« March 4, 2008 |
| March 6, 2008 »
March 5, 2008
Tonight: Rockin' in Providence and Cranston
Tonight there's a chance to rock out mid-week.
Roz Raskin, Stalemate and The Red Attire play at AS220, 115 Empire St., Providence. 831-9327. 9 p.m. $6. All ages.
Shryne plays at J.R.'s Bourbon Street Rock House, Mardi Gras Multi Club and Johnny Bahama's Complex, 1500 Oaklawn Ave., Cranston. 463-3080. 9 p.m to 1 a.m.
Check out the rest of the Journal's club listings for tonight.
Posted by Mike McKinney at 6:55 PM
Montalbano to unveil alternative energy bills
Senate President Joseph A. Montalbano will unveil renewable energy legislation tomorrow at a news conference at 3 p.m., his spokesman announced today.
Senate leaders plan to gather in the State House in room 313 to discuss the bills.
Part of the legislation would "consolidate and coordinate state policies, priorities and investments designed to promote renewable energy," according to a statement released today by Montalbano's spokesman, Greg Pare.
Related bills would encourage private investment in the state’s renewable energy sector; address municipal renewable energy projects; define a method of selling small amounts of renewable energy; and promote small scale projects.
Montalbano, Senate Majority Leader M. Teresa Paiva Weed, Senate Minority Leader Dennis L. Algiere and Sen. William A. Walaska plan to attend the announcement. They will be joined by Matt Auten, an advocate for Environment Rhode Island; Daniel C. Beardsley Jr., executive director of the Rhode Island League of Cities and Towns; and Michael F. Ryan, National Grid’s president of Rhode Island distribution.
Montalbano first announced the bills last month at the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce annual luncheon, The Providence Journal reported.
Governor Carcieri has been promoting the development of wind farms off the Rhode Island coast. And there has also been talk of using waves to generate energy.
Today, however, The Providence Journal reported that the agency that regulates Rhode Island’s coastline, the Coastal Resources Management Council, has proposed a one-year moratorium on wind farms and wave generators so it can develop a special management plan that will determine where such projects will be allowed.
For more local breaking business news, visit the Biz Blog at projo.com/business.
--- Journal staff writer Benjamin N. Gedan
Posted by Benjamin N. Gedan at 6:40 PM
Bond history on display at Roger Williams Park
Journal photo / Andrew Dickerman
An 1892 bond document issued to finance the establishment of Roger Williams Park in Providence is being loaned for display to the park's Museum of Natural History by its owner, James Robbins.
PROVIDENCE -- Jim Robbins first saw the Roger Williams Park bond propped up against a tree at a yard sale on Monticello Road last year in Pawtucket. He didn’t know what it was, just that it said it was worth $1,000, dated to 1892, and had a nice frame.
The seller wanted $200 for it, but Williams laughed that price off. He haggled a bit, and got the price down to $25.
“It was leaning up against a tree. [The price] came down quick. He didn’t know what he wanted, because he didn’t know what he had,” Robbins said.
Robbins, 76, owner of Jim’s Auto Sales in Pawtucket, took the framed bond home to his office, where he stuck it in a corner, unsure of exactly what it was or what it was worth.
The more he looked at it, the more he realized he might have a piece of Providence history in his hands.
“I put it against a wall in a little office I had. I looked at it every day for two weeks. I started memorizing and studying it. It said 1892, it was signed by the right people who were in office then -- I checked,” he said.
Soon, Robbins figured out that he had one of at least 100 bonds issued to purchase the land for what became Roger Williams Park.
He took it to the Rhode Island Historical Society, which confirmed his guess.
Now Robbins had to figure out what to do with it. He didn’t want it to end up in a private collection, and preferred if it could be placed somewhere in the park.
“I didn’t want anybody to take it, and hang it in their parlor or rumpus room,” Robbins said. “This is where it should be.”
-- Journal staff writer Daniel Barbarisi
Just under a year ago, Robbins contacted Governor Carcieri’s office.
The Governor laughed as he retold the story at Roger Williams Park’s Museum of Natural History today.
“Jim came to me about a year ago, I guess, and said to me, ‘Governor, we’ve got this great artifact. We’ve got it authenticated. It’s one of the first bonds used to purchase the land for Roger Williams Park,’” Carcieri recalled.
Carcieri said that Robbins explained how he had bargained with the seller.
“I said I want him to negotiate all my state contracts. He found this with a sharp eye, and got it very inexpensively,” he laughed.
“It’s a great, great story of somebody who had a sharp eye and appreciated the history of this,” Carcieri said.
The state contacted the city, and arranged for the bond to be on permanent loan to Providence, and placed in the Museum of Natural History. The bond itself is displayed the way Robbins found it: framed, and ringed with postcards of historic Providence buildings.
“This is very exciting for the city because we will, of course, accept stewardship of this important document and display it proudly to remind us of the history of this park,” Mayor David N. Cicilline said.
Cicilline said that the bond issuance was called the What Cheer Park Bond.
The 1892 document itself is signed by then-mayor William K. Potter, and states that it accrues 4 percent interest each year, and matures in 1992.
The bond is number 100 in the issuance, though it is not clear if the city issued more than 100 bonds. No other examples of the bonds are known to exist.
Betsey Williams, a descendant of Roger Williams, donated her 101-acre farm to form the core of the park at her death in 1871. But after her donation, the land sat idle for some time as the city debated building its new municipal park at Fields Point instead. Soon, the city decided to use the Roger Williams site, and by 1882, the park had roadways throughout, and by 1887, 75 of the original 101 acres had been improved. But local residents were concerned that the park space was insufficient, and would soon be flanked by encroaching homes.
In 1892, the city issued bonds to purchase more land for the park.
The first purchase was 1,300,000 square feet of land from George Paine, trustee of Sara Doyle. In adjusted dollars, the value of the purchase would have been more than $1.2 million. Over two years, the size of the park was expanded beyond Williams’ initial 101 acres to today’s 432 acres.
Much of that money was raised through the issuance of $1,000 bonds like the example Robbins found.
Now, Cicilline said, Roger Williams Park is visited by more than two million visitors each year.
Robbins’ name is displayed underneath the plaque, but he said he did not want any personal recognition for himself. Instead, the Korean War Navy veteran said he wanted the state’s Disabled American Veterans to get the attention for his donation.
That said, if Roger Williams Park really wants to reward him for his kindness, he’s got a special request in mind.
“I told them, could they move the elephant cage? I’d like to build a house,” he joked.
Posted by Andrea Panciera at 6:35 PM
Inadequate concrete testing could cost DOT $3.1M
PROVIDENCE -- Federal officials have demanded that the state Department of Transportation repay $3.1 million because the agency did not adequately test concrete for major sections of its flagship project, the Route 195 relocation, which it calls the Iway.
The Federal Highway Administration, the agency paying for most of the $610 million project, also cited a lack of inspection, failure to properly sample the concrete for testing and lack of enforcement of penalties that are supposed to be assessed on contractors for supplying substandard concrete.
Jerome F. Williams, the DOT's director, acknowledged that the agency had not complied with federal requirements.
He said, however, that the concrete is strong enough to carry the weight of traffic.
"The concrete is safe -- this is not a safety issue," he said.
The FHWA cited four contacts, all held by the Cardi Corp, the big local construction company, that are central to the 195 project. Among them is the contract containing the project's most notable structure, the new arch bridge now carrying some Route 195 traffic across the Providence River.
In addition to the bridge, the four contracts include the most visible parts of the project: The section of new highway connecting the bridge to the existing Route 195 near the Washington Bridge on the city's East Side; and the ramps west of the river that will carry traffic to and from the bridge to the Route 95 north- and southbound.
One section of the new highway, the ramp carrying traffic from Route 95 northbound across the new bridge to the existing 195 eastbound, opened in November. That was built as part of two of the contracts involved in the FHWA action.
The issue was raised at a House Finance Committee hearing today on the DOT budget. It followed a Feb. 27 letter from the FHA saying the DOT was ineligible for aid totalling $3.9 million and that $3.1 million of that would have to be reimbursed.
Williams said the state would be trying to lower that amount.
-- Journal staff writer Bruce Landis, with reports from Katherine Gregg, Journal State House bureau
Posted by Mike McKinney at 5:32 PM
Bishop urged to take stronger role in priest's prosecution
PROVIDENCE -- A national group today called on The Most Rev. Thomas J. Tobin, bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Providence, to take a more active role in pushing for a criminal prosecution against a former priest accused of abusing children.
The Rev. Phillip A. Magaldi, who is now reportedly HIV positive, served in at least three Rhode Island parishes from 1961 to the 1980s before being transferred in 1990 to parishes in Texas.
Father Magaldi was removed from active priesthood in 1999 after a sexual–misconduct allegation emerged here. Two more local allegations arose in 2002 and 2007. Three other allegations have arisen in Texas.
Magaldi, 71, currently lives in a private retirement center in Texas where he receives health coverage and a pension from the Diocese of Fort Worth. Church officials are in the process of having him laicized -- or defrocked.
He has not been criminally charged in any of the sexual allegations made against him and has previously said he is innocent.
In 1992, Father Magaldi left the ministry while serving an eight-month prison sentence for stealing more than $123,400 from St. Anthony Church in North Providence.
Today the group Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) called on Bishop Tobin to personally visit the Rhode Island parishes where Father Magaldi worked and to urge anyone who may have been abused by him to contact law enforcement officials in the hopes of advancing a criminal case against him.
Father Magaldi worked at St. Matthew’s in Cranston, Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Providence and Our Lady of Grace in Johnston.
-- Journal staff writer Tom Mooney
SNAP national director David Clohessy described Bishop Tobin’s actions so far concerning Father Magaldi as "pitifully vague" and weak.
He said the diocese had a short statement read in the parishes last month but that it told people to report any incidence of misconduct to the diocese rather than law-enforcement officials -- an example, Clohessy charged, of the bishop practicing secrecy while he preaches transparency in such cases.
In a prepared statement released today, the diocese said it "invites anyone who wishes to report sexual misconduct by Father Magaldi or by anyone who serves the church" to contact the diocese’s Office of Education and Compliance. "Individuals are always free and encouraged to report allegations to appropriate law enforcement officials as well," the statement said.
The church said it will "continue to regularly urge those victims of abuse to report such allegations so that an immediate investigation may commence and the appropriate law authorities can be notified."
The church said it would continue to urge people to step forward "through paid advertisements, suggested parish bulletin inserts, the Diocesan newspaper and other electronic means." The statement did not say whether Bishop Tobin would make a personal appeal to parishioners.
The diocese’s statement said even though Father Magaldi no longer works in the Diocese of Providence, "Bishop Tobin has written to Bishop Vann of the Diocese of [Fort] Worth to support his efforts to have Fr. Magaldi removed from the priesthood."
Posted by Mike McKinney at 5:30 PM
Immigration official: We learned from New Bedford raid
BOSTON -- The director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement says the federal agency has learned from the mistakes it made in last year's raid at a New Bedford, Mass., factory in which 361 workers were detained.
Julie Myers said in a visit to Boston earlier today that the agency has made additional humanitarian efforts in subsequent raids.
Since most workers arrested at the Michael Bianco Inc. factory were women with young children, ICE was criticized by immigrant advocates for separating families.
Myers says the agency now gets additional aid from the Department of Immigration's health services to ensure that children are cared for.
Myers was in Boston the day before the one-year anniversary of the New Bedford raid. She says the agency is focused on going after employers of undocumented workers, rather than the workers themselves.
-- The Associated Press
Posted by Mike McKinney at 5:05 PM
And the top vote-getter among delegates is ...
In case you were wondering:
Mail-in ballot results for yesterday's presidential preference primary are included in the tally showing on the state Board of Elections Web site.
The board had about 5,000 such ballots to count, about three times more than in the last presidential primary. But it did count them all last night, said elections director Bob Rapoza, and added them into the online tally.
The results for the presidential candidate races can also be sorted by community and polling place.
There is a separate link for mail-in ballots for delegate candidates, too.
The mail-ins did not affect the outcome of the historic primary, which broke the record for any primary election in Rhode Island.
Hillary Clinton is the winner among Democratic presidential candidates, while John McCain took the Republican preference.
Top vote-getter among all the delegate candidates? Myrth York, a three-time Democratic candidate for governor, who was running as a delegate for Clinton in Congressional District 1.
Posted by Brandie Jefferson at 4:03 PM
House to consider toughening R.I. public-records law
PROVIDENCE -- The House Judiciary today will consider a bill to decrease to three business days the time a public body would have to comply with a request for access to public records.
The legislation, H-7442, would prevent a public body from requiring that whoever requests public records give "personally identifiable information or the reason for the request."
And it would increase the maximum civil fine for a "willful and knowingly violation" to $15,000, up from the current $1,000. For "reckless violation," a new fine not to exceed $5,000 would be imposed.
If inspection of documents is not allowed within three business days, the public body would have to explain in writing the need for more time to comply with the request, "but which in any event shall not be more than 10 business days" after getting the request, the bill says. Such an explanation must be particular to the specific request
All state agencies would be required to annually certify in writing to the state attorney general that each agency has given orientation and training to all officers and employees who are enabled to approve or deny access to the records.
The bill also says a public body may have up to 20 business days to respond to a request if it can show various things: the "voluminous nature" of the request, the number of pending records requests, or difficulty in searching for and getting request records
Last September, the Rhode Island chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union put out a report that referenced five incidents over that summer that it said showed some officials' disregard for the state Access to Public Records Act.
House Judiciary Committee will meet in State House room 205 at the rise of the House of Representatives. The bill is among several pieces of proposed legislation on the agenda.
-- projo.com staff writer Michael P. McKinney, with Journal archival reports
Posted by Mike McKinney at 4:00 PM
Somerset police are investigating a stabbing
SOMERSET, Mass. -- A 50-year-old woman was stabbed last night in the face, chest, abdomen and back inside her Main Street home by a male acquaintance who had stopped by, the police said today.
The woman, whose name the police did not disclose, was taken by ambulance to Charlton Memorial Hospital in Fall River, Mass., treated and released early this morning, the police news release said.
"Several leads are being pursued and an arrest is expected to occur in the near future," the statement said.
-- projo.com staff writer Michael P. McKinney
Posted by Mike McKinney at 2:58 PM
State police take over Woonsocket Police Dept. / Photo
Journal photo / Bob Thayer
State police Lt. Eric L. Croce, 43, center, has taken over leadership of the Woonsocket Police Department. At right, Mayor Susan D. Menard answers questions at a news conference today; at left is state police Superintendent Brendan Doherty.
The state police have temporarily taken over the Woonsocket Police Department, according to Mayor Susan D. Menard. This marks the second time in two weeks that a Rhode Island police department has been put under control of the state police.
Effective immediately, Lt. Eric L. Croce, 43, is in charge while the department -- which lost its chief, deputy chief and one patrolwoman in recent days – looks for new leadership.
On Tuesday, Chief Michael L.A. Houle submitted notice of his retirement after 29 years on the force. He announced his retirement four days after his ex-wife, Marsha Bish, alleged that he and Deputy Chief Richard Dubois – who resigned today -- had changed test scores on police exams in 2004, so that she could get on the force.
Bish is a former patrolwoman who resigned last Friday. An internal investigation of her allegations is being conducted.
Menard said advertising for the positions could begin as soon as this weekend.
In North Providence late last month, Mayor Charles Lombardi put the town's police department under temporary control of the state police after the department's chief abruptly resigned following a North Providence sergeant's conviction for burglary and other crimes.
-- projo.com staff writer Brandie M. Jefferson, with reports from Journal staff writer Tatiana Pina and Journal archival reports
In North Providence on February 19, Mayor Charles Lombardi introduced state police Lt. David Palmer as interim chief.
The announcement came eight days after a three-year investigation into the activities of North Providence police Sgt. Michael Ciresi ended when a Superior Court jury convicted him on 9 of 10 counts, including burglary, larceny and receiving stolen goods.
It also came four days after Police Chief Ernest Spaziano, who had defended Ciresi as a character witness during the trial, interrupted a vacation to tell Lombardi he would retire by March 14.
Posted by Brandie Jefferson at 2:39 PM
Panel to hear straight-ticket voting ban legislation in R.I.
PROVIDENCE -- The House Judiciary Committee is considering legislation that would ban straight ticket voting in Rhode Island elections.
Rhode Island is in a minority of states that allows straight ticket voting, which lets voters select candidates entirely from the same party with just a single mark or punch on their ballots.
Rep. Susan Story, a Barrington Republican, has submitted a bill that would ban the option, which she says allows Democrats to maintain overwhelming control in the General Assembly.
The Judiciary Committee was scheduled to hear testimony on the bill this afternoon at the State House.
Check the committee's agenda.
-- The Associated Press
Posted by Mike McKinney at 2:09 PM
Smoke-shop trial: Sgt. didn't have time to show warrant
Journal photo / Mary Murphy
State police Sgt. Donald F. Devine Jr. points to the video screen with a laser pointer as he continues his testimony in the smoke-shop trial.
PROVIDENCE -- State police Sgt. Donald F. Devine Jr. testified today that he did not show a copy of the search warrant until 10 minutes into the raid on a Narragansett Indian smoke shop in July 2003 because he didn’t have time.
“There was no time,” he said. “The scene was not secure.”
Devine’s comments came under redirect by prosecutors during his third day on the stand in the trial of seven Narragansetts on trial for resisting and struggling with state police as they executed a search and seizure on the roadside store in Charlestown.
Devine, who was working undercover, said he was dealing with four upset people inside the shop at the same time incidents were occurring between troopers and Narragansetts outside.
Asked by Special Assistant Attorney General Maria Deaton why he didn’t present the warrant to Chief Sachem Matthew Thomas, Devine said he heard Thomas tell tribal members not to accept any papers.
Video footage shown in court yesterday showed Thomas yelling repeatedly for the police to show him the papers.
“His comments weren’t made to me and there were other officers dealing with him at the time,” Devine said today.
Thomas and six other Narragansett Indians are on trial in Providence Superior Court for misdemeanor charges that include resisting arrest, assault and disorderly conduct. Devine’s testimony will continue this afternoon.
Extra: Continuing coverage of the raid and its aftermath, including photographs and video.
-- Journal staff writer Katie Mulvaney
Posted by Jack Perry at 2:04 PM
R.I. getting $200,000 to help homeless young people
The Urban League of Rhode Island will get $200,000 for a program that provides temporary homes and other services to homeless adolescents, U.S. Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., announced today.
Reed announced the federal grant today for the league's Transitional Living Program, which is available to 18 to 21 year olds who are homeless and need temporary shelter. That shelter is for up to 18 months.
The money will allow the program to continue five more years and provide services to 60 young adults needing help. It provides housing in either a four-bedroom home that accommodates eight youth in South Providence or in one of the Urban League’s six "host homes." All who participate in the program must have full-time employment or be in an educational program.
The program also offers homeless young people food, housing, adult supervision, and "access to education, healthcare, and social services," Reed's news release said.
“Many homeless youngsters are victims of violence and abuse who have no choice but to stay on the streets. Without access to basic necessities, and an understanding of how to take care of themselves, it is almost impossible for these young adults to change course," Reed said in the statement.
The Urban League's program provides our "homeless adolescents with the resources and care to help them overcome the odds,” Reed added.
“Our work with runaway and homeless youth provides a safe place for them to escape from the streets where they are often victims of sexual assault, violence, involvement with prostitution and substance abuse, and confrontations with law enforcement," stated Dennis B. Langley, president and chief executive of Urban League Rhode Island.
-- projo.com staff writer Michael P. McKinney
Posted by Mike McKinney at 1:33 PM
Kent Hospital chief executive will retire in October
WARWICK -- Mark E. Crevier, the Kent Hospital president and chief executive, announced today that he intends to retire Oct. 15.
Crevier was named CEO of the 359-bed community hospital in Warwick in April 2006. He succeeded Dr. Robert Baute.
“It has been a great pleasure to be involved with these exceptional organizations for some 23 years and most recently here at Kent,” Crevier, 57, said in a news release. “I have always planned to retire between 55 and 60 and when I accepted the position as the President & CEO at Kent, I did so with a three-year timeframe in mind."
Crevier added that "we have made significant progress in the past couple of years, and I am confident that the success of this hospital will continue.”
Crevier had previously served in leadership positions with Women & Infants Hospital and the Care New England Health System, which is parent of Kent and Women & Infants hospitals.
Kent Hospital Board Chairman Thomas J. Celona accepted Crevier's decision, stating he has "provided excellent leadership" at Kent Hospital and taken the hospital through "some exceptionally challenging times."
During Crevier's tenure, Kent has implemented a five-year strategic plan, introduced major new clinical information technologies, and increased clinical services such as a new Outpatient Infusion Center and an enhanced sleep lab.
A committee will search for a successor.
-- projo.com staff writer Michael P. McKinney
Posted by Mike McKinney at 1:23 PM
Providence police make graffiti related arrests
Two college students were arrested and face criminal charges after the police say they sprayed graffiti on the Hemenway Restaurant building in Providence.
Michael Todorovich, a student at the Rhode Island School of Design, and Nicholas Bach, a Community College of Rhode Island student, face malicious mischief charges after a witness reported seeing two men spraying the Hemenway building and the Crawford Street Bridge.
The call came into Providence police on Saturday from a witness. When police arrived, the two had left.
The police searched the area and found two men who fit the description given by the witness. According to a statement, the police found two black markers, six spray caps, and a spray can on Todorovich and Bach.
Two juveniles accused of writing on school property were also turned over to the Providence police by security officials at RISD. The two face malicious injury to property charges, and were referred to Family Court.
Posted by Brandie Jefferson at 1:17 PM
Photo: The grass is still green in the convention center
Journal Photo/Mary Murphy
Michael Polak, right, and John Kelly, both of New England Organics, a composting company in Portland, Maine, set up their display yesterday at the 11th annual New England Regional Turfgrass Conference and Show at the Rhode Island Convention Center. The show runs through tomorrow.
Posted by Brandie Jefferson at 12:57 PM
City Council: State Police will take over Woonsocket PD
WOONSOCKET -- Members of the Woonsocket City Council say it appears that state police will temporarily take over the city's embattled police department.
Mayor Susan Menard and state police Col. Brendan Doherty have scheduled a news conference for Wednesday at police headquarters.
Woonsocket Police Chief Michael Houle announced Monday that he planned to retire in April following a rocky tenure. Menard put Deputy Chief Richard Dubois in charge of the department, but later that same day, Dubois was taken to a hospital with chest pains.
In the latest of a series of recent controversies surrounding the department, the mayor has ordered an internal investigation into allegations by the police union that Houle and Dubois changed exam scores.
-- The Associated Press
Posted by Mike McKinney at 12:28 PM
Central Falls police name suspect in shooting
CENTRAL FALLS -- The police are looking for a man considered armed and dangerous in connection with the shooting of a 21-year-old who is listed in critical condition at Rhode Island Hospital, Police Chief Joseph Moran said today.
The police named the victim as Wilmer Barrome, of 560 Prospect Street, Pawtucket. They have obtained a warrant for 21-year-old Antone Williams on a charge of assault with intent to commit murder, Moran said. Williams was last listed as living on Slater Street in Pawtucket, Moran said.
Barrome was shot in the middle of the day yesterday at the corner of Clay and Broad Streets near the Store24. The police were called at 2:33 p.m.
The police arrived to find Barrome wounded in his car. Sgt. Craig Horton began administering first aid. Central Falls Rescue took Barrome to Rhode Island Hospital. A white Jeep Grand Cherokee was seen driving away from the area, Moran said.
The police recovered the handgun believed to have been used in the shooting, although they are not saying what kind it is or how many shots were fired. Barrome’s black Oldsmobile was towed to the Police Department.
-- Journal staff writer Tatiana Pina
Posted by Brandie Jefferson at 12:27 PM
Brown hosts panel talk on state budget deficit
Academics and policymakers are getting together tonight to discuss the state’s budget deficit.
Representatives from the state Department of Revenue, Rhode Island College, the Poverty Institute and the National Education Association are meeting for a panel discussion at Brown University.
The discussion, sponsored by the Taubman Center for Public Policy, is free and open to the public. It’s set to start at 7 p.m. in 117 MacMillan Hall on Thayer Street between Waterman and George Streets.
Darrell M. West, Taubman director, will moderate.
Panelists are: Gary Sasse, director, state Department of Revenue; Linda Katz, policy director, Poverty Institute, Rhode Island College; Paul Choquette Jr., chairman, Gilbane, Inc., and Bob Walsh, executive director, National Education Association.
Posted by Brandie Jefferson at 11:25 AM
Burrillville man dies after Saturday car crash
BURRILLVILLE — A 22-year-old Mapleville man died in the hospital today, succumbing to injuries he had suffered in a car crash early Saturday morning, the police said.
Brian M. Langford, of 19 Hillside Drive, was at the wheel of a Dodge Neon when he crashed into a utility pole about 1:20 a.m. on Saturday, according to police Lt. Kevin S. San Antonio.
Langford was headed west on Central Street, and wearing his seatbelt, when he lost control of the car, San Antonio said. Winter conditions were a factor in the crash, San Antonio said.
-- Journal staff writer Mark Reynolds
Posted by Brandie Jefferson at 11:07 AM
Smoke-shop trial set to resume
State Police Sgt. Donald Devine Jr. said yesterday in court that he "never had a chance" to show a search warrant to members of the Narragansett Indian Tribe before a raid on a tribal owned smoke shop.
Devine is set to resume testimony today in the trial for seven members of the tribe, including Chief Sachem Matthew Thomas, who face misdemeanor charges -- including resisting arrest and fighting with the police -- related to the 2003 raid.
The trial is set to resume today in Superior Court, Providence, in front of Judge Susan E. McGuirl.
Extra: Read the Journal's continuing coverage of the raid and its aftermath, including photographs and video, online.
Posted by Brandie Jefferson at 9:15 AM
Photo: Tree limbs, wires down in North Kingstown
Projo.com photo/ Beth Heaney
Thunderstorms and strong wind moved through Rhode Island this morning, knocking out power in some areas. Wires and tree limbs were down this morning near the interchange of Routes 4 and 102 in North Kingstown.
Posted by Jack Perry at 8:11 AM
The big storm delivers wind, lightning, and power losses
About 9,000 customers were without power at about 8 a.m. today according to National Grid spokeswoman Debbie Drew.
About 6,000 customers in downtown Providence and Johnston are in the dark; Drew says they should resume power within the hour.
And in the southern part of the state, including South Kingstown, North Kingstown and Westerly, about 3,000 customers are without power, but should have juice in less than a half hour.
"We knew we were looking at some extreme weather," she said, "so we have had, and still have crews at the ready since early this morning.'
High winds and thunderstorms are in the forecast until midday today, and lighting has been reported throughout the area, including a strike that likely led to the outage in Providence.
"We're expecting by about noon, things will get calmer," Drew said. "We'll be at the ready, chasing outages all morning until we're wrapped up."
-- projo.com staff writer Brandie M. Jefferson
Posted by Brandie Jefferson at 8:00 AM
Coming this weekend: More light, daylight
Won’t it be nice to wake up to the sun filtering through your windows? And to take an after-dinner stroll in the lingering light of dusk?
Just give it a few more days.
Daylight Saving Time is coming this Sunday, two days earlier than last year, and 24 days earlier than in 2006, as a result of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which moves DST every year until next year, when it begins on March 8.
The first day of spring and the vernal equinox is less than two weeks away.
So remember to do two things: more your clock forward one hour at 2 a.m. (unless you live in parts of Arizona, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands or American Samoa which do not observe DST), and change the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.
“It only takes a minute to change the batteries in a smoke alarm or carbon monoxide detector,” Chief Timothy McLaughlin, president of the RI Association of Fire Chiefs said in a statement.
“But it is a minute that could make the difference between life and death in your home.”
-- projo.com staff writer Brandie M. Jefferson
Posted by Brandie Jefferson at 7:47 AM
Today's weather: Rain, wind and maybe some thunder
There’s just one thing worth mentioning today: rain. Well, maybe two things; rain and wind. The National Weather Service needs a six-color map to explain the complicated mix of rainstorms, thunderstorms and advisory-strength winds that southern New England can expect today.
The temperature should reach about 55 degrees, with strong east and west winds gusting up to 50 mph in places. The weather service is also warning people to look out for flooding, downed trees and possible power outages.
Skies should clear up tonight, when the temperature drops to the high 20s and winds die down a little, gusting as high as 30 mph at times.
Tomorrow we should see sunny skies, cooler temperatures, reaching near 50, and mild south winds.
To keep an eye on the thunderstorms, see projo.com's weather page.
Posted by Brandie Jefferson at 7:01 AM
Download the front page of today's Journal
Hillary Clinton's primary victories in Rhode Island, Ohio and Texas lead today's Journal.
Posted by Peter Phipps at 6:44 AM
AP calculates R.I. delegate allocations
The Associated Press this morning posted its calculations of delegate allocations following Tuesday's Rhode Island presidential primary results.
On the Democratic side, with 98 percent -- 176 of 179 precincts -- reporting:
Winner Hillary Clinton gets 13.
Barack Obama gets 8.
On the Republican side, with 98 percent of precincts reporting:
Winner John McCain gets 13.
Mike Huckabee gets 4.
Posted by Mike McKinney at 12:50 AM
Hillary Clinton knew 'little state would have a big voice'
Journal photo / Steve Szydlowski
Chelsea Clinton stopped to talk to the lunch crowd at Twin Oaks restaurant in Cranston Tuesday, as she campaigned in Rhode Island for a second time in a week.
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, victorious in Rhode Island's primary Tuesday, said in a statement early Wednesday morning: “When I visited Rhode Island last Sunday, I said that this little state would have a big voice in this election."
She added: “I am so pleased and honored to have such broad and decisive support from the great state of Rhode Island.”
With 99 percent of the state's precincts reporting as of 12:20 a.m. Wednesday, Clinton wracked up 108,062 votes to Obama's 74,701, or 58 to 40 percent, according to unofficial state Board of Elections results.
On the Republican side, John McCain trounced Mike Huckabee and, nationally, McCain shored up his party's nomination.
The Clinton campaign said it carried out an "unprecedented voter outreach effort over the last three weeks," doing canvassing in each city and town, running more than a dozen phone banks and sending volunteers from 22 locations around the state.
Latinos for Hillary "activated Latino voters," while Women for Clinton put out a “10 to 1 challenge,” in which each member recruited 10 more members in support of Hillary's candidacy.
But the Clinton campaign didn't leave it all to the locals. Besides Hillary Clinton's own visit, her husband, former President Bill Clinton appeared at a rally on her behalf. And their daughter, Chelsea, visited Rhode Island twice in the past week -- on Friday and again on Primary Day.
U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, who is a co-chairman of the state's Clinton campaign, stated that “voters reaffirmed tonight what we’ve been saying since the beginning: Rhode Island is squarely behind Senator Clinton."
U.S. Rep. Jim Langevin added: “Rhode Islanders know Senator Clinton is ready to lead, and will deliver real solutions to the challenges faced by so many Rhode Islanders.”
-- projo.com staff writer Michael P. McKinney
Posted by Mike McKinney at 12:40 AM
Clinton picks up most R.I. cities -- but not Providence
Let's go to the demographics.
Hillary Clinton won the state's Democratic presidential nomination, wracking up 106,471 votes to Barack Obama's 73,609, with 98 percent -- or 176 of 179 -- of polling precincts reporting, according to unofficial state Board of Elections results.
Republican John McCain got 17,342 votes to 5,766 for Mike Huckabee, with 98 percent of precincts tallied.
Statewide, that means about a 3 to 2 margin for Clinton over Obama and a 3 to 1 margin for McCain over Huckabee.
Just what that means in terms of delegates won by each candidate is not yet known. The Clinton campaign in Rhode Island will be calculating that number tomorrow, Democratic State Chairman William Lynch said. McCain, who clinched the GOP nomination today, expects to pick up Huckabee delegates.
A look at some of the communities shows that in Providence, the state's largest city, Obama won, with 90 percent of precincts reporting. Obama also won Barrington, Jamestown, the city of Newport and the state's smallest towns -- Little Compton and Block Island.
The race was close in well-to-do East Greenwich, where the two precincts tallied 1,227 votes for Obama and 1,168 for Clinton. Or consider rural Exeter, where the one precinct fell this way: 492 votes for Clinton, 439 for Obama. Or Middletown, where 99 votes separated winner Clinton from Obama.
Elsewhere, it was not so close: East Providence went to Clinton 5,614 to 3,950. And Clinton easily secured North Providence by a 5,566 to 2,332 margin.
Clinton's wins also included the cities of Warwick and Cranston, as well as Bristol, Burrillville, Central Falls, Coventry and North Kingstown.
Check out all results in Rhode Island by race, town and poll, based on unofficial tallies from the state Board of Elections.
-- projo.com staff writer Michael P. McKinney
Posted by Mike McKinney at 12:15 AM