Rhode Island

John Bender / RIPR

City officials in Providence are considering an ordinance aimed at racial profiling by the police. The measure is known as the Community Safety Act. And advocates say it’s needed to address discrimination against minorities, especially in heavily policed neighborhoods. 

NOAA OKEANOS EXPLORER PROGRAM / 2013 NORTHEAST U.S. CANYONS EXPEDITION

This morning President Barack Obama announced he's protecting nearly 5,000 square miles of marine ecosystems in the Atlantic Ocean. He calls his decision a necessary step to help our oceans bounce back from the negative effects of climate change.

John Bender / RIPR

More than 100 supporters gathered at Providence City Hall Wednesday evening for the first public hearing on a proposed ordinance known as the Community Safety Act.

The CSA seeks to reduce potential racial profiling by city law enforcement.

The ordinance includes 12 central points, several of which are variations on state law and the current the Providence police code of conduct. Most expand the definition of racial profiling and procedures for handling police stops, said community organizer Vanessa Flores-Maldonando.

RIPR FILE

There have been three press-conferences over the past two days offering competing plans for dealing with homelessness, panhandling, and drug use in downtown Providence. Thursday, the mayor offered his vision.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

The new contract would move city firefighters back onto a four platoon shift schedule. Last May, Elorza announced he would reduce the schedule to three platoons. At the time, he estimated the city would save some $5 million dollars on overtime.

The plan was denounced by the firefighters’ union, which said the schedule would require firefighters to work dangerously long hours. The union has sued the city, claiming the schedule improperly calculates overtime, leading to lower pay for firefighters. That dispute is currently in arbitration.

John Bender / RIPR

Rhode Islanders will go to the polls Tuesday to vote in a primary election. The general lack of high-profile races is expected to result in a low turnout of voters. 

  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 Edward Mazze, Distinguished Professor of Business Administration at the University of Rhode Island.

The three discuss Providence Business News’ Summer 2016 Business Survey. They weigh in on positives and negatives in the report, and the changes to Rhode Island’s business climate. The group also talks about developing a “tech savvy” workforce, as well as the lingering effects of the Great Recession.

City officials, veterans and their families gathered at Providence City Hall Friday to memorialize the 15th anniversary of the September 11th attacks.

A small crowd recited the Pledge of Allegiance before listening speakers including Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza and the city’s chief of police, who recognized the thousands lost in the terrorist attacks. Veterans’ Organization, Operation Stand Down Rhode Island commemorated the servicemen and women who’ve died in the subsequent War on Terror.

RIPR FILE

Voters head to the polls Tuesday for primary elections in Rhode Island, and one of those primaries will fill a House seat formerly held by Ray Gallison. The Democrat resigned under a law enforcement probe likely to include legislative grants, given to an organization with Gallison on the payroll. Rhode Island Public Radio Political Analyst Scott MacKay discussed the race with News Director Elisabeth Harrison.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Critics are voicing disappointment following Gov. Gina Raimondo’s announcement that repairs to the 6/10 connector will be placed on a fast-track, leaving little hope that the corridor will get a major redesign.

Transportation advocates had hoped to see roadway transformed into a boulevard.

Advocates for the idea say a boulevard would offer better access to existing streets in Providence, and make room for pedestrians and cyclists. But the state announced this week the 6/10 connector is in such poor condition, there won’t be time for a major redesign.

Alex Braunstein / RIPR

The City of Providence has a new work of public art. Installations have popped up in public spaces across the city over the past year. The latest is a large mural called “BattleCat,” painted by an Austrian artist who goes by the name NYCHOS.

It’s a part of a series of paintings created by international artists visiting the city through a residency program.

thisisbossi/flickr Creative Commons License

The lawsuit, over the use of a hazardous gasoline additive, names defendants including British Petroleum and Exxon Mobile.

NOAA

The storm, Hermine, which made landfall last week has been downgraded from a category one hurricane, to a tropical storm, to what's called a post-tropical cyclone. In general terms that just means a lower-strength event, said Rebecca Gould, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

"Really no different than a Nor’easter," said Gould. "You might get some showers, some rain, probably not until [Monday night] into [Tuesday]. Winds along the south coast will be a bit stronger than anywhere else. We’re expecting gusts up to about 30-35 mph. In Providence 25-30 mph gusts."

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Fishermen and industry advocates say there’s a real hunger among people to learn more about how fishermen do what they do. That’s why they’re planning to install interpretive signs around the fishing docks at Point Judith to answer people’s questions. 

Erika Smith / Creative Commons License

The first development project on the vacant I-195 land in Providence is complete. The land has sat empty since it became available for development.

Now on one corner of the land near downtown, sits Johnson and Wales University’s new 71,000 thousand square foot science building. The $40 million, three-story building houses a combination of classroom and laboratory space.

On hand for a ribbon cutting ceremony, Governor Gina Raimondo says she hopes the area will eventually be a hub for science and technology.

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