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January 7, 2008
Tonight: E. Providence gets jazzed, Providence feels blues
To get jazzed or feel the blues, you don't have to leave the state
The John Allmark Big Band plays jazz at Bovi's Town Tavern, 287 Taunton Ave., East Providence. Call (401) 434-9670. 9 p.m.
Mark Taber plays the blues at The Hi-Hat, 3 Davol Square, Providence. Call (401) 453-6500, www.thehihat.com. 7 to 11 p.m.
Posted by Mike McKinney at 7:00 PM
Tonight in sports: College football title on the line
Top-ranked Ohio State enters the BCS national championship game against LSU searching for redemption, hoping to bury the memories of an embarrassing loss in last year's title game.
"As much as you try to forget about it, there's no way of forgetting about it," Ohio State fullback Dionte Johnson said. "I can close my eyes and go through that game like I'm still there."
The second-ranked Tigers come into tonight's showdown at the Superdome looking for validation, trying to prove they were indeed the team most deserving of a chance to play the Buckeyes for the title.
"I really feel it was our destiny to be here," LSU receiver Early Doucet said. "For things to go the way they went - us losing to Arkansas, Pittsburgh beating West Virginia and Oklahoma beating Missouri - it all fell into place the way it did and I just think it was meant to be."
That's a good theory. How else to explain how two teams that lost their second-to-last games are playing for the national championship?
The winner will become the first school to win two BCS titles since the Bowl Championship Series began in 1998. The Buckeyes won it in 2002, then lost 41-14 to Florida as a prohibitive favorite in last year's championship game.
LSU won the BCS title in 2003, beating Oklahoma right here in New Orleans, the Tigers' home 90 miles south of Baton Rouge.
Ohio State (11-1), the Big Ten champions, and LSU (11-2), champs of the Southeastern Conference, have been two of the nation's elite programs over the past six seasons; the Buckeyes have won 66 games and the Tigers 63.
Get the latest from the Associated Press ...
Posted by Andrea Panciera at 6:36 PM
Photo: Mother of New Year's baby speaks of fallout
Journal photo / Steve Szydlowski
Carmen Marrero, of Providence. wipes tears from her eyes, as she speaks about how her boyfriend was arrested by federal immigration agents two days after news media featured them as parents of the first New Year's baby in Rhode Island. The father, Mynor Montufar, is facing deportation, and David De La Roca — also an illegal immigrant, one of several people who shared the couple’s apartment — is dead in an apparent suicide. Today, her sister, Marisol Muniz, left, and mother Lillian Muniz listen to Marrero.
Posted by Andrea Panciera at 6:27 PM
Two drivers taken to R.I. Hospital after Providence crash
PROVIDENCE -- A two-car crash near The Providence Journal building this evening sent two female drivers to Rhode Island Hospital with injuries the police described as more than minor but not life-threatening.
The police would not identify the drivers, who were from Providence and Warwick.
A preliminary investigation indicates that a white sedan was traveling fast on Sabin Street, possibly attempting to pass the gold sedan on the left, said Sgt. Gary Venditto.
The gold sedan apparently attempted to make the left turn just west of the Journal building, a turn that loops around to Fountain Street, when the two cars collided. A male passenger in the gold sedan, which appeared smashed in on the driver's side, was not taken to a hospital, the police said. Both cars were towed.
The call came in to police at 5:15 p.m.
-- projo.com staff writer Michael P. McKinney
Posted by Mike McKinney at 6:05 PM
Cost of heating oil in R.I. hits new record high at $3.429
The cost of buying heating oil continued its upward spiral today with the average price rising to $3.429 a gallon in Rhode Island, another record.
The average price, which is based on a survey of local dealers by the State Office of Energy Resources, has risen 31 percent over the past 19 weeks.
The retail cost of a gallon of heating oil today is 54 percent higher than the retail cost of the equivalent amount of natural gas at the current rate charged by National Grid, the largest spread in at least six years.
The price of heating oil had been tracking closely to natural gas for several years but became more expensive in the 2004-2005 heating season by about 5 percent, according to calculations by The Journal. The following year, oil was about 6 percent more expensive, followed by 10 percent more expensive in the 2006-2007 heating season.
If the current price persists, it will cost $2,204 to heat a home this winter with 666 gallons of oil, compared to $1,485 for the same amount of energy using natural gas – a 48 percent increase.
The price of gasoline per gallon also went up today, 3 cents, to an average of $3.139 for unleaded.
Posted by Tim Barmann at 5:56 PM
Update: Fire at Cumberland High forces evacuation
CUMBERLAND -- One student was sent to the hospital for smoke inhalation and faculty and students were briefly evacuated from the high school this morning after a small fire broke out in a storage garage connected to the school’s main building.
The state fire marshal and the Cumberland police are investigating the cause of the fire; Supt. Donna Morelle said that officials believe the cause of the fire "may have been students smoking."
The fire apparently started at about 8:45 a.m. in a garage located on the west side of the high school campus, behind the art and music wing.
The locked room houses equipment for the high school sports teams and is accessible only to coaches and administration. The police said it is unclear how the fire started, and no one was in or around the room when emergency personnel arrived on the scene.
The Cumberland Hill Fire Department and the police responded to the high school after the fire apparently set off the school’s fire alarm. The fire, which the police said was confined to a trash can, was contained by the sprinkler system and smoldering by the time emergency personnel arrived at the scene.
A male student, whose name and age the police and rescue officials were not releasing today, was taken to Hasbro Children’s Hospital in Providence. The condition of the student is unknown, said police and rescue officials.
Deputy Chief Michael L. Kinch said that the student was not in the garage at the time of the fire and suffered smoke inhalation as smoke from the fire entered the main building.
The police said there was minimum damage to the garage and sports equipment. Morelle said that “at no time was the safety of the students and staff determined to be in jeopardy.”
-- Journal staff writer Philip Marcelo
“There would have been a lot more damage had there not been any sprinklers,” said Detective Capt. James P. Coyne. The town recently installed a sprinkler system throughout the high school as part of the multi-million dollar renovation and expansion of the high school.
Students and faculty in the main high school building were evacuated to the high school gymnasium, or Wellness Center.
Students and faculty in the adjacent Transitional Building, which houses the school district administration offices and some high school classrooms, were not affected, said the police.
Classes resumed at 9:50 a.m. and all after-school activities proceeded as scheduled for the rest of the day, said Morelle.
Posted by Mike McKinney at 5:55 PM
Update: 3 bodies removed from S. Providence house
projo.com photo / Brandie Jefferson
A third body was loaded into a medical examiner's vehicle this afternoon from a house at 345 Blackstone St. in Providence, which police are treating as a murder scene.
PROVIDENCE -- The bodies of an adult male, adult female and a "younger male" were removed from a South Providence house this afternoon, and police are treating the deaths as homicides.
The three were taken out of the house at 345 Blackstone St., one after the other on stretchers carried through the front door and loaded into state medical examiner's vehicles.
Police said if the deaths are determined to be homicides, they will be the city's first murders of the new year. Asked if they were seeking suspects, police would only repeat that they are treating the deaths as homicides.
Mayor David N. Cicilline, who was at the scene, called it a "terrible tragedy for the city."
Deputy Police Chief Paul Kennedy described the two adults as a couple. He said the police would not comment on identities until the medical examiner has looked at the bodies.
The police went to the scene after getting a call at 12:14 p.m. today from a neighbor asking to check on the well-being of the people in the house. A family member had not been able to get in touch with them and had contacted the neighbor to check on them. The neighbor apparently did not get a response.
The Colonial-style house is green with pale trim, red steps and brownish door, with two, possibly three stories. It's in a neighborhood of similar homes, described by police as single-family and owner-occupied, southwest of the Rhode Island Hospital campus. According to the city's online tax assessment database, the property at 345 Blackstone St. is owned by Sonia M. Flores.
Click here for a panoramic view of the neighborhood.
Police Lt. George Stamatakos called the area is a very good street, not one that sees troubles.
At 6 o'clock tonight, the mayor and Police Chief Dean Esserman will meet with area residents at the Davey Lopes Recreation Center at 227 Dudley St. to talk about what happened.
-- With reports from projo.com staff writer Brandie Jefferson and Journal staff writers Amanda Milkovits and Gregory Smith
projo.com photo / Brandie Jefferson
The house at 345 Blackstone St. is in a neighborhood of similarly designed homes, several with mesh fences around them.
The police Bureau of Criminal Investigation, which is used at the scene of serious crimes, was at the scene today. Staffers went in and out of the house wearing protective gloves and other protective clothing.
Early this afternoon, at least 15 police officers, including detectives, were there. Some were outside in shirtsleeves, in today's unusually mild weather.
The bodies were loaded into medical examiner's vehicles by about 3:20 p.m.
Students were also starting to return from school at that time, congregating at the edge of the area, which had previously been eerily quiet.
Triple murders are unusual in Rhode Island.
A Foster police officer was convicted of shooting three teenagers to death in 1993.
The Brendels of Barrington -- mother, father and daughter -- were killed in 1991 by former family friend Christopher Hightower.
And Craig Price of Warwick admitted to killing a mother and her two daughters in 1989 when he was 15, and under questioning confessed to killing a neighbor two years before that.
Posted by Mike McKinney at 5:35 PM
Live Clemens press conference
Pitcher Roger Clemens, accused in the Mitchell report of using steriods and human growth hormone, holds a press confernce. Watch the conference.
Posted by Peter Phipps at 5:05 PM
Query: How are you dealing with higher food costs?
The rising cost of milk, eggs, meat and produce are contributing to the biggest jump in food prices in 17 years. Grocery bills are up and restaurant diners will likely face even higher prices on menus.
How are you dealing with food costs? Are you finding creative ways to save when shopping and cooking? What’s the strategy for dining out? Do you go out less or select different restaurants based on cost. Or has nothing changed?
Let’s share with each other. And if you have any cost-cutting recipes send them along, too.
E-mail to food editor Gail Ciampa at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll take submissions until Monday, Jan. 21 and they’ll be posted on www.projo.com/food as they come in. A wrap of your responses and advice will run in Lifebeat Food on Wednesday, Jan. 30.
Posted by Karen Bordeleau at 4:31 PM
Traffic advisory: Right lane of Rte. 6 west at Dean closed
PROVIDENCE -- An accident has closed the right lane of Route 6 west at Dean Street in Providence, the state Transportation Management Center advised at 3:45 p.m.
Posted by Mike McKinney at 3:46 PM
Update: Narragansetts try again to make Carcieri testify
Lawyers for six of the Narragansett Indians accused of scuffling with and resisting state police as they raided a tribal smoke shop four summers ago asked the state Supreme Court today to revisit its decision about whether Governor Carcieri should be called to testify.
The high court ruled Dec. 21 that the governor’s testimony was not relevant to possible defense arguments that state police used excessive force when they raided the smoke shop on tribal land in Charlestown on July 14, 2003.
The decision overturned the trial Judge Susan E. McGuirl’s finding that Carcieri must take the stand about the orders he gave state police.
State troopers raided the roadside shop at the governor’s order after the tribe began selling cigarettes without charging Rhode Island taxes. The confrontation turned violent, and Carcieri made numerous statements in the days and weeks that followed that he told state police to withdraw if they met resistance.
-- Journal staff writer Katie Mulvaney
The state Supreme Court’s ruling, the defense lawyers’ petition says, ignores federal court precedent that jurors may consider state of mind in assessing the credibility of a police officer’s claims he or she did not use excessive force.
Blatant defiance of the governor’s order to withdraw may show the troopers bore ill will toward the tribe, Gary G. Pelletier, one of the defense, wrote in a petition filed this morning with the state Supreme Court.
“Here, clearly if the governor had instructed the police to employ a SWAT team because some of the suspects might be `armed and aggressive,’ the court would deem this order relevant to the question whether officers used excessive force,” he wrote. “The converse order, therefore, also must be relevant.”
Seven Narragansetts, including Chief Sachem Matthew Thomas, face misdemeanor charges that include assault, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct. Jury selection for their trial is scheduled to start next Wednesday in Providence County Superior Court.
Posted by Mike McKinney at 3:28 PM
URI hoop team climbs to 22nd in AP poll
SOUTH KINGSTOWN -- The Rhode Island men's basketball team has climbed in the national rankings following a 31-point victory last week.
The Rams jumped one spot to 22nd in the Associated Press Top 25 poll released today.
Rhode Island beat Fairleigh Dickinson 94-63 Wednesday to improve to 14-1 this season. That's the program's best record since the 1946-47 season.
Rhode Island opens conference play on Wednesday at 17th-ranked Dayton, which will likely be the Rams' toughest test of the season so far.
The Rams entered the poll two weeks ago at Number 25, cracking the rankings for the first time since November 1998. They're on a nine-game winning streak.
-- The Associated Press
Posted by Jack Perry at 2:59 PM
TB case reported in Central Falls High School student
A Central Falls High School student has an active case of tuberculosis, the state Health Department announced this afternoon.
A skin test that detects tuberculosis will be done on all students and staff identified as having had close contact with the student, the department said in a news release. The department consulted with the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on the matter.
All juniors and seniors will be tested as well "out of an abundance of caution."
Students and staff will be re-tested in 10 weeks because a person recently exposed to tuberculosis may not test positive for several weeks.
The student with tuberculosis is receiving medical treatment and is recovering.
Tuberculosis is an infection caused by the bacteria Mycobacterium tuberculosis, spreading through the air from a person with an infection usually found in the person's lungs. The bacteria can cause two kinds of illness, an active form (active TB disease) and a latent form (latent TB infection). When infected, the bacteria commonly cause disease in the lungs but can also cause disease elsewhere in the body.
The symptoms of active TB depend on where the infection is but usually cause a person to have a collection of symptoms: unexpected weight loss, night sweats, weakness or fatigue, loss of appetite, persistent coughing (more than three weeks and sometimes with blood), shortness of breath.
The Health Department was notified of the case on Thursday.
“The uniqueness of the case being in a school with active TB has led the Department to recommend the testing of students and staff who had close contact with the student and out of an abundance of caution all juniors and seniors,” Dr. David R. Gifford, Health Department director, said in the statement. “People who have had close contact with this student have a low, but real, risk of getting TB. We want to ensure that we prevent the spread of TB in the school.”
Central Falls Schools Supt. Frances Gallo said the first concern is students' health and safety."We are working collaboratively with the Department of Health on this response.”
Read some more facts about TB here.
-- projo.com staff writer Michael P. McKinney
Posted by Mike McKinney at 2:57 PM
Update: Hasselbeck returns to View, with Taylor / Video
Cranston native Elisabeth Hasselbeck returned to the popular television show The View this morning after more than two months on maternity leave.
And she brought her family's newest addition, son Taylor Thomas Hasselbeck.
Hasselbeck left for maternity leave on Oct. 23, 2007. On Nov. 9, she gave birth to Taylor Thomas.
Hasselbeck, 30, and her husband, Tim, a quarterback for the Arizona Cardinals, also have a daughter, Grace, 2.
Hasselbeck's first day back will include "a big ticket item giveaway" for the studio audience and a full hour of "Hot Topics."
Video: Watch a video clip of Hasselbeck introducing Taylor to View co-hosts and audience.
Posted by Jack Perry at 2:34 PM
Narragansetts try again to force Carcieri to testify
PROVIDENCE -- Six Narragansett Indians accused of scuffling with state police are making a last-minute attempt to force Governor Carcieri to testify at trial.
The defendants are accused of fighting with police who raided a Narragansett smoke shop on July 14, 2003. They claim police used too much force when making arrests.
Defense lawyers want Carcieri to testify about orders he said he gave to state police instructing them to withdraw if they met resistance from the tribe or its supporters.
Last month, the state Supreme Court ruled that Carcieri's testimony would be irrelevant to a jury.
Lawyers for the Narragansett defendants filed a memo today asking the Supreme Court to revisit its decision. They say that if police ignored Carcieri's orders, it might explain their state of mind.
Jury selection is scheduled to begin Jan. 16.
-- The Associated Press
Posted by Mike McKinney at 2:15 PM
High court upholds man's conviction in 1991 killing
The state Supreme Court has upheld the conviction of Nelson Bido, who is serving a life sentence for aiding and abetting the ambush murder of a bookkeeper who was trying to deposit more than $20,000 in 1991.
Bido's Superior Court conviction came some 15 years after bookkeeper Jorge Confessor was shot in the back.
The high court opinion, written by Justice Paul Suttell and made public today, states that for reasons not disclosed in the record, grand jury proceedings had not been finished in time following the shooting and Bido had been released before he was later arrested in 2005 when trying to leave the country.
Bido argued in the appeal that the trial judge erred by denying four things: Bido's motion to dismiss for lack of a speedy trial; Bido's motion for a continuance to secure a new lawyer; Bido's motion for a continuance to investigate recently disclosed discovery; and Bido's motion to suppress a statement he have to New York City police.
On April 15, 1991, Confessor drove into the Citizens Bank parking lot on Cranston Street with a paper bag containing receipts from several businesses when two men exited a car and a third sat at the wheel. One man pushed Confessor and the other shot him.
Confessor, 44, died before help arrived.
The police got witness descriptions of the three men and the car's license plate.
In July 1991, New York City police arrested Bido. While handcuffed in the back seat of a New York City police car, he leaned forward and said, “I know what this is about. This is about Rhode Island.”
Investigators said they found $1,700 in cash and the murder weapon in Bido's residence in Providence.
During questioning by New York City police, Bido said that on the day of the murder he loaned his car to a friend Yovanny. Bido said he knew Yovanny and two other males planned to rob a courier because Yovanny told him so. Bido said he followed Yovanny to the bank in another car, but lost sight of him before hearing a gunshot.
Then came, as the high court put it, an unexpected turn. Bido, remaining in jail, and his girlfriend, Rosalinda Colon, got married, "apparently so that Ms. Colon could not be used as a witness against him,"the high court opinion says. Providence police went to New York to extradite Bido, "but for reasons that are not disclosed in the record, the grand jury proceedings were not completed within the required period and Mr. Bido was released from custody."
Bido was sentenced by Superior Court Judge Gilbert V. Indeglia in September 2006, some 15 years after the crime. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security had arrested him in New York City the year as he tried to travel out of the country, and he was brought back to Rhode Island.
The prosecution called 10 witnesses to testify in Superior Court, including Colon, described in the high court opinion as Bido's "now-estranged wife." The defense called no witnesses. A jury convicted Bido of conspiracy to commit robbery and aiding and abetting murder. Bido got a life sentence for the murder charge and a concurrent term of 10 years for the robbery charge.
The Supreme Court heard arguments in Bido's appeal, among several cases, when it convened in South Kingstown in November.
-- projo.com staff writer Michael P. McKinney, with Journal archival reports
Posted by Mike McKinney at 2:07 PM
No foul play in death of man found in truck in Providence
PROVIDENCE -- There was no evidence of foul play in the death of a 61-year-old man found in a truck in Providence, but the cause of death is pending further investigation, according to the state medical examiner's office.
Robert Webster, of no permanant address, was found dead, slumped behind the wheel of a Rent-A-Center truck on Hartford Avenue in the city's Olneyville section on Jan. 3, the police have said.
The truck was parked in a lot at 55 Hartford Ave. at the Rent-A-Center store when the body was discovered at about 8 p.m.
-- projo.com staff writer Michael P. McKinney
Posted by Mike McKinney at 12:43 PM
Barrington teen out of Training School, confined at home
PROVIDENCE -- After four nights at the state Training School, a Barrington teen was placed on home confinement today, pending a pretrial conference on charges of driving while impaired, fleeing the police, slamming his car into a wall and pinning a pedestrian beneath it.
The 17-year-old must turn in his driver’s license and undergo a substance abuse evaluation, and he is prohibited from playing high school sports as he awaits a pretrial conference in Family Court on Jan. 22. While the boy is on home confinement, the Robocuff voice-recognition system will place calls to his home to make sure he’s there.
“He can only leave the house with his parents,” Family Court Chief Judge Jeremiah S. Jeremiah Jr. said.
On Thursday, Jeremiah had ordered the teen held at the Training School until today's probable-cause hearing.
During Thursday’s hearing, the attorney general’s office had recommended placing the teen on “strict home confinement” with the Robocuff system. But Jeremiah had accused state prosecutors of applying a “double standard,” saying that a day before prosecutors had recommended holding another youth at the Training School although that case did not involve alcohol or injury.
Prosecutors said the Barrington teen had no record, while the teen in other case did.
Extra: Read a transcript of the Family Court proceedings Thursday.
-- Journal staff writer Edward Fitzpatrick
Also on Thursday, a lawyer for the teen noted the state police had released the boy and had not brought him to court on an emergency petition. And that prompted Jeremiah to say, “Just because the police department is stupid doesn’t mean I’m going to be stupid.”
Before the Family Court session, state police Maj. Steven O’Donnell issued a statement from Col. Brendan Doherty, the state police superintendent, saying: “We are disappointed and troubled by the comments made by the chief judge of the Rhode Island Family Court.”
Speaking for himself, O’Donnell said, “Believe me, the state police recognize the carnage on the highways. The men and women in this department see it on a 24-hour/7-day-a-week basis.” But, he said, “We feel the state police acted properly in handling the incident in Colt State Park.”
And, he said, “It’s unfortunate that a person that is held in the highest regard by law enforcement would” make such a comment.
During the hearing, Jeremiah said he respects the state police, and he called them an “outstanding outfit.”
But he noted that teens can be held at the Training School for up to five days if they are determined to be a danger to the community or themselves, and he said he does not understand why this teen was not held at the Training School after his arrest.
Your turn: What do you think about teenage drinking?
Posted by Brandie Jefferson at 12:37 PM
Update: Speed a factor in Exeter fatal accident
Excessive speed was likely a factor in an accident last night that killed a 21-year-old Exeter man.
The accident reconstruction has not been completed, but Zachary Woods was driving "at least twice the limit" down Mill Pond Road when his vehicle crashed, according to Sgt. Nicholas Tella.
Tella said that at about midnight Woods lost control, driving into a large rock about 500 feet south of the intersection of Mill Pond Rd. and Liberty Road. The vehicle flipped over several times.
Woods was ejected, Tella said, which usually a sign that the victim was not wearing a seatbelt.
Woods had a faint pulse when rescue crews arrived, but he was pronounced dead at Kent Hospital at about 12:40 a.m.
-- projo.com staff writer Brandie M. Jefferson
Posted by Brandie Jefferson at 12:00 PM
ACLU: Tracking chip would treat students 'like cattle'
The Rhode Island ACLU claims that the Middletown School Department would be treating its students "like cattle" if it adopts a plan to monitor some of them with electronic chips.
The ACLU has sent a letter to Middletown school officials asking them to abandon the plan, set to go into effect later this month.
The pilot program is designed to track the travel of school buses and student riders. GPS tracking devices would be placed in two school buses, and radio-frequency identification labels the size of luggage tags attached to the backpacks of the 80 or so Aquidneck Elementary School students who ride those buses, according to a Journal story last week.
School administrators would then be able to monitor — in real-time, via an online map of Middletown at a secure Web site — the progress of those buses and their passengers as the children enter and exit the buses.
School officials could notify parents if the buses are running late or a child doesn't get on the right bus.
But the ACLU says the program is an invasion of privacy and raises safety concerns.
Middletown schools have said that the program would enable them to determine whether students get on the right bus, but the ACLU's letter says it hopes “this is a goal that school district procedures already address without the need to tag and track students like cattle. The use of RFID labels on the children is a solution in search of a problem.”
The ACLU also says the information stored on the chips could potentially be read by others, using inexpensive readers available for purchase on the Internet.
"If school officials can find schoolchildren, others might also be able to find them and target them for improper purposes,” the ACLU says.
Posted by Jack Perry at 10:49 AM
Southwest to boost fees for checked bags
Southwest Airlines, the biggest carrier at T.F. Green Airport with more than half all passengers, said it will begin charging customers who want to check more than two pieces of luggage.
Southwest now allows three checked pieces per passenger, with size and weight limitations for each bag. Starting Jan. 29, a third checked bag will carry a $25 fee, with higher charges for additional pieces.
This will affect less than 2 percent of our customers,” said Chris Mainz, a spokesman. “In that sense, it's really not going to be a major impact to the customers.”
The shift will help free luggage-hold space to carry more cargo, an area the largest low-fare carrier is targeting to raise revenue, he said.
By John Kostrzewa
Posted by Jack Perry at 10:43 AM
Small fire at Cumberland High School
A bad habit may be responsible for a small fire that broke out at Cumberland High School this morning.
The fire started in a storage closet at about 8:45 this morning, according to Supt. Donna Morelle.
The fire is still under investigation. However, Morelle said, officials believe the cause of the fire "may have been students smoking."
Students and faculty were evacuated from the main building to the wellness center, and students and faculty in other buildings were not affected, she said.
Firefighters said the building's sprinkler system contained the fire, which was quickly extinguished.
-- projo.com staff writer Brandie M. Jefferson
Posted by Brandie Jefferson at 10:05 AM
Gas prices up 3 cents per gallon
Gasoline prices have climbed another three cents in the Ocean State, according to AAA Southern New England.
The average price for a gallon of regular, unleaded gasoline is $3.139 at the self-serve pump, according to AAA's weekly survey.
The price has climbed seven cents in the past two weeks.
Rhode Island is three cents above the national average of $3.109 for regular unleaded gasoline.
A year ago at this time the average price in Rhode Island was $2.419.
Posted by Jack Perry at 10:02 AM
Who's in in the Ocean State's primary
One day ahead of the closely monitored New Hampshire presidential primary, seven presidential hopefuls have reserved a spot for their names in the Rhode Island primary.
Municipalities have until Thursday to validate the signatures of the remaining candidates, several of whom have collected the required 1,000 signatures, but have not had them certified as valid.
Democrats with the required number of certified signatures are Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.
Republicans who will appear on the primary ballot include Rudy Giuliani, Mike Huckabee, John McCain, Ron Paul, and Mitt Romney.
Candidates who have collected more than 1,000 signatures, but still need certification, include Democrats John Edwards and Dennis Kucinich, and Republicans Fred Thompson, Alan Keyes and Duncan Hunter.
You can keep up with the candidates progress on the Secretary of State's Web site.
On Feb. 1, the Secretary of State’s office will hold a public lottery to decide the order that the candidates’ names will appear on the ballot during the March 4 primary.
-- projo.com staff writer Brandie M. Jefferson
Posted by Brandie Jefferson at 9:36 AM
From bathing to books in Fox Point
Journal Photo/Chris Kris Craig
In this 2006 photo, the city had just begun work on the Fox Point bath house. Today a ceremony marks the completion of its renovation into an expanded library for the Vartan Gregorian School.
PROVIDENCE -- A building in Providence's Fox Point neighborhood that had been abandoned since the 1970s is set to be presented today as an expanded library for the Vartan Gregorian School.
The former Fox Point bath house has been used by the city traffic engineer, and was considered as the location for the Fox Point Soccer Hall of Fame. But it was built in the early 20th century as a place for residents -- many of whom did not have running water -- to bathe.
Mayor David N. Cicilline, City Councilman Seth Yurdin, Schools Supt. Donnie Evans and other local officials will meet at the newly renovated building at 9:30 this morning for a short ceremony and a tour of the facility.
The Vartan Gregorian School is a charter school that teaches students from pre-kindergarten to the 6th grade.
See more old pictures of the building, at 455 Wickenden St., on the Art In Ruins Web site.
-- projo.com staff writer Brandie M. Jefferson
Posted by Brandie Jefferson at 7:47 AM
Homeless programs to get $6.4 million from feds
PAWTUCKET -- Rhode Island homeless programs are set to receive a $6.4 million boost in federal funding.
The money will be distributed among about 50 programs that support homeless individuals and their families, from street outreach and emergency shelters to transitional and permanent housing.
U.S. Senator Jack Reed and Governor Don Carcieri are scheduled to hold a press conference today in Pawtucket to announce the increased federal funding.
The bulk of the funding will go toward creating housing and providing services for the homeless.
A smaller portion will go to programs to help people avoid becoming homeless, like job training, childcare and substance abuse treatment.
-- The Associated Press
Posted by Jack Perry at 7:02 AM
Cloudy, but with a high near 55 degrees who cares?
It's looking pretty mild today with the National Weather Service forecasting a high temperature near 55 degrees, cloudy skies and a mild southwest wind.
The clouds are expected to stick around tonight, with fog developing after midnight and an overnight low around 40.
Fog should lift late Tuesday morning, but the clouds will stick around, and the temperature is expected to climb to near 60 -- just a few degrees shy of the 62 degree record set in 1930.
For more weather and regular updates, see projo.com/weather.
Posted by Brandie Jefferson at 7:01 AM
Today's front page
Today's front page features coverage of the New Hampshire presidential primary and a report that the father of Providence's first baby of the New Year faces deportation.
Download a copy of today's front page in .pdf format.
Posted by Jack Perry at 7:00 AM