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February 25th, 2012

FLOWER POWER

February 25, 2012

During the annual R.I. Spring Flower & Garden Show at the Convention Center Friday, Joe Mack, left, of Earth & Water Landscapes of Lincoln, and Craig Marciniak, of Tranquil Water Gardens of Cumberland, look over their collaborative garden called "Garden of Hope," created in partnership with the Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Research Foundation. In the foreground are the many memorial ribbons that visitors have created. The flower show runs through Sunday.

February 23rd

Chafee hints at withdrawing meal tax hike if revenue strong enough

February 23, 2012

WOONSOCKET — Speaking at a business development forum Thursday, Gov. Lincoln Chafee hinted that he might withdraw his proposed hike in the meals and beverage tax if new revenue forecasts due in May are high enough.
“We’re hoping with those new revenue estimates we can work on the meals and beverage tax,” Chafee said. “Let’s hope those May numbers continue the positive trend they’re on.”

February 22nd

Pension reform sparks police, fire retirements

February 22, 2012

WOONSOCKET — Continuing concern over pension reform and the city’s shaky financial condition are helping fuel one of the biggest retirement waves among police and firefighters since 2009.
Fourteen workers have tendered retirement papers since December — six police officers and eight firefighters, according to figures supplied by the city’s personnel department.
Nearly 50 additional public safety employees, including 18 police officers and 26 firefighters, are currently eligible to retire with at least minimum basic pension benefits.

Expect big hikes in sewer fees

February 22, 2012

WOONSOCKET — The much-bemoaned financial burden of upgrading the wastewater treatment plant will begin hitting home in the form of steep hikes in sewer fees as soon as the next bills go out in May.
The average homeower’s bill of $69.23 per quarter will rise by some 12 percent, effective immediately, followed by a series of increases in each of the next four calendar years of 11, 11, 5 and 5 percent, respectively, under an ordinance adopted Monday by the City Council.

State readies for 350th

February 22, 2012

Heralding the 1663 Royal Charter for the English Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations as “one of the great human rights documents of the world,” Gov. Lincoln Chafee set the stage Tuesday for the celebration next year of the 350th anniversary of King Charles II’s grant to John Clarke and Roger Williams.
A history buff who frequently references Roger Williams, the state’s founder, and the charter in his speeches and Statehouse presentations, Chafee appointed a 34-member commission to organize a celebration for the sesquarcentennial, which will culminate on July 8, 2013.

February 20th

ACLU sides with Chafee in Pleau case

February 20, 2012

WOONSOCKET – The state chapter of the ACLU has filed a “friend of the court” brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals in Boston, siding with Gov. Chafee in his efforts to prevent accused murderer Jason Pleau from facing a possible death sentence at the hands of federal authorities.
Four other ACLU affiliates, from Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine and Puerto Rico, which are covered by the court’s jurisdiction, are also parties to the brief, as are the national and state associations of criminal defense lawyers.

February 19th

Service to others: It's what Quota is all about

February 19, 2012

Ann L. Hogan has always believed that not only should a person strive to achieve personal success in their own lives, they must go out and serve others. Service to others, she says, not only gives meaning to your own life, it makes life better for others.
“Service should be an element of everyone's life. People need to have that experience of giving to others,” says Hogan, 83, a retired school teacher from Pawtucket.

February 18th

Police charge youth in connection with stolen car, crash

February 18, 2012

WOONSOCKET — A motorist's discovery of a relative's stolen car operating on Wood Avenue resulted in the arrest of a 16-year-old city boy on charges of possession of a stolen vehicle and driving violations Thursday.

Schools mull layoffs for all in union

February 18, 2012

WOONSOCKET – The school department's continuing budget problems will be back in the limelight this week when the school committee considers laying off all of the department's union employees for the coming school year.

February 17th

Bill will improve campaign finance laws

February 17, 2012

PROVIDENCE – Common Cause Director John Marion, a government watchdog and frequent critic of the General Assembly, found himself standing with Gov. Chafee and legislative leaders at the Statehouse Thursday, hailing what he called “a big improvement” in the state’s campaign finance laws.

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