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RIPR News
6:43 am
Wed August 18, 2010

RI lawmaker raises questions about receivership in Central Falls

Providence, R.I. – The state senator who represents Central Falls is calling for greater accountability from the receiver who's managing the city. The mayor and city council were sidelined last month when a $5 million deficit forced the city into receivership, a type of bankruptcy.

State Sen. Elizabeth Crowley says she has no issue with retired Judge Mark Pfeiffer, the appointed receiver of Central Falls. But she wants him to communicate better with city residents who ultimately pay the bills.

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RIPR News
6:34 am
Wed August 18, 2010

Poll: Majority of Rhode Islanders support gay marriage

Providence, R.I. – Public support for gay marriage is growing in Rhode Island. This year's poll by democratic firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research shows that 59 percent of Rhode Islanders support gay marriage - a 10 percent increase since 2008.

Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Vice President David Walker says Rhode Islanders are embracing the gay community now more than ever.

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RIPR News
6:30 am
Wed August 18, 2010

Central Falls receiver rolls out new budget

Providence, RI – Central Falls is expecting a $6.3 million budget gap for this fiscal year. The city's receiver Mark Pfeiffer says he was mindful of taxpayers as he crafted the new budget.

To help bridge the gap, residents will pay a ten-percent property tax hike, new fees, and a motor vehicle exemption that goes from $6,000 to $1,000.

To cut expenses, the city chopped nearly a million dollars from the payroll and more than $100,000 in the operations budget by cutting back on cell phones and turning off street lights.

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RIPR News
5:59 pm
Tue August 17, 2010

Recess policy sparks controversy

Providence, R.I. – Parents in East Providence are concerned about a new school policy that would end a 10 minute recess after lunch. Superintendent Mario Cirillo says the goal is not to do away with recess, but to let teachers decide when students need time to play.

"Weather permitting they could go outside and have free play for 10 minutes or engage in some kind of physical activity outside with games," said Cirillo. "We're not taking anything away. I see it as an opportunity to enhance recess."

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RIPR News
4:56 pm
Tue August 17, 2010

More state beach closures

Providence, R.I. – Three more Rhode Island beaches are closed to swimming due to high bacteria counts. Earlier today, the Department of Health closed Bristol Town Beach, Conimicut Point Beach and Goddard Memorial State Park in Warwick. The Department will reopen the beaches when they're safe for swimming.

Governor Notte Park Beach in North Providence also remains closed.

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RIPR News
4:54 pm
Tue August 17, 2010

Breaking ground on Wickford Junction station

Providence, R.I. – Wickford Junction is one step closer to getting a train station. The new station, which the Department will begin work on tomorrow, will take commuters to Boston, Providence, T.F. Green airport, and other cities and towns. The project, funded partly by federal stimulus dollars, should be finished by 2011.

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RIPR News
2:04 pm
Tue August 17, 2010

Fitch downgrades airport bonds

Providence, RI – Fitch Ratings has downgraded Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation's general airport bonds to A- from A.

In a released statement, Fitch says the downgrade to A- is based on a declining number of passengers going through TF Green airport, saying the airport expects to see the same passenger level this year as it did back in 1997.

Fitch also cited Southwest Airline's expanded service to Boston-Logan International as another reason for the rating downgrade.

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RIPR News
2:03 pm
Tue August 17, 2010

"Our heavenly father" to stay in Cranston school

Providence, R.I. – The words "Our Heavenly Father" will remain on the wall of the Cranston High School West auditorium, at least for now. School officials have delayed making a decision about what to do with the sign, which has generated a complaint from the American Civil Liberties Union.

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Politics
1:43 pm
Tue August 17, 2010

Town holds special election to replace officials facing corruption charges

Providence, R.I. – A special election will be held in North Providence to replace three former council members who resigned in May amid corruption charges.

Seven candidates will be on the ballot in today's election-- three Democrats, two Republicans and two independents. They are vying for two district seats and one at-large seat.

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RIPR News
1:31 pm
Tue August 17, 2010

Fire reported at city hall in Taunton, Mass.

Taunton, Mass. – Firefighters in Taunton are battling a blaze at City Hall.

The building has been evacuated and no injuries have been reported. The Taunton Gazette reported that smoke was seen billowing from the top floor of the historic building, which was originally constructed in the 1840s.

Mayor Charles Crowley told WBZ-AM in Boston that the fire started Tuesday on the second floor before the building was officially open for the day and spread to the third floor.

There was no immediate word on the cause of the blaze.

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