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January 11th, 2012

Downtown gets money for 'streetscape enhancement'

January 11, 2012

PAWTUCKET — The new year could mean a more beautiful and vibrant downtown, thanks to an infusion of $50,000 in federal Community Development Block Grant funds.
The money for the streetscape enhancement project involves the design, purchase and installation of planters and other containers for flowers and plants, bike racks, trashcan enclosures and banners for Main Street between Dexter Street and Roosevelt Avenue. Supporters say the project will benefit downtown merchants and residents by making the area more appealing to live in and visit for shopping, eating, and conducting business.

January 10th

Lincoln officer testifies; defense rests

January 10, 2012

PROVIDENCE — On a day when Lincoln Patrolman Edward M. Krawetz took the stand and claimed his kick to the head of a sitting, handcuffed woman was made in self-defense, both his lawyer and the prosecutor told Superior Court Judge Edward C. Clifton they would be ready for closing arguments this morning.
Attorney John Harwood had made a motion after the defense rested Tuesday afternoon to dismiss the case, but Assistant Attorney General Stephen Regine explained to the judge he saw no reason why it should be. Those arguments will be included in their closing remarks.

Bridge portion must be reworked

January 10, 2012

PAWTUCKET — The Rhode Island Department of Transportation has required the contractors to rework a portion of the newly constructed Pawtucket River Bridge after an inspection late last month turned up a structural problem.

January 9th

Parking ban protested

January 10, 2012

CENTRAL FALLS — What started out as a merely raucous City Council meeting on the controversial winter parking rules imposed by the receiver’s office last month deteriorated into a free-for-all Monday.
Residents inside were frantic about where they are going to find places to park their cars, how safe the vehicles would be in remote lots blocks away from their homes as well as their own safety walking to and from the lots.
They were also resentful about the unilateral – and, many said, high-handed -- way the new parking rules were proscribed.

Expert: Officer's use of force 'objectively reasonable'

January 9, 2012

PROVIDENCE – A “use of force” expert for the defense of suspended Lincoln patrol officer Edward Krawetz, who is on trial for felony assault with a deadly weapon after kicking a handcuffed woman at Twin River, took the stand in Superior Court for a second day of testimony on Monday.

January 8th

Two join Cumberland police force

January 8, 2012

CUMBERLAND — It was standing room only as a large gathering of Cumberland police officers, as well as their families, crowded the Town Council's chambers Wednesday to witness the swearing-in of Cumberland's two newest police recruits.
Officers Josh Vaughn and Gregory J. Pomfret were officially sworn in at a 20-minute ceremony presided over by Police Chief John R. Desmarais. Mayor Daniel J. McKee swore-in the two officers.
In his remarks, McKee said the town is proud to have two officers with local roots serving in the Cumberland Police Department, a nationally accredited police department.

Once shy, crooner Cerbo making it big

January 8, 2012

PROVIDENCE – Call Tony Cerbo the very definition of enigma.
As a painfully shy teen, he abhorred being in the limelight and wasn't attracted to music, especially singing.
Nowadays, he revels in belting out tunes made famous by Frank Sinatra and Michael Buble before sizable crowds at restaurants, clubs, weddings and receptions throughout southeastern New England.
In fact, back on Dec. 15, this self-described “self-made crooner” starred in his fourth annual “Home for Christmas Dinner Show” at the B. Pinelli's Restaurant ballroom in East Providence, and claimed he had “a blast” doing it.

THE WRITE STUFF - Lincoln native finishes screenplay

January 8, 2012

LINCOLN – As always, Ron Truppa came home from Los Angeles a few days before Christmas to spend the holidays with his parents, Ron Sr. and Lori, and other family members.
This time, though, the 36-year-old Lincoln native and Hollywood film writer, producer and director returned to his old Bridle Drive abode with some thrilling news.

January 6th

Fire displaces 15, injures 4 firefighters

January 6, 2012

PAWTUCKET — A fire in a multi-family apartment house at 111 Randall St. on Friday injured four Pawtucket firefighters and left 15 people homeless.
According to Fire Chief William Sisson, the blaze was reported around 11:30 a.m. in the large, three-story woodframe house. It began in the attic and quickly burned through the roof, causing extensive damage to the entire house, he said.

Trial of accused officer continued to Monday

January 6, 2012

PROVIDENCE – John Harwood, the attorney for the Lincoln police officer accused of kicking a seated, handcuffed woman in the head outside the Twin River casino on May 31, 2009, indicated in Superior Court on Friday he wanted to enlist the expertise of Dr. Frank Gallo as part of his client's defense.
Gallo, renowned statewide for his expertise on “use of force,” is an instructor for various law enforcement agencies around the region.

January 5th

Mayors to Governor: Help us!

January 6, 2012

PROVIDENCE — After huddling behind closed doors for two hours with mayors, town administrators and other municipal officials, Gov. Lincoln Chafee declared that 2012 “should be the year of the cities and towns.
“We can not have East Providences and Woonsockets and Coventrys and other towns being read about across the country in the Wall Street Journal and New York Times and other national publications that are going to be a detriment to the economy of Rhode Island,” the governor said. “We've got to address it.”

Mixed Magic gets legislative grant for 'Moby Dick'

January 5, 2012

PAWTUCKET — Thanks to a $2,500 legislative grant, Mixed Magic Theatre will be able to embark on one of its favorite journeys: bringing the timeless tale of “Moby Dick” to new audiences in a unique and modern way.
On Thursday, state Sen. Donna M. Nesselbush (D-Dist. 15) presented a check to Mixed Magic Theatre, a non-profit arts organization based in the historic mill complex at the Hope Artiste Village in Pawtucket.

January 4th

Bill would change car tax values

January 4, 2012

PROVIDENCE — When the General Assembly abruptly dropped the exemption of car values for local tax purposes from $6,000 to $500 last year, drivers suddenly hit with tax bills several times higher than they were before started paying attention to the way values are placed on their automobiles, and they didn't like what they saw.

CF Council to hear input on parking ban

January 4, 2012

CENTRAL FALLS — On Monday, Jan. 9, city residents will have a chance to speak about the controversial new overnight parking ban that state-appointed officials want to start enforcing next week. The appointed City Council will be holding a public hearing on the parking ban as part of its regular meeting scheduled for 6 p.m. at Central Falls City Hall.

Romney ekes out 8-vote win over Santorum in Iowa

January 4, 2012

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Mitt Romney eked out a minuscule 8-vote victory over Rick Santorum in Iowa's Republican presidential caucuses, the state party chairman said early Wednesday, ringing down the curtain on an improbable first act in the campaign to pick a challenger to President Barack Obama in the fall.
Appearing hours after the caucuses had ended, Matt Strawn said Romney had 30,015 votes, to 30,007 for Santorum, whose late surge carried him to a near win.

January 3rd

Chafee to meet with mayors on pensions

January 3, 2012

PROVIDENCE – When provisions for reforming locally-administered pension plans (called non-MERS) were dropped from the comprehensive pension reform late in the process last year, Gov. Lincoln Chafee vowed to introduce legislation on the first day of the 2012 General Assembly session to reform struggling plans that are causing fiscal misery for certain cities and towns.
He missed that self-imposed deadline on Tuesday.

Finance director looks back on career

January 3, 2012

PAWTUCKET — Fourteen years ago, Ronald Wunschel answered a newspaper advertisement for a city finance director's position that was placed by newly elected Mayor James E. Doyle. Now, after honoring his commitment to stay on and help with the transition under Doyle's successor, Mayor Donald R. Grebien, Wunschel has officially hung up his calculator, and is heading off to a well-deserved retirement.

A big year for lawmakers

January 3, 2012

Associated Press
PROVIDENCE — With cities on the brink of insolvency and joblessness stubbornly high, Rhode Island lawmakers returning for a new legislative session say 2012 is shaping up to be a pivotal year.
Just as they spent last year finding ways to fix the state's fiscal problems, lawmakers say 2012 must be devoted to helping cities and towns weather a fiscal crisis that shows few signs of abating.
“The fiscal integrity of the municipalities is going to be the year's big issue,” said House Speaker Gordon Fox, D-Providence. “This is make-it or break-it time.”

December 30th, 2011

Artist weaves his craft on the river

December 30, 2011

PAWTUCKET — From the Main Street bridge by day, the Blackstone River and historic Slater Mill can be viewed through a network of brightly colored cords that shimmer in the sunlight. At nighttime, the reflective filaments in the cords appear to send off a laser light show through the mist generated from the rushing water below.

Speaker Fox looks back, ahead; pension reform a priority

December 30, 2011

PROVIDENCE – Agreeing with, well, just about everybody, that local pension plans will be issue number one in the coming General Assembly session, House Speaker Gordon Fox says he believes enabling legislation that will allow cities and towns to craft individual solutions would be preferable to mandating a single fix to an array of diverse problems.

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