Archive - News Article
November 20th, 2011
Dressed in matching pajamas, two-year-old Isabella Paulson and her aunt Amanda DelPonte get ready for the Polar Express to depart the Woonsocket Depot yesterday for the 90-minute excursion and reading of Chris Van Allsburg's classic "The Polar Express," presented by the Blackstone Valley Tourism Council. The local depot has been dubbed the Polar Express Train Station this holiday season, with trips coming up today, Nov. 20, and on Dec. 2, 3, 4, 11, 16, 17and18. The train leaves at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m on Fridays, and at 10:45 a.m. and 1:45 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.
WOONSOCKET â The budget war between the school department and the city administration will continue for at least another legal skirmish, following a 3-2 vote of the outgoing committee Wednesday night.
The school committee had school department attorney Richard Ackerman lodge an appeal of the city's move to cut school spending last year even though it subsequently cut its $62 million budget to the $59 million figure. Mayor Leo T. Fontaine and the city council maintained it was the only funding available for schools.
WOONSOCKET â Before it can gain access to capital thatâs needed to upgrade the wastewater treatment plant, the city must renegotiate antiquated pacts with neighboring communities that also use the facility, including two in Massachusetts, officials say.
The City Council recently gave Mayor Leo T. Fontaine the go-ahead to borrow the first $26 million for plant upgrades whose costs could top out at $40 million.
WOONSOCKET â The rise of storefront churches in retail zones once dominated by the greengrocer and tailor isnât necessarily a trend greeted with the utmost reverence in a city struggling to save its traditional downtown for small business.
But the Rev. Al Berja of His Presence Church International was preaching to the choir when he asked the Zoning Board of Review for permission to put his church in an old cotton mill.
So far as anyone can tell, itâs a first for Woonsocket â and the Zoning Board likes it.
PROVIDENCE â The General Assembly culminated an historic special fall session by overwhelmingly approving a radical overhaul of the public employee's pension system designed to save the state hundreds of millions of dollars over time and preserve the integrity of the pension funds going forward.
WOONSOCKET â After a preliminary review of Landmark Medical Centerâs application to merge with Steward Health Care System, state regulators have deemed the paperwork incomplete, but a Landmark spokesman dismissed the notion that the assessment means the merger is in jeopardy.
âItâs not a bump,â said Bill Fischer. âQuite frankly it was expected because if you look at history thereâs no hospital conversion that Iâm aware of thatâs had an application deemed complete on the first pass.â
WOONSOCKET â Luigi Porreca Jr. is not a magician, but he and his father are going to turn metal into food for the poor this year â again.
The proprietors of L&R Scrap Metal Co. are sponsoring the 2nd Annual Help Feed the Hungry for the Holidays event, which raised enough cash to provide about 500 dinners for the hungry last year.
âThis year we hope to make it a thousand,â says Porreca.
But L&R needs your help â or at least your unwanted appliances â to make it happen.
PROVIDENCE â Demonstrating vigilance against what they fear might be âeleventh-hour, last minute shenanigansâ pulled by the General Assembly on the pension reform legislation scheduled for a final vote on Thursday, three government watchdog groups held a Statehouse press conference to urge that the bill be passed in its current form.
LINCOLN â Route 116 South, near the intersection to Blackstone Valley Place proved to be quite the scene on Monday morning.
Two elderly women had been traveling southbound at about 9:30 a.m. when a deer leaped in front of their 2002 Buick Century and crashed through its windshield and roof, ripping a massive hole. In the process, the animal struck a 75-year-old passenger from Central Falls, and the woman suffered injuries to her head and face, stated Police Capt. Raymond Bousquet.
Norman Decelles, 5, of Wrentham, with his grandmother, Michelle Decelles, owner of the Coachmanâs Lodge in Bellingham, presents a check for $200 to Terry McKenna, founder of Terryâs Auto in Woonsocket, during the 16th annual Because He Lives fundraiser Sunday.