News

Don't look now, but it's barely more than 30 days until the state primary election that will help shape the next class of state lawmakers. Meanwhile, debate about 38 Studios has again reached a fever pitch. 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.

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

This week Mark and Dave discuss tax incentive aimed at bringing new jobs and businesses to Rhode Island. Mark describes what Governor Gina Raimondo has done to change these programs, and shares his view of whether her efforts are working.

When to listen:

You can hear The Bottom Line each Friday at 5:50 pm  

Courtesy of Brown University

Sovijja Pou, a senior at Brown University, will compete next week as one of two swimmers representing Cambodia. His event, the 100-meter freestyle, is scheduled for Tuesday.

Rhode Island Historical Preservation and Heritage Commission

The building in Providence's Elmwood neighborhood dates to 1892.

Rhode Island Keeps Tabs on Zika

Aug 5, 2016
Cynthia Goldsmith / CDC

The Rhode Island Health Department has confirmed 18 cases of Zika virus -- a disease linked to a severe birth defect called microcephaly. 

The National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report all of the Rhode Island cases were contracted outside of state lines. 

The mosquito known to carry Zika in Florida is not established in Rhode Island. However, the state may be at risk for another mosquito which also carries the virus. 

Woonsocket Police Department

Woonsocket resident Dondi Willis, 47, collapsed at the Woonsocket Police Station Monday morning while awaiting transport to court. Woonsocket emergency personnel brought Willis to Landmark Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead. 

Police said Willis had no struggle with officers prior to his collapse.

The Rhode Island State Police and the Rhode Island Attorney General are investigating the death. Woonsocket authorities say it is standard procedure to conduct an investigation after anyone dies in police custody.

Will Ricketson / U.S. Sailing Team Sperry

The Olympic Games began today in Rio de Janeiro, and five athletes competing for the United States have ties to Rhode Island. 

Elizabeth Beisel from Saunderstown will swim the 400 meter individual medley. She already won silver in the event four years ago in London, and took home a bronze medal in backstroke.

State Pension Fund Down Last Year

Aug 5, 2016
RIPR file photo

Rhode Island’s pension fund declined by about six percent over the last fiscal year. That’s according to the state Treasury Department, which reported losses of about $466 million dollars. Most of the decline came from the payout of pension benefits, which outpaced contributions. State Treasurer Seth Magaziner said investment losses were another source of the decline.

Steven Frias joins Bonus Q&A to talk about his run for the state rep seat held by House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello. We also talk about the challenges facing the state GOP, Frias' policy proposals, and other issues.

Steven Frias, one of two Republicans running for the state rep seat held by House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello, joins Political Roundtable this week to discuss 38 Studios, his campaign, and Donald Trump.

RIPR FILE

  A judge in U.S. District Court in Rhode Island began hearings Wednesday in a lawsuit against the Federal Drug Enforcement Agency, spurred by a local journalist.

Providence-based writer Phil Eil, says he’s fought for more than five years to obtain access to thousands of pages of public evidence from a pill-mill trial, about which he plans to write a book.

“I think it’s long overdue that the press and the public have access to the evidence, and I hope the judge will agree with that and say this has gone on long enough,” said Eil. 

The executive editor of The Providence Journal said it's "a mistaken assumption" to believe that Katherine Gregg, who has covered the Statehouse for the ProJo for more than 30 years, won't be returning to her longtime beat.

According to an email obtained by RI Public Radio, Dave Butler writes, "Kathy is on a month's vacation, then will take a much-needed break during what looks like a slow time in the Statehouse. She'll work on projects and other things. We've not said she won't return to the Statehouse. That's a mistaken assumption."

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

  Rhode Island is making headway growing high tech and advanced industry jobs. The state employs a little more than 40,000 full-time employees in advanced industries. Those are jobs in a wide range of areas, from software development and data crunching, to engineering and marine manufacturing.

All those jobs make up just eight percent of the region’s overall employment, but Rhode Island is growing the sector faster than the national average. In fact the state ranks 17th in annual growth for this sector.

The Pulse: Scurvy Cropping Up In New England

Aug 4, 2016
Elisabeth Harrison

Poverty often leads to a poor diet, and poor diets can lead to a host of health problems. Doctors in Springfield, Massachusetts, think they've identified a diet-related condition that many thought disappeared hundreds of years ago.

Diabetes is on the rise across the country, but in Rhode Island, Latinos appear to face a greater risk.

Rhode Island Public Radio’s Kristin Gourlay joins News Director Elisabeth Harrison to talk about her upcoming series on diabetes in Rhode Island's Latino community.

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