- Associated Press - Saturday, July 5, 2014

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - From a delayed Fourth of July celebration to a proposed settlement in the 38 Studios lawsuit, here are five things to know in Rhode Island:


The annual Fourth of July celebration in Rhode Island’s capital city has been pushed back a day because of stormy weather related to Hurricane Arthur. The celebration at Providence’s India Point Park will take place Saturday evening. It had been scheduled for Friday. The lineup for the rescheduled event still features a performance by the Rhode Island Philharmonic Pops Orchestra and a fireworks display.


A Rhode Island judge plans to take up the first proposed settlement in the lawsuit over the collapse of ex-Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling’s bankrupt 38 Studios. Under the agreement, lawyer Antonio Afonso and his firm, Moses Afonso Ryan, would settle the suit filed by the former Economic Development Corp. for $4.4 million. Moses Afonso’s lawyer says in court papers the firm is not admitting any liability but wants to put the matter behind it. A hearing is scheduled for Tuesday. This would be the first settlement among the 14 defendants - including Schilling - named in the suit.


Meanwhile, an administrative hearing on potential lobbying violations related to 38 Studios is scheduled to go ahead Friday. It was originally scheduled by Secretary of State Ralph Mollis for July 1 but got continued. At issue is whether attorney Michael Corso lobbied public officials in favor of the deal for Schilling’s company without registering as a lobbyist and filing the required reports. He had a consulting agreement with 38 Studios. Corso’s lawyers say Mollis has produced no evidence of a violation.


Rhode Island now has a three-year moratorium on the use of standardized tests as a high school graduation requirement under legislation that went into law without Gov. Lincoln Chafee’s signature. The class of 2014 was the first to have to demonstrate at least partial proficiency on the New England Common Assessment Program to get a diploma, though students could also get waivers at the discretion of district superintendents. Critics said the requirement has disproportionately affected students who are poor and who have disabilities because they haven’t been prepared to pass. Critics also called the waiver process inconsistent and discriminatory.


Chafee has signed dozens of bills into law following the flurry of activity that marks the end of the six-month General Assembly session. Among them are measures to raise the state’s minimum wage to $9 an hour starting in January; abolish the so-called master lever, or straight-ticket voting option, on Rhode Island ballots; and ban the sale of e-cigarettes to minors. The Democrat called the 2014 legislative session the most productive during his time as governor.

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