Rhode Island

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.

Mark Turek / Trinity Rep

Over the years Trinity Rep has made its mark taking new looks at classic plays. This time out it's “To Kill a Mockingbird” that is seen with a fresh perspective. RIPR theater critic Bill Gale says the new take works, but just barely.

    

That's right. Since the days of leadership by Adrian Hall, Trinity has rarely done a show in the usual way. Think of a 1920s car being driven, more or less, through the upstairs theater decades ago. Or remember an onstage abortion, or a veteran actor chopping a chunk of beef, in place of a man.

RIPR FILE

Rhode Island Transit officials announced the creation of a new bus corridor through downtown Providence. The 1.4 mile transit project replaces the now-scrapped city streetcar project. 

RIPR FILE

After more than 60 years at the helm, Newport Jazz Festival founder George Wein has named his successor. The festival this week named Grammy-winning bassist Christian McBride as its new artistic director.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Rhode Island’s aquaculture industry grew by 7 percent last year despite icy conditions in coastal waters.

Frozen coastal ponds meant individual growers harvested less shellfish than the previous year, according to David Beutel, aquaculture coordinator with the state Coastal Resources Management Council.

“However because in 2015 we had more growers than we had the year before, overall the state's production was up,” said Beutel. “It did balance out for an overall increase.”

The demand for oysters is driving that overall growth, he said.

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