Archive - 2013 - News Article
CUMBERLAND â On Friday, March 15, students at Cumberland High School had Aydan Nyberg in their hearts â and on their sleeves.
Aydan, an eight-year-old student of the Cumberland Hill Elementary School, has been battling cancer since age 3 and has inspired the high school to show support for him in a variety of ways, including wearing orange-colored clothing â because orange is his favorite color â and holding a number of fundraising projects.
PAWTUCKET â New England Gold & Silver has centered its business around offering customers cash for their unwanted gold and silver. Now, just one year later, the success of that model has allowed for an expansion into the retail jewelry trade.
CENTRAL FALLS â Central Falls Mayor James Diossa has appointed long-time city resident and community leader Sonia Grace as his chief of staff.
The new post, which will help oversee department operations in the city, replaces the position of administrative assistant to the mayor at no additional cost to taxpayers, thanks to cost-saving measures implemented by Diossa, including his taking a 10-percent pay cut, removing the mayor's car allowance and finding 25 percent savings in portions of the legal budget.
PAWTUCKET â School officials say that the recent cockroach problem at the Cunningham Elementary School has been addressed and the kitchen is expected to re-open by early next week.
The kitchen at the school at 40 Baldwin Street was closed after a food service worker discovered several cockroaches present on Feb. 25. School officials said that the central administration was notified about the cockroaches and a pest control contractor was immediately called in to spray the area.
PAWTUCKET â Faced with a nearly $150 million unfunded liability in what it calls âour severely troubled police and fire (pension) plan,â the city is asking 350 public safety retirees to forego their annual cost of living adjustment (COLA) for the next three years.
PAWTUCKET â Using a district-wide initiative called âWrite On!â has paid off in a big way for the city's public school students, as they showed some improvements in writing and reading scores on the standardized tests administered last fall.
PAWTUCKET â Residential foreclosures dropped 11.4 percent statewide in 2012, but Central Falls, Pawtucket and Woonsocket still have some of the highest foreclosure rates in the state, a new survey says.
The HousingWorks RI survey says 37 foreclosure deeds were filed in Central Falls in 2012, 14 percent fewer than 2011. But the rate of foreclosures represented 3.1 percent of the cityâs overall housing stock, making it the stateâs top city in the state for foreclosures.
EAST PROVIDENCE â The first phase of the Forbes Street solar farm project has received preliminary plan approval from the East Providence Planning Board and is slated for construction this spring.
Final steps are in process for regulatory closure of the former landfill through approval of the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management. Once these closure issues are finalized, construction of the first project, consisting of a three-megawatt solar array facility, will commence.
PAWTUCKET â The city administration's recent announcement that it ended fiscal year 2012 in the black is certainly good news, although a deeper look shows that this result came about because of some bold strategies as well as a little luck.
Last week, it was announced that an annual audit showed Pawtucket's municipal budget ended FY12 with a surplus of $2.7 million. A press release stated that the surplus was achieved by total revenues exceeding budgeted spending allocations, with positive revenues due to tight fiscal controls, tax receipts, interest on taxes and state aid.
LINCOLN â Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse and Rep. David Cicilline are teaming up to reverse what they say is a perverse incentive in the U.S. Tax Code that provides a tax break to companies that move American jobs to other countries.
PAWTUCKET â After the City Council questioned a new $53,200-$58,800 âcommunity/business communications liaisonâ that the Grebien Administration is seeking to create, the mayorâs response last week was a letter talking about his economic development efforts.
In a letter to Council President David Moran, Grebien said his administration has made progress in economic development during the past two years.
CUMBERLAND â The Town Council last week approved a resolution authorizing Mayor Daniel J. McKee to enter into a contract agreement with Birchwood Design Group, a Providence-based landscape architecture planning and design firm chosen by the town to replace the natural grass football field at Tucker Field with synthetic turf as part of the Tucker Field Athletic Complex renovation project.
LINCOLN (AP) â An envelope containing white powder sent to the Community College of Rhode Island in Lincoln that forced a campus-wide evacuation has been found to be non-hazardous.
The college canceled classes at the Flanagan campus on Friday afternoon after a professor received an envelope containing an unknown substance. Campus officials notified the Lincoln police and fire departments.
The school said later the substance was found to be a sugar-based product. A sample is being sent to the state Department of Health for further testing.
PAWTUCKET â The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RI DOT) will temporarily close Exit 27 (downtown) from I-95 southbound in Pawtucket for approximately six weeks beginning Monday, March 18.
This closure will allow for the demolition of the temporary exit ramp, as well as the transition to the permanent exit to downtown Pawtucket through the Pawtucket River Bridge Replacement Project.
PAWTUCKET â Despite a name like âRebels,â Jeanne Michaud says she wants to attract a more peaceful clientele to the Smithfield Avenue bar that is currently known as Corina's Pub.
Michaud, of Uxbridge, Mass., appeared at a public hearing on Wednesday before the City Council's Board of License Commissioners to speak about her request to obtain a transfer of liquor and food licenses. She told the board that she plans to lease the existing space to operate a pub, featuring live music, with her daughter.
CUMBERLAND â A 32-year-old Woonsocket man and a 21-year-old Cumberland man have been charged in connection with the stabbing of a man at a Broad Street bar late Monday night, police said.
Clarence Mowry, of Woonsocket, was arrested early Tuesday morning by Cumberland police and charged with conspiracy, simple assault and disorderly conduct. He was arraigned before the 6th District Court and released with surety bail.
Shawn Plunkett, of Cumberland, was taken into custody around noon Tuesday and charged with assault with a dangerous weapon.
PAWTUCKETâ Itâs official. The city has a five-year contract with MTG Disposal LLC to handle its sanitation and recycling services.
CUMBERLAND â Maria Rosa Takuma opened her contracting firm, Harmony Design and Construction, in Cumberland but has since relocated to Providence because there werenât as many programs for minority businesses in town than there were in the capital city.
EAST PROVIDENCE â The city is soliciting proposals for 2013 Small Cities Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds for community development and housing needs and will hold a public hearing on the application Thursday evening.
The hearing will give residents the chance to offer input on which projects should be prioritized in the city's grant application, due in May. This year, the city is applying for $620,175 in grant funding, which will be available for programming during the fiscal year that begins July 1 and ends June 30, 2014.
PAWTUCKET â A first-ever âParents for Peaceful Communitiesâ conference will be held at Jenks Junior High School, 350 Division St. (across from McCoy Stadium), on Saturday, March 9 from 8 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. The conference is intended to afford parents the opportunity to receive important information through workshops related to their childrenâs educational achievement and interact with other parents to help build a safer, more informed and more peaceful community.