RI Democratic gubernatorial aspirant Clay Pell has picked up the endorsement of the Johnston Democratic Committee, Pell’s campaign announced.
``Clay Pell is the right candidate at the right time to move Rhode Island’s economy forward,’’ said Richard Delfino, the town’s Democratic chairman. ``Members of the committee….were impressed by his experience at the White House and the fresh perspective he can bring to solving our challenges. As governor he will be a honest broker and tireless advocate for the state of Rhode Island.’’
Former Central Falls Mayor Charles Moreau could be freed as early as Friday from federal prison, according to a spokesman for U.S. Attorney Peter Neronha.
Moreau was convicted of bribery and has served 13 months of his 2-year sentence in a Maryland federal prison. Since his conviction, a federal appeals court has ruled in an unrelated case involving a businessman and a legislator in Puerto Rico. That ruling said federal law does not ``criminalize gratuities’’ and dismissed the charges against both men.
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse has introduced legislation to re-authorize the National Estuary Program, which would benefit Narragansett Bay.
The program was first established in 1987 by the late Republican Senator John Chafee. It aimed to protect and restore estuaries from pollution and overdevelopment. An estuary is the area where fresh water meets the ocean.
Sen. Jack Reed has begun reviewing Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s proposed military budget. Reed is a member of the senate Armed Services Committee, which will play a role in passing legislation to enact the budget. He says he’s looking carefully for ways to balance the need to trim spending while ensuring the nation’s military can meet the new kinds of security threats it may face in the future.
For example, Reed says he hopes to maintain funding for Rhode Island-based military research.
Rhode Island’s only independent hospital – South County – announced plans to enter talks with a nonprofit chain about a possible affiliation.
According to a statement, South County Hospital will begin exclusive talks with Southcoast Health System to explore a possible alliance. Southcoast is a nonprofit chain of hospitals, including St. Luke’s in New Bedford and Charlton Memorial in Fall River. South County is Rhode Island’s only remaining independent nonprofit hospital serving patients in southern Rhode Island.
A state task force is calling for a change in Rhode Island law, saying the state should contribute mental health records to a national background check database called NICS. The firearms safety task force says Rhode Island should provide records only in limited cases in which a person is involuntarily committed by the courts and poses a significant risk of violence.
Records would not be submitted for people determined to pose only a low risk of violence. And the task force says the state should avoid providing any specific information about a patient's diagnosis.
Rhode Island lawmakers are slated to consider a bill Wednesday that takes on one of the most contentious issues in public education. The bill calls for a commission to study the Common Core Standards, a new set of national standards for K-12 classrooms.
Rhode Island teachers are already using the standards, and they will soon give students a new standardized test to go with them, but a growing number of critics charge the standards are stressing students out.
Rhode Island’s department of health director doctor Michael Fine plans to brief state lawmakers Wednesday on the state of the state’s health.
Fine will update lawmakers on the state’s progress on certain health indicators. Smoking rates are down to about 17 percent. New cases of HIV are falling. But since his last briefing for the General Assembly, Fine said, the needle hasn’t moved in the right direction on another major health challenge – drug addiction and overdose.