Rhode Island

Education
9:10 am
Tue March 10, 2015

Education Commissioner Reflects On Tenure In Rhode Island

Rhode Island's current education commissioner Deborah Gist, will be leaving to become superintendent of Tulsa public schools at the end of this year.
Credit Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Rhode Island Education Commissioner Deborah Gist is about to step down to become superintendent of Tulsa Public Schools. Before she leaves, she reflected on her tenure with Rhode Island Public Radio’s education reporter Elisabeth Harrison. Gist says she made the right move delaying test scores for teacher evaluations. But she was disappointed lawmakers voted to delay using test scores for a high school diploma.

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Economy
8:46 am
Tue March 10, 2015

Business Leaders React Coolly To Raimondo's Mininum Wage Proposal

Business leaders are expressing concerns about Governor Gina Raimondo’s proposal to increase the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, effective in 2016.

Laurie White, president of the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce said she doesn't oppose the wage hike, but points out it could cause unintended consequences, especially for small businesses.

“Which would be potentially the shrinkage of hours for workers and also the potential that fewer jobs would be created,” said White.

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Arts & Culture
8:00 am
Tue March 10, 2015

RISD Musuem Gets $2.5M Gift From Rockefeller Family

A pair of 18th century English, George I armchairs from David Rockefeller's personal collection; expected to be part of his gift to the RISD museum.
Credit Courtesy RISD

The RISD museum has received a $2.5 million gift from the Rockefeller family.  The money will go to support the museum’s decorative arts department.

The decorative arts refer to objects which have practical uses as well as artistic value; such as furniture, silverware, and vases.   In addition to the monetary gift, David Rockefeller, is donating about 43 objects from his personal collection. Museum director John Smith said the most important items include some eighteenth century English furniture.

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Theater Reviews
8:27 am
Mon March 9, 2015

Trinity Rep's Wild "Glass Menagerie" Hits And Misses

Brian McEleney as Tom Wingfield and Anne Scurria as Laura Wingfield in Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie at Trinity Rep.
Credit Mark Turek / Trinity Rep

A conservative approach to a classic play has rarely been the Trinity Rep way. Over the years full speed ahead has been more like it. That surely is the case with the theater's new take on “The Glass Menagerie.”  Bill Gale says it works, except when it doesn't.

“The Glass Menagerie” continues at Trinity Rep through March 29th. Bill Gale reviews the performing arts for Rhode Island Public Radio.

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Environment
1:58 pm
Fri March 6, 2015

State Suing Rhode Island Recycled Metals For Alleged Pollution Of Narragansett Bay

The view of Providence, from the industrial working on Allens Avenue, where Rhode Island Recycled Metals is located.
Credit John Bender / RIPR

The state is suing a scrap metal yard on the Providence waterfront, at the upper Narragansett Bay, for alleged environmental violations.  This is not the first time the company has come under fire.

Back in 2012, the Department of Environmental Management, notified Rhode Island Recycled Metals, it was violating numerous rules on water pollution.  The state worked with the company on a plan to solve the issues.  But more than 2 years later, the DEM says the company still hasn’t cleaned up. DEM director Janet Coit says she’s taking them to court.

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Politics
9:25 am
Fri March 6, 2015

Bill To Tamp Down On Corruption Not Enough According To Good Government Group

House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello has introduced a bill to tamp down on corruption, but good government group, Common Cause of RI, says more needs to be done.
Credit Aaron Read / RIPR

The non-partisan good government group Common Cause isn’t satisfied with a reform measure backed by House leaders in the aftermath of Gordon Fox’s guilty plea earlier this year.

House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello says it makes sense for officeholders to file their bank statements for their campaign accounts with the state agency that monitors campaign spending.

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Health Care
9:01 am
Fri March 6, 2015

Lawmakers Try Again To Legalize Marijuana

Cannabis plant
Credit U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Rhode Island lawmakers have once again introduced legislation to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. Proponents want to tax and regulate the drug like alcohol.

Lawmakers have been trying to pass marijuana legalization laws for years. This time they can point to the experiences of several other states that have already passed such laws. The Senate bill would make it legal for anyone 21 and older to have up to an ounce of pot, or grow a couple of plants at home. It would also allow retailers to sell marijuana, as long as they include a safety warning.

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Health Care
7:48 am
Fri March 6, 2015

Researchers Launch Clinical Trial For New Alzheimer's Treatment

Researchers are launching a new clinical trial for treatments that could prevent or slow the progression of Alzheimer's disease. The trial is one of many Alzheimer's-related projects underway in the Ocean State.

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RI News
3:46 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

Liberians In Rhode Island Cheer News Of Country's Last Ebola Patient

Reverend Matthew Kai leads the primarily Liberian Tabernacle Baptist Church in Providence.
Credit John Bender / RIPR

Members of Rhode Island’s Liberian community are cheering news that the last Ebola patient in Liberia has been released. But many remain concerned about the future of Liberia.

Matthew Kai is the leader of the Tabernacle Baptist Church in Providence.  His congregation is primarily Liberian.  Kai led them through months of anxiety at the height of the Ebola outbreak.  He says things have quieted down since then… but now he fears world aid will evaporate

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Environment
9:18 am
Thu March 5, 2015

Trash Incineration Debate Emerges Again

Credit Flo Jonic

  Lawmakers have put the breaks on legislation that could put trash incineration on the table at the Central Landfill. A committee voted to hold the bill for further study. The bill would remove language in a law that bans the Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation from including incineration in its statewide trash management plan. It would also remove any references to the high costs of incineration. This is the latest attempt to remove a ban on trash incineration.

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