The year ended as 2013 began: with Rhode Island's political/media class fixated on the looming race for governor in 2014. At least we're a bit closer now. With that in mind, welcome back to my weekly column. Your tips and thoughts are always welcome at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org, and your cordially invited to follow me on the twitters. Let's get to it.
Tracy Breton, who covered courts and legal issues at the Providence Journal for 40 years, says an ongoing series of buyouts and layoffs on Fountain Street will make it increasingly difficult for the paper to offer investigative reporting and in-depth journalism.
Tracy Breton worked her final day on the job at the Providence Journal last Friday after covering courts and trials for 40 years. Breton was part of the investigative team that won a 1994 Pulitzer Prize for the ProJo, and she covered the downfall of two Rhode Island Supreme Court chief justices, Joseph Bevilacqua and Thomas Fay. Breton sat down to talk about her four decades of covering the courts and her future plans.
The federal government shutdown is having an impact on the prosecution of federal cases in Rhode Island.
U.S. Attorney Peter Neronha has had to furlough a third to a half of his 45-person staff because of the federal government shutdown. He said they’re managing by bringing in people who are working on the most urgent cases and then rotating them as the cases change.
The long-sought trial of James "Whitey" Bulger in US District Court in Boston offers a great example of how Twitter can carry the drama of legal action to a far bigger audience. Tweets from a bevy of top crime reporters, including WPRI-TV's Tim White, have offered a minute-by-minute account of the scene as the former fugitive mobster faces justice.
The head of the troubled Institute for International Sport was arraigned on 18 counts in Superior Court Friday.
Dan Doyle, of Connecticut, was charged after an investigation that began in February 2012. The probe followed media reports that the Institute for International Sport housed at URI was unable to fully account for state funding it had received.
Doyle faces seven counts of embezzlement, five counts each of forgery and filing a false document, and one count of obtaining money under false pretenses.