Rhode Island

Rhode Island is 7th in the nation for children’s healthcare coverage. That’s according to 2014 numbers from the U.S. Census.  It’s a big jump from last year, when Rhode Island was 16th.

Today, nearly 97 percent of Rhode Island children have health insurance, up from about 94 percent in 2013. Elizabeth Burke-Bryant of the advocacy non-profit Rhode Island Kid’s Count said the leap can be partly attributed to a major PR push to get people insured, under Obamacare.


The executive director of the state’s Board of Elections could face termination, if he doesn’t improve his job performance. The board voted to put director Bob Kando on a probationary period in June. The group chose to disclose the vote at their meeting this Wednesday

Board of elections member Stephen Erickson says among several issues, the board felt Kando did not comply properly with ethics laws.

Fighting Against Natural Gas

Activists with the environmental advocacy group Fighting Against Natural Gas (FANG) say they remain committed to their fight against an upgrade of Spectra Energy’s natural gas facility in Burrillville. Spectra Energy is responding to the protest.

Mark Turek / Trinity Rep

Theater season kicked off this week in Southern New England with a contemporary version of Shakespeare's “Julius Caesar” at Trinity Rep. Rhode Island Public Radio theater critic Bill Gale says there's hardly a better way to begin.

John Bender / RIPR

The American Civil Liberties Union of Rhode Island opposes a proposed Providence ordinance, that would limit the number of college students permitted to rent single-family homes. The city council votes on the issue Thursday.

In an open letter to the Providence City Council, the ACLU says the proposed ordinance is too broad in its definition of students. The ordinance, meant to tamp down on excessive partying, would affect undergraduate and graduate students; meaning for instance two married couples pursuing PhD’s could not rent a single family home in the city.

Sergeant P. Andrew McKenna was honored posthumously with the "Rhode Island Cross" this week. The Green Beret died in action overseas in August.

Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo met privately with the parents of Sergeant P. Andrew McKenna  Wednesday. She presented them with the flag that flew at half-staff atop the Statehouse following the news of McKenna’s death.

RIPR file photo

In an effort to retain a young, educated workforce, the state has announced a program to help recent graduates buy homes in the state. The “Ocean State Grad Grant,” as its being called, is being offered to people buying a home in-state within three years of graduating from college or graduate school.

Grants, of up to seven thousand dollars will be awarded to help with a mortgage down payment. The program is being run by the quasi-government agency, Rhode Island Housing, which has set aside 350-thousand dollars for the program.

Trinity Rep

Trinity Repertory Company opens its 52nd season with William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar. The production is designed to have the feel of our modern political world, (hence the suits pictured above).

The show also offers a surprising twist in casting. The title role of Julius Caesar will be played by a woman, Trinity Rep veteran Anne Scurria. (Julius Caesar's wife, Calpurnia, will be played by a man -- with a name change to Calpurnius.)

The Department of Environmental Management has issued an air quality alert for Tuesday.  DEM forecaster, Darren Austin says ozone levels are expected to reach unhealthy territory this afternoon and this evening.

“So what that means is that really people should try to take it easy,” said Austin. “You don’t want to be outside exercising vigorously. Sensitive groups, you could feel the effects of this if you’re outside today breathing this air and asthmatic, but really on alert days, everyone can be impacted.”

John Bender / RIPR


The Providence City Council holds a final vote next week on an ordinance that could significantly affect student housing. In a city that’s home to half-a-dozen colleges, town-gown relations are an ongoing struggle. But some residents have reached a breaking point.

Torey Malatia
Elizabeth Manley

Rhode Island Public Radio announced Tuesday it has hired Torey Malatia, who led Chicago's public radio station, WBEZ, for nearly 20 years, as its new president, CEO, and general manager.

Kids may be returning to school, but summer weather is hanging on. Monday is the start of a three-day heat wave.

Temperatures are expected to hit about 90 degrees across the state Monday, before climbing to the mid-nineties Tuesday and Wednesday. National Weather Service meteorologist Frank Nocera said things are predicted to cool off later in the week with clouds and rain.

Lia McLaughlin / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Work is underway to remove the White Rock Dam on the Pawcatuck River, along the Rhode Island/Connecticut border.The dam was built in 1940.

The White Rock Dam is located seven miles from the mouth of the Pawcatuck River, near Westerly and Stonington, Ct. Dams have restricted its flow since before the American Revolutionary War. The current dam stands six feet tall and more than 100 feet long. 


Newport teachers wrapped up two days of training Thursday before the new school year starts after Labor Day. But their contract talks remain at an impasse. National Education Association of Rhode Island President Larry Purtill said there is still time to return to the bargaining table.

“Right now there’s nothing formally set up or any formal discussion but I would hope that would take place very quickly,” said Purtill.

The main sticking point is a contract provision that provides extra pay when class sizes go over the limit.


Brown University has adopted a new single policy on sexual assault. The policy was recommended by a task force last year.

That task force was formed after a student alleged that she was sexually assaulted at a Brown fraternity party, in 2014. The new policy streamlines the complaint process for people reporting alleged instances of sexual assault.

One notable change is the use of trained investigators when examining these claims. The investigators are expected to interview students, witnesses, and responders when preparing reports to resolve complaints.