Rhode Island

RI News
9:22 am
Fri November 21, 2014

"Operation Holiday Cheer" Sending Hundreds Of Care Pacakges To Overseas Troops

Lieutenant Government Elizabeth Roberts is hosting a care package drive this weekend to support Rhode Island soldiers. The initiative “Operation Holiday Cheer” is sending 350 care packages to soldiers serving overseas this holiday season.  Anyone can bring donations to the Rhode Island National Guard Armory this Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Spokesperson Maria Tocco said donations of simple things like powdered drink mix, coffee syrup, beef jerky, and batteries are received with gratitude by the troops.

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Economy
9:09 am
Fri November 21, 2014

Rhode Island's Unemployment Rate Dipped, Just Slightly, In October

Rhode Island's unemployment rate consistently remains one of the highest in the nation.
Credit Aaron Read / RIPR

Rhode Island’s unemployment rate edged down slightly in October to 7.4 percent.  It’s a number that has consistently dropped over the last 15 months.

October’s jobless rate is the lowest it’s been since April of 2008. But still the state lost 2600 jobs. The Department of Labor and Training finds Rhode Island’s 7.4 percent unemployment rate higher than the national rate of 5-point-8 percent but lower than the 9.4 percent jobless rate a year ago.

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RI News
3:34 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

National Grid Seeking Nearly 24 % Rate Hike For RI Customers

National Grid is asking the state’s public utilities commission to clear the way for a nearly 24 percent rate hike. The utility estimates that will add nearly $21 to the average residential customer bill.

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Politics
9:18 am
Thu November 20, 2014

House Finance Committee To Review State Budget

The House Finance Committee will review the state budget Thursday.
Credit RIPR FILE

The House Finance Committee is slated to meet Thursday to review the condition of state budget. The state will face a deficit for the next fiscal year.

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Energy
9:12 am
Thu November 20, 2014

Deepwater Wind Set To Begin Construction Of Block Island Wind Farm

A wind turbine in Portsmouth; the Deepwater Wind project would be the state's first offshore farm.
Credit RIPR FILE

More approvals rolled in this week for the five-turbine wind farm Deepwater Wind.  And  the company says it has secured the last of its permits for the offshore wind farm planned for three miles off the coast of Block Island.  Construction is set to start next year.

The Coastal Resources Management Council has approved the lease agreement for the underwater land on which the wind farm will sit. The lease took effect earlier this month and will be valid for 25 years from the wind farm’s start date.

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Theater Reviews
4:47 pm
Wed November 19, 2014

Trinity Rep’s "A Christmas Carol" Is Filled With Joy And Seriousness

The full cast of A Christmas Carol at Trinity Rep.
Credit Mark Turek / Trinity Rep

Way back in 1843 when Charles Dickens' “A Christmas Carol” was published in London one reviewer called it “. . . a dainty dish to put before a king.” Well, Bill Gale is not entering hyperbole land quite that much. But he does say that this year's on-stage version at Trinity Rep is a winner.

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Housing
9:12 am
Wed November 19, 2014

$2M In Federal Funds Coming To RI For Affordable Housing

Affordable housing in Cranston. Rhode Island received $2M in federal funding to refurbish and build more in the state.
Credit RIPR FILE

Rhode Island Housing says it has awarded more than $2 million in federal HOME funds for affordable housing across the state.

In total, the money will help build or spruce up 145 affordable homes and apartments. Projects include fixing up Apple Creek Apartments in Tiverton, building a single-family home in South County, and building seven homes in Burrillville for low-income families. Each year, the state receives about $3 million in federal HOME grants.

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Energy
8:26 am
Wed November 19, 2014

Major Step Forward For RI's Offshore Wind Farm

Wind turbine at the Port of Providence, currently there are no offshore turbines in Rhode Island.
Credit Catherine Welch / RIPR

Federal regulators have cleared the way for a transmission cable linking Block Island to Rhode Island’s mainland.  It's big step forward for Deepwater Wind’s offshore wind farm.  

The decision for the “right-of-way grant” marks a major milestone – not just for the Block Island Wind Farm project itself – but also for offshore renewable energy in the United States. The cable, which would cross federal waters, would do two things: connect Block Island to the ocean wind farm 3 miles off the island’s coast, and transmit energy between the mainland and the island.

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Politics
7:40 am
Wed November 19, 2014

"Depoliticize" Judicial Nominating Process Says Former Good Government Leader

Rhode Island Superior Court building
Credit Wikimedia Commons

A former government watchdog says governors and state legislators have weakened efforts meant to depoliticize the selection of judges.

The Judicial Nominating Commission was created 20 years ago to try to lessen the General Assembly’s influence on picking judges. The JNC is supposed to choose 3 to 5 highly qualified candidates, and the legislature is expected to act quickly once a governor picks a judge. But former Common Cause head Phil West said governors and lawmakers have fouled up the process.

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Coventry
3:19 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

Coventry Firefighters Union Willing To Negotiate, Surprised By Bankruptcy Announcement

The Central Coventry firefighters union says it was surprised to learn that filing for bankruptcy was on the table. The union’s president said he thought cost cutting negotiations were moving forward.

There’s been little movement on the Central Coventry Fire District’s expected path towards bankruptcy since it was first reported last week, by channel 12.  The union has been in talks with a state receiver for the past several months.  The fire district is more than 3 million dollars in debt according to union president David Gorman. 

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