2 beach deaths not considered suspicious
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - Authorities say the deaths of two men found on Rhode Island beaches over the weekend do not appear suspicious.
The body of a 64-year-old South Kingstown man was found by a couple walking a dog Sunday morning near a building at Scarborough Beach in Narragansett. The Providence Journal reports the state Department of Environmental Management has identified him as Alan Mason.
A 53-year-old Providence man also was found by a kayaker Saturday at the Quonochontaug Breachway in Charlestown. The Westerly Sun reports Charlestown police identified him Joseph Huston.
Autopsies on both men are scheduled.
There is no known connection between the deaths.
No charges likely after car hits Warwick cyclist
WARWICK, R.I. (AP) - Warwick police say no charges are likely to be filed over an accident involving a car and a bicycle that left the 63-year-old cyclist seriously injured.
Authorities on Monday identified the cyclist as Joseph Izzo of Warwick. They say he suffered serious injuries and is in intensive care at Rhode Island Hospital. The hospital said Monday he is in fair condition.
The accident took place around 10:15 p.m. Friday along Greenwich Avenue. A preliminary investigation found that a 44-year-old Cranston woman was driving northwest when she struck Izzo, who was biking in the right-hand travel lane.
Police say it doesn't appear that speed and alcohol were factors in either party in the accident and that charges aren't likely.
The investigation is ongoing.
Group: Minorities disproportionately suspended
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - The Rhode Island chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union says black students were suspended last year from public schools at the highest rates in nine years. White students were suspended at record low rates.
The group's report, released Monday, is based on a review of state data from the 2012-2013 school year.
It found that black and Hispanic students were disproportionately suspended relative to the size of their populations. It found that white students were suspended less often than would be expected.
Suspensions overall were down following implementation of a law prohibiting out-of-school suspensions for attendance violations. But the report found that more than 60 percent of suspensions last school year were for "low-risk behavioral infractions."
Education Commissioner Deborah Gist's spokesman had no immediate comment on the report.
Paiva Weed: Skills gap a serious, growing problem
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - Rhode Island's Senate president says the so-called skills gap is a "serious and growing problem" that must be addressed as part of the push to improve the sagging state economy.
Teresa Paiva Weed said Monday at the Senate's annual economic summit that the lack of qualified workers hurts the economy and hinders efforts to lower an unemployment rate that has been among the nation's highest.
Rhode Island's January jobless rate was 9.2 percent.
Paiva Weed said the skills gap demands decisive action and cited Senate leaders' "Rhode to Work" legislative plan. It calls for more investment in job training programs and adult education, more internships and apprenticeships and better coordination of existing workforce training programs.
U.S. Education Department Assistant Secretary Brenda Dann-Messier praised the plan for its "creative, aggressive action."
Raimondo releases plan for manufacturing jobs
SMITHFIELD, R.I. (AP) - Rhode Island gubernatorial candidate Gina Raimondo has released a plan she says would increase manufacturing jobs in a state with one of the worst unemployment rates in the nation.
The Democratic general treasurer's plan released Monday includes fostering innovation by partnering with universities and businesses to create "innovation institutes" where schools can develop new ideas for products and bring them to market.
She wants to improve workforce training at the Community College of Rhode Island and help manufacturers to navigate regulations.
Raimondo says her plan would grow advanced manufacturing in a state that was once a manufacturing powerhouse.
Raimondo is running in the Democratic primary against Clay Pell and Providence Mayor Angel Taveras. Republicans Ken Block and Cranston Mayor Allan Fung are also running to replace Gov. Lincoln Chafee.
Campaign: Pell misplaced wife Kwan's car in Dec.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - A Toyota Prius owned by former Olympic skater Michelle Kwan and reported stolen last month by Kwan and her husband, Rhode Island gubernatorial candidate Clay Pell, was briefly missing before.
Pell's campaign manager Devin Driscoll said Monday that Pell reported it missing Dec. 18 before realizing he'd left it parked overnight at a coffee shop near the couple's home. Driscoll said Pell had driven to the shop for a meeting, then walked home. The incident was reported Monday by the Providence Journal.
The couple reported the car missing again Feb. 25 after Pell dropped the keys between the seats, and left it parked outside their home.
The Journal reported last week Kwan told a neighborhood meeting a hockey stick signed by NHL champion Wayne Gretzky was in the missing car.
Lawsuit seeks to stop center at Breakers mansion
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - Neighbors of The Breakers estate, the Gilded Age Vanderbilt family mansion and national historic landmark in Newport, are suing to block a new welcome center that's planned for the site.
The neighborhood association filed the lawsuit Friday against the Preservation Society of Newport County, which owns the 70-room mansion and operates it as a museum. The Preservation Society wants to build the center for its 400,000 annual visitors with services including ticketing and prepared sandwiches.
The neighbors group says the plan violates the city zoning ordinance. It has suggested building the center in a parking lot across the street, rather than the grounds.
The Preservation Society says the lawsuit is without merit and that it will vigorously defend against it.
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