Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

The search is underway for a new director of the state’s Department of Children, Youth, and Families. For this week’s The Pulse, Rhode Island Public Radio’s Kristin Gourlay sits down with outgoing director Jamia McDonald to learn what’s changed for children and staff since she took the reins a year and a half ago

John Bender / RIPR

The federal government is offering official approval for Rhode Island’s plan to toll commercial trucks on state bridges. The toll has generated opposition from the trucking industry and some businesses concerned about how the new tolls might impact the economy.

State Department of Transportation Director Peter Alviti says the go-ahead from the federal government is the final step needed to move forward with the project.  The tolls will be installed in 13 locations, and 34 bridges so far are slated for repairs from the toll revenue.

National Weather Service

Rhode Island may feel only limited effects from Hurricane Matthew. The Category 3 storm left a trail of damage in Haiti and was moving toward the Bahamas on Wednesday.

  Those of us who are parents seem to assume that one of our principal tasks in life is teaching our children how to navigate this remarkably complicated world.  Whatever our child's talents, insights, proclivities, or special needs, we assume the role of master teacher: How to tie a shoe, complete assignments on time, manage a neighborhood bully, heal the broken heart.  The list seems, and perhaps is, endless.

John Bender / RIPR

House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello says he plans to make car taxes a priority in the next legislative session. Mattiello held a press conference Tuesday in Cranston to discuss his legislative goals. The Democrat faces a Republican challenger, Steven Frias, this November.

Mattiello said the car tax has long been a thorn in the side of his Cranston constituents, and said this session the General Assembly will be able to take up the issue.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

A new study from Yale researchers suggests it may matter whether your doctor is a Democrat or a Republican.

The study in the journal PNAS surveyed thousands of primary care doctors and also looked at their voter registration records. On most health issues, their party affiliation made no difference, but lead author Eitan Hersh said there's one exception:

Environmental Working Group

The carcinogen often referred to as the "Erin Brockovich chemical" is present in about two-thirds of the drinking water across the country, according to water testing data from the Environmental Protection Agency.

John Bender

The town of Warren, Rhode Island has been named one of America’s 5 Great Neighborhoods. The American Planning Association on Monday recognized Warren’s downtown for its “foresight, innovation, and cooperation” in building a better place to live. It’s part of APA’s Great Places in America program, to recognize streets, neighborhoods, and public spaces in the United States demonstrating exceptional character, quality and planning.

Now Here This: Sophie Is A Punk Rocker

Oct 4, 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.

In today’s story, former “kidcore” music star Sophie Kasakove reflects on tween fame, Patti Smith, and having a loud message, or not. The story was produced by Liza Yeager.

Got a comment on this story? A question? A new idea? We want to hear from you! Send an email to

Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island

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

Courtesy City of Providence

An alternative plan to replace the 6-10 connector highway could free up acres of land, reconnect neighborhoods, and be more cost effective, according to Providence city planners.

The aging infrastructure cuts through several neighborhoods in the city. Transportation advocates say the highway should be replaced with a boulevard with more room for pedestrians and cyclists.

RIPR file photo

A Brown University scientist is one of three individuals awarded this year’s Nobel Prize in Physics. Physicist J. Michael Kosterlitz won for his research on states of matter, which could have applications in electronics.

Achievement First in Providence wants to add a third K-8 school and move forward with its plan to open a high school, and the Segue Middle School in Central Falls wants to add an elementary school. Those are just two of the charter school proposals on tap at the Rhode Island Department of Education. 

Parker Harrington / Creative Commons License

The regular season career of Red Sox slugger David Ortiz has come to an end.  The 40-year-old slugger is retiring at the end of this season. In the regular season finale at Fenway yesterday, the playoff-bound Red Sox fell to the Toronto Blue Jays, 2-1. Despite the loss, it was a big party for Big Papi.

Robert Saenz lives in Nicaragua. Last week, he decided to buy a plane ticket to Boston.

Saenz was a student in Boston when the Red Sox won the World Series in 2004 and 2007, and he has fond memories of David Ortiz.

Keith Allison / Creative Commons License

For the first time in 23 years -- the New England Patriots were scoreless at home. The Buffalo Bills shut down the Patriots 16-to-zero at Foxborough.

The hard hits from Buffalo started during warm ups -- when a Bills player shoved quarterback Jacoby Brissett. The problems for the Patriots did not stop there -- Brissett was sacked 3 times, the Patriots were forced to punt on 6 occasions, and a 48 yard field goal attempt went wide.