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The Pulse
2:22 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

How Healthy Is Your County? Providence Needs Improvement.

Map ranking Rhode Island counties by health outcomes. The lighter colors represent better health outcomes.
Credit County Health Rankings 2015 / Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has released its annual County Health Rankings, and Rhode Island's counties (Providence in particular) seem to be faring worse than the national average on a few measures, and much better on a few, too.

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On Politics
1:07 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

Elorza Taps Navy Veteran As New Providence DPW Chief

Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza at his inauguration in January.
Credit RIPR News

  Mayor Jorge Elorza has appointed a U.S. Navy veteran as the city’s new director of public works. Elorza announced today that he has tapped Russell P. Knight, who has more than 30 years of operational and administrative experience in the Navy, to run a department that touches just about every Providence resident.

Knight served as vice-president for administration and operations at the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, where he was in charge of more than 600 employees and a $95 million annual budget.

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RI News
12:31 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

Rhode Island Radio Hall Of Fame To Honor CBS' Fred Friendly

Credit Television, 1st Edition/Museum of Broadcast Communications

  The Rhode Island Radio Hall of Fame has announced this year’s inductees.  Legendary CBS journalist Fred Friendly is on the list.

Friendly, who passed away in 1998, got his start in broadcast journalism in Rhode Island.  After graduating from Hope High School in Providence, he went on to work at radio station WEAN.

Friendly moved onto television at CBS, where he created the news documentary program with Edward R. Murrow, See It Now. Rhode Island Radio Hall of Fame spokeswoman Debbie Rich said the show was groundbreaking.

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RI News
8:58 am
Wed March 25, 2015

New Legislation Could Up Cigarette Purchase Age To 21

Rhode Island's current purchase age for cigarettes is 18. That could go up to 21 under proposed legislation.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

Lawmakers will consider legislation today that would up the legal age to purchase cigarettes and other tobacco products. Rhode Islanders can currently start buying cigarettes at age 18. 

The new legislation would bar people under the age of 21 from buying cigarettes, or any other tobacco related products.  That includes cigars, chewing tobacco, and the increasingly popular e-cigarettes.

The House Committee on health, education and welfare is taking up the bill.

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On Politics
6:31 pm
Tue March 24, 2015

GOP Rep Wants Voters To Decide if PawSox Owners Can Use Public Financing for a Providence Ballpark

The new PawSox owners want to move the franchise from Pawtucket to Providence.
Credit RIPR FILE

State Representative Patricia Morgan (R-West Warwick) says she plans to introduce a bill Wednesday that would allow voters to decide if the new owners of the PawSox can use public financing or tax relief to build their envisioned ballpark on former I-195 land in Providence.

    

Morgan says the measure is necessary to protect taxpayers. As an example, she points to how taxpayers subsidize the Rhode Island Convention Center Authority to the tune of millions of dollars each year "without even having been given the right to say yes or no."

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Local Features
5:00 pm
Tue March 24, 2015

This I Believe Rhode Island: Inspiring Determination

Imagine what it must be like to live your life as a world renowned cardiologist, a celebrated medical scholar, and an international spokesperson for physicians concerned about the daunting implications of nuclear weapons. Life is chock full of meaning, purpose, and never-ending challenge. Now imagine what it must be like to shift both speed and gears abruptly as you cope with the unexpected news that you must now be a patient - a patient who has been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease and dementia. Indeed, this was the life course for the late Dr. Tom Graboys until his recent death.  In this encore essay, Dr. Graboys reflects on his deeply personal and poignant journey, and his inspiring determination to live his life to the fullest.

 

Dr. Thomas Graboys died on January 5, 2015.  He was Clinical Professor of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School; President Emeritus of the Lown Cardiovascular Research Foundation; and former attending cardiologist at the Brigham and Women's Hospital and Lown Cardiovascular Center. Dr. Graboys, who grew up in Fall River, Massachusetts, became a patient himself after being diagnosed with Parkinson's disease and dementia. He published a book about his personal battle, Life in the Balance: A Physician's Memoir of Life, Love, and Loss with Parkinson's Disease and Dementia.

On Politics
12:59 pm
Tue March 24, 2015

Larry Eichler Leaving Elorza Administration

Providence City Hall
Credit RIPR FILE

Larry Eichler, who has been the acting executive director of the Providence Talks education program, has left City Hall. Eichler confirmed his resignation today in a brief interview, saying he is leaving to ``explore other opportunities.’’

Providence Talks is the celebrated program, funded by a $5 million grant from a philanthropy financed by the media magnate and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, that is trying to help disadvantaged children expand their vocabularies.

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RI News
9:21 am
Tue March 24, 2015

Critical Senate Report Calls For Increased Oversight Of State DCYF

Senator Lou DiPalma (D) of Middletown served on the task force that issued a critical report of Rhode Island's DCYF.
Credit John Bender / RIPR

A Senate task force has come out with a troubling report on Rhode Island’s Department of Children Youth and Families – the agency that oversees child welfare and the state’s foster care system.  The report found significant evidence that some children in the system are not being well-served. Now serious questions are being raised about how the department is run.

Rhode Island Public Radio education reporter Elisabeth Harrison talked about the issue with task force co-chair State Senator Lou DiPalma.

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Health Care
8:42 am
Tue March 24, 2015

Public Offers Suggestions For Cutting Medicaid Costs

More than 75 Rhode Islanders packed a small meeting room at the Peacedale Public Library Monday, to share their suggestions for improving Medicaid while cutting costs. It was one in a series of town hall meetings held by the task force charged with finding $90 million dollars in savings in the program. Nurse Patricia Mackie told organizers how meeting a client’s basic needs first can help prevent expensive hospital stays.

“Cash to pay for prescriptions, clothing, furniture from the furniture bank, finding him an apartment.”

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Economy
8:30 am
Tue March 24, 2015

Opening Date Set For First Massachusetts Gaming Facility

Slot machines at Newport Grand. Revenue at the slots parlor has been on the decline for years.
Credit RIPR FILE

A slot parlor in Plainville Massachusetts is set to open on June 24th.  Ocean state gaming facilities have been bracing for the competition for years.

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