Rhode Island

RI News
4:23 pm
Tue July 9, 2013

Roger Williams Park Zoo Hosts Summer's 3rd Animal Birthday Party

Roger Williams Park Zoo hosted its 3rd event for the Animal Birthday Party Club series this summer.  Each year, the zoo holds the birthday party series from May thru August to celebrate some of their favorite creatures. 

Director of Marketing and Public Relations Jan Mariani says that these parties are a fun way for children to learn about the animals through interactive and creative activities.  She adds that there are other perks for the party’s attendees.

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Environment
2:41 pm
Tue July 9, 2013

Odor Prompts Johnston to Shut Down Energy Company at Central Landfill

Johnston's mayor has ordered Broadrock Renewables to be shut down due to return of the "rotten egg" odor.
Credit Flo Jonic / RIPR

The town of Johnston has taken the unusual step of shutting down the company charged with drawing off gases from the state’s Central Landfill.  The reason is that persistent rotten egg smell that’s dogged the town for years.

Broadrock Renewables is supposed to siphon off gas from the landfill and turn it into energy. But lately the company has been allowing it to spew from pipes into the atmosphere, according to Johnston town officials.  Johnston Mayor Joseph Polisena has issued a cease and desist order, requiring the company to suspend operations until the problem is fixed.

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RI News
1:28 pm
Tue July 9, 2013

Cooling Centers Open for Public

The State Department of Environmental Management has listed the local communities that have opened public cooling centers.  The centers are meant for those seeking some relief from the heat and humidity. 

RIEMA spokesperson Annemarie Beardsworth states that there are various public venues people can turn to for a break from the weather.

“Many of them are in libraries.  There are some communities that utilize their senior center or their town hall.  And each of those cities and towns sends us a listing of where the cooling centers are in their community.”

Business
12:39 pm
Tue July 9, 2013

Shaw’s Supermarket Planning to Keep Employees at Closed RI Stores

Shaws says it will be closing two under-performing stores in Rhode Island.
Credit RIPR FILE

The Shaw’s supermarket chain says it’s closing six underperforming stores. Four are in southeastern Massachusetts and two are in the Rhode Island communities of Westerly and Woonsocket. 

But the closures won’t necessarily mean massive layoffs. A spokesman for Shaw’s said the company will try to avert layoffs by absorbing the affected employees into their remaining stores.  After the closures of the stores in Westerly and Woonsocket there will be eight Shaw’s stores left in Rhode Island.

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Transportation
2:33 am
Tue July 9, 2013

Disruptions Coming to Commuter Rail Lines to Wickford

Amtrak is spending the summer replacing old railroad ties along the Northeast Corridor. This replacement work is coming to the MBTA’s line in Rhode Island, and starting Friday it will affect six lines delivering passengers to Wickford Junction. This includes trains that will stop at Wickford, but not at TF Green airport, or trains that will end at the airport and not continue on to Wickford.

The disruptions will only be on Fridays starting this week and will end on Friday August 9th.

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Environment
2:56 pm
Mon July 8, 2013

Scientists Keep an Eye on Seaweed Invading RI Waters

URI scientists are keeping track of the types of seaweed washing up on the state's shores.
Credit URI

A biology professor at the University of Rhode Island is conducting an inventory of the types of seaweeds that grow in Rhode Island ocean waters. 

Seaweed may be an annoyance, but it offers vital clues into the health of an ocean.  That’s why University of Rhode Island biology professor Christopher Lane has embarked on a study of the slimy stuff with an eye towards learning how many species of seaweed exist in Rhode Island, and which are the most invasive.

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RI News
9:51 pm
Thu July 4, 2013

The July 4th Ancients & Horribles Parade in Chepachet

Clowns poked fun of the crowd at the Ancients and Horribles parade.
Catherine Welch RIPR

On the other side of the state from Bristol, the irreverent Ancients and Horribles parade made its way through Chepachet. Gov. Lincoln Chafee was there, so were Providence Mayor Angel Taveras, Senator Jack Reed and Congressman Jim Langevin. They lead the parade, which included floats making political statements about Obamacare and genetically modified foods. There were also veterans, clowns, marching bands and a stream of fire trucks.  

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Education
1:40 am
Thu July 4, 2013

Bryant University Calls Bill Requiring Payment "Heavy Handed"

Bill allows Smithfield to bill Bryant University for municipal services.
Credit Bryant University

The General Assembly has passed legislation requiring Bryant University to make payments to the town of Smithfield. The university is calling the bill “heavy handed.”

Unless Smithfield and Bryant can come to an agreement, the legislation allows the town to bill the university for municipal services it uses. The non-profit university sits on some 420 acres of land that state Senator Stephen Archambault said would generate $2 million in yearly taxes.

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Environment
4:28 pm
Wed July 3, 2013

DEM: Mosquitoes Are Out in Full Force This Weekend

If you’re going outdoors this weekend, as many of us will, you’ll want to protect yourself against mosquito bites. The state Department of Environmental Management is reporting the largest crop of mosquitos in at least 21 years. 

The reason: heavy rains last month.  The warm, dry air mass that’s with us now is slowly killing the mosquito population, but the DEM’s Alan Gettman said they’ll be bad this weekend, particularly at fireworks shows.

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Transportation
4:12 pm
Wed July 3, 2013

RI Turnpike Authority: You Can't Bill Somebody for a Ten-Cent Toll

Because tolls are collected electronically, the plan was to charge an extra $1.50 for drivers without an E-ZPass who would then be billed in the mail.

The head of the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority said it’s going to take some time to figure out how to collect tolls on the Sakonnet River Bridge from drivers who don’t have an E-ZPass.

A toll gate will collect tolls electronically, with an extra fee tacked on for drivers who lack an E-ZPass and need a bill sent in the mail. But since the toll is now only a dime, Turnpike and Bridge Authority chairman David Darlington said they’ll have to find a cost-effective way to send those bills.

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