As part of our new series “Rising Tide,” Rhode Island Public Radio is bringing you stories of life after the Great Recession. The economy is improving, but does a rising tide lift all boats, or are some Rhode Islanders still being left behind? In this next installment, Rhode Island Public Radio’s Chuck Hinman visits a couple who started a small business, and a family, in the depths of the Great Recession.
The chairman of the nation endowment for the humanities visits Rhode Island today. Chairman William Adams will be announcing more than one-hundred thousand dollars in grants for the state. The grants are going to 14 different community organization around the state, including, Water Fire, RiverzEdge a youth arts program in Woonsocket and the Little Compton Historical Society.
Elizabeth Francis is the director of the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities.
The number of babies born with exposure to opioid drugs and alcohol nearly doubled in Rhode Island between 2006 and 2013.
That’s one of the more startling facts in the new Rhode Island Kids Count Factbook. Executive Director Elizabeth Burke-Bryant said unlike earlier drug problems, this one is not concentrated in urban areas.
“90 percent of babies born with drugs in their system, were born to white mothers and 32 percent lived in the four core cities, which means the majority of these cases are spread to the rest of Rhode Island,” said Bryant.
State Police are raising concerns about the state’s medical marijuana program. At issue is the role of caregivers, who are licensed by the state to grow a small number of plants for medical marijuana patients.
Rhode Island State Police spokesman Major Kevin O’Brien says last year police searched the homes of 21 caregivers. More than three-quarters of them were growing more marijuana than the law allows.