Rhode Island

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Environmental advocacy groups and businesses have been finding common ground in recent years around an unlikely issue: stronger enforcement of environmental laws.

Peter Goldberg / Gamm Theatre

Remember Sarah Palin? Of course you do. Who could forget?

Well, the political career of Ms. Palin is the jumping off point for “Grizzly Mama” by George Brant, the author of the high-flying  “Grounded” done at the Gamm last year.

But “Grizzly Mama” is a very different piece of theater. It takes off and goes way beyond the blue yonder, into a world of familial atmosphere, good and bad, loving and hating.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

2015 had no shortage of stories about the environment and energy, including the start of construction on Deepwater Wind’s Block Island Wind Farm. Rhode Island Public Radio environmental reporter Ambar Espinoza spoke with Rhode Island Public Radio Morning Edition host Chuck Hinman about what’s in store for the environment in 2016.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

A common concern for opponents of Governor Raimondo's truck toll plan is the fear that the tolls could be extended in the future from trucks to cars. Raimondo and legislative leaders say that's unlikely to happen.

Raimondo's office said the governor's original toll plan included a ban on tolling cars. That plan was passed by the state Senate last June, but the measure died after not being taken up in the House.

John Bender / RIPR

State officials are asking the court to appoint a receiver in their quest to stop pollution from a metal recycling business on the Providence waterfront. The site has been the subject of a years-long battle involving environmental groups and state regulators. The case recently reached a critical turning point.

Aaron Read / RIPR

Lawmakers and advocates are applauding the speed with which the general assembly has taken up the Good Samaritan Law.

The state senate voted to renew the law, which provides legal protection for those calling 9-1-1 in the event of an overdose emergency. However, the bill does not protect those found to be delivering or selling drugs.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

The Governor's office has has released the preliminary locations of 14 toll gantries. The gantries are part of Governor Raimondo's $1.1 billion infrastructure repair plan, known as Rhode Works, introduced last spring.

John Bender / RIPR

Some tipped workers say an increase in Rhode Island’s minimum wage will make little difference to their finances. Dean Capice tends bar at Union Station Brewery in Providence. Like other tipped workers, he will see a 50 cent increase in his hourly wage – to $3.39 cents per hour. Capice doubts he will get much of a boost, since the majority of his income comes from tips.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

The General Assembly opens its new session Tuesday. Governor Raimondo’s plan to use truck tolls to pay for bridge improvements will be among the top issues during the legislative session.

Opponents of truck tolls plan to stage a 3 pm rally at the State House this afternoon. 

New York Times Video

Some of this December's unseasonably warm weather was blamed on a weather event known as El Nino. Essentially, warm air  in the Pacific is carried eastward warming temperatures in some areas, and cooling other parts of the country down. 

The New York Times took a crack at explaining the phenomena with a handy video, made last year, when similarly warm weather struck the region.

The redesign is part of a city-wide re-branding effort, which included a new city logo. The logo features a wheel with cogs in a nod to the city’s industrial past, and the tagline “join the evolution.”

City spokesman Rico Vota called it a big improvement over the former website.

“It was a little clumsy, it wasn’t quite user-friendly,” said Vota. “It certainly wasn’t mobile friendly. It was a little bit dated as far as layout. So it was time for an upgrade for sure.”

Vota said city officials also hope the new website will help spur economic development.

John Bender / RIPR

The state department of transportation is clearing spin-outs and crashes across the state as a result of the slippery driving conditions. DOT workers said things have been relatively quiet DOT officials expect more accidents, as snows turn to sleet, and more motorists hit the roads.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

The state Department of Transportation is ready for the first snow of the season. The agency will be deploying dozens of trucks across the state Monday and Tuesday.

DOT officials say more than one-hundred sand-and-salt trucks are at the ready for the expected one to three inches of snow. The trucks haven’t seen much use this season, with temperatures reaching above sixty degrees earlier this month.

John Bender / RIPR

Seasonable winter weather is finally hitting the Ocean State. Temperatures are expected to hover in the thirties today, and snow is expected Monday night.

Flurries are predicted to start late in the evening and continue falling into early Tuesday morning. The northwestern part of the state could see up three inches of snow.

National Weather Service meteorologist Matthew Belk said some parts of the state will have a lot more to shovel than others.

John Bender / RIPR

A recent AP investigation found major grocery store chains across the country fail to provide food for areas that need it most. In Rhode Island some fifty-thousand people don’t have easy access to healthy foods, and most of them are in Providence county.

A small group of locals have been trying to open a grocery store on their own, but it’s taken a decade to get the project off the ground.

Pages