Rhode Island

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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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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