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Eugene McCaffrey, a former Rhode Island Democratic state representative, state senator and mayor of Warwick, has died. He was 84.

McCaffrey was the father of Senate Majority Leader Michael McCaffrey, D-Warwick.

``Eugene McCaffrey was dedicated to his country, public service and the law,’’ said Senate President Dominick Ruggerio, D-North Providence. ``But above all he was a devoted husband, father and grandfather.’’

Sometimes it’s hard to figure who’s in charge at the Rhode Island Statehouse. This year isn’t one of those times, as RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay explains. (Advance copy of commentary scheduled to air Monday.)

In case you were wondering who’s running things on Smith Hill these days, we bring you House Speaker Nick Mattiello, a Cranston Democrat who has ushered in a $9.2 billion state budget that includes his pet project, cutting Rhode Island’s  disdained car tax.

Dank Depot / CREATIVE COMMONS LICENSE VIA FLICKR

The House and Senate have stopped considering legislation to legalize recreational pot and instead opted to create a 19-member joint commission to study the situation in states like Washington and Colorado, where it's already legal.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

House Minority Leader Patricia Morgan (R-West Warwick) joins Bonus Q+A to discuss a range of issues, including the debate over paid sick days; the change she made this week on the House Oversight Committee; legislative pay; the attitude of lawmakers toward citizens; and much more.

Cliff Wood, a former Providence city council member, director of the Downtown Providence Parks Conservancy and longtime civic activist, has been appointed executive director of the Providence Foundation.

Rosie Nalle / RIPR

Skateboard wheels hit the pavement Wednesday across Rhode Island's capital city to celebrate national "Go Skateboarding Day." Dozens of skaters gathered in downtown Providence, where a local skateboard company set up ramps and rails for riders to use.

For at least one of those riders, Carlos Garcia, skateboarding is a sport like no other. Garcia has been skating in Providence since the late 1990s.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

An amended version of a bill proposing paid sick days for private sector employees is on its way to the Senate floor. The Senate Labor Committee voted in favor of giving employees – like waiters and others in the hospitality industry— four days paid sick leave Wednesday. That’s a drop from the seven days originally proposed by lawmakers, and closer to the five days Massachusetts and Connecticut offer.

Avory Brookins / RIPR

Rhode Island's Clean Water Action is against a bill that would ban plastic bags statewide. 

RIPR FILE PHOTO

Providence Police arrested a former public bus driver, accused of stealing bus fares. The driver has been charged with felony embezzlement.

Prayitno / CREATIVE COMMONS LICENSE VIA FLICKR

In Rhode Island, Frank Williams is known as a former chief justice of the State Supreme Court. But among Civil War enthusiasts, he is known as an authority on all things Abraham Lincoln. He’s also the owner of a vast collection of more than 17,000 Civil War artifacts. He's now donating his collection to Mississippi State University.

Sofia Rudin / RIPR

A beached humpback whale discovered dead several days ago in Jamestown is still lying on the rocks near the island’s southern coast. Scientists hoped to remove the whale's body Monday, but were unable due to the weather.

Max Pexel / CC0 License

The House Judiciary Committee is expected to vote Wednesday on a bill that would require anyone under a restraining order to surrender his or her firearms. 

Dank Depot / Flickr/ Creative Commons License

Once again, Rhode Island lawmakers are considering bills to legalize recreational marijuana. One of those bills wound up with a number that will have special meaning for anyone familiar with pot-smoking subculture.

Holly Hitchcock

Rhode Island Superior Court will hear a case against Invenergy - the company proposing to build a natural gas power plant in Burrillville - and the Town of Johnston.

This I Believe Rhode Island: Hamlet

Jun 20, 2017

Imagine yourself as a high school English teacher trying to inspire your students to grapple with the complex nuances embedded in Shakespearean literature.  Not an easy task, you may be thinking.  But as many of us have come to know and appreciate, often decades post-high school, Shakespeare is chock full of profound insights and life lessons, if only we have the patience and persistence to delve into the Bard’s writings.   In this encore essay we hear how English teacher Chris McEnroe brings Shakespeare into his own life, along with those of his students. 

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