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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Follow the Water
1:41 am
Wed June 5, 2013

Providence Water Supply Board Seeks Rate Hike

The Providence Water Supply Board is seeking its first rate increase in four years.

The Providence Water Supply Board is looking to raise its rates. There’s a public hearing at the state Public Utility Commission Wednesday on a proposal to raise residential rates by 24 percent and wholesale rates by 32 percent. Because 60 percent of the state gets its water from Providence, the rate hike will be felt across much of Rhode Island. Joining morning host Chuck Hinman in the studio with more is Rhode Island Public Radio news director Catherine Welch.

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Education
3:46 pm
Tue June 4, 2013

U.S. Education Secretary Defends RI Commissioner Gist

Credit Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Education Secretary Arne Duncan said Rhode Islanders should look at progress made in its schools while weighing the fate of state education commissioner Deborah Gist. Duncan made the comment on a conference call with Rhode Island reporters.

In a call of support for Gist, Duncan touted rising test scores and graduation rates as signs that the state is making progress. Teachers and parents have been outspoken in their opposition to Gist. But Duncan defends her, calling her collaborative.

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RI News
3:48 pm
Fri May 31, 2013

The Push to Turn Blackstone Heritage Corridor into a National Park

U.S. Dept of Interior Secretary Sally Jewell in Lincoln, RI talking with the media about the benefits of national parks.
Credit Catherine Welch / RIPR

The U.S. Secretary of the Interior was in Rhode Island Friday touring parts of the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor. The visit highlighted a push to make the corridor part of the National Park System.

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Transportation
2:03 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

RI Turnpike Authority: Not Suprised Restraining Order Was Refused

The Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority said it’s not surprised that a federal judge refused to issue a restraining order to block tolling of the Sakonnet River Bridge.

Because tolling wasn’t part of the original construction plan approved by the Federal Highway Administration, the state had to go back and amend its environmental impact statement. The Town of Portsmouth filed a lawsuit, saying the amended impact statement is flawed. Chairman for the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority, David Darlington, said he’s confident the paperwork was properly filed.

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Politics
6:00 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

RI Senate Votes to Hike Minimum Wage to $8

Lawmakers are looking to raise Rhode Island's minimum wage to $8 an hour.

The Rhode Island Senate has approved legislation that hikes the state’s minimum wage to $8 an hour.

When Rhode Island’s minimum wage jumped from to $7.40 to $7.75 on January 1st, it was the first raise the state had given minimum wage workers in five years. Now lawmakers are looking at bumping it up again to $8 an hour.

That would match Massachusetts’ minimum wage but come under Vermont’s at $8.60 an hour.

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Politics
4:20 pm
Mon May 20, 2013

Legislation that Makes School Safety Plans Secret Worries Open Govt' Groups

Bills in both the House and Senate keep details of school safety plans out of the public record.
Credit file / RIPR

A handful of open government groups are urging Gov. Lincoln Chafee to block legislation that would shroud school safety plans in secrecy. 

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RI News
2:38 pm
Mon May 20, 2013

Search Continues for Missing URI Student

There is still no word from a University of Rhode Island student who’s been missing since Thursday.

21-year-old Matthew Royer was last seen leaving his apartment in Rhode Island on Thursday, he was heading back home to southeastern PA where he was supposed to start a job on Friday.

URI officials say the university reached out to Royer’s family on Saturday.

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Trinity Rep
1:52 am
Tue May 14, 2013

Hollywood's Richard Jenkins Returning to Trinity Rep.

Hollywood actor Richard Jenkins and his wife will return to Trinity Rep next year to co-direct the musical Oliver.

Richard Jenkins is best known for his role in HBO’s Six Feet Under and the 2008 film “The Visitor.” But before he hit it big in Hollywood Jenkins and his wife Sharon were part of Trinity Rep – she was a choreographer and he was an actor and later the artistic director.

The couple will return next season to co-direct the musical “Oliver.” Trinity Rep’s artistic director Curt Columbus said audiences can expect to see a smart production.

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Business
3:00 pm
Mon May 13, 2013

RI Hands Out $60K in Workforce Training Grants

Twenty businesses in Rhode Island received grants from the state to help pay for employee training.

The Governor’s Workforce Board doled out $60,000 worth of matching grants to help businesses pay for training. Employers can either match the $5,000 grants or provide an approved internship to cut their match in half.

This round of grants will help pay for training in such areas as medical billing, software training and welding technology. The governor calls the grants ideal for small businesses.

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Education
1:23 am
Fri May 10, 2013

Sen. Jack Reed Proposes Changes to Student Loan Interest Rates

Congress has until July 1st before some federal student loan interest rates double from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent.

Staring down a July 1st deadline, lawmakers on Capitol Hill are looking at ways to control the costs of federal student loans. Senator Jack Reed is behind a measure that would overhaul how student loan interest rates are calculated.

Reed and a handful of democrats in Congress are pushing legislation that offers adjustable rates and caps the maximum interest rates on federal loans. The bill also allows borrowers stuck with high interest rates to refinance.

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