Rhode Island

Ian Donnis / RIPR

The Governor's office has has released the preliminary locations of 14 toll gantries. The gantries are part of Governor Raimondo's $1.1 billion infrastructure repair plan, known as Rhode Works, introduced last spring.

John Bender / RIPR

Some tipped workers say an increase in Rhode Island’s minimum wage will make little difference to their finances. Dean Capice tends bar at Union Station Brewery in Providence. Like other tipped workers, he will see a 50 cent increase in his hourly wage – to $3.39 cents per hour. Capice doubts he will get much of a boost, since the majority of his income comes from tips.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

The General Assembly opens its new session Tuesday. Governor Raimondo’s plan to use truck tolls to pay for bridge improvements will be among the top issues during the legislative session.

Opponents of truck tolls plan to stage a 3 pm rally at the State House this afternoon. 

New York Times Video

Some of this December's unseasonably warm weather was blamed on a weather event known as El Nino. Essentially, warm air  in the Pacific is carried eastward warming temperatures in some areas, and cooling other parts of the country down. 

The New York Times took a crack at explaining the phenomena with a handy video, made last year, when similarly warm weather struck the region.

The redesign is part of a city-wide re-branding effort, which included a new city logo. The logo features a wheel with cogs in a nod to the city’s industrial past, and the tagline “join the evolution.”

City spokesman Rico Vota called it a big improvement over the former website.

“It was a little clumsy, it wasn’t quite user-friendly,” said Vota. “It certainly wasn’t mobile friendly. It was a little bit dated as far as layout. So it was time for an upgrade for sure.”

Vota said city officials also hope the new website will help spur economic development.

John Bender / RIPR

The state department of transportation is clearing spin-outs and crashes across the state as a result of the slippery driving conditions. DOT workers said things have been relatively quiet DOT officials expect more accidents, as snows turn to sleet, and more motorists hit the roads.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

The state Department of Transportation is ready for the first snow of the season. The agency will be deploying dozens of trucks across the state Monday and Tuesday.

DOT officials say more than one-hundred sand-and-salt trucks are at the ready for the expected one to three inches of snow. The trucks haven’t seen much use this season, with temperatures reaching above sixty degrees earlier this month.

John Bender / RIPR

Seasonable winter weather is finally hitting the Ocean State. Temperatures are expected to hover in the thirties today, and snow is expected Monday night.

Flurries are predicted to start late in the evening and continue falling into early Tuesday morning. The northwestern part of the state could see up three inches of snow.

National Weather Service meteorologist Matthew Belk said some parts of the state will have a lot more to shovel than others.

John Bender / RIPR

A recent AP investigation found major grocery store chains across the country fail to provide food for areas that need it most. In Rhode Island some fifty-thousand people don’t have easy access to healthy foods, and most of them are in Providence county.

A small group of locals have been trying to open a grocery store on their own, but it’s taken a decade to get the project off the ground.

Andrea Hansen / Redwood Library

Newport’s historic Redwood Library is about to start charging entrance fees for the first time in its 269-year history. The private library was founded in 1747 and has been funded through a combination of membership fees, donations and grants. 

But this year the library has fallen short of expenses. Spokeswoman Gretchen Markert said starting next month they will charge a $10 entrance fee for all non-members who visit the library collection.

RIPR

If you’ve stepped outside at all this month, you already know the weather has been far from frightful.  Forecasters are predicting a record-breaking Christmas, and the city’s warmest December.

In Providence, Christmas set a record last year at 63 degrees. Meteorologists believe we’ll approach that record this year, and maybe even beat it. Overall this is shaping up to be the warmest December on record in Providence, with an average temperature of 43 degrees.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed recently sat down in her State House office, for the final installment in our series of year-end interviews with top state officials.

RIPR FILE

The Rhode Island Coalition for the homeless marks the end of the year with an annual winter clothing drive, which begins Tuesday. Advocates said it provides a chance to look back on work done to combat homelessness, and the work ahead.

About a year ago, the coalition joined a national initiative known as Zero 2016, with the ambitious goal of ending chronic homelessness and homelessness among veterans in the Ocean State.

Rhode Island's Biggest Stories Of 2015

Dec 21, 2015

1. Gordon Fox Goes from State House to Prison

Gordon Fox rose from humble roots to hold what is often called the most powerful job in Rhode Island politics. That's because the Speaker of the House has enormous influence over the state budget and which bills get passed or rejected.

About one in every 35 adults in Rhode Island was on probation last year. That according to an initial report from the working group focused on overhauling Rhode Island’s criminal justice system.

The Justice Reinvestment Working Group has released legislative recommendations for reducing the number of people in the system, and easing the high associated costs. The group found rates of probation sentencing far outpace the resources available to manage them.

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