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February 3rd, 2014

Cumberland council to weigh pacts for police, rescue chiefs

February 3, 2014

CUMBERLAND — The Town Council Wednesday will consider resolutions authorizing Mayor Daniel J. McKee to enter into new three-year employment contracts for Police Chief John R. Desmarais, Director of Rescue Services Sean Thompson and Water Superintendent J. Christopher Champi.

The council's finance subcommittee voted to endorse the three contract agreements, which total $232,900, and forward them to the council as resolutions.

The council meeting begins at 7:30 p.m. at Town Hall, 45 Broad St.

Full story appears on page A1 of Tuesday's Times and Tuesday's Call.

RI Brew Fest leaving a sweet aftertaste for local beermakers

February 3, 2014

PAWTUCKET — For the craft beer lover, nothing brews interest like a gathering of some 40 local vendors, all under one roof. According to event organizer Matt Gray, over 600 people attended the Rhode Island Brew Fest winter event at the Pawtucket Armory on Saturday, which was a record crowd for its second year.

February 2nd

Pawtucket native staging art show in California

February 2, 2014

PAWTUCKET — Pawtucket native Joseph McGowan has been on a long artistic journey since he began making decorative mirrors as a teenager back in the 1970s. That journey took him to the West Coast, where he is proud to be participating in a three-month art exhibit called “Through the Looking Glass” at the Art Works Gallery in his hometown of Riverside, Calif.

McGowan will be one of three featured artists, along with Laura Ryan and Tracy Cantwell, who are taking part in the exhibit. The opening night is Thursday, Feb. 6, and McGowan will be reading some of his poetry during the evening.

January 31st

Armory will be hopping for R.I. Brew Fest today

January 31, 2014

PAWTUCKET — Craft beer aficionados will have much to celebrate today when the second annual Rhode Island Brew Fest Winter opens its doors at the Pawtucket Armory on Exchange Street.

Starting at 1 p.m., hundreds of craft beer fans will gather to sample brews from more than 40 breweries and meet the people behind the kegs and casks of some of the Ocean State’s most popular microbreweries.

Full story appears on page A1 of today's Times and today's Call.

NECAP reading scores rise; math remains concern

January 31, 2014

PAWTUCKET — The latest round of scores on the state’s high-stakes standardized tests are in, and they show that both Pawtucket and the Central Falls school districts have made strides in reading, particularly at the secondary school level.

However, there is still much work to be done in mathematics, as in a majority of school districts across the state, where the test scores were flat when it came to showing improvement or downright disappointing.

Full story can be found on page A1 of Saturday's Times.

January 30th

‘Erin’s Law’ bill to battle sex abuse of kids

January 31, 2014

PROVIDENCE — Two Pawtucket lawmakers want to require schools to give age-appropriate education in the prevention of child abduction, child sexual exploitation and child sexual abuse.

The bill, with other laws and proposals like it in other states, is called “Erin’s Law,” after Erin Merryn, a young girl in Schaumburg, Ill., who, starting at the age of 6, was repeatedly raped for two-and-a-half years by a neighbor and then, when she was 11, she was molested by a teenaged cousin.

Full story can be found on page A1 of Friday's Times and Call.

Moreau’s status conference kept private

January 31, 2014

PROVIDENCE — There was no word on any decision regarding the case of former Central Falls Mayor Charles Moreau following a status conference held on Thursday in U.S. District Court.

A status conference concerning Moreau’s corruption case, for which he was convicted on a federal fraud charge, was scheduled for 9:30 a.m. before Judge John J. McConnell, Jr. Reporters were not allowed into the chambers where the conference was held.

POLITICS AS USUAL: Being liberal is cool again

January 30, 2014

Editor's note: This column was published in The Times on Jan. 27, 2014:

It looks like Democrats in the 2014 gubernatorial primary are about to be vexed by the same Catch-22 that confounds Republican candidates for president: What they have to do and say to win their party’s nomination in the primary could spell doom in the general election.
If the nascent Democratic primary race for governor next year has showed us anything so far, it is that being liberal is becoming cool again.

January 29th

Facebook bill to be debated at Statehouse

January 30, 2014

PROVIDENCE – If you are applying for a job, should your prospective employer be able to demand the password to your Facebook or other social media account? Should schools and colleges be able to require students or applicants to allow access to restricted portions of their social media profiles?

With sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Meetup gaining popularity, and new sites finding their way onto the Internet with increasing frequency, two state legislators say employees and students should not be forced to share their online lives with people at work or school.

January 28th

AG wants life without parole for alleged child-killer

January 28, 2014

PAWTUCKET —Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin has filed a notice in Superior Court that his office will seek life without the possibility for parole in the case against Jorge DePina, who is charged with the murder of his 10-year old daughter last summer. Full story in Wednesday's Times.

NEW: Convicted ex-mayor due in court

January 28, 2014

CENTRAL FALLS—The federal court hearing for former Central Falls Mayor Charles Moreau, related to a review of his case that could possibly lead to an early release from prison, has been moved to Thursday, Jan. 30, at 9:30 a.m.
Moreau, imprisoned in Maryland on a corruption charge, will appear for a status conference before U.S. District Court Judge John J. McConnell.

January 27th

Pell releases gubernatorial announcement via video

January 27, 2014

Announcing his arrival on the political scene with a video on his website, Clay Pell is now the fourth Democrat hoping to be elected governor in November.

Pell will formally kick off his campaign later today at the R.I. Convention Center, but said in the two-minute, 30-second video released Monday that “I believe I can restore hope and economic growth in our state.”

Full story appears on page A1 of Tuesday's Times and A2 of Tuesday's Call.

Fire damages rehab center

January 27, 2014

PAWTUCKET — A blaze sparked by a carelessly discarded cigarette caused damage to a porch and some walls at a residential substance abuse treatment center on Summit Street Saturday afternoon.

The fire was reported at the Robert J. Wilson House at 80 Summit Street at around 1:11 p.m. Fire Capt. Robert Thurber, the city’s fire marshal, said that someone dropped a lit cigarette on an exterior porch and the porch floor caught fire and spread up and into a first floor wall. He said the cause was considered accidental.

January 26th

Author turns new language into old friend

January 26, 2014

PAWTUCKET — For people who are foreign-born, even those who have mastered the English language, imagine their confusion when they hear someone say they had to “jump though hoops” to get a job. Or their friend “really pushes the envelope” sometimes. Or that joke just “cracked me up.”

Jimmy Gyasi Boateng experienced this when he emigrated from his native Ghana more than 33 years ago. Growing up in the West African British colony, English was even his primary language, but it didn't take him long to realize that the formal style used there differed greatly from the way most Americans spoke.

January 24th

Recycling’s a big hit at Pawtucket public housing

January 24, 2014

PAWTUCKET — With the right communication and a little education (especially to the younger generation), city residents are willing to embrace recycling. One of the clearest examples is at 560 Prospect Street, where the city's largest public housing complex is recycling at an admirable 100 percent rate.

Food, crafts at Pawtucket village no longer just for late summer

January 24, 2014

PAWTUCKET — The snow and bitter cold may have some winter-weary folks pining for the dog days of summer and fresh fruits and vegetables, but you don’t have to wait until late August to buy locally-produced, high-quality foods and crafts.

A winter’s harvest is available at Farm Fresh Rhode Island’s indoor wintertime farmers’ market at the Hope Artiste Village in Pawtucket, where more than 70 vendors this year are offering everything from fresh baked pies to locally produced eggs and dairy.

Full story appears on page A1 of Saturday's Times.

January 23rd

Taveras: Raise minimum wage to $10.10 by 2018

January 23, 2014

PROVIDENCE — With the Democratic primary race for governor looking increasingly like a run to the left, candidate Angel Taveras came out of the gate Thursday with a plan to increase the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour by 2018.

Diossa reaches out to CFHS students, swears in Youth Council

January 23, 2014

CENTRAL FALLS — When Central Falls Mayor James Diossa took the helm of the state’s smallest city in December 2012, he was only 27, and one of his campaign promises was to engage the city’s youngest residents and give them an opportunity to be part of his plan to improve the city’s image and help him lead it out of bankruptcy.

On Thursday, Diossa made good on that promise when he swore in five Central Falls High School students to the city’s first Mayor’s Youth Council.

Full story appears on Page 1 of Friday's Times.

POLITICS AS USUAL: Do you think Chafee failed?

January 23, 2014

Editor's note: Jim Baron's column, Politics As Usual, appears on Mondays in The Times. The column below was first published in The Times on Jan. 20, 2014.

Ever since Gov. Lincoln Chafee announced last September that he would not seek another term at the Statehouse, reporters have been nagging him to say what he thinks his legacy should be or what he would like it to be.
I think we got that answer last week, with Chafee’s final State of the State address.

January 22nd

Storm leaves frosty air, piles of powder

January 23, 2014

The second snowstorm of 2014 dumped about 6 inches of light, powdery snow on Pawtucket.

“It wasn’t a horrible storm, but the timing was an issue,” Pawtucket Public Works Director Lance Hill said Wednesday. “It started just before rush hour and when you have traffic on the road packing down the snow it makes it extremely difficult to remove.”

The total snow accumulation in Pawtucket was 6 inches.
Pawtucket’s Public Works Department plows and sands more than 180 miles of roadway.

 

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