Catherine Welch

News Director

Catherine Welch is news director at Rhode Island Public Radio. Before her move to Rhode Island in 2010, Catherine was news director at WHQR in Wilmington, NC. She was also news director at KBIA in Columbia, Missouri where she was a faculty member at the University Of Missouri School Of Journalism. Catherine has won several regional Edward R. Murrow awards and awards from the Public Radio News Directors Inc., New England AP, North Carolina Press Association, Missouri Press Association, and Missouri Broadcasters Association.

Now that she manages a full newsroom she files less regularly for NPR’s All Things ConsideredMorning Edition and Weekend Edition.  In 2009 she was part of an NPR series on America’s Battalion out of Camp Lejeune, NC following Marine families during the battalion’s deployment to southern Afghanistan. And because Wilmington was the national test market for the digital television conversion, she became a quasi-expert on DTV, filing stories for NPR on the topic.

Catherine got her start in radio at her family’s radio station in Florida with her weekly jazz show "Catherine Keeping You Company." Her very first interview with Cab Calloway remains the strangest one she’s ever done, and she will gladly tell you the story should you ask.

Before joining the public radio family, Catherine worked in television at KTVU in Oakland, CA and at the cable technology network formerly known as TechTV.

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RI News
11:13 am
Thu August 21, 2014

Ex-USS Saratoga Leaves Newport Naval Station

The ex-USS Saratoga was pulled out of the Newport Naval Station Thursday morning. It's headed to Texas.
Credit Newport Naval Station

The decommissioned USS Saratoga has left the Newport Naval Station. The weather finally cleared for the ship’s departure for 8:45am Thursday.

The Saratoga is heading down the eastern seaboard and around the tip of Florida to Brownsville, Texas where it will be pulled apart for scrap.

The 1950’s aircraft carrier was decommissioned 20 years ago. An effort failed to turn it into a museum and it sat in Newport for sixteen years.

Naval Station spokeswoman Lisa Rama said the Saratoga’s departure has left a hole in the landscape.

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RI News
10:43 am
Tue August 19, 2014

A Crowded Field Will Squeeze Profits At New England Casinos

Credit File / RIPR

The rising number of casinos in New England that’s hurting the Foxwoods Resort Casino is both a threat to table games in Rhode Island and the reason to add more.

Analyst Clyde Barrow said the Foxwoods Resort and Casino in Connecticut has been losing millions of dollars since its peak in 2006. To blame: a slow economic recovery and a growing number of casinos in New England.

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RI News
3:33 pm
Thu August 14, 2014

Defunct Sakonnet River Bridge Could Come Down In 2015

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation is gearing up to demolish the old Sakonnet River Bridge. The old, truss bridge was built back in the 1950’s after Hurricane Carol washed away the stone bridge linking Aquidneck Island to Tiverton.

It was replaced in 2012 with a new span that caused a bit of a stir over tolling. 

Removing the defunct bridge requires permitting, said RIDOT’s deputy chief engineer Robert Smith, because it’s going to take explosives to bring it down.

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Arts & Culture
3:36 am
Fri August 1, 2014

Newport Jazz Fest Celebrates Its 60th Anniversary

Newport Jazz Festival founder George Wein says it was a happy day when the festival returned to Newport after a stint in New York City.
Credit Catherine Welch / RIPR

The Newport Jazz Festival kicks off Friday, this is the 60th anniversary of the festival that was first held at the Newport Casino and along Bellevue Avenue.   The festival survived rock and roll and rowdy crowds.

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Political Roundtable
4:45 am
Fri July 25, 2014

Political Roundtable: Rep. Abney on Newport Grand, Speaker Mattiello & The Sale Of The Projo

Rep. Marvin Abney joins the Political Roundtable to discuss bringing table games to Newport and bringing more minorities to the Statehouse.
Credit Catherine Welch / RIPR

The odds of table games coming to Newport, the sale of The Providence Journal, and diversity in the General

Assembly – those are the topics this week on the Political Roundtable with our guest Newport Rep. Marvin Abney and special host Rhode Island Public Radio news director Catherine Welch.

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Health Care
4:17 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

Lifespan Hits Employees Who Use Tobacco With Surcharge

Lifespan, one of Rhode Island's largest employers, is implementing a new policy that will make employees who use tobacco products pay a surcharge.

The policy will tack on an extra $600 a year to the medical benefits of any employee or spouse or domestic partner covered by company insurance who uses tobacco products. That includes cigarettes, chewing tobacco and e-cigarettes.

Lifespan will also offer employees free smoking cessation programs.

Lifespan’s CEO says it’s a way to encourage employees to quit.   

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Environment
4:01 am
Mon July 14, 2014

RI Tagging Trees Across The State Threatened By Invasive Insects

A male asian longhorned beetle.
Credit UVM/USDA

Hundreds of bright orange and yellow tags will be going up on trees across the state starting Monday to heighten awareness of invasive insects that devastate forests.

The biggest concerns are the Asian Longhorned Beetle and Emerald Ash Borer. That’s because those species have been found in Massachusetts and Connecticut.

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RI News
12:06 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

Hundreds of Sailboats Launch The Newport Regatta

The Pell Bridge in Newport, the backdrop to the regatta.
Credit RIPR FILE

The Newport Regatta kicks off Friday with 200 – 250 sailboats racing off the Rhode Island coast. They’ll be out just north of the Pell Bridge, near the Newport Harbor and out farther in the ocean.

Sail Newport is hosting the event. Its executive director Brad Read said one of the best places to watch the action is on the northern lawn at Ft. Adams.

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RI News
4:03 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Owner Charged Under New RI Law For Leaving Dog In Car

The black poodle left in a car in Johnston is in good condition and recovering at the Rhode Island SPCA.

The dog’s owner is the first to be charged under a new law making it a misdemeanor to leave animals inside vehicles on extremely hot or cold days.  Owners caught leaving a pet in the car face up to a year in prison, $1,000 fine, or both.

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RI News
2:51 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

Providence Police: Overnight Shooting Could Be Gang-Related

Providence police say they believe Tuesday night’s shooting was targeted. Five people were injured, one seriously during the overnight shooting.

Providence Police Major David Lapatin said it’s unclear exactly what happened, but there was a party and people hanging around outside in the Chad Brown neighborhood when shots were fired, possibly from a moving vehicle.

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