Rhode Island

Politics
9:08 am
Thu June 12, 2014

House Lawmakers Set To Take Up State Budget

A vote on the state budget is expected from the House Thursday evening.
Credit RIPR FILE

Lawmakers are set to begin their annual marathon session this Thursday to vote on a budget for the fiscal year starting July first. The $8.7 billion spending plan eliminates tolls on the Sakonnet River Bridge.

House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello says he’s gotten only positive feedback about the spending plan. The budget cuts the corporate tax rate from 9 to 7 percent and raises the exemption for the inheritance tax. The spending plan also includes $12.3 million to continue paying back investors in 38 Studios.

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Politics
8:51 am
Thu June 12, 2014

State's Historic Tax Program Not Included In State Budget

The top of the Atlantic Mills building in Providence is one of the Providence Preservation Society most 'endangered' properties in the city. The Society has been working to redevelop the property; hoping to take advantage of the state's historic tax credits program.
Credit Providence Preservation Society

The House will take up a budget Thursday that does not include funding for the state’s historic tax credit program. In his budget, the governor included $52 million in tax credits with a $5 million per-project cap. But in a statement, House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello said the state is taking a one-year break, and points to projects still in the pipeline. Providence Preservation Society Executive Director Brent Runyon said that pipeline needs to stay open.

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Theater Reviews
4:05 am
Thu June 12, 2014

2nd Story’s “Freud’s Last Session” Is Quick And Sharp

Ed Shea is Sigmund Freud in Freud’s Last Session by Mark St. Germain.
Credit Richard W. Dionne, Jr.

It’s September, 1939 and the carnage of World War II is just beginning. Germany has invaded Poland. The British and their allies are preparing to fight. The world is on edge.

And, frankly, so are Dr. Freud and Professor Lewis, two of the great intellectuals of their time who are meeting in Freud’s office in England. But it’s not the Nazi war machine or the reluctant answer of its provocations by the British that’s under debate.

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RIPR News
3:29 pm
Wed June 11, 2014

RI Bridge Authority Approves Median Along Pell Bridge

Credit Ryan T. Conaty

The Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority voted unanimously Wednesday to install a median barrier along the bridge.

There is currently a line of yellow dividers down the center of the bridge, acting as a kind of visual barrier to keep drivers in their lanes. Those dividers will be replaced with a median barrier to prevent accidents caused by drivers crossing over into on-coming traffic.

Calls for a barrier on the Pell Bridge grew louder back in January after a deadly head-on collision on Christmas Eve.

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Governor's Race
9:56 am
Wed June 11, 2014

Democratic Gubernatorial Hopefuls Spar At First Televised Debate

Angel Taveras, one of three major Democratic hopefuls for governor.
Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

The three major Democratic candidates for governor offered their views on jobs, education and other issues during an hour-long debate Tuesday. The forum sponsored by WPRI and the Providence Journal came with less than three months until the September 9th primary.

State Treasurer Gina Raimondo pointed to the pension overhaul she spearheaded in 2011 as proof of her leadership skills. Raimondo said the overhaul significantly reduced Rhode Island’s long-term pension bill.

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Theater Reviews
3:56 am
Wed June 11, 2014

It’s Good To See The Rat Pack Again at Theatre By The Sea

'The Rat Pack Show' is at Theatre by the Sea through June 22nd.
Credit Courtesy Hackett Miller Company

Ahh, yes. How do I put this? If you are of a certain age, one that allows you to recognize the impact of names such as Dean and Joey and Sammy and, most of all, Frankie, well then you are probably going to enjoy “The Rat Pack Show” at Matunuck.

Produced by Sandy Hackett, son of the major 1950sCHK comedian, Buddy Hackett, it’s pretty much a charming throwback to those days when people dressed up to go to the theater, where they liked their jokes hot and quick, and no-body had ever heard of the internet or tweeting or flip-flops.

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Politics
2:27 am
Wed June 11, 2014

RI Lawmakers Again Consider Calamari As Official State Appetizer

A House committee is scheduled to vote Wednesday on a bill that would make calamari the official state appetizer. If this sounds familiar it’s because last year similar legislation grabbed headlines then died in the General Assembly.

The whole thing started when Rep. Joseph McNamara spotted “Rhode Island calamari” on the menu at a fancy restaurant in New Hampshire.  To his thinking, if calamari became the official appetizer then that just might put the state’s name on menus across the country.

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Education
9:18 am
Tue June 10, 2014

Civil Rights Leader To Speak At URI

URI's Kingston campus.
Credit RIPR FILE

Rev. Bernard Lafayette Jr., a leader in the civil rights movement, will speak at the University of Rhode Island Tuesday.

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Politics
9:13 am
Tue June 10, 2014

Bill Looks To Create Commission To Investigate State Loan Programs

A new bill would create a commission to investigate state loan programs.
Credit RIPR FILE

A bill slated to be considered Tuesday by the House Finance Committee would create a commission to investigate loan programs like the one that funded 38 Studios. House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello has opposed the idea of lawmakers using subpoenas to probe 38 Studios.

The bill sponsored by state Representative Michael Chippendale (R-Foster) would create a nine-member panel to investigate unsuccessful state loan programs. Chippendale said it’s important to press for answers even if the state budget being voted on later this week includes money to pay back 38 Studios’ investors.

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RI News
5:18 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

VA Audit: Providence VA Has Some Of Longest Wait Times

Providence VA hospital has some of the nation's longest wait times.
Credit RIPR FILE

An audit released by the VA finds patients at the Providence VA Medical Center have some of the longest average waits in the nation to receive primary care. The Providence VA said that’s due to staff who retired and an increase in patients at its clinic in Hyannis, MA.

New patients receiving their first primary care appointments waited an average of about 74 days, according to the VA audit. Only seven other facilities across the country had longer waits.

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