Rhode Island

Chuck Hinman / RIPR

For this month’s Rhode Island Artscape, we take a visit to the State Archives in downtown Providence. The agency has unveiled a new exhibit dedicated to odd and unexpected state artifacts. The historic objects range from counterfeit colonial money, to the death certificate of famed Providence author H.P. Lovecraft. Rhode Island Public Radio's morning host, Chuck Hinman went on a private tour of the exhibit with State Archivist Gwenn Stearn.

Opponents of building a new Pawsox stadium in Providence are rallying Thursday at the Statehouse. They want the team to stay in Pawtucket.

Organizing for Pawtucket Founder David Norton organized the rally.

“We want to make it crystal clear to our elected leaders that a very strong majority of Rhode Islanders oppose building a new stadium in Providence,” said Norton. “They’re in opposition to it.”

Some Providence residents have also openly opposed the idea. Norton says moving the team to Providence would be bad for business.

The Providence Biltmore has completed a multi-million dollar renovation of its historic lobby and guest rooms, and other parts of the hotel.

Rhode Island Public Radio’s Scott MacKay said the 1922 hotel has a prominent place in Rhode Island political history, including several stays by John F. Kennedy.

More than forty sailboats are getting ready to compete in the historic Transatlantic Ocean Race in Newport. The official start of the race is this weekend.

The race stretches from Newport to South Cornwall, the southernmost point in England. The event is considered a classic competition, the first Transatlantic Race set off from Newport in 1866.

This year’s competitors include Sir Robert Knox-Johnston, the first man to sail solo around the world without stopping. At 76, Knox-Johnston says he thinks he’s got a good shot at success thanks to a strong team.

Newport City Council OKs Smoking Ban On City Beaches

Jun 24, 2015
Wikimedia Commons

The Newport City Council has banned smoking on all public beaches. The ban also includes Newport’s famous Cliff Walk and other public walkways. It takes effect immediately.

Newport’s Mayor, Jeanne-Marie Nepalitano says the action came after the recent Volvo Ocean Race, which left some beaches littered with cigarette butts.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

One of Rhode Island’s most controversial school leaders is retiring. Fran Gallo, the superintendent of Central Falls public schools, steps down on Friday. Her tenure includes the firing and re-hiring of high school teachers, which thrust Rhode Island into the center of a national debate over public education. Gallo sat down with Rhode Island Public Radio’s Elisabeth Harrison at her office in Central Falls to look back on the firings, and what she’s learned from Rhode Island’s smallest school district.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Muslims around the world are celebrating Ramadan, a month of fasting from sunrise to sunset. In Rhode Island, Muslims are observing this month-long holiday at the same time that a Warwick resident, who is a Muslim convert, is facing charges of plotting to support foreign terrorist groups. The Muslim community is concerned this could cast their community in a negative light.

Data released Monday by the Latino Policy Institute at Roger Williams University show that families with mixed immigration status face significant challenges. The numbers are based on a survey of nearly 180 Latino families. When at least one parent is an undocumented immigrant, researcher Kalina Brabeck says children may struggle in school.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Rhode Island lawmakers are expected to wrap up the regular part of their 2015 session later this week. It remains unknown for now if legislators will return to hold a special session later this year.Governor Gina Raimondo is pressing lawmakers to back a plan to fund bridge improvements through new tolls on truck.

The state Trucking Association opposes the plan.

The board of the Coventry Fire District must decide what happens now that residents have voted to dissolve the district. The board meets Monday to discuss the options.

The cash strapped Coventry Fire District is set to run out of money in the coming weeks. Voters rejected a tax increase to raise the $600,000 needed to keep the district afloat. 


Governor Gina Raimondo has signed into law a new minimum wage; set to take effect next year. The wage will increase by sixty cents.

The increase takes effect January 2016. The hourly wage will go from $9 an hour to $9.60 an hour.

Some lawmakers including the Governor and sponsors of the legislation had called for a larger. But the business community pushed back, saying that would place too high a burden on business owners.

Aaron Read / RIPR

Rhode Island’s unemployment rate ticked down again in May from 6.1 percent to 5.9 percent. The economy gained 3,400 jobs.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

My friends Joe Labriola and Mike Skinner did the Walk for Hunger a few weeks back. They have done the walk before. They have done walks for Toys For Tots too. They have a problem with people going without in the richest country on earth.


The Providence VA is stepping up efforts to curb prescription painkiller abuse and overdose deaths. Now there are two new tools in the fight.

Nationwide, the VA rolled out its opioid safety initiative in 2013. Since then, VA systems around the country have begun tracking painkiller and other prescriptions better. That includes a new system to track whether a patient has also been prescribed a class of medication called benzodiazepines, which can be dangerous when combined with opioids.

By law, the Coastal Resources Management Council should have two hearing officers to oversee contested cases. But the agency has gone without a full-time hearing officer for more than 10 years.

  The state’s largest environmental advocacy group, Save The Bay, has called on Gov. Gina Raimondo to appoint at least one full-time hearing officer to the CRMC.