State Rep. Patricia Morgan (R-West Warwick), deputy minority leader in the House, stopped by our studio to talk about a variety of issues facing the state.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

State Representative Patricia Morgan (R-West Warwick) joins Political Roundtable this week, along with guest panelist Tim White from WPRI-TV, to discuss the outlook on Governor Gina Raimondo's truck toll plan; new findings about the state Department of Children, Youth and Families; and ongoing problems in Coventry's fire districts.

In a unanimous vote, the Coventry School Committee has adopted a resolution calling for the reversal of a new HPV vaccine requirement.

The resolution asks Governor Gina Raimondo to reconsider the rule, which requires incoming seventh graders to be vaccinated against HPV.

The committee voted after several of its members commented that parents are angered by the mandate. In a video posted on YouTube, a member of the audience expressed similar sentiments.

The board of the Coventry Fire District must decide what happens now that residents have voted to dissolve the district. The board meets Monday to discuss the options.

The cash strapped Coventry Fire District is set to run out of money in the coming weeks. Voters rejected a tax increase to raise the $600,000 needed to keep the district afloat. 

Coventry residents have voted to dissolve the Coventry Fire District. The financially troubled district is set to run out of money next month. Voters were asked whether to approve a tax increase to keep the district afloat. The district needed some $600,000 to stay in operation. District firefighters have already accepted cuts in overtime and health benefits.

District Board Chairman Frank Palin says he’s unsurprised voter decided to do away with the district.

National Grid has completed installing the last of seven weather stations throughout Rhode Island. This program collects local weather information in real time.

The weather stations are strategically located in Coventry, Bristol, Charlestown, Exeter, Hopkinton, and Little Compton. The town of Westerly has had its weather station for only a couple of weeks, and already it’s proved to be useful, said Amy Grzybowski, the town’s emergency management director.

The Central Coventry Fire district’s union says it’s still willing to negotiate even though the district has filed for bankruptcy.  

The governor’s office announced Tuesday a chapter 9 bankruptcy after months of receivership.  Head of the firefighters’ union David Gorman says the bankruptcy will hurt the town of Coventry.  “I still maintain that the governor’s bankruptcy plan will jeopardize public safety even further than we’re at today.  We’re down just 31 firefighters from 52,” said Gorman.  He added that the firefighters have also downsized from five stations to two. 

State Representative Patricia Morgan (R-West Warwick) joins Bonus Q&A to discuss a series of issues, including Coventry fire district woes, House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello's performance, the struggles of the RI GOP; and more.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

State Representative Patricia Morgan (R-West Warwick) joins Political Roundtable to discuss Governor-elect Gina Raimondo's early moves on the economy; concern about rising energy prices; and the questions highlighted by fire district problems in Coventry.

The Central Coventry firefighters union says it was surprised to learn that filing for bankruptcy was on the table. The union’s president said he thought cost cutting negotiations were moving forward.

There’s been little movement on the Central Coventry Fire District’s expected path towards bankruptcy since it was first reported last week, by channel 12.  The union has been in talks with a state receiver for the past several months.  The fire district is more than 3 million dollars in debt according to union president David Gorman. 

The Rhode Island State Police and the Attorney General have concluded their investigation into beleaguered Central Coventry fire district.  There are no pending criminal charges.

Sharp-eared listeners may have noticed some announcements this morning on RIPR, having to do with our FCC broadcast licenses.  In fact, listeners to every radio station in Rhode Island, and all of New England, will be hearing similar announcements today.   It’s because every eight years, AM & FM broadcast licenses expire and must be renewed; these announcements are required by the FCC as part of that process.

WCVY no ceiling tiles
Aaron Read

When you’re a broadcast engineer, you get used to receiving calls at odd hours proclaiming things that tend to fall outside the bounds of “normal.”   It’s just the nature of the job.   But even your intrepid engineer can be surprised sometimes.  Friday morning, August 23rd, was one of those times. 

That morning I got a call informing me that WCVY, our 91.5FM signal for much of Kent County, was off the air.

Why was it off the air?

The roof collapsed and rain got in.  

Say what?

The state Department of Environmental Management says a baby raccoon found in Coventry has tested positive for rabies. The animal was found May 29th in a rural area. 

A family brought it into their home where it had contact with several adults and one child.  Nine Rhode Islanders and two individuals from Connecticut who had known contact with the animal are now being treated for rabies exposure.

Legislation that would allow the troubled Central Coventry Fire District to collect taxes through September 1st of this year is now headed to the Governor’s desk. The Rhode Island Senate passed the bill 29 to seven last night. It would give the district a little more breathing room to come up with a plan to raise funds. But it doesn’t provide a final solution to the town’s problems. State leaders have been reluctant to provide permanent relief to the town’s fire district, which has been operating in the red since last year.