PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - From a proposed museum that would focus on the slave trade in Providence to a shutdown on Interstate 95 over protests in the police shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, here are things to know in Rhode Island this week:
EPISCOPALIANS’ PLANS FOR CATHEDRAL
The Diocese of Providence is working on plans to put the nation’s only museum focused on the trans-Atlantic slave trade in its now-closed cathedral. Bishop Nicholas Knisely says the museum would look at topics that have not gotten enough attention: the church’s role in the slave trade and the history of slavery in the North. The diocese is working with the Tracing Center, a group set up by descendants of what was once the nation’s most prolific slave-trading family, and Brown University, which has reported on its own connection to slavery. The diocese does not yet know how much money it needs to raise.
FERGUSON DECISION SPARKS PROTEST
More than 100 people protesting the decision not to indict a white police officer who shot a black 18-year-old in Ferguson, Missouri, streamed onto 1-95 on Tuesday, forcing a brief shutdown of the highway. Five people were charged with disorderly conduct, and a sixth was charged with assault, vandalism and resisting arrest. All pleaded not guilty. Also this week, Providence Public Safety Commissioner Steven Pare said police can learn from what happened in Ferguson, and one way to improve relations with the community is to continue diversifying the force.
FOOD BANK DONATIONS
Donations to the Rhode Island Community Food Bank have dropped significantly, even though it’s feeding nearly double the number of people it did seven years ago. CEO Andrew Schiff is asking the state to restore cuts to its funding and says the food bank received just 6 million pounds of donated food in 2014, compared with 7.2 million in 2007. He says part of the change is that grocery stores have become better at managing their inventories.
BACK PAY FOR DISABLED WORKERS
Around 100 disabled workers will receive $300,000 in back pay from an employment program that authorities said was paying on average $1.57 per hour. The U.S. Department of Labor announced the settlement with North Providence-based Training Thru Placement this week. The company had been allowed to pay workers less than the minimum wage under a special waiver. That permission was revoked after the company failed to follow the rules. The company is now under new management. The settlement is the latest to affect workers with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Rhode Island, which itself agreed this year to offer them better jobs for at least minimum wage.
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