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RI News for you: National and local news to know

NATIONAL

COVID

Confirmed cases of COVID had been falling steadily worldwide since January but rose again last week, due to the more infectious omicron variant and its subvariant BA.2

A new COVID national website has been made – COVID.gov.

Cruise ships have ended COVID precautions.

In many states, less than 10% of children are vaccinated.

William Burns, head of CIA, is positive for COVID – having been fully vaccinated/boosted.

White House spokesperson, Jen Psaki has not yet returned to work after suffering her 2nd COVID infection.

Shanghai locks down 26 million in two phases due to COVID outbreaks

Pres. Biden says the current budget cannot handle a 4th wave, if it happens, and he is asking for $22.5 Billion more.

Deputy press sect who traveled with the President tests positive – she traveled in the place of Press Sect. Psaki, who also tested positive

Pres. Biden received his 2nd booster shot yesterday

US says it will lift limiting immigrants coming into the country from the Mexican border because of COVID restrictions.

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Pres Biden said he did not mis-speak and his words are being mis-interpreted – he also denied that anyone was walking back his comments. His mis-speaks had to do with “responding in kind” to any chemical warfare down by Putin; that troops would soon be in Ukraine; and that Putin “cannot remain in power”. Mainstream media have joined in the questioning of the President on these statements and their impact in the world, and with Putin.

The US says it will ship 15B cubic meters of LNG to EU, and EU says it will cut business with Russia by 1/3.

Bruce Willis’ spokesperson announced he will step back from acting, due to a diagnosis of aphasia, making communication difficult in both speaking and understanding.

Inflation in the 19 countries using the euro hits a record level for the fifth month in a row, reaching 7.5%.

Massive amount of US oil reserves will be released monthly for 6 mos to curb prices of oil.

A U.S. Air Force reserve unit cargo plane out of Mississippi made an “unplanned stop” at the Martha’s Vineyard Airport last week, stopping only briefly and picking up a motorcycle before taking off again, sparking speculation about who the bike belonged to.

A summit for the US to host 12 prime ministers on Southeast Asia has been “indefinitely postponed”.

14% of Walmart customers have diabetes. They have now formed a relationship with the makers of Novo Nordisk, saving diabetes customers 75% on the cause of insulin.

CNN+ launched on Tuesday, March 28th. It is subscription based for approx. $6/month.

The NFL’s 32 clubs must now employ a female or a member of an ethnic or racial minority to serve as an offensive assistant coach. The person will receive a one-year contract and work closely with the head coach and offensive staff to gain experience.

The Oscars, 2nd lowest ratings of any Oscars, are considering what to do about Will Smith’s hitting Chris Rock, live on the show. They have “condemned” his actions. Chris Rock says he did not know about Smith’s wife’s alopecia, and was joking about her shaved head look, reminding him of the GI Jane role. Will Smith apologized from the stage when accepting his award and then issued a statement Monday night apologizing again. Most people feel that Smith was wrong. Denzel Washington said, “at your highest moment, be careful, that’s when the devil comes to you”.  The Academy is investigating what they should do about it and “condemned” Smith for his actions. Chris Rock in his performance in Boston said he would respond, that he was still processing, and his response would be serious and humorous, at the same time.

Graduate students at Clark University have voted in favor of unionization

U.S. Climate Envoy John Kerry says he’ll stay in his role at least through late this year when the next United Nations climate summit will happen in Egyp

Queen Elizabeth is said to be using a wheelchair, but will not be seen publicly in one.

Excessive napping in seniors may be linked to Azheimer’s.

Caitlyn Jenner will be a new commentator on the FOX Network.

The Taliban have once again prohibited women from flying.

Walmart will stop selling cigarettes in some of their stores.

Justice Thomas has returned to his work, remotely, having been discharged from the hospital at the end of last week. There have been calls for him to recuse himself from any possible work on cases of Jan. 6th, due to his wife’s well-known support of Pres. Trump and belief that the election was invalid.

Disney will no longer address people coming into their park as “ladies and gentleman, boys and girls” – greeting will now be “Dreamers of all ages”.  This is part of other changes made, including a goal of having ½ of all characters be LGBTQ and an ethnically diverse.

Poland announces it will end importing oil from Russia

The US may tap oil reserves to ease energy prices

239 New Yorkers living in homeless camps were cleared out by officials – only 5 chose to go to housing programs.

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RHODE ISLAND

The 1st Fall River Dining Week will be held in April.

NYLO Hotel reaches its last day today to be used exclusively as a shelter for the homeless.

Operation Hunker Down – an impromptu shelter begun by a commercial property owner on Smith Hill in Providence has been ordered to downsize, displacing 20 of the 40 individuals they are currently housing (per Boston Globe)

Festival Ballet Providence announced it will become the resident dance company of The United Theatre of Westerly. FBP’s first ever engagement in southern Rhode Island will take place April 23, 2022. The ongoing partnership will include performances each season in the recently renovated venue by Festival Ballet Providence.

Boston area hospitals reported a milestone – NO patients in any ICU with COVID

AXIOS will soon begin a Boston news edition

Newport, Middletown explore regionalization of schools

University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School is looking to fill 600 positions in Worcester. 

Democratic congressional candidate Michael Neary was arrested earlier this week for ‘menacing’ and drug possession

RI DLT has updated its computer systems to be cloud-based with extra features.

The 37th America’s Cup will be held in Barcelona, Spain.

RIPBS will hold a fundraiser – “Uncorked” on April 9 – more info: www.ripbs.org

Joseph Polisena, Jr., vice-president of the Johnston Town Council & son of current Mayor Polisena, will announce his run for Mayor of Johnston shortly. He has worked for the Governor most recently, and has been in the office of Legislative Council at the RI State House, a private attorney, and a Public Defender. He is a graduate of Roger Williams Law School and has an MBA from Providence College, and attended Bishop Hendricken.

A handicapped access trail in the Arcadia Management Area in Richmond was badly damaged by vandals earlier this week.

Dr. Fauci will speak at graduation at Roger Williams University

Federal and RI investigators are investigating how fires started in the law offices of House Speaker K. Joseph Shekarchi and a second attorney.

Block Island rejected RI’s State Police proposal for 2 staff this summer, instead of the usual 8. The department is down 52 troopers.

AMICA CEO Robert DiMuccio announces his retirement after 3 decades at the head of the company.

Cranston Police announce a mental health response team is working with them on certain police calls and community incidents.

Barrington HS announced it will return a version of the honors program it sought to eliminate – but parents are outraged at more changes, and not the original return of the program.

Mayor Wu in Boston is under criticism for wanting to levy $7,500 in fees for North End restaurants to open outdoors. Restaurant owners have loudly objected due to only these restaurants being charged.

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COVID

RI deaths from COVID were noted up by 83 over the weekend, but RIDOH explains that this may reflect some data from January and February and not a daily or weekend count, as deaths have 3 months to be confirmed, and numbers adjusted.

Boston ends its state of emergency – today.

A new dataset in RI comparing “because of” and “with” COVID as hospitalization causes has been published: https://ridoh-covid-19-response-hospital-data-rihealth.hub.arcgis.com/ – it notes that in the past 4 weeks, 59% of people hospitalized were not because of COVID while 41% were directly due to COVID or COVID played a causative factor.

AS220 no longer requires attendees to wear a mask but they ask that you keep a mask handy while visiting AS220 as specific instances may arise where an artist or performer has requested an accommodation.

Gov. McKee will get his 2nd booster today at the RI State House – by Dr. Chan.

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Passings

Taylor Hawkins, 50, drummer for Foo Fighters, suddenly while on tour, of a drug overdose.

Francis Maher, 56, of Exeter, former RI state senator and member of Exeter West Greenwich School Committee & Town Council

Tom Parker, 33, drummer for The Wanted, of a brain tumor.

Bob Petterutti, 92, a jazz musician, teacher and founder of Petteruti Music.

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