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CHUCK: Rhode Islanders head to the polls in a few short weeks to vote in the presidential election and decide several local races and ballot questions. One of those questions is whether to invest  $50 million dollars into affordable housing. The bond is question seven on the November ballot, and Rhode Island Public Radio’s John Bender joins us now with more details. Good morning John.

JOHN: Hey Chuck.

CHUCK: So John, voters approved similar bonds for affordable housing in 2009 and 2012, worth a combined roughly $73 million. What happened to that money? 

Andrew Iacovelli/Burbage Theatre Company

Rhode Island's booming theater scene is in full pulse these days Which has lead Rhode Island Public Radio's  Bill Gale to double up.

John Bender / RIPR

In an election season with few contested Rhode Island races, there is one General Assembly campaign getting lots of attention. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay on why all eyes are on a House campaign in the western corner of Cranston.


Rhode Islanders are struggling to get calls through to friends and family in Haiti in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew. Bernard Georges, who immigrated to Rhode Island from Haiti as a teenager, says he finally reached his brother and sister on Friday.

Providence Business News Editor Mark Murphy joins Rhode Island Public Radio's Dave Fallon for our weekly business segment, The Bottom Line.

This week, Dave and Mark speak with Steven King, the managing director of the Quonset Development Corporation.

Now playing in theaters, the film "The Birth of a Nation," reclaims the title of a 1915 movie by D.W. Griffith, which remains highly controversial for its seemingly sympathetic portrayal of the Confederacy and the Ku Klux Klan, and its use of black face. The new film, from Actor and Director Nate Parker, tells the story of the Nat Turner Rebellion, a slave uprising in Virginia in 1831 that left scores of white men, women, and children dead.

How Providence is working to get more kids to school every day; and what happened to the $75 million Rhode Island spent in federal Race to theTop funding?  Rhode Island Public Radio’s Elisabeth Harrison looks for answers from Providence Superintendent of Schools Chris Maher on our weekly Bonus Q&A. Political reporter Ian Donnis returns next week.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Analysis by Rhode Island Public Radio finds urban and middle class students in Rhode Island have lower test scores than their peers in Massachusetts; and the state’s ambitious goal to improve 3rd grade reading skills in less than a decade. We discuss the top issues in public education on a special education edition of our weekly political roundtable. 

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Farming is a growing industry in Rhode Island, with many new farmers starting small businesses. But when they don’t come from farming families, finding land can be a challenge, especially in a state with the most expensive farmland in the country. To help new farmers purchase land, state officials have set up a new land access program as part of a longstanding effort to acquire and preserve green space. Now that program has come under attack by a conservative movement. 

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

The search is underway for a new director of the state’s Department of Children, Youth, and Families. For this week’s The Pulse, Rhode Island Public Radio’s Kristin Gourlay sits down with outgoing director Jamia McDonald to learn what’s changed for children and staff since she took the reins a year and a half ago

John Bender

The town of Warren, Rhode Island has been named one of America’s 5 Great Neighborhoods. The American Planning Association on Monday recognized Warren’s downtown for its “foresight, innovation, and cooperation” in building a better place to live. It’s part of APA’s Great Places in America program, to recognize streets, neighborhoods, and public spaces in the United States demonstrating exceptional character, quality and planning.

Tommy Japan / flickr / Creative Commons License

Ever wonder why presidential candidates should release their tax returns? RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay offers some views from a distinctly Rhode Island perspective.

Providence Business News Editor Mark Murphy joins Rhode Island Public Radio's Dave Fallon for our weekly business segment, The Bottom Line.

This week, we focus on the Rhode Island Convention Center. How deeply do convention center events reach into the local economy? Is the convention business changing? These are just a few of the questions we ask Martha Sheridan, president and CEO of the Providence-Warwick Convention and Visitors Bureau.  

When to listen:

National Cancer Institute

The presidential candidates debated for the first time Monday night, and health care barely got a mention. Health care hasn’t exactly been in the spotlight throughout this presidential campaign. 

On Rhode Island Public Radio's Artscape this month we look at podcasting, with a profile of Nate Dimeo, a podcaster based in Los Angeles, but with deep Rhode Island roots.