Rhode Island

John Bender / RIPR

Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza has set himself an ambitious goal: to rid the city of all housing blight in the next six years. If the city reaches that goal, Elorza said it would be the first city of its size to do so.

On Tuesday, the mayor unveiled his initiative to deal with hundreds of vacant and abandoned homes in the state capital. The project, called EveryHome Providence, offers what the administration calls a suite of tools for taking on these properties.


Former Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee took to the national stage, as one of five Democrats taking part in last night’s presidential primary debate. 

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

A foster home for teenagers is under investigation by the Department of Children, Youth, and Families after an employee was arrested for assaulting a resident. 

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

A committee searching for the next president of Rhode Island’s community college meets Wednesday, as the group is narrows the field of candidates.


Former Rhode Island governor Lincoln Chafee will take the national stage Tuesday evening in the Democratic presidential debate. The former Republican announced his run for the democratic nomination in April of this year to moderate local and national fanfare . 

Lisa Williams / flickr

Downtown Providence might get a little noisy Monday as the Providence Honk Festival makes its annual parade through the city. The PRONK festival features a variety of marching bands and community groups. The groups will make their way from Kennedy Plaza to the mouth of Narragansett Bay.

The What Cheer? Brigade of Providence will be one of the bands taking part. Drummer Jori Ketten calls Pronk! an alternative street festival.

“A large part of the festival is about claiming the streets and spending time in the streets and reveling in the streets,” said Ketten.

John Bender / RIPR

Former Congressman Patrick Kennedy has pulled the veil from his famous family in a new book that details his addiction and mental health issues.  Some members of his family have reacted angrily to the book, calling the memoir inaccurate. RIPR’s Scott MacKay says Kennedy deserves a Profile in Courage award of his own.

Maggie Hall / Ocean State Theatre

Warwick’s Ocean State Theatre opens the season with a mixture of music and dark humor. Rhode Island Public Radio theatre critic Bill Gale was mostly won over by The Addams Family: The Musical.

The Addams Family: The Musical runs through October 25th at Ocean State Theatre in Warwick. Bill Gale reviews the performing arts for Rhode Island Public Radio.

Federal officials are collecting public comments this week about National Grid’s proposal to build a liquefied natural gas facility in Providence. Residents can sign up to speak at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s public hearing beginning at 6 p.m. on Thursday, October 8 at Juanita Sanchez Educational Complex.

A new poll shows that 76 percent of respondents think the state spends too little to maintain roads and bridges. A narrow majority supports Governor Gina Raimondo’s plan for improving infrastructure.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Children who know more words tend to do better in school, and that has some researchers wondering whether early language may offer a key to closing the achievement gap. That’s why Providence has launched Providence Talks, with millions of dollars from the Bloomberg Foundation. The program hopes to boost children’s vocabularies by teaching parents to be chattier with their babies and toddlers.

Data from a pilot study due out Monday shows promise. Rhode Island Public Radio’s Elisabeth Harrison went on a home visit with a Providence Talks coach, to see how the program works.


Rhode Islanders continue to struggle with access to affordable housing. That’s according to the latest report from non-profit Housingworks RI. About half of all renters, and about a third of homeowners with mortgages spend more than a third of their incomes on housing.

Wikimedia Commons

Rhode Island’s two U.S. Senators, Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse are pushing to increase the national smoking age to 21. The two lawmakers joined other Congressmen introducing the legislation Wednesday.


Three marketing firms have been chosen to develop a tourism campaign for Rhode Island. The announcement follows a months-long, national search. One of the firms is New York based Milton Glaser Inc., the agency responsible for the iconic “I Heart New York Campaign.”

In a written statement, Mr. Glaser wrote, “We’re enthusiastic about working on the Rhode Island project, because, among other things, small is beautiful.”

The other firms are HAVAS PR, a public relations firm with an office in Providence, and the Jamestown-based design group Epic Decade.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Throughout October, Visiting Nurses Association of Care New England will host flu vaccine clinics in Rhode Island. As flu season approaches, the VNA will administer flu shots at six locations across the state. 

VNA nurse Paula Foster encourages all who want to be vaccinated to come; regardless of their insurance status.

“The state has allotted us a certain amount of vaccine for the uninsured," said Foster. "So nobody will be turned away, and we want to make sure that everybody that wants a flu shot is getting a flu shot.”