scott mackay

Aaron Read / RIPR

Rhode Island’s economy remains in the doldrums. That’s the takeaway from the latest unemployment and jobs data released Thursday by the state Department of Labor and Training

The state’s jobless rate inched up from 5.4 percent to 5.5 percent in June.  The good news is that the state gained 1,700 jobs. The bad news is that job growth remains sluggish, with a decline of 100 jobs in the first six months  of 2016.

Calling all literate Rhode Islanders and Ocean State ex-pats: For a great read get thee to the bookstore (or Internet if you must) and get Bruce DeSilva’s latest Rhody-centric mystery novel "The Dread Line." It goes on sale in September.

Central Falls Mayor James Diossa
Aaron Read RIPR

Central Falls Mayor James Diossa joins Political Roundtable to discuss how to improve relations the  between police and minorities, the Rhode Island business climate and the proposed commuter rail station for Pawtucket and Central Falls.

John Bender / RIPR

The environmental organization Save The Bay on Monday sharply criticized the proposal for a $20 million taxpayer-financed port development project on the Providence waterfront.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

  Rhode island Lt. Gov. Dan McKee has been elected chairman of the National Lieutenant Governors Association. The Cumberland Democrat won  the post last week at the group’s annual meeting in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

As chairman, McKee will preside over a December 2016 confab in Arizona, a March 2017 meeting in Washington, D.C. and the annual summer meeting in Nashville.

McKee, a former Cumberland mayor elected as lieutenant governor in 2014, will also lead the group’s 17-member executive committee in directing policy discussions.

RIPR FILE

A Rhode Island Superior Court judge has barred the National Grid utility and the state Division of Public Utilities from shutting off gas and electric service to about 4,000 Rhode Islanders who have medical conditions.

The ruling, from Judge Netti C. Vogel, bans utility shutoffs from those with medical conditions, such as the seriously ill and disabled, until at least September 26. The action comes after a lawsuit filed by the Rhode Island Center for Justice, which challenged state procedures for cutting off service to those with medical  conditions.

Dan Beardsley, one of the most candid, colorful and hard-working of all Rhode Island Statehouse lobbyists, is retiring as executive director of the Rhode Island League of Cities and Towns, which represents the interests of municipalities across the state.

RIPR FILE

  Senior U.S. District Court Judge Ronald Lagueux ruled today that the city of Cranston violated the one person one vote Baker V. Carr standards when the city allocated the entire population of the Adult Correctional Institutions as `residents’ of one city ward when it drew district borders for the city council and school committee.

The ruling concluded that Cranston artificially inflated the population of Ward 6 by treating all inmates of the ACI as residents of the prison for redistricting purposes.

The Red Bandana Fund, which honors the memory of Richard Walton, has chosen Artemis Moonhawk, Sarath Suong and the Providence Youth Student Movement as winners of the 2016 Red Bandana Awards.

Artremis Moonhawk, also known as Mama Dreads, founded the Mama Dreads Mission of Love, a grassroots organization that helps the homeless.

The Rhode Island Genealogical Society is honoring Paul Campbell, the former Providence city archivist who was fired in December, 2015 by the city council.

Campbell, who is also a noted Rhode Island historian, will receive an award for ``exemplary service to Rhode Island Genealogy by a public employee,’’ the society said in a news release.

The society called Campbell’s abrupt firing an `unwarranted dismissal’ that ``has come as a severe blow to Rhode Island researchers everywhere.’’

Diocese of Providence

Bishop Thomas Tobin of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence, citing church teachings, has written a column opposing legalization of marijuana.  It is entitled `Nope to Dope.’

Gov. Gina Raimondo has tapped eight Rhode Island lawyers for judgeships on the Superior, Family, District and Workers’ Comp courts. The names will be submitted to the state Senate this week for confirmation.

Maureen Keough, who has been deputy chief of the criminal division at the attorney general’s office, has been nominated to fill an opening on Superior Court. 

About 700 unionized Rhode Island Verizon workers involved in a labor dispute with the company have been ruled eligible for unemployment compensation by Scott Jensen, director of the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training.

In a decision mailed to workers and Verizon officials yesterday, Jensen ruled that the labor dispute is a lockout by the company, rather than a strike. Rhode Island has not allowed strikers to collect unemployment benefits since the 1980s, but workers involved in lockouts are eligible to collect, according to Michael Healey, DLT Spokesman.

Insurgent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders won a resounding victory over front-runner Hillary Clinton in Rhode Island’s Democratic presidential primary today. On the Republican side, Donald Trump crushed challengers Ted Cruz and John Kasich.

On a rainy and blustery New England day, voters surged to polls in both primaries to deliver a strong message to the establishment of both major parties, saying emphatically that they aren’t pleased with the status quo.

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