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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Closing the Word Gap
12:02 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

Providence Wins $5M Bloomberg Prize to Close the Word Gap

Providence wins $5 million prize from Bloomberg Philanthropies.
Credit File / RIPR

Providence Mayor Angel Taveras says it’s a dream that the city won a $5 million prize to help low-income children boost language skills. The prize money came from a philanthropic organization set up by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Providence won with a program that will equip low-income children with devices that record conversations and count the words they are exposed to. The children’s parents will then be coached on ways to expose kids to more words. The goal is to close what’s known as “the word gap,” between low-income and more affluent four-year-olds.

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Local Features
5:00 am
Wed March 13, 2013

The Silver Boom: Life at Gorham & Providence Steel and Iron

The Gorham complex abandoned in place on Adelaide Ave in Providence in 1998.
Credit Erik Gould

In less than 20 years, a quarter of the state’s population will be older than 60.  In a series we call “The Silver Boom: Aging in Rhode Island” we’re looking at how the state will take care of this expanding older population and how Rhode Island benefits from its older residents.  For example, they are the memory keepers, the informal historians of the state’s rich past. 

Gorham Manufacturing

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Tax Season
12:04 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

RI Tax Division: Bigger Refunds but Fewer Getting Them

The Rhode Island Division of Taxation says it’s open season for tax filing, last-minute tax changes delayed the e-filing season.

The fiscal cliff tax bill that went into effect January 2nd sent the IRS scrambling to create new tax forms and computer software. So the IRS put a freeze on electronic filing until the end of January once all of the updates were in place. That delayed the state from accepting returns, but the Division of Taxation says it’s now able to accepting all e-filings.

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Environment
3:44 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

CRMC Denies Deepwater Wind Request to Waive Fee

A subcommittee of the Coastal Resources Management Council has denied Deepwater Wind’s request to waive a $700,000 fee. Deepwater Wind wanted the application fee waived for its offshore wind farm off Block Island.

After more than two hours of testimony and deliberation, the Ocean Special Area Management Plan subcommittee voted 4 – 1 to deny the fee waiver.

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RI News
8:35 am
Thu March 7, 2013

East Providence Well on Its Way to Fiscal Health

Central Avenue, East Providence, RI
Credit Aaron Read / RIPR

The City of East Providence says there are just a few more details to button up before it waves good-bye to the Budget Commission that’s been overseeing city finances. A state-appointed finance officer will step in next.

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Arts & Culture
8:59 am
Mon March 4, 2013

Helping Artists Manage Finances

The Rhode Island State Council on the Arts is offering a program to help artists tackle their finances. The program originates from the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art.

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Religion
8:15 am
Fri March 1, 2013

RI Catholics Honor Retiring Pope with Mass

Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul
Credit Catherine Welch / RIPR

A noon mass on Thursday marked the final day of Pope Benedict XVI.  It was held at the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul.

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Politics
4:37 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

Move Over Stuffie, Here Comes "Rhode Island Calamari"

If Rep. Joseph McNamara gets his way, calamari will become the official state appetizer. The stuffie shouldn’t take this personally.

If McNamara’s bill becomes law, then Rhode Island calamari would be listed as the official state appetizer on the state’s website and in promotional material. And the way McNamara sees it that could land the phrase, “Rhode Island calamari” on restaurant menus across the country, giving the state’s biggest catch a little buzz marketing. As for the quahog and the stuffie, McNamara says it’s not personal.

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Politics
8:20 am
Thu February 28, 2013

Higher Ed Braces for Possible Funding Cuts

RI College campus
Credit courtesy RIC.edu

Universities and colleges in the state say they’re bracing for cuts to federal research grants should sequestration kick in. The University of Rhode Island says depending on cuts to defense research, it could lose either $6.4 million or $12.6 million. And Brown University estimates cuts of about $8 million.

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Politics
7:53 am
Wed February 27, 2013

Reed Praises Hagel as Secretary of Defense

US Senator Jack Reed
Credit courtesy of Jack Reed

Senator Jack Reed says Chuck Hagel  will provide outstanding leadership heading up the Pentagon. Reed says this is a critical moment for the US with national security threats and a continuing presence in Afghanistan.

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