Rhode Island

RIPR FILE

President Donald Trump’s executive orders on energy could have big impacts on states producing fossil fuels. But the order could still affect the Ocean State’s goals to reduce greenhouse gases.

Rhode Island has set the ambitious goal to reduce carbon emissions in the state 45 percent below the state’s emissions levels of 1990. Rhode Island will likely maintain that goal no matter what comes out of the White House.

Courtesy: General Dynamics Electric Boat

Rhode Island has struggled with a lagging economy for years. Though the state is still behind its New England neighbors by some measures, there are bright spots. The defense industry is one of them.

After President Donald Trump promised a crackdown on undocumented immigrants, many expressed a fear of leaving their house, going to work, or shopping. But some local Catholic Churches are seeing an uptick in attendance at their Spanish language masses

RIPR File Photo

The Providence Housing Authority will no longer automatically disqualify housing applicants with criminal convictions. Advocates say the longstanding policy hurt people trying to reenter society.

Under the new policy applicants for housing with a criminal history will be considered on a case by case basis. Old policy denied people with criminal histories up to ten years prior outright. The look-back period into an applicant’s background is now reduced from 10 years to five.

Victor Casale / Creative Commons License via flickr

The Providence Housing Authority Board of Commissioners meets Thursday. The group is expected to consider changes to policy that bars housing applicants with criminal convictions. Advocates say current policy is unfair.

Courtesy of MOWRI

Meals on Wheels Rhode Island leaders say their program could be severely limited under President Trump’s proposed budget.  Rhode Island’s MOW program gets 30 percent of its funding through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which could see an 18 percent cut under the president’s plan. But although proposed cuts raise concerns, this isn’t the first time the organization has experienced a funding scare.

Ximena Conde / RIPR

The city of Providence and the state’s Department of Corrections both appear on a list released by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as being uncooperative with federal immigration enforcement.

A detainee at the Wyatt Detention Facility in Central Falls was found unresponsive in his cell Monday. The detainee, Nelson Romero was pronounced dead at Memorial Hospital in Pawtucket. Romero was placed at Wyatt by U.S. marshals from Connecticut. He was arrested on March 16 on a federal criminal complaint charging him with conspiracy to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin.

Officials are awaiting an autopsy from the medical examiner. A spokesperson for the privately run detention facility says foul play is not suspected.

RIPR FILE

Affordable housing programs could see their federal support drastically reduced, if President Donald Trump’s proposed budget passes. That would mean millions of dollars in aid lost for the Ocean State.

John Bender / RIPR

Italian-American enclaves around the country celebrated St. Joseph’s day Sunday. This holiday comes with its own culinary tradition – a luscious pastry called a zeppole.

In the kitchen at La Salle Bakery in Providence Rhode Island – a state where zeppole are famous -- a team of bakers furiously prepare. They know lines will be forming to snap up this seasonal treat.

John Bender / RIPR

Since 1997, the nonprofit Community MusicWorks has provided Providence-area children with classical music lessons in violin, viola, and cello. 

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR FILE

A group of lawmakers and personnel from the State Department of Corrections is expected to recommend changes in the use of solitary confinement soon. Advocates hope to see the practice abolished. A.T. Wall, the head of Rhode Island’s Department of Corrections, says he hopes to see a reduction in the use of solitary confinement.

“I would like to see that day come, and I recognize that there’s still a lot of work to be done, said Wall. “We’re taking advantage of the newest thinking, which is mostly incentive based, as opposed to punitive for example.”

Mike Stenhouse, heads the local conservative think tank the Center for Freedom and Prosperity. This morning, he joins our political team to talk about some of Rhode Island’s current issues. Together they discuss the state’s car tax, the Governor’s plan for free college tuition, and efforts to cross party lines in these partisan times.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

This week, Mike Stenhouse from the conservative-leaning think tank, the Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity joins us. Stenhouse and our panelists discuss potential changes to Rhode Island’s healthcare landscape under President Trump, the continuing saga of 38 Studios, and drinking at the Statehouse.

John Bender / RIPR

A group of lawmakers gather Thursday to discuss proposals to change the use of solitary confinement in Rhode Island’s prison system. 

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