Catherine Welch

News Director

Catherine Welch is news director at Rhode Island Public Radio. Before her move to Rhode Island in 2010, Catherine was news director at WHQR in Wilmington, NC. She was also news director at KBIA in Columbia, MO where she was a faculty member at the University Of Missouri School Of Journalism. Catherine has won several regional Edward R. Murrow awards and awards from the Public Radio News Directors Inc., New England AP, North Carolina Press Association, Missouri Press Association, and Missouri Broadcasters Association.

Now that she manages a full newsroom she files less regularly for NPR’s All Things ConsideredMorning Edition and Weekend Edition.  In 2009 she was part of an NPR series on America’s Battalion out of Camp Lejeune, NC following Marine families during the battalion’s deployment to southern Afghanistan. And because Wilmington was the national test market for the digital television conversion, she became a quasi-expert on DTV, filing stories for NPR on the topic.

Catherine got her start in radio at her family’s radio station in Florida with her weekly jazz show "Catherine Keeping You Company." Her very first interview was with Cab Calloway, and it remains the strangest one she’s ever done. She will gladly tell you the story should you ask.

Before joining the public radio family, Catherine worked in television at KTVU in Oakland, CA and at the cable technology network formerly known as TechTV.

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RI News
9:33 am
Thu January 8, 2015

U.S. Court Of Appeals To Hear Rhode Island Case

The U.S. Court of Appeals in Boston Thursday will hear a case out of Rhode Island. It involves the 2009 detainment of a North Providence woman.  The Rhode Island chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union says the woman was a naturalized citizen at the time.

Ada Morales sued federal immigration officials and Rhode Island’s head of prisons, claiming she was detained illegally when she was taken into custody and held for a day. Rhode Island ACLU Director Steve Brown said the detainment violated her rights to equal protection and freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures.

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Arts & Culture
1:01 pm
Wed January 7, 2015

Official Portrait of Chafee Shows Somber Governor Looking Into The Distance

The official portrait of former Gov. Lincoln Chafee.
Credit Cade Tompkins Projects

Former Gov. Lincoln Chafee said he likes his official portrait. An image of the painting was released online, but the artist has yet to officially present it to the state.

The painting shows a somber Chafee in a jacket and tie looking off to the side against a dark background. Chafee said he and artist Julie Gearan met about four times, she took picture of him, and they looked at other portraits from across the country.

“Well the main thing I said to the artist is just something different from the many that are up there,” said Chafee.

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Politics
9:19 am
Tue January 6, 2015

Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian To Be Sworn In Tuesday

Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian
Credit RIPR FILE

Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian is being inaugurated Tuesday. The mayor will be taking a RIPTA bus to his inaugural event to highlight the city’s push to become a transportation hub.

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RI News
1:43 pm
Sun January 4, 2015

“Dangerously Cold” Weather On Its Way To Rhode Island

The National Weather Service warns a blast of arctic air out of northern Canada will bring dangerously cold temperatures on Wednesday.

The arctic blast will hit Rhode Island Wednesday afternoon, packing strong winds and sending temperatures down near zero by Wednesday evening, said meteorologist Glenn Fields. “And then overnight looking at the actual temperature dropping to roughly three or four degrees in Providence, and probably a degree or two below zero in the Burrillville area.”

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Arts & Culture
7:25 am
Sun January 4, 2015

After 30+ Years, Sean Daly Puts Away His Reporter’s Notebook

WPRI reporter Sean Daly put away his reporter's notebook after chasing down the news in Rhode Island for more than 30 years.
Credit Catherine Welch / RIPR

WPRI reporter Sean Daly has been on television airwaves in Rhode Island for more than 30 years. Now, he is officially retired. Daly visited our studios to talk with Rhode Island Public Radio’s Catherine Welch about how the state and the state of local news have changed over the past three decades.

He's written what’s often called “the first draft of history” for some of the biggest stories in the state: the Claus Van Bulow attempted murder trials, Buddy Cianci and Plunder Dome, the credit union crisis, and Central Falls filing for bankruptcy.

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Politics
4:17 pm
Tue December 30, 2014

URI Research Shows Politics Influence Where You Live

University of Rhode Island
Credit RIPR FILE

Research out of the University of Rhode Island shows that more and more, people are living in communities with a common political view. And the political sorting is becoming more polarized with each election.

Are Republicans and Democrats living side by side? That’s what URI professor Shanna Pearson-Merkowitz wanted to know, so she poured over election data and relocation patterns from 1976 to 2012. She found that communities are becoming more politically polarized, but not because people were moving.

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Economy
9:29 am
Fri December 19, 2014

Rhode Island's Jobless Rate Declines For 16th Straight Month

Rhode Island's jobless numbers declined for the 16th month in a row.
Credit Aaron Read / RIPR

Rhode Island’s jobless rate edged down to 7.1 percent in November. It’s still above the national rate of 5.8 percent. The jobless rate has dropped two percentage points so far for the year.

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RI News
4:14 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

European Companies Look To Open Shop In Rhode Island

Representatives from the five businesses laid out their plans during the announcement at the Statehouse.
Credit Catherine Welch / RIPR

Five European companies are looking to set up shop in Rhode Island. Gov. Lincoln Chafee said the announcement is part of an economic tide rolling in to Rhode Island.

At an announcement at the Statehouse, the five companies said they have plans to put down stakes here. SCORE, an encryption technology firm, will locate a data processing center. REIOS designs efficient lighting systems and will build an assembly plant. Italian restaurant chain Galivm will open at least one location. And Furniture maker Monaghan Brothers out of Ireland said it will open a show room.

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RI News
3:08 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Packed Hearing As RI PUC Ponders National Grid 24 Percent Requested Rate Hike

Resident Steve Anderson tells the PUC that if more natural gas pipeline is needed, then build it. Anderson spoke at a hearing on National Grid's proposed 24 percent rate hike.
Credit Catherine Welch / RIPR

In a packed hearing room, the state’s Public Utilities Commission listened to testimony for much of the day on National Grid’s proposed 24 percent rate hike.

The increase would kick in January 1st, how long it will last is another matter. The PUC heard testimony both for and against stretching a lower rate out over twelve months as opposed to the requested six months.

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RI News
8:38 am
Tue December 16, 2014

RI Residents To Voice Opinions On Proposed Energy Rate Hikes

Residents will get a chance Tuesday to tell the state’s Public Utilities Commission how they feel about a proposed 24 percent rate hike from National Grid.  If approved, the rate hike would kick in on January 1st .

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