- Associated Press - Saturday, May 31, 2014

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - A court officer is killed by a bus, a lawsuit alleges many neighborhoods in Providence face discrimination in mortgage lending and the first lady plans a trip to the state. Here are five things to know in Rhode Island:

DEADLY RIPTA ACCIDENT

An on-duty federal court security officer was killed when he was hit by a Rhode Island Public Transit Authority bus while walking in a crosswalk between federal buildings. The chief judge of the U.S. District Court says Frank McKnight’s death demonstrates how vulnerable the officers are. He called for improved safety for pedestrians in the area around Kennedy Plaza, home to the federal courthouse and the state’s main bus hub. He said he plans to meet with officials from the city and RIPTA.


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FIRST LADY’S SUB CEREMONY

Michelle Obama will be joined at Electric Boat’s manufacturing plant in North Kingstown on Monday by Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus and others to help lay the keel for a new submarine. Obama is the ship sponsor for the future USS Illinois, a $2.7 billion Virginia-class sub, which is expected to be commissioned in 2015. Construction began in 2011. Sailors’ families have been invited to the ceremony, something Command Master Chief David DiPietro, the submarine’s chief of the boat, calls an honor and “kind of a big deal.”



HEALTH EXCHANGE

Rhode Island’s health insurance marketplace backtracked on a surprise $4.6 million request for state money. Director Christine Ferguson rescinded the request a few days after making it, citing “cooperation and support” from federal officials. She said they had concerns over discussions in Rhode Island about possibly abandoning HealthSource. She said the state would likely face “very serious questioning” from federal officials if it abandoned HealthSource RI and transferred operations to the federal government.

REDLINING

The city of Providence sued Santander Bank, accusing it of redlining, or deliberately limiting its lending in minority neighborhoods. The suit says the bank’s practices have led to a lack of adequate mortgage credit in the city’s majority-minority neighborhoods, leading to lower home prices and preventing community groups from rehabilitating vacant homes. Santander denies the accusations. It’s the second lawsuit filed against the financial industry in recent months by Mayor Angel Taveras, who is running for governor. The other lawsuit involves the practice of flash trading.

EMMA WATSON

Brown University wouldn’t talk about why “Harry Potter” actress Emma Watson had an armed, undercover guard at her graduation from the Ivy League school. Photos showed the woman, visibly older than the other undergraduates, wearing a cap and gown next to Watson. Other photos showed her in jeans, with a badge and holstered weapon. Watson graduated with a degree in English literature.

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