Senator Jack Reed said 988, a mental health crisis hotline, will go live in mid-July, which will be easy-to-use and remember, similarly to the 911 emergency number. As of now, that number is a regular, seven-digit number.
“You shouldn’t have to remember a seven-digit number,” said Reed to a crowd of nearly 500 people in the business community at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Warwick.
But even prior to that hotline launching this year, the delegation said one of the country’s biggest weaknesses is not having enough mental health workers.
“These people are being paid way below their value. And wages have been suppressed for decades,” said Senator Sheldon Whitehouse.
Reed told Meghan Hughes, who is chair of the Chamber, but also president of the Community College of Rhode Island, that it is critical that community colleges, like the one she leads, starts training more mental health workers.
The COVID-19 pandemic only exacerbated the mental health crisis in the US, which more people than ever are seeking help for due to isolation, inequities, and recent events such as school shootings, said Congressman David Cicilline.
He said one solution is to make sure all K-12 schools have guidance counselors and boost mental health services in community centers.
Cicilline, who has received multiple threatening, homophobic and racist voicemails after his comments during a gun debate went viral, said he wanted to make clear that gun violence was not only caused by those who suffer from mental health issues.
“The vast majority of people who suffer with mental health are peaceful… The problem is guns,” said @davidcicilline, who said we as a country have a “gun violence epidemic.”
— Alexa Gagosz (@AlexaGagosz) June 13, 2022
“The vast majority of people who suffer from mental health are peaceful… They are usually the victims [in mass shootings]. The problem is guns,” he said.
Cicilline said the US has a “gun violence epidemic,” that has to be addressed with legislation.
“This is peculiarly an American problem,” he said.
June 8, 2022
Hangar 420 is bringing Willie’s Reserve cannabis products for recreational use to R.I.
Hangar 420, a cannabis producer and distributor owned by Ocean State Controlled Botanicals (OSBC), announced Wednesday that it has entered into a commercial packaging, licensing and distribution agreement with Long Play Inc., a Colorado Corporation and licensors of renowned cannabis brand “Willie’s Reserve.”
The Willie’s Reserve branded products packaged and distributed by Hangar, which is based out of Warwick, will include what they described as “top-shelf” flower, pre-rolls, and vape cartridges.
Willie’s Reserve was founded by singer-songwriter and cannabis pioneer Willie Nelson in 2015, and since, the brand has become recognized for its collaboration with enthusiasts. Hangar 420s 18,000-square-foot facility announced it formal opening in June 2021.
AstroNova posts $31m revenue for Q1
WEST WARWICK, R.I. (AP) — AstroNova Inc. (ALOT) on Wednesday reported fiscal first-quarter net income of $425,000.
On a per-share basis, the West Warwick, Rhode Island-based company said it had net income of 6 cents.
The printer and electronic instrument maker posted revenue of $31 million in the period.
AstroNova shares have dropped nearly 4 percent since the beginning of the year. The stock has fallen 15 percent in the last 12 months.
June 6, 2022
R.I. Gas prices up 23 cents
Rhode Island’s average gas price is up 23 cents from last week ($4.71), averaging $4.94 per gallon. Today’s price is 66 cents higher than a month ago ($4.28), and $1.98 higher than June 6, 2021 ($2.96). Rhode Island’s average gas price is 8 cents higher than the national average.
The cost of a barrel of oil is nearing $120, nearly double from last August, as increased oil demand outpaces the tight global supply. Meanwhile, domestic gasoline demand rose last week in the wake of a robust Memorial Day weekend of travel. As a result, the national average for a gallon of gas surged 25 cents in one week to hit $4.86.
AAA Northeast’s June 6 survey of fuel prices found the current national average to be 25 cents higher than last week ($4.61), averaging $4.86 a gallon. Today’s national average price is 59 cents higher than a month ago ($4.27), and $1.81 higher than this day last year ($3.05).
Providence College has record number of students offered Fulbright Cultural Ambassadorships
Providence College announced Monday that five recent alumni have been offered Fulbright U.S. cultural ambassadorships for the 2022-2023 year, which is the highest number of Fulbright awards in the college’s history. Of those who graduated this spring, Evan Diliberto, a history major, will teach in the Slovak Republic and Grace Maffucci, a Spanish and music double major, will teach in Mexico. Of those who graduated in 2021, Elisabeth Sudbey, a multilingual teacher with AmeriCorps in Salem, Mass. who majored in global studies, will teach in South Korea and Sara Conway, a marketing assistant at Scholastic who majored in history, will teach in Taiwan.
Jesus Maldonado, who earned their political science bachelor’s in 2018 and a graduate degree in education in 2021, will teach in Columbia.
The Fulbright US Students program awards fellowships to graduating college seniors, graduate students, and young professionals and artists to study, conduct research, or teach abroad. During their time abroad, they will meet, work, live with and learn from the people of the host country, sharing daily experiences.
R.I. to receive $2m in federal AmeriCorps funding for child development, housing programs
Rhode Island’s congressional delegation on Monday announced that the state will receive more than $2 million in American Rescue Plan funding and State and National AmeriCorps grants to support child development and stable housing access.
The $2,068,124 in funding will support an estimated 85 AmeriCorps members, who will work in collaboration with NeighborWorks Blackstone River Valley, the Providence After School Alliance (PASA), SAGA Innovations tutoring programs, and ServeRI. The funds will be used to increase the AmeriCorps minimum living allowance and to stabilize and expand AmeriCorps programs in the Ocean State.
“This federal funding will allow AmeriCorps volunteers to do good in the community and support young people who have been most impacted by the challenges of the pandemic. It’s a smart investment in helping young learners succeed and helping communities recover,” said Senator Jack Reed, a Rhode Island Democrat, who was the lead author of the America’s Call to Improve Opportunities Now (ACTION) for National
In a statement, Reed said the AFTION bill would “enhance access to national and community service opportunities, lower student debt, create a more engaged citizenry, and address national priorities in education, infrastructure, health care, disaster relief, and poverty.”
Three grants totaling $1,285,044 will support organizations operating in the Providence area and in Woonsocket. SAGA Innovations, Inc. will receive $814,998, Woonsocket Neighborhood Development Corporation’s Accessing Home Program will receive $323,814, and Providence After School Alliance is expecting about $146,232.
June 1, 2022
Brown University receives $25m gift for need-blind international admission
In its largest gift for international financial aid in university history, alumni Aysha and Omar Shoman donated $25 million to Brown to help the school expand its ability to educate students from all socioeconomic groups across the globe.
The boost is dedicated to international students and will also advance Brown toward becoming the sixth school in the US to implement need-blind undergraduate admissions for international students.
“I am routinely inspired by the drive, intellectual curiosity and accomplishments of our international students, and the world and our nation desperately need the contributions they can make,” university president Christina H. Paxson said in a statement. “We want to be able to admit exceptional international students to Brown, regardless of their financial resources, and the generosity of Aysha and Omar Shoman will enable us to do that for many students for generations to come.”
The university said it would work aggressively to grow its financial aid budget with the goal of becoming “fully need-blind for international students for the graduating Class of 2029.”
May 31, 2022
Former URI provost establishes endowed fund for honors program
The University of Rhode Island announced Tuesday that Donald H. DeHayes, recently retired provost and vice president for academic affairs, made a gift to create an endowed fund that will expand the university’s Honors Program.
The Donald H. DeHayes Provost Honors Excellence Endowment will award a $1,000 prize annually for an honors program student who has completed the program with the highest level of achievement, according to a news release.
Lynne Derbyshire, director of the Honors Program, said students will be selected after the university receives academic achievement, “creativity and impact of honors projects, and the student potential for future contributions to society.”
May 26, 2022
Navigant Credit Union CEO to step down after 44 years with the company
Gary E. Furtado, the CEO and president of Navigant Credit Union, the state’s largest credit union, is stepping down and retiring after more than four decades with the company.
The credit union, which is based out of Smithfield, Rhode Island, has already begun a national search for Furtado’s replacement.
More Rhode Island business news.