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

Questions about coverage plans are welcome and should be directed to AP Providence at 401-274-2270, or approvidence@ap.org. Steve LeBlanc is on the desk until 5:30 p.m.

AP New England News Editor Bill Kole can be reached at 617-357-8100 or bkole@ap.org. AP Providence Correspondent Michelle R. Smith can be reached at 401-274-2270 or mrsmith@ap.org.

A reminder this information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change.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.

TOP STORIES:

CHILD WELFARE LAWSUIT

PROVIDENCE— Rhode Island has agreed to settle a long-running class-action lawsuit that alleges systemic abuse and neglect of the nearly 2,000 children living in state custody. State officials and the nonprofit advocacy group Children's Rights on Monday announced the settlement of the lawsuit first filed in 2007. SENT: 360 words.

GADGET SHOW-SOCIAL ROBOTS

ATLANTA — A plush, robotic duck may soon become a fixture in the world of children who have cancer — a social robot that can be silly, happy, angry, scared or sick just like them, and help them cope creatively with their illness through the power of play. The duck, developed by robotics expert Aaron Horowitz and his company, is undergoing testing and is expected to be widely distributed by the end of this year. By Marina Hutchinson. SENT: 816 words, photos.

IN BRIEF:

— OPIOIDS-RHODE ISLAND: Rhode Island's Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo has hired a former Obama administration official to help tackle the state's opioid crisis. SENT: 130 words.

— BREAKERS LANDSCAPE: Officials are planning a multimillion-dollar restoration project on the landscape at The Breakers mansion in Newport. SENT: 130 words.

— THREE TRIPLE-DECKER FIRE: A body has been found in one of three triple-deckers that burned in a massive fire in Providence over the weekend. SENT: 130 words.

— GAS PRICES-RHODE ISLAND: Gas prices have ticked up two cents per gallon in Rhode Island. AAA Northeast says its weekly survey found that the average price of a gallon of regular unleaded gas grew to $2.53. SENT: 130 words.

— SCHOOLS CLOSED-BURST PIPES: Several Rhode Island schools are closed due to burst pipes amid frigid temperatures that dipped below zero over the weekend. SENT: 130 words.

— SHOOTING DEATH-FUGITIVE ARREST: Authorities say they've arrested a 28-year-old man wanted in a shooting death in Boston. SENT: 130 words.

— BARN FIRE: Fire officials say a fire in Cranston has destroyed a barn and killed at least 11 animals. The three-story barn, estimated to be about 100 by 100 feet in size, burned to the ground Sunday morning. SENT: 130 words.

SPORTS:

GRITTY TITANS

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Go ahead and pick against the Tennessee Titans. Count them out against the New England Patriots or call them the ugliest team left in the NFL playoffs. A franchise only two years removed from the NFL's worst record over a two-season stretch cares only about winning. By Teresa M. Walker. SENT: 700 words, photos.

PATRIOTS-BELICHICK

FOXBOROUGH — Bill Belichick says he "absolutely" intends to return as New England Patriots coach next season despite reports of turmoil involving himself, quarterback Tom Brady and owner Robert Kraft. SENT: 150 words.

HKN--BRUINS AT THE BREAK

BOSTON —Inexperience and injuries were supposed to keep the Boston Bruins from returning to the upper echelon of the NHL standings. But after taking points in 11 straight games heading into their five-day break, Boston has the second-best record in the Atlantic Division. Across the NHL, only the Lightning, Jets and Golden Knights have squeezed out more points per game than the Bruins (53 points, 40 games). By Matt Kalman. SENT: 700 words. AP Photos.

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