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March 19th, 2013

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.

March 12th

Grebien letter defends economic record, doesn’t address ‘community liason’ job

March 12, 2013

PAWTUCKET — After the City Council questioned a new $53,200-$58,800 “community/business communications liaison” that the Grebien Administration is seeking to create, the mayor’s 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.

March 11th

Grass be gone: Cumberland to install turf at Tucker Field

March 11, 2013

CUMBERLAND — 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.

March 9th

Powder at CCRI-Lincoln deemed non-hazardous

March 9, 2013

LINCOLN (AP) — 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.

RI DOT to close Exit 27 temporarily

March 9, 2013

PAWTUCKET — 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.

New owner of Corina's Pub looks to change clientele

March 9, 2013

PAWTUCKET — Despite a name like “Rebels,” 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.

March 5th

Two Valley men charged in stabbing

March 5, 2013

CUMBERLAND — 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.


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