scott mackay

Bradford Gorham, the quintessential Yankee Republican political figure, former Rhode Island House Minority Leader, Republican state chairman and candidate for lieutenant governor and attorney general, died early this morning at his home in Foster. He was 80.

Gorham had been suffering from prostate cancer, said his son and law partner, former state representative  Nick Gorham.

Lifespan and Care New England, Rhode Island’s two largest hospital systems, have quietly revived merger talks, Lifespan ceo and president, Dr. Timothy Babineau, said today.

In a brief interview, Babineau said the talks ``are in very early stages’’ and are in response to Care New England’s request for partnership proposals that was released last spring.

RIPR FILE

Dental insurer Delta Dental of Rhode Island has announced more than $1 million in a series of gifts to support clinics and health professionals across Rhode Island to provide oral health care to those in need.

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Tad Devine, the Providence native who is Democratic presidential aspirant Bernie Sanders top media consultant, said in an interview today that last night’s CNN Democratic presidential debate has resulted in $2 million in campaign contributions flowing into the Vermont senator’s campaign chest.

``The response has been incredible,’’ said Devine, who was busy today conducting post-debate interviews with reporters.

RIPR FILE

The Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training, in a continuing crackdown on workplace wage fraud, has announced that it has ordered an East Providence construction company to pay more than $300,000 in civil penalties, back wages and interest for fraudulently filling out weekly payroll records and wrongly classifying workers as independent contractors.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Mayor Jorge Elorza’s administration has reached a tentative agreement on a three-year contract with Local 1033 of the Laborers International Union of North America, which represents city employees in City Hall, the School Department and the Parks and Public Works Departments.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Following the announcement that the Pawtucket Red Sox would not pursue a new stadium on a parcel of downtown Providence land, Pawtucket’s mayor Donald Grebien joins our Political Roundtable. He talks about sagging numbers at McCoy Stadium, economic development in the city, and the Pope’s U.S. visit.

Do you have insight or expertise on this topic? Please email us, we'd like to hear from you. news@ripr.org

John Bender

Former Gov. Lincoln Chafee, now seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, weighed in this afternoon on the release of the 38 Studios court documents.

It was Chafee, a vigorous opponent of the 38 Studios deal when he was running for governor in 2010, who later hired lawyer Max Wistow to file suit against principals in the deal. 38 Studios went bankrupt, leaving taxpayers holding the bag for $75 million in state-backed bonds to the company run by former Boston Red Sox star pitcher Curt Schilling.

Providence Diocese

One of the most interesting aspects of how the historic visit of Pope Francis resonates in Rhode Island is how Bishop Thomas Tobin of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence reacts to the message of His Holiness.

Rhode Island’s bishop has carved a reputation as a staunch and outspoken defender of conservative, traditional teachings. Tobin has often been vitriolic and rough in his criticism of liberal positions on such social and cultural issues as abortion and same-sex marriage.

Raymond "Beaver" Tempest Jr., a 62-year-old Woonsocket man whose murder conviction has been vacated in Rhode Island Superior Court, has been released on home confinement while the Rhode Island Supreme Court considers the state’s appeal of the Superior Court judgment.

Tempest will be released on home confinement under terms set by Superior Court Judge Daniel Procaccini, who vacated Tempest’s murder conviction on August 4.

Kate Brewster, executive director and co-founder of the Economic Progress Institute, is leaving the low-income advocacy and research group after 11 years to become executive director of the Jonnycake Center of Peace Dale, which provides food and clothing to needy local residents in South County while also engaging in policy initiatives and advocacy.

``It is with tremendous mixed emotions that I leave the institute, an organization that has had a lasting and profound impact on the ability of Rhode Islanders to make ends meet,’’ said Brewster in a statement.

The South Providence Recreation Center will be renamed tomorrow for the late John H. Rollins, a former Providence City Council member, civil rights activist and football star at both La Salle Academy and the University of Rhode Island.

Aaron Read / RIPR

Rhode Island’s unemployment dipped slightly in August, but the state’s recovery from the recession remains fragile, according to data released today by the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training.

The unemployment rate ticked down to 5.6 percent, still above the national rate of 5.1 percent. And the state lost 800 jobs between July and August. In July, the Ocean State unemployment rate was 5.8 percent.

The RI state police financial crimes unit has arrested a Scituate woman for allegedly stealing more than $125,000 from the Junior League of Rhode Island, a non-profit organization that champions good causes.

Kimberly Moore, 48, formerly of 31 Central Pike, Scituate was arrested and charged with embezzlement and access to a computer for a fraudulent purpose.

The investigation of Moore was triggered by a complaint filed with the state police by members of the Junior League’s executive board, according to a statement by Maj. Joseph Philbin, RISP detective commander.

John Hawkins, the former RI Senate majority leader, father of the R.I. Lottery and a political power in Rhode Island for generations, died early Monday of a stroke. He was 80.

He was active until the last few hours of his life, said his nephew, William Hawkins, who along with other family members was at Hawkins bedside at Rhode Island Hospital when he died at 12:20 a.m. He had stopped one of his favorite spots, Twin Oaks in Cranston just hours before collapsing at his Providence home.

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