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The future of the Columbus statue in Providence could be decided today

The Board of Park Commissioners meets Monday to consider recommendations made in February, including the permanent removal of the statue from Columbus Square

People stop to view red paint covering a statue of Christopher Columbus on Monday, Oct. 14, 2019, in Providence, R.I., after it was vandalized on the day named to honor him as one of the first Europeans to reach the New World. The statue has been the target of vandals on Columbus Day in the past.Michelle R. Smith/Associated Press

Happy Monday! I’m Dan McGowan and I don’t think I can take another decade of Patriots dominance. Follow me on Twitter @DanMcGowan or send tips to Dan.McGowan@globe.com.

Coronavirus updates

Rhode Island has a high level of transmission: 196.2 total new cases per 100K population in the past 7 days

Fully vaccinated: 749,641 (of about 1.1 million residents)

New cases: 302 (on Friday)

Test-positive rate: 3.7 percent

Currently hospitalized: 104Total deaths: 2,890

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Leading off

Columbus Day was last month, but we could finally learn the future of the Columbus statue in Providence later this morning.


The Board of Park Commissioners meets this morning to consider recommendations made in February by the Special Committee for Commemorative Works, including the permanent removal of the statue from Columbus Square.

The statue was removed by the city in June 2020, and has been in storage ever since. At the time, Mayor Jorge Elorza said “we want our community’s voice centered in the decisions made around the memorials, historical markers and monuments that represent our city.”

The Special Committee for Commemorative Works also recommended that the monetary value of the statue be appraised and that if and when it is sold, the proceeds should be devoted to amenities and beautification of Columbus Square and the Reservoir Triangle neighborhood.

The park commissioners are scheduled to meet at 9 a.m.

The Globe in Rhode Island

⚓ The lawyer for several former student-athletes at North Kingstown High School disputed the School Committee’s statement that school officials didn’t know until last February that basketball coach Aaron Thomas had been conducting naked “fat tests” on teenage boys for more than 20 years. Read more.

⚓ The attorney general’s office found the state Department of Labor and Training violated Rhode Island’s public records law and has forced DLT to reveal that 738 state employees had fraudulent unemployment insurance claims filed in their names between March 8 to Oct. 6. Read more.


⚓ The board of Southcoast Health announced that CEO and President Keith Hovan will take a leave of absence, just days after he was arrested at his home and charged with misdemeanor assault and battery. Read more.

⚓ This week’s Ocean State Innovators Q&A is with Michael Croft, founder of Volute, a company that is designed to push business schools into “lifelong learning centers” that bridge academia and industry for executives. E-mail Alexa Gagosz with suggestions for this weekly interview. Read more.

⚓ This is fun. We’re tracking what’s happening with “Hocus Pocus 2″ across Rhode Island. Read more.Here’s more Globe Rhode Island coverage.

Also in the Globe

⚓ Will President Joe Biden’s big spending bills equal more inflation? It’s complicated. Read more.

⚓ The Massachusetts State House appears to be the only state capitol on the continent where the public remains barred from entering. Read more.

⚓ Columnist Tara Sullivan writes that Mac Jones outdid himself Sunday against the Browns, not with his toughness on the field, which was fine, but for his response after taking a beating off it. Read more.

Our journalism relies on support from readers like you. Please help us continue our mission with a subscription to the Globe. Here’s a special deal for Rhode Island.

What’s on tap today

E-mail events to us at RInews@globe.com.


⚓ Governor Dan McKee will be at the White House today for the signing of the President Joe Biden’s infrastructure bill.

⚓ US Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and US Representative James Langevin will be at the Pastore Youth Center in Cranston at 10:30 a.m. to highlight the benefits of the expanded child tax credit.

⚓ The special commission on reapportionment (redistricting) meets at 6 p.m. at the State House. Here’s the agenda.

My previous column

Rhode Island is facing a math crisis, but there are ways to fix it.

If you missed the column, you can read it here. And all of my columns are on our Rhode Island Commentary page.

Rhode Island Report podcast

Ed Fitzpatrick talks to Providence College professor Eric Hirsch about how to help the homeless in Rhode Island.Listen to all of our podcasts here.

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Thanks for reading. Send comments and suggestions to dan.mcgowan@globe.com, or follow me on Twitter @DanMcGowan. See you tomorrow.

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Dan McGowan can be reached at dan.mcgowan@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter at @danmcgowan.