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January 30th, 2014

Moreau’s status conference kept private

January 31, 2014

PROVIDENCE — There was no word on any decision regarding the case of former Central Falls Mayor Charles Moreau following a status conference held on Thursday in U.S. District Court.

A status conference concerning Moreau’s corruption case, for which he was convicted on a federal fraud charge, was scheduled for 9:30 a.m. before Judge John J. McConnell, Jr. Reporters were not allowed into the chambers where the conference was held.

POLITICS AS USUAL: Being liberal is cool again

January 30, 2014

Editor's note: This column was published in The Times on Jan. 27, 2014:

It looks like Democrats in the 2014 gubernatorial primary are about to be vexed by the same Catch-22 that confounds Republican candidates for president: What they have to do and say to win their party’s nomination in the primary could spell doom in the general election.
If the nascent Democratic primary race for governor next year has showed us anything so far, it is that being liberal is becoming cool again.

January 29th

Facebook bill to be debated at Statehouse

January 30, 2014

PROVIDENCE – If you are applying for a job, should your prospective employer be able to demand the password to your Facebook or other social media account? Should schools and colleges be able to require students or applicants to allow access to restricted portions of their social media profiles?

With sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Meetup gaining popularity, and new sites finding their way onto the Internet with increasing frequency, two state legislators say employees and students should not be forced to share their online lives with people at work or school.

January 28th

AG wants life without parole for alleged child-killer

January 28, 2014

PAWTUCKET —Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin has filed a notice in Superior Court that his office will seek life without the possibility for parole in the case against Jorge DePina, who is charged with the murder of his 10-year old daughter last summer. Full story in Wednesday's Times.

NEW: Convicted ex-mayor due in court

January 28, 2014

CENTRAL FALLS—The federal court hearing for former Central Falls Mayor Charles Moreau, related to a review of his case that could possibly lead to an early release from prison, has been moved to Thursday, Jan. 30, at 9:30 a.m.
Moreau, imprisoned in Maryland on a corruption charge, will appear for a status conference before U.S. District Court Judge John J. McConnell.

January 27th

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.

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