not self-employed).


Six in ten caregivers responding to the survey were paid hourly, while nearly four in ten are salaried workers. Almost seven in ten say that their job is “essential.” 


The researchers found that the COVID-19 pandemic impacted how working caregivers balanced their work and caregiving roles. Four in five caregivers expressed feeling stressed by juggling these dual responsibilities. More than three in five of the respondents say that they were spending more time caring for their loved one(s). When asked about the next 12 months, two-thirds of all working caregivers expect some, or a great deal of, difficulty balancing both job and caregiving roles. 


According to the AARP study, “Working Caregivers’ and Desires in a Post-Pandemic Workplace,” about half of working family caregivers were offered new benefits during the pandemic, including flexible hours (65%), paid leave (34%) and mental health or self-care resources (37%). About half of those surveyed were able to telework due to COVID 19; by early July, 22% were still working from home full time and 30% were working from home at least part-time. For those who could work from home, nearly nine in 10 said it helped them balance work and care responsibilities – and 75% are worried about how they will manage when their pre-pandemic schedules resume.


“Employers would be wise to consider how benefits like paid leave and flexible hours can help the one in six workers who are also caring for a loved one,” said Alison Bryant, Senior Vice President, AARP Research in an Aug. 4 statement released announcing the release of the report. “Living through the pandemic was challenging for working family caregivers – while some were helped by new workplace benefits and flexibility, the vast majority are worried about how to balance both roles going forward. Our research opens a window into how the pandemic changed the workplace and what working caregivers are concerned about in the coming year,” says Bryant.


As offices and other in-person workplaces begin to slowly re-open, many caregivers expressed concerns that they would bring the virus home to infect loved ones (63%) or contract COVID at work (53%). About three in five are worried about leaving the person they care for alone while they go to work. Among those who were able to work at home during the pandemic, almost nine in ten would like the option to continue doing so at least some of the time. And more than four in ten caregivers said they would consider looking for a new job if the benefits they were offered during the pandemic were rolled back.


AARP offers a range of free tools and resources to help employers retain working caregivers, including tip sheets, tool kits and online training for managers. The resources are available at www.aarp.org/employercaregivin


Dr. Michael Fine


Dr. Michael Fine: The pandemic of the unvaccinated

Don’t let your guard down, even if you’re vaccinated, warns Dr. Michael Fine, the former Rhode Island Director of the Department of Health. As the COVID-19 Delta variant cases spike across the nation, “it’s the pandemic of the unvaccinated,” he says. “Now 97% of the hospitalized are unvaccinated. As community transmission rises, it is more likely that vaccinated people will get infected and spread the virus,” he says.

Dr. Fine further responded to requests about how we should approach this latest wave of COVID in Rhode Island:

“For most vaccinated people, Covid-19 will be a mild disease,” says Fine.  For those with chronic disease like high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, COPD and cancer, one study from Israel suggests that the risk of hospitalization and death is equal to the unvaccinated,” he says.  

“As community transition rises, I’m expecting some hospitalizations and death in vaccinated people with chronic disease. That group would do well to self-isolate — to stay home and let others shop for them, until community transmission falls to less than 35/100,000/week. We are now a place with high transmission, about 140/100,000/week,” states Fine.

Fine urges businesses to require all employees working together to be vaccinated, wear masks and get weekly Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests for the COVID-19 virus.

Teleconferencing technology should replace onsite or outside meetings, he says.  

Working caregivers can be protected from bringing COVID-19 home by being vaccinated and should get two PCR tests a week, and limit contact with other people by avoiding shopping at stores or going to restaurants.


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 herbweiss.com. The sequel, Vol. 2 Taking Charge: More Stories on Aging Boldly will be available for purchase in August.

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 RINewsToday.com. Herb and his wife, Patty Zacks, reside in Pawtucket, Rhode Island.

Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: Two men were killed in a nightclub shooting in Providence and three others were injured in a separate shooting in the capital city this weekend.  The Rhode Island baseball team trying to make the Little League World Series has lost its opener.  An invasive insect species has been detected in the Ocean State for the first time.

>>Separate Providence Shootings Leave Two Dead, Three Injured

(Providence, RI)  --  Gun violence struck again in Providence this weekend.  Two men from Boston who have not been identified, ages 27 and 29, were shot and killed at the El Fuego nightclub on West Friendship Street overnight Saturday.  The club has been closed pending a city licensing board hearing.  There was also a triple-shooting outside a residence on Manton Avenue early Sunday morning.  All three victims, a man and two women, went to Rhode Island Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, according to Providence police.

>>RI Little League World Series Hopeful Loses Opener

(Bristol, CT)  --  The Rhode Island Little League baseball team bidding for a shot at this year's World Series lost on Sunday.  The team from North Providence fell one-nothing to Vermont at the regional in Bristol, Connecticut.  They will face an elimination game on Tuesday.

>>Spotted Lanternfly Detected In Rhode Island For First Time

(Providence, RI)  --  An invasive pest called the spotted lanternfly is being reported in Rhode Island for the first time.  The RI Department of Environmental Management says a single S-L-F was found in an industrial-commercial area in Warwick.  The department says the spotted lanternfly threatens the Ocean State's agricultural lands.  You can stop the spread by checking for the bug in firewood, vehicles, outdoor furniture and camping gear.

>>Decision To Reinstate Airport Deputy Police Chief Stayed

(Warwick, RI)  --  A decision to reinstate a deputy police chief at T.F. Green Airport with back-pay and benefits is being placed on hold.  A Rhode Island Superior Court judge ruled earlier this year that the RI Airport Corporation was wrong when it fired Helen Ricci for alleged insubordination without providing a hearing under the state's Law Enforcement Officers' Bill of Rights.  The Providence Journal reported the judge agreed to stay the ruling last week because the airport is likely to win its appeal to the state Supreme Court.  The airport corporation says it had significant concerns about Ricci's job performance.

>>Woman To Be Sentenced In Fatal DUI Crash

(Warwick, RI)  --  A North Kingstown woman is admitting to a fatal drunk-driving crash.  Barbara Trojan pleaded no contest in Superior Court last month to charges including DUI death-resulting following the 2019 crash in East Greenwich which killed Patricia Daniels, also of North Kingstown.  Trojan is due for sentencing in September.

>>Warwick Man Reunited With College Class Ring

(Warwick, RI)  --  A Warwick man has been reunited with his class ring that was lost twenty years ago.  Bob O'Brien, who attended Boston University, got the ring back after it was posted on a community Facebook page by someone who found it while cleaning a house.  O'Brien's son says when he was a kid, someone stole the ring at a house party he was hosting.  He surprised his dad with the recovered item this weekend.

Jim McCabe/jb         RI) MA) 
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08-09-2021 00:44:10


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