Ian Donnis / RIPR

Raimondo Signs RhodeWorks Into Law; Revised Plan Speeds Through The General Assembly

Almost nine months after unveiling the initial version of her infrastructure proposal, Governor Gina Raimondo on Thursday signed into law a revised version of RhodeWorks that will trigger new tolls on big trucks on Rhode Island highways.
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Rhode Islanders Welcome Syrian Family After Immigration Controversy

A group of faith leaders and others welcomed what appears to be the first family of Syrian refugees to settle in Rhode Island. The family arrived at T.F. Green airport on Thursday evening to find a group of well-wishers holding signs and balloons.
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Rhode Island’s New England neighbors are moving aggressively forward with legalizing marijuana. RIPR political analyst says the Ocean State shouldn’t be last to tap a new source of state money. (Advance copy for airing Monday).

Whatever you think about legal marijuana, it is difficult to defend the current prohibition of the weed. Four decades of the war on drugs has been as abject a failure as the early 20th Century ban on alcohol.

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 passage of a controversial toll on commercial trucks; and a new requirement for health insurance companies to invest in alternatives to fee-for-service payment schemes.

When to listen:

You can hear The Bottom Line each Friday at 5:50 p.m.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Rhode Island’s health insurance commissioner is requiring insurance companies to put more money into so-called alternative models for paying doctors. That means directing more payments toward quality instead of the number of visits to the doctor’s office.

Rhode Island Housing has rolled out a new program to help new homeowners purchase foreclosed properties.

The agency is offering loans up to $20,000 to cover the down payment for a first-time homebuyer. The loans are forgivable after 5 years.

Rhode Island Housing Director Barbara Fields says the program targets areas hardest hit by the foreclosure crisis, including Providence, Central Falls and Woonsocket.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

The nonprofit that operates New England’s energy grid and wholesale energy market purchased power this week from two Rhode Island energy projects: Deepwater Wind’s Block Island Wind Farm and Invenergy’s proposed power plant in Burrillville.

The offshore wind farm is scheduled to go online later this year, and the power plant has yet to gain approval from state officials.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

House Minority Leader Brian Newberry (R-North Smithfield) on Friday called for House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello to launch a House Oversight investigation into whether the state Department of Transportation pressured state reps to support the new truck toll law ahead of the House vote earlier this week.

Update: Our Lady of Fatima Hospital has withdrawn its application to open a new obstetrics unit, according to the RI Dept. of Health.

Rhode Island Hospital’s application to open a new child birth unit has been deemed complete by the Rhode Island Department of Health. That's just one pending application for a new obstetrics unit.

Republicans were in the forefront this week in leading opposition to the revised truck-toll bill. Brandon Bell became state GOP chairman last year. He stopped by our studio to discuss tolls and other issues.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

State Republican Chairman Brandon Bell joins Roundtable this week to talk about the state's new truck toll law, Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza, and the New Hampshire primary.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Rhode Island Hospital acknowledges there was a delay in providing the name of an employee suspected of assaulting a patient to the Providence Police. Hospital officials say they’re reviewing hospital practice to determine what caused the delay and prevent it from occurring in the future.

The employee is accused of inappropriately touching a patient. Hospital officials say they’re troubled by the allegation and will assist police with the criminal investigation.

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One Square Mile: Burrillville

Listen to our series about the Northwestern corner of our state