Rhode Islanders have until December 23rd to pay for new health insurance on HealthSource RI, the state’s version of Obamacare. Existing customers will be automatically re-enrolled in a similar plan.

And spokeswoman Maria Tocco says that means their health insurance coverage should be seamless: “Existing customers, if they continue to make their regular monthly payments, they’ll have uninterrupted coverage through January," says Tocco. "They’ll continue to receive bills and as long as they pay them their coverage will go on uninterrupted.”

John Bender / RIPR

There were plenty of ceremonies and celebrations going on across the state in honor of Veterans Day. Several events were canceled due to inclement weather, but the East Greenwich parade stepped off as scheduled.

One of Rhode Island’s grand holiday traditions –the Buy Nothing Winter Coat Exchange – is back in its usual Black Friday incarnation. This year the coat exchange will be held on Nov. 27th, the day after Thanksgiving.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Health department director Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott has laid out a plan to improve Rhode Islanders’ health over the coming year.  She described the plan to lawmakers Tuesday evening, a common gesture from the state's top health official. One of her overarching priorities is to reduce disparities across the state.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Health Department Director Doctor Nicole Alexander-Scott has laid out a plan to improve Rhode Islanders’ health over the coming year.  She described the plan to lawmakers Tuesday evening. One overarching priority is to reduce disparities across the state.


Many businesses and public agencies are closed today in honor of Veterans Day. But there are plenty of events and celebrations to honor local service-men and women.

A parade is scheduled to step off in East Greenwich, A parade in South County has been canceled due to inclement weather. There will be wreath-laying ceremonies in Portsmouth and North Kingstown, among others.


Rhode Island’s online health insurance marketplace is adding new staff to handle an expected increase in customer service calls. HealthSource RI is in its second week of open enrollment. Spokeswoman Maria Tocco says the customer service center is anticipating higher demand during the enrollment period.

“This week we’ll be adding about 15 new contact center reps. And that number will continue to increase through mid-december.”

By then, Tocco says, the center should have about 120 reps ready to take calls.

Thomas Pittman

Imagine serving as a soldier in Iraq, surviving, and then deploying to Afghanistan, with no trip home in between. U.S.Army Veteran Thomas Pittman did just that. As we honor the service of veterans on this Veterans Day, we bring you Pittman’s story, as part of our series "RI Veterans' Voices." 

Pittman served as a combat engineer in Iraq and Afghanistan.  He is currently pursuing a degree in social work at CCRI and Rhode Island College. 

Pittman served in the U.S. Army from 2008 through 2011. He spoke with Rhode Island Public Radio's Nate Mooney, who produced this story. 

Katherine Doherty

Many veterans return with scars – both physical and mental – that last long after their service. That’s the story we heard from Lennard Harten, who was injured on board a U.S. Navy ship during World War II.

  You know those middle-of-the-night or early-morning awakenings when your senses are unusually sharp? The slightest sounds take on new meaning, or perhaps otherwise fleeting thoughts become intrusive. Solitude and silence, although sometimes disquieting, seem to invite deep reflection and unusually intense awareness. As Henry David Thoreau says in Walden, “I love to be alone. I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude.”  And we hear echoes of these sentiments from Erik Wilker.

Erik Wilker is an administrator at Moses Brown School in Providence, where he was asked to contribute a "This I Believe" essay to a student-led project.  He and his family moved to Rhode Island eleven years ago after having lived in the West.

Veterans’ group Operation Stand-Down is leaving the Rhode Island Coalition for the Homeless. The move follows a disagreement over homeless veterans.

The Rhode Island Coalition for the Homeless is taking part in a national effort to combat homelessness known as Zero:2016. Through that effort the organization has housed more than 160 veterans this year. This week the group said it was on track to end chronic homelessness among veterans in Rhode Island.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Don’t be fooled by the recent blush of September-like weather; New Englanders know winter is on  the way.

In this vein, Rhode Island’s Congressional delegation announced today that the state is getting an additional $2.4 million in federal money from the Federal  Emergency Management Agency to help defray cleanup costs from last winter’s big January snowstorm.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

A Block Island lawmaker wants to prevent the state from imposing new tolls on passenger cars.

Governor Gina Raimondo has said tolling passenger cars is not part of her $1.1 billion infrastructure improvement plan.

Erika Smith/FLICKR

Johnson & Wales University has purchased the property that housed the  troubled Club Karma on Richmond Street in Providence for $1.6 million, according to a statement from college spokeswoman Lisa Pelosi.

The university intends to use the property either to ``accommodate the university’s expanding academic programs or for student life services.’’

Club Karma was shut down last year by the city’s licensing board after two men were shot at the nightclub on January 25, 2014.

RI Veterans' Voices: David Soby

Nov 10, 2015
Emily Wooldridge

In honor of Veterans Day, this week Rhode Island Public Radio is sharing stories from veterans in their own voices.

Today we hear from David Soby, a 53-year-old, who served in the U-S Coast Guard. Soby helped in the recovery operation for Egyptian Air Flight 990, which crashed off the coast of New England, killing 217 people.

Soby begins by explaining why he joined the Coast Guard.