News Minute: Here is the latest Rhode Island news from The Associated Press at 5:40 p.m. EST
NEWPORT, R.I. (AP) - National Grid officials say they're making good progress restoring natural gas to thousands of Rhode Island customers who lost service during the coldest day of the year. National Grid's chief customer officer, Terence Sobolewski, said as of mid-day Wednesday the utility's door-to-door effort to shut off gas to customers in Newport and Middletown has reached about 5,900 of the roughly 6,800 customers who lost service. The problem was caused by a loss of pressure caused by a faulty valve.
BOSTON (AP) - The two newest Democratic members of Congress from Massachusetts have received their first committee assignments. Rep. Lori Trahan has been named to the House Committee on Education and Labor and the House Armed Services Committee. Rep. Ayanna Pressley was appointed to serve on the House Committee on Financial Services and the House Committee on Government Oversight and Reform.
WAKEFIELD, R.I. (AP) - A legal battle over a Rhode Island airport's use of eminent domain for easements onto abutters' properties is continuing. The Sun of Westerly reports that lawyers for the Rhode Island Airport Corp., which manages Westerly State Airport, and four property owners who are suing the agency, offered opposing interpretations of the state's eminent domain law during a hearing Tuesday. The state wants the abutters' lawsuit dismissed. The judge didn't immediately rule.
BOSTON (AP) - The developer of an offshore wind energy project is partnering with environmental groups on a plan to try to protect the endangered North Atlantic right whale. Vineyard Wind, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the National Wildlife Federation and the Conservation Law Foundation announced an agreement Wednesday. Vineyard Wind's piece involves protective measures while installing and operating turbines as part of a proposed project off Massachusetts.
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