News

John Bender / RIPR

Though quite a bit smaller than the 231-year-old celebration in Bristol, Independence Day ceremonies in Newport drew a healthy crowd.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Nature enthusiasts around the state are monitoring butterflies for an annual survey taking place across North America. Many factors, including climate change and pesticides, are affecting butterflies,  hindering their ability to successfully breed and develop.

Happy Fourth of July weekend, and 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.

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If you’re wealthy, you may see the British exit from Europe’s economy as an opportunity. 

Johnson and Wales Goes Cold Turkey

Jul 1, 2016
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Johnson and Wales celebrated a new tobacco-free policy today over cold turkey sandwiches. The policy makes JWU the first institution of higher learning in Rhode Island to ban tobacco from their campus. Former student government President Ray Nuñez  says the new policy will focus on encouragement rather than punishment.

"This isn’t a (sic) anti-smoking police system. We’re not going to have people going around giving citations for smoking. It’s going to be a culture movement, where people are going to be respectfully telling people ‘hey, we’re no longer a smoking campus.’"

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Celebrity gossip blogs are speculating that Taylor Swift plans to spend the Fourth of July in Westerly, where the pop star owns a beach house.

Last year, Swift hosted a star-studded holiday bash in Rhode Island, drawing attention on social media. The singer has blogged that the Fourth of July is one of her favorite holidays.

Lots Of Options For Celebrating Independence Day In Rhode Island

Jul 1, 2016
Manuel C. Correira / RIPR

Across the ocean state, cities and towns are gearing up for July 4th. Parades are stepping off all weekend from South County to Burrillville. Bristol hosts the nation’s oldest Independence Day celebration; this year marks its 231st anniversary.

Residents can catch fireworks throughout the weekend; Woonsocket and Block Island have their shows on Sunday. Narragansett and providence celebrate on Monday.

The 90th annual Ancients and Horribles parade will march down Main Street in Gloucester this year. The parade is known for its crazy costumes and parodies of current events. 

John Bender / RIPR

Providence police conducted an active shooter drill in the capitol city Thursday/ The simulation is part of routine training, but it comes after one of the deadliest mass shootings in the U.S. history.

A little less than three weeks ago a gunman opened fire at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, killing 49 people. A horrific scenario to be sure, but one law enforcement must to be ready to confront.

That’s why Providence police demonstrated tactics for subduing a gunman, during an all-too vivid drill at the Rhode Island Convention Center.

Senate Finance Chairman Daniel DaPonte (D-East Providence) joined Bonus Q&A this week to discuss the end of the legislative session, public debt, the future of Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed, property taxes, and much more.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

State Senator Daniel DaPonte (D-East Providence), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, joins Political Roundtable to discuss local fallout from the Brexit vote; why more people don't run for the General Assembly; and cross-chamber disagreements at the end of session.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

About one-third of 113 General Assembly seats may go uncontested in fall elections.

Elisabeth Harrison

Starting in September, every public school in Providence will designate teams to meet one-on-one with transgender students and their families. Providence Public Schools spokesperson Laura Hart said it’s part of a new policy aimed at making sure schools respect the rights of transgender and other gender non-conforming students.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Governor Gina Raimondo has signed an $8.9 billion budget into law. It includes millions of dollars for environmental initiatives. Rhode Island Public Radio news director Elisabeth Harrison gets the details from our environmental reporter Ambar Espinoza. 

More Record Travel Expected This Independence Day Weekend

Jun 30, 2016
Aaron Read / RIPR

Rhode Islanders traveling during Fourth of July weekend will have a lot of company, especially on the road. AAA is expecting the highest number of travelers on record. Almost 43 million Americans will take a trip 50 miles or more from home, says AAA of Southern New England spokesman David Raposa.

“Now of that – and this is really the return of the great American road trip – almost 86% of those who are going to travel will do so by car,” said Raposa

Todd Oldham/RISD Museum

A fashion superstar from the 1990's, Todd Oldham is the subject of a dazzling retrospective at the RISD Museum, All of Everything: Todd Oldham Fashion. Oldham drew inspiration from everywhere: from his native Texas to the streets of Tehran and New York, and even  The Three Stooges.

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