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

January 9, 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A reminder that this information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change.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.

HOSPITAL HACKER

A Massachusetts man who says he attacked the computer network of a world-renowned hospital to protest the treatment of a Connecticut teenager is set to be sentenced. By Alanna Durkin Richer. UPCOMING: 400 words by 3 p.m.

TOP STORIES:

EDUCATION SPENDING

The thorny question of how best to divvy up state education dollars is again taking shape as a top issue on Beacon Hill after a bill to overhauling the state’s 25-year-old education funding system stalled last session. On Wednesday, elected officials, education advocates, students, and parents are calling on lawmakers to get back to work and pass an overhaul package this year. By Bob Salsberg. UPCOMING: 500 words by 4 p.m.

LEGAL MARIJUANA

Massachusetts is inching closer to licensing so-called “cannabis cafes” where individuals could smoke the drug in a communal setting _ while also allowing for the home delivery of marijuana. A panel studying the issues made several recommendations on regulations Wednesday which must still be approved by the full Cannabis Control Commission. By Steve LeBlanc. SENT: 500 words.

OPIOID KICKBACK SCHEME

The former chief executive of a company that produces a potentially addictive fentanyl spray has admitted to participating in a scheme to bribe doctors into increasing prescriptions to boost sales. Former Insys Therapeutics CEO Michael Babich pleaded guilty to conspiracy and mail fraud Wednesday in federal court in Boston. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: 350 words.

IN BRIEF:

_ COLD CASE KILLING: The Rhode Island Supreme Court has overturned the conviction of a man found guilty three years ago of killing and sexually assaulting an 85-year-old great-grandmother in 1990. SENT.

_ STRIP CLUB-CLOSURE: Three dancers at a famous Rhode Island strip club charged with prostitution have pleaded not guilty and been released on personal recognizance. SENT.

_ ELEPHANT BULLHOOKS: A California-based animal rights group is criticizing Roger Williams Park Zoo’s use of an elephant training tool known as a bullhook. SENT.

_ POLICE-STRIP CLUBS: Providence officials say they will no longer provide police details at local strip clubs. SENT.

_ GIFT CARD THEFT CHARGES: A Rhode Island woman has been charged with stealing nearly $20,000 in gift cards from the discount retailer where she once worked. SENT.

_ SCHOOL EMPLOYEE-SOLICITATION: An employee of a private Rhode Island school for special needs children has been charged with soliciting an underage girl on the internet for sex. SENT.

_ BOAT FIRE: A fire at a Boston marina likely strengthened by diesel fuel heavily damaged three boats, sinking two of them. SENT.

_ RAPE CONVICTION-PAROLE: A convicted rapist who was diagnosed with liver cancer is getting another shot at medical parole. SENT.

_ BOTTLED WATER COSTS: Environmental groups are criticizing state government for spending more than $1 million on bottled water for Massachusetts state employees last year. SENT.

_ SALVATION ARMY BODY: Police say an autopsy on a woman found dead near Salvation Army donation bins in Massachusetts was inconclusive. SENT.

_ TEENS ASSULTED: A Massachusetts man who sexually assaulted two teenage girls he lured to his home has been sentenced to up to five years in prison. SENT.

_ FATAL SHOOTING-BOSTON: Police say one man has been killed in a shooting in Boston. Police Commissioner William Gross says officers responded to a report of shots fired in the city’s Roxbury neighborhood around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday. SENT.

_ MENHADEN HEALTH: Menhaden, one of the most important species of fish in the ocean’s food chain is getting a close look to help determine the health of its population. SENT.

SPORTS:

PACERS-CELTICS

The Indiana Pacers visit the Boston Celtics. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos. Game starts at 7 p.m.

PATRIOTS-DEFENDING RIVERS

The Patriots defense has done just enough this season to earn victories against some of NFL’s top quarterbacks, including Andrew Luck, Patrick Mahomes and Aaron Rodgers. Next up is Philip Rivers, who has yet to throw a touchdown against New England in two playoff meetings. By Kyle Hightower. UPCOMING: 700 words by 6 p.m., with photos.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

Rhode Island at Richmond, 7 p.m. UPCOMING: 150 words, more on merits.

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