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Providence documents related to Fox subpoenaed

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - A spokesman for Providence Mayor Angel Taveras (tuh-VEHR'-us) says city documents pertaining to former House Speaker Gordon Fox have been subpoenaed by federal officials.

David Ortiz said federal law enforcement subpoenaed the documents on Wednesday. He declined Thursday to identify which agency contacted the city or say what officials had asked for.

Fox resigned as speaker in March a day after his Statehouse office and home were raided by federal authorities as part of a criminal investigation. Officials have declined to say what the probe is about or whether Fox is a target.

The Rhode Island Board of Elections has also been contacted by law enforcement about Fox.

A spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office had no comment.


Aaron Hernandez associate accused of lying to feds

BOSTON (AP) - An associate of former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez has appeared in federal court in Orlando, Fla., on charges in a gun trafficking investigation related to Hernandez's Massachusetts murder case.

Oscar Hernandez Jr. was indicted Wednesday by a grand jury in Boston on charges of obstruction of justice, witness tampering and lying under oath. He is not related to Aaron Hernandez.

Aaron Hernandez and two other men are charged in the June 17 shooting death of Odin Lloyd in North Attleborough.

Oscar Hernandez is accused of lying to the grand jury about a car parked in Aaron Hernandez's garage that contained a rifle.

A magistrate judge in Florida ordered him detained and transferred to Massachusetts. His lawyer did not immediately return a call seeking comment.


Overdose deaths in Rhode Island climb to 85

PAWTUCKET, R.I. (AP) - The Rhode Island health department says seven more people have died of accidental overdoses in Rhode Island, bringing the number this year to 85.

Dr. Michael Fine reported the new number Thursday at an event highlighting the state's efforts to combat the crisis.

Craig Stenning, director of the state agency that oversees behavioral health, cited two new initiatives, including one where "coaches" trained in substance abuse will be available at hospital emergency rooms in Providence and Pawtucket. The other program will offer physicians access to immediate assessments for patients at high risk of opiate abuse.

State police have completed training in the administration of the anti-overdose drug Narcan and will soon carry it. Other municipal departments are following suit.

Fine called addiction a disease of "staggering impact."


Rhode Island's jobless rate falls to 8.7 percent

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - Rhode Island's unemployment rate fell three-tenths of a percentage point in March to 8.7 percent, the lowest since September 2008, but the number of jobs was down.

The state Department of Labor and Training reported the new employment figures on Thursday.

The number of unemployed residents was down 1,100 from February's revised figure, to 48,500. Officials said that's the eighth straight month of decline and the lowest unemployment level since August 2008.

The size of Rhode Island's labor force was up 1,500 to 554,400. That's down 4,600 from a year ago.

The number of jobs in the state was also down 800 from the revised February estimate, to 475,800.

The U.S. unemployment rate for March was 6.7 percent, unchanged from February.

Rhode Island's jobless rate a year ago was 9.5 percent.

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