Archive - Jul 2011 - News Article
CENTRAL FALLS â City retirees seem to be spurning Receiver Robert Flandersâ proposal to reduce their pension and medical benefits, a course Flanders last week warned could result in the city filing for bankruptcy.
Flanders said he would make an announcement on Monday, but did not specify what it would be about.
PAWTUCKET â As with training a new puppy, the Pawtucket Dog Park in Slater Park is undergoing some trial and error. Yet, city officials say the facility is proving to be successful overall and believe that some recent problems and complaints are being addressed.
To that end, new signage has been added that notifies dog park patrons that, per city ordinance, there is no smoking allowed and that no pit bulls are allowed anywhere within the city limits.
PROVIDENCE â Named for the indefatigable fighter for the poor and sick, the Henry Shelton Act, which will allow low-income Rhode Islanders to pay a percentage of their income for gas and electric utility bills instead of the full metered amount, and will restrict the ability of utilities to shut off service for non-payment was ceremonially signed by Gov. Lincoln Chafee Thursday.
ATTLEBORO â While the closed County Street Bridge has been a source of frustration to local residents for over five years, the newly designed span that opened Thursday morning instilled nothing but pride in those that were there to witness its debut.
CENTRAL FALLS â Call it a textbook definition of volunteerism. Thanks to a group of people who are donating their time, Central Falls residents will once again have access to the city's public library, which was recently closed due to the severe budget crisis.
Beginning Monday, Aug. 1, the Adams Memorial Library, at 205 Central Avenue, will be open from 12 noon to 5 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
While the hours are now limited, Adams Board member Tom Shannahan is hoping to expand the schedule if more volunteers are willing to come forward to help out.
PAWTUCKET â The Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island has named Martin E. Tursky president and chief executive officer effective Oct. 1. Tursky succeeds current President and CEO Francis R. Dietz who will be retiring after serving at the helm of the hospital for 47 years.
Tursky was recruited, after a nationwide search in 2010, to serve as Memorialâs executive vice president and chief operating officer. Over the past year he has been working closely with Dietz and the existing administration.
PAWTUCKET â A vacant commercial building that once housed a furniture store and was later known as a source for Halloween costumes, party supplies and quirky novelties, was destroyed Monday night by a fire of unknown origin.
While the cause of the fire remains under investigation, city records show that the building had been cited for several building code violations, and the latest owners were scheduled for a hearing on outstanding violations in Municipal Court next Friday.
PAWTUCKET â A four-alarm fire broke out on the second and third floors at the site of the former Morris Novelty store, located at 523 Main St., on Monday night, causing every department in the city to respond.
Fire Chief William Sisson stated the blaze began at about 8:15 p.m., and that no one was in the building at the time.
PAWTUCKET â The frantic calls can be found almost daily in the police log: a husband âoff his medsâ and threatening to harm someone, a live-in girlfriend drunk and violently smashing furniture inside an apartment, a teenage son or daughter âout of controlâ and sounding suicidal.
As always, police officers respond with the intentâas they have been trained--to get the crisis situation under control as quickly as possible.
PAWTUCKET â How much more wear and tear can the century-old Division Street Bridge take from the I-95 truck detours before costly repairs have to be made? That is the million dollar question that City Councilors were asking this week following a state inspection report that listed the bridge as being in âfairâ condition.
PROVIDENCE â The statewide Grand Jury reported the indictments of two Pawtucket residents Friday.
Anthony Berard, 27, was charged with one count of first degree sexual assault and one count of possession of cocaine. It is alleged that on or about Jan. 30, 2011, Berard sexually assaulted a woman, with that assault being in the first degree. The alleged sexual assault took place in Warwick. It is further alleged that on or about March 11, 2011, Berard possessed cocaine, an incident alleged to have taken place in Pawtucket.
PROVIDENCE (AP) â A Rhode Island Superior Court judge has ruled that the Central Falls City Council can convene to advise the state-appointed receiver overseeing the city's troubled finances but must pay expenses related to the monthslong legal battle.
NEW YORK (AP) â The urban Northeast baked like a potato wrapped in foil Friday as record-breaking, 100-degree temperatures and steambath humidity combined with the heat-trapping effects of asphalt and concrete to make millions of people miserable.
The mercury in Newark, N.J., reached 108, the highest temperature ever recorded in the city. Philadelphia hit 104. Boston and Teterboro, N.J., reached 102 and Providence, R.I., 100. New York City hit 104 degrees, just 2 short of its all-time high, and with the oppressive humidity, it felt like 113.
WOONSOCKET â Former Gov. Bruce Sundlun died Thursday at the age of 91, leaving what is likely to be viewed as a significant but controversial impact on the state he headed for two terms in the Governorâs office.
Sundlun, who ran three times to win his first term as Governor in 1991, put the wheels in motion for construction of the stateâs modern T.F. Green Airport in Warwick by the time he left office.
But it was his decision to close the stateâs credit unions and banks shortly after being sworn-in in January 1991 that drew the strongest emotions about him among city residents on Thursday.
Dave Egan's rose-red face glistened with sweat as he sought out a sliver of cool shade beside his box truck in Woonsocket to escape the fast-rising morning temperatures.
Foreman of an outdoor labor crew for Providence & Worcester Railroad, Egan was working in air that made breathing seem more like inhaling a bowl of flavorless, hot soup.
Throw in the dust kicked up amid the screaming whine of an asphalt-cutting power saw, and creosote fumes that mix with perspiration to create a solution that literally burns the skin, and it added up to a scorching day at the office.
PAWTUCKET â Joanne Palazzo knew she'd see a lot of humorous incidents when the Pawtucket Dog Park opened back on June 11.
She stated she didn't plan on witnessing one so heartrending.
âLast Friday, we saw an older boxer playing around with some other dogs, but all of a sudden he went down; he evidently hurt his hip, I don't know how,â recalled Palazzo, Co-Chair of the Pawtucket Dog Park Committee under Chairwoman Sheryl Rennick. âYou could tell he was in some serious pain, and everyone ran over to help him.
PROVIDENCE â From humble beginnings nearly a century ago, through good times and bad, the Rhode Island Foundation has grown its endowment to a whopping $565 million.
But the state's leading philanthropic organization knows that no matter how much it grows the pot, it's never going to be big enough.
âThere are always more good ideas than we can fund,â says Owen Heleen, RIF's vice president for grant programs. âThat's why we're always challenged to support more and more of the good ideas that come our way.â
CENTRAL FALLS â State-appointed Receiver Robert Flanders had called it âthe Big Ask.â
He invited about 150 retired police, fire and municipal employees to the high school auditorium and asked them to sign on to a proposal to cut the pensions they are living on by as much as 50 percent as well as a health insurance program that would require them to pay 20 percent of their premiums for the first time and co-pay 20 percent of the subsequent costs, including hospitalization.
WOONSOCKET â Creating a new national park encompassing the Blackstone River and its tributaries, the historic Slater Mill in Pawtucket and existing historic districts in Cumberland, North Smithfield and two Massachusetts communities is the National Park Service's favored option for replacing the heritage corridor concept.
In a long-awaited report released yesterday, the park service says the continuation of the John H. Chafee Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor as it currently exists is still one of three options under consideration.
PAWTUCKET â Despite a tough economy, Blackstone Valley Community Health Care broke ground Monday morning on a $6.7 million new medical complex at 33 East Ave.
The 32,000 square-foot building, to be located adjacent to BVCHC's dental clinic at 210 Main St., is scheduled to open in September, 2012. According to BVCHC officials, the three-story medical complex will create a single âmedical campusâ where a diagnostic laboratory, pharmacy, dental, behavioral health and general medicine will be available to patients under one roof.