Rhode Island

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

  There’s a new cell phone app designed to make getting to the ocean easier for people in Rhode Island. The shoreline access app maps exactly how far you are from all public ocean access points.

The project is part of the Rhode Island Sea Grant, a federal program attached to the University of Rhode Island. Sea Grant spokeswoman Monica Allard-Cox says the app builds on a guide written in the 90s.

National Weather Service

The advisory for much of Southern New England lasts through 7 o’clock Friday evening. Temperatures are climbing into the 90s, but humidity could make it feel as hot as 103 degrees.

Meteorologist Lenore Correia recommends keeping outdoor activities to a minimum.

“People can get heat exhaustion and things like that,” said Correia. “You don’t want to leave your children in the car, or your pets, and you just want to be careful and make sure to drink lots of water.”

Correia said things will cool off by the end of the weekend.

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Work is underway on a new stretch of bike path in Providence. The project will create an off-road path from India Point Park, north towards Pawtucket. The path is just three-quarters of a mile, but State Department of Transportation Chief Operating Officer Peter Garino says it will connect two major bike paths.

“It may not be a long segment, but it really is a critical segment,” said Garino. “We’re looking at something that really connects both the Blackstone and East Bay Bike path and makes one path out of them. It’s the missing link between the two paths.”

The head of Rhode Island’s Medicaid program is stepping down from her post. That will be the second vacancy at a top state health position.

The board of the state Commerce Corporation this week approved incentives to help two companies expand in Rhode Island. State Commerce Secretary Stefan Pryor stopped by our studio yesterday to discuss a range of other issues involving economic development

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Behind the scenes negotiations on the I-195 District, and the inside word from state Commerce Secretary Stefan Pryor. 

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Anya Rader Wallack took the position as head of Medicaid, the state’s health insurance program for low income residents, in October. Before that she led the state’s health insurance exchange, HealthSource RI. 

In an email sent to staff, Wallack wrote she accepted the Medicaid position during an especially difficult time, about a week after her husband passed away. She wrote the job has been “a rewarding challenge and a welcome distraction.”

US Department Of Education / Creative Commons License

  Virginia Senator Tim Kaine will be back in Rhode Island this weekend, to raise money for running mate Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. Kaine was in Newport when he got the call last month to be Clinton’s choice for vice president.

Senator Kaine will headline a fundraiser at the Newport home of Alma and Barrett Bready. Contribution levels run from $1,000 per person, up to $50,000.

Top local Democrats are hosting the event, including Governor Gina Raimondo, the state’s congressional delegation, and former Providence mayor and ambassador Joseph Paolino.

Warwick police contacted the state DEM's Division of Law Enforcement around 3 a.m. Tuesday morning. Police reported the boat was found at Brewer's Marina in Warwick. The engine was running, and no one was aboard the vessel. The boat was damaged, and blood was found on the deck. Environmental police continue to investigate.

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The program is called Nine Yards, as in the "whole nine yards," and offers inmates with felony convictions workforce training and counseling while still incarcerated. When released the men in the program are offered transitional supportive housing to provide additional stability and a group environment.

Conducted by a Harvard PhD student, the report finds that men in the program, called 9 Yards, reduced their collective crime rate by 40 percent, as compared to men who did not participate in the program.

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The state Commerce Corporation is slated to meet Wednesday to consider incentives meant to secure General Electric jobs in Providence. Governor Gina Raimondo has said the incentives will not be paid until the jobs are actually created.

Plans were announced in June for GE to open a Providence office with about 100 initial new jobs. At the time, state officials said they expected $5.65 million in incentives, over 10 years, to be part of the deal.

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Rhode Island is the last state in the Union to celebrate Victory Day. The holiday has been a point of contention in the past.  The day celebrates the end of WWII, during the same month Japan surrendered. Some feel the holiday reflects an outdated relationship between Japan and the U.S., now important allies.


  A judge in U.S. District Court in Rhode Island began hearings Wednesday in a lawsuit against the Federal Drug Enforcement Agency, spurred by a local journalist.

Providence-based writer Phil Eil, says he’s fought for more than five years to obtain access to thousands of pages of public evidence from a pill-mill trial, about which he plans to write a book.

“I think it’s long overdue that the press and the public have access to the evidence, and I hope the judge will agree with that and say this has gone on long enough,” said Eil. 

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

  Rhode Island is making headway growing high tech and advanced industry jobs. The state employs a little more than 40,000 full-time employees in advanced industries. Those are jobs in a wide range of areas, from software development and data crunching, to engineering and marine manufacturing.

All those jobs make up just eight percent of the region’s overall employment, but Rhode Island is growing the sector faster than the national average. In fact the state ranks 17th in annual growth for this sector.

Diabetes is on the rise across the country, but in Rhode Island, Latinos appear to face a greater risk.

Rhode Island Public Radio’s Kristin Gourlay joins News Director Elisabeth Harrison to talk about her upcoming series on diabetes in Rhode Island's Latino community.