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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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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RI News
7:51 am
Mon July 8, 2013

Obama Officials to Tour Beach Rebuilding Efforts in Westerly

Atlantic Avenue in Westerly is still in need of repair, after being destroyed by superstorm Sandy last year.
Credit Flo Jonic / RIPR

Members of President Obama’s Hurricane Sandy taskforce will be in Rhode Island Monday touring coastal areas hit by last year’s storm.  Westerly officials will make their case for more financial help.

The south coast took a beating, with 150 homes and 30 businesses damaged just in Westerly. Town Manager Steven Hartford says funding is needed to rebuild, elevate and drain Atlantic Avenue, which was severely flooded during Sandy. He said Rhode Island may not have grabbed headlines during the storm, but it needs help too.

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RI News
9:51 pm
Thu July 4, 2013

The July 4th Ancients & Horribles Parade in Chepachet

Clowns poked fun of the crowd at the Ancients and Horribles parade.
Catherine Welch RIPR

On the other side of the state from Bristol, the irreverent Ancients and Horribles parade made its way through Chepachet. Gov. Lincoln Chafee was there, so were Providence Mayor Angel Taveras, Senator Jack Reed and Congressman Jim Langevin. They lead the parade, which included floats making political statements about Obamacare and genetically modified foods. There were also veterans, clowns, marching bands and a stream of fire trucks.  

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Education
1:40 am
Thu July 4, 2013

Bryant University Calls Bill Requiring Payment "Heavy Handed"

Bill allows Smithfield to bill Bryant University for municipal services.
Credit Bryant University

The General Assembly has passed legislation requiring Bryant University to make payments to the town of Smithfield. The university is calling the bill “heavy handed.”

Unless Smithfield and Bryant can come to an agreement, the legislation allows the town to bill the university for municipal services it uses. The non-profit university sits on some 420 acres of land that state Senator Stephen Archambault said would generate $2 million in yearly taxes.

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