AS Daily News Roundup: Thursday, January 19, 2012

Table of Contents
Education
ProJo: Brown’s tax exemption challenged
PBN: Neumont University takes first step toward Providence campus
Health and Wellness
ProJo: Pertussis cases in Barrington now at 21; unrelated case reported in Middletown
ProJo: Landmark’s would-be buyer completes application
PBN: Customers testify at Blue Cross rate hearing
Politics and Government
ProJo: Report: Mass. casinos threaten R.I. revenue
ProJo: Driving at tax fairness
PolitiFact: Did Doherty reverse his stance on abortion?
ProJo News Digest: Latino group honors Taveras
ProJo: DNA samples sought from accused in proposed law
ProJo: Bills target cuts to social services
ProJo: Whitehouse backs Senate version of bill
Opinion
GoLocalProv: Julia Steiny: How westerly turned its science scores around
RI Future: Rep. Lima to introduce Voter ID repeal legislation
ProJo: Ed Fitzpatrick: R.I. to get on board with online fiscal notes
ProJo Letter to the Editor: In agony without pot
Education

ProJo: Brown’s tax exemption challenged (A5)
By Alisha A. Pina
PROVIDENCE — Stating that Providence is losing critical revenue, City Councilman John J. Igliozzi wants the state to remove Brown University’s blanket property-tax exemption.

PBN: Neumont University takes first step toward Providence campus
By Kimberly Donoghue

PROVIDENCE – Legislation to allow a Utah-based university to begin the approval process for opening a new campus in Rhode Island was introduced in the House of Representatives on Wednesday.

http://pbn.com/Neumont-University-takes-first-step-toward-Providence-campus,64672?category_id=31&sub_type=stories,packages

Health and Wellness

ProJo: Pertussis cases in Barrington now at 21; unrelated case reported in Middletown (A5)
By Felice J. Freyer
The pertussis outbreak in Barrington continues to spread, with a total of 21cases reported so far, according to the state Health Department.

ProJo: Landmark’s would-be buyer completes application (A10)
By Felice J. Freyer
At long last, the process of deciding whether a Massachusetts hospital chain can buy Landmark Medical Center has begun.

PBN: Customers testify at Blue Cross rate hearing
By Richard Asinof

WARWICK – A public hearing on the rate request by Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island for its Direct Pay health insurance plans was held on Jan. 17 in the hearing room at the R.I. Public Utilities Commission.

http://pbn.com/Hearing-held-on-rate-increases-for-Direct-Pay-health-plans,64667?category_id=31&sub_type=stories,packages

Politics and Government

ProJo: Report: Mass. casinos threaten R.I. revenue (A1)
By Katherine Gregg
PROVIDENCE — Casino gambling in Massachusetts could siphon more than $100 million annually out of the Rhode Island treasury, according to a newly released study commissioned by Governor Chafee.

ProJo: Driving at tax fairness (A1)
By Barbara Polichetti
PROVIDENCE — A proposal to change the way the state values vehicles for tax purposes will probably address concerns that ignited taxpayer protests, but will have financial consequences for municipalities and also shine a spotlight on other vehicle-tax inequities in Rhode Island.

PolitiFact: Did Doherty reverse his stance on abortion? (A2)
By C. Eugene Emery Jr.
Opponents of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney have gained some traction by criticizing the former Massachusetts governor for flip-flopping on the abortion issue. 

ProJo News Digest: Latino group honors Taveras (A8)
By Alisha A. Pina
The Latino Leaders Network honored Providence Mayor Angel Taveras at its annual Tribute to Mayors dinner Wednesday night in Washington, D.C.

ProJo: DNA samples sought from accused in proposed law (A9)
By Katie Mulvaney
PROVIDENCE — State lawmakers will once again consider legislation that calls for anyone arrested for a violent crime to provide a DNA sample that would then be fed into a federal database.

ProJo: Bills target cuts to social services (A10)
By Philip Marcelo
PROVIDENCE –– State budget cuts affecting social services could be reversed if any one of a number of bills introduced into the General Assembly this month are approved by lawmakers.

ProJo: Whitehouse backs Senate version of bill (B1)
By John E. Mulligan
WASHINGTON — As Wikipedia’s Wednesday blackout capped an extraordinary online outcry against federal Internet piracy bills, two members of Rhode Island’s congressional delegation came out against the legislation and a third swung behind a version designed to address the opposition’s concerns.

Opinion

GoLocalProv: Julia Steiny: How westerly turned its science scores around
By Julia Steiny

In 2008, bad news came like body blows to the little beach town of Westerly, RI. First, the elementary and middle-school science scores were fairly disappointing, but the high school full-on bombed. The 11th graders scored a percentage point below the state average, which itself was a pathetic 18 percent proficient. Teachers had worked hard for test-score squat.

http://www.golocalprov.com/news/julia-steiny-how-westerly-turned-its-science-scores-around/

RI Future: Rep. Lima to introduce Voter ID repeal legislation
By Brian Hull

Watch for Rep. Charlene Lima to introduce legislation today to repeal the Voter ID bill that passed last session and was signed by Governor Chafee.  She has been circulating the legislation in the House and has about 15 co-sponsors.  It will likely be coming today in tandem with her press statement which was not completed yesterday.

http://www.rifuture.org/rep-lima-to-introduce-voter-id-repeal-legislation.html

ProJo: Ed Fitzpatrick: R.I. to get on board with online fiscal notes (A1)
By Edward Fitzpatrick
It’s exactly the kind of list we don’t want to be on. On Jan. 11, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and the American Civil Liberties Union issued a report saying Rhode Island is one of seven states that fail to provide the public with online access to fiscal notes.

ProJo Letter to the Editor: In agony without pot (B7)
By Stuart Smith
Governor Chafee has stated repeatedly that he supports the use of medicinal marijuana. Unfortunately, he has failed to translate his words into effective action. The General Assembly approved professionally-run, state-regulated, non-profit centers. The governor chose not to let these centers open.
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