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January 24, 2008
Tonight: A child's story on PBS; music in the clubs
A one-hour documentary on Rhode Island PBS tonight offers the story of a 4-year-old boy with Down syndrome who is enrolled in a regular-education classroom at Brown/Fox Point Early Childhood Education Center in Providence.
The documentary starts at 10 p.m. For information, go to www.ripbs.org.
For those heading out this evening, there's rock and jazz in Providence.
Mark Cutler and Friends play rock and rhythm and blues at Nick-A-Nees, 75 South St., Providence. 861-7290. 9 p.m. to midnight. No cover.
The Rich Lataille Trio with Mike Tanaka play jazz at Chez Ben Restaurant, 345 South Water St., Providence. 521-7722, www.chezben-fahrenheit.com. 7 to 10 p.m. No cover.
For tonight's other club listings, check out projo.com's list.
Posted by Mike McKinney at 6:55 PM
Jury selection begins in former Lincoln official's trial
PROVIDENCE -- Jury selection for former Lincoln town administrator Jonathan F. Oster’s bribery and conspiracy trial finished its first full day today, when eight potential jurors were excused as both sides sought to agree on a 12-member/two alternate jury.
Two dozen prospective jurors were interviewed during today’s proceedings, and the process is expected to resume tomorrow morning.
Superior Court Associate Justice Gilbert V. Indeglia also released a pre-trial evidence ruling that said the state could a series of conversations between ex-Planning Board member Robert R. Picerno and others as it tries to make its case against Oster.
The state had asked that the conversations be admitted under a rule of evidence that permits statements that might otherwise be banned under the rules against hearsay.
Indeglia ruled that the conversations that occurred before Picerno’s arrest on Feb. 15, 2002 could be used by the state as evidence of a possible bribery conspiracy. But, under that same hearsay exception rule, he excluded and conversations that took place after Feb.15, reasoning that after the arrest, any possible conspiracy between Picerno and Oster would have been over.
Indeglia’s ruling noted his ruling was based on “proffers” of evidence by both sides, not actual sworn testimony in the case, and that he was reserving the right to reconsider the ruling during trial, “should the evidence presented to the jury differ substantially from what has been proffered.”
The jury selection questioning provided a glimpse into the minds of both sides in the case. Besides general questions about their ability to presume a defendant innocent and whether his not testifying in a trial would affect their verdict, potential jurors were asked about their opinion of hidden microphone evidence and how much credibility they would give to a witness who had made a deal with prosecutors to accept a lesser charge in exchange for this testimony.
Oster is facing two counts of bribery and two counts of conspiracy dating back to his 2000-2002 tenure in office. The case was delayed for several years while pre-trial disputes over evidence, some of it gathered for the first time under the state’s wiretapping laws, were appealed to the state Supreme Court.
-- Journal staff writer John Hill
Posted by Mike McKinney at 5:40 PM
Brown to cut its bill even for the upper middle class
PROVIDENCE - Brown University is the latest elite institution to consider expanding financial aid to help more middle-class and upper-middle-class families afford steep college costs, which total more than $48,000 a year for Brown undergraduates.
In the last month, several colleges with large endowments have announced dramatic increases in scholarship money for middle-income students, following the high-profile announcements of Harvard and Yale.
Brown's governing board is expected to discuss the matter when it meets Feb. 23, said James Tilton, the university's financial aid director.
"We are constantly looking for ways to improve our financial aid awards, not only for needy students but for all students," Tilton said.
Tilton declined to release details about what changes Brown might make. About 43 percent of Brown's freshman class - the largest percentage in the university's history - received financial aid, with the average scholarship being $25,500 a year.
"We are looking very closely at making adjustments to our financial aid programs," Tilton said, "and will discuss those issues with our corporation in February."
Jennifer D. Jordan
Journal Staff Writer
A growing recognition that even families earning between $100,000 and $200,000 are struggling to pay for college prompted some wealthy universities and colleges to dig deeper into their sizeable endowments and offer scholarships and grants once reserved for lower income students.
But the move has also sparked debate, particularly among groups that argue any increase in scholarships should benefit the neediest students, who otherwise would be shut out of higher education.
Following decisions over the years by Princeton University and a handful of small select schools, such as Amherst and Williams colleges, to offer more financial assistance to middle-income students and replace loans with scholarships, Harvard and Yale made similar announcements in the last month and a half. Harvard and Yale, the country's two wealthiest universities, both said they would increase their financial aid budgets by more than $20 million next year.
Harvard, with an endowment of $34.6 billion, will allow families earning between $120,000 and $180,000 a year to pay just 10 percent of their income toward their child's college costs. At Yale, which has a $22.5-billion endowment, families earning between $60,000 and $120,000 will pay from 1 percent to 10 percent of Yale's $45,000 annual costs.
Both Harvard and Yale said that students from families earning less than $60,000 will pay nothing.
Since then, other schools with healthy endowments, including Duke University, have made similar decisions. On Tuesday, Dartmouth College announced that students with family incomes of $75,000 or less will receive free tuition - $35,000 of the total cost of $45,000 - and student loans will be replaced with scholarships.
The Ivy League college cited census data that shows 70 percent of U.S. households earn less than $75,000 a year, and the median family income is $46,326.
Virtually all of the universities and colleges expanding their aid offerings are in a select tier - schools with endowments of more than $500 million or $1 billion. Brown's $2.3-billion endowment ranks 26th nationally.
The rest of the state's colleges and universities rank far lower, and none come close to the half-billion mark. Several of these colleges offer merit-based aid to attract competitive middle-income students to their schools, a practice also called "tuition discounting."
In recent years, Providence College has moved to reduce merit-based aid while increasing scholarships for needy students, in an effort to lure more low-income and first-generation students.
The Dominican college, with an endowment of $136 million, is unable to offer upper-middle-income students as much scholarship money as wealthy Ivy League universities are now doing, said Christopher Lydon, who heads PC's admissions and financial aid division.
"We are not in a position, endowment-wise, to answer every move other colleges make," Lydon said.
Critics of the expansion of financial aid dollars to middle-income students warn that it could take money away from needier students.
Posted by Peter Phipps at 5:38 PM
Missing: Cranston police search for group home resident
CRANSTON -- The police are looking for a mentally challenged man who left home to take a walk last night and hasn’t returned.
Frank Burgess, 46, is a client of Gateway Health Services, a group home located at 91 Wentworth Ave. here in the city, said Commander Kevin Lynch. Case Manager Delima Cartin called police today when Burgess did not come home after telling staff he was going to walk through the neighborhood Wednesday.
Burgess is described as a white male, standing 5 feet 11 inches, and weighing about 250 pounds. He has brown hair and hazel eyes and was last seen wearing blue jeans, white sneakers and a dark green “winter snorkel jacket” with a red lining and fur around the hood, Lynch said.
Thursday police walked the neighborhood searching for Burgess, who has a history of walking away from the center. Officers checked Burgess’ usual haunts in Providence’s Washington Park area -- a McDonald’s restaurant, and Crossroads Family Shelter, both on Broad Street. A message was also sent to all police departments in the state asking for help in locating Burgess, Lynch said.
Thursday afternoon, neighborhood residents received an automated phone call from A Child Is Missing, a community notification system, Lynch said. The message was sent to alert people that Burgess was missing and to ask them to contact police if they locate him.
Police will continue to canvass the area until Burgess is located, Lynch said. Anyone with information about Burgess’ whereabouts is asked to call the Cranston Police Department at 942-2211.
-- Journal staff writer Talia Buford
Posted by Mike McKinney at 5:14 PM
Student, struck by car, treated for minor injuries
PROVIDENCE -- A 13-year-old student at Perry Middle School was struck by a car as she walked to school this morning. Sgt. Paul F. Zienowicz said the student, whose name was not immediately available, suffered minor injuries and was treated at Hasbro Children’s Hospital.
The accident occurred shortly after 8 a.m. at the intersection of Hartford and Laurel Hill avenues.
Zienowicz said a westbound motorist on Hartford stopped her car to allow the female student to cross the street, and when she did, the driver of a car on Laurel Hill mistook the stop as a gesture to allow him to drive out onto Hartford. When the driver turned left onto Hartford, he looked at the stopped car rather than where he was going, and his car struck the pedestrian, the sergeant said.
The driver of the car that struck the pedestrian -- his name was withheld pending completion of a report on the accident -- was issued a summons to appear at the Rhode Island Traffic Tribunal on a charge of failing to exercise due care.
-- Journal staff writer Gregory Smith
Posted by Mike McKinney at 4:42 PM
Reporters' query: Senior projects
This year, for the first time, high school seniors have to complete two of three options to receive their diploma: end-of-course exams, a portfolio, or a senior project.
We want to hear from students, parents and teachers about their experiences with the new system. Are students feeling overwhelmed, or well-prepared? Do parents understand the new system and think the portfolios and projects are meaningful? Do teachers think they have received enough support to create the new assessment tools and grade them?
Please send your comments and concerns and whether you would be available for an interview to education reporter Jennifer D. Jordan by Jan. 30, (401) 277-7254, firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted by maria caporizzo at 4:22 PM
Brown aims to cut its greenhouse gases by 42%
PROVIDENCE -- To be a better friend to the environment, Brown University laid out a plan today with the aim of cutting the greenhouse gases it puts out to 42 percent below levels produced last year.
The goal is to reach that drop by 2020.
A university news release said Brown, effective immediately, will also enforce a requirement that emissions be reduced by up to 50 percent for all new buildings and newly acquired buildings.
“I am pleased that Brown is taking a leadership role by significantly cutting our greenhouse gas emissions,” Ruth J. Simmons, Brown University president, said in the statement. She added: "It is important to lead by example, taking action to preserve and protect the planet.”
Here's the plan:
* Cut greenhouse gas emissions to 42 percent below 2007 levels, which equates to 15 percent below 1990 levels, for existing buildings. Interim goals will be set as soon as possible and monitored annually.
* Limit the emissions by cutting energy consumption for all new construction to between 25 percent and 50 percent below the standard required by state code.
* Reduce emissions for all newly acquired buildings by a minimum of 15 percent and as much as 30 percent.
The university’s Energy and Environmental Advisory Committee, made up of students, faculty and staff, recommended ways to cut emissions. Today's announcement made note of that.
“We took a hard look at our energy consumption and the environmental impact of our facilities and came up with a series of substantive, yet achievable goals,” Chris Powell, advisory committee members and director of sustainable energy and environmental initiatives.
“By reducing the carbon footprint of our campus, Brown can make a measurable contribution to the effort that is underway to reduce the man-made influences to global warming on an international scale.”
The university said it will accomplish the reductions by doing such things as:
* Switching fuel that powers the central heat plant to cleaner natural gas when available.
* Using new lighting technologies.
* Increasing buildings' energy efficiency.
* Using renewable energy sources "when appropriate," the release says.
-- projo.com staff writer Michael P. McKinney
Posted by Mike McKinney at 4:12 PM
Photo: Some not-so-familiar faces QB at Pats' practice
Journal photo / Mary Murphy
With no sign of MVP Tom Brady, New England Patriots backup quarterbacks Matt Cassel, left, and Matt Gutierrez stretch before the start of practice in the indoor field at Gillette Stadium today. The team leaves Sunday for Super Bowl XLII, which will be played the following Sunday in Arizona.
Photos and video of Brady wearing a walking boot in New York City Sunday night sparked concerns over his health. Today, in a press conference before practice, Coach Bill Belichick had this to say:
Q. Can you comment on Tom Brady’s foot and any concerns you may have?
A. No. I don’t have any comment on it.
Q. Is he going to practice today, regular practice?
A. Well, we’ll go out there. I don’t know. The injury report will be out next Wednesday and we’re excited to give that to you. That form will be filled out completely and I can’t wait to give that to everybody. I know you’re anxious for it, so when it’s due on Wednesday, we’ll have it for you. Don’t worry about that.
Read the full transcript of Belichick's press conference and get the latest Pats reports via projo.com PatsBlog.
Posted by Andrea Panciera at 3:55 PM
Key witness back on stand in officer's burglary trial
Journal photo/Andrew Dickerman
Suspended North Providence police Sgt. Michael Ciresi listens during the second day of testimony in his trial in Superior Court as witness Mark Pine testified about crimes he said committed under Ciresi's direction. Pine, who is serving a 15-year sentence at the Adult Correctional Institutions, in Cranston, for burglarizing the home of a suspected drug dealer two days before Christmas 2004, also testified yesterday. Ciresi is being tried on 10 charges, including two counts of burglary, two counts of conspiracy to commit burglary and using a firearm when committing a crime of violence.
Posted by Mike McKinney at 3:22 PM
Fans invited to Super Bowl sendoff at Gillette
The Patriots are going to the Super Bowl, but most New Englanders aren’t.
So Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick is giving fans one last chance to say goodbye before the team leaves for sunny Arizona.
See the AFC Champions off Sunday at Gillette Stadium. The entire team, Coach Bill Belichick and owner Robert Kraft will say a quick hello before leaving on their trip to the Super Bowl, where they’ll meet the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLII.
The event and parking will be free. The gates will open at 9 a.m., and the sendoff starts at 10.
-- projo.com staff writer Brandie M. Jefferson
Posted by Brandie Jefferson at 2:49 PM
Photo: A cool car from front to back
The Providence Journal photo/ Steve Szydlowski
Chrysler has a concept car on display at the 2008 Northeast International Auto Show, which is being held at the Rhode Island Convention Center today through Sunday.
Posted by Jack Perry at 2:25 PM
Major testifies about differing smoke-shop trial evidence
PROVIDENCE -- State Police Maj. Steven G. O’Donnell testified today that he did not know why his witness statements were not immediately turned over to lawyers defending the seven Narragansett Indians charged in the smoke-shop raid as they prepared for trial.
Providence County Superior Court Judge Susan E. McGuirl ordered O’Donnell and other high-ranking state police officials to testify about why their department failed to disclose documents as part of the pre-trial discovery process. She asked for their testimony as she considers a motion by defense lawyers that the case should be dismissed because their clients’ rights to due process were violated by the lack of disclosure.
At issue is a packet the state police turned over to the court Jan. 11 after being subpoenaed to disclose all information related to the raid. It contained witness statements from O’Donnell, one of the commanders at the scene of the July 2003 raid, that differ from accounts provided a week earlier.
O’Donnell said yesterday that he did not know why only one statement was turned over prior to the subpoena. He explained that the that the reports differed because one was a draft, while the other was a final version.
The draft version, he said, did not include observations of Chief Sachem Matthew Thomas’s arrest because he added those details after reading other witness statements and viewing videotape of the raid.
-- Journal staff writer Katie Mulvaney
The state police executed a search warrant on a tribal smoke shop in Charlestown at Governor Carcieri’s order on July 14, 2003, to stop the Narragansetts from selling cigarettes without charging Rhode Island taxes.
The raid escalated into a confrontation that left at least eight people injured. Seven adult Narragansetts, including Chief Sachem Thomas, were arrested and now await trial for misdemeanor charges of assault, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest in Providence County Superior Court.
Posted by Andrea Panciera at 1:36 PM
Senators grill EPA chief over car emissions ruling
WASHINGTON -- The head of the Environmental Protection Agency stood firm today against a chorus of congressional criticism over his refusal to allow California and more than a dozen other states, including Rhode Island, to impose greenhouse gas reductions on cars and trucks.
"I am bound by the criteria in the Clean Air Act, not people's opinions," EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson testified to the Senate's environmental panel. It was his first congressional appearance since issuing the controversial waiver denial last month.
"The Clean Air Act does not require me to rubberstamp waiver decisions," Johnson said. "It was my conclusion that California didn't meet the criteria, or at least all of the criteria."
Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., the committee chairwoman, led committee Democrats in assailing Johnson's conclusion.
"You're going against your own agency's mission and you're fulfilling the mission of some special interests," she chided him.
California needs a federal waiver under the Clean Air Act to carry out its first-in-the-nation tailpipe law, which would force automakers to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent in new cars and light trucks by 2016.
If California got the waiver other states could then impose the same rules. Twelve other states have already adopted them -- Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington -- with others preparing to do so.
California and other states sued EPA earlier this month over Johnson's decision.
-- The Associated Press
The EPA chief disputed Democratic suggestions that his decision was made under political pressure from the White House.
"I was not directed by anyone to make the decision, this was my decision," Johnson insisted.
He reiterated his position that it's better to have a single national standard for greenhouse gas emissions than different standards in different states. Congress' newly passed fuel efficiency law, signed by President Bush last month, provides such a national standard, he said.
Environmentalists contend that California's law is much stronger and takes effect much faster than the new federal rules.
Posted by Mike McKinney at 1:23 PM
Update: Twelve people displaced by a Providence fire
PROVIDENCE -- Twelve people are put out of their homes after a fire in the triple-decker at 15 Joslin St. Four of the occupants were taken to Rhode Island Hospital for possible smoke inhalation, according to Battalion Chief Daniel Crowley.
The building holds four apartments, including an apartment in the basement.
There is smoke damage throughout. The first floor is gutted -- and that is where it's believed the fire originated.
Investigators are trying to figure out the fire's cause.
Crews were sent to the scene at 11:45 a.m.
-- projo.com staff writer Michael P. McKinney, with reports from Journal staff writer Gregory Smith
Posted by Mike McKinney at 1:12 PM
Update: Cranston rink to reopen
The Cranston Veterans Ice Rink should reopen before the school day ends, according to the city’s Parks and Recreation Department.
The rink was evacuated last night after elevated levels of carbon monoxide were detected.
Fire and state Health officials have been on hand inspecting the rink this morning, making sure it was OK for skaters to return to the ice.
“We should be ready for operation within the hour,” Tony Liberatore, Parks director, said at about 12:15 p.m.
All events had been canceled, Liberatore said, but once the rink reopens, the park will return to its regular schedule, which can be found on the rink’s Web site.
“There was really not a major problem,” he said.
Rink managers called the Fire Department around 8:45 p.m. after two people reported “flu-like” symptoms, according to Cranston Fire Chief Richard Delgado.
A hand-held device recorded a slightly elevated level of the gas.
Two rink employees and two girls’ hockey players were feeling ill. They were released from care after receiving oxygen, Liberatore said.
Three people were found dead earlier this month in their Providence home after a poorly installed boiler began leaking carbon monoxide.
Their deaths prompted a public awareness campaign about the dangers of the odorless gas.
This week, the state Department of Health announced plans to require emergency rooms to have carbon monoxide poisoning tests on hand.
-- projo.com staff writer Brandie M. Jefferson
Posted by Brandie Jefferson at 12:31 PM
Update: Arson ruled out in Newport carriage house fire
Journal Photo/Frieda Squires
Newport firefighters work to put of the fire at the carriage house of Elm Court, an estate on the corner of Bowery Street and Bellevue Avenue, last night.
NEWPORT -- Arson is not suspected in the fire that caused extensive damage last night to the carriage house at Elm Court at 315 Bellevue Ave., police said this morning.
Police Lt. William Fitzgerald said police and fire officials want to reassure the public that the fire is not the work of the serial arsonist who alarmed the city last spring.
The fire erupted about 6:30 last night, apparently in the attic of the carriage house, while the owner was at home, Fitzgerald said.
The owner, Guy Vanpelt, noticed the fire in a second-floor ceiling and tried to put it out with a fire extinguisher, but it was already too entrenched. He activated a fire alarm and left the building, Fitzgerald said.
He said the fire, battled by about 50 firefighters until about 11:30 p.m., caused extensive damage to the second floor and roof. The building should be able to be salvaged, he said.
The cause of the fire, which could be related to a malfunction of the electrical system, was still under investigation this morning by the fire department and the state fire marshal’s office, Fitzgerald said.
He said firefighters today were still on the scene watching for possible hot spots in the building, and police blocked off Bellevue Avenue from Bowery to King streets because their hoses are in the road.
Fitzgerald said he expects the fire department to finish its watch by early afternoon.
The carriage house is adjacent to the Kingscote mansion, which is owned by the Preservation Society of Newport County. The mansion was not damaged in the fire.
-- Journal staff writer Gina Macris
Posted by Brandie Jefferson at 12:14 PM
Carpio, convicted in detective's death, in Conn. prison
CRANSTON -- A man imprisoned for killing a Providence police detective at the city's public safety complex has been transferred to Connecticut to continue serving his life sentence.
The state Department of Corrections says Esteban Carpio was moved out of state in November at his own request. Department spokeswoman Tracey Poole says Carpio felt he could have a more normal prison experience in another state.
Carpio was convicted of killing Detective Sgt. James Allen in a third-floor office at the police headquarters in April 2005. Allen had been questioning him about the stabbing of an elderly woman earlier in the day when Carpio grabbed the detective's gun and shot him.
He escaped the police station from a third-story window, then was captured on the street after a violent skirmish with police.
A jury convicted Carpio in June 2006 after rejecting his insanity defense. A judge sentenced him to life without parole.
-- The Associated Press
Posted by Mike McKinney at 11:55 AM
Carcieri orders flags lowered in honor of Judge Gallant
Governor Carcieri today ordered state flags lowered to half-staff in honor of retired Rhode Island Superior Court Judge Eugene G. Gallant, who died Monday.
Flags will stay that way through Saturday.
“Judge Gallant devoted most of his life to public service,” Carcieri said in a statement. “He epitomized the American success story, a self-made man who earned the respect of his peers and also gave back to a community in need. He will be missed.”
Read Journal staff writer Tracy Breton's obituary for Gallant published today.
-- projo.com staff writer Michael P. McKinney
Posted by Mike McKinney at 11:45 AM
Langevin to bring Crossroads president to Bush speech
The president of Crossroads Rhode Island is taking a trip to Washington.
U.S. Rep. James R. Langevin, D-R.I., announced today that he will be bringing Anne Nolan with him to the president's final State of the Union address.
Crossroads is the largest homeless services organization in Rhode Island.
U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy, D-R.I., previously announced that he will bring Cumberland Mayor Daniel McKee, a Democract, as his guest.
Bush will deliver the speech on Monday, Jan. 28.
Posted by Brandie Jefferson at 11:37 AM
Two to be arraigned for break at Romney headquarters
BOSTON -- Former Gov. Mitt Romney's campaign headquarters was broken into for the second time in four months early today, but campaign officials said there was no indication the alleged theft was politically motivated.
Daniel Bradley, 28, and Michael Sauer, 30, both of Cambridge, were scheduled to be arraigned today on a charge of breaking and entering at night with the intent to commit a felony. The pair were caught stealing computer equipment at Romney's Commercial Street headquarters, according to a police report.
In the September burglary, several laptop computers and a television were stolen. Boston police officer Eddy Chrispin said there's no indication the two breaks were related.
Romney spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom said the campaign "was grateful to the Boston police for their rapid response."
"There is no indication this was politically motivated," he said.
-- The Associated Press
According to a police report, a guard monitoring security cameras at Romney's headquarters spotted the two men taking computers.
When police arrived about 1 a.m., they stopped Bradley and Sauer as they attempted to leave in a car. They searched the car, and found a computer box in the back seat as well as open bottles of beer. They also found crowbars and pry marks on the windows at the rear and side of Romney's building, according to the report.
Police said Bradley had six outstanding warrants, including breaking and entering and receiving stolen property.
Posted by Jack Perry at 11:15 AM
Former Duke lacrosse coach sues for slander, libel
DURHAM, N.C. -- The former Duke lacrosse coach who lost his job after a stripper claimed three players raped her at a party in 2006 has sued the school and its top spokesman, claiming slander and libel.
The rape case was later debunked, and the prosecutor who pursued the charges was disbarred last year.
Mike Pressler's lawsuit said Duke's senior vice president of public affairs and government relations, John Burness, made slanderous and defamatory comments about him to the media.
Pressler now coaches the men's lacrosse team at Bryant University in Smithfield. He also has written a book about the lacrosse case.
Pamela Bernard, Duke vice president and general counsel, said yesterday that the lawsuit has no merit and "is yet another attempt to reopen a sealed matter."
Last week, attorneys for Pressler withdrew their request for a judge to rescind a settlement agreement between Pressler and Duke so they could pursue this lawsuit. At that time, lawyers representing Duke said they would fight the allegations.
They also argued that any case by Pressler against his former employer should go through arbitration first.
-- The Associated Press
Posted by Jack Perry at 11:10 AM
U.S. Senate to consider vehicle emissions laws
The United States Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works is meeting to discuss the federal government’s decision not to allow the state of California to set its own vehicle emissions standards, which more than a dozen states across the country – including Rhode Island -- had intended to adapt.
See a live Webcast of the proceedings online at C-SPAN, (you must have the Real Play installed to view).
Rhode Island Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse is a member of the committee.
The federal Clean Air Act gives California the option to enact its own pollution standards for cars. Since 2002, the state has been developing standards that limit the emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.
In 2005, California officially adopted standards that were intended to curb greenhouse has emissions by 30 percent by 2016. That same year, Rhode Island adopted the regulations.
In December, the Environmental Protection Agency denied California's request for the waiver it needed before the new standards could go into effect.
Earlier this month, Rhode Island and 15 other states joined a lawsuit against the EPA filed by the state of California.
-- projo.com staff writer Brandie M. Jefferson
Posted by Brandie Jefferson at 10:28 AM
Girl, 13, struck by car in front of school
PROVIDENCE -- A young teenager was injured in front of a middle school this morning.
The 13-year-old girl was struck by a vehicle at Hartford Avenue and Laurel Hill Avenue, in front of Oliver Hazard Perry Middle School, according to James Taylor, chief of communications for the Providence fire department.
The girl is being transported to Hasbro Children's Hospital with a leg injury, Taylor said.
-- projo.com staff writer Brandie M. Jefferson
Posted by Brandie Jefferson at 8:30 AM
Judge to hear testimony in smoke-shop case
PROVIDENCE -- A judge will hear testimony today from state police officials about why they failed to disclose dozens of documents related to a 2003 raid on a tribal smoke shop.
The hearing comes as Superior Court Judge Susan McGuirl considers whether to dismiss charges against seven members of the Narragansett Indian Tribe accused of resisting arrest or fighting with state troopers during the raid.
Defense lawyers say they got the documents too late and want McGuirl to toss the case. They received the reports only after one of the lawyers issued a subpoena to the state police.
Prosecutors are fighting the request and say they hadn't even known some of the documents existed.
McGuirl says the Narragansetts' trial will start February 25th if she decides not to dismiss the charges.
-- The Associated Press
Posted by Jack Perry at 7:02 AM
Snow showers later today
Scattered snow showers should fall on the region later today and possibly continue into the evening with little accumulation, according to the National Weather Service.
The sky will be cloudy and the high temperature should reach about 32 degrees before dropping to about 15 degrees tonight. Wind gusts could reach 26 mph. tonight.
Wind chills will drop to near zero at dawn tomorrow, the weather service says.
For more weather and regular updates, see projo.com/weather.
Posted by Jack Perry at 7:01 AM
Today's front page
Today's front page features a story reporting on organized labor's reaction to Governor Carcieri's attempt to close the stae's budget gap as outlined in his State of the State address Tuesday.
Download a copy of today's front page in .pdf format.
Posted by Jack Perry at 7:00 AM