Providence

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Congressman David Cicilline is calling on President Trump to denounce a series of threats against Jewish Community Centers in Providence and elsewhere.

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The city of Providence hopes to buy up more than 300 abandoned properties scattered across the city. The city wants to take control of the properties in order to quickly get them into the hands of real-estate developers and back on the market. This is the latest program in a years-long effort to tackle the issue in the city.

This newest initiative identifies approximately 350 properties the city hopes to buy up across various neighborhoods using a variety of tools including eminent domain. Bob Azar of the city’s Planning Department said that number could change.

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U.S. Sen. Jack Reed held a meeting with constituents in Providence, Thursday. Some 100 people gathered to voice concerns over President Trump’s cabinet picks, recent executive orders, and Russian relations. Reed said he would continue to fight the administration, but offered few details of how exactly he might do it.

Christy Clark-Pujara is an assistant professor of history in the Department of African-American Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and the author of the recent book "Dark Work: the Business of Slavery in Rhode Island." 


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A swastika was discovered Thursday morning spray-painted on a dumpster in front of a YMCA in Providence. Staff say they removed the anti-Semitic symbol shortly after its discovery.

In a statement, Greater Providence YMCA CEO Steven O'Donnell called it "an unfortunate, and hopefully isolated, incident."

O'Donnell said the graffiti was reported to Providence Police. 

Bob Pos / CREATIVE COMMONS LICENSE VIA FLICKR

To win a James Beard Award means having made it to the upper echelons of the restaurant industry. Often compared to the likes of the Oscars, the awards can put chefs- and the cities their restaurants are in- on the culinary map. This year, two Providence restauranteurs are James Beard semifinalists in the Best Chef Northeast category.

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Fans lined the streets of downtown Providence Tuesday before a Patriots rally at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center. Thousands of people stood in the rain, waiting for their chance to catch a glimpse of the Super Bowl champions and the Super Bowl trophy.

In a line that ran for at least three blocks, fan Mike Cote from Warwick said he came to celebrate the team’s entire season, and, of course, their historic come-from-behind win at the Super Bowl.

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Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza touted new planned investments and the city’s increasingly stable financial footing during his annual State of the City address Wednesday night. Elorza announced that Providence would have its first rainy day fund since 2011 at the end of this fiscal year.

Elorza also recognized the city faces steep financial challenges. The city owes hundreds of millions of dollars in unfunded pension liabilities. 

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Members of the Providence City Council passed a resolution formally opposing plans by the town of Johnston to sell water from the capital city to a proposed power plant in Burrillville. The deal is controversial because Johnston purchases water from Providence.

The resolution is largely ceremonial, and councilors heard from legal counsel, who advised there is little that can hamper the deal. Providence City Solicitor Jeffery Dana says the city is compelled to provide water to Johnston as part of a 1915 state law.

US Representative David Cicilline joins Bonus Q&A to discuss why Democrats lost so much ground during President Obama's tenure, whether Providence should consider bankruptcy, whether he plans to square off against Jim Langevin in 2022, and much more.

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Former Providence State Rep. John Carnevale pleaded not guilty in Superior Court Friday to charges of perjury and filing false documents. The charges stem from an investigation into Carnevale’s residency.

The attorney general’s office alleges Carnevale lied under oath to the Providence Board of Canvassers during hearings to determine his residency. The former lawmaker owned two residences, one in Johnston and another in Providence. He maintained his primary residence was in Providence. The board eventually determined Carnevale was not eligible to represent his district.

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Former state Representative John Carnevale is the custody of State Police, according to WPRI-TV, Channel 12. The station says Carnevale turned himself in to State Police headquarters in Scituate on Thursday, where he will be held through the night. Carnevale is scheduled to be arraigned in Superior Court Friday morning.

The charges Carnevale faces remain unclear. State police could not be reached, and Amy Kempe, spokeswoman for the attorney general, offered no comment.

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The state Supreme Court is allowing a recall effort to continue against Providence City Councilor Kevin Jackson. Jackson faces charges of embezzlement and misusing campaign contributions.

Councilor Jackson wanted the the state Supreme Court to block the effort to knock him out of office. But the court has declined to review lower court rulings in the case.

The recall effort against Jackson began after he was charged with misappropriating more than $127,000 from a youth track and field group. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

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The Federal Railroad Administration has proposed a major expansion of the Northeast rail corridor from Washington, D.C. through Providence and Boston. The plan would cost an estimated $120 billion, to build new tracks, new lines, and more trains.

The FRA says most of the railways on the line should be expanded from two to four tracks, and it calls for direct and frequent service to Hartford, Connecticut and Springfield, Massachusetts.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and best wishes to all for the holidays. 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.

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