Smashing a giant pumpkin, telling ghost stories on a haunted hay ride, or rescuing children lost in a corn maze. Those are just a few examples of a new development in farming.

Farmers in Rhode Island have found new ways to add value to their property and remain profitable. Many farmers now do more than just selling their apples, tomatoes, or milk to wholesalers. The change is uncomfortable for many farmers, who must now devote as much time to marketing and public relations as to working their land.

In the aftermath of September 11th, policy makers are trying to balance privacy and security. The effort to strike that balance is resulting in some surprising alliances. One example is the push for national identity cards. WRNI?s Jonathan Saltzman prepared this report:

    Burrillville – In the small Pascoag Water District, residents are waiting for life to return to normal. The water supply there is contaminated with the gasoline additive methyl tertiary-butyl ether, also called MTBE. Residents have been advised not to drink or cook with the water. Many don't bathe with it either.

    Some residents are reporting health symptoms that they suspect are linked to the water. State health officials say they do not believe there is any connection.

    Department heads in Rhode Island are taking initial steps toward trying to make up an anticipated shortfall of between $80-million and $100-million dollars for this year. Governor Lincoln Almond issued an executive order Monday that limits all state agencies to only essential spending.

    Providence – At Brown University, graduate students and school administrators are awaiting a federal decision that could change the relationship between graduate students and the school. They are waiting for a ruling from the National Labor Relations Board on whether an election should be held to determine if research and teaching assistants want union representation.

    Providence – Governor Lincoln Almond and General Assembly leaders have agreed to look for ways to cut $80-million to $100-million dollars in stand spending in reaction to an apparent economic downturn in Rhode Island. At a meeting Thursday, they came to no agreement about how to make such cuts.

    The amount to be cut is based on lower than expected income tax returns for the first quarter of the fiscal year and the assumption that sales tax revenues will be down in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks.

    A Portsmouth man accused of mailing a hoax anthrax threat appeared in federal court in Providence Friday and was freed on $10,000 bail.

    William Silvia, age 34, made no comment leaving the courthouse. He is accused of mailing a letter to a couple in Lincoln that contained talcum powder, but a note suggesting it was anthrax. Silvia faces up to five years in prison and a fine of $250,000, if convicted on the charge of sending a threatening communication through the mail.

    Providence – Both sides expect tensions, when negotiations on a new contract for Providence teachers resume. Union leaders and Superintendent Diana Lam say the contract will determine the future of education reform in Providence.

    Providence teachers overwhelmingly rejected a new three year contract that included 12.5 percent average raises over that time. They also took a vote of no confidence in School Superintendent Diana Lam. Effective immediately, teachers plan to accept no additional work as part of a work-to-rule strategy.

    Charlestown is withdrawing from the Chariho Regional School district, as the result of an election yesterday. Residents voted overwhelmingly to leave the district, which also includes Richmond and Hopkinton. They approved two separate binding referenda. One called for removing grades kindergarten through 6 from the district. The other called for removing all grade levels from the district.

    The federal government is bringing charges against a Portsmouth man who allegedly claimed that there was Anthrax in a letter he mailed to a Lincoln couple. A threat was included in the letter with a white powdery substance, according to federal prosecutors in Rhode Island.

    William Sylvia is charged with one count of mailing a threatening communication. The charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison.

    The teachers' union votes this evening on the latest contract proposal from the Providence School Department. Union leaders, who have voiced concerns about the offer, have not yet decided whether to recommend ratification.

    Members of the Providence Teachers Union executive board scheduled a 5p.m. meeting to decide what recommendation to make. A meeting of the entire membership was scheduled for 7pm.

    Public health officials in Rhode Island were trying to allay concerns about bio-terrorism in the light of new Anthrax discoveries in Washington D.C. and New York City, as a local congressman called for clear protocols for first responders in cases of suspected bio-terrorism.

    Providence – A high profile New York law firm is renewing its request to represent the mother of slain providence police officer, Sergeant Cornel Young, Jr. in her multi million dollar wrongful death lawsuit.

    Leisa Young retained Johnnie Cochran in the lawsuit, which claims that inadequate training and supervision by Providence police contributed to her son?s death. Judge Robert Lovegreen denied a request from Cochran and three associates to practice in Rhode Island, saying he could not see why the case warranted more than two out-of state attorneys.

    The Rhode Island Department of Health today was following up about a dozen reports of suspicious powders that came in over the weekend. None of the tests involve people who fear Anthrax contamination. A department administrator says the first lab results were expected this afternoon, but its not clear if word of negative tests would be released to the public.