RI’s 5 things to know: Aging state, back to school

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The Ocean State ages, a former top NFL player is indicted on a murder charge and a U.S. Supreme Court justice chooses Providence to make some surprising revelations about how the court works. Here are five things to know in Rhode Island:


Rhode Islanders are getting older, and new forecasts released this week by the state say a quarter of its population will be 65 or older by 2040, up from 14 percent today. URI economist Len Lardaro says the state is failing to attract and retain enough young skilled workers, which could mean local and state governments will struggle to pay for services such as senior housing and health care as the demand for them goes up.


A grand jury on Thursday indicted former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez on first-degree murder and weapons charges in the June killing of 27-year-old Odin Lloyd in Massachusetts. Hernandez has been held without bail since being arrested in June. He could be arraigned as soon as next week in Superior Court in Fall River.


U.S. Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan offered a window into the court’s tech savvy, telling a forum sponsored by Roger Williams University School of Law that justices don’t email one another but instead still use paper memos to communicate. Kagan also said the justices have a ways to go to understand technology such as Facebook and Twitter even as they face the prospect of hearing cases related to emerging technology and electronic snooping in the years to come.


Schoolchildren are heading back to the classroom this week in most communities in Rhode Island. This is the first year that a controversial new graduation requirement goes into effect mandating that students pass a standardized test. The state chapter of the ACLU has said the new standard puts 4,000 students at risk of not graduating this spring, based on their scores.


More than 1,200 fans of early 20th-century horror writer H.P. Lovecraft are descending on the city this weekend in what’s being billed as the largest-ever celebration of his work and influence. The NecronomiCon, a name taken for a dark and terrible book in Lovecraft’s stories, includes movie showings, panel discussions, special elements at a Saturday Waterfire and other events. Lovecraft spent most of his life on the East Side of Providence and is buried there after dying at age 46 in 1937.

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