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PROVIDENCE, R.I. – A consultant says Rhode Island's tourism industry is losing market share to states that do a better job promoting themselves.

Mitch Nichols says the Ocean State has great attractions, but is getting out-marketed by Vermont, Maine, and New Hampshire. The Arizona-based consultant was hired by the state Economic Development Corporation.

Artist Jill Davis is pictured at her Pawtucket studio. Photo by Catherine Welch.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Advocates say the arts can help put a city on the map, but can they also help put a city budget in the black? Pawtucket officials are hoping the answer to that question is yes.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Rhode Island home sales dipped slightly in January as did the median price. The Rhode Island Association of Realtors reports that existing home sales fell from 395 a year ago to 392 this year.

The median price fell to $198,000 from $200,000 the year prior.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – More than 60 people attended a House Labor Committee meeting yesterday to debate illegal immigration. The focal point was a bill to restore former governor Don Carcieri's executive order on immigration.

Tea Party and Rhode Island Statewide Coalition members were among those backing stronger efforts to curb illegal immigration.

Photo by Ross Elliott via Flickr Creative Commons.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Governor Lincoln Chafee says his administration is keeping a watchful eye on potential casino developments in Massachusetts but stopping short of endorsing a plan to allow table games at Twin River in Lincoln.

Chafee spokesman Mike Trainor says the concern is that a Bay State casino could take revenue away from Rhode Island.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The Sam's Club store in Warwick is closing for a major redesign. As a consequence, the store's 113 employees will be laid off.

A spokesman for the Walmart corporation says they'll be given 60 days of pay plus severance and will be considered for openings in other stores.

The company has not said how long the remodel will take. But in the meantime, Sam's Club members can use the store in Seekonk, Massachusetts.

Governor Lincoln Chafee, center, is pictured with EDC head Keith Stokes, left. Photo by Megan Hall.

Providence, RI – Governor Lincoln Chafee ushered in a new philosophy for bringing jobs to the Ocean State as he chaired his first meeting of the state's Economic Development Corporation yesterday.

Chafee says like any business or sports team that's in trouble, Rhode Island needs to focus on the basics and away from bigger projects like the EDC's $75 million loan to video game developer 38 Studios.

"The football analogy would be, you block and tackle before you do the Hail Mary and the Statue of Liberty play," he says.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The cost of home heating oil has reached a two year high in Rhode Island. According to the state Office of Energy Resources, the average price is now $3.32 a gallon.

The high price of home heating oil in Rhode Island is leading people to do desperate things, according to Maggie Rogers of the George Wiley Center.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Providence Mayor Angel Taveras yesterday created a five-member panel to assess the fiscal condition of Rhode Island's capital city.

Taveras says assembling a team of experts is an important part of strengthening Providence's finances. He calls it a difficult challenge and one faced by cities across the country.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – A couple Rhode Island grocery stores are about to close. Shaw's has announced it's closing five stores: three in Massachusetts and two in Rhode Island.

The Rhode Island stores affected are in Warwick and Johnston. The Massachusetts locations are New Bedford, Stoneham and Revere.

Photo courtesy of Daniel Forster.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Supporters of a push to bring the America's Cup sailing race back to Newport say a new study shows the international competition could have a $1.1 billion impact on the state. The announcement came Wednesday, two days before the deadline to select the next host city for the final leg of the race in 2013.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – A spokesman for Rhode Island Gov.-elect Lincoln Chafee says Chafee and representatives of the Golden Gate Yacht Club all agree that Newport is the "natural home for the America's Cup."

Chafee met privately Thursday with team representatives and with Keith Stokes, head of the state's Economic Development Corp.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Faith leaders in the state are calling on the religious community, businesses and philanthropists to help address what they say is a shortfall in the number of beds available at emergency shelters.

Rev. Don Anderson, of the State Council of Churches, says people of faith should make donation at their local place of worship or to the Rhode Island Coalition for the Homeless.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The head of the state's Coastal Resources Management Council said he will make sure fishermen are treated fairly as Deepwater Wind rolls out its proposal for 200 turbines off the Rhode Island, Massachusetts coast. State and federal officials meet Friday to discuss the plan.

Deepwater Wind wants to put 200 turbines 20 miles off the coast to provide electricity for the northeast. Coastal Resources Management Council Executive Director Grover Fugate said he wishes Deepwater Wind had started with smaller projects.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Gas prices in Rhode Island have climbed for the fifth straight week to an average $3.06 per gallon for regular unleaded.

AAA Southern new England says in its weekly survey released Monday that the price of a gallon of gas rose two cents from last week.

Since this time last year, prices have risen 39 cents a gallon, up nearly 15 percent.

AAA says prices in Rhode Island are 11 cents above the national average of $2.95 per gallon.

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