Metro, News

Metro Roundup, April 2

Metro Editor
Sunday, April 1, 2018

Thousands rallied for gun control at the State House last Sunday

Three thousand Rhode Islanders bore posters, megaphones and palpable determination as they assembled to stand behind the survivors of the Parkland, Florida shooting and demand gun control March 24 at the State House. The rally, one of more than 800 “March for Our Lives” protests worldwide, featured speakers including Gov. Gina Raimondo, David Cicilline ’83, D-R.I., Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse D-R.I., Mayor Jorge Elorza, State Rep. Aaron Regunberg ’12 D-Providence and student activists, The Herald previously reported.

Rhode Island joined campaign against census question on citizenship Tuesday

Rhode Island has joined a multi-state lawsuit to “preserve a fair and accurate census,” announced Attorney General Peter Kilmartin Tuesday. The announcement comes in response to the federal government’s decision to include a question about citizenship on the 2020 Census — the first time since 1950 that respondents will have to indicate whether or not they are citizens of the United States. “It is critical for every person — regardless of their citizenship status — be counted in order to preserve the level of representation the State has in Washington, D.C.,” Kilmartin said, adding that the census’ purpose “is not to determine an individual’s citizenship status. In fact, asking the question will only serve to discourage individuals from responding.”

Oldest tree kangaroo in the United States died at Roger Williams Park Zoo Tuesday

The kangaroo, “Paul,” lived for 23 years, five months and five days before passing away due to complications from heart issues that reduced his quality of life, Roger Williams Park Zoo & Carousel Village announced Wednesday.

His species, Matschie’s tree kangaroos, is native to Papua New Guinea and there are only about 2,500 to 3,000 left in the wild. The life expectancy for the species is less than 15 years, the zoo said. “It is a great testament to the love and care Paul received from his keepers and veterinary staff that he lived such a long life,” said Roger Williams Park Zoo executive director Jeremy Goodman in a statement.

Anti-vaccine advocates demanded a repeal of state’s vaccine mandates Wednesday

Opponents of Rhode Island’s mandatory vaccine policies showed up at the State House Wednesday in support of a legislative package that would allow parents to refuse vaccines for their children, the Providence Journal reported. Rhode Island currently requires a list of vaccinations for pre-kindergarten and grade school children, but the proposed legislation would allow parents to opt out if the immunization is for “a non-causal contact disease transmitted by sexual contact between individuals” or for “personal, philosophical or religious beliefs.”

Rhode Island school improvement plan approved Thursday

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos approved Rhode Island’s school improvement plan Thursday, which increases state agency over academic standards, accountability and use of federal education funds, among other measures, the Providence Journal reported.

The improvement plan, approved under the Every Student Succeeds Act, includes an initiative to put computer science courses in every school in the state by 2025, personalized learning pathways and plans to involve teachers in statewide decision-making.

After back-and-forth, WaterFire Arts Center displayed house honoring Rosa Parks Saturday, Sunday

The University announced that it canceled the planned exhibition of a house that belonged to Rosa Parks’ brother over a “dispute” independent from the University March 8, The Herald reported. But the WaterFire Arts Center displayed the house March 31 and April 1. The future of the house is still unknown.

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