Rhode Island

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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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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