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.

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Housing
9:12 am
Wed November 19, 2014

$2M In Federal Funds Coming To RI For Affordable Housing

Affordable housing in Cranston. Rhode Island received $2M in federal funding to refurbish and build more in the state.
Credit RIPR FILE

Rhode Island Housing says it has awarded more than $2 million in federal HOME funds for affordable housing across the state.

In total, the money will help build or spruce up 145 affordable homes and apartments. Projects include fixing up Apple Creek Apartments in Tiverton, building a single-family home in South County, and building seven homes in Burrillville for low-income families. Each year, the state receives about $3 million in federal HOME grants.

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RI News
1:37 pm
Mon November 17, 2014

RI Gas Prices Drop Below $3, First Time In Four Years

Average gallon of regular unleaded in Rhode Island is at $2.98. That's higher than the national average of $2.89.
Credit File / RIPR

The latest survey out of AAA Southern New England finds a gallon of regular unleaded is going to cost less than $3.00. It’s been four years since prices were this low.

Sure at $2.98 it’s just under $3, but that’s still 22 cents cheaper than it was a month ago. Federal officials say weak fuel demand and lower crude oil prices are keeping costs down at the pump. And drivers can expect the average price for a gallon of unleaded to stay below $3.00 next year.

Massachusetts drivers are paying a nickel less than Rhode Islanders, with an average gallon at $2.93.

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Economy
8:49 am
Tue November 11, 2014

Rhode Island Pays Off Major Federal Loan Six Months Early

The state made an early payment to the U.S. Treasury on a loan used to cover unemployment benefits. It was the state’s final payment and the feds got it six months early.

Since March of 2009, Rhode Island borrowed nearly a billion dollars to cover unemployment benefits. The state made its final payment on that lump sum six months early, saving businesses more than $50 million next year. It will save local businesses said department of Labor and Training director Charles Fogarty.

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RI News
9:18 am
Mon November 10, 2014

Comprehensive Survey Of Rhode Island's Homeless Begins This Week

Starting Monday hundreds of volunteers will fan out across the state to take a comprehensive count of the homeless. The goal is to understand their housing needs, and end homelessness in the state by the end of 2016.

They’ll check the shelters, walk the streets, and comb the woods seeking out the homeless, and asking a series of questions about their needs. Once the data are compiled, Coalition for the Homeless Executive Director Jim Ryczek will have a grasp on who needs immediate help.

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RI News
8:44 am
Fri November 7, 2014

City Of Providence Drops Lawsuit Against Santander Bank

Attorney John Relman and Providence Mayor Angel Taveras at a press conference in May announcing the lawsuit against Santander.
Credit Catherine Welch / RIPR

Providence has dropped its lawsuit against the bank Santander. The suit filed back in May claimed the bank deliberately limited lending in minority neighborhoods while expanding lending in white ones.

At the time, lawyers called the bank’s lending practices a civil rights issue. Less than six months later, they settled. Santander will make $1.3 million in grants going to the Providence Community Library, arts organization AS220, and a non-profit that will help low-income residents secure a mortgage.

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RI News
5:02 pm
Thu November 6, 2014

Coffee Makers Converge On Providence For Regional Conference

The Rhode Island Convention Center will host hundreds of coffee aficionados for the Mid-Atlantic Northeast Coffee Conference.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

Coffee makers from across the northeast have flocked to Providence to trade tips on how to make the perfect espresso, how to steam milk just right for a great latte, or where to find the best beans.

This year, said owner of New Harvest Coffee Rik Kleinfeldt, there will be much discussion about a fungus plaguing farmers. “Right now there’s a terrible fungus spreading throughout Central America called Roya, so we’re actually hosting growers from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala to discuss that issue,” he said.

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Rhody Votes 2014
3:58 pm
Thu November 6, 2014

Allan Fung: I’m Proud Of My Campaign

Cranston Mayor Allan Fung giving his concession speech on election night.
Credit FILE / RIPR

Allan Fung said despite losing his bid for governor, he’s proud of the race he ran. Fung’s democratic rival Gina Raimondo won the race with just 40 percent of the vote. Fung said maybe it’s time for runoff elections.

"The moose was on the loose," is how Fung describes the 22 percent gleaned by Moderate Party candidate Bob Healey, referring to Healey’s days as the cool moose candidate.  Fung’s main opponent, Gina Raimondo, is the second consecutive governor elected with less than 50 percent of the vote.

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Politics
9:21 am
Thu November 6, 2014

Developer May Try Again To Bring Table Games To Newport

Table games are not coming to Newport Grand, at least for the time being.
Credit RIPR FILE

Developer Joe Paolino says he’ll try again to bring table games to Newport. Voters approved turn the Newport Grand slot parlor into a casino, but Newporters voted it down. 

Massachusetts voters gave gambling there a thumbs up. And that will hurt the slot parlor, said Paolino “You know right now I’m more concerned about the workers, because the workers are the ones that really put up this fight, they’re very concerned about their jobs.”

Proponents pushed the jobs angle; while opponents said a casino didn’t fit in Newport.

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Politics
8:14 am
Thu October 30, 2014

Unofficial Buddy Cianci Biographer Looks At The Politician's Past And Future

Vincent 'Buddy' Cianci has made a second comeback, as he attempts to with the Providence Mayor's seat for a third time.
Credit RIPR FILE

To take a closer look at the Providence mayor’s race, we brought in Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Mike Stanton … who is considered by many the unofficial biographer of Buddy Cianci. A twice convicted felon, Cianci is running again for mayor. As part of our Rhody Votes election coverage, Rhode Island Public Radio’s Catherine Welch sat down with Stanton to talk about Cianci’s past and whether it is prologue.

For all of our election coverage, visit the Rhody Votes page at our website here.

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Health Care
4:31 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

Ebola Patient Ashoka Mukpo: There Were Times When I Didn't Know If I'd Survive

Rhode Islander Ashoka Mukpo left The Nebraska Medical Center, where he was treated for Ebola, after spending about ten days in isolation.
Credit The Nebraska Medical Center

There were times when Ashoka Mukpo didn’t know if he would survive Ebola. Mukpo spent about two and a half weeks in a Nebraska hospital after coming down with Ebola while working as a freelance cameraman in Liberia

He is now back home in Providence.

Mukpo said even thought his symptoms got worse, he knew he was in good hands. After about twelve days he could see in his doctors’ eyes that he was probably going to make it.  “I felt that it was manageable, I never felt serious panic coming from any of the nurses,” he said. “So I felt that I was in relatively good hands.”

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