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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Business
1:55 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

New $6M In Federal Funding For TF Green Runway Expansion

The FAA funding will expand TF Green's main runway to 8,700 feet. That's long enough to accommodate the larger jets that fly non-stop to the west coast.
Credit File / RIPR

Federal dollars are heading to Warwick to relocate ball fields as part of TF Green’s runway expansion.

The ball fields at Winslow Park need to be moved so the airport can extend the main runway by a little more than 1,500 feet. That extra stretch of runway will allow for the larger, heavier planes that fly coast to coast and overseas.

The runway expansion has been controversial, with opponents concerned about the effects of noise and air pollution from the larger jets on residents and nearby school children.

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Politics
8:51 am
Thu June 12, 2014

State's Historic Tax Program Not Included In State Budget

The top of the Atlantic Mills building in Providence is one of the Providence Preservation Society most 'endangered' properties in the city. The Society has been working to redevelop the property; hoping to take advantage of the state's historic tax credits program.
Credit Providence Preservation Society

The House will take up a budget Thursday that does not include funding for the state’s historic tax credit program. In his budget, the governor included $52 million in tax credits with a $5 million per-project cap. But in a statement, House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello said the state is taking a one-year break, and points to projects still in the pipeline. Providence Preservation Society Executive Director Brent Runyon said that pipeline needs to stay open.

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RIPR News
3:29 pm
Wed June 11, 2014

RI Bridge Authority Approves Median Along Pell Bridge

Credit Ryan T. Conaty

The Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority voted unanimously Wednesday to install a median barrier along the bridge.

There is currently a line of yellow dividers down the center of the bridge, acting as a kind of visual barrier to keep drivers in their lanes. Those dividers will be replaced with a median barrier to prevent accidents caused by drivers crossing over into on-coming traffic.

Calls for a barrier on the Pell Bridge grew louder back in January after a deadly head-on collision on Christmas Eve.

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Politics
2:27 am
Wed June 11, 2014

RI Lawmakers Again Consider Calamari As Official State Appetizer

A House committee is scheduled to vote Wednesday on a bill that would make calamari the official state appetizer. If this sounds familiar it’s because last year similar legislation grabbed headlines then died in the General Assembly.

The whole thing started when Rep. Joseph McNamara spotted “Rhode Island calamari” on the menu at a fancy restaurant in New Hampshire.  To his thinking, if calamari became the official appetizer then that just might put the state’s name on menus across the country.

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Education
9:18 am
Tue June 10, 2014

Civil Rights Leader To Speak At URI

URI's Kingston campus.
Credit RIPR FILE

Rev. Bernard Lafayette Jr., a leader in the civil rights movement, will speak at the University of Rhode Island Tuesday.

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RI News
5:18 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

VA Audit: Providence VA Has Some Of Longest Wait Times

Providence VA hospital has some of the nation's longest wait times.
Credit RIPR FILE

An audit released by the VA finds patients at the Providence VA Medical Center have some of the longest average waits in the nation to receive primary care. The Providence VA said that’s due to staff who retired and an increase in patients at its clinic in Hyannis, MA.

New patients receiving their first primary care appointments waited an average of about 74 days, according to the VA audit. Only seven other facilities across the country had longer waits.

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RI News
10:11 am
Mon June 9, 2014

Sheldon Whitehouse To Speak On Juvenile Justice System

Sheldon Whitehouse
Credit RIPR FILE

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse will hold a Senate Judiciary Committee field hearing in Rhode Island Monday. It’s part of his work on drafting legislation to reauthorize the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act.

“It’s at this point a listening and learning exercise to hear from the people who work in the field of juvenile justice and determine what changes would be advisable in the law,” said Whitehouse.  

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Arts & Culture
8:40 am
Thu June 5, 2014

Alec Baldwin To Speak At Fundraiser For Central Falls Library

Actor Alec Baldwin will be in Rhode Island this weekend to help raise money for the Central Falls library. The event, called “Baldwin for Books” features the actor along with Central Falls students and teachers reading passages from literature. There will also be a raffle to read Shakespeare with Baldwin. The library’s executive director Joel Pettit  says he doesn’t know why the actor is helping the library, but has an idea.

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Politics
4:43 am
Wed June 4, 2014

Bill Would Add Constitutional Amendment On Gambling Venues

Newport Grand, located in the northern part of Newport.
Credit RIPR FILE

A senate committee will look at legislation Wednesday creating a constitutional amendment centered on gambling in the Ocean State.

The bill would put a constitutional amendment before voters that states a casino or slot parlor cannot change locations without approval from voters in that city or town.

A development team is looking to buy Newport Grand, but promises that if casino games are allowed at the slot parlor that it will not change locations.

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Arts & Culture
1:38 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

Woody Allen Will Shoot Movie in Rhode Island This Summer

Woody Allen will shoot a movie in Rhode Island this summer. The state’s film office says the director will bring his production to the Ocean State in July and August but won’t say where they will be shooting. The film will star Emma Stone and Joaquin Phoenix.

Variety, a trade publication reports that the movie will have an ensemble cast the Allen is still piecing together.

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