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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Rhode Island-based pharmacy chain CVS is set to acquire the health insurance provider Aetna for $69 billion. The boards of both companies have voted to approve the deal, which still needs approval from federal regulators. The merger raises questions about the future of the two companies, as well as the future of healthcare in America. 

Courtesy of Benny's

As Rhode Islanders continue to lament the loss of local retail chain Benny’s, the company buying up the buildings is looking to the future. The Carpionato Group will turn the former Benny’s stores into new shops and restaurants.


AirCanada now has a home in the Ocean State’s biggest airport. T.F. Green will offer direct flights to Toronto this spring.

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Thousands of people are living without gas, power or both because they can’t afford to pay their bills. Now some residents will be able to get their heat restored before the winter.


Protestors are set to gather in front of Congressman Jim Langevin’s office Tuesday to demonstrate against increases in military spending. They’re angry that lawmakers supported a hike in the federal defense budget.

John Bender / RIPR

It’s not every day an angry crowd shuts down a town council meeting. But it’s happened more than once in East Greenwich, a well-off suburb not known as a hotbed for political animus. 

John Bender / RIPR

Gayle Corrigan, the controversial East Greenwich town manager, will retain her position for now. The Town Council voted 3-2 Monday night to reinstate Corrigan despite vocal opposition.

John Bender / RIPR

The release of more information comes as questions continue to be raised about the police use of deadly force.

Tuesday morning, State Police released the names of the officers involved in the shooting. Two of them are 20-year veterans of the State Police. The other officers have been part of the force for 12 and 6 years. 

John Bender / RIPR

An East Greenwich Town Council meeting was forced to shut down after hundreds of angry residents turned out, and many were turned away. 

John Bender / RIPR

The city of Providence has suffered a trauma. That’s the view of Roger Williams University Criminal Justice Professor Sean Varano, who weighed in Monday on the fatal police shooting of a suspect on Interstate-95. 

John Bender / RIPR

Law enforcement officials are not releasing details about the man who was shot and killed by police on a stretch of I-95 Thursday morning near the Providence Place mall. A woman was also hurt during the shooting and was brought to the hospital.

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Roughly 18,000, that’s the number of Rhode Islanders currently enrolled in the state’s medical marijuana program. Members of a new recreational marijuana study commission got an update on that program Tuesday, as they consider whether the state should legalize recreational pot. This was the group's second meeting.

John Bender / RIPR

Nancy Pelosi, the U.S. House Minority leader, railed against the proposed Republican tax overhaul during a visit to the Ocean State Monday. Pelosi joined the state’s congressional delegation during a tour at the Community College of Rhode Island in Warwick.

Some Rhode Islanders were just getting their power back Friday, after hurricane-force winds left more than 140,000 people in the state without power Sunday night. But five days later, more than 1,000 people were still off-line across the state.


Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza is moving forward with a municipal identification program first announced in his 2018 city budget. Elorza signed an executive order enacting the program on Thursday.