PROVIDENCE â€“ Reform of troubled city and town pension plans will be on the Senateâ€™s agenda in the coming year, President Teresa Paiva Weed acknowledges, but she will insist it be â€śsustainable, long-term structural changes, not simple quick fixes to the municipalitiesâ€™ budget problems.
â€śThatâ€™s what we are trying to avoid,â€ť she told The Call in an interview that looked back at the legislative year just past and ahead to the session that begins January 3.
Some RIIL history was made last March when the Johnston/North Providence team became the first co-op club to win a state championship, doing so when it swept defending champ Mount Hope in their best-of-three Division III title series.
While Johnston/North Providenceâ€™s championship didnâ€™t come as much as a surprise -- the team was 14-1-1 during the regular season and the top seed in the playoffs -- it was a bit shocking to see a boysâ€™ co-op squad capture a state crown before a girlsâ€™ team.
GLOCESTER â€” The village of Harmony, in Glocester, is home to a rolling hills, country cottages, and ancient farms nestled within the boundaries of lichen-covered stonewalls. At the heart of this bucolic rural stop along the Putnam Pike is the Harmony Fire Department. Here, Chief Stuart Pearson and his merry band of firehouse elves kicked off the 2011 â€śseason to be jollyâ€ť with a festive tradition that dates back to the 1950â€™s.
WOONSOCKET â€” Santa Claus gets plenty of help every Christmas season, and he should especially thank members of the Woonsocket Police Department.
On Friday, Det. Sgt. John Scully and Det. Sgt. Shawn Kerrigan wrapped up their annual stint as Santa's helpers by turning over toys to more than 75 local families, an effort benefiting at least 290 city children.
WOONSOCKET â€“ Holiday songs and cheer filled the air at CVS Caremarkâ€™s corporate headquarters on Thursday as 64 nonprofit organizations received a much-needed boost from funds generated by the 2011 CVS Caremark Charity Classic. The tournament, Rhode Islandâ€™s largest charitable sporting event, this year raised nearly $1.2 million for charities across Rhode Island and Massachusetts, bringing the total funds raised since its inception to more than $15 million.
WOONSOCKET -- The rematch was a mismatch.
Defending state champion Mount St. Charles, which saw its bid for a perfect regular season come up a game short when the Mounties lost their finale to the Burrillville/Ponaganset co-op team, got a bit of revenge for that defeat in Friday nightâ€™s showdown at Adelard Arena.
The Shea sisters, Allison and Caitlin, and Marissa Heroux each scored a pair of goals for Mount in a surprisingly-lopsided 7-0 triumph over the Broncos, a game the hosts dominated from start to finish.
WOONSOCKET --- She didnâ€™t have to turn in the same remarkable effort she did in her 58-save performance against Mount St. Charles last weekend, but Britney Evangelista was still outstanding in net for North Smithfield in Friday nightâ€™s meeting with Lincoln.
The sophomore netminder turned away 32 shots and frustrated one of the top lines in the state to help the Northmen claim a 4-0 triumph over the first-year Lions at Adelard Arena and snap a five-game losing streak.
As seen from the second floor of the Woonsocket Call newsroom, this rare double rainbow appears in the northern sky, arching from Main Street, at left, over to the Crepeau Court high-rise building on Front Street, at right, around 4 p.m. Friday.
WOONSOCKET â€“ A lawyer for Landmark Medical Centerâ€™s employees union blasted state regulators Friday for dragging their feet on commencing a review of the financially troubled hospitalâ€™s application to merge with Steward Health Care System.
WOONSOCKET â€“ The city moved a step deeper into fiscal crisis this week as Fitch Ratings placed the cityâ€™s $118 million portfolio of general obligation bonds on negative watch status.
Finance Director Tom Bruce said the status shift almost certainly means that Fitch will downgrade the cityâ€™s bond rating and that Moodyâ€™s Investor Service will likely follow suit.
At this point, Bruce said itâ€™s probably inevitable that the state will call for increased oversight of the cityâ€™s fiscal affairs â€“ the only question is how much.