January 15th, 2014
Editor's note: This "Politics as Usual" column was published in the Jan. 13, 2014 edition of The Times.
Anyone who thinks handicapping political races is easy should check last weekâs newspapers.
Two Republicans with aspirations for higher office â New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who has his eye on becoming president of the United States, and Cranston Mayor Allan Fung, running to become governor of the Biggest Little State in the Union â are getting jammed up by their day jobs in their quest to climb the greasy pole of political ambition.
PROVIDENCE â State Sen. Dawson Hodgson began his bid for the attorney generalâs office Tuesday by taking the offensive, attacking incumbent Peter Kilmartin for his role in the 38 Studios debacle, the Deepwater Wind energy project, pension reform litigation, and the early release from prison of Woonsocket thrill killer Alfred Brissette.
PAWTUCKET â Just after delivering positive news about improved graduation rates, Schools Superintendent Deborah Cylke shook up a routine School Committee meeting Tuesday night with a bombshell announcement: that she planned to retire as of June 30.
âIt has been my privilege and pleasure to serve you,â Cylke told the members of the School Committee at the first regular meeting of the new year. She also pledged that they would have â110 percent of my effortâ between now and when she leaves at the end of the school year.
For full story, see Page 1 of Wednesday's Times.
PAWTUCKET â St. Raphael Academy coach Fred Saunders calls them the âbrains and heart of our team.â
They are the Gonzalez sisters â point guard Danyele and forward Rybecca. Danyele runs the show and Rybecca handles the scoring load. Along with fellow starters Seun Shittu, Felicia Baccari and Kaylee Oliver, they have turned St. Raphael Academy into an unbeaten Division II-Central squad that hopes to go deep into the playoffs this winter.
Janet E. Ames
LINCOLN - Ames, Janet E. (Wescott) of Lincoln passed away peacefully on January 12, surrounded by her loving family. Born in West Brooksville, Maine, she was the daughter of the late Stillman and Clara (Blodgett) Wescott. She was predeceased by her husband George E. and her eldest son Dr. Glenn J. as well as her siblings Helen Farrow and Gordon Wescott.
LINCOLN â A Pawtucket man and a Providence man face larceny charges after they allegedly went Dumpster diving for scrap metal at a local scrap metal company, according to police.
Shawn Sawyer, 46, of Knowles Street, Pawtucket, and Tony Curtis Rowland, 49, of Washington Street, Providence, were taken into custody on charges of attempted larceny under $1,500 following an investigation of a Jan. 5 incident, according to police. Read the full story in Tuesday's edition of The Times.
LINCOLN â Though a year had passed, Lincoln High sophomore Mollie Westrick and junior Nicole Moneghan hadnât forgotten how the Westerly aquawomen had sailed to a Division II dual-meet victory.
In fact, the Bulldogs had pulled off wins in each of the previous three winter seasons, and the Lions desperately wanted to âturn the tide,â so to speak.
CRANSTON â Calling it âa painful experience in my life,â a somber and emotional Allan Fung called a press conference on Monday to give reporters his account of the 1989 car accident that killed a Pawtucket man who was changing his tire on Route 95.
Fung, the mayor of Cranston and a Republican candidate for governor, said he was 18 at the time of the crash and coming home from college at the University of New Haven in Connecticut, where he was a freshman.
For full story, see Page 1 of today's Times.
PAWTUCKET â Monday was a big day for the brown and white puppy found abandoned in a dumpster last month.Police announced they had made an arrest in the case, and Animal Control sent word that he had been adopted.
The plight of the now three-month-old Jack Russell terrier mix drew attention and outrage after Animal Control officers found the young canine locked inside a dirty pet carrier that had been thrown into a dumpster at 95 Harrison St. on Dec. 19. A female passer-by called police after hearing a dog crying from inside the trash-filled container.
CUMBERLAND - Wallace "Buster" Emilianowicz, 86, of Cumberland, RI, died December 27 in Cincinnati, OH with family.
He was born March 2, 1927 in Pawtucket, RI. Wallace was married to the late Alberta (Kelleher) for 56 years.
Wallace was a WWII veteran. He worked at Collyer Wire as a supervisor for 45 years and retired in 1989. He was a member of the Barney-Merry Masonic Lodge for over 50 years.
PAWTUCKET -- It appears that an arrest has been made in the puppy dumping case, according to a police source.
On Dec. 19, a puppy, locked inside a filthy pet carrier, was found inside a Dumpster near the intersection of Harrison Street and West Avenue.
Animal Control Director John Holmes said the puppy was found at around 7:35 a.m. by some passersby who heard the animal crying and called police. Since the discovery and rescue of the puppy, offers to adopt him have poured into the Pawtucket shelter. Read Donna Kenny Kirwan's complete story in Tuesday's newspaper.
PAWTUCKET â Itâs been over 15 years since city officials decided to color outside the lines and create a geographic area known as an âArts District.â
While legislation that went into effect on Jan. 1 allowing a sales tax exemption on artwork makes the entire state essentially an arts district, many current city officials, business owners and artists agree that the designated zone was a smart move back in 1999 and continues to frame Pawtucket positively.
For full article, see Page 1 of today's Times.
CUMBERLAND â When it came time for Chris Skurka to make the biggest football decision of his life, he turned to a voice of reassurance and clarity.
Alison Skurka, the coachâs wife, had a quick answer. A staunch supporter of her husbandâs pigskin endeavors, Alison gave Chris her blessing to make the jump from head coach at Cumberland High to becoming an assistant at Dean College.
âSheâs allowed me to chase that dream,â said Chris Skurka. âUltimately, it came down to me making a decision about my family and my career as a coach.â
CUMBERLAND â Senior standouts Cody Beaudette and Chris Hayes captured their weight classes to help Cumberland win a close battle for the team championship in this past weekendâs John D. Gorman Memorial Tournament at the Clippersâ Wellness Center.
The Clippers, who returned to the top of the team standings after watching Johnston finish first last year, scored 159.5 points to beat 17 other teams (representing four New England states) and nip runner-up Bristol Eastern of Connecticut by 1.5 points.
LINCOLN â Itâs true: Over the last eight years, Davies Tech compiled a dismal overall league record of 10 wins and 120 losses.
Thatâs a winning percentage of .077. If you follow baseball, think of that as a batting average.
But none of that has bothered second-year head coach Bill Meekins, who truly believes his Patriots are on the upswing. He had proof on Thursday night after his club shelled Ponaganset, 63-47, in a Division III-North clash at Gaskin Alumni Hall.
WOONSOCKET â Since 1996, the Sex Offender Registration and Community Notification Act has made child molesters, rapists and other sexual predators responsible for telling the police where they live so the information can be passed along to the public.
Now, a group of lawmakers from the East Bay section of the state proposes to make those convicted of animal cruelty abide by the same set of community notification rules.
Full story appears on Page 1 of Saturday's Times.
EAST PROVIDENCE â Local firefighters rescued a deer that fell through ice in Narragansett Bay about 150 yards off Bullocks Point Friday afternoon.
Firefighters were called to the scene shortly after 2:30 p.m. for a report of a person falling through the ice. Rescue crews found the deer struggling in the water, attached it to a sled and hauled it back to the shore near 145 Terrace Ave., which overlooks the bay.
Jane M. Carnes
PAWTUCKET - CARNES, Jane M. (Piening) 100, of Pawtucket, died peacefully on January 9, 2014. She was the wife of the late William E. Carnes Sr.
Mrs. Carnes was born in Cincinnati, Ohio. She was the daughter of the late Gus and Mary (Hoelscher) Piening. She was employed by Providence Metalizing Co. of Pawtucket as an office clerk until her retirement. She was a member of St. Maria Goretti Church. Sergeant in the Women's Army Air Corp during WWII, where she met her loving husband. She was a talented seamstress.
Girard A. Gagnon
NORTH ATTLEBORO - Girard "Jerry" A. Gagnon, 83, of North Attleboro, formerly of Plainville, passed away at home on Monday, January 6, 2014. He was the husband of Mary E. (Powell) Gagnon to whom he married on August 22, 1953.
Born in Central Falls, RI on December 17, 1930, he was a son of the late Eugene A. and Lillian A. (Theroux) Gagnon.
Mr. Gagnon proudly served his country in the United States Marine Corps Reserves prior to and then in the United States Army during the Korean War.
PAWTUCKET - Melissa "Missy" Sweeney, 44, of Whipple Street passed away Tuesday, January 8, 2014 at Rhode Island Hospital, Providence.
A lifelong resident of Pawtucket, she was a daughter of Fred Sweeney of Pawtucket and Elaine (St. Jean) George of Lincoln.
Missy was a recruiter for the Sawyer School for several years. She was a member of the Women's Auxiliary of Cumberland Post #14, American Legion, Cumberland.