Rhode Island

The Environment Council of Rhode Island has laid out its legislative priorities for the new General Assembly session. The group, comprised mostly of local non-profit environmental groups, hopes to cut carbon emissions with a new tax and increase renewable energy efforts.

The Council proposed a new tax that would be levied on companies bringing carbon-based fuels into the state. A tax rate of $15 per ton of potential carbon emissions would go to fund state renewable energy efforts.

Ryan von Linden/New York Department of Environmental Conservation / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

New research from the University of New Hampshire suggests some bat species have developed a resistance to a devastating fungal disease known as white-nose syndrome.

Since the white-nose syndrome was introduced to North America from Europe about 10 years ago, it has killed roughly 90 percent of the little brown bat population in the northeast.

Mark Turek / Trinity Rep

On Martin Luther King Day Trinity Rep opened “The Mountaintop,”  a play that salutes Dr. King. Rhode Island Public Radio's Bill Gale says the show works, to an extent, at least.

The roughly one million residents of the Ocean State traveled such diverse paths to get here.  

RIPR FILE

Governor Gina Raimondo delivers her State of the State speech tonight at the Statehouse. 

John Bender / RIPR

Former Providence State Rep. John Carnevale pleaded not guilty in Superior Court Friday to charges of perjury and filing false documents. The charges stem from an investigation into Carnevale’s residency.

The attorney general’s office alleges Carnevale lied under oath to the Providence Board of Canvassers during hearings to determine his residency. The former lawmaker owned two residences, one in Johnston and another in Providence. He maintained his primary residence was in Providence. The board eventually determined Carnevale was not eligible to represent his district.

John Bender / RIPR

Former state Representative John Carnevale is the custody of State Police, according to WPRI-TV, Channel 12. The station says Carnevale turned himself in to State Police headquarters in Scituate on Thursday, where he will be held through the night. Carnevale is scheduled to be arraigned in Superior Court Friday morning.

The charges Carnevale faces remain unclear. State police could not be reached, and Amy Kempe, spokeswoman for the attorney general, offered no comment.

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.

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