Local Features

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and like most of us, the men at the maximum-security prison in Cranston will sit down to a Thanksgiving meal. Their turkey and stuffing will be seasoned with herbs harvested from their prison garden. 

As we near Thanksgiving Day, it is, of course, a time to give thanks for good friends and food, for the time to take stock of the things that matter. Rhode Island Public Radio commentator Bob Kerr likes to make a list of things he’s thankful for. He finds it’s a healthy exercise, and the good things come into sharper focus each year.

Bob Kerr began the tradition of a Thanksgiving list during his long tenure as a newspaper columnist. You can find more of his musings about life and Rhode Island at our website, ripr.org.

Mark Turek / Trinity Rep

As we know, Christmas comes but once a year. And this time around Trinity Rep is presenting its evergreen production of “A Christmas Carol” earlier than usual. Rhode Island Public Radio’s Bill Gale says that’s a good thing, for several reasons.

“A Christmas Carol” continues at Trinity Rep through December 31st. Bill Gale reviews the performing arts for Rhode Island Public Radio

John Bender / RIPR

Since the Paris terrorist attacks, Americans and Rhode Islanders have been engaged in debate over the fate of refugees.  RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says Rhode Islanders must consider our state’s immigrant heritage.

Courtesy Gamm Theatre

Confrontations between white police officers and people of color may be the main public conflict in the United States these days. At the Gamm Theatre, a play called “The Rant” looks into the issue, and goes on to possibly even deeper questions. Rhode Island Public Radio’s Bill Gale has the review.

“The Rant” continues through December 13th at the Gamm Theatre in Pawtucket. Bill Gale reviews the performing arts for Rhode Island Public Radio.

Gamm Theatre

A new production at The Gamm Theatre in Pawtucket explores the theme of police violence in minority communities. The play is called “The Rant,” and it was written by Brown graduate Andrew Case. He wrote the play in 2008, but it deals with an issue that has generated continued public debate and discussion, particularly over the past year. Rhode Island Public Radio’s Chuck Hinman talked to Andrew Case about the play, its genesis and continuing relevance.


Tourism has long been a foundation of Rhode Island’s economy. As Governor Gina Raimondo’s administration rolls out a new tourism promotion plan, RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says the state must include local tourism councils in any new initiative.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

One of the most respected environmental leaders in the state is retiring. For more than 30 years, Eugenia Marks was never shy about sharing her views with political leaders about the need to protect the environment. She's the senior policy director at the Audubon Society of Rhode Island, and she's about to step down.

Katherine Doherty

Many veterans return with scars – both physical and mental – that last long after their service. That’s the story we heard from Lennard Harten, who was injured on board a U.S. Navy ship during World War II.

RI Veterans' Voices: Jay McBride

Nov 10, 2015
Emily Wooldridge / RIPR

In honor of Veterans Day, Rhode Island Public Radio is sharing stories from veterans this week. Today, we hear from Jay McBride, a Bristol resident who served in the Coast Guard during the Vietnam War. McBride has found a new way to serve by working with veterans recovering from addiction. He spoke at the VA Medical Center where he volunteers on a daily basis.

He spoke with Rhode Island Public Radio intern Emily Wooldridge, who produced this story.

Nate Mooney / RIPR

This week, as we prepare to mark Veterans Day, Rhode Island Public Radio brings you the stories of some of our servicemen and women in their own voices. We begin with Colonel Susan Luz, a retired army nurse who received a Bronze Star for service in Iraq.  

Luz comes from a military family. Her father served in World War II and her brother in Vietnam. Her father-in-law was a member of the World War II squad that inspired the HBO miniseries “Band of Brothers.” 

Colonel Susan Luz now works with teenagers in a psychiatric program at Gateway Healthcare in Rhode Island.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR


The gloomy cloud of the 38 Studios debacle still hangs over Rhode Island. RIPR political analyst  Scott MacKay parses the latest General Assembly probe of the failed video game company.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

In 1987, researchers in Finland began following tens of thousands of babies who were about to be born. In fact, they followed every child born in Finland that year, and they continue to follow them today. The study is known as the 1987 Finnish Birth Cohort Study. One of the key findings is that poverty for very young children can have lasting consequences.  Rhode Island College Graduate Tina Ristikari is one of the researchers who have been studying this data. She told Rhode Island Public Radio’s Elisabeth Harrison what the Ocean State can learn from it.

Rhode Island Public Radio's Chuck Hinman talks with Jay O'Grady, Director of Operations and Asset Management at ONE Neighborhood Builders, about the 2015 Providence Symposium and the efforts to preserve and revitalize the Olneyville neighborhood.

Chuck Hinman / RIPR

In early 1860, Abraham Lincoln came to Rhode Island gathering support for his presidential campaign. He stopped in Providence and Woonsocket. and there's a rumor that he also visited Burrillville's Western Hotel, a popular stagecoach stop on the Douglas Turnpike. For the final installment in our series One Square Mile: Burrillville, Rhode Island Public Radio's Chuck Hinman takes us to the Western Hotel, in the village of Nasonville, in the town's southeast corner. It turns out, this hotel has some interesting history, both real and imagined.