University of Rhode Island


Rhode Island is in the midst of the most dangerous tick-season of the year. University of Rhode Island researchers say there are more of the insects this year than last year. The arachnids are most prevalent in May, but URI tick specialist Tom Mather, says mid-summer carries the highest risk.

“What we face now is a dangerous period, which is when nymphal-stage deer ticks are active, and these are ticks that are the size of poppy seeds, and they are loaded with pathogens,” said Mather.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Woonsocket-based CVS Health says it’s paying nearly $2 billion dollars to take over Target’s pharmacies and walk-in clinics. The deal adds more than 1600 pharmacies and nearly 100 walk-in clinics to CVS’s growing portfolio nationwide.


Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

New graduates receive diplomas this weekend at the University of Rhode Island. Like grads across the state, they enter a job market showing signs of recovery. But Rhode Island still suffers from one of the worst unemployment rates in the country.

As we continue our series Rising Tide, looking at whether Rhode Island is emerging from the Great Recession, Rhode Island Public Radio’s education reporter Elisabeth Harrison checks in with college students to find out how they view the future.

Three beluga whales spotted in Narragansett Bay are healthy adult males, likely from the Gulf of St. Lawrence in Canada. 

(Video courtesy of Matt Jarbeau)

R.I.P. John Rollins

May 11, 2015

John Rollins, a former Providence city council member, civil rights activist and football star at La Salle Academy and the University of Rhode Island, has died. He was 77.

A witty, warm and friendly man with a wide smile, Rollins surprised Providence’s political community in 1986 when in an upset he defeated City Councilman Lloyd Griffin to win a Democratic primary in the 10th Ward on the city’s South Side.

Photo Courtesy of the Coastal Resources Management Council

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has selected the University of Rhode Island (URI) to be one of two partners in its Coastal Resilience Center of Excellence.

URI is already working on a number of research and policy projects related to coastal resiliency, said Tom Miller, director of administration at URI's Graduate School of Oceanography. Miller said this partnership is an opportunity to broaden the university's reputation with the federal government when it comes to its expertise on coastal and climate issues.

University of Rhode Island

The University of Rhode Island is arming its police force as of Friday. Preparations have been underway for a little more than a year. Rhode Island Public Radio’s Elisabeth Harrison has details.

A gun scare in 2013 led to the decision last year to arm police on URI's rural Kingston campus. Though it turned out there wasn’t any gun, the false alarm pointed out the drawbacks of unarmed officers, who had to wait for armed police to respond to the incident.


The University of Rhode Island opens a new center Wednesday for Gender and Sexuality.  The campus has struggled in the past with incidents of aggression against gay students and faculty. Now, it is the first school to in the country to design and construct a center dedicated to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender programs.

The center will also provide programs for straight students to help them understand what their peers may be facing.

Graduating senior Jessica Brand says as a transgender woman, she welcomes the new resource.

The annual Metcalf Awards for Diversity in Media in Rhode Island have been announced by Rhode Island for Community and Justice. For the second year in the past three years, RI Public Radio education reporter and current interim news director Elisabeth Harrison has won a Metcalf. She won for a story entitled `Transgender Bullying’ at Goff Junior High School in Pawtucket. Veteran ProJo reporter Tom Mooney, a fine writer, won for his article `On Patrol, Reflections About Race.’

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

The state’s management plan that zones offshore waters for renewable energy projects is getting an update. The first public meeting for stakeholders is happening Thursday at the University of Rhode Island.

The Ocean Special Area Management Plan, or SAMP for short, is a planning tool that allows the state to balance both the economy and the environment as it pursues offshore energy projects. It includes about 15-hundred square miles of portions of Block Island Sound, Rhode Island Sound, and the Atlantic Ocean.


College professors are raising concerns about a plan to tie state funding for higher education with performance. The proposal calls for targets in areas like graduation rates and degrees in high demand fields. Schools would have to meet the targets to qualify for part of their state funding starting after 2016.

Community College of Rhode Island English Professor Anthony Amore says students and faculty need to play a role in setting the performance measures.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Rhode Island’s foundering economic is again the top Statehouse topic. Political analyst Scott MacKay has some thoughts as we at Rhode Island Public Radio kickoff our series on our state’s slow recession recovery. 

If Rhode Island was a lake, we’d all be drowning under the weight of decades of reports and high falutin  expert commissions charged with dissecting our state’s economic doldrums. Wonks, business leaders, academics and consultants have produced turgid chronicles – with scant results – on how to heal the sickest economy in New England.

URI To Host Panel On Policing Wednesday

Apr 8, 2015
John Bender / RIPR

The University of Rhode Island’s Providence campus is hosting a panel on policing Wednesday. The talk will bring local and national experts together to discuss the history of policing and racial profiling. Organizer Marc Levitt is moderating the panel.

“The questions I’m going to be asking are about who gets policed, why they get policed, what the history of policing is, and what methods are being considered for policing in the future.”

Levitt says the panel on race and police is part of a series on urban issues at URI. The discussion begins at 7 p.m.

John Bender / RIPR

Local leaders have announced the launch of a statewide task force to deal with sexual assaults on college campuses. The issue has been getting increased national attention in recent years.

The task force is comprised of local law enforcement, medical professionals, and representatives from Rhode Island colleges and universities.  They’re tasked with developing new policies to better handle sexual assaults involving college students.  Often, colleges deal with sexual assault internally, and law enforcement is not involved unless a victim wishes to press charges.


The Pawtucket Red Sox have been sold to a group of familiar Rhode Island business leaders and Boston Red Sox executives who are intent on moving the team from McCoy Stadium to a new ballpark that would be built in downtown Providence.

Pawtucket Mayor Donald Grebien was briefed last night by one of the new owners, Providence lawyer James Skeffington, said Antonio Pires, Pawtucket administration director. Skeffington told the Pawtucket mayor that the new group wants to move to a privately-financed stadium on the Providence downtown waterfront.