TD #1 Could Become a Hurricane in the Next Few Days

July 1st, 2014 at 9:26 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

Tropical Depression #1 has been nearly stationary off the coast of Florida this morning with sustained winds of 35mph.  As we monitor it for signs of better organization and intensification today, the forecast from the National Hurricane Center has changed a bit.  As of the 5am update, the NHC is now forecasting TD #1 to become Tropical Storm “Arthur” later today and then to be a category 1 hurricane as it moves southeast of New England Friday night.  temp 1What does that mean for our weather?  Well, the storm is still expected to remain off-shore, so on this track a “HIGH IMPACT” from a hurricane is unlikely.  However, it WILL play a role in our weather.

As we mentioned yesterday, a cold front will move into the northeast on Thursday and Friday and interact with tropical moisture steaming northward from “Arthur”.  That will lead to potential rounds of heavy rain and thunderstorms, especially from Thursday night to Friday afternoon in RI and SE MA.  The eventual track and timing of  “Arthur” will determine whether we can dry out in time for fireworks displays on Friday evening or if the downpours will continue into Friday night.  Several overnight computer models kept rain going near the coast and Cape late into Friday night.   The rest of the weekend looks much better with dry skies Saturday and Sunday and much less humid conditions behind the cold front.  In addition to any showers and thunderstorms, we’re also likely to see “Arthur” churn up our seas, leading to high surf at the beaches from late week into the weekend.  It’s good news for surfers, but will likely lead to dangerous rip currents for swimmers.temp 2Make sure to stay tuned for more updates on the holiday weekend weather as changes in the track and timing of Arthur could lead to adjustments in the forecast.

Holiday Forecast And Tropical Update

June 30th, 2014 at 7:41 pm by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

Michelle and TJ have written great blogs so far about 4th of July thunderstorms and the potential of a tropical storm.  I will make this brief and give you some updated information:

Watching “Tropical Depression #1″

As of late Monday night, Tropical Depression #1 was spinning just offshore from Florida .  If this end up turning into a tropical storm, it would be Tropical Storm Arthur.

The computer models generally agree that it will meander near the Florida coast for the next couple of days, and then start to turn to the north.  The general track has it making landfill on the North Carolina coast, moving back over the water, and then making a close pass to southern New England Friday night into Saturday morning.



If this forecast hold up, impacts on land would be minimal.  In fact, Friday night into Saturday would end up being nice with comfortable temperatures.  There would likely be some big waves and rough surf so boaters would have to use caution.  If it tracks more to the left, then impacts would be much greater here in southern New England.  Therefore, we still need to watch this carefully.



As Michelle mentioned, a front will combine with lots of moisture to bring the threat of showers and thunderstorms Thursday and Friday.  Heavy downpours and localized street flooding are possible, but it won’t be raining the entire time.  As of late Monday afternoon, the new European Model (a computer model that tends to do pretty well) run has the threat of showers moving out just before fireworks time on Friday night.


We don’t want to take each computer run too literally, but it’s a sign that at least the 4th of July is not a complete washout.  The timing of the shower/T-storm threat will likely shift a little bit in the coming days, so we need to look at more data before anything gets cancelled on the holiday. Stay tuned! -Pete Mangione


Taveras, Raimondo, Cliffwater trade barbs over hedge funds

June 30th, 2014 at 3:00 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Providence Mayor Angel Taveras’s campaign on Monday slammed his rival for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, General Treasurer Gina Raimondo, for retaining an adviser recently replaced in Massachusetts – then got criticized for getting the facts wrong.

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Cianci campaign fund grew by $175K early in prison sentence

June 30th, 2014 at 1:39 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Former Providence Mayor Vincent A. “Buddy” Cianci Jr.’s old campaign war chest grew by nearly $200,000 during his first two years in federal prison, according to campaign finance records reviewed by

The campaign fund would eventually be scuttled and the account drained following a court-ordered forfeiture and a massive donation to a nonprofit created by Cianci.

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Thunderstorm Threat Late Week

June 30th, 2014 at 11:49 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

While the weather is tranquil on this Monday, it’s a busy day in the Pinpoint Weather Center as we track potential thunderstorms around the 4th of July as well as what’s brewing off of the Florida coast.  TJ has a great blog on what to watch with the tropics and potential development of Tropical Storm Arthur, but I want to hit on the thunderstorm threat for July 3 and Independence Day July 4– 2 very busy days for outdoor events, fireworks and parades.

A cold front that is in the nation’s midsection today is going to be moving into New England by Wednesday and then off-shore on Friday.  As the front marches east, heat and humidity will build next few days on a southwest wind.  Very soupy air will be in place by Wednesday… making our atmosphere primed for thunderstorms to develop along and ahead of the front.  As of this morning, it looks like most of the storms will still be to our west on Wednesday–in central/western New England.  But by Thursday, scattered thunderstorms  are likely to move into RI/SE MA.

temp 2

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Watch Executive Suite: Scott Wolf; Stephen Boyle, Mark Gray

June 30th, 2014 at 5:00 am by under Nesi's Notes

Watching the Tropics This Week

June 29th, 2014 at 11:12 pm by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

As we head through this holiday week, we will have a few things to watch 1) Humidity 2) Showers and T’storms and 3) the Tropics.  Yes, Hurricane Season is barely a month old and we are monitoring an area off the coast of Florida for possible tropical development.

Embedly Powered

via Noaa


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Watch Newsmakers: Political roundtable on Cianci, 2014

June 29th, 2014 at 5:00 am by under Nesi's Notes

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

June 28th, 2014 at 5:00 am by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site, The Saturday Morning Post

Happy Saturday! Here’s another edition of my weekend column – as always, send your takes, tips and trial balloons to For quick hits all week long, follow @tednesi.

1. Quite a week in Rhode Island politics, eh?

2. Here’s some news WPRI 12 broke late Friday that you might have missed – the state has reached a 38 Studios legal settlement with Moses Afonso Ryan and Tony Afonso. “I hope this is going to be the first in a series,” state attorney Max Wistow tells me.

3. If you’re wondering whom to thank – or blame – for the improbable comeback campaign of Buddy Cianci, put the Great Recession near the top of the list. The economic meltdown that began in 2007 was a body blow to Rhode Island and its capital city, one whose effects are still being felt seven years later. The downturn’s cascading financial fallout nearly drove Providence into bankruptcy, and although Angel Taveras avoided that drastic step, the city is still stuck with high unemployment, high taxes, too many potholes and too few prospects. Voters are looking for a savior – and Cianci thinks he’s well-positioned to play the part. His checkered past is real, but so is his love for Providence, and his name is synonymous with the happier days of the 1990s. The ironies here are numerous. For one thing, as Tim White reported Thursday night, some of Providence’s biggest financial problems have their roots in the Cianci days – as his opponents will remind voters in the coming months. For another, the stage for Cianci’s comeback was partly set by the actions of his successor and nemesis, David Cicilline, whose East Side allies are appalled at the prospect of his return to City Hall. To the extent that the Cicilline administration mismanaged the city’s finances in 2009 and 2010 – and then misled voters about the situation – they undercut their own case that post-Cianci Providence is better than what came before.

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RI, law firm reach $4.4M settlement in 38 Studios suit

June 27th, 2014 at 8:14 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The Chafee administration has reached a tentative settlement with two of the parties the state has sued for their role in putting together the controversial 38 Studios deal, has confirmed.

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RI Republicans endorse Fung for governor over Block

June 26th, 2014 at 10:25 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The Rhode Island Republican Party voted Thursday to endorse Cranston Mayor Allan Fung as the party’s favored candidate for governor this year, choosing him over Barrington businessman Ken Block, a newcomer to the GOP.

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Cianci defends 1991 decision that ballooned pension debt

June 26th, 2014 at 9:45 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Tim White

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Providence mayoral candidate Vincent A. “Buddy” Cianci Jr. on Thursday defended a decision he made during his second administration that resulted in generous pension benefits for hundreds of municipal retirees.

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• Related: How ‘comedy of errors’ torpedoed Providence pension fund (Nov. 28, 2011)

The lucky 47 who’ve already ‘won’ their General Assembly races

June 26th, 2014 at 10:55 am by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site

RI_Statehouse_SouthDozens of General Assembly races are effectively over before a single ballot is cast because only one candidate filed for the seat by Wednesday’s 4 p.m. deadline, according to a analysis of information posted by the secretary of state’s office.

That includes 45% of all senators and 40% of all House lawmakers – approaching half of each chamber.

Here’s who is currently listed as running unopposed in both the primary and the general election and therefore probably won’t have to campaign to win re-election (or, in one case, a first election) this fall:

  1. Sen. Maryellen Goodwin (D), District 1
  2. Sen. Dominick Ruggerio (D), District 4
  3. Sen. Paul Jabour (D), District 5
  4. Sen. James Doyle (D), District 8
  5. Sen. Walter Felag (D), District 10
  6. Sen. Lou DiPalma (D), District 12
  7. Sen. Dan DaPonte (D), District 14
  8. Sen. William Conley (D), District 18
  9. Sen. Ryan Pearson (D), District 19
  10. Sen. Roger Picard (D), District 20
  11. Sen. Frank Lombardo (D), District 25
  12. Sen. Frank Lombardi (D), District 26
  13. Sen. Joshua Miller (D), District 28
  14. Sen. Michael McCaffrey (D), District 29
  15. Sen. James Sheehan (D), District 36
  16. Sen. Susan Sosnowski (D), District 37
  17. Sen. Dennis Algiere (R), District 38

  1. Rep. Chris Blazejewski (D), District 2
  2. Rep. Thomas Palangio (D), District 3
  3. Rep. John DeSimone (D), District 5
  4. Rep. Raymond Hull (D), District 6
  5. Rep. John Lombardi (D), District 8
  6. Rep. John Carnevale (D), District 13
  7. Rep. Nicholas Mattiello (D), District 15
  8. Rep. Robert Jacquard (D), District 17
  9. Rep. Joseph McNamara (D), District 19
  10. Rep. David Bennett (D), District 20
  11. Rep. Joseph Shekarchi (D), District 23
  12. Rep. Joseph Trillo (R), District 24
  13. Rep. Jared Nunes (D), District 25
  14. Rep. Patricia Serpa (D), District 27
  15. Rep. Donald Lally (D), District 33
  16. Rep. Brian Patrick Kennedy (D), District 38
  17. Rep. Stephen Ucci (D), District 42
  18. Rep. Cale Keable (D), District 47
  19. Rep. Michael Morin (D), District 49
  20. Rep. Robert Phillips (D), District 51
  21. Rep. William O’Brien (D), District 54
  22. Rep. Arthur Corvese (D), District 55
  23. David Coughlin (D), District 60 (incumbent Rep. Elaine Coderre is retiring)
  24. Rep. Raymond Johnston (D), District 61
  25. Rep. Gregg Amore (D), District 65
  26. Rep. Jan Mailk (D), District 67
  27. Rep. Raymond Gallison (D), District 69
  28. Rep. Jay Edwards (D), District 70
  29. Rep. Marvin Abney (D), District 73
  30. Rep. Deborah Ruggerio (D), District 74

It’s always possible someone could mount a write-in campaign against one of these candidates, but defeating an incumbent without your own name on the ballot is a very, very tall order. On the other hand, it’s also possible the number of uncontested races will actually grow if some of the individuals currently listed as challengers in various races don’t return enough signatures by the July 11 deadline.

One other thing that could change: political parties also have until the end of Thursday to nominate their own candidates in races where they don’t have a candidate yet, WPRI 12 political analyst Joe Fleming notes. There are currently 39 Republicans and 25 independents listed as running (including incumbents).

This post has been updated twice to reflect additional filings.

Mollis sets 38 Studios lobbying hearings for next week

June 26th, 2014 at 5:00 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Tim White

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Secretary of State Ralph Mollis has sent letters to key players involved in the 38 Studios deal to retroactively register as lobbyists and appear before a July 1 hearing, to into possible lobbying violations.

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Ernie Almonte now running for treasurer as independent

June 25th, 2014 at 7:44 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Former R.I. Auditor General Ernest Almonte won’t be running for general treasurer as a Democrat after all.

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An earlier version of this story listed Almonte’s former title incorrectly.

Showers and T’storms Thursday

June 25th, 2014 at 5:09 pm by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

Lots of moisture, a cold front and an energetic jetstream will work together to produce potentially flooding rains on Thursday.

A cold front moving across the Northeastern United States Wednesday afternoon will continue to move toward Southern New England.  This front is serving as a spark for scattered showers and thunderstorms.  We will stay dry this evening, but obviously areas to the west and north are getting pretty wet.



That cold front will advance southeastward into Southern New England tonight, then will slow down as an area of low pressure develops along it.


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Analysis: Cianci candidacy upends RI political landscape

June 25th, 2014 at 4:06 pm by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site

More from Full story | Cianci’s opponents | Timeline | Photos | In-Depth

Buddy is back.

Vincent A. “Buddy” Cianci Jr. is already the most iconic Rhode Island political figure of the past half-century. But now, at age 73, the twice-convicted former-mayor-turned-radio-host-turned-mayor-turned-radio-host has decided to try and add one more “-turned mayor” to his résumé. In doing so, he’s upended everything we thought we knew about how Campaign 2014 would unfold in Rhode Island.

Good luck to the long list of down-ballot candidates – Frank Ferri, Nellie Gorbea, Ernie Almonte, and on and on – trying to get attention in elections most voters don’t know or care much about. The only two political stories that are likely to garner significant attention over the next few months are Cianci’s comeback bid and the race for governor – with the latter campaign a distant second in the coverage contest.

The motivation for Cianci is obvious: he thinks he can win, and he loved being mayor. If you’ve listened to the guy bark tips on snow-plowing to elected officials he’s interviewing from his studio during a storm, you know this is a man who still relishes the tasks of a municipal chief executive. And he’s never gotten to leave office on his own terms.

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Buddy Cianci enters race for Providence mayor

June 25th, 2014 at 3:38 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The Buddy Cianci Show is moving from the Wampanoag Trail to the campaign trail.

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Buddy Cianci still eligible for city pension in Providence

June 24th, 2014 at 11:30 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Former Providence Mayor Vincent A. “Buddy” Cianci Jr. remains eligible to get a pension from the city regardless of whether he decides to make a comeback bid for his old job.

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Raimondo stands by hedge-fund adviser canned by Mass.

June 24th, 2014 at 12:10 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – General Treasurer Gina Raimondo is keeping for now the California financial adviser that helps her office pick hedge funds for the state’s investment portfolio, despite a recent decision by the Massachusetts pension board to cut ties with the same company.

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Solomon wins Dem endorsement in Providence mayor’s race

June 24th, 2014 at 4:29 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – City Council President Michael Solomon won the Providence Democratic City Committee’s endorsement for mayor in convincing fashion Monday, earning nearly six times the votes of his closest competitor in front of a smaller-than-normal crowd at the Rosario Society Hall in Silver Lake.

Solomon, who has represented parts of the city’s Elmhurst and Mount Pleasant neighborhoods since 2007, is among five Democrats hoping to replace first-term Mayor Angel Taveras, who is running for governor.

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Here’s why Buddy Cianci has to get off the air if he runs for mayor

June 23rd, 2014 at 3:26 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

There’s one reason former Providence Mayor Vincent A. Cianci Jr. is expected to wait until the very last minute on Wednesday before he announces whether he’ll attempt to win back City Hall: his job.

Federal law requires broadcast companies – like the two that currently employ Cianci – to “afford equal opportunities to all such candidates for that office in the use of such broadcasting station.” In other words, if WPRO-AM and WLNE-TV wanted to keep Cianci on the air after he declares his candidacy, they would have to provide equal opportunities to every other candidate in the race to appear on air.

“In this situation, if the host is running for mayor, every time he is on the air he is ‘using’ the station for free (i.e. no cost to him or his campaign),” Christy Burrow, a Washington, D.C.-based attorney who specializes in regulatory communications, told “This triggers free equal opportunities for all opponents – they can go to the station and demand an equal amount of free time.”

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GOP’s Catherine Taylor kicks off bid for RI lieutenant gov.

June 23rd, 2014 at 1:19 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Republican Catherine Taylor on Monday kicked off her campaign to become Rhode Island’s next lieutenant governor, pledging to use the state’s second-highest office to bring people together, improve the economy and help the elderly.

Taylor said her party affiliation is one of the chief reasons she’s running. “I’m a proud Republican,” she said. “I want to make sure we move ourselves toward rigorous two-party competition. … In this state I think the foundational problem is the lack of two-party competition.”

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RI Dems make endorsements; stay neutral in gov’s race

June 23rd, 2014 at 9:29 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Rhode Island Democrats endorsed a slate of candidates for state and federal office at their party’s nominating convention Sunday, but opted to stay neutral in the state’s hotly contested race for governor.

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Watch Executive Suite: Martin Keen of Focal, Keen Footwear

June 23rd, 2014 at 5:00 am by under Nesi's Notes

CVS Charity Classic Weather

June 22nd, 2014 at 11:05 pm by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

After a stellar weekend, we are going to get more beautiful weather for the beginning of the work, school and golfing week.


High pressure will continue to control our weather through the day on Monday both in the low-levels and high-levels of the atmosphere.  This is a weather pattern favorable for dry and sunny weather, which is what we’ll get for Monday.

For Barrington, specifically, expect sunny skies with cool’ish temperatures in the morning.  Opening ceremonies will be dry with temperatures in the 60s at 9:15am.  First tee off is scheduled for 10:30am, and the temperatures will continue their climb through the 60s into the 70s.   Mid-afternoon highs will be in the mid to upper 70s with a wind coming right up the bay (tending south-southeast 5-10mph).


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

June 21st, 2014 at 5:00 am by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site, The Saturday Morning Post

Happy Saturday! Here’s another edition of my weekend column – as always, send your takes, tips and trial balloons to For quick hits all week long, follow @tednesi.

1. The Republican primary for governor between Allan Fung and Ken Block continues to be quite a fight. As Walt Buteau put it after Tuesday’s WPRI 12/Providence Journal debate, the gloves didn’t have to come off during it because they were never on in the first place. Fung once again hammered Block for backing Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012; considering only 6% of Republicans voted for the president two years ago, that certainly makes him an outlier. Yet the former Moderate Party chief has worked to offset his heresy by acting as a relentless – and effective – opponent of top General Assembly Democrats, whom some Republican regulars dislike even more intensely than Obama. Looking ahead, Fung is set up well to win the Rhode Island Republican Party’s endorsement Thursday after being recommended by its Steve Frias-led nominating committee, though that wasn’t enough to secure previous nominations for Jim Bennett or Ron Machtley. Either way, the final decision will be made by a tiny swath of Rhode Island’s 743,000-strong electorate: as Scott MacKay noted after Tuesday’s debate, Don Carcieri defeated Bennett with just 17,227 votes back in 2002.

2. Speaking of Republicans, the party is now set to field competitive candidates for at least three of the five statewide offices. Either Fung or Block is poised to lead the GOP at the top of the ticket, and both could have crossover appeal to some independents and Democrats. Catherine Taylor – a proven vote-getter who nearly defeated Ralph Mollis in 2010 – will kick off her campaign for lieutenant governor Monday at Saul Kaplan’s Business Innovation Factory. (It could easily wind up being a rematch against Mollis.) Dawson Hodgson is running a spirited, if underfunded, campaign for attorney general against incumbent Peter Kilmartin that’s trying to harness voters’ anger over 38 Studios. (Rhode Island State Police Col. Steven O’Donnell didn’t help Hodgson’s cause this week, though.) Also, John Carlevale, who placed fourth in the 1994 Democratic primary for secretary of state, will make another attempt this year on the GOP ticket. That leaves general treasurer as the only office without a known Republican candidate at this time. Over in the General Assembly there’s almost nowhere to go but up for Republicans, who control just 11 of 113 seats in the wake of Obama’s 2012 landslide. GOP Chairman Mark Smiley tells RIPR he expects the party to field at least 40 “viable” candidates in “targeted races that we believe we have a really good shot at winning.” One tough break for most GOP candidates: the Rhode Island Senate kept the master lever in place for this November’s election.

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NECAP, teacher eval bills to dominate final day of legislative session

June 20th, 2014 at 12:49 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Two bills that would dramatically change education policy in Rhode Island – and send shudders through the school reform community – remain in play heading into the final day of the legislative session.

House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello said Thursday legislation that would place a moratorium on the use of standardized tests for the state’s high school graduation policy until 2017 and a bill to limit the frequency of teacher evaluations could still be voted on before lawmakers wrap up the session Friday evening.

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Gorbea, Mattiello trade barbs after he backs De Ramel

June 19th, 2014 at 5:43 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – One of the two Democrats running for secretary of slate is less than pleased with House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello for backing her rival in the race. And the speaker isn’t taking the criticism lying down.

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RI unemployment rate falls as 2,000 jobs get added

June 19th, 2014 at 3:10 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Rhode Island is finally getting some sustained good news about the state’s economy.

Rhode Island’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 8.2% in May, down from 8.3% in April and 9% as recently as February, and is now at the lowest level since August 2008, the R.I. Department of Labor and Training said in a statement Thursday.

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