Rhode Island

Education
9:07 am
Tue August 27, 2013

Reed Brings $1.5M to Woonsocket's Head Start Program

Senator Reed has secured $1.5 million for Woonsocket's Head Start program, the city will still have 30 fewer slots.
Credit RIPR FILE

Senator Jack Reed is in Woonsocket Tuesday, bringing a gift from the federal government.

Senator Jack Reed has secured $1.5 million for the Woonsocket Head Start program.  The money won’t be enough to make up for sequestration cuts, according to Reed’s office.

Woonsocket will still lose 30 Head Start slots this fall. Statewide, some 370 slots will be lost.

Nationwide, sequestration has forced Head Start to eliminate and reduce services for more than 57-thousand children for the coming school year, according to the U.S. Health and Human Services Department.

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Education
8:45 am
Tue August 27, 2013

Union Applauds Freeze on Using Test Scores in Teacher Evaluations

Gist will consult with federal officials about whether the postponement will require a waiver to avoid jeopardizing the 75 million dollar Race to the Top grant.
Credit Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Rhode Island teachers are breathing a sigh of relief now that state Education Commissioner Deborah Gist has postponed the inclusion of test scores on teacher evaluations for a year.  

Student results on the New England Common Assessment Program were supposed to be folded in to teacher evaluations starting this school year. Gist said the policy is widely misunderstood. A year, she said, should give them ample time to clarify the policy.

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Politics
8:38 am
Tue August 27, 2013

State Continues to Face Growing Budget Deficits

The state Budget office says the deficit will continue to grow to $400 million by 2018.
Credit RIPR FILE

Rhode Island continues to face worsening budget deficits for the next five years. That’s according to new information from the state budget office.  The red ink could cause cutbacks in government programs.

The budget office says lawmakers face a $150 million deficit for the fiscal year starting in July 2014. As it stands, the budget hole is set to keep growing,until it tops $400 million for fiscal 2018.

The budget enacted by the General Assembly in June made some relatively minor reductions in the state’s long-term deficits.

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RI News
1:37 pm
Mon August 26, 2013

Pit Bull Bites Warwick Cop, Gets Shot

The fate of the bit bull that bit a Warwick police officer over the weekend will be decided at a vicious dog hearing. Warwick police say an officer was responding to a domestic disturbance call Saturday morning when he was bitten by a pit bull.

The officer was arresting a 19-year-old man outside a home when a woman opened the door and a pit bull ran out and bit the officer twice. The officer fired two rounds, injuring the dog. Police say the officer was treated for two bites on his leg and is recovering. The pit bull remains at an animal hospital.

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Education
8:32 am
Mon August 26, 2013

Standardized Testing will Not be Part of Teacher Evaluations This Year

The state Department of Education is postponing for one year the inclusion of NECAP test scores in a teacher’s evaluation. State Education Commissioner Deborah Gist said there was not enough clarity on how the test was being used to assess teacher effectiveness.

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Scott MacKay Commentary
1:30 am
Sun August 25, 2013

RI Can Do Younger Citizens a Favor by Investing More in URI

Out-of-state tuition at URI for 2012-13 was $23,156, according to data from the New England Board of Higher Education.
Credit file / URI

The days are getting shorter, our cobalt coastline is cooler. The rhythms of fall return. In our cozy corner of New England, a timeless harbinger of the season is students thronging college campuses.

Behind the teary parental goodbye hugs and lugging the laptops to the dorm looms an uneasiness in the realm of higher education these days. Students loaded down with mountains of debt graduate into an uncertain economy. ``Do you want fries with that diploma’’ is the gallows humor of our age.

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The Bottom Line
3:53 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

The Bottom Line: The Secret to Luring Conventions to Providence

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 with Kristin McGrath, VP of Sales with the Providence/Warwick Convention and Visitors Bureau. Their discussion centers on Providence as an increasingly popular destination for conventions and festivals, like the gathering of HP Lovecraft fans taking place this weekend.

When to Listen

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Environment
2:58 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

Waste Company Settles with EPA by Helping Schools in RI & MA

A Providence waste handler has agreed to remove hazardous chemicals from 60 schools in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. The cleanup is part of a settlement with the Environmental Protection Agency.

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RI News
1:49 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

Iconic Downtown Diner 'Eddie and Son' Serves its Last Meals

Eddie And Son Diner has been operating out of it's Dorrance St. location for the last 20 years. Before that it was located on Westminster, Pine and Broadway.
Credit John Bender / RIPR

After more than 65 years in business, the iconic Providence eatery, Eddy and Son’s Diner is shutting its doors.

About a dozen customers sat scattered through the restaurant in the calm before the early lunch rush at Eddie and Son Diner in downtown Providence on their final day of business.

The restaurant has been serving affordable Italian and diner fare for the last 70 years, always taking only cash.

At the counter Connie Caputo, who runs the restaurant with her husband takes orders at the cash register.

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Politics
9:30 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Mayor Taveras Expects to Balance City Budget for FY 2013

Mayor Taveras believes Providence will balance it's budget for FY13, though the city's internal auditor says it's still too early to tell.
Credit Flo Jonic / RIPR

Providence Mayor Angel Taveras says he expects the city’s budget for the last fiscal year to be balanced when the books close on it at month’s end.  Providence is still working to eliminate a small structural deficit.

Taveras inherited a 110 million dollar deficit when he took office in January 2011. Since then, the city has steadily whittled down that number. Taveras says the fiscal picture is solid as City Hall prepares to close the books for the budget year that ended June 30th.

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