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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Education
9:39 am
Wed July 17, 2013

Blackstone Valley Prep Charter Renewed For Another Five Years

Blackstone Valley Prep Mayoral Academy said it’s thrilled the state’s Board of Education has renewed its charter for another five years. The charter school will operate three schools in the coming school year, serving students in Lincoln, Cumberland, Central Falls and Pawtucket. Blackstone Valley Prep’s Jen LoPiccolo said the Board of Education cleared the way for expansion of up to seven schools.

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RI News
9:29 am
Wed July 17, 2013

Requirements of Health Insurance Exchange Remain Unclear for Businesses in Rhode Island

Healthsource RI, the new health insurance exchange, remains a mystery to many small businesses in the state.
Credit Courtesy Healthsource RI

The Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce said its members are confused about how the state’s health insurance exchange works.

The exchange, known as HealthSource RI, will give residents and small businesses a place to buy insurance once the Affordable Health Care Act is in full swing next year. Small businesses will be able to send their employees to the exchange where they can choose from a selection of plans. When Chamber president Laurie White was asked whether she thinks small business owners get how the exchange works, she replied:

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RI News
8:47 am
Wed July 17, 2013

Ban The Box Legislation Becomes Law

Gov. Lincoln Chafee has signed the “ban the box” legislation into law.

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Education
4:02 pm
Mon July 15, 2013

RI Watchdog Group Urges Gov. to Pull Higher Education Commissioner Nominee Mancuso

Common Cause RI is urging the governor to pull the nomination of Eva-Marie Mancuso as interim higher education commissioner.
Credit file / RIPR

Common Cause Rhode Island is urging Gov. Lincoln Chafee to withdraw his nominee for interim higher education commissioner. The governor has tapped the chair of the Board of Education for a job overseen by the board she leads.

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Arts & Culture
3:23 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Point Judith Lighthouse Featured in Forever Stamp Series

The Point Judith Lighthouse is part of a stamp set going on sale Saturday.
Credit USPS

A series of Forever stamps featuring New England lighthouses goes on sale this weekend. The series include Rhode Island’s Point Judith lighthouse.

Five New England lighthouses are part of the Forever stamp series. They are the Portland Head lighthouse in Maine, Portsmouth Harbor lighthouse in New Hampshire, the Boston Harbor lighthouse, Connecticut’s New London Harbor lighthouse and the Point Judith lighthouse.

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RI News
5:36 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

USDA Comes to RI to Highlight Need for Summer Food Programs

The undersecretary for the US Department of Agriculture will be in Rhode Island Thursday to draw attention to the number of children who go hungry in the summer. The USDA said only a fraction of the 51,000 Rhode Island kids who depend on school for lunch take part in summer food programs.

Summertime is often a hungrier time for children who depend on free or reduced lunches at school. So during the summer the USDA offers programs across the country to help fill bellies. Undersecretary Kevin Concannon visited one such program in New Mexico that continues to haunt him.

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RI News
2:34 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

Only the Beacon Will Glow Atop Providence’s Superman Building

Starting this week, only the beacon atop the so called Superman building will be lit. Most of the other exterior lights will be dark, said Bill Fischer, spokesman for the building’s owner.

Bank of America was the only tenant and it left the building earlier this year. Fischer said keeping the beacon lit is sign that work is being done to bring the building back to life.

“You know, to maintain outside lighting on an empty building of approximately anywhere between $26,000 to $30,000 a year, is not a prudent expenditure of money,” said Fischer.

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Environment
7:09 am
Wed July 10, 2013

Westerly and Copar Quarries Head Into Mediation

The Town of Westerly and Copar Quarries head into mediation Wednesday to see if they can settle a dispute that will please both the quarry and residents.

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RI News
3:38 am
Wed July 10, 2013

Thousands of Navy Workers Across RI Start Taking Unpaid Days Off

Credit US Navy

Thousands of civilians who work for the Navy started taking unpaid furlough days this week as part of federal budget tightening known as “sequestration.” It’s affecting operations at the Naval Station Newport and 49 other facilities.

From this week through the end of September, some 4,200 civilian Navy employees will each take 11 furlough days. That’s a 20 percent pay cut for employees, said Naval Station Newport spokeswoman Lisa Woodbury Rama who took her first furlough day on Monday.

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Transportation
2:33 am
Tue July 9, 2013

Disruptions Coming to Commuter Rail Lines to Wickford

Amtrak is spending the summer replacing old railroad ties along the Northeast Corridor. This replacement work is coming to the MBTA’s line in Rhode Island, and starting Friday it will affect six lines delivering passengers to Wickford Junction. This includes trains that will stop at Wickford, but not at TF Green airport, or trains that will end at the airport and not continue on to Wickford.

The disruptions will only be on Fridays starting this week and will end on Friday August 9th.

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