Smith Hill

Aaron Read / RIPR

A coalition of researchers from Rhode Island’s colleges and universities have released another round of reports on the state’s economy. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay wonders what will happen to the latest round of research.

If Rhode Island were a bench, it would splinter under the weight of all the blue-ribbon commissions and consultant-generated reports that have for decades weighed in on what ails our state’s economy.

While economists and media outlets from Providence to Seattle engage in hand-wringing over inequality, Rhode Island’s political leaders seem to have no solutions at all. Smith Hill is bogged down in ridiculous debates over the master lever and the never-ending tsunami that is 38 Studios. Yet, we don’t hear much of anything about raising the state’s minimum wage from the current $8 an hour rate.


Rhode Island Democrats should look to Massachusetts for some leadership on the economy. RIPR political analyst  Scott MacKay explains why.

Rhode Island is once again ensnared in a noisy political campaign season. The stench of government corruption has led to new leadership on Smith Hill. Gordon Fox is out as speaker and Nick Mattiello is in. Democrats control both chambers of the General Assembly by big margins. Yet the historic majority party can’t seem to speak with a coherent voice on our state’s struggling economy.


Love him or loathe him, Vincent A. `Buddy’ Cianci Jr., has long been Rhode Island ‘s political Rascal King. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay ponders the talk about another Cianci comeback.

F. Scott Fitzgerald said famously that there are no second acts in American life. The Jazz Age novelist never met Buddy Cianci.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

When temperatures rise in the summer months, crime goes up, and young people are often the victims. They’re also increasingly a factor in crime. As part of our series Hot City: Crime in Providence, Rhode Island Public Radio’s Elisabeth Harrison visited the North End and Smith Hill, two areas with the highest crime rate last July, to find out what it’s like to grow up in a place where summer can be dangerous. 

Catherine Welch / RIPR

With the rising temperatures comes a spike in crime across the capital city. In a series we’re calling Hot City: Crime in Providence we’re taking a look at summer crime by focusing the month of July. Last year the area encompassing Smith Hill, Elmhurst and the North End saw the highest number of crimes. Rhode Island Public Radio’s Catherine Welch visits a street in that area where a dozen crimes happened in one month.

Today on Smith Hill, a lobbyist with the National Rifle Association and a captain in the Rhode Island State Police are meeting with lawmakers for an informal session. They are coming at the request of Woonsocket Democrat Representative Lisa Badelli-Hunt. She says lawmakers need more information if they’re going to intelligently consider gun legislation this session.

Rhode Island Public Radio political analyst Scott MacKay joins afternoon host Dave Fallon to discuss the meeting and what it means for gun control measures in the state.  

Despite the same sex marriage momentum on Smith Hill, one lawmaker wants to put the issue on a ballot to let Rhode Islanders vote on changing the definition of marriage.

State Senator Frank Ciccone says his constituents are clamoring for a say on this red-hot issue.  His proposed referendum would define marriage as a union between a man and a woman.
"My constituents want it placed on the ballot so they have an opportunity to vote so they can make a choice on whether or not they are in favor of same sex marriage. And I am at this point in agreement with them."