Sunday Local Roundup: Dec. 20

WEST BAY

Missing Items Led to Dismissal

warwick public schoolsEarlier this month, Eyewitness News reported a shake-up in the Warwick School Department. The school committee fired Buildings and Grounds Director David LaPlante and police were investigating. Now, The Warwick Beacon reports when the department couldn’t locate several items, which have remained unidentified as of this point, it initiated an internal investigation. The paper has more on the investigation and changes the school department is considering.

A Little Love for the Victorian Lady

With chipping salmon-colored paint around all sides, the “Victorian Lady” across from City Hall has fallen on less beautiful times in the past years. But soon she’ll be under going a renovation and in her rejuvenated life, the lady will wear new colors.

Mayor Scott Avedisian said that when built – the building dates back to the early 1800s – the lumber used wasn’t “seasoned” properly and as a result needs to be repainted every few years. In the Warwick Beacon, find out how the Central Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce (CRICC) is planning to deal with this expensive problem, plus how the project may help rejuvenate that Main Street feel in Apponaug.

History Impedes Sewer Project

Archaeologists Kirk Van Dyke and Alex Flick stand by as a flat bladed backhoe unearths section of Tidewater Drive in a survey of the trench to be used for a main sewer line. (WARWICK BEACON PHOTO)

One thing that Alan Leveillee, principal investigator for Public Archaeology Laboratory (PAL), is certain about is that at the time Samuel Gorton settled Warwick in the 1640s, a Native American village comprised of wigwams existed on the hills overlooking Mill Cove and Narragansett Bay.

One thing that the mayor and the Warwick Sewer Authority are not so certain about is how to proceed in bringing sewers to a neighborhood so rich with history. The Warwick Beacon details how history may impede the progress of this project and if changes could affect projected sewer assessments for nearby homeowners.

Sex Offender Law Puts Demand on Homeless Shelter

The Cranston Herald

Jean Johnson’s goal is to close Harrington Hall. But that’s not going to happen anytime soon.

The homeless shelter at the Howard Complex in Cranston has cots to sleep 120 men. It’s often not enough to meet the demand. Using mats that are spread out on the floor, Harrington Hall has accommodated as many as 155 a night. The Cranston Herald details how the state’s new law requiring registered sex offenders to live at least 1,000 feet away from a school is having a big impact.

BLACKSTONE VALLEY

Winning Design to Span 95
art bridge

A concept from Suikang Zhao has been selected as the public art installation that will brighten the George Street overpass in Pawtucket. City officials believe the artwork will make the overpass a gateway to downtown, and that the adorned bridge may prompt the creation of an exit to highlight some really amazing art. Read more in The Times.

Park Pavilion Goes Green

State and federal officials held a groundbreaking ceremony recently on a $5.3 million overhaul of the pavilion and bathhouse at Lincoln Woods State Park, a project that they say sets a new standard for environmentally-friendly “green” construction. More details are in The Call and The Times.

dopes with shovels

She’s All-American

Ross named All-American
The Woonsocket Call

It should be no surprise that Julianne Ross, a junior at Cumberland High School, was named an All-American by the Rhode Island Girls Soccer Coaches Association and the National Soccer Coaches Association of America. After all, Ross is a Division 1-bound defender. Read about her in The Call.

A+ Teacher Receives Big Honor

Lynn Hawkins
Lynn Hawkins (Photo: The Call)

At Woonsocket High School guidance counselor Lynn Hawkins is receiving high marks for fostering an environment that is orderly and conducive to learning. Based on her performance and input from colleagues and supervisors, Hawkins earned the honor of being named the Woonsocket Education Department’s Teacher of the Year. See more in The Call.

 

SOUTH COUNTY

Town Hall on the Move?

Town HallIt was a packed house Monday at North Kingstown Town Hall as residents – both for an against – debated plans to move the town hall offices. Supporters of the move say the building is dangerous. Critics claim a proper study needs to be conducted. The North Kingstown Standard-Times has both sides of the issue.

Airing Dirty Laundry

Several interested parties approached the town council at Monday night’s meeting requesting action on the previously reported lack of washer and dryer connections in the Champagne Heights and Fournier Estates apartments as well as a mediation between the South Kingstown Housing Authority and its tenants. The Narragansett Times has the latest chapter in this ongoing saga.

URI Muslim Center Holds Open Discussion

Muslim CenterMasjid Al-Hoda, the Muslim Community Center of Kingston, hosted a well-attended public discussion last Thursday evening regarding interfaith relations and the increased hostility toward Muslims since the rise of ISIS. The Narragansett Times details the various topics of discussion – from Islam’s view on violence to Donald Trump.

 

Westerly man charged in crash that killed niece

Scene of fatal Hopkinton crashPolice have arrested 28-year-old Obdulio Rosado in connection with a September accident in Hope Valley that led to the death of his niece, The Westerly Sun reported Friday. Rosado was driving when the car lost control and rolled over several times. His passenger, Westerly high School senior Felecia Bolduc, died from injuries suffered in the crash. The paper has more about the case and how friends mourned Bolduc.

Invasion of winter moths accelerating quickly

As Eyewitness News reported, winter moths are spreading throughout southern New England at an alarming rate, and the spread is accelerated this year by the warmer than usual conditions. Now, according to The Westerly Sun, the state is taking action to try and monitor and keep any damage in check.

Westerly residents battle for beach access

watch hill beachFrustration regarding beach access and right of way issues in Watch Hill boiled over this week as more than 100 residents packed a meeting room at Westerly Library to demand change. The Westerly Sun reports residents requested town officials take a more active role in restoring access for all at right of way points along the shoreline.

Hopkinton board denies mulch manufacturing operation

image
The Westerly Sun

After nearly a year of hearings, the Hopkinton Zoning Board has denied the two applications that would have allowed Eminel Holdings LLC of Pawcatuck and company owner Frank Turrisi to open a wood mulching operation, The Westerly Sun reports. The denial puts an end to the initial application, although developers have an opportunity to appeal the decision.

NORTHWEST

 Zoned for Seniors

Johnston Town Hall (Photo: Susan Campbell / WPRI 12)
Johnston Town Hall (Photo: Susan Campbell / WPRI 12)

A recent zoning ordinance approved by the Town Council paves the way for the development of nine age-restricted condominiums on Irons Avenue.The development proposal for 54 Irons Ave. will target buyers who are at least 55 years old, with permanent deed restrictions in place for that age group if the units are resold. The one concern for the change – the property is right next to the town’s public works building. The Johnston Sun Rise details the project and what’s being done to alleviate those concerns.

High Honors for Johnston PD

SUN RISE PHOTOS BY PETE FONTAINE

The Johnston Police Department has been elevated into an elite class of law enforcement agencies.

At the outset of this week’s Town Council meeting, Warwick Police Chief Col. Stephen M. McCartney stepped to the podium and announced that the Johnston department would receive the Rhode Island Police Accreditation Commission (RIPAC) Award, a distinguished honor signifying that it has upheld the highest standards for its 90 policies on law enforcement best practice and complied with RIPAC’s 200 standards. The Johnston Sun Rise details what the honor means to the department.

PROVIDENCE

RI’s Imperial Pearl Looks to Culpo

Olivia Culpo arrives at the inaugural InStyle Awards at The Getty Center on Monday, Oct. 26, 2015, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)
Olivia Culpo arrives at the inaugural InStyle Awards at The Getty Center on Monday, Oct. 26, 2015, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

Millions of pearls flow in and out of Imperial’s East Providence headquarters each year. Yet many people who live in Rhode Island have not heard of the Imperial brand, acknowledges the company’s president Peter Bazar. So what to do? Hire Rhode Island native and former Miss Universe Olivia Culpo to be the face of the brand, of course. And as The Providence Journal reports, Culpo is just the latest celebrity to appear in the company’s ad campaigns.

Teen Giving Back

The only way the teacher could persuade the high school junior to apply for a Brown summer program was to agree to let her paint his fingernails pink, with glitter, and keep it on for a day.
The student, Thais Del Rosario, came to the United States as a sophomore who only knew a few sentences in English. Thais (pronounced Ty-eece) is now 16 and a senior at the Juanita Sanchez Educational Complex in South Providence. The Providence Journal has this teen’s uplifting story, including how she’s already earned a scholarship to college and how she’s giving back to those in need.

SOUTHEAST MASSACHUSETTS

Closing Time for Al’s Variety

After 62 years in business, the owners of Al’s Variety are hanging up their aprons and retiring. Corky Row has changed since Al Laprise put on an apron and opened for business. This was before Interstate 195 or the Braga Bridge, before supermarkets and the flight of jobs overseas. The Fall River Herald takes a walk down memory lane.

‘Challenging Future’ for Brayton site

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

As Brayton Point is slated to close in 2017, Somerset is trying to figure out what will become of the site. And as The Fall River Herald reports, the prospects are grim. The paper details some of the ideas and what kind of revenue they could generate.

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