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1540 WADK.com Updates Archives for 2014-04

Raimondo's "Homeowners Bill of Rights"


General Treasurer Gina Raimondo has introduced an affordable housing platform.  The Democratic candidate for governor says her proposal includes a ten-year plan to reduce homelessness.  It also includes a "Homeowners Bill of Rights" that would require banks to prove that the value of foreclosure outweighs the value of loan modification for homeowners.

Middletown Town Council


The Middletown Town Council will start their next meeting early with a discussion of the budget for fiscal year 2014-2015.  Also on the agenda for Monday night is the proposed upgrade of building 444 on the Newport Naval base.  

Fox is still out


Former House Speaker Gordon Fox is still absent from the legislative session.  Despite telling reporters on Monday he hoped to return soon, he was a no-show at the State House yesterday.  Fox has not attended a General Assembly session since state and federal investigators raided his State House office and his Providence home last month.  He resigned his leadership position soon after the raids.

N.E. power grid ready for summer


ISO-New England says electricity supplies are expected to be sufficient this summer to meet power needs under normal weather conditions.  The region's power grid operator says thanks to energy efficiency measures and well established operational procedures, the system is ready for peak usage demand.  However, ISO cautions the region is dependent on natural gas for electricity generation, and that any reduction in LNG deliveries from overseas could create operational challenges.

Newport restaurants rank high


Newport is ranked as the 14th best city in America for food by readers of Conde Nast magazine. The magazine says while there are plenty of informal dining options, the city's more noteworthy restaurants offer upscale seafood in formal settings.  The only other New England cities in the top 20 are Boston which is ranked tenth, and Portland, Maine in the 19th spot.

Candidates agree to spending limits


The three Democrats running for governor, Clay Pell, state Treasurer Gina Raimondo and Providence Mayor Angel Taveras are agreeing to limit outside spending in their primary race.  The People's Pledge agreement seeks to discourage spending by outside groups.  Common Cause Rhode Island handled negotiations for the pledge, which is modeled after an agreement reached by Scott Brown and Elizabeth Warren in their 2012 U.S. Senate race in Massachusetts.

E.B. gets Navy contract


Electric Boat will build 10 Virginia class submarines with a new contract from the Navy worth 17.6 billion dollars.  General Dynamics and Senator Jack Reed made the announcement last night.  The plan will be to build 2 submarines per year for the next 5 years.   

Gordon Fox goes back to General Assembly


Former House Speaker Gordon Fox says he is planning to return to the General Assembly soon.  He has not attended legislative sessions since resigning his leadership post after his State House office and Providence home were raided by state and federal authorities last month.  WPRI-TV reports Fox says he can't comment on the investigation, but will at the appropriate time.  Investigators have declined comment.

Medicaid will cost Rhode Island


Medicaid, under the Affordable Care Act, will cost Rhode Island more than first predicted.  According to the Journal, it will be 9.9 million dollars more for the current fiscal year and 42.5 million more for the next fiscal year.  Chairman of the House Finance Committee, State Rep. Raymond Gallison from Bristol says it will be an increased pressure on an already difficult budget. 

URI gets grant


U.R.I. is getting a 250,000 dollar grant from a joint effort of the U.S. and British governments.  The AP reports the money will be used to study aquaculture in Indonesia.  U.R.I. has a partnership with 3 Indonesian schools.

Gubernatorial candidate endorsements


The endorsements for Governor are starting to roll in.  The Journal reports the North Kingstown Democratic Committee has endorsed Angel Taveras.  The United Steelworkers Local 12431 has given their support to Gina Raimondo.  The Charlestown Democratic Town Committee is in for Clay Pell.  Allan Fung has the support of the Narragansett Republican Town Committee.  

Health Source RI is moving


Health Source RI is moving.  The agency in charge of the state’s health care exchange will set up shop at One Weybosset Hill in Providence.  According to the Journal, the rent will come from federal funds for the rest of the year.  The building is owned by Joe Paolino.

Multiple stabbings


Police are asking anyone with information about multiple stabbings at a Pawtucket birthday party to come forward.  Four people were stabbed, one critically, when a fight broke out early yesterday morning.  The critically injured man underwent surgery and was in stable condition last night at Rhode Island Hospital.  The others were also treated for their wounds.

Portsmouth Town Council considers after hours violations


The Portsmouth Town Council meets tonight with possible liquor license violations to consider.  Police Chief Thomas Lee has asked the Portsmouth Board of License Commissioners to look at 2 incidents of after hours violations with one at the VFW and the other at Tremblay’s Island Park Café. 

Deep Water Wind vote coming


The Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council will vote on the proposed Deep Water Wind project on May 13th.  If they approve it, the plan would move on to The Rhode Island D.E.M. and the Army Corps of Engineers.  Their approval would be needed for the wind farm to move forward. 

Allan Fung on education and the work force


Republican candidate for governor, Allan Fung wants to create a Jobs and Education Cabinet to better coordinate between education and work force needs.  The Cranston mayor also wants the state education commissioner to report directly to the governor and establish two boards of education, one for primary/secondary schools and one for higher education.  Fung says the state has to be innovative and accountable when it comes to education. 

Governor Chafee on Route 195 property


Governor Chafee is defending the Route 195 Redevelopment District Commission regarding its confidentiality policy on proposed bids for public land.  The governor says the commission is trying to achieve the right balance between the public's right to know and the success of the project.  Chafee says the commission is made up of "civic-minded professionals" trying to do the right thing for Rhode Island's future. 

Do you like Rhode Island?


How do you feel about Rhode Island?  A new Gallup poll says less than 1 in 5 of us like it.  Only 18 percent said the state was the best or one of the best possible states to live.  That was the lowest ranking in the poll.

Gubernatorial candidates on climate change


The four Democrats running for governor think climate change is a threat to Rhode Island and they say it's an opportunity to create jobs.  At an environmental forum at Brown University yesterday, they talked about funding for energy and energy-efficiency projects, reducing greenhouse emissions, and investing in clean sources of energy.  The two Republican candidates were invited to the forum but did not attend.

Drug take back event in Newport and across the state


The police departments in Newport, Jamestown, Middletown and Portsmouth as well as many others across the state are participating in the national Drug Take Back Day tomorrow from 10 to 2.  The D.E.A. created the event to prevent prescription drug abuse and theft. 

Candidates for Governor roll out plans


The three Democrats running for governor are rolling out various proposals.  Political newcomer Clay Pell says the goal of his economic plan is to invest in education and maintain a high-quality infrastructure.  Providence Mayor Angel Taveras is proposing low or no-interest loans to cities and towns to repair schools, roads and bridges.  And state Treasurer Gina Raimondo wants to create The Rhode Island Green Bank and Clean Energy Finance Authority to provide financing for renewable energy and energy-efficiency projects.

Cicilline challenger from Newport


A Republican is in the race for the First Congressional District seat currently held by Democrat David Cicilline.  Newport’s Cormick Lynch says the United States needs new leaders who will restore the country's strength, fix the economy and protect the borders.  The former Marine and Iraq war veteran says members of Rhode Island's congressional delegation have failed the people they represent.

Portsmouth couple facing charges


A Portsmouth man and his wife are facing federal criminal charges for allegedly selling cancer treatment products which are not approved by the Food and Drug Administration.  The man is also accused of failing to file individual federal tax returns for at least two years.  He also faces other alleged tax violations related to his business.   The couple will be arraigned in U.S. District Court at a future date. 

Vigil in Newport for homeless man that died


The Newport County Citizens to End Homeless will hold a vigil on Friday night to remember Michael Bourque.  Bourque died in an accidental fire in an abandoned truck last month.   According to the Journal, the vigil will take place across from the McKinney Cooperative Shelter in Newport.

URI's Robert Ballard honored


URI professor and famed ocean explorer Robert Ballard is a new member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.  An induction ceremony is planned for October at the Academy's headquarters in Cambridge.  According to the Journal, others to be inducted include winners of the Nobel Prize, the Pulitzer Prize, Grammy, Emmy, Oscar and Tony awards.

Taveras green plan


Providence Mayor and Democratic candidate for governor Angel Taveras is proposing a set of environmental goals for the state. Entitled "Preserving Rhode Island," the goals include reducing use of fossil fuels, investing in renewable sources of energy, and encouraging community gardens and urban farms.  Taveras says his plan is intended to address issues like climate change, reducing the state's carbon footprint and ensuring access to fresh, local affordable food. 

Table games deliver money to the state


7.1 million dollars has gone to the state from table games at Twin River Casino.  Twin River’s profit is up as well.  According to the Journal, revenue is down for the state from slots at Twin River and Newport Grand as well as Keno and traditional lottery games.  State Senator Mary Ellen Goodwin is willing to try to get table games at Newport Grand on the ballot if the she’s asked to by the Newport City Council. 

Newport and West Greenwich schools win award


Two schools in Rhode Island are winners of Green Ribbon Awards from the U.S. Department of Education.  Green Ribbon Schools are recognized for their efforts to reduce environmental impact, utility costs, and promote better health.  The winning schools are the Claiborne Pell Elementary School in Newport, and The Greene School, a charter public school in West Greenwich.  Nationwide, only 39 public schools received Green Ribbon awards this year.

R.I. Candidates support for opponents


If they don't win the September primary, two of the Democrats running for governor, Gina Raimondo and Clay Pell, say they will support the winning Democrat.  However,during an event in Pawtucket last night, candidate Angel Taveras would only say he intends to win the primary.  The candidates made their comments after a meeting of the Rhode Island Association of Democratic City and Town Chairpersons.  All 3 plan to unveil policy initiatives today.

Salve Rengina University gets 1 million


The Rodgers Family Foundation has given Salve Regina University 1 million dollars for a graduate nursing program.  The Journal reports the school will look for accreditation for the program next year.

Gordon Fox is selling


Former House Speaker Gordon Fox is selling his home on the East Side of Providence for 615,000 dollars.  Last month federal and state investigators raided his State House office and his home. The day after the raids, Fox resigned from his leadership position.  No charges have been filed as a result of the investigation.

Newport School Committee


The Newport School Committee is meeting Wednesday morning at 11:45.  They will be discussing the budget.  The school committee has asked the city for more money to finish the current fiscal year.

Federal funding for R.I. schools


Rhode Island is getting 93,000 dollars in federal funding for kitchen equipment for schools. Congressman David Cicilline says the money will be used to update equipment so schools can serve healthier meals.

Drug collection in Newport and Little Compton


The Drug Enforcement Agency and the Newport Police will be conducting the 8th Annual Prescription Drug Take Back event on Saturday from 10 to 2.  The goal is to prevent increased pill abuse and theft.  The event will be at the Newport Police Department on Broadway.  The Little Compton Police Department is also hosting a drug take back day on Saturday at their safety complex.

Chafee on the road again


Governor Lincoln Chafee is visiting Syracuse this week.  Chafee is scheduled to speak at Syracuse University Thursday on civility and citizenship.

Barrington boy's body found


The death of a middle school student in Barrington is not considered suspicious.  Even though schools are closed this week, grief counselors will be available today at the middle school and at the high school in Barrington.  The Journal reports the boy's body was found Thursday morning by a man walking his dog in a secluded area.  The child had been reported missing on Wednesday night.

Pell funeral


There is a funeral today for the widow of the late Senator Claiborne Pell.  Nuala Pell died on April 13th at the age of 89.  The service is scheduled for 11 a.m. at Trinity Episcopal Church in Newport.

Clay Pell tax returns


Clay Pell has joined most of the other gubernatorial candidates in releasing his tax returns.  The Journal reports the only person running for Governor that has yet to release his tax returns is Ken Block.

Security at Boston Marathon


A record number of runners and spectators are expected for today's 118th Boston Marathon.  Organizers anticipate a million people will line the route.  About 35-hundred uniformed and plainclothes police officers and National Guard personnel have been mobilized to provide security.  There will also be 100 video camera feeds between Hopkinton and Boston and strict new security measures for those watching the race.

Rhode Islanders going to marathon


Rhode Islanders headed to watch today's Boston Marathon are advised to use public transportation. The MBTA will operate at "rush hour" levels before and after the marathon. Information about traffic restrictions and street closures is available online at cityofboston.com.

Bristol dragster accident victim dies


The man who crashed his dragster last week in Bristol has died.  Steven Elmslie was in the race car when it went out of control and landed in the smoke shed behind the Wing-n-It restaurant.  Bristol Police confirm he passed away last night at Rhode Island Hospital. 

R.I. unemployment down


Rhode Island’s unemployment rate is 8.7 percent for the month of March, down from nine-percent in February. That's compared to 9.5 percent in March of 2013. The national unemployment rate for March was 6.9 percent.

Drug overdose death count goes up


The number of drug overdose deaths in Rhode Island this year is up to 85.  The Providence Journal reports the victims range in age from 20 to 62 and they have died in 26 communities.  The state Department of Health reports that of the 76 people screened, 46 have tested positive for the narcotic painkiller fentanyl. 

Portsmouth pot bust


Portsmouth Police arrested Jake Fernandez of Hilltop Drive in Portsmouth on marijuana charges.  After conducting a search, police found many marijuana plants, pot packaged for sale and multiple weapons.

Jamestown Town Council


At the next Jamestown Town Council meeting, the council will adopt the fiscal year 2015 total budget including the operating, capital and school budgets.  They may also go into executive session to discuss collective bargaining.  The meeting is Monday night. 

Suspect in homicide arrested in Middletown


State Police made an arrest in Middletown of a suspect wanted for homicide conspiracy in New York City.  They found Dennis James of the Bronx at 78 Beacon Street in Middletown where he was taken into custody without incident.

Ex-Speaker Fox has chosen a lawyer


Former House Speaker and criminal defense attorney Bill Murphy is one of the lawyers representing ex-Speaker Gordon Fox.  Fox resigned the leadership position last month after state and federal investigators raided his State House office and his Providence home.  Murphy says he cannot comment on the investigation.

State pension trial can move forward


A judge is rejecting the state's motion to dismiss a lawsuit challenging the overhaul of the public employee pension system.  The decision means the lawsuit filed by the unions can proceed to trial in September.  The judge had put off a decision while both sides tried to reach a settlement.  The ruling comes after months of mediated talks collapsed earlier this month. 

Boston Marathon backpack hoax update


The man accused in Tuesday night's backpack hoax near the Boston Marathon finish line is being held on 100-thousand-dollars bail.  Authorities say 25-year-old Kevin Edson is charged with possession or use of a hoax device and making a false bomb threat.  He's been sent to Bridgewater State Hospital for a psychiatric evaluation and he's is due back in court early next month.

Warren Planning Board


The old American Tourister mill in Warren is closer to becoming an apartment complex and commercial space.  The developer’s preliminary conversion plan has been approved by the Warren Planning Board.  WPRI TV reports the developer still needs final approval to move forward.

Naval Station Newport surplus land


At the next Middletown Town Council meeting on Monday, the council will get information from the Deputy Director of the Coastal Resources Management Council.  At issue is the Federal Coastal Zone Consistency Determination for disposal and reuse of surplus property at Naval Station Newport.  They will also hear from the state D.O.T. regarding the reconstruction of Two Mile Corner.   

Boston Marathon bomb hoax


A suspect is facing charges in connection with suspicious backpacks that were left in the vicinity of the Boston Marathon finish line last night.  Witnesses say the man was barefoot, wearing a long black veil and yelling “Boston Strong."  The area was evacuated, and the backpacks were detonated by the bomb squad as a precaution. 

Allan Fung's tax plan


Republican candidate for Governor Allan Fung is proposing a 200 million dollar tax reduction package.  Fung's plan lowers the state's corporate, estate and sales taxes.  To cover the tax cuts, Fung says he would trim state spending, cut the state workforce by five percent, and forgo repaying the debt on 38 Studios.  Fung says his plan would improve the business climate and increase jobs in Rhode Island.

North Kingstown woman's offer rejected by MADD


Mothers Against Drunk Driving is rejecting a five-thousand-dollar donation from a North Kingstown woman.  Jayne Donegan agreed to make the donation in exchange for dismissal of charges connected to an alleged underage drinking party in her home in January.  MADD issued a statement last night saying it's "not right to accept money under these conditions." 

Illegal cesspools


Some homeowners across the state have started to receive violation notices regarding the state’s laws for cesspools.  The D.E.M estimates there are around 300 cesspools that are illegal.  The Journal reports the fines could be as high as 2,500 dollars. 

R.I. Tea Party protest


The Rhode Island Tea Party is criticizing government for the state's high unemployment rate. The president of the Tea Party claims there is abuse of taxpayer funds in Rhode Island.   At a State House rally yesterday, members complained about issues including the Affordable Care Act, taxes, and the federal debt. 

U.R.I. arms campus police


The University of Rhode Island will arm its campus police officers. The issue gained traction last spring when the Kingston campus was shut down after a report of someone with a gun.  A URI spokeswoman says while not everyone agrees with the decision, the University cannot consider itself immune to threats of violence. Until now, URI was the only state university in the country with an unarmed police force.

Jamestown Police make DWI arrest


Jamestown Police arrested Lawrence Brew of Kenyon, R.I. for D.W.I. and refusal to submit to a chemical test.  Brew has been arrested 3 previous times for D.W.I. including in 1996, when it resulted in the death of a 68 year old woman who had been walking on Main Street in South Kingstown. 

Newport school budget


The Newport School Committee and the Newport City Council workshop is planned for tomorrow night at the Thompson Middle School.  On the agenda is the fiscal year 2014 budget. 

Nuala Pell service set for next week


The funeral service for Nuala Pell is Monday at Trinity Episcopal Church in Newport.   The widow of the late Senator Claiborne Pell died Sunday at the age of 89.  A reception will follow the service at the Pell Center at Salve Regina University.

Post office open late for tax filers


The big post office on Corliss Street in Providence will be open until nine p.m. tonight for last-minute tax filers.   Mail dropped in the collection box at that location before nine o'clock will get an April 15th postmark.  Postal customers are warned if they are using a collection box somewhere else today, they should check the last pickup time to make sure the mail has not already been collected.

Block and Raimondo new endorsements


Ken Block has picked up the endorsement of the citizens group call Rhode Island Taxpayers in his bid for Governor.  Gina Raimondo now has the support of the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 57.  According to the Journal, their campaigns released the information on the endorsements.

Sheldon Whitehouse on HHS Secretary


Senator Sheldon Whitehouse says it will be good to have a new Health and Human Services Secretary now that the Affordable Care Act is in effect.  The U.S. Senate is preparing for confirmation hearings on the replacement for Kathleen Sebelius.  Sheldon Whitehouse appeared yesterday on Fox News Sunday.

Coyotes on Aquidneck Island


A campaign is being launched to raise awareness about the coyote population on Aquidneck Island and elsewhere in the state.  The goal is to keep pets and people safe.  More information is available online at coyotesmarts.org.

Nuala Pell passes away


Nuala Pell passed away Sunday morning at Newport Hospital. The late Senator Claiborne Pell’s wife died at the age of 89.  According to the Journal, her last major public appearance was with her grandson Clay Pell when he announced his candidacy for Governor.

State union deal


A tentative contract agreement has been reached between the state and its public employee unions.  It's a four-year deal retroactive to July first of 2013.  State employees will receive two-percent wage increases three times over the next 18 months.  For the first time the unions have agreed to health insurance deductibles and there will also be increases for medical and pharmaceutical co-pays.   The contract must still be ratified by members of Council 94, American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees, and a coalition of smaller unions.

Narragansett Bay environmental studies


Rhode Island’s Science and Technology Advisory Council will announce today the recipients of over 800,000 dollars in grant money.  According to the Journal, most of the projects involve environmental study in and around Narragansett Bay.  The money comes from the state’s general fund and federal money from The National Science Foundation.

Master Gardeners in Middletown


The U.R.I.  master gardeners continue the soil testing tour.  They will be at Paradise Valley Park in Middletown tomorrow from 11am to 1pm.   

Brown University poll results


Brown University has released the findings of a new poll.  The results show Gina Raimondo and Angel Taveras are in a statistical tie for the Democratic nomination for Governor.  It also revealed that 47 percent of Rhode Islanders support legalizing small amounts of marijuana for person use.

Newport County property taxes


The property taxes in all the counties in Rhode Island are higher than the national average.  The Journal reports the highest property tax bill in the state is in Bristol County and in second place was Newport County. 

Proposed school bus bill


A House committee is considering a proposed bill that would require an adult be waiting at a school bus stop in order for the child to be allowed off the bus.  WPRI TV reports the bill would apply to all students in grades K through 6. 

Warren 18 year old turns himself in


An 18 year old from Warren is facing charges in connection with a stabbing on Sunday night.  Police say the teen turned himself in yesterday and is charged with assault with a dangerous weapon in connection with the stabbing of a 20 year old in Rehoboth.

Newport City Manager is up for new job


Newport City Manager, Jane Howington, is being considered for the city manager job in Brunswick, Ohio.  An Ohio newspaper is reporting Howington is set for an interview on the 17th next week.

Governor weighs in on pension settlement


Governor Chafee says various options are being considered on how to go forward with the proposed state pension settlement.  Five of the six unions that sued the state over the pension overhaul enacted in 2011 have approved the settlement. The police union which rejected the deal is the smallest of the groups. In the meantime, a Superior Court judge has ordered both sides back into mediation. 

R.I. drug overdose death rate increases


The number of accidental drug overdose deaths in Rhode Island since the start of the year is now at 75.  The state Department of Health says of the 71 overdose deaths screened so far, 46 tested positive for the powerful prescription medication fentanyl. 

North Kingstown Senator suggests funding help for drug overdose problem


State Senator Dawson Hodgson from North Kingstown says the state should use some of the money from the recent 230 million dollar Google settlement to address the drug overdose problem.  Patch.com reports much of the money remains unspent and is intended for law enforcement.   

Pell Award announced


Trinity Rep's annual Pell Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Arts is going to a married couple.  This year's recipients are Academy award nominated film actor Richard Jenkins and his choreographer wife, Sharon Jenkins.  The award will be presented at a black-tie gala on June 9th.   Richard Jenkins is a former artistic director at Trinity who has appeared in more than 60 films and was nominated for a 2007 Oscar for his role in "The Visitor."

Newport City Council salutes Rogers girls basketball team


At tonight’s Newport City Council meeting, the council will recognize the Rogers High School Girls Basketball team for winning the title of Division II Girls basketball champions. 

State pension deal goes back to mediation


A proposed settlement in the state pension overhaul case is back in mediation. A Superior Court judge yesterday ordered talks to resume after retirees in the smallest of the six public employees unions that have to approve the settlement, rejected the deal.  Supporters say the settlement is preferable to a court fight and would save the state billions of dollars.  Opponents of the deal want the state to fight the unions in court.

East Bay legislators weigh in on sales tax


Two East Bay legislators will unveil bills today to lower the state's 7 percent sales tax.   Representative Jan Malik and Senator Walter Felag co-chaired a special commission last year that considered the possibility of eliminating the tax.  They say their bills represent issues discussed during the commission's hearings.  According to the Tax Foundation, California has the highest sales tax in the country with Rhode Island in a five-way tie for second highest.

Chariho students arrested


Two high school students and a middle school student are facing charges connected to drugs in hard candy.  According to Richmond police and the Chariho Regional School District, the candy was not given to any unsuspecting students.  Authorities became suspicious late last month when a student required medical attention after eating a marijuana-laced candy. The state Department of Health is conducting toxicology tests.

R.I. AG warns of scam


The public is being warned that a "grandparent scam" has resurfaced in Rhode Island.  The scam targets the elderly and usually starts with a phone call from someone who poses as a grandchild in trouble or in some cases, someone claiming to be a police officer or attorney.  In every case the caller claims there is an emergency and requests money be sent immediately via a wire transfer.  Attorney General Peter Kilmartin warns that if someone asks for money by Western Union or MoneyGram, it's probably a scam.  

NUWC dedicates new facility


The Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division Newport dedicated a new 24.3 million dollar Electromagnetic Sensor Facility yesterday.  Senator Jack Reed said the facility is part of the premier place for U.S. research, development, testing and evaluation to develop new undersea warfare systems.  Congressman David Cicilline added research, development and innovation are the drivers for U.S. superiority around the world.   

Pension settlement vote


Attorneys representing public employee unions and retiree organizations say the vote from municipal police union members was to not approve the state pension settlement.  A Superior Court judge has ordered the parties back to mediation. 

Rhode Islander's trust level for government


A poll finds 58 percent of Rhode Islanders have either little or no trust in state government to handle problems.  According to the Gallup poll only 40 percent have a great deal or fair amount of trust in state government.  All 50 states were polled between June and December of 2013.  

Jack Reed at NUWC today


Senator Jack Reed will be on hand today at the ribbon cutting ceremony for the Electromagnetic Sensor Facility at the Naval Undersea Warfare Center in Newport.  The facility will certify and repair imaging and optical systems, electronic warfare equipment, periscopes and other submarine communication systems. 

Ciciline gets challenged


First District Congressman David Cicilline is facing a Democratic primary challenge.  Political newcomer Matt Fecteau of Pawtucket officially kicked-off his campaign yesterday.  He's an Army veteran who served two tours of duty in Iraq. 

R.I. canine cops will help at Boston Marathon


Five Rhode Island State Police K-9 units will help provide security at the upcoming Boston Marathon.  WPRI-TV reports the Massachusetts State Police are requesting the assistance from Rhode Island and other states.  The 118th Boston Marathon is scheduled for Monday, April 21st. 

U.R.I. master gardeners in Middletown


U.R.I. master gardeners spent some time yesterday testing soil at Prescott Farm in Middletown.  Carol Nagle of Newport says the group will offer free testing to the public at various locations across the state over the growing season.  The Journal reports they will also be testing soil at the East Farm Spring Festival in May at the U.R.I. farm in South Kingstown. 

D.E.M. closes Bristol Harbor to shell fishing


The Rhode Island D.E.M. has closed the waters to shell fish harvesting in Bristol Harbor and around Hog Island.  Elevated flows and bacteria levels from the Bristol Wastewater Treatment Facility and heavy rain caused the closure.

Loughlin won't run


Republican John Loughlin has decided against a run for Congress versus David Ciciline.  Loughlin said he did not think he had enough time to raise enough money to mount an effective campaign.    

Another candidate to replace Gordon Fox opens campaign


A community organizer is running for the House seat being vacated by former House Speaker Gordon Fox.  Aaron Regunberg, the founder of the Providence Student Union, says he's running to make sure public schools are providing a high quality education.  The 24 year old Chicago native is a Brown University graduate.  Fox resigned the speakership last month after state and federal investigators searched his Providence home and State House office.  He also announced he won't seek reelection. 

Health Source RI sign-ups


The number of Rhode Islanders enrolled for health coverage under the Affordable Care Act surpasses projections.  Healthsource RI says more than 92-thousand people signed up for insurance coverage by last Monday's deadline.  That includes nearly 28,000 who selected a private health insurance plan and more than 64,000 who enrolled in Medicaid. 

Cranston Police Captain's fate


Cranston Mayor Allan Fung is requesting a police captain be fired.  He says Captain Stephen Antonucci ordered police officers to target specific wards of the city with parking tickets, the morning after the City Council rejected a proposed police contract last fall.  No criminal charges have been filed against Antonucci, but the mayor says he violated several department rules and regulations.  The acting police chief has suspended Antonucci.  Mayor Fung says the state police investigation is closed. 

Middletown Town Council


The Middletown Town Council will look at proposed budgets and the capital improvement plan for the fiscal year 2014-2015 at their next council meeting on Monday.  Also on the agenda is the proposed remedial action plan for site 17 at Naval Station Newport.   

Quonset Business Park pier repairs


Faster access to 6 million dollars for repairs to damaged piers at the Quonset Business Park has been approved by the House of Representatives.  The bill was sponsored by Representative Robert Craven from North Kingstown.  The Journal reports the bill for the federal grant money now moves on to the Rhode Island Senate for approval. 

R.I. Hospital violation


Rhode Island Hospital is under orders to take immediate action after it was found in violation of infection control policies. The orders stem from a recent incident where a patient with potential measles symptoms was not placed in a private room.  A hospital spokesperson says that further tests showed the patient did not have measles.  Nevertheless, the spokesperson says the hospital has complied with most of the action required and will meet the deadline as ordered by the state Department of Health. 

DUI driver sentenced in South Kingstown fatality


A man who police say was drunk when he was involved in a fatal crash nearly two years ago is headed to prison.  The crash on Route 2 in South Kingstown in August of 2012 killed a 53 year old woman.  James Mulcahey was sentenced yesterday in Washington County Superior Court to 15 years in prison with eight years to serve after agreeing to a plea deal.  He is to report to the ACI later this month.

Naval Station Newport addition


The Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division Newport will dedicate a 24 million dollar Electromagnetic Sensor Facility on Monday.  Under construction since October of 2011, the new building replaces a facility on Naval Station Newport’s Pier Two.   

Think tank thoughts on R.I. budget


The Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity is calling for a 220 million dollar cut in the nearly three-and-a-half billion dollar proposed state budget.  The think-tank suggests eliminating things like an increase in the state’s historic preservation tax credits, as well as doing away with some grants and programs including the state Council on the Arts.  The group says the money saved could be used for tax cuts and infrastructure improvements among other things. 

Narragansett Beer sales


Narragansett Brewing Company has made the top 50 list in a ranking compiled by the Brewers Association.  The is the first time the brewery has cracked the top 50 nationally based on sales volume.  Narragansett sold 65,000 barrels of beer last year, an 18 percent increase over 2012.  Anheuser-Busch was ranked number-one.  

9 arrested across the state on child exploitation charges


Nine people are charged with child exploitation as the result of state-wide sweep.  Local, state and federal authorities executed 11 search warrants yesterday.  Seven men are facing child pornography charges.  The eighth man is charged with Indecent Solicitation of a Minor and Third Degree Sexual Assault.  The ninth man faces a Video Voyeurism charge. 

Loughlin considers running for Congress


Republican John Loughlin is considering another run for Congress.  He lost a close race in the First District to Democrat David Cicilline in 2010.   Loughlin says he'll know in a week or so if he'll launch a campaign.

Shots fired in Westerly


Police are investigating shots fired that hit two parked cars and a building in Westerly.  According to the police chief witnesses say a car sped away just after the apparent gunshots were heard late Monday afternoon.   Investigators do not think the cars or the building were intentionally targeted. 

Sakonnet River Bridge toll


The toll on the Sakonnet River Bridge is going to stay at ten cents at least through mid-May if Governor Chafee signs legislation passed by the House and Senate.   The authority to impose the dime toll would have expired yesterday without legislative action.

Misquamicut Beach lawsuit


A beach access lawsuit has gone to court.  Attorney General Peter Kilmartin is suing several property owners on Misquamicut Beach in Westerly.  The Journal reports 7 waterfront homeowners have tried to block public access to the beach. 

Health Source R.I. deadline


More than 26,000 Rhode Islanders are now enrolled for private health insurance through HealthSource RI.  Nearly 50,000 people used the HealthSource RI marketplace to sign up for Medicaid, the government program for low-income individuals. The deadline to sign up for private health insurance was midnight last night.  The Affordable Care Act requires everyone to have health insurance or pay a penalty starting this year.

R.I. Congressional delegation on tax code


The Rhode Island congressional delegation is calling for reform of the federal tax code.  Senator Jack Reed says the code is full of special interest provisions and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse calls the need for reform "acute." Congressmen Jim Langevin and David Cicilline also say a major overhaul is essential.  They made their comments during yesterday's annual Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce breakfast.

Nurse at Narragansett High arrested


A nurse at Narragansett High School is facing drug possession charges.  The 52-year-old Charlestown woman was placed on administrative leave a few weeks ago after she was found unconscious in her car.  Police say they found drug paraphernalia and heroin in the vehicle.  The woman is free on personal recognizance pending a court appearance later this month. 

Turning lane on Bristol Ferry Road in Portsmouth


A portion of Bristol Ferry Road in Portsmouth will have a temporary middle lane for left turns.  D.O.T. officials met with the town council about the change.  According to WPRI TV, the town council will vote on a permanent plan in July.     

Shell fishing ban


There is no shellfishing allowed in Point Judith Pond and Potters Pond.  The closures are due to anticipated unacceptable water quality caused by the heavy weekend rainfall.  The state Department of Environmental Management says the ban will be lifted when test results indicate the water quality is safe for shellfishing.

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