Rhode Island

Business
12:39 pm
Tue July 9, 2013

Shaw’s Supermarket Planning to Keep Employees at Closed RI Stores

Shaws says it will be closing two under-performing stores in Rhode Island.
Credit RIPR FILE

The Shaw’s supermarket chain says it’s closing six underperforming stores. Four are in southeastern Massachusetts and two are in the Rhode Island communities of Westerly and Woonsocket. 

But the closures won’t necessarily mean massive layoffs. A spokesman for Shaw’s said the company will try to avert layoffs by absorbing the affected employees into their remaining stores.  After the closures of the stores in Westerly and Woonsocket there will be eight Shaw’s stores left in Rhode Island.

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Transportation
2:33 am
Tue July 9, 2013

Disruptions Coming to Commuter Rail Lines to Wickford

Amtrak is spending the summer replacing old railroad ties along the Northeast Corridor. This replacement work is coming to the MBTA’s line in Rhode Island, and starting Friday it will affect six lines delivering passengers to Wickford Junction. This includes trains that will stop at Wickford, but not at TF Green airport, or trains that will end at the airport and not continue on to Wickford.

The disruptions will only be on Fridays starting this week and will end on Friday August 9th.

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Environment
2:56 pm
Mon July 8, 2013

Scientists Keep an Eye on Seaweed Invading RI Waters

URI scientists are keeping track of the types of seaweed washing up on the state's shores.
Credit URI

A biology professor at the University of Rhode Island is conducting an inventory of the types of seaweeds that grow in Rhode Island ocean waters. 

Seaweed may be an annoyance, but it offers vital clues into the health of an ocean.  That’s why University of Rhode Island biology professor Christopher Lane has embarked on a study of the slimy stuff with an eye towards learning how many species of seaweed exist in Rhode Island, and which are the most invasive.

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RI News
9:51 pm
Thu July 4, 2013

The July 4th Ancients & Horribles Parade in Chepachet

Clowns poked fun of the crowd at the Ancients and Horribles parade.
Catherine Welch RIPR

On the other side of the state from Bristol, the irreverent Ancients and Horribles parade made its way through Chepachet. Gov. Lincoln Chafee was there, so were Providence Mayor Angel Taveras, Senator Jack Reed and Congressman Jim Langevin. They lead the parade, which included floats making political statements about Obamacare and genetically modified foods. There were also veterans, clowns, marching bands and a stream of fire trucks.  

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Education
1:40 am
Thu July 4, 2013

Bryant University Calls Bill Requiring Payment "Heavy Handed"

Bill allows Smithfield to bill Bryant University for municipal services.
Credit Bryant University

The General Assembly has passed legislation requiring Bryant University to make payments to the town of Smithfield. The university is calling the bill “heavy handed.”

Unless Smithfield and Bryant can come to an agreement, the legislation allows the town to bill the university for municipal services it uses. The non-profit university sits on some 420 acres of land that state Senator Stephen Archambault said would generate $2 million in yearly taxes.

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Environment
4:28 pm
Wed July 3, 2013

DEM: Mosquitoes Are Out in Full Force This Weekend

If you’re going outdoors this weekend, as many of us will, you’ll want to protect yourself against mosquito bites. The state Department of Environmental Management is reporting the largest crop of mosquitos in at least 21 years. 

The reason: heavy rains last month.  The warm, dry air mass that’s with us now is slowly killing the mosquito population, but the DEM’s Alan Gettman said they’ll be bad this weekend, particularly at fireworks shows.

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Transportation
4:12 pm
Wed July 3, 2013

RI Turnpike Authority: You Can't Bill Somebody for a Ten-Cent Toll

Because tolls are collected electronically, the plan was to charge an extra $1.50 for drivers without an E-ZPass who would then be billed in the mail.

The head of the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority said it’s going to take some time to figure out how to collect tolls on the Sakonnet River Bridge from drivers who don’t have an E-ZPass.

A toll gate will collect tolls electronically, with an extra fee tacked on for drivers who lack an E-ZPass and need a bill sent in the mail. But since the toll is now only a dime, Turnpike and Bridge Authority chairman David Darlington said they’ll have to find a cost-effective way to send those bills.

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RIPR News
4:46 pm
Tue July 2, 2013

Former Chariho School Committee Member Pleads No-Contest

Terri Serra leaving Washington County Courthouse
Credit Flo Jonic / RIPR

A former member of the Chariho School Committee has pleaded no contest to violating the state’s social host law.  The case stems from a party Terri Serra held for a group of teens back in 2011.

Terri Serra stood before Washington County Judge Kristin Rodgers and admitted procuring alcohol for minors at a party at her Richmond home. Some of the teens were injured after the party when their car crashed into a tree.

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Education
4:14 pm
Tue July 2, 2013

Twenty-eight RI Schools Receive a Low State Ranking

Education commissioner Deborah Gist says the rankings provide an opportunity for improvement in RI's schools.
Credit Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Rhode Island Education Commissioner Deborah Gist said parents in schools receiving a low rating should seek answers into how those schools are going to improve.

Twenty-eight schools received the lowest ratings, many of them were in Providence. The education department said the rating system is designed to identify warning signs and to help schools improve. Gist said while it takes years to turn a school around, parents should be concerned about a low-performing school.

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Health Care
11:32 am
Tue July 2, 2013

General Assembly Bans Sale of E-Cigarettes to Minors

The General Assembly has approved legislation that bans the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors.

Electronic cigarettes,  also known as e-cigarettes, are electronic nicotine delivery systems shaped like cigarettes or cigars. They deliver nicotine to a user in the form of vapor. 

The sponsor of the bill, Majority Leader Dominic Ruggerio, said getting kids hooked on nicotine through e-cigarettes is just as bad as getting them started on regular cigarettes.

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