Rhode Island

A group of defense companies and local universities have announced a new partnership aimed at creating a hub for undersea technology. Dubbed the Undersea Technology Innovation Center, the project is still in the early stages. 

It will be organized by the Southeastern New England Defense Industry Alliance, which has announced partners including the University of Rhode Island, the Navy and Salve Regina University. SENEDIA spokeswoman Molly Magee says the center would provide a hub for marine and defense technology.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

An advisory is the lowest of four drought designations.

State Water Resources Board Chairwoman Susan Licardi says the drought advisory is meant to raise awareness about current conditions. State officials are urging Rhode Islanders to take precautionary measures to conserve water and to be aware of the dry conditions.

State recommendations include avoiding over-watering of lawns, and not watering yards during the hottest part of the day.

John Bender / RIPR

Providence reached 96 degrees Sunday. It's not a record -- that's 98 degrees -- but the humidity was unusually high. The National Weather Service issued heat advisories for several days last week.

On Monday, the state will get relief, according to Weather Service meteorologist Bob Thompson.

“[Monday] will be a little bit less humid, it’s still going to be very warm [Monday], we’re still probably going to see high temperatures near 90, but the humidity will be a little bit less," said Thompson.

But Thompson predicts the respite will be brief.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

  There’s a new cell phone app designed to make getting to the ocean easier for people in Rhode Island. The shoreline access app maps exactly how far you are from all public ocean access points.

The project is part of the Rhode Island Sea Grant, a federal program attached to the University of Rhode Island. Sea Grant spokeswoman Monica Allard-Cox says the app builds on a guide written in the 90s.

National Weather Service

The advisory for much of Southern New England lasts through 7 o’clock Friday evening. Temperatures are climbing into the 90s, but humidity could make it feel as hot as 103 degrees.

Meteorologist Lenore Correia recommends keeping outdoor activities to a minimum.

“People can get heat exhaustion and things like that,” said Correia. “You don’t want to leave your children in the car, or your pets, and you just want to be careful and make sure to drink lots of water.”

Correia said things will cool off by the end of the weekend.

JJBers / Creative Commons License

Work is underway on a new stretch of bike path in Providence. The project will create an off-road path from India Point Park, north towards Pawtucket. The path is just three-quarters of a mile, but State Department of Transportation Chief Operating Officer Peter Garino says it will connect two major bike paths.

“It may not be a long segment, but it really is a critical segment,” said Garino. “We’re looking at something that really connects both the Blackstone and East Bay Bike path and makes one path out of them. It’s the missing link between the two paths.”

The head of Rhode Island’s Medicaid program is stepping down from her post. That will be the second vacancy at a top state health position.

The board of the state Commerce Corporation this week approved incentives to help two companies expand in Rhode Island. State Commerce Secretary Stefan Pryor stopped by our studio yesterday to discuss a range of other issues involving economic development

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Behind the scenes negotiations on the I-195 District, and the inside word from state Commerce Secretary Stefan Pryor. 

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Anya Rader Wallack took the position as head of Medicaid, the state’s health insurance program for low income residents, in October. Before that she led the state’s health insurance exchange, HealthSource RI. 

In an email sent to staff, Wallack wrote she accepted the Medicaid position during an especially difficult time, about a week after her husband passed away. She wrote the job has been “a rewarding challenge and a welcome distraction.”

US Department Of Education / Creative Commons License

  Virginia Senator Tim Kaine will be back in Rhode Island this weekend, to raise money for running mate Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. Kaine was in Newport when he got the call last month to be Clinton’s choice for vice president.

Senator Kaine will headline a fundraiser at the Newport home of Alma and Barrett Bready. Contribution levels run from $1,000 per person, up to $50,000.

Top local Democrats are hosting the event, including Governor Gina Raimondo, the state’s congressional delegation, and former Providence mayor and ambassador Joseph Paolino.

Warwick police contacted the state DEM's Division of Law Enforcement around 3 a.m. Tuesday morning. Police reported the boat was found at Brewer's Marina in Warwick. The engine was running, and no one was aboard the vessel. The boat was damaged, and blood was found on the deck. Environmental police continue to investigate.

Victor Casale/Creative Commons License via Flickr

The program is called Nine Yards, as in the "whole nine yards," and offers inmates with felony convictions workforce training and counseling while still incarcerated. When released the men in the program are offered transitional supportive housing to provide additional stability and a group environment.

Conducted by a Harvard PhD student, the report finds that men in the program, called 9 Yards, reduced their collective crime rate by 40 percent, as compared to men who did not participate in the program.

Momoneymoproblemz/Creative Commons License

The state Commerce Corporation is slated to meet Wednesday to consider incentives meant to secure General Electric jobs in Providence. Governor Gina Raimondo has said the incentives will not be paid until the jobs are actually created.

Plans were announced in June for GE to open a Providence office with about 100 initial new jobs. At the time, state officials said they expected $5.65 million in incentives, over 10 years, to be part of the deal.

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