News

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court’s ruling against a request by utilities to charge electricity users for expanding natural gas pipelines is already affecting a similar request in Rhode Island.

The Conservation Law Foundation filed a motion at the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission to dismiss National Grid’s proposal to secure gas contracts and recover costs for its Access Northeast Project.

Here’s the modern lament that comes out of so many of our mouths:  If only people would get their noses out of their smartphones, we could return to the days when people really connected with each other and engaged in meaningful communication.  Oh the perils of Facebook, Face Time, BuzzFeed, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, Foursquare, and all of their digital cousins.  For so many of us, life seems saturated with technology and with smartphone apps that seem to shape our contemporary identities.

The doldrums of (mostly) slow news days are upon us, even with just slightly more than three weeks until Rhode Island's September 13 primary. So thanks for stopping by. As usual, you can share your tips and comments, and follow me through the week on the twitters. Here we go.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

One of the early supporters of the proposed power plant in Burrillville has ended negotiations with the company that wants to build it. The Pascoag Utility District decided against supplying water to Invenergy's power plant.

  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 speak with Rhode Island Public Radio political commentator and longtime reporter Scott MacKay about unfunded state pensions, and those in the cities and towns across the state.

According to data from the Providence Business News, the sum of those statewide liabilities is more than $5 billion.

When to listen: You can hear The Bottom Line each Friday at 5:50 pm.

Now Here This: Life At The Museum

Aug 19, 2016

Rhode Island Public Radio is airing a new series in partnership with Now Here This, a storytelling group at Brown University. On the last Friday of each month we’ll bring you a new story.

Elisabeth Harrison

The Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra played a pops concert at Providence's Roger Williams Park on Thursday night, in a return of sorts for the orchestra. The philharmonic's last concert in the park dated to more than a decade ago, in 2004.

VICTOR CASALE/CREATIVE COMMONS LICENSE VIA FLICKR

The corporation that runs a detention facility in Central Falls is responding to the announcement that the federal government plans to stop using some private prisons.

U.S. Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates says privately run prisons are both less safe and less effective than low-security federal prisons. That’s why she’s directed the federal government to stop renewing contracts with private prisons.

Officials running the Wyatt Detention Facility in Central Falls say they haven’t received official word from the federal government about their future contracts.

Cranston Mayor Allan Fung joins Bonus Q&A to discuss a range of issues involving Cranston.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Cranston Mayor Allan Fung joins Political Roundtable this week to discuss fallout from last year's police scandal, the GOP primary between Steven Frias and Shawna Lawton, and whether more can be done to deliver answers on 38 Studios.

Warwick North At Bat In Little League World Series

Aug 18, 2016
Ruhrfisch / Creative Commons License

The Warwick North Little League team steps up to the plate in the Little League World Series, which kicked off Thursday  in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.

The Warwick North team won the New England Championships last Saturday. In the next ten days, the regional champs will compete against 15 teams from around the country and abroad. Warwick North Little League President David Palumbo says the team worked for years toward the World Series. 

Aaron Read / RIPR

  Rhode Island’s unemployment rate held steady in July as the state’s economy added about 1,400 jobs, according to the latest data from the R.I. Department of Labor and Training.

The numbers show that the state’s economy is growing slowly, picking up jobs, but not yet adding all of the jobs lost during the Great Recession.  Rhode Island’s unemployment rate is above the national rate of 4.9 percent and significantly higher than the Massachusetts rate of 4.1 percent. The Bay State added about 7,300 jobs in July.

A group of defense companies and local universities have announced a new partnership aimed at creating a hub for undersea technology. Dubbed the Undersea Technology Innovation Center, the project is still in the early stages. 

It will be organized by the Southeastern New England Defense Industry Alliance, which has announced partners including the University of Rhode Island, the Navy and Salve Regina University. SENEDIA spokeswoman Molly Magee says the center would provide a hub for marine and defense technology.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

An advisory is the lowest of four drought designations.

State Water Resources Board Chairwoman Susan Licardi says the drought advisory is meant to raise awareness about current conditions. State officials are urging Rhode Islanders to take precautionary measures to conserve water and to be aware of the dry conditions.

State recommendations include avoiding over-watering of lawns, and not watering yards during the hottest part of the day.

The Washington County Fair turns 50 on Wednesday, and the anniversary festivities begin with a birthday cake eating contest. As you might expect, the contest will feature 50 contestants. 

The fair officially got underway earlier in the day with an antique car show and a swine obstacle course, among other events. Founded in 1967, the fair began as a way to celebrate agriculture and reintroduce the county fair tradition to Rhode Island. 

The annual event in Richmond is now the largest agricultural fair in the state, according to organizers.

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