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Arts & Culture
3:33 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

RI Arts Council Refutes Claims In Report Calling For Its Elimination

The Rhode Island State Council on the Arts is taking umbrage with a new report claiming taxpayers are paying for tasteless and offensive art.

The report from the Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity claims taxpayer money was used to fund an erotic holiday party, underwear art, and an international film festival that shows movies some would consider “depraved.” But RISCA refutes those claims saying it didn’t fund any party or underwear art, but gave a grant a few years ago to an artist mentioned in a blog about those events.

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Politics
1:35 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Raimondo Rolls Out RI Tourism Plan

Treasurer Gina Raimondo rolled out her tourism plan in Bristol as part of her campaign for governor.
Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gina Raimondo says Rhode Island needs to do a better job of developing tourism as a spark plug for the economy. Raimondo unveiled a tourism plan Wednesday morning as part of her campaign for the state’s top job.

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Arts & Culture
1:09 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Celebrated Pro Jo Cartoonist Don Bousquet Retiring

A Don Bousquet original.
Credit Don Bousquet

After more than thirty years with the Providence Journal, celebrated Rhode Island cartoonist Don Bousquet is retiring.

Bousquet contributed thousands of cartoons, lampooning Rhode Island life to the Journal, which ran two per week. He said coming up with his signature, single panel style, was easy.

“I wanted to be a New Yorker cartoonist because somewhere I heard they paid eight hundred dollars for a single panel cartoon," said Bousquet.

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RI News
1:03 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Proposed Cranston Budget Doesn’t Hike Property Taxes

Budget proposed by Mayor Allan Fung does not raise property taxes.
Credit file / RIPR

Cranston residents will face no property tax increase next year under a budget proposed Tuesday night by Mayor Allan Fung. He has submitted a $262 million spending plan that would fully fund the city’s annual pension obligations while not hiking property taxes.

The average Cranstonian pays $5,000 a year in property taxes. Fung admits that’s high, but says just keeping taxes from rising has been a challenge given state funding cuts and the devastation caused by the great flood of 2010.

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RI History
9:50 am
Wed April 2, 2014

Newport Restoration Foundation Purchases Home Of Important Colonial Furniture Maker

The Christopher Townsend House, c. 1725, which was purchased by the Newport Restoration Foundation.
Credit Newport Restoration Foundation

The Newport Restoration Foundation has added a new jewel to its crown of original colonial housing. And this isn’t just any home.  Its owner was a man who made American furniture-making history.

The Newport Restoration Foundation has purchased the home of Christopher Townsend, founder of the famous cabinet making company whose colonial-era furniture sells today for millions of dollars.  Foundation director Pieter Roos said they picked up the 1725 red house with white trim for $645,000.   The company’s original cabinet making shop is a single story wing at the right of the house.

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The Education Blog
9:06 am
Wed April 2, 2014

House Bill Takes Aim at Suspensions

Rhode Island’s House Committee on Health, Education and Welfare has scheduled testimony Wednesday on a bill seeking to reduce the use of “out of school” suspensions in public schools.

The bill would also require education officials to collect and analyze discipline data to determine how policies are affecting minority students.

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Economy
8:54 am
Wed April 2, 2014

Local Think Tank Calls For Millions In Cuts To State Spending

The Center for Freedom and Prosperity recommends more than $200 million dollars in cuts state spending.
Credit RIPR FILE

A conservative-leaning think tank says Rhode Island spends more than 220 million dollars each year on what it calls non-essential state services.  The Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity says cutting this spending would improve Rhode Island’s economy.

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Health Care
5:00 am
Wed April 2, 2014

Women & Infants Sees Surge In Opioid-Addicted Newborns

These newborns are both being treated for withdrawal from opioids in a nursery at Women & Infants. They've been swaddled tightly to help them feel safe and calm, and these "swings" rock them gently from side to side.
Credit Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

The rising number of Rhode Islanders struggling with an addiction to prescription painkillers and heroin has brought an increase in babies born addicted to these substances. And Women & Infants Hospital is treating a growing number of them.

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Local Features
6:20 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

This I Believe Rhode Island: The Power of Poetry

Who doesn't love a good story?  We begin hearing stories when we're tiny children and then develop our own. Sometimes joyful. Sometimes painful.  For most of us, there's a rich and compelling mix. As the poet and writer Maya Angelou once said, “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”  And Nancy Jasper feels much the same.

Nancy Jasper is a clinical social worker at Child and Family, a comprehensive social service agency in Middletown, Rhode Island.  Nancy publishes chapbooks with the Rhode Island-based Origami Poems Project.

Politics
9:25 am
Tue April 1, 2014

Cicilline And Challengers Gear Up For Next Election Cycle

Congressman David Cicilline is already prepping for the coming election.
Credit Flo Jonic / RIPR

Congressman David Cicilline faces a number of little-known challengers as he starts campaigning for a third-term. The former Providence mayor was first elected to Congress in 2010. But one of his past opponents, Republican John Loughlin, who ran against Cicilline four years ago, says he's also considering a rematch.

Cicilline was the beneficiary over the weekend of an East Side fundraiser billed as a campaign kick-off reception. Unlike 2010, and 2012, Cicilline heads into campaign season without a well-known opponent.

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