local feature

Ian Donnis / RIPR

House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello sat down in his State House office last week to discuss his priorities for 2016 and his year as speaker.

House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello said he supports the basic premise of Governor Raimondo’s plan to pay for bridge improvements through truck tolls, during his wide-ranging end-of-year interview with Rhode Island Public Radio.

The governor’s infrastructure plan died in the 2015 legislative session when it did not get a vote in the House.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Block Island has been dubbed one of “the last great places” in the western hemisphere. It has a shoreline largely untouched by development. But on the northwest corner of island, storms have been washing away at the bluffs, unearthing what used to be the island’s landfill.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Rhode Island Public Radio will be taking a look at some of the top stories from 2015 in the coming days – from developments in the 38 Studios case to the state’s first female governor. But for this week’s The Pulse, Rhode Island Public Radio’s Kristin Gourlay joins news director Elisabeth Harrison to talk about some of the health care stories that deserve a second look.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

In the second installment of our year-end interview with Governor Gina Raimondo, she talks about her next budget proposal, the financial outlook in Providence, her attempt to cut Medicaid spending, whether new steps are needed to fight corruption, and more.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Gina Raimondo has had a busy year since taking office as Rhode Island’s first female governor last January. The Democrat campaigned on a theme of improving the state’s economy, and that remains a central issue.

Raimondo recently sat down in her State House office to discuss  her first year with Rhode Island Public Radio political reporter Ian Donnis.

If you who still have people on your holiday shopping list, don’t panic! We have book picks from the chair of RISD's Department of Literary Arts and Studies. Associate Professor Nicole Merola sat down with Rhode Island Public Radio’s Elisabeth Harrison.

RIPR FILE

Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse took an active role in the overhaul of the “No Child Left Behind Act”. That’s the federal education law that ushered in a new emphasis on standardized testing in public schools. The new law, known as the “Every Student Succeeds Act” is supposed to reduce the focus on testing. It got a signature last week from President Barack Obama. Senator Whitehouse joins Rhode Island Public Radio’s Elisabeth Harrison now to discuss the new law.

Elisabeth Harrison

U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse said Friday that President Barack Obama was "too slow" to recognize that Americans need to know more about what is being done to stop the Islamic State. 

"I think if you’re the president and you’re getting national security briefings every minute and your military are running a very complex program to try to deal with ISIS, it’s easy to think, okay, we got this," Whitehouse told RIPR.

RIPR file photo

Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza’s first year in office has been dominated by a caustic dispute with the city’s unionized firefighters. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay wonders why the labor dispute has gotten so nasty.

    

This week on The Bottom Line, Rhode Island Foundation President and CEO Neil Steinberg joins host Dave Fallon and Providence Business News editor Mark Murphy to talk about the Foundation's centennial. To celebrate, they're raising $10 million toward the restoration of Roger Williams Park.

Mark Turek / Trinity Rep

In 1989, playwright Wendy Wasserstein’s “The Heidi Chronicles” won a Tony Award and a Pulitzer Prize. Now, Trinity Rep in Providence has revived this very personal play. Rhode Island Public Radio Theater Critic Bill Gale says maybe they should have left well enough alone.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Language immersion programs known as “dual language” programs are a growing trend in public elementary schools. They allow students to become bilingual in English and another language, like Spanish. 

Providence school officials have just announced a plan to offer new dual language programs in Spanish and possibly Mandarin at Carl Lauro Elementary School.

The programs would begin with two Kindergarten classrooms in each language, then add a grade every year until fifth grade.

Chuck Hinman / RIPR

We’re taking a look at the local music scene in Rhode Island, with an eye toward gift giving this holiday season.  Our music consultant is Tom Weyman, of the Columbus Cooperative -- which operates the Columbus Theatre in Providence.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Senator Jack Reed backs President Obama's view that American troops should play a supporting role, rather than a primary one, in the fight with Islamic State. Reed discussed the issue, as well as gun violence, climate change, and other topics during a recent interview with Rhode Island Public Radio.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Once again, an independent agency has questioned Providence city government’s financial direction. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay wonders why Mayor Jorge Elorza and the city council aren’t taking this more seriously.

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