News Minute: Here is the latest Rhode Island news from The Associated Press at 5:40 p.m. EDT
METHUEN, Mass. (AP) - A Massachusetts funeral director has been writing obituaries and inviting strangers to burials for late veterans. Aaron Mizen, the director for the Kenneth H. Pollard Funeral Home in Methuen, says he has stepped up for these strangers because they had no one else to do it. Mizen wrote the obituary for 84-year-old U.S. Navy veteran Eileen Robichaud after she died on Sept. 6. He also extended an invite to residents to join him at her burial this week. Mizen is a 20-year military veteran himself.
TAUNTON, Mass. (AP) - The Rhode Island driver charged with leaving the scene after striking and killing a woman walking with her 11-year-old son in Massachusetts has been held on $100,000 bail. Jeremy Schmidt was held after pleading not guilty Monday in Taunton District Court to charges including operating under the influence and negligent motor vehicle homicide. Authorities say the 27-year-old East Providence man drove away after striking and killing 37-year-old Antonieta Vargas in Seekonk on Thursday night.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - Rhode Island's state education commissioner says the troubled Providence public school system will undergo a comprehensive financial analysis as part of its turnaround plan. Commissioner Angélica Infante-Green announced Monday that the financial analysis will be conducted by Ernst & Young LLP. It is expected to take two to three months.
SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (AP) - The University of Rhode Island is getting a $35 million gift from former CVS president and CEO Thomas Ryan and his wife, Cathy, the largest private contribution in the school's history. The gift announced Monday includes $24 million for research and teaching capacity in neuroscience; $10 million to establish a program to attract more high-performing students; and $1 million to the men's and women's basketball programs. URI President David Dooley called it an "extraordinary gift."
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