Same sex marriage. Tolling the Sakonnet River Bridge. The 38 Studios taxpayer bailout. Those are some of the topics we touch on this morning. Our regular host, Ian Donnis, is out, Rhode Island Public Radio’s Flo Jonic is filling it.
In a rare move, Amtrak has slowed down trains along the Northeast Corridor due to the heat. Amtrak trains travel at speeds reaching more than 100 mph, but on Thursday they’re going about 60mph.
Sensors along the track show rail temperatures at more than 120 degrees. And Amtrak spokesman Cliff Cole said those hot rails pose safety concerns. “They can under some rare circumstances expand. So the thought process behind any restriction in speed is to have the trains going at a lower than normal speed to make it less problematic in case there were an issue with the track,” said Cole.
Rhode Island’s unemployment rate remained flat in June at 8.9 percent. Progress made in reducing the jobless rate in the first quarter of the year seems to have stalled.
The news was great in the first quarter of the year. Rhode Island’s unemployment rate fell from 9.8 percent in January to 9.4 percent in February, to 9.1 percent in March. In April, it fell to 8.8 percent. That’s about where it has remained ever since.
A collaborative effort to research and treat autism is rolling out in Rhode Island. This new consortium includes universities, hospitals and state agencies.
The Rhode Island Consortium for Autism Research and Treatment, or RI-CART, brings doctors researchers and educators together to advance autism research and put a spotlight on the disorder. Dozens of organizations are involved, including Bradley Hospital, Brown University and the Rhode Island Department of Education.
Two suspects have been charged in the murder of a 12-year-old Providence girl. Police say 21-year-old Branden Castro and 20-year-old Ricardo Vasquez have been charged with murder, conspiracy to murder and other felony charges.
12-year-old Aynis Vargas was shot and killed at a party last month in the Hartford Avenue housing development. Three women were also injured.
Despite a hot weather advisory people lined up outside in downtown Providence for free cake and and the chance to spot a celebrity chef.
Ten Thousand. That is the number of cakes that were handed out for free Wednesday near Kennedy Plaza in Providence. The bright yellow cakes were part of a collaboration between the store BJ’s and celebrity chef Buddy Valastro.
The giveaway was in celebration of the one year anniversary of the collaboration.
Valastro, a New Jersey pastry chef, became famous thanks to his reality show Cake Boss on TLC.
State police report an East Greenwich police officer has been arrested on charges of using excessive force on a man who was in custody.
State police said East Greenwich police Lt. Paul Nahrgang had a confrontation with a prisoner, then lunged at him and grabbed him around the neck. Nahrgang alerted East Greenwich police Chief Thomas Coyle about the incident. Coyle viewed the incident on surveillance tape and then alerted state police.
Rhode Island will not be joining 29 other states that offer anti-abortion license plates. Gov. Lincoln Chafee vetoed legislation Tuesday that would have created the plates, calling it an inappropriate use of state funding.
Proceeds from the $40 license plates would have gone to a Christian pregnancy clinic called CareNet, where women are advised against getting abortions. Supporters point out that Massachusetts and Connecticut offer similar plates.
State lawmakers approved the bill, but a three fifths majority is needed to override the governor's veto.
Common Cause Rhode Island is urging Gov. Lincoln Chafee to withdraw his nominee for interim higher education commissioner. The governor has tapped the chair of the Board of Education for a job overseen by the board she leads.