Richmond officers now carrying overdose antidote
RICHMOND, R.I. (AP) - Richmond police officers are now carrying the overdose antidote Narcan, as deaths from heroin and other opioids are on the rise in Rhode Island and in the Northeast.
The Westerly Sun reports that Police Chief Elwood Johnson told the town council on Thursday that officers in the rural community began carrying the drug last month.
Health officials say at least 56 people have died from drug overdoses in Rhode Island this year. They call it an epidemic and have asked police departments to start carrying Narcan.
The drug, also called naloxone, is administered as a nasal spray and can reverse the effects of an opiate overdose. Johnson says it will cost around $500 annually for officers to carry it.
State Police and Charlestown Police have also started carrying it.
BRYANT UNIVERSITY PAYMENTS
Smithfield council vote on Bryant payments delayed
SMITHFIELD, R.I. (AP) - The Smithfield council has delayed a vote on a proposal by Bryant University to cover the cost of public safety services it receives from the town.
Bryant proposed paying virtually what the town wanted for each emergency run, though it said it has "serious issues" with the amount sought. Bryant expects to pay some $200,000 annually.
The town council was expected to vote on the plan Tuesday. A university spokeswoman says members wanted more time to study it. A vote is expected on March 18.
The General Assembly last year passed legislation allowing Smithfield to charge Bryant for emergency services after the sides couldn't agree on payments in lieu of taxes by the tax-exempt school. Bryant's president at the time called the bill unconstitutional and threatened to sue.
BROWN UNIVERSITY ANNIVERSARY
Brown launches 250th anniversary celebration
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - Brown University has kicked off a 15-monthlong celebration for its 250th anniversary.
The school was chartered in 1764 and opened its doors as the College of Rhode Island in Warren in 1765. It was the third college in New England, after Harvard and Yale, and was the only Ivy League university to allow students of all religions to attend.
The college moved to Providence in 1770. It was renamed in 1804 following a $5,000 gift from Providence businessman Nicholas Brown.
Brown's celebration started Friday with a lecture by World Bank President Jim Yong Kim. The cutting of a giant cake shaped like school's first building, University Hall, was being followed by fireworks.
Saturday will feature a colloquium convened by Brown President Christina Paxson on the virtues of a liberal education.
Ex-state environmental chief joins Chafee's staff
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - A former director of the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management is joining the administration of Gov. Lincoln Chafee.
The governor's office announced Friday that Jan Reitsma has been hired as special adviser for policy and legislative affairs. He begins on Monday.
Reitsma spent the last six years as executive director of the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor Commission and superintendent of Roger Williams National Memorial in Providence. He served previously as assistant and undersecretary to the Executive Office of Environmental Affairs in Massachusetts.
He replaces Steven Hartford, who was recently named to the position of policy director.
This is Chafee's last full year in office, as he is not seeking a second term.
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