Reporter

Reporter: Kickstarting Innovation

In the wake of the fallout from 38 Studios, the future of jobs in Rhode Island may be with smaller entrepreneurs who are finding the state a good place to launch their dreams.

For an object that is part twenty-first-century Swiss Army knife and part appendage, a smartphone can be maddeningly clumsy. It takes great photos. But you don’t know that your hand shook when you shot them until the images are loaded onto a computer. And that’s another thing: It’s always in your hand — except when you drop it. The smartphone’s…

Reporter: Force Under Fire

The shooting of an unarmed teenager in Missouri has sparked a national conversation about the use of excessive force by police.

Elmwood Avenue rarely sleeps, but the sharp cry of pain was enough to rouse John Prince’s curiosity. Outside, Prince saw a man in handcuffs as undercover Providence police officers prepared to transport him. In the heavily policed neighborhoods of South Providence, an arrest was hardly remarkable. But what Prince saw next disturbed him. A community organizer for Direct Action for…

Reporter: Sexual Assault on Rhode Island College Campuses

Colleges and universities have been grappling with how to handle sexual assault for decades and Rhode Island institutions are working to address the problem.

In 1990, the women said “No.” Colgate University student Kristen Buxton filed a $10 million negligence suit against the school over its handling of her sexual assault by three men. The 1986 rape and murder of Lehigh co-ed Jeanne Clery led to passage of a law requiring institutions to disclose crimes committed on and near their campuses. And Brown University…

Reporter: Breaking the Payday Loan Cycle

Critics of payday lenders say the practice preys on the poor, while the industry argues its rates are better than those of some banks.

In 2008, Joy Young and her newly immigrated husband were struggling, but making it. She was an administrative assistant for a community nonprofit; he was a Job Lot cashier. Joy owned a home in Woonsocket that she inherited in 1999. Together, they stretched their $30,000 annual income to cover their weekly living expenses and their monthly payments on a 2004…

Reporter: Little Common Ground

Hannah Laplante is forty-five pounds of math confidence. The rising Peace Dale Elementary School first grader pulls a worksheet from a stack: “Sam has forty cookies. Don has thirty fewer cookies. How many cookies does Don have? You need to show and defend your thinking using pictures, words and numbers.” Hannah just knew the answer was ten. Her mathematical operation,…

Reporter: Dangers of the Wild

Travis Godwin pulls his pickup to a stop on Watson Street, leans out the window and lets out a snort of laughter. “Who’s in that?” he gestures to the man in the tick suit. The Jamestown Memorial Day parade is about to step off. And, amid the assorted fire trucks and military marchers, spit-and-polished in their dress uniforms, is Bruce…

Reporter: Opening the Floodgates

Lawmakers have tried to shore up the national flood insurance program in the wake of devastating storms, but homeowners are bearing the brunt of the burden.

In 2005, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita saddled the National Flood Insurance Program with a $24 billion debt. To regain the program’s financial footing, Congress passed the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform and Modernization Act, a 2012 law raising insurance premiums to reflect the true actuarial risk for businesses, second homes and properties with repetitive losses, stripping subsidies from homeowners who had…

Reporter: Charting a Future for Health Care in Rhode Island

The state’s health care exchange rolled out more smoothly than those in other states, but some business leaders are questioning the cost of maintaining it.

The trophies in the grocery business are few, but Dunns Corners Market, a specialty store with a loyal clientele, keeps one on the back wall. Mounted on a handsome wooden board, headlined “Living with the Giant,” the Providence Journal article chronicles the struggle of a food-world David with the Goliath of a Walmart across the street. In the story, owners…

Reporter: Making It on the Outside

Jesse scores eighteen points. He scores six less than twice what Max scores. How many points does Max score? A textbook in one hand, a stub of chalk in the other, teacher Paul Pasaba waited for an answer in the tiny prison classroom. “We have to translate the words into an equation,” he says. “But once you have the equation,…

Reporter: Wind Resistance

On a frigid winter night, about seventy citizens gathered at Narragansett Town Hall to weigh in on Deepwater Wind’s proposal to build wind turbines off the coast of Block Island. The state Department of Environmental Management was seeking comment on Deepwater’s request for a modification to its state dredge permit and for a water quality certificate. But most came to…