Providence

Sixty Rhode Island teachers are heading back to college to learn how to teach English as a second language. The program, a collaboration between urban school districts, the state and the Rhode Island Foundation, will cover the cost of tuition so that more teachers can gain certifications to teach English Language Learners or teach in bi-lingual programs known as dual language classrooms.

John Bender / RIPR

The Providence Police hope to outfit all officers on patrol with body cameras within the next several months. But a new federal grant will only cover half of the cost.

The Providence Police department has received $375,000 in matching grants from the U.S. Department of Justice. But city must come up with an equal amount of money to outfit all 250 of its patrol officers with body cameras.

In addition to the cost of the cameras, the department must also pay for digital storage of the video.

John Bender / RIPR

City officials in Providence are considering an ordinance aimed at racial profiling by the police. The measure is known as the Community Safety Act. And advocates say it’s needed to address discrimination against minorities, especially in heavily policed neighborhoods. 

RIPR file photo

Providence city officials plan to create a "day center" where homeless and others in need can seek assistance. Mayor Jorge Elorza made the announcement Thursday, as the city seeks to address complaints about panhandling and drug use in downtown.

“The issues we are addressing today are not unique to Providence," Elorza said. "They are complex and multifaceted, but by coming together as community, we have the opportunity to make lasting change."

RIPR FILE

There have been three press-conferences over the past two days offering competing plans for dealing with homelessness, panhandling, and drug use in downtown Providence. Thursday, the mayor offered his vision.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

The new contract would move city firefighters back onto a four platoon shift schedule. Last May, Elorza announced he would reduce the schedule to three platoons. At the time, he estimated the city would save some $5 million dollars on overtime.

The plan was denounced by the firefighters’ union, which said the schedule would require firefighters to work dangerously long hours. The union has sued the city, claiming the schedule improperly calculates overtime, leading to lower pay for firefighters. That dispute is currently in arbitration.

  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 speak with Edward Mazze, Distinguished Professor of Business Administration at the University of Rhode Island.

The three discuss Providence Business News’ Summer 2016 Business Survey. They weigh in on positives and negatives in the report, and the changes to Rhode Island’s business climate. The group also talks about developing a “tech savvy” workforce, as well as the lingering effects of the Great Recession.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Critics are voicing disappointment following Gov. Gina Raimondo’s announcement that repairs to the 6/10 connector will be placed on a fast-track, leaving little hope that the corridor will get a major redesign.

Transportation advocates had hoped to see roadway transformed into a boulevard.

Advocates for the idea say a boulevard would offer better access to existing streets in Providence, and make room for pedestrians and cyclists. But the state announced this week the 6/10 connector is in such poor condition, there won’t be time for a major redesign.

Alex Braunstein / RIPR

The City of Providence has a new work of public art. Installations have popped up in public spaces across the city over the past year. The latest is a large mural called “BattleCat,” painted by an Austrian artist who goes by the name NYCHOS.

It’s a part of a series of paintings created by international artists visiting the city through a residency program.

Erika Smith / Creative Commons License

The first development project on the vacant I-195 land in Providence is complete. The land has sat empty since it became available for development.

Now on one corner of the land near downtown, sits Johnson and Wales University’s new 71,000 thousand square foot science building. The $40 million, three-story building houses a combination of classroom and laboratory space.

On hand for a ribbon cutting ceremony, Governor Gina Raimondo says she hopes the area will eventually be a hub for science and technology.

Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza joins Bonus Q&A to discuss the city's pension fund, the ongoing dispute with Providence firefighters, the outlook for city schools, and much more.

Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza joins Political Roundtable this week to discuss Kennedy Plaza and panhandlers; Providence finances; and contributions to the city by nonprofit institutions.

Stephen Depolo / Creative Commons License via Flickr

Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza is opposing National Grid’s proposal to build a natural gas liquefaction facility at Field’s Point in Providence.

Providence Police have identified 30-year-old Michelle Cagnon of Cumberland as the woman struck and killed by a bus in downtown Providence Wednesday morning. Cagnon was crossing the street at approximately 8:15 a.m. near Kennedy Plaza when she was hit by a Peter Pan bus.

A park ranger for the city witnessed the collision and called authorities to the scene, where Cagnon was later pronounced dead. 

John Bender / RIPR


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