As drug overdose deaths continue to rise in Rhode Island, the Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals has been awarded $2.1 million in federal grants to fight opioid addiction.

Tax Day is behind us, and the final stretch of the legislative session is looming. So thanks for stopping by for my weekly column. As usual, your tips and comments are welcome, and you can follow me through the week on the twitters. Here we go.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

A path breaking Harvard University Law School professor and former clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall will keynote the 2017 Commencement exercises at Roger Williams Law School on May 19th at 1 p.m. at the RWU Athletic Field on the Bristol campus at One Old Ferry Road.

RIPR FILE PHOTO

Oscar-winning actor Robert De Niro and five others will receive honorary degrees at Brown University’s 249th Commencement on Sunday, May 28th in Providence.

The Providence-based arts nonprofit New Urban Arts celebrates its 20th anniversary this weekend. The organization is a community art studio which provides free fine arts and music instruction to Providence students.

Executive director Dan Schleifer said since its founding in 1997, some 3,000 city students have taken part in the organization. He said some of those students have gone on to careers in the arts.

That’s according to a new report released by the state Treasurer’s office this week. State General Treasurer Seth Magaziner and the Public Finance Management Board published the Debt Affordability Study, a deep dive into the state of borrowing in Rhode Island.

RIPR FILE PHOTO

Boston’s big hospital system –Partners HealthCare—hopes to acquire Care New England, Rhode Island’s second largest hospital chain. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says this deal raises many questions about the quality and price of health care in the Ocean State. (Advance copy of commentary that airs Monday).

John Bender / RIPR

The Providence City Council voted in favor of the Community Safety Act in a special meeting, Thursday. With three councilors absent, the vote went 12-0 in favor of the proposal.

RI GOP National Committeeman Steven Frias joins Bonus Q&A to talk about his future, how RI Republicans can be more competitive, whether RI should legalize marijuana, and more.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

Steven Frias, Rhode Island's GOP National Committeeman, joins Political Roundtable to discuss the car tax debate; Care New England's envisioned merger; and the latest poll findings from Brown University.

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