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.”


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.


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.

CVS To Hire Some 100 At Woonsocket Headquarters

Jan 21, 2015
CVS Health

Woonsocket based CVS/Health plans to hire some 100 employees at their digital center in Rhode Island.  This comes as the company plans to open a second digital center in Boston.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

In 2014, hundreds of Rhode Islanders died from accidental drug overdoses.  Thousands more remain addicted to prescription painkillers and heroin. For those who inject the drugs, there’s another risk: hepatitis C.

In the final story in our series “At the Crossroads,” we meet a team of outreach workers determined to find new infections before it’s too late.


Bringing disease prevention to the streets

Providence Business News Editor Mark Murphy joins Rhode Island Public Radio's Dave Fallon for our weekly business segment The Bottom Line.

This week, Neil Steinberg, president and CEO of the Rhode Island Foundation visits the program to discuss the latest push to shop local, the foundation’s legislative priorities and his take on the CVS move to build a technology hub in Boston.

When to Listen

You can hear The Bottom Line each Friday at 5:50pm.

In late August, the power was shut off at the River United Methodist Church. The church, in the heart of downtown Woonsocket, was about a thousand bucks in arrears on its electric bill.  The guy from National Grid apologized for doing what he had to do.

Church members, who specialize in doing a whole lot with very little, scrambled to do what they always do.   They took food from freezers and refrigerators and headed to a nearby park to feed hungry people. 

Fernand St Germain

Former U.S. Rep. Fernand  "Fred"' St Germain, who rose from modest roots in French-Canadian Woonsocket to become one of the most powerful politicians in Washington, D.C., only to meet defeat in 1988 among allegations of ethical misconduct, has died. He was 86.

St Germain, a Democrat, first elected in 1960 with President John F. Kennedy, was known for paying vigorous attention to constituent services and bringing federal programs, especially housing for the elderly, to Rhode Island.