Rhode Island

Latinos are the fastest growing population in the Ocean State, and a report out Monday finds they’ll make up a quarter of the workforce by 2040. But the group remains disproportionately unemployed and underemployed.

Using information culled from a study by the Economic Progress Institute, the Latino Policy Institute reports points to an unemployment rate for Latinos of 16 percent in 2014, compared to around 7 percent for the rest of the state.

Providence Business News Editor Mark Murphy joins Rhode Island Public Radio's Dave Fallon for our weekly business segment, The Bottom Line.

This week, they’re joined by Cheryl Snead, the CEO and founder of Bannecker Industries of North Smithfield. Snead is also chair of the Women’s Enterprise Forum, which advises non-profit which works to foster and certify women-owned businesses around the country. The topic is growing opportunities for women to own their own business.

When to listen:

You can hear The Bottom Line each Friday at 5:50 p.m.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has issued Rhode Island a new wave of federal money to help fishermen affected by the groundfish disaster in 2013. That year, several key groundfish stocks in the Northeast were not rebuilding as expected, and it led to sharp reductions in catch limits.  To offset those losses, Northeast fishermen would receive nearly $32.84 million in three installments.  This latest round of money for Rhode Island, $705,658, is the final installment, bringing the state's total share to $2.65 million.

The Newport Fire Marshall begins an investigation into the fire that destroyed a historic mansion on Bellevue Avenue. No one was reported injured in the blaze, which began Thursday afternoon.

The fire broke out at the historic Stonor Lodge, a 9,000 square foot historic building, in the midst of a renovation.

Newport Fire Captain Phil Oliveira says the blaze had completely engulfed the building the time crews arrived on scene.

Richard W. Dionne, Jr. / 2nd Story Theatre

The current play at 2nd Story Theatre in Warren features six women, all dressed in black, simply sitting on stage, scripts in hand, talking.

John Bender / RIPR

Over the last nine years, a total of 54 men and women died during domestic violence disputes, according to a report by the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Assault.

The vast majority of those 54 deaths were women, often at the hands of their male partners. Most of these homicides happened in the greater Providence area. Advocates hope the data will compel lawmakers to introduce tougher legislation against domestic violence.

Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Assault director Deborah DeBare said the state needs better education on the issue.

Photo by Julieta Cervantes

For serious jazz fans, A Love Supreme, by saxophonist John Coltrane needs no introduction.  A Love Supreme was recorded in one day at the end of 1964, and released 51 years ago this month, in February of 1965. It’s since been recognized as one of the all-time great jazz masterworks.

On Saturday, Urban Bush Women, a group of African American dancers out of Brooklyn, bring their unique interpretation of Coltrane’s achievement to the Vets, in Providence. For this month’s Rhode Island Artscape, RIPR's Chuck Hinman reports on the psychology of Coltrane and jazz improvisation.

RIPR FILE

Advocates are renewing a push to legalize driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants. The fate of the legislation remains unclear at this point.

Two Providence lawmakers, Representative

John Bender / RIPR

Rhode Island’s four-year high school graduation rate has improved since last year. The 2015 graduation rate was 83 percent, up six points from 2014.

North Providence High School had the highest four-year graduation rate in the state, at 98 percent. The marching band played, and cheerleaders cheered as public officials spoke in the school auditorium.

State education commissioner Ken Wagner joined the celebration, but cautioned that graduating from high school and being prepared for college are two different things.

The Rhode Island House Judiciary Committee discussed legislation involving sex trafficking in the state Tuesday. A proposed bill would require all convicted sex trafficking criminals to also register as sex offenders.

Attorney General Peter Kilmartin’s Spokesperson Amy Kempe said the law would treat sex trafficking in the same way that other sex offenses are dealt with.

“It’s a right step, it’s a smart move to make, so that people will know if they have somebody who has been convicted of sex trafficking living in their community.”

John Bender / RIPR

The American Civil Liberties Union of Rhode Island is suing the city of Providence over a controversial housing ordinance, which limits the number of students who can live together.

Since September, Providence has limited the number of students who can live in a single-family home to three. The ordinance applies to several neighborhoods where residents have complained about rowdy student parties, specifically in the area surrounding Providence College.

In Support Of Syrian Refugees, Hundreds Drown Out Opposition Rally

Feb 23, 2016
John Bender / RIPR

Hundreds of demonstrators packed the statehouse Monday chanting “refugees are welcome here.” The demonstration in support of Syrian refugees included Sterck Zaza, who emigrated from Syria to West Warwick as a child. 

“I am here as a mother, a sister, a friend,” said Zaza, who was close to tears a. “I support anyone who comes to this country in peace. And that’s where these refugees are coming from. They are coming for peace. That’s all they want is peace. And they’re my brothers, and they’re my sisters.”

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Several state lawmakers are making a case for recess, with a bill that requires a minimum of 100 minutes for recess each week. State Representative Kathleen Fogarty is one of the bill’s sponsors. She said with all the focus on standardized testing, it’s important to keep time for free-play during the school day.

“I just think it’s healthy; we want these kids to be active,” said Fogarty. “I think it’s good for their mental well-being to be active, to get away from the schoolwork. And I think it’s also important for their socialization skills.”

RIPR FILE

Governor Gina Raimondo is in Washington D.C. this weekend. She’s participating in the annual gathering of the National Governors Association.

Raimondo will rub elbows with the leaders of other states around the country and take part in several panels and discussions, including a meeting of the Economic Development and Commerce committee, of which she is a member. She’s also scheduled meet with President Barack Obama along with the country’s other Democratic governors

Wikimedia Commons

The Rhode Island Supreme Court will now accommodate breastfeeding women who take the bar exam.  The court’s new policy provides breaks and a private place to express milk during the test. That means mothers no longer have to sit through the hours-long exam in discomfort, or postpone taking the bar.

Jenn Steinfeld of the advocacy non-profit, the Women’s Fund of Rhode Island, says the accommodation is an important step for gender equality.

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