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 Photo

U.S. Sen. Jack Reed held a meeting with constituents in Providence, Thursday. Some 100 people gathered to voice concerns over President Trump’s cabinet picks, recent executive orders, and Russian relations. Reed said he would continue to fight the administration, but offered few details of how exactly he might do it.

Lee Davy / Creative Commons License via flickr

The former British Prime Minister, David Cameron, will be in the Ocean State next month. Cameron is scheduled to speak at Brown University in Providence.

Lee Davy / Creative Commons License via flickr

The former British Prime Minister, David Cameron, will be in the Ocean State next month. Cameron is scheduled to speak at Brown University in Providence.

David Cameron resigned his post last year following the country’s vote to leave the European Union… known as “Brexit.” At the time he said he did not feel he could lead the United Kingdom after the vote, which he vehemently opposed.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR FILE

Providence police aren’t likely to expand their role in helping federal immigration officials. This comes as Homeland Security officials seek to employ local police departments in the ramped-up deportation of undocumented immigrants.

RIPR FILE

After appearing on the Russian state-backed news network RT, former Governor Lincoln Chafee again defended President Trump Tuesday. He made the comments on local AM Radio station WPRO.

Matt Sledge / RIPR FILE

Affordable housing advocates are worried President Donald Trump’s promises to reduce corporate taxes could affect their ability to finance new projects. Their concern is the future of the Low Income Housing Tax Credit.

Gage Skidmore / Creative Commons License

A Syrian refugee is expected to arrive in Rhode Island in the coming days. This will likely be the last refugee allowed into the state before President Trump issues a new executive order on immigration.

RIPR FILE

Monday marks the 14th anniversary of the Station Nightclub fire, which took the lives 100 people in 2003. 

Courtesy of Station Nightclub Memorial Foundation

Monday marks the 14th anniversary of the Station Nightclub fire, one of the deadliest fires in U.S. history. Survivors of the fire gathered Monday morning at the West Warwick site of the club to commemorate the tragedy. They also celebrated the near-completion of a memorial for those who perished in the fire.

via Twitter

A swastika was discovered Thursday morning spray-painted on a dumpster in front of a YMCA in Providence. Staff say they removed the anti-Semitic symbol shortly after its discovery.

In a statement, Greater Providence YMCA CEO Steven O'Donnell called it "an unfortunate, and hopefully isolated, incident."

O'Donnell said the graffiti was reported to Providence Police. 

Rhode Island ranks last in New England for the amount of venture capital investment in local business. The finding is part of a new report on the state of Rhode Island’s small business climate.

Chuck Hinman / RIPR

The state Department of Transportation says it’s ready for the blizzard. RIDOT spokesman Charles St. Martin said there are more than 100 plows on hand for the Thursday storm.

RIPR File Photo

As wet, heavy snow whipped southern New England, thousands of National Grid customers found themselves without power. At one point Thursday, nearly 18,000 Rhode Island homes and businesses were experiencing outages. That number shrank to about 5,000 customers by 7 p.m.

National Grid spokesman David Graves said the utility company  had prepared, putting crews in place in advance of the storm.  

“We’ll have crews who’ll be working through the day and into the evening hours, and then a second shift coming on at 10 pm,” said Graves.

John Bender / RIPR

Fans lined the streets of downtown Providence Tuesday before a Patriots rally at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center. Thousands of people stood in the rain, waiting for their chance to catch a glimpse of the Super Bowl champions and the Super Bowl trophy.

In a line that ran for at least three blocks, fan Mike Cote from Warwick said he came to celebrate the team’s entire season, and, of course, their historic come-from-behind win at the Super Bowl.

John Bender / RIPR

King’s Tabernacle Church took the town of Johnston to court last year after town officials appeared to be trying to block the congregation from moving into a long-abandoned building in town. The church, whose congregation is small and largely African American, cited racial bias. But today the community is thriving in the heart of one of the most Italian, Catholic areas of the state.

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