The public has a chance to weigh in Friday on a slate of proposed transportation projects that will be paid for out of a new fund

The new fund helps cities and towns access low-interest loans for road construction projects. It’s modeled after the state’s Clean Water Finance Authority, which over the past 15 years has loaned out $1 billion for municipal sewage treatment projects. In fact, the Clean Water Finance Authority will administer this new transportation fund.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Attorneys for the state and public employee unions met privately with a judge in Warwick Monday over the state’s pension overhaul.  Unions representing state workers are suing the state over changes made to the pension law two years ago. They say the changes are overreaching and unconstitutional.

Fast Food Workers Protest For Higher Wages

Dec 5, 2013
John Bender / RIPR

Demonstrators and workers gathered to protest the minimum wage fast food chain Wendy’ s Thursday afternoon in Warwick.

Dozens of people gathered in the light rain in front of Wendy’s on Warwick Ave demanding an increase in lowest level pay from seven dollars seventy-five cents to fifteen dollars an hour.

The protest was one of one-hundred strikes going on in different cities throughout the country. 

Protestor Bounche Dorbor of Central Falls has been working at Wendy’s for the last five years making seven dollars seventy-five cents an hour.

Catherine Welch / RIPR

“Operation Holiday Cheer” was officially launched Wednesday. The Lt. Governor’s Office, Rhode Island National Guard and several organizations and businesses are teaming up to send care packages to Rhode Island guardsmen overseas during the holidays.

Capt. Michael Calcagni got a care package last year. He said it makes difference when you’re away from family during the holidays. “However when you’re away one thing that is always uplifting, no matter what time of year, is mail call,” said Calcagni. “And when you can’t be home and mail brings home to you, it’s even better.”

Citing dropping student enrollment, Warwick public school officials are recommending the closure of Veterans High School and two junior high schools, Gorton and Aldrich. If approved, the Providence Journal reports the plan would leave the district with two high schools and two middle schools.

Warwick Superintendent Richard D’Agostino says Warwick has seen student population fall from a peak of 19,500 in the late 1960s to just 9,300 students today. The numbers are expected to continue dropping by about 1 percent each year.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island has opened its first retail location in Warwick, another sign of the shifting health insurance business landscape.

UPDATE 01/21: Multiple letters sent with no response, and the pirate's still broadcasting.  A letter has been mailed to the FCC's Enforcement Bureau.   If you are an RIPR listener to 102.7 and you have experienced interference due to this pirate, you can submit your own letter to the FCC as well.

UPDATE 12/19: The pirate has been found!  Well, we're pretty sure we have found the pirate.  Using a directional antenna and a signal meter, we triangulated the position to a house a few blocks from the Locust Grove Cemetery in South Providence.  

A letter of notification of interference to RIPR was mailed to this address several weeks ago, but apparently this pirate doesn't care as there's still an illegal broadcast on 102.9 from this location.

UPDATE 11/5: Thanks to a fellow engineer who informed me there is a pirate broadcasting on 102.9FM and that is likely the source of the interference people have reported (see below).  Quite possibly the atmospheric changes made it worse, but the bulk of the problem is likely the pirate.

Mark Turek / Ocean State Theatre

Yes, you could figure that “Les Mis” might be just a tad over-saturated these days.

Many have seen it at least once. Or, they’ve heard the wonderful score.

But, you know what? “Les Mis” is still worth seeing, worth being affected by, worth pondering for its immense world view. And the production opening the season at Ocean State is a first-rate effort. No, it doesn’t have the great turntable racing the pace on stage. It hasn’t reached the incredible settings of Broadway or top flight road shows.

Dr. Robert Ballard, the oceanographer famous for discovering the wreckage of the Titanic, speaks at Pilgrim High School in Warwick Monday, where state officials are scheduled to announce a $500,000 grant to expand his JASON Learning program.

JASON is a nonprofit organization that teaches more than two million students every year about science, technology, engineering and math. The grant funding will expand its operation in 16 Rhode Island school districts.

Providence Business News Editor Mark Murphy joins Rhode Island Public Radio's Dave Fallon for a weekly business segment we're calling "The Bottom Line." Each Friday they look at business news and themes that affect local business and the public.

This week Dave and Mark talk with Rhode Island Airport Corporation president and CEO Kelly Fredericks. They discuss the runway expansion timetable, environmental issues and regulations relating to the runway, and what the airport needs to do to compete with Boston Logan.

When to Listen

The Rhode Island Health Department has lifted a boil water advisory for customers of the Kent County Water Authority after a third day of tests showed the water clean of bacteria.   Some 25-thousand customers have had to boil their drinking water since Sunday, when the contamination was discovered in a storage tank. The tank has been taken offline until the source of the contamination is determined.

A boil water order remains in effect for 25,000 customers of the Kent County Water Authority after tests showed the water was contaminated with E. coli bacteria

School was held Monday in West Warwick but it wasn’t completely business as usual.  Bottled water was trucked in Sunday afternoon, as soon as school officials learned of the problem with E. Coli bacteria in the water supply. And other changes were made to keep kids safe, according to Kenneth Townsend, the school department’s director of property services.

Flo Jonic / RIPR

Governor Lincoln Chafee’s decision not to seek re-election hasn’t changed the political plans of one prominent Republican. Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian still plans to choose between seeking re-election and running for lieutenant governor.

Avedisian won a special election to become mayor of Warwick in 2000 and he’s gone on to become the longest-serving mayor in that city’s history. The moderate Republican hasn’t been in any rush to seek a different office, and he said Chafee’s move doesn’t alter his plans.

Chafee's departure

Sep 4, 2013

In a Rhode Island political career spanning nearly 30 years, Lincoln Davenport  Chafee has marched, Thoreau-like, to his own drummer. This afternoon, the state’s 74th governor, a man who tried to do his best in the worst of times, showed the state once again that he follows his own compass, announcing  he will not seek reelection in 2014 to the governorship he won narrowly in 2010.

Providence Business News Editor Mark Murphy joins Rhode Island Public Radio's Dave Fallon for a weekly business segment we're calling "The Bottom Line." Each Friday they look at business news and themes that affect local business and the public.

This week Dave and Mark talk with Tim Hebert, President and CEO of IT services company Atrion, with headquarters  in Warwick. The discussion includes training the local workforce for careers in technology and the need to bring in better trained people from foreign nations to do the tech work.

When to Listen