Members of the Rhode Island Congressional delegation are voicing support for the military strikes that began in Afghanistan yesterday. Democratic Senator Jack Reed and Congressmen James Langevin and Patrick Kennedy say it?s an appropriate response to the September 11 attacks on the United States. ?These individuals are people that hate democracy and hate America and everything that we stand for. It was not going to stop there. These are people who would continue to attack America given the opportunity.

Johnston – Johnston High School was evacuated today, after an apparent prank that sent more than 20 students and teachers to the hospital.

Johnston Police arrested a 15 year-old boy, who is a student at the school for the prank. The boy put chlorine tablets in a soda bottle with rubbing alcohol, which released chlorine gas, according to police. He faces a felony charge of placing a bomb in the school.

A recently completed survey provides the first statistical hints about how much the national tourism slump is affecting Rhode Island. The survey released at a tourism summit shows that 76% of hotels and restaurants responding have had decreases in business since September 11. Nearly half the businesses responding have already cut workers or are planning lay offs.

Many tourism leaders are asking for immediate state assistance. But top state lawmakers attending the summit want to wait before committing state funds.

Providence – A federal judge has denied Johnny Cochran and his legal team permission to represent the mother of the late Police Sergeant Cornell Young Junior. Magistrate Judge Robert Lovergreen is not objecting specifically to Cochran representing Leisa Young. He said in an order this week that there is no need for so many out of state lawyers.

Providence – After 11 years at the helm, Colonel Edmund Culhane is retiring as Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police. Governor Lincoln Almond announced today that the retirement would take effect on October 21. The governor also announced the promotion of Major Steven Pare to Colonel and Superintendent.

The Rhode Island National Guard is mobilizing its first troops to assist with the battle against terrorism. Forty-four members of the Rhode Island Air National Guard will be shipping out this week for active duty as part of a nationwide call-up of reservists. The guardsmen are members of the 143rd Rhode Island Air Wing.

The number of children in Rhode Island without health insurance has dropped to a record low. New statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau for the year 2000 show the number of children in the state without coverage has fallen to 2.4%. That is a decrease from 5.5% in 1999 and the lowest rate among any state in the country. The figures are based on the Census Bureau?s Curent Population Survey conducted in March.

Governor Lincoln Almond is backign President Bush's plan to federalize security at airports. For now, he is not taking up the president's suggestion to call up National Guard troops to provide extra security at T.F. Green Airport. The governor said in a statement he would consider using the National Guard, if there is any need later.

The Executive Director of the Rhode Island Airport Corporation says air travel in this country will never be the same. Michael Cheston welcomes calls for handing security duties at airports over the federal government. In the meantime,he says it's premature to conclude hijackers responsible for last week's terrorist attacks had assitance from workers at any airport. Hear Deborah Becker's conversation with Michael Cheston from WRNI's Morning Edition.

    While so many people were trying to get out of New York last week,WRNI producer Nate was trying to get in. He came away with these thoughts.

      People in Rhode Island and around the country have responded to last week's terrorist attacks with a spirit of giving. They're giving blood, money, goods, and time. Many donations are no longer being accepted. Experts say the magnitude of last week's events and all the media coverage has motivated people to become more charitable. Some local charities hope they don't later see decreases in donations for other causes. WRNI's Ellen Liberman prepared this report.


        More than 20-thousand mourners gathered at the State House last night to light candles and pray for the victims of terrorist attacks on Tuesday. Lieutenant Governor Charles Fogarty reminded the crowd that while the terrorists may have broken our hearts, they will not break our spirits. Family members of the nine Rhode Islanders killed were There, along with National Guard officer, firefighters, teachers, and parents hugging their children. More vigils are scheduled at churches and on college campuses across the state in the coming days.

        Providence – An estimated 20,000 people showed up at the Rhode Island State House last night for a candle light vigil in honor of those killed in New York and at the Pentagon this week. Many spoke of unity as they listened to messages from speakers. Including the Rev. Marlowe Washington, Governor Lincoln Almond, and Senator Jack Reed. Here are some excerpts assembled by WRNI?s Stephen Belter.

          North Smithfield – Among those most on edge in Rhode Island following the terrorist attacks this week are Muslims. With the investigation into the suicide plane crashes focusing on Muslim fundamentalists, Muslim and Arab Americans have felt under scrutiny. They are also among those who took part in Friday?s prayer services in Rhode Island. WRNI?s Av Harris prepared this report.

            Nine medical personnel from the naval station in Newport are in New York to help out following tuesday's attack.

            They join 21 doctors, nurses and red cross volunteers from the Rhode Island disaster medical assistance team who arrived in Manhattan yesterday.

            Firefighters from Warwick, Pawtucket, Bristol, Newport and other cities have been either called to New York or are waiting on standby. Yesterday 13 firemen from East Providence left for the City.