PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island — Voters will select party nominees for governor and several other positions, drugstore chain CVS takes a major step on health and U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel visits Newport. Here are five things to know in Rhode Island:
Voters on Tuesday will select the Democratic and Republican nominees for governor, as well as choose nominees for all the general offices and several General Assembly and local races. Democrats Gina Raimondo, Clay Pell and Angel Taveras are in a heated contest for the Democratic nomination, while Republicans Allan Fung and Ken Block want their party's nomination. The five candidates had spent nearly $13 million on the race as of Sept. 1. It's expected to be the most expensive gubernatorial race in state history.
CVS Caremark changed its name this week and stopped selling tobacco products. The Woonsocket-based drugstore chain will now be known as CVS Health. It stopped selling cigarettes, cigars and the like a month sooner than planned. In their place behind the counter, customers were presented with an array of products to help them quit smoking. The company made the change as it focuses more on customer health.
HAGEL IN NEWPORT
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told executives at Electric Boat and the Raytheon Co. that he depends on defense companies in Rhode Island to help ensure the nation's security. Hagel made the comments during a regional conference of industry and government representatives in Newport this week. Hagel chatted with them about technology being tested for anti-submarine warfare in the deep ocean and about programs for air and missile defense radar and guided-missile destroyers before heading to the Naval War College for a town hall.
GUTEN TAG, GREEN
Air travelers will soon have a direct link to Europe for the first time from the state's main airport, T.F. Green in Warwick. Airport officials this week announced Germany-based Condor Airlines will start offering summer service between T.F. Green and Frankfurt in June. Officials said they hope it will make the state a more popular destination for foreign travelers. On Monday, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx will visit the airport as part of a ceremony to celebrate improvements such as a runway extension, which is meant to allow more flights connecting travelers to more far-flung destinations.
The state's largest newspaper has a new owner. Dallas-based A.H. Belo Corp. sold The Providence Journal to New York-based New Media Investment Group Inc., the parent of Gatehouse Media. The newspaper reported that around 7 percent of its 350 employees were laid off before the closing, though its interim publisher told the paper he expects to hire additional staff on the newspaper's investigative team and other areas, bringing it up to 98 percent of its presale staffing levels.
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