local feature

John Bender / RIPR

Chuck Hinman / RIPR

Providence poet Christopher Johnson is one of 20 candidates for Poet Laureate of Rhode Island. He is also facing charges of assault, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct after an encounter last spring with a Providence police officer. Johnson wrote about that encounter earlier this month for Motif Magazine, in an essay called Walking While Black. He spoke to Rhode Island Public Radio’s Chuck Hinman about his case.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

The Boston Red Sox are in the thick of the hunt for a major league playoff spot. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay outlines the different challenges facing the team’s top minor league affiliate, the Pawtucket Red Sox.

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

This week Mark and Dave speak with Rhode Island Public Radio political commentator and longtime reporter Scott MacKay about unfunded state pensions, and those in the cities and towns across the state.

According to data from the Providence Business News, the sum of those statewide liabilities is more than $5 billion.

When to listen: You can hear The Bottom Line each Friday at 5:50 pm.

Now Here This: Life At The Museum

Aug 19, 2016

Rhode Island Public Radio is airing a new series in partnership with Now Here This, a storytelling group at Brown University. On the last Friday of each month we’ll bring you a new story.

Graphic: Benjamin Bouvier, Elliott Liebling

The rate of diabetes among Latinos in Rhode Island has shot up faster than any other group. Why the disparity in health between this group and others? It's a tangle of problems scientists don’t entirely understand.

Adewole Akinbi was 14 years old when he started working for Heather Gaydos at an environmental education program he joined through Groundwork Providence and the Smith Hill Community Development Corporation. Now 27, Akinbi lives downstairs from Gaydos, who he views as family.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Shawna Lawton is one of two Republicans running for the chance to take on House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello for his Cranston state rep seat in November. Lawton will square off in the September primary with fellow Republican Steven Frias. Lawton said she does not plan to debate Frias. 

She said her focus for now is speaking with voters.

“My job right now on the campaign trail is to understand what people are struggling with and to listen and to should I be elected, represent their voice,” said Lawton. “And I don’t feel it necessary to debate him.”

Rilind Abazi


Rilind Abazi was only a baby when he and his family fled Kosovo for Macedonia during his country's war in the late '90s.

"We were received by a family of strangers, we didn't know them, but we've become family friends," said Abazi. And now he's trying to return the favor.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

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

This week, Mark and Elisabeth speak with Mark Gray, coordinator of the state's Health Insurance Small Employer Taskforce, about the impact of new health insurance rates on small businesses.


As students enjoy the last few weeks of summer vacation, faculty at Rhode Island College are gearing up for a new semester and a new president. 

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Behind the scenes negotiations on the I-195 District, and the inside word from state Commerce Secretary Stefan Pryor. 

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

For the first time, Rhode Island has one of the most complete pictures of the extent of the hepatitis C epidemic. More people are infected, and more are dying from the viral disease than previously known, finds a new study. But  more people are also getting treated – and cured.

Stephen Depolo / Creative Commons License via Flickr

National Grid has come under fire for two proposals related to natural gas. The utility company's goal is to bring down the cost of electricity in the wintertime, but some state lawmakers and environmental groups aren’t convinced.