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1540 WADK.com Updates


The Rhode Island Senate has passed a bill aimed at getting rid of the state's outdated statutes.

The Senate unanimously approved legislation Thursday to create a joint committee within the General Assembly to review laws and recommend which ones are no longer needed. The legislature would consider the suggestions at the start of each new year.

It is still the law in Rhode Island, for example, that every person guilty of profane swearing and cursing shall be fined up to $5.

Democratic Sen. Erin Lynch, the bill's sponsor, says general laws also have become littered with outdated or burdensome statutes that may be hindering economic growth or business development.

A companion bill is pending before the House Judiciary Committee.

The proposal hasn't gained traction in the House in previous sessions.

 

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The Roger Williams Park Zoo in Providence has unveiled plans to add a new education center and rainforest building as well as tigers, grizzly bears and moose by 2035.

Zoo officials announced the 20-year plan Wednesday, saying it will be completed in three separate, $25 million phases lasting between five and seven years each.

The zoo has requested bids to design a rainforest building with a rising path allowing visitors to see animals at different levels. The current education center would be converted into a reptile house.

The second phase calls for new penguin, seabird and sea lion exhibit as well as a gift shop and admission area.

The third phase will add the new animals. Four new restroom buildings and more than 400 parking spaces also will be added.

 

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Officials say they no longer plan to prosecute two Misquamicut businessmen for selling ice cream and other frozen treats in an alleged violation of a street vendor ordinance.

The Westerly Sun reports George Manko was informed Wednesday by his lawyer that Assistant Solicitor Leo Manfred decided to drop the case against him. Manko was charged last June with 16 counts of violating the ordinance for selling shaved ice from his Hawaiian Desserts trailer on Atlantic Avenue.

A July 2014 case against Kenneth Adams was also dropped. He's charged with four counts of violating the ordinance.

Town council says recent modifications to the street vendor ordinance were designed to allow a limited number of vendors to work in the town.

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The head of Twin River says a proposed casino in Tiverton would include about 1,100 slot machines, about the same number as at Newport Grand.

Twin River Worldwide Holdings Chairman John E. Taylor Jr. said at a question-and-answer session Thursday that table games would include blackjack, craps and roulette, but probably not poker.

The Newport Daily News reports  that he says a casino of the size being proposed would likely contribute about $4 million a year in taxes on gambling, property, food and beverages.

Twin River Worldwide Holdings, which operates the gambling center in Lincoln, is seeking to buy Newport Grand and move to Tiverton. Taylor said the sale awaits state regulatory approval.

Tiverton officials and state lawmakers also must approve a November 2016 referendum on the state and local ballots.

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A crowd of Providence community leaders are calling for an immediate end to growing violence in the city.  The clergy and other community activists are urging an end of the cycle of violence that began with a killing outside a city hookah bar last Friday night.  The gang related incident is being blamed for a spike in shootings since then, culminating with a shooting that left two young men injured on Wednesday.  Police say they have identified persons of interest in several of the shootings, but no arrests have been made.

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Rhode Island's unemployment rate is continuing to decline.  The state Department of Labor and Training says the unemployment rate dropped slightly to six-point-one percent in April.  The report indicates that the state gained 600 jobs during the month, and the number of unemployed people dropped by one-thousand.  The Rhode Island workforce currently stands at 553-thousand people, which is nearly two-thousand workers more than March levels.

 

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Ten men are facing charges after they were all allegedly caught in a Central Falls prostitution sting.  The operation involved three undercover female police officers posing as prostitutes and making themselves available on city streets.  When men approached the women for sex, they were arrested.  Seven of the suspects are charged with soliciting from a motor vehicle for indecent purposes, while three others are charged with procurement of sexual conduct for a fee. 

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Roger Waters is signing on to perform at the Newport Folk Festival on July 24th.  The Pink Floyd co-founder has never been known as a folk performer, but will reportedly perform a set of music geared for the festival.  July 24th is the only day that is not currently sold out for the festival, which runs from the 24th to the 26th in Fort Adams State Park.

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A Newport man is facing charges accusing him of possessing and transferring child pornography.  State Police say 30-year-old Marc Mathis was identified by law enforcement as the owner of an Internet connection where child porn was being shared.  A court ordered search of his home on Oak Street in Newport took place yesterday, and Mathis was taken into custody.  he's charged with possession and transfer of child porn, and is free on five-thousand-dollars bail.

 

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NAACP officials are urging Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza to appoint a black police officer to the rank of major in the Providence Police Department.

A study commissioned by the NAACP shows the highest rank held by a black officer in the city is sergeant.

James Vincent, president of the NAACP's Providence branch, tells the Providence Journal  that a high-ranking black officer would help foster community trust.

The NAACP also calls for a new community service division to oversee outreach efforts and the recruitment of police officers of color.

Vincent says the lack of diversity at the command level "jeopardizes the relatively good" relations that have developed between police and the community.

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Officials from Twin River will be holding a gathering to address the public on a proposal to move Newport Grand to Tiverton.

Twin River wants to build a new casino bordering the Massachusetts line in Fall River, with slot machines and table games.

The town council and the general assembly would need to approve of the move in order for the casino to have any hope of being built. If approved, the proposal could be on the ballot next year.

The meeting with the public this evening, will be held at the Lil Bear Sports Pub on Main Road in Tiverton at 6 p.m.

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The city of Providence is saving more than six-million dollars by successfully refunding 146-million dollars in bonds.  The city is taking advantage of more favorable market rates, and state law will allow the city to retain 80 percent of the savings.  Mayor Jorge Elorza says this is a clear win for the taxpayers of Providence, who deserve to know that their tax dollars are being used effectively.

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Police in Warwick are investigating an attempted child abduction.  Police say a 12-year-old girl was walking home from school on Tuesday when a man approached and pulled her backpack.  The girl says she immediately ran home and alerted her parents to the incident, which she says took place near Osceola Avenue.

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Invitations to Hillary Clinton's fund raiser next month in East Greenwich have begun circulating in Rhode Island.  The event is being held June 10h, with ticket prices starting at one-thousand dollars per person.  Those who pay ten-thousand dollars get to attend an additional host reception, with 27-thousand dollars providing full admission to all of the evening's events.  The location of the event is not yet revealed, with donors told they will find out where the event is when they RSVP.

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Two men are wounded after being shot inside a parked car in Providence.  Police say the two victims are in their late teens or early 20s, and both were conscious after being shot on Sassafras Street.  One of the men was shot in the neck, and the other was hit in the torso.  Both men were rushed to Rhode Island Hospital for treatment, and police are trying to determine who is responsible for their injuries.

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A woman is injured after being hit by a Rhode Island Public Transit Authority bus in Providence.  The incident happened before five o'clock yesterday afternoon on Broad Street, and the woman was pinned underneath the bus.  Airbags were needed to lift the bus off the woman, who was rushed  to the hospital in very critical condition.  The 31-year-old victim has been identified as Bobbi Moore and the incident remains under investigation.

 

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Providence officials say the city is owed more than $1 million in police and firefighter detail fees from private contractors.

Detail fees are charged to businesses and organizations that require police or firefighters on hand, including at bars, nightclubs, festivals or other events.

The Providence Journal reports the city pays police and firefighters up front when a detail is required and is supposed to get reimbursed.

A City Council Finance Committee report shows that more than 180 businesses and organizations owe the city $1.2 million in fees.

The mayor's office says the city has established an escalating scale of warnings that culminate in a bill being turned over to a collection agency after six months.


 

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A 26-year-old Warren woman has been arrested for a tree-sitting protest of a proposed natural gas pipeline expansion.

Sherrie Anne Andre was charged Tuesday afternoon with trespassing, resisting arrest, obstruction and disorderly conduct.

Andre had suspended a wooden platform in the tree near a Spectra Energy compressor station in Burrillville early Tuesday. Police say she was in the tree for about five hours.

Andre is a member of Fighting Against Natural Gas, or FANG. The group says the tree is on land that would be cleared if the gas compressor station were upgraded to expand the Algonquin pipeline, which brings natural gas to New England from shale formations.

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Rhode Island's T.F. Green Airport is adding international options this summer.

Starting in June, the airport will begin offering flights to Frankfurt, Germany, and Cape Verde off the western coast of Africa.

The airport has a revamped area for U.S. Customs and Border Protection where agents can welcome travelers into the United States through Rhode Island.

The customs area received $110 million in upgrades could begin operating as soon as June 2, though the area had existed for years.

Kelly Fredericks, president and CEO of the Rhode Island Airport Corporation, tells WJAR-TV the goal is to make the airport more competitive. He says he will likely propose rebranding T.F. Green as an international airport.

 

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Funeral services have been scheduled for James Skeffington, the principal owner of the Pawtucket Red Sox, who died Sunday evening.

A spokeswoman for the PawSox said Tuesday that Skeffington's wake will be held from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Friday at the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul in Providence. The funeral mass is scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday at the same cathedral.

Skeffington suffered a heart attack while jogging near his home in Barrington. Skeffington was a Providence native. He was 73.

His death has led to questions about the next step for the Triple-A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox. Skeffington was the team's public face and lead advocate for a plan to move the team to a new stadium in downtown Providence.

 

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Providence police have identified the man accused of punching a public bus driver in the face thanks to the suspect's mom.

Police asked for the public's help in identifying the man who punched a Rhode Island Public Transit Authority driver on May 6.

The man, who had a cut on his hand, was apparently angry that the bus driver refused to take him to the hospital, which was not on the driver's route.

RIPTA publicly released surveillance photos the suspect and the mother of 24-year-old Jose Rivera Lopez recognized her son and made him turn himself in.

Lopez is charged with simple assault.

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Four U.S. postal workers are facing charges accusing them of stealing over a million-dollars worth of U.S. Treasury checks.  Prosecutors say Joan Mustafa, Erick Garzon, Brenda Canuelas and Jesus Rivera conspired to steal hundreds of checks from the providence mail processing and distribution center.  Some of the checks were sold on the streets for a fraction of their value, while others were deposited into fraudulent bank accounts and quickly withdrawn.  All four suspects are free on bond.

 

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A new report indicates that Rhode Island has the 18th highest home rental rates in the country.  The report from the National Low Income Housing Coalition says Rhode Island has one of the biggest gaps between the average wage of a renter and the earnings needed to afford a two bedroom apartment.  The nation's highest rental costs are in Hawaii, and the lowest prices are in Puerto Rico.
 

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A Providence man is facing a likely prison term after being convicted by a jury on child molestation and sexual assault charges.  The jury convicted 69-year-old Antonio Acosta on charges accusing him of molesting a young girl from when she was 11-years-old until she was 14.  The victim reported the abuse to a school counselor, which led to an investigation by Pawtucket Police and Acosta's arrest.  Acosta remains free at least until his sentencing.

 

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Pawtucket Red Sox principal owner Larry Lucchino is expected to take a more active role in stadium negotiations.  A spokesperson for the team says in light of the death of fellow principal owner James Skeffington, Lucchino will become the team's point person in stadium talks.  Lucchino is also president and CEO of the Boston Red Sox.  Skeffington had been leading negotiations that sought to move the team to a state of the art new ballpark that would be located on the Providence waterfront.

 

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U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse has now preached the dangers of climate change from the Senate floor 100 times.

The Rhode Island Democrat gave his 100th "Time to Wake Up" speech Monday.

In prepared remarks, Whitehouse reflected on the mounting effects of carbon pollution. He discussed the political obstacles to addressing climate change, notably pressure from the fossil fuel industry stifling Republican cooperation.

He says his top reason to act is Rhode Island, the "Ocean State."

Whitehouse wants to impose a fee on carbon emissions. He plans to announce details in June.

He's hopeful public pressure will lead to the passage of comprehensive climate change legislation.

Whitehouse gave his first speech in the series April 18, 2012.

He says he wants to shine light on the facts, science, and the polluters' "scheme of denial."

 

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A coastal Rhode Island company has been awarded a transport contract for a new Deepwater Wind project.

 North Kingstown's Rhode Island Fast Ferry won the 20-year contract to operate a specialized boat for construction and maintenance of a five-turbine wind farm. Deepwater Wind will install in waters near Block Island this summer.

The new vessel will be built by Warren's Blount Boats and will transport workers to and from the offshore wind farm. It will be the first of its kind in the country.

The boat is expected to be ready to provide crew and equipment support in spring 2016 in advance of Block Island Wind Farm's turbine installation.

Rhode Island Fast Ferry will spend $4 million building the vessel.


 

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A staffer for U.S. Sen. Jack Reed has been chosen as the next head of the Newport County Chamber of Commerce.

The group's board of directors on Monday announced it had selected Erin Donovan-Boyle as its new executive director.

She will succeed current Executive Director Jody Sullivan, who is retiring in June.

Ed Lopes, the board's chairman, says she has a deep knowledge of the community, experience in government and financial acumen.

Donovan-Boyle work's as outreach director for Reed's Rhode Island office. She previously served as executive director of the Ocean State Tall Ships group, and as campaign manager for former Secretary of State Ralph Mollis.

 

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The number of visitors to the Newport stopover of the Volvo Ocean Race exceeded officials' expectations.

Organizers of the 12-day celebration said Sunday it attracted about 125,000 people. They say the city had expected 60,000 to 80,000 visitors.

Sail Newport executive director Brad Read says the stopover had 20,000 visitors on Saturday, making it the event's busiest day.

Volvo Ocean Race CEO Knut Frostad says Newport drew nearly four times as many visitors as Miami did when it hosted the stopover in the 2011-2012 race.

Frostad says Newport has been offered an exclusive two-month negotiating period to secure the return of the race in 2018.

The six sailing teams in the global race left Newport on Sunday, heading for Lisbon, Portugal. The race ends in June in Gothenburg, Sweden.

 

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A developer seeking to create private student housing on former Interstate-195 land now has until July 1st to reach a tax stabilization deal with Providence.  Texas based Friendship and Clifford LLC has an agreement to purchase more than an acre of the reclaimed highway land for well over two-million dollars.  However, the developer needs to reach a tax stabilization agreement because the city's commercial tax rate is very high.
 

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A multi-family home is destroyed following a fast moving fire in Cumberland.  The six unit home on Titus Street caught fire yesterday afternoon and quickly spread through the upper floors.  All of the residents and two cats were able to get out of the building safely, with one of the cats jumping to safety from a third floor window.  The cause has not been determined and remains under investigation.

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A major overhaul is complete at the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport.  The results of the three-million-dollars in renovations and upgrades to the property will be revealed on Wednesday.  Changes include new multimedia exhibits and better access, and much of the old Newport Casino building has been restored.  Other projects are still in the works, including new tennis courts and a new grandstand at the stadium grass court.

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The Providence VA Medical Center is holding a town hall style meeting this week.  The event is designed to allow veterans, patients, family members and the public to comment on the facility and the care being delivered there.  The meeting is being held Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. at the medical center on Chalkstone Avenue in Providence.  Before the meeting, the Veterans Benefits Administration is holding a benefits clinic at the facility.

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Police in Pawtucket are looking for a suspect in a weekend shooting.  Police say 20-year-old Mark Cruz of Cumberland is identified as the person who fired shots early Saturday morning that wounded a man on Jenard Drive.  The victim drove himself to the hospital after the shooting, which reportedly occurred after an argument between the two men.  Cruz is considered armed and dangerous, and anyone with information about his whereabouts is urged to contact Pawtucket Police.

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The owners of the Pawtucket Red Sox say it would cost 65-million-dollars to make McCoy Stadium into a state of the art facility.  The owners say that steep price tag explains why the team needs a new stadium, but the city says that number is extremely high.  PawSox principal owner James Skeffington refused to provide the report when questioned by the Providence Journal.  Pawtucket city officials say the team has refused to share their report with them as well.

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A new food assistance program is launching in Rhode Island to help low-income seniors.

The Rhode Island Community Food Bank will distribute monthly food boxes containing items such as cereal, canned vegetables and fruits, pasta, and seasonal foods as part of the federally-funded Commodity Supplemental Food Program.

The initiative is a partnership between the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Rhode Island Division of Elderly Affairs and the food bank.

Rhode Island U.S. Sen. Jack Reed worked to insert language in an appropriations bill so Rhode Island and six other states could start participating, and secured more than $100,000 in federal funding for it.

Reed and representatives from the agencies will be at the Providence food bank Monday to celebrate its start.

The food bank serves about 12,000 seniors each month.

 

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The Rhode Island Foundation has awarded more than $200,000 to 33 nonprofit organizations that serve Newport County.

The philanthropic organization says the grants are made available through its Newport County Fund. The fund offered grants of up to $10,000 each in areas such as arts and culture and the environment.

Baby Steps of Newport received $10,000 to support its educational programs for families with infants and toddlers. Visiting Nurse Services of Newport and Bristol Counties received $5,000 to train staff on working with patients with Alzheimer's or Parkinson's disease.

The Foundation says an advisory committee made up of Newport County residents determined how to allocate the funding.

The fund has awarded more than $2.8 million in grants for programs in Jamestown, Little Compton, Middletown, Newport, Portsmouth and Tiverton since 2002.

 

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It was a big weekend for college graduations in Rhode Island.

Rhode Island College handed out 1,493 baccalaureate degrees and 305 graduate degrees Saturday. Honorary degrees were awarded to Scott MacKay of Rhode Island Public Radio and Health and Human Services Secretary Elizabeth Roberts.

Bryant University also held its commencement Saturday, with journalist and author David Maraniss as speaker.

More than 1,000 students received degrees Sunday from Providence College. Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Darlene Love was awarded an honorary degree.

The University of Rhode Island awarded 668 graduate degrees Saturday and 3,204 undergraduate degrees Sunday. Neuroscientist Rudolph Tanzi, a Cranston native, received an honorary doctor of science degree.

Salve Regina University handed out 653 degrees during its 65th commencement Sunday. Two-time Olympic medalist Michelle Kwan was awarded an honorary doctorate in humane letters.

 

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The competitors in the Volvo Ocean Race have departed Newport heading for Lisbon, Portugal.

The six sailing teams in the four-ocean, 45,000-mile race set out Sunday afternoon in light 10-knot winds for the seventh leg of the global race. The teams arrived in Newport over a week ago from Itajai, Brazil.

The Spanish boat MAPFRE led the race fleet out of Newport after winning the in-port race Saturday on Narragansett Bay.

Newport was the only North American stopover on this year's race. The stopover was hosted by public sailing center Sail Newport and tourism center Discover Newport.

The race got underway in October when the teams left Alicante, Spain. A seventh team was forced to suspend racing after its boat smashed into a reef in November.

The race ends in June in Gothenburg, Sweden.

 

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The Providence Redevelopment Agency has given permission to the corporation that runs the city's port facilities to expand.

The Providence Journal reports ProvPort will expand onto a 14-acre parcel of land near the end of Fields Point. The parcel lies between land now owned by ProvPort and Save The Bay.

The PRA endorsement means ProvPort will lease the land for $140,000 a year through July 2036 and use it to expand its terminal and port operations.

ProvPort's plans call for spending about $1.4 million to develop the site, a former landfill. The parcel will be cleared, graded and paved and perimeter fencing will be installed. ProvPort will also spend about $300,000 to restore the open space portion of the parcel.

Save The Bay officials endorsed the plan.


 

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Two men are facing charges in connection with a drive by shooting last week in South Providence.  Police say Johnny Pena and Wilmer Rosario are accused of shooting Elias Medina in an apparent gang related incident May sixth.  Both men are charged with felony assault and are being held on bail.  Medina drove himself to the hospital after being shot, where he was treated and released.

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The death of a male client of a state licensed program for the developmentally disabled is being investigated.  The call to 911 was made from a nonprofit day program on Commerce Street in Pawtucket last Thursday as a medical emergency.  Officials with RHD Rhode Island that runs the program are confirming the death but are not releasing any other information, citing federal medical privacy laws.  The program received over two-million dollars in federal funds last year.

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North Kingstown is introducing town-wide, full-day kindergarten in the fall.  The town school committee this week approved spending more than a half-million dollars to expand all-day kindergarten to all four elementary schools.  A pilot program was run at one of the elementary schools this year to help the town prepare for the rollout at the other schools.  Officials say the reading scores are significantly higher among children in the full-day program as opposed to the half-day students at the other three schools.

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A Pawtucket man is accused of cyberstalking a college student who already has a restraining order against him.  Police say George Gould never had a relationship with the female victim, but he had been interested in her for more than a year.  The woman was forced to obtain a restraining order last year to stop Gould from harassing her at her Providence Place job.  Gould is accused of violating the order by sending the victim numerous e-mails, sending her gifts and driving past her home.

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A plan for a 100-million-dollar streetcar in Providence is being scrutinized by city officials.  A hearing was held on the project before the City Council finance committee last night.  Supporters told the panel of how the streetcar connecting the Providence Rail Station to Rhode Island Hospital will spur economic development.  Others are concerned about the price tag, especially the 57-million dollars that represents the city's share of the costs.

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The Rhode Island Secretary of State is dismissing cases against three people accused of lobbying violations in the 38 Studios deal, including ex-Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling.

Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea hired former U.S. Attorney Robert Corrente to review the cases.

Ex-38 Studios director Thomas Zaccagnino and attorney Michael Corso had been ordered to file retroactive reports or face a fine. Corrente says both orders would likely be overturned in court because of procedural deficiencies in existing lobbying statutes.

A final order hadn't been issued on whether Schilling violated lobbying laws. Corrente says there are similar procedural problems in that case.

Schilling's failed video game company got a $75 million state-backed loan.

Corso's attorney says Gorbea made the right call in vacating the orders.

Gorbea wants to overhaul the lobbying laws.

 

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An historic home near the Brown University campus is set to get a makeover this summer.

The school announced Wednesday that Bannister House, built in 1854, will be fully renovated and returned to its original wood exterior.

The home will be sold to a Brown faculty or staff member after renovations are complete through the Brown-to-Brown program. The school says it has successfully renovated and sold 12 homes through this program.

Celebrated African American painter Edward Mitchell Bannister and his wife, Christiana, rented the home from 1884 to 1899. The home's namesakes were its most famous residents.

The house was remodeled in 1930, when its original wood shingles were replaced with brick. The school says the home has been vacant and in disrepair for two decades.

 

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The ACLU-Rhode Island, NAACP and 13 other organizations are asking school committees in the state to postpone using the new state assessment to qualify students for high school graduation.

The Providence Journal reports the letter asked school officials to avoid using scores from the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) for graduation and grading purposes until its intended date in 2020.

PARCC is a standardized test taken by elementary and secondary schools.

Education officials had made 2020 the year in which PARCC scores would be tied to high school graduation in order to give school districts time to prepare students. But the Council for Elementary and Secondary Education later revised the policy to allow schools to make it a requirement as early as 2017.

 

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The speaker of the Rhode Island House says a former member of his leadership team should not resign his seat after he pleaded no contest to personal use of campaign funds.

Rep. Joe Almeida, a Providence Democrat, pleaded no contest on Tuesday to a misdemeanor charge of using campaign money for himself.

House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello tells The Providence Journal that it sounded like a case of bad record keeping and characterized it as a slight indiscretion. He said he's glad the distraction is behind Almeida.

Almeida was originally charged with a felony count of unlawful appropriation of more than $1,000 in campaign funds. Police said he could not account for more than $6,100 in campaign money.

Almeida, a retired police officer, resigned as deputy majority whip after his arrest.

 

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Newport's interim city manager has turned down an offer from the city council to keep the job.

The Newport Daily News reports the city's mayor says Joseph Nicholson told council members he would not stay on "for all the tea in China," and plans to return to his work as an attorney and city solicitor.

Nicholson took the job on an interim basis after former City Manager Jane Howington resigned last July.

Mayor Jeanne-Marie Napolitano says 50 applicants have applied for the job. She says a consulting firm has suggested 12 finalists, but the council is still considering other applicants.

She says the council hopes to begin the interview

process in June and hopes to appoint a new city manager in August.

 

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A bill that would make the American burying beetle the official Rhode Island state insect is moving closer to becoming law.  The state Senate approved the measure yesterday, and a companion bill must now be passed by the House.  The measure was proposed by North Kingstown Senator Susan Sosnowski.  She says school children informed her that Rhode Island is only one of four without a state insect.

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A Woonsocket woman is facing federal charges accusing her of a scheme that defrauded undocumented immigrants.  Patria Zuniga is accused of defrauding the immigrants in the Worcester, Massachusetts area who were seeking to become permanent residents of the U.S.  She allegedly ripped off more than 600-thousand dollars from the immigrants between 2010 and 2012.  She was arrested yesterday, and faces a maximum of 20-years in prison if convicted.

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Hillary Clinton is headed to the Ocean State to raise money for her presidential bid.

Rhode Island Public Radio says Clinton is slated to hold a fundraiser next month at Democratic activist Mark Weiner's East Greenwich home.

Two of Clinton's campaign officials visited Providence last month to establish her Rhode Island headquarters.

The Democratic favorite swiftly hit the campaign trail after launching her 2016 presidential campaign in early April, leaving by van from her New York home to Iowa.

Gov. Gina Raimondo announced in April she'll support Clinton even if former Gov. Lincoln Chafee (CHAY'-fee) decides to run. Chafee has formed an exploratory committee to consider a Democratic presidential campaign.

Clinton campaigned for Raimondo during the governor's race.


 

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A man wanted for the rape of a woman last week in Woonsocket is in police custody.  Police say Reynaldy Rios was arrested yesterday in Brockton, Massachusetts and charged as a fugitive from justice.  Rios allegedly used a gun to sexually assault a woman in the Morin Heights section of Woonsocket.  Rios will be arraigned on the fugitive charge today in Brockton District Court.

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A sports economist says the deal proposed by the Pawtucket Red Sox to move the team to Providence would be bad for taxpayers.  College of the Holy Cross economist Victor Matheson appeared yesterday in Pawtucket to talk about the stadium issue.  Matheson says the expensive stadium is not likely to generate enough economic activity to justify the huge investment.  The new PawSox owners are seeking an incentive package of more than 100-million dollars to relocate the team to Providence.

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Senator Sheldon Whitehouse is co-sponsoring a veterans disability claims bills.  Supporters say it's intent is to help address oldest claims pending with the Department of Veterans Affairs.  Currently vets wait an average of more than three-years to get a decision on an initial disability claim, and then nearly three more years for a verdict on appeals. 

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New Bedford's mayor says the idea of luring the Pawtucket Red Sox to his city is a "non-starter."  The New Bedford "Standard-Times" reports Mayor Jon Mitchell says the city doesn't have 120-million-dollars in incentives to give the PawSox ownership to build a stadium.  A city councilman has raised the idea of moving the team to the Whaling City.  The new owners say the team won't stay in Pawtucket, and they've proposed a riverfront stadium in Providence.
 

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The University of Rhode Island is receiving a 182-thousand-dollar federal grant for a study on oysters.  The funds will help URI researchers to study the effects of food borne disease outbreaks on state oyster farmers.  The study is designed to help the oyster industry to understand how a food borne illness outbreak would impact consumption and demand. 

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Former Cranston police chief Walter Craddock is the next administrator of the Division of Motor Vehicles.  In addition to his former police service, Craddock is an attorney and an assistant college professor of criminal justice.  He will take over a state agency with around 180 full time employees and an annual operating budget of around 22-million-dollars.

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The Warwick Retirement Board is being sued by the state attorney general's office for violating the Open Meetings Act.  Attorney General Peter Kilmartin says the panel discussed matters in closed session that should have been talked about in public.  Kilmartin alleges that the violation occurred at a meeting on March 18th.  The board manages the Warwick municipal pension fund.

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The child who died in a fiery crash on Interstate-95 in Warwick Monday night is being identified as three-year-old Adonis Clark.  The boy was strapped into a child seat in the rear of a car that crashed in the median of I-95.  The car struck a tree and burst into flames, with other drivers rushing to pull the victims from the car.  Critically injured are Robert Souza and Lindsey Clark, with five-year-old Savannah Clark hospitalized with less serious injuries.

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Residents in the Jewelry District of Providence are expressing concerns about plans for the Pawtucket Red Sox to relocate to the city.  While some residents expressed support for the 85-million-dollar stadium plan, others are worried about what the ballpark would do to the neighborhood.  Around 40 people attended the meeting of the Jewelry District Association to learn about the stadium proposal and express their feelings about the plan.

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Gas prices on average in Rhode Island are up four cents from last week, according to the latest weekly survey from AAA Northeast.

Self-serve, regular unleaded in the Ocean State currently averages $2.64 a gallon. Prices in the state are 28 cents higher than a month ago, but the Rhode Island average is still two cents less than the national average of $2.66.

A year ago at this time, Rhode Island’s average was more than a dollar higher at $3.70.

The cheapest current price in Rhode Island is $2.49 a gallon, while the most expensive measured by AAA is $2.76.

The auto club predicts that car travel for Memorial Day  will be up 5.3 percent, to 33 million travelers, compared to last year. That would be the highest volume in ten years. Gas prices are on track to be the cheapest they’ve been for the holiday in at least five years, the club said.

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A Barrington man is accused of ripping off investors of more than eleven-million-dollars in a Ponzi scheme.  Officials say Patrick Churchville used his ClearPath Wealth Management company to bilk investors.  Investigators say he would use money taken from new investors to pay off older ones, while continuing to divert millions of dollars for his own use.  He is also accused of taking steps to conceal his illegal activity.

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Rhode Island Sen. Jack Reed says legislation to name a post office in Providence for the late community activist Sister Ann Keefe has passed in Congress.

The legislation to honor the Roman Catholic nun known for her charitable work was sponsored by the state's congressional delegation. The Senate on Monday passed the legislation sponsored by Reed and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse. U.S. Reps. David Cicilline and Jim Langevin sponsored it in the House, where it passed it last month.

The post office at 820 Elmwood Ave. in Providence will be renamed for Keefe, who died in January at the age of 62.

A former teacher and social worker, Keefe joined a ministry at St. Michael the Archangel church and worked for decades to improve education and health, and to help end hunger and homelessness in Rhode Island.

 

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A Connecticut aquarium is working with other authorities to check on the health of three beluga whales spotted off the coast of Jamestown.

Officials from Mystic Aquarium and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration fisheries are working with local authorities to find the whales.

The team is searching Narragansett Bay to determine if they need to help the whales.

The aquarium's lead veterinarian Dr. Allison Tuttle said in a statement only video footage posted on Facebook is available for now, but the whales seem to be behaving normally.

 

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The long-planned Rhode Island Holocaust Memorial has celebrated its ceremonial groundbreaking.

Construction of the memorial, near the World War I and II memorials in Memorial Park on South Main Street in Providence, is expected to begin in days.

The memorial features six black granite columns of increasing height, representing the 6 million Jews who died in the Holocaust. The columns will mark a curving path, lined with railroad ties, which leads to a spherical white stone symbolizing the future.

The Holocaust Memorial has been 10 years in the making since David Newman, a Holocaust survivor, began a campaign for it.

Officials say the project's cost has been the reason for the delays.

 

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State police say a child has died in a fiery rollover crash on Interstate 95 in Warwick.

A second child and two adults were injured in the single-vehicle crash just after 9 p.m. Monday.

The victim was pronounced dead at the scene. Two adults were taken to Rhode Island Hospital in serious condition. And a second child was transported to Hasbro Children's Hospital. The nature of their injuries was not disclosed.

No names or ages were released.

Investigators say the vehicle rolled over and caught fire, but the exact cause remains under investigation.

 

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Gov. Gina Raimondo has suggested eliminating a proposed tax on luxury vacation homes, the so-called "Taylor Swift Tax," after projections show state revenues are up by about $143 million.

Raimondo announced Monday that she would have omitted the tax from her March budget proposal had she known about the surplus. The Raimondo administration had originally proposed the tax to alleviate the state's budget deficit, estimated at $190 million.

The tax was named for the pop singer who owns a beachfront mansion in Westerly.

Lawmakers who took part in the state's semiannual revenue estimating conference say state revenues will be up by $106.8 million this year and $36.6 million next year.

House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello said last month he hoped the state would have enough money to eliminate the proposed tax.

 

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The Rhode Island House of Representatives has passed three bills to reform the mail ballot process during state elections.

The bills aim to simplify the requirement for the time mail ballots must be securely stored and increase transparency and voter turnout.

The first bill would change the time mail ballots must be stored from the first day in September in the second year after the ballots are cast to simply 22 months after the election.

The second bill requires ballot counting sessions to be advertised on state websites and removes a requirement to preserve outer ballot envelopes.

The third bill allows mail ballot applications to serve as an affirmation form for inactive voters, if the application address matches where the voter is registered.

Companion legislation must pass the Senate.

 

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Rhode Island officials have opened three state beaches two weeks early because of the summer-like temperatures in the state.

Scarborough, Roger Wheeler and Misquamicut beaches were open over the weekend.

They also will be open next weekend , along with Lincoln Woods State Park in Lincoln and Goddard State Park in Warwick. Those beaches will be closed on weekdays until May 23.

Rhode Island beaches traditionally open on Memorial Day weekend.

The early opening means lifeguards are on duty and the showers and bathrooms are open. It also means officials are now charging for parking at the beach. It is $14 for Rhode Island residents and $28 for non-residents during weekends.

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The new owners of the Pawtucket Red Sox say they want to move the team to Providence. But officials in New Bedford are interested in becoming the next home of the Boston Red Sox Triple-A affiliate.

City Councilor Steve Martins has filed a motion for the city to discuss becoming the home for the team.

Martins and fellow councilor Kerry Winterson have lined up two potential sites for a new stadium. One is right along the waterfront, similar to the proposed ballpark in Providence.

Martins and Winterson say they are willing to give the PawSox time to work on a deal with Rhode Island officials.

Martins says New Bedford would consider taking an aggressive approach in obtaining the team if a deal falls through.

 

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Attorney General Peter Kilmartin is warning Rhode Island residents about a return of a tech support scam.  Kilmartin says residents have been receiving unsolicited phone calls from a person claiming to be tech support for a virus protection software company.  The caller tricks the person into allowing the scammer to access their computer remotely, then installs a virus or malware on the machine.  The scammer then tries to charge a big fee to repair the computer, and people are being urged not to fall victim to the scam.

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The company that operates the Block Island Ferry is looking for a ten-percent rate increase on their traditional slow speed ferry service.  Interstate Navigation is asking state regulators to approve the increase because of rising dock and vessel maintenance.  The Narragansett based company says their request does not include the high speed ferry service to Block Island, just their slower speed vessels and the rates for vehicles.

 

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The lights are back on in Providence after a line issue knocked power out in Wayland Square.  The outage occurred at around three p.m. yesterday, and it took National Grid crews hours to get the power back on.  Only around 60 customers were affected, but the outage hit one of those customers hard.  The Red Stripe Providence restaurant was forced to close for the night, losing business on one of the busiest restaurant days of the year.

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