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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Politics
4:43 am
Wed June 4, 2014

Bill Would Add Constitutional Amendment On Gambling Venues

Newport Grand, located in the northern part of Newport.
Credit RIPR FILE

A senate committee will look at legislation Wednesday creating a constitutional amendment centered on gambling in the Ocean State.

The bill would put a constitutional amendment before voters that states a casino or slot parlor cannot change locations without approval from voters in that city or town.

A development team is looking to buy Newport Grand, but promises that if casino games are allowed at the slot parlor that it will not change locations.

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Arts & Culture
1:38 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

Woody Allen Will Shoot Movie in Rhode Island This Summer

Woody Allen will shoot a movie in Rhode Island this summer. The state’s film office says the director will bring his production to the Ocean State in July and August but won’t say where they will be shooting. The film will star Emma Stone and Joaquin Phoenix.

Variety, a trade publication reports that the movie will have an ensemble cast the Allen is still piecing together.

Politics
3:14 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

Sen. Reed: Congress Needs To Help Fix VA’s Problems

Sen. Jack Reed is calling on Congress to address the systemic challenges plaguing the VA healthcare system.

Reed made the statement just hours after Veterans Secretary Eric Shinseki resigned amid a growing cover up of long wait times for healthcare. Reed said the next secretary needs to start the job with a top to bottom review of what’s causing the backlog.

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Environment
8:48 am
Fri May 30, 2014

Ocean State To Receive Millions To Help Local Fishermen

Rhode Island will receive nearly $2 million in relief funds to help fishermen hit by sharp cuts in catch limits.

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RI News
1:57 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

Providence Sues Santander Bank Over Discriminatory Lending Practices

Attorney John Relman and Mayor Angel Taveras announce a federal lawsuit claiming Santander Bank engaged in discriminatory lending.
Credit Catherine Welch / RIPR

The City of Providence has filed a federal lawsuit claiming Santander Bank engaged in discriminatory lending practices. Lawyers filing the suit are calling the bank’s lending practices a civil rights issue.

The lawsuit claims that during the housing boom minority neighborhoods were given risky loans, then after the bust Santander stopped making loans in those neighborhoods and focused instead on white neighborhoods.

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Education
10:20 am
Thu May 29, 2014

Johnson And Wales To Start Physician Assistant Progam

Credit Erica Smith / Flickr

Johnson and Wales University is celebrating the opening of its new Center for Physician Assistant Studies this Thursday. It will be home to the first class of 24 students. Dr. George Bottomley is the director of the Physician Assistant Studies program. He said Rhode Island is one of the last states to establish a physician assistant program.

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Health Care
9:42 am
Thu May 29, 2014

Chafee Signs New Prescription Drug Monitoring Program Into Law

Governor Lincoln Chafee has signed a bill into law requiring practitioners to register with the state’s prescription drug monitoring program.

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Environment
2:52 pm
Tue May 27, 2014

Three Peregrine Falcon Chicks Hatched & Banded

Three baby peregrine falcons born atop Providence’s Superman building are now banded for tracking.
Photo Courtesy of Peter Green via Audubon Society of Rhode Island

Three baby peregrine falcons born atop Providence’s Superman building are now banded for tracking.

  There were four eggs, but only three chicks survived, all boys. And now they have bands on their legs that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will keep a record of.

The Audubon Society of Rhode Island’s Jeff Hall said the banding took about a half hour, and the process started when licensed bander Joe Zbyrowski climbed a ladder to reach the chicks nesting in a special box.

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Made In Rhode Island
3:06 am
Thu May 22, 2014

Made In Rhode Island: Making Lace On Leavers Looms

Workers at Leavers Lace in West Greenwich work on machines that are more than 100 years old.
Credit Catherine Welch / RIPR

Some businesses’ bottom lines rise and fall with the stock market, others with trends in popular culture. Take the fashion industry. The lace on Kate Middleton’s wedding gown sparked a trend that is being felt here in Rhode Island.

Wall Street is not what York Roberts keeps an eye on. You won’t catch him monitoring the business cable channels for the latest ups and downs in the stock market. Nope. Roberts is more likely to be watching the E! Entertainment channel for what’s hot on the red carpet.

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RI News
2:51 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

Rhode Island’s Jobless Rate Dips to 8.3%

Rhode Island’s unemployment rate dipped slightly from last month, according to the latest numbers out of the Department of Labor and Training. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for April came in at 8.3 percent. That’s down from March’s 8.7 percent and the lowest unemployment rate the state has seen since August of 2008.

The construction sector saw the biggest gains, with healthcare and retail also adding jobs. Meanwhile the professional and business service sector lost 800 jobs, and the crummy winter weather hurt the food and lodging sector.

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