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, MO 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 was with Cab Calloway, and it remains the strangest one she’s ever done. 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

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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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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