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April 6th, 2012

Senate panel gives Steward nod

April 6, 2012

PROVIDENCE – The Senate Health and Human Services Committee has scrapped a proposal to amend the 15-year-old Hospital Conversions Act and substituted language proposed by Steward Health Care that will facilitate its purchase of the troubled Landmark Medical Center.
The new version of the bill would eliminate the provision that a for-profit hospital corporation like Steward is prohibited from applying to buy a second hospital for at least three years after it acquires one.

Bus provider withdraws threat to end service

April 6, 2012

WOONSOCKET — In an about-face, Durham School Services has agreed to provide student transportation services for the rest of the year even though it’s owed more than $500,000 by the cash-choked Woonsocket Education Department, school officials announced Thursday.
School Supt. Giovanna Donoyan said the company had previously advised the WED it would discontinue service on Monday unless the department satisfied the debt. The Warrenville-Ill.-based transportation giant changed its mind after a conference call with company executives, state revenue officials and the office of Mayor Leo Fontaine.

April 4th

Blackstone Valley parks get windfall

April 5, 2012

WOONSOCKET — Good news seems hard to come by lately in this cash-strapped city, but a bit surfaced yesterday as state officials announced a grant of $125,000 for improvements to Cass Park, the city’s largest tract of open, public space.
The award was among $4.2 million worth of recreational grants for 23 communities announced at the State House by Gov. Lincoln Chafee and Department of Environmental Management Director Janet Coit.

April 3rd

City tax hike now in hands of General Assembly

April 3, 2012

WOONSOCKET – Now that the City Council has approved sending out a supplemental tax bill, the focus shifts to the General Assembly, which must grant the proposal its blessing before the measure becomes law.
Legislative actions taken in support of locally driven initiatives are known as enabling bills and are often considered ministerial functions of the General Assembly.
But the controversial supplemental tax bill might not be a slam dunk.
“I would think it would be open for debate,” said Larry Berman, a spokesman for House Speaker Gordon Fox.

April 2nd

Council votes 6-to-1 for tax hike

April 2, 2012

WOONSOCKET — Despite an outpouring of protest, the City Council voted in favor of a 13 percent supplemental tax hike for 2011 that will cost homeowners and businesses hundreds of dollars, all in hopes of keeping the teetering city from going broke in the days ahead.

April 1st

The ponds are stocked

April 1, 2012

Dust off those rods and reels and break out the tackle box.
The 2012 trout and general freshwater fishing season begins at 6 a.m. on Saturday, April 14.
More than 20,000 anglers are expected to turn out at dawn on opening day.
Approximately 80,000 hatchery raised brook, brown, and rainbow trout with an average individual weight of one and a half pounds have been stocked by Division staff in more than 100 ponds and streams for opening day.

March 31st

Age-old dilemma: Cut services or increase revenue?

March 31, 2012

WOONSOCKET – The School Committee balked at cutting school lunch monitors on Wednesday as the next step in reducing local school spending, but will seek to make changes in the health care coverage held by retired school department employees.
The decisions came Wednesday as the School Committee considered several matters related to the school department's ongoing budget problems and seemed to indicate a growing concern among some of the panel's members that student needs are being pushed aside in the effort to address funding shortfalls.

Afterschool study and job training at their fingertips

March 31, 2012

WOONSOCKET – Local young people will have a new opportunity for career training and online work research thanks to a donation from the GTECH Corporation to the Family Resources Community Action YouthWorks411 Center, at 55 Main St.
GTECH President and CEO Jaymin B. Patel joined Family Resources Executive Director Benedict F. Lessing Jr., along with staff and program members this week in unveiling the just-completed and fully-furnished computer lab.

Child molester receives 20-year sentence

March 31, 2012

PROVIDENCE — A North Smithfield man has been sentenced to a total of 40 years in prison, with 20 to serve and 20 suspended with probation, according to Attorney General Peter Kilmartin. In addition, the convicted man must undergo sex offender counseling, was ordered to have no contact with the victims, and must register as a sex offender.

Rep. MacBeth reintroduces abortion bill

March 31, 2012

PROVIDENCE – In each of the last three years, Cumberland Rep. Karen MacBeth sponsored legislation that would require doctors to offer to show and explain fetal ultrasound images to women seeking abortions. The bills died with little media or public fanfare.
MacBeth has introduced the bill again, but this year pre-abortion ultrasounds have become a red-hot button nationwide controversy as state legislatures across the country have passed or are considering a variety of bills mandating the procedure in various forms

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