January 3rd, 2012
PROVIDENCE â€” 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.
â€śThe fiscal integrity of the municipalities is going to be the year's big issue,â€ť said House Speaker Gordon Fox, D-Providence. â€śThis is make-it or break-it time.â€ť
BOSTON --- After watching his father and younger brother make news on the baseball diamond last summer with the New England champion Cumberland American Little League all-star team, Brian Belisle got an opportunity to steal the show on one of baseballâ€™s most historic ballfields on Monday night.
But Belisle did so with a hockey stick, not a bat and glove, with his Mount St. Charles Academy teammates at Fenway Park in their â€śFrozen Fenway 2012â€ť duel against Cathedral High of Springfield, Mass., and the junior center came through with the best game of his young high school career.
Itâ€™s two days into 2012. The past year is now a distance memory. Time sure does fly. It seems like just a short time ago that the winter season was wrapping up, one that included an extraordinary performance by the Tolman High boysâ€™ basketball team in the Division II quarterfinals. The summer, as it always does, went by quickly. But not before a group of young 12-year-old kids from the Cumberland American earned their way to Williamsport, Pa., for the Little League World Series.
There have certainly been other events and athletes that have made the last 365 days a memorable one.
December 30th, 2011
Ready or not, like it or not, the football programs at Tolman and Woonsocket High Schools are poised to join the Division I ranks.
Based on figures obtained by Blackstone Valley Sports and decreed by the Interscholastic League, the Tigers and Villa Novans rank eighth and ninth, respectively, among the 43 participating schools, meaning both meet the criteria for Division I participation. The stateâ€™s top tier typically houses nine teams.
A little of this, a little of that as we bid adieu to 2011 â€¦
Ryan Oâ€™Dell will have to sit tight and wait his turn for the URI baseball team, the Lincoln nativeâ€™s redshirt status for this coming spring the result of findings by the NCAA Clearinghouse. The initial-eligibility organization launched its investigation into Oâ€™Dellâ€™s high school transcript during the middle of the fall ball season, a time when the freshman had visions of making major strides toward landing a substantial role.
PAWTUCKET â€” 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.
PROVIDENCE â€“ 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.
Dennis Robert Eaton
CENTRAL FALLS - Dennis Robert Eaton, 64, of Central Falls and formerly of South Attleboro, passed away on Friday, December 30, 2011. He was the cherished husband of Viola "Vi" (Mathis) Eaton for thirty-seven years.
Harry A. Lefrancois
CENTRAL FALLS - Harry A. Lefrancois, 78, of Central Falls died December 29, 2011, surrounded by his loving family at Philip Hulitar Home & Hospice Care of RI. He is survived by his wife Shirley A. (Howard) Lefrancois. 3 children John Lefrancois, Linda Rodrigues and her husband Allen and Susan Gamache and her husband Kenneth. 5 grandchildren Daniel, Eric, Amy, Nicole and Garet. 3 great-grandsons Anthony, Alex and Zachary. Sister-in-law Jackie Landry. Funeral services will be private.
Dr. Thomas M. Aissis, DDS
SEEKONK, MA - Dr. Thomas M. Aissis, DDS, 94, of Brook Street died Wednesday,December 28, 2011 at Pawtucket Skilled Nursing & Rehabilitation Center, Pawtucket. He was the husband of the late Mary E.(Senno) Aissis.
Born in Central Falls, a son of the late Habib and Bahia (Haskoor) Aissis, he had lived in Seekonk for the past 55 years.
Albert H. Romboni
MYSTIC, CT - Albert Henry Romboni, age 85, of Mystic CT, passed away on December 23rd.
Born January 10, 1926 in Pawtucket, RI, he was the son of Angelo and Fernanda(Giambastiani) Romboni. He graduated from Pawtucket East High School in 1944.
He was a member of the Pawtucket Boys Club Harmonica Band and was an accomplished harmonica player who performed in venues all over the Northeast for his entire life.
He served in the Navy at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii during World War II as an airplane mechanic and inspector.
PAWTUCKET â€” Mike Pappas, who helped build the Pawtucket Boys & Girls Club into an organization that profoundly impacts the lives of youngsters throughout this city, passed away early Thursday morning at the age of 86.
Pappas, a World War II veteran, began working at the former Boys Club facility on East Avenue in 1949, joining the staff as a physical education instructor. He moved up the ladder and succeeded Phil Geiger as Executive Director in 1964, serving in that position until his retirement in 1989.
PAWTUCKET â€” 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 â€śyear-endâ€ť 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.
PAWTUCKET â€” 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.
WOONSOCKET - Marie "Rose" Pontbriand, 88, of Woonsocket, formerly of Central Falls, died Tuesday at Oakland Grove Health Center. She was the wife of the late Robert M. Pontbriand and the daughter of the late Francis and Elizabeth (Hamel) Rousseau.
She was employed as a weaver for Faustina Manufacturing Co. prior to her retirement.
She had been a member of the Womenâ€™s Auxillary of the Eugene T. Lefebvre VFW Post #1271.
CUMBERLAND-Michael Pappas, 86, of Mendon Road died Thursday, December 29, 2011 at New Bedford Rehabilitation Hospital, New Bedford, MA. He was the beloved husband of Enid (Burgess) Pappas. Mr. and Mrs. Pappas were married for 62 years.
Born in Pawtucket, a son of the late Andrew and Paraskeve (Veras) Papadopoulos, he had lived in Pawtucket for most of his life before moving to Cumberland 2 years ago.
PAWTUCKET â€” 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.
CUMBERLAND â€” Home is where the heart is, not to mention the wallet.
On Wednesday morning, several dignitaries â€” 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 â€“ 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.
CUMBERLAND â€“ Tolman head coach Mike Kayata can live with Jonathan Percy firing away from the baseline. Itâ€™s a whole other matter when the 6-foot-7 junior tees up a shot from behind the 3-point stripe.
PAWTUCKET - Sophie Cunha, 88, died on Friday, December 16. Mrs. Cunha was also the mother of the late Donna Cunha.