News

Chuck Hinman / RIPR

Providence poet Christopher Johnson is one of 20 candidates for Poet Laureate of Rhode Island. He is also facing charges of assault, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct after an encounter last spring with a Providence police officer. Johnson wrote about that encounter earlier this month for Motif Magazine, in an essay called Walking While Black. He spoke to Rhode Island Public Radio’s Chuck Hinman about his case.

The Rio Olympics are history, its torch extinguished Sunday night amid an explosion of color and sound befitting the conclusion of this quadrennial spectacle celebrating athletic prowess and human spirit. Like you, I watched on television, as I had from time to time during the two weeks or so of competition. Like you, I watched Michael Phelps swim into Olympics history; gymnast Simone Biles dazzle with her smile and her stunning array of leaps, twists and tumbles, and Usain Bolt dash to gold for the third straight Olympiad.

Patrick Skahill / WNPR

  Students in Newtown, Connecticut will return to classes at Sandy Hook elementary next week. It’s the first time students have attended the school since a mass shooting four years ago. The school was demolished and has now been rebuilt.

The entirely-new building has improved security: a gated entrance, bulletproof windows, and lots of cameras. Architect and project manager Julia McFadden says the hope was to incorporate those needs into a soothing learning environment.

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.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

The Boston Red Sox are in the thick of the hunt for a major league playoff spot. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay outlines the different challenges facing the team’s top minor league affiliate, the Pawtucket Red Sox.

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.

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