- Associated Press - Saturday, November 1, 2014

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - President Barack Obama had an extended stay in the Ocean State, the governor’s race tightens and Election Day is nearly here. Here are things to know this week in Rhode Island:


Obama became the first president in more than a half-century to sleep in Rhode Island, as he made an overnight stop at the Omni Providence Hotel ahead of a speech Friday at Rhode Island College on women and the economy. Obama praised a state law that provides paid family leave, saying it is good for businesses and the economy. The president also made a pit stop at one of Rhode Islander’s favorite restaurant chains: Gregg’s. He picked up one of their signature chocolate cakes and shook hands and chatted with customers and staff, urging them to vote for gubernatorial candidate Gina Raimondo on Tuesday.


Raimondo and Republican opponent Allan Fung made their final pitches to voters in TV debates and appearances with well-known political names. Fung was joined by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who’s planning to come back to campaign with him on Monday. A new Brown University poll out this week shows the two running even in the race. Fung says the tight race shows his economic message is resonating. A day before campaigning with the president, Raimondo had a rally with first lady Michelle Obama, who urged voters to “get it done” in a race where every vote will matter.


Polls open at 7 a.m. on Tuesday and close at 8 p.m. Besides the race for governor, voters will decide on a new secretary of state, lieutenant governor and treasurer, and decide whether to give Democrat Peter Kilmartin a second term as attorney general. Voters will also decide whether to approve turning Newport Grand into a full-fledged casino and whether to hold a constitutional convention. In Providence, former Mayor Buddy Cianci, an independent, is seeking a comeback after two felony convictions. He faces Democrat Jorge Elorza and Republican Dan Harrop. Barrington residents have been urged to set aside some extra time - they have 40 ballot questions to answer.


Former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez tried and failed to get his trial moved out of Fall River, Massachusetts. A Massachusetts judge denied his request to move his trial in the fatal shooting of a friend in 2013 near his home in North Attleborough. Hernandez’s lawyer had argued the trial should be moved out of Bristol County, saying the media coverage has been “sensational and inflammatory,” poisoning the jury pool. Prosecutors said they had not shown that, and Superior Court Judge E. Susan Garsh agreed, denying the motion.

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