Archive - News Article
February 24th, 2014
The chief executives of the Blackstone Valleyâs two biggest cities, Woonsocket Mayor Lisa Baldelli-Hunt and Pawtucket Mayor Donald Grebien, say they canât tap property taxpayers for the hundreds of thousands of dollars that it would cost their communities to make the changes in the proposed settlement of the state pension lawsuit.
PAWTUCKET â Three real estate developers have been given the go-ahead from city officials to submit formal plans to develop the failed hotel property at 45 Division St.
PAWTUCKET -- Itâs hard to believe that gleeful cries of âbingoâ on a girlsâ night out would one day turn into tearful cries for help in dealing with an obsession that almost cost one local woman her self-respect, job and family.
Itâs gambling addiction, and for those caught up in it, the mental and physical pain and collateral damage to loved ones can be just as devastating and difficult to overcome as alcohol or drug addiction.
CUMBERLAND â When Paul H. Rose was a young boy growing up in East Providence, his mother was always leery about what little woodland critter she might find hiding underneath his bed.
Snakes, frogs, grasshoppers, it didnât matter. If he could catch it, he brought it home.
âIâve loved animals ever since I was a little boy,â he says, âMy mother was always afraid of what she might find in the basement on any given day.â
Nearly 60 years later, Rose is still fascinated by the animal kingdom, and has devoted most of his life to looking after the welfare of creatures great and small.
PAWTUCKET â With more snow, such as has been the case this winter, comes more requests for shoveling assistance for the cityâs elderly residents. Hoping to boost volunteer participation in a program that works to shovel sidewalks for seniors, Mayor Donald Grebien held a press conference on Friday to enlist more volunteers.
PAWTUCKET â While saying they donât agree with all of the school renovation plans as outlined, the City Council on Wednesday approved the first phase of the School Departmentâs Facilities Master Plan that will upgrade Potter-Burns and Nathanael Greene Elementary Schools.
The council gave its approval to Phase 1 of the proposed master plan, with a price tag not to exceed $32 million. Phase 1 calls for a system-wide upgrade of the districtâs technology infrastructure and renovations to the Potter-Burns and Nathanael Greene elementary schools.
PAWTUCKET â Pawtucket Police are trying a new tactic, the âRhode Island Most Wantedâ network, to track down a man accused of committing fraud against a local funeral home.
Pawtucket Police have posted on the online website that they are looking for Martin âMartyâ Szuch, 72, who has addresses in Providence, North Providence and Cranston. Szuch is wanted on a charge of obtaining money under false pretenses in a case that dates back to 2010. He has also allegedly committed similar crimes in the past, police said.
CENTRAL FALLS â Convicted contractor Michael Bouthillette, the owner of Certified Disaster Restoration Corp. and a friend and supporter of former Central Falls Mayor Charles Moreau, is still trying to collect over $30,000 from the city for work done in late 2006 and early 2007 at the Adams Memorial Library.
Editor's note: This column first appeared in The Times on Feb. 17. Read Jim Baron's column every Monday in The Times and The Call.
In the end, despite all their bravado and bluffing, neither the unions nor the state officials battling over the 2011 pension reform law wanted to take their chances on how the five wise souls of the RI Supreme Court would rule on the constitutional issue at stake: Can the General Assembly make legislative changes to employee pensions after the workers and retirees have spent their careers paying into the system?
PAWTUCKETâAn intoxicated man accused a Pawtucket Police officer of striking him with his cruiser outside of a Walgreens pharmacy early Monday evening and then threatened a group of witnesses at knifepoint who sided with the officer, Pawtucket Police said.
PAWTUCKET â In a nod to the current economy, the city and Pawtucket firefighters' union have agreed to a new, three-year contract that offers more in the way of job stability than pay increases. The City Council will be considering the pact for approval at Wednesday night's council meeting.
PAWTUCKET â Another ceiling collapse, this time in an unused room at Slater Middle School, has prompted an emergency meeting of the School Committee to be held Monday night.
Interim Schools Supt. Patti DiCenso said the room, across from the assistant principalâs office, had been closed off for occupancy due to concerns about the stability of the ceiling during an inspection of the cityâs older school buildings last summer. The inspection had been called after a drop ceiling in a basement classroom at the Potter-Burns Elementary School gave way last fall.
PAWTUCKET â It was an invitation that four young men could have done without.
Pawtucket Police say five people were arrested Sunday after allegedly pistol-whipping and robbing four men who had been lured to an after-hours party in the basement of a house at 85 Daniels St.
LINCOLN â Town Administrator T. Joseph Almond will propose a revised plan to construct an addition to the police headquarters wing of the municipal complex when he presents his fiscal 2015 budget to the Budget Board on Wednesday.
The project to add a two-story addition and renovate the existing police department space had been proposed as a two-phase project last year, with the initial phase of approximately $1.9 million being appropriated for the new construction.
PROVIDENCE â A complex and intricate proposed settlement of the lawsuits challenging the watershed 2011 pension reform law provides minor sweeteners in benefits to state and municipal employees and retirees while preserving the lionâs share of the savings to state and local taxpayers.
PAWTUCKET â In an apparent case of pet hoarding that has spiraled out of control, city officials on Friday condemned a house at 403 Liverpool St. and removed 17 animals that resided there.
The change from heavy snow to rain as another storm battered the area Thursday afternoon had area highway department officials crossing their fingers that it might also mean a reprieve in the use of rock salt for the storm.
Rock salt is mixed with the sand highway departments lay down on roads as part of their storm cleanup efforts and has been in short supply this season due to the wide reach of winter weather across the country.
PAWTUCKET â Their ranks might be small in number, but the Pawtucket Republicans are a unified group who are still meet regularly and maintain a voice in their party's statewide organization.
PROVIDENCE â With Colorado and Washington State having legalized the possession and sale of recreational marijuana earlier this year, and a poll of Rhode Island voters showing 53 percent of Rhode Islanders favoring the legalization, regulation and taxing of the drug for sale to adults, legislation to do just that has been introduced in the General Assembly.
CENTRAL FALLS â Due to declining enrollment and financial deficits, the Square Mile City is losing its only Catholic school.
The St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Academy, located at 909 Lonsdale Ave., will close at the end of the school year, according to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence. The news was announced to faculty, staff and parents by letter on Tuesday, and an informational meeting for parents was scheduled for Wednesday night at the school.