Rhode Island

Courtesy of Michael Smith

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is widely expected to win Rhode Island later this month. But some local Republicans are not happy with the idea of Trump as their nominee.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Today we continue our RhodyVotes ’16 coverage of Rhode Island’s presidential primary with the view from a senior center in Cranston. Our producer Sophie McKibben found Steve McCarthy and Al Roberto working on a jigsaw puzzle and feeling pretty negative about their representatives in Washington D.C. Roberto plans to vote for Donald Trump, but his friend Steve McCarthy remains undecided.

You can listen to the rest of our RhodyVotes ‘16 voter postcards here.

RIPR FILE

Children are becoming more diverse in Rhode Island, but the number of babies born in withdrawal from opioids continues to grow. Those are just some of the statistics in this year’s Kids Count fact book, which comes out Monday. Rhode Island Public Radio’s Elisabeth Harrison spoke with Rhode Island Kids Count Executive Director Elizabeth Burke Bryant about several of the highlights in the report.  

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Word-game enthusiasts may be familiar with Bananagrams. Created by a Rhode Island family, it's kind of like Scrabble, but without a board. 

John Bender / RIPR

State lawmakers and local supporters showed up Thursday for the opening of the Hillary Clinton campaign headquarters in Providence. Many of the state’s Democratic leadership, including Governor Gina Raimondo are backing the former Secretary of State.

Warwick resident Justine Lutzel-Caldwell voted for Clinton in 2008 and favors her positions on women’s health.

Courtesy Whitehouse press office

  U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse is backing Merrick Garland, President Barack Obama’s nominee for the Supreme Court. Garland met with Whitehouse Wednesday. Garland is making his customary rounds, meeting with members of Congress as he seeks the judgeship.

Garland faces opposition from Republican lawmakers who say they will not allow his confirmation to proceed.

Whitehouse said he’s working to ensure that Republican members of Congress will properly vet Garland.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

The Providence Public Schools have named a new superintendent. Chris Maher will lead the state capital’s school system, after serving as interim superintendent since last summer.

Maher took the helm following the abrupt departure of former city schools Superintendent Susan Lusi. The Providence School Board announced Monday it has voted unanimously to enter contract negotiations with Maher, to take on the position permanently.

RIPR FILE

  Cranston city Councilman Michael Farina announced Tuesday he is switching political parties. The Democrat has served on the city council since 2013. Farina said the decision came due to his continued frustration with Cranston Democrats.

Farina said he believes there have been efforts to inhibit or obstruct him from taking positions on certain issue contrary to fellow Democratic leaders.

“As a Democrat I have felt pressure to conform to party positions … more about political maneuvering and personal ego than the constituents,” said Farina.

David Cicilline

Rhode Island’s 1st District Congressman David Cicilline returned earlier this week from a visit to Cuba. 

The deadline to register to vote in Rhode Island’s presidential primary is Sunday March 27th . The deadline falls on Easter Sunday, but the state officials say there will be someone to accept registration forms at your local canvasser’s office.

Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea said voters must mail or hand-in their registration forms at their local board of canvassers by Sunday.

“If you’re already registered, you don’t need to re-register,” said Gorbea. “If you’ve moved, you should definitely change your address so it accurately reflects where you’re living.”

John Bender / RIPR

 This post has been updated.

In a scene reminiscent of winter, schools have been closed and parking bans enforced on this early day of spring.

The storm was expected to leave up to eight inches of snow before tapering off mid-morning. But the National Weather Service reports that most of Rhode Island got just three-four inches. Burrillville topped the list of snow totals at about six inches.

National Weather Service meteorologist Frank Nocera said most of the snow will melt away by mid-week.

The head of the Episcopal Church in Rhode Island is part of a group of Episcopal bishops raising concerns about divisive rhetoric in the presidential election. The bishops have issued a rare, unanimous statement condemning “violent forces” that are turning Americans "against their neighbors."

Bishop Nicholas Knisely of the Episcopal Diocese of Rhode Island gives the example of crowds threatening to riot if their candidate is not elected, or politicians who blame a small group for the problems of the larger society.

Katherine Doherty / RIPR

Thousands of Rhode Island high school students are now earning college credits without stepping foot onto a university campus. 

John Bender / RIPR

March Madness has hit Rhode Island. Providence hosts six games in the first and second round of the NCAA Men’s Basketball championship this week.

Eight teams square off at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center. Two double-headers will be held on Thursday. The winning teams will move on to a double-header on Saturday.

John Bender / RIPR

As part of our occasional series, Rising Tide, we’re offering snapshots of Rhode Island’s economy after the Great Recession. The state famous for coffee milk syrup, is now home to a burgeoning specialty coffee scene.

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