<![CDATA[NECN - ]]>Copyright 2018https://www.necn.com/feature/rhode-islandhttp://media.necn.com/designimages/clear.gifNECNhttps://www.necn.comen-usTue, 13 Nov 2018 20:28:51 -0500Tue, 13 Nov 2018 20:28:51 -0500NBC Owned Television Stations<![CDATA[Convicted Child Rapist Arrested in RI Over Marriage License]]>Fri, 02 Nov 2018 16:52:32 -0500https://media.necn.com/images/213*120/richard+garnder+arrest+110218+providence+RI+wjar.jpg

A convicted child rapist whose residency in Rhode Island has caused controversy has been arrested weeks after being released from prison.

Law enforcement sources told WJAR that Richard Gardner will be charged with two misdemeanors after he allegedly put a Massachusetts address on his marriage license when he was actually living in Providence, which is reportedly a probation violation.

Cranston police confirmed Gardner's arrest warrant stemmed from using "fraudulent activity" when he applied for a marriage certificate at Cranston City Hall.

Gardner was released last month following a lengthy legal fight to keep him behind bars after he served 30 years for kidnapping and raping boys in the 1980s in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

He was married in the backyard of a Cranston home days after his prison release, and has registered as a sex offender in Providence.

He's expected to be arraigned at Cranston Municipal Court Friday afternoon. It's unclear if he has an attorney for this arrest.

Gardner's move into a Providence neighborhood sparked a massive backlash from residents, prompting a police detail to watch the 52-year-old registered sex offender at all times.



Photo Credit: WJAR]]>
<![CDATA[High Surf Blamed for Deaths Along RI Coastline]]>Sun, 28 Oct 2018 15:20:32 -0500https://media.necn.com/images/213*120/Caution-Tape-Police-Crime-Scene-generic-0730.jpg

High waves are being blamed for the deaths of a woman and a man in Jamestown, Rhode Island on Sunday.

The names of the victims have not been released following the recovery of their bodies by a US Coast Guard response crew shortly after 9:30 a.m.

It is believed that the pair was a couple and was fishing from a rocky shoreline at Fort Wetherill State Park. A wave splashed over the rocks and pulled the woman into the water and the man jumped after her in an attempt to save her, according to initial details obtained by the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management's Environmental Police.

Waves six to eight feet high as a result of Saturday's Nor'easter have been estimated by environmental police. The Department of Environmental Management is urging the public to not put themselves and first responders in danger by standing too close to the surf on rocks along the shoreline in fishing areas, breakwalls and breachways.



Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[2 More Tornadoes Confirmed in Mass.]]>Fri, 26 Oct 2018 20:07:49 -0500https://media.necn.com/images/213*120/102418+downed+trees.JPG

Two more tornadoes have been confirmed to have hit Massachusetts during Tuesday's storms.

National Weather Service officials confirmed Wednesday that Norton, Massachusetts, and Lincoln, Rhode Island, were were hit by tornadoes; meanwhile, Sandwich, Massachusetts, on Cape Cod was hit with a waterspout/tornado.

Friday, the National Weather Service confirmed tornadoes in Hardwick and Hubbardston.

The same wind that produced the Lincoln tornado created powerful gusts in Norton, Massachusetts. Fallen trees blocked driveways and damage was so severe that NWS officials plan to investigate if a tornado hit the town, as well. 

Nearby towns had toppled trees that left debris scattered around streets and numerous reports of downed power lines were received. Roofs could be seen ripped off of homes as well as shattered windows.

A tornado warning was in effect for about an hour in parts of Norfolk, Bristol, and Plymouth counties in Massachusetts, as well as part of Providence County in Rhode Island Tuesday afternoon.

"All of a sudden my phone had an alert on it," said Tara Carcieri, who was with her 5-year-old daughter during the tornado. "Said that there was a tornado in our area and it said now, so I jumped off the chair, grabbed her."

Carcieri grabbed her young child and darted downstairs. 

"As I was walking down to the basement all I heard was smashing," said Carcieri. "Smashing windows, I didn’t know what was happening. I was so nervous."

Shattered windows left dangerous debris around her home, including the same room Carcieri and her daughter were just in.

Firefighters went door to door assessing the damage and making sure everyone was accounted for.

By nightfall, crews were spread out across the neighborhood, cutting down trees that had brought down power lines and trying to restore power that was knocked out to about 400 National Grid customers.

No injuries associated with Tuesday’s storms were immediately reported.



Photo Credit: NBC10 Boston]]>
<![CDATA[NWS Confirms Tornadoes in Mass., RI]]>Wed, 24 Oct 2018 22:40:10 -0500https://media.necn.com/images/213*120/102418+downed+trees.JPG

Cleanup is underway after a pair of tornadoes slammed two New England towns on Tuesday.

National Weather Service officials confirmed Wednesday that Norton, Massachusetts, and Lincoln, Rhode Island, were were hit by tornadoes; meanwhile, Sandwich, Massachusetts, on Cape Cod was hit with a waterspout/tornado.

The National Weather Service confirmed the Rhode Island tornado touched down at 3:34 p.m. and the Massachusetts phenomenon at approximately 6 p.m. NWS officials are slated to determine the strength, size and duration of the Lincoln tornado on Wednesday.

So far, they say the tornado in Lincoln is consistent with EF-1 damage. The team has yet to see damage from the Sandwich storm.

The same wind that produced the Lincoln tornado created powerful gusts in Norton, Massachusetts. Fallen trees blocked driveways and damage was so severe that NWS officials plan to investigate if a tornado hit the town, as well. 

Nearby towns had toppled trees that left debris scattered around streets and numerous reports of downed power lines were received. Roofs could be seen ripped off of homes as well as shattered windows.

A tornado warning was in effect for about an hour in parts of Norfolk, Bristol, and Plymouth counties in Massachusetts, as well as part of Providence County in Rhode Island Tuesday afternoon.

"All of a sudden my phone had an alert on it," said Tara Carcieri, who was with her 5-year-old daughter during the tornado. "Said that there was a tornado in our area and it said now, so I jumped off the chair, grabbed her."

Carcieri grabbed her young child and darted downstairs. 

"As I was walking down to the basement all I heard was smashing," said Carcieri. "Smashing windows, I didn’t know what was happening. I was so nervous."

Shattered windows left dangerous debris around her home, including the same room Carcieri and her daughter were just in.

Firefighters went door to door assessing the damage and making sure everyone was accounted for.

By nightfall, crews were spread out across the neighborhood, cutting down trees that had brought down power lines and trying to restore power that was knocked out to about 400 National Grid customers.

No injuries associated with Tuesday’s storms were immediately reported



Photo Credit: NBC10 Boston]]>
<![CDATA[3 Injured in Collapse Inside Old Mill in Pawtucket, RI]]>Mon, 22 Oct 2018 15:40:19 -0500https://media.necn.com/images/213*120/BOST_000000019166080.JPG

Three people were injured following a collapse inside an old mill building in Rhode Island Monday morning.

The collapse happened around 9:30 a.m. inside an old mill in Pawtucket on Esten Avenue. One construction worker became trapped when the second floor of the building smashed into the first, sending all the debris into the basement.

Two male workers were able to get out on their own. The third, a female worker, was trapped. She was conscious as firefighters removed her from the rubble.

Everyone that was hurt was hospitalized.

The building is home to the old School House Candy company. It's being gutted inside to make way for new housing.

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<![CDATA[Residents Angry Convicted Child Rapist Living in Providence]]>Wed, 17 Oct 2018 22:48:14 -0500https://media.necn.com/images/213*120/Richard+Gardner2.JPG

Residents in Providence, Rhode Island converged Wednesday night outside the home of a convicted child rapist who was recently released from jail, WJAR reported.

Richard Gardner, 51, was released from custody on Oct. 11, after serving 30 years for kidnapping and raping young boys in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

Gardner's release stemmed largely from a clerical error made by prosecutors two years ago, when they failed to request he be civilly committed as a sexually dangerous person, which is an option to keep high risk offenders in custody.

When Gardner was released, he was ordered to report to his probation officer in Rhode Island, but nearby residents became angry when they learned this week that Gardner was living in the Washington Park area of Providence.

People outside Gardner's home Wednesday night could be heard shouting "we want him out."

Before heading to the home where Gardner is staying, the group of residents gathered at the Washington Park Community Center to discuss the issue with city officials. 

One detective told the crowd, "I will be watching him like a hawk."

Another added that Gardner has the right to live wherever he wants as long as he is registered as a sex offender and doesn't live within 300 feet from a school.

“We cannot change this,” Maj. David Lapatin said. “The best thing we can do is be positive.”

The crowd wasn't satisfied with that advice from Maj. Lapatin, screaming, “You don’t live here -- we do.”

While a 1996 state law requires that communities be notified when sex offenders move into their area, Gardner’s conviction predates Megan's Law, which means his name and address are also not publicly listed on the state’s sex offender website.

Police will have increased patrols, with special overtime, just to watch Gardner, Maj. Lapatin said at the community meeting. He added there will be a heavy police presence on Halloween.

Councilman Luis Aponte said starting at 11 p.m. Wednesday, there will be a police detail watching Gardner at all times.

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<![CDATA[Sister: Apologize for Using Brother's Death in RI Gov. Race]]>Tue, 16 Oct 2018 08:21:03 -0500https://media.necn.com/images/213*120/joe+trillo+rhode+island.jpg

The sister of a man killed in a 1989 car crash involving a Rhode Island gubernatorial candidate says one of his political rivals should publicly apologize for bringing up the crash in the campaign.

Robin Dubeau says Monday she wants independent candidate Joe Trillo to apologize for using Republican Allan Fung's crash as a "political weapon."

Dubeau's brother, James Skipper, was killed after Fung lost consciousness while driving and struck Skipper as he changed a tire. Fung wasn't prosecuted.

Trillo's campaign didn't immediately return a message seeking comment. He called on Fung last week to open the sealed file of the crash.

Dubeau, who lives out of state, says Trillo should leave her brother alone and not use his death to advance himself, calling it "unacceptable," "ridiculous," "nasty" and "garbage."



Photo Credit: Joe Trillo's Campaign]]>
<![CDATA[Suspicions Arise After School Buses in Providence Set Ablaze]]>Fri, 12 Oct 2018 10:48:11 -0500https://media.necn.com/images/213*120/101218+school+buses+on+fire.jpg

Authorities say a fire that torched several school buses in Providence is considered suspicious.

A spokesman for First Student, the company that owns the buses, says six to seven buses were destroyed in the fire reported at about 7:30 p.m. Thursday and others may have been damaged.

Providence Public Safety Commissioner Steven Pare said while the cause of the fire remains under investigation, it is considered suspicious.

Pare said one firefighter suffered a minor injury.

First Student has been embroiled in a labor dispute over retirement benefits with its drivers, who went on strike Sept. 27, leaving about 9,000 students without bus rides to school.

The drivers' union, Teamsters Local 251, said in a statement that it strongly condemns the fire.



Photo Credit: WJAR]]>
<![CDATA[Cianci's Ex-Wife Gets a Break in Traffic Court TV Show]]>Fri, 12 Oct 2018 07:45:41 -0500https://media.necn.com/images/213*120/gavel+background-close-up-court-1415558+edited.jpg

The ex-wife of infamous Providence Mayor Buddy Cianci had her parking tickets forgiven during an appearance on a court television show.

The Providence Journal reports that Sheila Bentley, who married Cianci in 1973 and divorced him 10 years later, was featured on the nationally syndicated "Caught in Providence," appearing before Judge Frank Caprio.

Cianci, a Republican-turned-independent, served six terms as mayor and was twice forced from office due to felonies. He spent more than four years in prison and died in 2016.

The six tickets were for a car driven by Bentley's current husband.

Caprio joked he had a conflict of interest because he presided over Bentley's wedding to her current husband.

The judge then asked Officer Robert Quinn for help. Quinn said Bentley had "suffered enough," and Caprio dismissed the tickets.



Photo Credit: Pexels/CC]]>
<![CDATA[Man Convicted of Kidnapping, Raping Boys Released From Jail]]>Thu, 11 Oct 2018 19:34:39 -0500https://media.necn.com/images/213*120/Man_Convicted_of_Kidnapping_Raping_Child_Released.jpg

A man convicted of kidnapping and raping young boys in Massachusetts and Rhode Island back in the 80s was released from prison Thursday.

Richard Gardner had no comment as he was released from custody Thursday following a lengthy fight with prosecutors that ended when Judge Rosemary Connolly said prosecutors in Plymouth County don’t have standing to keep Gardner locked up.

His release stems largely from a clerical error made by prosecutors two years ago.

The 51-year-old had served 30 years for kidnapping and raping boys when he was released in 2016 after prosecutors failed to request he be civilly committed as a sexually dangerous person, which is an option to keep high risk offenders in custody.

Gardner's 2016 release prompted community outrage, but he was arrested again only days later for violating his probation in Rhode Island.

Prosecutors had hoped that would give them a second chance to keep Gardner behind bars, but the state’s highest court ruled against them in Massachusetts because his probation violation was tied to Rhode Island.

While Gardner refused to comment on his case, he did tell the court he now plans to return to Rhode Island.

Gardner did tell at least one reporter though that he might return to his hometown of Weymouth.

The court, however, ordered Gardner to report Friday morning to his probation officer in Rhode Island.

Prosecutors say they have asked the state’s attorney general’s office to appeal their case to the Supreme Court.

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