WNPR

Rhode Island

Fishermen and scientists are trying to understand how the Block Island Wind Farm may affect fish in Rhode Island waters. This week Rhode Island Public Radio’s Ambar Espinoza reported on what we know and don't know yet about the impact of the offshore wind farm on fisheries. She joined Rhode Island Public Radio News Director Elisabeth Harrison for an update on acoustics, marine mammals and wildlife habitats.

Police departments in our region and around the country are scrambling to respond to the opioid addiction crisis. 

Marc Birnbach / Americares

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found evidence that more than 1,000 pregnant women in the United States may have been infected with Zika virus this year.

The nation’s first offshore wind farm off the coast of Block Island is in the middle of its testing phase. It’ll start producing electricity next month. Delegates from various federal Sea Grant programs around the country got a boat tour of the turbines to learn how the Ocean State got this project done. 

The federal government is offering official approval for Rhode Island’s plan to toll commercial trucks on state bridges. The toll has generated opposition from the trucking industry and some businesses concerned about how the new tolls might impact the economy.

State Department of Transportation Director Peter Alviti says the go-ahead from the federal government is the final step needed to move forward with the project.  The tolls will be installed in 13 locations, and 34 bridges so far are slated for repairs from the toll revenue.

The Commercial Fisheries Research Foundation is kicking off a new project to collect data on black sea bass, a species that has moved north in search of cooler water.

Four of five turbines that will produce energy off the coast of Block Island later this fall have been completely installed.

If the weather cooperates, the fifth will also be up by the end of the week, said GE Offshore Wind CEO Anders Soe-Jensen during a small media boat tour yesterday of Deepwater Wind's Block Island Wind Farm.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Cumberland, Rhode Island popped up on a list of cities and towns that have unsafe levels of the chemical perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA. It’s used to make Teflon. It turns out those levels have dropped significantly in the town over the past year.

  A judge in U.S. District Court in Rhode Island began hearings Wednesday in a lawsuit against the Federal Drug Enforcement Agency, spurred by a local journalist.

Providence-based writer Phil Eil, says he’s fought for more than five years to obtain access to thousands of pages of public evidence from a pill-mill trial, about which he plans to write a book.

“I think it’s long overdue that the press and the public have access to the evidence, and I hope the judge will agree with that and say this has gone on long enough,” said Eil. 

In Middletown, St. George’s boarding school has announced a settlement with up to 30 former students, who allege they were sexually abused. 

A new urban farm in Providence’s Olneyville neighborhood opens today. It’s the fifth urban farm created by the nonprofit Southside Community Land Trust.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

At a private tour at ProvPort, state officials got a close look at blades that will eventually spin at the Block Island Wind Farm, contracted to the company Deepwater Wind.

The doctor-turned-politician from Massachusetts is running for a second time as the Green Party presidential candidate. 

The Rhode Island Department of Education has announced a new testing policy that should come as welcome news for many high school students. Under the new rules, 10th and 11th graders no longer have to take annual standardized tests of English and Mathematics.

A Muslim community center in Kingston was the target of vandalism, in what may be a response to an apparent terrorist attack in Nice, France.

Milan Boers / Creative Commons

A plan to improve management facets of the ocean and coasts of the northeastern U.S. states is headed for its final public hearings in Rhode Island and Maine.

Daniel Orth / Creative Commons

Michigan is not the only state with a water crisis on its hands. Right now, communities in New York, New Hampshire, and Vermont are grappling with their own water contamination challenges. It’s just that for these states, the problem does not stem from corrosive water or aging lead pipes, but from a toxic chemical known as PFOA. 

Hillary Clinton was in Central Falls Saturday to campaign in advance of Tuesday’s primary election. 

Rhode Island’s Democractic leadership turned out in force to welcome Clinton, including the state’s congressional delegation and Gov. Gina Raimondo.

Republican presidential candidate John Kasich addressed a crowd at Bryant University Saturday, just a few days before Rhode Island's presidential primary.

Speaking on a range of issues, the Ohio governor discussed his childhood in Pennsylvania coal country, his concerns about the national debt, and his belief that government should ease regulation to help small business owners.

"Our job is not to play politics, do focus groups, worry about re-election," Kasich said. "The fundamental problem we’ve had in America is our leadership has been very poor."

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders brought his insurgent Democratic presidential primary campaign to Rhode Island Sunday, giving an impassioned speech to 7,000 cheering supporters at a sun-dappled Temple to Music at Roger Williams Park in Providence.

State lawmakers and local supporters showed up Thursday for the opening of the Hillary Clinton campaign headquarters in Providence. Many of the state’s Democratic leadership, including Governor Gina Raimondo are backing the former Secretary of State.

Warwick resident Justine Lutzel-Caldwell voted for Clinton in 2008 and favors her positions on women’s health.

Weeks after students staged a sit-in over allegations of racism on campus, Providence College has detailed plans to address the students' concerns. In a letter, college officials outlined proposed changes to faculty training and the college curriculum.

Hundreds of demonstrators packed the statehouse Monday chanting “refugees are welcome here.” The demonstration in support of Syrian refugees included Sterck Zaza, who emigrated from Syria to West Warwick as a child. 

“I am here as a mother, a sister, a friend,” said Zaza, who was close to tears a. “I support anyone who comes to this country in peace. And that’s where these refugees are coming from. They are coming for peace. That’s all they want is peace. And they’re my brothers, and they’re my sisters.”

Ian Donnis/File Photo/RIPR

Rhode Island’s legendary rascal king, Buddy Cianci, died Thursday morning.

Cianci was hospitalized with stomach pain while taping ABC6 On the Record, a TV show, Wednesday night.

Rhode Island’s legendary rascal king, Buddy Cianci, died Thursday morning.

Cianci was hospitalized with stomach pain while taping ABC6 On the Record, a TV show, Wednesday night.

He died at age 74 at about 8:30 Thursday morning, according to a former aide, Artin Coloian.


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