24 December 2020 14:32

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Happy Thursday and welcome to Rhode Map, your daily guide to everything happening in the Ocean State. I'm Dan McGowan and if the Elf on the Shelf was a thing when I was a kid, I definitely would have known that he wasn't Santa's snitch. Follow me on Twitter @DanMcGowan or send tips to [email protected] If you have friends or relatives who would like their own free copy of this daily briefing about Rhode Island, tell them they can sign up here. ICYMI: Rhode Island was up to 82,066 confirmed coronavirus cases on Wednesday, after adding 879 new cases.

’Twas the night before Christmas, Rhode Island style

The overall daily test-positive rate was 5.1 percent, and the first-time positive rate was 20.7 percent. The state announced 26 more deaths, bringing the total to 1,704. There were 442 people in the hospital, and 7,072 people had received the first dose of the vaccine. Programming note: There will be no Rhode Map tomorrow, but I'll be back in your inbox first thing Monday morning. Merry Christmas! 'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through Li'l Rhody The politicians were social distancing, from all of their cronies. Their stockings were hanging, all cute in the family room, As they thought about fund-raising, through meetings on Zoom. Governor Raimondo was at home, trying not to feel bitter, As she waited for Joe Biden, to follow her on Twitter. It's been a long year, so someone pass her a flask, Give her some credit, she has almost always worn her mask. When outside the State House, there was a commotion, Turns out it was Dan McKee, clamoring for his promotion. He just wants to be governor, so cut him some slack, It's nice to know, he has small business' back. Riding down Smith Street, was Rhode Island's new House speaker, Telling anyone who would listen, this budget could have been bleaker. Now it's Joe Shekarchi's turn, to make all the laws, Out goes Saint Nick, there's a new Santa Claus. If there are gifts to go around, they should go to our health pros, They've gotten us through this pandemic, more than we know. Shout out to the teachers, who keep our kids learning, They deserve to be paid more, than they are currently earning. One election is over, so it's time for the next race, They're already running for governor, with a straight face. There's Jorge and Nellie and Seth, it's Democrats galore, But don't count out Allan Fung, Blake Filippi, and more. As the year winds down, let's think about those who've passed, And in honor of them, we will kick COVID's ass. The vaccine is finally here, to give us some hope, That if we all get our shots, 2021 will be dope. THE GLOBE IN RHODE ISLAND ⚓ My colleague Amanda Milkovits has the heartbreaking story of the house fire in Providence that killed a 7-year-old girl on Tuesday. ⚓ Incoming Rhode Island House Speaker Joseph Shekarchi and Senate Majority Leader Michael McCaffrey said this week that they are keeping close tabs on the potential mega merger of Lifespan and Care New England, the state's two largest hospital groups. ⚓ If you're wondering about the revised Paycheck Protection Program in the new federal stimulus package, you should read this story. ⚓ Rhode Map readers have sent a round of Happy Birthday wishes to: Marion McCabe, Cara Cromwell, Lindsay Weisberg (welcome to Providence!), Betsy Shimberg (52), Donna Salvadore, Betsy Shea-Taylor (timeless, I hear), Victor Capellan, Coleman Maglio (25), Jenica Conley, Anthony DeRose, Francis DeRose, Kas DeCarvalho, Tim Kerns (67), Teny Gross, Nicole Harrington (32), Nick Freeman, Robert Hackey (55), Mark Dondero, Gordon Fox, Steve Nielsen, Lacie Milton, and state Representative Karen Alzate. Advertisement MORE ON BOSTONGLOBE.COM ⚓ Politics: Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh is considered a finalist to be labor secretary in the Biden administration. ⚓ Economy: Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker has rolled out a $668 million small business relief package. ⚓ Opinion: There's an interesting debate over whether Massachusetts should lift its ban on flavored tobacco. ⚓ Sports: The Celtics got off to a nice start last night. Here's what the Globe's sports writers are predicting for NBA season. Read more. WHAT'S ON TAP TODAY Each day, Rhode Map offers a cheat sheet breaking down what's happening in Rhode Island. Have an idea? E-mail us at [email protected] ⚓ If you need to track Santa's whereabouts, you can do that here. ⚓ WPRI will air Christmas Mass tomorrow at 10 a.m. on Channel 12 and WPRI.com. ⚓ You can still explore Christmas at the Newport mansions even after Santa has visited. ⚓ After a tough loss last night (make a shot, guys), Providence College basketball is back in action Sunday against DePaul. ⚓ Do you ❤ Rhode Map? Your subscription is what makes it possible. We've got a great offer here Dan McGowan can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at @danmcgowan.