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1540 WADK.com Updates

Man Says Bank Robbery Was For Church


Police are looking for a man who robbed a Providence bank and declared that the stolen money was for the church.  The white man believed to be in his 50s entered the Citizen's Bank Tuesday and handed the teller a note demanding money.  After politely thanking the teller, the man escaped with around three-thousand-dollars.  Police have released a clear picture of the suspect,who was wearing sunglasses but otherwise made no effort to hide his face. 

Tuition Increase Approved At RI Colleges


It is probably going to cost a little more for students to attend classes at Rhode Island's three public colleges.  The Council on Postsecondary Education voted yesterday to approve a rate hike of just under three-percent at the University of Rhode Island.  They also approved an eight-percent increase for Rhode Island College and Community College of Rhode Island.  The Board of Education will vote on the proposal next week.

Reputed RI Mobster Sentenced


A reputed high ranking mobster is avoiding additional prison time in his sentence related to a Rhode Island gambling ring.  Edward Lato pleaded no contest to a felony charge of conspiracy to commit racketeering.  The conviction was related to an investigation into a large scale sports betting ring that led to 22 arrests.  After Lato received a ten year suspended sentence yesterday, he began the trip back to a federal prison in South Carolina to continue his sentence for extorting Providence strip clubs. 

National Grid Seeks Huge Rate Hike


National Grid is asking state regulators to approve a 23-percent electric generation rate increase.  The company says natural gas prices are expected to remain high this winter, making the increase necessary.  Under the proposed rate, the average residential customer will see their bill go from 88-dollars to 109-dollars a month.  The price of electricity is largely linked to the cost of natural gas, which is the fuel used in most New England power plants. 

Planning Council Delays RhodeMap RI Vote


The Rhode Island Planning Council will not be voting on the RhodeMap RI development plan today.  The council yesterday agreed to delay the vote on the controversial plan that has been in the works for more than three years.  Officials say the delay came at the request of House Speaker Nick Mattiello and was approved by Governor Lincoln Chafee.  Mattiello says the delay was requested in order to give some lawmakers a chance to become more familiar with the plan. 

Whitehouse Pleased By Pipeline Rejection


Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse is pleased that the Senate failed to advance the Keystone XL Pipeline.  Whitehouse says the pipeline would transport one of the dirtiest forms of oil from Canada through the U.S.  He also says the bill would have set a dangerous precedent and undermine the administration's authority to ensure the project is in the national interest.

State Drug Overdose Deaths Soar


Public health officials say 188 people have died from drug overdoses in Rhode Island since the beginning of the year.  The vast majority of the deaths involved an overdose of opioids, with many related to the painkiller Fentanyl.  The victims were 136 men and 52 women, hailing from 31 different Rhode Island cities and towns.  Most victims were between the ages of 30 and 50-years-old.

Council President Pays Ethics Fine


Providence City Council President Michael Solomon is paying a two-thousand-dollar fine to settle an ethics complaint.  Solomon was accused of failing to disclose his financial dealings over a period of several years.  The complaint was filed by Republican Councilman Michael Long as Solomon was battling for the Democratic nomination for mayor.  Solomon lost the race to now Mayor-elect Jorge Elorza. 

Man Sentenced For Killing Puppy


A Providence man is heading to prison for two years for the killing of his former girlfriend's puppy.  Luis Laboy admits that he killed the puppy and threw it at the woman, and again throwing it at her car as she drove away.  In addition to the prison time, Laboy must complete community service and cannot own a dog for at least 15 years. 

Providence Lands 2016 NCAA Tournament


The NCAA men's basketball tournament is coming to Providence in 2016.  The NCAA says Providence will host second and third round games at the Dunkin Donuts Center in March of 2016.  The city's bid was submitted by Providence College, the arena and the Greater Providence Warwick Convention and Visitors Bureau.  The final four in 2016 will be held in Houston. 

Teacher Facing New Sex Charges


A Chariro High School teacher already accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a student is facing new charges.  Paul LaFrance is now charged with third degree sexual assault, possession of child pornography and electronic dissemination of indecent material to a minor.  The 52-year-old LaFrance was rearrested at his home yesterday and arraigned on the new charges in Kent County District Court.  

State Agencies Overspending Budgets


Rhode Island state agencies are overspending their approved budgets this fiscal year by an estimated 66-million dollars.  Medicaid is the largest culprit, with the program running an estimated 37-million dollars in the red.  The Department of Children and Families is the agency running the largest deficit at 17-million dollars.  The House Finance Committee has called a hearing for Thursday to begin addressing the problem. 

Governor Elect Will Have A Full Plate


Governor Elect Gina Raimondo will be faced with some big challenges after she takes office as the state’s 75th Governor. The state is faced with continued high unemployment, a projected budget deficit, and a pension overhaul that’s locked in litigation.   Raimondo will be sworn in as Governor on January 6th.

Health Source RI Enrollment Period Opens


It’s time for Rhode Island residents to start looking at the state’s health insurance marketplace.  Health Source RI’s open enrollment period runs through February 15th.  This year, plans being offered through the exchange are from Blue Cross & Blue Shield, United HealthCare and Neighborhood Health Plan of RI.

Concert By Newport Musicians Will Benefit Homeless


Newport Musicians will be performing their annual concert to benenfit the homeless on Thursday December 4th.  The concert will take place at Channing Memorial Church in Newport.  Tickets are $15 for adults, children are free. Proceeds from the concert will benefit Lucy’s Hearth and the McKinney Shelter. For tickets call 849-4250.

Three Arrested In Tiverton In Connection With Aquidneck Island Thefts


Three people have been arrested in connection with thefts from several stores on Aquidneck Island.  Tiverton Police stopped a car on Route 24 last week that contained stolen items including over the counter medications, cosmetics and pregnancy and fertility tests.  Maria Breggia and Guy Tortis of North Providence along Paul Costanzo of Providence face a variety of charges. The case is still under investigation.

Study Finds Millions In Work Needed For Some Portsmouth Schools


Four public schools in Portsmouth are in need of immediate repairs that will cost almost $2 million dollars.  According to the Daily News, a study has identified more than $17.5 million in work needed as long term projects for the continued functioning of the four buildings.  Most of that work is not deemed critical.  Topping the critical list are the bleachers at the high school used for the visiting team. They have been found to be structurally unsafe.  The cost to replace them has been estimated at $31,000. The report is scheduled for discussion at tonight’s School Committee meeting. That meeting will be held at 6 in the Town Hall.

Raimondo To Reappoint O'Donnell


Governor-elect Gina Raimondo is reappointing Colonel Steven O'Donnell as superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police.  Raimondo says she's confident that O'Donnell continues to be the best person to lead the agency.  O'Donnell has served as superintendent since 2011, overseeing State Police and various other public safety agencies.  They include the fire marshal's office, county sheriffs and capitol police.

Mastrosefano Will Sit On Jamestown School Committee


Melissa Mastrostefano ran for Jamestown School Committee and lost. She came in third in the race when there were only two seats open. However, Mastrostefano will be taking a seat on the committee because committee member Ryan Conlon has submitted his resignation. Conlon is leaving because he has accepted a job in Maryland. Matrostefano will take her seat at the next School Committee meeting next Thursday.

Recount In Portsmouth Delays Swearing In Ceremony


Portsmouth has to delay the swearing in of the Town Council and School Committee until after a recount vote for the results of the November 4th election.  According to the Daily News, the original recount vote was focused on the race for town clerk, but Connie Harding, an independent candidate for Town Council has also asked for a recount. She finished in eighth place for the seven member council, losing by 46 votes. The date for the recount has not been set. Once it’s complete the results will be certified by the Board of Canvassers and a date for a swearing in ceremony will be set.

Portsmouth Town Administrator Not Renewing Contract


Portsmouth will be looking for a new Town Administrator.  John Klimm, has decided not to renew his contract with the town.  His current agreement expires at the end of January.  Klimm has helped the town establish a Triple A bond rating, and may stay on a bit to help with the 2016 budget. He is leaving to explore other opportunities. 

Raimondo Names Transition Team


Governor-elect Gina Raimondo's full transition team is in place.  Raimondo has assembled a 13-member team to transition the state to her administration in January.  The team includes labor and business leaders, a teacher, and even a Republican.  Senator Minority Leader Dennis Algiere will bring the GOP perspective to the transition effort.

State College Graduates Carrying Big Debt


Graduates of Rhode Island colleges and universities on average are leaving school with a large amount of debt.  A new report indicates the average debt for a Rhode Island college student graduating in 2013 was over 31-thousand-dollars.  That places state students as having the third largest student debt load in the nation.  New Hampshire is the only New England state above Rhode Island, as their graduates have average debt of 32-thousand-dollars.

Newport City Council-Elect Votes Napolitano As Mayor


The Newport City Council-elect met yesterday morning and voted to fill some of the city’s key positions. The council-elect unanimously voted Jeanne-Marie Napolitano as Mayor, Marco Camacho as Vice Chairman, and Joseph Nicholson Jr. as Interim City Manager.

Permanent Barrier Installation On Newport Bridge To Begin Next Month


The Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority announced that the project to install a permanent median barrier on the Newport Bridge will begin next month.  The $5.9 million dollar project to improve safety on the bridge was approved by the agency’s board yesterday.  The project should be complete by mid-April.

Tiverton Board Of Elections Certifies Results


The Tiverton Board of Elections met yesterday and was able to certify the election results for Town Council.  According to the Daily News, the race was so close that only 13 votes separated the seventh and eighth place finishers for Town Council.  The deadline for recounts was yesterday at 4pm and none of the candidates had petitioned for one.  The Tiverton Town Council will be sworn in a t ceremony on November 24th along with others elected to town posts.

Newport Man Busted For Child Solicitation


A Newport man is jailed on charges accusing him of soliciting sex from a child on the Internet.  Police say 24-year-old Edwin Cintron engaged in a sexually explicit chat with a 14-year-old West Greenwich child on Facebook.  The parents of the child discovered the chat and alerted police, who assumed the child's identity and later allegedly received naked pictures through the account from Cintron.  He's charged with indecent solicitation of a child and electronic dissemination of indecent material. 

Providence Police Focused on Gun Control Unit Program


Providence Police have a new unit in place that is focused on keeping illegal guns off city streets.  The Providence Gun Control Unit is working to help identify suspects in shootings, and those selling illegal guns in the city.  Police say the biggest problem is that people who purchase guns legally end up selling them illegally and they end up being used to commit crimes.  Police plan to lobby state lawmakers to toughen penalties for those who sell their guns illegally.

Sylvia Hopes To Lead Council


Three-term councilman Robert J. Sylvia is expected to take over the lead of Middletown Town Council. Sylvia was informally chosen as council president during a weekend meeting at town hall, with political newcomer Robert Kempenaar as vice president. The Daily News says nothing becomes official until the new seven-member council is inaugurated Monday, November 24th at 6 p.m. in the Gaudet Middle School cafeteria.

Group To Hold Emergency Prepardness Expo


A new group, the Aquidneck Island Emergency Volunteer Alliance, was formed to go into action at a moment’s notice after blizzards, hurricanes, and other disasters. According to the Daily news, the nonprofit alliance is prepared to send 20 trained volunteers to help staff the regional emergency shelter in Middletown should a disaster strike. To attract more volunteers, the group is sponsoring a free Emergency Preparedness Expo on Saturday from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Edward King House Senior Center on 35 King St.

Pell Elementary School Launches Open House Series Today


The Pell Elementary School community is launching their open house tour series today beginning at 1 p.m. The open houses will take place on the second Wednesday of every month throughout the 2014-2015 academic year. The tours will be co-led by a Pell-Elementary School administrator and a Pell Elementary School parent and  take place between 1 and 2 p.m. To RSVP contact Mark McKenna  at 401-842-1900 or visit the school website at www.nspri.net

Lawmakers Are Meeting To Discuss Ebola


Representative Joseph McNamara has called a hearing of the House Committee of Health, Education and Welfare this afternoon at the State House to review the state’s health care preparations and prevention planning for Ebola. Officials from the Department of Health and leaders of United Nurses & Allied Professionals, and the Rhode Island State Nurses Association are also invited to the hearing. There have been no cases of Ebola in Rhode Island.

Providence College Student Reports Sexual Assault


A Providence College student is reporting that she was sexually assaulted off campus this past weekend.  The young woman says she was assaulted Saturday night by someone who is not a student at the school.  The incident is being investigated by Providence Police.  School officials are weighing whether the student body should be directly notified about the incident, which is required by federal law when there is an ongoing threat to a campus community.

The Supreme Court Decides State Not Liable for Cliff Walk Damages


Rhode Island’s highest court says the state doesn't have to pay damages to a man left paralyzed by a fall at Newport's Cliff Walk.  The state Supreme Court is rejecting Simcha Berman's request for a new trial.  A lower court ruled that the state has a very limited rule at Cliff Walk and no evidence of negligence by the state exists.  The New York City man is a quadriplegic following the fall more than a decade ago, and was seeking 30-million dollars in damages.

Recount For Portsmouth Town Clerk Scheduled for Friday


The newly elected Portsmouth Town Council is scheduled to take oath of office on Monday, as long as the race for town clerk is decided by Friday. According to the Daily News, Democrat Jennifer M. West trails Republican Town Clerk Joanne M. Mower by 69 votes. West called for a recount, which the Board of elections will hold on Friday at its office in Providence. If the recount settles the race, the results of the Nov.4th election for town council, school committee and town clerk can be certified the same day.

Portsmouth Schools Pleased With State Aid For Next Fiscal Year


Portsmouth schools are in line to receive more in state aid in the next fiscal year than originally thought. According to the Daily News, the school department has been losing abut $250,000  a year in state aid for the past five years but the loss for the fiscal year starting July 1st, 2015 will only be about $70,000 . Town Finance Director James Lathrop said that one of the factors that influenced the change was the revaluation of town property in Portsmouth and how the revised valuation compared with other towns around the state. The department also recalculated the number of students who are eligible for free or reduced-price lunches in town schools, which Lathrop said is a big factor in determining the amount of school aid a community receives.

Jamestown Community Theatre Presents 'Peter Pan'


The Jamestown Community Theatre will hold its production of “Peter Pan” over the course of two weekends starting Friday at Jamestown Community Theatre, 41 Conanicus Avenue. The Friday and Saturday performances will be held at 7 p.m., and the Sunday shows will be held at 4 p.m. Tickets cost $12 for adults and $5 for seniors and students in advance; and $15 for adults and $8 for seniors and students at the door. Tickets can be purchased at Baker's Pharmacy, 53 Narragasnett Ave.; Cathryn Jamieson Salon, 16 Narragansett Ave.; the Ship's Store at Conanicut Marine, 20 Narragansett Ave.; and the Secret Garden, 12 Southwest Ave. For more information, contact Mary Wright, artistic director, at 401-741-9818 or ms.wright@cox.net

Perryman Trial Set To Begin Today


The trial of a Newport man charged with murder is scheduled to begin today. Joseph Perryman is accused of stabbing 44 year old Anthony Simmons of Newport to death after the pair had been arguing in an apartment back in December of 2012.

Veterans Day Activities And Celebrations


Tomorrow is Veterans Day. WADK’s Talk Of The Town with Bruce Newbury will be live at Custom House Coffee, 769 Aquidneck Avenue in Middletown from 9 until noon. There will be free Veteran Coffee Roasters brand coffee served to all Veterans, all day.  Purchase a pound of Veteran Coffee Roasters brand coffee tomorrow and a portions of the proceeds will benefit the Wounded Warrior Project.  Purchase two pounds and Veteran Coffee Roasters will donate a pound to the all new military lounge at T.F. Green Airport.

 

Portsmouth will honor all veterans tomorrow at Portsmouth High School at 9am. There will be a focus on Vietnam-era vets with a guest speaker from the Naval War College.

 

The United Veterans Council of Newport and the VFW Conover-Leary Post 406 are sponsoring a ceremony at Newport City Hall tomorrow at 11am.  Capt. David Welch, the commanding officer of the Surface Warfare Officers School Command will be the guest speaker.

 

The Jane Pickens Theater will host a free Veterans Day screening of Good Morning Vietnam in honor of Vietnam Veterans. The screening is at 1pm tomorrow and is sponsored in part by American Legion Post 18, VFW 5390 and The Jane Pickens Theater.

Student Tests Positive For Date Rape Drug


A Brown University student who became very intoxicated after drinking punch at a fraternity party tested positive for a date rape drug.  School officials say the student tested positive for a common drug known as GBH after attending the party at Sears House.  The Phi Kappa Psi fraternity that hosted the party has been suspended.  Brown students were notified of the positive test over the weekend in an e-mail from administrators.
 

Westerly Buildings Condemned After Fire


Arson is believed to be the cause of a fire that destroyed a house and a commercial building in Westerly.  Officials say the fire started early yesterday in the vacant home on Canal Street and quickly spread to the building housing the Trash and Treasures store.  The arson determination was made because the town-owned home was unoccupied and did not have electricity.  The town purchased the home with federal grant money after it was heavily damaged by Pawcatuck River flooding in 2010.

 

Raimondo Reminds Residents Of Flu Shots


Governor-elect Gina Raimondo is reminding Rhode Island residents to get their flu vaccine shot as soon as possible.  Raimondo says she got her shot on Friday, and that her family gets one every year because it's the best defense against the flu.  Last year, more than 600 state residents were hospitalized with the flu, with 32 flu related deaths.  People can get flu vaccine shots from their doctor, pharmacies and at public or school clinics.
 

Portsmouth Approves Plan For New Wind Turbine


The Portsmouth Town Council voted last night to accept an offer from Wind Energy Group to replace the failed wind turbine at the high school with a new and improved model.  According to the Daily News, the agreement calls for the new turbine to be operations within two years and for the town to purchase the electricity produced by the turbine.  Wind Energy plans to have the turbine built on the same spot and operational by November of next year.

Health Source RI Marketplace Will Have More Plans


Health Source RI has announced that there will be 40 individual and group plans available through their health insurance marketplace.  Last year only 28 plans were offered. There is a new carrier joining the marketplace next year as well, United Health Care is joining Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island and Neighborhood Health Plan in offering individual coverage. There are more options for next year and some plans will cost less although most will cost more.

Discussions To Continue About Newport Grand


What’s next for Newport Grand? The Daily News reports that Joe Paolino is going to meet with his partners today to see if it is feasible to do upgrades to Newport Grand and turn it into an entertainment center without the addition of table games.  If they can make the numbers work, Paolino plans to sit with current Newport Grand owner Diane Hurley to see if a new deal could be made that would make economic sense for both sides.

No Ballot Tampering In Crossroads Case


State Police are closing their investigation into allegations of ballot tampering at Crossroads Rhode Island in Providence.  The investigation began when two off duty police officers working for Buddy Cianci's campaign for mayor entered the facility to collect ballots from residents.  It has been determined that the four ballots picked up by the officers were not tampered with, and there is no basis for criminal charges.  The four ballots ended up being disqualified anyway because they all lacked a verification signature.
 

Raimondo Meets With Governor Chafee


 Governor Lincoln Chafee says he feels Rhode Island will be in good hands when the newly-elected Gina Raimondo replaces him.  Chafee and Raimondo sat down yesterday in his State House office to discuss the transition of power.  Chafee says he is comfortable with the decision not to seek reelection after a single term in office.  Raimondo takes office January 6th, and says she is ready to get to work.

Jo Eva Gaines Hopes to Lead Newport School Committee


Current Newport School Committee Vice Chairwoman Jo Eva Gaines said she would like to lead the committee as chairwoman for the next two years, replacing Chairman Charles Shoemaker, who did not run for re-election. The Daily News says Gaines has served on the school committee since 2001. An official vote for chairman and vice chairman will take place on Inauguration Day.

Rhode Island Governor-elect Gina Raimondo Starting Transition Team


Rhode Island Governor-elect Gina Raimondo says she will be naming a transition team in the next few days.  Raimondo defeated Republican Allan Fung Tuesday to become the first woman elected as governor of the state.  Raimondo is calling on Governor Lincoln Chafee to hold off on making any key appointments as his term winds down.  She pledges to hire talented people for her administration, and says the team will seek new faces.

Local Boy Recoverimg From Dog Attack



A 5 year old local boy is recovering from about one hundred dog bites and scratch wounds he suffered when he was attacked by a dog in the Park Holm apartment complex Tuesday. According to the daily news, police said the boy was playing in the grass outside an apartment in his neighborhood when a 9 month old pit bull attacked him. The dog is presently at the Potter Shelter quarantine pending a vicious dog hearing. The dog’s owner, Zita L. Saunders, 33, of Fall River, was charged with failing to properly restrain her dog and issued her summons to appear in Municipal Court on December 1st.

Prospective Newport Grand Developer Still Open To Investing


The prospective developer of a casino at Newport Grand and former providence mayor Joseph Paolino Jr said Wednesday he is still considering investing in the property even though voters rejected a proposal to add table games. A ballot question on permitting table games at the slots parlor was approved statewide Tuesday, but rejected in Newport. It needed majority approval of both statewide and local voters to pass. Paolino said moving forward with the project isn’t out of the question, but it’s more of a challenge now for Newport Grand to remain competitive with other area casinos.

Portsmouth School Committee Approves Plan For Turbine


Replacement of the failed wind turbine at Porstmouth High School moved a step closer during a meeting last night, when the School Committee gave its approval to a 25 year agreement to purchase its electricity from Wind Energy Development of North Kingstown. According to the Daily News, the committee’s unanimous vote clears the way for the Town Council to formally accept Wind Energy Developments offer to allow the town to pay off the remaining two million dollars of the bond voters approved in 2007 to build the turbine. The council will meet tonight at 7 to formally approve the agreement.

Winthrop Voted Off Town Council


Newport Mayor Harry Winthrop was voted off the town council.  Winthrop told the Daily News that there was no doubt that he was swept out by the anti-casino vote. Winthrop supported the addition of table games at Newport Grand.

Election Brief


Nationwide, Republicans now control the majority of seats in the House and the Senate. Locally Democrats had a sweep of offices throughout the state. Rhode Island has its first female Governor, says no to full casino gambling at Newport Grand and Mayor Harry Winthrop was voted off the Newport City Council. Get complete election results by visiting: http://www.ri.gov/election/results/2014/general_election/

Raimondo Elected Governor


Rhode Island has its first female governor.  Democratic General Treasurer Gina Raimondo has defeated Republican Cranston Mayor Allan Fung to win the governor's office.  In her victory speech, Raimondo pledged to rebuild the state's schools, roads and institutions while reducing unemployment.  Fung called Raimondo and conceded the race before her speech, saying she ran a good campaign and pledging his support.

Cianci Loses Providence Mayoral Race


Buddy Cianci has come up short in his effort to become mayor of Providence for a third time.  Democrat Jorge Elorza has defeated Cianci by more than three-thousand votes, driven by a strong showing in the city's East Side.  Elorza says the eyes of the nation were on this race and the people of Providence have spoken.  Elorza is a Roger Williams University school of law professor and a former housing court judge.
 

Table Games Rejected At Newport Grand


Rhode Island is saying no to full casino gambling at Newport Grand.  Voters rejected a referendum yesterday, ending a fierce and emotional battle over the addition of table games.  The rejection means the planned 40-million-dollar renovation of Newport Grand will not happen, and it will not be sold to an investment group.  Voters did approve a referendum giving local voters a say on where casinos are located.

Senator Jack Reed Wins Reelection


Rhode Island Senator Jack Reed is heading back to Washington for six more years.  Reed collected more than 70 percent of the vote in rolling past Republican Mark Zaccaria in yesterday's election to win a fourth term in the Senate.  In his victory speech, Reed pledged to continue his work in Washington on expanding education, protecting the environment and working towards immigration reform.
 

Coventry Fire District Chief Suspended


Coventry Fire District Chief Labbadia is suspended with pay as the district investigates job misconduct allegations against him.  Labbadia is accused of taking a department vehicle and going to play golf and to attend a party on Federal Hill.  Labbadia has been chief in Coventry since 2008, and he cannot enter the fire station while the suspension is in place.  The chief denies the allegations.

Town of Middletown Formally Requests New West Side Park


The town of Middletown is formally requesting 25 acres from the Navy for a new west side park on Burma Road. According to the Daily News, the town council voted 7-0 during a meeting last night in town hall to pursue a public benefit conveyance to get the land, part of 225 acres being considered for disposal in the ongoing Base Realignment and Closure process. Town officials said just because the community is seeking the Burma Road land doesn’t mean it is guaranteed to happen, there are a number of hurdles to jump through to complete the process. Council members did not discuss a projected timeline for when the town might take over the land.

City of Newport Pursuing New Skating Rink


The city of Newport is pursuing an initiative to set up a skating rink in the parking lot of the Gateway Center at America’s Cup Avenue for the winter season. According to the Daily News, the city council began searching for an alternative location for skating after the Newport Yachting Center announced it’s property including the skating rink was sold in September. Interim City Manager Joseph Nicholson Jr. said electrical power, water, restroom facilities, seating and support for the rink’s infrastructure all were matters that have to be resolved before the plan is finalized. The Gateway Center property is owned by the city and any expenses and agreement for a new facility there would require a City Council vote.

Rhode Island Voters Choose New Governor Today


Rhode Island voters are choosing a new governor today.  New Jersey Governor Chris Christie made a third appearance in the state to support Republican Allan Fung as part of his final push for votes yesterday.  Democrat Gina Raimondo was also out reaching as many voters as possible on the final day before the vote.  Fung and Raimondo are seeking to replace Governor Lincoln Chafee, who decided not to seek reelection.

Pell Elementary School Hosting Series Of Open Houses


The Pell Elementary School will be hosting a series of Open houses for the Newport community. The open houses will take place on the second Wednesday of every month throughout the 2014-2015 academic year beginning on Wednesday, Nov. 12th. The tours will take place between 1 and 2 p.m. and will be co-led by a Pell Elementary school administrator and a pell elementary school parent. If interested, rsvp by visiting the school website at www.nspri.net or calling 401-842-1900 ext. 20107.

Federal Hill Bar License Decision Stands


The revocation of the liquor license will stand for the Three Dollar Bar on Federal Hill in Providence.  The city Board of Licenses says bar staff did nothing to help a man who was being badly beaten behind the bar on July 23rd.  That man later died, and no bar employee ever called police to report the incident.  Daniel Lastarza is charged with murder for the killing of Jonathan Stack in a dispute over money.

Stormwater System Repairs Begin Today In Newport


The stormwater system repair and upgrade project will begin today in Newport.  Today they will be working at the intersection of Garfield Street and Prescott Hall Road. The work is expected to begin at 7 each morning and end at 5.  The construction is expected to continue through January.

RI Comic Con Organizers Apologize


Rhode Island Comic Con organizers are apologizing after having to turn away ticket holders after the venue went over capacity.  About 1500 people were turned away on Saturday that had already purchased tickets. The fire marshal had to temporarily shut down Comic Con when the Convention Center hit its maximum capacity of 17,000 people. 

Outside Groups Spending Big


Big money is being spent by independent groups trying to influence this year's elections in Rhode Island.  Over four-million-dollars has been spent by independent groups this cycle, with over half targeting the governor's race.  Another 800-thousand-dollars have been spent on ballot questions one and two, which would let Newport Grand add table games and become a full casino instead of just a slot parlor.  Over 100-thousand-dollars has been spent by groups on the race for mayor of Providence.

Find Your Polling Place


Tomorrow is election day.  The polls will be open from 7am – 8pm.  We want to remind everyone that a photo ID will be required to vote. You can find your polling place by visiting https://vic.sos.ri.gov/vic/

Michelle Obama Campaigns For Raimondo


First Lady Michelle Obama says Rhode Island voters need to elect Gina Raimondo as governor.  The First Lady appeared before a packed house at Juanita Sanchez school in Providence for a voter turnout rally.  Mrs. Obama also called on voters to elect Jorge Elorza as mayor of Providence.  President Obama flew into TF Green Airport last night and overnighted in downtown Providence in advance of his scheduled speech at Rhode Island College today.

Newport Public Library To Honor Military


Throughout the month of November, the Newport Public Library will feature photographs of people who have served in the U.S. military. The public is invited to help honor those men and women by bringing a picture of anyone they know who served at any time. Anyone interested in submitting photos that will be copied and displayed in the Spring Street lobby is asked to include the name of the person pictured, where he or she is from, where he or she served and any other information that is applicable.  Original photographs will be returned, you can get more information by contacting Annette Love at 847-8720, Ext. 101.

Armed Man Arrested Behind School


A Mississippi man is facing charges after he allegedly knocked on a rear door at Johnston High School.  Police say Jonathan Mikovich drove to the back lot of the school and knocked on a door in the rear of the building during school hours yesterday.  Police were immediately called, and Mikovich was found to have a firearm in his vehicle.  He's charged with possession of a firearm on school grounds.

URI Gets $1 Million Pledge From Johnston Company


Johnston based FM Global has pledged a million dollars for construction of a new College of Engineering facility at URI.  The donation is contingent upon voters approving Question 4 on Tuesday. Question 4 asks voters to approve a $125 million bond to finance the project.

Old Tiverton School House To Be Sold


Tiverton officials are selling a two room school house that was built in 1909.  A public auction is set for the next few weeks on the lawn of the Tiverton Community Center.  They hope to sell the building to avoid the cost of keeping it or tearing it down.  The building is currently used as meeting space and a neighbor has already expressed interest in buying the property.

Schilling Reaches Bankruptcy Settlement


A proposed financial settlement is in place for Curt Schilling and other executives from his failed video game company's bankruptcy case.  The trustee overseeing the case is agreeing to accept 300-thousand dollars from the insurance company that covered the four executives.  The trustee is seeking to recoup losses for creditors of 38 Studios, including Rhode Island taxpayers who have lost over 100-million dollars.

Presidential Visit Will Reroute Downtown Traffic & Bus Routes


President Obama will be spending tonight in Rhode Island.  The President is scheduled to land at TF Green Airport today and will remain in the state until appearing tomorrow at Rhode Island College.  The First Lady will also be in Rhode Island today, appearing at a campaign event for Democratic candidate for governor Gina Raimondo. There will be some road closures, changes and rerouting of bus routes in the city. We have a link on our website, WADK.com,  to the complete list of RIPTA detours and relocations. http://www.ripta.com/ripta-to-detour-twenty-eight-routes-and-temporarily-relocate-bus-stops-a--b--c--d-in-providence-to-accommodate-presidential-visit

Newport Innovation Hub Plans Out For Preliminary Review


Plans for Newport’s Innovation Hub have been sent to two groups of developers and investors for preliminary review and comments.  According to the Daily News, the 150 page package shows conceptual plans of office and mixed use space on 67 acres of land the city has for development.  There is currently no timeline for the project, but the city wants to move as quickly as possible.  “Requests for expressions of interest” will be sent out to developers and investors in the first quarter of next year.

Richmond Police Alerting Residents After Vehicles Stolen


Richmond Police are reminding residents to lock their cars and to secure their valuables when they leave their vehicles.  The reminder comes after three cars were stolen over the past weekend in the Meadowbrook area off of Route 138.  Thieves also took GPS units from other unlocked vehicles.

URI Launches New Health Care Courses


URI has announced that it will offer new courses focused on the business of health care. According to the Journal, The classes were developed in response to a survey of educational needs among health care professionals. The program includes six graduate business courses, including organizational behavior, supply chain management and operations, financial management, accounting and information technology.  Registration is open for the first course which begins in January.

Portsmouth School Committee Made No Commitment on Wind Turbine Plan


A plan to replace the failed wind turbine at Portsmouth High School was presented last night to the school committee, which made no commitment on its participation in the plan. The town council has asked the committee to agree to buy its electricity from Wind Energy Development when the new turbine is operating and producing power. According to the Daily News, there was no vote taken at the meeting last night. The committee will meet on Wednesday, November 5th at 5 p.m. in town hall to vote on the offer.

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation Kicked Off a $2.8 million Construction Project In Newport Yesterday


The Rhode Island Department of Transportation kicked off a $2.8 million dollar construction project in Newport yesterday which focuses America’s cup avenue and Memorial Boulevard. The contract will allow construction crews to alter seven pedestrian crosswalks in the area, install accessible pedestrian signals, and enhance crosswalk visibility through signage and striping. Construction will continue through the fall and winter, and is scheduled to be completed by late spring.

Lucy's Hearth Plans To Move Locations


After 30 years in the same location off West Main Road, the nonprofit women’s shelter Lucy’s Hearth received approval from the Middletown planning board to overhaul a building around the corner on Valley Road. According to the Daily News, the approval from the town was the first step in a large scale campaign to raise the $3.5 million dollars needed to buy the property and renovate the vacant structure at 19 Valley Road.

'Bye Bye Bins & Barrels' Recycling Program Starts Saturday


The Newport Public Services Department’s Clean City Program will hold two “Bye- Bye Bins and Barrels” recycling events. The first event will be held on Saturday, November 1st from 8 a.m. until noon in the east parking lot of Easton’s Beach, 175 Memorial Blvd. The second event will be held on Saturday November 22nd. The events will help residents recycle unwanted trash barrels and recycling bins. For more information visit www.cityofnewport.com/cleancity or call 401-845-5613

Former Newport City Council Member Admits To Making Speculative Claims Of Casino Developers


 

Former Newport City Council member and vice president of Citizens Concerned About Casino Gambling Laurice Shaw wrote a letter to some city voters, making what she admitted were speculative claims about the future plans of casino developers. The letter was written to voters in the city’s Ward 1 where Newport Grand is located. According to the Daily News, Shaw said she wrote the letter herself and although Citizens Concerned About Casino Gambling paid for the mailing, its board did not approve the content.

Portsmouth Town Council Unanimously Accepted Wind Turbine Proposal


Last night at the Portsmouth Town Council meeting, the council unanimously accepted the proposal from North Kingstown Wind Energy Development to replace the failed wind turbine at Portsmouth High school with a new one within two years. According to the Daily News, the agreement with Wind Energy Development states the firm will pay the town two million dollars, which would allow the town to pay off the two million dollar balance it owes on the bond issue voters approved in 2007.

Middletown Local Ballot Questions Represent Potential For Major Change


Middletown voters will face two local ballot questions on November 4th, both represent a potential for major change. On Question 8, voters will be asked if they support joining with Newport to form a unified high school. Voters in Newport will see the same question. On Question 9, voters will be asked if they support making Town Council elections nonpartisan. According to the Daily News, no decisions have been made yet about the potential location or cost of a unified high school, or structure for governance.

The Town Of Middletown Addresses Sewer and Storm Water Problems


The town of Middletown has satisfied the state that it is addressing its sewer and storm water problems. The Daily News says according to an October 14th letter from the state department of environmental management’s office of compliance and inspection, the town has addressed its obligations, as spelled out in 2004, 2005, and 2008 notices of violation for sewer or storm water contamination in area waterways.

Brown University Investigates Rape Complaint


An investigation is underway after a Brown University student reported being drugged and raped at a fraternity house.  The young woman says the incident occurred October 17th at the Sears House.  She reports becoming extremely intoxicated after drinking a small amount of punch at a party.  The woman also reports suffering memory loss for a significant period after passing out.

Groups Fighting For And Against Newport Grand Must Disclose Missing Data Friday


The state board of elections unanimously voted yesterday to give the two groups, Jobs for Newport and Citizens Concerned About Casino Gambling, until Friday to disclose missing information about their contributors. According to the Providence Journal, the two groups fighting for and against the addition of table games at Newport Grand filed complaints against each other, which landed before the elections board Monday. The complaint against Citizens Concerned about Casino Gambling was directed at reports in which donors did not list their occupations and if they were affiliated with casino interests. The complaint against Jobs for Newport focused on the group not disclosing who the individual donors to the campaign have been and how much they’d been given.

Obama Coming To Rhode Island Friday


President Obama is coming to Rhode Island this week.  The president will be appearing Friday at Rhode Island College in Providence.  He's expected to deliver remarks on the economy and the importance of pursuing policies that help women succeed during the brief visit.  First Lady Michelle Obama will also be in Rhode Island this week, campaigning for Democratic candidate for governor Gina Raimondo on Thursday.

Alliance For A Liveable Newport Hosting Final Election Forum


The Alliance for a Livable Newport will be holding its final Election Forum tomorrow night at the Newport Public Library. The Forum will start at 6 and there will be speakers on hand to discuss state and local ballot questions.  There will also be an opportunity for the audience to ask questions.

Jamestown Exploring School Choice For Some Students


Some Jamestown students may have an option for high school next year.  According to the Daily News, Jamestown has been in exploratory talks with Narragansett since March.  The talks revolve around a “small” school option for students that may not be an ideal fit for a “big” school and who might elect to attend a charter or private school. The Jamestown school committee has not approved the concept, although they did approve exploratory talks.  North Kingstown school official are looking to see if the proposed option for schools would violate their contract with Jamestown. 

Portsmouth Town Council Meeting Tonight


The Portsmouth Town Council meets tonight at 7pm at the Town Hall.  The council will be considering a proposal that could lift the state demand for the town to install a sewage system. Also on the agenda tonight is the continuation as to whether or not to accept a proposal from Wind Energy Development to tear down the turbine at Portsmouth High School and replace it with a new direct drive turbine, and to purchase the electricity produced by the new turbine through Wind Energy Development .  The Wind Energy Development proposal has stipulated that the town must approve the agreement by November 1st.

Open House At New State Park


Rhode Island residents are getting their first look at the newest state park.  An open house was held over the weekend at the former Rocky Point amusement park site in Warwick.  The state has conducted extensive cleanup of the 80 acre property since it was purchased in 2010.  The current goal is to clean up the property and highlighting its natural features, although state officials are open to adding attractions down the road.

Drug Bust in Warren


One man is facing serious charges related to a large drug bust in Warren.  State Police say members of a regional drug task force raided a home on Luther Street and found 15 pounds of marijuana and large quantities of crack and powder cocaine.  Sambo Chum is being held without bail, and faces charges serious enough that they could draw a life sentence if convicted on all charges.  A bail hearing is scheduled for early next month for Chum, who is also being held on an immigration detainer.

Halloween Carnival & Haunted House Opens Tonight At Rogers


Tonight and tomorrow Rogers High School Fine and Performing Arts Department will host its 5th annual Community Halloween Carnival & Haunted House.  It will be held from 5:30-9:30 in the auditorium area of the high school.  The cost is $5 per person, $15 for a family of four with all proceeds will go to the Fine and Performing Arts At Rogers.

Providence Water Warns Of Scam


Providence Water is warning customers that scammers are posing as utility workers to try to get into people’s homes to steal.  According to the utility, the scam involves more than one person.  They claim to work for a water department or other utility and ask to come inside to check service.  While one scammer distracts the resident, others go through the home and steal items.

Hillary Clinton In RI Today


Hillary Clinton is scheduled to be in Rhode Island today to support fellow Democrat Gina Raimondo’s campaign for Governor. Clinton and Raimondo will be at Rhode Island College this afternoon at 2 for a rally at the Recreation Center.

Casino/Anti-Casino Lawsuit On Hold Until After Ruling By Board Of Elections


A Superior Court Judge has put a stay on all proceedings in the lawsuit between Newport Grand and the anti-casino group, Citizens Concerned About Casino Gambling. According to the Daily News, the proceedings will resume once the Board of Elections rules on potential campaign violations by the anti-casino group.  The Board of Elections will be meeting on Monday to deal with the complaint, which was filed by Newport Grand.

Proposed Middletown Sports Complex Could Be Downsized


The Middletown Recreational Facilities Master Plan Advisory Group met last night and will be making recommendations to the Town Council to scale back the proposed lacrosse and baseball field complex.  According to the Daily News, the volunteer board approved numerous motions to try to limit the plans impact on neighbors that have expressed objections to the concept.  The Town Council will determine whether of not to move forward with the plan, that decision is not expected for several months.

Newport City Council Supports Lawsuit


The Newport City Council met last night and according to the Daily News,  voted unanimously to support the lawsuit alleging the upcoming referendum on the expanded gambling at Newport Grand is unconstitutional. The lawsuit calls on the court to stop or nullify the election due to the General Assembly passing a law that calls for one statewide referendum and does not provide for a separate local referendum in Newport.  At the initial conference in September, a Superior Court Judge recommended that the city should be party to the suit, because it has direct involvement in the matter.

Voter ID Event In Middletown This Morning


The Secretary of States office will be hosting a Voter ID event today from 10:30 to noon at the Middletown Senior Center on Green End Avenue.  If you do not have a valid or current acceptable form of photo ID and you are a registered voter, you can get a voter ID at today’s event. They are being provided at no charge. To get a list of acceptable forms of ID that will be accepted at the polls, visit the Secretary of State’s website, www.sos.ri.gov .

Tugboat Overturns Off Scarborough Beach


The crew of a tugboat is safely back on land after their vessel overturned off Scarborough Beach.  The Coast Guard responded after the 50 foot tug boat flipped over in rough seas near Point Judith yesterday afternoon.  The four crew members were quickly plucked from the water by a fishing boat and were returned to shore.  The tugboat sank, leaving the empty barge it was towing adrift.

Another Written School Threat Received


For the second time in two weeks, a letter making a physical threat towards schools in Johnston, Cranston and Warwick has been received.  The mayors of all three towns appeared together yesterday in Johnston to reassure parents that their children will be safe at school today.  All three towns say they will have uniformed and undercover police officers present at schools as they work to find the person writing the letters.

Concerned Island Taxpayers Association Hosting Candidates Forum



The Concerned Island Taxpayers Association is hosting a candidate’s forum tonight, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at 915 Mitchell’s Lane in Middeltown. The forum will provide an opportunity to meet candidates, ask questions, and hear their positions on local, state and federal issues. If you intend to participate in the forum, contact Antone Viveiros at Avive40840@hotmail.com or 401-380-7724

Portsmouth Water And Fire District Update



The Portsmouth Water & Fire District will continue flushing water mains today. The work is scheduled to begin at 8pm and continue through 6am tomorrow morning. Flushing today will be on East Main Road to Middle Road, from Town Hall to Union Street. Discoloration of the water is expected but should clear by midday tomorrow.

Rhode Islanders Required To Re-enroll In State-run Health Insurance


All Rhode Islanders who purchased health insurance through the state-run exchange will have to re-enroll in the program between November 15th and December 31st to avoid losing coverage. HealthSource RI Director Christine Ferguson said having customers re-enroll every year creates educated consumers. Customers who enrolled in health coverage last year may notice prices for some plans have changed.  

Squirrel Blamed For Providence Power Outage


A squirrel is being blamed for a power outage in Providence that left over five-thousand people without electricity.  National Grid confirms that the remains of the offending squirrel were found in a pipe after it made contact with a live current.  The squirrel interrupting the power stream caused a piece of equipment to fail, turning off a pair of power substations in the process.  Providence is giving residents an extra three days to file their second quarter taxes, as they are now due this coming Monday.

Rhode Island Is Receiving Eight Million Dollars in Federal Housing Grants


Rhode Island is receiving eight-million-dollars in federal housing grants.  The money is headed to the cities of Providence and East Providence to improve housing and expand economic opportunities.  The flexible funding can also be used to help homeless people find shelter, and to fund local programs and organizations that supply affordable housing.  Senator Jack Reed helped secure the grants, and says they will help address some of the greatest needs in the two communities.

Rhode Island Journalist Who Contracted Ebola Released From Hospital


The Rhode Island journalist who contracted Ebola while working for NBC News in Liberia is set to be released from the hospital today.  Doctors say Ashoka Mukpo will be released from Nebraska Medical Center this morning.  Mukpo's blood now tests negative for Ebola, and he is free to return home.  Mukpo's father says he will be returning to Providence once he gets out of the hospital.

Judge Hears Complaints Filed By Newport Grand


Attorneys for Newport Grand argued the anti-casino group listed major donors who did not list their place of employment or whether they had any direct or indirect affiliation with any person who operates a gambling facility. The Daily News says that the attorneys representing the anti-casino group said these donors are people who have homes or interests in Newport. The lawsuit hearing will be continued in Newport Superior Court Thursday at 2 p.m.

Portsmouth Water & Fire District Update



The Portsmouth Water & Fire District will continue flushing water mains today. The work is scheduled to begin at 8pm and continue through 6am tomorrow morning. Flushing today will be on Middle Road and all side streets to the west, Mill Lane and all side streets, West Passage Drive to Locust Avenue, stonegate drive, greylock drive, and the greystone terrace area. Discoloration of the water is expected but should clear by midday tomorrow.

Proposal To Replace Portsmouth Higschool Wind Turbine Has Been Postponed


A decision on whether to accept a proposal to replace the wind turbine at Portsmouth High School has been put off for another week. According to the Daily News, the proposal from Wind Energy Development of North Kingstown states that the company is willing to tear down the turbine that has stood idle for two years and replace it with a 1.5 megawatt, direct drive model that works without a gear box. In view of a November 1st deadline for the town to formally accept the offer, the council is scheduled to decide the issue Monday, October 27th.

Portsmouth Woman Dies After Being Hit By Car


An 83 year old Portsmouth woman died of injuries she suffered Sunday afternoon when she was hit by a car while walking in her neighborhood. Police arrested Barbara L. Krensavage, 58, of 76 Lambie Circle on a felony charge of driving to endanger, death resulting, and a reckless driving charge. According to the daily news, police said Krensavage was driving north on Sea Meadow Court at about 3:30 p.m. when she crossed into the southbound lane and hit Marilyn C. Oglo as she was walking along the shoulder of the road. The felony charge will be referred to the state attorney general’s office for review. Police said alcohol was not a factor, but the fatal accident remains under investigation.

Former RI Congressman Dies


Former Rhode Island Congressman Robert Tiernan is dead at the age of 85.  Tiernan was elected to Congress during a special election in 1967 and served for seven years.  After losing his seat in a close primary election in 1974, Tiernan was appointed to the Federal Election Commission by President Gerald Ford.  He then returned to private law practice in 1981 until his retirement in 2009. Tiernan will be laid to rest tomorrow during services in Wakefield.

Water Main Flushing To Continue In Portsmouth


The Portsmouth Water & Fire District will begin flushing water mains again this week. The work is scheduled to being at 8pm and continue through 6am tomorrow morning. Flushing today will be on East Main Road and Middle Road from Crossing Court to Hedly Street. Hedly Street and all side streets including Industrial Park. Corys Lane and Kings Grant including their side streets. They will also be flushing water mains on West Main Road from Hedly Street to Union Street, including Father Flanagan’s and John Street.  Discoloration of the water is expected but should clear by midday tomorrow.

Community Halloween Carnival & Haunted House At Rogers


This Friday and Saturday Rogers High School Fine and Performing Arts Department will host its 5th annual Community Halloween Carnival & Haunted House.  It will be held from 5:30-9:30 in the auditorium area of the high school.  The cost is $5 per person, $15 for a family of four with all proceeds will go to the Fine and Performing Arts At Rogers.

Report Today On Health Exchange Funding


A report being released today will detail ways Rhode Island's health insurance exchange can become financially self-sustained.  The Affordable Care Act requires state run exchanges to be operating in the black by January 1st or pursue other options.  One option would be to allow the federal government to operate the state exchange.  The state has spent over 140-million-dollars so far in creating the HealthSource RI exchange.

New RI License Plates Unveiled


Rhode Island vehicle owners will be getting newly designed license plates in the near future.  Gone from the new license plate is the cresting wave design plates that have been used since 1996.  The new plates are a shade known as Newport historic blue, and feature a digital image instead of raised letters.  This design is more reflective and easier for law enforcement officers to see.

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