Rhode Island

RI News
12:01 pm
Mon March 23, 2015

Plans For Memorial Announced At 12th Annual Station Nightclub Remembrance

Handmade crosses sit at the site of the Station Nightclub several years ago, where a makeshift memorial once sat.
Credit RIPR FILE

Some 150 people gathered at Warwick City Hall Sunday to remember those killed in the 2003Station Nightclub fire, and announce plans for a long-awaited memorial.  It was the 12th annual memorial of the fire that claimed 100 lives in West Warwick.

             

Survivor and president of the Station Fire Memorial Foundation Gina Russo announced the group has raised enough money to possibly begin construction this spring.

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The Bottom Line
10:48 am
Mon March 23, 2015

The Bottom Line: Checking In With The New Director Of HealthSource RI

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

This week Dave and Mark sit down with Anya Rader Wallack, the new executive director of HealthSource RI.  

Wallack stepped in as director of the exchange this year following Christine Ferguson, who helped create the exchange in 2013. Wallack was installed by Governor Gina Raimondo. She talks about successes, failures, and the future of the exchange.

When to Listen:

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RI News
9:43 am
Mon March 23, 2015

State Retirees Slated To Vote On Proposed Pension Settlement

Retired public employees are slated to vote Monday on a proposed settlement to the state pension dispute. The voting is expected to take place starting at 10 at the Twin River event center.

The retirees are just one in a series of union groups that need to approve the settlement. At least some active workers face a deadline of voting on the deal by Friday.

The process for approving or rejecting the settlement is shrouded in secrecy. That’s because a judge imposed a gag order preventing parties in the case from talking about it.

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Health Care
9:35 am
Mon March 23, 2015

Price Of Life Saving Anti-Overdose Medication Syrockets

A kit with two doses of naloxone. The drug can be injected in a muscle, or squirted up the nose of someone experiencing an overdose.
Credit Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

The price of naloxone, a drug that can reverse a drug overdose, has skyrocketed. That’s affecting efforts to prevent overdose deaths. Michelle MacKenzie runs an overdose prevention program at the Miriam Hospital. She says when her program started buying and distributing the injectable overdose rescue drug naloxone, in 2006, it cost about a dollar a vial. Today it’s $15 a vial.

“So if we had to pay $15 a vial, I mean, last year we distributed upwards of 800 kits, which is 1600 vials of naloxone. We would have been like, 200. I mean, think about that,” said MacKenzie.

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Providence
8:55 am
Mon March 23, 2015

A Small Victory In Providence's Latest Fight Against Foreclosures

A front-end loader tears down the foreclosed house on Marshall St. Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza says he wants most houses returned to a livable state, but this one was beyond remediation.
Credit John Bender / RIPR

Eight years since the height of the national foreclosure crisis, Providence faces a plague of vacant houses, blighting neighborhoods.  Now the capital city’s new mayor is ramping up efforts to combat the issue. One home on the city's West Side is a success story; it's part of the ambitious plan to create many more in the state capital.

On a cold, sunny morning in March a massive front end loader tears into a tan, two-story home, on Marshall St. on the West Side of Providence. A group of neighbors and passersby watch from across the street.

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Weather
2:59 pm
Fri March 20, 2015

Unseasonably Cold Temps, Snow, For The First Day Of Spring

It’s the first day of Spring, but don’t put away your winter coat just yet.  After a brutal January and February, more snow is predicted today. National Weather Service meteorologist William Babcock said it’s expected to start late this afternoon.

"It could become a factor for the evening commute for parts of the state.  Possibly Providence, better shot in spots like Newport and Westerly," said Babcock.

RI News
5:00 pm
Thu March 19, 2015

Full House Approves Twin River Hotel Proposal

Twin River Casino is proposing a 4 story hotel
Credit RIPR FILE

The full house has approved a bill allowing Twin River Casino to build a hotel  on its property.  Twin River wants the hotel to compete with proposed casinos in Massachusetts.

The restriction that keeps Twin River from building a hotel was originally put in place to protect Providence area hotels from losing business.  But now Massachusetts plans to open three casinos and a slot parlor, threatening Twin River’s revenue.  Twin River officials have unveiled a proposal to build a four story hotel on their Lincoln property.

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Politics
9:00 am
Thu March 19, 2015

A Deeper Look Into Rhode Island's Possible Pension Settlment

Public employee unions may be one step closer to accepting a pension settlement.
Credit RIPR FILE

Public employees in Rhode Island are scheduled to vote next week on a proposed deal to settle a lawsuit over Rhode Island’s pension overhaul.  The settlement could save the state as much as $4 billion dollars in payments to retired state employees.  It could also have benefits for union members.  Rhode Island Public Radio political reporter Ian Donnis talks details with RIPR's Elisabeth Harrison.

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Politics
8:46 am
Tue March 17, 2015

Twin River Casino To Make Case For Onsite Hotel

Twin River Casino is proposing a four story hotel on its Lincoln campus.
Credit RIPR FILE

The House Finance Committee is slated to vote Tuesday on a bill that would clear the path for a hotel to be built at Twin River in Lincoln. The casino was banned from building a hotel as part of a law passed in 2005.

Twin River says a hotel will help it compete, as the casino faces growing competition from new gambling facilities in Massachusetts and Connecticut. Gambling is Rhode Island’s third-largest source of state revenue, and out of state casinos could cut the Ocean State’s annual revenue by up to $100 million.

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RI News
11:12 am
Mon March 16, 2015

Local Officials Gather In Celebration Of Women's History

Senator Jack Reed is one of several local officials who will take part in the state's celebration of Women's History Month Monday at Slater Mill in Pawtucket.
Credit RIPR FILE

Elected officials and local dignitaries will be on hand to celebrate Women’s History Month at Slater Mill in Pawtucket Monday.

The event will also address economic issues for women. Gendered wage gaps remain persistent in the Ocean State.  That’s according to data from the Women’s Fund of Rhode Island, the advocacy non-profit sponsoring the event.

Featured guest, U.S. Senator Jack Reed, says that makes Slater Mill especially appropriate, due to female mill workers’ early fights for equity.

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