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
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.

Politics
3:14 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

Sen. Reed: Congress Needs To Help Fix VA’s Problems

Sen. Jack Reed is calling on Congress to address the systemic challenges plaguing the VA healthcare system.

Reed made the statement just hours after Veterans Secretary Eric Shinseki resigned amid a growing cover up of long wait times for healthcare. Reed said the next secretary needs to start the job with a top to bottom review of what’s causing the backlog.

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Environment
8:48 am
Fri May 30, 2014

Ocean State To Receive Millions To Help Local Fishermen

Rhode Island will receive nearly $2 million in relief funds to help fishermen hit by sharp cuts in catch limits.

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RI News
1:57 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

Providence Sues Santander Bank Over Discriminatory Lending Practices

Attorney John Relman and Mayor Angel Taveras announce a federal lawsuit claiming Santander Bank engaged in discriminatory lending.
Credit Catherine Welch / RIPR

The City of Providence has filed a federal lawsuit claiming Santander Bank engaged in discriminatory lending practices. Lawyers filing the suit are calling the bank’s lending practices a civil rights issue.

The lawsuit claims that during the housing boom minority neighborhoods were given risky loans, then after the bust Santander stopped making loans in those neighborhoods and focused instead on white neighborhoods.

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Education
10:20 am
Thu May 29, 2014

Johnson And Wales To Start Physician Assistant Progam

Credit Erica Smith / Flickr

Johnson and Wales University is celebrating the opening of its new Center for Physician Assistant Studies this Thursday. It will be home to the first class of 24 students. Dr. George Bottomley is the director of the Physician Assistant Studies program. He said Rhode Island is one of the last states to establish a physician assistant program.

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Health Care
9:42 am
Thu May 29, 2014

Chafee Signs New Prescription Drug Monitoring Program Into Law

Governor Lincoln Chafee has signed a bill into law requiring practitioners to register with the state’s prescription drug monitoring program.

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