RIPR News
9:41 am
Wed November 2, 2011

Whitehouse hopes super-committee spares Pell Grants from cuts

PROVIDENCE, RI – U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse says Republican efforts to cut Pell Grants shows a growing interest on Capitol Hill to cut the program. The grants are named after former Rhode Island Senator Claiborne Pell, and they give students up to $5,500 to help cover tuition.

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RIPR News
8:34 am
Wed November 2, 2011

The Pench What's Next: Raimondo defends pension numbers

State Treasurer Gina Raimondo defends the numbers in the pension proposal.
Photo by Bradley Campbell.

PROVIDENCE, RI – State Treasurer Gina Raimondo defended the underlying basis for the pension overhaul plan being considered by the General Assembly. Raimondo testified during the last of three joint Finance Committee meetings.

Raimondo's critics charge that she's exaggerated the seriousness of Rhode Island's pension problem. A Cranston union official last week accused her of, "cooking the books"

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RIPR News
8:08 am
Wed November 2, 2011

Chafee meets with Occupy protesters

PROVIDENCE, RI – Governor Lincoln Chafee left his State House office yesterday to meet with "Occupy Providence" protesters rallying on Smith Hill.

About 100 "Occupy Providence" protesters marched to the State House to protest the state's involvement in the Secure Communities program. The program mandates information sharing between local police and federal immigration officials to identify people not authorized to be in the country.

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RIPR News
7:59 am
Wed November 2, 2011

Occupy Providence receives free legal representation

Providence attorney Miriam Weizenbaum says she will represent Occupy Providence protesters free of charge.

PROVIDENCE, RI – A Providence attorney has volunteered to represent Occupy Providence protesters in any action the city takes to remove them from Burnside Park. The city is expected to file a complaint any day now.

Providence attorney Miriam Weizenbaum says she will represent Occupy Providence protesters free of charge because of her belief in their first amendment right to camp out in Burnside Park.

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The Pench What's Next
7:15 am
Wed November 2, 2011

The Pench What's Next: mayors plead with the state for help

Mayor Angel Taveras testifies before the state's joint Finance Committee.
Photo by Ian Donnis.

PROVIDENCE, RI – Municipal officials pleaded with the legislature's joint Finance Committee for help in shoring up their sorely unfunded local pension plans. Thirty-six local pensions that operate outside the state system have $2 billion in unfunded liability.

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This I Believe Rhode Island
7:11 pm
Tue November 1, 2011

Lost Childhood

RIPR – In his compelling memoir, Self-consciousness, the novelist John Updike observed that "the essential self is innocent, and when it tastes its own innocence knows that it lives for ever." If only it were true that the innocence children know would never be stolen from them prematurely. Sadly, as Michael Obel-Omia notes, too often self-serving adults conspire to strip away what children should be able to cling to for a long, long time.

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RIPR News
4:40 pm
Tue November 1, 2011

RI ranks 7th for drug overdose deaths

Providence, RI – Rhode Island is among the ten states with the highest rates of drug overdose deaths in the nation. That's according to a new report out from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For every 100,000 deaths in Rhode Island, about 17 were due to drugs.


Rhode Island's rate ranks it 7th in the nation for lethal overdoses, behind states including New Mexico, West Virginia, and Nevada. It is the only New England state in the top ten.

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RIPR News
3:23 pm
Tue November 1, 2011

Vinny Paz among RI tax delinquents

Providence, RI – Rhode Island released its annual report on the state's top tax delinquents today. Among the residents with outstanding income taxes- celebrity boxer Vinny Paz. The state says he owes more than two hundred seventy thousand dollars. This is at least the third time he's been on the list.

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RIPR News
2:46 pm
Tue November 1, 2011

MBTA hikes commuter rail service at TF Green

PROVIDENCE, RI – More trains will soon be rolling between Boston and TF Green Airport. Right now the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority offers 11 stops at TF Green Airport for trains along the Providence/ Stoughton line that connects Boston to the airport. That number will jump to 20 stops on November 14th, just in time for holiday travel.

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation says it changed some of the current stops at TF Green to better match flight schedules.

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Economy
1:20 pm
Tue November 1, 2011

The Pench What's Next: Municipalities testify on pension plan

Providence Mayor Angel Taveras, Pawtucket Mayor Don Grebien and Providence City Council chair Mike Solomon testify before lawmakers
Photo by: Ian Donnis

PROVIDENCE, RI – Leaders of Rhode Island cities and towns will be making their case to the General Assembly's joint Finance Committee on what they need from the proposed pension overhaul plan.

There are 36 locally managed pension plans in 24 different communities. Many of them have just a small percentage of the money needed to meet their long-term commitments.

The mayors of Providence, Cranston, and other municipal officials say they need more state help to make their pensions solid.

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