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1540 WADK.com Updates Archives for 2014-02

Portsmouth crash


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.

North Kingstown woman located in Conn.


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.

R.I. unemployment higher than reported


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


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 in R.I.


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.

Tiverton D.U.I.


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.

Catholic Diocese provide heating assistance


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 heroin bust


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


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. 

U.R.I faculty endorses Taveras


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 cuts jobs


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.

Middletown economic development


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. 

R.I. gun check report


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.

School lockdown


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.

Ken Block details economic plan


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.

North Kingstown mother back in court


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. 

More competition for Newport Grand and Twin River


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 Chafee would consider legalizing pot


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 voice opinion on Deep Water Wind


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.

ACLU is suing the R.I. State Police and the D.O.C.


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."

Newport Walmart might open Friday


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.

Castelli home from the Olympics


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. 

Jamestown town administrator search


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.

Portsmouth fire


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.   

Naval War College on-line addition today


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. 

Jim Taricani is retiring


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.

R.I. Olympic skater welcome home


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 tonight


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 lockdown


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.

Money for farmers and fishermen


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.

Block Island deer herd


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. 

Newport City Council will hear from Conanicut Marine Services


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.

Newport City Manager will brief City Council on Block Island Ferry


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. 

More overdose deaths


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.

Income inequality in R.I.


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. 

Naval Station Newport drill this morning


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.

Candidates for Governor holding job fairs


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.

Walmart arsonist arrested


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. 

Jamestown special town council meeting


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.

Minimum wage hike support


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.

Solar farm at The Quonset Business Park


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.   

Road salt delivery delayed


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 among "safe" towns


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.

Reward in Newport Walmart fire


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.

New C.E.O. named at Tennis Hall of Fame


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 in Newport


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.

Road salt shortage


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.

Senator Teresa Paiva Weed on pension deal


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."

R.I. ACLU


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. 

Tennis Hall of Fame


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.

Health Source RI maintenance


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.

Naval Station Newport drill


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. 

R.I. D.O.T.


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.

R.I. General Assembly on break


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.

R.I. holiday recap


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.

Pension deal


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. 

R.I. NECAP improvement


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.

Travel problems


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

Jamestown Town Council


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.

America's Cup inquiring about Newport


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.

R.I. pension overhaul


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.

Another storm


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.

Bill to legalize pot in R.I.


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.

NECAP testing


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.

North Kingstown man pleads no contest


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.

Another storm


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.

R.I. pension settlement announcement postponed


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. 

North Kingstown mother pleads not guilty


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. 

Coventry man convicted on child porn charges


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.

Health Source RI says Medicaid enrollment is up


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.

R.I. pension deal revealed tomorrow


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. 

Deep Water Wind to work with French company


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.

Olympic sailing trials could come to Newport


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. 

Elementary school "hit list" discovered


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.       

13 year old lured to R.I. on the internet


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.  

Threatening note on flight from T.F. Green


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. 

Safety in R.I. schools


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.

Rhode Island man dies in accident


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. 

Rhode Islander at the Olympics


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.

Newport City Council meeting


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.

Kevin Pacheco held without bail


A 36-year-old Dartmouth man who police say sent threatening emails to Roger Williams University Law School is being held without bail.  Kevin Pacheco was arraigned yesterday in New Bedford District Court and remains in custody pending a dangerousness hearing next week.  He surrendered peacefully Tuesday night following an eight-hour armed standoff.  Police subsequently found a half-dozen guns and ammunition in his house.

Pell Bridge work today


A temporary median barrier is being installed on the Newport Pell Bridge.  It will be in-place while the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority studies the feasibility of a permanent barrier.  There will be lane closures today as they complete the project. 

Pension reform


If Rhode Island’s pension reform from 2011 is turned around by a proposed settlement with public employee unions, cities and towns may not be ready to deal with the repercussions.  According to The Journal, The Rhode Island League of Cities and Towns says the financial implications could be devastating.  The group released a report yesterday as lawyers for the state work the unions that are suing to overturn the pension reform law.

Newport native autopsy


The autopsy of Kendra Bowers found that she died from a broken neck.  The 19 year-old Newport Native died in a skiing accident in Vermont last weekend after crashing into a trail sign.

Guns and ammo tax


A bill to impose an additional ten-percent supplemental sales tax on guns and ammunition is being submitted in the General Assembly on behalf of a Providence mayoral candidate.  Democrat Brett Smiley says the tax would raise an estimated two-million-dollars annually for non-profit anti-violence groups statewide.

Pell Bridge update


Work is underway on the Newport/Pell Bridge with the installation of the temporary barriers.  The project is expected to be completed on Friday.  The center lanes are closed until 4:30p this afternoon and from 7:30a-4:30p on Friday. 

Armed standoff suspect will be arraigned today


A 36-year-old man who surrendered Tuesday night following an eight-hour armed standoff in Dartmouth will be arraigned today on multiple charges.   Police say they found more than a half-dozen guns, ammunition, and books about becoming a serial killer in Kevin Pacheco's home.  Authorities say the suspect had sent a threatening email to Roger Williams University in Bristol where he had attended law school until the fall of 2012.

CVS praised for tobacco decision


CVS Caremark is winning praise for its decision to stop selling cigarettes and other tobacco products.  Rhode Island Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse, Congressmen Jim Langevin and David Cicilline, Governor Lincoln Chafee, and the director of the state Department of Health, Dr. Michael Fine, are among those voicing support for the decision.  The American Cancer Society and the American Lung Association are also applauding CVS.

Portsmouth discusses snow removal budget


As winter weather strains budgets in towns across the state, Portsmouth has a budget update on snow and ice on the agenda for Monday’s town council meeting.  The agenda also includes the town’s new web site, moving to a paperless town council meeting and a request for consideration for capital funding for development of sports fields on the Triple S property. 

Curt Schilling has cancer


Former Red Sox pitcher and founder of 38 Studios, Curt Schilling has cancer.  He issued a statement through his current employer ESPN.  After revealing the diagnosis, he did not divulge the nature of the cancer.

Former local TV personality found dead


Former Providence TV personality Sheila Martines Pina was found dead yesterday in her Dartmouth home.  In the 1980's she co-hosted "PM Magazine" with current Today Show host Matt Lauer.  Channel 10 reports the Massachusetts medical examiners office was to perform an autopsy.  Fifty-eight-year-old Martines Pina was married to former Bristol County District Attorney Ron Pina.  

CVS will stop selling tobacco


The biggest pharmacy chain in the country is going to give up two-billion dollars in sales when it stops selling tobacco later this year.  CVS announced this morning it will stop selling cigarettes and other tobacco products in all 76-hundred of its stores by October 1st.  The announcement drew praise from President Obama, who said in a statement, "I applaud this morning's news that CVS has decided to stop selling cigarettes and other tobacco products."  The American Medical Association, American Cancer Society, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation also praised CVS.
 

Cancellations


For a complete list of school and business closings, parking bans and storm related information, click on the weather cancellations and delays banner.   

Storm summary


The National Weather Service has a winter storm warning is in effect for Rhode Island through six p.m.  Snow totals are likely to reach nine inches with some isolated higher amounts possible in the Northern part of the state with around 5 in the middle of the state and 3 inches on the shoreline. Snow is expected to fall at a rate of one to two inches an hour during this morning's commute.  The change over the rain will could cut down those estimates.

Roger Williams University stepped up security


Roger Williams University stepped up security and a Dartmouth neighborhood was on lock down yesterday when a man barricaded himself in his home.  According to ABC 6, Kevin Pacheco had sent a threatening e-mail to faculty and administrators at Roger Williams.  After surrendering last night, Pacheco will now face charges in Massachusetts and Rhode Island and undergo mental health evaluations. 

R.I. Republicans launch drive


The Rhode Island Republican Party is launching a drive to attract Hispanic voters.  Roger Williams University student Luis Vargas has been appointed to oversee the statewide initiative.  Vargas says for too long Democrats have taken Hispanic voters for granted, and he says it's time for a change.  The local effort is part of a national campaign to make the GOP a more diverse party.

Angel Taveras wants pay equity for women


Providence Mayor Angel Taveras says if he's elected governor he will institute a plan to help women achieve pay equity for equal work.  His plan includes increasing penalties for businesses that violate the state's pay equity laws.   Democrat Taveras says his plan sets the tone and creates a culture for how business should be done in Rhode Island.

Another storm coming


On the heels of yesterday's snowfall more winter weather is headed for Rhode Island.  Snow is expected to overspread the area by early tomorrow morning accumulating a couple inches before changing to a mix of sleet and rain along the shore. Areas to the north could see higher snow totals because there is less likelihood of a change to mixed precipitation.  Track the storm here at wadk.com.  Click on the weather icon to your right.

R.I. licenses for illegal aliens


Proposed legislation supported by Governor Chafee would allow illegal aliens the ability to apply for a driver’s license.  The Journal reports the licenses would be in a special category and could not be used as a valid ID.  Rhode Island would join 7 other states to allow illegal aliens limited access to a driver’s license. 

R.I. DUI laws


Several bills to strengthen Rhode Island's DUI laws will be considered today by the House Judiciary Committee.  The legislation has been introduced on behalf of Attorney General Peter Kilmartin.  The AG says the state needs to increase penalties for those who "flagrantly" violate the law by driving drunk risking their own life and the life of others.

Newport Folk Festival


Gospel and soul singer Mavis Staples will perform at this year's Newport Folk Festival.  Festival producer George Wein says her family band, The Staples Singers, was one of the first gospel groups to play at Newport, and has performed at both the Folk Festival and the Jazz Festival.  This year's Folk Festival is set for July 25th through the 27th at Fort Adams State Park.

Gas prices in R.I.


The price for a gallon of gas in Rhode Island dropped about three-cents since last week to three-dollars-45-cents.  According to RhodeIslandGasPrices.com that's ten-cents lower than a month ago.  The current national average is three-dollars-26-cents per gallon.

Senator Whitehouse


Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse is requesting an investigation of potentially misleading marketing by outlet stores.  He wants the Federal Trade Commission to look into claims that merchants may be selling lower quality items produced specifically for outlet stores without informing consumers.  Whitehouse, and three other members of Congress, have written to the FTC asking for an investigation.

Newport Hospital


Newport Hospital has again been designated a "Baby-Friendly" facility by the World Health Organization and UNICEF.  The designation recognizes the level of care and education provided by the hospital's birthing center for breastfeeding mothers.  Newport Hospital first won the designation in 2003 when only 40 hospitals nationwide qualified.

Newport native dies skiing


Newport native, 19 year old Kendra Bowers, died in a skiing accident over the weekend at a ski resort in Vermont.  ABC 6 reports she ran into a trail sign and died at a Vermont hospital.

Campaign money for Governor


How does the money stack up in the race for Governor?  Clay Pell has loaned his campaign 1 million dollars of his own money.  Gina Raimondo has about 2.5 million on hand and Angel Taveras has now over 1 million in his coffers.  Channel 12 reports on the Republican side Allan Fung has close to 385,000 and Ken Block has 634,000 ready for his campaign.

Drone legislation in R.I.


State Rep. Teresa Tanzi of South Kingstown wants to regulate drones used by law enforcement.  She proposed legislation that would require public hearings before police departments and other agencies acquire a drone.  The AP reports her bill would look for further approval from local leaders or the Governor and get court approval before using the drone in investigations.     

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