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7:35 am
Tue June 21, 2011

The Pench: A union president gives his point of view

J. Michael Downey, President of Council 94, the largest public union in Rhode Island.
Photo By Catherine Welch

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RIPR News
7:27 am
Tue June 21, 2011

Central Falls Senator says Moody's moved too fast

PROVIDENCE, RI – Elisabeth Crowley, the state senator who represents Central Falls, says she's disappointed that Moody's Investors Service downgraded the struggling city's bond rating. Moody's lowered the rating from B3 to Caa1.

Moody's highlights the growing risk that one of Central Falls' police and fire pension will run out cash in October and that the city is facing budget gaps in this fiscal year and the next. State Senator Elisabeth Crowley says Moody's moved too quickly.

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RIPR News
2:17 pm
Mon June 20, 2011

Care New England names new CEO

Dennis Keefe
Photo courtesy of Care New England

Providence, RI – Care New England has a new leader. Dennis Keefe will be the CEO and president of the hospital chain starting August 1st.

Keefe comes from the Cambridge Health Alliance- a Massachusetts health care system, where he's been the CEO since 2002.

Members of the Cambridge Health Alliance include Cambridge Hospital, Somerville Hospital, and Whidden Memorial Hospital as well as more than 20 primary care practices. The health system is known for treating many of Massachusetts' low income residents.

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RIPR News
8:44 am
Mon June 20, 2011

General Assembly to vote on stricter seatbelt law

Providence, RI – The State General Assembly is set to vote on a stronger seat belt law for Rhode Island drivers. The proposal would allow police to pull over and ticket unbuckled drivers. Current law allows police to ticket drivers who are transporting unbelted children, but adult motorists can only be ticketed for not wearing a seat belt if they have already been pulled over for another violation like speeding.

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RIPR News
8:38 am
Mon June 20, 2011

Central Falls investment rating drops

Providence, RI – With $80 million in unfunded pension and benefit obligations looming, the city of Central Falls is taking another financial blow. The national Investors Service Moody's says it is dropping the city's credit rating to six steps below investment grade, or junk-bond' status. Fiscal troubles have already prompted state officials to appoint a receiver last year to take over the city's finances. That receiver has said the city may need to file for bankruptcy, though no decisions have been made.

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RIPR News
8:32 am
Mon June 20, 2011

Chafee, Taveras to lead tour of Knowledge District

Providence, RI – Governor Lincoln Chafee and Providence mayor Angel Taveras will lead a walking tour of the Knowledge District today. Joining them will be officials from the Brown University Medical School, the University of Maryland and Lifespan.

Developing the acreage freed up by the relocation of Interstate 195 is a top priority of the Governor. He recently visited the life sciences hub in Baltimore during a fact finding mission to identify best practices for such developments.

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RIPR News
8:24 am
Mon June 20, 2011

Chinese educators visit Brown

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Economy
8:20 am
Mon June 20, 2011

RI unemployment 3rd highest in nation

Providence, RI – Rhode Island continues to have one of the highest unemployment rates in the country and is one of only a handful of states with a jobless rate still in the double digits.

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Morning News Podcast
8:04 am
Mon June 20, 2011

Monday, June 20, 2011

Providence, RI – Listen to the WRNI Morning News Podcast for Monday, June 20, 2011.

Scott MacKay Commentary
7:34 am
Mon June 20, 2011

Can RI pols fix the pension problem?

RI Pensions: \"Failure is not an option. This problem has festered for too long and the day of reckoning is long past.\"

PROVIDENCE, RI – Rhode Island's looming pension insolvency threatens the state's future. WRNI political analyst Scott MacKay says the pension issue begs an even bigger question: Can state government solve the really big problems?

It has been 20 years since Rhode Island's political elite faced a situation as daunting as the current need to rework the public employee state pension systems.

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