General Assembly
8:46 am
Thu April 10, 2014

House Oversight Committee Meets For First Time With New Leadership

The House Oversight Committee meets for the first time since its leadership change.
Credit Don Boorman / RIPR

The House Oversight Committee will hold its first meeting Thursday since recently getting a new chairwoman.  The new chair has been a sharp critic of paying back bondholders who invested in failed video game company 38 Studios.

After winning his post last month, House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello ousted his rival for the speakership, Michael Marcello, from the chairmanship of House Oversight. He replaced Marcello with Representative Karen MacBeth of Cumberland, who sharply criticized last year’s payment to bondholders in 38 Studios.

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Annie Russell is VPR's weekend producer. She has interned for NPR at Weekends on All Things Considered and for WNYC at On The Media.  She is a graduate of Columbia Journalism School. She loves the Boston Celtics unconditionally.

On Politics
5:20 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

Taveras & Raimondo Campaigns Trade Shots on the Pension Settlement

In a preview of things to come as Rhode Island's Democratic primary grows more intense, the campaigns of Providence Mayor Angel Taveras and state Treasurer Gina Raimondo are trading sharp jabs over the handling of the high-stakes state pension conflict.

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Health Care
2:48 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

Medicare Advantage Plan Members Can Opt Out If Plans Drop Doctors Without Cause

Seniors with Medicare Advantage have more flexibility to opt out of plans, thanks to new rules.
Credit Aaron Read / RIPR

New rules for Medicare Advantage plan members give seniors more flexibility to opt out of plans that drop their doctors from the network.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has announced that Medicare Advantage plan members will be able to switch plans if those plans drop doctors mid-year without cause. These are Medicare plans offered by private insurance companies and often operate like HMOs.

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Environment
2:03 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

Pilot Program Diverts Two Tons of Food Scraps

Providence's pilot composting program has diverted two tons of food scraps from the Central Landfill during its first nineteen weeks in operation. Director of Sustainability for Providence Sheila Dormody says these efforts will help the city to implement a zero waste strategy by 2033.

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RI News
1:13 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

Former Providence Mayor Paolino Eyeballing Newport Grand

Credit file / RIPR

Former Providence Mayor Joseph Paolino said he and some partners are interested in buying Newport Grand. Paolino said the struggling slot parlor needs to be saved before table games come to Massachusetts.

Paolino said he and his two partners have been talking with owners of Newport Grand since last summer. Since then Foxwoods has been looking at building a casino in Fall River, and Paolino sees that as a dire threat.

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The Education Blog
12:00 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

House Bill Would Create New Oversight for Education

A bill up for review Wednesday at the House Committee on Health, Education and Welfare would create a new position for a secretary of education in the governor's office.

The job would include overseeing and coordinating all of the state's education initiatives, from early learning to higher education.

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Alan Greenblatt has been covering politics and government in Washington and around the country for 20 years. He came to NPR as a digital reporter in 2010, writing about a wide range of topics, including elections, housing economics, natural disasters and same-sex marriage.

He was previously a reporter with Governing, a magazine that covers state and local government issues. Alan wrote about education, budgets, economic development and legislative behavior, among other topics. He is the coauthor, with Kevin Smith, of Governing States and Localities, a college-level textbook that is now in its fourth edition.

Your Health
9:52 am
Wed April 9, 2014

The Forgotten Childhood: Why Early Memories Fade

Eight-year-old Francis Csedrik pauses mid-swing in his backyard in Washington, D.C. Like most kids, he's gradually losing his memories of things that happened when he was 3 years old.
Credit Meg Vogel / NPR

Francis Csedrik, who is 8 and lives in Washington, D.C., remembers a lot of events from when he was 4 or just a bit younger. There was the time he fell "headfirst on a marble floor" and got a concussion, the day someone stole the family car ("my dad had to chase it down the block"), or the morning he found a black bat (the furry kind) in the house.

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Local Feature
5:30 am
Wed April 9, 2014

Beer, Wine Bills Backed By Farm Breweries And Wineries, But Not Liquor Industry

Exeter resident Matt Richardson tapped his maple trees this late winter to collect sap to brew in his beer.
Ambar Espinoza RIPR

Right now, in Rhode Island you pretty much have to go to a liquor store to stock up on beer for a dinner party. A few bills under consideration in the General Assembly aim to change that. If passed, the bills would give farmers, who grow crops for beer production, special licenses to sell their craft beers at their farms and at farmer’s markets. These bills are pitting local farmers against the local liquor industry. Rhode Island Public Radio brings you two perspectives on the issue: one from a farmer, and one from a liquor store owner.

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