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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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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Education
8:21 am
Thu May 15, 2014

Woonsocket Schools To Offer Full-Day Kindergarten

Woonsocket schools will offer full-day kindergarten starting in the fall.  The school department says it will come at no extra cost to taxpayers.

Superintendent Giovanna Donoyan says about 7 percent of first graders are held back each year because they are reading below grade level. To close that gap, the school department will offer more than 500 children full-day kindergarten in 22 classrooms.

This will require eleven new teachers and eleven new teaching assistants. The school department says that can be paid for with federal grants and a boost in state aid.

Politics
2:22 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

Sen. Reed Outlines Bill Lowering Cost Of Student Loan Debt

On Capitol Hill, Sen. Jack Reed joined by Senators Al Franken and Elizabeth Warren outlined legislation Wednesday that curbs student loan debt.

The bill allows federal and private student loans to be refinanced at a lower rate with no refinancing fees. The interest on some loans can reach 14 percent. The bill lowers that to 3.86 percent. Reed said the bill is critical to the country’s future.

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Education
5:00 am
Mon May 12, 2014

RI Board Of Education Tackles ACLU Petition

A public discussion over making test scores part of the high school graduation requirement will take place at Monday night’s Board of Education meeting.

It took a court order, but the Board of Education will hold a public vote on a petition over whether high school diplomas should be linked to test scores.  

Some 4,000 students failed to pass the NECAP last fall, many of them from urban schools. ACLU director Steve Brown said what’s now known about who failed the test should be an influence.

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RI News
1:53 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

Roger Williams Park Zoo Announces Birth Of Baby Kanagroo

Holly, a baby Matschie Tree Kangaroo peaks her head out of her mother's pouch.
Credit Roger Williams Park Zoo

Roger Williams Park Zoo is announcing the birth of a Matschie Tree Kanagroo. The baby kangaroo has just started to poke her head out of her mother’s pouch.

Zookeepers are pretty sure the baby Matschie Tree Kangaroo is a girl, and went ahead and named her Holly.

She was born back in October and has spent the past several months tucked away in her mother’s pouch. Now that she’s poking her head out, the zoo decided to spread the news. 

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Politics
3:50 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

Bill Would Put RI Gov. & Lt. Gov. On Joint Ticket

A senate committee will vote Wednesday on legislation that would ultimately put the governor and lieutenant governor on a joint ticket. The bill co-sponsored by Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed would let voters decide on a constitutional amendment linking the two top offices.

Paiva Weed said previous lieutenant governors have had to define their own roles, while this legislation would make them an assistant to the governor.

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RI News
4:22 am
Tue May 6, 2014

Single Clamp Holding Up Circus Performers Snapped, Says Investigators

Circus trucks outside the Dunkin Donuts Center in Providence where performers fell in an accident.
Credit John Bender / RIPR

Investigators say a clamp that held up an apparatus snapped, sending eight acrobats plunging 35 feet to the ground, falling on a dancer below. It happened on Sunday during a circus act where women dangle high above the ground from their hair.

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RI News
4:47 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

Deal Signed To Sell Newport Grand Slot Parlor

Developer Joe Paolino and two partners have signed an agreement to buy Newport Grand.

Paolino isn’t ready to say how much he’s paying for Newport Grand, but said he and his partners are ready to bring table games to Newport and sink $40 million to upgrade the struggling slot parlor.

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RI News
1:12 pm
Thu May 1, 2014

Median Home Prices Rise in Rhode Island

The median price of a house in Rhode Island went up in the first quarter of this year. The latest numbers out of the Rhode Island Association of Realtors find the median price rose 5 percent to $195,000.

Meanwhile, foreclosures and short sales on single family homes dropped by ten percent from the same time last year.

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