north providence

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Longtime North Providence Mayor Charles Lombardi faces a challenge from fellow Democrat Kristen Catanzaro in Tuesday's primary election. The race is the hardest-fought mayoral contest in this week’s election.

On a recent afternoon, North Providence Mayor Charles Lombardi showed off 19 acres of forested preservation land at Camp Meehan, near the town’s border with Smithfield. Sunlight gleamed nearby on the blue water of the Wenscott Reservoir, a scene so bucolic you’d never know that busy Mineral Spring Avenue is only about a mile away.

Happy Weekend and thanks for stopping by for my weekly column! As usual, your tips and comments are welcome, and you can follow me through the week on the twitters. Here we go.

Happy September! The approach of fall brings plenty of fresh developments on the politics beat. So thanks for stopping by for my weekly column. As usual, your tips and comments are welcome, and you can follow me through the week on the twitters. Here we go.

Now Here This: The Karaoke Singer

May 27, 2016

Rhode Island Public Radio is starting a new series in partnership with Now Here This, a storytelling group at Brown University. On the last Friday of each month we’ll bring you a new story.

Today, we meet a woman from North Providence who raised seven kids, overcame alcoholism, and became a regular on the Providence karaoke scene. Sophie McKibben from Now Here produced the story.  


Attorneys with the American Civil Liberties Union are expected in court today for a Rhode Island immigration case that began four years ago. It centers on Ada Morales, a North Providence resident who was detained by immigration officials despite being a U.S. citizen.

Lawyers on the case are seeking summary judgment to expedite the case as it moves towards a trial. ACLU attorney Jennifer Chang-Newell says the detainment violated Morales’ constitutional rights.

John Bender / RIPR

Rhode Island’s four-year high school graduation rate has improved since last year. The 2015 graduation rate was 83 percent, up six points from 2014.

North Providence High School had the highest four-year graduation rate in the state, at 98 percent. The marching band played, and cheerleaders cheered as public officials spoke in the school auditorium.

State education commissioner Ken Wagner joined the celebration, but cautioned that graduating from high school and being prepared for college are two different things.

Richard Baccari, Sr. the head of development company Churchill and Banks, is stepping down after forty years with the company.  Churchill and Banks rose to prominence developing supermarkets across the state, as well as the Lincoln Mall, and T.F. Green Airport parking lot

It’s been five years since North Providence Town Councilman Paul Caranci put on a wire and recorded his fellow council members accepting bribes. He gave the recordings to the FBI and helped convict three councilmen and a town solicitor on charges of public corruption. On Wednesday, Caranci receives an award in Washington, DC, from the National Association of Secretaries of State, recognizing an act of political bravery.

John Bender / RIPR

Meteorologists predict Wednesday’s storm will be quick and hard hitting. Glenn Field with the National Weather Service said the snow will hit around 4:00 am and start coming down hard during the morning commute, “maybe one to perhaps two inches per hour, for about four or five hours during that rush hour period,” said Field.

A list of closings and parking bans can be found here.

It’s been almost two years since five Rhode Island law enforcement agencies received a financial windfall from the Google settlement. Google was forced to pay a $500 million fine for illegally selling drugs to Americans without a prescription.  About half of the money was returned to the Rhode Island law enforcement agencies that investigated and tried the case.  How the three largest recipients are spending the money.

Rhode Island Developer Baccari Indicted

Oct 23, 2013

Noted Rhode Island developer Richard Baccari has been indicted by a federal grand jury on one count of conspiracy and one count of bribery, the U.S. Attorney’s office announced Wednesday.

The federal prosecutors allege that Baccari paid $50,000 in bribes to North Providence political leaders to purchase their votes to win a town zoning change to clear the path for development of a Stop & Shop supermarket.

Rhode Island Public Radio political analyst Scott MacKay sat down with Dave Fallon to dissect the charges against Baccari.

Monday, March11, 2013

Mar 11, 2013

The new State Board of Education holds its first meeting tonight.  The mayor is planning for upgraded security at North Providence public schools.  These stories and more on the RIPR Morning News Podcast.

Plus an interview with the new Board of Ed Chair Eva-Marie Mancuso and an interview with the Director of the Division of Elderly Affairs Catherine Taylor.

Do you have insight or expertise on this topic? Please email us, we'd like to hear from you.

North Providence High School

The town of North Providence is planning a major upgrade to school security. It’s the result of the schoolroom massacre in Newtown, Connecticut.

North Providence police officers will soon be riding in style. The town is completely replacing its fleet of cruisers.  RIPR’s Flo Jonic tells us how they’re paying for it.

The town of North Providence is poised to buy 32 new police vehicles with proceeds it earned through the successful prosecution  of Google.  Google agreed to pay a $500 million fine for marketing illegal Canadian prescription drugs to Americans.  As one of the Rhode Island investigating agencies, North Providence earned 60 million dollars of the settlement.