Archive - 2013 - News Article
WOONSOCKET â There is no question the city has been in a struggle to survive fiscally in recent months but Mayor Leo T. Fontaine said Wednesday the upcoming 125th anniversary of the cityâs incorporation should still be a time for city residents to recall all the things that make it great.
And to that end, a group of more than 100 volunteers from city organizations, businesses, and committed residents is now working on a Main Street block party everyone involved hopes will equal or exceed the celebration of the cityâs 100th Anniversary in 1988.
WOONSOCKET â A leading advocacy group for affordable housing released a report today criticizing state government for failing to protect its investments in affordable housing with additional funds for maintenance and operations.
The HousingWorks RI report characterizes affordable housing as an essential component of the stateâs economic development infrastructure. The report, entitled âThe Complete Approach to Affordable Housing,â says the state not only needs more affordable housing but should invest more to make sure what it has is sustainable.
WOONSOCKET â At a time when residentsâ fees for curbside trash collection are expected to double in the months ahead, the city is still subsidizing the cost of trash collection in public housing projects by more than $50,000 a year, according to Mayor Leo T. Fontaine.
The mayor is pushing the Woonsocket Housing Authority to absorb those costs, but a preliminary plan unveiled during a meeting of the Budget Commission Monday was rejected by the WHA as needlessly âpunitive.â
CRANSTON â Public school teachers from North Smithfield to Newport jammed into the auditorium at Cranston High School West Monday and for well over two hours unloaded a long list of grievances against Education Commissioner Deborah Gist with the stated intention of convincing the new state Board of Education to not renew her contract next month.
WOONSOCKET â After hearing residents voice concerns about enforcement of a related $100 fine and also general support for its health implications for children, the City Council on Monday granted first passage to a new ordinance banning smoking in city parks.
The five members present all voted to support passage of the measure, which will require a second approval to become law. Council President John Ward left for a personal commitment just prior to the vote but indicated he too favored the smoking ban, and City Councilman Albert G. Brien was not present due to illness.
WOONSOCKET â The latest actuarial data confirms that the financial condition of the cityâs locally-administered pension plan for police and firefighters meets the stateâs definition of âcriticalâ because its assets have dipped below 60 percent of its liabilities to pensioners.
The data from USI Consulting means the city is no longer exempt from having to file a Funding Improvement Plan to the state Department of Revenue under a law passed last year by the General Assembly.
PAWTUCKET â The diary of a young soldier from Woonsocket detailing his experiences during World War II has livened up a Shea High School history class far more than any textbook ever could.
No one remembers exactly how Emilian Larue's leather bound diary ended up at Shea. By chance one day, history teacher James Matuszek was perusing a shelf in the history department office that held books and videos on WWII. âI pulled out some books and the diary fell out,â said Matuszek. âI started to read and realized, 'Wow, this is incredible stuff.'â
GLOCESTER â Elizabeth Yuill, owner and shopkeeper of the historic Brown & Hopkins Country Store in Chepachet, has been named by the U.S. Small Business Administration as one of its 2013 Rhode Island small-business award winners.
Yuill and other recipients of the SBA awards will be honored during the annual Rhode Island Salute to Small Business luncheon on June 12 at the Alpine Country Club in Cranston.
The SBA awards will be presented in nine categories. Yuill won in the Rhode Island Women-owned Small Business of the Year category.
BELLINGHAM â Annual Town Meeting voters will be asked Wednesday to approve hiring an architect to design a new police station in town.
The meeting begins at 7:30 p.m. and will be held in the Bellingham High school auditorium, 60 Blackstone St.
The town wants to build a bigger, more modernized station because the current facility is dated, too small and unsafe, according to police officials. Not only does the current station need extensive renovation of the holding cells, it also needs a new roof and a new boiler, among other things.
The main crops from Rhode Island farms are still growing in the fields, but that isnât stopping area food shoppers from taking advantage of farmers markets as a way to buy fresh, local products.
Some of the markets in the area, such as the Burrillville Farmers Market at the Stillwater Mill Center, have opened and are selling plants for the home gardens or staples such as garden greens, honey, jellies, jams and baked goods. Others like North Smithfieldâs Farmers Market, held in conjunction with the townâs Concert on the Common series on Sunday evenings, will be starting up soon.