Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

State officials worked over the weekend, collecting more water and shellfish samples to test for a toxin produced by algae blooms. Concerns about health risks associated with the toxin prompted an emergency shellfish harvesting closure that is still in effect for most of Narragansett Bay. Ernest Julian, the Health Department’s food safety chief, said the first set of results are in. 

"The good news is that all of the samples, but one, from throughout the bay and the salt ponds are negative for the toxin,” said Julian. “The one that is not negative is inconclusive.”

Rhode Island Department of Health

Blackstone Valley’s Community Health Center broke ground Saturday on a new Neighborhood Health Station in Central Falls. The station is meant to serve patients as more than a health clinic.

Former Health Department Director Dr. Michael Fine is one of the driving forces behind the new Neighborhood Health Station. He says it’s a different model from a community health center.

John Bender / RIPR

In an election season with few contested Rhode Island races, there is one General Assembly campaign getting lots of attention. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay on why all eyes are on a House campaign in the western corner of Cranston.


Rhode Islanders are struggling to get calls through to friends and family in Haiti in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew. Bernard Georges, who immigrated to Rhode Island from Haiti as a teenager, says he finally reached his brother and sister on Friday.

After an internal police investigation, Providence officers will be disciplined and receive retraining over an incident in which an officer dragged a woman by the hair and punched her several times.

The arrest, which happened in May, was caught on cell phone video, but came to light only after Channel 10 brought the tape to police in July. 

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 speak with Steven King, the managing director of the Quonset Development Corporation.

Now playing in theaters, the film "The Birth of a Nation," reclaims the title of a 1915 movie by D.W. Griffith, which remains highly controversial for its seemingly sympathetic portrayal of the Confederacy and the Ku Klux Klan, and its use of black face. The new film, from Actor and Director Nate Parker, tells the story of the Nat Turner Rebellion, a slave uprising in Virginia in 1831 that left scores of white men, women, and children dead.

How Providence is working to get more kids to school every day; and what happened to the $75 million Rhode Island spent in federal Race to theTop funding?  Rhode Island Public Radio’s Elisabeth Harrison looks for answers from Providence Superintendent of Schools Chris Maher on our weekly Bonus Q&A. Political reporter Ian Donnis returns next week.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Analysis by Rhode Island Public Radio finds urban and middle class students in Rhode Island have lower test scores than their peers in Massachusetts; and the state’s ambitious goal to improve 3rd grade reading skills in less than a decade. We discuss the top issues in public education on a special education edition of our weekly political roundtable. 

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Rhode Island’s tool for managing and planning activities in state waters has become a case study for the European Union. A couple of EU delegates have concluded a two-week visit to Rhode Island, meeting with the Coastal Resources Management Council, the University of Rhode Island, and other stakeholders in the community and in private sectors.

The eighth bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington has died. Kenneth Angell, a Rhode Island native, who served as bishop of the Burlington Diocese for 12 years, died Tuesday at a nursing home in Winooski. He was 86 years old.

Angell’s tenure was marked by the priest sexual abuse scandal that engulfed the church nationally, and by personal tragedy.

Wikimedia Commons

A new study finds mixed health results from CVS pharmacies’ decision to stop selling tobacco products. 

Harvard Professor Reginald Tucker-Seeley, Ph.D,  says when it’s easier to get tobacco in your neighborhood, more people smoke. So when CVS pharmacies stopped selling cigarettes, Tucker-Seeley wondered whether that might be good for all Rhode Islanders. He found that in neighborhoods with high rates of poverty and a greater percentage of black and Latino residents, there just weren’t as many CVS pharmacies. But there were plenty of other tobacco retailers.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Farming is a growing industry in Rhode Island, with many new farmers starting small businesses. But when they don’t come from farming families, finding land can be a challenge, especially in a state with the most expensive farmland in the country. To help new farmers purchase land, state officials have set up a new land access program as part of a longstanding effort to acquire and preserve green space. Now that program has come under attack by a conservative movement. 

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

The White House is honoring a Rhode Island fisherman Friday for his work promoting sustainable fishing in the industry.

Chris Brown has been fishing for more than 35 years. He’s receiving the “Champion of Change for Sustainable Seafood” award. 

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

The search is underway for a new director of the state’s Department of Children, Youth, and Families. For this week’s The Pulse, Rhode Island Public Radio’s Kristin Gourlay sits down with outgoing director Jamia McDonald to learn what’s changed for children and staff since she took the reins a year and a half ago