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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Environment
4:50 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

Huge Basking Shark that Washed Up at Misquamicut was a Mature Male

Scientists at the Northeast Fisheries Science Center said they hope to get some answers from a necropsy being done on a huge basking shark that washed ashore at Misquamicut Beach over the weekend.

Nancy Kohler, a scientist at the center, said the 28.5-foot long shark was a mature male, in good condition, and it’s unclear why it washed up dead. Her research team is doing a necropsy on the shark, on the beach, and she said that’s drawing a lot of attention.

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Same-Sex Marriage Legislation
3:03 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

Both Sides Gear Up for Senate Vote on Same-Sex Marriage

RI Senate will vote on same-sex marriage legislation Wednesday afternoon.

The state Senate is set to vote Wednesday on bills to legalize same-sex marriage in Rhode Island. Advocates are continuing to press their case before the vote.

Supporters were overjoyed when the Senate Judiciary Committee approved two same-sex marriage bills. The head of Rhode Islanders United for Marriage, Ray Sullivan, says advocates aren’t taking anything for granted.

“Our work is not done, we continue to work the phones, knock doors, make calls, do all the things we’ve been doing the last several months that have led us to this moment,” said Sullivan.

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Same-Sex Marriage Legislation
3:54 pm
Tue April 23, 2013

Same-Sex Marriage Legislation Heads to Senate Floor

A crowd filled room 313 to hear the Senate Judiciary Committee approve same-sex marriage bill
Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

The Senate Judiciary Committee passed a bill legalizing same-sex marriage on a 7 – 4 vote. A bill putting the issue up for referendum was defeated by a 6 – 5 vote.

The vote was greeted with jubilation by same sex marriage supporters gathered in a Statehouse hearing room. Supporters say they’re hopeful the committee vote signals full Senate approval. The bill will go to a full Senate vote Wednesday.

Reaction to the Vote

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Politics
3:41 pm
Mon April 22, 2013

Governor & Bishop Urging Senators Ahead of Same-Sex Marriage Vote

Gov. Lincoln Chafee says the legislature has to pass a bill legalizing same-sex marriage. The governor’s comment comes a day before the Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote on a slate of same-sex marriage bills.

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Business
8:32 am
Mon April 22, 2013

Reed, Chafee Push to Collect Online Sales Tax

Senator Jack Reed and Governor Lincoln Chafee are asking Congress to pass legislation that allows state to collect taxes from online purchasing. 

Senator Jack Reed is a co-sponsor of the “Marketplace Fairness Act,” which would open the door for states to collect sales taxes from online retailers.  Right now it’s up to shoppers to pony up when filing their income taxes.

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Boston Marathon Explosions
7:51 pm
Sat April 20, 2013

Suspected Bomber's Wife From North Kingstown

Katherine Russell's mother Judith talks with North Kingstown Police patrolling the block Saturday evening.
Credit Catherine Welch / RIPR

The family of the Rhode Island woman who was married to one of the suspected bombers is not commenting to reporters waiting Saturday outside their North Kingstown home.

The blinds are drawn, curtains pulled at the khaki colored, two-story house on the corner of the leafy cul-de-sac. The family of Katherine Russell had been living quietly in this North Kingstown neighborhood until the connection was made that Katherine was married and has a child with Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who died in a shoot-out early Friday.

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Transportation
3:08 pm
Thu April 18, 2013

RIPTA to Roll Out Changes in Series of Public Meetings

RIPTA looking to streamline its services and reshape Kennedy Plaza
Credit RIPR

The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority is asking riders to chime in on proposed changes to the bus system. RIPTA is looking at everything from removing bus lines to changing the look of its major hub in downtown Providence.

Facing a yawning budget gap, RIPTA’s been taking a hard look at operations. Its proposed changes include adding routes, eliminating some, and better coordinating others.

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Transportation
4:42 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

RI Turnpike and Bridge Authority Vote Gives Perks to E-ZPass Owners

Tolling is expected to kick in on the new Sakonnet River Bridge starting mid-July.

The Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority approved new tolls that make crossing the Sakonnet and Newport Pell bridges cheaper for drivers who own a Rhode Island E-ZPass.

Having that E-ZPass means paying a $.75 toll on the Sakonnet, while drivers without an E-ZPass will pay $5.25. It also allows owners to make an unlimited number of trips across either the Sakonnet or Newport bridges in one day, and only be charged for one round trip.

Turnpike and Bridge Authority Chairman David Darlington said the goal is to get more Rhode Island E-ZPass transponders on the roads.

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RI News
1:28 am
Wed April 17, 2013

How Much Will it Cost to Cross the Sakonnet River Bridge?

Officials are set to decide toll rates on the new Sakonnet River Bridge.
Credit Rhode Island Department of Transportation

The Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority has unanimously voted on tolls for the new Sakonnet River Bridge. The Authority also adjusted tolls for the Newport Pell Bridge allowing drivers with a Rhode Island E-ZPass a discounted rate and the ability to cross the bridge multiple times a day and only be charged for one trip.

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RI Economy
1:00 am
Mon April 15, 2013

URI Prof: Uptick in RI Economy has Slowed

The state’s economy cooled down in the first two months of this year. That’s according to a University of Rhode Island economist. The slowdown comes just as the state’s economy was starting to get its mojo back.

URI professor Len Lardaro said a wide swath of the state’s economy was starting to cook during the back half of last year. But in January and February, that growth cooled off. Lardaro said sluggish retail sales and an uptick in unemployment claims have him worried.

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