West Warwick

John Bender / RIPR

As residents continue to deal with the aftermath of last week’s destructive storms, lawmakers are hoping to help those most affected.


Some 150 people gathered at Warwick City Hall Sunday to remember those killed in the 2003Station Nightclub fire, and announce plans for a long-awaited memorial.  It was the 12th annual memorial of the fire that claimed 100 lives in West Warwick.


Survivor and president of the Station Fire Memorial Foundation Gina Russo announced the group has raised enough money to possibly begin construction this spring.

The 12th annual remembrance service for the 100 people who lost their lives in the tragic West Warwick Station nightclub fire on February 20, 2003 has been rescheduled for March 22 at 1 p.m. in the city council chambers at Warwick City Hall.

The service was originally slated for February 15, but was postponed because of a snowstorm. On Sunday, March 22 fire survivor Gina Russo will speak about the progress of the Station Memorial campaign and announce the campaign leadership committee.

John Bender / RIPR

12 years ago today, 100 people died, and hundreds more were injured in a fire at the Station nightclub in West Warwick. The fire made national headlines as one of the worst nightclub fires in U.S. history.  Survivors are still working to build a public memorial, and living with the scars from that night.

Officials say the FBI and West Warwick police are investigating a vandalism incident at the Islamic School of Rhode Island as an apparent hate crime. Racial slurs, profanities, and anti-Islamic phrases were spray-painted on entrance of the school over the weekend.

The vandalism occurred Saturday night, according to video surveillance footage.  The incident comes just days after the shooting of 3 Muslim students in North Carolina. The Islamic school, located in West Warwick, serves about 160 children from pre-kindergarten through eighth grade. 

The snow forecast for tonight and tomorrow has led to postponement of Sunday’s scheduled Station Fire Foundation Memorial service at West Warwick High School. The service was slated for 1 p.m.

The observance in the memory of the 100 who died in the Feb. 20, 2003 Station nightclub fire will be rescheduled for a date and time that will be announced soon, according to a spokesman for the organizers.

Former State Sen. Stephen Alves of West Warwick has been arrested for drunk driving after an accident on Route 146 In Lincoln. State Police say Alves struck a tractor-trailer truck near the Twin River casino exit.

Police say Alves drove his vehicle ``directly into the rear of the tractor trailer.’’ Alves, a former Senate Finance Committee chairman, is a Statehouse lobbyist.


It’s election year in Rhode Island. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay parses the one issue that never goes away in our small state – casino gambling.

There’s an old gallows humor joke about banks and creditors. If you owe the bank $30,000, the bank owns you. If you owe the bank $300 million, you own the bank.

Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian has halted public hearings on a proposed Mayoral Academy Charter School.

Avedisian, who is the mayor sponsoring the proposal, says numerous issues including West Warwick's potential to pull out of the proposal,  preceded the request.

West Warwick Residents Approve Critical Budget

May 23, 2014
Wikimedia Commons

Residents of West Warwick have passed a town budget that scales back services and raises taxes as part of an effort to avoid a financial crisis.  The move is a early step for the town's path to fiscal stability.

The $86.3 million budget comes with plenty of concessions, including cuts in town programs, a 2.9 percent increase in property taxes, and reductions to public employee pensions. But town manager Frederick Presley said the concessions are necessary if West Warwick wants to avoid bankruptcy.

Flo Jonic / RIPR

Thursday marks eleven years since the Station nightclub fire that killed 100 people and injured 200.

At 18 years old, Nicholas O’Neil was the youngest victim. His band, Shryne, was going to open for Great White the following night, so he was at the club on February 20th, 2003 to check out the place. O’Neil’s dad, Dave Kane, said he thinks about his son every day.

“It’s interesting people say to me, ‘oh geez, I hope I’m not bringing up a bad memory.’ Like I forgot. I mean, we have this every day, the knowledge of what has happened and the aftermath, we live it every day.”

Flo Jonic / RIPR

A new report finds Rhode Island’s aging homeless population is growing rapidly.  According to Crossroads Rhode Island, the number of aging homeless adults increased 34 percent between 2010 and 2012, whereas total homelessness increased only ten percent. 

Terry Jones has been off the streets for six years but he still pinches himself over his good fortune. Jones, who’s 71-years-old, is a resident of the Harold Lewis House in West Warwick, a home providing single or twin occupancy rooms for disabled, aging homeless adults.

The Rhode Island Health Department has lifted a boil water advisory for customers of the Kent County Water Authority after a third day of tests showed the water clean of bacteria.   Some 25-thousand customers have had to boil their drinking water since Sunday, when the contamination was discovered in a storage tank. The tank has been taken offline until the source of the contamination is determined.

Flo Jonic / RIPR

A Sunday deadline has come and gone to remove objects from the site of the Station Nightclub fire where 100 people died in a fire ten years ago.  The land is being readied for transformation into a memorial park and all objects left after Sunday will be buried in a time capsule.

Patricia Belanger retrieved a cross, a poster and a toy from the makeshift memorial honoring her daughter, Dina DeMaio, who died in the Station nightclub fire. 

"What are you going to do with them?"

A housing facility for disabled veterans will be dedicated Tuesday afternoon to a fallen Rhode Island Marine.

Seven years ago today, Marine Sgt. Brian St. Germain was riding in a truck across Iraq when it rolled over in a flash flood. The Rhode Island chapter of Operation Stand Down is honoring St. Germain’s life and service, by putting his name on its West Warwick facility for homeless and disabled veterans.

Operation Stand Down’s Tony DeQuattro says this is part of a push that started two years ago to rename all of their facilities after fallen troops.