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January 3rd, 2012

Steward Health Care hires prominent lobbyist

January 3, 2012

WOONSOCKET – Boston-based Steward Health Care System has hired a prominent government lobbyist for assistance in dealing with state regulators handling its application to buy financially struggling Landmark Medical Center.
Former Warwick Mayor Joseph Walsh of Government Strategies Inc. has already asked some legislators to rally constituents in support of the merger, which may be the Cass Avenue hospital’s only hope for survival.

Blanchard: Despite task force, bullying still happens in Burrillville

January 3, 2012

BURRILLVILLE — While the Burrillville Anti-Bullying Task Force is having success meeting many of the goals set forth in its mission statement, incidents of bullying are still occurring in the town's public schools, Town Councilman and Task Force Co-Chairman Edward J. Blanchard told the council recently.
“I've talked to parents and teachers and it all comes back to the original issue of the school resource officer,” said Blanchard.

A big year for lawmakers

January 3, 2012

Associated Press
PROVIDENCE — With cities on the brink of insolvency and joblessness stubbornly high, Rhode Island lawmakers returning for a new legislative session say 2012 is shaping up to be a pivotal year.
Just as they spent last year finding ways to fix the state's fiscal problems, lawmakers say 2012 must be devoted to helping cities and towns weather a fiscal crisis that shows few signs of abating.
“The fiscal integrity of the municipalities is going to be the year's big issue,” said House Speaker Gordon Fox, D-Providence. “This is make-it or break-it time.”

January 2nd

LOOKING BACK -- Alice Mill fire was a night of decisions

January 2, 2012

WOONSOCKET — Disasters put people in the position of having to make a decision that can't be called back, rethought, or corrected when they are wrong.
The disaster creates pressure to be dead-on right that firefighters feel whenever they arrive at a scene like they found at the former Alice Mill of the U.S. Rubber Co. at 85 Fairmount St. early in the evening of June 7, 2011.

2 from Woonsocket killed in Conn. car wreck

January 2, 2012

WESTPORT, Mass. (AP) — Two people from Rhode Island are dead after a car they were riding in rolled over several times in the early hours of the new year before ending up in the embankment on I-95 North in Connecticut.
The Hartford Courant identified the dead as 46-year-old Terrance Bernard and 25-year-old Savannah Wakely of Woonsocket, who were passengers.
The crash also injured the 32-year-old driver, Jamain Jerry Allen, and 27-year-old Jennifer Shaver, all of Bridgeport.

December 31st, 2011

Council ratifies employee contract

December 31, 2011

BURRILLVILLE — The Town Council has ratified a tentative contract agreement between the town and the union that represents Town Hall and other municipal government employees.
Town Manager Michael C. Wood told the council last week that after more than nine months of negotiations, town employees represented by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Council 94, Local 186 accepted a new contract that not only gives employees a less than 2 percent annual wage increase, but also gives back some management rights to the town.

PINK MADNESS -- Basketball tournament spreads breast cancer awareness

December 31, 2011

GLOCESTER — Hoop fans all over are well schooled in March Madness, which refers to the annual NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at which anything is possible; Davids often defeat Goliaths.
At Ponaganset High School, there’s a unique kind of basketball tournament called Pink Madness, to spread breast cancer awareness throughout local communities.
The school held its second annual Pink Madness tournament on the weekend of Dec. 10-11.

December 30th

NY Times backs Chafee's stance on Pleau

December 30, 2011

WOONSOCKET – The New York Times on Friday weighed in on Gov. Lincoln Chafee’s defiance of a federal court order to turn over accused killer Jason Wayne Pleau to prevent him from exposure to the death penalty, lauding him for taking “a principled position” in the case.
Pleau is accused of the September 2010 shooting death of gas station manager David D. Main of Lincoln outside Citizens Bank on Diamond Hill Road.

Local Sears survives closings -- for now

December 30, 2011

WOONSOCKET – The Sears store in Walnut Hill Plaza has survived the first round of store closings announced by Sears Holdings Co.
The Illinois-based company, which controls the Kmart and Sears chains, posted a list of 79 stores to be closed on Thursday after lackluster holiday performance, but none are located in Rhode Island or Massachusetts.
But the list of 38 Kmart and 41 Sears outlets is incomplete. SHC had said earlier this week that it intends to close up to 120 “marginally performing” locations.

Speaker Fox looks back, ahead; pension reform a priority

December 30, 2011

PROVIDENCE – Agreeing with, well, just about everybody, that local pension plans will be issue number one in the coming General Assembly session, House Speaker Gordon Fox says he believes enabling legislation that will allow cities and towns to craft individual solutions would be preferable to mandating a single fix to an array of diverse problems.

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