TOP LOCAL NEWS STORIES: FRIDAY 11/20


Citing Pandemic, Governor Announces Two-Week 'Pause' Period For Rhode Island

(Providence, RI) -- Rhode Island is entering a "pause" for two weeks starting November 30th to fight the late-year coronavirus wave. Governor Gina Raimondo announced Thursday the following places must close: in-person learning at colleges and universities, offices when possible, bar areas, recreational venues, and indoor sports facilities and fitness centers. Indoor dining must reduce capacity to one-third; houses of worship must go down to 25-percent. Social gatherings are being limited to one household immediately. Raimondo said without the pause, there is a risk that hospitals will become overwhelmed.

Raimondo Asks People Not To Travel For Thanksgiving

(Providence, RI) -- Governor Raimondo asked Rhode Islanders to stay at home on Thanksgiving, but also asked people who do travel to get tested before leaving. Plus, the governor said you'll have to get tested when you come back and quarantine. Rapid-testing will be offered for travelers at T.F. Green Airport over the holiday weekend.

Rhode Island Unemployment Rate Down To 7%

(Providence, RI) -- The state of Rhode Island's unemployment rate has dropped to seven percent, according to the Department of Labor and Training. The October rate was down from the September rate of ten-and-a-half-percent, but is still much higher than the rate from October 2019, which was three-and-a-half-percent. The DLT says the number of Rhode Island-based jobs rose by 17-hundred last month.

State Elections Board Dismisses Republican Candidates' Complaints

(Providence, RI) -- The Providence Journal reports the Rhode Island Board of Elections has dismissed complaints from five Republican candidates who lost their election races this month. One was a Congressional candidate, Robert Lancia; the other four were competing for General Assembly seats. They asked the board to investigate mail ballots and other votes, but made no specific allegations of voter fraud. Lancia appeared to be winning his race against incumbent Democrat James Langevin until mail ballots were added.

Retired RI Navy Pilot Pleads Guilty To Coercion, Child Porn Charges

(Providence, RI) -- A retired U.S. Navy pilot most-recently stationed at the Naval War College in Newport is facing up to life in prison. The U.S. Justice Department says Ronald Zenga of Middletown pleaded guilty in federal court on Thursday to charges of coercing a minor to engage in illicit sexual conduct and several child pornography charges. Prosecutors say Zenga described graphic ongoing sexual encounters with a young child to a police agent online. Sentencing is scheduled next February.

Fane Tower Providence Update

(Providence, RI) -- An update on a proposed luxury apartment skyscraper in Providence. The I-195 Redevelopment District Commission voted Wednesday to allow for a modified agreement with New York developer Jason Fane if he pays a quarter-million dollars in past-due fees by the end of the day Friday. A spokesperson for Fane said he plans on making the payment and remains committed to the project known as the Hope Point Tower, which was put on hold this spring because of the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

Patriots At Texans On Sunday

(Houston, TX) -- The New England Patriots will continue to fight for a playoff spot on the road this weekend. The Patriots are at the Houston Texans on Sunday. Kickoff is at 1 p.m. Eastern time. New England has won two in a row.

photo: Getty images