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. 

Ways to Connect

John Bender / RIPR

Lilian Calderon, the Rhode Island woman who was detained by federal immigration officials for nearly a month is now the lead plaintiff in a class-action lawsuit against President Donald Trump and his administration.

John Bender / RIPR

For decades, Liberian refugees were allowed to live and work in the U.S. following the Liberian Civil War of the 1990s. President Donald Trump announced the end of that policy in March, giving protected Liberians just one year to prepare for deportation.

Liberians living in Southern New England are confused and disappointed. The Whitehouse says the Liberian policy is no longer necessary, because country is stable after years of war and the 2014 Ebola outbreak. But local Liberians disagree.

John Bender / RIPR

Thousands of Liberian refugees living in the United States have one year left before they face deportation.

RIPR File

Rhode Island lawmakers are considering a bill that would allow DACA recipients to get drivers licenses and work permits, even if their federal status expires.

John Bender / RIPR

DelSesto Middle School in Providence is one of more than a dozen schools across Rhode Island using new computer software in the classroom, designed with help from Facebook. 

John Bender

On the West Side of Providence, streets were mainly quiet as snow fell and wind howled through the trees. Many businesses shut down, and plenty of residents stayed warm and dry indoors. But the sidewalks were scattered with more than a dozen snowblowers and shovelers.

John Bender / RIPR

Across the nation, students walked out of their classes Wednesday, imploring lawmakers to take action on gun control. 

First The Storm, Now The Cleanup... Again

Mar 13, 2018
John Bender

The third winter storm this month knocked out power to tens of thousands of residents and businesses, closed schools and state offices, and dropped more than foot of snow in some parts of Rhode Island and the South Coast. Blizzard conditions were confirmed in some areas, including Newport.

RIPR FILE

Rhode Island lawmakers are re-considering the rules for reporting sexual abuse suspected of school staff. A 2016 law requires educators to report allegations of abuse to child welfare officials.

Lynn Arditi / RIPR

At the peak, nearly 150,000 customers in Rhode Island were without power. The vast majority were restored by Monday morning.

Talia Blake / RIPR

Rhode Island is the first state in the nation to establish a “red flag” policy since the deadly high school shooting in Parkland, Florida earlier this month that killed 17 students and teachers. 

RIPR FILE

After the Parkland school shooting, many people are wondering whether elected officials will take action on gun control. A small group of Democratic Governors say they have a plan to do just that, even if there is no movement on the issue in Congress.

John Bender / RIPR

The film “Black Panther” is breaking records at the box office, thanks in part to fans excited to see a black superhero take center stage. And there’s a local effort underway to bring hundreds of Newport schoolchildren to see the movie.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Across Southern New England, people ventured outside without jackets and scarves Wednesday, as temperatures climbed to record-breaking highs in some places.

According to the National Weather Service, Providence broke the record for February 21st around 2 p.m., when the mercury hit 64 degrees.

But National Weather Service meteorologist Nicole Belk said the balmy weather was still a ways away from breaking the monthly record.

Natalie Cioffari / WSHU

Connecticut’s largest city has begun a pilot program to test body cameras for its police officers.

Bridgeport joins Rhode Island cities that have started outfitting police officers with body cameras. In Providence, patrol officers began wearing the cameras in 2017 after a pilot program. Some Newport police officers have also been equipped with body cameras.

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