News Minute: Here is the latest Rhode Island news from The Assoc - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

News Minute: Here is the latest Rhode Island news from The Associated Press at 5:40 a.m. EST

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NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (AP) - A Massachusetts museum has restored the longest painting in North America so it can share the story of American whaling with the public. The quarter-mile-long panorama is called "Grand Panorama of a Whaling Voyage Round the World" and toured the U.S. after it was completed in 1848 but deteriorated and was put into storage. The New Bedford Whaling Museum had a textile conservator help fix the panorama and is searching for a large venue to display it, possibly in Rhode Island or Connecticut.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza is again extending the holiday tradition of free street parking in several city neighborhoods as a way to encourage shoppers to buy local. The Democratic mayor announced the initiative Wednesday at PVDonuts. The city will offer two hours of free parking from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., starting Friday and going through Jan. 1.

WATERTOWN, Mass. (AP) - Massachusetts is one of just three states that doesn't let stores open in the evening on Thanksgiving, but that hasn't stopped some shoppers from forming lines outside in anticipation of Black Friday deals. "Blue laws" won't let big box stores and other retailers open their doors until Friday. Neighboring Maine and Rhode Island have similar restrictions. Even so, 26-year-old Melvin Hernandez turned out Thursday to snag a place in line outside a Best Buy store in Watertown.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - State transportation officials say travel times will once again be displayed on highway message boards. The Rhode Island Department of Transportation announced a data-sharing partnership this week with Waze, the navigation and traffic monitoring app. The department says it previously paid $200,000 annually for travel time information, but Waze has agreed to provide it for free. In exchange, the department will give Waze real-time construction, crash and road closure data.

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