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RI to get $1.5M in labor funds for storm help

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) -- Rhode Island is getting $1.5 million in emergency U.S. Department of Labor funding to hire temporary workers to help with Superstorm Sandy recovery efforts.

The funds will go to the state Department of Labor and Training to hire workers to repair damaged public areas and infrastructure. The U.S. Labor Department said Tuesday that $500,000 of the total will be released initially.

Labor Secretary Hilda Solis said many in Rhode Island were affected by the storm and that her department is expediting funds to help storm recovery.

President Barack Obama approved Rhode Island's request for a federal disaster declaration in Washington, Newport and Bristol counties. The state has amended its request to include assistance for individuals in Washington and Newport counties. That request is pending.