PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island is celebrating the high school Class of 2020 with a special television tribute featuring a Hollywood star, a Super Bowl MVP and musical performances, Gov. Gina Raimondo said.

This year's high school seniors excelled while continuing their educations remotely during the coronavirus pandemic, and missed out on some key moments in their lives, Raimondo said Wednesday.

“It stinks that you couldn't have a graduation the way you wanted to, a prom the way you wanted to, varsity sports banquets the way you wanted to," she said.

The “ Your Year 2020 " tribute scheduled to air Monday night on Rhode Island PBS will feature a keynote address from Oscar-winning actor Viola Davis, who grew up in Central Falls.

New England Patriots receiver Julian Edelman, broadcaster Meredith Vieira, and medal-winning Olympic swimmer Elizabeth Beisel — the latter two Rhode Island natives — are expected to deliver messages.

Billy Gilman, a Grammy nominee and runner-up on “The Voice" who grew up in Richmond, and Erika Van Pelt, a top 10 contestant on “American Idol," who is from South Kingstown, are scheduled to perform.

The tribute will be followed by a virtual concert called “United for Grads."



The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Rhode Island continues to hold steady, according to the latest statistics Thursday from the state Department of Health.

There were 146 people in the hospital with the disease, according to the most recent numbers, roughly the same as the previous four days.

The total number of people diagnosed with the disease since the start of the pandemic rose to more than 15,860 with 102 new cases reported Thursday, out of 2,930 people tested. The state has now conducted nearly 188,000 tests.

The state also reported 11 new coronavirus-related fatalities, bringing the state’s death toll to more than 820.



A Portsmouth park is being turned into a temporary drive-in theater by a local nonprofit known for bringing powerful documentaries to the public.

NewportFILM hasn't been able to hold its full range of programs recently because of the pandemic, but on June 25 will screen the film “Public Trust" at Glen Park, The Newport Daily News reports. The 96-minute film follows journalist Hal Herring as he explores protecting the nation's public lands, said Becca Bertrand, executive director of the nonprofit.

The Portsmouth Town Council earlier this week gave approval for the project.

The event will be limited to 100 cars, which will be spaced six feet apart in rows separated by 20 feet. Preregistration will be required.