Rhode Island

RIPR file photo

James Morales, the man who escaped a Central Falls detention facility on New Year’s Eve, appeared in court Friday for the first time since his capture outside of Boston Thursday. Morales was ordered to stay in federal custody.

A cold Sunday night and a chilly Monday morning followed the first major snowstorm of 2017. Providence hit the single digits Monday morning, and Taunton, Massachusetts fell to -10 in the early morning hours, according to the National Weather Service.

Michael Vadon / Creative Commons License via Flickr

Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson is offering President-elect Donald Trump some help to build his proposed wall along the U.S. border with Mexico.

John Bender / RIPR

Three correctional officers and one supervisor from the Wyatt Detention Facility are now on paid leave following the escape of prisoner James Morales. The private prison is conducting an investigation into the New Year’s Eve incident.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

One day after the start of Rhode Island's new General Assembly session, a group of lawmakers, religious leaders and advocates for the poor planned to demonstrate at the Statehouse. The Rhode Island Interfaith Coalition to Reduce Poverty organizes the annual event to encourage lawmakers to take up issues affecting low-income Rhode Islanders.

Though largely ceremonial, the event is usually attended by high-ranking lawmakers, including the Governor.

The New Year has begun, and that means it’s time for a new legislative session on Smith Hill. Lawmakers are expected to take up a range of issues, from car taxes to a budget deficit, and perhaps recreational marijuana. Rhode Island Public Radio’s Elisabeth Harrison sat down for a preview of the legislative session with our political analyst Scott MacKay.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Twelve new state reps and four new senators will be sworn in when the General Assembly begins its new session Tuesday. House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello and Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed are expected to be formally re-elected to their leadership positions.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

After losing a 2014 run for governor, Republican Allan Fung returned to Rhode Island's third-largest city to face a brewing scandal within his police department. His office was roundly criticized in a state police report, which provided fodder for his opponents during his most recent reelection bid. Despite that, Fung easily won with 68 percent of the vote.

Fung said infrastructure repair will be one of his major priorities during his final term.

Providence Business News Editor Mark Murphy joins Rhode Island Public Radio's Dave Fallon for our weekly business segment, The Bottom Line.

This week, Rhode Island Public Radio’s political commentator Scott MacKay joins Dave and Mark to look at the future of the Ocean State’s economy in the New Year.

Four Of Six New England States Raising Minimum Wage In 2017

Dec 30, 2016
RIPR FILE

Massachusetts' 2017 rate of $11 an hour puts it in a tie for top statewide rate in the country, along with Washington state.

Ryan Caron King / VPR/NENC

New England has roughly 400,000 immigrants without legal status living and working from Connecticut and Rhode Island to Maine.

SHERYL RICH-KERN

For college students, the academic year is well underway. Students have spent the first semester making new friends and adjusting to classes and dorm life.

But unlike previous generations, these young adults are more likely to report anxiety and depression.

And that has campus mental health centers struggling to keep up with demand.

At Keene State College in New Hampshire, English major Aidan Bolduc sits near a window in the atrium, as other students banter over summer escapades and coursework.

Virginia Institute of Marine Science / Creative Commons License via Flickr

 

There’s some good news for sushi lovers. A new report finds that over an 8-year period, mercury levels in Gulf of Maine tuna declined 2 percent a year — a decline that parallels reductions in mercury pollution from Midwest coal-fired power plants.

Two years ago, Dr. Nicholas Fisher, a professor of marine sciences at Stony Brook University in New York, had a bit of luck — he found out that a colleague had established a collection of 1,300 western Atlantic bluefin taken from the Gulf of Maine between 2004 and 2012.

Ryan Caron King / VPR/NENC

Part 3 of a four-part New England News Collaborative series called "Facing Change"

Next month, a mix of Syrian and Iraqi refugees will begin arriving in Rutland, Vermont. They’ll be the first of 100 that will be resettled there over the next year. 

RIPR FILE

The state Supreme Court is allowing a recall effort to continue against Providence City Councilor Kevin Jackson. Jackson faces charges of embezzlement and misusing campaign contributions.

Councilor Jackson wanted the the state Supreme Court to block the effort to knock him out of office. But the court has declined to review lower court rulings in the case.

The recall effort against Jackson began after he was charged with misappropriating more than $127,000 from a youth track and field group. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

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