Year-to-date results were similar, with 3,004,749 passengers that either enplaned or deplaned at the airport through October 2014, a 6.2 percent decrease from the 3,204,394 passengers recorded during the first 10 months of 2013.
The numbers represent the 10th consecutive month of year-over-year passenger declines at the airport.
In contrast, cargo traffic increased nearly 4 percent on both a year-over-year and year-to-date basis.
October cargo traffic was 2.6 million lbs., an increase of 3.8 percent compared with October 2013's 2.5 million lbs. Year-to-date, total cargo was 22.2 million lbs, a 3.7 percent increase compared with the 21.4 million lbs. during the same period last year.
United Airlines had the largest increase in passenger traffic year-to-date at 36 percent and 83,680 passengers, followed by Delta at 26 percent and 291,975 passengers, among the major carriers.
Southwest Airlines had the largest drop at 9 percent with 1.4 million passengers. US Airways reported a 6 percent drop with 348,668 passengers, and JetBlue Airways had a passenger decline of 2.4 percent with 220,466 passengers.
Southwest again had the largest market share at 43 percent and 135,319 passengers among the major carriers in October. JetBlue had the least amount of market share at 7.5 percent and 23,455 passengers in October.
The largest cargo carrier in October was Federal Express with 1.5 million lbs. of mail and freight moved to and from Rhode Island. United Parcel Service had 926,675 lbs. of mail and freight, while Wiggins Airways transported 135,844 lbs.]]>
NerdWallet, in its latest survey, computed the true cost of the Thanksgiving meal for 264 communities around the country, and determined that Providence is the 18th most expensive place for the holiday meal with an average cost of $55.88.
The personal finance website based its findings on the recently released American Farm Bureau survey which showed that the average cost of a "classic harvest feast for 10 people" is $49.41, a 37-cent increase from last year's average of $49.04.
The farm bureau considered the cost of turkey, bread stuffing, sweet potatoes, rolls with butter, peas, cranberries, a relish tray of carrots and celery, pumpkin pie with whipped cream, coffee and milk to come up with the price, NerdWallet said.
NerdWallet figured grocery cost for each city using the grocery cost index from the Council for Community and Economic Research.
The most expensive place to host a Thanksgiving meal? Hilo, Hawaii at $79.11.
The least expensive? Waco, Texas at $39.82.
Other trends NerdWallet found: sweet potatoes, pumpkin pie mix and dairy items had the largest price increases this year, even though the average turkey dinner cost has stayed at approximately $49 since 2011.
The only other New England community to make list of 20 most expensive places for Thanksgiving dinner was Stamford, Conn., which ranked No. 13 at $59.29.
Boston ranked No. 46 for its $52.92 cost.
Read the entire list HERE.]]>
The nearly 10-year-old program allows Rhode Island Housing's FirstHomes 100 and 100+ customers to defer $200 per month from their mortgage payments for up to four months this winter - December, January, February and March. They then can make up the difference by paying an extra $100 per month during the eight months after the heating season.
"At Rhode Island Housing, we want to do all we can to ensure that our customers can live safely and comfortably in their homes and continue to afford to pay all of their monthly bills on time," Peter Walsh, director of homeownership and customer service at Rhode Island Housing, said in a statement. "Rhode Island Housing's commitment to our customers does not end with the closing of a loan. We're unique because we service our loans, which gives us the flexibility to respond to the needs of our customers who may want options to handle the expense of heating their homes. The heating assistance program is an example of our capacity to develop programs to address our customer's needs."
The program is free and will not increase the interest customers pay on their mortgages. Rhode Island Housing will be sending out details of the program to almost 7,000 mortgage customers this month.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration is forecasting higher prices this winter for homes that heat with natural gas and electricity.
Propane and home heating oil prices are expected to be lower than last winter. Expenditures are expected to be lower this winter unless there is a repeat of last winter's cold weather, the agency said.
Rhode Island Housing customers can contact the agency's Loan Servicing Division at (800) 854-1180 with questions.]]>
Rhode Island now joins Florida, Alabama and Oklahoma in recommending the Council for Economic Education's standards as the basis for financial literacy education in the state.
The New York-based Council for Economic Education's standards cover six college and career-readiness skills: earning income, buying goods and services, using credit, saving, financial investing, and protecting and insuring.
Designed to help students learn to make thoughtful, deliberate choices as consumers, savers, investors and informed citizens, the national standards teach students how their personal situations and preferences affect their financial decision making.
Rhode Island's adoption of the national standards is the result of an eight-month, collaborative effort between 2014 Rhode Island Teacher of the Year Patricia Page, the realEdRI student group led by Charlotte Palmer, and state and nonprofit educational leaders including Education Commissioner Deborah Gist and Margaret Brooks, president of the R.I. Council for Economic Education and president of the Rhode Island Jump$tart Coalition.
Throughout the process, U.S. Sen. Jack Reed was instrumental in creating awareness and support for financial education at the state and national levels. "Improving financial literacy is a positive first step when it comes to putting students on the path to a financially secure future. I applaud the Rhode Island Council for Elementary and Secondary Education, the Council for Economic Education and state education officials for working together to boost financial literacy education in our schools," Reed said in a statement.
The standards, which are written in easy to understand terminology, are not attached to any specific curriculum, do not assume prior financial knowledge and are designed to be applicable to all socio-economic groups.
Funding for the standards was made possible by First Financial Bank USA.
"Rhode Island students will learn critical decision-making skills, helping them make sound financial decisions and smart choices in all aspects of their lives," Nan J. Morrison, CEO and president, Council for Economic Education, said in a statement.
Rhode Island teachers and librarians will have the opportunity to learn more about financial education resources, and to network with other professionals, at the upcoming 2014 Financial Capability Conference to be held at Rhode Island College on Dec. 6, which will be open to the public.]]>
Of that amount, $1.3 million was collected in criminal actions, and $1.8 million was collected in civil actions.
Rhode Island also worked with other U.S. attorneys' offices and the Department of Justice to collect an additional $718,652.67 in cases pursued jointly with those offices.
Attorney General Eric Holder said recently that the U.S. Justice Department collected $24.7 billion in civil and criminal actions in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30.
"Every day, the Justice Department's federal prosecutors and trial attorneys work hard to protect our citizens, to safeguard precious taxpayer resources and to provide a valuable return on investment to the American people," Holder said in a statement. "Their diligent efforts are enabling us to achieve justice and recoup losses in virtually every sector of the U.S. economy. And this result shows the fruits of the Justice Department's tireless work in enforcing federal laws; in protecting the American people from violent crime, national security threats, discrimination, exploitation, and abuse; and in holding financial institutions accountable for their roles in causing the 2008 financial crisis."
Said Neronha, the U.S. attorney for Rhode Island, in prepared remarks, "Those who engage in financial fraud, taking advantage of victims or the public generally, will continue to receive the full attention of both this office's civil and criminal divisions, as will those who pose a threat to national security, who violate the public trust, who commit crimes of violence or who engage in sex trafficking, particularly of minors."
The law requires defendants to pay restitution to victims of certain federal crimes who have suffered a physical injury or financial loss. And while restitution is paid to the victim, criminal fines and felony assessments are paid to the department's crime victims' fund, which distributes the funds to state victim compensation and victim assistance programs.
The largest civil collections were from affirmative civil enforcement cases, in which the United States recovered government money lost to fraud or other misconduct or collected fines imposed on individuals and/or corporations for violations of federal health, safety, civil rights or environmental laws.
Additionally, the U.S. attorney's office in Rhode Island, working with partner agencies and divisions, collected $1,078,781 in asset forfeiture actions in fiscal 2014. Forfeited assets deposited into the Department of Justice Assets Forfeiture Fund are used to restore funds to crime victims and for a variety of law enforcement purposes.]]>
Black Knight, which released data on Friday, showed that Rhode Island ranked second among states in October with 3.55 percent of mortgages delinquent by 90 days or more.
That is a slight increase from September's 90-day delinquency rate of 3.53 percent for the Ocean State. In August, Rhode Island's rate was 3.49 percent.
Mississippi ranked first in the serious delinquency category with 5.21 percent of mortgages delinquent by 90 days or more. Alabama was third at 3.53 percent; Louisiana, fourth at 3.49 percent; and Arkansas, fifth at 3.19 percent.
Nationally, the number of properties that are 90 or more days past due, but not in foreclosure was 1,101,000, representing a drop of 17,000 properties from September to October, and 182,000 decrease from October 2013 to October 2014.
The total U.S. loan delinquency rate - loans that are 30 or more days past due, but not in foreclosure - dropped to 5.44 percent in October, a decrease of 4 percent from September. The nationwide delinquency rate fell to a seven-year low, according to Black Knight.
Black Knight said that prepayments, which are historically a good indicator of refinance activity, increased for the first time in October since July, and that foreclosure inventory decreased more than 33 percent from October 2013 to October 2014, the lowest level since February 2008.
Black Knight's data represents mortgage statistics from its loan-level database - approximately two-thirds of the overall market.]]>
Under the integrated services contract, GTECH will provide a new central gaming system, self-service machines, multimedia displays and an upgraded telecommunications network to the Missouri Lottery.
GTECH expects to receive approximately $112 million in revenue over the seven-year term.
GTECH has been the major lottery technology and services provider to the Missouri Lottery since 1991.
The new contract takes effect in the second half of 2015 and is the result of competitive procurement. It includes one, three-year extension option, exercisable at the Missouri Lottery's discretion.
"Over the past 23 years, GTECH's flexible technology solutions and marketing insights have supported the Missouri Lottery's innovative approaches and multi-faceted portfolio," GTECH Americas President and CEO Jaymin B. Patel said in a statement. "Through this agreement, our robust, forward-thinking solutions will help to ensure that the Lottery continues to grow and raise funds for good causes."
Missouri Lottery Executive Director May Scheve Reardon said the agreement with GTECH will "continue to drive the Lottery's performance to greater levels as technology and player demographics evolve."
Since Missouri Lottery sales began in 1986, the Lottery has provided the state and public education with nearly $5 billion.
GTECH will replace draw-based lottery terminals with approximately 3,500 full-service Altura GT 1200 terminals and 1,500 Altura GT 1200 Compact terminals.]]>
Philip Tedesco, CEO of the Tucson, Ariz. Association of Realtors and Multiple Listing Service, will assume the Rhode Island post in mid-January.
He has more than 20 years of nonprofit and association executive management experience.
Before joining the Tucson Association of Realtors in 2010, he served as the CEO for the San Mateo County, Calif. Association of Realtors; CEO of the Santa Cruz, Calif. Association of Realtors; and vice president of marketing at the Realtor Association of Greater Miami.
"We feel very fortunate to have someone of Phil's caliber taking over the helm of our association. We conducted a nationwide search during which his knowledge of housing issues and association management were readily apparent. We feel confident that our organization will greatly benefit from his insight in the years ahead," Bruce Lane, 2015 Rhode Island Association of Realtors President, said in a statement.
Tedesco will replace Susan Arnold, who is retiring at the end of the year. She has been in the position since 1997.
The Rhode Island Association of Realtors has approximately 4,000 members in 750 offices. Rhode Island Realtor transactions resulted in more than $6.2 billion in property sales last year.]]>
"We understand the risks of doing our job poorly and of becoming too close" to banks, New York Fed President William C. Dudley said in testimony prepared for delivery before a Senate panel. "We cannot catch or correct every error by a financial institution, and we sometimes make mistakes."
The hearing was prompted by allegations leveled against the New York Fed by a former supervisor who said her colleagues were too deferential to Goldman Sachs Group Inc., the Wall Street bank where Dudley once worked. Fresh reports this week of improper ties between employees of the two institutions are providing ammunition to congressional critics, some of whom want to limit the central bank's authority and autonomy.
"More than six years ago, when regulators got too cozy with the banks they were regulating, we saw the cost in lost jobs, retirement savings, and homes," Sherrod Brown, the Ohio Democrat who will lead today's hearing, said in a reference to the financial crisis. "It's past time that the Federal Reserve shows - with actions, not words - that it will protect consumers rather than Wall Street."
The Fed Board said yesterday it had asked Inspector General Mark Bialek in a Nov. 17 letter to review examinations of bank holding companies with assets exceeding $50 billion.
The Fed asked Bialek to determine if examinations obtain "all material information" and whether there are ways "for decision-makers to be aware of divergent views about material issues regarding large banking organizations."
"The Fed review of how it supervises banks is very serious and very real," said Joseph Engelhard, a former Treasury Department official who is now senior vice president at Washington-based consultant Capital Alpha Partners LLC.
The watchdog will also examine whether supervisors at the 12 regional reserve banks are aware of disagreements on their teams.
That's the issue that led to today's hearing, which Brown called in response to secret recordings made by Carmen Segarra, a New York Fed examiner posted at Goldman Sachs who said she was fired because she refused to go easy on the firm, a charge the New York Fed has denied.
The Segarra allegations are "part of a much bigger issue than simply a dispute with the New York Fed," said Peter J. Wallison, a senior fellow in financial policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington.
"Congress is very uncomfortable with the fact there's this body out there that has all this power and they, who are constitutionally entitled to exercise that power, have very little say about how it is exercised," said Wallison, a former Treasury Department general counsel.
Brown and fellow Banking Committee Democrat Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts have called the Segarra report "disturbing." Another Senate Democrat, Jack Reed of Rhode Island, introduced a bill this week that would add the New York Fed chief to the list of central bank officials who must be nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate.
"Every day the Fed drives another nail in their coffin," said Camden Fine, who heads the Independent Community Bankers of America, which represents 6,500 lenders. "There's been general concern on the part of Congress that in the early days of the crisis up to recent months that the Fed overreached and began to intrude on what Congress perceives as being their prerogatives."
The group, which previously defended the Fed from congressional efforts to curb its powers, said yesterday it supports Reed's bill.
The New York Fed chief has a permanent vote on the policy- setting Federal Open Market Committee, while the heads of the other 11 district banks rotate into voting seats. District bank presidents are selected by their boards of directors and approved by the Fed Board of Governors in Washington. Fed governors already must gain Senate approval.
Republicans, who are poised to control the Senate next year in addition to the House, have proposed legislation to curb Fed discretion on monetary policy and bank supervision.
Representatives Scott Garrett of New Jersey and Bill Huizenga of Michigan, for example, were co-sponsors of a House bill that would have required the central bank to describe a rule for how it would adjust interest rates.
Today's Senate hearing follows reports that Goldman Sachs fired two bankers after one of them allegedly shared confidential documents from the New York Fed within the firm.
A junior banker, who had joined the company in July from the New York Fed, was dismissed a week after the discovery in late September along with another employee who failed to escalate the issue, according to an internal memo obtained by Bloomberg News. Jake Siewert, a bank spokesman, confirmed the contents of the memo.
The banker forwarded an e-mail from a Fed employee that contained confidential supervisory information to members of his team on Sept. 26, according to a person briefed on the matter. The New York Fed dismissed an employee for sharing the information, according to two people briefed on the matter.
The incident is a fresh embarrassment for Dudley, who has carried on a campaign to overhaul what he calls an errant banking "culture" of misdeeds that has led to more than $100 billion of fines.
Bad conduct "damages the public trust placed in banks," Dudley said in his testimony. "This loss of trust is so severe that it has become a financial stability concern," Dudley said.
The central bank's internal watchdog last month said the New York Fed botched oversight of the JPMorgan unit that suffered $6.2 billion in trading losses, attributed to the so-called London Whale, when it missed opportunities to uncover problems in 2008, 2009 and 2010.
Dudley defended his organization in his testimony, saying it has made "significant changes" since the crisis, holding banks to higher capital and liquidity requirements and conducting stress tests to determine if they can survive shocks.
Examinations have been changed to reduce the chance for regulatory capture by ensuring that one person can't make "final decisions on matters of significance," Dudley said. The bank also reorganized its supervision group to support "unbiased analysis and professional objectivity."]]>
Mayor Angel Taveras joined Alex and Ani's chief operating officer Jayne Conway on Thursday at the downtown skating rink to announce terms of the $250,000 partnership.
Cranston jewelry maker Alex and Ani will have naming rights to the city skating rink at Kennedy Plaza until 2019, according to information provided by the mayor's office.
Alex and Ani will be responsible for costs to rebrand the rink as the Alex and Ani City Center.
The company also has the opportunity to host events at the venue year-round.
"The Providence Rink is an exciting recreational centerpiece drawing families from across our state to the heart of downtown Providence. We are extremely proud to partner with Rhode Island's own Alex and Ani, as it lends its proud, world-famous design name to this great venue," Taveras said in a statement. "The rink is truly one of our city's jewels and we look forward to additional programming as well as growing the number of Rhode Islanders who are able to experience it year-round."
For the first time since the venue opened, the agreement also allows the city the opportunity to raise additional revenue through other advertising, including kiosks, video monitors and dasher board advertising space at the Alex and Ani City Center.
"We are excited to partner with the city of Providence to support the City Center which gives thousands of people enjoyment each year," Conway said. "The opportunity to host programming throughout the year at the Alex and Ani City Center will attract visitors downcity, which in turn will provide local businesses with increased economic activity. Our support of City Center is an example of Alex and Ani's commitment to support programs and organizations that help to make our state a better place."
Taveras and Conway were joined by Rick Simone, Alex and Ani vice president of sponsorships and partnerships, as well as Providence city officials, for the announcement.
More than 750,000 skaters have used the rink since it opened in 1998 as the Fleet Skating Center. The rink opened for the season on Nov. 15, and operates through mid-March. Bank of America was the previous sponsor for the venue.
From April to October, it functions as an event and programming center. The RISD Artists Ball, Rotary Street Painting Festival and Bolivian and Day of Portugal festival are some of the events held there.]]>