Rhode Island

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States that have legalized marijuana are contending with a new criminal tactic - smugglers who grow and process it for export to states where it remains illegal - and worth a lot more.

Colorado is the epicenter of the phenomenon, and it’s popping up in Oregon and Washington too. As Maine, Massachusetts and Canada consider legalizing recreational marijuana, the question arises - will the Northeast see a wave of new-age bootleggers?

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Providence police officers will be outfitted with body cameras, thanks to a U.S. Department of Justice grant for $375,000, the city announced Monday. The grant will pay for the purchase of 250 body cameras to be worn by uniformed officers.

City officials said the cameras are meant to compliment work already being done by community policing initiatives.

Ready to Learn Providence, an education nonprofit, is working to regain funding from the U.S. Department of Education. The nonprofit has already laid off five employees and expects another round of layoffs next week.

Federal education officials put a hold on $1.5 million of the nonprofit's funding following allegations of embezzlement at Ready To Learn's parent organization, The Providence Plan.

Ready to Learn runs early childhood education programs in the Providence Public School system. 

Chuck Hinman

Rhode Island-based nonprofit, The Providence Plan, is handling fallout from the discovery of embezzlement by its Finance Director Charles Denno. 

Denno, who allegedly had a gambling problem, is under investigation for the disappearance of at least $600,000 over a four-year period. 

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 discuss the state of the 38 Studios settlements. In the latest deal, executives from the failed video game company, including former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling, agreed to pay $2.5 million to the state. This was the second settlement announced this month; the other was worth $25 million, with financial firms Wells Fargo and Barclays Capital.

RIPR FILE

Cranston can count inmates at the Adult Correctional Institutions as residents. The decision from the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturns a previous decision in U.S. District Court.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Nicholas Rovinski, a Warwick native, faces charges of conspiracy to support acts of terrorism, including conspiring to help the Islamic State. Rovinski was allegedly involved in a plot to kill conservative blogger Pamela Gellar in 2015.

RIPR FILE

The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority is conducting a survey to better plan for future route or fare changes. The survey includes questions about customers’ riding habits, as well as their reasons for using the service.

RIPTA spokeswoman Barbara Polichetti said they already know how many people board buses, but that’s just one portion of the data. Through the surveys, RIPTA hopes to acquire more detailed information about their riders.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Opening arguments are scheduled to get underway Wednesday in the trial of Dan Doyle, founder and director of the Institute for International Sport.

The organization, which Doyle started in 1986, hosted a variety of international sports conferences for young people, including the scholar-athlete games. Housed at the University of Rhode Island, the institute was also the recipient of thousands of dollars of legislative grants.

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. 

NOAA OKEANOS EXPLORER PROGRAM / 2013 NORTHEAST U.S. CANYONS EXPEDITION

This morning President Barack Obama announced he's protecting nearly 5,000 square miles of marine ecosystems in the Atlantic Ocean. He calls his decision a necessary step to help our oceans bounce back from the negative effects of climate change.

John Bender / RIPR

More than 100 supporters gathered at Providence City Hall Wednesday evening for the first public hearing on a proposed ordinance known as the Community Safety Act.

The CSA seeks to reduce potential racial profiling by city law enforcement.

The ordinance includes 12 central points, several of which are variations on state law and the current the Providence police code of conduct. Most expand the definition of racial profiling and procedures for handling police stops, said community organizer Vanessa Flores-Maldonando.

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.

John Bender / RIPR

Rhode Islanders will go to the polls Tuesday to vote in a primary election. The general lack of high-profile races is expected to result in a low turnout of voters. 

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