John Bender


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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The Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity was set up to investigate President Donald Trump’s unsubstantiated claim that millions of people committed voter fraud during the 2016 election.

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A local cybersecurity expert is urging consumers to find out whether their personal information was compromised in a massive data breach at the credit reporting giant Equifax.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse is urging the U.S. Supreme Court to put limits on the practice of drawing voting districts for political advantage, also known as gerrymandering.

Will Hart / Creative Commons License via Wikimedia Commons

It's been a difficult week for people under DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, the program protecting thousands of undocumented young people from deportation, if their parents brought them to this country as children. 


The end of the immigration policy known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA could leave thousands of undocumented young people without federal protection from deportation. And legal experts say most of them will find it difficult to apply for citizenship.


Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Kilmartin is joining with counterparts in other states to sue the federal government over the end of the DACA program. The U.S. Justice Department announced Tuesday that it would end the program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA. The program, implemented in 2012, allowed undocumented residents brought to the country as children to defer deportation.


The group that calls itself the Pokanoket Nation has been camped out on Bristol’s Mount Hope for the last week. Members of the tribe say that land belonged to their ancestors, and they want Brown University to give it back.


Rhode Island radio station WBRU will go off the radio airwaves Thursday night. The alt-rock station is being sold to a California-based non-profit, which is expected to broadcast contemporary Christian rock on the 95.5 FM signal.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

The Providence Public School District superintendent is not a target in the investigation of failure to report sexual abuse allegations at a city elementary school.

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The radio station WBRU may soon be home to one the country’s largest contemporary Christian music broadcasters.  The station run by Brown University students confirmed earlier this year it was seeking a buyer for its powerful 95.5 signal. Now there are signs it has found one.

Violet LeMar, principal at Harry Kizirian Elementary School has been charged with a misdemeanor for failing to report allegations of sexual abuse of students by a gym teacher. LeMar pleaded not guilty in District Court. The school district has placed her on administrative leave.

Pearl Macek / RIPR

This week, Newport is hosting a first in the sailing world: the J Class world championships. J Class yachts are rare, and they’re huge. 

Thousands Catch Glimpse Of Solar Eclipse

Aug 21, 2017
Elisabeth Harrison

At observatories, public libraries, parks and universities, people gathered Monday to watch the moon pass in front of the sun. The total eclipse was only partially visible in New England, but that did not seem to dampen the spirits of families, co-workers and students who gathered to see it.

RI Community Present For Counter-protests in Boston

Aug 21, 2017
Yeowatzup / CC BY-ND 2.0 Via Flickr

Thousands marched through the streets of Boston Saturday afternoon to counter-protest what was being called a “free speech rally.” Members of the Rhode Island community were also present.

John Bender / RIPR

On Monday, people across the country will gather to witness a total solar eclipse.