Local Features

U.S. Coast Guard / Creative Commons License

States that have legalized marijuana are contending with a new criminal tactic - smugglers who grow and process it for export to states where it remains illegal - and worth a lot more.

Colorado is the epicenter of the phenomenon, and it’s popping up in Oregon and Washington too. As Maine, Massachusetts and Canada consider legalizing recreational marijuana, the question arises - will the Northeast see a wave of new-age bootleggers?

bradlypjohnson / Creative Commons License

“Wicked” that ultimate prequel to “The Wizard of Oz” is back at the Providence Performing Arts Center. Rhode Island Public Radio’s Bill Gale says it’s a fine Broadway quality production its many fans are going to love.

Chuck Hinman

Rhode Island-based nonprofit, The Providence Plan, is handling fallout from the discovery of embezzlement by its Finance Director Charles Denno. 

Denno, who allegedly had a gambling problem, is under investigation for the disappearance of at least $600,000 over a four-year period. 

The first televised debate in the presidential election is Monday evening. There will be just two candidates on stage, Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump. 

Providence Business News Editor Mark Murphy joins Rhode Island Public Radio's Dave Fallon for our weekly business segment, The Bottom Line.

This week Mark and Dave discuss the state of the 38 Studios settlements. In the latest deal, executives from the failed video game company, including former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling, agreed to pay $2.5 million to the state. This was the second settlement announced this month; the other was worth $25 million, with financial firms Wells Fargo and Barclays Capital.

Courtesy of the Shelton family

Henry Shelton, a Roman Catholic priest turned social justice and political activist, longtime voice in Rhode Island for those who had none, passionate advocate for the poor and dispossessed  and thorn in the side of the state’s business and political establishment, died Wednesday at home in Cranston surrounded by his family. He was 86.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Dr. James Prochaska heads the Cancer Prevention Research Center at the University of Rhode island. Decades ago, while researching how people quit smoking, Prochaska began paying attention to the stages of behavior change.

John Bender / RIPR

City officials in Providence are considering an ordinance aimed at racial profiling by the police. The measure is known as the Community Safety Act. And advocates say it’s needed to address discrimination against minorities, especially in heavily policed neighborhoods. 

Providence Business News Editor Mark Murphy joins Rhode Island Public Radio's Dave Fallon for our weekly business segment, The Bottom Line.

This week Mark and Dave speak with Scott Wolf, executive director of the nonprofit Grow Smart Rhode Island, about the future of the 6/10 Connector.

Governor Gina Raimondo has accelerated plans to repair the highway due to safety concerns. But Wolf says there is still time to consider alternatives, including a modified boulevard concept favored by some community groups and transit advocates.

When to listen:

Kathleen Masterson / Vermont Public Radio

Renewable energy has grown to nearly 10 percent of New England's energy mix. But here’s the problem: we can't control when the sun shines and the wind blows. That means sometimes extra renewable energy gets dumped, or a wind plant is told to power down.

Mark Turek/Trinity Rep

Trinity Rep opens the theater season with a musical called "Beowolf. A Thousand Years of Baggage." Rhode Island Public Radio Theater Critic Bill Gale says "baggage" is not the word he would use, but whip-smart theater filled with great rock music and talented performers pretty much sums it up.

Fred Bever / Maine Public Broadcasting News

A major transformation in the way energy is made, delivered and used is happening right now, and it’s disrupting the traditional business model of electric utility companies. That model includes building big infrastructure projects to transmit electricity.

Elisabeth Harrison

In Tuesday's primary, Rhode Island voters ousted House Majority Leader John DeSimone and five other incumbents. Progressive Democrats picked up three wins, and mayors in North Providence and Woonsocket won re-election. Rhode Island Public Radio's Political Analyst Scott MacKay discusses these results and more with Host Chuck Hinman.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Wind power is about to go big-time in New England, with the opening of the first offshore wind farm in the U.S., located off the Rhode Island coast. And onshore wind projects already dot the region. But Connecticut hasn’t joined the movement. The state doesn’t have a lot of wind, or available space, and only recently lifted a ban on wind turbine projects.

As part of the New England News Collaborative energy series, The Big Switch, WNPR’s Ryan Caron King goes to the tiny town of Colebrook, Connecticut to find out why wind power hasn’t taken off yet, and whether another natural resource - water reservoirs - might be the solution.

John Bender / RIPR

Rhode Islanders will go to the polls Tuesday to vote in a primary election. The general lack of high-profile races is expected to result in a low turnout of voters. 

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