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, 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 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 with Cab Calloway remains the strangest one she’s ever done, and 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
1:37 pm
Mon August 26, 2013

Pit Bull Bites Warwick Cop, Gets Shot

The fate of the bit bull that bit a Warwick police officer over the weekend will be decided at a vicious dog hearing. Warwick police say an officer was responding to a domestic disturbance call Saturday morning when he was bitten by a pit bull.

The officer was arresting a 19-year-old man outside a home when a woman opened the door and a pit bull ran out and bit the officer twice. The officer fired two rounds, injuring the dog. Police say the officer was treated for two bites on his leg and is recovering. The pit bull remains at an animal hospital.

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Environment
2:58 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

Waste Company Settles with EPA by Helping Schools in RI & MA

A Providence waste handler has agreed to remove hazardous chemicals from 60 schools in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. The cleanup is part of a settlement with the Environmental Protection Agency.

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Affordable Care Act
4:42 pm
Tue August 20, 2013

HealthSource RI Rolls Out Health Insurance Exchange Rates

The state-run health insurance exchange has released rates on the 28 plans it will offer residents and small businesses.

The exchange, known as HealthSource RI, offers a dozen plans to individuals and families. Three insurers are providing the coverage that range in price depending on a person’s age and whether they want a “gold” “silver” or “bronze” plan. The assumption is that younger people are healthier so if a 21-year-old and a 45-year-old want the same “gold” plan, the 45-year-old is going to pay $126 more in monthly premiums.

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Environment
9:24 am
Wed August 7, 2013

UPDATE: West Nile Virus Found In Rhode Island

Mosquitoes in Seekonk have tested positive for West Nile Virus, none in Rhode Island have so far.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management has announced the first finding of West Nile Virus in mosquitoes in the state this year.

The department routinely checks mosquitoes for both West Nile Virus, and Eastern Equine Encephalitis starting in the late spring.

Alan Getman of the DEM said West Nile Virus has been in Rhode Island for twelve years, and today’s reappearance was not unexpected.

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RI News
4:19 pm
Mon August 5, 2013

Central Falls Paving 16 Roads, Funds Not Earmarked in Bankruptcy Budget

The City of Central Falls plans to repair and pave 16 roads. Mayor James Diossa said the Pawtucket Water Supply Board is ripping up the roads to make repairs to water mains. Instead of just patching the roads back together, the city will completely repave them.

“Pawtucket Water Supply opens up the roads and they were willing to grid the roads and leave it to the point where we just have to cover it with asphalt,” said Diossa, “so that’s why it’s very, very cheap for 16 roads.”

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Environment
3:49 pm
Mon August 5, 2013

Deepwater Wind Pulls Application for Cable Connecting Wind Farm to Narragansett

Deepwater Wind had been planning to run a cable connecting its Block Island offshore wind farm to Narragansett's Town Beach.
Credit file / RIPR

Deepwater Wind is looking for a new location to connect its offshore wind farm to the mainland. The original plan was to run a line from its Block Island wind farm to Narragansett’s Town Beach.

Residents complained about the plan, and the town council voted to suspend talks with Deepwater back in May. Deepwater Wind insisted that the lines would be buried ten feet underground. After meeting with residents back in June, Deepwater Wind CEO Jeff Grybowski withdrew an application request on Friday.

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Transportation
12:06 pm
Mon August 5, 2013

After Steady Climb, Gas Prices Dip Slightly in RI & MA

Drivers in Rhode Island and Massachusetts will find gas prices a bit lower. The slight dip comes after a steady climb for the last month at the pumps.

A gallon for regular unleaded is down three cents this week, according to the latest survey from AAA Southern New England.

The average gallon in Rhode Island is at $3.77, that’s much higher than the national average. And it’s almost a dime more than drivers in Massachusetts are paying. Bay State drivers are paying an average $3.69 a gallon for regular unleaded. That’s down two cents from last week.

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RI News
8:43 am
Mon August 5, 2013

Community Health Centers Push to Educate Public on the Health Insurance Exchange

Though opening in just a few months, many Rhode Islanders are still uninformed about health insurance exchange.
Credit RIPR FILE

Rhode Island’s community health centers are kicking off a push Monday to educate their patients about the upcoming health insurance exchange. The entire congressional delegation is helping out.

Last year nearly 135,000 Rhode Islanders visited a community health center, and 32 percent of them lacked insurance coverage. Jane Hayward, CEO of the Rhode Island Health Center Association, said that’s why community health centers will play a key role in educating uninsured Rhode Islanders about their options on the state’s new insurance exchange which will be up and running October 1st.

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RI News
1:44 am
Mon August 5, 2013

Governor’s Office Wants To Hear From Rhode Islanders

Gov. Lincoln Chafee will host public forums to hear from residents; he is expected to face a tough reelection in 2014.
Credit RIPR FILE

The governor’s office is asking you, the public, about what it’s like to live and work in the Ocean State. Residents are being asked to speak their minds at a series of public forums this week.

The forums are part of an initiative out of the governor’s office called RhodeMap RI. It’s a project analyzing the state’s business climate and economic competitiveness. The goal is to travel across the state, listen to residents about what it’s like to get job, buy a home and get an education in the state, then use that feedback to develop policy.

Want to Go?

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Education
12:22 pm
Fri August 2, 2013

RI ACLU Sues Board of Education to Open Up a Closed Retreat

Board of Education Chairwoman Eva-Marie Mancuso said closed retreats were common on the now defunct higher education board.
Credit file / RIPR

The Rhode Island chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit to keep the state’s Board of Education from holding a retreat that’s closed to the public.

The upcoming retreat will feature presentations on high stakes testing. It will be closed to both the media and the public. Rhode Island ACLU chapter executive director Steve Brown said that undermines the state’s open meetings laws.

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