Archive - News Article
June 11th, 2012
PROVIDENCE â€” Denizens of Netroots Nation may have thought they were coming to a famously deep-blue state that has Democratic supermajorities in both chambers of its General Assembly for their 2012 get-together, but a panel of local activists gave them a sobering dose of bad news: While Rhode Island is heavily Democratic, it is not particularly liberal, or, in the current jargon, progressive.
PROVIDENCE â€“ It was 3:41 a.m. on Friday when House Speaker Gordon Fox brought down the gavel on the 2013 budget debate, sending the document across the Rotunda to the Senate. Twenty-four hours later, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Daniel DaPonte of East Providence raised his gavel to open the panelâ€™s hearing on the budget.
STATE HOUSE â€“ The House this past week approved legislation to increase use of the vehicle ignition interlock system for those convicted of driving under the influence or refusing a chemical test.
BURRILLVILLE â€” The 158 Burrillville High School seniors who earned diplomas at Friday's 111th Commencement celebrated achievements, overcame obstacles and adapted to change on their four-year high school journeys.
The Class of 2012 may also have been Burrillville High School's most diverse.
"We all became friends despite our differences and that diversity seemed to bring us together," said Senior Class President Nathan A. Satish, an exchange student who noted the graduating class's unique membership.
WOONSOCKET â€“ A two-alarm fire that displaced four residents in a two-family at 24 Knight St. early Thursday morning was caused by the careless use of fireworks.
Lt. Scott Popovich of the Woonsocket Fire Departmentâ€™s Fire Prevention Bureau said the fireworks were legally purchased at a retail store.
Investigators for the WFD determined that the fire started in a pile of debris in the yard behind the house. The fire eventually crept toward the house, scorching the rear facade and the roof, Popovich said.
The fire will be classified as accidental in nature.
WOONSOCKET â€“ A tough year ended on a jubilant note as Woonsocket High Schoolâ€™s class of 2012 strode off into the great unknown with words of encouragement and sage advice Friday.
After a ceremony spiced with student performances of pop music, 309 seniors picked up diplomas in the gymnasium, where hundreds of spectators gathered, clutching balloons and sounding the occasional noisemaker.
â€śBe the best version of yourself possibleâ€ť was Valedictorian Justyna Pietrusâ€™s parting advice to her classmates. â€śNo matter what your version of success is work until you get there.â€ť
WOONSOCKET â€“ Acting on orders from City Hall, the police began dispersing a group of homeless men living in tents alongside the Blackstone River this week.
Human Resources Director Matt Wojcik said the city would have continued to tolerate the camp were it not for repeated complaints of disruptive behavior and violence. The police have one report on file of a fight on May 28 involving two men armed with bats and knives.
WOONSOCKET â€” As the newly seated Budget Commission begins eyeing possible cuts in personnel, Police Chief Tom Carey says he intends to lobby members to let the manpower cap on the Woonsocket Police Department phase out as scheduled at the end of the month.
The result of collective bargaining between the city and the International Brotherhood of Police Officers, the cap went into effect on Dec. 30, 2011, restricting manpower to 93 officers, eight fewer than the unionâ€™s contract normally allows.
CUMBERLAND â€” The town's Monastery property will be on display with all its history when the sixth Annual Cumberland Arts and Crafts Festival is held there this weekend. More than 50 artists and crafters will be setting up booths near the Cumberland Senior Center building at the Monastery on Saturday for what organizers are hoping will be a nice day outdoors for the festival's visitors.
Lee Drury, Senior Center Director, said the festival is something the event's sponsors have been trying to grow each year as a rival to other popular arts and crafts events later in the season.
WOONSOCKET â€” If thereâ€™s a breath of life left in a House bill that would allow the city to levy a 13 percent supplemental tax bill, the Budget Commission intends to find out.
During its second meeting in Harris Hall Tuesday, the five-member, state-appointed panel now handling the cityâ€™s finances unanimously passed a resolution urging the House to pass the legislation immediately.