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February 23rd, 2012

Chafee hints at withdrawing meal tax hike if revenue strong enough

February 23, 2012

WOONSOCKET — Speaking at a business development forum Thursday, Gov. Lincoln Chafee hinted that he might withdraw his proposed hike in the meals and beverage tax if new revenue forecasts due in May are high enough.
“We’re hoping with those new revenue estimates we can work on the meals and beverage tax,” Chafee said. “Let’s hope those May numbers continue the positive trend they’re on.”

February 22nd

Council OKs appointments

February 22, 2012

PAWTUCKET — The City Council at its meeting of Feb. 8 approved several appointments, including that of renewing the terms of the municipal judge and associate municipal judge.
By a unanimous vote, the council elected former state Senator John M. McBurney to a three-year term as municipal judge and current Sen. Donna M. Nesslebush to a three-year term as associate municipal judge.

Division Street Bridge safe, says DOT

February 22, 2012

PAWTUCKET — How much of a pounding from trailer trucks can a 135-year-old bridge take? That's what City Councilors have been wanting to know. Yet the most recent assessment done by the state rates the span as safe and maintains the additional truck traffic is having little to no impact.

Rhode Island readies for 350th

February 22, 2012

Heralding the 1663 Royal Charter for the English Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations as “one of the great human rights documents of the world,” Gov. Lincoln Chafee set the stage Tuesday for the celebration next year of the 350th anniversary of King Charles II’s grant to John Clarke and Roger Williams.
A history buff who frequently references Roger Williams, the state’s founder, and the charter in his speeches and Statehouse presentations, Chafee appointed a 34-member commission to organize a celebration for the sesquarcentennial, which will culminate on July 8, 2013.

February 19th

Service to others: It's what Quota is all about

February 19, 2012

Ann L. Hogan has always believed that not only should a person strive to achieve personal success in their own lives, they must go out and serve others. Service to others, she says, not only gives meaning to your own life, it makes life better for others.
“Service should be an element of everyone's life. People need to have that experience of giving to others,” says Hogan, 83, a retired school teacher from Pawtucket.

February 17th

Bill will improve campaign finance laws

February 17, 2012

PROVIDENCE – Common Cause Director John Marion, a government watchdog and frequent critic of the General Assembly, found himself standing with Gov. Chafee and legislative leaders at the Statehouse Thursday, hailing what he called “a big improvement” in the state’s campaign finance laws.

SPECIAL DELIVERY: Woman gives birth in boyfriend's bathroom

February 17, 2012

PROVIDENCE – The pain started in her lower back and slowly migrated toward her ribcage.
Kristen Dubois thought she was passing a kidney stone.
She wasn’t.
She was giving birth in the bathroom of her fiance’s Willow Street apartment in Woonsocket.
“I was like, ‘Oh my God. I can’t believe it,” says Dubois. “I started yelling for my boyfriend. ‘He’s coming out! He’s coming out!’”

February 16th

Architects to assess leaky tower

February 16, 2012

PAWTUCKET — The leaking City Hall tower is being studied by an architectural firm in an effort to root out the source of the problem and find ways to remedy it.
City Public Works Director Lance Hill said the Providence-based firm of Robinson Green Beretta Corp., has been hired as a consultant to inspect the tower and make recommendations and cost estimates on how to fix the leaking. He said he expects the study to be completed within the next couple of weeks.

February 15th

Union wins back two city jobs

February 15, 2012

PAWTUCKET — The city employees' largest union, Council 94, AFSCME Local 1012 has won two jobs back through arbitration that had been lost last year through lay-offs. However, a broader attempt to have the city rescind 18 lay-offs and provide back pay and benefits to the affected employees was not supported by the arbitrator.

February 14th

Moura, Gordon blast foreclosure deal

February 14, 2012

PROVIDENCE – Two Republican lawmakers, Cumberland Sen. Bethany Moura and Portsmouth Rep. Dan Gordon, attacked the 49-state settlement agreement with the nation’s five largest mortgage service providers that Democratic Attorney General Peter Kilmartin signed onto last week, calling the $25 billion the financial institutions agreed to pay “a drop in the bucket.”
“What an insult to the American people,” Gordon declared at a Statehouse press conference Tuesday. “What an insult to the people of Rhode Island. The people should be inflamed.”

Ethics panel nixes funding proposal

February 14, 2012

PAWTUCKET — The Rhode Island Ethics Commission has found that a proposal by the Grebien Administration to solicit private donations to fund the salary of the new economic development director would be against the Code of Ethics.

February 13th

Restaurateurs attack tax

February 13, 2012

CUMBERLAND — Roger Savini may have been boasting when he said he could drive a golf ball into Massachusetts from his Woonsocket restaurant, but the hyperbole made a point.
His restaurant is so close to both Bellingham and Blackstone that diners — and especially his lucrative banquet business — could easily bypass his Rathbun Street business to avoid the extra 2 percent tax Gov. Lincoln Chafee wants to tack onto restaurant meals and beverages.

February 12th

Lions' good works: The pride of our community

February 12, 2012

Robert Lacourse wasn't exactly a young guy when he joined the Lincoln Lions Club 18 years ago. But at the age of 52, Lacourse says he was at a stage in his life when he finally had the time to devote to a local group of service-minded men and women who were doing volunteer work to support the community and help those in need.
The Lions, he says, fit the bill perfectly.

February 11th

‘The timing is right for me’ —Bousquet retires from LPD

February 11, 2012

LINCOLN – After over two decades of patrolling the streets of the town's seven villages, managing the training of officers and acting as the Lincoln Police Department's public information officer, Capt. Raymond Bousquet III has chosen to retire.
Friday was his final day in an LPD uniform. He now will direct his energies toward a new career in the banking industry in Boston.
In vintage Bousquet fashion, he stated, “This is not a sudden decision. I'm moving on, and it's time. The timing is right for me and my family. That's it.”

NECAP results show promise

February 11, 2012

PROVIDENCE – State Commissioner of Education Deborah Gist had words of both praise and caution on the latest round of New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP) testing on Friday.
Gist's praise included high marks for charter schools in Cumberland, Pawtucket, Providence and Woonsocket and also a special nod to the students and staff of Central Falls High School for raising its four-year graduation rate by 17 points and Woonsocket High School for its improvement in reading.

February 9th

Spelling bee was tableau of talent

February 9, 2012

LINCOLN — Little did Alexandra Fish know that when she accurately spelled the noun tableau, defined by Webster's Dictionary as “a striking, dramatic scene or picture,” she was living one herself.
That correct answer led the Lincoln Middle School eighth grader to the championship of the annual Lincoln School District Spelling Bee, held inside her home auditorium on Tuesday night.
Fish, who out-dueled fellow schoolmate and sixth-grader Alexandra Theroux, now will represent the district at the Rhode Island State Spelling Bee, to be held at this same site on Saturday, March 12 at 10 a.m.

February 8th

City rent costs going up fast

February 8, 2012

PAWTUCKET — Record foreclosures have crimped the supply of affordable apartments, fueling an astronomical increase in rents that threatens the financial security of working families.
That’s the latest from HousingWorksRI, an advocacy group that says the average two-bedroom apartment in the state now costs $1,165 a month. At that rate, it would take an hourly wage of nearly $24 to limit one’s monthly rental nut to 30 percent of salary, the level the government defines as affordable.

Yoga makes quiet day in gym class

February 8, 2012

CUMBERLAND — It's time for “Phys Ed” but the gym is really quiet. The class of 11-and 12-year-old boys and girls are sitting on floor mats and focusing on their breathing, some with their eyes shut. Then, following instructor Sunny Moriello Flatts' lead, they assume various poses and hold them for a time: Downward Dog, Dolphin and Plank Star. It's all part of a semester-long yoga program that is now part of the school day at the Blackstone Valley Prep middle school in Cumberland.

February 6th

Lynch: Police got it wrong

February 6, 2012

PAWTUCKET — Angry about the Pawtucket Police Department's public comments concerning the dismissal of drunken driving charges involving his son, attorney William Lynch is vowing to fight back and maintains that the true story has not been told.
As reported in The Times last Wednesday, Pawtucket Police are questioning the way a case was handled by a special prosecutor for the city that resulted in the dismissal of charges against 24-year-old Jarred Lynch.

February 5th

For Knights of Columbus, charity is first and foremost

February 5, 2012

When Michael S. Krzywonos used to attend Sunday Mass at the former St. Cecilia's Church in Pawtucket he'd see the same friendly faces sitting in the same pews every week. Other than exchanging passing greetings and a few pleasantries at the end of Mass, it eventually dawned on Krzywonos that he really didn't know who his fellow parishioners were.
"For the longest time they were just faces without names," he says.

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