Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

RI Blood Center Lays Off 60 To Offset Cost Of New Babesiosis Test

The Rhode Island Blood Center will lay off 60 people by this fall. That’s to help cover the cost of screening for a tick-borne disease that’s on the rise in Rhode Island: babesiosis. Babesiosis causes flu-like symptoms in some, but it can be life-threatening for the elderly or people with weak immune systems. It spreads through tick bites and blood transfusions. It's become the top transfusion-transmitted disease in the country, and it's endemic in Rhode Island. That’s why the Rhode Island...
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Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

CARDIAC ARREST—---“The Pulse” Debrief –-----KG—7/2/15

State lawmakers introduced a bill requiring Automated External Defibrillators, or AEDs, in all middle and high schools. But the legislation never made it past a House committee.

Leaving that legislation on the table could have consequences.

Rhode Island researchers have received 500 thousand dollars in federal grant money to investigate a fungus that’s killing native bats. The mysterious illness has attacked bats across the country.

Over the last decade, biologists believe an illness known as white-nose syndrome has killed some six-million bats in North America. The fungus appears on the bat’s muzzle. It targets hibernating bats, causing serious infections on their wings, and bodies.

Providence lawyer Sally Dowling has been appointed to chair the Rhode Island Judicial Nominating Commission by Gov. Gina Raimondo, the governor announced today.

Dowling, a lawyer at the Adler, Pollock and Sheehan law firm, has a long resume of public service in Rhode Island and was a onetime policy director for former Republican Gov. Edward DiPrete.

Dowling replaces Louise Durfee, whose term has expired.

``Sally’s years of experience in the legal field will be a tremendous asset to the commission,’’ said Raimondo in a statement..

Bishop Thomas Tobin of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence is encouraging same-sex marriage opponents to engage in ``conscientious objection’’ to gay unions in the aftermath of the U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized such marriages in all 50 states.

``A county clerk in Hood, Texas isn’t going to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples because, she said, she has rights too. ``I will not be issuing same sex marriage licenses due to my religious  convictions,’’ Katie Lang wrote. Lang said that the Constitution guarantees her freedom of religion too.

Rhode Island motorists will pay a penny more per gallon of gas, beginning tomorrow (July 1), under tax changes announced by the Rhode Island Department of Revenue.

The gas tax hike was due to an inflation indexing formula that the General Assembly approved in 2014.

Cigarette smokers will be paying an additional  25-cents per pack in Rhode Island taxes beginning August 1 under the budget for fiscal year 2016 approved by the General Assembly and signed into law by Gov. Gina Raimondo.

RIPR FILE

Governor Gina Raimondo plans to sign the budget Tuesday for the state’s next fiscal year. The spending plan includes two of the governor’s top priorities.

Governor Raimondo says the budget will help put people back to work, fix schools, and make it easier to do business in Rhode Island. The spending plan includes money for economic incentives meant to spark job growth, and it also cuts spending on the Medcaid subsidizied healthcare program for the poor.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Charter schools dodged a bullet, this month when Rhode Island lawmakers ended the legislative session without agreement between House and Senate bills that could have changed the way charter schools are funded and restricted their ability to grow. 

Rhode Island Public Radio’s Elisabeth Harrison asked Tim Groves, the head of the Rhode Island League of Charter Schools, whether he thinks public opinion is turning against charter schools.

John Bender / RIPR

Rhode Island has been chosen as the site for the 2016 gymnastics championships, which feature more than 1,800 of the country’s best gymnasts.

The competition will be held from June 8th to 13th at the Rhode Island Convention Center and the Dunkin Donuts Center in Providence. ``USA gymnastics is excited to bring one of our premier events to Providence,’’ said Steve Penny, president of USA Gymnastics.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

The National Weather Service has issued a warning about dangerously strong rip-currents, also known as undertows. The hazardous surf is a leftover from the weekend’s stormy weather.

The storms on land may have quieted, but the water offshore is still dangerous, according to the National Weather Service. Rough surf has caused stronger-than average rip-currents.

Weather Service meteorologist Kimberly Buttrick said it typically takes one to two days for the coastal waters to calm after heavy rains.

RIPR FILE

The New England Fishery Management Council made the right move recently, voting to ask the federal government to suspend an at-sea monitoring program required of the groundfish industry, according to long-time fisherman Fred Mattera, who said shifting the cost to fishermen could decimate the industry.

Mattera, who was a commercial fisherman for 40 years, said fishermen already have to deal with quota cutbacks and depressed prices for locally caught fish. 

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