Archive - News Article
February 21st, 2015
The brutal snow and cold that continues to slam New England is creating a hardship on local churches, where the relentless and record-breaking storms this winter have resulted in empty pews and empty collection plates.
âItâs a scary time,â says Rev. Edward G. St-Godard, pastor of Holy Family Parish in Woonsocket. âMost of my parishioners are elderly, and this winter has been very hard on them. People are either sick or they are unable to get out because of all the heavy snow and ice.â
WOONSOCKET â Even in a small city, politics can be as fleeting as fashion, an ever-changing parade of faces on the red carpet of public life.
Unless youâre Norman G. Frechette.
At 85 years old, Frechette has served on the Zoning Board of Review more than half his life without interruption â 45 years â a plain-spoken voice of common sense as steady as the Rock of Gibraltar.
A longtime construction tradesman whose specialty was excavating with dynamite, Frechette was still working sporadically until very recently.
WOONSOCKET â Beacon Charter High School for the Arts is seeking permission from the Rhode Island Department of Education to increase seating capacity by some 70 percent over six years, mostly by adding a middle school to be called Founders Academy.
According to RIDE, Beacon wants to serve 399 students in Grades 6-12, beginning with a class of 45 students in its first-ever Grade 6 in the fall. Currently, the school is allowed a maximum of 225 students in Grades 9-12.
WOONSOCKET â A police investigation is under way after the highway superintendent was involved in an altercation that left one of his employees with a badly broken ankle.
Official sources said the two workers who had physical contact were veteran Highway Supt. Rick Lambert, 58, and Mark Gelinas, 48, a laborer in the highway division.
Gelinas was taken to the hospital from the Michael Simpson Highway Depot on River Street a week ago. Sources said he was in the hospital four days.
After years of talk, planning and incremental phases of development, the historic Blackstone Valley appears headed toward national fame as a National Park, telling the story of the American Industrial Revolution and the immigration that helped fuel it.
But while President Barack Obama signed federal legislation creating the national heritage park, exactly what that higher designation will bring to the National Heritage Corridor, created by Congress in 1986, is still percolating and not ready to be poured into a final form.
WOONSOCKET â Deep snow and high winds made the Blizzard of 1978 an area benchmark for bad winter weather, but some may soon view the recent weather track of multiple storms as an even more difficult challenge in the long run.
Both Mayor Lisa Baldelli-Hunt and Cumberland Mayor William Murray on Sunday pointed to the ever-growing piles of snow across the area as an increasing burden on municipal services, local businesses and their residents.
Hereâs the deal: Youâve just shoveled your 40th inch of snow in three weeks and the weatherman says thereâs more on the way. Itâs crossed your mind that a blowtorch would come in handy to melt those ice dams in the gutter backing up meltwater through the ceiling. Youâd like to pinch yourself because youâre half-convinced youâll wake up from this wintry nightmare but your hands are so numb from the cold you canât feel anything.
So if youâre not feeling quite yourself lately, donât fret. You may have a case of the Sub-Zero Blues.
BLACKSTONE â The Planning Board will reintroduce a proposal to Town Meeting voters this spring that sets guidelines for all-terrain vehicle use, but this time the amended warrant article will have clearer language the board hopes will satisfy voters on both sides of the ATV issue.
Planning Board Chairman Paul Marvelle said the ATV article was shot down at the annual town meeting last year because many voters felt the intent of the article was to restrict ATV use.
UXBRIDGE â An Uxbridge police officer Tuesday was injured in a crash police say was caused by a drunk driver on Douglas Street.
Officer Kevin Sullivan was on routine patrol just before 11 p.m. at the intersection of Douglas Street and Route 146 when his cruiser was cut off by another driver, causing the cruiser to crash into the car.
The crash left the cruiser disabled, but the driver of the car that cut Sullivan off, Roger Fournier, 34, of Woonsocket, fled the scene. He was apprehended a short distance away by Uxbridge Police Sgt. David Bergeron, who determined that Fournier was impaired.
NORTH SMITHFIELD â This winterâs record-setting stretch of snow is not only weighing on the patience of snow-weary Northern Rhode Islanders, itâs weighing down roofs where heavy loads of snow and ice have many fearing snow-related building collapses.
âIâve been in the roofing business for 20 years and the only other winter I can remember being this bad was the one we had four years ago,â says Shaun Reilly, president of Above All Roofing on Eddie Dowling Highway, a roofing and home improvement company that also provides local roof snow removal.