Elisabeth Harrison

Starting in September, every public school in Providence will designate teams to meet one-on-one with transgender students and their families. Providence Public Schools spokesperson Laura Hart said it’s part of a new policy aimed at making sure schools respect the rights of transgender and other gender non-conforming students.

Manuel C. Correira

Bristol – There will be floats, bands and puppets, the trill of bagpipes and Sousa marches.

The sailors will step smartly down Hope Street, where the  red, white and blue traffic stripes have  replaced the mundane  yellow strips. The historic harbor is filling with boats, their white sails riffling in the afternoon breeze.

There will be flags, thousands of them. Some will hang from the stately 18th  and 19th century colonials that grace Bristol’s waterfront. The wooly-headed blue hydrangeas sprout from lawns grand and modest.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

The emergence of a second Republican candidate for the Cranston House seat held by Speaker Nicholas Mattiello is exposing a conflict within the state GOP.


A Rhode Island Superior Court judge has barred the National Grid utility and the state Division of Public Utilities from shutting off gas and electric service to about 4,000 Rhode Islanders who have medical conditions.

The ruling, from Judge Netti C. Vogel, bans utility shutoffs from those with medical conditions, such as the seriously ill and disabled, until at least September 26. The action comes after a lawsuit filed by the Rhode Island Center for Justice, which challenged state procedures for cutting off service to those with medical  conditions.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

New research from the Pew Charitable Trusts shows Rhode Island is leading the nation when it comes to reducing painkiller prescriptions. State officials attribute the drop to education for doctors and patients about the risk of opioid overdose.

Rosaline Stock/Creative Commons License

Unemployment claims in Rhode Island hit a high this month.

The Unemployment Insurance Call Center is currently in a “peak period,” with almost 1,800 calls last week. That’s up 147% from the beginning of June. It’s a dramatic increase in calls that happens every year when the state’s 306 schools close for the summer. School bus drivers, food service-workers, and substitute teachers are filing claims for unemployment – payments they’ll collect until they go back to work this fall.

RIPR file photo

Starting Friday, ferry boats will sail Narragansett Bay, connecting Providence and Newport for the first time since 2009. The high-speed ferry is scheduled to run daily through early September.


  After admitting to cheating on emissions tests, car manufacturer Volkswagon will pay more than $10 billion in settlements across the U.S. $570 million could go to drivers affected in the Ocean State.

Between 2009 and 2015, the German car manufacturer sold nearly 500,000 affected cars in the U.S. More than 3,000 of those were sold in Rhode Island.

Despite cheating on emissions tests, these diesel engine cars, including Passats, Jettas, and Beetles, were often sold as being environmentally friendly or "green."

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Four of the 12 Republican state reps in the House of Representatives are not seeking re-election, raising further questions about the GOP's ability to increase its Smith Hill representation.

This I Believe Rhode Island: Learning Empathy

Jun 28, 2016

  Coping with scary medical news is a challenge at any age.  There’s the inevitable uncertainty and the possibility that our imaginations will run wild with worry. And, there’s something especially poignant when that challenge lands in the lap of a child who’s on the cusp of adolescence.  Fortunately, many children are remarkably hardy and wise in the face of this sort of adversity.  That’s certainly the case with 13-year-old Sebastian Dobron.

Sebastian Dobron will be entering the 8th grade at the Gordon School in East Providence.  He lives with his family in Barrington.  

Community activist Lisa Scorpio has joined the Democratic primary field running against state Rep. John Carnevale (D-Providence).


The State Police have launched an investigation into a state representative who faces questions about whether he lives in his district. 

Rhode Island Dept. of Health, Brown University School of Public Health

State health officials are expanding efforts to tackle the opioid overdose epidemic. They’ve launched a web site – - to track overdose, addiction, and treatment statistics. And the state is re-launching a $100,000 public awareness campaign about getting help for addiction. 

The General Assembly session is over, the budget is signed, yet politics never takes a holiday. So thanks for stopping by for my weekly column. As usual, your tips and comments are welcome, and your can follow me through the week on the twitters. Here we go.

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 sit down with Alden Anderson, Jr., senior vice president-partner at CBRE New England, a real estate advisory firm in Providence.