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March 21st, 2013

Hearing is battleground for same-sex marriage debate

March 21, 2013

PROVIDENCE — With the Senate the acknowledged battleground in the same-sex marriage debate this year, proponents and opponents started lining up at 9 a.m. Thursday for a Judiciary Committee hearing scheduled to start at about 5 p.m. By noon people were sitting on the floor along the wall in one long corridor in the Statehouse and the line already snaked around the corner.

Photojournalist plans photo essay of the city

March 21, 2013

PAWTUCKET — He's tackled such subjects as street people in New York City and three generations of Welfare recipients, and has done photo shoots with the likes of Henry Kissinger, Hilary Clinton, Norman Mailer and Bianca Jagger. Now, photojournalist Jesse Nemerofsky is focusing his lens on the city of Pawtucket.

March 20th


March 20, 2013

A lone horse grazes in the snow at Ballard's Farm in Lincoln after an overnight storm left a few inches.

Rep. Langevin attends Mass at Vatican for Pope Francis

March 20, 2013

Witnessing the investiture of Pope Francis at the Vatican was “one of the most exciting, moving, meaningful experiences I’ve ever had,” Congressman James Langevin said shortly after the rite ended on Tuesday.

Police/fire pension fix not going to be easy

March 20, 2013

PAWTUCKET — If it could be talked about in human terms, everyone involved acknowledges that the city's police and fire pension fund is sick...critical, in fact. And everyone is in agreement that life-saving measures must be taken. Yet, the way to go about restoring the plan to good health is being viewed differently by the various parties involved, although at some point, a consensus will have to be reached.

March 19th


March 19, 2013

Kayla Silva, of Zaccagnini's Pastry Shoppe at 546 Smithfield Ave. in Pawtucket, brings out another tray of fresh-made Zeppoles, which were selling like hot cakes on Saturday. They will be available through today — St. Joseph's Day. According to manager Rose Cabral, the store will sell 10,000 of the sweet custard treats. Zaccagnini's has another
location at 2339 Diamond Hill Rd. in Cumberland.

Council to take up pension funding improvement plan Wednesday night

March 19, 2013

CUMBERLAND — The town council Wednesday will consider a resolution authorizing Mayor Daniel J. McKee to submit to the state a funding improvement plan for the town pension system. The council meeting begins at 7:30 p.m. at Town Hall, 45 Broad St.
The Rhode Island Retirement Security Act of 2011 also requires that the town create a funding plan to improve the funded percentage of its pension fund to 60 percent within the next 20 years.

City’s rental market mirrors the state’s

March 19, 2013

PAWTUCKET — As local apartment dwellers know all too well, the cost of renting these days is not in synch with the current job market, average wages and unemployment rate. According to a report released last week from the Low Income Housing Coalition, Rhode Island has the 17th highest rental costs in the U.S., which means that many renters, particularly those at the low end of the earning spectrum, are having difficulty finding affordable apartments.

March 17th

Reminder: RI DOT to shut down Exit 27 Monday

March 17, 2013

PAWTUCKET — The state Department of Transportation (RI DOT) will temporarily close Exit 27 (downtown) from I-95 southbound in Pawtucket for about six weeks beginning Monday.
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.


March 17, 2013

Cumberland High School art students, from left, Lynn Nachampasak, Emily Feng and Lauren Riley copy a Monet painting of waterlilies onto the wall of the Art Department. Art teachers Betsy MacDonald and Lauren Scotto said they encouraged their students to do the painting as a way to promote art in the school. The three seniors are all accomplished artists and will leave a memorable work for their peers,
according to Scotto. The project has blossomed into creations of art in other areas of the school, including an Andy Warhol ‘Astronaut’ for a wall near the Science Department.

Students support local boy by wearing ocean of orange

March 17, 2013

CUMBERLAND — On Friday, March 15, students at Cumberland High School had Aydan Nyberg in their hearts — 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 — because orange is his favorite color — and holding a number of fundraising projects.

March 15th

Pawtucket gold-buying business now offering retail jewelry

March 15, 2013

PAWTUCKET — 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.

March 14th

Diossa appoints new chief of staff -- Sonia Grace

March 14, 2013

CENTRAL FALLS — 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.

Cunningham Elementary kitchen to reopen next week

March 14, 2013

PAWTUCKET — 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.

Retirees asked to forego their COLAs

March 14, 2013

PAWTUCKET – Faced with a nearly $150 million unfunded liability in what it calls “our severely troubled police and fire (pension) plan,” the city is asking 350 public safety retirees to forego their annual cost of living adjustment (COLA) for the next three years.

Cylke: Some good news in NECAP scores

March 14, 2013

PAWTUCKET — Using a district-wide initiative called “Write On!” 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.

Survey: Valley’s urban core highest in RI foreclosures

March 14, 2013

PAWTUCKET – 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 city’s overall housing stock, making it the state’s top city in the state for foreclosures.

March 13th

E.P. solar farm to be constructed this spring

March 13, 2013

EAST PROVIDENCE — 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.

Luck, bold moves led to budget surplus

March 13, 2013

PAWTUCKET — 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.

Lawmakers look to fix tax code quirk

March 13, 2013

LINCOLN – 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.


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