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RIPR News
6:17 am
Mon June 28, 2010

Public hearing scheduled on RI medical marijuana applicants

Providence, R.I. – The public will have an opportunity to speak for or against the 15 applications for Rhode Island's first stores selling medical marijuana.

A public hearing on the planned compassion centers is scheduled for 10 a.m. Tuesday at the state Department of Health.

Health spokeswoman Annemarie Beardsworth says it's an opportunity for people to weigh in on the 15 applicants. She says it's not meant as a forum to air views on the issue of medical marijuana, but to discuss the pluses or minuses of specific proposals.

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Local Features
5:18 am
Mon June 28, 2010

A new vision for Fort Adams

Roof with a view: Jack McCormack, Site Manager at the Fort Adams Land Trust, walks along the roof over the western wall of the fort. Photo by Frank Mullin.

Providence, R.I. – If you want to see the inside of Fort Adams in Newport, you won't get very far without a tour guide.But supporters of the fort want to change that. A plan they're working on sees the fort transformed into a open fort, with picnicking, arts festivals and performances.

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RIPR News
9:01 am
Fri June 25, 2010

Doctors frustrated by legislative actions on Medicare payouts

Providence, R.I. – This week, doctors across the U.S. were hit with a 21 percent decrease in the amount they receive from Medicare. The pay-cut is a result of a Medicare funding law passed years ago.

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Political Roundtable
4:32 am
Fri June 25, 2010

The new funding formula and the casino veto on Roundtable

Providence, R.I. – This week Governor Don Carcieri vetoed a bill to expand casino gambling in Rhode Island, and signed into law a new education funding formula. That's all part of the discussion on Political Roundtable, our weekly discussion of Rhode Island news and politics. Here's WRNI political reporter Ian Donnis.

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RIPR News
4:59 pm
Thu June 24, 2010

Police will hold gun buybacks this weekend

Providence, R.I. – Providence Police are trading guns for gift cards this weekend as part of an effort to reduce violence.

The police are partnering with community organizations and religious groups to provide Walmart gift cards to anyone who voluntarily turns in a firearm.

"We made a commitment, at the beginning of this year, that we would redouble our efforts, whether it was doubling the size of the gang unit, running more programs for kids after school and in the summer, or buying guns off the street," said Dean Esserman, chief of the Providence Police Department.

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RIPR News
3:38 pm
Thu June 24, 2010

Court ruling may affect corruption appeal

Providence, R.I. – The U.S. Supreme Court's decision to limit prosecutors' use of the ``honest services'' fraud statute could factor into the corruption appeal of a Providence hospital executive.

Robert Urciuoli, the former president and chief executive of Roger Williams Medical Center in Providence, was convicted of hiring former state senator John Celona to do the hospital's Statehouse bidding. He has appealed to the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which hasn't ruled.

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RIPR News
2:03 pm
Thu June 24, 2010

Man arraigned for defacing synagogue

Warwick, R.I. – A Warwick man has been arraigned on charges of spray-painting a swastika on the side of a synagogue.

Ryan N. Johnson was arraigned Thursday on a charge of desecrating a public space. He did not enter a plea to that charge, a felony, but pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor vandalism charge.

Police say Johnson and a 16-year-old boy defaced Temple Am David in Warwick with a swastika. The swastika was discovered June 3.

The Providence Journal reports that Johnson declined to comment when leaving court.

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RIPR News
1:58 pm
Thu June 24, 2010

Hasbro says it isn't in talks to go private

New York, NY – Hasbro said Thursday it is not in talks with a private equity firm to go private.

The toy maker made the statement after a report in the Wall Street Journal cited unnamed sources saying Hasbro was in early talks to be taken private by Providence Equity Partners.

The maker of Nerf, Transformers and Scrabble says it is not having any discussions regarding its sale. Providence declined to comment.

Hasbro, based in Pawtucket, R.I., says a private equity firm approached it, but Hasbro's board of directors determined it had no interest in pursuing a deal.

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RIPR News
1:57 pm
Thu June 24, 2010

Gubernatorial candidates spar at forum

Providence, R.I. – Former Senator Lincoln Chafee is criticizing some of his fellow candidates for Rhode Island governor for the persistent budget deficits the state faces.

At a candidates' forum in Providence last night, Chafee, an independent, was criticized himself for a proposal to put a 1 percent sales tax on items such as groceries and prescription drugs.

Chafee says the plan would raise $100 million and is a less painful way to close budget deficits. But General Treasurer Frank Caprio, a Democrat, says Chafee's plan would put too much of a burden on families.

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RIPR News
9:39 am
Thu June 24, 2010

Two beaches closed to swimming due to bacteria

Providence, R.I. – Two beaches in Rhode Island have been ordered shut by state health authorities.

The health department on Thursday recommended the closings of Bristol Town Beach and Warren Town Beach because of high bacteria counts in the water.

State health officials say they'll continue to monitor the beaches and will reopen them when they're safe.

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