Brown’s state representative to chair House committee

Representative Edith Ajello / The Providence Journal

Brown’s State Representative Edith Ajello just got a promotion. Ajello, an East Providence Democrat who goes by her nickname “Edie,” was recently tapped to chair the R.I. House Judiciary Committee, which deals with legislation on judges, prisons and same-sex marriage, an issue again at the center of state political debate after the election of pro-legalization Governor Lincoln Chafee ’75 P’14. The “unabashedly left-of-center” Ajello also favors legalizing gay marriage, as well as legalizing marijuana, levying an obesity tax on soda and mandating that police collect data on crimes against the transgendered. While Ajello’s new position means she’ll have a more prominent platform to advance her priorities, she told The Providence Journal that she may have to moderate her tone. “I feel that, in some way, I’ll have to step away a little from my progressive, liberal, extreme left advocacy to do the job of chair properly,” Ajello said.

Mafia bust sweeps Northeast

Mob suspect in handcuffs / The Associated Press

Nearly 130 people were arrested today in connection with an FBI mob sweep that is being called one of the largest in history. The New York Times reported that the sweep targeted seven mob families in New York, New Jersey, and Rhode Island and involved coordinated arrests at dawn as law enforcement across the Northeast took into custody top mob leaders, lesser associates, and union officials. Among those arrested was famed 83 year-old Rhode Island mobster Luigi “Baby Shacks” Manocchio, whose peculiar nickname (reportedly due to his notoriety as a ladies’ man) and reputation for shaking down strip clubs precedes him. Stay tuned for more coverage in The Herald’s City & State section.