NORTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. -- About 110 employees will lose their jobs as Lowe's Companies, Inc., announces it will close its North Kingstown home improvement store on Davisville Road, in the Quonset Gateway Plaza. The 118,000-square foot store opened in January of 2009.
It's one of 20 "underperforming" stores being closed by Lowe's. Corporate spokesperson Steve Salazar said the company does not release information on individual stores, but most of the ones being closed were not profitable.
The North Kingstown store is due to cease business next month after it sells off its inventory.
PAWTUCKET, R.I. (AP) -- Hasbro says its third-quarter profit rose more than 10 percent as international growth and sales of its boys' toys like Nerf dart blasters helped offset weakness in the U.S.
But the results missed expectations. The company says many of its offerings for the all-important holiday season are just hitting shelves.
The maker of My Little Pony toys and board games such as Scrabble says net income rose to $171 million, or $1.27 per share. That compares with $155.2 million, or $1.09 per share, a year ago. Analysts expected earnings of $1.31 per share.
Revenue rose 5 percent to $1.38 billion. Analysts expected $1.45 billion.
Hasbro, based in Pawtucket, R.I., says revenue from the U.S. and Canada fell 7 percent to $764.6 million. International revenue rose 23 percent to $563.3 million.
Pamela O'Hara, CEO and co-founder of the Providence-based BatchBlue software company is one of the featured speakers at a Boston event Tuesday geared toward helping small and mid-sized companies learn to use technology strategically, as a tool to grow their businesses.
She's on a panel discussion titled, "Stop selling: Use content, incentives and engagement to boost sales."
The Small Business Technology Tour stop in Boston is open to the public, at a cost of $99. Pre-registration is online at http://www.smallbiztechtour.com.
The Providence Downcity Design Review Committee will consider a proposal Monday afternoon to restore the George C. Arnold Building, at 100 Washington St., which includes the installation of new storefronts.
The committee meets at 4:45 p.m. in the first floor meeting room of the Department of Planning and Development, at 444 Westminster St.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Scores of Apple enthusiasts hailed their new toy Friday, noting that while not a complete redesign, the new iPhone 4S lured customers with a faster processor, enhanced camera, and a voice assistant -- Siri, promoted as "Your wish is its command."
Coffee, water and power bars fueled a line at the Providence Place Apple store that sometimes stood at 40 to 50, even as customers kept leaving the store.
"It was really something special," said Pamela Wolski of East Providence after buying her first iPhone. "For me, it was 'Wow.' The fact that I can just talk to the computer, and it understands me ... No more handwriting."
-- reports from Maria Armental
PAWTUCKET, R.I. -- The state Department of Transportation said that a section of Route 95 North in Pawtucket will be closed Monday to remove an overhead sign. Northbound lanes will be shut down from midnight to 4 a.m. between Exit 27 (Downtown) and the site of the now-closed Exit 28 (School Street).
Construction crews will remove the existing overhead sign for Exit 28 and Exit 29 (Cottage Street) while work continues on a new School Street off-ramp. A temporary sign will be erected for Exit 29 just after the bridge. A permanent overhead sign for both exits will be installed next month, when the new off-ramp opens to traffic.
Traffic will follow the existing Pawtucket River Bridge detour for heavy vehicles.
The work had previously been scheduled for last Wednesday, but was postponed.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- While voicing her disappointment that a draft of the much-anticipated pension overhaul bill was leaked, state General Treasurer Gina M. Raimondo on Friday seized the moment to tout the hundreds of millions of dollars in potential savings to state and local taxpayers, and a potential $3 billion reduction in the state's $7.3 billion in unfunded pension liability.
Raimondo said some pieces of the bill are still in negotiation. But if the final package is adopted in its entirely, she said it would not only spare state and local taxpayer from having to pay twice next year the $300 million or so they are paying this year for state employee and teacher pensions, but actually reduce the taxpayer tab for these public employee pensions.
In interviews with The Journal and WPRO radio, she said it would also save the city of Providence approximately $10 million, and Cranston "over $11 million'' in contributions the two cities would otherwise have to make for their public school teachers and, some municipal employees.
She said she would have more details when the final bill is delivered to the General Assembly during a special session on Tuesday.
But at this point, she said, it appears the proposal will knock $3 billion off the state's $7.3 billion in unfunded obligations to its current and future retirees.
The draft overhaul plan talks about "re-amortizing,'' which means stretching that debt out over a longer period of time -- 25 years, instead of the 18 years remaining on the state's current 30-year payment schedule. As a general rule, re-amortization saves money upfront, but costs more over time.
Asked in a follow-up interview with The Journal what the new 25-year payment schedule might cost or save, Raimondo said the numbers are not yet clear because that is one of the pieces "we are still working on.''
She said she had no quarrel with the accuracy of The Journal's reporting of the contents of the 202-page draft proposal, but she said several pieces are still in play.
She acknowledged, for example, that Governor Chafee's bid to include in the legislation a restructuring and solvency plan for locally controlled pension plans was one of the remaining sticking points.
The package obtained by The Journal included several stated goals, including the suspension of COLAs for retirees in these locally administered plans, moving all new employees in these community-run plans into the state-run Municipal Employees Retirement System after July 1, 2012, and a mechanism for withholding state aid from communities that do not make their required pension contributions.
But Raimondo said, "Everyone is waiting to see the governor's plan on that. He's had 10 months to work on that and I still haven't seen a plan.''
"To be clear, as the treasurer I have no constitutional or other jurisdiction over the non-MERS [plans]....and its a very important point to get across: the non-MERS plans are individually collectively bargained for plans. They are not set out in statute and they [raise] a completely different set of legal issues and financial issuers.
"At this point I have yet to see from the governor a legal analysis, an actuarial analysis or a financial analysis or a complete plan,'' Raimondo said. "So I think we have broad agreement there's a problem, but I have yet to see a thoughtful solution.''