local feature

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Muslims around the world are celebrating Ramadan, a month of fasting from sunrise to sunset. In Rhode Island, Muslims are observing this month-long holiday at the same time that a Warwick resident, who is a Muslim convert, is facing charges of plotting to support foreign terrorist groups. The Muslim community is concerned this could cast their community in a negative light.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

The high cost of government in Rhode Island is once again in the forefront, as voters in Coventry dissolve the Coventry Fire District. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay asks if this can be a spur for consolidation in our tiny state.

In a referendum  Coventry voters resoundingly refused to give any more of their property taxes to the stanch the river of red ink drowning the Coventry Fire District. They  turned thumbs down on the fire district even though it provides fire and emergency services to the most densely populated part of the community..

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

A pair of bills that could make it harder to open more charter schools are again up for committee votes at the Statehouse.

The House bill would place a one-year pause on the creation of new charter schools. After a legislative committee found reasons to re-evaluate the way the state funds public charter schools and public school districts, the bill calls for more time for lawmakers to consider changes.

A quiet Warwick neighborhood has been rocked in recent days following the arrest of one of its residents on terrorism charges. Federal authorities picked up 24-year-old Nicholas Rovinski on charges of aiding this Islamic State. He’s also charged with conspiring to commit acts of violence against U.S. citizens.

According to an affidavit Rovinski had an active online presence; communicating in support of the Islamic State, or ISIS.

John Bender / RIPR

Over the years, the state has slashed budgets across all government agencies, including the Department of Environmental Management. This agency, tasked with protecting the environment, has seen a decline in staffing. Environmental advocates say these cuts have weakened and slowed enforcing environmental laws and regulations.   

Earlier this year, residents packed a small room at the Statehouse for a hearing about a zoning bill. They complained to lawmakers about industrial pollution from a quarry in Westerly. Residents blame the DEM for poor monitoring and enforcement.

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