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February 21st, 2015

Brutal winter weather takes a toll on area churches

February 21, 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.

“It’s a scary time,” says Rev. Edward G. St-Godard, pastor of Holy Family Parish in Woonsocket. “Most 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.”

February 19th

Frechette has held zoning board seat more than half his life

February 19, 2015

WOONSOCKET – 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 you’re Norman G. Frechette.

At 85 years old, Frechette has served on the Zoning Board of Review more than half his life without interruption – 45 years – 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.

February 18th

Charter school may expand

February 18, 2015

WOONSOCKET – 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.

City workers scuffle, one sent to hospital

February 18, 2015

WOONSOCKET – 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.

February 16th

National park plans remain in infancy

February 16, 2015

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.

February 15th

This winter’s truly for the birds

February 15, 2015

WOONSOCKET – 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.

February 14th

Battling the winter blues

February 14, 2015

Here’s the deal: You’ve just shoveled your 40th inch of snow in three weeks and the weatherman says there’s more on the way. It’s crossed your mind that a blowtorch would come in handy to melt those ice dams in the gutter backing up meltwater through the ceiling. You’d like to pinch yourself because you’re half-convinced you’ll wake up from this wintry nightmare but your hands are so numb from the cold you can’t feel anything.
So if you’re not feeling quite yourself lately, don’t fret. You may have a case of the Sub-Zero Blues.

February 12th

ATV proposal to be revisited

February 12, 2015

BLACKSTONE – 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.

February 11th

Uxbridge police officer injured in crash

February 11, 2015

UXBRIDGE – 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.

February 10th

Heavy snow brings roof-collapse worries

February 10, 2015

NORTH SMITHFIELD – This winter’s record-setting stretch of snow is not only weighing on the patience of snow-weary Northern Rhode Islanders, it’s weighing down roofs where heavy loads of snow and ice have many fearing snow-related building collapses.
“I’ve 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,” 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.

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