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May 27, 2008
Tonight: Cavalcade of Bands at Rhodes, blues at Chan's
Head to Cranston to catch the Cavalcade of Bands, playing jazz and swing, at Rhodes-on-the-Pawtuxet, 60 Rhodes Place (off Broad Street), Cranston. Call 785-4333, 941-2717.
In the ballroom: MC Rick "Swing Daddy" Orcutt, The Ed Drew Strollers, The Arthur Medeiros 16-Piece Dance Orchestra with Terri Giviens & Hank Doiron, The Duke Belaire 16-Piece Swing Orchestra with Bob Mainelli, The Tommy Rotondo Group and a ballroom dance presentation by Nelia Lawton with Providence Ballroom & Jazz Project.
In the foyer: MC Bill Pandozzi, The Terri Giviens Group, The Mary Andrews Group, The Pat Mitchell Group with George Masso & Dick Johnson, The Daryll Sherman Group with Mike Renzi & Artie Cabral, The Amanda Carr Group with Arnie Krakowsky & Gary Johnson and The Jan Marquez Group with Al DeAndrade. 6-11:30 pm. $10 advance; $15 at the door.
In Woonsocket, Tab Benoit plays the blues at Chan's Restaurant, 267 Main St. Call 765-1900. 8, 10 pm. $20 early show; $15 late show; $25 both shows.
More events, see projo.com's calendar.
Posted by Mike McKinney at 6:58 PM
Facebook photo plays role in DUI accident sentencing
Journal photo / Frieda Squires
Lawyer Kevin Bristow and his client, Joshua Lipton, listen to Jade R. Combies, right, as she tells how she has suffered from the accident in which Lipton was charged.
PROVIDENCE -- In October 2006, just a couple of weeks after downing gin-and-tonics, speeding away from Bryant University and slamming into two cars, severely injuring a young woman from Lincoln, Joshua Lipton dressed up in a prison jumpsuit for Halloween.
Now he won’t have to pretend.
Lipton, 21, of Fairfield, Conn., today was sentenced to serve two years in state prison after pleading no contest to felony charges of driving under the influence resulting in serious bodily injury and driving to endanger resulting in serious bodily injury.
The sentencing focused in part on a photo of Lipton that was posted on the Facebook social networking Web site. The photo shows Lipton with his arm around a young woman. He is smiling, with his tongue out, wearing an orange prison jumpsuit that bears the words “Jail Bird.”
At the moment that photo was taken, Jade Combies, 21, of Lincoln, was in Rhode Island Hospital, trying to recover from fractures to her femur, hip and collarbone and the lacerated liver and spleen she had suffered in the Oct. 11, 2006, crash on Route 7 in Smithfield.
Assistant Attorney General Jay Sullivan displayed the photo in court this afternoon as part of a Power Point demonstration. Above the photo was a one-word question: “Remorseful?”
Superior Court Judge Daniel A. Procaccini said he could not ignore the photo in deciding how to sentence Lipton.
“The court has certain aspects of the last two or three years of defendant’s life chronicled in living color — photographs and captions — compliments of Facebook via the Internet,” Procaccini said. The photos, which show Lipton and his friends drinking alcohol or smoking marijuana, “give new meaning to the phrase ‘one picture is worth a thousand words,’ ” he said.
“Without question, the most disturbing and troubling photo is the one where the defendant is dressed up in a prison inmate costume for a Halloween party shortly after this horrific incident,” Procaccini said. “For this defendant to think of mocking and joking about his irresponsible, reckless and life-altering dangerous behavior — on Facebook, for others to see, dressed in a ‘Jail Bird’ prison costume for a Halloween party a mere two weeks after this incident — is sick, depraved and disgusting.”
-- Journal staff writer Edward Fitzpatrick
Posted by Andrea Panciera at 6:55 PM
Deportation next stop for driver who passed police cruiser
A driver the state police say was in the country illegally passed a state police cruiser on Route 95 in Pawtucket early yesterday, refusing to stop, while his passenger tossed beer bottles out a window and "continuously waved" at troopers in the cruiser.
Both men are now facing deportation proceedings along with charges.
At 2:05 a.m. Monday, Pascual Cipriano-Tzoc, 27, of 20 Kinfield St., 1st floor, Providence, was driving erratically behind the state police cruiser, the police said. The troopers pulled over to the right, letting the car pass.
The car continued on, swerving from lane to lane. As troopers tried to stop the car, it sped up while passenger Regino Dominguez, 32, of 2022 Hartford Ave., Apt. 1, Providence, began throwing bottles out the window, the police said.
The vehicle drove onto a dead-end street near the Massachusetts-Rhode Island border and stopped. The driver got out and fled while the passenger stayed in the vehicle. Dominguez was arrested and, after a short foot pursuit, so was Cipriano-Tzoc.
-- projo.com staff writer Michael P. McKinney
Cipriano-Tzoc, who the police said had a fake international driver's license, was charged with driving under the influence, eluding a police officer, driving without a license, obstruction of justice, identity fraud, resisting arrest, refusal to submit to a chemical test, and motor vehicle violations.
The police said a check with federal Immigrations and Custom Enforcement found a pending deportation order for Cipriano-Tzoc. Following District Court arraignment, he was to be turned over to Immigrations and Customs Enforcement for deportation to his native Guatemala.
Dominguez, who the police said was also in the country illegally, was taken into Immigration and Customs Enforcement Custody to the federal Wyatt Detention Center in Central Falls, pending deportation proceedings to his native Guatemala. Dominguez was charged with resisting arrest by state police.
Posted by Mike McKinney at 5:54 PM
Johnston man nabbed in car accident that struck boy, 9
JOHNSTON -- A 31-year-old man has been charged with leaving the scene of an accident and other violations after police said his pickup truck struck a 9-year-old boy on Hartford Avenue on Friday.
The boy’s ankle was broken as he left the scene of a seasonal carnival in the area of 1450 Hartford Ave. around 10 p.m. Friday night, according to Johnston Deputy Police Chief Gary Maddocks.
Robert J. Gaunt, of 4 Doyle Ave., was arrested after police spotted his Dodge pickup parked at BJ’s Wholesale Warehouse on Sunday morning, Maddocks said.
One of the vehicle’s rearview mirrors was missing. Gaunt, a store employee, told police that he thought he fell asleep, Maddocks said.
Maddocks said Gaunt told the officer: “I got scared so I left, but I might have hit a pole.”
Investigators found that the boy was hit in the shoulder area by a mirror on Gaunt’s truck and they believe the driver ran over the child’s foot, Maddocks said. He was treated and released from Rhode Island Hospital.
-- Journal staff writer Mark Reynolds
Gaunt was charged with leaving the scene of an accident, resulting in personal injury; failing to adhere to reasonable and prudent speeds, and failing to exercise due care.
Gaunt was arraigned before Justice of the Peace Steven Catalano and released on $200 bail. He is scheduled to appear in District Court, Providence, on June 9, Maddocks said.
Posted by Mike McKinney at 5:26 PM
3 rescued from Point Judith fishing boat ID'd
A Coast Guard spokeswoman today identified the three Rhode Islanders rescued last night from a Point Judith-based fishing boat that took on water some 180 miles southeast of Cape Cod.
Carl Seppanen of Exeter, Steve Zarbo of Narragansett and Leo Croteau, 57, of Wakefield were on board the Dona Maria, according to Coast Guard spokeswoman Connie Terrell. The vessel is owned by Clarke A. Reposa Sr. of Wakefield.
About 8:30 p.m., the fishing vessel Ing Toffer overheard distress calls from the 82-foot Dona Maria and radioed the information to the Coast Guard station in Portland, Maine, and the Canadian Coast Guard station in Halifax, Nova Scotia, a Coast Guard spokeswoman for the Coast Guard’s First District headquarters in Boston said yesterday.
The Coast Guard told the Dona Maria’s crew to activate their emergency radio beacon so the boat’s location could be tracked. A Coast Guard Falcon jet and a Jayhawk rescue helicopter arrived on scene from Boston. The fishing vessel was floating and upright, but had taken on water.
The crew had abandoned ship and was hoisted from their life raft into the helicopter, the Coast Guard said yesterday. The crewmembers taken to the Coast Guard’s Cape Cod station and were reported in good condition yesterday.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this report incorrectly gave the name of the Ing Toffer.
-- With reports from Journal staff writer Donita Naylor
Posted by Mike McKinney at 5:21 PM
CVS trial: Celona won't return; jurors to get day off
PROVIDENCE -- John A. Celona, the star witness in the trial of two former CVS executives, will not return to the stand after all.
This afternoon, defense lawyers informed the court that they would not summon Celona, the ex-senator from North Providence, to clarify an alleged phone call he made to the state Ethics Commission a few weeks before CVS hired him as consultant in 2000.
Celona spent four days last week testifying in the trial of John Kramer, 75, and Carlos Ortiz, 64, who are accused of hiring the corrupt legislator to help advance the Woonsocket-based drugstore chain’s legislative agenda at the State House.
Today, Chief Judge Mary M. Lisi announced from the bench that the defense team had a right to call him back to court. She gave them the option after they filed a motion alleging that prosecutors withheld evidence from them.
The defense team argued that the prosecution knowingly failed to inform them that Celona had changed his story about contacting the Ethics Commission for an advisory opinion on the CVS consulting agreement. In past grand jury and court testimony, Celona had claimed that he spoke to an unidentified person at the Ethics Commission who said that there would be no conflict for an elected official to work for CVS. Last week, Celona testified that the conversation was more "abstract,’’ and that he did not specifically mention CVS.
Lisi said the prosecution had an obligation to inform the defense lawyers about Celona’s latest version of the phone conversation.
With the decision not to recall Celona, jurors will get the day off tomorrow.
They will return to court on Thursday for closing arguments and, no later than Friday, they will begin deliberating the fates of Kramer and Ortiz.
-- Journal staff writer W. Zachary Malinowski
Posted by Andrea Panciera at 4:04 PM
Cranston mayor will not seek re-election in the fall
Cranston Mayor Michael T. Napolitano told The Providence Journal today that he will not be running for re-election in the fall.
Journal file photo / Connie Grosch
Cranston Mayor Michael Napolitano.
The mayor, in the middle of his first term, cited family obligations.
“My wife is getting her husband back,” he said. “My children are getting their father back.”
The decision throws a nascent mayoral race into disarray.
The city was gearing up for a rematch between Napolitano, a Democrat, and Republican Allan W. Fung, a former City Council member who narrowly lost to Napolitano two years ago.
Now, the focus is on who will replace Napolitano at the top of the city’s Democratic ticket. City Council Vice President Paula B. McFarland and state Reps. Peter G. Palumbo and Charlene Lima voiced interest in interviews this afternoon.
Council President Aram G. Garabedian has ruled out a run for mayor.
-- Journal staff writer David Scharfenberg
Posted by Mike McKinney at 3:34 PM
Weather service issues severe thunderstorm watch
Click to see a full-size map.
A severe thunderstorm watch is in effect for Providence and Kent counties in Rhode Island and eastern Massachusetts.
The watch remains valid until 8 p.m., according to the National Weather Service.
The short-term forecast for an area including Providence, Cranston, Johnston, and Pawtucket says "widespread showers" as of 6 p.m., with some storms severe enough that there could be small hail and damaging winds.
Posted by Mike McKinney at 3:31 PM
Cranston man accused of stealing church offerings
A Cranston man who counted church offerings has been charged with embezzling cash collected from parishioners during the weekly offerings at the Immaculate Conception Church in Cranston.
State police detectives on Sunday arrested Vittorio "Victor" Castriotta, 48, of 66 Woodmont Drive, charging him with felony embezzlement and larceny over $500, according to a police news release today.
Castriotta has been for the last five years a volunteer counter at the church at 237 Garden Hills Drive, and the police said they believe money was taken during at least the last five months.
The state police allege their investigation found Castriotta, who was a member of a volunteer counting team that counted funds every four weeks, stole cash collected as part of the regular parishioner offerings.
Church officials found that collections dropped when Castriotta was involved in counting offerings, police said, and the officials decided to review their video system.
-- projo.com staff writer Michael P. McKinney
The amount of money the police say was stolen has not been figured, "however, it is believed to be in an amount warranting a felony charge." The police probe will continue to figure out the amount they say was taken.
The police said there is no evidence suggesting Castriotta worked with any other volunteer or church employee in allegedly taking money.
Castriotta was released on $10,000 personal recognizance. A July 29 pre-arraignment conference is slated in Providence County Superior Court.
Posted by Mike McKinney at 3:00 PM
Web site set up to help business owners recycle
Recently, state legislators and environmental managers have recognized business recycling as an area that could use improvement to extend the life of the Central Landfill in Johnston, the destination of about 660,000 tons of business waste a year.
To help guide the commercial sector, the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management and Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation have created a Web site to help business owners.
The site, greenzoneri.org, has information -- including a waste stream checklist -- to help businesses identify what they regularly toss in the trash and how finding the right recycling program and service can also save money.
-- Journal environment writer Natalie Garcia
Posted by Mike McKinney at 2:57 PM
R.I. company cited for violations in building collapse
TAUNTON, MASS. -- Federal regulators have cited a Rhode Island construction company for 15 alleged safety violations and proposed nearly $240,000 in fines for a building collapse in Taunton that injured eight employees.
The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited Ajax Construction, of the Harrisville section of Burrillville, for alleged violations of steel erection safety standards in the Dec. 4 collapse of an industrial warehouse that was under construction.
OSHA investigators said a truck was improperly used to straighten a steel column that was disconnected from an overhead girder. The girder and overhead decking where employees were working collapsed.
Ajax Construction has 15 days to contest the citations before an independent review commission. The company had no immediate comment Tuesday.
-- The Associated Press
Posted by Mike McKinney at 2:34 PM
Bear wanders through R.I. possibly looking for love
A young black bear that has apparently crossed a large portion of the Ocean State in recent days may be searching for a partner.
The bear, which weighs an estimated 130 pounds and is about two years old, was seen this morning in South Kingstown and Narragansett, where it eluded capture by the DEM, according to John Gingerella, a DEM environmental police officer.
DEM officials believe it's the same bear spotted in the Foster-Glocester-Scituate area last week, then in Coventry and, over the weekend, on Liberty Lane in South Kingstown's West Kingston section.
This bear may have come out of hibernation looking to set up his territory, according to Gingerella. Mating time is typically in June and July, he said.
Bears aren't a common sight in Rhode Island, but others have been spotted here in the last eight to 10 years, according to Gingerella. Some of them have weighed more than 200 pounds.
"We've had quite a few bears coming through, but they don't tend to stay here," Gingerella said. "They tend to move on; they tend to be young bears."
Apparently this bear won't let the miles or cold water slow his mission. Gingerella said the bear was spotted this morning on the South Kingstown side of the Narrow River and "ended up swimming over to the Narragansett side of the Narrow River."
In Narragansett, Gingerella said he saw the bear standing in the middle of Emory Street, off Route 1A -- Boston Neck Road. The bear went into the woods, and the DEM responders thought they had the bear surrounded and were going to try to tranquilize it, but the bear eluded them, Gingerella said.
Gingerella said people should not approach bears and never feed them.
Read more about bears and staying safe around bears from the state Department of Environmental Management.
-- projo.com staff writer Michael P. McKinney
To keep bears away from their yards, people should make sure grills are cleaned, remove bird feeders, don't leave dog food, cat food or other food outside, Gingerella said.
The DEM, in a fact sheet, says bird seed has high fat content and is attractive to bears. People should therefore remove bird feeders from the yard by mid-April and wait until Otober to November to put feeders back out. The DEM also advises that people keep garbage "secured or stored inside shed/garage" until trash-pickup morning. Keep meat/fruit out of compost piles.
In Maine and other parts of northern New England, black bears can weigh 300 to 400 pounds. In the southern United States, the bears reach 600 or 700 pounds with frequency -- such bears are possible in northern New England, Gingerella said, but not typical.
Posted by Mike McKinney at 2:24 PM
Foundation set up to honor Peter T. Pastore Jr.
The establishment of the Randolph Savings Peter T. Pastore Jr. Charitable Foundation was announced this morning in honor of Peter T. Pastore Jr., former executive vice president of the bank, who passed away in 2006.
The foundation will provide financial support to deserving charitable and nonprofit organizations in communities served by Randolph Savings Bank.
“We believe this is a fitting way to honor the memory of Peter Pastore, who truly personified the ideal of giving back to the community,” said Thomas H. Drummey, executive vice president and chief operating officer.
Any not-for-profit charitable organization or municipal entity in the Randolph Savings Bank communities in Massachusetts and Rhode Island is eligible to apply for funding.
In Rhode Island, that includes Coventry, Cranston, East Greenwich, Warwick and West Greenwich. Organizations interested in applying for foundation support can find guidelines and an application online.
-- Journal business editor John Kostrzewa
In Massachusetts, eligible communities include the towns of Avon, Braintree, Canton, Holbrook, Sharon, Stoughton and Randolph.
Drummey, who will serve as president of the foundation, also announced that Louise DiChiara Pastore,would serve as chairman of the foundation’s board of directors.
Peter Pastore served on the Cranston City Council for 16 years, including four years as president. He was a founder of the Cranston Teen Center and helped to create legislation to help small businesses.
Founded in 1851, Randolph Savings Bank is a $365 million mutual savings bank with offices in Coventry and in Holbrook, Stoughton and Randolph, in Massachusetts. Plans to open a new Cranston branch are now in the regulatory and local approval stage.
Posted by Brandie M. Jefferson at 1:04 PM
Johnston police: Man held girlfriend captive for 6 hours
JOHNSTON — A 32-year-old Plainfield Street man bound his girlfriend with rope and held her captive for about six hours early Monday morning, the police said today.
The woman went to the first floor apartment home of Eric J. Quinn around 12:30 a.m. Sunday after he asked her to make the trip following an argumentative telephone consersation, Johnston police Maj. Ralph Bubar III said.
After she arrived, the police say, he slapped her in the face, took her cell phone and later tied her wrists with rope and bound her to the mattress in his bedroom, Bubar said. He also bound her feet, he said.
Quinn untied the woman when his live-in roommate arrived around 6:30 a.m., Bubar said. As he talked to the roommate, she sneaked out of the bedroom and escaped the apartment house, he said.
Quinn chased her down and snatched her keys, but he gave them back after the woman threatened to lean on her car’s horn, Bubar said.
The woman reported the incident and Quinn was arrested around 2 p.m. yesterday afternoon after a Johnston patrolman spotted him driving in the area near his home.
He was charged with domestic kidnapping, a felony, and felony counts of domestic assault and marijuana possession.
Quinn, of 1415 Plainfield St., also was charged with refusal to relinquish a telephone, he said.
At the time of his arrest, he was wanted on an East Providence police warrant for fifth-degree arson, Bubar said.
Quinn was held without bail and his arraignment was scheduled for this morning in District Court, Warwick.
-- Journal staff writer Mark Reynolds
Posted by Brandie M. Jefferson at 12:48 PM
Sound Sessions lineup will be announced tomorrow
Downtown Providence is hosting a preview of what’s to come this year at one of the biggest music festivals in the state.
Sure, you can get a sneak peek at scheduled artists on the Sound Sessions Web site, but then you'd miss the Carnivalesque dancers, saxophone players and drummers set to perform tomorrow.
The artists will join the Black Rep’s Executive Artistic Director Donald W. King and Providence Mayor David Cicilline to officially announce this year's lineup.
The weeklong Sound Session festival brings artists and performers from around the world to downtown Providence for what’s billed as a “genre-defying” music festival, featuring performers from West Africa to the Caribbean to American Jazz and Funk.
This year’s festival is set to run from July 6 – July 12.
The line-up announcement is scheduled for tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. at 276 Westminster Street.
-- projo.com staff writer Brandie M. Jefferson
Posted by Brandie M. Jefferson at 12:38 PM
Security of smaller vessels is focus of summit
Anyone interested in attending next month’s Coast Guard’s Northeastern Small Vessel Security Summit has until Thursday to register.
The summit is a chance for vessel pilots of all sizes, as well as other interested stakeholders to get together and discuss ways to reduce risks and threats to smaller vessels on the water. Groups will also have a chance to voice any security concerns about ports and along the waterways of the Northeast.
Representatives from the Coast Guard and from the Homeland Security Institute also will be giving presentations.
"This forum is a great opportunity for mariners to speak directly with the Coast Guard and Homeland Security to share ideas and concerns," Lt. Trevor Cowan with waterways management at Boston’s First Coast Guard District said in a statement.
The Conference, scheduled for June 7 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. will be at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy in Buzzard’s Bay, Mass.
For registration information, email Lt. Trevor Cowan or call at (617)223-8385.
Posted by Brandie M. Jefferson at 12:34 PM
CVS trial: Defense rests, Celona may return tomorrow
PROVIDENCE -- The defense has rested in the trial of two former CVS executives accused of bribery, fraud and conspiracy, and the case could go to the jury this Thursday or Friday.
David B. Fein, one of defendant John R. Kramer’s lawyers, today played multiple clips for the jury of Kramer promoting the CVS Charity Golf Classic and the CVS Downtown 5K Road Race.
The former CVS senior vice president also made many appearances on WJAR-Channel 10 touting both events.
In one clip, he told viewers that they could head to their nearest CVS store for tickets to the golf tickets and to make sure they pick up some "sunscreen,’’ to protect them from the day’s heat.
No witnesses were called for Kramer or his co-defendant, Carlos R. Ortiz.
The jurors were sent home about 11:45 a.m. and told the standby for an order telling them to return to court.
This morning, after a tense session, it was decided that the government’s star witness, John A. Celona, the imprisoned former legislator from North Providence, will return to federal court to testify.
It appears that Celona may return tomorrow, to briefly testify about a conversation with a person at the Ethics Commission. After that, the defense and prosecution will ready for making closing arguments.
-- Journal staff writer W. Zachary Malinowski
Posted by Andrea Panciera at 12:22 PM
On second try, Warwick chiropractor summits Everest
In his second try in two years, Warwick chiropractor Timothy Warren made it to the top of Mount Everest on Friday. He is believed to be the first Rhode Islander to climb the world's tallest peak, according to a children's organization.
Journal photo / Bill Murphy
Warwick chiropractor Tim Warren grimaces while working out at Northeast Sports Training in Warwick last August.
Warren made it to the summit at 11:15 p.m. eastern time, had a short stay and began his descent, says a news release from A Wish Come True. Mount Everest is 29,035 feet above sea level.
Warren has chronicled his efforts at his web site, drtimwarren.com
The Journal reported in late 2006 and last year on Warren's preparation to attempt the climb for the first time. Warren wrote by e-mail, in an article published last May, that he was not able to make the climb at that time.
Everest is in the Himalayan ranges of Nepal, on the borders of Tibet and China.
Last year, Warren spent about a month and a half taking day hikes higher up the mountain, then returning to base camp to allow his body to acclimate to climbing at high altitudes. Warren picked up a cough that would lead to his not being able to make the 2007 climb. He descended to lower altitudes with higher oxygen levels to try to let his body heal, but the cough persisted, the Journal reported.
Warren's effort, a “Klimb for Kids” raises money for children whose wishes are granted by A Wish Come True, an organization that aims to make true a wish for people ages 3 to 18 who have life-threatening illnesses in Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts.
A Wish Come True said last year's “Klimb for Kids” effort -- though Warren did not reach the summit -- raised $15,000 for children assisted by A Wish Come True. Warren's journey last year, which included corporate partnerships with Verizon and the Telecom Pioneers, "also enabled school children in several states (including Rhode Island) to increase their knowledge of Everest, Nepal and what it’s like to undertake such a challenge," the news release said.
While Warren is believed to be the first Rhode Islander to summit Everest, in 1996, then 16-year-old Mark Pfetzer reached the final base camp, but was forced to descend because of a vicious storm.
-- projo.com staff writer Michael P. McKinney, with Journal archival reports
Posted by Mike McKinney at 12:01 PM
Pickup crashes into Tiverton home; 2 youths hurt / Photo
Journal photo / Frieda Squires
Millie Green, 82, stands out in front of her home on Main Road, after a truck crashed into her bedroom last night. Four young men in a pick-up truck thought they were being chased by police. Millie was in the living room, in her favorite chair, reading from the Bible.
TIVERTON — Police are investigating a high-speed crash of a pickup truck into a house last night that sent two youths to the hospital.
Four Providence boys, whom the police are not identifying because they are juveniles, were spotted in a Toyota truck speeding north on Main Road at about 9:45 p.m. by a marked police cruiser, which was driving with its lights flashing and siren sounding to a separate incident, Chief Thomas Blakey said this morning.
The police believe the juveniles may have assumed the cruiser was after them, Blakey said. The pickup “catapulted” into 2537 Main Road, striking the house near the roof. A woman was home at the time but was uninjured, Blakey said. The house was substantially damaged and deemed uninhabitable today by the town’s building inspector, Blakey said.
A 17-year-old boy was taken to Rhode Island Hospital, where he was listed in serious condition. A 15-year old boy was taken to Hasbro Children’s Hospital, where he is also listed in serious condition, according to police.
The truck’s other two occupants fled the scene of the crash, Blakey said, and allegedly stole a car about a half-mile away. The two were stopped and arrested on Route 195 in Swansea by Massachusetts State Police.
Tiverton police are investigating the crash and determining whether to bring charges against the boys, Blakey said.
— Journal staff writer Meaghan Wims
Posted by Andrea Panciera at 11:57 AM
Rep. Kennedy glad father hears stories of thanks / Photo
Journal Photo/Mary Murphy
Rep. Patrick Kennedy speaks at Progreso Latino this morning where he presented a check for the Johnson and Wales Small Business Development Center which is working with Progreso Latino to develop new entrepreneurs.
CENTRAL FALLS –– In presenting a grant to the social advocacy organization Progreso Latino today, U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy briefly commented on his father’s illness.
“His only disappointment,” Kennedy said of his father, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, who was diagnosed last week with a malignant brain tumor, “is he came in second in a sailing race.”
The senior senator from Massachusetts sailed his schooner, "Mya," on the return leg of the Figawi sailboat race from Nantucket to Hyannis, finishing second in his five-boat division.
Sons Patrick and Edward Jr. served as crew members. Also aboard for the more than two-hour journey were his wife, Vicki, Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., and stepdaughter Caroline Raclin.
Rep. Kennedy went on to say that he appreciated the fact that his father’s illness has enabled the long-serving Democratic senator to hear countless stories of appreciation from people that he’s helped during his 45 years in Washington.
Patrick Kennedy took three or four questions today before being ushered out by his aides.
His appearance in Central Falls today was to announce more than $180,000 in appropriations secured for a joint program with Progreso Latino -- which helps immigrant Rhode Islanders with job-growth skills -- and Johnson and Wales University. The program will provide job training for students.
-- projo.com staff writer Brandie M. Jefferson, with reports from Journal staff writer Mark Arsenault and the Associated Press.
Posted by Brandie M. Jefferson at 11:53 AM
R.I. gas prices soar to just under $4 per gallon
Gasoline prices increased another 16 cents in Rhode Island last week, leaving the average price for self-serve regular just a few cents under the $4 mark, according to AAA Southern New England.
The average price for a gallon of regular, unleaded gasoline is $3.969 at the self-service pump, according to AAA's weekly survey.
The price has climbed 38 cents over the past four weeks.
A year ago at this time Rhode Islanders were paying $3.089.
Rhode Island drivers are paying 3 cents more per gallon than the national average.
Drivers of cars and trucks that use diesel fuel are feeling even more pain. Diesel has jumped another 22 cents to $4.89 per gallon.
Posted by Jack Perry at 11:30 AM
N. Kingstown couple dies in Conn. motorcyle-car crash
Connecticut State Police are investigating a collision between a motorcycle and car yesterday that left a Rhode Island couple dead.
Brad S. Randall, 52, and Rosemarie Randall, 45, of Clearview Drive in North Kingstown, were killed after an accident last yesterday at 11:30 a.m. while riding together on a motorcycle.
According to the police report, Brad Randall was driving north on South Canterbury road just north of Depot Road in Canterbury, Conn. with Rosemarie as his passenger.
Lisa Ramos, of Connecticut, was driving a Subaru Legacy southbound, according to the report, when she crossed the double yellow line into the northbound lane, hitting the Randalls. She then veered to the right, stopping against the southbound guardrail.
Both Randalls were thrown off the motorcycle, a 2005 Honda, at impact, according to police. Rescue crews pronounced Brad Randall dead at the scene. Rosemarie Randall was transported to Backus Hospital for severe trauma and later pronounced dead.
Ramos was taken to Backus Hospital for observation. The accident is under investigation.
Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that the accident occurred at 11:30 p.m.
-- projo.com staff writer Brandie M. Jefferson
Posted by Brandie M. Jefferson at 10:58 AM
CVS trial: Celona to return to the stand
Journal illustration / Frank Gerardi
U.S. Attorney Robert Clark Corrente argues against a motion from defense lawyers to drop charges against former CVS executives John R. Kramer and Carlos Ortiz. In the foreground are prosecutors Annlou Tirol, left, Daniel Petalas, center, and Stephen G. Dambruch. Judge Mary M. Lisi presides.
PROVIDENCE -- The government’s star witness, John A. Celona, the imprisoned former legislator from North Providence, will return to federal court to testify in the CVS corruption trial.
During a tense 40-minute hearing this morning, Chief U.S. District Court Judge Mary M. Lisi weighed a defense motion on whether the bribery, fraud and conspiracy charges should be dropped against John R. ``Jack’’ Kramer, 75, and Carlos R. Ortiz, 64, two former CVS executives.
And, in a highly unusual move, Robert Clark Corrente, the U.S. Attorney for Rhode Island, argued that the motion for dismissal of the charges was ``outrageous.’’
Scott Corrigan, one of Kramer’s lawyers, based his argument primarily on Celona’s varying versions of testimony of a call he made to the Ethics Commission in the weeks before the drugstore giant hired him as a $1,000-a-month consultant in 2000. At the time, Celona was a state senator who would later rise to the influential post of chairman of the senate corporations committee.
In previous grand jury and trial testimony, Celona had testified that the called the Ethics Commission and talked to someone who has never been identified. In the conversation, Celona claims that the person told him that it was okay for him to serve as a legislator and work for CVS.
A few weeks ago, in preparation for trial, Celona told investigators that it was a more ``abstract’’ conversation he never mentioned CVS to the person at the Ethics Commission.
Corrigan repeatedly referred to Celona’s ``new memories,’’ and said that prosecutors knew about it, but chose to withhold it from the defense team.
``The prosecution readily accepted a gift that was too good to be true,’’ said Corrigan said, adding that the prosecutors should have questioned the new version of events.
Corrente took umbrage with the defense team’s characterization that the prosecution acted in ``bad faith.’’
He said that the government didn’t know exactly what Celona was going to say in the witness box ``because he had changed his testimony so many times before. It was impossible to know exactly what he was going to say.’’
Lisi, the judge, was critical of the prosecution team for failing to inform the defense about Celona’s latest version of the call to the Ethics Commission. She said that the government was required ``to make that disclosure in a timely manner.’’
Nonetheless, she said that dismissing the 23 felony charges against Kramer and Ortiz would be a ``rather extreme remedy.’’
She decided to have Celona return to court to testify. No day or time was set for the former legislator, who is serving a 2 ½ -year prison term in federal prison. He has been at the Donald W. Wyatt Federal Detention Center fin Central Falls or the past three weeks.
The defense and prosecution made their arguments outside the presence of the jury.
The government rested this morning; and, at 10 a.m., the defense began presenting its case.
Read more on the the trial and the government's Operation Dollar Bill investigation.
-- Journal staff writer W. Zachary Malinowski
Posted by Jack Perry at 10:55 AM
Library dedicated to dedicated educator
No doubt Mary C. Brennan has made a mark on Vartan Gregorian Elementary School over the past 26 years.
In 1977 she started at the school as a bilingual/ESL teacher. Since then she’s been an elementary teacher, worked as a curriculum coordinator and, in 1995, was named principal; a position she held until December 2003.
Today her mark on the school will be officially recognized at the dedication of the new Mary C. Brennan Library -- an addition to the school, formerly the Wickenden Street Bath House.
A ceremony is scheduled for this morning at the school, at 455 Wickenden St., in the auditorium.
--projo.com staff writer Brandie M. Jefferson
Posted by Brandie M. Jefferson at 10:45 AM
Changes on the road in Providence
The Friendship Street on-ramp to Route195 East is closed for good today.
Drivers trying to get onto the highway from the area of the Rhode Island Hospital area can use the temporary ramp off Hoppin Street while the Rhode Island Department of Transportation works on building a new, permanent ramp off Plain Street.
Early next month, RIDOT plans to close Exit 20 off Route 95 north so that demolition can begin on the old portions of Route 195. When Exit 20 (the old exit to Route 195 East) closes, drivers won't be able to access Exit 1/Downtown or Exit 2/Wickenden Street.
Instead, to reach Fox Point, drivers will have to take the Exit 19/Iway, and use the new Exit 2/Gano Street.
To reach the Jewelry District, drivers can take Exit 18 from 95 north, and follow Allens Avenue north.
To reach downtown, drivers can take Exit 22A/Downtown/Memorial Boulevard from 95 north.
Posted by Brandie M. Jefferson at 8:28 AM
Providence council to receive report on December storm
PROVIDENCE -- Providence's city council is about to get an independent report on why a December snowstorm stranded dozens of school buses for hours on city streets.
Council President Peter Mancini says the council will receive the 33-page report today from an independent board charged with examining what went wrong during the Dec. 13 snowstorm.
The fast-moving storm dumped about a foot of snow across the state and brought traffic to a standstill. Some school buses were stranded for up to six hours. Motorists abandoned their cars along the sides of highways.
Shortly after the storm, Gov. Carcieri fired the executive director of the state Emergency Management Agency, Robert Warren. Providence Mayor David Cicilline also fired his city's director of emergency management, Leo Messier.
See a time line of the storm and its aftermath on projo.com.
-- The Associated Press
Posted by Brandie M. Jefferson at 7:59 AM
Today in history
On May 27, 1941, the British navy sank the German battleship Bismarck off France with a loss of more than 2,100 lives.
Read more about today in history
Posted by Jack Perry at 7:03 AM
Trial of former CVS executives resumes
PROVIDENCE — The corruption trial of former CVS executives John R. “Jack” Kramer and Carlos R. Ortiz resumes this morning in federal court with the government expected to rest after two weeks of testimony.
Chief U.S. District Judge Mary M. Lisi released the jurors early for the long holiday weekend on Friday and told them to return to court today at 9 a.m. The defense teams for Kramer and Ortiz will have the opportunity to have their own witnesses take the stand. It’s not known who, if anyone, will testify for the defense.
Today begins the third week of testimony in the bribery, fraud and conspiracy trial of Kramer, 75, and Ortiz, 64. They are accused of hiring ex-Sen. John A. Celona, of North Providence, as a CVS consultant to help promote CVS’ legislative agenda at the State House.
Posted by Jack Perry at 7:02 AM
From sunshine to hail
The sunshine won't lure you outside today. In fact, between the great outdoors and the office, the office may be the better choice.
The National Weather Service is forecasting different variations of rain today -- showers, downpours, and thunderstorms -- high-speed winds from the west and even hail. Temperatures, though, will be very mild, even warm, reaching 78 degrees. Expect upwards of an inch of rain.
More showers forecast for tonight with gusty winds from the north and cloudy skies until about 11. Then clouds should clear and the temperature will drop pretty low to about 47 degrees.
Tomorrow looks good -- clear, sunny skies -- but not perfect, with a high temperature of just 67 degrees and north winds gusting as high as 24 mph.
And in case you missed it, success! The Mars Phoenix Lander touched down on Mars Sunday. Check out photographs and more information on the mission.
Keep an eye on the showers, downpours, thunderstorms and hail on projo.com's weather page.
Posted by Brandie M. Jefferson at 7:01 AM
Today's front page
Today's front page features a story about a Seekonk man's death in a rafting accident in Maine and coverage of a school progam that tries to discourage sixth graders from becoming drinkers or smokers.
Download a copy of today's front page in .pdf format.
Posted by Jack Perry at 7:00 AM