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BC-RI--Rhode Island News Digest 6 pm, RI

January 22, 2019

Good evening. Here’s a look at how AP’s general news coverage is shaping up in Rhode Island.

Questions about coverage plans are welcome and should be directed to the AP Boston bureau at 617-357-8100 or 800-882-1407.

New England News Editor Bill Kole can be reached at 617-357-8100 or bkole@ap.org. New England Photo Editor Bill Sikes is reachable at 617-357-8106 or bsikes@ap.org.

For up-to-the minute information on AP’s coverage, visit Coverage Plan at newsroom.ap.org.

A reminder that this information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change. Expected stories may not develop, or late-breaking and more newsworthy events may take precedence. Advisories and digests will keep you up to date. All times are Eastern.

Some TV and radio stations will receive shorter APNewsNow versions of the stories below, along with all updates.

UPCOMING TOMORROW

MASSACHUSETTS BUDGET

With an eye on a slowing economy and pressure to boost spending on education, transportation, climate change and other priorities, Republican Gov. Charlie Baker is expected on Wednesday to unveil a roughly $42 billion state budget proposal. UPCOMING: 130 words by 1 a.m., 500 words by 1 p.m.

TODAY’S TOP STORIES:

GAS OUTAGE

National Grid began the painstaking process Tuesday of going door-to-door to restore natural gas service to about 7,000 Rhode Island customers who were without heat on a day when temperatures weren’t expected to rise above freezing. The effort in Newport and Middletown could take a week or more, Tim Horan, president of the utility in Rhode Island, said at a news conference with Gov. Gina Raimondo. SENT: 430 words, photos.

BAKER-HIGHWAY SAFETY

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker has filed a wide-ranging traffic safety proposal that includes a ban on the use of hand-held cellphones by drivers and stepped-up enforcement of seatbelt requirements. SENT: 600 words.

With: GAS OUTAGE-THE LATEST

OCTOPUS WHISPERER

They call him The Octopus Whisperer, and he certainly seems to have a special way with eight-armed, tentacled cephalopods. More than 25 years ago, Wilson Menashi retired after a long career as an engineer, but he hasn’t been idle. The New England Aquarium in Boston, where Menashi volunteers, says he’s spent 7,800 hours – the equivalent of four years working full-time – hanging out with octopuses. Menashi helps aquarium biologist Bill Murphy care for the newcomers and helps them get accustomed to their new surroundings. By Rodrique Ngowi. SENT: 700 words, photos, video.

With: OCTOPUS-THINGS TO KNOW

ELECTION 2020-DEMOCRATS-POLICY EXTREMES

Democratic presidential contender Julian Castro launched his campaign by pledging support for “Medicare for All,” free universal preschool, a large public investment in renewable energy and two years of free college for all Americans. That wasn’t enough for some of his party’s most liberal members. SENT: 1,080 words, photos.

IN BRIEF:

_ COASTAL REAL ESTATE-CLIMATE CHANGE: New research indicates Rhode Island’s coastal real estate market is already feeling the effects of climate change. SENT.

_ EXPRESS BUS PROGRAM: The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority said it will extend bus service into Quonset Business Park as part of a pilot program. SENT.

_ CASINO REVENUE: State officials say they are raising their estimates for slot machine revenue from Connecticut’s two casinos. SENT.

_ MISSING WOMAN: Boston police say a 23-year-old woman last seen by her family leaving a bar near Faneuil Hall over the weekend has been found alive. SENT.

_ TROOPER INJURED: A Massachusetts State Police trooper and a tow truck driver have been struck and injured by a passing vehicle while assisting the driver of a disabled vehicle on Interstate 95. SENT.

_ STARBUCKS-DELIVERY: Starbucks is expanding its delivery service and aims to offer it at nearly one-fourth of its U.S. company-operated coffee shops. SENT.

_ SUPER BOWL CALL-ATLANTA BILLBOARDS: The Los Angeles Rams and New England Patriots will be welcomed to Atlanta for the Super Bowl by several billboards saying “Saints got robbed” and “NFL bleaux it.” SENT.

SPORTS

BEHIND THE CALL

Yes, the Los Angeles Rams got away with a flagrant foul (or two) by cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman that allowed them to sneak out of New Orleans with the NFC championship, right past the highway sign on the causeway over Lake Pontchartrain reading, “WE WERE ROBBED.” Yes, the Patriots won in Kansas City thanks to four critical calls going New England’s way in the fourth quarter, three of which were iffy: a replay reversal of Julian Edelman’s muffed punt, a phantom roughing-the-passer call on Chris Jones and Chris Hogan’s drive-sustaining one-handed catch with a little help from the ground. SENT: 850 words, photos.

PATRIOTS-STILL GRONK

Rob Gronkowski gave a vintage performance in the AFC championship, coming up with big catches down the stretch to help secure New England’s win over the Chiefs. But after considering retirement after last season’s Super Bowl loss, his future beyond the Super Bowl matchup with the Rams is again an open question following an underwhelming regular-season beset by nagging injuries. In the meantime, he’s doing whatever it takes to win, catching fewer passes and blocking more. By Kyle Hightower. UPCOMING: 700 words by 6 p.m., photos.

PATRIOTS-CHIEFS-LASER POINTER

NFL security is investigating whether a fan attempted to shine a laser into the face of Patriots quarterback Tom Brady during their AFC championship game victory over the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday night. SENT: 160 words, photos.

BRUINS AT THE BREAK

Despite a rash of injuries the Bruins went into their 9-day break in the thick of the playoff race and they’re hoping health, improved play will carry them in the stretch run. SENT: 600 words, photos.

HALL OF FAME

Mariano Rivera figures to make quick work of his Hall of Fame ballot appearance, just as he did of opposing batters, and could even set another record when voting is announced Tuesday: for highest percentage of ballots. No one has ever been a unanimous Hall of Fame selection. Ken Griffey Jr. holds the mark for the top percentage at 99.32 when he was on 437 of 440 ballots two years ago. By Ronald Blum. SENT: 1,150 words, photos.

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