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September 27, 2006
Newport man pleads guilty to Warren bank robberies
Thomas L. Woodward, 32, of Newport, has pleaded guilty to federal bank robbery charges, admitting that he robbed the same Bank of Newport branch in Warren on two separate occasions last fall.
Woodward entered the guilty plea on Monday before U.S. District Court Judge William E. Smith in U.S. District Court, Providence, U.S. Attorney Robert Clark Corrente said.
At the plea hearing, Assistant U.S. Attorney James H. Leavey said that the government could prove that, on Oct. 25, 2005, Woodward leapt over the teller’s counter at the Bank of Newport branch on Market Street, Warren, and demanded money. The tellers opened the cash drawers and he fled with $4,336.
On Nov. 8, Woodward entered the same branch, again leapt over the counter, demanded money, and fled with $4,778.
After an investigation by Warren Police, Newport Police, Swansea Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Woodward was arrested on Nov. 17.
Woodward is detained pending sentencing, which is scheduled for Dec. 15.
Posted by maria caporizzo at 4:08 PM
Former RIC president Joseph Kauffman dies at 85
Former Rhode Island College president Joseph F. Kauffman, who served the college as its fourth leader from 1968-1973, died today in Madison, Wisc., where he lived. He was 85.
Kauffman was a nationally recognized expert on executive leadership in higher education. Under his leadership, the number of faculty grew by a third, and new academic programs were established including nursing, economics, political science, communications, and general studies.
Expansion and improvement to the campus and its facilities, including construction of Horace Mann Hall, two residence halls, the Faculty Center, additions to several buildings on campus, and the acquisition of property on the western side of the campus, were accomplished during his tenure.
RIC recognized his contributions in 2004 by naming a building on its east campus in his honor. The Kauffman Center houses the Division of Development and College Relations, including the alumni office, and the news and public relations department.
Kauffman was a friend and mentor to RIC’s current president, John Nazarian. Nazarian called him “fair, compassionate, and deliberative,” but also “decisive and firm.”
“Even today, facing some of the issues that we do, I find myself thinking, ‘What would Joe Kauffman do under these circumstances?’ ” Nazarian said at the 2002 dedication of the Kauffman Center.
Posted by Andrea Panciera at 3:52 PM
W. Warwick economic official accused of bribery
SCITUATE -- Robert B. Boyer, chairman of the West Warwick Economic Development Commission and a board member of the Kent County Water Authority, has been charged with bribery of a public official and criminal ethics violations, state police announced today.
In a press conference at state police headquarters this afternoon, Maj. Steven G. O'Donnell, flanked by West Warwick Police Chief Peter Brousseau and Detective Todd E. Catlow of the Financial Crimes Unit, said that police had been investigating complaints of corruption in the town since November 2005.
As a result, state police detectives gathered information suggesting that Boyer had tried to hire West Warwick Building Official Stephen D. Murray, as an undocumented, paid consultant.
State police allege that Boyer paid Murray, who was a cooperating witness, monetary consideration as an inducement or a reward for acts relating to his official duties. Boyer, 69, owns his own land surveying business in town.
State police said detectives monitored 22 meetings and conversations between Murray and Boyer. During those meetings, Boyer paid cash to Murray on eight occasions, totaling $2,800, and in return requested preferential treatment to speed up projects he was involved in.
Boyer insisted that all payments be in cash and that no one, other than the two men, would have knowledge of the transactions, according to a state police press release.
-- Journal staff writer Talia Buford
Boyer was arraigned by Justice of the Peace Richard Finnegan and released on $10,000 personal recognizance last night. He is set to appear in court on Oct. 10.
Bribery of a public official is a felony; the criminal ethics violation is a misdemeanor.
-- Journal staff writer Talia Buford
Posted by Andrea Panciera at 3:41 PM
Update: Port oil spill only a drill / Photo
Journal photo / Andrew Dickerman
Emergency officials were staging a mock oil spill off Collier Point Park for training purposes this morning at the Port of Providence. The drill involved how to respond to a call from fishermen that a ship was leaking fuel into Narragansett Bay, according to information released by the state Department of Environmental Management yesterday. Above, boats from Providence, East Providence and Cranston fire departments set containment booms.
Posted by Steve Peoples at 1:50 PM
Prosecution rests its case against Urciuoli, others
The government has rested in the corruption trial of Robert A. Urciuoli, Frances P. Driscoll and Peter J. Sangermano Jr.
At 12:30 this afternoon, Asst. U.S. Atty. Luis Matos announced that the prosecution had completed its case. The jury could have the case by the end of the week, depending on the judge’s ruling later today on defense motions to acquit and what witnesses the defense chooses to present. No one has said whether any of the defendants intend to testify.
The government rested after the testimony of lobbyist Kelly Sheridan, who related his dealings with former state Sen. John A. Celona in 2003 on behalf of his client, United Healthcare.
United was involved in a dispute with Roger Williams Medical Center over reimbursements. Sheridan testified that Celona called him and said that he had heard from Urciuoli, the president of Roger Williams, that negotiations weren’t going well, and that it would be in the interest of both sides to get together and try to work things out.
Celona requested a meeting between Urciuoli and the president of United. Sheridan said he arranged it, out of deference to Celona’s position as the chairman of a Senate committee that controlled health-care legislation.
On cross-examination, Sheridan said that he did not feel pressured by Celona. He also disputed an e-mail from Celona to Urciuoli, in which Celona reported a phone conversation with Sheridan two months after the State House meeting. Celona wrote Urciuoli that Sheridan had reported that United Healthcare was willing to increase its reimbursements to Roger Williams.
-- Journal staff writer Michael Stanton
Posted by Jack Perry at 1:30 PM
SUV driver arraigned for security breach at Green
WARWICK -- An allegedly intoxicated man who crashed his SUV through the gates at T.F. Green Airport yesterday, and briefly drove around on a perimeter road near the runways, was arraigned this morning in district court.
The police said today that the actions of Paul Sullivan, 43, of 2043 Elmwood Ave., Warwick, caused a security alert at the airport before he smashed through another fence and left the airport grounds.
He was arraigned on four counts of malicious damage to property and one count of trespassing in second division district court, in Warwick.
Sullivan allegedly drove his black 1998 Ford Explorer up to the gate at the long-term parking lot, on the airport grounds, around 11:45 a.m. yesterday, according to Capt. Stephen Cahill of the Airport Police. After waiting for several moments, Sullivan drove through the gate, breaking the yellow swing arm.
Then, Sullivan allegedly drove through the lot, crashing through two internal gates, and onto the perimeter road near the runways.
“Once he went through the second gate, it put him on the perimeter road of the airfield, which is technically a breach of the airfield,” Cahill said.
-- Journal staff writer Daniel Barbarisi
Posted by Kate Bramson at 1:04 PM
Police arrest man wanted for murder in N. Attleboro
NORTH ATTLEBORO – The police have captured a man they considered armed and dangerous who was wanted for the murder early this morning of a local man and the assault of a local woman.
Cory J. Hood, 25, will be arraigned this afternoon on charges of first-degree murder and assault with intent to murder.
The police have identified the murder victim as Michael J. Liss, 25, of 85 Johnson St., North Attleboro. He was found dead this morning at that address. The police also identified the assault victim as Terra M. Marvitz, 20, also of North Attleboro.
Hood was on the run this morning, last seen driving a gray 2004 Ford pickup with the Massachusetts plate 93EP37, according to a news release issued by Police Chief Michael P. Gould Sr.
The police and fire rescue crews responded to Johnson Street after several residents called around 2:15 a.m. to report that a woman covered in blood said she had been stabbed and needed help.
The woman, now identified as Marvitz, who had “obvious lacerations to her body,” was taken to Rhode Island Hospital. She was listed in serious condition at 10 this morning.
Based on what the woman told police, officers went to 85 Johnson St., where they found Liss dead on the floor with “severe wounds to the body, an apparent victim of a homicide,” according to the police statement.
Hood was arrested around 9:15 a.m. today after a Norton, Mass., police officer and a Massachusetts State Police trooper with a dog found him in the woods along Dean Street, Norton.
About two hours earlier, the Norton police notified the North Attleboro police that they had found Hood's truck on Dean Street, near the Rehoboth line.
He was arrested without any problems.
-- projo.com staff writer Kate Bramson
Posted by Jack Perry at 12:41 PM
Police identify driver of car that killed Hien
LINCOLN -- Police identified the driver of the vehicle that struck and killed Lincoln Little League coach Randall C. Hien Monday, and said it was unlikely charges will be filed in the case.
Police Chief Robert T. Kells said today the driver was Jason Correira, 20, of 18 Mabel St., Pawtucket.
Police have turned over the results of their investigation to the town solicitor’s office for review and a final decision. But Kells said the case seemed to be more of an accident than a crime.
``It appears no charges will be filed,’’ Kells said.
-- Journal staff writer John Hill
Hien was struck at around 11 a.m. Monday on Walker Street after he had pulled over to adjust or examine the rear of his pickup truck. Walker Street is a connector for Smithfield Avenue and Lonsdale Avenue and has little or no breakdown lane where Hien had pulled over, Kells said.
Hien was traveling east from Smithfield Avenue to Londsale Avenue at the time, as was Correira, Kells said.
"He was at or near the rear of the vehicle on the driver’s side," Kells said of Hien. "It appeared he wanted to make some sort of adjustment. Something drew his attention to the back of his pickup."
Hien, 57, was the owner of the Living Room nightclub in Providence, as well as a coach in the Lincoln Little League for more than 25 years. He was praised by people in both the Providence music and the youth baseball communities as a compassionate and nurturing man who developed talent without being judgmental.
His funeral is set for Saturday at 10 a.m. in the St. Jude Church on Front Street in Lincoln, with calling hours Friday from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Bellows-Falso Funeral Home, 160 River Rd., Lincoln.
Posted by Peter Phipps at 12:10 PM
Dow nears record high set in 2000
The Dow Jones Industrials Average is within inches of its all-time closing high of 11,722.98 set in early 2000 before the bursting of the tech bubble.
Shortly after 11:30 a.m. today, the most widely stock market indicator stood within a whisp of the record at 11,716.29.
If a new record is set today, it will mean to took nearly seven years for stocks to return to the levels that preceded the 2000-to-2002 collapse.
Posted by at 11:34 AM
Reed to visit Afghanistan and Iraq
WASHINGTON, DC. -- Sen. Jack Reed will travel to Afghanistan and Iraq next week to get updates from combat units, military leaders and diplomats on the status of the U.S. and allied efforts to those nations.
Reed, a former Army officer who sits on the Senate Armed Services Committee, will spend two days in Afghanistan and two days in Iraq, his office announced today. Reed said he will also make a stop in Pakistan.
Besides seeking assessments of the military situation in Iraq and Afghanistan, Reed will also examine the progress of efforts to rebuild both war-torn nations - a side of the struggle that he has often stressed in his critiques of the Bush administration's wartime leadership.
The tour will mark Reed's ninth trip to Iraq and fifth trip to Afghanistan.
-- John Mulligan, Journal Washington bureau staff
Posted by Jack Perry at 11:24 AM
Update: Lincoln police investigate overnight shooting
LINCOLN -- The Lincoln police are investigating an attempted homicide this morning and are searching for a gunman who opened fire last night and shot a man in the head on Cobble Hill Road.
The police haven't released the victim's name. They say he was taken to Rhode Island Hospital after he was found on the side of the road with a gunshot wound to the head.
The man was being kept alive this morning in the hospital's intensive care unit, Police Chief Robert T. Kells said.
Cobble Hill Road was blocked off last night, and the police report that it will be closed for the morning commute from Lakeview Avenue to Louisquisset Pike.
Witnesses report seeing a blue/green Plymouth Voyager leaving the area on Cobble Hill Road last night toward Louisquisset Pike (Route 246), according to the police. The vehicle may have headed north on Route 246.
A witness told the police that he was walking home from the Lincoln Park slots parlor around 10 p.m. when he heard what sounded like fireworks. He later found the victim by the side of the road.
The shooting was reported to the police at about 10:15 p.m.
"We're thinking it could be drug-related," Kells said.
-- projo.com staff writer Kate Bramson, with reports from The Associated Press
Posted by Jack Perry at 9:36 AM
Big green cans coming to help Providence with rats
PROVIDENCE -- The big green cans are coming. And the rats will be sorry.
Mayor David N. Cicilline is scheduled to appear on the intersection of Beaufort and Pemberton streets at 10 a.m. this morning to promote a city-wide distribution of 47,000 "big green cans" -- heavy-duty, 95-gallon trash barrels aimed at reducing the city's rat population.
“I consider this one of our single most important tools in reducing the rodent population and creating cleaner neighborhoods in our city,” Cicilline said in a statement. “We have already begun to see good results in neighborhoods that have the big green cans and I fully expect the program to make a significant impact citywide.”
The garbage receptacles, which have already been distributed in some neighborhoods, have wheels, a hinged lid and are designed to accomodate a mechanized device that attaches to the can and empties the trash into the truck.
The heavy-duty lid cuts off the food supply for rats and prevents trash from blowing from the cans into the streets.
The Department of Public Works plans to deliver the cans to every household in the city by the end of the year, Ciciline said.
Posted by Steve Peoples at 7:15 AM
Sunny today with a high near 71, but watch out for fog
Today will bring a lot of sun with a high near 71 degrees, according to the National Weather Service.
But the weather service is also warning about heavy fog in low areas, especially near the water, early this morning and warning drivers to be ready for sudden changes in visibility. It should dissipate by 8 a.m.
Tonight will be clear with a low around 52.
For more weather and updates, check projo.com/weather.
Posted by Jack Perry at 7:00 AM