Rhode Island

RIPR News
3:29 pm
Wed June 11, 2014

RI Bridge Authority Approves Median Along Pell Bridge

Credit Ryan T. Conaty

The Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority voted unanimously Wednesday to install a median barrier along the bridge.

There is currently a line of yellow dividers down the center of the bridge, acting as a kind of visual barrier to keep drivers in their lanes. Those dividers will be replaced with a median barrier to prevent accidents caused by drivers crossing over into on-coming traffic.

Calls for a barrier on the Pell Bridge grew louder back in January after a deadly head-on collision on Christmas Eve.

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Governor's Race
9:56 am
Wed June 11, 2014

Democratic Gubernatorial Hopefuls Spar At First Televised Debate

Angel Taveras, one of three major Democratic hopefuls for governor.
Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

The three major Democratic candidates for governor offered their views on jobs, education and other issues during an hour-long debate Tuesday. The forum sponsored by WPRI and the Providence Journal came with less than three months until the September 9th primary.

State Treasurer Gina Raimondo pointed to the pension overhaul she spearheaded in 2011 as proof of her leadership skills. Raimondo said the overhaul significantly reduced Rhode Island’s long-term pension bill.

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Theater Reviews
3:56 am
Wed June 11, 2014

It’s Good To See The Rat Pack Again at Theatre By The Sea

'The Rat Pack Show' is at Theatre by the Sea through June 22nd.
Credit Courtesy Hackett Miller Company

Ahh, yes. How do I put this? If you are of a certain age, one that allows you to recognize the impact of names such as Dean and Joey and Sammy and, most of all, Frankie, well then you are probably going to enjoy “The Rat Pack Show” at Matunuck.

Produced by Sandy Hackett, son of the major 1950sCHK comedian, Buddy Hackett, it’s pretty much a charming throwback to those days when people dressed up to go to the theater, where they liked their jokes hot and quick, and no-body had ever heard of the internet or tweeting or flip-flops.

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Politics
2:27 am
Wed June 11, 2014

RI Lawmakers Again Consider Calamari As Official State Appetizer

A House committee is scheduled to vote Wednesday on a bill that would make calamari the official state appetizer. If this sounds familiar it’s because last year similar legislation grabbed headlines then died in the General Assembly.

The whole thing started when Rep. Joseph McNamara spotted “Rhode Island calamari” on the menu at a fancy restaurant in New Hampshire.  To his thinking, if calamari became the official appetizer then that just might put the state’s name on menus across the country.

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Education
9:18 am
Tue June 10, 2014

Civil Rights Leader To Speak At URI

URI's Kingston campus.
Credit RIPR FILE

Rev. Bernard Lafayette Jr., a leader in the civil rights movement, will speak at the University of Rhode Island Tuesday.

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Politics
9:13 am
Tue June 10, 2014

Bill Looks To Create Commission To Investigate State Loan Programs

A new bill would create a commission to investigate state loan programs.
Credit RIPR FILE

A bill slated to be considered Tuesday by the House Finance Committee would create a commission to investigate loan programs like the one that funded 38 Studios. House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello has opposed the idea of lawmakers using subpoenas to probe 38 Studios.

The bill sponsored by state Representative Michael Chippendale (R-Foster) would create a nine-member panel to investigate unsuccessful state loan programs. Chippendale said it’s important to press for answers even if the state budget being voted on later this week includes money to pay back 38 Studios’ investors.

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RI News
5:18 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

VA Audit: Providence VA Has Some Of Longest Wait Times

Providence VA hospital has some of the nation's longest wait times.
Credit RIPR FILE

An audit released by the VA finds patients at the Providence VA Medical Center have some of the longest average waits in the nation to receive primary care. The Providence VA said that’s due to staff who retired and an increase in patients at its clinic in Hyannis, MA.

New patients receiving their first primary care appointments waited an average of about 74 days, according to the VA audit. Only seven other facilities across the country had longer waits.

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RI News
10:26 am
Mon June 9, 2014

Central Falls Library Gets Another Boost From Alec Baldwin

Alec Baldwin speaking to the audience at Fete Ballroom in Providence.
Credit John Bender / RIPR

The Central Falls Library is looking to expand its programming for students.  The library got a big boost from actor Alec Baldwin at a fundraiser over the weekend.

Alec Baldwin cracked jokes before a packed crowd at the Fete Ballroom in Providence before reading a James Thurber short story.

"We’re going do a little short stories, and some poetry and some Shakespeare.  You can keep getting drunk too, like you normally do here," said Baldwin.

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The Bottom Line
4:45 pm
Fri June 6, 2014

The Bottom Line: Flexibility Key To Success At Blount Fine Foods

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 talk with Todd Blount, president of Blount Fine Foods located in Warren, RI and Fall River, MA. They discuss how the company found itself expanding during the recession, how to anticipate public tastes, and the effects of technology on production and employee skills.

When to Listen

You can hear The Bottom Line each Friday at 5:50pm.

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Politics
8:24 am
Fri June 6, 2014

House Finance Committee Passes $8.7 Billion Budget

Lawmakers announce plan to zap Sakonnet River Bridge toll. House Finance Chairman Ray Gallison stands at the microphone.
Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

On a 14-2 margin, the House Finance Committee Thursday approved an $8.7 billion budget for the fiscal year starting July first.  Lawmakers say they hope tax cuts will bolster Rhode Island’s underperforming economy.

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