WOONSOCKET

60 Rhode Island school teachers are heading back to college to learn how to teach English as a second language. The program is a collaboration between school districts, the state and the Rhode Island Foundation. It will pay for 60 teachers to gain new certification to teach non-native English speakers or teach in bi-lingual programs known as dual language classrooms.

Listenwise helps teachers use stories from their local public radio station with students in their classrooms. Working with RIPR we identify relevant local news stories, design and develop classroom resources around them and make them available for free on the Education Blog. If you want to find more public radio stories and lessons for your middle and high school ELA, social studies, and science classrooms you can sign up for a free account! 

Woonsocket Police Department

Woonsocket resident Dondi Willis, 47, collapsed at the Woonsocket Police Station Monday morning while awaiting transport to court. Woonsocket emergency personnel brought Willis to Landmark Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead. 

Police said Willis had no struggle with officers prior to his collapse.

The Rhode Island State Police and the Rhode Island Attorney General are investigating the death. Woonsocket authorities say it is standard procedure to conduct an investigation after anyone dies in police custody.

John Bender / RIPR

New immigrants can find it difficult to navigate the complex American school system, and it's even trickier when language and culture separate you from other parents, teachers, and administrators.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Rhode Island’s Community Health Centers have gotten a couple of funding boosts this week. The funds are intended to expand access to primary care and dental care.

Thundermist Health Center in Woonsocket will receive $1 million dollar federal grant to add exam rooms and hire more primary care doctors. 

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.

Before you start that barbeque and get into your favorite beverages, treat yourself to a visit to the Museum of Work and Culture, where the spirit of Labor Day is celebrated every day.

On Monday, the museum tucked away in Woonsocket’s historic mill district, holds its annual Open House. Admission is free on Labor Day.

The museum is one of the few in the U.S. that documents and celebrates working people, unions  and their struggles. It is also a repository for the French-Canadian immigrant experience in the Blackstone Valley.

Elisabeth Harrison

A judge has declined to stop a new charter school from opening in Woonsocket. City officials sought an injunction to block RISE Prep, a special type of charter school called a Mayoral Academy. They argued it would take taxpayer money away from local schools. Rhode Island Mayoral Academies Spokeswoman Katelyn Silva disagrees.

“If there are small areas where we can tweak the funding formula to feel more equitable on all sides we are behind that 100 percent,” said Silva. “Until then, I do think that money follows the child is the fairest way to fund public education.”

Taylor.a

The newest mayoral charter school set to open in Rhode Island has picked a location in downtown Woonsocket. 

  RISE Prep will start with a kindergarten class this fall and grow to include a middle school. This will be the first charter elementary school in Woonsocket.

file/CVS Health

Woonsocket-based CVS Health has agreed to acquire a provider of nursing home pharmacy services. The acquisition of Omnicare expands a growing line of business for the pharmacy giant.

wikimedia commons

Debra Messing, the East-Greenwich raised actress known for her role in the ``Will and Grace’’ television sitcom and Woonsocket Jazz club owner John Chan will both be honored with Pell Awards at Trinity Reparatory Theater’s annual tribute to the arts and the memory of the late U.S. Sen. Claiborne Pell.

The ceremonies are scheduled for June 15 at Trinity Rep, with a reception to follow at the nearby Providence Public Library.

RIPR FILE

Woonsocket Mayor Lisa Baldelli-Hunt has agreed to pay a $750 state ethics fine over the creation of a summer jobs program that hired her teenage son.

``I accept the findings of the Ethics Commission and respect their decision. I had previously paid in full all the wages he earned in the amount of $880. I also accept the fine of $750 and I believe this matter should be put behind me,’’ the mayor said in a statement released by her office.

file/CVS Health

It’s been a year since CVS Health announced it would remove cigarettes from its stores. The Woonsocket-based company is marking the day by making a donation to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.

The $5 million donation over five years will go toward programs that reduce tobacco use by kids and reduce their exposure to secondhand smoke. The first grants will be announced March 18th on “Kick Butts Day.”

New numbers out of Rhode Island Kids Count show the number of children living in poverty has grown nearly five percent since the start of the Great Recession.  Kids Count RI executive director Elizabeth Burke-Bryant sat down with Rhode Island Public Radio's Elisabeth Harrison to go over the numbers.

The latest report on child poverty in Rhode Island found in 2013 44,923 children under the age of 18 lived below the federal poverty threshold. That’s 21.5%, and higher than the rate of 15.5% in 2008.

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