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National Cancer Institute

What’s happening in health in Rhode Island, March 21:

A detainee at the Wyatt Detention Facility in Central Falls was found unresponsive in his cell Monday. The detainee, Nelson Romero was pronounced dead at Memorial Hospital in Pawtucket. Romero was placed at Wyatt by U.S. marshals from Connecticut. He was arrested on March 16 on a federal criminal complaint charging him with conspiracy to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin.

Officials are awaiting an autopsy from the medical examiner. A spokesperson for the privately run detention facility says foul play is not suspected.

They could have won. They could have beaten third-seeded Oregon and earned a trip to the Sweet 16. Victory was so close they could certainly see it, feel it, taste it.

But in the end, victory Sunday night was not to be for the University of Rhode Island Rams. Oregon was a three-point basket better than URI and left Sacramento with a 75-72 triumph in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The Ducks (31-5) moved on while the Rams (25-10) came home to reflect on their best season in 18 years.

CREATIVE COMMONS LICENSE VIA FLICKR

Rhode Islanders might not lose weekend commuter rail service going to Boston after all. Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker dropped his support of a proposal that would cut all weekend commuter rail service for a year.

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation has dropped its proposal for a transit center along Interstate 95 in Hopkinton.

Emily Corwin / NHPR

Those early hints of spring can call to a gardener like a siren song. Yet the urge to get one’s seeds into dirt can be dangerous: most seedlings won’t survive a single frost. To help with that, gardeners use 30-year averages that predict when the last frost will probably occur. The thing is, in New England, climate change has temperatures rising relatively quickly.

Courtesy Red Bandana Fund on Facebook

The Red Bandana Fund, which honors the life and work of the late Richard Walton, is once again seeking nominations for the Red Bandana Award. This award is given annually to a person or organization who embodies the work and spirit of Walton, a journalist, teacher and activist for labor, peace and social justice.

John Bender / RIPR

Italian-American enclaves around the country celebrated St. Joseph’s day Sunday. This holiday comes with its own culinary tradition – a luscious pastry called a zeppole.

In the kitchen at La Salle Bakery in Providence Rhode Island – a state where zeppole are famous -- a team of bakers furiously prepare. They know lines will be forming to snap up this seasonal treat.

Courtesy of Rhode Island Division Of Sheriffs

As the Rhode Island Division of Sheriffs continues accepting applications for their latest academy recruits, officials say they hope to pull from a wider group of candidates.

Tichnor Brothers / Boston Public Library, Tichnor Brothers collection

Summer resorts around the nation are bracing for a tough season. Not because the tourists won't come, but because the workers might not. 

RIPR File Photo

The Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority says work on the Mount Hope Bridge and Sakonnet River Bridge could cause some delays.  

RIPR File Photo

The University of Rhode Island’s Watershed Watch is asking for volunteers to help monitor local waterways.  The citizen scientists are trained and provided the equipment to gather data on over 200 lakes, streams, and coastal waterways.

They can do it. They can win. The University of Rhode Island can beat Oregon Sunday night at Sacramento.

Sure, Oregon (30-5) is seeded No. 3 in the Midwest Regional and URI No. 11. Sure, the Ducks have Dillon Brooks, the Pac-12 player of the year, and Jordan Bell, the Pac-12 defensive player of the year. And they have a former blue chip recruit in sophomore shooting guard Tyler Dorsey, who scored 24 points in Oregon’s 93-77 rout of Iona in the first round Friday.

Winter will fade away one of these days, right? In the meanwhile, we can celebrate St. Patrick's Day and St. Joseph's Day while continuing to plumb the depths of Rhode Island politics. So thanks for stopping by for my weekly column. Your tips and comments are welcome, and you can follow me through the week on the twitters. Here we go.

RIPR File Photo

The latest twist in the never-ending 38  Studios soap opera is the joust over grand jury secrecy.  RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says this spat is more about politics than legal precedent.

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