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This Hour: Latest Rhode Island news, sports, business and entertainment

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ECONOMIC GROWTH-NEW ENGLAND

Data: Connecticut, Maine have slow economic growth

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - New federal statistics show economic growth in New England has been slowest in Connecticut and Maine since the end of the Great Recession.

The Commerce Department released statistics of quarterly gross domestic product - the measure of all goods and services - from 2005 to 2013. From the second quarter of 2009 until the end of 2013, the economies of Connecticut and Maine grew by 3 percent.

In contrast, growth in the region's largest economy, Massachusetts, was 11 percent. Growth was greatest in Vermont, at 12 percent, though the state's $27.9 million economy last year was the smallest in New England.

Economic growth was 9 percent in New Hampshire. Even in Rhode Island, where high unemployment persists, the economy grew by 6 percent.

The U.S. economy expanded by 10 percent.

NEW ENGLAND ENERGY

New England govs' regional energy effort in doubt

BOSTON (AP) - A nearly yearlong effort by New England's governors to address the region's soaring energy costs has been put on hold.

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick has called for a delay as he and others express concerns over plans for importing hydropower from Canada and investing in new natural gas pipelines.

The governors were expected to detail their proposal to impose tariffs on electric ratepayers to finance the energy infrastructure projects by early September.

Patrick's office says it wants more time to weigh its options. Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin and New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan have also voiced concerns in recent months.

Maine Gov. Paul LePage's administration is "deeply concerned" and wants Patrick to reconsider his stance. Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee's administration says it's exploring other opportunities in the meantime.

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION

Group pushes for RI constitutional convention

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - A coalition is launching a drive to push for Rhode Island voters to approve a constitutional convention when they go to the polls in November.

WPRO reports that Renew RI announced its effort on Wednesday.

The last constitutional convention was held in 1986. In 2004, voters rejected holding one.

If a convention is held, locally elected delegates would consider proposed constitutional amendments that would have to be approved by voters.

Gary Sasse, co-chair of the coalition, says it's the only route to get critical issues before the people.

Some groups have opposed the convention, saying they fear it could put civil liberties up for a vote.

Former Rhode Island Supreme Court Justice Robert Flanders calls that a "false issue" saying those rights are already protected at the federal level.

PROVIDENCE STABBING

Person stabbed on Wickenden Street in Providence

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - A person has been stabbed outside a well-known Providence coffee shop not far from Brown University.

The daytime stabbing happened at 11 a.m. Wednesday near the Coffee Exchange on Wickenden Street.

Police say they arrested a suspect later in Johnston, but no details of the arrest were released.

The victim was stabbed in the chest and taken to Rhode Island Hospital. Police did not release details about the victim's identity or condition, or what may have led to the stabbing.

Woody Allen was using the Coffee Exchange as a set to film his latest movie earlier this month.

WJAR SALE

WJAR-TV being sold to Sinclair Broadcast Group

CRANSTON, R.I. (AP) - Media General is selling WJAR-TV to Sinclair Broadcast Group.

The sale was announced Wednesday by Media General and LIN Media. The two broadcast companies are combining.

WJAR serves the greater Providence market. The station's studios are located in Cranston.

LIN owns WJAR's competitor, WPRI-TV, and regulatory rules required that one of the stations be sold.

Sinclair is based in Maryland.

Media General announced it was buying LIN in March. The two had to divest of stations in five markets because of Federal Communications Commission ownership rules.

SCHILLING-CANCER

Schilling blames chewing tobacco for mouth cancer

BOSTON (AP) - Former major league pitcher Curt Schilling says he's battling mouth cancer and blames 30 years of chewing tobacco use.

Schilling discussed details of his cancer on WEEI-FM in Boston on Wednesday. He announced he had cancer in February, but had not disclosed what kind.

He says it's due to chewing tobacco.

Schilling is being treated at Brigham and Women's Hospital and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. He received seven weeks of chemotherapy and radiation treatments and is in remission. He says he's lost 75 pounds.

Schilling is a three-time World Series champion with the Arizona Diamondbacks and Boston Red Sox.

He's being sued by Rhode Island's economic development agency after his video game company received a $75 million state loan guarantee and then collapsed.

GOVERNOR-RHODE ISLAND

Narragansett Beer stars in new campaign commercial

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - Narragansett Beer - a Rhode Island icon - is starring in a new political ad.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gina Raimondo released a TV commercial Wednesday using the story of the beer's rise, fall - and rise again - to highlight her plans for a manufacturing resurgence.

The beer's sales languished and the Cranston brewery ultimately closed in 1983. A 2005 investment from Raimondo's venture capital firm helped two Rhode Islanders buy Narragansett back from Pabst and open a Providence headquarters.

Most Narragansett is brewed in New York but the company hopes to brew locally "sooner rather than later."

Raimondo says the ad is about a comeback story and that Rhode Island needs a comeback.

Also Tuesday, the gubernatorial hopefuls met at a forum focused on the hospitality industry.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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