Rhode Island

Politics
9:30 am
Wed April 23, 2014

Providence Official Indicted In 'Plunder Dome' Scandal Dies

Providence City Hall
Credit RIPR FILE

A former Providence tax official who was convicted of extorting bribes in the Operation Plunder Dome case has died.  David Ead testified against Buddy Cianci during the trial that landed Cianci in prison.

Ead was a former Providence police officer who ran a vending machine company. During the Plunder Dome trial in 2002, Ead testified that a $5000 payment and a call from Cianci got a family friend a job in the Providence planning department.

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Health Care
9:08 am
Wed April 23, 2014

RI's Eldery Latino Population Increasingly Isolated

Elderly Latinos in Rhode Island and their families may not be aware of the programs available to help them.  That’s the premise of a conference planned for Wednesday at Rhode Island College.

RIC’s gerontology program is hosting the conference, called “Meeting the Needs of Latino Elderly.” The idea is to draw attention to state programs Latinos and their families might not know about because of language barriers or immigration status. But Latino community advocate and conference moderator Delia Rodriquez Masjoan said those aren’t the only reasons.

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Environment
2:10 pm
Mon April 21, 2014

It’s The Season For Seal Pupping Along Coastal New England

A common harbor seal.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

It’s that time of year when gray and harbor seals come ashore to give birth, but most of the birthing will happen north of us.

For harbor seals, Rhode Island is kind of their Florida. They arrive when the weather gets cold and leave by baseball season. URI emeritus research scientist Robert Kenny said harbor seals then go north to give birth, and there’s a good reason why that won’t happen on Rhode Island’s shores.

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RI Higher Education
9:30 am
Mon April 21, 2014

Johnson And Wales Students Take Top Prizes At Culinary Competition

Johnson and Wales campus in downtown Providence.
Credit Erika Smith / flickr

A major culinary conference wrapped up in Warwick, and Johnson & Wales students came away big winners.

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RI Higher Education
1:16 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

URI Breaks Ground On New Center For LGBTQ Community

An artist rendering of the center, which will house offices, a conference room, and a multi-use spaces.
Credit URI

The University of Rhode Island broke ground this morning on a center for the school’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community. The center is unique among college campuses.

URI says it’s the only school in the nation to design and build a center specifically for the LGBTQ community.  State officials were on hand to celebrate the groundbreaking, including Governor Lincoln Chafee, and state senator Frank Ferri, who championed Rhode Island’s push for legal same-sex marriages.  Annie Russell is the center’s director.

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Weather
11:10 am
Wed April 16, 2014

Looks Like Spring, Feels Like Winter

Icicles hanging from trees in downtown Providence. It's April.
Credit John Bender / RIPR

Rhode Islanders may have had to dig those winter coats back out this morning.

After a warm weekend, with highs in the sixties, residents woke up to sleet, and icy windshields.

The National Weather Service reports that temperatures dropped into the low thirties overnight, with just under a half inch of precipitation measured at T.F. Green Airport.

And though the skies have cleared up temperatures are expected to hover in the forties Wednesday, with lows in the twenties.  Only slightly warmer weather is predicted for the rest of the week.

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Theater Reviews
2:17 am
Wed April 16, 2014

Contemporary Theater Company’s “Cloud Nine” Worth Catching

Ah, yes, welcome back, “Cloud Nine.” Churchill’s play was a hit in certain quarters back there when the world as we knew it seemed to be tumbling onto a landscape that was unclear and wonderful and scary.

The play won an Obie, Off Broadway’s version of the Tony Awards. It was done around the country by risk-taking regional theaters including a crackerjack production in the 1983-84 season at what we then called the Trinity Square Repertory Company in Providence.

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Boston Marathon
9:01 am
Tue April 15, 2014

Heather Abbott Reflects On The Boston Marathon Bombings One Year Later

Heather Abbott at her Newport home.
Credit Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Boston Marathon Bombing survivor Heather Abbott will be attending the race once again this year after spending the past year adjusting to life with a prosthetic leg.

Heather Abbott was waiting outside a restaurant near the Boston Marathon finish line when one of the bombs went off and shattered her lower left leg. She was given a prosthetic leg and has spent the past year adjusting to the changes in her life. Abbott said she has put a lot of effort into staying in touch with the other survivors and helping them with their recoveries.

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RI Higher Education
8:34 am
Tue April 15, 2014

University Of Rhode Island First State Institution To Arm Campus Police

The University of Rhode Island's sprawling North Kingston campus.
Credit RIPR FILE

The University of Rhode Island announced today it will arm its on-campus police force with guns.  It's the only public higher education institution in the state to do so.

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RI News
2:48 am
Tue April 15, 2014

Boston Marathon: RI Trooper Doesn’t Consider Himself A Hero

Rhode Island State Police trooper Roupen Bastajian is running this year's marathon after helping victims of last year's bombings.
Credit Catherine Welch / RIPR

Rhode Island State Police trooper Roupen Bastajian had just crossed the finish line of the Boston Marathon when the bombs went off. He was one of many who rushed into the chaos to help the injured. He talks with Rhode Island Public Radio's Catherine Welch about that day and how it's changed him a year later.

Last year’s marathon was the 117th and 117 is Bastajian’s  badge number. It was a beautiful day, other state troopers were also running the marathon and he did it, he crossed the finish line. Minutes later, as he was on his way to the medical tent, the first bomb exploded.

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