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February 26th, 2014

Moreau strikes plea deal; could be freed Friday

February 26, 2014

PROVIDENCE — A former mayor whose corruption conviction was thrown into question by an appeals court struck a deal that would allow him to be freed from prison after serving half his two-year sentence.

Charles Moreau, former mayor of the financially troubled city of Central Falls, agreed in a deal filed on Wednesday to plead guilty to a new charge of accepting a bribe. As part of the deal, federal prosecutors recommended Moreau be sentenced to time served.

Moreau could be released as soon as Friday, when a hearing on his case is scheduled before U.S. District Judge John McConnell.

February 25th

Times Merry Christmas Fund delivers a $9,201 greeting

February 26, 2014

PAWTUCKET — Thanks to the generosity of local businesses, organizations, families and individuals (including many Times readers), The Times was able to donate $9,201 to the Salvation Army of Pawtucket from the annual Merry Christmas Fund.

Kathleen Needham, controller of The Times/The Call newspapers, presented a check in that amount to Salvation Army Capts. Glenys and Juan Urbaez on Tuesday at the monthly board meeting held at the Salvation Army headquarters on High Street.

Fewer teachers to get pink slips

February 26, 2014

PAWTUCKET — It’s that dreaded time of year when teachers, typically the newer ones, get a “pink slip” from the school district they have been working so hard to impress. It all has to do with budgetary projections and state law, which requires that any teachers facing a potential job cut in September must be notified by March 1.

Yet, for the first time in many years, the number of teachers pink-slipped this year has been cut by more than half, due to a collaborative effort between school administrators and the teachers union.

R.I. politician suggests parental warning for TV news

February 25, 2014

CENTRAL FALLS – Should TV news programs dealing with violent or tragic
events come with one of those “parental warning” notices that precede shows with sexual or violent content?
State Rep. Agostinho Silva said he has heard from parents who think they should and he has introduced legislation he says is aimed at “starting a conversation,” toward action that would probably have to take place at the federal level.
The language of his bill is fairly broad. It says the Public Utilities

February 24th

Pension settlement leaves Grebien cold

February 25, 2014

The chief executives of the Blackstone Valley’s two biggest cities, Woonsocket Mayor Lisa Baldelli-Hunt and Pawtucket Mayor Donald Grebien, say they can’t tap property taxpayers for the hundreds of thousands of dollars that it would cost their communities to make the changes in the proposed settlement of the state pension lawsuit.

Three vie to develop riverfront site

February 25, 2014

PAWTUCKET — Three real estate developers have been given the go-ahead from city officials to submit formal plans to develop the failed hotel property at 45 Division St.

February 23rd

CHASING THAT FEELING: For gambling addicts, a pastime can become an obsession

February 24, 2014

PAWTUCKET -- It’s hard to believe that gleeful cries of “bingo” on a girls’ night out would one day turn into tearful cries for help in dealing with an obsession that almost cost one local woman her self-respect, job and family.

It’s gambling addiction, and for those caught up in it, the mental and physical pain and collateral damage to loved ones can be just as devastating and difficult to overcome as alcohol or drug addiction.

February 21st

For 25 years, Cumberland animal officer has enjoyed the ‘wildlife’

February 21, 2014

CUMBERLAND – When Paul H. Rose was a young boy growing up in East Providence, his mother was always leery about what little woodland critter she might find hiding underneath his bed.

Snakes, frogs, grasshoppers, it didn’t matter. If he could catch it, he brought it home.

“I’ve loved animals ever since I was a little boy,” he says, “My mother was always afraid of what she might find in the basement on any given day.”

Nearly 60 years later, Rose is still fascinated by the animal kingdom, and has devoted most of his life to looking after the welfare of creatures great and small.

Pawtucket sounds the call for additional snow shoveling volunteers to help dig out seniors

February 21, 2014

PAWTUCKET — With more snow, such as has been the case this winter, comes more requests for shoveling assistance for the city’s elderly residents. Hoping to boost volunteer participation in a program that works to shovel sidewalks for seniors, Mayor Donald Grebien held a press conference on Friday to enlist more volunteers.

February 20th

School upgrades get council’s nod

February 21, 2014

PAWTUCKET — While saying they don’t agree with all of the school renovation plans as outlined, the City Council on Wednesday approved the first phase of the School Department’s Facilities Master Plan that will upgrade Potter-Burns and Nathanael Greene Elementary Schools.

The council gave its approval to Phase 1 of the proposed master plan, with a price tag not to exceed $32 million. Phase 1 calls for a system-wide upgrade of the district’s technology infrastructure and renovations to the Potter-Burns and Nathanael Greene elementary schools.

Fraud suspect makes RI’s ‘Most Wanted’

February 21, 2014

PAWTUCKET — Pawtucket Police are trying a new tactic, the “Rhode Island Most Wanted” network, to track down a man accused of committing fraud against a local funeral home.

Pawtucket Police have posted on the online website that they are looking for Martin “Marty” Szuch, 72, who has addresses in Providence, North Providence and Cranston. Szuch is wanted on a charge of obtaining money under false pretenses in a case that dates back to 2010. He has also allegedly committed similar crimes in the past, police said.

February 19th

C.F. will fight lawsuit by Bouthillette to get paid for library work

February 19, 2014

CENTRAL FALLS – Convicted contractor Michael Bouthillette, the owner of Certified Disaster Restoration Corp. and a friend and supporter of former Central Falls Mayor Charles Moreau, is still trying to collect over $30,000 from the city for work done in late 2006 and early 2007 at the Adams Memorial Library.

POLITICS AS USUAL: Will the pension deal hold?

February 19, 2014

Editor's note: This column first appeared in The Times on Feb. 17. Read Jim Baron's column every Monday in The Times and The Call.

In the end, despite all their bravado and bluffing, neither the unions nor the state officials battling over the 2011 pension reform law wanted to take their chances on how the five wise souls of the RI Supreme Court would rule on the constitutional issue at stake: Can the General Assembly make legislative changes to employee pensions after the workers and retirees have spent their careers paying into the system?

Man pulls knife on crowd, police

February 19, 2014

PAWTUCKET—An intoxicated man accused a Pawtucket Police officer of striking him with his cruiser outside of a Walgreens pharmacy early Monday evening and then threatened a group of witnesses at knifepoint who sided with the officer, Pawtucket Police said.

February 18th

Firefighters OK contract

February 19, 2014

PAWTUCKET — In a nod to the current economy, the city and Pawtucket firefighters' union have agreed to a new, three-year contract that offers more in the way of job stability than pay increases. The City Council will be considering the pact for approval at Wednesday night's council meeting.

February 17th

Asbestos abatement needed at Slater

February 18, 2014

PAWTUCKET — Another ceiling collapse, this time in an unused room at Slater Middle School, has prompted an emergency meeting of the School Committee to be held Monday night.

Interim Schools Supt. Patti DiCenso said the room, across from the assistant principal’s office, had been closed off for occupancy due to concerns about the stability of the ceiling during an inspection of the city’s older school buildings last summer. The inspection had been called after a drop ceiling in a basement classroom at the Potter-Burns Elementary School gave way last fall.

Five arrested after pistol-whipping incident at party

February 18, 2014

PAWTUCKET — It was an invitation that four young men could have done without.

Pawtucket Police say five people were arrested Sunday after allegedly pistol-whipping and robbing four men who had been lured to an after-hours party in the basement of a house at 85 Daniels St.

February 16th

Lincoln police HQ plan to be revised

February 16, 2014

LINCOLN – Town Administrator T. Joseph Almond will propose a revised plan to construct an addition to the police headquarters wing of the municipal complex when he presents his fiscal 2015 budget to the Budget Board on Wednesday.

The project to add a two-story addition and renovate the existing police department space had been proposed as a two-phase project last year, with the initial phase of approximately $1.9 million being appropriated for the new construction.

February 14th

Finally, a pension agreement

February 15, 2014

PROVIDENCE – A complex and intricate proposed settlement of the lawsuits challenging the watershed 2011 pension reform law provides minor sweeteners in benefits to state and municipal employees and retirees while preserving the lion’s share of the savings to state and local taxpayers.

Seventeen animals removed from condemned home

February 15, 2014

PAWTUCKET — In an apparent case of pet hoarding that has spiraled out of control, city officials on Friday condemned a house at 403 Liverpool St. and removed 17 animals that resided there.

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