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
3:20 pm
Fri June 14, 2013

Rivers Rising Across Rhode Island

All eyes are on the Pawtuxet and Pawcatuck rivers as they are expected to rise even higher Friday night. The Blackstone River is also rising.

Two inches of rain fell between Thursday and Friday morning, according to the National Weather Service. It came in what was already a soggy week in Rhode Island. All the rain has pushed the Pawtuxet River to more than a foot above flood stage. The National Weather Service expects it to crest at 11 feet and remain high through Saturday night.

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RI News
1:00 pm
Fri June 14, 2013

Hockey Fans will Hear Rhode Islander During Stanley Cup Finals at TD Garden

When the Bruins host the Chicago Blackhawks for games three and four of the Stanley Cup finals, a voice from Rhode Island will be part of the games.

When Jim Martin’s working his day job, he’s the spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Providence. But during hockey season, his night job is being the public address announcer for TD Garden in Boston. Martin’s been announcing there for almost 20 years. Two years ago, he announced in his first Stanley Cup game.

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RI News
3:28 pm
Thu June 13, 2013

DOJ Settles Probe into Segregation of Disabled Student Workers

Eve Hill, who oversaw the probe by the Justice Department's Civil Rights division, explains the settlement at a press conference in Providence.
Credit Catherine Welch / RIPR

The Justice Department calls this “a new day” for the Rhode Islanders with developmental disabilities that were moved into segregated workshops and paid well below what they should have earned. The Department of Justice has settled with the state and city of Providence in a case involving some 200 workers.

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Education
1:20 am
Thu June 13, 2013

Stolen Civil War Sword on its Way Back to Brown University

A Civil War sword stolen from a Brown University collection in 1977 is on its way home.

Nearly 30 years after it disappeared from the university’s collection, a federal judge in Virginia has ruled that the Civil War sword must be returned to Brown.

The sword belonging to Col. Rush Hawking was reported stolen back in 1977.

The ruling tracks the sword’s journey over the decades through at least four private collections.

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Environment
3:21 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

Statewide Network of Electric Car Charging Stations on the Way

By the end of the summer Rhode Island will have more than 50 charging stations for electric cars. Even with the new charging stations the state will still lag behind its neighbors.

The first one comes online next week, and through the summer more than 50 more will pop up across the state. That’s fewer than the 60-plus in Connecticut and more than 100 charging stations in Massachusetts, said Al Dahlberg who helped craft the plan.

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Education
8:08 am
Fri June 7, 2013

Two Year Contract Renewal for Gist

RI Board of Education Chair Eva Marie Mancuso and Commissioner Debora Gist listen to public testimony before the vote on her contract.
Credit Catherine Welch / RIPR

After hours of deliberation … and discussion with Rhode Island Education Commissioner Deborah Gist … the state's education board approved a new 2-year contract for Gist. The vote was 7 -3 with one abstention. Rhode Island Public Radio's Catherine Welch was there and has this report.

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RI News
8:12 am
Thu June 6, 2013

Reed Hopes to Keep Student Loan Interest Down

U.S. Senator Jack Reed wants to keep interest rates for federal student loans from doubling in the coming years.
Credit RIPR FILE

On Capitol Hill Thursday the Senate will vote on a bill by Senator Jack Reed that blocks a rate hike on student loans. What’s called “The Student Loan Affordability Act” would keep the interest rate on federal student loans from doubling for two years.

Reed said that’s how long it will take Congress to come up with a long-term solution.

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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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