It’s been a month since the so-called “sequestration” cuts went into effect, the $85 billion in slashed federal spending for the rest of 2013. Although the Defense Department will shoulder half the cuts, the Rhode Island National Guard says it has heard of no immediate changes. But the hammer’s coming down on social service programs.
The family of a missing Brown student says while tips are pouring in, there are still no significant leads. The 22-year-old has been missing since March 16th. Providence Police had said that the family thought Sunil Tripathi committed suicide, but the family is now ruling that out.
The father of Sunil “Sunny” Tripathi says every day the family calls homeless shelters, hospitals and is plastering fliers up in areas his son liked to visit, hoping that someone knows where he is.
Rhode Island authorities have until the end of April to make a decision about whether to allow the sale of Westerly Hospital to Connecticut-based Lawrence + Memorial Hospital, but on Wednesday members of the Westerly community will have the chance to comment on the proposed sale.
The Department of Health and the attorney general’s office have final say on the deal, but Attorney General Peter Kilmartin says public input helps to inform the decision.
The John Hope Settlement House is losing $30,000 a month, according to its director, Nina Pande. She says the problems started about six years ago when the nonprofit discontinued two contracts with the state Department of Children, Youth and Families that were worth $2 million a year. Then in 2011, a private foundation grant worth $1.3 million a year expired.
When asked whether the organization would survive past this year she replied, “I wish I had a crystal ball and could tell you that. I mean we’re chipping away at it slowly. What I can tell you is we’ve reduced the monthly deficit since November until now by about $15,000 or $18,000 a month.” “So we are successful at reducing expenses and increasing revenues but it all depends on how funding flows into the organization,” she says.
The red ink at Hope House has prompted the legislative Black and Latino Caucus to request a hearing with the agency’s leaders. Hope House board chair Matthew Stark turned down the invitation, saying the purpose of the proposed forum was unclear.
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As Rhode Island tries to overcome high unemployment, some observers argue that more urgent steps are needed to spark the economy. One of the groups making that argument is a free-market think tank, the Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity. The center’s CEO, Mike Stenhouse, stopped by our studio to talk about a proposal to eliminate the sales tax and other issues.
Rhode Island cities and towns would have access to low-interest loans for road and bridge repairs under a bill unveiled Thursday by House Speaker Gordon Fox and state Treasurer Gina Raimondo. It’s being sold as a way to jump start the state’s sluggish construction trade.
Rhode Island businesses have a little more than a week left to file their annual reports with the state. For-profit businesses are required to file by March 31st each year.
This year the last day of the month falls on a Sunday. However businesses can still file up to midnight on that day if they do so online. The link for Annual Reports is found on the website of the Secretary of State.
The Senate Judiciary Committee is set to hold a hearing Thursday afternoon on two competing bills to legalize same-sex marriage in Rhode Island. One key area of debate is the extent of exceptions for clergy and small businesses in recognizing same-sex marriages.