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RIPR News
6:46 am
Fri June 24, 2011

Fox Point opposes I-195 commission

PROVIDENCE, RI – The Fox Point Neighborhood Association has come out in opposition to a bill that sets up a state-controlled commission to oversee the development of land freed up by the re-location of Interstate 195.

The Fox Point Neighborhood Association objects to the I-195 commission because of its makeup. The Governor would appoint four of the seven members ; the city of Providence would get only three appointments.

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RIPR News
6:40 am
Fri June 24, 2011

RI to increase benefit rates

PROVIDENCE, RI – The Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training will increase the maximum weekly benefit rates for its Unemployment Insurance and Temporary Disability Insurance programs.

The rate will increase by fifteen dollars for unemployed workers without dependents and nineteen dollars for workers with five or more dependents.

The maximum weekly benefit for Temporary Disability Insurance will increase by nineteen dollars for workers without dependents and twenty-five dollars for workers with five or more dependents.

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Top Stories
7:36 am
Thu June 23, 2011

The Pench: Teacher Edition

Pat Houlihan fears for her pension. The 70-year-old former teacher takes home about $31,500 a year after taxes.
Photo by Elisabeth Harrison

PROVIDENCE, RI – We continue our week-long series on Rhode Island's troubled pension fund with a look at teachers. Nearly half of the retirees in the pension system are teachers, and they receive an average of just over $41,000 per year. That accounts for more than half of the state's $7 billion unfunded pension liability.

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RIPR News
7:15 am
Thu June 23, 2011

Esserman out as Providence police chief

After 8-years at the helm, Providence Police Chief Dean Esserman has resigned.

PROVIDENCE, RI – After eight years as Providence police chief, Dean Esserman has resigned.

Esserman became a polarizing figure after becoming chief in 2003. Supporters say he reformed a scandal-plagued department. Rank and file officers called Esserman arrogant and voted no confidence in him in 2009.

Esserman says he resigned because of controversy over a recent graduation party at his home. The chief says he broke it up after witnessing some underage drinking.

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RIPR News
7:14 am
Thu June 23, 2011

RI has its first female police chief.

PROVIDENCE, RI – Rhode Island has its first female police chief. Lieutenant Angela Denault has been named acting chief of the town of Jamestown.

She will remain in that position until a new chief is hired. Denault says she did not apply for the job.

"Well I've only been in my position as lieutenant for less than a year," she says. "So I'm here just getting more administrative experience. Maybe next time I'll be a contender.

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RIPR News
2:14 pm
Wed June 22, 2011

Chafee selects DCYF director

Providence, RI – Governor Lincoln Chafee has made his choice for the new director of the Department of Children, Youth, and Families.

Janice DeFrances is currently the CEO of Harmony Hill School in Chepachet, a community for children with emotional and behavioral issues.

Defrances has also served as a principal at the Narragansett and Quidnessett elementary schools and taught college courses at various Rhode Island colleges and universities.

She holds a PhD in special education and administration from Boston University.

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Morning News Podcast
10:43 am
Wed June 22, 2011

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

PROVIDENCE, RI – Listen to the Morning News Podcast for Wednesday, June 22, 2011.

Top Stories
7:36 am
Wed June 22, 2011

The Pench: Double dipping in Providence

Former Providence City Councilor John Lombardi says his pension benefits pale in comparison to the time he spent working as a councilor.
Photo courtesy of City of Providence

PROVIDENCE, RI – All this week WRNI is digging into Rhode Island's pension crisis. One of the problems pointed out in the state treasurer's report is the practice of double dipping -- cashing in on more than one pension. While the Providence pension plan operates separately from the state pension, it serves as a good example for what happens when retirees double dip.

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RIPR News
7:28 am
Wed June 22, 2011

Central Falls teeters on bankruptcy

Central Falls could find itself bankrupt by July or August 2011.
WRNI File Photo

PROVIDENCE, RI – Central Falls Receiver Robert Flanders says with the state failing to give the struggling city a financial boost, Central Falls is very close to bankrupt.

With the state refusing to give Central Falls the more than 6-million dollars he asked for, Flanders says bankruptcy is now likely. He's freeing up cash from various bank accounts and collecting taxes from residents. But the real job will be negotiating with unions, city workers, and pensioners.

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RIPR News
7:18 am
Wed June 22, 2011

Providence Firefighters conceed to avoid layoffs

PROVIDENCE, RI – The Providence Firefighters Union has agreed to nearly six million dollars worth of concessions to avoid the layoffs that are facing the Police Department.

Among other things, Providence firefighters have agreed to forego a three percent raise, to defer retroactive pay, to more than double their health insurance co-shares and to give up a week of paid vacation.

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