Archive - 2014 - News Article
Editor's note: This column first appeared in The Times on Feb. 17. Read Jim Baron's column every Monday in The Times and The Call.
In the end, despite all their bravado and bluffing, neither the unions nor the state officials battling over the 2011 pension reform law wanted to take their chances on how the five wise souls of the RI Supreme Court would rule on the constitutional issue at stake: Can the General Assembly make legislative changes to employee pensions after the workers and retirees have spent their careers paying into the system?
PAWTUCKETâ€”An intoxicated man accused a Pawtucket Police officer of striking him with his cruiser outside of a Walgreens pharmacy early Monday evening and then threatened a group of witnesses at knifepoint who sided with the officer, Pawtucket Police said.
PAWTUCKET â€” In a nod to the current economy, the city and Pawtucket firefighters' union have agreed to a new, three-year contract that offers more in the way of job stability than pay increases. The City Council will be considering the pact for approval at Wednesday night's council meeting.
PAWTUCKET â€” Another ceiling collapse, this time in an unused room at Slater Middle School, has prompted an emergency meeting of the School Committee to be held Monday night.
Interim Schools Supt. Patti DiCenso said the room, across from the assistant principalâ€™s office, had been closed off for occupancy due to concerns about the stability of the ceiling during an inspection of the cityâ€™s older school buildings last summer. The inspection had been called after a drop ceiling in a basement classroom at the Potter-Burns Elementary School gave way last fall.
PAWTUCKET â€” It was an invitation that four young men could have done without.
Pawtucket Police say five people were arrested Sunday after allegedly pistol-whipping and robbing four men who had been lured to an after-hours party in the basement of a house at 85 Daniels St.
LINCOLN â€“ Town Administrator T. Joseph Almond will propose a revised plan to construct an addition to the police headquarters wing of the municipal complex when he presents his fiscal 2015 budget to the Budget Board on Wednesday.
The project to add a two-story addition and renovate the existing police department space had been proposed as a two-phase project last year, with the initial phase of approximately $1.9 million being appropriated for the new construction.
PROVIDENCE â€“ A complex and intricate proposed settlement of the lawsuits challenging the watershed 2011 pension reform law provides minor sweeteners in benefits to state and municipal employees and retirees while preserving the lionâ€™s share of the savings to state and local taxpayers.
PAWTUCKET â€” In an apparent case of pet hoarding that has spiraled out of control, city officials on Friday condemned a house at 403 Liverpool St. and removed 17 animals that resided there.
The change from heavy snow to rain as another storm battered the area Thursday afternoon had area highway department officials crossing their fingers that it might also mean a reprieve in the use of rock salt for the storm.
Rock salt is mixed with the sand highway departments lay down on roads as part of their storm cleanup efforts and has been in short supply this season due to the wide reach of winter weather across the country.
PAWTUCKET â€” Their ranks might be small in number, but the Pawtucket Republicans are a unified group who are still meet regularly and maintain a voice in their party's statewide organization.
PROVIDENCE â€“ With Colorado and Washington State having legalized the possession and sale of recreational marijuana earlier this year, and a poll of Rhode Island voters showing 53 percent of Rhode Islanders favoring the legalization, regulation and taxing of the drug for sale to adults, legislation to do just that has been introduced in the General Assembly.
CENTRAL FALLS â€” Due to declining enrollment and financial deficits, the Square Mile City is losing its only Catholic school.
The St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Academy, located at 909 Lonsdale Ave., will close at the end of the school year, according to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence. The news was announced to faculty, staff and parents by letter on Tuesday, and an informational meeting for parents was scheduled for Wednesday night at the school.
PAWTUCKETâ€”Lloyd E. Mumford, Sr. admits he wasn't there when Pawtucket Police arrested his son on a domestic violence warrant on January 30, but he says he doesn't like what he sees in a video taken by someone who was.
PAWTUCKET â€” A multifamily house on Sisson Street that was shot at on Jan. 24 was sprayed with several bullets again late Sunday night, Pawtucket Police said.
Just before midnight, police received a call that someone had fired shots at the window of a house at 182 Sisson St. Police found the remains of a spent round of ammunition between two panes of glass, but no one was injured.
PROVIDENCE â€“ After more than a year of haggling cloaked in the secrecy of a Superior Court judgeâ€™s gag order, lawyers for Gov. Lincoln Chafee, General Treasurer Gina Raimondo and several state and municipal employee unions appear to have reached a settlement in the unionsâ€™ challenge to the landmark 2011 pension reform law, called the R.I. Retirement Security Act.
But no deal can be consummated until it is, in effect, ratified by the General Assembly, which would have to vote to approve any changes to the law they passed in a special legislative session more than two years ago.
Jared Zampini of West Warwick was never really into G.I. Joes as a kid. He liked monsters instead and Joe hardly ever tangled with one of those.
When Zampini, 31, was growing up in the 1980s, the popular G.I. Joe action figure had morphed into characters like â€śDuke,â€ť â€śRoadblock,â€ť â€śGung-Ho,â€ť and other fictional anti-terror fighters from the G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero toy line, comic books and cartoon series.
This year, G.I. Joe turns 50 and even though heâ€™s half-a century old and a bit long in the tooth, he can still kick butt.
PAWTUCKET â€” The news about a rise in heroin overdoses in Rhode Island, coupled with the national coverage of the apparent heroin-related death of actor Phillip Seymour Hoffman, has thrust the centuries-old opioid in the spotlight. Yet, while itâ€™s acknowledged by police and medical professionals that a â€śbad batchâ€ť of heroin is making the rounds â€” one that is laced with the powerful synthetic drug fentanyl â€” the problem of a seeming resurgence of the hippie-era drug is complex and delves into areas of accessibility and affordability.
PAWTUCKET â€“ It's a sweet tradition that dates back to the 1930s: Girl Scout Cookies. Girl Scouts of the USA has declared Feb. 7-8 â€śNational Girl Scout Cookie Weekend.â€ť Girl Scouts nationwide are asking their communities to celebrate by purchasing cookies to help girls reach their goals.
PROVIDENCE â€“ Local talk radio hosts are having no end of fun with a Florida TV stationâ€™s identification of Attorney General Peter Kilmartin as a â€śSarasota resident,â€ť and now state Sen. Dawson Hodgson, a Republican candidate for attorney general, is adding questions of his own.
Kilmartin, whose full-time residence is in Pawtucket, has a vacation home in Sarasota where he stayed during a recent January vacation. While there, he and his wife, Kristine, visited the Sarasota Arts Festival, and he was buttonholed by a local TV reporter for a comment on the event.
CENTRAL FALLS â€” The body of the person found inside a car that had been submerged in the Blackstone River has been identified as Angela Rivera, a 62-year-old Pawtucket woman who had been reported missing in March 2011.
The car, a light blue Toyota Camry, had been spotted underwater on Tuesday morning by state employees who had been doing work on a barge in and around the underside of the bridge near 1420 Broad St. When the vehicle was towed from the water, it was determined that a body was inside.
Full story appears on page A1 of today's Times.