Central Coventry Fire District set to file for bankruptcy

November 12th, 2014 at 10:20 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

COVENTRY, R.I. (WPRI) – The cash-strapped Central Coventry Fire District is preparing to file for bankruptcy after months of unsuccessful negotiations between state officials and the local firefighters’ union, WPRI.com has confirmed.

Stephen Hartford, the state-appointed receiver overseeing the fire district’s finances, on Wednesday night told WPRI.com he has hired Robert Flanders to prepare a Chapter 9 municipal bankruptcy filing with the authorization of Gov. Lincoln Chafee.

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Gorbea names secretary of state transition team

November 12th, 2014 at 4:32 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – R.I. Secretary of State-elect Nellie Gorbea on Wednesday announced she’s tapped 12 Rhode Islanders to serve on her transition team, as she prepares to take over from Ralph Mollis, the term-limited current officeholder.

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Magaziner taps business, union leaders for transition team

November 12th, 2014 at 11:52 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – R.I. General Treasurer-elect Seth Magaziner on Tuesday announced he’s tapped eight Rhode Islanders from the business community and organized labor to serve on his transition team, as he prepares to take over the job from Governor-elect Gina Raimondo.

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Landing on a Comet…History Made

November 12th, 2014 at 10:18 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

Update:  Confirmation….Philae has landed on Comet 67P.  ESA scientists are trying to see if the lander is tethered to the comet.  However, the first image from a comet has been released.

Courtesy: ESA

Courtesy: ESA

Previous post:


History will be made this morning as the European Space Agency will be landing on a comet…the first time this has ever been attempted.  We’ve flown by comets a few times, but humans have never attempted to land a space craft on one.

The Rosetta spacecraft which has been circling the solar system for a decade was in orbit of Comet 67-P since August.  It took stunning pictures of the comet, which is currently past the orbit of Mars.  A suitable landing site was found in the past couple months and now history is about to be made.

The lander, named Philae, separated from Rosetta this morning.  Here’s a picture of Rosetta from Philae just after separation.

Courtesy: European Space Agency

Courtesy: European Space Agency

…and here is a picture of Philae from Rosetta.

Courtesy: European Space Agency

Courtesy: European Space Agency

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Here are the key city jobs Mayor-elect Elorza must fill

November 11th, 2014 at 11:59 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – A week after winning the race for Providence mayor, Democrat Jorge Elorza is already staffing up as he prepares to take office in January.

Elorza announced Tuesday the hiring of former mayoral candidate Brett Smiley and Tony Simon, a top aide to U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, as his chief operating officer and chief of staff, respectively.

So who else will the mayor-elect hire in the coming weeks? Here’s a breakdown of the key positions any new mayor has to fill. (Note: Elorza said he plans to require all new directors to live in the city.)

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Former mayoral candidate Smiley to join Elorza’s staff

November 11th, 2014 at 9:48 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Brett Smiley, whose decision in August to drop out of the race for Providence mayor paved the way for Jorge Elorza to win the Democratic primary, will serve as the city’s chief operating officer beginning in January, the mayor-elect announced Tuesday.

Elorza also announced Tony Simon, the deputy district director for U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, will be his chief of staff and state Rep. Grace Diaz will work as his senior advisor on community relations.

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City Council leadership hopefuls owe state $59K in campaign fines

November 10th, 2014 at 2:46 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The two men poised to become the top ranking members of the Providence City Council owe the state more than $59,000 in campaign fines, but both say they intend to correct “mistakes” they’ve made in recent years.

The R.I. Board of Elections confirmed Monday that City Councilman Luis Aponte, Ward 10, currently owes the state $48,688 for his failure to file more than two dozen campaign finance reports and Councilman Kevin Jackson, Ward 3, owes $10,754 from a settlement he reached with the board in 2014 as well as six delinquent campaign reports.

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Mayor-elect Elorza names transition team

November 10th, 2014 at 12:48 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Providence Mayor-elect Jorge Elorza on Monday appointed three influential city residents to co-chair his transition team, as he prepares to succeed incumbent Mayor Angel Taveras in January.

Elorza said his team will include Bank of America vice president Lisa Ranglin, education reformer Victor Capellan and Sally Lapides, the president and chief executive officer of Residential Properties Ltd. Marisa O’Gara, who served as Elorza’s campaign manager, will be Elorza’s spokesperson.

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Tale of Two Seasons This Week

November 9th, 2014 at 11:09 pm by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

This week will likely average out to be pretty normal as far as temperatures go.  That is only because the first half of the week will feature above normal temperatures and the second half will feature below normal temperatures.  Our temperatures will go from mid-fall to early winter.

In previous posts, we discussed how ex-Typhoon Nuri in the Pacific Ocean would help create a powerful storm in the Bering Sea which would disrupt the weather patterns over North America.  The disruption in the atmospheric flow will bring much cooler air into the eastern half of the country.

This scenario is still playing out.  As the cooler air plunges into the United States, we’ll see the first significant winter storm of the season work across the country.  Winter Storm Warnings and Advisories are in effect from Idaho through Michigan.


These warnings/advisories are for heavy snow that will fall especially from South Dakota through the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.


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Watch Newsmakers: Election 2014 political roundtable

November 9th, 2014 at 5:00 am by under Nesi's Notes

The Saturday Morning Post: Quick hits on politics & more in RI

November 8th, 2014 at 5:00 am by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site, The Saturday Morning Post

Click here to read this week’s Saturday Morning Post on the new WPRI.com website »

Massive Storm Near Alaska Will Alter Jet Steam In The U.S. Next Week

November 7th, 2014 at 10:59 pm by under Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog


Good Evening from chief meteorologist Tony Petrarca..

Massive storm now located  off the Aluetian Islands (near Alaska) will alter the entire jet stream (storm track) across the entire northern Hemisphere.. What does it mean for us???….the jet stream will “buckle” and drop significantly  south across the middle of the United States next week and eventually into New England by late week (around November 19th)…this will bring much colder air to New England…stay tuned.

Remnants of Typhoon Nuri Create to 60 Foot Waves Off Alaska
Typhoon Nuri, now an extra-tropical storm, is moving into the Aleutian Islands archipelago, and bringing with it some monstrously large waves. NOAA’s WaveWatch III ocean model, used to predict ocean conditions, shows that some waves could exceed 60 feet in height. The output for November 9 at 1200Z is plotted here in five foot contours. As the storm moves eastward, the islands act as a natural buffer to the mainland, and much of the significant wave height will dissipate, but not before causing dangerous shipping conditions throughout the region. Storm will change the weather pattern across the continental United States and New England Next weekMap below is the incredible wave height forecast off the Aleutian Islands





How Jorge Elorza beat Buddy Cianci to become Providence mayor

November 7th, 2014 at 1:59 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

While a 5,200-vote blowout of Cianci on the East Side would bring Elorza near the end zone Tuesday, his campaign says it was the effort in others parts of the city that pushed them over the goal line, from doubling their primary vote tally in Ward 4 near Charles Street to breaking even at the Parenti Villa and Dominica Manor high-rises on Federal Hill and then running close on the South Side.

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RI Democrats’ 2014 victory was most sweeping since 1960

November 7th, 2014 at 5:00 am by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site

Projo_JFK_1960_RI_SOSJust how sweeping was Rhode Island Democrats’ election victory on Tuesday night? As it turns out, it was their biggest set of wins since the year John F. Kennedy was elected president.

On Tuesday, for the first time since 1960, Rhode Island Democrats managed to win all nine major offices on the ballot: governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney general, general treasurer, U.S. senator, 1st District congressman, 2nd District congressman, and Providence mayor, according to a WPRI.com review of past election results.

Democrats have had big years before – Republicans won no federal races in 2012, 2008, 2004 or 1996, for example – but it’s been 54 years since the party won all nine of those top offices in a single November election.

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The weather has been crazy lately…but not really

November 6th, 2014 at 5:33 pm by under Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

There have been some impressive temperature swings over the past couple of weeks.  During the middle of last week (October 27 and October 28), we had temperatures in the 70s.  A few days later on Sunday, we had a rain/snow mix in Providence and they were clearing snow off of the field at Gillette! Here is a picture from Freetown, Mass on Sunday morning courtesy of Derek Adesso.


Based on the up and down temperatures, I have been hearing this comment frequently, “Wow, the weather has been really crazy lately!” Part of me agrees; I took the AC units out of my windows a few weeks ago and I was kind of wishing I had them back in during the warm weather last week.  However, it seems that every year around this time, I get the “this weather is crazy” comment.  This led me to the following question:  If these wild temperature swings are something that happen at this time every year, is the weather this year really THAT crazy?

To determine if this year was especially crazy, I decided to look at temperatures over the past 5 years from October 27 (when our warm spell started this year) into the first week of November (around the present).  Basically, I am looking at temperatures over the past 2 weeks to look for differences between this year and past years. 



This year (2014): As I mentioned above, we had all kinds of weather the past couple of weeks.  After highs in the mid 70s last week, we had some snow with temperatures in the mid 30s this past Sunday morning.  But then it was back to the upper 60s yesterday (Wednesday), and now I am sitting with a cold rain coming down outside the window with temperatures in the 40s.

2013: During  the end of October, high temperatures generally ranged from the mid 50s to mid 60s.  But on November 1st, we hit a high of 70.  Four days later, overnight lows dipped to the mid 20s and and highs only made it to 50.

2012: The last 5 days of October were balmy with 3 days in the upper 60s, but by November 5th, highs were only in the mid 40s and overnight lows were below freezing. 

2011: This was the year of SNOW-TOBER with several inches of snow falling on the night of October 29th into the morning of October 30th. But that snow didn’t stick around very l0ng: by November 3rd we were back into the 60s.  On November 8, we reached 70!

2010: October went out like a blowtorch with a high of 71 on October 27th and a high of 77 on October 28th.  But November put an end to all of that with highs in the low 50s and lows in the 20s by November 3. 


While the temperature roller coaster might be a little more extreme this year, it’s a ride that we have been on many times before.  From a meteorological perspective, this makes sense because during this time of year, we are susceptible to arctic blasts from the north, but also milder (and sometimes tropical) air masses from the south.  So while the fluctuating weather often feels kind of crazy, it’s a craziness that is as almost as regular as the changing of the seasons.


Historically for the past two weeks, NORMAL high temperatures are in the upper 50s.  But the word NORMAL is kind of deceiving, because it makes it seem like high temperatures are USUALLY in the upper 50s.  You can think of the normal temperatures more like an average (technically, it’s not an exact average but it’s close enough for the purpose of this blog).   To get the average, you have some numbers that are above the average, some that are below the average, and some that fall right at average.

Thanks for reading and hopefully the rest of the week isn’t too crazy for you! -Pete Mangione


Raimondo names three to chair her transition team

November 6th, 2014 at 3:39 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Democratic Gov.-elect Gina Raimondo on Thursday announced the appointment of three prominent Rhode Islanders to serve as co-chairs of her transition team, as she prepares to succeed Gov. Lincoln Chafee in January.

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After losing mayor’s race, Cianci returns to radio

November 6th, 2014 at 2:16 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Buddy’s back.

A day after losing what was likely his final race for political office, Vincent A. “Buddy” Cianci Jr. made his return to the airwaves Wednesday, thanking listeners for their support and declaring that he was not sorry for taking one “last shot” at running for mayor of Providence.

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Write-in candidate for Providence City Council falls just short of upset

November 6th, 2014 at 1:07 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The longest-serving member of the Providence City Council breathed a sigh of relief Wednesday as he apparently fended off an extraordinary write-in challenge to save his seat.

After absentee ballots were counted, Ward 3 City Councilman Kevin Jackson, a Democrat, led write-in opponent Marcus Mitchell by 48 votes. Jackson went to bed Tuesday trailing the write-in opponent – although not every voter wrote in Mitchell’s name – but he more than made up the difference once mail ballots were factored in.

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Mail ballot numbers pad Gina Raimondo’s victory

November 5th, 2014 at 11:01 pm by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site

Democrat Gina Raimondo won the governor’s race by a slightly wider margin than first thought.

The R.I. Board of Elections updated its count on Wednesday to include the results from roughly 15,000 voters who used mail ballots. Those mail ballots increased Raimondo’s total number of votes to 131,452, a jump of about 8,000 from the preliminary results.

Republican Allan Fung’s total votes rose to 117,106 and Moderate Bob Healey’s rose to 69,070 with mail ballots included. Raimondo received more than half the votes for governor cast by mail ballot. Fung received about 2,000 more votes than John Robitaille did in 2010, a 2% increase. Robitaille was running in a four-way against a former Republican U.S. senator (Lincoln Chafee) and two other candidates with moderate policy priorities (Frank Caprio and Ken Block).

The results in the governor’s race now round to Raimondo 41%, Fung 36% and Healey 21%.

Overall Raimondo defeated Fung by a decisive 4.5 percentage points, or more than 14,000 votes, the biggest vote margin in a governor’s race since Don Carcieri’s first election in 2002.

Raimondo’s victory was entirely thanks to the city of Providence, which she took by a plurality of about 16,000 votes; in Rhode Island’s other 38 cities and towns, Fung beat her by nearly 2,000 votes combined. Turnout in Providence was higher than four years ago as voters decided the high-profile mayoral race.

Raimondo won with more votes than Lincoln Chafee, who received 123,571 in 2010. Excluding Chafee, however, Raimondo received the smallest number of votes for a victorious gubernatorial candidate in Rhode Island since 1930, when Republican Norman Case won with 112,070, historical records show.

Here are the margins in all the big races with mail ballots included:

  • Governor: Raimondo 41%, Fung 36%, Healey 21%
  • Providence Mayor: Elorza 52%, Cianci 45%, Harrop 3%
  • Lt. Governor: McKee 54%, Taylor 34%, Gilbert 8%, Jones 3%
  • Secretary of State: Gorbea 60%, Carlevale 39%
  • Attorney General: Kilmartin 57%, Hodgson 43%
  • General Treasurer: Magaziner 57%, Almonte 43%
  • U.S. Senate: Reed 71%, Zaccaria 29%
  • 1st District: Cicilline 60%, Lynch 40%
  • 2nd District: Langevin 62%, Reis 38%

In Cranston, despite the presence of the city’s mayor on the ballot, turnout this year was the lowest in the past four gubernatorial elections, with only 26,935 ballots cast for governor there. Fung won Cranston with 14,820 votes or 55% of the total, above Lincoln Chafee’s 9,499 (35%) in 2010 but lower than Don Carcieri’s 16,938 (52%) in 2006 or Carcieri’s 16,959 (58%) in 2002.

Eight Rhode Island communities have voted Republican in the last four gubernatorial elections: Coventry, Exeter, Foster, Hopkinton, Lincoln, Narragansett, Richmond and Scituate.

Only one community voted Democratic for governor all four times: Central Falls. Three others voted in 2010 for Lincoln Chafee (then an independent, now a Democrat) and for Democrats the other three times: East Providence, Pawtucket and Providence.

Ted Nesi ( tnesi@wpri.com ) covers politics and the economy for WPRI.com and writes the Nesi’s Notes blog. Follow him on Twitter: @tednesi

This post has been updated and expanded.

Bob Healey spent $0.0005 for every vote he got

November 5th, 2014 at 5:36 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Moderate Party gubernatorial nominee Bob Healey may have set a new record when it comes to how little money a candidate has to spend to win piles of votes.

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Big East Side victory helped Elorza beat Buddy Cianci

November 5th, 2014 at 9:37 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The East Side has spoken. Democrat Jorge Elorza will be the next mayor of the city of Providence.

Elorza won a convincing victory over independent former Mayor Vincent A. “Buddy” Cianci Jr. Tuesday, riding a tidal wave of support to capture every precinct from Fox Point to the Pawtucket line on the vote-rich East Side. Republican Daniel Harrop, who said he was voting for Elorza, placed third.

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Analysis: 18 takeaways from the 2014 election in RI

November 5th, 2014 at 3:25 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Gina Raimondo will be the next governor of Rhode Island and Jorge Elorza will be the next mayor of Providence.

Those are the big headlines from Tuesday’s election in Rhode Island. Here are 18 other takeaways from the election, what it means for the state and what it tells us about local politics going forward.

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Republicans pick up seats in RI General Assembly

November 5th, 2014 at 1:10 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – On an otherwise tough night for local Republicans, the party could find a silver lining in the results for Rhode Island House elections, as six incumbent House Democrats went down to defeat.

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WPRI.com Live Blog: Election Night 2014 Coverage

November 4th, 2014 at 4:45 pm by under Nesi's Notes

Click here to read our Election Night 2014 live blog on the new WPRI.com website »

Colder Than Normal Stretch Ahead

November 4th, 2014 at 2:17 pm by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

It has always amazed me how a storm system on one side of the Earth can impact the weather on the other side.  This will be the case during the next 10 days.

First, here’s the Climate Prediction Center’s forecast for the next 6-10days.   The blue and red represent the amount of confidence the forecaster has in whether it will be cooler or warmer than normal.   Notice the higher confidence in cooler-than-normal temperatures in the eastern half of the country during the period November 9-13.


Part of the reason why is on the other side of the world.


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Marathon campaign for Providence mayor ends today

November 4th, 2014 at 4:46 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – If you think the race for Providence mayor started when Buddy Cianci launched his campaign in June, think again.

Tuesday’s election marks the end of a marathon campaign that began in 2012, when incumbent Mayor Angel Taveras started preparing his bid for governor, and quietly built up steam over the next two years as the longshots formed alliances with the frontrunners and everyone kept one eye on Cianci.

Now it’s down to Cianci, Democrat Jorge Elorza and Republican Daniel Harrop, although Harrop confirmed Monday he intends to vote for Elorza in an attempt to “do all I can to stop Mr. Cianci” from winning the race.

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RI, Mass. voters head to polls to choose new govs

November 4th, 2014 at 12:01 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi and WPRI.com Staff

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Voters in Rhode Island and Massachusetts are heading to the polls Tuesday to choose new governors, elect lawmakers, decide on ballot questions and make dozens of other big decisions about their states’ futures.

The last time the two states held an election for governor – back in 2010 – roughly 340,000 voters went to the polls in Rhode Island and about 2.3 million did so in Massachusetts. It remains to be seen how turnout in this year’s election will compare with four years ago.

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GOP’s Harrop: I’m voting for Elorza in mayor’s race

November 3rd, 2014 at 7:38 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – It has been 36 years since Providence last elected a Republican mayor. On Tuesday, even the GOP nominee for the city’s top job intends to vote Democrat.

Republican mayoral candidate Dr. Daniel Harrop confirmed Monday he will vote for Democrat Jorge Elorza as his final contribution to the campaign to block former Mayor Vincent A. “Buddy” Cianci Jr. from winning back his old job.

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Cranston will have to elect a new mayor if Fung wins

November 3rd, 2014 at 6:01 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

CRANSTON, R.I. (WPRI) – Voters in Rhode Island’s third-largest city could be heading to the polls on a regular basis next year depending on the outcome of Tuesday’s election.

If Allan Fung defeats Gina Raimondo, Cranston will soon be left without a mayor once the Republican leaves City Hall to become governor. That would trigger a special election early next year in the city of 80,566 to replace Fung, according to Steven Sepe, Cranston’s city registrar.

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Still undecided? Watch our Campaign 2014 debates here

November 3rd, 2014 at 5:18 pm by under Nesi's Notes

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Tuesday is Election Day in Rhode Island, but if you still aren’t sure who you want to vote for, WPRI.com has you covered.

Click here to watch our Campaign 2014 debates on WPRI.com »