Rhode Island

Veterans’ group Operation Stand-Down is leaving the Rhode Island Coalition for the Homeless. The move follows a disagreement over homeless veterans.

The Rhode Island Coalition for the Homeless is taking part in a national effort to combat homelessness known as Zero:2016. Through that effort the organization has housed more than 160 veterans this year. This week the group said it was on track to end chronic homelessness among veterans in Rhode Island.

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Rhode Island ranks fifth nationwide in a survey of government integrity. But the rank comes with a grade of just a D+. No state scored higher than a C.

JWU Media Relations

Starting this month, Johnson & Wales students will have access to a full crime lab at the university’s criminal justice department. Work in the lab will be required for all students who major in criminal justice.

JWU spent some $650,000 outfitting a lab with the latest forensic microscopes and other technology so students can analyze fingerprints, blood spatter and other evidence. There’s also a re-enactment room, which Criminal Justice Department Chair Alison Goodrich likes to call “the murder room.”

RI Veterans' Voices: Jay McBride

Nov 10, 2015
Emily Wooldridge / RIPR

In honor of Veterans Day, Rhode Island Public Radio is sharing stories from veterans this week. Today, we hear from Jay McBride, a Bristol resident who served in the Coast Guard during the Vietnam War. McBride has found a new way to serve by working with veterans recovering from addiction. He spoke at the VA Medical Center where he volunteers on a daily basis.

He spoke with Rhode Island Public Radio intern Emily Wooldridge, who produced this story.

John Bender / RIPR

The new PawSox leadership group is no longer ruling out McCoy Stadium as the permanent home of the triple-a baseball team. However, the group offered scant details on any new stadium deal during a media introduction to their new leaders in the club house at McCoy Stadium Monday.

PawSox chairman Larry Lucchino declined to discuss plans to either keep the team in Pawtucket or move to a new city.  He focused instead on introductions for new PawSox President, Dr. Charles Steinberg. He steps in following the unexpected death of former President Jim Skeffington.

RIPR File Photo

The leaders of the House and Senate are visiting Israel as part of a delegation organized by the Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island.

House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello and Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed were invited to take part in the trip. The Jewish Alliance is paying their expenses.

The week-long mission is meant to build potential partnerships with Israel and to exchange information on government, education, and entrepreneurship.

Nate Mooney / RIPR

This week, as we prepare to mark Veterans Day, Rhode Island Public Radio brings you the stories of some of our servicemen and women in their own voices. We begin with Colonel Susan Luz, a retired army nurse who received a Bronze Star for service in Iraq.  

Luz comes from a military family. Her father served in World War II and her brother in Vietnam. Her father-in-law was a member of the World War II squad that inspired the HBO miniseries “Band of Brothers.” 

Colonel Susan Luz now works with teenagers in a psychiatric program at Gateway Healthcare in Rhode Island.

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Rhode Island is now one of just nine states and the District of Columbia offering coverage for transgender medical services under Medicaid. The new policy went public this week.

Previously, Medicaid in Rhode Island offered no coverage for patients seeking hormone therapy or gender reassignment surgery. Now, those patients can get those services and mental health treatment too.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

The head of the state Department of Transportation says the lack of specific sites for truck tolls in Governor Raimondo’s infrastructure plan is not unusual. Critics say this information should be made public before the legislature considers the plan early next year.

The governor wants to use truck tolls at a total of 17 sites on five highways around the state to generate money to improve bridges. DOT director Peter Alviti said a series of studies are being used to pinpoint the most logical locations for the truck tolls.

RIPR FILE

Rhode Island has received more than $2 million in federal funding to pay for affordable housing. The money will fund projects in East Providence and Woonsocket.

The money will go towards the construction and rehabbing of affordable housing. It will also provide help for residents with immediate housing problems… such as rental assistance, and emergency shelter funding.

Katherine Doherty / RIPR

The group tasked with developing strategies to combat drug overdoses and deaths, is set to deliver recommendations to the Governor. The panel was created earlier this year to help combat the issue of opioid overdoses and deaths in the state.

Governor Raimondo said the group will outline strategies to curb the growing trend.

John Bender / RIPR

Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza has launched an advisory council to focus on gun violence. The 11-member group will meet at least four times a year, and deliver annual recommendations to the city.

The group tasked with reevaluating the way the state spends money on K-12 education meets for the first time Tuesday. The state’s current plan for education spending is now five years old.

The Funding Formula Working Group will examine what changes might be made to the system, which comprises the second largest slice of the state’s budget.

Among the issues the group will tackle are the funding of charter schools, special-needs education, and programs for English language learners.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

A legislative committee plans to continue its examination of 38 Studios Tuesday. The latest oversight hearings were sparked by the release of a trove of documents related to the failed video game company.

The committee is slated to continue a presentation on the timeline of events leading to the state’s investment in 38 Studios.

Rhode Island’s only law school, in partnership with a local law firm, is opening a legal clinic for disabled veterans. Students at the Roger Williams University Law School will work directly with veterans.

     

With a little supervision, the lawyers-in-training will help veterans who have been denied disability benefits, navigate the appeals process.

Erik Wallim, director of the veterans’ advocacy group Operation Stand Down Rhode Island, says that process can involve a lot of red tape and long wait times for a resolution.

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