Archive - News Article
PROVIDENCE â€“ 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.
PAWTUCKET â€” 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.
PROVIDENCE â€” 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.
â€śThe fiscal integrity of the municipalities is going to be the year's big issue,â€ť said House Speaker Gordon Fox, D-Providence. â€śThis is make-it or break-it time.â€ť
December 30th, 2011
PAWTUCKET â€” 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.
PROVIDENCE â€“ 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.
PAWTUCKET â€” For the past 16 years, Joyce Lupien has been calmly and quietly at the helm of the Pawtucket Municipal Employees Federal Credit Union in City Hall. On Friday, she will reconcile the â€śyear-endâ€ť for the last time before heading off to retirement, while at the same time handing over her manager duties to another familiar face in City Hall, former Parks and Recreation Superintendent William Mulholland.
PAWTUCKET â€” Following an investigation by the Pawtucket Police Special Squad, a man alleged to have been dealing heroin in the Pawtucket area was taken into custody Tuesday on Broadway.
The suspect was identified as Yatniel S. Padilla, 30, of Benefit Street, Pawtucket. According to Pawtucket Police, Padilla had been under surveillance by the Special Squad following reports of suspicious activity. He was arrested after officers pulled him over in his car.
PAWTUCKET â€” Citing what a difference a day makes, the city has filed an appeal in Superior Court of the decision of a police officers' disciplinary hearing committee that would allow convicted Pawtucket Police Officer Nichalas Laprade to keep his job.
The complaint, filed on Dec. 21, concerns the city's attempts to fire Laprade following his conviction in February of 2011 on a misdemeanor charge of indecent exposure/disorderly conduct. The officer, hired in 2007, has been suspended with pay since his arrest in November of 2010.
CUMBERLAND â€” Home is where the heart is, not to mention the wallet.
On Wednesday morning, several dignitaries â€” including U.S. Rep. David Cicilline, Mayor Daniel McKee, Rhode Island Housing Executive Director Richard Godfrey and Cumberland Housing Authority Board of Commissioners Chair Eugene McMahon â€“ attended an open house celebrating the two new, affordable housing units at 26 Carpenter St.
All expressed delight with the camaraderie and partnerships it took to construct the pair of three-bedroom apartments, one on top of the other.
EAST PROVIDENCE â€” Newport Police Officer Christopher Ian McGregor looked out at the dispersing crowd, those folks who had gathered to forever memorialize his dad late Tuesday morning.
He then perused the mammoth plaque hanging to the right of the stairs leading to the front entry to the East Providence Police Department.
It read: Major Alister C. McGregor Public Safety Complex.
PROVIDENCE â€“ Reform of troubled city and town pension plans will be on the Senateâ€™s agenda in the coming year, President Teresa Paiva Weed acknowledges, but she will insist it be â€śsustainable, long-term structural changes, not simple quick fixes to the municipalitiesâ€™ budget problems.
â€śThatâ€™s what we are trying to avoid,â€ť she told The Call in an interview that looked back at the legislative year just past and ahead to the session that begins January 3.
Paige Hardy, 5, of Pawtucket â€” decked out in her holiday attire â€” shares the three special things she wants for Christmas during a visit with Santa at a recent benefit for The Times Merry Christmas Fund. Donations are being accepted into January. Checks or money orders can be sent to: The Times Merry Christmas Fund, 23 Exchange St., Pawtucket, RI 02860.
The Pawtucket Corps of the Salvation Army distributes the money to wherever the need is greatest.
PAWTUCKET â€” It's not like the glory days of the textiles industry, but manufacturing is still alive and well in Pawtucket. So many products â€” sold both nationally and internationally â€” are being made here that city officials have decided to showcase many of these companies in the lobby of City Hall on a rotating basis.
PAWTUCKET â€” Ask George Hey his reaction to having reached triple figures, and he smartly replies, â€śI donâ€™t know. Iâ€™d guess I feel the same as I did last week.â€ť
Fact is, Hey, who has been living at the Pawtucket Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center, located at 70 Gill Ave. for the past seven months, turned 100 on Tuesday, and those who love him threw one heckuva birthday party inside the first-floor activities room. It included a few dozen residents, nurses and administrators as well as most of his four children and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
PAWTUCKET â€” As 2011 winds down, more than a dozen municipal employees have decided to retire, including several who occupy key positions in Pawtucket City Hall.
Longtime Tax Assessor David Quinn just announced his retirement on Thursday, although he will be stepping into the same role in the city of Providence. He told the Times that he is leaving to take the Tax Assessor's job at Providence City Hall under Mayor Angel Taveras that recently became available. He added that it was â€śtoo good of an opportunity to turn down.â€ť
CUMBERLAND â€“ As the saying goes, giving is its own reward. But at Mt. St. Rita Health Centre, theyâ€™ve figured out a way to double the reward.
Itâ€™s called Blessings in a Backpack, a program that provides needy children from Woonsocket with food for the weekend â€“ when they canâ€™t get a meal in school.
Once a week, a group of volunteers at the nursing home and rehab facility stuff backpacks with cans of tuna, applesauce and other treats â€“ enough to bridge the gap between Fridays and Mondays. But itâ€™s no ordinary group of volunteers.
PAWTUCKET â€” Returning to the city where she once served as chief accountant, Joanna L'Heureux has been named as Pawtucket's new finance director by Mayor Donald R.Grebien.
L'Heureux will succeed Ronald Wunschel, who is retiring from that post after 14 years. She will officially assume her duties in January, and Wunschel has offered to assist with the transition. L'Heureux served as Pawtucket's chief accountant in the Finance Department, under Wunschel, for nearly four years, ending in January 2001, after previously working as a staff accountant for the Pawtucket School Department.
PAWTUCKET â€” Two men wearing masks and brandishing handguns robbed approximately 12 people who were watching Monday Night Football in a city rental space just after 11 p.m., Monday.
According to Pawtucket Police Maj. Arthur Martins, the suspects had confronted two men who had left the converted mill building, located at 545 Pawtucket Ave. (across the road from Gold's Gym), to smoke cigarettes outside.
The gunmen then ordered them up the stairs to Unit 302, where several people had congregated to watch the NFL tilt between the Pittsburgh Steelers and San Francisco 49ers.
EAST PROVIDENCE â€” Three members of the East Providence Coalition met with Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management Assistant Director Terry Gray and legal counsel Richard Bianculli in Providence on Friday to discuss DEM's recent notice of intent to suspend the license held by TLA-Pond View Recycling Facility.
PROVIDENCE â€” Despite the wholesale rejection of his first budget by the General Assembly and his failure to expand long-awaited pension reform legislation to cover troubled municipal plans, Gov. Lincoln Chafee says he considers his freshman year at the helm of the Ocean State to be a success.