John Bender

Reporter

John started at RIPR in 2013 as the Morning Edition producer; researching stories, interviewing newsmakers, and writing scripts for stories every morning.  Plus special projects and regular reporting on major events.  In early 2017 he was promoted to "general assignment" reporter.  Whatever's happening in the news today?  That's what John is covering. 

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RIPR FILE

The Providence City Council Finance Committee held a public hearing on a new measure that would remove councilors from leadership roles following any criminal indictments.

Jnn13 / Wikimedia Commons

The Rhode Island National Guard played the National Anthem for dozens of residents, veterans and families for the 43rd annual state commemoration of Memorial Day. More than 100 people gathered under a tent on Monday at the State Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Exeter.

Alex Van / Creative Commons License Via Pixabay

Five years ago, 11 out of every 1,000 children in the state had at least one parent in jail. Today that number is closer to 13, according to a new report from the nonprofit advocacy group Rhode Island Kids Count.

MARK TUREK / OCEAN STATE THEATRE

The Ocean State Theatre Company in Cranston closed abruptly this week, blaming  financial pressures. The theater’s board of directors said the company incurred large debts when it moved from South County and renovated a facility in Cranston.

RIPR File Photo

Foster children age out of the system in Rhode Island as soon as they turn 18. But advocates say that’s too young. Those advocates are pushing state lawmakers to extend foster care.

A decade ago young people were allowed to stay under the care of the state until age 21. But in 2007 the state reduced the age to 18.

RIPR FILE PHOTO

The Providence City Council withdrew a proposed rule change Monday that would have allowed councilors to remove a sitting president. The decision followed former President Luis Aponte’s recent resignation.

John Bender / RIPR

Mosques around Rhode Island opened their doors to the public Saturday, in an effort to increase the visibility of Muslims in the Ocean State. Visitors to Masjid Al-Islam in North Smithfield, the state’s largest mosque, had the opportunity to eat halal food, try on a headscarf, and learn more about the religion.

John Bender

Some 2,000 people gathered at the site of the Station nightclub fire in West Warwick Sunday, for the dedication of a new memorial. The space has been more than a decade in the making.

RIPR FILE

For the last two days, Providence has broken temperature records. The heat reached 90 degrees Friday, beating the previous record of 89 degrees set in 1906. Thursday, temperatures climbed to 93 degrees, one degree higher than the record set in 1936.

National Weather Service meteorologist Kimberly Buttrick said the weather was caused by winds blowing warm air and humidity up from the Bermuda area.

John Bender / RIPR

Providence City Council President Luis Aponte has resigned. This comes after more than a week of pressure on the embattled head to step down from his post.

John Bender / RIPR

A majority of Providence city councilors have scheduled a special meeting to remove their President Luis Aponte from his post. In order to do so, the council must formally change their rules.

Currently, there appears to be no procedure to remove Aponte from his post. If the measure is adopted, this language would be added to the city council rules:

John Bender / RIPR

Just two councilors attended the Providence City Council meeting Thursday, the body's first full meeting after a vote of “no confidence” in its leader, President Luis Aponte. That vote, and calls to step down, have dogged Aponte since his indictment last week on felony charges of embezzlement and misuse of campaign funds. 

Courtesy of FBI

The former U.S. Attorney in Rhode Island, Peter Neronha, is applauding the choice of Robert Mueller to assist the FBI investigation into President Donald Trump’s campaign and Russian meddling in the U.S. election.  Neronha got to know Mueller during their time working for the federal government.

John Bender / RIPR

The City of Providence Law Department is combing through city charter and parliamentary rules looking for ways the City Council can conduct its business without the leadership of President Luis Aponte, Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza said Wednesday. This is the latest step in an escalating battle between Aponte, his fellow councilors and the Mayor’s office.

John Bender / RIPR

Providence City Council President Luis Aponte said Monday he will not step down from his leadership position, despite growing demands to do so.

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