News

John Bender / RIPR

Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza has proposed major changes in the administration of the city’s public schools.The changes will include the creation of several new positions, transferring some current employees out of the central administration and eliminating some vacant posts.

Elorza's proposal comes months after the departure of former Providence Schools Superintendent Susan Lusi, and an audit that found inefficiencies in the central office.

Providence Interim Superintendent Chris Maher said the school system is looking to hire up to 10 new staff members.

Maggie Hall / Wilbury Theatre Group

Providence’s Wilbury Theatre Group is staging another provocative drama, filled with humor and music. Rhode Island Public Radio’s theater critic Bill Gale, says the show has something to say.

Despite that somewhat sophomoric title, this work eventually turns out to make a point or two. In a snap-fire three act production, in about 2 hours, it manages to take a look at a group of arts-world folks. It peels away the covering, lets us in the audience see their troubles, exterior and internal. And perhaps even offers us a chance to think about our own lives.

New Sign Unveiled At Warwick's Rocky Point Park

Feb 1, 2016
Chuck Hinman

State and city officials unveiled a new street sign for Rocky Point Park in Warwick. The public park is home to a number of walking trails along the Narragansett coastline, and the site of a former popular amusement park.  

Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian said the re-development of Rocky Point Park provides an important resource for the community. 

John Bender / RIPR

Billy Reynolds, the longtime Providence Journal columnist who is one of the nation’s very best basketball writers, has written a remarkable new book entitled Hope: A School, A Team, A Dream.

albertogp123/flicker

Governor Gina Raimondo has announced a new program to pay for SAT and PSAT testing for public high school 10th and 11th graders.

Governor Gina Raimondo is requesting 500-thousand dollars from the General Assembly, to cover the cost of testing. Currently, students pay $54 to take the SAT and $15 for the PSAT. The SAT, or a similar test, is required to apply to many colleges.

Raimondo said she hopes to encourage more public school students to take the test.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Lawmakers in the Senate and House Finance committees are expected to take up a controversial bill on truck tolls on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively Legislative leaders have proposed a compromise to raise money for road and bridge repairs.

The new bill would cap truck tolls at $20 for a rig crossing the state. It would also cut the number of toll gantries from 17 to 14. And reduce the amount of money the state borrows for road and bridge repairs.

The inimitable Buddy Cianci passes from the Rhode Island scene, making waves even after his death. Thanks for stopping by for my weekly column. As usual your tips and comments are welcome, and you can follow me through the week on the twitters. Here we go.

Providence Business News Editor Mark Murphy joins Rhode Island Public Radio's Dave Fallon for our weekly business segment, The Bottom Line.

After the passing of former Providence Mayor Buddy Cianci, Mark and Dave discuss his legacy from a business perspective. 

Cianci was known as a great champion for Providence, who oversaw major improvements in the economy, but Murphy says he also created a culture of fear among business owners.

When to listen:

You can hear The Bottom Line each Friday at 5:50pm.

RIPR FILE

Rhode Islanders will have a  chance to pay final respects to Buddy Cianci later this week, when his body lies in repose at City Hall. Even in death, Rhode Islanders debate the legacy of Providence's longest-serving mayor. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay shares his thoughts on Cianci.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

A Massachusetts resident has reportedly returned from a trip to South America infected with the mosquito-borne Zika virus. But is there a risk to Rhode Island?

Zika has sickened more than a million Brazilians since May, and may be the cause – although it’s not certain yet – of a serious birth defect. But Hasbro children’s hospital infectious disease specialist Michael Smit,MD says it’s too early to panic about that kind of outbreak in North America.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

Governor Gina Raimondo reversed course Friday on an earlier decision not to order flags at half-staff in recognition of the death Thursday of former Providence Mayor Buddy Cianci.

Spokeswoman Marie Aberger said Raimondo reflected on her earlier decision and decided to order flags to be lowered at half-staff because "it was the right thing to do, and out of respect for the office that Buddy held for 20 years."

Ian Donnis / RIPR

In Providence and in Rhode Island, Buddy Cianci was one of the most influential political figures of his generation, as well as one of the most controversial. His time as Providence mayor was marked by significant economic redevelopment, but also marred by violence, cronyism and corruption.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

A new bill that puts a tax on carbon has garnered broad support from environmental advocates, businesses, and religious groups. Supporters believe the bill, called Energize Rhode Island, will help reduce carbon emissions and stimulate the economy. 

Providence City Councilman Sam Zurier joins Bonus Q&A this week to discuss taxes and tax breaks; how Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza has handled the firefighter dispute, and other issues. 

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Providence City Councilman Sam Zurier joins Political Roundtable this week to discuss the passing of Buddy Cianci and the fiscal outlooks of the City of Providence and Rhode Island.

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