Third Boston terror suspect tied to ‘boys in blue’ plot arrested by FBI in Rhode Island

The FBI has arrested a Rhode Island man with ties to the radicalized, knife-wielding Boston terror suspect shot dead outside a pharmacy earlier this month. Nicholas Rovinski, 24, of Warwick, is the second person taken into custody in connection with Usaamah Rahim, who was gunned down June 2 when he lunged with a Marine Corps knife at police who intercepted him after saying he planned to target "boys in blue." Rahim, 26, had been inspired by ISIS and hatched a plot with two others to attack police officers and also behead anti-Islam blogger Pamela Geller, authorities have alleged. David Wright, 25, of Everett, Mass., was arrested the same day. Charges will be unsealed when Rovinski is arraigned Friday by the U.S. Attorney's Office in Boston, the Boston Herald reported. Usaama Rahim (l.) was shot and killed in Boston by police on June 2 and co-conspirator David Wright (r.) was arrested the same day.  Rahim, Wright and Rovinski reportedly met on a Rhode Island beach to map out their terror plan last month. The FBI said Rovinski surrendered without incident Thursday. Neighbors said Rovinski change dramatically when he converted to Islam two years ago, Cranston Patch reported. Rahim, who had been under surveillance, was confronted after an alleged phone conversation with Wright, his nephew. "I'm just going to, ah, go after them, those boys in blue," Rahim said in the call. Follow on [email protected] Continue Reading

Cleveland girl Ashley Summers, who vanished in 2007, possibly spotted at Rhode Island ATM: FBI

The FBI may have spotted a missing Cleveland 14-year-old girl — who'd now be a 21-year-old woman — in Rhode Island eight years after she vanished. Officials are working to track down a woman who could be Ashley Summers after she was photographed at a Warwick ATM surveillance video in October alongside an unidentified man. Local police released the image because the woman is a suspect in a rash of identification thefts across the state, CNN reported. When Summers’ stepgrandmother stumbled upon the image online in January, she said it looked like missing Ashley. The FBI put up a billboard and ramped up its social media campaign this week, hoping the public could help identify the woman in the photo. “This is an incredible lookalike,” Special Agent Vicki Anderson of the FBI Cleveland Division said. “We've had other supposed lookalikes, but nothing that has looked this similar. We consider this a huge tip for us.” She continued, “There's nothing that tells us that it is her, but there's nothing telling us that it's not her either.” The teenager was last seen July 6, 2007, after she fought with her mom, NBC News reported. Summers went to stay with her great-uncle after the fight, and never came home. In 2013, when three missing women were discovered in Ariel Castro’s Cleveland house, Summers’ family hoped their daughter would turn up, too. The Castro house was five blocks from where Summers was last seen and his captives were taken within four years of her disappearance. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Accused child molester from Rhode Island arrested in Washington after more than a decade on the run

One of Rhode Island's most wanted men was caught Thursday — on the other side of the country, and after more than a decade on the run. James William Bell, 61, got nabbed in Washington for charges from 2004 that he molested three girls, ages 9 to 13, while working as a YMCA gymnastics coach in Middletown, R.I.  The accused perv got initially arrested in Washington in 2003 and was supposed to face "numerous" charges in Rhode Island, but he somehow escaped while out on bail, the Providence Journal reported. It's unclear how he managed to avoid justice for so long. FBI agents in Boston got a tip this week that Bell was living around Spokane and finally caught him. "Mr. Bell thought he could run away and hide from the law, but he underestimated the FBI’s resolve to track him down," Boston Agent Vincent Lisi said in a statement. Bell will soon be extradited to Rhode Island, where he was on the "10 Most Wanted" list. He was also once featured on "America's Most Wanted." Follow @jaysunsilver Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Lincoln Chafee, the party-switching former governor of Rhode Island, slams Hillary Clinton on Iraq war in bid for Democratic presidential nomination

Party-switching former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee is floating his name as a Democratic presidential candidate — and is bashing Hillary Clinton. “Campaigns are the time for debates about the vision for our future, and for voters to assess the character and experience of those offering ideas,” he said in a video on his campaign website before touting President Obama’s economic policies and warning of instability in the Middle East. He told The Washington Post that Clinton’s vote in 2002 in favor of the Iraq war should disqualify her from the presidency. "I don't think anybody should be President of the United States that made that mistake," Chafee said. Chafee is a moderate former Republican senator who left the GOP after losing reelection in 2006. He won the tiny state’s governorship as an independent in 2010 before joining the Democratic Party. Facing dismal approval ratings, he decided against running for another term in 2014. This isn’t the first time Chafee has threatened to run for President — in 2004 he considered a primary challenge to President George W. Bush over the Iraq war before ultimately deciding against it. Chafee becomes the second little-known party-switcher to float a possible primary bid against Clinton, who’s likely to announce her presidential bid in the coming days. Former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb, another Republican-turned-Democrat, is already exploring a run, and independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who identifies as a socialist, is also weighing a run as a Democrat. Clinton isn’t expected to face serious competition in the primary. ON A MOBILE DEVICE? WATCH THE VIDEO HERE. Continue Reading

Rhode Island Department of Health says Tinder, Grindr spiked state’s STD rates

Sexually transmitted diseases have increased in Rhode Island over the last three years and dating apps are to blame. A new state report released by the Rhode Island Department of Health said that STDs sharply rose between 2013 and 2014 because of dating apps like Tinder and Grindr. "These new data underscore the importance of encouraging young people to begin talking to a doctor, nurse, or health educator about sexual health before becoming sexually active and especially after becoming sexually active," Rosemary Reilly-Chammat, an HIV/AIDS sexuality specialist with the Rhode Island Department of Education, said in a statement. Syphilis cases in the state increased by 79% and gonorrhea cases increased by 30% between 2013 and 2014. HIV cases also witnessed a spike. Newly identified cases increased by almost 33%. The health report states that young people between the ages of 15 and 24 were more likely than any other group to be infected with chlamydia and gonorrhea. Gay men were also more likely to contract syphilis and made up 75% of primary and secondary syphilis cases. The Road Island Department of Health also said that some of the increase statistics in STDs is due to better testing. However, it still advices that sexually active people be careful with arranged and anonymous sex. "We are fortunate in Rhode Island to have great partnerships among state agencies, community-based organizations, and healthcare providers to continue to educate, test, and treat for sexually transmitted diseases," Nicole Alexander-Scott, MD, MPH, Director Designee at HEALTH said in a statement. "This trend reminds us that we cannot become complacent." Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Rhode Island man weighing 1,200 pounds placed in cargo container, removed from facility by crane, shipped to hospital via flatbed truck in massive operation

A 1,200-pound Rhode Island man was hoisted by crane from his Providence nursing home, packed into a modified cargo container and shipped to a hospital on the back of a flatbed truck after the nursing facility, $2 million in debt, was forced to shutter. It took nearly seven hours Sunday to move Robert Butler just eight miles in a massive operation that began at the Bannister House in Providence and ended at his new home in Cranston. “This is a patient with very complicated medical needs and it’s required a coordinated approach across state government,” Michael Raia, of the state office of health and human services, told WJAR-TV. “His (Butler's) care and safety has been our top priority throughout this transport.” Butler spent nearly a decade at the beleaguered nursing home, during which time he gained approximately 300 pounds. The loneliness of his deadly situation put the morbidly obese man into a deep funk. “When I'm depressed I'll eat chips or order myself a large pizza and pretty much kill it myself,” Butler told the NBC affiliate in 2006. At the time, he’d been moved to the nursing home as he tried to lose weight before he could have gastric bypass surgery. But he never lost the required pounds, instead packing on 300 more. And no doctor would agree to the surgery on such a heavy man, he said. Medicaid refused to pay for the operation. “It’s odd because the government will give me money to survive every month. But they won’t help me to get off disability,” Butler told WPRI-TV in 2006. “I want to work. I want to start a career again. I’m willing to chance dying on that operating table instead of dying in this bed.” Butler’s journey Sunday was an operation that took weeks to plan - and likely thousands of dollars. Officials would not disclose the cost, but it took a crowd Continue Reading

Rhode Island Jewish religious school teacher arrested in statewide child porn sting: cops

A Rhode Island religious teacher was among 11 men busted in a statewide child porn sting, police said. Gary Kabler, director of education at Temple Habonim in Barrington, was arrested for possession and transfer of child pornography, Rhode Island State Police announced Tuesday. Officers spent three months undercover and found pornographic images and videos on the suspects’ computers. All 11 were trading child porn online, but not with each other, Capt. Christopher Dicomitis told the Daily News. Dicomitis said he wasn’t sure how many images each of the suspects had but noted, “Even if it’s just one image, it’s illegal." Kabler, a 51-year-old from East Providence, teaches religious school classes at the temple as its education head. By Wednesday, his photo and name had been deleted from the school’s website, WJAR reported. Donald Moore, a 67-year-old registered sex offender, was arrested alongside the teacher. The other nine suspects are: Keith Anderson, 39; Mao Lorn, 51; Matthew Corr, 25; Nicholas Jollimore, 29, Edward Garabedian, 66; John Anderson, 69; Nathaniel Wahl, 31; Joseph Phillips, 39; and Daniel Cruz, 30. Investigators do not believe any of the men inappropriately contacted children, police said.  ON A MOBILE DEVICE? WATCH VIDEO HERE. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee announces 2016 White House bid seeking Democratic nomination

ARLINGTON, Va. - Former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee entered the race for president Wednesday by calling for the U.S. to switch to the metric system, take an "open-minded approach" to drug trafficking and consider negotiating with Islamic State militants. With his announcement, Chafee became the biggest longshot among Hillary Rodham Clinton's Democratic rivals, who have a long way to go to avoid becoming historical footnotes in the 2016 campaign. He did so by casting himself as an anti-war candidate who opposed the invasion of Iraq in 2003, but he quickly detoured into a list of policy proposals that are likely to be non-starters on the campaign trail. Among them was refusing to rule out talks with Islamic State militants, a violent extremist group that has tortured and beheaded prisoners and opposition fighters as it has overrun parts of Iraq and Syria. A U.S.-led coalition has launched airstrikes against the extremist group since last August, but Chafee pointed to what he said was the group's protection of antiquities in some of the territory they've taken as a reason to reconsider. ``It's early,'' he said. ``We're coming to grips with who these people are and what they want.'' Chafee, a former Republican turned independent who joined the Democratic Party two years ago, has made little effort to set up a competitive campaign operation, beyond a few visits and calls to activists in the early voting states of New Hampshire, Iowa and South Carolina. His launch Wednesday was made during a subdued speech in suburban Washington before a small group that consisted mainly of reporters. ``We must deliberately and carefully extricate ourselves from expensive wars,'' Chafee told a half-full law school classroom at George Mason University. ``We need to be very smart in these voluble times overseas.'' Along with moving to the metric system, the policy prescriptions in his speech included ending capital punishment, allowing National Security Continue Reading

Man arrested by NYPD for illegal gun, also wanted for stabbing murder in Rhode Island

Authorities believe a man the NYPD arrested last week with an illegal gun is wanted for a murder in Rhode Island, the Daily News has learned. Malik Jones, 27, was busted around 1:30 a.m. on June 22, but he told cops he was suffering from a seizure to avoid being processed, a court source said. FOLLOW THE DAILY NEWS ON FACEBOOK. CLICK HERE TO "LIKE." Police were eventually able to ID him as a fugitive wanted for stabbing another man to death in Providence, R.I., in September, the source said. He was also reportedly a person of interest in a fatal Rhode Island shooting from May. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Rhode Island teachers allowed to observe Good Friday under court order after suing school department

A Rhode Island court ruled that teachers are allowed to take Good Friday off after a bitter battle with their school department. Teachers in Cranston may take the day off as long as they submit a request by Wednesday, according to a court order issued Friday. Earlier this month, the teachers union sued the district when about 200 teachers reported their schools denied their requests to take the holiday off because worshipers are not religiously obligated to attend church service during the work day, school officials said. Nearly 45% of Rhode Island’s population is Roman Catholic. Activists said the denied days off violated the teachers’ civil rights — especially because Jewish teachers who requested to take Rosh Hashanah off in the fall were give the time off with no questions, explained Liz Larkin, president of the Cranston Teachers' Alliance. "That's my big concern here, is equity," Larkin told the Associated Press. Under the court order, the Cranston school department cannot discipline the teachers or deduct their pay for taking the day off. Teachers are allowed to take two days off a year for religious observation, but the requests must be approved by the school department. Union officials toldthe Los Angeles Times that they were moving forward with the lawsuit despite the court victory in hopes that the suit will prevent the same situation from happening again.  Last week, school superintendent Judith Lundsten said teachers' contracts specify they may take a holiday if they are religiously obligated to attend service during the work day. Good Friday, the Friday before Easter marking the crucifixion of Jesus, has "no required services," Lundsten said. Catholics are “encouraged” to pray quietly on Good Friday, but church service is not required. Rosh Hashanah, on the other hand, does not allow work on the holiday, so the teachers’ requests were approved, Lundsten said. But the Continue Reading