Providence, R.I. – Saying the Gulf disaster demonstrates man's disregard for his environment, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse announced he's teaming up with Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine to launch a National Endowment for the Oceans.
It would fund projects that promote the vitality of the seas, coastal areas and the Great Lakes. Whitehouse says the BP oil spill should provide the impetus needed to pass the legislation.
Providence, R.I. – Changes to the schedule at Hope High School run contrary to state regulations and threaten the future of improvements at the school. That's according to attorneys for three current students, who presented evidence yesterday to the state Department of Education in a bid to halt the changes.
At issue are 190 minutes of weekly teacher meetings. Expert witness Paula Evans said surveys show teachers use the time to improve classes and meet with parents.
Providence, R.I. – The Newport Music Festival, a multi-week event featuring some of the world's best music played in some of its best mansions, is beginning its 42nd season on Friday. But this summer, something-- or rather someone--will be missing. The festival's charismatic leader for the past 35 years, Mark Malkovich III, died last month. Festival organizers say his passing leaves a void but that the show will go on. WRNI's Bill Gale has our story.
Providence, R.I. – Governor Carcieri responded yesterday to critics of the revised power-purchase agreement between National Grid and Deepwater Wind.
On Tuesday, Attorney General Patrick Lynch and the Conservation Law Foundation challenged the constitutionality of a related law.
Carcieri says the challenges are without merit. The governor accuses Lynch of using his office to try to score political points. And Carcieri says the Conservation Law Foundation's stance is inconsistent with its environmental stewardship.
Providence, R.I. – The America's Cup sailing regatta will be held in San Francisco, not in Newport as many Rhode Islanders had hoped. The news did not come as a surprise, but it disappointed those who wished to see the race return to Newport, where it had previously been held for decades.
It is likely that a series of qualifying races will be held in Newport before the final race in 2014. Keith Stokes, Rhode Island's Economic Development Director, believes that this could be good for the state's economy long term.
Providence, R.I. – The Rhode Island chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union is asking a federal judge to temporarily halt the state from distributing to the two major political parties campaign funds donated by tax payers on their income tax returns.
Providecne, R.I. – Once again, health insurance costs are going up for employee sponsored health plans. Health Insurance Commissioner Christopher Koller has approved rate increases that average between 8.4 percent and 12.3 percent for small and large businesses.
Koller says he did his best to trim down the requested increases.
"We reduced requested contributions to reserves or profit," he said. "We reduced administrative costs, and we reduced estimates for medical expense increases. So we reduced them across the board."
Providence, R.I. – The heat has reached oppressive levels during the last few days, but Rhode Island emergency rooms have not seen any heat-related deaths. Health Department spokeswoman Annemarie Beardsworth says some ER activity is normal, but there have not been any unexpected increases. The brutal heat is expected to break later this week, although officials say the humidity will be moderate.