Providence

Ian Donnis / RIPR

The Providence City Council's Finance Committee appeared unmoved Thursday night after dozens of Rhode Island Building Trades members urged the committee to approve a tax-stabilization agreement for the Procaccianti Group's proposed hotel on Fountain Street.

Although a vote was not expected during the meeting, boisterous Building Trades members appeared frustrated that concerns expressed by UNITE HERE, Local 217, have effectively slowed down the process.

John Bender / RIPR

The American Civil Liberties Union of Rhode Island has filed a free speech lawsuit against the city of Providence.  The suit follows the arrest of a local musician.

 

62-year-old Manuel Pombo has been performing on the streets of Providence for the last 30 years. Pombo says he’s had a several run-ins with police, and in 2013 he was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct. Those charges were later dropped.

RIPR FILE

The City of Providence has rolled out a new initiative to implement the city’s sustainability plan, aimed at reducing the effects of climate change. The initiative has a strong focus on community outreach.


The PawSox new ownership team kicks off a listening tour, to drum up support and answer residents’ questions about a proposed new stadium.  The group plans to stop in all of Rhode Island’s 39 cities and towns. The first stop is at the Smithfield Senior Center in Greenville at 5 in the evening.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Buddy Cianci withdrew more than $200,000 in contributions and interest from his Providence pension fund last November. The move means Cianci will forgo his city pension.

Cianci took roughly $209,000 in contributions and interest out of his retirement account last November. The move came shortly after he lost his attempt to return to City Hall to Democrat Jorge Elorza. Cianci has repeatedly said he would not apply for a Providence pension.

Opponents of building a new Pawsox stadium in Providence are rallying Thursday at the Statehouse. They want the team to stay in Pawtucket.

Organizing for Pawtucket Founder David Norton organized the rally.

“We want to make it crystal clear to our elected leaders that a very strong majority of Rhode Islanders oppose building a new stadium in Providence,” said Norton. “They’re in opposition to it.”

Some Providence residents have also openly opposed the idea. Norton says moving the team to Providence would be bad for business.

The Providence Biltmore has completed a multi-million dollar renovation of its historic lobby and guest rooms, and other parts of the hotel.

Rhode Island Public Radio’s Scott MacKay said the 1922 hotel has a prominent place in Rhode Island political history, including several stays by John F. Kennedy.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Last night, friends and families gathered at a historically black church in Providence to honor the nine people who were murdered at a prayer meeting in Charleston, South Carolina. This interfaith service was both a memorial and a call for social justice. 

Eight clergy members from different churches walked down the aisle together at Olney Street Baptist Church before a racially mixed group of about 100 people.

Nine candles stood at an altar to honor the nine people killed in the Charleston church shooting.

RIPR file photo

Developer Arnold "Buff" Chace's Cornish Associates has completed its purchase of the historic Providence Journal building at 75 Fountain St. in downtown Providence, teaming up with Massachusetts-based Nordblom Company on the deal.

The purchase includes two parking lots at 78 Fountain St. and 1 Eddy St.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Rhode Island lawmakers are expected to wrap up the regular part of their 2015 session later this week. It remains unknown for now if legislators will return to hold a special session later this year.Governor Gina Raimondo is pressing lawmakers to back a plan to fund bridge improvements through new tolls on truck.

The state Trucking Association opposes the plan.

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 debate property tax deals with attorney Nicholas Hemond, who works with the law firm Darrow-Everett. Their conversation includes efforts to standardize property tax breaks in Providence and spur development on the former I-195 land. 

When to listen:

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

RIPR FILE

Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza wants to convince more college graduates to stay in the capital city. He’s launched a new initiative to reach out to young people.

He said the goal is to make living in Providence desirable to millennials.

“Per capita, we have the largest number of college graduates of any state in the country,” said Elorza. “These are the entrepreneurs, the civic leaders and they’re the employees of the future. So it’s a priority of mine to make sure that we retain them here.”

John Bender / RIPR

Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza is embarking on his first major arts and tourism initiative since taking office in January. The first annual Providence International Arts Festival goes on all this weekend. City officials have grand plans for the event.

Days before -- and a mile from the festival site -- a group of local artists and musicians are busy sawing away at two-by-fours, and nailing them together at the Columbus Theater. They’re building a stage. Alternating wood stains create a red and brown striped pattern.

John Altdorfer / Squonk Opera

Providence kicks off the inaugural Providence International Arts Festival Thursday. Mayor Jorge Elorza has touted the event as one of his first major initiatives to boost tourism and the arts in the capital city. The four-day festival includes public art installations, theater, and lectures all around downtown Providence. It will also include dozens of musical performances from across the globe.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza on Monday made an urgent plea for lawmakers to reject a bill that would create a 42-hour workweek for firefighters, saying it would drive up overtime costs for cities and towns across Rhode Island. But the head of the city firefighters' union disputes the likely impact, and he blames Elorza for causing the standoff over the legislation.

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