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.

Pages

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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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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