Judge Jack McConnell

Courtesy of the Shelton family

Henry Shelton, a Roman Catholic priest turned social justice and political activist, longtime voice in Rhode Island for those who had none, passionate advocate for the poor and dispossessed  and thorn in the side of the state’s business and political establishment, died Wednesday at home in Cranston surrounded by his family. He was 86.

Bradford Gorham, the quintessential Yankee Republican political figure, former Rhode Island House Minority Leader, Republican state chairman and candidate for lieutenant governor and attorney general, died early this morning at his home in Foster. He was 80.

Gorham had been suffering from prostate cancer, said his son and law partner, former state representative  Nick Gorham.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

At the Democratic victory party at the Providence Biltmore Hotel late last night, no one had a wider smile than Kate Coyne McCoy, the longtime advocate for electing women to political office in Rhode Island and around the nation.

``Twenty years ago, I was walking up the stairs to this room (the 17th floor ballroom, where media and pols meet on election night) with Myrth York,’’ recalled Coyne McCoy. ``It was an awful night.’’

Flo Jonic / RIPR

Former Central Falls mayor Charles Moreau could find himself a free man as early  as Friday, despite his conviction for corruption.  A ruling in another case has through his conviction into question because he guilty to taking a gratuity.

Former Central Falls Mayor Charles Moreau could be freed as early as Friday from federal prison, according to a spokesman for U.S. Attorney Peter Neronha.

Moreau was convicted of bribery and has served 13 months of his 2-year sentence in a Maryland federal prison. Since his conviction, a federal appeals court has ruled in an unrelated case involving a businessman and a legislator in Puerto Rico. That ruling said federal law does  not ``criminalize gratuities’’ and dismissed the charges against both men.