Catherine Welch

News Director

Before her arrival in Rhode Island, Catherine was news director at WHQR in Wilmington, North Carolina. She was also news director at KBIA in Columbia, Missouri 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 North Carolina Press Association, Missouri Press Association, and Missouri Broadcasters Association.

She files regularly for NPR’s All Things ConsideredMorning Edition and Weekend Edition.  In 2008 she was part of an NPR series on America’s Battalion out of Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, 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.

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

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RIPR News
2:59 pm
Fri July 26, 2013

U.S. Attorney Takes Death Penalty off the Table for Jason Pleau, Who will Plead Guilty

The man at the center of a legal tug-of-war between Gov. Lincoln Chafee and the U.S. Attorney’s office over the death penalty will plead guilty to murder charges and will not face the death penalty.

U.S. Attorney Peter Neronha’s office says 35-year-old Jason Pleau will plead guilty by way of a federal indictment for the 2010 robbery and murder of a Woonsocket gas station manager. And as part of a plea deal his office will not seek a death sentence.  

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Education
3:23 pm
Thu July 25, 2013

RWU Bringing Nonprofit HousingWorks RI into the Fold

Credit Roger Williams University

Roger Williams University is bringing HousingWorks RI into its fold. HousingWorks is a local nonprofit that studies affordable housing and economic development.

Associate Vice President for University Relations, Pete Wilbur, said HousingWorks RI already operates out of the university’s facility in Providence, and faculty members are on the board. He said making the nonprofit part of the university gives students hands on opportunities.

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RI News
5:13 pm
Mon July 22, 2013

Body Found of RI Teen off Conimicut Point

The Coast Guard said the body of a 16-year-old boy has been found just off Conimicut Point in Warwick. The boy has been identified as Javon Jimenez of Providence. He went missing Sunday evening after being swept off a sandbar, another boy was swept away but he was able to swim away and be rescued.

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RI Economy
3:05 pm
Mon July 22, 2013

Extended Benefits for RI Unemployed to be cut in August

What's called Tier 4 unemployment benefits will be cut in Rhode Island starting August 10th.
Credit file

Starting next month, extended unemployment benefits will drop from 73 weeks to 63 weeks. The Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training said the cut comes thanks to lower unemployment numbers.

States with an average unemployment rate of 9 percent or higher can offer what’s called Tier 4 of federal unemployment benefits that lasts for ten weeks. But because Rhode Island’s June unemployment rate of 8.9 percent brought the state’s average down below the threshold, it can no longer offer those ten weeks of extra benefits.

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Environment
10:23 am
Mon July 22, 2013

Conservation Law Foundation Plans to Sue RI Landfill

The Conservation Law Foundation said it plans to file a lawsuit against the operators of the Central Landfill and the companies involved in converting methane gas from the landfill into power. Director of the Conservation Law Foundation in Rhode Island, Tricia Jedele, said the landfill has been running without a required federal permit for 16 years.

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Transportation
4:06 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Amtrak Slows Trains along Entire Northeast Corridor

Rail temperatures exceeding 120 degrees have forced Amtrak to slow down trains along the Northeast Corridor.
Credit file / RIPR

In a rare move, Amtrak has slowed down trains along the Northeast Corridor due to the heat. Amtrak trains travel at speeds reaching more than 100 mph, but on Thursday they’re going about 60mph.

Sensors along the track show rail temperatures at more than 120 degrees. And Amtrak spokesman Cliff Cole said those hot rails pose safety concerns. “They can under some rare circumstances expand. So the thought process behind any restriction in speed is to have the trains going at a lower than normal speed to make it less problematic in case there were an issue with the track,” said Cole.

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Health Care
1:50 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Dozens of Organizations Come Together to Focus on Autism in RI

A collaborative effort to research and treat autism is rolling out in Rhode Island. This new consortium includes universities, hospitals and state agencies.

The Rhode Island Consortium for Autism Research and Treatment, or RI-CART, brings doctors researchers and educators together to advance autism research and put a spotlight on the disorder. Dozens of organizations are involved, including Bradley Hospital, Brown University and the Rhode Island Department of Education.

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RI News
4:00 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Police Arrest Two Suspects in Murder of 12-year-old Providence Girl

Providence Police Chief Hugh Clements announces the arrest of two suspects in the murder of 12-year-old girl.
Credit Catherine Welch / RIPR

Two suspects have been charged in the murder of a 12-year-old Providence girl. Police say 21-year-old Branden Castro and 20-year-old Ricardo Vasquez have been charged with murder, conspiracy to murder and other felony charges.

12-year-old Aynis Vargas was shot and killed at a party last month in the Hartford Avenue housing development. Three women were also injured.

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RI News
12:08 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

East Greenwich Officer Charged With Assault on Man in Custody

State police report an East Greenwich police officer has been arrested on charges of using excessive force on a man who was in custody.

State police said East Greenwich police Lt. Paul Nahrgang had a confrontation with a prisoner, then lunged at him and grabbed him around the neck. Nahrgang alerted East Greenwich police Chief Thomas Coyle about the incident. Coyle viewed the incident on surveillance tape and then alerted state police.

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