Michael J. Sepe, Cranton's longtime Democratic City Chairman, is running to be mayor in Cranston's November 2016 election. The move comes as Mayor Allan Fung faces the fallout of a State Police report criticizing management of the city's Police Department and the city administration.

Catherine Welch / RIPR

There's a power outage at the Pastore Complex in Cranston. That's the home of several state offices, including the Dept. of Motor Vehicles, the Dept. of Labor and Training, and the Dept. of Corrections. All are closed to the public, according to the governor's office. Power was lost at around 10:30 and crews are working to restore it. There's no word yet about what caused the outage.

As a result of the outage, the DOC will not be allowing any inmate visits today. Unemployment offices are closed. And the DMV is closed at this location.

On the cusp of Statehouse debate over trucking tolls to fix bridges, the Rhode Island Department of Transportation has closed the Park Avenue Bridge over Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor in Cranston, effective immediately.

The action came after a DOT outside engineering consultant inspected the bridge and found ``significant deterioration in the bridge’s timber deck.’’  The DOT then sent one of its own engineers to inspect the bridge and that probe confirmed the independent analysis.

A flash flood warning is in effect until Tuesday night for a large swath of Rhode Island. Flooding has already caused trouble in some low-lying areas.

According to the National Weather Service, the greater-Providence area saw three-point-two inches of rain over the weekend, leaving some Cranston roadways underwater. The flooding, mainly in urban areas, included Oaklawn Avenue, where two cars were trapped. Cranston officials say they will deploy public works crews to clean out drains, and monitor the Pawtuxet and Pocasset rivers, which routinely flood.

John Bender / RIPR

Cranston police have begun special training to help them work better with people with autism. The training is geared toward preventing a police encounter from escalating.

Every Cranston police officer will be trained to recognize the signs of autism. And they’ll be equipped to respond to emergencies involving adults or kids with autism. Cranston police Lieutenant Mark Freeborn says the training should help avoid the misinterpretation that autistic behavior is disobedient, or aggressive.

On Saturday, March 14th, and on four additional Saturdays, the Cranston Public Library on Sockanosset Cross Rd. screens its "Unreeled Film Series."  

The series celebrating movies not for their cinematic merit, but for their unique awfulness. Rhode Island Public Radio's weekend host Chuck Hinman spoke with Katy Dorchies and Lisa Zawadzki of the Cranston Library, two of the people responsible for choosing the films.

For a list of films and dates of screening:

Yet Another Winter Storm Bears Down On Rhode Island

Feb 2, 2015
Catherine Welch / RIPR

More snow is hitting Rhode Island this morning.  The National Weather Service predicts about a foot could fall in the northwestern part of the state. 

Matt Doody, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said the rest of the state will see less of the white stuff.  “It drops off fairly quickly, so that the immediate Providence-metro area is anywhere from 6-8 inches, and then the coastline is probably only on the order of like 3-6 or so.”

John Bender / RIPR

Mama Kim’s is a well-known food truck in the Providence area specializing in Korean Barbeque.  It’s just opened its very first brick-and-mortar sit-down restaurant in Cranston.


For this month’s Rhode Island Artscape, Rhode Island public radio’s John Bender stopped by the new Cranston space to talk with owner Don Fecher about the business, the transition from the truck, and, of course, the food.


Do you have insight or expertise on this topic?  Please email us, we'd like to hear from you.

Rhode Island Starts Digging Out Of The Blizzard

Jan 26, 2015
John Bender / RIPR

Residents across the state are digging out of the blizzard that dumped more than two feet on parts of the state. Gov. Gina Raimondo lifted the state’s travel ban last night. She thanked Rhode Islanders for staying off the roads. There was a fire in Providence and a handful of accidents, but no major injuries from the storm.

Cranston will have to hire a new superintendent of schools. The current Superintendent Judith Lundsten plans to retire at the end of June. In a message on the district’s website, Lundsten says she looks forward to spending more time with her family.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Cranston Mayor Allan Fung has named a new Director of Administration for the city.  Robert Coupe is a corporate lawyer with a private practice.  

Coupe also served as an attorney for the state of Massachusetts under former governor Mitt Romney.  Coupe served as spokesman for Fung during his unsuccessful bid for Rhode Island governor.     

Mayor Fung said he selected Coupe because, “he offers the right combination of strong public policy experience with a private-sector commitment to promoting greater efficiency and accountability in city government.” 


Allan Fung said despite losing his bid for governor, he’s proud of the race he ran. Fung’s democratic rival Gina Raimondo won the race with just 40 percent of the vote. Fung said maybe it’s time for runoff elections.

"The moose was on the loose," is how Fung describes the 22 percent gleaned by Moderate Party candidate Bob Healey, referring to Healey’s days as the cool moose candidate.  Fung’s main opponent, Gina Raimondo, is the second consecutive governor elected with less than 50 percent of the vote.

Catherine Welch / RIPR

There’s a photograph on Cranston Mayor Allan Fung’s desk of his first inauguration. He’s being sworn into the mayor’s office he has the family Bible and his parents are by his side. “I can see the pride in my mom’s eyes, in my dad’s eyes as I was getting sworn in,” said Fung.

He looks at this photo almost every day, “and it just reminds me of who I am and how far they’ve come, and because of what they did I’m where I am.”

Catherine Welch / RIPR

Rivals in the heated Republican primary for governor, Ken Block and Cranston Mayor Allan Fung, hugged in front of the media Monday and vowed to work together to get a Republican in the governor’s office.

They attacked each other in debates and television ads, but at a press conference at the Statehouse Fung and Block hugged, saying they share a belief in reduced spending and more oversight of the General Assembly. Block said the two are now united going into the November election.

Gubernatorial candidates Gina Raimondo and Allan Fung have agreed to do a limited number of joint appearances and televised debates before the general election.  A coalition of environmental groups is disappointed its invitation for a debate didn’t make the list.