Rhode Island

RIPR News
4:46 pm
Tue July 2, 2013

Former Chariho School Committee Member Pleads No-Contest

Terri Serra leaving Washington County Courthouse
Credit Flo Jonic / RIPR

A former member of the Chariho School Committee has pleaded no contest to violating the state’s social host law.  The case stems from a party Terri Serra held for a group of teens back in 2011.

Terri Serra stood before Washington County Judge Kristin Rodgers and admitted procuring alcohol for minors at a party at her Richmond home. Some of the teens were injured after the party when their car crashed into a tree.

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Education
4:14 pm
Tue July 2, 2013

Twenty-eight RI Schools Receive a Low State Ranking

Education commissioner Deborah Gist says the rankings provide an opportunity for improvement in RI's schools.
Credit Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Rhode Island Education Commissioner Deborah Gist said parents in schools receiving a low rating should seek answers into how those schools are going to improve.

Twenty-eight schools received the lowest ratings, many of them were in Providence. The education department said the rating system is designed to identify warning signs and to help schools improve. Gist said while it takes years to turn a school around, parents should be concerned about a low-performing school.

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Health Care
11:32 am
Tue July 2, 2013

General Assembly Bans Sale of E-Cigarettes to Minors

The General Assembly has approved legislation that bans the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors.

Electronic cigarettes,  also known as e-cigarettes, are electronic nicotine delivery systems shaped like cigarettes or cigars. They deliver nicotine to a user in the form of vapor. 

The sponsor of the bill, Majority Leader Dominic Ruggerio, said getting kids hooked on nicotine through e-cigarettes is just as bad as getting them started on regular cigarettes.

Politics
3:52 pm
Mon July 1, 2013

Lawmakers Consider "Choose Life" RI License Plate

In the final days of the legislative session lawmakers consider a state license plate that says "Choose Life."

A new license plate being considered by the General Assembly could be used to fund counseling services to discourage women from having an abortion.

The plate with the message “Choose Life” is being debated in the final two days of the legislative session this week.

Supporters say the same kind of license plate is available in Massachusetts and Connecticut. They say private groups have a legal right to raise money through license plates.

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RI News
3:42 pm
Mon July 1, 2013

The Cathedral of SS Peter and Paul Getting $1M Facelift

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence is renovating the Cathedral of Sts. Peter and Paul.
Credit file

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence is making some major improvements to the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul. That will mean masses will be moved downstairs to a meeting hall for a few months.

The Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul is getting a massive facelift just in time for its 125th anniversary next year.  Monsignor Anthony Mancini, rector of the church, said improvements are being made from top to bottom.

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The Bottom Line
5:53 pm
Fri June 28, 2013

The Bottom Line: Economic Development & the State Budget

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 URI professor Dr. Tony Wheeler, who directs the new URI Strategic Innovation MBS program in Providence.

They’re combing over the new state budget and what it does to boost the state’s economy. They also mull over whether Rhode Island should pay back the 38 Studios loan.

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Transportation
12:34 pm
Fri June 28, 2013

RI Turnpike Authority: Toll Freeze Could Violate Promises Made in Bonds

The Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority says it’s worried that a toll freeze on the Sakonnet River Bridge may violate promises the authority made in previous bond sales.

When the Turnpike and Bridge Authority put bonds up for sale, it made a promise to bond buyers that it would not take on assets that didn’t come with a revenue stream. That way, says Chairman David Darlington, the authority doesn’t get loaded down with bridges it can pay for. He says delaying tolls on the Sakonnet Bridge puts the Turnpike and Bridge Authority in conflict with those promises.

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RI News
3:56 pm
Thu June 27, 2013

New Life Could Come to "Dynamo House" in Providence

New life is coming to the old "Dynamo House" that's sat empty in downtown Providence for 13 years.
Credit Flo Jonic / RIPR

The old South Street power station in Providence’s jewelry district has been vacant for well over a decade. But it’s about to get a facelift and a new life in the state’s higher education system.

Brown University has announced plans to re-develop the century-old South Street power station, also known as the Dynamo House, into a shared nursing education center and administrative offices.  The nursing center will be part of the joint nursing school run by the University of Rhode Island and Rhode Island College. The administrative offices will be used by Brown. 

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Politics
2:19 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

RI Reactions to SCOTUS Decision on DOMA

Congressman David Cicilline is calling this a good day for equality, reacting to news of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision striking down a provision of a federal law denying federal benefits to married gay couples.

“No longer will people be discriminated against because of who they love,” said Cicilline, “and all marriages will be respected and people will be treated equally under the law. That’s a great victory.”

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RI News
2:27 pm
Tue June 18, 2013

Artwork Coming to RIPTA Shelters

The City of Providence is teaming with Rhode Island Public Transit Authority to spruce up 17 bus shelters along 2 major bus routes.  City art, tourism and planning officials will search for artists and artist groups with experience in public art design. 

Artists are asked to generate concepts based on North Main Street’s history or Broad Street’s multicultural heritage.  Besides these renovations, the city states that the “artwork will reflect the unique characteristics of the neighborhoods along each route.”

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