Sunday Local Roundup: August 23



Housing Authority Shakeup

After fewer than six months on the job, Patrick Morganelli, executive director of the Woonsocket Housing Authority, has been placed on paid administrative leave from his $115,000 a year job for the foreseeable future, according to a story in The Call.

New equipment, new firefighters for Central Falls

Central_Falls_Fire_PatchSome members of Rhode Island’s congressional delegation delivered good news to Central Falls, informing municipal officials that the federal government will be giving the city close to $573,000 to hire four new firefighters and replace some old equipment, according to The Times.

Backup in works for North Smithfield school reconfiguration

generic-pencils-stock exchange-schoolJust in case the plan to demolish Halliwell Elementary School fails to win Rhode Island Department of Education approval, the North Smithfield School Committee Tuesday directed Supt. Stephen Lindberg to present options for reconfiguring grade levels at each of the district’s schools. The full story in The Valley Breeze »

Commemorating History

The Makinac was making the trip from Newport to Pawtucket when a boiler exploded, killing 55 people and injuring another 150 passengers. The 90th anniversary of that tragedy was commemorated recently with a ceremony covered by Jonathan Bissonnette of The Times.

Squashing the Competition

istock squashThe summer squash and zucchini did great in Bill Laquidara’s backyard garden in Millville this summer, but compared to their oddball cousin known as the cucuzza they didn’t measure up. Read about that lengthy variety of squash and Laquidara’s attempts at growing it in Russ Olivo’s story in The Call.


Captain Fredy’s last voyage?

Photo: The Warwick Beacon
Photo: The Warwick Beacon

Late this week, Warwick police revealed a man found dead on a boat in Warwick Cove marina had been murdered and two men were under arrest. Days before that revelation, The Warwick Beacon shared the story of the victim – Fernando Silva, known locally and affectionately as Captain Fredy. Read Fredy’s story here »

Toxic Algae Blooms: In search of a cause

(AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari, File)
(AP Photo)

Stay out of the water at Warwick Pond. That’s the warning from both the Department of Health and the Department of Environmental Management.  Toxic blue-green algae blooms have been detected and they could lead to health concerns such as stomach aches, nausea and vomiting. The Beacon spoke with one resident, 15 year-old Philip D’Erole, who is on the search to find the cause of the algae blooms.

Secret of Success: Learning Garden is growing

Warwick Beacon Photo
Warwick Beacon Photo

Sisters Raquel Fortuna and Carla Kaplan are co-owners of the Learning Garden, a child daycare center and preschool in Warwick Neck. They are expanding their business with a 2,500-square-foot addition to the schoolhouse. Beacon reporters sat down with the sisters to talk about what sets them apart and the success they’ve seen in the past two years. As part of the addition, Fortuna and Kaplan will also be expanding their staff and customer base.

Save a life; adopt a pet

Cranston Herald Photo
Cranston Herald Photo

On Aug. 15, Defenders of Animals held its annual Humane Heroes Award Ceremony as part of the Homeless Animals Day/Candlelight Vigil at the Sprague Mansion in Cranston. With nearly 80 in attendance, it was one of the largest vigils Defenders of Animals has held to date. Herald reporters spoke with the organization’s director, Dennis Tabella, about the importance of adopting locally and how it could help save the life of an animal.

The Great Ice Rink Debate

ice skatingCranston has a deal in place to turn over the management of Cranston Veterans Ice Rink to a private entity. However, Ward 2 Councilman Donald Botts is saying not so fast. The Cranston Herald details why Botts is calling on Cranston Mayor Allan Fung to keep this “valuable asset” under city control and why he thinks the city should build a permanent second rink on site.

‘Tyler’s Tall Tales’ author tells of book’s local connections.

Cranston Herald Photo
Cranston Herald Photo

Local author, Ashley Richer’s newest book, “Tyler’s Tall Tales: Chasing the Moon”, not only takes place in Rhode Island, but also has a map so students can see some of the Narragansett locations from the story. The Herald was present when Richer visited Stadium School speaking with students about the writing process, the steps to being published, and the inspiration it takes to illustrate.

Have cannabis, will travel

Members of The Healing Church holding religious service in Providence park, which includes smoking marijuana. 5/23/15
Members of The Healing Church

The West Greenwich-based Healing Church that uses cannabis in ceremonies is beginning a trek to Washington, DC. The Kent County Times reveals to whom the group plans on offering a cannabis-filled peace pipe during its pilgrimage.

Surprise resignation in Coventry

Coventry town seal_24Coventry Town Manager Tom Hoover announces his resignation effective Sept. 11. The Kent County Times details why Hoover is hitting the road, plus takes a look at some of the other town leaders who have left in recent months.


Art for a good cause

istock generic paintingThe Newport Art Museum’s annual art-making event and fundraiser, “Wet Paint,” engaged 400 artists in making 534 pieces on Aug. 15 that were sold in live and silent auctions the following day. The Providence Journal details how much the event raised.


URI professor explains arrest

URI Physics Professor Peter Nightingale was one of two men forcibly removed and arrested in Burrillville last week while protesting the expansion of Spectra Energy’s compressor station. On Wednesday he took the time to speak with The Narragansett Times about his cause that has landed him in the back of a police car twice in the past year.

Historic battle rages on in Wakefield

As the fate of the historic Larchwood Inn hangs in the balance – the planning board announced it will accept expert testimony about the Wakefield Alzheimer’s Care Facility proposed for the site. The Narragansett Times details who’s handing in their resumes.

School Department answers critics

Members of the town council had said they were disappointed with the way the school budget was presented and how, in their view, it differs from reality. In The Narragansett Times, find out how the school committee’s vice chairwoman is answering critics.

Longtime Chariho educator picked to lead Westerly high School

Photo: The Westerly Sun
Photo: The Westerly Sun

Todd Grimes, a longtime educator who spent much of his career in the Chariho Regional School District, was named the new principal of Westerly High School, according to The Westerly Sun. Grimes replaces Steven Ruscito, who announced in July that he was leaving to take a job in the Warwick Public School District.

Hopkinton PD: Man was growing 30 unauthorized pot plants

Photo: Hopkinton P.D./The Westerly Sun
Photo: Hopkinton P.D./The Westerly Sun

Police acting on a tip discovered over 30 marijuana plants, some as tall as 10 feet, at a home in Hopkinton. The Westerly Sun reports that the man told officers much of it was used for medicinal clients, despite the fact that we was operating without a license. The paper reveals what else investigators say they found during their search.

Amid questions, builder looks to revive reputation

The Westerly Sun
The Westerly Sun

For three year between 2007 and 2009, larceny charges mounted against Joseph V. Molinaro Jr. With some hard work, serious planning and dedication to turning his life around, Molinaro is now a business owner again after opening a new interior design location in Westerly, according to an article in The Sun.

The icing on the cake: Local chef beats Bobby Flay at his own game

What is it like to beat Bobby Flay in one-on-one competition? Few can say they know, but The Westerly Sun reports that Chef Jeanie Roland, owner of Ella’s Fine Food & Drink in Westerly, now has that distinction.

ella's find foods westerly sun
Read more about Roland’s showdown with Bobby Flay in The Westerly Sun »


Shots fired from car; town man charged.

welcome_johnston_polisenaOn Thursday, the Sun Rise reported that David King, 44, was arrested on charges of felony assault with a dangerous weapon on Sunday afternoon. That morning, King allegedly fired shots from his vehicle while pursuing another driver. Read the full story here »

Tradition continues at St. Rocco Feast and Festival

Johnston Sunrise Photo
Johnston Sunrise Photo

The four-day St. Rocco Feast and Festival, which benefits the Roman Catholic parish in Johnston, finished up last weekend, with bands, games and food galore. Even Eyewitness News anchor Mike Montecalvo took in some of the festivities. Read the story and see photos in the Johnston Sunrise


Mayor: Trip to Guatemala may bear fruit

Mayor Elorza talks with Guatemalan President Otto Pérez Molina.

Fresh from a four-day trip to Guatemala, Mayor Jorge O. Elorza said “concrete steps forward” are planned to explore international flights between T.F. Green and Guatemala, and commercial trade between the Port of Providence and Guatemalan ports. The Providence Journal has a debrief with the mayor about his trip.


Safety key to reviving Fall River’s nightlife

Calories on Menus AlcoholWhen it comes to nightlife, many find Fall River to be, overall, lacking. Though many places are making efforts to draw in the crowds, especially millennials, it’s been an uphill battle. The Fall River Herald details some of the challenges Fall River is facing as it tries to revive its nightlife.

Abbey Grill owner reviving former restaurant

The stained glass window is twice the height of a man. It looks down on the big room that will once more be The Abbey Grill. Soon, possibly by fall, Andrew Lombardi promises. The Herald details the painstaking process to renovate this historic landmark.



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