Providence may get a full-time state trooper detail to help nab violent criminals and patrol high crime neighborhoods. WPRI-TV says a Rhode Island State Police memo shows that about six troopers would work with the city's Neighborhood Response Team. Providence Police Chief Hugh Clements says his department's discussions with the State Police are ongoing and details have not been finalized about the additional manpower. He said money to pay for the extra troopers would come from the state's massive settlement with Google stemming from its placement of illegal prescription drug ads in 2011.
Rhode Islanders in need of a warm winter coat got the chance to pick one up for free at Friday's 17th annual "Buy Nothing Day." There were 14 places around the state where people could either drop off donations of coats or pick one out. The busiest site was in front of the Rhode Island Statehouse where a few thousand coats were given away.
On Sunday, Newport Mayor Harry Winthrop will officially kick off the 43rd Annual Christmas in Newport. Sunday also marks the rededication of Touro Synagogue as part of it’s 250th anniversary.
Rhode Island State police will be stepping up enforcement this weekend in the Click It or Ticket campaign. They will also be targeting speeders, aggressive drivers and drunk drivers. The extra manpower comes from funding through the D.O.T.
New workforce development programs get started this winter that are intended to address the high unemployment rate in the state. According to the Journal, the State Department of Labor and Training will be hiring 3 new people to get one of the new programs started. Spokeswoman Laura Hart says some employers like Electric Boat have already expressed interest.
Bishop Thomas Tobin will bless and then help serve Thanksgiving dinner at the Emmanuel House homeless shelter today. The bishop says the shelter on Public Street in Providence is one of the ways the Catholic Church can make a difference for those in need. The shelter was opened by the Diocese of Providence in 2010 and provides services like addiction recovery and employment resources in addition to emergency housing.
Despite national advertising campaigns from major retailers, stores in Rhode Island will not open today. State law prohibits retail stores from opening on Thanksgiving Day. Big stores in Rhode Island will open for Black Friday at midnight, no earlier. Massachusetts and Maine are the only other states where big retailers are prohibited from opening today.
Aaron Gelinas and Kimberly Leverett have been arrested in Florida. They are awaiting extradition to Rhode Island. The Tiverton couple is accused of sending their children door to door soliciting money for a fake bowl-a-thon.
Ralph Mariano has surrendered to prison. The leader of the kickback scheme that stole 18 million dollars from the Navy is now in jail at federal facility in Massachussetts. According to the Journal, he’ll start serving his 10 years and will appeal his conviction.
It’s been closed since Super Storm Sandy and now part of the Cliff Walk in Newport will re-open next week. Officials expect the entire Cliff Walk to be open by May or June.
Newport is one of the cities being considered by promoters to bring in the Premiere Rugby League for games next September. Mayor Harry Winthrop says promoters are interested in Fort Adams. The city should know more information in January.
Newport Jazz Festival organizers announced yesterday that the festival will start at Fort Adams on Friday, August 1st and feature performances at the International Tennis Hall of Fame and other locations around Newport. According to the AP, organizers have received a 40,000 dollar grant from the Rhode Island Foundation.
The Coast Guard says mariners must be prepared for winter storm conditions the rest of this week. The National Weather Service issued a gale-force weather warning expected to last through today across New England. Yesterday, boaters at sea were urged to seek safe shelter while those ashore were advised to secure their vessels and equipment. Coast Guard air crews from Air Station Cape Cod conducted storm track warning flights to warn boaters, fisherman and commercial vessels of approaching weather conditions.
The National Weather Service issued a high wind warning and flood watch for today in Rhode Island. Up to three-inches of rain is predicted and forecasters warn of potentially damaging winds that could bring down tree limbs and cause power outages. The pre-Thanksgiving storm is expected to impact travelers on one of the busiest travel days of the year.
Officials at T.F Green Airport urge Thanksgiving holiday travelers to allow more time than usual. According to an advisory, the airlines are expecting higher than normal passenger levels from today through next Monday. People should expect longer lines at ticket counters and security checkpoints during peak travel times. Those peak times are usually from five to seven a.m. and three to six p.m. daily.
Rhode Island has qualified for a fourth tier of emergency federal unemployment benefits. The latest report shows the state's unemployment rate at nine-point-two percent. The federal emergency program provides up to 47 weeks of benefits for people who have exhausted their 26 weeks of state benefits. The state may qualify for the fourth and final tier of federal benefits when its three-month average unemployment number reaches or exceeds nine-percent.
More than 15-percent of households in the state are unable to meet their basic food needs according to the 2013 Status Report on Hunger in Rhode Island. The Rhode Island Community Food Bank says nearly one in four households receives help from the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps. Food Bank officials recommend a limit on any further congressional cuts to the SNAP program, and that the state increase its funding to the Food Bank to help meet the increasing demand for food assistance.
High winds caused scattered power outages in Rhode Island. National Grid said that at one point yesterday service was disrupted to about 38-hundred customers, primarily in Kent County. Crews were out throughout the day responding to calls about fallen tree limbs which knocked out power.
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse responded yesterday to the agreement between Iran and world powers that would temporarily ease sanctions while Iran agrees to slowdown their nuclear program. Though some Democrats are skeptical, Whitehouse is supporting the deal and but says it’s only the beginning.
Zachary Thole of Richmond has been charged with DUI in a fatal crash. According to the AP, he’s in court today for bail hearing. The rollover accident on Friday killed Nicholas Gershkoff of North Kingstown and another passenger was treated and released from the hospital.
The Denver Broncos will go against the New England Patriots in Foxboro Sunday night. Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning overcame a ginger ankle to throw for 323 yards and a score as the Broncos beat the previously undefeated Kansas City Chiefs 27-17 in Denver last weekend. The Patriots are coming off a controversial 24-20 loss at Carolina on Monday night where a penalty flag for possible pass interference in the end zone on the game's final play was waived off. New England leads the AFC East at 7-and-3.
Possible thunderstorms up and down the East Coast on Wednesday could affect air and highway travel on the busiest travel day of the year. Local forecasters say coastal storms the day before Thanksgiving have a good chance of affecting flights in and out of T.F. Green Airport that day. The good news is it looks like any rain or high winds will clear out by Thanksgiving Day on Thursday.
A Providence man is trying to save a decommissioned aircraft carrier and turn it into a memorial to President John F. Kennedy here in Rhode Island. Frank Lennon wants to raise money to bring the U.S.S. John F. Kennedy to Middletown as a memorial. He thinks the carrier could boost the local economy, create jobs and attract thousands of visitors each year.
Kennedy cousin Michael Skakel is out of prison after spending eleven years behind bars for the 1975 Greenwich murder of Martha Moxley. A Stamford judge has allowed the Kennedy cousin's release on over a million-dollars bail after his 2002 conviction was vacated by another judge. Prosecutors are expected to appeal the ruling by a state judge that Skakel deserves a new trial because of ineffective counsel.
The task force looking at whether Rhode Island should provide mental health records for gun background checks should proceed cautiously according to mental health advocates. The AP is reporting that advocates are asking for a balance between privacy rights and the need for preventing people with serious mental illness from buying weapons.
The unemployment rate in Rhode Island was nine-point-two-percent in October. The state's rate had dropped to just under nine-percent back in July before going back up over the last few months. The October unemployment rate nationally was seven-point-three-percent.
Friday marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, and a Mass will be offered in his memory this weekend at St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church in Newport. The Mass for Kennedy is Sunday morning at 8:00 a.m.
The so-called "thrill killer" is reportedly living in Providence. WPRI-TV reports that police say prior to his release on parole, they were notified by the Department of Corrections that Alfred Brissette would be moving into the city. Brissette and another man were convicted of murdering a Woonsocket woman in 1999, just to see what it felt like, according to court documents. The other man remains in prison.
District 33 State Senator Lou Raptakis is responding to the release of Brissette with another push for tougher sentencing laws. According to the AP, Raptakis will seek legislation that requires inmates convicted of first or second degree murder to spend at least 50 percent of their sentence behind bars before the possibility of parole.
The Firearms Safety Task Force will take public testimony today on the state's compliance with the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS. Rhode Island does require the NICS check for all gun sales, but does not contribute substance abuse or mental health information to the system. The mission of the task force is to review other states' approaches for compliance with the national system, and make recommendations on how to approach the link between behavioral health and gun safety.
The 58th Annual Newport Police Christmas food basket drive is underway. They are also collecting toys for needy children. You can make you donations at the police department 120 Broadway.
The owner of Alex and Ani has withdrawn a request for a subsidy from the state to put in solar power at Belcourt Castle in Newport. She tells the Journal that the company working on the project filed the application for the subsidy and when she found out about it, asked it to be withdrawn.
The special legislative commission looking at ways to fund the East Bay bridges meets today. The panel will hear from a representative of the National Conference of State Legislatures about funding strategies. The commission was created earlier this year to investigate various funding plans, in an effort to eliminate tolls on the Sakonnet River Bridge.
A new poll gives Providence Mayor Angel Taveras the highest approval rating among the likely candidates for governor. According to a survey by channel 12 and the Journal, 57-percent of 506 registered voters polled say he's doing an excellent or good job as mayor. Another Democrat, state Treasurer Gina Raimondo has a 51-percent approval rating and Republican Cranston Mayor Alan Fung gets a 47-percent approval rating. According to the poll, Republican Ken Block and Democrat Clay Pell, are largely unknown to voters.
Tomorrow, the City of Newport will receive its award as a bicycle friendly community. The League of American Bicyclists will present the award at an event hosted by Mayor Harry Winthrop. They will be joined by members the Rhode Island D.O.T. , Newport police, Bike Newport and other community member.
Governor Chafee is in Newport this morning at a press conference for a global sailing event that will make a stop in Newport in may of 2015. Officials will also tour the Sail Newport facility and Fort Adams State Park to review the site for the Newport stopover.
Clay Pell, grandson of Claiborne Pell, is one step closer to running for Governor. The State Board of Elections now has his paperwork to form an exploratory committee.
Rhode Island state senators will get a tour Tuesday of the Quonset Business Park in North Kingstown. They will get an update on the revitalization of the former military property. State reps will get their tour next month.
Rebecca Fisher is expected to be promoted to shift captain tonight by the Middletown Town Council. According to the Journal, she is believed to be the first female to reach that status on any fire department in the state.
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The Red Sox championship trophy comes to Rhode Island on Wednesday. The event is free from 4 to 7pm at the Rhode Island Convention Center.
Visit redcross.org or unicefusa.org.
TSA Agent Killed in LAX Shooting
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