News

John Bender / RIPR

The Port of Providence operator has updated its expansion plans to address concerns flagged by environmental advocates at Save the Bay. 

This I Believe Rhode Island: Everyday Choices

Jul 19, 2016

How many of you feel your senses being assaulted on a daily basis by the distressingly steady and toxic flow of bad news in the world?  International conflict.  Famine.  Natural disasters.  Severe economic downturns.  Heinous crime.  The list goes on and on.  Most of us yearn for peace and safety, don’t we?  We want tranquility in the small, private corners of our world and in the global community.   In this encore essay, Darlene Van Straten shares her very personal insights about this widespread and shared challenge.

 

Darlene Van Straten is a technical writer who resides in Portsmouth, Rhode Island with her husband, who hails from Puli, Taiwan.

Help shape the stories for a new series from Rhode Island Public Radio. What keeps people in your community apart? Who is bridging divides such as race, class and politics to bring deeper understanding to your community? Have you formed a relationship that changed the way you see your friends, your neighbors or your family? We want to hear from you! 

Ian Donnis

Gov. Gina Raimondo is expected to sign a series of bills Wednesday that impact schools and children, including a bill requiring 20 minutes of recess per day in elementary schools.

Also on the list, a bill requiring public reporting on the deaths of children in the foster care system, dyslexia screenings in elementary schools, and a bill that authorizes the creation of a "bi-literacy" seal for bilingual high school graduates.

The state Ethics Commission voted unanimously Tuesday to adopt a moratorium on outside ethics complaints in the 90 days before a general election.

The moratorium is intended to discourage politically motivated complaints, although the commission reserves the right to launch its own investigations or complaints, commission spokesman Jason Gramitt said.

Common Cause of Rhode Island, Operation Clean Government, and the League of Women Voters supported the moratorium, Gramitt said.

RIPR FILE

Education advocates say there’s a lot to like about the state’s new budget for public schools. That includes new funding for special education and early childhood education. But some advocates are concerned about the future of charter schools.

For more on that, Rhode Island Public Radio’s Elisabeth Harrison spoke to Daniela Fairchild from the Rhode Island Campaign for Achievement Now, a group that advocates for charter schools and higher standards for all schools, among other issues.

    

The Republican National Convention enters its second day Tuesday in Cleveland, after addressing a lot of routine business during day one. That included approving a party platform that pulls the GOP to the far right on several issues, including gay rights. 

But some New England delegates believe the platform is no true concern.

Ambar

Hundreds of Burrillville residents welcomed Gov. Gina Raimondo Monday night at a community meeting, where the majority voiced steadfast opposition to a proposed power plant. 

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

In the wake of recent mass and police shootings, Rhode Island Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse says Congress may be gearing up to consider more gun legislation. But, Whitehouse cautions that he has seen similar efforts fail before.

Whitehouse says he’s hopeful about legislation that would restrict people who are on anti-terrorism no-fly lists from buying guns. It's currently in limbo. Still, Whitehouse says the outlook is promising for gun control advocates.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Here's what's happening in health care in Rhode Island, including stories about addiction treatment, intellectual disabilities, medical marijuana, outdoor recreation, antibiotic resistance, and more:

Elisabeth Harrison

After announcing on Friday that 10th and 11th graders would be exempt from the state's annual standardized testing, education officials walked back the policy. The state Department of Education now says all students will have to take at least one standardized math test during high school, in either Algebra I, Algebra II or Geometry.

The state is reducing requirements for PARCC, the annual state test of English and Mathematics, in the hope that more students will take PSAT and SAT exams, which increases the likelihood of applying to college. 

Calling all literate Rhode Islanders and Ocean State ex-pats: For a great read get thee to the bookstore (or Internet if you must) and get Bruce DeSilva’s latest Rhody-centric mystery novel "The Dread Line." It goes on sale in September.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

  As drought conditions continue through parts of Rhode Island, Westerly has passed an ordinance to limit water use. The ordinance restricts water use for residents on even or odd days according to their address. Town Utilities Superintendent Paul Corina said such an ordinance is very rare.

“We haven’t had a restriction like this since 2002,” said Corina. “Basically our system is in very good shape, we have a lot of sources. It’s just this drought – it’s so bad.”

Corina added local businesses shouldn’t worry about the restrictions.

Courtesy Whitehouse Office

Governor Gina Raimondo meets Monday with critics and residents in Burrillville who oppose a proposed power plant. As Rhode Island Public Radio’s John Bender reports, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse is declining to take a position on the project.

Whitehouse says his input on the proposed natural gas fired plant could hinder a local decision.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Providence Chief Operating Officer Brett Smiley will take over as Gov. Gina Raimondo's chief of staff, following the departure of Stephen Neuman, who stepped down to work on Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.

Smiley joins Raimondo’s team after working for Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza as the city’s chief operating officer since 2015.

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