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April 7th, 2013

Elderly suicides at alarming rate

April 7, 2013

jfitzgerald@woonsocketcall.com
CUMBERLAND — At 5:20 on March 31, just after finishing Easter Sunday dinner, 73-year-old Roland Bouvier and his wife of 49 years, 70-year-old Maria, walked quietly into the bedroom of their Cumberland condominium on Nate Whipple Highway.
While the couple's 40-year-old daughter and three grandchildren were in another room, Bouvier took a .32-caliber handgun, shot his wife twice in the torso and then turned the gun on himself.
It was Cumberland’s first murder and second murder-suicide in four years.

Call reporter experiences RIPTA ride first-hand

April 7, 2013

I begin this story with full disclosure: I like riding on RIPTA buses, or at least I have fond memories of doing so.
Before I stepped on RIPTA bus No. 0124 Friday at a spot some of the locals disparagingly refer to as Hobo Junction – the corner of High and Main, below the P&W truss bridge – I hadn’t been aboard one for about 40 years. When I was around 15 years old, the bus was how my friends and I used to go to downtown Providence for lunch at the now-defunct Luke’s Chinese Restaurant, where we reveled in dumping the soy sauce into a bowl of sugar
when no one was looking.

Budget crunch forcing RIPTA to re-arrange routes

April 7, 2013

dkirwan@pawtuckettimes.com
PAWTUCKET — Change can be scary...especially if it affects one’s ability to get to work, school, or some other important destination.
The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) has embarked on a plan to change many of its bus routes statewide, and officials say they are trying to do it without causing hardship to riders.
In an effort that began last summer, RIPTA has been doing a “Comprehensive Operational Analysis,” a study of where riders live and work, how each bus route is performing, and where changes could be made to improve service.

April 5th

Serial flasher sought in Coleman School incidents

April 5, 2013

WOONSOCKET – In conjunction with the Woonsocket Education Department, the police yesterday warned parents and children about a man who has been exposing himself to youngsters on their way to Coleman Elementary School.
“We’re doing everything we can to find him,” said Detective Jamie Paone, spokeswoman for the police. “Hopefully someone can provide us with more information to help us identify this guy.”
Police believe same man exposed himself to children on their way to Coleman at least four times in the last year, she said. The most recent incident happened about 9 a.m. Thursday.

Governor: 'Great opportunity to assess our response'

April 5, 2013

Just one day after state officials assembled to roll out a raft of proposed school safety legislation, a lockdown at the University of Rhode Island triggered by reports of a gunman on the South Kingstown campus brought new immediacy to what has become a national conversation about guns.

April 4th

UPDATE: URI lockdown lifted after no evidence of gunman

April 4, 2013

SOUTH KINGSTOWN(AP) — The University of Rhode Island is ending a lockdown and says an investigation has revealed there was no gun or active shooter at any time on its South Kingstown campus.
The school ordered students and staff to stay indoors Thursday after reports of a gunman on campus.
A student in an 11 a.m. physiology class told The Associated Press that she was sitting in the back of a large lecture hall when someone sounding scared yelled "You're a nice guy! You're a nice guy!"
The student says people then started to run and scream, and the professor told all the students to run.

Cambridge, Mass., firm pitches pay-as-you-throw plan for city trash pickup

April 4, 2013

WOONSOCKET – It’s like the forgotten stepchild of the Budget Commission’s five-year plan.
Pension rollbacks, cuts in workers’ healthcare benefits and supplemental taxes have glommed all the attention as strategies for helping the city start to chip away at a projected deficit on track to reach $105 million by 2017.
But the calculus of fiscal solvency also calls for raising $1 million a year in new revenue by hiking residential trash fees, and a company called Waste Zero from Cambridge, Mass., showed commissioners how they can do it this week.

April 3rd

Baldelli-Hunt looks to cut payday loan rate incrementally

April 3, 2013

PROVIDENCE – Woonsocket Rep. Lisa Baldelli-Hunt says lawmakers who insist on reducing the annualized percentage rate for payday loans down from the current 260 percent to 36 percent immediately are “detrimental to the cause” of reforming an industry she sees as equivalent to “loan sharking.”
Baldelli-Hunt has once again filed legislation that would cut the interest rate down to 130 percent, or a two-week rate of $5 for every $100 borrowed.

SNAP debate puts city store in the spotlight

April 3, 2013

rolivo@woonsocketcall.com
WOONSOCKET – It was deja vu all over again for Miguel Pichardo as the cyclical wave of first-of-the-month SNAP shoppers washed over his tiny ethnic market on Arnold Street.
The April 1 sell-a-thon was the first since the Washington Post, a month ago, used International Market as the springboard for a disturbingly blunt expose of the critical role the SNAP program plays in propping up the city’s ailing economy.

Police ID couple in murder-suicide

April 3, 2013

Jfitzgerald@woonsocketcall.com
CUMBERLAND – Police Tuesday identified the elderly couple involved in a murder-suicide in Cumberland on Easter Sunday as Roland R. and Maria R. Bouvier, both of whom had severe health problems in recent years, according to family members.
Roland Bouvier, 73, was suffering with pain from a recent back surgery, while his 70-year-old wife was suffering from early stages of Alzheimer's disease, family members told police.

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