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July 28, 2006
Update: Man who strangled wife gets life in prison
A Providence man convicted in January of strangling his wife and hiding her body in a crawlspace in his apartment was sentenced this afternoon to life in prison.
James "Clyde" Gillespie, 44, killed his wife in 1998, bundled her corpse in cloth and stowed it in a small space behind a padlocked closet. He lived with the stench of the decomposing body for two months before being evicted from the West End house. A cleaning crew later discovered the corpse.
Savage was facing 10 years to life in prison for the second-degree murder conviction and another five years for failing to report a death. Superior Court Judge Judith Colenback Savage gave Gillespie the maximum penalty in both charges.
"To get the life sentence on second-degree [murder] is gratifying, obviously that's the maximum we could get," said Michael Healey, spokesman for Attorney General Patrick Lynch.
Posted by Steve Peoples at 6:53 PM
Update: Line of thunderstorms crossing R.I.
PROVIDENCE -- A severe thunderstorm watch is on for the region until 9 p.m. tonight.
Live weather radar shows a line of storms crossing Rhode Island from the west to east now.
An airport weather warning for the state's airports had been issued from 6 to 7 p.m.
These thunderstorms have the potential to produce wind gusts of up to 70 mph.
Get the latest conditions and forecasts ...
Posted by Andrea Panciera at 6:50 PM
Photo: Navy warship Wasp visiting Newport
Journal photo / Frieda Squires
The U.S. Navy warship Wasp (LHD-1) arrived at Pier 2, Naval Station, Newport, today for a weekend port visit. The ship carries 73 officers and 1,009 enlisted personnel, and a Marine detachment of 1,894. The Wasp is the lead ship of the Navy's first class of multi-purpose amphibious assault ships.
Posted by Andrea Panciera at 5:11 PM
Underdog: Still here but almost gone
PROVIDENCE – The Disney movie Underdog is nearing the end of its Providence film shoot.
The crew has a few more shots to film at the State House today and on Washington Street tomorrow before its members move on, according to Jenny Peek, the cultural affairs and film manager for the city of Providence.
Beyond that, Peek said Underdog will be filming some basic shots without the crew for a couple weeks at the Armory, but she doesn’t think people will really know they’re there since the full entourage of hard-to-miss trucks won’t be needed.
Peek said the whole shoot has been a “great experience.”
“For a movie that has been so present for such a long time, they were as unobtrusive as a movie with big trucks could be,” she said.
Tomorrow, from noon until sunset, some downtown streets will be closed for the filming. They are: Washington Street between Beverly and Dorrance streets; Mathewson Street between Westminster and Washington; Eddy Street between Fountain and Washington, and Union Street between Westminster and Washington.
No streets were being closed for the State House filming today.
At the Armory, Underdog needs to film in front of a green screen and then fill in the background later, Peek said.
The cast and crew took out a full-page ad in The Journal today, thanking the citizens, businesses and government officials of Providence and Rhode Island for their “encouragement, cooperation and hospitality during the past seven months.”
But they haven’t been here that long. Peek said they began shooting April 8. Seven months ago, Disney was just announcing that it would be filming the movie in Providence.
Posted by Kate Bramson at 4:46 PM
Belo, owner of Journal, reports higher 2Q earnings
DALLAS -- Belo Corporation, the publisher of The Providence Journal and projo.com, reported higher second-quarter earnings today.
The increase comes from better-than-expected results from the company's television stations and a tax-related gain.
Belo owns 19 television station and four daily newspapers, including The Journal and The Dallas Morning News.
It earned $42.7 million, or 41 cents per share, in the three months that ended June 30. That's compared to $41.9 million or 36 cents per share a year earlier. Revenue also rose 3 percent to 403.6 million.
-- The Associated Press
The company's shares rose 82 cents, or 5.4 percent, to $16.02 in afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange. The stock has slumped in the past year, losing about one-third of its value since hitting a 52-week high of $24.71 last September.
Media stocks have been under pressure in recent months, as newspapers face declining circulation and the loss of advertising revenue to Internet rivals, but shares of most newspaper companies have fared slightly better than Belo's.
More from the Associated Press
Posted by Steve Peoples at 4:34 PM
Update: E. Providence crash victim was fleeing accident, police said
EAST PROVIDENCE -- A motorist who had been fleeing the scene of a minor accident was injured when his car rolled over and crashed on Interstate 195 this afternoon, police said.
The driver, a 26-year-old male from East Providence, was thrown from the vehicle during the accident near the Route 114 ramp, according to state police.
Apparently, the driver veered quickly onto Route 114, causing his car to roll, according to state police Lt. John LaFraniere.
The driver was admitted to Rhode Island Hospital, where he's expected to stay over night. When released, LaFraniere said, he is expected to be charged with misdemeanor leaving the scene of an accident.
LaFraniere would not release the name of the driver.
-- Journal staff writer Michael P. McKinney
Posted by Steve Peoples at 3:55 PM
How to pack it up for Bay Day beach trip
Packing the cooler for a trip to the beach for Governor's Bay Day?
You may need to for relief, with temperatures expected to climb to 90 degrees in the Providence area this Sunday. But you may need to bring that beach umbrella, too, because the day could be marred by showers, according to the National Weather Service.
Parking and entrance fees at all state beaches and parks are waived on Bay Day, an annual event observed this Sunday to honor Narragansett Bay.
Bay Day activities actually start Saturday night with a concert and fireworks display at Misquamicut State Beach in Westerly. Free parking at all state beaches will be available starting at 4 p.m. Saturday.
Tomorrow should be mostly sunny with a high near 91 before turning partly cloudy at night with a low near 71 degrees.
Get the latest weather conditions and forecasts, as well as a beach guide and tips for handling the heat, at: http://projo.com/weather/
Posted by Jack Perry at 3:35 PM
Fatal motorcyle accident in E. Providence
EAST PROVIDENCE – A fatal motorcycle accident occurred this morning on Pawtucket Avenue.
No more information was yet available. Police say they will release more later today.
-- Journal staff writer Michael P. McKinney
Posted by Kate Bramson at 3:13 PM
Judge: 'Hate has corroded your personality'
PROVIDENCE -- A Superior Court judge ruled against a Warren woman this afternoon in the first case brought by to state's Office of Civil Rights Advocate, which had accused the woman of using anti-gay slurs and threatening a fellow tenant who has AIDS.
Theresa R. Deschenes is barred from having any intentional contact with her downstairs neighbor, Kenneth W. Potts, or repeating the harassing behavior -- such as name calling and playing loud music -- that Judge Netti C. Vogel ruled today was a violation of Potts' rights under the Rhode Island Fair Housing Practices Act.
Deschenes' lawyer characterized the dispute as a "kindergarten name-calling contest" that had nothing to do with Potts' sexual orientation.
Vogel, however, said it had everything to do with bigotry and hatred.
"Hate has corroded your personality,” Vogel told Deschenes, who was not ordered to pay any fines.
-- With reports from Journal staff writer Tom Mooney
Posted by Steve Peoples at 1:12 PM
Update: No men-of-war in sight, beaches open
The swimming restrictions at three state beaches were lifted at noon today after no Portuguese men-of-war were spotted.
Those beaches where swimming can resume are East Matunuck in South Kingstown, Roger Wheeler in Narragansett and Misquamicut in Westerly, according to Gail Mastrati, spokeswoman for the state Department of Environmental Management.
At least six beachgoers and a lifeguard have been stung since the jellyfish-like polyps appeared in the Westerly area Saturday afternoon. None was seriously hurt.
Meanwhile, a lively debate is being waged -- safely off shore -- on how to spell the plural of Portuguese man-of-war. Browse projo.com's survey on the subject and add your own response.
Posted by Kate Bramson at 1:00 PM
Photo: Lined up and ready in Foxboro
Journal photo / Bob Breidenbach
Patriots players line up during a field goal kicking drill this morning in the first session of training camp. An afternoon practice is scheduled for 2:30 p.m.
For more information and updates, read Pats Blog.
Posted by Jack Perry at 12:32 PM
'Good Samaritan' saves pair from sinking boat
A Warwick father and daughter whose boat began to sink last night are alive today because of good emergency preparations and the help of an unidentified man the U.S. Coast Guard is calling a "good Samaritan.”
Paul Friel and his daughter, Nicole Friel, were hugging the shore along Rocky Point off Warwickin the elder Friel’s 19-foot recreational boat when it struck a boulder and began rapidly taking on water, Coast Guard Petty Officer Etta M. Smith said.
The two knew what to do.
With her cell phone, Nicole called her sister as Paul Friel placed a distress call to the Coast Guard over the international hailing and distress frequency on his marine radio.
As the Coast Guard launched a 41-foot utility boat from Station Castle Hill in Newport and sent an HH-60 Jayhawk helicopter to assist, dispatchers advised Friel to launch an emergency flare to alert other area boaters of their distress, according to the Coast Guard.
As it turned out, the first rescuer on scene was the “good Samaritan,” who had already begun rescue efforts before a Sea Tow rescue company and state Department of Environmental Management crew arrived, according to the Coast Guard. That man left, however, once official rescue crews arrived and before the Coast Guard learned his name, Smith said today.
The Friels had been boating along Rocky Point, which is off the eastern side of Warwick Neck.
Sea Tow ultimately brought the Friels safely to Oakland Beach, which is at the bottom of the peninsula west of Warwick Neck. Sea Tow also removed enough water from the Friels' boat to tow it to shore, Smith said.
“The Friels are alive today because they had a VHF radio, a cell phone as a second form of communication and were wearing lifejackets,” Chief Petty Officer Scott Carr of the Coast Guard’s first district said. “This case is a perfect example of a boater having the proper safety equipment on board to survive until rescue assistance can arrive.”
Posted by Kate Bramson at 12:04 PM
Pawtucket police plead for help in finding murder suspects
Pawtucket police photos
Suspects Barry Offley, left, and Alonzo Shelton
PAWTUCKET -- A couple dozen detectives are searching today for the two men wanted for first-degree murder and attempted murder after one woman was fatally shot and another was seriously wounded.
“We’re pleading with anybody at all who may know their whereabouts to contact us or convince them to turn themselves in,” Maj. John J. Whiting said this morning. “This is not something we’re ever going to forget. … We know who these people are, and we’re looking for them, and there’s a nationwide alert looking for them.”
Arrest warrants were issued yesterday afternoon for Barry Offley, 19, address unknown, of Woonsocket, and Alonzo P. Shelton, 28, of 70 Lincoln Ave., Central Falls.
The police searched a South Attleboro home last evening because detectives thought the men could be hiding there, at 17 Curtis Ave., where one of Offley’s relatives lives, Whiting said. All Whiting would say about the search is that the men were not found.
The two women who were shot at 4:11 a.m. yesterday lived in a second-floor apartment at 86 Lawn Ave., Whiting said. Jessica C. Imran, 24, was shot in the head and killed, Whiting said. Julie Lang, 28, remains under police guard at Rhode Island Hospital, where she was in serious condition yesterday after being shot four times. Whiting said he does not know her condition this morning.
Anyone with information about the men can call Detective Lt. Daniel Mullen, at 727-9100, ext. 723. Or, police dispatchers at 726-3911 can pass him a message if his line is busy, Whiting said.
Whiting said the police know the alleged attacker’s motive, but he will not share that with the media.
-- projo.com staff writer Kate Bramson
Posted by Kate Bramson at 11:03 AM
One dead in early-morning car crash in Providence
PROVIDENCE – A passenger in a car crash early this morning died at the scene, and another person in the car is in fair condition at Rhode Island Hospital.
The 2:12 a.m. accident in the vicinity of Huntington Avenue and Cranston Street, just east of Route 10, is under investigation, Patrolman Donald DePalma said this morning.
The person at the hospital has been upgraded from serious condition this morning, DePalma said.
More details are not available at this time.
Posted by Kate Bramson at 8:11 AM
Coast Guard tall ship to visit Newport
PROVIDENCE - The Coast Guard's Tall Ship Eagle will dock at the state Department of Environmental Management's Pier 9 in Newport from today until Monday.
The 295-foot Class A square-rigger is scheduled to arrive at 10 a.m. The public can tour the ship from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. Sunday at the pier, which is on Long Wharf in back of the Visitors Center on America's Cup Avenue.
The Eagle's homeport is New London, Conn., where it serves as a Coast Guard training ship. The three-masted vessel has 148-foot tall masts and more than 22,000 square feet of sail.
Read more about the Eagle.
Posted by Jack Perry at 7:46 AM