scott mackay

Larry D. Moore / CC BY-SA 3.0

Providence College alum Roy Peter Clark, known as “America’s Writing Coach” will deliver  the commencement address at PC’s 99th commencement, on Sunday, May 21st at the Dunkin' Donuts Center in Providence.

Clark, from the class of 1970, will receive an honorary doctorate of journalism. While at the college, he was managing editor of the student-run newspaper, the Cowl. After his graduation from PC, he earned a master of arts degree and  doctorate in English.

Alex Van / Creative Commons License Via Pixabay

A former employee of the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training (DLT) has been sentenced to 21 months in federal prison for stealing unemployment funds.

Ambulai R. Sheku, 37, of Providence, a onetime senior employment interviewer with DLT, had entered a guilty plea to charges of conspiring to commit mail fraud, theft of government funds and accessing a government computer to commit fraud.

Greg Pare / Rhode Island General Assembly

Former State Sen. William Walaska of Warwick, a Democrat who represented Warwick for more than two decades in the chamber, died this morning after a protracted battle with cancer. He was 71.

Walaska, who ran an auto parts business, was a graduate of La Salle Academy and Providence College. He comfortably  won reelection after reelection until 2016, when too sick to campaign vigorously,  he lost the Democratic primary to Jeanine Calkin, who won the general election and is now in the Senate.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

R.I. U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse has hired political operative Joe Caiazzo to work on his 2018 reelection campaign. Caiazzo, a Stoneham, Mass. native, is no stranger to Rhode Island politics – he was a top campaign Rhode Island aide to Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders during the 2016 Democratic presidential primary. In the general election, Caiazzo worked in Rhode Island for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

Sanders comfortably won the primary and Clinton easily carried the Ocean State in the general election.

Ayoopdog / CC License via Wikimedia Commons

A group of Roger Williams University students who are studying abroad at the University of Westminster this semester have reported they are safe after the attack that left four people dead near Parliament in London.

Courtesy Red Bandana Fund on Facebook

The Red Bandana Fund, which honors the life and work of the late Richard Walton, is once again seeking nominations for the Red Bandana Award. This award is given annually to a person or organization who embodies the work and spirit of Walton, a journalist, teacher and activist for labor, peace and social justice.

Alex Van / Creative Commons License Via Pixabay

The chairman of the Providence Republican City Committee was removed from his post yesterday after his arrest on child molestation charges.

Gage Skidmore / CREATIVE COMMONS LICENSE VIA FLICKR

Rhode Island’s two U.S. Senators, Democrats Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse, both denounced President Trump’s revised executive order banning immigration and travel from six Muslim majority countries.

RIPR File Photo

Attorney General Peter Kilmartin has filed an objection in Rhode Island Superior Court to Gov. Gina Raimondo’s legal petition to release the grand jury records from the state police 38 Studios case. Kilmartin’s objection did not include his reasoning for blocking release of the grand jury files, which Raimondo has sought to open up.

Courtesy Jessica Lange

Acclaimed actress Jessica Lange will be honored by Trinity Repertory Company with the 2017 Pell Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Arts at the 21st annual Pell Awards Gala to be held on Monday, May 22 at the new WaterFire Arts Center in Providence.

A coalition of six mayors of Rhode Island cities and towns have announced support for Gov. Gina Raimondo’s plan to guarantee two years of tuition-free college at the state’s public higher education institutions.

The mayors are Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza, Pawtucket Mayor Donald Grebien, Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian, Cumberland Mayor William Murray, Central Falls Mayor James Diossa,  and Johnston Mayor Joe Polisena.

Wikimedia Commons

Organized labor has faced tough times in recent years as manufacturing has moved abroad, Republican governors and legislators have gone after public employee unions, and weak labor laws make union organizing more difficult.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Governor Gina Raimondo is poised Monday to announce a major education initiative that would make the first two years of public higher education tuition-free for Rhode Island high school graduates enrolled at the state’s three public colleges – the Community College of Rhode Island, the University of Rhode Island and Rhode Island College, according to Statehouse sources.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Longtime Latino political activist and educator Victor Capellan is stepping down as chairman of the Providence City Democratic Committee. In a news release, Capellan said he is focus on his position as school superintendent in Central Falls.

RIPR FILE PHOTO

Once again, a national study shows some good news for Rhode Island – the Ocean State has one of the nation’s very lowest per capita gun violence rates.

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