Peter Kilmartin

It’s been almost two years since five Rhode Island law enforcement agencies received a financial windfall from the Google settlement. Google was forced to pay a $500 million fine for illegally selling drugs to Americans without a prescription.  About half of the money was returned to the Rhode Island law enforcement agencies that investigated and tried the case.  How the three largest recipients are spending the money.

A window into just how relentless campaign fund-raising has become: Democrat  Gina Raimondo’s latest email wishing Rhode Islanders a Happy Thanksgiving.

The Internet missive contains a photo of the state treasurer with her husband Andy and children Tommy and Ceci. ``At Thanksgiving…I think about everything we are grateful for. We live in an amazing state with so much potential, we are surrounded by family and friends who care about us, and living up to our Italian traditions, we are preparing and eating way too much food.’’

Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Kilmartin and Health Department director Michael Fine have sent a letter to the CEO of United Healthcare New England expressing their concern over the insurer’s dropping of dozens of doctors from its managed Medicare plan in the state. They want United to reinstate doctors until they submit a plan to handle the transition.

The Red Sox win big, politics never takes a holiday, and the calendar turns to November, marking the one-year mark until Rhode Island's next general election. Thanks for stopping by. As always, feel free to send me tips and feedback at idonnis (at) ripr (org) and to follow my short takes via Twitter. Let's head in.

Ian Donnis

Attorney General Peter Kilmartin joins Political Roundtable this week to discuss the race for governor; the fate of gun-related legislation in the General Assembly; the cancaled appearance at Brown University involving New York City police commissioner Raymond Kelly, and other issues.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Attorney General Peter Kilmartin says his office is developing legislation for the upcoming General Assembly session that would require background checks for workers in Rhode Island's adult entertainment industry.

An East Providence man has pleaded no contest to unemployment insurance fraud.  Forty-nine-year-old Richard Daigle was sentenced to ten years probation and ordered to pay restitution to the state in excess of $10,000.

Attorney General Peter Kilmartin said if the case had gone to trial, prosecutors would have proven that for a six-month period starting in 2010 Daigle was working at a Stop N Shop store but failed to advise the state Department of Labor and Training of his earnings.

State Senator Dawson Hodgson (R-North Kingstown) is gearing up for a possible run next year against Attorney General Peter Kilmartin, a Democrat.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

State Senator Dawson Hodgson (R-North Kingstown) joins the Political Roundtable to discuss an ethics complaint against House Speaker Gordon Fox; Hodgson's interest in running for attorney general in 2014; debate about federal cuts in food programs; and the latest on Deepwater Wind.

Flo Jonic / RIPR

The newly rebuilt Pawtucket River Bridge was re-dedicated Thursday.

The nearly 600-foot span connects Massachusetts and Rhode Island via Interstate 95.  The original span, built in 1958, had become so rundown the bridge had to be closed to multi axle trucks.  

Truckers who used the bridge risked a three thousand dollar ticket. Governor Lincoln Chafee remembered those truckers in his prepared remarks.

Attorney General Peter Kilmartin said Rhode Islanders are still getting scammed by people claiming to be from National Grid and demanding payments. A warning issued earlier this month has failed to stop the predators.

The scammers typically call people at random and tell them they have a past due balance on their electric bill. They say they’re from National Grid and warn that service will be shut off immediately unless the customer makes an immediate payment.  By paying, people automatically give the scammers access to sensitive bank account or credit card information.

The City of Pawtucket said a new state law blocking cities and towns from banning certain breeds of animals does not apply to them.   At issue is Pawtucket’s longstanding ban against the ownership of pit bulls. 

Pawtucket officials said they will continue to enforce a ban on pit bulls despite a new state law that forbids cities and towns from outlawing the ownership of specific breeds of dogs or cats. Pawtucket director of administration Tony Pires said the law applies only to future bans, not ones already on the books like theirs.

Catherine Welch / RIPR

Been wondering what's happening with Landmark Medical Center? So has Woonsocket's mayor, Leo Fontaine. He wrote a letter to Governor Lincoln Chafee, pleading with him to weigh in on the process, use his influence to somehow resolve it. Problem is, regulators say that won't help.

Here are excerpts of the mayor's letter to the governor, a copy of which he apparently emailed to several newsrooms, but not to the primary regulators involved in approving or denying Prime Healthcare's application to buy to Landmark Medical Center:

Intel Free Press / Flickr

Texting while driving continues to be a leading cause in highway fatalities among young people.

A safety campaign continues in local high schools to raise awareness of the dangers of texting and driving.

About 270 students at South Kingstown High School signed a “pledge wall” on Thursday, promising to refrain from texting and driving.

The “It Can Wait” campaign is a national effort fronted by AT&T and headed locally by the Rhode Island Attorney General’s Office in partnership with the Department of Transportation.

Flo Jonic / RIPR

Newport residents threw a big welcome home party Sunday for Heather Abbott.  She’s the 38-year-old woman who lost the lower part of her left leg in the Boston Marathon bombings.  A veritable who’s who of Rhode Island’s political establishment was on hand to praise her courage and spunk.

The Preservation Society of Newport County donated the use of Rosecliff Mansion for Heather Abbott’s welcome home party.   When she arrived on crutches, wearing a form-fitting royal blue sleeveless dress, she received a round of applause.