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, MO 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 was with Cab Calloway, and it remains the strangest one she’s ever done. 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.

Ways To Connect

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As crews clear roads and parking lots, the excess snow is piling up. And the Department of Environmental Management urges cities, towns and businesses to avoid dumping all that snow into any body of water.

That includes ponds, lakes, rivers, wetlands and the ocean. Why? Well, all the salt, sand, littler and oil from cars pollute the water, harming wildlife and possibly sinking down into the groundwater.

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The American Lung Association has given Rhode Island a mixed report card on tobacco control.  While the state has the third highest cigarette tax, it lags behind in funding prevention.

The state got a “B” for its cigarette tax; the third highest in the nation.  The $3.46 in taxes slapped onto a pack of cigarettes has lowered smoking rates.   However it got an “F” for spending on prevention campaigns. 

U.S. Sen. Jack Reed says nearly $2.5 million in federal funding will go toward helping the state’s neediest resident keep the heat on.  That will bring Rhode Island’s total to $27.1 million in federal funding this year. The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, known as LIHEAP, helps some 35,000 Rhode Islanders. Many poor residents also get help on their heating bill through the Henry Shelton Act, which places a surcharge on gas and electricity bills. That money goes into a fund to help low-income customers pay their bills.

National Grid said the tremendous growth on Aquidneck Island has prompted it to spend $93 million on upgrading its power system there.

The utility said the current system is outdated and will soon be overwhelmed. How outdated is it? Well, one substation was built in 1949.

As you’ve probably noticed, gas prices continue to drop at the pump. In Rhode Island, a gallon of regular unleaded is down 15 cents from last week. And AAA reports prices have dropped by a dime in Massachusetts with the average gallon in both states going for $2.15.

This is the sixth consecutive week for double digit drops.

In Connecticut gas prices are down by twelve cents to land at $2.35 a gallon.

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

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