Rhode Island

Environment
3:21 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

Statewide Network of Electric Car Charging Stations on the Way

By the end of the summer Rhode Island will have more than 50 charging stations for electric cars. Even with the new charging stations the state will still lag behind its neighbors.

The first one comes online next week, and through the summer more than 50 more will pop up across the state. That’s fewer than the 60-plus in Connecticut and more than 100 charging stations in Massachusetts, said Al Dahlberg who helped craft the plan.

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Transportation
12:37 pm
Mon June 10, 2013

RIPTA Rolls Out Big Changes for a Faster Ride

RIPTA is getting a major overhaul starting this summer.
Credit Flo Jonic / RIPR

The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority is planning some big changes.  RIPTA board chair Scott Avedisian outlined them at a press conference Monday morning.

Starting this summer, Rhode Island will have fewer bus stops. RIPTA chairman and Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian said some bus stops will be removed to make service faster. 

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Politics
12:17 pm
Mon June 10, 2013

Governor's Move to Dem. Party Costs Support of Lifelong Friend

Gov. Lincoln Chafee's move to the Democratic party has cost him the endorsement of Republican Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian.
Credit RIPR

Gov. Lincoln Chafee’s switch to the Democratic Party has cost him one key supporter. Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian, a longtime Chafee friend and backer, said he will not support the governor in his re-election bid.

“He’s been a lifelong friend so I’ll still be his friend but we’ll have to see what happens politically as we move forward,” said Avedisian.  “I’m a Republican and I would expect to be supporting the Republican candidate.”

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Transportation
3:46 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

RI Drivers Get a Break on E-ZPass to Help With Sakonnet Bridge Tolls

Tolls on the new Sakonnet River Bridge are expected to kick in next month. They will be as high as $5.25 for drivers without an E-ZPass.
Credit RI DOT

Although court challenges are still in the pipeline, a federal judge’s refusal to block tolling of the Sakonnet River Bridge makes it increasingly likely that tolls will be collected, starting early next month. The Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority is taking steps to reduce the cost of tolls.

For a limited time beginning June 25th, the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority will discount the cost of an E-ZPass transponder. The usual price of $20.95 will be cut to $10 and the Authority will apply a $10 credit to the E-ZPass account.

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RI News
3:34 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

DEM: Raccoon Brought Inside Home Exposed 11 People to Rabies

The state Department of Environmental Management says a baby raccoon found in Coventry has tested positive for rabies. The animal was found May 29th in a rural area. 

A family brought it into their home where it had contact with several adults and one child.  Nine Rhode Islanders and two individuals from Connecticut who had known contact with the animal are now being treated for rabies exposure.

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Education
4:01 pm
Wed June 5, 2013

RI ACLU: Higher Suspension Rate for Black & Hispanic Students

The Rhode Island ACLU announcing a study that found minority students were more likely to be suspended than white students.
Credit Flo Jonic / RIPR

One day after releasing a report showing that African Americans in the state are disproportionately arrested for marijuana possession, the Rhode Island chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union is out with a report showing a racial disparity in school suspensions. 

The civil rights group stopped short of calling it racial profiling, but says the issue is something education leaders need to study and correct.

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Follow the Water
1:41 am
Wed June 5, 2013

Providence Water Supply Board Seeks Rate Hike

The Providence Water Supply Board is seeking its first rate increase in four years.

The Providence Water Supply Board is looking to raise its rates. There’s a public hearing at the state Public Utility Commission Wednesday on a proposal to raise residential rates by 24 percent and wholesale rates by 32 percent. Because 60 percent of the state gets its water from Providence, the rate hike will be felt across much of Rhode Island. Joining morning host Chuck Hinman in the studio with more is Rhode Island Public Radio news director Catherine Welch.

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Education
3:46 pm
Tue June 4, 2013

U.S. Education Secretary Defends RI Commissioner Gist

Credit Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Education Secretary Arne Duncan said Rhode Islanders should look at progress made in its schools while weighing the fate of state education commissioner Deborah Gist. Duncan made the comment on a conference call with Rhode Island reporters.

In a call of support for Gist, Duncan touted rising test scores and graduation rates as signs that the state is making progress. Teachers and parents have been outspoken in their opposition to Gist. But Duncan defends her, calling her collaborative.

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RI News
2:34 pm
Mon June 3, 2013

Pawtucket Launches New Tool to Battle Rat Problem

The City of Pawtucket is stepping up efforts to combat a rat problem. The city gets ten to 15 complaints a week about the rodents.

The City of Pawtucket has set out 85 rat bait stations. But unlike previous years, where they might have gone unchecked for up to two months, they’re now being checked, and re-baited if necessary, every two weeks. Shawn Logue, the city’s Code Enforcement Director, said the rat problem is most prevalent in two neighborhoods.

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RI News
2:24 pm
Mon June 3, 2013

Attorney for Accused WikiLeaks Army Soldier has ties to RI

A lawyer with ties to Rhode Island is defending Bradley Manning, the Army private who’s on trial for what has been described as the biggest leak of classified information in U.S. history.  

Attorney David Coombs is representing the soldier, who prosecutors say aided the enemy, which carries a potential life sentence.

Coombs worked as a substitute professor at Roger Williams Law School in 2010. He has a practice in Fall River, where he specializes in court martial cases.

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