Christopher Shea

Christopher Shea

Christopher Shea covers politics, the criminal justice system and transportation for the Rhode Island Current.

Possible changes coming to RIPTA board following Senate vote

By: - June 2, 2023

PROVIDENCE — The director of the state’s Department of Transportation (RIDOT) already serves as a member of the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority’s (RIPTA) Board of Directors, but he could become its chair after the passage of a bill in the state Senate Thursday.  Sponsored by Senate President Dominick Ruggerio, the bill would add one […]

Styrofoam ban clears Senate

By: - June 2, 2023

PROVIDENCE — A measure to ban Styrofoam containers in Rhode Island restaurants by 2025 cruised through the Rhode Island Senate Thursday.  The state Senate on Thursday voted 33-2 to ban plastic cocktail stirrers and foam to-go boxes at restaurants, pubs, snack bars in an effort to reduce litter caused by these containers. The legislation, sponsored […]

Warwick man accused of stealing Department of Transportation backhoe

By: - June 1, 2023

A Warwick man has been charged with allegedly stealing a backhoe belonging to the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) earlier this year. The Rhode Island Attorney General’s Office announced Thursday that Peter Dambruoso, 59, is charged with one count of possession of a stolen vehicle and one count of driving without a valid license.  […]

Could ranked-choice voting be the way Rhode Islanders vote in primaries?

By: - June 1, 2023

In October 2021, Sen. Samuel Zurier, a Providence Democrat, won a five-person Democratic primary with a little more than 31% of the vote. The second and third top vote-getters told him they believed they could have won if only the other had dropped out of the race. “It didn’t leave a good taste in the […]

Department of Health launches online medical marijuana card system

By: - June 1, 2023

Rhode Islanders can now apply for a medical marijuana license online. The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) on Thursday announced the launch of the Rhode Island Cannabis Licensing Portal, which lets existing card holders renew registrations, update personal information, and make necessary changes to their existing registration cards.  New patients can also apply for […]

The smallest state has a big drunken driving problem

By: - May 30, 2023

PROVIDENCE — Kristine Bouthillier of West Warwick does not want to be in the spotlight. She just wants her son’s life to return to the way it used to be. She knows that is impossible. So instead, Bouthillier was standing at a podium in Senate Judiciary room 313 at the Rhode Island State House on […]

Hop on a free trolley in Newport

By: - May 26, 2023

Free “hop-on, hop-off” trolley service will return to Newport for the summer starting Friday, May 26, the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) has announced. The service covers RIPTA’s Route 67, which provides transportation to a number of the city’s tourist destinations — including mansions, the Cliff Walk, Audrain Automobile Museum, and International Tennis Hall […]

Suicide prevention advocates say R.I. bridges need barriers and they need them now

By: - May 25, 2023

During his 17 years with the West Warwick Police Department, Matt Beltrami responded to hundreds of calls to help people in crisis. A decorated crisis negotiator, he had received training as an opioid response liaison and for mental health first aid and was also known for his compassion and dedication to addressing the mental health […]

Neronha sues 3M, Dupont for promoting PFAS products

By: - May 25, 2023

Rhode Island is suing more than a dozen manufacturers of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, commonly referred to as PFAS, or “forever chemicals.” Attorney General Peter Neronha announced Thursday that his office has filed a lawsuit in Providence Superior Court, saying that companies like 3M and Dupont engaged in “a massive and widespread campaign to knowingly […]

T.F. Green gets $9 million in federal funds toward airport improvements

By: - May 25, 2023

Rhode Island’s T.F. Green International Airport is getting more than $9 million in federal funding for taxiway upgrades and planning. Funding is through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which was signed into law by President Joe Biden in November 2021, according to an announcement Wednesday from Sens. Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse. The federal […]

Rhode Island and nearly every other state sues company allegedly behind billions of spam calls

By: - May 23, 2023

Rhode Island has joined 48 other states in a lawsuit against a company that allegedly initiated and facilitated billions of illegal robocalls to millions of people in violation of consumer protection and telemarketing laws. Avid Telecom, based in Tucson, Arizona, is a Voice over Internet Protocol service provider which sells data, phone numbers, dialing software, […]

More Rhode Island youth abusing substances as mental health challenges rise

By: - May 23, 2023

Findings from a new survey from the state’s Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals (BHDDH) show a small, but significant number of Rhode Island’s youth abuse some form of substance and that many have considered ending their own lives. According to the fourth edition of the Rhode Island Student Survey, 3% of teens […]