Mail ballot talk

Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea’s office will host a panel discussion on mail voting in the upcoming presidential primary on Thursday, May 14 starting at 2 p.m. via Facebook Live.

“Rhode Island’s June 2nd Presidential Primary is fast approaching, and this election will be different than any Rhode Islanders have experienced. For the safety of voters and poll workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, this will be our state’s first mostly mail ballot election,” noted a release on the event from Gorbea’s office. “Every Rhode Islander should have an understanding of our elections and be able to trust the integrity of our voting systems.”

The conversation will aim to help voters understand the vote by mail process, emergency mail ballots and more. Gorbea will moderate the panel discussion with Rob Rock, director of elections for the Rhode Island Department of State, Miguel Nunez, deputy director of the Rhode Island Board of Elections, and Nick Lima, director of elections for the city of Cranston.

Topics covered by the panel will include: How the mail ballot process works; When voters can expect to receive ballots; Mail ballot security and the signature verification process for ballots and applications; the emergency mail ballot process; what voters can expect if they choose to vote in person at one of the state’s 47 polling places; election Night results reporting; and how to disaffiliate after voting by mail

Members of the public are invited to submit questions to be answered following the panel discussion. Questions can be submitted to ahead of time or during the panel.

Rhode Islanders have until Tuesday, May 19 to submit their mail ballot applications for the Tuesday, June 2 Presidential Primary. Visit for additional information.

Food Drive

Keller Williams Leading Edge is holding a drive-through food drive on Thursday, May 14 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. to benefit the Rhode Island Food Bank. To help out, bring non-perishable foods to the office at 14 Breakneck Hill Road in Lincoln, and contribute without leaving your car.

Free hospitality training

The RI Hospitality Association and RI Hospitality Education Foundation have announced free workforce training and educational opportunities for hospitality professionals through May 31, through a partnership with t the American Hotel and Lodging Association and National Restaurant Association.

The AHLA is offering a variety of complimentary training courses including: Supervisory Skill Builders, Hospitality Manager: Leadership and its Certified Hotel Administrator Online Review. Those interested may visit for course descriptions and directions on how to enroll.

The NRA is allowing hospitality professionals to add its ServSafe® Food Handler online course and assessment to their ServSafe® account through May 31. The course is accessible for one year from the date it was added. Once the course has been started, the participant has 60 days to complete the course and assessment. Those interested may visit for registration information.

Virtual Town Hall on e-cigs and vaping

The Department of Behavioral Healthcare Developmental Disabilities & Hospitals will host a virtual Town Hall meeting on e-cigs and vaping on Thursday, May 21 starting at 6:30 p.m. The Zoom meeting will feature David Neill of the U.S. Attorney’s office with topics including information about e-cigs, lung health, and vaping and Covid.

The free public event is geared for adults and members of the public can join the event here or use meeting ID: 879 0392 0722 and password: 655196; or dial in at 1 (646) 558-8656.

Webinar for Farmers

The Department of Environmental Management is inviting Rhode Island farmers and food producers to participate in a webinar on Thursday, May 14 at 1 p.m. to learn how to apply for direct payments through the federal Coronavirus Food Assistance Program.

The webinar will be hosted jointly by the US Department of Agriculture (Agricultural Marketing Service and Farm Service Agency and will offer guidance to farmers and others interested in applying for direct support through CFAP. USDA is hosting the webinar to provide information on required forms and other documentation in advance of the open application period. Specialty crop producers who are new to the USDA direct payment process are especially encouraged to participate. The details of the direct payment program process will be announced soon. A recording of webinar will also be posted on and the AMS website.

Advance registration is suggested at:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. Participants are encouraged to submit questions through the Q&A box or by emailing Questions will not be answered live during the webinar but will be answered after the event and posted at along with a recording of the webinar and other CFAP information.

As part of a $19 billion Coronavirus Farm Assistance Program, USDA will provide $16 billion in direct support based on actual losses for agricultural producers where prices and market supply chains have been impacted and will assist producers with additional adjustment and marketing costs resulting from lost demand and short-term oversupply for the 2020 marketing year caused by COVID-19.

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