RI tea party members protest IRS
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - Tea party activists are rallying outside IRS offices in Rhode Island to protest the federal agency's scrutiny of their groups.
About 20 people stood outside the Internal Revenue Service's downtown Providence office Tuesday afternoon.
Jon Granger says he participated in the protest to stand up to the administration of President Barack Obama, who he says is trying to use the American government to silence dissent.
Similar events were planned in other cities around the country.
IRS officials have acknowledged that the agency inappropriately targeted some conservative groups.
Teachers call for ouster of RI commissioner
CRANSTON, R.I. (AP) - Teachers attending a union forum in Cranston have called for the ouster of Rhode Island Education Commissioner Deborah Gist.
About 600 teachers attended the forum Monday night in Cranston, expressing displeasure over new teacher evaluations, an emphasis on standardized testing and what teachers say is Gist's inflexibility over her policies.
Under a new evaluation policy, any teacher who receives a poor evaluation and receives an ineffective rating for two additional years can be fired. Teachers say the evaluations rely too much on student test scores.
Gist, whose contract expires in June, said in a written statement that while it's important to listen to the teachers' point of view, her decisions are based on what is in the best interest of the students, not a public outcry.
Providence police ID 19-year-old homicide victim
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - Providence police have identified the 19-year-old man fatally shot in the back.
Police say they responded to Steere Avenue at about 10:10 p.m. Monday for a report of a gunshot victim. They found city resident Tyler Marchand on the ground with a wound to the back.
He was taken to Rhode Island Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
He is Providence's fifth homicide victim of the year.
Police are investigating.
RI homeowners get $150M to date in mortgage relief
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - Rhode Island's attorney general says nearly 2,100 homeowners in the state have received a total of $150 million in relief through the national mortgage settlement but that banks have more to do to comply with the settlement's terms.
Peter Kilmartin reported Tuesday on the progress made through the end of March by the five mortgage providers that are part of the settlement.
The average amount of assistance in debt forgiveness, principal refinancing or other programs in Rhode Island is $72,700.
About 1,000 more homeowners in Rhode Island are either in the approval or trial phase of lien modification relief programs.
Kilmartin says his office receives homeowner complaints indicating banks aren't fully compliant with the terms of the settlement. He says he's reporting those issues to the national settlement monitor.
Former police official tapped to head jail's board
CENTRAL FALLS, R.I. (AP) - A former Rhode Island state police superintendent has been picked to lead the board at the Donald W. Wyatt Detention Facility.
Mayor James Diossa, a Democrat, picked Republican Brendan Doherty for the post Monday.
Doherty replaces Steven Hartford, who resigned last week, citing his responsibilities as the town manager of Westerly.
Doherty tells the Providence Journal he plans to reach out to federal officials in an attempt to get prisoners from Immigration and Customs Enforcement returned to the facility.
The agency removed 151 immigrant detainees from the jail in 2008 after a Chinese national from New York died while in custody there.
The average prisoner population at Wyatt for the first four months of 2013 was 616. That's up from 582 in 2009, but will below the 770-inmate capacity.
GOVERNOR'S RACE-MODERATE PARTY
Moderate Party chief Block to run again for RI gov
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - Moderate Party Chairman Ken Block is making another run for Rhode Island governor.
Block announced his candidacy on Tuesday and says he's forming a finance committee.
Block won less than 7% of the vote in the 2010 race, losing to current Gov. Lincoln Chafee (CHAY'-fee), an independent.
Since then, Block has accused the state of not doing enough to eliminate Medicaid and food stamp fraud and called for the elimination of straight-ticket voting as an option on election ballots.
Block says Rhode Island is starved for leadership and needs a governor with better ideas for fixing the economy.
Chafee is expected to seek another term. Treasurer Gina Raimondo and Providence Mayor Angel Taveras - both Democrats - are considered likely candidates, as is Allan Fung, the Republican mayor of Cranston.
Brown not expected to act on divestment this week
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - Brown University's governing body isn't expected to act on the issue of divestment at its business meeting this week despite a student campaign pushing for a vote.
A spokeswoman says the school doesn't anticipate The Corporation will take action at its annual May meeting scheduled for Thursday and Friday.
Members of the Brown Divest Coal Campaign have been invited to speak at the meeting. The group has been pushing the corporation to support divestment. They held a mock vote on campus earlier this month.
An advisory committee on corporate responsibility has recommended that the university divest from the largest coal companies.
Students in the group say that nearly 3,000 undergraduates and hundreds of alumni and faculty have signed a petition supporting divestment.
Former RI senate candidate runs for Colo. Governor
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - A onetime Republican Senate candidate from Rhode Island says he's going to run for governor of Colorado.
Former Cranston Mayor Steve Laffey took on then-incumbent U.S. Sen. Lincoln Chafee (CHAY'-fee) in the Republican primary in 2006. Laffey had the backing of conservative groups such as the Club for Growth, and lost. Chafee went on to lose in the general election.
Laffey, a former investment banker with six children, moved to a ranch in Fort Collins, Colo., three years ago.
He told WPRO-AM on Tuesday that Colorado is headed toward disaster. He objects to proposals to increase gun control, raise electricity rates and the legalization of marijuana.
He says he's put a significant amount of his own money into his campaign, but will have to raise more.
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