« April 30, 2008 |
| May 2, 2008 »
May 1, 2008
Update: Cicilline proposes 'working family tax credit'
PROVIDENCE -- Mayor David N. Cicilline has presented a budget proposal to the City Council that features a "Working Family Tax Credit" targeted at owner-occupied single-family homes valued under $200,000 and owner-occupied multi-family properties valued under $275,000.
Cicilline said about 6,500 homeowners would see a $250 credit on their tax bill, under the proposal for next fiscal year.
"That will amount to a much-needed property tax cut," Cicilline said in remarks prepared for delivery.
Cicilline said in his remarks: "We know that economic times are growing more difficult for many Providence families. But for some, the pressures are pushing them to the breaking point. For some families, the threat of prices rising any higher is putting them at serious risk."
So, the mayor continued, his first request is for the City Council to join him in "providing real help to working families who need it most" through the proposed tax credit.
Cicilline said two General Assembly lawmakers have already agreed to sponsor legislation to enable the city to carry out the credit.
The mayor’s aides have spent the last months hashing out the budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1.
While acknowledging that cuts in the city's schools budget are "the most difficult of all," Cicilline also said he could not avoid proposing cuts in that department, which represents half of the entire budget.
"I cannot responsibly propose a cut to any academic programming. These programs have already been reduced drastically," he said. "Therefore, in this budget, I propose a reduction in the operational side of the school budget by three million dollars. These savings will be achieved by overhauling our crossing guard system, our transportation system, or both, but will not reduce academic programs for our children."
-- projo.com staff writer Michael P. McKinney
Cicilline said "we must make cuts" because of the financial situation but at the same time "our residents can't afford a crippled government." They need police to be "even more effective" as economic problems create conditions for increased crime.
He proposes a 10 percent across-the-board cut a city grants program. He also said every city department has come up with "difficult, additional cuts."
And Cicilline said he proposes four-day mandatory furlough for all of the city's management and non-collective bargaining employees. He said this would be the second year he has "directed this action."
The budget calls for a 3.75 percent levy increase that, when the city's tax base growth is factored in, will translate to a tax icnrease of slightly less than that percentage, according to Cicilline.
"I fully understand the hardship that any tax increase causes," his prepared remarks say. "But it would simply not be responsible to propose a zero tax increase in this budget climate."
However, Cicilline added, families who would received the proposed taxed credit would have no tax increase and "most will see a reduction in their property taxes."
Cicilline, a Democrat, put the onus of expected tough economic times for the city on national forces. He cited "fallout" from a "failed admininistration in Washington," a "national recession" and what he called "significant cuts" in federal money to the states. That has a domino effect on Rhode Island, which in turn, the mayor asserts, leads to "major shortfalls" at the local level.
Continuing that theme, Cicilline said the costs of all that are "intellectual property challenges" at the federal level, "moral and political challenges" at the state level but, when they reach Providence's neighborhoods they "represent survival challenges."
Cicilline said the budget is based on a prediction of a 15 percent cut from what the General Assembly provided to Providence this fiscal year.
Read Journal staff writer Daniel Barbarisi's advance on the budget.
-- projo.com staff writer Michael P. McKinney
Posted by Mike McKinney at 7:05 PM
Cullion Concrete to begin dismantling half-built plant
CRANSTON -- Cullion Concrete Corp. will begin dismantling its controversial, half-built batching plant off Pontiac Avenue as soon as next week, a lawyer for the company said today.
The announcement came a day after the City Council gave final approval for a $1.9 million buyout of the Cullion land.
Mayor Michael T. Napolitano, who negotiated the buyout with Cullion, welcomed the developments. “I’m very, very happy that Cullion has been settled and solved for the people of Cranston,” he said.
And City Council member Emilio L. Navarro, who represents the area surrounding the plant, said he was glad the city had “protected the neighborhood.”
The plant stirred sharp opposition from neighbors concerned about the potential for traffic, noise and pollution.
And residents voiced relief today that the long fight against the project is finally over.
-- Journal staff writer David Scharfenberg
But not everyone is pleased with the resolution.
City Council President Aram G. Garabedian, who cast the lone vote against the deal Wednesday night, said he was upset that the city never got a chance to contest a disputed building permit for the project in a zoning board hearing or before a judge.
He also argued that $1.9 million is too much to pay for the 17.7-acre plot of land.
Some neighbors have raised concerns about plans to build affordable housing on a portion of the land, once it is in city hands.
John O. Mancini, the Cullion lawyer who announced plans to dismantle the plant, said owner Mark Cullion has “lukewarm” feelings about pulling out of Cranston.
“He wanted his plant,” Mancini said. “But unfortunately, life takes you in different directions.”
The city, under the terms of the deal, will put up $600,000 now and pay the balance by the end of the year.
The administration is working to secure grant and loan funds from the state and federal grant money from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to pay off the final $1.3 million.
Mancini said Cullion has been looking for an alternative location for the plant somewhere outside Cranston.
Posted by Mike McKinney at 6:50 PM
Alert: Senate OKs, Carcieri signs supplemental budget
PROVIDENCE -- Governor Carcieri this evening signed into law a package of spending cuts to close this year's at-least $168-million budget deficit.
“I’m pleased that both the House and the Senate have acted on this important fiscal austerity measure,” Carcieri said in a statement. “Approving the revised budget for the current fiscal year is the first step to solving the state’s fiscal crisis.”
The governor signed the package, known as the supplemental budget, after the state Senate late this afternoon approved it, 25-11.
The vote comes after a key Senate committee last night narrowly endorsed the package. It passed the House of Representatives last week.
The deficit fix will not raise taxes, but opponents have said it will cuts aid to cities and towns, reduce retired stated workers' health-care benefits and eliminate subsidized health care for more than 2,800 immigrant children.
State lawmakers will still have to grapple with an evene larger projected deficit for next year.
See the full deficit plan here.
Posted by Mike McKinney at 5:52 PM
Hundreds rally against crackdown on illegal immigration
PROVIDENCE -- About 400 people are at an immigration rally outside the State House late this afternoon, asking that state lawmakers not support Governor Carcieri's executive order cracking down on illegal immigration.
People chanted, in English and Spanish, "The people united will never be defeated."
Speakers rallying the crowd shouted messages.
Thousands of chanting, flag-waving immigrants and activists rallied in cities across the country today, attempting to reinvigorate calls for immigration reform in a presidential election year in which the economy has taken center stage.
-- projo.com staff writer Michael P. McKinney, with reports from Journal staff writer Jennifer D. Jordan
Posted by Mike McKinney at 5:32 PM
Deported drug dealer gets time for illegal re-entry
PROVIDENCE -- A previously deported convicted drug dealer was sentenced today to more than three years in federal prison for illegally re-entering the United States.
Domingo Enrique Lorenzo-Ferrera got 41 months in prison from U.S. District Court Judge Mary M. Lisi, who rejected Lorenzo-Ferrera’s assertion that he was a shoe salesman.
Lisi "took note" of evidence collected by federal agents that Lorenzo-Ferrera, 40, is a drug dealer, according to a news release issued by U.S. Attorney Robert Clark Corrente's office.
Prosecutor Peter F. Neronha, in a sentencing memorandum, disputed Lorenzo-Ferrera’s claim that he earned $100 a week selling shoes by providing evidence agents seized last August from an apartment Ferrera used on Linwood Avenue, Providence.
Agents found in the apartment $1,030 in cash, a trace amount of cocaine, marijuana, a digital scale, a sifter, a box of sandwich bags, a heat sealer, and two empty bottles of a material that traffickers use to cut the strength of cocaine, "all suggesting that Lorenzo-Ferrera was in the drug-trafficking trade," according to the prosecution.
-- projo.com staff writer Michael P. McKinney
Lorenzo-Ferrera, a Dominican Republic citizen, was convicted in Washington D.C. in 1987 of cocaine trafficking and sentenced to prison. He was deported in 1995.
State Police detectives assigned to a drug-trafficking task force, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, arrested Lorenzo-Ferrera on a charge of illegal reentry after using a search warrant at the Linwood Avenue apartment on Aug. 6.
He pleaded guilty to the charge in February, the U.S. Attorney's office said.
After his prison sentence, Lorenzo-Ferrera, will again be subject to deportation.
Posted by Mike McKinney at 5:12 PM
Hope High's turn for police roll call
PROVIDENCE -- Members of the Providence police department held a public roll call in front of Hope High School at dismissal today, part of an ongoing effort to increase the force’s presence in the community.
Police Chief Dean Esserman said that the department began holding roll calls in neighborhoods last spring and the public response was so positive that the chief decided to continue them this year. The department has already held at least three outdoor roll calls during the past 10 days, including one at Mount Pleasant High School on Wednesday.
“The rationale is nothing more than to increase our visibility in the community,” Esserman said, “and to send a message that we are here.”
Last year, one of the district substations held a roll call in front of the Davey Lopes Recreation Center. High schools are a natural choice because they are places where large numbers of students and teachers congregate, according to Maj. Paul C. Fitzgerald, head of the patrol bureau. The district commanders decide when and where to stage the roll calls.
-- Journal staff writer Linda Borg
Posted by Mike McKinney at 4:58 PM
Somerset asks: Can Gov. Patrick ban new LNG plan?
SOMERSET, Mass. -- The Board of Selectmen has asked Gov. Deval Patrick if he has authority to ban the new Weaver’s Cove LNG project proposed for the middle of the Mount Hope Bay.
In a letter to the governor signed Wednesday, the three say that when an offshore LNG terminal was proposed for Gloucester, Mass., ``we understood that former Governor [Mitt] Romney had the authority to veto that project.’’
Board members are hoping that Patrick has that authority, and that the governor will shoot down the new plan, which calls for parking supertankers in Somerset waters and piping the liquefied natural gas four miles to a storage tank at the Weaver’s Cove site in Fall River.
The LNG would travel through an insulated pipeline that would run just of the town’s waterfront and be buried in the sediment.
All three selectmen oppose the project.
In their letter, they say they are ``concerned about this new proposal in Mount Hope Bay and the Taunton River given the sensitivity of the fragile marine environment. There are also public safety concerns as well, raised by the Board of Selectmen and the residents of our town.’’
-- Journal staff writer C. Eugene Emery Jr.
Posted by Mike McKinney at 4:48 PM
Warwick man claims $200,000 Powerball ticket
A Warwick man today claimed a $200,000-winning Powerball ticket that he bought at Parkway Convenience & Deli, 1154 Narragansett Parkway, Warwick.
The man, not identified by Rhode Island Lottery, "was unaware of the big win" until he returned to that same store yesterday evening to check his ticket, a lottery news release said.
It was the second $200,000-winning ticket from last Saturday's Powerball drawing. The other was claimed this week by co-workers at a Johnston-based company calling themselves the "FMG Fab Fourteen."
Check lottery numbers at powerball.com.
Posted by Mike McKinney at 4:42 PM
Suit accuses Johnston officials of favoring FM Global
JOHNSTON -- A lawsuit filed in Superior Court accuses Mayor Joseph M. Polisena and other town officials of a biased attempt to help builders rush the construction of FM Global’s next headquarters in violation of the town’s zoning laws.
Filed yesterday by CapLease, the company that owns FM Global’s existing headquarters building, it says the local officials’ scheme repeatedly blocked access to important public documents and issued building permits for the project prior to any final approval vote by the Planning Board.
Named as defendants are Building Official Bernard J. Nascenzi and Public Works Director Makram H. Megalli.
The suit alleges a scheme to “delay and hinder CapLease’s ability to obtain documents and understand the project, thus leaving the project unchallenged in any meaningful manner.”
This prevented CapLease from temporarily stopping construction of the $60 million structure by appealing the board’s decision and triggering an automatic stay provided in the law, the suit says.
FM Global is trying to build a new headquarters building in time to move out of CapLease’s building before the tenant’s lease expires next summer.
-- Journal staff writer Mark Reynolds
The town officials agreed to issue the permits prematurely in exchange for FM Global’s promise to protect the municipality from “the illegality of its own conduct,” says the suit, which cites a letter in which an FM Global lawyer promises to indemnify the town from a certain type of legal claim.
The letter specifies a legal claim challenging the town’s policy of permitting construction before the official time period for appealing the planning board’s decision had elapsed.
“…it is readily apparent that the town, faced with the perceived threat that FM Global might leave town, chose at the outset to do FM Global’s bidding in derogation of the town’s legal obligations and public trust,” says the suit.
In past practice, the town has made builders wait until any appeals, or pending appeals, were resolved before giving the go-ahead for construction, says the suit.
In this case, officials have let FM Global finish the foundations despite CapLease’s appeals, which were filed last month and will be heard by the Zoning Board of Appeals on May 14. A stop-work order issued on April 21 also allows construction crews to backfill around the foundations.
The suit quotes Polisena’s published comments on the importance of retaining FM Global. “This isn’t a grand slam,” Polisena said last year. “It’s the World Series times 10.”
Polisena said today that he feels very comfortable by what the town did.
Polisena said he still hasn’t gone through the document, but he’s confident in the decisions made by planning officials and the building official and reviewed by the town’s lawyer.
He acknowledged the indemnity agreement saying the neighbors were “on board so to speak” and he wanted to help FM Global make its construction deadlines.
“We said, sure, no problem,” Polisena said.
He added: “I’m just amazed at what length they’re going through to try to keep FM Global in their building.”
Posted by Mike McKinney at 3:17 PM
Smokey fire in Pawtucket
Firefighters are on the scene of a fire in Pawtucket where black, billowing smoke has sent at least one firefighter to the hospital.
“It’s a pretty stubborn fire," Chief Timothy McLaughlin said.
"Its in the walls, our guys are chasing it."
The fire is at 175 West Forest St., a residential neighborhood with tightly packed Capes and two-story houses.
McLaughlin said the fire started in the basement and worked its way through the house. It's still burning in the stairwell.
The two-story home was not occupied when the fire broke out, but officials have said one firefighter was taken to Miriam Hospital with chest pains.
-- projo.com staff writer Brandie M. Jefferson, with reports from Journal staff writer Paul Grimaldi
Posted by Brandie Jefferson at 2:55 PM
Photo: Pinning the badge on his brother
Journal photo/ Andrew Dickerman
During the graduation ceremony for 15 new officers from the 65th Providence Police Training Academy, Everett Carvalho (right) stands at attention as his badge is pinned on his uniform by his brother, Providence Police Sgt. John Carvalho.
Posted by Jack Perry at 2:43 PM
Firefighters pull man from Providence River/ Photo
Journal photo/ Bill Murphy
Providence firefighters struggle with a man they pulled from the Providence River this morning. In the boat are firefighters Kevin Burns from Ladder 3, and Special Hazards team members Jim Okolowitcz and Robert Reily. The man was taken to shore along Ship Street.
PROVIDENCE -- Something didn’t seem right to Bob Iuliano.
The lawyer was leaving the J. Joseph Garrahy Judicial Complex today when a man came up to him and asked if he was an attorney. Then, the man took his jacket off and threw it to the ground. Why did you do that?, Iuliano asked.
“Because I’m hot,” the man replied, adding that he just didn’t want the jacket anymore.
He then walked from the court building toward the Providence River and, Iuliano said, he “slid right in,” eventually getting into the water up to his knees.
So, at about 11:15 a.m., Iuliano called 911, because he was afraid of how the man would react to the cold water.
When rescue arrived, Iuliano’s concern proved legitimate. The man had swum to a pier and was just holding on against the current.
Acting Battalion Chief David Soscia said the man was initially combative when officials tried to get him out of the water and did not want to return to the shore.
“Finally,” Soscia said, “The temperature of the water settled him down a bit.”
The man, whose name was not released by fire officials, was taken to Rhode Island Hospital for treatment.
-- projo.com staff writer Brandie M. Jefferson, with reports from projo.com staff writer Mike McKinney and Journal staff photographer Bill Murphy
Posted by Jack Perry at 2:23 PM
S. Kingstown bus drivers vote to go strike, pending offer
SOUTH KINGSTOWN -- The union representing the district’s bus drivers has voted to go on strike Monday, if the bus company doesn’t present them with a new contract proposal by tomorrow night, according to the shop steward.
The strike vote came last night when Teamsters Local 251, at a meeting at the American Legion hall, rejected a contract proposal from DATTCO, the bus company, 29 to 17, said Tracie Warren, the steward.
“No one wants to do this, obviously,” Warren said. “If it has to be done, it has to be done.”
Cliff Gibson, senior vice president and chief operating officer at DATTCO, did not return a phone call immediately.
Supt. Robert Hicks said today that he had been assured by Teamsters representative, Brian Carroll, that the drivers would not strike as long as talks were under way and that he’d been told the union had forwarded DATTCO a proposal this morning.
“I am hoping and expecting that people will keep talking and that reasonable heads will prevail and the education of our children will not be disrupted,” he said.
Warren said she was not aware of such conversations, repeating that the union representing 36 drivers and 26 aides and monitors had voted to strike.
Hicks said he would keep parents informed through the telephone alert system. He added that he had received calls that drivers of the district’s 42 buses had told children about their intentions to strike. Hicks objected to students being used to communicate the drivers’ positions.
-- Journal staff writer Katie Mulvaney
According to Warren, a major sticking point was that DATTCO presented them with a four-year deal, when a majority of members did not want to enter into a contract longer than three years.
They also sought an unpaid personal day and a paid snow day, and to contribute to their retirement plans, she said. Their 401K accounts were frozen when members voted to unionize in 2002, she said. They have not been able to contribute to their retirement since.
“We’d like to contribute to our retirement,” Warren said. “We’re looking for respect from the company. We just feel we don’t receive respect.”
While DATTCO’s proposal brought local salaries more in line with neighboring town, it still came in slightly shy of other districts, she said. She criticized DATTCO for being willing to pay fill-in drivers more than its full-time drivers.
She attributed the driver shortages the district has experienced in the past year to low wages and paltry benefits being offered by the company. The contract proposal would not have given raises to its new drivers for a year, she said.
Posted by Mike McKinney at 12:08 PM
R.I. law firm, one of nation's oldest, to close
Law firm Tillinghast Licht, with roots dating to 1818, announced today that it will wind down business in the next few months, with six key lawyers joining Adler Pollock & Sheehan on May 19.
"The decision to close the firm stems in large part from the fact that in recent years the firm has become somewhat smaller, and the partners believe its current size could impact its ability to remain a full-service law firm," the firm said in a statement today.
The Tillinghast Licht lawyers joining Adler Pollock & Sheehan include former Lt. Gov. Richard A. Licht and former House Speaker Joseph DeAngelis, Adler Pollock & Sheehan said in a statement.
Other Tillinghast Licht lawyers will join other firms or set up their own offices to concentrate on their specialties, the Tillinghast Licht statement said.
-- Journal staff writer Paul Edward Parker
Posted by Jack Perry at 11:54 AM
EZPass coming to Pell Bridge next year
EZPass is coming to Rhode Island.
The State has announced a bid has been accepted to install the EZPass toll collection system on the Pell Bridge, linking Jamestown and Newport.The work is expected to be finished by 2009.
Castea Technologies, Inc. –– which has designed and installed the system in new York –– won the bid at $1.8 million.
Last November, Rep. Patrick Kennedy secured a half-million dollars in federal money to help offset the cost of the implementing the new system for the span, which opened in 1969.
The EZPass system uses a chip attached to your car with information about your account. When a driver goes through an EZPass facility, a radio antenna is used to read your account information and note that your car passed through the facility.
The toll is collected from a prepaid account. Currently, drivers pay $2 in cash for a one-way trip on the bridge. Tokens are also available.
The system is touted as having benefits from increased convenience to less traffic congestion. Some critics, however, have expressed concerns about invasion of privacy with the amount of information that is being exchanged.
“In light of the difficult budget issues, both locally and nationally, we are very grateful that Congressman Kennedy was able to secure these funds,” Earl Croft, Executive Director of RI Turnpike and Bridge Authority, said in a statement.
“This funding will help us to defray the costs of EZPass implementation.”
Posted by Brandie Jefferson at 11:54 AM
Senate due to take up budget plan aimed at deficit gap
PROVIDENCE -- The state Senate is slated today to take up a deficit-avoidance plan aimed at closing this year's $168 million budget gap.
The spending-cuts package -- known as a supplemental budget -- cleared the House last week and, yesterday, got the Senate Finance Committee's OK over labor unions' objections.
The plan does not raise taxes, but opponents have said it cuts aid to cities and towns, reduces retired state workers' health-care benefits and does away with subsidized health care for more than 2,800 immigrant children.
See the full proposal here.
Posted by Mike McKinney at 11:49 AM
Woonsocket hospital ends open-heart surgery program
The Health Department is allowing Landmark Medical Center to close its heart-surgery program while continuing to offer angioplasty, effective June 1.
The decision marks the end of Landmark’s ambitious but unsuccessful effort to offer, in cooperation with a Boston hospital, a high-end medical service at the Woonsocket community hospital. Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center worked with Landmark to develop its heart-surgery program, which started three years ago. But the program never attracted enough patients to be financially viable.
The Health Department ruling, made late yesterday and announced this morning, grants Landmark a waiver from rules that require anyone offering angioplasty to also have a heart-surgery program as backup in emergencies. Angioplasty is a procedure in which doctors thread a slender tube into the heart to open clogged arteries. Landmark is now required to develop a relationship with a hospital that offers heart surgery and an ambulance company so patients can be quickly transferred in an emergency. Meanwhile, the hospital will maintain its ability to provide emergency heart surgery but is no longer doing elective heart surgeries, said spokesman Bill Fischer.
Landmark did only 80 open-heart surgeries last year. But its angioplasty program has been more successful, with close 400 last year, and with the waiver, that program can continue.
-- Journal medical writer Felice J. Freyer
Posted by Mike McKinney at 11:20 AM
Photo: A "Newfie" way to walk
Journal photo/ Kathy Borchers
The "final four" walk around the ring during judging for the 6- to 9-month-old puppy category for the Newfoundland Club of America’s National Specialty Show at the Crowne Plaza in Warwick. "Newfies" can weigh up to 220 pounds and are legendary for water rescues. The breed-specific show started on Tuesday and will run through Saturday, with competition in a number of categories from breeding to cart-pulling. It's open to the public. See a show schedule here.
Read a full story on the show.
Posted by Jack Perry at 10:32 AM
Update: Barrington teen's hearing postponed
A bail violation hearing has been postponed for a Barrington teenager who faces a second-degree murder charge in the summer boating death of his friend Patrick Murphy.
Police say Ryan Greenberg was found with a group of friends and alcohol on April 19 near Brickyard Pond.
Greenberg, 17 at the time of the boating incident, had been free on bail since his arrest, and ordered to stay away from drugs and alcohol, submit to random drug testing and be on good behavior when he was released Jan. 2 to await trial.
He was sent to the Adult Correctional Institutions in Cranston to await today's hearing.
Last month, a patrol officer said he found more than a dozen beer cans on the ground, a 30-pack with more empty cans on the ground, and more than 15 full cans of beer in backpacks, along with a couple of bottles of Gatorade that apparently contained vodka.
Greenberg is set to appear in front of Special Magistrate Joseph A. Keough in Providence County Superior Court tomorrow at 2 p.m.
Posted by Brandie Jefferson at 10:15 AM
CVS reports hike in first-quarter profits
Woonsocket-based CVS Caremark Corp., the largest U.S. drugstore chain by number of stores, said first-quarter profit increased after it acquired pharmacy-benefits manager Caremark RX Inc. last year.
Net income climbed to $748.5 million, or 51 cents a share, from $408.9 million, or 43 cents, a year earlier, CVS said today. Sales rose to $21.3 billion, trailing analysts' estimates.
Rising gasoline costs kept shoppers closer to home to fill their prescriptions, benefiting CVS. Contracts to administer pharmacy benefits, including one concluded with AT&T Inc. last month, will propel growth, Matt Kaufler, a portfolio manager with Clover Capital Management in Rochester, New York, told Bloomberg News.
“Their future is increasingly tied to that,” said Kaufler, whose firm manages $2.6 billion in assets.
-- Journal Business Editor John Kostrzewa
Posted by Jack Perry at 8:17 AM
Group to protest Carcieri's order vs. illegal immigrants
A group of Rhode Islanders is getting together today for another in what has been a string of rallies decrying an executive order issued by the governor to identify and remove illegal immigrants from the state.
The groups involved say in a statement that immigration reform is the responsibility of the federal government, not the state.
“We are calling on the governor and legislators to rescind the executive order," the statement reads, "and put an end to anti-immigrant legislation built on stereotypes and misinformation.”
While the order targets illegal immigrants, opponents have said enforcement could lead to profiling all immigrants.
The groups involved include Immigrants in Action Committee, Ocean State Action, the Rhode Island Mexican-American Association and the Center for Hispanic Policy and Advocacy.
The rally is set for 4:30 p.m. today on the lawn of the State House.
Download a .PDF copy of the Governor's Executive Order.
Posted by Brandie Jefferson at 8:07 AM
New R.I. state senator to take office
PROVIDENCE -- A new state senator gets ready to take office.
Senator-elect Roger Picard, of Woonsocket, will take the oath of office during a ceremony this afternoon at the State House. Picard won a special election in April to fill a seat held by Senator Roger Badeau, who died in January.
Picard was elected a state representative in 1992. He resigned yesterday from the House so he could take his new seat in the Senate. Picard's seat in the House will remain vacant until a successor is elected in November.
-- The Associated Press
Posted by Jack Perry at 7:02 AM
Frost possible early then warming to 60
Look out for frost this morning. The National Weather Service has issued a frost advisory until 7 a.m., which shouldn't be a surprise if you've been outside already. It's still at the freezing point -- and colder -- around the state.
As the day goes on, expect more clouds and rising temperatures, ultimately hitting 60 degrees with northwest winds up to 13 degrees.
There may be rain late tonight, with clouds and a low temperature near 40.
We may have more rain tomorrow before noon. Otherwise, expect clouds, southeast winds and a high temperature near 63 degrees.
Check projo.com's weather page to see if the sun will make a comeback this week.
Posted by Brandie Jefferson at 7:01 AM
Today's front page
Today's front page features a story on the effect of a curfew called in Central Falls after the fatal shootings this weekend of two teens.
There's also a continuing report on the impact of high gas prices.
Download a copy of today's front page in .pdf format.
Posted by Jack Perry at 7:00 AM