Political Roundtable
7:02 am
Fri February 4, 2011

Chafee makes his mark on Central Falls and Board of Regents

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Governor Lincoln Chafee puts his imprint on the future of Central Falls and the Board of Regents. That's part of the discussion this week on Political Roundtable. Here's our host, WRNI political reporter Ian Donnis.

Do you have insight or expertise on this topic? Please email us, we'd like to hear from you. news@wrni.org.

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Top Stories
6:52 am
Fri February 4, 2011

Providence fire chief to step down

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – One of the capital city's longest serving officials has announced he's stepping down.


Providence Fire chief George Farrell, who has been with the department for 30 years, says he's retiring to focus on his health and to spend more time with his family.


Farrell has been fighting leukemia for three-and-a-half years. In a 2008 interview with the Providence Journal he said he believes on-the-job exposure to hazardous chemicals made him sick.

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RIPR News
6:49 am
Fri February 4, 2011

SEC investigates RI bond offerings

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The US Securities and Exchange Commission has opened an investigation of Rhode Island's bond offerings.


State Treasurer Gina Raimondo says the SEC told her about the investigation on Monday. Raimondo, who started in her job last month, says the reason for the probe hasn't been identified. But she says the SEC has raised its scrutiny of the disclosure provided by states about their unfunded pension liability.

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RIPR News
4:54 pm
Thu February 3, 2011

Former HHS Secretary's numbers don't match up

Providence, RI – Rhode Island's former Secretary of Health and Human Services is making claims about the state's Global Medicaid Waiver that Rhode Island officials can't verify.

An online report authored by Gary Alexander claims that Rhode Island's changes to the state's Medicaid program saved more than 100 million dollars over 18 months.

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RIPR News
3:09 pm
Thu February 3, 2011

Rhode Island company takes part in President's jobs program

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Rhode Island start-up accelerator Betaspring is taking part in President Obama's latest effort for entrepreneurs.
The program, called Start Up America, will help launch new businesses around the country as a way to jump start the economy. Betaspring Managing Partner Allan Tear says it's exciting to be a part of the president's push to "win the future."

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RIPR News
1:43 pm
Thu February 3, 2011

Public weigh in on rate increase

Providence, RI – A public hearing continued today over a proposed average eight percent rate increase for people who buy their own health insurance.


The request by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island would take effect on April 1st of this year and affect around 14,500 Rhode Islanders.


Both Lieutenant Governor Elizabeth Roberts and Attorney General Peter Kilmartin have come out in opposition to the rate hikes calling them excessive.

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Morning News Podcast
9:24 am
Thu February 3, 2011

Thursday, February 3, 2011

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Listen to the WRNI Morning News Podcast for Thursday, February 3, 2011.

Politics
9:14 am
Thu February 3, 2011

City Council to vote on budget

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The Providence City Council is slated to take a preliminary vote this evening on a new $638 million budget.

Mayor Angel Taveras says the city is poised to end an unprecedented situation in which it has operated for months without a budget. Two votes are necessary to approve the spending plan, and the second is expected later this month.

A recently completed audit found that the city's liabilities for the fiscal year ending last June 13 exceeded its assets by $20 million.

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Politics
6:44 am
Thu February 3, 2011

Cicilline defends spending under his watch in Providence

Former Providence Mayor, now Congressman David Cicilline. Photo by Catherine Welch

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Former Providence Mayor David Cicilline is defending the near depletion of the city's reserve fund, saying he had to make tough choices.

A new audit finds during the last fiscal year, the reserve fund went from $17.3 million to $3.4 million.

Last October the city auditor warned about a draining fund. At the time Cicilline's office claimed the warning was political. Cicilline now says he tapped into the rainy day fund because it was raining.

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RIPR News
4:26 pm
Wed February 2, 2011

Charlestown Historical Society looking for a home

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The Charlestown Historical Society is trying to wrap up fundraising for a campaign that started back in 1977.

The Charlestown Historical Society has never had its own museum. Instead, for the last 43 years it's bounced around town, setting up exhibits at the police station, fire station, city hall, the library.

The society received a $5,000 donation to build a home back in 1977, and then efforts stalled.

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