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1540 WADK.com Updates


Rhode Island's unemployment rate is at its lowest level since January of 2008.  State labor officials say the jobless rate was six-point-three-percent in February.  However, the report also indicates that the state lost 27-hundred jobs between January and February.  Governor Gina Raimondo says the lost jobs underscore the need to reignite Rhode Island's economy.

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A nine-year-old girl is dead after being struck by a transit bus in Providence.  Police say the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority bus struck the girl on Smith Street yesterday morning.  The victim and the driver are not being identified at this time.  Transit officials say the driver was on his second run of the day when the incident occurred.

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The Warwick Teachers Union is saying no to the proposed pension lawsuit settlement.  Around 80-percent of the teachers voted yesterday to reject the settlement.  The lawsuit was filed after the Legislature substantially cut retirement benefits for state employees, teachers and other government workers in 2011.  The lawsuit is expected to go to trial next month if the settlement deal is not approved.

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The Newport City Council has voted to oppose Gov. Gina Raimondo's proposed luxury tax on second homes valued at more than $1 million and whose owners live mainly out of state.

The Newport Daily News reports that Vice Chairman Marco Camacho called it "nothing more than a money grab by the state."

Mayor Jeanne-Marie Napolitano said she knows the state needs money, but the tax will primarily affect Newport County and South County and she said she has "a problem with that."

The resolution calls on state legislators to reject the tax.

Raimondo has defended the tax that would raise nearly $12 million. She says her proposed tax policies would create jobs.

The tax has been called the Taylor Swift tax because the singer owns a beachfront mansion in Westerly.

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The Rhode Island Senate will soon be considering a measure that seeks to protect victims of stalkers.  The State House yesterday approved a bill that would make it a crime to electronically track a vehicle without the owner's consent.  Advocates of the bill say it will close loopholes caused by the lack of laws regulating the use of this kind of technology.  The bill was sponsored by House Speaker Nick Mattiello.

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There was a first daughter sighting in Rhode island this week.  Malia Obama was in Providence Tuesday for a visit to the Brown University campus as she decided on her college choices.  The teen was also seen dining at XO Cafe on North Main Street in Providence with two friends and an adult.  President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama did not make the trip north, but the Secret Service was on hand for the trip.

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The state Legislature is looking to put its stamp of approval for a proposed college basketball tournament featuring Rhode Island teams.  The tournament being discussed would feature teams from Providence College, Brown University, the University of Rhode Island and Bryant University.  The resolution calls for the tournament to be held over Thanksgiving weekend, and support a scholarship fund for Rhode Island students. 

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Work is underway on the Providence Station improvement project.  The state Department of Transportation is spending nearly seven-million dollars to upgrade the southern entrance plaza of Providence Station.  The goal is to improve circulation for all station users and create an inviting civic space.  The project should be complete by spring of next year.

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Cumberland Police are settling a lawsuit filed by a woman who suffered an injured leg when officers tackled her during an arrest in 2010.  Ruth Upchurch is receiving more than two-million dollars for the serious injury that required surgery.  Officers who responded to a domestic violence incident tackled Upchurch and wrestled her to the ground.  The settlement will be covered by the town's insurance policy.

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Barrington Middle School is deemed safe after being evacuated yesterday because of a natural gas leak.  Students were evacuated from the school yesterday morning when the gas smell was detected.  National Grid crews immediately responded and inspected the building, quickly determining that there was not a problem.

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Warwick police are trying to deal with a serious crime issue at the Motel Six on Jefferson Boulevard.  Police say 75 arrests have been made at the motel in the last year for all kinds of criminal activity.  Police are especially concerned by arrests in the last two weeks, when a methamphetamine lab was found and a man was allegedly prostituting a teenage girl.  Police don't want to shut the motel down, and hope to work with the owners to eliminate the criminal activity.

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Attorney General Peter Kilmartin is offering legislation to place tougher regulations on e-cigarettes.  The proposal would require child resistant packaging for the liquid used in electronic nicotine delivery systems.  While the health impacts of e-cigarettes is being debated, Kilmartin says clearly these products need to be kept from children.  The bill will be subject of a legislative public hearing today.

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The Rhode Island Senate is confirming the nomination of Barbara Cottam as state Board of Education chair.  Cottam is currently an executive vice president at Citizens Financial Group.  She has a long history in both the private and public sector in Rhode Island.  The attended Providence College, and went on to be communications director under Governor Bruce Sundlin in the 1990s.

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A Johnston woman accused of killing her girlfriend last year says she's not guilty.  Sendra Beauregard is accused of killing Pamela Donahue in their home on Quarry Street in Johnston.  A judge has ordered a mental competency exam for Beauregard, who is being held without bail.  The 50-year-old Donahue died from a gunshot wound to the chest. 

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Gas prices in Rhode Island have fallen slightly to an average of $2.40 for a gallon of regular.

AAA Northeast says in its weekly survey released Monday that the average price of a gallon of gas has fallen 4 cents from last week, but is still 11 cents higher than a month ago.

A year ago, the price was $1.20 higher, or 50 percent, at $3.60 per gallon.

The price in Rhode Island is 2 cents lower than the national average of $2.42 per gallon.

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Governor Gina Raimondo will get some valuable input today on who should be the state’s next education commissioner.

The Governor will meet with the Providence Youth Caucus at 5pm at the Highland Charter School. The group unites students from across the capital city to work together for citywide education changes.

The contract for the state’s current education commissioner, Deborah Gist, is set to expire on June 30.

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The long dispute over the state's 2011 pension overhaul is moving closer to being resolved.  More than a thousand retired state workers voted to accept the settlement yesterday.  Also yesterday, the local 580 of the Service Employees International Union voted to approve the deal.  Details of the proposed settlement are not being released because of a gag order imposed due to the sensitive nature of the negotiations.

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A Warwick teacher is on leave after being charged with sexually assaulting a girl.  Groton Junior High School teacher Mario Atoyan is accused of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old female relative last year.  The North Kingstown resident is charged with first and second degree sexual assault.  His bail was set at ten-thousand-dollars and he's order not to have any contact with the teen.

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A Pawtucket man is admitting his role in the sex trafficking of two young women.  Ricky Wallace admits in federal court that he and two other men transported the 17-year-old and 20-year-old women for commercial sexual activity.  Wallace faces a possible life sentence for the conviction.  The cases of accused co-conspirators Kemont Bowie and Raechyl Spooner are still pending.

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It looks like the proposed walkway over the Providence River is being delayed once again.  State transportation officials first proposed the pedestrian bridge to link the Fox Point and College Hill neighborhoods with downtown seven years ago.  Now, the plan to build a minor league baseball stadium near the western end of the proposed bridge has the plan on hold.  Officials say they want to have more information on the stadium before moving forward.

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Two fisherman are safe after being rescued from their fishing boat not far from Block Island.  The Coast Guard were called in yesterday when the 38 foot fishing boat ran into trouble and began taking on water.  The Coast Guard quickly responded, rescued the men and were able to pump the water from the boat.  The vessel was then towed to Newport without further incident.

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Thousands of ceramic artists are heading to Rhode Island this week for a special event.  Organizers expect over five-thousand people to attend the annual National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts conference in Providence.  The event gets underway tomorrow and runs through Saturday.  The last time the annual conference was held in Rhode Island was in the 1960s.

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The first week of the administration of a challenging new standardized test in Rhode Island is complete.  Most school districts say the testing of students in grades three through eleven in math and English has taken place with with few problems.  The new tests were developed to replace the New England Common Assessment Program.  While most districts have had strong participation, a few towns that include Scituate and Burrillville have high percentages of parents opting out of the testing for their kids.

 

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Survivors and family members of Station nightclub fire victims say the 100 people who died in the blaze will never be forgotten.  An event was held yesterday at Warwick City Hall to remember the victims on the 12th anniversary of the deadly nightclub fire.  A foundation working to create a Station nightclub memorial says they have raised a quarter of the two-million-dollars needed to create and sustain it.  Groundbreaking is expected to take place this year.

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A 16-year-old girl is recovering after being shot in the face during a Providence drive by shooting.  Police say the teen was shot Saturday night as she sat in the back seat of a car in the area of Camp and Cypress streets.  The girl is hospitalized with injuries not considered life threatening.  No arrests have been made, and police are trying to determine who fired the shots.

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The Providence Board of Licenses is planning to meet next week to discuss whether to void the business licenses of the Shark Bar and Grill.  City officials want the licenses voided after former House Speaker Gordon Fox admitted to accepting bribes from the bar.  The panel will meet March 30th and decide whether the business will be allowed to continue operations.  The owners of the restaurant have not been charged with any crimes.

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A West Warwick man is facing charges accusing him of possession of child pornography.  State Police 42-year-old Timothy Nolan was identified as a suspect in an investigation into child porn through his use of the Internet.  A search warrant was executed at Nolan's home yesterday, and police say evidence of Nolan's guilt was recovered form digital media at the house.  Police say there are currently no allegations that Nolan engaged in inappropriate activity with any children.

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Officials say a drug lab was found inside a huge mill building in Providence that was destroyed by fire last week.  Police say a marijuana burning operation was found, where pot is burned to produce hash oil.  The cause of the fire at the 93-thousand square foot building at Sims and Kinsley avenues has not been determined and remains under investigation.
 

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Raymond Tempest's effort for a new trial for the 1982 murder of Doreen Picard is now before a judge.  Tempest took the stand on his own behalf yesterday, describing his actions the day that Picard was beaten to death and denying any role.  Tempest was convicted in 1992 and has been in prison ever since.  A judge is allowing him to seek a new trial based on new evidence that may prove his innocence.

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The Rhode Island House is giving Twin River Casino its permission to build a hotel on or near the Lincoln facility.  The measure is necessary because of a long standing law that bans hotels near the casino to protect the Providence hotel industry.  This measure is designed to protect Twin River from competition in Massachusetts, where three resort casinos are in the works.  A companion bill is currently being considered by a Senate committee.

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Today is the first day of spring, but it will look a lot like winter in Rhode Island.  The National Weather Service says one to three inches of snow is expected to fall across the state today.  That will be followed by another Arctic blast tomorrow, with temperatures expected to be below average well into next week.  Despite all of this year's snow, the state's 76 inches of the year is nowhere near the record of 106 inches set in the 1995-1996 winter.

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A careless toss of a cigarette is being blamed for a fire that displaced eleven people in Providence.  Investigators say someone tossed a cigarette from a second story window at a home on Burnside Avenue.  However, the wind apparently blew it back, and it caught the building on fire.  The blaze was quickly brought under control, and no injuries are reported.

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A new report indicates that saltwater recreational fishing adds over 200-million-dollars to Rhode Island's economy.  The federal report also says the industry supports over two-thousand jobs in Rhode Island.  The challenge of properly managing the resource is going to be the subject of an event being held next week.  The Southern New England Recreational Symposium is being held Tuesday at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Warwick.

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Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse is blasting the budget proposal being offered by Senate Republicans.  Whitehouse says the proposal seeks to protect tax loopholes for the wealthy and while cutting funds for projects that help the most vulnerable.  He says the GOP budget is an unreal document that relies on accounting gimmicks to stay in balance, and would repeal parts of the Affordable Care Act.

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A special election is scheduled for June 9th for the state House seat vacated by the resignation of Donald Lally.  The 33rd House seat includes parts of Narragansett and South Kingstown.  The declaration period for candidates to run for the seat is next Thursday and Friday.  A primary will be held on May 5th if more than one candidate from either party qualifies for the ballot.

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Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo is offering a new statewide property tax on expensive second homes.  The proposal in her budget would impose a tax on residential properties valued at over one-million-dollars that are not the owner's primary residence.  The tax is projected to raise over eleven-million-dollars in revenue for the state. 

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The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management has beefed up regulations on recreational fishing of striped bass to reverse a decline in the stocks of what is considered a premier game fish.

Environmental Management Director Janet Coit announced Tuesday the new regulations to cut the bag limit for recreational fishermen to one fish per person a day from two. It maintains the minimum catch size at 28 inches.

The specific change does not affect commercial fishing. It's expected to reduce harvests by 31 percent from 2013.

Coit said that after rebounding from a decline in the 1970s, stocks of the fish have been going down again for the better part of a decade.

Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and North Carolina have imposed catch limits.

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The Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority says construction is closing the center lanes on the Newport side of the Newport Pell Bridge.

The installation of an anchoring system has begun in Newport and an anchoring system is to be installed next week in Jamestown.

Beginning April 6, installation will begin for a median on the bridge

Commuters are advised to expect delays.

Construction is expected to last until mid-May. Progress on the median barrier installation can be followed on RITBA's Facebook page and Twitter feed and by visiting RITBA.org.

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A North Kingstown man is facing a long prison term after being convicted of first degree sexual assault.  A Kent County jury has found Stephen Mulcahey guilty in the rape of a 17-year-old girl in Coventry in October of 2013.  The girl reported the assault the following day and the 42-year-old Mulcahey was arrested a few days later.  Mulcahey is also charged with possession of child pornography in an unrelated case and is currently awaiting trial.
 

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Cranston school officials are defending their decision not to allow teachers to take Good Friday off work this year.  The School Committee says teachers can observe Good Friday outside of the school day, as there are no set services.  The teachers union has sued the school district, saying teachers are being denied the right to practice their faith.  School officials say closing school on Good Friday is not an option.

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A Providence man is facing charges accusing him of possessing and transferring child pornography.  Rudy Munoz is accused of using the Internet connection at his home on Elmdale Avenue to trade child pornography.  A search warrant was served on his home yesterday, and police say digital media was seized as evidence in the case.  Munoz faces a possible 15 year prison term if convicted on the transfer of child pornography charge.

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It appears a settlement is in the works in the legal battle over the 2011 state pension overhaul.  A notice has been sent to retired state workers that they will vote on a proposed settlement on Monday at Twin River Casino's event center.  Before the vote, the pension lawsuit special court master will explain details of the proposed settlement.  Past and current state workers sued to block the pension reforms, which seek to save the state billions in pension costs over the next two decades.

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Longtime Narragansett state Representative Donald Lally is resigning his seat, effective immediately.  Lally says being a lawmaker is a full time job, and he wants to dedicate more time to his family and law practice.  Lally says the recent loss of both his parents in a nine day span played an important role in his decision.  Congressman David Cicilline's sister Susan Cicilline Buonanno is planning to run for the 33rd district seat.

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Cranston teachers are heading to court over the school district refusing to let them observe Good Friday next month.  The teachers union alleges that around 200 teacher requests to take off for Good Friday are being denied by the district.  The issue arose this school year when the district decided to remove Jewish holidays and Good Friday from their list of days off.  The lawsuit was filed yesterday in Providence Superior Court.

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A legislative committee today will decide whether to allow Twin River Casino to build a hotel on the Lincoln property.  Current state law specifically bans hotels around the casino, which was passed to protect the Providence hotel industry.  However, Twin River says that with competition for the casino dollar coming to Massachusetts, they need to stay competitive.  The House Finance Committee will vote on the bill today.

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Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza wants the city Board of Licenses to void all licenses held by the Shark Bar and Grille.  The Thayer Street bar allegedly paid a 52-thousand-dollar bribe to former House Speaker Gordon Fox to get their licenses to operate.  Fox pleaded guilty this month to several corruption charges, some related to the Shark Bar.  Elorza says voiding the licenses would send a strong message that public corruption at any level of government is unacceptable.

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The drug overdose problem is continuing in Rhode Island this year.  State Health Director Michael Fine says three more people died from drug overdoses over the weekend.  Fine says that brings the total this year to 51 overdose deaths, with two-thirds coming from illegal use of the drug Fentanyl.  The state has also adjusted last year's accidental overdose totals, adding 13 deaths for a total of 238 for the year.

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Convicted killer Craig Price is being denied his release by the state Parole Board.  Price was 15-years-old when he killed a woman and her two daughters in Warwick back in 1989.  Price appeared before the Parole Board by video conference from Florida, where he has been serving his prison time since 2004.  The earliest he can now get out of prison is July of 2018.

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The FBI's new facial recognition program is a crime fighting tool that won't be deployed in Rhode Island anytime soon.  State law enforcement officials say it would be extremely costly to upgrade technology in order to work with the new FBI system.  The new system is a computerized database that manages mug shots, fingerprints and other information about people convicted and accused of crimes.

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Rhode Island transportation officials are working to repair state roads and highways damaged by the brutal winter weather.  As the temperature rises potholes are opening all across the state.  DOT officials say at least 50 crews are in the field daily, applying patching materials to potholes.  Governor Gina Raimondo says her administration is committed to tackling the state's poor road conditions with urgency and restoring damage caused in the last two months.

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Rhode Island is receiving more than a million-dollars from the federal government for traffic and vehicle safety programs.  Senator Jack Reed says federal Department of Transportation grant is a smart investment that will help reduce traffic related injuries and deaths.  He says the money will be given to critical programs that will work to enhance safety conditions for drivers and pedestrians. 

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Investigators still have not determined what caused last week's fire that destroyed a Warwick condominium complex.  Around 75 people are left homeless by the blaze that destroyed the Westgate Condominiums on Quaker Lane.  Warwick's mayor and police chief held an informational meeting with residents yesterday, answering questions from the audience.  Residents believe the fire was started by the use of space heaters in one of the units.
 

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The Rhode Island Senate is acting to ban the sale and use of powdered alcohol in the state.  The Senate bill passed yesterday would impose a fine up to one-thousand dollars for people who violate the ban.  Powdered alcohol is a product that when mixed with water creates an alcoholic beverage.  A similar bill is currently being considered in the House Committee on Judiciary.

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A Providence man is facing charges after he allegedly caused a crash driving the wrong way on Route-Six while drunk.  Police say Eugene Rodriguez Barberan slammed into a pickup truck after entering the road the wrong way early yesterday morning.  Two people in the pickup truck were hospitalized for injuries not considered life threatening.  Rodriguez Barberan was not injured, and is charged with DUI, driving to endanger and other offenses.

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Rhode Island's unemployment rate is continuing to drop.  State officials say Rhode Island's jobless rate was six-and-a-half percent in January.  That's down from six-point-eight percent in December.  The state added 24-hundred jobs during the month, and has regained well over half of the 39-thousand jobs lost during the recession.

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Governor Gina Raimondo says her eight-billion-dollar budget proposal will help jump start Rhode Island's economy.  Raimondo delivered her budget address to lawmakers last night at the State House.  She says the proposal will close a 190-million-dollar budget deficit and make progress towards eliminating the structural deficit.  The budget also makes cuts to Medicaid and hospitals, and includes 22-million dollars in givebacks from state employees.

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A concrete center median barrier is being installed on the Pell Bridge connecting Newport and Jamestown.  The Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority says work on the concrete barrier will begin on Monday.  The goal is to prevent vehicles from crossing the center line and slamming into oncoming traffic.  Officials are warning of delays and lane closures during the barrier installation.

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Numerous condominium units are destroyed following a huge fire in Warwick.  The fire broke out at the Westgate Condominiums on Quaker Lane yesterday and spread quickly.  Numerous residents were displaced by the fire, and all were able to make it out without any serious injuries.  The cause remains under investigation, and officials say there were no working sprinklers in the complex.

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Many Brown University students are upset with the school's handling of a sexual assault case that occurred last fall.  Around 400 students wore dollar bills on their mouths with the Roman numeral nine written on it.  They marched on the president's office at University Hall, delivering a series of demands to the administration.  They say the school mishandled a case where two female students were reportedly drugged at a fraternity party.

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Governor Gina Raimondo tonight will deliver her first budget address to the Legislature since taking office in January.  Raimondo says her budget proposal will focus on jobs.  She says the themes of the address will be to build skills, innovate and attract, breaking the cycle of poor economies and years of painful cuts.  Raimondo says the budget will be the true beginning of the process of delivering on her campaign promises.

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The owner of Checkmaster Payroll Services is heading to federal prison following his conviction on tax fraud charges.  Warren Hebert of Barrington defrauded small businesses and a municipal water supply of over one-million-dollars.  Hebert diverted money that was supposed to be withheld for federal income taxes for his own personal use.  Hebert is sentenced to 254 months in prison, and must make full restitution to the victims.

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House Speaker Nick Mattiello expects Governor Gina Raimondo's budget to exempt some Social Security income from state tax.  Mattiello says he's not sure what form the exemption will be.  However, he has made it clear to the governor that the issue is a priority of his this year.  Raimondo will lay out her budget proposals for lawmakers tomorrow.

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Rhode Island College wants to return a 55-thousand-dollar donation it received from former House Speaker Gordon Fox.  The donation came when Fox closed his leadership political action committee last year.  In addition to returning the money, the college is also stripping Fox of his honorary degree.  Fox pleaded guilty last week to corruption charges and awaits sentencing.

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A receiver charged with liquidating 38 Studios is suing a California company.  The receiver claims that the company FireForge was going to purchase a 38 Studios customer management program for more than three-million dollars.  However, it's alleged that FireForge instead hired several former 38 Studios staffers, who then revealed the software code to their new employer.  FireForge now sells a program similar to the one developed by 38 Studios.

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Rhode Island House leaders are backing a proposal to reform the state's campaign finance laws.  A key proposal would place a total ban on the co-mingling of a candidate's personal and campaign funds in a single bank account.  The proposal comes just days after former House Speaker Gordon Fox pleaded guilty to charges that included stealing from his campaign fund.  North Kingstown Representative Robert Craven is introducing the bill, saying it will also help ensure the accuracy of campaign finance reporting.

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A new audit criticizes the state of Rhode Island for its handling of federal Department of Housing and Urban Development funds.  The HUD audit says the state did not properly administer over six-million-dollars given through a neighborhood stabilization program.  The report recommends that HUD require Rhode Island to repay over a million-dollars in ineligible costs and improve its record keeping.

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Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Kilmartin is calling for stiffer penalties for people convicted of driving under the influence causing death.  Legislation filed on Kilmartin's behalf would create some of the toughest crimes in the country for deaths caused by impaired drivers.  Kilmartin says strict penalties, enforcement and education have led to a decline in these crimes, but more needs to be done.  His bill would double the maximum penalty for DUI resulting in death to 30 years in prison.

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A Portsmouth man is accused of using Facebook and Instagram accounts to upload child pornography.  State Police say the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children reported that someone in Rhode Island posted child porn on Instagram.  Police say the investigation led to 19-year-old Dylan Mello, who was arrested yesterday.  Mello faces a maximum of five-years in prison if convicted.

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The woman who died in a wrong way crash on Interstate-95 in Pawtucket on Sunday is being identified by police.  Flory Hernandez of Central Falls was a passenger in a car that crashed while going the wrong way on the highway.  Hernandez was a passenger in a car driven by Jeremy Livia of Pawtucket.  He's now charged with DUI resulting in death and other offenses.

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Governor Gina Raimondo wants Rhode Island's minimum wage to rise higher than ten-dollars an hour.  Raimondo says increasing the minimum wage to ten-dollars and ten-cents an hour this year is still not enough to lift a family out of poverty.  If the proposal is approved, it would be the fourth increase in Rhode Island's minimum wage in as many years.

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Rhode Island is hosting a training seminar this week for prosecutors, forensic scientists and investigators from two Mexican states.

Attorney General Peter Kilmartin said Sunday his counterpart from the state of Morelos, Rodrigo Dorantes Salgado, will lead the visiting delegation, which includes colleagues from Hidalgo state.

Kilmartin said Mexican states have until next year to implement changes moving from a written inquisitorial criminal justice system to an oral adversarial system similar to the U.S.

Kilmartin said Rhode Island prosecutors and investigative experts will lead sessions on ethics, securing crime scenes, investigative strategies, preparing for trial, and examining expert and trial witnesses.

Participants will observe Providence Superior Court, and meet with forensic scientists, a ballistics expert and local police.

The meeting is part of a cooperative program to strengthen the legal systems of both the U.S. and Mexico.

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A Rhode Island lawmaker says consumers deserve to know if they're purchasing food containing genetically modified ingredients.

State Sen. Donna M. Nesselbush has introduced a bill to require any food containing genetically modified ingredients to bear a label disclosing that fact, beginning in 2017.

Nesselbush, a Democrat, says she has nothing personally against these foods, but people have a right to know if they're eating them.

She says Rhode Island should join a growing coalition of states requiring labeling. A bill to require labeling didn't gain traction last session.

Similar proposals have been opposed by biotechnology companies and agricultural groups, who say farming these crops is more sustainable. Business groups worry about the cost of labeling.

Nesselbush's bill was referred to a committee. Similar legislation was filed in the House.

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A pilot is shaken but uninjured after a rough landing of his small plane at Newport State Airport in Middletown.  Officials say the plane's wing and nose was damaged in yesterday's incident.  A small amount of fuel also leaked from the wing of the plane.  The pilot was able to free himself from the plane and declined medical attention after the crash, which remains under investigation.

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A former Foster official is suing the town in federal court over medical marijuana.  Former town public works director Robert Hohler says he was forced to take a drug test, and was fired in 2013 when he failed the test.  Hohler says he has a medical marijuana card to ease pain from a car crash that left him with liver damage and caused him to lose a kidney and his spleen.  He's also accusing town officials of disclosing private medical information that has damaged his personal and professional reputation.

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Brown University is taking action as it seeks to become a more comfortable place for minorities and gay students.  Brown held a three day National Diversity Summit over the weekend as part of the school's effort to change the campus culture.  The summit was planned as part of a diversity action plan recently released by the school to improve Brown's academic and cultural climate.  Brown is already one of the nation's more diverse schools, with 40-percent minority enrollment.

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