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On Politics
4:00 am
Wed March 4, 2015

Gordon Fox: Financial Problems at the Apex of Political Power in RI

Fox in January 2014, two months before a state-federal raid.
Credit Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

Former House speaker Gordon Fox faces at least three years in federal prison after pleading guilty Tuesday to three charges of corruption. The details in the case became public almost one year after a state-federal raid triggered Fox’s departure as House speaker.

 Fox’s lawyer, William Murphy, stood next to his client on the grey stone steps of the federal courthouse in what’s become a Rhode Island political ritual – a perp walk for another politician facing corruption charges. Murphy points out his client chose to plead guilty.

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Politics
3:51 pm
Tue March 3, 2015

RI Politicians React To Fox Plea Deal

Gordon Fox faced reporters on the steps of the federal courthouse following his arraignment on three counts of corruption.
Credit John Bender

Reactions have been swift to news that Former House Speaker Gordon Fox pleaded guilty to three felony charges.

The charges include one count of bribery and one count of misusing campaign funds.

Rhode Island Public Radio’s Elisabeth Harrison reports on reaction from both sides of the aisle.

Calling it a "sad chapter" in Rhode Island Politics, House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello said in a brief statement, "there is no place for public corruption."

A Democrat, Mattiello took over after Fox resigned as speaker, following raids on his home and Statehouse office.

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On Politics
3:24 pm
Tue March 3, 2015

Fox Broke Statehouse Iron Rule

Former House Speaker Gordon Fox has admitted that he violated the law by converting campaign money to personal use and accepting a bribe to wire a liquor license for a Thayer Street bar that the neighbors weren’t  too keen on having near their homes.

But in Rhode Island political circles, the biggest rule he broke was the iron, if unofficial, Statehouse cliché: Don’t take a dime while you are serving in the General Assembly. Then cash in for as much as you can make later.

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Health Care
3:14 pm
Tue March 3, 2015

Alexander-Scott Nominated To Lead Health Dept.

Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott, left, is Gov. Gina Raimondo's pick for the state's top public health post.
Credit Office of Gov. Gina Raimondo

Gov. Gina Raimondo has nominated a new leader for the state Dept. of Health.

Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott is currently Consultant Medical Director for the state health department’s division of infectious diseases, focusing on HIV and AIDS, viral hepatitis, and other infections. She’s a board-certified specialist in infectious disease in both children and adults. Alexander-Scott is also on the faculty of Brown University’s medical school. She studied medicine at the State University of New York Upstate Medical School and received a Masters in Public Health from Brown.

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The Pulse
12:25 pm
Tue March 3, 2015

Group To "Reinvent" Medicaid Kicks Off

Elisabeth Roberts, head of the Exec. Office of Health and Human Services, shows the Governor's Working Group to Reinvent Medicaid the key drivers behind the high cost of health care.
Credit Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Gov. Gina Raimondo’s working group to "reinvent Medicaid" convened for the first time Monday night. The group’s task is to find savings and rein in spending to help close the state’s budget deficit.  Executive Office of Health and Human Services head Elizabeth Roberts highlighted some of the toughest financial challenges.

“Seven percent of Medicaid members, people we’re currently serving, are about 66 percent of our costs," said Roberts. "That is a truly jaw-dropping number.”

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On Politics
11:33 am
Tue March 3, 2015

Former Speaker Gordon Fox Pleads Guilty to Bribery, Wire Fraud & Filing a False Tax Return

Fox, right, with his lawyer and predecessor as speaker, William Murphy.
Credit John Bender / RIPR

Almost one year after a state-federal raid that sparked the sudden end of his political career, former House Speaker Gordon Fox is facing a three-year prison sentence as the result of an investigation charging him with bribery, wire fraud, and filing a false tax return.

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Theater Reviews
10:33 am
Tue March 3, 2015

Ocean State Theatre's "Last Five Years" Doesn't Quite Land

The Ocean State Theatre in Warwick has come up with a relatively unknown musical concerning a guy, a gal and a novel way of telling their story. Bill Gale says the production is a good try, at least.

"The Last Five Years” continues at the Ocean State Theatre through March 15th. Bill Gale reviews the performing arts for Rhode Island Public Radio. 

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Weather
9:01 am
Tue March 3, 2015

Snow, Wintry Mix Expected Tuesday Night Into Wednesday

Yet more snow is on the way for Rhode Island.  The national weather service expects about one to three inches of snow starting late Tuesday afternoon.  

The snow is predicted to switch over to a wintry mix by midnight, lasting into Wednesday morning. Meteorologist Benjamin Sipprell said this could affect the Wednesday morning commute.

“As we go into Wednesday morning, temperatures will be pretty well above normal, so the expectation is for the morning commute, it may be a little soupy out there with very low visibility along area roadways,” said Sipprell.

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Environment
4:59 pm
Mon March 2, 2015

Deepwater Wind Secures Full Financing For Block Island Wind Farm

Wind turbines at the Port of Providence
Credit RIPR FILE

Deepwater Wind has secured more than 290 million dollars to build and operate a wind farm off the coast of Block Island. The company plans to begin installing turbines this summer. Deepwater is, so far, the only offshore wind company in the country to get full financing for an offshore wind farm.

                                    

Two banks have financed Deepwater Wind’s offshore wind farm: a bank in France and Ohio-based KeyBank.

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On Politics
4:30 pm
Mon March 2, 2015

Worcester City Council to Consider Courting PawSox

A report from Worcester brings this unsurprising news: Members of the Worcester City Council want to study whether the city can lure the Pawtucket Red Sox to the central Massachusetts city.

Two city council members in Worcester have requested that the city work with the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce and other groups to try to get the PawSox to move to Worcester. The plan is scheduled to be debated at a council meeting tomorrow evening, according to a report from MassLive.com

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