Rhode Island

RI News
3:43 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

RI Pension Deal Details Unveiled, Pension Board OKs Plan

State treasurer Gina Raimondo and Retirement Board member Michael Robinson announce the 6-1 vote on the proposed pension settlement.
Credit Catherine Welch / RIPR

The state retirement board voted in closed session Friday afternoon to approve a proposed pension settlement. The board met in executive session for nearly an hour, ending in a vote of 6 – 1, with 5 abstentions.

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Pension Overhaul
12:49 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

Pension Settlement Appears To Be Back On Track After Snag

A settlement in the state Pension lawsuit appears be back on track after a delay in an announcement earlier in the week.
Credit RIPR FILE

A settlement that could end a legal dispute over the 2011 overhaul of the state pension system is expected to be unveiled Friday. The deal appears back on track after hitting a snag earlier this week.

The federal mediation service that has overseen more than a year of closed-door pension talks is set to hold a news conference (4:15 pm) at a state building near the Statehouse. The subject is expected to be a proposed settlement between the state and a series of public-employee unions.

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Business
1:11 am
Fri February 14, 2014

Strong Chocolate Sales This Valentine’s Day For RI Chocolatier

Making chocolates at Jennifer's Chocolates.
Credit Courtesy Jennifer's Chocolates

One local chocolatier says this has been a busy Valentine’s Day. Jennifer Dowell owns Jennifer’s Chocolates in Wakefield. Sales this year are way ahead of last year, she speculates that maybe the bad weather prodded couples to get their Valentine’s orders in early.

The big sellers this year are smoked sea salt caramels, truffles, and chocolate dipped strawberries – lots of chocolate dipped strawberries. “We have about a million orders for strawberries,” Dowell said. “Strawberries have to be eaten and dipped on the same day so, we have ah … we’re doing a lot of strawberries.”

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Weather
9:22 am
Thu February 13, 2014

Rhode Island Hunkers Down For Yet Another Winter Storm

Snow is expected to start falling at the rate of an inch an hour in some parts of the state Thursday morning.
Credit John Bender / RIPR

Snowflakes started falling early this morning, but already the precipitation is picking up as a winter storm sweeps across Rhode Island.

Matt Doody a meteorologist for the national weather service, said snow fall is expected to get very heavy over the next several hours.

“You’re looking at maybe like four to six inches closer to the coast.  You’re getting closer to the six plus to six to eight inches from Providence up into the northern part of the state," said Doody.

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RI News
2:58 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

Beloved Woonsocket Athletic Director Dies After Taking A Fall

Students and faculty at Woonsocket High School are mourning the loss of athletic director George Nasuti. He died Tuesday night, the school community received the news Wednesday morning.

Nasuti’s family said he was refereeing a basketball game in Burrillville Friday night when he fell and hit his head on the court.  The Woonsocket Call reports that Nasuti then went into a coma.

Woonsocket Superintendent Giovanna Donoyan sent out a statement to the school community notifying them of Nasuti death, “we are all better people for having George in our life.”

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Providence
8:28 am
Wed February 12, 2014

Providence Mayor Taveras Says The City Is Better Off Than When He Took Over

Providence Mayor Angel Taveras shakes hands at his final state of the city address.
Credit Aaron Read / RIPR

Providence Mayor Angel Taveras used his final State of the City address to say Rhode Island’s capital is in better condition than when he took office in 2011.  Taveras is part of a three-way Democratic field for governor.

Taveras says a small surplus has replaced the 110 million dollar deficit he inherited upon taking office. He says his administration has bolstered startups, improved graduation rates, and cut the waiting term for permits from City Hall. Taveras called that a decided improvement after he inherited a city facing possible bankruptcy.

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RI News
2:54 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

DOJ Files Lawsuit Over Hiring Practice at RI Dept. Of Corrections

The U.S. Justice Department is suing the state and the state corrections department, claiming employment discrimination. The Justice Department claims employment practices for hiring entry-level corrections officers violate the Civil Rights Act.

The lawsuit challenges the hiring practice at the Rhode Island Department of Corrections requiring applicants to take a written and video exam. The Justice Department claims that those exams do not help identify qualified candidates, but instead disproportionately screen out black and Hispanic candidates.

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Environment
8:52 am
Tue February 11, 2014

Local Environmental Leaders Call For Better Water Management

Environmental agency directors and city managers focused on the urgent need to invest in wastewater infrastructure, stormwater management, and flood prevention at a meeting last night.

The nonprofit Save The Bay hosted its annual legislative briefing.  Executive director Jonathan Stone said many groups are working together to ensure the general assembly approves Gov. Lincoln Chafee's 75-million-dollar clean water bond.

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Providence
8:40 am
Tue February 11, 2014

New Life For The 'Superman' Building?

The 'Superman building' in downtown Providence has sat vacant since last April.
Credit RIPR FILE

There may be new hope for the tallest building in Rhode Island.  But efforts to rehab the so-called Superman building, in downtown Providence, failed just last year.

The 26 story building, built in 1928 went dark in April of last year, when its tenants, Bank of America, moved out. The owner, Massachusetts-based High Rock Development, proposed a plan to turn the office space into residences.

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Politics
1:06 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Dem’s In RI Governor’s Racing Hammering Out A People’s Pledge

Campaign managers of the three main democrats running for governor met Monday to start hammering out a pledge to limit outside spending in the race. John Marion, president of the good government group, Common Cause, facilitated the two-hour meeting.

The so-called People’s Pledge made headlines in the Massachusetts senate race between Scott Brown and Elizabeth Warren. In that race the candidates agreed to discourage outside spending on TV, radio and the internet, but not direct mail.

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