Rhode Island

John Bender / RIPR

A cantor chanted a Hebrew prayer of mourning, as the afternoon sun beat down on some one hundred people gathered for the dedication of the state’s Holocaust memorial. Local politicians and prominent members of the state’s Jewish community offered remarks on the project. Many highlighted the memorial’s significance in the light of more recent violence and genocide worldwide.

The newly unveiled memorial sits at the edge of Downtown Providence, near statuary dedicated to the two World Wars.

John Bender / RIPR

The Cranston Western Little League team has returned to Rhode Island. The team spent the last two weeks competing in the Little League World Series in Williamsport Pennsylvania.

Elisabeth Harrison

A judge has declined to stop a new charter school from opening in Woonsocket. City officials sought an injunction to block RISE Prep, a special type of charter school called a Mayoral Academy. They argued it would take taxpayer money away from local schools. Rhode Island Mayoral Academies Spokeswoman Katelyn Silva disagrees.

“If there are small areas where we can tweak the funding formula to feel more equitable on all sides we are behind that 100 percent,” said Silva. “Until then, I do think that money follows the child is the fairest way to fund public education.”

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Portsmouth is considering a no-smoking ordinance that could make all of Aquidneck Island’s public beaches and parks smoke free. The town council voted Monday to draft the ordinance, which could be approved as early as September.

Neighboring Newport and Middletown already have similar bans in place.

Portsmouth Town Administrator Richard Rainor says he’s not sure what penalty the ordinance might carry, but he believes it will still be effective.


The Cranston City Council voted “No Confidence” in Mayor Allan Fung during a meeting Monday night.  The largely symbolic vote was a narrow one, five to four, and comes following a scathing police report investigating the Cranston Police department.

Rhode Island Public Radio’s political analyst Scott MacKay says it’s rare that such action is taken by a city government.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

A children’s advocacy organization has updated its legal complaint against Rhode Island’s Department of Children, Youth, and Families. The group Children’s Rights says things are not getting better, and in fact, they’re getting worse.


Home sales in Rhode Island held steady last month.  July was the eight month of increased year over year sales.

The Cranston West Little League team competes tonight in the Little League Worlds series. In addition to family and friends, the local team will have a prominent politician cheering them on from the stands.

House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello said he plans to make the trek to Williamsport Pennsylvania for some of the series. Mattiello added that as a Cranston native himself, he’s especially proud.

First Case Of West Nile Of The Season Found In South County

Aug 21, 2015
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After the discovery of West Nile Virus in a pool of mosquitos in South Kingstown, state officials say the virus is much more widespread. 

  The disease usually causes only mild flu-like symptoms. But, in a small number of cases, it can lead to more serious illness.

Alan Gettman heads the state’s mosquito abatement program.

“Citizens need to think about a report like this as meaning that the virus is established all over the state, and there’s not a hot spot that we’ve detected,” said Gettman.

John Bender / RIPR

A non-profit financial group has a plan to help more Rhode Islanders buy cars. State leaders say the service fills a much needed gap.

Before she got her new vehicle, Cranston resident Shirlie Martinez said she and her young daughter worried every day about her 19-year-old car.

“It would be nerve-racking in the morning to know, well, maybe my car won’t start, therefore I can’t go to work, and she can’t go to school.”

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza is slated to return Thursday from a trip scouting economic development ideas in Guatemala.

Elorza and the city’s economic development director have met with Guatemala’s president and the mayor of Guatemala City during their visit. A spokesman says ports development has been among the topics of discussion.

Elorza is the son of Guatemalan immigrants and he grew up in the West End of Providence.

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Following the announcement that Rhode Island’s U.S. Senators – Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse – would support the Iran Nuclear Deal, reaction within the state’s Jewish community has been mixed.

Officials with the Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island say they’ve talked with Whitehouse and Reed over the last several years about the agreement.

Alliance spokesman Marty Cooper says now that Reed and Whitehouse have announced their support members feel there are still issues that need to be resolved.

John Bender / RIPR

The city of Providence has closed all of its public pools, just days before they were supposed to shut down for the season. The closures come during a late summer heat wave.

John Bender / RIPR

Providence celebrates its famed native author H.P. Lovecraft this week, with dozens of events at the convention known as Necromomicon.  

John Bender / RIPR

As we enter the dog days of summer, even night air offers little respite for from the stifling heat. In Providence, many of the city’s children rely on public pools to stay cool. Last year the Davey Lopes Pool in South Providence reopened following a controversial closure.

Rhode Island Public Radio’s John Bender revisits the pool a year later, which many call an anchor of the community.