This article originally appeared in the Rhode Map newsletter. If you would like to get the newsletter as a convenient e-mail Monday through Friday, just sign up here.
Happy Thursday! I’m Dan McGowan and I think there should have been more partying on Eaton Street after the Providence College soccer team beat top-ranked Georgetown last night. Follow me on Twitter @DanMcGowan or send tips to Dan.McGowan@globe.com.
Rhode Island has a high level of transmission: 170.7 total new cases per 100K population in the past 7 days
Fully vaccinated: 725,730 (of about 1.1 million residents)
New cases: 261
Test-positive rate: 1.9 percent
Currently hospitalized: 98
Total deaths: 2,857
More stats from the R.I. Department of Health
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The Providence External Review Authority (PERA), the civilian police oversight board that has been without an executive director for nearly a year, may soon have a new leader.
The authority’s board of directors on Wednesday backed attorney Ferenc Karoly to be the new director, but he still has to be confirmed by the City Council. Karoly works for the firm Lynch & Pine, and is a former deputy chief of the Middletown Police Department.
The board voted last November to terminate its executive director, current state Representative Jose Batista, for releasing video footage from a pending criminal case against Sgt. Joseph Hanley, who was accused of assaulting a handcuffed man. Board members said they were concerned that Batista’s actions would jeopardize the case, but Hanley was ultimately convicted of misdemeanor assault.
If Karoly is confirmed by the council, his first job will be to make PERA relevant in the community after years of stops and starts.
The authority was created in 2002, but was dormant for many years until the City Council approved the Providence Community-Police Relations Act in 2017. A new board was appointed, Batista was brought in as executive director, and the authority was reviewing citizen complaints. But everything stalled once Batista was terminated.
Karoly’s experience in law enforcement could also help build the relationship between the police department and the oversight board, although the police union has been critical of the authority ever since it was created.
PERA has the ability to recommend to the police chief that disciplinary action be taken against officers accused of misconduct, but it does not have the power to impose penalties.
The Globe in Rhode Island
⚓ On the Rhode Island Report podcast, Rhode Island Political Cooperative co-founder Jennifer Rourke talked about why the progressive group formed, and she responded to recent criticism of the organization. Read more.
⚓ Former state Representative Raymond J. Sullivan Jr., a Democrat who helped lead the fight to legalize same-sex marriage in Rhode Island, died on Monday at age 44. Read more.
⚓ Rhode Island is expanding access to doulas and investing in healthier birth outcomes. My colleague Dasia Moore asks why the rest of the country isn’t doing the same. Read more.
⚓ The battle over increasing Narragansett Town Beach fees is heating up. Read more.
⚓ Rhode Island has been slow to recognize Ellison “Tarzan” Brown, the Indigenous Boston Marathon runner who broke Johnny Kelley’s heart on “Heartbreak Hill.” Read more.
Also in the Globe
⚓ My colleague James Pindell hands out grades from last night’s Boston mayoral debate. Read more.
⚓ The US Supreme Court heard arguments Wednesday over reinstating the death sentence for Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, focusing sharply on whether he was under the sway of his domineering, violent older brother, Tamerlan, when the pair exploded bombs that killed three people near the finish line in 2013. Read more.
⚓ Larry Edelman writes that it looks like inflation is here to stay for a while. Read more.
What’s on tap today
E-mail events to us at RInews@globe.com.
⚓ Rhode Map readers, if you want a friend or family member to be recognized on Friday, send me an e-mail with their first and last name, and their age.
⚓ At 2 p.m., Governor Dan McKee and the officials from the Department of Health are expected to outline their plan for vaccinating children between the ages of 5 and 11.
⚓ State Treasurer Seth Magaziner plans to release a report that outlines his effort to use the influence of the state pension fund to compel companies to adopt more responsible corporate behavior.
My previous column
Sam Zurier may have won the Democratic primary in Senate District 3, but the voters on the East Side of Providence were lucky to have five strong candidates in the race. If you missed the column, you can read it here. And all of my columns are on our Rhode Island Commentary page.
Rhode Island Report podcast
Ed Fitzpatrick talks to Jennifer Rourke of the Rhode Island Political Cooperative about why the group formed, its slate of 50 progressive candidates, and recent criticism of the organization. Listen to all of our podcasts here.
Boston Globe App
You can get alerts about Rhode Island news on the Globe’s app (iOS and Android). Just tap the gear icon, then “Edit Alert Settings,” and choose Rhode Island.
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