Rhode Island


Update: Bill Clinton and Rev. Jesse Jackson to attend Weiner funeral Tuesday at Temple Beth-El in Providence at 11 a.m.

Mark Weiner of East Greenwich, a confidante of Hillary and Bill Clinton, former Rhode Island state Democratic chairman, and top fund raiser for the Democratic Party, both nationally and in the Ocean State, has died after a battle with cancer. He was  62.


The report highlights the importance of headwater streams to the health of the bay. These small bodies of water feed into the bay, and stretch as far north as Worcester, Massachusetts. These feeder streams can be polluted by agriculture and runoff from parking lots and roadways.

Watershed Counts spokeswoman Nicole Rohr said pollution can flow from the streams into the Bay.

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  After two years heading the Naval War College in Newport, Rear Admiral P. Gardner Howe III is heading to the CIA. He hands the reins to Rear Admiral Jeffery Harley. Naval college spokeswoman Barbara Mertz said the elaborate ceremony is steeped in tradition dating back hundreds of years in Naval history.

“You have an arrival of official party, then you do honors, parading of colors, national anthem,” said Mertz. Then they’ll read their orders, saying ‘I relieve you as commander,’ ‘I take responsibility,’ ‘I stand relieved that type of thing.’

John Bender / RIPR

With the start of the Newport Folk Festival on Friday, thousands of music lovers will pack Fort Adams State Park for the next three days. Then the following week, more people arrive for the Newport Jazz Festival.

As these festivals have grown in popularity, so too has the profile of the historic fort, which sat nearly empty for decades. Rhode Island Public Radio's John Bender took a tour of the fort to find out how large crowds and popular festivals are changing the historic landmark.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

The doctor-turned-politician from Massachusetts is running for a second time as the Green Party presidential candidate. 

The city’s planning commission has approved a 21-megawatt solar farm, covering 60 acres. City planners say the solar panels will provide renewable energy. But some residents opposed the project. They say the solar farm will harm land that could be set aside for conservation. Douglas Doe, a neighbor of the property, said the project will harm visitors’ enjoyment of the nearby forests.  

“So anybody going to enjoy the conservation land that we paid for is going to be confronted by one chain link fence, a gravel road, and anywhere from 40-60,000 solar panels,” said Doe.

Courtesy Whitehouse Office

Governor Gina Raimondo meets Monday with critics and residents in Burrillville who oppose a proposed power plant. As Rhode Island Public Radio’s John Bender reports, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse is declining to take a position on the project.

Whitehouse says his input on the proposed natural gas fired plant could hinder a local decision.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Providence Chief Operating Officer Brett Smiley will take over as Gov. Gina Raimondo's chief of staff, following the departure of Stephen Neuman, who stepped down to work on Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.

Smiley joins Raimondo’s team after working for Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza as the city’s chief operating officer since 2015.

Activists and protester have been marching since Saturday in opposition to the power plant and in anticipation of meeting with governor.

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The French Alliance of Newport expressed sadness after the deadly attack in Nice, France, which claimed the lives of more than 80 people. Crowds were mowed down by a truck during outdoor celebrations of Bastille Day in the coastal city, a vacation destination for many tourists.

French Alliance of Newport spokeswoman Polly Lyman said she found out about the attack following a local celebration of Bastille Day.

John Bender / RIPR

Trinity Repertory Company is touring a new production of Romeo and Juliet this summer. The production is a first for the company; it’s being performed in both English and Spanish.  

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

There were winners and losers in the 2017 budget for education. School districts got a boost, with increases in state funding. But charter schools will see their tuition payments cut, in a move some advocates say threatens the future for some of Rhode Island’s charter schools.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

  The Providence Board of Canvassers has scheduled a hearing Wednesday on whether State Representative John Carnevale lives in his district. Carnevale has faced questions about his residency after a report by WPRI-TV showed him frequently visiting a house he owns in Johnston. He has denied the allegations.


The team will support Providence police already stationed there. The security team began work in downtown Providence at the start of July. The transit authority has hired the Allied Barton security firm. Workers will be posted at Kennedy plaza seven days a week. They are uniformed, but unarmed.

Kennedy Plaza is one of the busiest bus hubs in the state. Recently the plaza underwent a major renovation, which opened up the space and installed security cameras.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Former Providence Police Chief Dean Esserman took part in a rally Monday in New Haven, in response to last week’s racially-charged violence across the country. Esserman now leads the police force in New Haven, where he’s working to improve police-community relations.

From the New England News Collaborative, Cassandra Basler at WSHU brings us the story.

When Pastor James Newman heard that a white officer shot a black man in Minnesota, he felt angry. He said officers around the country need more training to combat their racial bias.