Lincoln Chafee

Governor Lincoln Chafee and other elected officials will be touring the grounds of Rocky Point in Warwick Friday.  On Saturday the former amusement park land will be open to the public.  This will be the first time in about two decades.

RIPR FILE

The major candidates for Rhode Island governor have spent much of their campaigns focused on the economy. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay on what they aren’t telling voters.

All of the Rhode Island political campaigns this year are talking about our state’s sluggish economy. In the governor’s contest between Republican Allan Fung, the Cranston mayor, and Democrat Gina Raimondo, the state treasurer, jobs and the economy often seem to be the only topic.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Rhode Island is accusing the Department of Motor Vehicles of sharing personal information with a federal anti-terrorism database.

The ACLU says a document that appears to be leaked from the National Counter Terrorism Center shows Rhode Island is one of 15 states that shared driver’s license data with the organization.  In 2013 the center collected more than 2,400 facial images from driver’s licenses from across the country.

UPDATE: La Salle has decided to remove all the photographs of La Salle alums from the ``Wall of Notables'' reports Tom Mooney at the ProJo.

The school's Board of Trustees voted to take down all of the photos because they had become a distraction to learning, the ProJo reported. On of those photos was of U.S. Sen. Jack Reed, who, like Raimondo is a La Salle alum. There were 25 photos on the notables wall.

My original post from last week:

Ernie Almonte, independent candidate for general treasurer, has picked up two union endorsements – the R.I. State Association of Fire Fighters and the R.I. Brotherhood of Correctional Officers.

``I am honored to be endorsed by Rhode Island fire fighters and correctional officers,’’ said Almonte, in a statement. ``As treasurer I will work tirelessly to restore confidence in Rhode Island’s finances and ensure those who have dutifully paid into their pension plans never have to worry about their retirement hanging in jeopardy.’’

Rhode Island's next governor - whether it's Republican Allan Fung or Democrat Gina Raimondo - will have plenty of challenges to tackle upon taking office. The state's ailing economy will most likely hold the spotlight over the next eight weeks until the general election. But perhaps I could put a few health care items on the agenda for their consideration - and for the general assembly's.

Ken Block and Cranston Mayor Allan Fung  clashed in their second debate within 24 hours this afternoon, a meeting that produced more heat than enlightenment and revealed few major policy differences between the two candidates vying for the Republican gubernatorial nomination in the September 9 primary.

John Bender / RIPR

T.F. Green airport in Warwick is going international.

The airoport is partnering with the German Airline Condor to offer fights to and from Frankfurt.  This is the first intercontinental flight ever offered at the Warwick Airport.

Flights will be two days a week starting in 2015.  For the first year it will be a seasonal service, starting in June and lasting through about September.

Wikimedia Commons

U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel is scheduled to be in Rhode Island Wednesday.  He’ll be speaking at an event at the U.S. Naval War College in Newport.

Hagel will also speak on defense technology and industry at the ‘Defense Innovation Days’.  This conference brings lawmakers and defense industry reps together to discuss changes and trends in the industry.  Rhode Island has long relied on the defense industry for jobs, currently, with several government contracts manufacturing submarines. 

Providence Business News Editor Mark Murphy joins Rhode Island Public Radio's Dave Fallon for our weekly business segment The Bottom Line.

This week news director Catherine Welch and Mark talk with Rhode Island Public Radio political analyst Scott MacKay. They discuss what Gov. Lincoln Chafee has hit and missed to boost the state’s economy and what the next governor will need to do to lift the state out of its economic doldrums.

When to Listen

You can hear The Bottom Line each Friday at 5:50pm.

Aaron Read / RIPR

Rhode Island’s unemployment rate has inched down again, from 7.9 percent in June to 7.7 percent in July, according to data released today by the R.I. Department of Labor and Training.

The 7.7 percent rate is the lowest level since June, 2008, according to figures compiled by the DLT.

The number of Rhode Island based jobs increased by 1,200 from June 2014 and 5,600 since June 2013.

The estimates for nonfarm payroll in the Ocean State was 477,800 in July, the highest number since September 2008.

In December, 1991 Bill Clinton swooped into Providence for a University Club fund-raiser for his nascent presidential campaign. He arrived at Green Airport in a small  private plane and was met by former Providence Mayor Joseph Paolino, Suzanne Magaziner and her young son.

As Clinton got off the plane, he reached out and patted the young boy on the head. ``Hey Seth, how areyah?, said the Arkansas governor in the drawl that would become known around the world after his 1992 election as president.

John Bender / RIPR

A new program is launching to make it easier for first time homebuyers in the Ocean state. The program offers up to two-thousand dollars a year in tax credits for the life of a mortgage to eligible individuals.

The program is run through a partnership between the non-profit Rhode Island Housing, and various mortgage lenders. So far 41 people have applied for the program.  Governor Lincoln Chafee says it will help Rhode Island on the road to economic recovery.

The federal government has not asked Rhode Island to shelter some of the migrant children entering the country by the thousands from Central America.  More than 100 are already living in the state.

There are currently 119 kids in Rhode Island.  That’s according to data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. These children were not moved here by the federal government, but placed with sponsors, who are family or friends already living in the U.S. The placement has been happening since January. It’s unclear how long the children will be staying.

Rhode Island  Superior Court Judge Michael Silverstein has upheld an initial legal settlement in Gov. Lincoln Chafee’s 38 Studios lawsuit over the $75 million state loan guarantee granted to the failed video game company started by Curt Schilling, the former  Boston Red Sox pitcher.

In an opinion released this afternoon, Silverstein approved a $4.4 million settlement reached with the Providence law firm of Moses, Alfonso and Ryan, a firm that advised the state on bonds of the ill-fated loan program.

Pages