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January 8th, 2012

Once shy, crooner Cerbo making it big

January 8, 2012

PROVIDENCE – Call Tony Cerbo the very definition of enigma.
As a painfully shy teen, he abhorred being in the limelight and wasn't attracted to music, especially singing.
Nowadays, he revels in belting out tunes made famous by Frank Sinatra and Michael Buble before sizable crowds at restaurants, clubs, weddings and receptions throughout southeastern New England.
In fact, back on Dec. 15, this self-described “self-made crooner” starred in his fourth annual “Home for Christmas Dinner Show” at the B. Pinelli's Restaurant ballroom in East Providence, and claimed he had “a blast” doing it.

THE WRITE STUFF - Lincoln native finishes screenplay

January 8, 2012

LINCOLN – As always, Ron Truppa came home from Los Angeles a few days before Christmas to spend the holidays with his parents, Ron Sr. and Lori, and other family members.
This time, though, the 36-year-old Lincoln native and Hollywood film writer, producer and director returned to his old Bridle Drive abode with some thrilling news.

January 6th

Fire displaces 15, injures 4 firefighters

January 6, 2012

PAWTUCKET — A fire in a multi-family apartment house at 111 Randall St. on Friday injured four Pawtucket firefighters and left 15 people homeless.
According to Fire Chief William Sisson, the blaze was reported around 11:30 a.m. in the large, three-story woodframe house. It began in the attic and quickly burned through the roof, causing extensive damage to the entire house, he said.

Trial of accused officer continued to Monday

January 6, 2012

PROVIDENCE – John Harwood, the attorney for the Lincoln police officer accused of kicking a seated, handcuffed woman in the head outside the Twin River casino on May 31, 2009, indicated in Superior Court on Friday he wanted to enlist the expertise of Dr. Frank Gallo as part of his client's defense.
Gallo, renowned statewide for his expertise on “use of force,” is an instructor for various law enforcement agencies around the region.

January 5th

Mayors to Governor: Help us!

January 6, 2012

PROVIDENCE — After huddling behind closed doors for two hours with mayors, town administrators and other municipal officials, Gov. Lincoln Chafee declared that 2012 “should be the year of the cities and towns.
“We can not have East Providences and Woonsockets and Coventrys and other towns being read about across the country in the Wall Street Journal and New York Times and other national publications that are going to be a detriment to the economy of Rhode Island,” the governor said. “We've got to address it.”

Mixed Magic gets legislative grant for 'Moby Dick'

January 5, 2012

PAWTUCKET — Thanks to a $2,500 legislative grant, Mixed Magic Theatre will be able to embark on one of its favorite journeys: bringing the timeless tale of “Moby Dick” to new audiences in a unique and modern way.
On Thursday, state Sen. Donna M. Nesselbush (D-Dist. 15) presented a check to Mixed Magic Theatre, a non-profit arts organization based in the historic mill complex at the Hope Artiste Village in Pawtucket.

January 4th

Bill would change car tax values

January 4, 2012

PROVIDENCE — When the General Assembly abruptly dropped the exemption of car values for local tax purposes from $6,000 to $500 last year, drivers suddenly hit with tax bills several times higher than they were before started paying attention to the way values are placed on their automobiles, and they didn't like what they saw.

CF Council to hear input on parking ban

January 4, 2012

CENTRAL FALLS — On Monday, Jan. 9, city residents will have a chance to speak about the controversial new overnight parking ban that state-appointed officials want to start enforcing next week. The appointed City Council will be holding a public hearing on the parking ban as part of its regular meeting scheduled for 6 p.m. at Central Falls City Hall.

Romney ekes out 8-vote win over Santorum in Iowa

January 4, 2012

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Mitt Romney eked out a minuscule 8-vote victory over Rick Santorum in Iowa's Republican presidential caucuses, the state party chairman said early Wednesday, ringing down the curtain on an improbable first act in the campaign to pick a challenger to President Barack Obama in the fall.
Appearing hours after the caucuses had ended, Matt Strawn said Romney had 30,015 votes, to 30,007 for Santorum, whose late surge carried him to a near win.

January 3rd

Chafee to meet with mayors on pensions

January 3, 2012

PROVIDENCE – When provisions for reforming locally-administered pension plans (called non-MERS) were dropped from the comprehensive pension reform late in the process last year, Gov. Lincoln Chafee vowed to introduce legislation on the first day of the 2012 General Assembly session to reform struggling plans that are causing fiscal misery for certain cities and towns.
He missed that self-imposed deadline on Tuesday.

Finance director looks back on career

January 3, 2012

PAWTUCKET — Fourteen years ago, Ronald Wunschel answered a newspaper advertisement for a city finance director's position that was placed by newly elected Mayor James E. Doyle. Now, after honoring his commitment to stay on and help with the transition under Doyle's successor, Mayor Donald R. Grebien, Wunschel has officially hung up his calculator, and is heading off to a well-deserved retirement.

A big year for lawmakers

January 3, 2012

Associated Press
PROVIDENCE — With cities on the brink of insolvency and joblessness stubbornly high, Rhode Island lawmakers returning for a new legislative session say 2012 is shaping up to be a pivotal year.
Just as they spent last year finding ways to fix the state's fiscal problems, lawmakers say 2012 must be devoted to helping cities and towns weather a fiscal crisis that shows few signs of abating.
“The fiscal integrity of the municipalities is going to be the year's big issue,” said House Speaker Gordon Fox, D-Providence. “This is make-it or break-it time.”

December 30th, 2011

Artist weaves his craft on the river

December 30, 2011

PAWTUCKET — From the Main Street bridge by day, the Blackstone River and historic Slater Mill can be viewed through a network of brightly colored cords that shimmer in the sunlight. At nighttime, the reflective filaments in the cords appear to send off a laser light show through the mist generated from the rushing water below.

Speaker Fox looks back, ahead; pension reform a priority

December 30, 2011

PROVIDENCE – Agreeing with, well, just about everybody, that local pension plans will be issue number one in the coming General Assembly session, House Speaker Gordon Fox says he believes enabling legislation that will allow cities and towns to craft individual solutions would be preferable to mandating a single fix to an array of diverse problems.

December 29th

Lupien retires from credit union, Mulholland takes the reins

December 29, 2011

PAWTUCKET — For the past 16 years, Joyce Lupien has been calmly and quietly at the helm of the Pawtucket Municipal Employees Federal Credit Union in City Hall. On Friday, she will reconcile the “year-end” for the last time before heading off to retirement, while at the same time handing over her manager duties to another familiar face in City Hall, former Parks and Recreation Superintendent William Mulholland.

Police bust alleged heroin dealer

December 29, 2011

PAWTUCKET — Following an investigation by the Pawtucket Police Special Squad, a man alleged to have been dealing heroin in the Pawtucket area was taken into custody Tuesday on Broadway.
The suspect was identified as Yatniel S. Padilla, 30, of Benefit Street, Pawtucket. According to Pawtucket Police, Padilla had been under surveillance by the Special Squad following reports of suspicious activity. He was arrested after officers pulled him over in his car.

Appeal filed on Laprade decision

December 29, 2011

PAWTUCKET — Citing what a difference a day makes, the city has filed an appeal in Superior Court of the decision of a police officers' disciplinary hearing committee that would allow convicted Pawtucket Police Officer Nichalas Laprade to keep his job.
The complaint, filed on Dec. 21, concerns the city's attempts to fire Laprade following his conviction in February of 2011 on a misdemeanor charge of indecent exposure/disorderly conduct. The officer, hired in 2007, has been suspended with pay since his arrest in November of 2010.

New affordable energey-efficient homes lauded

December 29, 2011

CUMBERLAND — Home is where the heart is, not to mention the wallet.
On Wednesday morning, several dignitaries — including U.S. Rep. David Cicilline, Mayor Daniel McKee, Rhode Island Housing Executive Director Richard Godfrey and Cumberland Housing Authority Board of Commissioners Chair Eugene McMahon – attended an open house celebrating the two new, affordable housing units at 26 Carpenter St.
All expressed delight with the camaraderie and partnerships it took to construct the pair of three-bedroom apartments, one on top of the other.

December 28th

E.P. station named for fallen hero

December 28, 2011

EAST PROVIDENCE — Newport Police Officer Christopher Ian McGregor looked out at the dispersing crowd, those folks who had gathered to forever memorialize his dad late Tuesday morning.
He then perused the mammoth plaque hanging to the right of the stairs leading to the front entry to the East Providence Police Department.
It read: Major Alister C. McGregor Public Safety Complex.

December 26th

Paiva Weed talks pensions

December 26, 2011

PROVIDENCE – Reform of troubled city and town pension plans will be on the Senate’s agenda in the coming year, President Teresa Paiva Weed acknowledges, but she will insist it be “sustainable, long-term structural changes, not simple quick fixes to the municipalities’ budget problems.
“That’s what we are trying to avoid,” she told The Call in an interview that looked back at the legislative year just past and ahead to the session that begins January 3.

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