Rhode Island

Politics
10:08 am
Wed July 17, 2013

Gov. Chafee Vetoes "Choose Life" License Plates

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.

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Education
4:02 pm
Mon July 15, 2013

RI Watchdog Group Urges Gov. to Pull Higher Education Commissioner Nominee Mancuso

Common Cause RI is urging the governor to pull the nomination of Eva-Marie Mancuso as interim higher education commissioner.
Credit file / RIPR

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.

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Affordable Care Act
3:20 pm
Mon July 15, 2013

RI Rolls Out Details of its Health Insurance Exchange

Gov. Lincoln Chafee looks on as Congressman Jim Langevin talks about the importance of health insurance at the HealthSource RI ribbon cutting.
Credit Flo Jonic / RIPR

Rhode Island’s Health Benefits Exchange has a new name, a new logo and is looking to hire dozens of people. 

From here on out, Rhode Island’s Health Benefits Exchange will be known as HealthSource RI, and it’s looking to hire 50 to 75 people to sign folks up for health insurance, starting in October.

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Education
5:09 pm
Fri July 12, 2013

Gov. Chafee taps Mancuso for Interim Commissioner of Higher Education

Gov. Chafee taps Board of Education chair Eva-Marie Mancuso for interim commissioner of higher education.
Credit file / RIPR

Gov. Lincoln Chafee is recommending that the chair of the state Board of Education give up that position to become the state Commissioner of Higher Education. The appointment would be full time, but only temporary while the board conducts a search for a permanent commissioner.

The governor said he chose board chair Eva-Marie Mancuso because he believes higher education needs full time leadership at this time.

Mancuso says she is thrilled at the chance to lead the state office of higher education, a post with a $200,000 salary.

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The Bottom Line
3:18 pm
Fri July 12, 2013

The Bottom Line: Legislative Recap

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 mull over the recent legislative session. They discuss attempts to restructure the state’s Economic Development Corporation, historic tax credits and the new health insurance commissioner.

When to Listen

You can hear The Bottom Line each Friday at 5:50pm.

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Arts & Culture
3:23 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Point Judith Lighthouse Featured in Forever Stamp Series

The Point Judith Lighthouse is part of a stamp set going on sale Saturday.
Credit USPS

A series of Forever stamps featuring New England lighthouses goes on sale this weekend. The series include Rhode Island’s Point Judith lighthouse.

Five New England lighthouses are part of the Forever stamp series. They are the Portland Head lighthouse in Maine, Portsmouth Harbor lighthouse in New Hampshire, the Boston Harbor lighthouse, Connecticut’s New London Harbor lighthouse and the Point Judith lighthouse.

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RI News
5:36 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

USDA Comes to RI to Highlight Need for Summer Food Programs

The undersecretary for the US Department of Agriculture will be in Rhode Island Thursday to draw attention to the number of children who go hungry in the summer. The USDA said only a fraction of the 51,000 Rhode Island kids who depend on school for lunch take part in summer food programs.

Summertime is often a hungrier time for children who depend on free or reduced lunches at school. So during the summer the USDA offers programs across the country to help fill bellies. Undersecretary Kevin Concannon visited one such program in New Mexico that continues to haunt him.

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RI News
2:34 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

Only the Beacon Will Glow Atop Providence’s Superman Building

Starting this week, only the beacon atop the so called Superman building will be lit. Most of the other exterior lights will be dark, said Bill Fischer, spokesman for the building’s owner.

Bank of America was the only tenant and it left the building earlier this year. Fischer said keeping the beacon lit is sign that work is being done to bring the building back to life.

“You know, to maintain outside lighting on an empty building of approximately anywhere between $26,000 to $30,000 a year, is not a prudent expenditure of money,” said Fischer.

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Business
2:26 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

Providence Peanut Company has been Pleasing Taste Buds for a Century

The state is honoring the Providence-based peanut company for its century of selling peanuts in Rhode Island.
Credit Flo Jonic / RIPR

Lt. Governor Elizabeth Roberts is holding a birthday part of sorts Wednesday for a Providence peanut company that’s celebrating its 100th anniversary.

The Virginia and Spanish Peanut Company was founded 100 years ago this summer by Peter Kaloostian, an Armenian immigrant.  The company roasts, packages and distributes peanuts, nuts and dried fruit to a wide variety of bakeries, confectioners and supermarkets throughout New England. 

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RI News
3:38 am
Wed July 10, 2013

Thousands of Navy Workers Across RI Start Taking Unpaid Days Off

Credit US Navy

Thousands of civilians who work for the Navy started taking unpaid furlough days this week as part of federal budget tightening known as “sequestration.” It’s affecting operations at the Naval Station Newport and 49 other facilities.

From this week through the end of September, some 4,200 civilian Navy employees will each take 11 furlough days. That’s a 20 percent pay cut for employees, said Naval Station Newport spokeswoman Lisa Woodbury Rama who took her first furlough day on Monday.

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