Rhode Island

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

The environmental nonprofit presented awards to distinguished naturalists in the Rhode Island Saturday. It’s how the nonprofit is wrapping its celebration of Natural History Week, says Executive Director David Gregg.

Gregg said Rhode Island will begin to see things in nature that we’ve never seen before.

“In order what they mean and what their implications are, we have to go out there and look at stuff,” said Gregg. “We can’t assume that things in the past are going to be the same in the future.”

John Bender / RIPR

Proponents of the law say it reduces the possibility of voter fraud. Critics of voter ID laws across the country have said they unfairly discriminate against minority communities and the elderly; those who may not have ready access to an ID.

John Marion of the good government non-profit Common Cause Rhode Island says his organization will be watching the election closely.

State of Rhode Island

State leaders are touting their support for a $27 million bond for the construction of a new state veteran’s home. The Bristol home will serve more than 200 elderly veterans.

Voters approved a$ 94 million bond for the home in 2012, but costs swelled as the state worked to comply with federal guidelines. If the bond is approved, the state will spend less money than originally budgeted for the project, due to federal matching funds.

State department of Veterans Affairs spokesman Michael Jolin said the new home will provide both medical care and shelter.

WPRI-TV

Democratic House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello and his Republican rival, Steven Frias, squared off during a televised debate Friday. Cranston voters will pick between the two candidates on Tuesday.

Mattiello and Frias fought on a series of issues during the 30-minute debate on WPRI-TV, Channel 12. Mattiello says tax cuts he’s supported have moved up Rhode Island about seven ranks from the bottom in a national business survey. Frias responded by saying that’s like going from an F grade to an F-minus.

RIPR FILE

The Providence mayor’s office is refuting claims that a new proposed firefighter’s contract will not save the city as much as projected. A city council review of the proposed contract found a multi-million dollar discrepancy.

According to a statement released by the City Council, an internal audit found the mayor’s office overestimated the savings of a new firefighter’s contract by $7 million. The savings, the internal auditor found, would add up to about $9 million.

Newport Historical Society

Efforts to mark Newport’s connection to the American slave trade are moving forward. That’s according to a local group hoping to construct a monument commemorating the city by the sea’s place in the country’s dark history.

Organizers say they’ve identified an ideal location for a potential marker. They say they’re holding off on announcing the exact location until they can present a proposal to the Newport Town Council.

Marc Nozell / Flickr

National polling shows a tightening race for presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. In Rhode Island, Clinton is expected to win, but Republicans say don’t count Trump out just yet.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR


Newport Jazz Festival Opens Early Ticket Sales

Nov 3, 2016
Aaron Read / RIPR

Early tickets for this year’s Newport Jazz Festival went on sale this week. The festival is renowned for featuring big names like Billie Holiday, Thelonious Monk and Louis Armstrong to Newport since 1954. Danny Melnick, the festival’s producer, said jazz enthusiasts can expect to hear music from a wide range of artists.

"So we're looking at a very dynamic lineup of great jazz, some Latin music, some blues, some soul - you know, a lot of different things that sort of all work at a jazz festival, a lot of music that's related to jazz in many different ways,” said Melnick.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in North Dakota has asked for support from across the country in its fight against construction of a crude oil pipeline across tribal land. They’ve encouraged peaceful demonstrations and acts of civil disobedience against investors and other backers of the project. Rhode Island environmental activists and concerned residents have responded to their call, holding a third rally yesterday in Providence.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Next week voters go to the polls to pick the next president of the United States. Rhode Island voters also vote on several statewide issues, including the proposal to build a casino in Tiverton.

As part of our Rhody Votes ’16 coverage Rhode Island Public Radio’s John Bender headed to Tiverton, where residents are seemed lukewarm about the casino.

Harriet Jones / WNPR

A new railroad investment is about to get underway in eastern Connecticut that its backers hope will be a boost for the economy right along the tracks and into greater New England.

Instead of giant scissors, the New England Central Railroad chose a train to cut the ribbon on this new project.

Pi.1415926535 / Creative Commons License

Rail improvements may be on track for the New England Central Railroad, but another rail project stalled this year in New Hampshire, when lawmakers stopped a plan for commuter rail service into Boston. Now, it seems the November 8th election could change the tide for that commuter rail expansion.

Earlier this year, it seemed a commuter rail line could really happen for Southern New Hampshire.  

Tony Kent/flickr / Creative Commons License

Rhode Island has a storied haunted history, from Mercy Brown, the 19th century "vampire" in Exeter, to H.P. Lovecraft, the author of weird and spooky tales who called Providence home. The new "Guidebook to Haunted and Strange Places in Rhode Island" is out just in time for Halloween,

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

On Smith Hill, the heads of state agencies begin briefings on their budgets so far this year and their future spending projections. 

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