AS Daily News Roundup: Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Table of Contents
Education
ProJo: URI sees a spike in senior dropouts
ProJo: School grids for tension over prayer-banner ruling
ProJo: Breakfast of champions
ProJo: Both sides invoke King in charter school debate
WRNI: North Kingstown students get lesson in democracy
Health and Wellness
WRNI: What Blue Cross rate hikes mean for Rhode Islanders
Politics and Government
ProJo: Reports trace flow of dollars from lobbyists
ProJo: City to review every expenditure
ProJo: Disability-pension review continues
ProJo: Ex-Newport mayor Robert J. McKenna
GoLocalProv: Cicilline “ruined” Providence’s finances: Audit shows little money in Rainy Day fund
GoLocalProv: Democratic state senators want to legalize death penalty 
Opinion
RI Future: Libby Kimzey raises over $13,000 in twelve days
ProJo: Ed Fitzpatrick: Councilman says Brown should follow Yale’s lead
ProJo: Editorial: Brian drain vs. brain gain
ProJo: To boost economy, clean up the mucky R.I. Senate

Education

ProJo: URI sees a spike in senior dropouts (A1)
By Gina Macris
SOUTH KINGSTOWN — The University of Rhode Island has experienced unusually high attrition in its senior class this year, losing about 300 students who had been on track for graduation in May.

ProJo: School grids for tension over prayer-banner ruling (A1)
By Lynn Arditi and Maria Armental
A student at Cranston High School West has been disciplined and police continue to investigate threats made through social media outlets against 16-year-old student Jessica Ahlquist, who is expected to return to school when it reopens Tuesday.

ProJo: Breakfast of champions (A4)
By Tatiana Pina
CRANSTON — Naja Sobers has big plans after she graduates from college. The senior at the University of Massachusetts Amherst is studying public health and wants to start a nonprofit peer-education organization in Woonsocket where teenagers can educate their peers about health issues and their civil liberties.

ProJo: Both sides invoke King in charter school debate (A6)
By Linda Borg
PROVIDENCE –– Both sides in the increasingly acrimonious debate over Achievement First invoked the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in yet another skirmish Monday.

WRNI: North Kingstown students get lesson in democracy
By Elisabeth Harrison

High School students in North Kingstown have been getting politically active as part of a course in democracy. The students researched problems that were important to them and came up with their own solutions. Rhode Island Public Radio’s education reporter Elisabeth Harrison was on hand when they got a chance to pitch their ideas to politicians and local officials.

http://www.publicbroadcasting.net/wrni/news.newsmain/article/0/13/1894272/Top.Stories/North.Kingstown.students.get.lesson.in.democracy

Health and Wellness

WRNI: What Blue Cross rate hikes mean for Rhode Islanders
By Megan Hall

Rhode Islanders will have a chance to weigh in this morning on a proposal to raise health insurance rates for residents who buy their own health insurance. Blue Cross Blue Shield wants to charge an average 4.4% more this year, but that’s not the only change in store for so called direct pay customers. 

http://www.publicbroadcasting.net/wrni/news.newsmain/article/0/1/1894282/RIPR.News/What.Blue.Cross.rate.hikes.mean.for.Rhode.Islanders

Politics and Government

ProJo: Reports trace flow of dollars from lobbyists (A1)
By Katherine Gregg
PROVIDENCE — Senate Majority Leader Dominick Ruggerio earned $193,539 last year in salary and benefits, including a car allowance and pension contribution, from his day job as the administrator of an arm of the Laborers’ International Union of North America, which pursues public and private construction contracts across New England.

ProJo: City to review every expenditure (A5)
By Michael P. McKinney
PAWTUCKET –– Mayor Donald R. Grebien has announced the reinstatement of a financial freeze that requires case-by-case approval before city money gets spent in the current fiscal year.

ProJo: Disability-pension review continues (A8)
By Gregory Smith
PROVIDENCE — A city government review of the legitimacy of about 100 accidental-disability pensions being paid to firefighters has turned up no evidence of corruption. But 20 of the cases have been set aside for possible follow-up action.

ProJo: Ex-Newport mayor Robert J. McKenna (A8)
By Richard C. Dujardin
NEWPORT –– Robert J. McKenna, a former state senator and Newport mayor whose colorful career included battles against abortion as a leader of the state’s Right to Life movement, a job as an aide to former U.S. Sen. Claiborne Pell, and the chairmanship of the New England Board of Higher Education, died Sunday at home. He was 80.

GoLocalProv: Cicilline “ruined” Providence’s finances: Audit shows little money in Rainy Day fund
By Dan McGowan

A new audit of Providence finances shows the city is still struggling to get its fiscal house in order, something critics blame squarely on former Mayor and current Congressman David Cicilline.

http://www.golocalprov.com/news/provfinances/

GoLocalProv: Democratic state senators want to legalize death penalty 

By Dan McGowan

Rhode Island hasn’t executed a criminal since 1845 and the practice has been banned since 1984, but if several state lawmakers have their way, that could soon change.

http://www.golocalprov.com/news/death-penalty/

Opinion

RI Future: Libby Kimzey raises over $13,000 in twelve days
By Brian Hull

So, for those of you who don’t know, RI Future writer and all around awesome person, Libby Kimzey, is running for House District 8.  She had to delay her announcement until late December due to the contract she was under.  But for the 12 days of December from the 20th to the 31st, she raised almost $14,000 for her campaign.  

http://www.rifuture.org/libby-kimzey-raises-over-13000-in-twelve-days.html

ProJo: Ed Fitzpatrick: Councilman says Brown should follow Yale’s lead (A4)
By Edward Fitzpatrick
Yale University gets it. That’s the message Providence Councilman Samuel D. Zurier is delivering as the city presses tax-exempt Brown University for additional payments to help erase a $110-million deficit.

ProJo: Editorial: Brian drain vs. brain gain (B6)
When it comes to educational achievement, Rhode Island typically lags behind every New England state except Maine. But, from a national perspective, being near the bottom of the New England heap on education ain’t bad. In 2010, just over 30 percent of Rhode Island’s workers had a college degree. Only 11 states could boast a bigger share.

ProJo: To boost economy, clean up the mucky R.I. Senate (B7)
By Edward Achorn
Rhode Island Senate President Teres Paiva Weed did excellent work last year in helping reform the state pension system, fending off a financial disaster and bringing the state much-needed positive press. This year, she is admirably looking at improving our disastrous business climate.
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