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On Politics
3:27 pm
Mon March 23, 2015

Retirees OK Pension Settlement; Deal's Fate Still Unresolved

Retirees crowd into Twin River ahead of a vote on the proposed pension settlement.
Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

On a roughly 4-to-1 margin, retired state employees on Monday approved a settlement offer to resolve a court fight over the 2011 overhaul of the pension system. The fate of the settlement remains unclear since it still faces approval by a series of union groups, the General Assembly, and the Superior Court judge overseeing the case, Sarah Taft-Carter.

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RI News
12:01 pm
Mon March 23, 2015

Plans For Memorial Announced At 12th Annual Station Nightclub Remembrance

Handmade crosses sit at the site of the Station Nightclub several years ago, where a makeshift memorial once sat.
Credit RIPR FILE

Some 150 people gathered at Warwick City Hall Sunday to remember those killed in the 2003Station Nightclub fire, and announce plans for a long-awaited memorial.  It was the 12th annual memorial of the fire that claimed 100 lives in West Warwick.

             

Survivor and president of the Station Fire Memorial Foundation Gina Russo announced the group has raised enough money to possibly begin construction this spring.

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The Bottom Line
10:48 am
Mon March 23, 2015

The Bottom Line: Checking In With The New Director Of HealthSource RI

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

This week Dave and Mark sit down with Anya Rader Wallack, the new executive director of HealthSource RI.  

Wallack stepped in as director of the exchange this year following Christine Ferguson, who helped create the exchange in 2013. Wallack was installed by Governor Gina Raimondo. She talks about successes, failures, and the future of the exchange.

When to Listen:

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RI News
9:43 am
Mon March 23, 2015

State Retirees Slated To Vote On Proposed Pension Settlement

Retired public employees are slated to vote Monday on a proposed settlement to the state pension dispute. The voting is expected to take place starting at 10 at the Twin River event center.

The retirees are just one in a series of union groups that need to approve the settlement. At least some active workers face a deadline of voting on the deal by Friday.

The process for approving or rejecting the settlement is shrouded in secrecy. That’s because a judge imposed a gag order preventing parties in the case from talking about it.

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Health Care
9:35 am
Mon March 23, 2015

Price Of Life Saving Anti-Overdose Medication Syrockets

A kit with two doses of naloxone. The drug can be injected in a muscle, or squirted up the nose of someone experiencing an overdose.
Credit Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

The price of naloxone, a drug that can reverse a drug overdose, has skyrocketed. That’s affecting efforts to prevent overdose deaths. Michelle MacKenzie runs an overdose prevention program at the Miriam Hospital. She says when her program started buying and distributing the injectable overdose rescue drug naloxone, in 2006, it cost about a dollar a vial. Today it’s $15 a vial.

“So if we had to pay $15 a vial, I mean, last year we distributed upwards of 800 kits, which is 1600 vials of naloxone. We would have been like, 200. I mean, think about that,” said MacKenzie.

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On Sports
9:05 am
Mon March 23, 2015

URI, PC Basketball Seasons Over

  It’s all over. University of Rhode Island and Providence College basketball, that is. But don’t shed many tears for the Rams and Friars. They may have lost over the weekend, but they won admirers during their memorable seasons.

URI did not have enough answers for Stanford guard Chasson Randle  Sunday night, and the Rams fell to the Cardinal, 74-65, in the second round of the NIT at Stanford. Randle, a senior, scored 35 points, his season best, and needs only 27 to become the school’s career scoring leader.

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Providence
8:55 am
Mon March 23, 2015

A Small Victory In Providence's Latest Fight Against Foreclosures

A front-end loader tears down the foreclosed house on Marshall St. Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza says he wants most houses returned to a livable state, but this one was beyond remediation.
Credit John Bender / RIPR

Eight years since the height of the national foreclosure crisis, Providence faces a plague of vacant houses, blighting neighborhoods.  Now the capital city’s new mayor is ramping up efforts to combat the issue. One home on the city's West Side is a success story; it's part of the ambitious plan to create many more in the state capital.

On a cold, sunny morning in March a massive front end loader tears into a tan, two-story home, on Marshall St. on the West Side of Providence. A group of neighbors and passersby watch from across the street.

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On Politics
3:22 pm
Sat March 21, 2015

Teamsters, Rhode Island Hospital forge tentative agreement

The Teamsters Union Local 251 and Rhode Island Hospital management have reached a tentative agreement on a four-year contract that the union says will bring $19 million in improved wages and benefits to workers at the Lifespan hospital network.

The agreement was reached late Friday evening, according to a statement by the union bargaining committee posted on social media.

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On Politics
5:02 pm
Fri March 20, 2015

TGIF: 20 Things to Know About Rhode Island Politics & Media

Happy spring (although it may not feel like it for days, if not weeks), and thanks for stopping by for my weekly column. As usual, your tips and thoughts are welcome at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org, and you can follow me on the twitters. Let's head in.

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Health Care
4:18 pm
Fri March 20, 2015

Are Rhode Islanders Aware Of The Dangers Of Fentanyl?

Rhode Island is still grappling with soaring numbers of drug overdose deaths, many of them involving the painkiller fentanyl. It's not clear the message about the dangers of fentanyl is reaching those at risk.

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