Top five Providence Journal stories that you don't want to miss this week

·2 min read

Good morning subscribers,

Stories come to our attention in all sorts of ways. Sometimes a government official issues a press release. At other times we're tipped off by a reader. But this week, like a message tucked inside a digital bottle floating across the cyber seas, a news report arrived to us from across the Atlantic. Two words came to mind.

"He's alive!"

Nicholas Alahverdian, the subject of a year-long debate whether he was dead or just merely on the lam, had been found in a hospital in Scotland. Sick with COVID but alive. Reports of his demise first arose in early 2021 but police were skeptical that the suspect in a sex assault case had actually met his judgment day. Soon thereafter, our reporter Tom Mooney was on the international case that had its roots here in the U.S., including Utah, Ohio and Rhode Island.

The back-from-the-dead saga brought back bad memories for those who had crossed paths with Alahverdian in Rhode Island. Regardless of the legal outcome of the charges against him, his profile includes a self-portrayal as a victim of child abuse, an obituary, which we now know was, at best, premature, and also the alias Nicholas Rossi. So who is he really?

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It was a week of bombshells.

Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott, director of Rhode Island Department of Health, threw in her surgical mask. State House reporter Katherine Gregg wrote that, depending on who you listen to, Alexander-Scott said the two-year battle against the pandemic had taken its toll on her, or her departure was a signal of lack of confidence in Gov. Dan McKee. Either way, her resignation comes at a time when a COVID ceasefire seems far off in a distance.

The state's nursing staff is at its breaking point, according to our health writer G. Wayne Miller.

In the too-close-for-comfort world of politics, Katherine Gregg and Patrick Anderson teamed up for a profile on K. Joseph Shekarchi in Political Scene. He is the Speaker of the RI House of Representatives but he's also a land-use attorney. Politics may make strange bedfellows but here in RI, it makes for even more interesting court cases.

As always, we thank you for being a Providence Journal subscriber. It means a lot to us.

David Ng

Executive Editor

David Ng is executive editor of the Providence Journal. Email him at

This article originally appeared on The Providence Journal: The executive editor picks his favorite stories of the week.

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