scott mackay

Bill Koplitz / Creative Commons License

Rhode Island is likely to lose one of its two U.S. House seats after the 2020 U.S. Census, according to projections by reapportionment guru Kimball W. Brace, who has for many years helped Rhode Island lawmakers draw both state legislative and congressional districts.

This comes as scant surprise to Rhode Island political insiders and the local gang of 500 that follows such news. House seats are based on population, while each state gets two senators, regardless of how many people live in a state.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

In this season of peace and good will to all, now comes RI House Minority Leader Patricia Morgan, R-West Warwick, to rip down the mistletoe, knock over the menorah and pour paint thinner in the eggnog.

What else can we take from her ill-advised legislation to "allow" teachers to say Merry Christmas to students and teach them about the history of the various traditions of winter holidays. Talk about a solution looking for a problem.

Elisabeth Harrison

Rhode Island's U.S. Sen. Jack Reed said Tuesday that he has "serious concerns" about President-elect Donald Trump’s choice of Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson to be secretary of state.

In a statement, Reed said Tillerson "deserves a fair confirmation process" but said he will face tough questions from Democrats and Republicans.

"I have serious concerns about Mr. Tillerson’s nomination and it serves as a reminder of the need to quickly and thoroughly investigate Russia’s campaign to subvert our election and our country’s interests," said Reed.

Memorial Service for Tom scheduled for Saturday January 7, 2017 at 11 a.m. at Grace Episcopal Church, 175 Mathewson Street, Providence.

Thomas S. LaFauci, a U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee staffer,  gifted speech writer and aide to such top Democratic political figures as Joe Biden, John Kerry, Thomas Foley and Bob Menendez, died last night at Rhode Island Hospital after being stricken at home in Cranston. He was 67.

He has been battling an unusual lung disorder recently, but his death was unexpected, said his widow, Elizabeth `Libby’ Rock.

RIPR FILE

Rhode Island’s unemployment rate inched down to 5.5 percent in October and the state gained jobs, but the Ocean State’s jobless rate was higher than neighboring Massachusetts and Connecticut, according to the state Department of Labor and Training.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

The afternoons are growing dark, a chill leavens even sunny days and a New England winter beckons. It’s time to get ready for the holidays, with Thanksgiving up next.  The chill and the holiday remind us once again that it’s time for us to reach into our hearts and search the closets for old winter coats to donate to the 20th annual Rhode Island Buy Nothing Winter Coat Exchange.

RIPR FILE

On the no-drama Rhode Island political front, the Democratic leadership of the state senate has scheduled a caucus at the Statehouse at 6 p.m. tonight to re-nominate Newport Sen. Teresa Paiva Weed as Senate President and Providence Sen. Dominick Ruggerio as majority leader. The meeting is public, according to Senate spokesman Greg Pare.

chensiyuan / Wikimedia Commons / Creative Commons License

Raymond `Beaver’ Tempest Jr. remains a free man, the Rhode Island Supreme Court ruled again in a decision released today.

The high court rejected Atty. Gen. Peter Kilmartin’s attempt to re-argue the 1982 murder of Doreen Picard, a Woonsocket homecoming queen. The court ruled that the state had not raised novel legal issues in the bid to argue the case again.

The opinion carried dissents from Chief Justice Paul Suttell and Justice Maureen McKenna Goldberg. Both said the state’s case had merit.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

All you needed to know about yesterday’s  election in Rhode Island  was on display last night at the Garden Room at Biltmore Hotel in downtown Providence, the ancestral home of Democratic Party election  bashes for generations.

RIPR staff

Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo is headed to New Hampshire Thursday night to join New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan, who is the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate in the Granite State, at a campaign event for Hillary Clinton’s presidential quest.

Raimondo and Hassan, both Democrats, will appear at a telephone bank kick-off in the southern New Hampshire town of Exeter. Raimondo is scheduled to return to Rhode Island Thursday evening.

Aaron Read / RIPR

Another month, another poor jobs report in Rhode Island. The September unemployment rate remained at 5.6 percent, but Rhode Island-based jobs were down 900 from August, according to data released today by the state Department of Labor and Training.

The data show job losses in educational services, health care and social assistance, ambulatory health care services and government and professional services.  There were also smaller job declines in manufacturing, information and transportation and utilities.

RIPR FILE

Rhode Island voters support all five spending bond issues on the November general election ballot but do not think the state is headed in the right direction, according to results of a public opinion survey conducted by the Hassenfeld  Institute for Public Leadership at Bryant University.

The poll, done by Fleming and Associates, sampled 400 state voters by telephone between October 6th and 10th. It carries an error margin of about 5 percent and included 52 percent landlines and 48 percent mobile phones.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Rhode Island House Majority Leader John DeSimone, D-Providence, who was narrowly defeated in the September primary, is announcing tomorrow that he is mounting a November general election write-in challenge to the political newcomer who defeated him in the primary, Marcia Ranglin-Vassell.

Policy & Pinot: The November 2016 Election

Oct 7, 2016
Aaron Read / RIPR

How is the presidential election resonating with Rhode Islanders? What are the big local races? Our guests are Republican House Minority Leader Brian Newberry and Democratic campaign operative Kate Coyne-McKoy, along with RIPR Political Analyst Scott MacKay and our intrepid moderator, RIPR Political Reporter Ian Donnis.

Major Thomas Verdi, a 29-year veteran of the Providence police department, has been named deputy chief by Col. Hugh Clements, police chief.

Verdi takes the post vacated by former Deputy Chief Thomas Oates, who has become police chief in Woonsocket.

Verdi has recently served as commanding officer of the uniform division. He has also been executive officer of the administrative division and has many years  experience as a detective, an organized crime investigator, in the patrol bureau and in SWAT operations.

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