Rhode Island

Politics
10:24 am
Tue January 28, 2014

Sec. Of State Ralph Mollis Kicks Off Campaign For Lt. Governor

Secretary of State Ralph Mollis is running for Lt. Governor
Credit Office of the Secretary of State

Secretary of State Ralph Mollis officially kicked off his campaign Monday for Lt. Governor.  One of Mollis’s goals is to put the lieutenant governor and governor on a single ticket.

And that would require changing the state’s constitution, which means voters would have to decide whether they want their governors and lieutenant governors running on a single ticket. Mollis said linking the two offices would turn a lieutenant governor into a more formal advisor to the governor.

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Newport
9:41 am
Tue January 28, 2014

Breakers Mansion Visitor Center Clears Major Hurdle

The Breakers Mansion in Newport is at the heart of a dispute over whether to place a visitor center on its historic grounds.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

In Newport, a visitor center proposed at the Breakers Mansion passed a major hurdle last night.

The hotly contested center is still far from a reality.

The Preservation Society of Newport County which owns the Breakers Mansion wants to build a visitor center, which would house bathrooms, information, and food on the mansion’s property.

They say it’s needed to support the approximately four-hundred thousand annual visitors.

The Society applied for approval of the project from the city’s historic district commission, but was denied.

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Politics
9:28 am
Tue January 28, 2014

Rhode Islanders Head To Washington For The President's State Of The Union Address

Four Rhode Islanders are joining the congressional delegation for tonight’s State of the Union Address.

Rhode Island’s senior Sen. Jack Reed’s guest will be Anne Nolan, president of the non-profit homeless agency Crossroads RI. Sen.

Sheldon Whitehouse is bringing businessman Scott DePasquale, the CEO of Utilidata, a company that moved to Rhode Island from Washington state two years ago.

Over in the House, Congressman Jim Langevin’s guest is Davide Dukcevich of Daniele Foods, a Burrillville company specializing in gourmet Italian meats.

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Economy
8:51 am
Tue January 28, 2014

What Casinos In Massachusetts Could Mean For RI's Gaming Industry

Casinos in Plainville or Fall River Mass. could spell the end for Twin River in Lincoln or Newport Grand respectively.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

Rhode Island’s gaming industry is keeping a sharp eye on what’s happening in Massachusetts as the state’s gambling commission works out where to license up to three resort-style casinos and a slot parlor.

Rhode Island pulls in enough money from Twin River and Newport Grand to make gaming the third largest source of revenue for the state. Casinos in Massachusetts threatens that revenue.

So how close is Massachusetts to having casino gambling? Rhode Island Public Radio's Elisabeth Harrison spoke with The Boston Globe’s Mark Arsenault to find out.

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Pension Overhaul
9:29 am
Mon January 27, 2014

Exploring RI's Closed-Door State Pension Mediation

The two sides in Rhode Island’s ongoing lawsuit over the state’s pension overhaul meet today to update a judge on their efforts to reach a settlement.  The case has been in mediation for about a year now, but

little is known about how the closed door negotiation has been playing out. The outcome could have a major impact on the state’s bottom line, since architects crafted the pension overhaul to reduce the amount of money Rhode Island has to pay to retired state workers.

For more insight, we turn to Rhode Island Public Radio’s Political Analyst Scott MacKay.

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Newport
9:17 am
Mon January 27, 2014

Breakers Mansion At The Center Of Heated Debate

The Breakers Mansion in Newport
Credit Wikimedia Commons

On Monday, Newport’s Zoning Board of Review will hear an appeal of a ruling by the city’s Historic District Commission that rejected plans for a welcome center at the Breakers Mansion.

The Commission decided against the idea in a 4:3 vote during a hearing last August. The Preservation Society of Newport County wants to put the welcome center outside the historic mansion once owned by the Vanderbilt family.

Newport City Zoning Officer Guy Weston said lawyers for the Preservation Society claim the hearing was flawed by a faulty staff report.

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Weekend Arts
9:00 am
Mon January 27, 2014

Weekend Arts: In Conversation With Author John Banville

John Banville
Credit Wikimedia Commons

Rhode Island Public Radio's Chuck Hinman speaks with acclaimed Irish writer John Banville.

Banville was in Rhode Island reading from his works to kick off this year's Contemporary Writer's reading series at Brown University.

Banville is the author of numerous books, including The Sea; for which he was the winner of the Man Booker Prize.

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Governor's Race
9:11 am
Fri January 24, 2014

Party Lines Drawn Over Minimum Wage Increases Between Gubernatorial Candidates

Cranston Mayor and gubernatorial candidate Allan Fung, along with fellow Republican candidate Ken Block, says now is not the time to raise the state minimum wage. The two Democratic candidates disagree.
Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

In the governor's race Republicans are responding to Democratic proposals to raise the state’s minimum wage.

It’s an issue that’s dividing candidates along party lines.

Providence Mayor and Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Angel Taveras was the first to give specifics about a plan to hike the minimum wage.

He’s proposing a two-dollar ten cent increase over the next four years; from eight dollars to ten-dollars ten cents by 2018.

Fellow Democratic candidate for governor, and state treasurer Gina Raimondo wants to see the same increase, but by 2015.

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Business
5:32 pm
Thu January 23, 2014

RI Unemployment Rate Inches Up to 9.1 Percent

In December, Rhode Island's labor force totaled 550,500.
Credit file / RIPR

Rhode Island’s jobless rate ticked up in December to land at 9.1 percent, that’s up from 9 percent in November.

During the late summer and fall, Rhode Island’s persistently high unemployment rate had been gradually ticking down. But the seasonally adjusted rate for December reverses that course, inching up one-tenth of a percentage point to 9.1 percent. 

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Economy
3:04 pm
Thu January 23, 2014

Taveras Announces Proposal To Hike State Minimum Wage

Providence Mayor Angel Taveras wants to increase the state's minimum wage to $10.10 by 2018
Credit Benjamin Bryant / RIPR

Providence Mayor and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Angel Taveras announced his plan Thursday to raise the state’s minimum wage over the course of the next four years; should he be elected governor.

At the start of the New Year, Rhode Island’s minimum wage went from $7.75 cents to 8 bucks. Now Taveras wants the state to incrementally raise its minimum wage to ten dollars ten-cents by 2018.

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