We’re in for a wild week in the weather department. The forecast is for rain today with a high of 48. But by tomorrow the high will plunge into the teens. One population that is most vulnerable during these cold snaps is the homeless.
Governor Lincoln Chafee says he still hasn’t decided which candidate to support in this year’s gubernatorial race but he’s decided one thing. Chafee, a Republican-turned independent-turned Democrat, said there’s no way he would endorse a Republican.
"I’m a democrat and I’m a very proud member of the democratic party now. It’s been an evolution, as you know. And I’m proud to become a democrat and stand up for the values of building the middle class and closing the disparity of wealth that exists in this country and that’s what I care about," said Chafee.
One of the key issues facing the General Assembly in the new year is the fate of a significant overhaul of the state pension system in 2011. The new legislative session starts Tuesday.
State officials and public employee unions have held closed-door talks for more than a year in an attempt to settle a lawsuit over the pension overhaul. House Speaker Gordon Fox said he opposes any dramatic changes, because the overhaul alleviated pressure on the state budget.
U.S. Senator Jack Reed, who has taken a leadership role in the democratic drive to renew long-term unemployment insurance benefits, has made a national call for Republicans to join the effort.
Reed was one of four Senate democrats who held a nationwide media conference call Sunday in an effort to break a congressional logjam over long-term unemployment insurance. The insurance expired last week when lawmakers failed to extend a recession-era law providing nearly a year of benefits after state jobless benefits run out.
Providence Business News Editor Mark Murphy joins Rhode Island Public Radio's Dave Fallon for a weekly business segment we're calling "The Bottom Line." Each Friday they look at business news and themes that affect local business and the public.
This week Dave and Mark talk with AS220 artistic director Bert Crenca. They discuss the relationship between a strong arts community and the local economy. And the particular management and funding challenges AS220 faces as it grows from a one-room operation into a major cultural presence in Rhode Island.
One East Greenwich farmer is filling a need for guard dogs in New England. Pat McNiff at Pat’s Pastured is breeding and selling puppies who will guard livestock, and in some cases flowers, for farmers across the region.
McNiff said the dogs are breed for the job and mom does all the training. He said his guard dogs have been a big help with the chickens. “So we used to lose 50 chickens in a week,” said McNiff, "but now we lose none. It’s pretty amazing.”