cranston

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Cranston Mayor Allan Fung has named a new Director of Administration for the city.  Robert Coupe is a corporate lawyer with a private practice.  

Coupe also served as an attorney for the state of Massachusetts under former governor Mitt Romney.  Coupe served as spokesman for Fung during his unsuccessful bid for Rhode Island governor.     

Mayor Fung said he selected Coupe because, “he offers the right combination of strong public policy experience with a private-sector commitment to promoting greater efficiency and accountability in city government.” 

FILE / RIPR

Allan Fung said despite losing his bid for governor, he’s proud of the race he ran. Fung’s democratic rival Gina Raimondo won the race with just 40 percent of the vote. Fung said maybe it’s time for runoff elections.

"The moose was on the loose," is how Fung describes the 22 percent gleaned by Moderate Party candidate Bob Healey, referring to Healey’s days as the cool moose candidate.  Fung’s main opponent, Gina Raimondo, is the second consecutive governor elected with less than 50 percent of the vote.

Catherine Welch / RIPR

There’s a photograph on Cranston Mayor Allan Fung’s desk of his first inauguration. He’s being sworn into the mayor’s office he has the family Bible and his parents are by his side. “I can see the pride in my mom’s eyes, in my dad’s eyes as I was getting sworn in,” said Fung.

He looks at this photo almost every day, “and it just reminds me of who I am and how far they’ve come, and because of what they did I’m where I am.”

Catherine Welch / RIPR

Rivals in the heated Republican primary for governor, Ken Block and Cranston Mayor Allan Fung, hugged in front of the media Monday and vowed to work together to get a Republican in the governor’s office.

They attacked each other in debates and television ads, but at a press conference at the Statehouse Fung and Block hugged, saying they share a belief in reduced spending and more oversight of the General Assembly. Block said the two are now united going into the November election.

Gubernatorial candidates Gina Raimondo and Allan Fung have agreed to do a limited number of joint appearances and televised debates before the general election.  A coalition of environmental groups is disappointed its invitation for a debate didn’t make the list.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

The primaries are over and now it’s time for the main event. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay parses the Rhode Island campaign for governor.

Rhode Island voters will make history in November by choosing either Republican Allan Fung or Democrat Gina Raimondo as their next governor. Raimondo would be the first woman governor;  Fung would be the first Asian-American.

John Bender / RIPR

Lieutenant Colonel Michael Winquist, of the Rhode Island State Police, has been announced as Cranston’s new police chief.  The appointment comes following a difficult period for the department.

Winquist steps into the position following the retirement of former chief Marco Palombo Jr. Palombo left in the midst of a scandal during which police officers ticketed cars in wards of city councilors who voted against a police contract. The search for his successor also drew controversy, with some groups claiming that the search criteria effectively ruled out candidates of color.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Republican gubernatorial candidates Ken Block and Allan Fung traded barbs Monday about which of them is the best choice for governor.  It happened at new conference Block held near Cranston City Hall.

Block held his press conference inside a Cranston diner, about a block from City Hall, as a reminder of how Fung taped a jobs-related campaign ad in an Ohio diner. He criticized Fung for raising taxes early in his administration, and Block also rapped Fung for his oversight of Cranston’s police department.

Cranston's City Planning Director Peter Lapolla will be holding a meeting with the public on June 11th to discuss the city's floodplain management plan. Lapolla says the officials want to know about any flood-prone areas that they may have missed. 

"What we're doing is going out to the public and saying 'I think we've identified the areas where there are flooding issues, and we want your input on whether we've properly identified all those areas. Have we missed any, and have we misrepresented or misassumed the causes of the flooding?'"

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Cranston Mayor Allan Fung announced Thursday that the investigation into a police parking ticket scandal has been concluded. State police confirm a Cranston police captain violated police regulations.

Fung took the podium at a press conference to break the news: “Today we are announcing the

recommendation, and that is the recommendation of termination for Cranston police captain Stephen Antonucci.”

file / RIPR

Cranston residents will face no property tax increase next year under a budget proposed Tuesday night by Mayor Allan Fung. He has submitted a $262 million spending plan that would fully fund the city’s annual pension obligations while not hiking property taxes.

The average Cranstonian pays $5,000 a year in property taxes. Fung admits that’s high, but says just keeping taxes from rising has been a challenge given state funding cuts and the devastation caused by the great flood of 2010.

Flo Jonic / RIPR

Flood warnings remain in effect for Rhode Island rivers, but forecasters for with the National Weather Service says people shouldn't fear a repeat of the historic floods of March 2010; which were the worst in the state.  However residents in Westerly were still worried.

Gail Quatromanni lives in a sprawling ranch with spectacular view of the Pawcatuck River.  But it hasn't been looking very pretty in the last couple days.  In a 24 hour period starting Sunday morning, Quatromanni said the river rose 19 inches.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Cranston Mayor Allan Fung said the city’s police chief did not enhance his retirement benefits by briefly being reinstated before retiring earlier this week.  Former chief Marco Palombo will get an annual pension of just under $80,000.

Col. Marco Palombo, Jr. released a statement announcing that he is retiring as Cranston’s chief of police. The news comes on the heels of a police parking ticket scandal.

Col. Palombo announced his retirement after 27 years with the Cranston police in a statement to the media. In it, he said he had been considering retirement for a while and is looking forward to new opportunities, including helping to solve cold cases and teaching police science.

Heavy Snowfalls Straining Municipal Budgets

Feb 17, 2014
Catherine Welch / RIPR

The agencies responsible for keeping the roads clear in Rhode Island are having a challenging winter.

Providence’s Public Works Director, William Bombard, described this winter’s snowfall as above average, but says Providence still has plenty of resources to face any further storms.

“The numbers are, we’re about $800,000 into a $1.8 million budget, not counting the most recent storm," said Bombard.

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