Two bodies were found in different parts of South County over the weekend. The body of a 64-year-old man was discovered yesterday morning on Scarborough Beach in Narragansett. Foul play is not suspected. On Saturday morning, the body of a 53-year-old Providence man was found on the beach at Quonochontaug Breachway in Charlestown. Authorities say that death does not appear to be suspicious.
Governor Lincoln Chafee has hired former Department of Environmental Management Director Jan Reitsma as a special adviser for policy and legislative affairs. Reitsma, who resigned from the DEM in late 2003, begins his new job today. He has most recently been the executive director of the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor Commission and superintendent of Roger Williams National Memorial.
The state health benefits exchange is opening a temporary satellite office today in Warwick. HealthSource RI says the walk-in center on Centerville Road will be open seven days a week until the end of April. People interested in coverage options or enrolling in a plan can make an appointment at the satellite center or just walk-in. More information is available online at healthsourceri.com.
At tonight’s Portsmouth Town Council meeting, the town will be presented with their Heart Safe designation from the American Heart Association. Portsmouth is the first community in Newport County to achieve this status.
Stephen Landry of North Kingstown has won the state spelling bee. It’s the second straight win for the middle-schooler and he’s now qualified for the national Scripps Spelling Bee in Washington, DC in May according to ABC 6.
Rhode Island's unemployment rate for January was 9.2 percent. That's lower than it was in December. The state Department of Labor and Training says it's the lowest rate since November of 2008. Nationally the unemployment rate for January was six-point-six percent.
The State Senate Finance Committee held a hearing yesterday on a bill that would eliminate the toll on the Sakonnet River Bridge and provide a plan to fund maintenance on roads and bridges. One of the people to testify against the bill was the Director of the State Transportation Department, Michael Lewis. According to the Journal, he said it would be difficult to get the money necessary without tolls.
A Republican has emerged to challenge Senator Jack Reed's bid for a fourth term. Raymond McKay promises a formal announcement of his candidacy within a couple of weeks. According to his LinkedIn web page, McKay is an Army veteran who has worked for the city of Warwick for more than 21 years
A proposed pension settlement bill has been withdrawn, just a few days after it was introduced. The bill was sponsored by South Kingstown Representative Spencer Dickinson, a vocal critic of House Speaker Gordon Fox. There has been no explanation yet why he withdrew the bill, which mirrored the proposed settlement in the legal fight over the 2011 overhaul of the state's pension system.
Senator James Sheehan from North Kingstown had requested documents from the litigation surrounding 38 Studios. That request has been denied. The Journal reports Sheehan was told the information can’t be released until a court rules on the motion.
NEWPORT, RI- Traffic flow and parking in Newport will be affected by the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, which kicks off at 11:00AM on Saturday March 15th, 2014. Traffic will be congested in the downtown area from about 9:00AM to 3:00PM. Parking will be limited. The parade participants will be begin staging on lower Broadway at about 9:00Am, so it is recommended that people coming to Newport to view the parade avoid Broadway. The two best routes into the city with available public parking are: Westbound on Memorial Blvd, right onto Bellevue Ave. (northbound), left on Church St. and right into the Waterfront Parking lot (situated between Church and Mary St.) Farewell St. south to America’s Cup Ave. and right into the Gateway parking garage.
Parking is prohibited on the following streets from 5:00AM to 3:00PM. All vehicles parked in restricted areas will be towed: No parking along parade route. Broadway from Cranston/Equality Park West to Washington Square Equality Park Place and Equality Park West Dr. Marcus F. Wheatland Blvd. from Equality Park to Oak St. Washington Sq. from Broadway to Thames St. Thames St. from America’s Cup Ave. to Morton Ave. Carroll Ave. from Morton Ave. to Harrison Ave. Both sides of America’s Cup at the Gateway Center Narragansett Ave between Spring St and Bellevue Avenue.
During this year’s parade the Newport Police Department will be strictly enforcing City Ordinances (open containers of alcohol in public, noise violations and disorderly conduct, underage drinking) along the parade route and the surrounding areas. The Police Department will have a strong presence to make this a fun, safe and family friendly event.
Parade Route Parade Begins: Lower Broadway Washington Sq Thames St. southbound XOA to America’s Cup southbound Thames St southbound at Memorial Blvd. Carroll Ave Parade Ends at St. Augustin’s Church
Traffic Detours Southbound Broadway diverted onto Marcas Wheatland Blvd southbound at Equality Park. Spring St northbound diverted away from Broadway and up Bull St. to Kay St Westbound Memorial Blvd West diverted northbound on Thames St at the Post Office Northbound Thames St diverted away from America’s Cup up Mill St to Spring St.
The crisis in the Ukraine was the focus of a panel discussion at Brown University yesterday. Robert Legvold from Columbia University told Brown students that the action of Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Crimean Peninsula is the most significant political development in their lives. The Journal reports that Brown is planning more discussions in the near future.
State Treasurer Gina Raimondo has picked up another endorsement in her run for governor. Former Providence State Senator Myrth York says Raimondo understands the challenges Rhode Islanders face every day. York was unsuccessful in three attempts to be elected governor in 1994, 1998 and 2002.
Gina Raimondo was in Middletown yesterday trying to connect Rhode Islanders with unclaimed money. The Treasury's Unclaimed Property Division has found nearly $12 million in life insurance proceeds for more than 9,000 Rhode Islanders.
The state Department of Labor and Training is hiring more staff. The department received more federal funding than expected, which allows for the re-hiring of staff who had been laid off. Director Charles Fogarty says nine part-time employees will also be hired this month. DLT has been frequently criticized for long wait times on the phone for those trying to file unemployment claims.
William Lamphere was taken into custody in a joint effort by Charlestown and Westerly police. He was wanted on 3 counts of delivery of cocaine. ABC 6 reports he will be arraigned this morning.
The Rhode Island House Judiciary Committee looked at a bill yesterday regarding revenge porn supported by state Rep. Donald Lally of South Kingstown. If it becomes law, it would make it illegal to distribute a sexually explicit photo of someone without their consent. ABC 6 reports California and New Jersey have already passed similar bills and 13 other states are looking at it.
State police arrested two Charlestown residents and seized 19 pounds of marijuana, nearly 100 marijuana plants, and 38-hundred-dollars in cash. The 48-year-old man and 36-year-old woman face charges including possession of marijuana with intent to deliver. They are both due back in court next week.
A company that helps qualified patients seeking entry into the Rhode Island's medical marijuana program, has been granted an ambulatory care facility license. The owner of B&B Consulting calls the approval from the state Department of Health "groundbreaking." There are currently seven-thousand people approved by the Department of Health in the state's medical marijuana program. B&B Consulting has opened an office on Toll Gate Road in Warwick.
Governor Chafee will go to Connecticut today to hear President Obama discuss efforts to raise the federal minimum wage. The governor's of Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont will also attend the event at Central Connecticut State University. The president will then travel to Boston to attend Democratic Party events.
A new poll finds 82-percent of Rhode Islanders lack confidence in state leaders. Fourteen-percent describe statewide leadership as good, only two-percent think it's excellent and two-percent are undecided. The survey of 438 registered voters was conducted by a Cumberland firm on behalf of an initiative called "Job One: Leadership." The initiative is spearheaded by the Hassenfeld Institute for Public Leadership at Bryant University.
The death count is now at 56. The State Department of Health is calling the increase in drug overdose deaths an epidemic. WPRI TV reports that officials are calling for stronger prevention efforts for drug abuse.
The state Department of Health says a person who was treated at two hospitals in Rhode Island and at a pharmacy in Massachusetts has measles symptoms. Efforts were being made to contact people who were in the emergency room at Rhode Island Hospital last Friday night, or at a CVS Minute Clinic in North Attleboro late last Friday afternoon. The person also went to the emergency room at Roger Williams Medical Center. Anyone who may be at risk and who has not yet been contacted, should call the location where they may have been exposed.
Anonymous threats to kill three students and bomb Scituate High School, led to the arrest of a 17-year-old boy. Police were first alerted about the threats Saturday night, and school officials and police issued a joint alert system advisory on Sunday. No explosives were found in the school complex. Investigators say the teen turned himself in at state police headquarters.
The Middletown Beach Facility Advisory Committee is having a public hearing tonight at 5 at the town hall. They are seeking input regarding Second Beach facility recommendations to the Town Council.
Five people will be inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport this summer. The class of 2014 will be headed by six-time Grand Slam tournament champion Lindsay Davenport. Others include the first world champion for wheel chair tennis, a coach, and author and a British broadcaster. The induction ceremony is set for July 12th.
A man was pronounced dead the scene of a burning house in Coventry last night. Authorities say there was no one else in the single family house at the time. The fire was reported shortly before 7:30pm.
Governor Chafee will be joining other New England Governors when President Barack Obama comes to Connecticut on Wednesday. They will be showing their support for raising the federal minimum wage to 10.10 per hour.
General Treasurer Gina Raimondo has picked up the endorsement of the Ironworkers Local 37. The Journal reports it’s the second trade union to support her gubernatorial campaign. The Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 51 has already given their endorsement.
The Rhode Island D.O.T. got a shipment of salt over the weekend but the rest of the delivery is expected on Thursday.
The Monster Shark Tournament wants to come to Newport this summer. After 27 years in Oak Bluffs, the event will be held July 17th to the 20th in Newport according to capecodonline.com. Evan Smith of Discover Newport says that organizers have not received approval from the city.
A two car crash last night in Portsmouth sent 2 people to the hospital. The injuries were not life-threatening from the accident near Raytheon. Portsmouth Police are looking for witnesses after charging Jeffrey Gomez of Portsmouth with D.U.I. after the accident. If you have any information, call 683 0994.
Patricia Girardi of North Kingstown had gone missing after leaving Logan Airport yesterday. She was located in Connecticut this morning. The police are no longer investigating.
The unemployment rate for almost all of 2013 was higher than previously reported. According to revised data from the state Department of Labor and Training, Rhode Island ended the year with an unemployment rate of 9.5 percent for 2013, rather than 9.1 percent. Only in January of last year was the rate actually lower than was reported.
More competition for Newport Grand and Twin River, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission has given preliminary approval for a slots parlor license to the Plainridge Racecourse in Plainville. Pending a final vote today, the racecourse will have permission to operate more than 1200 slot machines. The Plainville site is just 12 miles from the Twin River Casino in Lincoln which generates millions of dollars in revenue for Rhode Island.
Flu is no longer considered to be widespread in Rhode Island. The state Department of Health says although the level of flu statewide has dropped, people who have not been vaccinated are still at risk. So far this flu season, there have been two flu related deaths and 239 flu related hospitalization in Rhode Island.
The State Supreme Court has been asked by Little Compton police to reinstate a DUI against a Tiverton man that had been thrown out by a lower court. According to the Journal, charges had been dismissed against David Simmons because a judge ruled Little Compton police made an unlawful stop and were out of their jurisdiction in Tiverton.
The Catholic Diocese of Providence is providing an additional 25-thousand-dollars to its "Keep the Heat On" campaign. The campaign provides heating assistance to Rhode Island residents who have exhausted all other types of heating assistance. So far this winter the diocese has paid out more than 231,000 dollars in heating aid to 1100 families.
Tiverton police say they have shut down a major heroin distributor. Authorities say they confiscated 25-hundred bags of heroin. They also seized several dozen oxycodone pills and 64-hundred-dollars in cash. A 40-year-old woman faces felony charges and is being held without bail.
South County Hospital in Wakefield announced yesterday it will enter merger talks with Southcoast Health Systems of Massachusetts. Southcoast includes Charlton Memorial Hospital in Fall River, St. Luke’s Hospital in New Bedford and Tobey Hospital in Wareham. South County is the last independent hospital in Rhode Island, and it has been assessing potential partners for more than a year.
The political action committee of the faculty union at the University of Rhode Island has endorsed Democrat Angel Taveras for governor. A member of the union's PAC tells "The Providence Journal" that the Providence mayor understands the need to protect academic freedom and expand access to higher education. The union represents 700 full-time URI faculty.
Cox Communication will cut 234 jobs in Rhode Island in the third quarter of this year. The move will reduce the company's workforce in the state by nearly one-fifth, to 860. Employees were informed yesterday the call center, which has been in operation since the 1980's, will be closed. Cox is consolidating residential customer service operations nationwide. A company spokeswoman says those losing their jobs may seek transfer to a call center in another part of the country or apply for another job with the company in the region.
The Middletown Town Council will be discussing a regional economic development effort. At the next council meeting on Monday, there will be communication from Jody Sullivan, the Executive Director of the Newport County Chamber of Commerce and Robert Silva, the Chairman of the Middletown Economic Development Advisory Committee.
The Joint Behavioral Health and Firearms Safety Task Force voted to approve a report for ways the state can submit records to try to prevent weapons from getting in the hands of people with serious mental illness. According to the Journal, Rhode Island currently does not submit mental health records to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. The recommendations in the report will now go the General Assembly. The task force was co-chaired by Representative Ruggiero of Jamestown and Senator Rumsey from Exeter.
Smithfield High School went into lockdown for about 90-minutes yesterday afternoon. A review of security video determined a student had left the building and then re-entered which set of an alarm. During the lockdown police conducted a room to room search of the building. Once the all clear was given students were dismissed for the day at 2:15pm.
Gubernatorial candidate Ken Block wants to cut the tax on cars, reduce the corporate income tax to seven-percent and lower the estate tax. The Republican says he'd also try to reduce spending on unemployment and temporary disability benefits. Block says Rhode Island is in an economic crisis and his plan would help ease the problem. He's running against Cranston Mayor Allan Fung in the GOP primary.
Jayne Donegan of North Kingstown was back in court yesterday. Her lawyer says there is no evidence that she provided the alcohol to the teenagers in her home at her daughter’s birthday party. NBC 10 reports her lawyer asked for a state police investigation into how North Kingstown police handled the situation. The state police declined.
The question could soon be, how will it affect Newport Grand and Twin River. Revere, Massachusetts residents voted yesterday to approve a plan for a casino at Suffolk Downs. Mohegan Sun has proposed building a 1.3 billion dollar facility.
Governor Lincoln Chafee would consider legalizing marijuana in Rhode Island as a source of state revenue. The use of medical marijuana is already legal and legislation is pending in the General Assembly to legalize recreational use of pot. A spokeswoman for Chafee issued a statement yesterday saying if the legislation were to reach his desk, the governor would evaluate it.
Block Islanders had a chance to voice their thoughts on the proposed Deep Water Wind project off their shores. Residents seemed split in their opinion. The forum yesterday was part of several scheduled in the area. According to NBC 10, the final forum is set for Thursday morning at the U.R.I Bay Campus.
The American Civil Liberties Union is suing the Rhode Island State Police and the state Department of Corrections over public records fees. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of the Olneyville Neighborhood Association which is seeking records on the state's cooperation with federal immigration authorities. The state police wanted 15-hundred-dollars for the records and the DOC sought nearly 600-dollars. The ACLU says requests for public records should not be a "money-making venture."
The Walmart in Newport damaged by an arson fire last week, is expected to reopen later this week. A company spokesperson says it's hoped the doors will reopen this Friday. The 58-year-old New York man suspected of starting the fire turned himself in to police.
Rhode Island welcomed home Marissa Castelli of Cranston last night. Castelli and her partner helped the United States win the bronze medal in team skating at the winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. During the homecoming ceremony at Schneider Arena on the Providence College campus, Castelli received a citation from Governor Chafee and the key to the city from Cranston Mayor Allan Fung.
The Jamestown Town Council meets this afternoon to begin discussions for a potential new town administrator. The meeting is at 2:30 and could go into executive session.
Fire ripped through a Portsmouth home over the weekend. Firefighters from Portsmouth, Bristol, Tiverton and Middletown battled the blaze on Summit Road. The Journal reports everyone made it out ok.
The Naval War College will post on-line today a war diary of Admiral Nimitz. The 4,000 page diary is from World War II era.
Veteran investigative reporter Jim Taricani will retire from WJAR-TV on April first. He has spent more than 30-years of his 40-year career at Channel 10. The 64-year-old Taricani plans to work part-time for a former colleague's public relations firm.
A ceremony is planned tonight to welcome home Olympic pairs skater Marissa Castelli. The Cranston native won a bronze medal in Sochi. Tonight's public celebration is expected to start around eight p.m. at Providence College's Schneider Arena.
Newport Night Run is being held tonight. The race will begin at Easton’s Beach at 7pm and the route will be east on Memorial Blvd. with one lane coned for the runners, vehicle access will still be allowed on the Boulevard. The race continues North onto America’s Cup Ave. with one lane remaining open. The runners will turn around at Long Wharf and then proceed south on America’s Cup, continuing up Memorial Blvd. West Bound back to the beach.
There will be posted no parking on Memorial Blvd along the route. Also Detail Officers may hold traffic at cross streets along the route. There should be minimal traffic impacts.
Landmark Medical Center went into lockdown last night around seven o'clock after a man in the parking lot allegedly claimed he would commit suicide. Woonsocket and state police responded to the scene, secured the hospital and surrounded the man's truck. Once the man was in custody he was taken to Rhode Island Hospital for evaluation. No injuries were reported.
The state will award 200-thousand-dollars in grants to farmers and fishermen to help them sell their products. In announcing the marketing program yesterday, Governor Lincoln Chafee said the sale of locally grown agricultural products and seafood are two of the fastest growing sectors of the local economy. The deadline to submit grant applications to the state Department of Environmental Management is April first.
They’ve postponed the plan to thin the herd on Block Island. The Block Island Times reports the company hired to shoot the deer was not going to be able to use noise suppressors on their guns because of state law.
The Newport City Council will hear from Conanicut Marine Services at their council meeting next week. The company will be asking for permission for the Jamestown Newport Ferry to continue service to and from Perroti Park and Fort Adams and to add the Ann Street Pier.
The Newport City Council will hear from City Manager, Jane Howington, on Wednesday regarding the Interstate Navigation agreement for use of Perrotti Park. The Block Island Ferry wants to continue making runs from Newport to Block Island after a successful trial last summer.
The total is up to 45 for overdose deaths so far this year in Rhode Island. Health Director Michael Fine says that’s twice the normal number. The Journal reports that Fine said 28 had fetanyl in their blood. That coincides with other fetanyl-laced heroin deaths around New England.
A new study finds income inequality has grown in Rhode Island. The Rhode Island-based nonprofit Economic Progress Institute says that from 2009 to 2011 only one-percent of taxpayers saw any increase in their income. According to the study, 99-percent of Rhode Islanders lost income during that time.
The Navy is scheduled to conduct an emergency training drill at Naval Station Newport today. The drill would simulate a mass-casualty incident inside the Chafee Fitness Center. The drill is scheduled to start at 8:15 this morning.
The Mayors of Cranston and Providence plan to co-host eight job fairs this year. The first will be held next Wednesday focused on the health care industry. Most of the job fairs will be at the Roger Williams Park Casino. Cranston Republican Allan Fung and Providence Democrat Angel Taveras are both running for governor.
Newport Police have made an arrest in the arson fire at Walmart on Connell Highway. George Reddick of New York City was indentified from video footage from the store. Reddick turned himself in to police and was taken into custody.
The Jamestown Town Council has called a special meeting for Friday morning to review and possibly ratify the severance agreement with their outgoing Town Administrator. The council could also appoint an interim Town Administrator.
Members of Rhode Island's congressional delegation support a move in Congress to raise the federal minimum wage to ten-dollars-ten-cents an hour over two years. At a meeting of the Community Action Partnership in Providence yesterday, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse and Congressmen Jim Langevin and David Cicilline all voiced strong support for the initiative. The current federal minimum of seven-dollars-25-cents per hour took effect in July of 2009. Rhode Island's current minimum wage is eight-dollars an hour.
Approval came yesterday for a lease for a solar farm proposed at The Quonset Business Park. The agreement with Bella Energy follows a similar deal in December with rTerra, a clean energy firm in Middletown. The Journal reports Frank Epps from rTerra says they are the largest solar system installer in the state.
The road salt delivery that was expected by the end of this week has been delayed to at least the end of next week. In the meantime, the Rhode Island D.O.T. will ration what’s left in the event of a storm before the end of the month.
South Kingstown has been named one of the safest towns in the country. According to WPRI TV, the survey was done by neighborhoodscout.com and South Kingstown was 27th on the list. The safest town was Franklin, Massachusetts.
There is a 5,000 dollar reward connected to the fire last night at Walmart in Newport. The store was closed today as the investigation continues.
The new CEO has been announced for the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport. Todd Martin will start in April and work with the current CEO, Mark Stenning. Stenning will continue to work on special projects at the hall.
Fire broke out in the paint department at the Wal-Mart in Newport last night. The store was evacuated and no injuries were reported. Authorities say the fire caused extensive smoke and water damage. The cause is under investigation and it wasn't immediately known when the store will reopen.
Although we have enough for today’s storm, there is a shortage of road salt. Armand Randolph with the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency says it’s not just because of the number of storms in Rhode Island.
Randolph says there has been a dramatic increase in salt deliveries to the South because of their unusual winter storms. He says there is another salt shipment coming to Rhode Island later this week.
Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed and House Speaker Gordon Fox have issued a statement regarding the proposed pension settlement. They say they will give it careful consideration and discuss it with their Senate and House colleagues. Paiva Weed and Fox say that last Friday's release of the details of the settlement is "just a first step."
The Rhode Island chapter of the ACLU is questioning the gag order still in place on the state pension deal. The Journal reports ACLU Director Steven Brown is worried that the state could withhold information that should be open to the public.
The International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport will name its new CEO today at 11am. The current CEO, Mark Stenning, is stepping down after 35 years with the Hall of Fame.
Healthsource RI is currently unable to complete new enrollments. The federal data hub it uses went offline Saturday for planned maintenance until tomorrow. Anyone who completes an application or makes changes to their coverage during the downtime will need to log back into the Healthsource RI system tomorrow after ten a.m. to complete the process. Assistance is also available by calling or visiting the Healthsource RI Contact Center in Providence.
The Navy will conduct an emergency training drill at Naval Station Newport this week. The drill will simulate a mass-casualty incident inside the Chafee Fitness Center. The drill is scheduled for 8:15 Thursday morning and will result in all base gates being closed briefly.
With another winter storm coming tomorrow, there is a shortage of road salt. The Rhode Island D.O.T. is conserving their current salt supply.
The General Assembly will not be in session this week. Lawmakers traditionally break for the February school vacation. The House and Senate are scheduled to return a week from tomorrow, February 25th.
Local, state and federal government offices will be closed today along with post offices and banks. RIPTA is on a normal schedule. There is regular trash pick up in Middletown, Newport and Tiverton and the transfer stations are open in Jamestown and Portsmouth.
Federal mediators have scheduled a news conference today to discuss on-going efforts to reach an out-of-court settlement in the state pension lawsuit. The employees union has challenged the legality of the state's 2011 pension overhaul law. Before the late afternoon news conference, the state Retirement Board is scheduled to discuss and possibly vote on a proposed settlement.
High school scores for reading and math have improved in Rhode Island based on the latest test results from the New England Common Assessment Program. The state Department of Education says high school juniors improved by two points to 81-percent in reading proficiency and by two-points to 36-percent in math proficiency. However, state Education Commissioner Deborah Gist says there is still much work to be done to close achievement gaps and expand proficiency.
Numerous flights have been canceled this morning at T.F. Green Airport. You’re advised to check with your carrier if you have travel plans.
Amtrak will again operate on a modified schedule today. That means Acela Express service between Boston and Washington, and Northeast Regional Service between Boston and Virginia, will run with less frequency. Amtrak says passengers with reservation who are impacted by the schedule changes are being notified and will be accommodated on other trains
The Jamestown Town Council will review the performance goals and objectives for the Town Administrator on Tuesday. At the council meeting, they will also discuss the fire department strategic plan and an electronic surveillance policy update.
Newport could be in the running for the America’s Cup. Brad Read, the Executive Director of Sail Newport, says they’ve been contacted by the event coordinators for the America’s Cup. Officials placed a request for information regarding Newport’s suitability for the competition. Read says improvements in infrastructure will increase Newport’s standing. More information may be available next month.
A judge has set a September 15th trial date for a union lawsuit against the state's 2011 pension overhaul law. The trial date was set yesterday just hours after a news conference scheduled by federal mediators to announce a proposed settlement of the lawsuit was canceled. State Treasurer Gina Raimondo told reporters work on a settlement will continue. The state Retirement Board has posted that a meeting will be held tomorrow to discuss the potential approval of a settlement.
A period of snow will fall in Rhode Island this morning before a change to sleet and rain in some areas. The National Weather Service predicted up to six inches in the northern part of the state with two-to-four-inches in southern Rhode Island. Higher amounts are likely in the northwestern part of the state. Forecasters warn that the weight of the snow combined with high winds could cause power outages.
A bill to legalize possession of up to an ounce of marijuana in Rhode Island was introduced yesterday in the General Assembly. The legislation would regulate and tax the drug like liquor sales. It would prohibit possession by anyone under the age of 21, and smoking in public and driving under the influence would remain illegal. Supporters say legalizing pot would provide the state with a much needed source of revenue.
620 high school seniors statewide, including 20 in Portsmouth, have not met the New England Common Assessment Program testing requirement. According to the AP, not passing the NECAP puts graduation in jeopardy.
Almost 12,000 in unemployment benefits while working full-time, Patrick Carroll of North Kingstown has pleaded no contest to obtaining money under false pretenses. He was given 5 years probation and has to pay the money back. ABC 6 reports that he failed to report his income to the state labor department.
The latest approaching storm is expected to bring a wintry mix into Rhode Island tomorrow. Snow is expected along the coast before a changeover to rain. Depending on the track of the storm, forecasters anticipate snow, changing to sleet and rain across most of Rhode Island, before changing back to snow. Track the storm here on wadk.com.
A proposed settlement of lawsuits challenging Rhode Island's new pension law was be announced today but it has been postponed. The Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service has been providing mediation in an attempt to settle legal challenges to the Rhode Island Retirement Security Act of 2011. Legislative leaders were briefed on the proposed settlement earlier this week.
A 51-year-old North Kingstown woman pleaded not guilty at her arraignment yesterday to violating the state's social host law. Jayne Donegan is accused of providing alcohol for a minor and obstructing police. Police allege she initially refused to let officers into her house on January 25th to investigate a complaint about a teen drinking party. Donegan is due back in Kent County District Court later this month.
A state probation officer who was assigned to the sex offender unit, has been convicted on federal child pornography charges. Federal prosecutors said that evidence showed Gerald Silva bought numerous videos depicting child porn from a company based in Toronto, Canada. The 59-year-old Coventry resident remains in custody and will be sentenced in May.
Healthsource RI says that from October first through February 8th, nearly 36-thousand people have enrolled in Medicaid and more than 16-thousand have signed up for private health insurance. The open enrollment period for individuals ends on March 31st. People must enroll and pay by February 23rd for coverage that begins on March first. HealthSource RI is the marketplace where people and small businesses have been shopping for health insurance under Obamacare.
A proposed settlement of a lawsuit challenging Rhode Island's 2011 pension law will be unveiled tomorrow. The law made several changes including freezing annual cost-of-living adjustments for retirees in order to reduce the state's unfunded pension liability. In a statement, a spokesman for the U.S. Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service says that after a year of mediation, it's "appropriate to update Rhode Islanders." House Speaker Gordon Fox and Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed were not able to give any details yesterday as they emerged from a State House briefing on the proposed settlement because of a gag order.
A French company will build wind turbines for Deep Water Wind off the shores of Block Island. They will also services them for 15 years. The Journal reports public hearings are taking place this month on the proposed wind farm.
With the hype of the Winter Olympics in the foreground, Governor Chafee wants Rhode Island to look into bringing in sailing events, including the Olympic trials ahead of the 2016 games. The Sailing Events Commission is exploring the possibility of Fort Adams State Park in Newport for the trials. Discover Newport’s Evan Smith says the focus beyond the event is the benefit for the state’s economy.
The school superintendent in Attleboro says he is investigating an alleged elementary school hit list. A parent of a fourth-grade student tells "The Attleboro Sun Chronicle" that a "hit list" authored by a student was discovered at the Hill-Roberts Elementary School. Superintendent Kenneth Sheehan says every appropriate action is being taken to ensure the safety of students.
A 13-year-old girl who took a flight from South Carolina by herself on Saturday is in the custody of the Rhode Island Department of Children, Youth and Families. Airport police were alerted by passengers after the girl told them she was going to see a man she had met on the Internet. A 19-year-old East Providence man faces charges including indecent solicitation of a child. He's free on personal recognizance and under a court order not to use the Internet and to have no contact with minors.
A threatening note was found on board a JetBlue aircraft in Orlando, Florida, Saturday night. The flight arrived at Orlando International Airport from from Rhode Island's T.F. Green Airport. The apparent bomb threat was discovered after the plane landed and the passengers had disembarked.
A 300 page guide to better and safer schools has just been released by Governor Chafee. According to the Journal, the plan requires schools to work with police and fire departments and emergency management to put in place emergency plans. It’s based on legislation signed into law back in July.
Aldaro Etcheverry from Rhode Island died in a paragliding accident in the Newburyport, Massachusetts, area over the weekend. The Coast Guard responded late Saturday afternoon when the parachutist crashed into the Merrimack River off the coast of Plum Island. According to the Coast Guard the air temperature at the time was 28-degrees and the water temperature was 38-degrees.
Marissa Castelli of Cranston has won an Olympic bronze medal as part of Team USA in the team figure skating competition. Castelli and her partner finished fifth in the short pairs program and fourth in the free program. Russia won the gold medal and Canada took the silver medal.
At the Newport City Council meeting this week, the council will hear from the city manager on the Cliff Walk restrooms. There will also be a review of enforcement of laws and regulations pertaining to pedestrian safety.
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