PROVIDENCE, RI – The Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority will hold a series of public meetings next month on whether it will bring tolls back to the Mount Hope Bridge. The move has sparked one lawmaker to call for removing board members.
PROVIDENCE, RI – Brown President Ruth Simmons says she will step down at the end of the school year. The announcement may come as a disappointment to many Brown students.
Ruth Simmons is not only the first African American to lead an Ivy League university, she is a favorite among Brown students. They consistently give her high approval ratings and are even known to wear t-shirts emblazoned with her photograph.
PROVIDENCE, RI – State officials are nervously watching Bank of America, as the banking giant rolls out 30,000 layoffs. There's concern job cuts could come out of the bank's operations in East Providence and downtown Providence.
When Bank of America took over FleetBoston seven years ago, the bank added nearly a thousand jobs in Rhode Island. Bank of America's CEO Brian Moynihan is a Brown University grad who started his law career at a firm in Providence.
PROVIDENCE, RI – The head of Rhode Island's largest teacher training program is raising concerns about how teachers maintain their credentials. State officials want to tie teacher certification to a new evaluation system launching this year in public schools.
Rhode Island College School of Education Dean Sasha Sidorkin says that system is largely untested.
PROVIDENCE, RI – Senator Sheldon Whitehouse is co-sponsoring legislation that he says will save Social Security for 75 years without reducing benefits or raising the retirement age.The bill would raise the payroll tax for the wealthiest Americans.
Currently, income is taxed up to a maximum of $106,000 a year. The Whitehouse bill would apply the 6 percent tax to income over $250,000 a year.
Whitehouse says this would ensure the solvency of Social Security for the next three generations of retirees.
PROVIDENCE, RI – A Rhode Island Public Radio investigation into the rundown condition of a historic south Providence cemetery is producing results. Officials at Grace Episcopal Church, who for years have neglected their cemetery at the intersection of Broad and Elmwood Streets, are now taking responsibility for it.
The first human case of West Nile Virus in Rhode Island this summer has been confirmed. The State Health Department says the patient is in his 50s who lives in Providence County. He developed symptoms of the mosquito borne illness in late August. He has since been released from the hospital. The agency is reminding Rhode Islanders that they should protect themselves against mosquito bites until colder weather ends the threat of West Nile Virus and Triple E.
PROVIDENCE, RI – Legislative leaders say a court victory for public-employee unions won't stop them from pursuing pension reform. They plan to continue with a series of joint budget discussions starting Wednesday.
House Speaker Gordon Fox and Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed say they still anticipate getting a proposal to fix the state pension plan. They say they'll take whatever action is "reasonable and necessary to address the pension crisis" facing Rhode Island.