Rhode Island

A cantor chanted a Hebrew prayer of mourning, as the afternoon sun beat down on some one hundred people gathered for the dedication of the state’s Holocaust memorial. Local politicians and prominent members of the state’s Jewish community offered remarks on the project. Many highlighted the memorial’s significance in the light of more recent violence and genocide worldwide.

The newly unveiled memorial sits at the edge of Downtown Providence, near statuary dedicated to the two World Wars.

The University of Rhode Island has won $500,000 from the National Science Foundation to launch a graduate center focused on science writing.

The program will include workshops and classes to train students in the sciences  to write more clearly and persuasively. University officials said the program is part of a trend on college campuses, as researchers increasingly recognize the importance of communicating beyond academia.

The National Governors Association’s annual summer meeting will be held in Rhode Island in 2017, the NGA announced Monday.

"We’re excited to bring the nation’s governors to Rhode Island, and we thank Gov. Gina Raimondo for her invitation,’’ said Gov. Terry McAuliffe, vice-chair of the NGA.

Fishermen in the Gulf of Maine have been harvesting lobsters at record highs. That’s in contrast to fishermen in Southern New England, where there has been a sharp decline in the lobster population since the late 1990s. 

 

Jonathan McNicol/WNPR News

Catcher David Marchetti hit two home runs including a storybook game winner in extra innings to lead Cranston, Rhode Island, to a 3–2 win over Waterford, Connecticut, in Bristol. Rhode Island’s victory propels them to the New England Regional semi-final game and ends Connecticut’s run toward the Little League World Series.

Governor Gina Raimondo has asked the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program to develop a new economic strategy for Rhode Island.

The Institution is a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank known for its foreign policy and economic analysis. It's the latest group of outside scholars and consultants to be brought in to assist Raimondo's administration in developing new strategies and plans.

Newport Hospital has opened a new center for Lyme disease. Most doctors can treat Lyme with antibiotics, but the new clinic aims to help patients with lingering symptoms.

Jan-Mallander / Creative Commons

About 100,000 customers lost power in Rhode Island on Tuesday following severe early-morning thunderstorms. In Connecticut, Eversource reported about 5,000 outages as of mid-day.

Larry Lucchino's role in seeking a new Providence ballpark for the Pawtucket Red Sox "remains unchanged," a team spokeswoman said Saturday, even though Lucchino is winding down his impactful role as CEO of the Boston Red Sox.

"Larry's role remains unchanged with respect to the PawSox ownership group," Patti Doyle said via e-mail. "He remains focused on achieving a renegotiated agreement with the state on relocating the team to a new ballpark on lands within the I-195 District [area] in Providence."

Deepwater Wind started to put steel in the water this week for the Block Island Wind Farm. Island residents have mixed feelings about the construction.  

Susan Torrey lives on Block Island all year. She and her husband have been waiting to see visible signs of what is expected to be the nation’s first offshore wind farm.

State and federal officials are turning to researchers at the University of Rhode Island to help them understand what happened at Salty Brine State Beach over the weekend when a mini explosion knocked a woman into a jetty, leaving her with two broken ribs. A team of scientists will convene at the beach at low tide later today to collect samples in their search for answers.

Christine Olson / Creative Commons

A loud boom that knocked a Rhode Island beachgoer out of her chair is still a mystery days later, leaving investigators and scientists wondering whether it was a bizarre case of nature acting up. 

Steve Freitag / Creative Commons

Two historically significant European tall ships are in southern New England and are open to the public for tours.

The French Navy Frigate L'Hermione arrived at Fort Adams in Newport, Rhode Island and the N.R.P Sagres, a Portuguese educational training vessel, sailed into New Bedford, Massachusetts, both on Wednesday.

Rhode Island researchers have received $500,000 in federal grant money to investigate a fungus that’s killing native bats. The mysterious illness has attacked bats across North America.

Over the last decade, biologists believe an illness known as white-nose syndrome has killed some six-million bats in North America. The fungus appears on the bat’s muzzle. It targets hibernating bats, causing serious infections on their wings, and bodies.

Homeowners interested in switching to solar energy will soon have the option to do so with no upfront costs. The nation’s largest rooftop solar installer is coming to Rhode Island. Starting this week, California-based SolarCity will offer Rhode Islanders loans to buy home solar systems.

The Pope of the Armenian Apostolic Church is in Rhode Island Saturday. The visit comes on the centennial of the killing and deportation of more than one million Armenians by the Ottoman Empire.

When he stops in Providence, the leader of the international Armenian church, Pope Aram I, will visit the memorial to what many historians call the Armenian Genocide, at the North Burial Ground.  He’ll also take part in a church service.

Father Gomidas Baghsarian, priest at Sts. Vartanantz Church, said the visit is a big honor.

It's one of the biggest challenges in higher education today: What do you do with the nearly one in five working-age adults who have some college experience, but no degree?

Sokeo Ros was one of them. "I just hated" community college, he says. "I wasn't being challenged."

Ros, 34, was born in a Cambodian refugee camp in Thailand. He dropped out of two colleges, switching majors several times.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration plans to continue to monitor daily the three beluga whales exploring Narragansett Bay. Biologists want to make sure they return safely back to their Arctic habitat.

James Skeffington, the Providence lawyer and longtime Rhode Island deal-maker who served as the public face of the new ownership of the Pawtucket Red Sox, died Sunday at age 73.

Skeffington was the top public spokesman and cheerleader for the group that bought the PawSox in February.

Mystic Aquarium

Three beluga whales have been spotted off Rhode Island's coast in Narragansett Bay, a bizarre diversion for a species generally found much farther north. 

The parent company of Twin River presented few details to the Tiverton town council regarding its plans to move Newport Grand’s gaming license to Tiverton.

“Tonight we’re here with a clean slate,” said John Taylor, chairman of the Twin River management group's board, said at a town council meeting last night. He brought a set of maps that showed the site the company secured in Tiverton, about 400 feet from the Massachusetts border.

Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza said he was racially profiled by police "countless times" as a youth and young man in Rhode Island's capital city.

"It's just part of growing up in the city -- which is very unfortunate and sad," Elorza, a son of Guatemalan immigrants, said Thursday during a taping of Rhode Island Public Radio's Political Roundtable. "I've been pulled over a number of times, so I'm sensitive to that."

State Representative Patricia Morgan (R-West Warwick) says she plans to introduce a bill Wednesday that would allow voters to decide if the new owners of the PawSox can use public financing or tax relief to build their envisioned ballpark on former I-195 land in Providence.

    

Residents across the state are digging out of the blizzard that dumped more than two feet on parts of the state. Gov. Gina Raimondo lifted the state’s travel ban last night. She thanked Rhode Islanders for staying off the roads. There was a fire in Providence and a handful of accidents, but no major injuries from the storm.

Just this week, the U.S. Senate went on the record that climate change exists. Local and state officials in Rhode Island haven’t been waiting around to take the lead from Washington. They not only know climate change is real, but they’re also planning for its impacts. As part of our Battle With The Sea series, Rhode Island Public Radio’s environmental reporter Ambar Espinoza went on a tour with the Environmental Protection Agency’s northeast director to see how plans are in place.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Rhode Island's governor-elect Gina Raimondo has picked Connecticut Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor, a fellow Yale alum with experience leading economic-development efforts in New York and New Jersey, as her choice to be Rhode Island's first commerce secretary.

Within four years, the town of Westerly experienced four major storms: the Great Flood of 2010, Hurricane Irene in 2011, Superstorm Sandy in 2012, and the February 2013 Nor’easter. Like many coastal cities and towns around the state, Westerly is also vulnerable to high tides that flood roads even without storms.

Christopher Penn / Creative Commons

Voting in one Rhode Island town next Tuesday won't be quick. The Providence Journal reports that voters in Barrington will confront 40 ballot questions proposing changes in how government operates.

Independent mayoral candidate Buddy Cianci released his plan for Providence Public Schools this week.

Noting that Providence students score well below average on standardized state tests, the former mayor, and twice convicted felon, focused on the need to provide quality education to all of the city’s children.

If voters re-elect him, Cianci said he would  give principals more autonomy, echoing a move already afoot in the district towards a policy known as “site-based management.” He proposed giving each school a

Three of Rhode Island's top former federal prosecutors staged a news conference Tuesday to discuss Providence mayoral candidate Buddy Cianci's criminal record and their concerns about his latest attempt to win back control of City Hall.

Pages