cranston

Flo Jonic / RIPR

The American Red Cross is scrambling to find housing for residents of two Cranston apartment buildings that were overwhelmed by flash floods Monday.   Some of the 60 affected residents lost everything.

Flo Jonic / RIPR

The demolition of six flood-prone Cranston homes has begun.  The homes on Perkins Avenue were badly flooded three years ago and the federal government has bought the homeowners out.  It was a bittersweet moment for some Perkins Avenue residents.

With Cranston Mayor Allan Fung at the wheel, an excavator made quick work demolishing a two-story bungalow on Perkins Avenue in Cranston. It’s one of six flood-prone homes that are being torn down.  Watching from the sidelines was Brian Dupont, whose home next door is also coming down.

The state’s largest homeless shelter is about to get a badly-needed facelift, thanks to the General Assembly. The legislature appropriated one million dollars to upgrade Harrington Hall, a rundown-century-old gymnasium on the grounds of the Pastore Complex in Cranston.

Harrington Hall is in such poor shape they have to move cots and lay down tarps when it rains.  And the roof isn’t the only problem. The 100 or so men who live there night after night share seven toilets, three showers, and have no kitchen.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

4,000 high school seniors across Rhode Island need to beef-up their math skills so they can improve their test scores enough to graduate under a controversial new high school diploma system. Many of them are spending the summer doing just that. Roughly 100 students participated in a program wrapping up this week at the Community College of Rhode Island. It brought students from Providence, Warwick and Cranston together to study math and get a taste of college life.

“Okay, we’re gonna do five 0r 10 more minutes of class, then we’re gonna take the test.”

Flo Jonic / RIPR

Across the Ocean State, same-sex couples are applying for marriage licenses and tying the knot. On Thursday Rhode Island and Minnesota became the 12th and 13th states in the country to legalize gay marriage. The bill was signed into law back in May, making Rhode Island the last state in New England to legalize gay marriage.

Catherine Welch / RIPR

Same-sex couples are saying “I Do” and applying for marriage licenses across the state. Rhode Island and Minnesota are the 12th and 13th states in the country legalizing gay marriage.

Just minutes after the city clerk’s office opened, employees welcomed Cranston’s first same-sex couple seeking a license. “We opened at 8:30 so you’re our first customer,” said Cranston City Clerk Maria Wall. At 8:32 Karl Staatz and Royce Kilbourn walked into the clerk’s office with hands full of paperwork ready to get a marriage license. After 21 years together, they’re tying the knot next week.

Cranston Mayor Allan Fung joins Bonus Q+A to talk about why he's a Republican, his potential race for governor next year, and what Rhode Island should do to improve its economy, among other issues.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Cranston Mayor Allan Fung joins the Roundtable this week to discuss the aftermath of the attack at the Boston Marathon, the merits of negotiated pension settlements, his potential gubernatorial campaign next year, and other issues.

Made in RI: Crowns for Beauty Queens

Apr 10, 2013
Flo Jonic/RIPR

We continue an ongoing series we call “Made in Rhode Island.” It’s a look at companies that have persevered in the Ocean State despite what many view as an unfriendly business climate. Rhode Island Public Radio’s Flo Jonic caught up with a Cranston businessman whose products make dreams come true. 

When 25-year-old Ashley Hooks was named Miss Illinois USA last year the tiara placed on her head came from Dina, Inc. of Cranston.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Cranston Mayor Allan Fung announced an agreement Monday to improve the condition of one of the worst funded municipal pensions in the state.

Fung says the deal will save Cranston $6.5 million in pension costs over the next fiscal year while solving a lingering problem.

“This issue has been an albatross over the city for decades, close to half a century, and this agreement shows the progress that can be made when all parties come together in a spirit of cooperation,” said Fung.

Cranston Mayor Allan Fung has submitted a new budget proposal with no tax increases.  Fung says Cranston has stabilized city finances with help from public safety contract concessions and careful spending.  He points to the growth of businesses like the Alex and Ani jewelry company as proof that Cranston is now seeing an economic expansion.  

"The city of Cranston is not only stable from the initiatives we have put into place these last four years, but now we are experiencing real growth," Fung says.  

Add Senator Josh Miller (D-Cranston) to the list of potential candidates for lieutenant governor in 2014.

Miller says it's too early to consider him an LG candidate, but adds that there "might be a point before the end of the session that I'll start looking at it."

The Cranston Democrat and restaurateur says he's focused on legislative matters for now and wants to consider his potential effectiveness as lieutenant governor before making a decision. Miller says he can offer "a wide range of experience on a wide range of issues."

The Senate Education Committee will hear testimony today about whether schools should be allowed hold father-daughter dances.

The hearing comes after controversy in Cranston over a single mother who said her daughter was denied access to a dance. She wrote to the district charging the policy violates anti-discrimination laws. Cranston school officials responded by banning father-daughter dances, prompting community outcry.

The Silver Boom: Aging Behind Bars in RI

Mar 14, 2013
Adult Correctional Institution in Cranston RI
Flo Jonic / RIPR

In less than 20 years a quarter of the state's population will be older than 60. In a series we call "The Silver Boom: Aging in Rhode Island," we're looking at how the state will take care of this expanding older population .. and how it can benefit from it.  In this installment, we travel to Cranston to look  at the state’s aging prison population.

Prayer banner still in storage

Feb 18, 2013
Cranston West High School
Elisabeth Harrison

It’s been about a year since a controversial prayer banner was removed from the auditorium of Cranston West high school.   The removal was prompted by a federal court order, which found the banner infringed on the constitutional separation of church and state.  We wondered what ever happened to that banner and asked Flo Jonic to look into it.

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