Rhode Island

Politics
8:53 am
Wed October 2, 2013

State Republicans Criticize GOP Gun Raffle

Some Republican lawmakers are criticizing plans by the state GOP to raffle off an assault rifle at a fundraiser this weekend. For $5 contestants can enter a raffle to win an AR-15 assault rifle.

State Senator Dawson Hodgson, a North Kingstown Republican, calls the raffle, “tone deaf and insensitive, at best.”

Hodgson said raffling off an assault rifle doesn’t encourage the kind of dialogue needed to balance public safety and the rights of a free society.

Do you have insight or expertise on this topic? Please email us, we'd like to hear from you. news@ripr.org

RI News
8:48 am
Wed October 2, 2013

Providence Ban on Flavored Tobacco Upheld by First Circuit Court of Appeals

Providence's ban on flavored tobacco and cigarette coupons that went into effect in January 2013 was affirmed by the First Circuit Court of Appeals.

The City of Providence said it hopes more municipalities follow its lead and pass ordinances that curb the sale of flavored tobacco products. The First Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a pair of ordinances banning the sale of flavored tobacco products and some store discounts.

The ban went into effect last January. Peter Asen, director of Providence’s Healthy Communities Office, said it likely contributed to results of a new study showing low rates of smoking in 6th 8th and 12th graders

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Affordable Care Act
4:16 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

RI Health Exchange Gets Off to a Bumpy Start

Operators in Providence took hundreds of calls on the launch day of HealthSource RI.
Credit Flo Jonic / RIPR

A crush of users caused the HealthSource RI website to temporarily crash Tuesday morning.  HealthSource RI, Rhode Island’s answer to Obamacare, is an online marketplace where uninsured people and small businesses can buy health insurance. 

HealthSource RI received 4,000 calls in the first hour of business.  During that same time frame, 6,000 people were checking out the HealthSource RI website every minute. It was too much for the system to take.

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Affordable Care Act
11:16 am
Tue October 1, 2013

HealthSource RI Launches in the Ocean State

Sec. of Health Steven Constantino, HealthSourceRI Director Christine Ferguson and Gov. Lincoln Chafee roll out the exchange's advertising campaign.
Credit Catherine Welch / RIPR

HealthSource RI, the state’s health insurance exchange goes online Tuesday. The state is operating its own exchange, offering plans for both uninsured residents and small businesses. Enrollment starts today, with coverage kicking in January 1st. Rhode Island Public Radio political analyst Scott MacKay sat down with the director of HealthSource RI, Christine Ferguson, about what Rhode Islanders can expect when they log on to the exchange.

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Health Care
10:13 am
Mon September 30, 2013

HealthSource RI Ready For Rollout; Expecting Slow Start

The director of Rhode Island’s health insurance exchange says the state is all ready for tomorrow’s rollout of HealthSource RI; the Rhode Island version of Obamacare.  Officials running the online exchange expect business to be relatively slow the first month.

HealthSource RI director Christy Ferguson says Rhode Island is one of only a handful of states in the country ready to enroll people in Obamacare.  Starting Tuesday, the HealthSource call center and online marketplace will be able to enroll people in health insurance policies, take premiums and answer questions.

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Scott MacKay Commentary
8:48 am
Mon September 30, 2013

We Should Support Rhody's Modern Health Insurance Experiment

HealthSource RI, the ocean state's healthcare exchange is set to open this October.
Credit RIPR FILE

Rhode Island’s experiment in crafting a 21st Century health care marketplace begins tomorrow.  Rhode Island Public Radio's political analyst Scott MacKay on why we should be rooting for success.

From the Williamette Valley to the Pawtuxet Valley, the debate over the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, rages among politicians and the media. Some congressional Tea Party conservatives are even threatening to shut down the federal government if Obamacare goes forward.

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Politics
1:01 pm
Sun September 29, 2013

Sen. Reed: We Have to Pay our Debts, There’s Time for Politics Later

Sen. Jack Reed calls a government shutdown "an expensive, political gamble."
Credit file / RIPR

The federal government is edging closer to a government shutdown. President Barack Obama said he'll veto legislation coming out of the House that delays much of the Affordable Care Act for a year.  Over in the Democratic-run Senate, it has passed legislation preventing the shutdown and leaving Obamacare untouched. Rhode Island Public Radio political analyst Scott MacKay sat down with Rhode Island’s senior senator Jack Reed to talk about what could be done to avoid a shutdown.

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Business
1:52 pm
Fri September 27, 2013

"Make it Happen" One Year Later

A little more than a year ago, the Rhode Island Foundation gathered more than 300 people from across the community to brainstorm ways to boost the state’s sagging economy.

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The Bottom Line
12:26 pm
Fri September 27, 2013

The Bottom Line: Getting More Flights to Take Off at TF Green

Providence Business News Editor Mark Murphy joins Rhode Island Public Radio's Dave Fallon for a weekly business segment we're calling "The Bottom Line." Each Friday they look at business news and themes that affect local business and the public.

This week Dave and Mark talk with Rhode Island Airport Corporation president and CEO Kelly Fredericks. They discuss the runway expansion timetable, environmental issues and regulations relating to the runway, and what the airport needs to do to compete with Boston Logan.

When to Listen

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RI News
1:38 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

Three More Arrests in Murder of 12-year-old Providence Girl

Providence police have made three more arrests in connection with the murder of a 12-year-old Providence girl and the shooting of three women at a graduation party in June. 

The latest arrests bring to five the number of suspects in the murder of 12-year-old Aynis Vargas. 

Shortly after her murder police arrested Branden Castro and Ricardo Vasquez of the Harriet Street gang. Now, police have arrested three more suspects, including a 17-year-old juvenile. 

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