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Children, mental health and the coronavirus

Providence Journal - 2/12/2021

Good afternoon and welcome to This Just In. I'm Mike McDermott, managing editor of The Providence Journal, wishing a happy Lunar New Year to all who are celebrating.

It was a chaotic day in Providence'sGarrahy Judicial Complex, during the third day of the trial of Sgt. Joseph Hanley, who is accused of assaulting a handcuffed suspect back in April. On Friday morning, after the alleged victim, Rishod Gore, did not show up to testify against Hanley, the defense moved for acquittal, which Judge Brian Goldman refused to grant. Hours later, after the prosecution had rested its case, Gore was brought into court in handcuffs. The judge told him he would be released if he promised to appear to testify later in the month.

Many are calling it the "mental health wave": a surge of distress brought about by months of pandemic-induced isolation. And children are particularly vulnerable. In the spring of last year, the number of emergency department visits related to suicidal behavior in children doubled from the previous year, health-care reporter G. Wayne Miller reports. He spoke to a family that has been affected, and to professionals who have ideas on how parents can be alert to signs of trouble, and on what can be done to help.

The Rhode Island Department of Health reported 16 coronavirus-related deaths and 440 additional cases. Hospitalizations dropped again. Fewer than 2% of the coronavirus tests administered on Wednesday and Thursday came back positive, something that was common in the summer but hasn't happened since mid-October.

CVS and Walgreens have started vaccinating seniors 75 and older, if you can get an appointment. We met a 101-year-old woman who did, while also telling you what you need to know about this expansion of vaccines at local pharmacies.

Warwick Mayor Frank Picozzi is calling on Gov. Gina Raimondo to resign, saying that her administration is inadequately handling the coronavirus vaccine rollout in Rhode Island.

And Lt. Gov. Dan McKee has broken with Raimondo publicly for the first time since she announced her plans to leave to join Joe Biden'sCabinet. McKee told a state Senate committee that he had asked Raimondo not to fill a vacancy on the Public Utilities Commission before leaving office, which she did anyway. McKee is asking the senators to carefully review Raimondo's nomination of former Senate Majority Leader John "Jack" Revens.

The Tomaquog Museum, Rhode Island's only museum of Native American history, culture and art, is planning to move to a spacious new home in 2023, with support from the Rhode Island Foundation and the University of Rhode Island.

A federal judge has ruled that Rhode Island's law restricting vanity license plates is unconstitutional, in finding for a Scituate man who displayed the plate FKGAS on his Tesla.

A Rhode Island author has written a candid biography of comic book icon Stan Lee, and old friend Andy Smith tells you all about it.

What's going on with the Red Sox? Who actually plays for the Red Sox? This week's trade of Andrew Benintendi made both those questions harder to answer.

Finally, if you're looking to go out hiking this weekend, God bless you. And you might want to consider Wolf Hill Forest Preserve, which is the focus of this week's Walking RI column.

Have a great weekend. And remember, if you enjoy This Just In, please encourage a friend to sign up.

This article originally appeared on The Providence Journal: Children, mental health and the coronavirus


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