Catherine Welch http://ripr.org en Boston Marathon: RI Trooper Doesn’t Consider Himself A Hero http://ripr.org/post/boston-marathon-ri-trooper-doesn-t-consider-himself-hero <p>Rhode Island State Police trooper Roupen Bastajian had just crossed the finish line of the Boston Marathon when the bombs went off. He was one of many who rushed into the chaos to help the injured. He talks with Rhode Island Public Radio's Catherine Welch about that day and how it's changed him a year later.</p> Tue, 15 Apr 2014 06:48:00 +0000 Catherine Welch 32026 at http://ripr.org Boston Marathon: RI Trooper Doesn’t Consider Himself A Hero Hasbro Adds New Word To Official Scrabble Dictionary http://ripr.org/post/hasbro-adds-new-word-official-scrabble-dictionary <p>Scrabble fans have voted and there is a new word to play for points. Starting Sunday “geocache” will count as a word and be included in the official Merriam Webster Scrabble Dictionary. Geocache, spelled G-E-O-C-A-C-H-E, is a verb meaning to find items in a treasure hunt using a GPS. Hasbro spokesperson Shawn Rowan said 'geocache' beat out 15 other nominated words.</p><p></p> Fri, 11 Apr 2014 12:45:37 +0000 Catherine Welch 31902 at http://ripr.org Hasbro Adds New Word To Official Scrabble Dictionary State Employee Unions Agree On Tentative New Contract http://ripr.org/post/state-employee-unions-agree-tentative-new-contract <p>Unions representing nearly all state workers have tentatively agreed to a new contract.</p><p>The unions representing every state worker except correctional officers and state police have agreed to a contract that increases wages by six percent over four years and increases health care deductibles and co-pays.</p><p>State employees have gone nearly three years without a raise.</p> Thu, 10 Apr 2014 19:53:26 +0000 Catherine Welch 31854 at http://ripr.org State Employee Unions Agree On Tentative New Contract Former Providence Mayor Paolino Eyeballing Newport Grand http://ripr.org/post/former-providence-mayor-paolino-eyeballing-newport-grand <p>Former Providence Mayor Joseph Paolino said he and some partners are interested in buying Newport Grand. Paolino said the struggling slot parlor needs to be saved before table games come to Massachusetts.</p><p>Paolino said he and his two partners have been talking with owners of Newport Grand since last summer. Since then Foxwoods has been looking at building a casino in Fall River, and Paolino sees that as a dire threat.</p><p></p> Wed, 09 Apr 2014 17:13:47 +0000 Catherine Welch 31782 at http://ripr.org Former Providence Mayor Paolino Eyeballing Newport Grand PUC Considers Extending Winter Utility Moratorium to May 1st http://ripr.org/post/puc-considers-extending-winter-utility-moratorium-may-1st <p>The state’s Public Utilities Commission will consider a request on Friday to extend the winter moratorium on shutting off utilities.</p><p>The George Wiley Center is a non-profit that advocates for the poor. It has asked the PUC to extend the moratorium from April 15<sup>th</sup> to May 1<sup>st</sup>. The George Wiley Center’s Debbie Clark said April is just too early to cut off the heat.</p> Tue, 08 Apr 2014 18:57:44 +0000 Catherine Welch 31720 at http://ripr.org Gov. Chafee Picks Rhode Island Artist For Official Portrait http://ripr.org/post/gov-chafee-picks-rhode-island-artist-official-portrait <p>Gov. Lincoln Chafee has selected the artist who will paint his official portrait. The Rhode Island artist beat out 123 others in the national search.</p><p></p><p>Julie Gearan said there was something about the fact that she’s not a traditional portrait painter combined with Chafee not being a traditional politician that drew her to apply for the job of painting his official portrait.</p><p></p><p></p> Mon, 07 Apr 2014 18:51:48 +0000 Catherine Welch 31655 at http://ripr.org Gov. Chafee Picks Rhode Island Artist For Official Portrait Votes Tallied, Both Sides Back in Pension Settlement Mediation http://ripr.org/post/votes-tallied-both-sides-back-pension-settlement-mediation <p>Thousands of public employees and retirees who are plaintiffs in the lawsuit over the state’s pension overhaul have voted to approve changes made in mediation. Of the 23,624 individuals eligible to cast a ballot, roughly 70 percent did not vote against it.&nbsp;</p><p></p><p>The settlement agreement stated that if one of the six plaintiffs groups rejected the deal by more than half, then the settlement process ends. One group, police, rejected the deal by 61 percent. But spokesman for the plaintiffs’ Ray Sullivan, said this will not halt the process.</p> Mon, 07 Apr 2014 16:36:07 +0000 Catherine Welch 31647 at http://ripr.org Votes Tallied, Both Sides Back in Pension Settlement Mediation RI Arts Council Refutes Claims In Report Calling For Its Elimination http://ripr.org/post/ri-arts-council-refutes-claims-report-calling-its-elimination <p>The Rhode Island State Council on the Arts is taking umbrage with a new report claiming taxpayers are paying for tasteless and offensive art.</p><p>The report from the Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity claims taxpayer money was used to fund an erotic holiday party, underwear art, and an international film festival that shows movies some would consider “depraved.” But RISCA refutes those claims saying it didn’t fund any party or underwear art, but gave a grant a few years ago to an artist mentioned in a blog about those events.</p> Wed, 02 Apr 2014 19:33:00 +0000 Catherine Welch 31436 at http://ripr.org Gas Prices Down A Penny in RI & MA http://ripr.org/post/gas-prices-down-penny-ri-ma <p>Gas prices have dropped by a penny in both Rhode Island and Massachusetts. The latest survey from AAA Southern New England puts the average gallon of regular unleaded at $3.59. That’s a tiny bit above the national average but lower than what drivers were paying at the pump a year ago.&nbsp;</p><p>Bay State drivers are paying an average $3.51 a gallon. That’s also down a penny from last week.</p><p>AAA urges drivers in both Rhode Island and Massachusetts to shop around, since the range in gas prices spans from 21-cents in Rhode Island to 32-cents in Massachusetts.</p> Mon, 31 Mar 2014 15:52:48 +0000 Catherine Welch 31290 at http://ripr.org Gas Prices Down A Penny in RI & MA RI Music Hall Of Fame Welcomes Class Of 2014 http://ripr.org/post/ri-music-hall-fame-welcomes-class-2014 <p>The Rhode Island Music Hall of Fame has announced the class of 2014. There are nine inductees, who range from folk and jazz musicians to R&amp;B to club owners. The museum located in Pawtucket's Hope Artiste Village <a href="http://www.rhodeislandmusichalloffame.com/event.htm">will hold a series of events next month </a>to induct the musicians.</p><p></p><p>Rhode Island Public Radio’s Catherine Welch caught up with the museum’s Rick Bellaire for a few stories about these musicians from Rhode Island who made a name for themselves around the world.</p><p></p> Thu, 27 Mar 2014 08:40:00 +0000 Catherine Welch 31093 at http://ripr.org RI Music Hall Of Fame Welcomes Class Of 2014