The $1 million project also includes safety improvements, according to a press release from the city.
The Cliff Walk will remain open during construction; however, pedestrians will be guided to local streets between Narragansett Avenue and Webster Street on the Salve Regina University campus around July 16, said Scott Wheeler, the city's buildings and grounds supervisor/tree warden. Parking on Narragansett Avenue, as well as the 40 Steps restroom, will remain open to visitors during construction.
During a later stage of construction, pedestrians will be guided around the Breakers Mansion between Shepard and Ruggles avenues.
The project is being funded through a $600,000 National Park Service Hurricane Sandy Relief Grant, administered by the R.I. Historical Preservation and Heritage Commission, along with funds from the R.I. Department of Transportation, as well as the city of Newport. Construction is being completed by New England Building and Bridge Co. of the Greenville section of Smithfield.
The total contract cost, $936,248, was approved by the Newport City Council earlier this year, Wheeler said. Additional funds for traffic control and a contingency fund brought the total cost to $1,036,248.37, he said.
The project is scheduled to end in late fall, he said.]]>
BOSTON - CVS Pharmacy Inc. will pay $3.5 million to settle allegations that 50 of its Massachusetts stores violated the Controlled Substances Act by filling forged prescriptions for addictive painkillers and other controlled substances more than 500 times between 2011 and 2014.
Woonsocket-based CVS also has entered into a three-year compliance agreement with the Drug Enforcement Administration that requires CVS to maintain and enhance programs it developed for detecting and preventing diversion of controlled substances, according to U.S. Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz.
"Pharmacies have a legal responsibility to ensure that controlled substances are dispensed only pursuant to valid prescriptions," Ortiz said in a statement. "When pharmacies ignore red flags that a prescription is fraudulent, they miss a critical opportunity to prevent prescription drugs from entering the stream of illegal opiates on the black market. Diverted painkillers are contributing to the devastating opioid epidemic in our commonwealth. Although CVS is currently undertaking corrective steps to curb the tide of diversion, this settlement pushes CVS to go further and holds the company accountable for its past conduct."
CVS spokesman Michael J. DeAngelis said that the company entered into an agreement with the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Massachusetts and the Drug Enforcement Administration to resolve the allegations "to avoid the unnecessary expense, inconvenience or uncertainty of further legal proceedings."
"Since the covered time period, we have implemented enhanced policies, procedures and tools to help our pharmacists properly exercise their corresponding responsibility to determine whether a controlled substance prescription was issued for a legitimate medical purpose before filling it," he wrote in an email.
The Drug Enforcement Administration initiated two investigations of CVS stores after it received increased reports of forged oxycodone prescriptions.
The first investigation revealed that forged prescriptions were filled 403 times at 40 CVS stores in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. In the second investigation, the DEA identified 120 forged prescriptions filled at 10 CVS stores in and around Boston.
The street value of the diverted pills was estimated at more than $1 million, according to the U.S. Department of Justice press release.
The release said that the forged prescriptions traced back to just a few individuals. One forger, known as P.R., signed a dentist's name on 56 of 59 oxycodone prescriptions that P.R. was then able to get filled at five CVS locations.
CVS pharmacists filled the prescriptions even though CVS banned P.R. five years ago and its computer system contained notes warning that P.R. had tried to fill forged prescriptions previously.
P.R. opened a new patient profile using her own Arizona driver's license number but with a different last name, to avoid the ban.
The release said CVS should have been aware of the change and said the amount and frequency of her oxycodone prescriptions "were excessive, especially coming from a dentist."
Another forger, E.M., signed a dentist's name on 131 prescriptions for hydrocodone then had them filled at eight CVS stores. One store, in South Dennis, Mass., filled 29 forged prescriptions for E.M. in six months. Those 29 prescriptions totaled 1,290 pills of hydrocodone, or seven pills a day.
CVS also filled 107 prescriptions that bore the dentist's Massachusetts address, even though that dentist moved to Maine.
"CVS pharmacists could have discovered that the address on these prescriptions was no longer valid had they called the phone number on the prescriptions or checked the DEA's website," the release said.
Another forger, E.D., filled fake prescriptions for hydrocodone and methadone more than 200 times at CVS stores.
"Under DEA regulations, pharmacists dispensing the drugs have a responsibility to ensure that he/she is filling only valid prescriptions written for a legitimate medical purpose by a practitioner acting in the usual course of his/her professional practice," the release said.
Last August, CVS Health Corp. agreed to pay $450,000 to resolve allegations that several of its Rhode Island stores violated the federal Controlled Substances Act by filling invalid prescriptions and maintaining deficient records.]]>
RWU President Donald J. Farish said he hopes this is the first of many collaborations between the university and communities across the state.
"Partnering with Central Falls and Pawtucket is an exceptional opportunity for Roger Williams and the School of Continuing Studies to deliver on our commitment to work collaboratively with communities to provide cultural and ecological contextualized economic development," he added.
Individualized programming will be designed for Central Falls and Pawtucket residents, including workforce development and degree completion programs. Dual enrollment opportunities for middle and high school students will also be available. The programming will be in-line with the city's specific economic development goals.
Central Falls Mayor James Diossa said: "We are all on the same page that workforce development and access to higher education is critical to our city's future."
Pawtucket Mayor Donald R. Grebien is pleased the two cities can continue their long-time partnership while improving the lives of its citizens.
"This new partnership is particularly exciting because it allows us to collaborate with the nonprofit sector to ensure that the residents of our two communities are able to pursue opportunities to further their education and professional development ... Our communities will be better positioned for future growth with a highly trained and educated work force," he said.
The agreement, which highlights the School of Continuing Studies mission to support the community from within, will provide some courses in Spanish at the university's Providence campus and a reduced tuition structure for students.
RWU School of Continuing Studies Dean Jamie Scurry believes this is one opportunity to remove barriers.
"Central Falls and Pawtucket present a unique opportunity for the School of Continuing Studies to develop a strategic relationship with an entire community to remove the barriers to education and workforce development that so often discourage engaged individuals from completing their degree or taking the next steps toward their career goals," she said.]]>
Gov. Gina M. Raimondo, along with Mayor Scott Avedisian and U.S. Sen. Jack F. Reed, as well as Peter Frazier, interim president & CEO, Rhode Island Airport Corp., and an Azores Airline representative, were expected to attend the event at the airport.
Nonstop flights to the Azores will continue through Sept. 1 and will be offered on a 222-seat two-class Airbus 310 aircraft. The airline is considering offering year-round service to commence in 2017.
The Azores, an autonomous region of Portugal, is a group of nine volcanic islands in the mid-Atlantic Ocean about 850 miles west of continental Portugal. The islands are known for many tourist attractions, including golf, hiking and water activities.]]>
The study, released Thursday, said that a median-income household cannot afford the average-priced new car or light truck in any of the 50 largest U.S. cities.
The average price of a new car or light truck in 2016 was $33,865, according to Kelley Blue Book.
Bankrate, a consumer financial services company, calculated 10 percent of the monthly median gross household income in each of the 50 largest U.S. cities and subtracted the average monthly insurance premium in that area to determine the maximum amount that the median-income household should spend on monthly car payments, including principal and interest.
Based on that criteria, Providence residents, with a median income of $37,420, can only afford a car that's $11,297.32 and an annual insurance payment of $1,066.25. That translates to a maximum monthly payment of $223.
San Jose, Calif., ranked the highest for car affordability, with a median income of $87,210. There, residents can afford a $32,855.81 car, with an annual insurance payment of $782.63 and maximum monthly car payments of $662.
"People are spending far too much money on their cars," Steve Pounds, personal finance analyst at Bankrate.com, said in a statement. "There are many safe, affordable and stylish options on the market for people to choose from that won't cut into more important budget items; such as college funds and retirement savings."]]>
Consumer staples shares led an early climb bolstered by a 19 percent surge in Hershey Co.'s shares after a report that Mondelez International Inc. was said to have made a bid for the chocolate maker. Mondelez gained 1.8 percent. Utilities rose for a sixth day, the longest since March in a sign investors favored defensive assets even after the strongest two-day rally in four months.
The S&P 500 rose 0.4 percent to 2,079.84 at 10:53 a.m. in New York, adding to a 3.5 percent rebound in back-to-back sessions from a 15-week low. The Dow Jones Industrial Average increased 73.69 points, or 0.4 percent, to 17,768.37. The Nasdaq Composite Index added 0.3 percent. Trading volume in S&P 500 shares has diminished today from the heightened pace in the previous four sessions, running in line with the 30-day average for this time of day.
"Though it's been a very swift and broad recovery, I do think investors will get more selective now," said Justin Urquhart Stewart, London-based co-founder of Seven Investment Management, which oversees the equivalent of about $13 billion. "Central banks did well to react so quickly to the Brexit vote -- that's avoided any panic. But the path from here is very uncertain. You can justify a continued recovery for U.S. stocks because the timeline for tighter monetary policy was completely altered overnight."
A global rally lifted equities in the prior two days, returning the S&P 500 to an annual advance, as central banks reassured investors that they're ready to increase stimulus after the U.K.'s vote. The outcome of the referendum had sparked a two-day selloff, the worst for the benchmark index in 10 months, that wiped as much as $3.6 trillion from stocks worldwide.
A fourth straight decline today for the CBOE Volatility Index pushed the measure of market turbulence known as the VIX to a three-week low. Still, investors remain on edge with Britain in limbo, preventing the country from entering talks to determine its future relationship with the EU as its leaders fight to see who will succeed David Cameron as prime minister. A majority of economists surveyed by Bloomberg predict the Bank of England will add more stimulus, including cutting rates this year.
BOE Governor Mark Carney will address the press and finance industry at 4 p.m. in London. Separately, St. Louis Fed President James Bullard is also scheduled to speak in the British capital later today.
"You should expect to see volatility and a market that struggles to repeat what we saw over the prior few days as uncertainty over the outcome persists," Brian Levitt, senior investment strategist at OppenheimerFunds, said by phone. "I wouldn't be surprised to see a market that limps into the weekend, and we're unlikely to see a rally like we did over the past two days."
While the turmoil interrupted the S&P 500's march to an all-time high -- a move propelled by optimism over a combination of low rates and moderate growth -- it has also prompted traders to push back bets the Federal Reserve will raise borrowing costs any time soon. They now indicate a rate boost is unlikely before 2018. The S&P 500 remains about 2 percent below its June 23 level, after coming within 1 percent of a record twice this month.
The main U.S. equity gauge is down 0.9 percent in June, poised for its biggest monthly decline since January. That's trimmed its third quarterly advance to 0.9 percent. Energy producers are the biggest gainers in the three-month period among the index's 10 main industries, rebounding with crude after the commodity reached a 12-year low earlier this year.
Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp. have helped bolster the benchmark since the end of March, with the two on track for a third quarterly gain, the longest since 2011. Exxon closed yesterday at a 16-month high.
At the opposite end, technology companies are poised for their worst quarter in 3 1/2 years, weighed by declines in heavyweights Microsoft Corp., Apple Inc. and Google parent Alphabet Inc. Disappointing earnings from those three tech giants sent their shares tumbling in April, taking the steam out of an equity rebound after the S&P 500 had rallied as much as 15 percent from a 22-month low in February.
While it's still too early to see any tangible impact from Brexit in U.S. data, a report today showed the number of Americans who applied last week for unemployment benefits rose to a level that's still consistent with steady improvement in the labor market.]]>
The funds, awarded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, will be administered by the R.I. Emergency Management Agency, and are intended to help the state's emergency responders and their federal partners react to crises and security challenges such as plane crashes, natural disasters and mass casualty events. Funds also will be used to provide for training and equipment purchases.
"Whether it is a major storm or an attack like the ones we've seen in places like Paris, Istanbul and Orlando, preparedness is critical and these federal funds will help address security vulnerabilities and enhance the state's emergency response capabilities," U.S. Sen. Jack F. Reed said in a statement. "I commend RIEMA and all our first responders for the excellent work they do and I am pleased to help deliver these federal funds to make our communities safer."
U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse said the federal funds will help ensure that the state's first responders "have the resources to support efforts to keep Rhode Islanders safe when faced with disaster."
The funding breaks down as follows:
State Homeland Security Program Funding: $3,734,500. This program provides support for the implementation of state homeland security risk-driven strategies to address identified planning, organization, equipment, training and exercise needs to prevent, protect against, mitigate, respond to, and recover from acts of terrorism and other catastrophic events.
Emergency Management Performance Grants: $3,306,975. This funding provides grants for emergency preparedness to assist state and local governments in enhancing and sustaining all-hazards emergency management capabilities. Administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, this program provides direction, coordination and assistance so that a comprehensive emergency preparedness system exists for all hazards.
Port Security Program: $1 million. This program provides grants to help protect critical port infrastructure, enhance maritime domain awareness, improve port-wide maritime security risk management, and maintain or re-establish maritime security mitigation protocols that support port recovery and resiliency capabilities. In addition, the Newport Fire Department will receive $723,375 and the state Department of Environmental Management will receive $276,625 for programs related to port security, training, exercises and surveillance.
Intercity Bus Security Grant Program: $24,670, These funds may be used by owners and operators of intercity bus systems to protect critical bus surface transportation infrastructure and the traveling public from acts of terrorism and to increase the resilience of bus transit infrastructure.]]>
The thing is, for many Americans, the past seven years haven't felt like a time of returning prosperity. That's starting to change. The U.S. recovery has been long by historical standards, since expansions in the post-war era have lasted only about 5 years on average since 1945. Even so, it is only now starting to lift wages, improve pricing power and boost consumer confidence.
"We're making progress, we've had seven years now," Federal Reserve Governor Jerome Powell said during a question-and-answer session Tuesday night. "If we can make just a few more years of progress at this rate, where you're growing--; admittedly slow growth, but 2 percent inflation and labor market tightening --; it feels a lot better than it felt in 2012 and '13, and I want to keep that up."
It's easier to get and stay hired
The most marked economic improvement since the recession ended has come in the jobs market. Unemployment has more than halved and now stands at 4.7 percent, down from a high of 10 percent in 2009. About 268,000 people applied for unemployment insurance last week, down from 595,000 during the second week of June in 2009. Job openings have more than doubled.
The thing is, that labor-market improvement hasn't always felt great: in some cases, people who lost well-paying, skilled jobs have found themselves in lower-paying positions that don't fit their qualifications. For people who graduated into the early years of the recovery, the still-tough job market may have left permanent scars.
Participation is lower, but mostly due to demographics
One trend that took some shine off of falling joblessness was the simultaneous drop in labor force participation. While much of the decline probably owes to demographic changes, many economists think that at least part of the drop was caused by discouraged job seekers throwing in the towel.
Wages are starting to pick up
Wages are another factor that has kept economic growth from feeling great to many Americans. They stagnated in the wake of the recovery. But recently, they've begun to creep up.
That trend could continue as the economy reaches full employment and companies begin to work harder to attract workers.
"While much of this period has been plagued by sluggish growth, low productivity and stagnant wage pressures, the economy is on the brink of crossing an important milestone in the year ahead," Bloomberg economists Carl Riccadonna and Yelena Shulyatyeva wrote in a June 29 analysis.
Here's the catch
One reason that your average American might still feel like the economy isn't working out for them has less to do with fallout from the recession and more to do with a long-run trend. Globalization has led to stagnant incomes for middle-class workers worldwide as lower-income people --; who mostly live in developing countries like China and India --; and the very rich advanced.
"If you dropped out of high school, you're competing globally for wages, and there's not really a lot of upside right now,'' said Scott Brown, chief economist at Raymond James Financial Inc. in St. Petersburg. On the other hand, "people graduating from college are getting multiple job offers. It's still very much a mixed bag.'']]>
The settlement relates to the company's two stone crushing and gravel processing plants at 64 Old Hopkinton Road and 109 White Rock Road. At the time of settlement, Cherenzia Excavation had come into compliance with two sets of federal Clean Air Act regulations, according to an EPA press release.
Cherenzia Excavation uses three stationary diesel engines/generators at its Old Hopkinton Road facility, and one stationary diesel engine/generator at its White Rock Road facility, and they are all subject to the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants for stationary reciprocating internal combustion engines, the EPA said.
To come into compliance with federal clean air laws, Cherenzia Excavation installed pollution control equipment on three engines and completed initial performance tests to show that the engines met national emissions standards. Cherenzia Excavation replaced the remaining engine with a certified engine that meets EPA's emission requirements.
Cherenzia Excavation will reduce emissions of hazardous air pollutants such as formaldehyde as a result of undertaking these steps.
Because Cherenzia Excavation also operates crushers, screeners and conveyor belts, it is subject to EPA's New Source Performance Standards for Nonmetallic Mineral Processing Plants. Cherenzia Excavation came into compliance with this standard by performing required visible emissions testing for fugitive particulate matter, airborne dust that escapes from this processing machinery, and submitting overdue notifications for start-up of its operations.]]>
Jobless claims increased by 10,000 to 268,000 in the week ended June 25, a report from the Labor Department showed Thursday in Washington. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey called for 267,000. Continuing claims decreased for the third week in the last four.
Companies are reluctant to fire workers as skilled and experienced employees become difficult to attract in a tighter labor market. Dismissals that are still hovering near four-decade lows signal a recent slowdown in payrolls may be short-lived as household spending continues to fuel the economy.
"Claims are looking good, they're at low levels," Sam Bullard, a senior economist at Wells Fargo Securities LLC in Charlotte, N,C., said before the report. "Demand for labor is holding up. Firms are content with their overall levels of staffing."
For 69 consecutive weeks, claims have been below the 300,000 level that economists say is typically consistent with an improving job market. That's the longest stretch since 1973.
A persistent increase in dismissals would spark concern among economists that businesses are growing more cautious, especially in light of Britain's decision to leave the European Union.
While there was nothing unusual in last week's figures, claims were estimated for Georgia, according to the Labor Department. Filings, on an unadjusted basis, rose the most in New Jersey and California. Pennsylvania showed the largest weekly decline.
Economists' estimates in the Bloomberg survey ranged from 248,000 to 278,000. The previous week's figure was revised to 258,000 from an initially reported 259,000.
The four-week moving average, a less volatile measure than the weekly claims numbers, held at 266,750.
The number of people continuing to receive jobless benefits fell by 20,000 to 2.12 million in the week ended June 18. The four-week average declined to 2.13 million, the lowest since November 2000.
The unemployment rate among people eligible for benefits declined to 1.5 percent from 1.6 percent. These data are reported with a one-week lag.
Hiring in May grew at the slowest pace in almost six years and the prior month's reading was revised down. The jobless rate fell to an almost nine-year low as more Americans dropped out of the labor force.
Initial jobless claims reflect weekly firings, and a sustained low level of applications has typically coincided with faster job gains. Layoffs may also reflect company- or industry-specific causes, such as cost-cutting or business restructuring, rather than underlying labor market trends.]]>