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RIPR News
2:37 pm
Tue August 2, 2011

Chafee still undecided on compassion centers

Providence, RI – Governor Lincoln Chafee is in no hurry to make a decision on the state's medical marijuana dispensaries.

Since Governor Chafee received a letter from U.S. Attorney Peter Neronha, warning of a federal crack down on the state's yet to open compassion centers, he's been cautious about authorizing the sale of medical marijuana.

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RIPR News
8:41 am
Tue August 2, 2011

Hairspray's a real barnburner in Matunuck

Erin McCracken stars as Tracy Trunblad in Hairspray at Theatre By The Sea.
Photo by: Mark Turek

PROVIDENCE, RI – One of the curious things about American musicals is their occasional attempt to coincide serious subjects with bouncy music and lots of corny jokes. That's a possible description of "Hairspray" now at Theatre-by-the-Sea.

It was one of those summertime, summer stock classics the other night at Theatre-by-the-Sea. Thunder and lightning, followed by a power outage that took out most, but not all, of the lights at the venerable barn theater in Matunuck.

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Morning News Podcast
8:14 am
Tue August 2, 2011

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Providence, RI – Listen to the WRNI Morning News Podcast for Tuesday, August 2, 2011.

RIPR News
7:44 am
Tue August 2, 2011

Koller approves insurance rate hikes for employers

Providence, RI – Health insurance rates in Rhode Island are going up again. Yesterday, Health Insurance Commissioner Chris Koller approved an average increase of around 10 percent for business that offer United Health Care and 8 percent to 9.6 percent increase for businesses with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island. Employers that offer Tufts Health Plan will see a nearly 5 percent increase. Koller says rates are going up because insurers have little power over rising medical costs.

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RIPR News
6:12 pm
Mon August 1, 2011

Central Falls filing for bankruptcy

Receiver Robert Flanders announces bankruptcy filing for Central Falls.
Photo by: Catherine Welch

Providence, RI – Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed says it's important that Central Falls move through the bankruptcy process as soon as possible.


Receiver Robert Flanders Jr. says U.S. Bankruptcy Chief Judge Frank Bailey in Massachusetts will carry out the proceedings. Flanders wants to have a plan by the end of the month. And to minimize costs and damage he says he hopes to have Central Falls through the bankruptcy process in six months.

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RIPR News
5:52 pm
Mon August 1, 2011

Double digit rate increases for United

Providence, RI – Most Rhode Island businesses who offer health insurance will see adouble digit or close to a double digit rate increase next year.

The state's health insurance commissioner has approved an average 10 percent rate increase for employers that offer United Health Care and 8 to 9.6 percent increases for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island. Tufts Health Plan, which has far fewer members, will pass on a nearly five percent rate increase.

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RIPR News
1:56 pm
Mon August 1, 2011

Another sewage spill in the Blackstone River:UPDATED

Providence, RI – Rhode Island Health officials are urging residents to avoid contact with the Blackstone River following a sewage spill over the weekend.

According to the Health Department, 920,000 gallons of partially treated sewage leaked into the river when a contractor in Woonsocket accidentally broke a sewage line. Spokesman Peter Hanney says the leak occurred on Sunday between 3pm and 7pm.

"We're almost 24 hours from then," he says. "By tomorrow morning, that should have cleared through the Blackstone River."

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Local Features
11:14 am
Mon August 1, 2011

Dr. Fine on restructuring RI's health care system

Department of Health Director Dr. Michael Fine
Rhode Island Department of Health

Providence, RI – The new director of the Rhode Island Department of Health has a distinct vision for his office. Dr. Michael Fine intends to spend the next five years restructuring the state's health care system. He sat down with WRNI's Health Care Reporter Megan Hall to talk in detail about his plan.

Do you have insight or expertise on this topic? Please email us, we'd like to hear from you. news@wrni.org.

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Top Stories
9:30 am
Mon August 1, 2011

Central Falls receiver to announce decision on bankruptcy

Providence, RI – Today is the day Central Falls receiver Robert Flanders Jr. is expected to announce whether he will seek bankruptcy. He's also looking at pulling the school district into the bankruptcy filing.

Central Falls would be the first municipality in Rhode Island to file for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection and it could happen as soon as today. Central Falls City Councilor James Diossa says police and fire retirees' refusal to take drastic pension cuts has left Flanders with few options.

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RIPR News
9:13 am
Mon August 1, 2011

RIPTA riders to protest proposed cuts in bus service

Providence, RI – The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority will hold another hearing today on a proposed seven percent service cut. But one group of riders isn't waiting for the hearing to begin to express their concerns.

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