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January 27th, 2014

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.

January 21st

Central Falls principal mourned

January 21, 2014

CENTRAL FALLS — She was one of the city's own, who had pursued her education and then stayed to help and inspire others, so the news of the sudden passing of Ella Risk Elementary School Principal Maureen Azar cast a pall over the community.

January 20th

New Slater Mill director uses past to look ahead

January 20, 2014

PAWTUCKET — Speaking with Slater Mill Museum’s new executive director Lori Urso, one finds a person who is historically grounded while creatively edgy. That unique blend seems to make her tailor-made to lead the renowned textile industry museum as it looks to expand its reach and mission.

Volunteer painters spruce up the halls of Goff Middle School

January 20, 2014

PAWTUCKET — It was a colorful way to spend Martin Luther King Day. While students and most of the staff enjoyed the Monday off, about 170 AmeriCorps volunteers descended upon Goff Middle School to paint the hallways in cheery citrus yellows and greens.

January 19th

Best Buddies bring together student mentor, special needs youths

January 19, 2014

When Rhode Islanders begin helping out the Meeting Street School with its annual telethon on WPRI Channel 12 Jan. 25, they will be funding, in part, programs for the school’s students that build relationships with students at other schools and the community at large.

One of those programs, Best Buddies, gained the limelight for last year’s fundraiser, as it brought in over $809,000 in nonoperational support for Meeting Street, a sum the school hopes to top this year, according to Meeting Street spokeswoman Amanda Mullen.

For full story, see Monday's Times and Monday's Call, page A1.

January 17th

Moreau returning to RI for court date

January 18, 2014

CENTRAL FALLS — Former Central Falls Mayor Charles Moreau, imprisoned in Maryland on a corruption charge, is being brought back to Rhode Island by a federal judge, reportedly so his case can be reviewed anew.

U.S. District Court Judge John McConnell confirmed that he signed a court order on Tuesday calling for prison officials to transport Moreau to a Providence courtroom on Jan. 29 for a status conference. He said he could not provide any additional comment beyond that.

Full story on Page 1 of Saturday's Times.

Tolman graduate from Senegal loses years-long battle with cancer

January 18, 2014

PAWTUCKET— Four years ago, a brave young man from Senegal, battling cancer that had taken a leg and was threatening his lungs, walked across the Tolman High School stage during a special graduation ceremony held just for him.

Sadly, that young man, named Mouhamadou Sylla, passed away on Jan. 6 after continuing to display amazing courage and infectious positivity despite his worsening medical condition.

For full story, see Page 1 of Saturday's Times.

January 16th

Twin River CEO banking on ‘convenience gaming’

January 16, 2014

LINCOLN – Despite impending competition from both resort-style casinos and slot parlors in Massachusetts, Twin River will remain a “convenience gaming” facility for the foreseeable future, John Taylor, chairman of Twin River Worldwide Holdings, told a business audience Thursday.

The newly-installed table games like blackjack and roulette “are showing a lot of strength,” Taylor said at a breakfast meeting of the Northern Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce at Twin River, but he acknowledged that “the slots business is softening a bit.”

For full story, see Page 1 of Friday's Times.

High school grad rates on rise

January 16, 2014

PAWTUCKET — Although the official data hasn’t been released yet from the state, Schools Superintendent Deborah Cylke says the graduation rates at both Shea and Tolman high schools have improved dramatically under the state-imposed “transformation” plan.

January 15th

Just in: Man shot on Broadway

January 15, 2014

PAWTUCKET — Pawtucket Police are investigating the shooting of a young man who was injured while walking on Broadway at around 3:45 p.m. on Wednesday.

Detective Capt. John Seebeck said the man had been walking near 300 Broadway when he sustained a gunshot wound to the buttock. He said the injury appeared to be non-life-threatening, and he was transported to Rhode Island Hospital.

Seebeck declined to provide the victim's name or other details in the case, citing the ongoing investigation.

For full story, see Thursday's print edition of The Times.

In case you missed it: City problems bite pols with bigger ambitions

January 15, 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 week’s newspapers.
Two Republicans with aspirations for higher office — 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 – are getting jammed up by their day jobs in their quest to climb the greasy pole of political ambition.

January 14th

Hodgson challenges Kilmartin for AG

January 15, 2014

PROVIDENCE – State Sen. Dawson Hodgson began his bid for the attorney general’s 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.

Hodgson also outlined what he called “an aggressive and timely legislative agenda” for what will be his last year in the Senate, including everything from mandatory prison sentences for possessing illegal firearms to an aerial drone privacy policy.

 

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