A company that makes emergency response devices for the sick and elderly has announced plans to open a major operations center in Pawtucket. The move means 175 new jobs for the Ocean State.
Tunstall America, a provider of health care communications devices, is closing its Cranston call center and moving it to Pawtucket where it will be expanded from 75 to 250 employees. Tunstall America company spokeswoman Sarah Turner says they’re re-locating their data center from New York to Rhode Island in the process.
Rhode Island still has the highest foreclosure rate in New England but the numbers are coming down. According to Housing Works RI, foreclosure filings fell 11 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012. Filings have fallen 36 percent since 2009, when data was first available. The Mortgage Bankers Association says Rhode Island continues to lead New England in foreclosures and is tied for 7th nationwide.
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The leader of Rhode Island’s Roman Catholics reacted positively to the selection of the first pope from South America. Bishop Thomas Tobin was watching the news when Pope Francis was introduced to the world.
The bells of the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul pealed wildly when white smoke emerged from the Sistine Chapel in Rome, indicating a new pope had been elected. Inside the Providence diocesan offices, Bishop Thomas Tobin and several staff members watched on TV as the new pope emerged from St. Peter’s Basilica.
Providence Mayor Angel Taveras says it’s a dream that the city won a $5 million prize to help low-income children boost language skills. The prize money came from a philanthropic organization set up by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Providence won with a program that will equip low-income children with devices that record conversations and count the words they are exposed to. The children’s parents will then be coached on ways to expose kids to more words. The goal is to close what’s known as “the word gap,” between low-income and more affluent four-year-olds.
The US Census Bureau has released information about the commuting habits of Americans. It finds that Rhode Island residents are among those most likely to work in another state. Close to 13 percent of those living in the Ocean State work out-of-state.
The Census Bureau figures also show that the average commute in America is 25 minutes each way.
Rhode Island elections director Bob Kando gets to keep his job, but he first had to endure a dressing down from his bosses, the Board of Elections. The board felt Kando exceeded his executive authority when he presented lawmakers with a package of elections-related bills.
A new national report shows Rhode Island has some of the highest rental costs in the country. The Ocean State has the 17th highest rental costs according to the report published by the National Low Income Housing Coalition. In Rhode Island the fair market rent for a two bedroom apartment is $945. In order to afford this level of rent without paying more than 30 percent on housing, a household must earn $37,000 a year or $18 dollars for a full time worker. A minimum wage worker would have to work 94 hours a week all year long.
Rhode Island has the largest percentage of people age 85 and older in the nation, and the number is only going to grow as baby boomers begin to join that group. This week, Rhode Island Public Radio takes an in-depth look at older Rhode Islanders in a new series we’re calling The Silver Boom: Aging in Rhode Island. To start us off, RIPR Morning Edition Host Elisabeth Harrison spoke with Catherine Taylor, Director of the State Division of Elderly Affairs.