Sunday Local Roundup: July 31, 2016

Hyper-Local Headlines from Where You Live


Vessel at Gaspee Point breaking up

Rep. Joseph McNamara and Dr. Kathy Abbass confer near the bow of the wreck that is starting to break up with exposure from its sandy grave. WARWICK BEACON PHOTOS

Greene Island is disappearing. In fact, at high tide, there’s nothing of it, which likely means it is no longer an island and should probably be removed from city maps and navigational charts. But at low tide, there’s still a couple of acres of sand. Its most prominent feature is closest to the southerly end of Gaspee Point. It’s a shipwreck more than 120 feet long. It is starting to go, too. However, The Warwick Beacon reports, the history of the vessel is still a mystery.

Film explores Rocky Point ‘curse’

For over 150 years, Rocky Point was known as Rhode Island’s summertime playground. Generations of New Englanders headed to the seaside park for the thrills of a roller-coaster ride, to enjoy clam cakes and more by the shore, or to beat the summer heat with the park’s cool Narragansett Bay breezes. The park was abandoned for more than 15 years after it closed in 1995. During that time, local filmmakers were granted special access to the derelict remains of the park, and through their explorations, interviews, and exhaustive research, they claim to have found evidence that the park was cursed. The Warwick Beacon has the details on a new film about the park’s so-called cursed past.

City prevails in pension lawsuit

The city has prevailed in a legal challenge to local pension changes brought by a group of retired police and fire personnel. Superior Court Judge Sarah Taft-Carter on July 22 ruled Cranston had proven its actions were undertaken for a “significant and legitimate public purpose,” and that the plaintiffs – the 70-plus-member Cranston Police Retirees Action Committee – failed to meet several evidentiary thresholds. What’s next? The Cranston Herald has the details.


Lease concerns spark review


Watch Hill Fire District officials will review how they go about leasing district property, including its dock, the carousel, a parking lot on Larkin Road and bath houses following a meeting of the district’s Parks Commission Thursday. The Westerly Sun details why the issue is getting closer scrutiny.

For cops, quarry crackdown a matter of safety

Safety is the goal of increased police attention on the former Copar Quarries of Westerly facility in Bradford. Last year, a man fell to his death off an 80-foot cliff on the property. | Sun file photo

Summer in Westerly means warm weather, visits to the beach, and, for some, a dip at a popular swimming hole in Bradford, the former Copar Quarries — a site that the police say is unsafe and clearly out of bounds.

Rest stop debate brewing in South County

Sen. Elaine Morgan. | Harold Hanka, The Westerly Sun

State Sen. Elaine Morgan, R-Hopkinton, says Rhode Island Department of Transportation Director Peter Alviti Jr. is refusing to meet with her because of her opposition to the state’s proposed transit hub and rest stop at Exit 1 in Hopkinton. Morgan wants to discuss the reopening of the existing but shuttered rest stop on Interstate 95 in Richmond, her preferred alternative to the new, 6,000-square-foot facility the state plans to build at Exit 1. The Westerly Sun has more on the debate.

Court: Farm can serve as wedding venue

iStock_generic-scales-of-justice-gavelLast week, a Washington County Superior Court judge ruled against a property owner who was holding weddings over the past few years in violation of Exeter’s Code of Ordinances. Gerald P. Zarrella, owner of 32 acres off Narrow Lane in Exeter, entered a Superior Court judgment with Exeter to not use his property “for weddings for a fee or other commercial events,” after the town filed suit when he began advertising Gerald’s Farm as a wedding venue. The Narragansett Times has more on the debate.


Pawtucket firms designs PGA clubhouse

Photo: Jefferson Group Architecture

For those planning to tune into the PGA Championship later this week, pay extra attention to the close-ups of the clubhouse, trophy room, etc. They are the proud designs of a design firm based right in Pawtucket. The Times has more on the company and its history.

Catch ’em at the library

Ernest A. Brown | The Pawtucket Times

Libraries in the Blackstone Valley in the past few weeks have seen a significant uptick in foot traffic. While that could naturally be attributable to the summer months and students being on vacation, what libraries didn’t expect at the start of the summer were the crowds that would be coming in to check out the library’s Pokéstops or Pokémon Gyms as part of the wildly-popular “Pokémon Go” game. The Pawtucket Times has more on the hunt.

Fate of old middle school uncertain

Photo: Joseph B. Nadeau | The Woonsocket Call

The city’s old high school and middle school building at Park Place has been vacant and nearly abandoned for six years now, but there is still plenty of talk about it undergoing revival as a new asset for the city. The Woonsocket Call has more on the future of this building.


Johnston projects part of RhodeWorks plan

Peter Alviti

According to the “new” Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT), many of Johnston’s ailing roads and bridges will soon receive major overhauls. “I don’t even want to begin to think what some of the consequences of some of the conditions of these bridges are if we don’t start addressing them very quickly,” RIDOT Director Peter Alviti said during an interview last week. The Johnston Sun Rise has more on how RhodeWorks could affect the town.

Dozens attend safety course for older drivers

Anthony Ballirano speaks to the group about safe driving practices. SUN RISE PHOTOS BY CHELSEA WALKER

“Things change” was the theme of a free smart drivers safety course held at Cherry Hill Manor last Wednesday and coordinated by Loraine DiLorenzo, the facility’s director of marketing. The course was held through AARP’s Driver Safety Program, which provides a refresher course for drivers who are 50 years and older. Nearly 40 people attended the event. Worried about an older driver in your life? The Johnston Sun Rise has more information on similar events.


Oliver Hazard Perry to set sail

Providence Journal photo / Glenn Osmundson

Resembling an American naval vessel of the early 1800s, the country’s newest tall ship is set to sail with its first students in an education-at-sea program also aimed at personal growth. The Rhode Island-based SSV Oliver Hazard Perry recently earned its Coast Guard certification, and high school-age students are to board the vessel in Boston on Sunday for a Portsmouth, New Hampshire, tall ships festival. A second group will travel from Portsmouth to Newport later in August. The Providence Journal has more on the ship and its unique mission.


New state computer system could lead to layoffs

Jim Hughes | WPRI-TV
Jim Hughes | WPRI-TV

Upgrades to the computer system that will be used to verify eligibility for social service programs could impact jobs at the Department of Human Services. The new $364-million system known as the Unified Health Information System (UHIP) is scheduled to launch in mid-September. Dubbed RIBridges, the new software system will replace one that is three decades old. But, according to The Providence Journal, with those changes could come layoffs of state workers.

Providence Plan ousts finance director

generic moneyThe Providence Plan has fired its finance chief amid allegations that he embezzled “hundreds of thousands of dollars over the course of a number of years,” the nonprofit public policy organization announced on Friday. The Providence Journal has the details.


Battleship Cove ships named one of America’s best museum ships

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

Battleship Cove’s warships were once in the thick of combat, sailing the seas during World War II. Now they’re earning national honors. USA Today has named the USS Massachusetts, USS Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. and USS Lionfish the seventh-best museum ship in the country, placing it among the premier vessels of the Historic Naval Ship Association. The Fall River Herald News has more on the honor and improvement plans for Battleship Cove.

Stalled: Cars piling up at old power station

Dozens of vehicles are now parked on the former Montaup Power Station property in Somerset. — Herald News Photo | Jack Foley
Dozens of vehicles are now parked on the former Montaup Power Station property in Somerset. — Herald News Photo | Jack Foley

It still remains to be seen how soon dozens of older trucks, buses and passenger vehicles being lined up in rows on a carved-out parcel behind the old Somerset Power Station are shipped by barge and vessel from this site on the Taunton River to third-world countries in the Caribbean. The Fall River Herald News details what’s holding up the plan to move the vehicles out.

Comments are closed.