News

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Shawna Lawton is one of two Republicans running for the chance to take on House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello for his Cranston state rep seat in November. Lawton will square off in the September primary with fellow Republican Steven Frias. Lawton said she does not plan to debate Frias. 

She said her focus for now is speaking with voters.

“My job right now on the campaign trail is to understand what people are struggling with and to listen and to should I be elected, represent their voice,” said Lawton. “And I don’t feel it necessary to debate him.”

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

State Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed has given up her membership on the Newport Democratic City Committee after almost 30 years with the group.

John Bender / RIPR

Providence reached 96 degrees Sunday. It's not a record -- that's 98 degrees -- but the humidity was unusually high. The National Weather Service issued heat advisories for several days last week.

On Monday, the state will get relief, according to Weather Service meteorologist Bob Thompson.

“[Monday] will be a little bit less humid, it’s still going to be very warm [Monday], we’re still probably going to see high temperatures near 90, but the humidity will be a little bit less," said Thompson.

But Thompson predicts the respite will be brief.

Rilind Abazi

 

Rilind Abazi was only a baby when he and his family fled Kosovo for Macedonia during his country's war in the late '90s.

"We were received by a family of strangers, we didn't know them, but we've become family friends," said Abazi. And now he's trying to return the favor.

Ian Donnis / RIPR


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

This week, Mark and Elisabeth speak with Mark Gray, coordinator of the state's Health Insurance Small Employer Taskforce, about the impact of new health insurance rates on small businesses.

Enjoy the heat while you can, since we'll be complaining about the cold in four months or so. 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.

Rosaline Stock/Creative Commons License

Public schools will seek to close achievement gaps in 3rd grade reading and mathematics by 2025, under a bill signed into law this week by Gov. Gina Raimondo.

The measure provides no specifics on how to close those gaps, but directs the state board overseeing K-12 education adopt it as a goal. 

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

  There’s a new cell phone app designed to make getting to the ocean easier for people in Rhode Island. The shoreline access app maps exactly how far you are from all public ocean access points.

The project is part of the Rhode Island Sea Grant, a federal program attached to the University of Rhode Island. Sea Grant spokeswoman Monica Allard-Cox says the app builds on a guide written in the 90s.

Elisabeth Harrison

Starting in 2018, state colleges and universities will have to meet specific performance goals to receive increases in state funding, under a state law signed by Governor Gina Raimondo on Thursday.

The goals include increasing the number of students graduating on-time and adding graduates in fields that employers need. 

National Weather Service

The advisory for much of Southern New England lasts through 7 o’clock Friday evening. Temperatures are climbing into the 90s, but humidity could make it feel as hot as 103 degrees.

Meteorologist Lenore Correia recommends keeping outdoor activities to a minimum.

“People can get heat exhaustion and things like that,” said Correia. “You don’t want to leave your children in the car, or your pets, and you just want to be careful and make sure to drink lots of water.”

Correia said things will cool off by the end of the weekend.

JJBers / Creative Commons License

Work is underway on a new stretch of bike path in Providence. The project will create an off-road path from India Point Park, north towards Pawtucket. The path is just three-quarters of a mile, but State Department of Transportation Chief Operating Officer Peter Garino says it will connect two major bike paths.

“It may not be a long segment, but it really is a critical segment,” said Garino. “We’re looking at something that really connects both the Blackstone and East Bay Bike path and makes one path out of them. It’s the missing link between the two paths.”

RIPR FILE

As students enjoy the last few weeks of summer vacation, faculty at Rhode Island College are gearing up for a new semester and a new president. 

The board of the state Commerce Corporation this week approved incentives to help two companies expand in Rhode Island. State Commerce Secretary Stefan Pryor stopped by our studio yesterday to discuss a range of other issues involving economic development

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Behind the scenes negotiations on the I-195 District, and the inside word from state Commerce Secretary Stefan Pryor. 

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