Sunday Local Roundup: August 16


Busting Blight in Woonsocket

Woonsocket Mayor Lisa Baldelli-Hunt is ramping up the battle against urban blight by hiring another housing inspector to help the Building Department tackle the more than 200 abandoned and run-down properties throughout the city. Get the details in The Call story by Joseph Fitzgerald.

Old Sports Bar Transformed into Irish Pub

Arigna, a village in Ireland, was home to the island’s last working coal mine. Arigna Irish Pub and Coal Fired Kitchen, opening soon on Armistice Boulevard in Pawtucket, honors that tradition with a menu inspired by a coal-fired oven along with all of the other aspects of an authentic Irish pub. The Times has details in a story by Jonathan Bissonnette.


Warwick woman recognized for Polish Solidarity effort

When martial law was declared in Poland during the 80s, Ewa Slusarek-Hitchener immediately began organizing individuals of Polish descent for a support committee. Over the next 10 years she would organize rallies at the State House, plan international solidarity meetings, and play a large role helping Poland achieve sovereignty. Just recently the Warwick Beacon the President of Poland is recognizing her for her courageous actions. Read her story here »

Storm calls deluged 9-1-1, responders

generic-911-cell-phone-resizedDuring the storm on August 4th, 9-1-1 dispatch – manned by only six people – received almost as many calls in just two hours as they would on a normal day. So busy were the lines that some callers waited more than 200 seconds to speak with a dispatcher. The Warwick Beacon spoke with Police Chief, Colonel Stephen McCartney, Fire Chief Edmund Armstrong and Lt. Col. Kevin Barry from the Department of Public Safety about their departments’ experiences and the precautions added to ensure callers don’t have to wait during future emergencies.

Warwick ready to spring into mattress recycling

It looks like Warwick’s mattress problem is finally getting put to bed. The Warwick Beacon first reported in late July that discarded mattresses were being left near dumpsters and donation bins, but weren’t being picked up. Mayor Scott Avedisian announced Tuesday that Warwick intends on joining the Mattress Recycling Council. The paper details when residents may see a no-cost drop-off site.

Special guest visits YMCA’s Camp MassasoitYMCA

Last week, Representative Robert Lancia visited Camp Massasoit to speak with youth about ways they can get involved with their communities. The Cranston Herald reported that the camp’s goal is get more community leaders to visit the YMCA this summer.

Ice Bucket Challenge Kicks off in Garden City

Last summer the Ice Bucket Challenge helped to raise $100 million for ALS Association. Now, this summer The Herald was at the challenge’s renewal at Garden City Center. Peter Frates and Pat Quinn, both of whom have ALS, vowed to renew the challenge every August until a cure is found.

Cleanup ongoing; city seeks reports on storm damage

Cranston storm cleanup

Mayor Allan Fung asked Cranston residents to be patient during the cleanup of last week’s storm damage. The Cranston Herald reports that residents are encouraged to bundle any debris into four-foot sections and placed curbside. The paper details which community pitched in to help get the city cleaned up quicker.

Convery names new superintendent; JROTC fights on

A the Coventry School Committee appointed a familiar face to run the district they also heard a familiar refrain from a flailing program. As The Kent County Times reports, supporters of the Junior ROTC program aren’t ready to raise the white flag.

West Warwick moves closer to turbines

Wind Turbine5 TJThe West Warwick Town Council took steps toward making the town the latest in Rhode Island to turn to wind power. The Kent County Times details when the switch could be flipped on the new turbines.

Greenbush traffic has some seeing red

Parents and teachers brought their concerns about the traffic and congestion around West Warwick’s Greenbush Elementary School to the West Warwick School Committee Tuesday night. One of the teachers calling the situation dangerous. The Kent County Times has both sides of the issue »

Moody’s Upholds West Warwick’s stable rating
generic-istock-calculator-money-resizedWith the town in the midst of a five-year plan to bring back economic stability, a national investor’s service recognized a positive change in the town’s finances. The Kent County Times details some of the changes the town has made to improve its finances.

West Warwick officials, residents meet in aftermath of storm

West Warwick’s Town Council and emergency management officials are looking for ways to assist residents victimized by last week’s storm, which caused major damage throughout the town. The Kent County Times has the details »


Remembering RI’s most famous lighthouse keeper

Her story enriches the local seafaring lore that draws thousands of visitors each year to Rhode Island’s 21 lighthouses. The Providence Journal takes a look Ida Lewis, the woman who drew national attention for rescuing as many as 25 people in Newport Harbor during the years she was lighthouse keeper of Lime Rock.


The Westerly Sun
The Westerly Sun

A happy ending for abandoned Hopkinton dogs

Three pit bull-type dogs facing what might have been a tragic fate after being found the evening of June 10 wandering near the Park and Ride on Route 3 in Hopkinton – dangerously close to Interstate 95 – have reached a happy ending, The Westerly Sun reports. All three have since been adopted, bringing the saga to an end.

Armetta quarry operations reduced ‘substantially’

Copar QuarriesOperations at the former Copar quarry have been reduced, according to a lawyer for Armetta LLC Sand & Stone, which has run the facility for more than a year, and employees have been laid off, the company confirmed in a report in The Westerly Sun.

Swift trespasser charged for missing appeal hearing

Taylor Swift (Photo by Al Powers/Powers Imagery/Invision/AP, File)
(Photo by Al Powers/Powers Imagery/Invision/AP, File)

A 24-year-old Taylor Swift fan convicted of trespassing after he argued that he was unfairly charged while trying to drop a letter off to her home is in trouble again. The Westerly Sun reports that after demanding an appeal, he failed to show for the first hearing.

Westerly Town Council trims manager field to 2

After eliminating a local candidate from contention, according to The Westerly Sun the number of candidates to fill the vacant town manager position is now down to two. Council members expect a decision soon, but will meet further with the remaining candidates first.
Surfers ‘paddle out’ for local surfing legend
 Several hundred friends and family of Narragansett’s Joe McGovern gathered together at the Narragansett Town Beach, this past Friday afternoon to pay their respects in a traditional Hawaiian style paddle-out. The Narragansett Times takes a look at McGovern’s contribution to the surfing world, and has more details on how he’s being permanently honored.
Parents take shots at HPV vaccine mandate
hpv vaccineParents and members of the public expressed concerns about the safety of the HPV vaccine as well as the perceived infringement on their parental rights to choose what is best for their own children. Most of the concerns voiced a recent public meeting surrounded the Department of Health’s requirement that all incoming seventh-graders receive the vaccine before coming to school. The Narragansett Times takes an in-depth look at the issue.
EDC seeks simplified Homestead Act
In response to the recently implemented 8 percent short-term rental tax imposed by the state on July 1, the Narragansett Economic Development Committee has decided to offer the town council a simplified version of its Homestead Act proposal for consideration which eliminates the component offering a break for yearly renters. But will Narragansett Town Council go for it? Find out in The Narragansett Times.


Town crews, equipment aid local storm cleanup efforts

Mayor Joseph Polisena told The Sunrise that Johnston was lucky in the wake of last week’s storm, with only one tree falling down. He reached out to both Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian and Cranston Mayor Allan Fung to help in clean up. Find out how many staffers were sent to the cities to assist in storm cleanup.
Pact for gas-fired power plant gets council’s OK

Johnston Mayor Joseph Polisena said he was thinking of Johnston’s future at the last Town Council meeting when he backed a resolution that would Clean Power LLC to develop a 225 megawatt power plant. The Sunrise reported that the council agreed unanimously. The paper details how much revenue the deal could mean for the town and what the next steps are.

Fallen Vietnam Vets Honored

During a ceremony marked by a moment of silence for the latest Rhode Islander killed in a faraway conflict, members of Burrillville’s veteran community dedicated Bridge No. 672 on Route 102 in memory of two residents who died in the Vietnam War in March 1967. Read Joseph B. Nadeau’s moving account of the service in The Call.


Revoked: Tavern loses liquor license

After an emergency show cause hearing last week, the East Providence City Council unanimously voted to revoke the Class B alcoholic beverage license for the controversial East Bay Tavern on Lyon Avenue in response to a brawl outside of the nightspot. The Times details recent and past problems at the establishment.
Living on a Dream
A Providence entrepreneur has launched a twist on the crowdfunding trend of the last several years that’s helped thousands of businesses worldwide get off the ground. Called Mount Dream, the endeavor aims to help people test-market products or projects prior to launching their fundraising efforts. Details in The Providence Journal »


Revved up for boat races on Taunton River

The day before the Offshore Powerboat Association races on the Taunton River, racers tested the waters near Borden Light Marina. The Herald News has more on the race, including the course and what boats are participating.

Battleship Cove re-dedication

(Brian Yocono/WPRI)
(Brian Yocono/WPRI)

The celebration commemorating the 50th anniversary of the arrival of the USS Massachusetts to Fall River began as a Black Hawk helicopter from the Massachusetts Army National Guard circled Battleship Cove, landing in Heritage Park. The Herald News has videos and pictures of this historic ceremony.


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