Public Doman

Here’s what’s happening in health in Rhode Island:

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

Critics of Providence City Councilor Kevin Jackson are gathering signatures in an attempt to knock him out of office.

Signatures of 20 percent of the registered voters in Jackson’s Ward 3 district need to be gathered within 120 days days to trigger a recall election.

Jackson is accused of making personal use of campaign contributions and embezzling more than $127,000 from a youth sports organization. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges and is due back in court in December.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

  Governor Gina Raimondo is trying to curb long wait times and system problems after the roll out of a new human services computer system.

Raimondo has directed Department of Human Services field offices to remain open longer two days a week to deal with long wait times.

She has also asked the consulting firm that helped build the new human services computer system, Deloitte, to send additional staff to help troubleshoot – at no additional cost.

Kristin Gourlay

Major health care systems Care New England in Rhode Island and Southcoast Health in Massachusetts say they will end their affiliation plans. The move comes after months of talks about joining forces to create one of the largest systems in the region. In a statement, officials from both organizations say they believe their vision for a combined system could no longer be achieved.  

Regulators in both Massachusetts and Rhode Island had already been reviewing legal documents filed in support of the affiliation. They have been notified of the organizations’ plans.

Adam Levine/Brown University / Watson Institute

Humanitarian crises are multiplying around the globe, but a Brown University researcher says we could be responding in a more rigorous way. Emergency medicine doctor Adam Levine will head the new Humanitarian Innovation Initiative at Brown’s Watson Institute. He says academic researchers need to partner with humanitarian aid providers.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

A shellfishing ban in Narragansett Bay has been lifted ahead of schedule. All conditional areas were closed over the weekend and will reopen today at noon. 

The ban was put in place more than a week ago when the water tested positive for a toxic algae. The bay and its tributaries were closed to shellfishing while the state tested the water and shellfish for the toxin domoic acid. Since then samples collected from the area have tested negative.

The state departments of health and environmental management will continue to collect and analyze samples twice a week. 

Win For Unmarried Parents In Mass. Supreme Court

Oct 17, 2016
By Swampyank at English Wikipedia, CC BY 3.0,

In Massachusetts, both members of any un-married couple can now be considered parents of their children, even if only one is a biological parent. That's the result of a unanimous ruling from the Bay State's highest court. Reporter Fred Thys from WBUR explains:

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

A new sobering center opens next month at a homeless shelter in Providence. It’s a place where inebriated people who would typically be brought to the emergency room can safely sober up. It's meant to save money and guide those patients toward recovery.

Curt Schilling took to the op-ed page of The Providence Journal Sunday to renew his argument that former Governor Lincoln Chafee bears a large part of the responsibility for the failure of 38 Studios in 2012.

Your humble correspondent is back on the beat after taking most of last week off. So thanks for stopping by. As usual, your tips and comments are welcome, and your can follow me through the week on the twitters. Here we go.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Politicians love to say that elections matter. Except when some of them don’t like the results. RIPR Political analyst Scott MacKay wonders why two veteran Democratic lawmakers won’t accept their primary defeats.

Providence Business News Editor Mark Murphy joins Rhode Island Public Radio's Dave Fallon for our weekly business segment, The Bottom Line.

This week, Dave and Mark speak with Christian Cowan, center director at Polaris MEP. 

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Department of Human Services officials say they’re working with federal agencies to address concerns about the rocky roll out of a new computer system called UHIP. The system enrolls Rhode Islanders in programs like food stamps and Medicaid and replaces decades-old technology. But some Federal officials said it wasn’t ready to go live when it did.                         

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

The Energy Facility Siting Board has temporarily suspended its review of energy developer Invenergy’s application to build a power plant in Burrillville. That decision has disappointed the town, residents and environmental groups.  

Aaron Read / RIPR

Rhode Island will be one of only three states in the country with a long-range plan for transportation, according to state officials who announced Thursday they have received federal approval for a 10-year plan to improve roads, bridges and public transit.

The plan will be revised with public input every year, a change from prior plans which covered just four years and were revisited only when it was time to craft a new plan.