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It’s not just you. Fireworks are out of control this year 🎆

Fireworks in New York City last week.Amr Alfiky/NYT

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Happy Wednesday and welcome to Rhode Map, your daily guide to everything happening in the Ocean State. I’m Dan McGowan and I’m all for a 60-game baseball season where basically every game matters. Follow me on Twitter @DanMcGowan or send tips to

ICYMI: Rhode Island was up to 16,533 confirmed coronavirus cases on Tuesday, after adding 71 new cases. The state announced three more deaths, bringing the total to 906. There were 105 people in the hospital, 19 in intensive care, and 17 were on ventilators.


I’ve been a little obsessed with fireworks since the first time I saw the “Keep the change, ya filthy animal” scene in “Home Alone,” so I feel for anyone who is depressed that their favorite Fourth of July celebrations are canceled this year because of the coronavirus.

But it appears that way too many Rhode Islanders have decided that this was a good moment to buy as many illegal fireworks as possible and put on their own shows at all hours of the night in every corner of the state.

Police are receiving more complaints than ever before about fireworks. In Providence, there were 408 complaints as of Tuesday, compared to 31 at the same point last year. Cranston is reporting a seven-fold increase in fireworks complaints. And Warwick officials report a smaller, but still sizable increase in complaints.

Rhode Island isn’t alone. New York is seeing 236 times as many complaints about fireworks in June compared to previous years. From New Bedford to Southern California, the trend is everywhere. People aren’t sleeping. Dogs are scared to go outside. And poor Gene Valicenti’s call line at WPRO is being flooded with angry listeners who want the police to lock up every kid with an M-80.


To be clear, the only fireworks that are legal for the general public in Rhode Island are ground and handheld sparkling devices - AKA the boring ones that make no noise. And while you can get a permit to shoot off more powerful fireworks, something tells me Tony in Mount Pleasant isn’t asking for permission to deafen his neighbors.

There is no easy resolution here. Police say you should continue to call them when you hear fireworks, but it’s not exactly easy to catch these pyromaniacs. It’s probably not the best idea to take justice into your own hands, either. That’s how you end up with a cherry bomb in your mailbox.

And if you happen to be a Rhode Map reader who is setting off fireworks all the time, here’s a message for you: Much like backyard wrestling, amateur fireworks displays are dangerous, poorly coordinated, and your mom disapproves.


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⚓ If you’re not part of the 20 percent of Rhode Island residents who have been tested for the coronavirus but were wondering what it’s like, Ed Fitzpatrick offers up his experience. (Spoiler: His test came back negative.)


⚓ Education officials say their plan for Providence schools is ambitious, but they maintain the goals are attainable within five years.

⚓ The Wyatt Detention Facility has released 25 immigration detainees since the American Civil Liberties Union filed a federal class-action lawsuit last month claiming it wasn’t safe to keep them there amid the coronavirus outbreak.

⚓ Rhode Island’s casinos have already partially reopened in Rhode Island, and now Massachusetts has come up with its own plan.


Opinion: The Globe’s editorial board calls for Massachusetts to pass a law limiting qualified immunity for police officers.

Arts: Here are the five best museums worldwide to visit virtually from home.

Big Papi: A year after he was shot in the Dominican Republic, David Ortiz is in a legal and financial dispute with the mother of one of his children.

Sports: Baseball is coming back, but Peter Abraham writes that it doesn’t feel like good news.


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⚓ Judge watch: The Judicial Nominating Commission is expected to make recommendations on finalists for the state Supreme Court seat being vacated by Gilbert V. Indeglia.


⚓ Governor Gina Raimondo’s coronavirus update is at 1 p.m.

⚓ The Watson Institute at Brown University is hosting a virtual discussion on the country’s response to the coronavirus with US Senator Sheldon Whitehouse at 4 p.m. You can register here.

⚓ US Representative David Cicilline is expected to participate in the House Judiciary Committee’s noon hearing on political interference within the Justice Department.

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Dan McGowan can be reached at Follow him @danmcgowan.