Rhode Island

Jack Rodolico / VPR/NENC

For one of New England's biggest developers, Brady Sullivan Properties, there’s been a lot of bad news over the past year. State and federal investigators have found lead contamination and illegal toxic dumping. And those are just the cases that made headlines – in recent years there have been other complaints involving Brady Sullivan projects from homeowners and others. Regulators haven’t taken a comprehensive look at all these incidents to see if there’s a pattern at play. For the New England News Collaborative, NHPR’s Jack Rodolico reports,

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

This week, Dave and Mark speak with Preston Halperin of the law firm of Shectman, Halperin and Savage of Pawtucket. Halperin represents marijuana cultivating clients in MA and RI, advising them on the business-related issues.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

The State Council on Elementary and Post-Secondary Education voted Tuesday to allow a major proposed expansion of the charter school system, Achievement First, in Providence. The Connecticut-based organization could potentially grow by more than 2,000 students.

Achievement First currently operates two elementary schools in the capital city, with about 700 students. The group is hoping to expand that to three elementary schools, two middle schools, and a high school, increasing enrollment to more than 3,000.

RIPR FILE

The holiday concert: it’s a rite of passage for the thousands kids in bands, chorus, and orchestras across the country. By Christmas Eve, more than 3,000 students will have performed under the marble rotunda at the Rhode Island Statehouse.

Rhode Island Public Radio's Ximena Conde caught up with North Providence’s Middle School Select Band, as they gave their performance. The students learned that a lot can happen before the show goes on.

Greg Berger directs the band. You also hear the voices of drummer Cameron Geruso and clarinetist Trevor Gaouette. 

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Votes are expected Tuesday on several applications to expand or open new charter schools. The decision at the state Council on Elementary and Secondary Schools has become more contentious for cities with more students in charter schools.

RIPTA will continue its free bus pass program for low income seniors and disabled people through the end of January. The public transit authority says the extension is designed to give riders a chance to adjust to the new fare schedule.

Beginning in February, low income seniors and the disabled will pay fifty cents a ride. Riders have protested the fare increase. But RIPTA authorities say the program has grown so big it's financially unsustainable. 

RIPR File Photo

It’s been a big week for wind energy. The nation’s first offshore wind farm is up and running off the coast of Block Island. And another Rhode Island wind company just scored a grant from the National Science FoundationAquanis is a tech company trying to improve the efficiency of wind turbines. We introduce you to the wind energy company you may not know about.

SayCheeeeeese / Creative Commons License

 

Connecticut is home to several fuel cell manufacturers whose products are competitive on the global market. But state officials still overlooked fuel cell technology in its latest round of picks for clean energy development.

The big winners were wind and solar. Connecticut's Department of Energy and Environmental Protection gave the green light to proposals in Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts, Vermont, Maine, and New Hampshire.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Many Muslims in Rhode Island are feeling anxious about a Trump presidency, following promises to change immigration and refugee policy and discussions of a possible Muslim registry. In response, Muslim community leaders organized a private workshop Sunday to review the legal rights of citizens, immigrants and refugees.

RIPR FILE

Debate is growing over the expansion of the charter school Achievement First in Providence. 

RIPR FILE

Following anecdotal reports of an uptick in harassment of minority groups across the country, Providence has created a hate crime hotline. There is currently no statewide mechanism dedicated to hate incidents.  

The new hotline is part of Mayor Jorge Elorza’s effort to allay the concerns of residents, after the election of Donald Trump. Many of the city's minority groups, including sexual, racial and religious minorities, have expressed fears about safety and protection from harassment under the incoming administration.

Chuck Hinman / RIPR

Following the election of Donald Trump, immigrants are expressing concerns that his harsh rhetoric now promises to become policy in the incoming administration. In Rhode Island, advocates who work with immigrants and refugees say there aren’t enough immigration lawyers to answer their clients’ concerns. 

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza says he supports an expansion by charter school group Achievement First. But a smaller expansion than the group is seeking. Achievement First wants to add more than 2,000 new seats by 2026.

RISD Students Helping NASA Astronauts In Training

Dec 7, 2016
Aaron Read / RIPR

Students at Rhode Island School of Design are part of a new effort in astronaut training. The students helped design an imitation spacesuit to be used for training, solving a problem posed by actual spacesuits, which are too heavy and expensive.

Michael Lye is coordinating the NASA Project at RISD. He said no training suit has been able to fulfill astronaut needs and remain cost effective, until now.        

RIPR file photo

The embezzlement trial of Dan Doyle now moves into the sentencing phase, following a guilty verdict on all counts Monday. One of Doyle's attorneys says an appeal is likely, because of Doyle’s vocal and unwavering insistence on his innocence, and his belief that he would be vindicated in court.

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