Sunshine is a Double-Edged Sword

July 28th, 2014 at 1:07 pm by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

It’s nice to have the sun this afternoon, but it really is a double-edged sword.  The sunshine will go to work and help de-stabilize the atmosphere in Southern New England.  This will help any storms that do develop to intensify and maintain their strength.  The satellite photo below shows many breaks in the cloud cover over our area.

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The high-resolution computer models we use are showing a line of showers and thunderstorms moving out of western New England and into our area during the early evening.  This is the HRRR computer model for 6pm this evening.

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Until then, individual storm cells could continue to pop up through the afternoon in our area.  Any storms, whether they are moving through this afternoon or evening, could be strong to severe.  The atmosphere is ripe for these storms to produce very heavy rain, frequent lightning, large hail and damaging wind gusts.  The threat of an isolated tornado remains with us into the evening.  We’ve already had two confirmed tornadoes in Southern New England during the past two days, and the environment remains favorable for a quick twister to spin up.

We encourage you to remain weather aware through the day.  The good news is…the rest of the week looks delightful.

-Meteorologist T.J. Del Santo


Confirmed Tornado in Revere

July 28th, 2014 at 12:06 pm by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

Between 8 and 10am this morning a strong thunderstorm moved out of Northern Rhode Island and to the North Shore of Boston.  Revere was hit hard by what is now a confirmed tornado.  Live Pinpoint Doppler 12 Radar was tracking the storm as it moved from near Woonsocket to Revere this morning.  The storm was not severe as it moved through Rhode Island, but was developing a mesocycolone (a rotation within the storm cloud).

From the report:

“A TORNADO HAS BEEN CONFIRMED TO HAVE OCCURRED IN REVERE MASSACHUSETTS THIS MORNING. THE DAMAGE ASSESSMENT IS STILL ONGOING TO DETERMINE ADDITIONAL DETAILS SUCH AS THE MAXIMUM TORNADO INTENSITY…ALONG WITH THE LENGTH AND WIDTH OF THE DAMAGE PATH.”

Amazingly, there were no deaths reported to the Revere or Massachusetts State Police, but a baby was hurt by glass after a tree fell on a car.

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Here are some pictures courtesy of the National Weather Service and Marek Kozubal, a Storm Spotter.  You can see some fairly widespread tree and structure damage with these storms.

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-Meteorologist T.J. Del Santo


Watching Things Closely This Afternoon

July 28th, 2014 at 11:49 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

As of 11am, Live Pinpoint Doppler Radar was detecting showers and developing thunderstorms to our south, headed toward the coasts of RI and MA.

Radar_Loop_WEB_009

These storms are moving into an area favorable for development…decent instability, favorable wind shear and sunny skies.  In addition, low-level wind shear is favorable for the development of waterspouts and tornadoes.  While the possibility is low for a twister to develop, it’s there.  We encourage you to stay tuned through the afternoon….these storms can develop quickly.

 

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-Meteorologist T.J. Del Santo


As primary nears, mayoral hopefuls target Buddy Cianci

July 28th, 2014 at 7:51 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Jorge Elorza says it’s about building a diverse coalition of city residents. Brett Smiley says it’s about having the courage to stand up and fight. Michael Solomon says experience is everything.

They’ve got different talking points, but the three leading Democratic candidates for Providence mayor have adopted similar campaign strategies as the clock ticks before their Sept. 9 primary: each is making the case that he is the only one who can defeat former Mayor Vincent A. “Buddy” Cianci Jr. in the general election.

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Some Dry Time, but Strong T-Storms Still Possible

July 28th, 2014 at 5:06 am by under Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

Updated at 9:30 AM:

We are currently in a lull as the downpours from this morning have moved up to our north.  However, if we can sneak in a little sun today…a few more showers and thunderstorms could fire up.  So while there is plenty of dry time, we can’t completely rule out a severe threat.

REST OF MORNING: Plenty of dry time with a little hazy sun possible.  There will be a chance of an isolated shower or strong thunderstorm.

FLASH FLOODING THREAT: Low

WIND DAMAGE THREAT: Low

 

AFTERNOON: Some breaks of sun are possible, but this could actually fire up a few additional showers and thunderstorms.

FLASH FLOODING THREAT: Low

WIND DAMAGE THREAT: Low to Moderate

 

Summary: Even though it won’t be raining the entire day, we need to be on alert for the potential of showers and thunderstorms for the entire day.  There is a SLIGHT risk of an isolated tornado.

Stay tuned and we will keep you updated! -Pete Mangione

 

 


Watch Executive Suite: rVotes founder Steve Adler

July 28th, 2014 at 5:00 am by under Nesi's Notes


Monday’s Storms…Some Could Be Severe

July 27th, 2014 at 9:55 pm by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

As of 9:30pm on Sunday widespread showers and thunderstorms were moving through Pennsylvania.  This is what we will be watching during the overnight and especially Monday morning.

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Multiple computer models indicate this area of showers and thunderstorms will move into New England and expand in areal coverage as it does so.

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Here is the RPM computer model output for 7:30am on Monday morning.

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Storm has Weakened Significantly.

July 27th, 2014 at 8:55 pm by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

As of 8:45pm, that big storm in Connecticut has weakened significantly.  Just a few showers remain in along the CT/RI border.

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This storm was once a towering supercell.  What it looks like now is a sharp contrast between what it looked like at around 5pm.  Here’s a 3 Dimensional look at the storm while it was over Western Massachusetts.  It was a well developed thunderstorm standing up more than 30,000 feet high in the atmosphere.

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-Meteorologist T.J. del Santo


Tracking What Was Once a Severe Storm

July 27th, 2014 at 8:27 pm by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

Live Pinpoint Doppler Radar was tracking a nasty thunderstorm that moved through northern Connecticut.  It had mesocyclone (rotation) in it and was producing large hail alond with damaging wind gusts.  Trees and power lines were knocked down by this storm.

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This storm has weakened significantly, but some gusty winds and downpours are still possible in western RI during the next 30minutes.

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-Meteorologist T.J. Del Santo


Funnel Cloud & Possible Tornado Reported

July 27th, 2014 at 4:38 pm by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

4:46pm Update: The National Weather Service in NY has confirmed that a weak EF0 touched down in Wolcott, CT. 

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As I mentioned in last  night’s blog post, there was the chance for isolated tornado  today.  The biggest threat was in western New England.  Indeed, we saw funnel clouds and a possible tornado today.  Here’s the National Weather Service report regarding a funnel cloud spotted over Springfield, MA which moved to Ludlow, MA.

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In Wolcott, CT a storm chaser caught up with a funnel cloud and captured video of the cloud making contact with the ground as a weak tornado.  He reported a ‘tell-tale roar once the funnel reached the ground.  Here’s a picture of this reported twister and some of the damage near Wolcott High School.  These are from Twitter user @stormtrooperjay

 wolcott_tornado2

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-Meteorologist T.J. Del Santo


Severe Threat Diminishing

July 27th, 2014 at 3:21 pm by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

As of 3pm, we have only a few downpours in RI and nearby MA….mainly over southeast RI.  They are moving eastward into Southeast Massachusetts.

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Looking upstream over Connecticut and New York State we are seeing significant clearing in response to dry air settling over that area.  While the sunshine could spark an isolated shower or thunderstorm into the early evening, the severe threat is diminishing. 

 

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A Few Strong Storms Possible Today, Better Chance Monday

July 27th, 2014 at 8:14 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

Updated at 2:00 PM

If we get a little sun late this afternoon and early evening, that would be our best shot to get some strong thunderstorms.  I would say the chance of those storms turning severe is low, but it is still a possibility.    After that, the next decent chance of severe weather would be overnight into Monday morning.   Please read below for more information.

 

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Here is a breakdown of the severe storm threat:

Now to 8PM: While there will be plenty of dry time during this period, there is a slight chance of severe storms (especially if we can sneak in some sun to heat up the atmosphere).   Inland areas have the best chance (even though it’s a small chance) of getting flash flooding and wind damage, the coast has as a much smaller chance.

8PM to 12AM: The storm threat will still be there, but there will likely be plenty of lulls in the action.

12AM Monday to Monday Noon: The chance of some strong thunderstorms increases, with flash flooding being the biggest threat.

Please stay tuned through out the afternoon, we will continue to update this blog.

-Pete Mangione

 


Watch Newsmakers: De Ramel, Gorbea debate for SoS

July 27th, 2014 at 5:00 am by under Nesi's Notes


Keep a Close Eye on the Weather Sun/Mon

July 26th, 2014 at 11:01 pm by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

During the next two days we will have several chances for showers and thunderstorms.  Some of the storms could be strong, too.

The Storm Prediction Center has put Southern New England under an area where there is a slight risk of severe weather on Sunday.

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The exact timing of these storms is difficult to pinpoint, but there are three main time periods for us:

  • Sunday morning/early afternoon
  • Sunday late afternoon/early evening
  • Monday morning

Round 1: Our first bout of storms comes Sunday morning/early afternoon.  The jet stream will dip down into a favorable position for air to rise over Southern New England.   The jet stream position, along with unstable air in place will allow storms to develop on Sunday morning over New York state and western New England.  These storms will move into RI and nearby MA after 9am and leave by early early afternoon.   The main impacts will be torrential rain, frequent lightning and possibly damaging wind gusts.

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

July 26th, 2014 at 5:00 am by under Nesi's Notes, The Saturday Morning Post

Compdanmcgowanany policy dictates that you get a week off for every award you win, so after Ted’s performance at the Best of Rhode Island party this week, you’re stuck with me for the foreseeable future. As always, send your takes, tips and trial balloons to dmcgowan@wpri.com and tnesi@wpri.com. For quick hits all week long, follow @danmcgowan and @tednesi.

1. Here’s one thing we learned from Democratic secretary of state candidates Nellie Gorbea and Guillaume De Ramel during their 30-minute debate on WPRI 12’s Newsmakers: what they lack in policy differences between one another, they more than make up for in delivery. Facing a steep financial disadvantage in the race, Gorbea came out swinging, attacking her opponent for his connection to Ray Rickman, the former state representative and lobbyist who failed to disclose a $10,000 loan he gave to then-House Majority Leader Gordon Fox in 2009. “It’s not just about policy ideas, but also what are you going to do in the line of fire,” she said. For his part, De Ramel, the perceived favorite thanks to his personal wealth and a stack of endorsements, stayed on message. He agreed that the loan to Fox was inappropriate, but said Rickman is entitled to due process in the probe. De Ramel never quite engaged with Gorbea, except to suggest that one difference between the two is “I’ve never roamed the halls of the State House as a staffer.”

2. Friday’s forum wrapped up a month of debates for all of the statewide races that have a significant primary. If you missed any of them, here’s a breakdown: Democratic governor; Republican governor; lieutenant governor; general treasurer; secretary of state. We’ll be back in action next month with more gubernatorial debates.

3. He may be using Hillary Clinton’s old campaign office, but former Providence Mayor Buddy Cianci is hoping the technology used by conservative upstart David Brat will help build his ground game as he seeks to win back his old job. Cianci, the 73-year-old independent who hasn’t run a competitive race since 1994 – he ran unopposed in ’98 – has signed on to use the well-respected rVotes software to help modernize his campaign, company founder Steve Adler said this week during a taping of myRITV’s Executive Suite. Adler, a Providence native who helped launch the campaign technology that put the Democrats years ahead of their rivals when it came to fundraising and field efforts, has now switched sides and developed a similar program for the GOP. Although Adler’s biggest win came last month when Brat shocked the political world by defeating House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in a Republican primary, it’s worth noting that former Rhode Island GOP Chairman Ken McKay embraced the program several years ago. McKay is now political director for the Republican Governors Association. It’s too early to know what rVotes will mean for Cianci in November, but it is a sign that the former mayor understands what it takes to win a race in 2014. Now all he needs is a functioning website.

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Smoky Skies in Southern New England

July 25th, 2014 at 7:54 pm by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

Typically with a wind flow like we had today, we should have very blue skies.  Instead, the skies were pretty hazy.   That haze was from forest fires in northwest Canada!

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Above is a picture from our Hurricane Barrier Cam in Providence.   You can see the haze in the sky, but you can also tell it was sunny this evening.

Satellite photos from space clearly show the path of the smoke from Canada into Southern New England.   Notice the dull gray blob over all of New England.  You can trace that smoke back up into central Canada.

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The flow of the jet stream (a river of fast moving winds high above in the atmosphere) is from the Arctic Circle directly into Southern New England.

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Now check out this picture from NASA.  This is a high resolution satellite picture of Canada and the northern United States.   You can clearly see the flow of the smoke from the fires in northwest Canada into the Northeast United States.

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The smoke does not bring any hazards to Southern New England.  I could smell the smoke while outside, but the concentration of smoke particles is not high enough at this time.  There have been instances when smoke plumes from distant fires did cause health concerns for us.  This does not appear to be one of those times; nonetheless, we are monitoring this closely.   If you have a respiratory illness where smoke could bother you, leave your windows shut and turn on the air conditioning.

Also, the added smoke in the sky will cause the sunsets to be more colorful.  The skies usually take on a more reddish color with smoke in them.  So, get your cameras ready!

-Meteorologist T.J. Del Santo

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Providence pension investments beat state’s again

July 25th, 2014 at 5:02 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The Providence pension fund’s investment performance beat the state’s once again in the fiscal year that just ended, and it wasn’t particularly close.

The City of Providence Employee Retirement System’s roughly $272-million portfolio earned 17.5% during the 12-month fiscal year that ended June 30. The Employees’ Retirement System of Rhode Island’s roughly $8.2-billion portfolio earned 15.1% over the same period.

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Dem sec. of state candidates oppose voter ID law in debate

July 25th, 2014 at 2:40 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The Democratic candidates for secretary of state said Friday they support bringing in an independent investigator for an active inquiry into Rhode Island’s failed 38 Studios deal and each expressed opposition to the state’s voter identification law.

Guillaume De Ramel and Nellie Gorbea largely agreed on ways the $109,000-a-year state office can oversee elections, regulate lobbyists and create a more efficient system to register businesses during a 30-minute debate on WPRI 12’s Newsmakers.

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Brown University shaking up its political polling operation

July 24th, 2014 at 11:39 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Brown University is working on a reboot of its closely watched Rhode Island political polling operation, WPRI.com has learned.

James Morone, a political science professor who took over from Marion Orr this month as director of Brown’s Taubman Center for Public Policy & American Institutions, confirmed that he is working to hire one or more new staff members to conduct the polls.

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Providence pension lawsuit looming, trial this fall

July 24th, 2014 at 10:09 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Tim White

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – A pending lawsuit by a group of retirees over changes to Providence’s pension system could cost the city more than $11 million over 10 years if the retirees prevail, according to data reviewed by the Target 12 Investigators.

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Forecast Change for the Better Today

July 24th, 2014 at 9:07 am by under General Talk

All week we’ve been talking about a cold front slowing down as it moved off the southern New England coast today… well, there’s some good news!  Instead of the front pestering us with lingering clouds and showers… it looks like it will move just far enough away for the dry air to win out.  That means a pretty nice Thursday.  It won’t be as hot or as humid with partly sunny skies.  There’s just a small chance of a brief shower, but most of us should stay dry through the day.  I hope you can get out and enjoy the day. temp 1


New Providence Journal owner likely to cut jobs, analysts say

July 23rd, 2014 at 10:01 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The Providence Journal’s new owner is likely to cut jobs while boosting revenue through a service that helps local small businesses with online marketing, analysts said Wednesday.

There was widespread agreement among analysts Wednesday that GateHouse will probably cut jobs at The Journal once the deal closes, which is expected to happen by Sept. 30. But they said employees who work in back-office operations are at more risk than reporters.

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Cool Shot of Air Next Week…Does it Affect New England?

July 23rd, 2014 at 5:04 pm by under Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

You may have already heard about the cool air moving in next week.  It is likely that much of the mid-west, northern plains, and even parts of the northeast will be affected by this cool plunge.  However, for our viewing area here in southern New England, the cool-down might not be quite as extreme.

As projected by the European model, here is a look at surface temperatures next Tuesday afternoon/evening.

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Image Courtesy accuweather.com

Note the temperatures in the 50s and 60s around the Great Lakes region. That’s pretty cool stuff for a summer afternoon in that part of the country.  Also note the 70s showing up for Southern New England.  Because of the time zone difference, this actually represents Tuesday evening on the east coast…so 70s on the east coast is really not that unusual.

So why will this affect out neighbors to the west more than us? A lot of it has to do with what is going on high up in the atmosphere.  As projected by the European model, here is what is going on at 500 millibars next Tuesday afternoon/evening. (The height of 500 millibars varies by temperature, but it averages several miles above the surface of the earth).

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Image Courtesy accuweather.com

The 500mb chart is usually a great way to show large scale weather patterns.  If you think of the chart like a mountain range, the ridges often represent the warmer weather and the dips often represent the cooler weather.  Notice the major dip from Canada all the way down into the Tennessee Valley…but also notice that New England is more on the edge of the dip than the center of the dip.  This suggests that the cold plunge will be more of a “glancing blow” than a direct hit for southern New England.

That being said, we are still almost a week away from the event, and the computer models can sometimes underestimate these cool air invasions.  We will keep you posted! -Pete Mangione

 

 

 


Q&A: Jon Chesto explains new Projo owner GateHouse Media

July 23rd, 2014 at 2:38 pm by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site

Jon Chesto BBJThere’s a new media giant in town: New Media Investment Group, GateHouse Media’s parent company, is buying The Providence Journal for roughly $46 million. The deal instantly gives GateHouse, a major force in Massachusetts newspapering, a huge foothold in Rhode Island less than a year after the company exited bankruptcy.

Jon Chesto is managing editor of the Boston Business Journal and a former business editor at the Patriot-Ledger in Quincy, Massachusetts, which GateHouse owns. A close follower of GateHouse, Chesto wrote a perceptive analysis of the Journal deal Tuesday night. He spoke with WPRI.com on Wednesday about the deal and what it means for the paper’s future. The conversation has been lightly edited for length and clarity.

Let’s start with the basics for people down here in Rhode Island. What is New Media Investment Group? What’s its relationship with GateHouse?

New Media Investment Group is a publicly traded company that’s an umbrella group that includes GateHouse and a number of companies that have been acquired by Fortress [Investment Group]. Prior to that it was an affiliate of Fortress that bought the Dow Jones community papers formerly known as Ottaway, and those were sort of the original New Media papers. There have been several papers since.

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Providence mayoral candidates talk taxes, ‘Superman’ building at forum

July 23rd, 2014 at 2:18 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The Democratic candidates for Providence mayor said Tuesday they want to hold the line on property taxes, grow the police force and find a way to make use of the vacant “Superman” building in downtown without completely bailing out its owners.

The comments from City Council President Michael Solomon, Jorge Elorza, Brett Smiley and Chris Young came during a candidate forum held at the Summit Commons on Hillside Avenue Tuesday evening. The two-hour event was hosted by the Summit Neighborhood Association and moderated by Rhode Island College professor Thomas Schmeling.

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Providence mayoral hopefuls Solomon, Smiley at odds on crime

July 23rd, 2014 at 1:22 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The gloves are coming off in the Providence mayor’s race. And it has nothing to do with Buddy Cianci.

After Michael Solomon unveiled his public safety plan Wednesday, Democratic primary opponent Brett Smiley criticized Solomon for not doing enough to address crime during his two terms on the City Council.

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Providence Journal sold to GateHouse parent for $46M

July 22nd, 2014 at 6:55 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The Providence Journal has been sold to GateHouse Media parent company New Media Investment Group Inc. for approximately $46 million, Journal owner A.H. Belo announced late Tuesday afternoon.

The newspaper was put up for sale in December by A.H. Belo, which bought it in 1997. In addition to GateHouse, which emerged from bankruptcy last year and owns a number of papers in Massachusetts and other states, New Media’s other divisions are Local Media Group Inc. and Propel Marketing.

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Eastside Marketplace sold to Stop & Shop’s owner

July 22nd, 2014 at 10:41 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Scott Laurans, the longtime owner of Eastside Marketplace, told WPRI.com on Tuesday that Ahold USA, the American division of Royal Ahold NV, has bought the local grocery store’s holding company, ESM Inc.

Eastside Marketplace will retain its name and be operated as a separate division of Ahold USA, he said.

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As term nears end, Gov. Chafee sees ‘progress’ on education

July 22nd, 2014 at 8:14 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Nearly two months after Lincoln Chafee launched his campaign for governor in 2010, he sat in the Central Falls High School auditorium and watched as the city’s school board called out the names of 93 teachers, specialists and guidance counselors. All of them were fired.

Chafee still recalls the tears shed by students as they watched their teachers lose their jobs and the angry union protesters who loudly opposed the board’s decision, one that made the one-square-mile city a national battleground over school reform on that February evening. He promised himself things would be different if he won the state’s top job.

Now, as he enters the final months of his one and only term as governor of Rhode Island, Chafee says he has put a halt to the “divisive labor warfare” he inherited thanks to compromises on both sides. And while a large achievement gap between poor and affluent students still exists, Chafee argues the investments he’s made in education have put the state on a path toward producing better outcomes.

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Tropical Depression #2 Has Formed

July 21st, 2014 at 4:56 pm by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

It’s not too much of a surprise…Tropical Depression #2 has formed in the Deep Tropics.

TD2

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The system has become better organized with thunderstorms organizing around the center of circulation.  TD #2 is expected to continue to move west-northwestward with minimal development.  The National Hurricane Center said that it will be moving over an area of unfavorable water temperatures in the next 2 days.  Also, drier air near the Caribbean Sea will also hinder its development.  Still, it’s a system to watch closely in the coming days.

 

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via Noaa

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 -Meteorologist T.J. Del Santo