scott mackay

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Mayor Jorge Elorza’s administration has reached a tentative agreement on a three-year contract with Local 1033 of the Laborers International Union of North America, which represents city employees in City Hall, the School Department and the Parks and Public Works Departments.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Following the announcement that the Pawtucket Red Sox would not pursue a new stadium on a parcel of downtown Providence land, Pawtucket’s mayor Donald Grebien joins our Political Roundtable. He talks about sagging numbers at McCoy Stadium, economic development in the city, and the Pope’s U.S. visit.

Do you have insight or expertise on this topic? Please email us, we'd like to hear from you.

John Bender

Former Gov. Lincoln Chafee, now seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, weighed in this afternoon on the release of the 38 Studios court documents.

It was Chafee, a vigorous opponent of the 38 Studios deal when he was running for governor in 2010, who later hired lawyer Max Wistow to file suit against principals in the deal. 38 Studios went bankrupt, leaving taxpayers holding the bag for $75 million in state-backed bonds to the company run by former Boston Red Sox star pitcher Curt Schilling.

Providence Diocese

One of the most interesting aspects of how the historic visit of Pope Francis resonates in Rhode Island is how Bishop Thomas Tobin of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence reacts to the message of His Holiness.

Rhode Island’s bishop has carved a reputation as a staunch and outspoken defender of conservative, traditional teachings. Tobin has often been vitriolic and rough in his criticism of liberal positions on such social and cultural issues as abortion and same-sex marriage.

Raymond "Beaver" Tempest Jr., a 62-year-old Woonsocket man whose murder conviction has been vacated in Rhode Island Superior Court, has been released on home confinement while the Rhode Island Supreme Court considers the state’s appeal of the Superior Court judgment.

Tempest will be released on home confinement under terms set by Superior Court Judge Daniel Procaccini, who vacated Tempest’s murder conviction on August 4.

Kate Brewster, executive director and co-founder of the Economic Progress Institute, is leaving the low-income advocacy and research group after 11 years to become executive director of the Jonnycake Center of Peace Dale, which provides food and clothing to needy local residents in South County while also engaging in policy initiatives and advocacy.

``It is with tremendous mixed emotions that I leave the institute, an organization that has had a lasting and profound impact on the ability of Rhode Islanders to make ends meet,’’ said Brewster in a statement.

The South Providence Recreation Center will be renamed tomorrow for the late John H. Rollins, a former Providence City Council member, civil rights activist and football star at both La Salle Academy and the University of Rhode Island.

Aaron Read / RIPR

Rhode Island’s unemployment dipped slightly in August, but the state’s recovery from the recession remains fragile, according to data released today by the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training.

The unemployment rate ticked down to 5.6 percent, still above the national rate of 5.1 percent. And the state lost 800 jobs between July and August. In July, the Ocean State unemployment rate was 5.8 percent.

The RI state police financial crimes unit has arrested a Scituate woman for allegedly stealing more than $125,000 from the Junior League of Rhode Island, a non-profit organization that champions good causes.

Kimberly Moore, 48, formerly of 31 Central Pike, Scituate was arrested and charged with embezzlement and access to a computer for a fraudulent purpose.

The investigation of Moore was triggered by a complaint filed with the state police by members of the Junior League’s executive board, according to a statement by Maj. Joseph Philbin, RISP detective commander.

John Hawkins, the former RI Senate majority leader, father of the R.I. Lottery and a political power in Rhode Island for generations, died early Monday of a stroke. He was 80.

He was active until the last few hours of his life, said his nephew, William Hawkins, who along with other family members was at Hawkins bedside at Rhode Island Hospital when he died at 12:20 a.m. He had stopped one of his favorite spots, Twin Oaks in Cranston just hours before collapsing at his Providence home.

Aaron Read

Just 5 percent of Rhode Islanders now lack health insurance and the uninsured rate has dropped by more than half since 2012, according to data released today by HealthSourceRI, the state’s Obamacare health exchange.

The rate of Rhode Islanders who lack health insurance has declined from 11 percent in 2012 to 5 percent now.

Anya Rader Wallack, HealthSource director, said the numbers show the Affordable Care Act is working best in states, like Rhode Island, that have expanded Medicaid and run state-based health exchanges, rather than relying on the federal program.


Bishop Thomas Tobin of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence said today that he is ``extremely pleased’’ that Pope Francis has ``approved the simplification of the annulment process.’’

In a statement, Tobin said, ``It will perhaps allow some Catholics to have prior marriage situations resolved in a way that will benefit them spiritually, while also maintaining the essential Catholic teaching regarding the permanence of the Sacrament of Matrimony.

Before you start that barbeque and get into your favorite beverages, treat yourself to a visit to the Museum of Work and Culture, where the spirit of Labor Day is celebrated every day.

On Monday, the museum tucked away in Woonsocket’s historic mill district, holds its annual Open House. Admission is free on Labor Day.

The museum is one of the few in the U.S. that documents and celebrates working people, unions  and their struggles. It is also a repository for the French-Canadian immigrant experience in the Blackstone Valley.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

The National Governors Association’s annual summer meeting will be held in Rhode Island in 2017, the NGA announced Monday.

"We’re excited to bring the nation’s governors to Rhode Island, and we thank Gov. Gina Raimondo for her invitation,’’ said Gov. Terry McAuliffe, vice-chair of the NGA.

Retired Rhode Island Superior Court  Judge Edward C. Clifton has joined the faculty of Roger Williams University Law School, where he will work with students to conduct research on ethnic and racial fairness in the court system.

Clifton, who retired after more than 20 years on the Superior Court  bench, has wide legal experience in Rhode Island. Before his appointment to Superior Court, Clifton served as Providence city solicitor, and as a judge on both the Providence Municipal Court and on the Rhode Island District Court.