Sunday Local Roundup: October 16, 2016

Hyper-Local Headlines from Where You Live

Photo: David DelPoio | The Providence Journal
Photo: David DelPoio | The Providence Journal


School nurses urge pay increase for subs

east greenwich busAll of the school nurses who work in the East Greenwich school district sat in the school committee meeting Tuesday night, where they urged the committee to raise the pay rate for substitute nurses after years of being unable to find loyal and consistent help. The East Greenwich Pendulum has the details.

School Committee Q&A

With less than a month left until Election Day and in the midst of tense consolidation talks, the Beacon polled all four School Committee candidates on several topics, including school consolidation plans. Find out where they stand.

School committee takes heat over special education

warwick public schoolsThe Warwick School Committee was again met with rampant dissatisfaction from parents and teachers at Tuesday’s meeting. Complaints largely focused on special education but also regarded the lack of classroom supplies, conditions inside the schools and printing problems. The issues have created a “hostile” work environment, many teachers said. The Warwick Beacon has more.

Teachers taking part in ESL training initiative

Twelve Cranston teachers are heading back to college for intensive English as a Second Language Instruction training as part of a $480,000 initiative to close the “achievement gap” for students who are English Learners (EL). Eight percent of the district’s students are classified as English Learners. “We are in need of more qualified teachers for our EL population, and this certainly helps encourage educators to pursue this certification. I hope this program will enhance our efforts to better serve our students,” Jeannine Nota-Masse, Cranston school superintendent, told The Cranston Herald.

Behind the Scenes: Field of Screams

Photo: David DelPoio | The Providence Journal
Photo: David DelPoio | The Providence Journal

It was a pleasant October night. The stars were out. A crescent moon hung in the sky. In short, a perfect night to terrify people. So, what exactly does it take to pull off the big scare? Providence Journal Reporter Andy Smith takes you behind the scenes of Field of Screams.



Police contract goes to town council

imageThe Town Council on Monday will review a proposed new contract between the town and the International Brotherhood of Police Officers Local 503, the labor union that represents the town’s police officers. The Westerly Sun has the details.

Former landfill going to the dogs

Last week, a town employee updated the sign on the locked gates of the future dog park on Larry Hirsch Lane to reflect a new opening date of Fall 2016. The park was originally slated to open in 2013. | Harold Hanka, The Westerly Sun

About four years after work began to build a dog park atop a portion of the town’s former landfill, the project took a big step forward Wednesday when the Town Council voted unanimously to authorize Town Manager Derrik M. Kennedy to sign a lease for the property with Stand Up for Animals, the driving force behind the park. The Westerly Sun has the details.

Cops: Student planned to sell fake drugs as ‘retaliation’

Photo: The Westerly Sun
Photo: The Westerly Sun

A 17-year-old Westerly High School student is facing charges and an investigation is ongoing after police said she tried to sell an over-the-counter medication as a recreational drug as retaliation for being “ripped off” in a previous drug deal. The Westerly Sun explains how it all went down.


Power plant put on hold…for now

A rendering of Invenergy's proposed power plant in Burrillville. (credit: Invenergy)
A rendering of Invenergy’s proposed power plant in Burrillville. (credit: Invenergy)

The Rhode Island Energy Facilities Siting Board voted last week to suspend the application for Invenergy’s proposed $700 million natural gas-fired power plant in Pascoag for 90 days and to order Invenergy to report back in 60 days with a status update on its efforts to secure a water source for the plant. What’s next? Read about it in The Call.

Counselor of Year named

Generic chalkboardThe Rhode Island School Counselor Association has named Joseph L. McCourt Middle School staffer Cindy Lancaster as its 2016-217 Rhode Island School Counselor of the Year. Learn more in The Call and The Times.

Art installation honors long-time teacher

As a former student of Gloria Del Papa in the early 1980s, local resident Patricia St. Germain said that the Shea High School English teacher was a major source of motivation and creativity inspiring her to work with children. Now a social worker, St. Germain will show her gratitude and respect for Del Papa and what she meant to herself and so many other Pawtucket students over the years with a special public art installation. The rest of the story is in The Times.

Indoor farmers market coming to Pawtucket

marketA winter’s harvest will soon be available at Farm Fresh Rhode Island’s indoor wintertime farmers market at the Hope Artiste Village in Pawtucket, where upward of 80 vendors this year will be offering everything from fresh baked pies to locally-produced eggs and dairy. Get the scoop in The Times.


Solar deal hailed as ‘win win’

solar panelsJohnston’s energy future recently became brighter and cleaner thanks to an arrangement that will give the town solar energy credits to reduce its electricity bill. The Town Council on Sept. 26 authorized Mayor Joseph Polisena to enter into a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes, or PILOT, agreement and a municipal net metering finance agreement with Southern Sky Renewable Energy RI LLC to provide the town with credits for utilizing solar energy. The Johnston Sun Rise has the details.

Senior Center to host Medicare open enrollment sessions

Madeline Ravenelle, social services director at the Johnston Senior Center, will be helping people with their Medicare coverage questions during the open enrollment period that begins Oct. 15. (SUN RISE PHOTO BY PETE FONTAINE)

“It time for a new season,” Tony Zompa, the Johnston Senior Center’s executive director, noted last Friday morning. “We’re looking forward to Halloween, Thanksgiving, and other events, but there’s an important date that everyone should know about.” Zompa was speaking of Medicare open enrollment, which begins this Saturday, Oct. 15, and runs though Dec. 7. The Johnston Sun Rise has more on how the Johnston Senior Center will be helping with the process.


More than $1.7M spent on Tiverton casino campaign

tiverton casinoCitizens to Create Jobs and Protect Revenue Inc. spent more than $883,000 in September on a big advertising push for a statewide referendum to build a new casino in Tiverton, according to Board of Elections filings. That’s roughly half of the $1.78 million in total contributions that the group has reported receiving from Twin River Management Group since March 4, most of which has been spent. The Providence Journal takes a closer look.


Man who oversaw growth of JWU honored as ‘visionary’

jwu-morris-gaebeThe late Johnson & Wales University president Morris J.W. “Mo” Gaebe is being remembered as a visionary and man of conviction who helped transform a small school into an institution with nearly 16,000 undergraduate, graduate and online students; campuses in four states; and a workforce of more than 2,400 employees. The Providence Journal has more on Gaebe’s contributions.

Why Mass schools best RI

generic-pencils-stock exchange-schoolMassachusetts has been recognized as the national leader in school reform for more than a decade. The state consistently ranks at the top of the country on a highly regarded test called the Nation’s Report Card. If the Bay State were a country, its students would rank ninth in the world in math. It ranks second only to Singapore in eighth-grade science. The so-called “Massachusetts Miracle” is anything but, according to many education experts. It didn’t happen overnight; it was 20 years in the making. The Providence Journal details what Massachusetts is doing differently from Rhode Island.


Streetscape plans get OK despite no votes

Jasiel CorreiaTwo city councilors and a half-dozen citizens criticized the Correia administration’s capital bonding plan to individualize seven city streetscape projects totaling $10,462,000 Tuesday night in the council chambers. But it wasn’t enough to stop the projects from proceeding. Six of the seven projects passed on 6-3 votes. The Fall River Herald News details the different projects.

Somerset urges residents to sign up for alerts

generic-iStock_smartphone-warning-resizedTown Administrator Richard Brown describes situations of people coming home from work in a winter snowstorm and not knowing a parking ban’s been put into effect. Or they might want residents to know something new about the Musictown Parade or the Spirit of Somerset being moved to the rain date. Those are just some of the situations the town may use its new community alert system. The Fall River Herald News details the news system and tells you how to sign up.

Fall River raising fees

(Photo: Brian Yocono/WPRI)
(Photo: Brian Yocono/WPRI)

The increases for review of building plans, fire permits for multi-family houses and hospitals and a new $50 charge for liquor license inspections – those are just some of the fees recently increased by City Council  recently. The Fall River Herald News has more.