local feature

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Rhode Island Republican Party Chairman Brandon Bell joins Political Roundtable this week to discuss the way forward for the GOP; Governor Raimondo's changes at the state Department of Transportation; and the governor's proposed pay hikes for the lowest-paid members of her Cabinet.

50 years ago, Saturday, Bob Dylan made history by playing an electric guitar with a blues band at the Newport Folk Festival. On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of that night Rhode Island Public Radio’s John Bender looks back at the iconic moment in music history.

Elisabeth Harrison

After the release of a video showing a Texas traffic stop that escalates into an arrest for Sandra Bland, an African-American woman who was later found dead in a prison cell, some Rhode Islanders say they are disturbed, but not surprised. Rhode Island Public Radio’s Elisabeth Harrison has our story.

In a patch of shade across the street from Pawtucket City Hall, Dwayne Adams sighs deeply and says yes, he has heard about Sandra Bland.


Fifty years ago this week, on July 25, 1965, a young folk singer named Bob Dylan took the stage at the Newport Folk Festival and transformed himself from a defender of the folk tradition into a leader of a new breed of popular musician, the rock and roll troubadour.

This year’s Newport Folk festival kicks off Friday, and it will include a tribute to this moment in rock and roll history.  Rhode Island Public Radio host Chuck Hinman asked  Newport Folk Festival Founder George Wein to remember the iconic performance.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

When Maria Montanaro took the reins of the state department of Behavioral Health, Developmental Disabilities, and Hospitals, she inherited an agency with massive responsibilities, and major challenges. Among them, mounting costs and allegations of abuse at Eleanor Slater Hospital – the state psychiatric and long-term care facility for people with serious illnesses.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

“The biggest moments are made in the smallest state.” That’s the winning entry in our tourism slogan contest.

Now, we meet its creator, Frankie B. Washington, at his favorite place in all of Rhode Island. If you were expecting a beach or historic mansion, think again.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Earlier this spring, we brought you a report from our series Battle With The Sea about the impact of climate change on Aquidneck Island's drinking water with warmer temperatures, heavier rains, and more intense storms. But there’s more to the story. We pick up where we left off.

Rhode Island’s ranking for child well-being has dropped from last year, according to a new report from the child advocacy group Kids Count. 

RI State Archives

Governor Gina Raimondo recently announced the state would launch a new $5 million dollar tourism ad campaign. The ad agency hasn’t been chosen yet…but Rhode Island Public Radio decided...why wait? We asked you to come up with a new slogan for the Ocean State. Then we culled our three favorites, and asked you to pick the winner.

The results are in.  The winning slogan, "The biggest moments are made in the smallest state," comes from Frankie B. Washington, a freelance illustrator living in Cranston.

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

This week Mark and Dave sit down with Roger Williams University President Donald Farish to discuss what he sees as a growing wealth gap among colleges and universities.

Farish believes federal funding has increasingly become concentrated at a small number of elite institutions, many of which already possess significant resources.

Aaron Read / RIPR

A coalition of researchers from Rhode Island’s colleges and universities have released another round of reports on the state’s economy. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay wonders what will happen to the latest round of research.

If Rhode Island were a bench, it would splinter under the weight of all the blue-ribbon commissions and consultant-generated reports that have for decades weighed in on what ails our state’s economy.

Rhode Island General Treasurer Seth Magaziner is weighing in on the legal challenge to the settlement over the state pension overhaul, whether he is considering a run for the governor’s office, and more.

Magaziner sat down with Rhode Island Public Radio News Director Elisabeth Harrison and RIPR Political Analyst Scott MacKay.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

The uphill battle to improve Rhode Island's economy, an appeal of the state pension settlement, and the mysterious explosion on Salty Brine Beach. That's all part of the conversation this week on Political Roundtable.

Rhode Island Public Radio’s Elisabeth Harrison hosts; Ian Donnis is away. We're joined, as always, by URI political science professor Maureen Moakley and RIPR's political analyst Scott MacKay.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Memorial Hospital in Pawtucket has won federal funding to train more primary care doctors. The program is focused on caring for kids in poor communities. And the hope is that trainees will decide to stay on after their residencies. The grant will help residents see more children in the hospital's family medicine clinics, add mental health services, and teach residents more about the social determinants of health.

Rhode Island Public Radio’s Kristin Gourlay joins Elisabeth Harrison in the studio to talk about the growing importance of primary care in the health care industry.

Mark Turek / Ocean State Theater

The Ocean State Theatre in Warwick is reviving one of the big musical hits of the 1950s, “Gypsy,” a story about family, show business and the life of the striptease artist Gypsy Rose Lee.  Bill Gale says that despite some problems “Gypsy” is still worth seeing, one more time.

That's right. For you see “Gypsy” is one of those musicals you could call a “But, still . . .” piece of work.