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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Supporters have launched a new effort to repair crumbling schools across the state. State lawmakers staged a news conference to draw attention to the issue Tuesday at the Statehouse.


The head of the state Department of Children, Youth and Families testified before state lawmakers Monday. This comes after the deaths of several children under state supervision.

In the last several months there have been four infant deaths and two near fatalities of children known to state DCYF. Following that, the state office of the Child Advocate issued a report outlining steps DCYF should take to keep children safer.

Courtesy Rhode Island Philharmonic

Larry Rachleff joined the Rhode Island Philharmonic as conductor in 1995. He was one of just a few finalists out of hundreds of applicants. Now, after more than two decades Rachleff is leaving his post, a rare move in the world of classical music, where conductor positions are coveted.


The Rhode Island Council of Churches is criticizing President Donald Trump’s executive order on religious freedom. The group of local faith leaders fears the order is an invitation for churches to become political.

Heather Paul / CC BY-ND 2.0

There’s a new crop of firefighters joining the Cranston Fire Department. The department will swear in the first female firefighter in city history.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

A report released Wednesday found more than 1,200 Rhode Island families were unable to receive food stamp benefits in a timely manner in March. The issues come as the state continues to work out a new digital benefits system.

The numbers come from the state Department of Human Services. The report is required as a part of settlement with the American Civil Liberties Union of Rhode Island over the botched rollout of a system for administering human service benefits known as UHIP.

John Bender / RIPR

Now that longtime Providence City Councilor Kevin Jackson is on his way out, Ward 3 voters in Providence are waiting for a field of candidates to emerge for the seat. Only one person has thrown his hat into the ring so far.

John Bender / RIPR

Kevin Jackson, the longest serving member of the Providence City Council, lost his seat by an overwhelming majority in a recall election Tuesday.


The Providence City Council Finance Committee met for the first time Monday since the Mayor unveiled his latest budget proposal. The councilors now begin the laborious process of hammering out a budget both the council and the mayor can agree on.

Ian Donnis / RIPR File Photo

Serious financial challenges continue to dog Rhode Island’s capital city. And now, there’s a cloud hanging over the Providence City Council, with two councilors  facing close public scrutiny.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

On Tuesday Providence City Councilman Kevin Jackson faces a vote that could remove him from office. The longtime Providence politician has served for more than 20 years on the council.

John Bender / RIPR

In a surprise vote, the Providence City Council did not pass the so-called Community Safety Act during its meeting Thursday. Supporters say the community policing act will tamp down police profiling.

John Bender / RIPR

That’s about a two percent increase overall from the current year budget. 

Ian Donnis / RIPR File Photo

Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza unveils the city’s latest budget proposal Wednesday, and it comes as the city continues to face deep financial challenges.


The Coastal Resources Center at the University of Rhode Island has launched the state Shellfish Management Initiative as shellfish continue to be a growing area in the state’s fishing industry.