Sunday Local Roundup: November 6, 2016

Hyper-Local Headlines from Where You Live

WEST BAY

Mayors race hotter than usual

In some respects, this year’s mayoral contest is remarkably different than those Scott Avedisian has faced since winning the post in a special election in 2000. Few have mounted such a committed campaign against the Republican mayor as his Democratic challenger, Richard Corrente, who has been on the campaign trail for about two years drumming his message for change. The Warwick Beacon has more on both candidates.

Where they Stand: School Committee Candidates

warwick public schoolsSchool consolidation and teacher contract dispute have been hot topics in Warwick lately. When voters head to the polls Tuesday, they will choose among four school committee candidates. The Warwick Beacon introduces you to the candidates and tells you where they stand on the various issues.

Mom launches no-confidence campaign

A no-confidence campaign in Superintendent Philip Thornton has gained the support of more than 300 people, says its organizer, Jennifer St. Jean. The mother of three – two of whom are in Warwick schools – said Tuesday she launched the online petition in the wake of Thornton’s robocall to parents that schools might close because of a teacher sickout. The Warwick Beacon has the story.

Cranston voters face full slate

Republican Steven Frias, left, and Democratic House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello debate on WPRI 12's Newsmakers on Nov. 4, 2016.
Republican Steven Frias, left, and Democratic House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello debate on WPRI 12’s Newsmakers on Nov. 4, 2016.

All eyes will be on Cranston come election night. City voters will face a full slate when they head to the polls on Nov. 8 – not only deciding on the mayoral race but also deciding if House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello gets to keep his job. The Cranston Herald has more on those races as well as several other contests.

Cranston schools ‘Go Orange’ to end hunger

Alexandra and Elizabeth Cowart, now sixth- and eighth-graders at Western Hills Middle School, are two of the three sisters who started the Go Orange food drive for CCAP in 2013, and have watched it grow year after year. Here, they pose with some of the food items brought in by the Western Hills staff and students this year.

Cranston’s fourth annual “Go Orange” days to benefit the No Kid Hungry initiative had the biggest participation level ever and will help CCAP to reach the 2016 goal. Started in 2013 by Caroline, Elizabeth, and Alexandra Cowart as a way to help the hungry families in their own community, the food drive has grown each year it has been in existence. This year, almost two-dozen schools and offices, including the school district’s food service provider Aramark and the Briggs building staff participated, dressing in orange and donating to the drive. The Cranston Herald has more on the initiative.

SOUTH COUNTY

RI State Police involved in inquiry regarding child left on bus

school bus verticalRhode Island State Police are prepared to meet Monday with Peter Denomme, the school district’s former director of transportation, for interviews in their investigation into whether any criminal violations occurred when he left a 5-year-old girl stuck inside a bus on Sept. 21. The Westerly Sun has the latest chapter in the story.

After delays, dog park set to open

Dogs of all sizes will soon have their very own place to play and run when, after years of delays, the Bruce G. Ladd Memorial Dog Park opens on Nov. 12. “We’re very, very excited. We’ve been waiting a long time for this,” said Lina O’Leary, president of the Stand Up For Animals board. The Westerly Sun details why the project has several false starts.

RYSE panel anxiously awaits vote

imageRYSE, which stands for Reaching Youth through Support and Education, has operated out of 26 leased trailers at the back of the Chariho campus since 2004. All three towns and the Chariho School Committee have approved the new facility, an addition that would be attached to the middle school but remain independent. The Rhode Island Department of Education approved the $5.2 million project and will reimburse the district 61 percent of the construction cost. The Chariho towns would be left to pay for approximately $2 million, and on Election Day, voters in those towns will be asked to approve a 10-year, $6 million bond to build the addition. The Westerly Sun has a closer look at the proposal.

Arturo Joe’s celebrates two decades

20 yearsThe dream of three food lovers came true in 1996 when Arturo Joe’s opened its doors in Mariner Square. A collaboration of current owner Joe Paglia, the late Arthur Benedetti, and current head chef Peter DeSimone, the restaurant upholds a strong Italian tradition in both its cuisine and its decor. During a recent interview with The Narragansett Times, Paglia discussed the trials and rewards of owning and operating Arturo Joe’s for the past two decades.

BLACKSTONE VALLEY

Church closing amid low attendance

Photo: Andy Paskowski | WPRI 12
Photo: Andy Paskowski | WPRI 12

Responding to building safety issues and declining attendance at Masses, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence has decided to permanently close St. Maria Goretti Church in Pawtucket. Read more about that decision in The Times.

Bargain store coming to Woonsocket

old staples
Photo: The Woonsocket Call

A vacant building that used to house Staples will soon be vacant no more. One of the nation’s largest retailers of closeout overstock and salvage merchandise will open its first Rhode Island store in Woonsocket Plaza next year, according to Mayor Lisa Baldelli-Hunt. Learn more by reading the story in The Call.

Breathing life into Woonsocket’s waterfront

woonsocket heritage hall of fameWhen you have a room full of Rhode Island residents gathered to honor some of the state’s noteworthy citizens, it never hurts to espouse a little hope. That is what Albert R. Beauparlant did recently during a Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame induction dinner, announcing a plan to breathe new life into the long-neglected Woonsocket waterfront corridor. Find out more about the plan in The Call.

Council OKs power plant tax treaty

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 Burrillville Town Council has approved a long-term property tax agreement with Invenergy Thermal Development, the Chicago-based developer of the proposed and controversial Clear River Energy Power plant in Pascoag. A story in The Call details the ramifications of the pact.

NORTHWEST

Ruling could be new lease on life

Nikki Batsford finds that painting pumpkins is a form of art therapy and pastime during Halloween. (PHOTO BY HARRY KANE)

Finally, there’s light at the end of the tunnel for Nikki Batsford. The Johnston resident, who has hydrocephalus, said she might finally get access to a doctor who she believes could save her life. The Johnston Sun Rise has more on Batsford’s fight to get the coverage she needs.

St. Rocco’s kicks off new after school program

(SUN RISE PHOTOS BY JEN COWART)

The students at St. Rocco School now have the opportunity to extend their learning beyond the traditional school day hours. The school recently kicked off a new session of after school enrichment activities. The Johnston Sun Rise has more.

EAST BAY

Photo: The Providence Journal
Photo: The Providence Journal

Gordon S. Wood, a Pulitzer Prize-winning historian, is this year’s recipient of the Abraham Redwood Medal for Contributions to American History and Culture, awarded by Newport’s Redwood Library and Athenaeum. The Providence Journal has more on the event and how you can attend.

PROVIDENCE

Can RI afford more debt?

ri-bondsWhen Rhode Island voters head to the polls Tuesday, they’ll consider five separate questions that would allow the state to borrow $227.5 million by issuing tax-supported bonds. But the total costs to taxpayers would be higher than $227.5 million. If bonds were issued with an interest rate of 5 percent and were to be paid back over 20 years, the total cost could equal about $365 million, according to calculations by the state budget office. So, should voters approve the bond questions? Can taxpayers afford these projects? The Providence Journal takes a closer look.

Council members request hearing on charter school expansion

Charter Schools spelled out in colorful play letters -- education concept

Two members of the Providence City Council have submitted a resolution asking the state K-12 council to extend its hearings on charter school expansions until after the fiscal impact on the local school district is published. Achievement First, which operates two elementary schools in Providence, has applied to expand from 720 students to more than 3,000. The Charrette School and the Wangari Maathai Community School have also applied to open schools serving Providence students. The Providence Journal has more.

East Providence voters to decide if they want a full-time mayor

East Providence City Council
East Providence City Council

Do residents want to continue having their city administered by a manager appointed by the City Council? Or would they rather vote to elect a full-time mayor? With East Providence in the midst of a rapid succession of manager firings and hirings — the city is facing bringing aboard the fifth one in the past six years — voters on Tuesday can vote for a change. The Providence Journal has more.

SOUTHEAST MASSACHUSETTS

‘Pay-As-You-Throw’ compliance coming to Fall River

Photo: Fall River Herald News
Photo: Fall River Herald News

The new pay-as-you-throw compliance team out of the Department of Community Maintenance will hit the streets Monday, making it the first time an organized effort has been put in place since the sanitation program was rolled out three administrations ago. Mayor Jasiel Correia II said with the enforcement program, he believes pay-as-you-thrown will be on track as it should have been. The Fall River Herald News has more on what residents should expect.

Gov. Baker makes case for charter schools

AP Photo/Charles Krupa
AP Photo/Charles Krupa

When voters head to the polls in Massachusetts Tuesday they will decide whether or not to expand charter schools in the state. One of the biggest supporters of the measure is Gov. Charlie Baker. He has an op-ed piece in The Fall River Herald News.

Veterans’ Day events begin Monday

Photo: Jack Foley | Fall River Herald News
Photo: Jack Foley | Fall River Herald News

Veterans’ Day may be Friday, but events will begin Monday in the greater Fall River area. For a list of local ceremonies, head to The Fall River Herald News.