Wind company moving HQ to Quonset. Why R.I. hearts talk radio. The House wants to adjourn this week.
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Happy Monday and welcome to Rhode Map, your daily guide to everything happening in the Ocean State. I’m Dan McGowan and I’m pumped for UConn’s return to the Big East. Follow me on Twitter @DanMcGowan or send tips to Dan.McGowan@globe.com.
Rhode Island was the first state in the country to have an offshore wind farm. Now it’s seeking to become a leader in the entire wind industry.
So it’s a big deal that GEV Wind Power – a United Kingdom-based company that specializes in blade maintenance services – has chosen Quonset for its US headquarters.
The Rhode Island Commerce Corporation is scheduled to vote today on a $1.9 million tax credit package for the company, which plans to create 125 jobs in the state. Commerce Secretary Stefan Pryor said GEV has committed to staying in Quonset for at least 12 years.
“It’s important that Rhode Island become a hub for the operations and maintenance activity in the region because this will be an important strand of activity,” Pryor said in an interview last week.
Pryor said he has be working closely with officials at Orsted, the Danish energy company that purchased Deepwater Wind for $510 million last year, to pitch Rhode Island as a significant player in the wind sector.
He helped seal the deal with GEV Wind Power by making two trips to the UK in recent months.
And while Massachusetts is ramping up its wind power presence, Pryor said Rhode Island has a simple message for companies looking at New England.
“They’re coming from behind,” he said. “We are the first mover in this field.”
NEED TO KNOW
Rhode Map wants to hear from you. If you’ve got a scoop or a link to an interesting news story in Rhode Island, e-mail us at RInews@globe.com.
• There aren’t too many places the size of Rhode Island that still have morning-to-night, all-local talk radio programs, but the business continues to thrive here. My colleague Ed Fitzpatrick explores how talk radio has remained part of the fabric of state politics.
• The Globe’s Amanda Milkovits reports nearly one-third of the Providence Police Department is eligible to retire this year, but it welcomed 49 new officers to the force on Saturday. The good news: Even after a panhandler was stabbed to death last week, Providence is still in the midst of a 50-year low in homicides.
• Rhode Island lost a giant when former WJAR investigative reporter Jim Taricani died Friday at the age of 69. Calling hours are scheduled for Wednesday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Barrett & Cotter Funeral Home in Warwick. His funeral service will be held on Thursday at 10 a.m. at Christ the King Church in Kingston.
• The House of Representatives approved a nearly $10 billion state budget over the weekend, making only slight changes to the plan it unveiled June 14. The House restored $200,000 in funding for the Nonviolence Institute, gave Rhode Island College a $600,000 boost, and promised developer Jason Fane up to $25 million in tax credits for his proposed 46-story tower on the I-195 land. The Senate will vote on the budget this week.
WHAT’S ON TAP TODAY
Each day, Rhode Map offers a cheat sheet breaking down what’s happening in Rhode Island. Have an idea? E-mail us at RInews@globe.com.
• The House is back in session Monday, and House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello says his goal is to adjourn by Friday.
• The House Committee on Health, Education & Welfare is expected to vote today on several pieces of education reform legislation, including a bill to expand the power of school principals. Mattiello calls the education bills his top priority this week.
• Providence officials are trying to craft a strategy to address affordable housing. The city’s Board of Contract and Supply will issue an RFP for a consultant on the plan today.
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