John Ward

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

In 2014, hundreds of Rhode Islanders died from accidental drug overdoses.  Thousands more remain addicted to prescription painkillers and heroin. For those who inject the drugs, there’s another risk: hepatitis C.

In the final story in our series “At the Crossroads,” we meet a team of outreach workers determined to find new infections before it’s too late.


Bringing disease prevention to the streets

Woonsocket Residents Vote For Change

Nov 6, 2013
Wikimedia Commons

In Woonsocket, voters have chosen a new mayor.

They voted by a more than 2-1 margin to elect  State Representative Lisa Baldelli-Hunt, ousting incumbent mayor Leo Fontaine.

Baldelli-Hunt will take the reins of a city that severely raised property taxes to avoid bankruptcy.  Like many residents, voter Farid Latash said the city's financial problems are frustrating.

"Big problem with the taxes.  Nobody working.  Nobody got no money.  They keep raising taxes, raising everything.  That's about it," said Latash.

Bradley Campbell/RIPR

The budget commission that’s running the city of Woonsocket has asked area lawmakers to introduce a bill that would authorize a $2.5 million dollar supplemental tax increase.  It’s part of a plan to bail out the financially distressed community.

The average Woonsocket resident would pay an additional $150 in property taxes and $90 in vehicle taxes under terms of a supplemental tax bill introduced by two state lawmakers. The aim is to raise $2.5 million. It’s part of a larger plan to erase a $17 million deficit over the next five years.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Woonsocket City Council President John Ward visits the Roundtable this week to talk about the outlook for fiscal stability in the northern Rhode Island community; the debate over tax policy in Rhode Island; and how to keep more young workers in the Ocean State.

Woonsocket City Council President John Ward is our guest on Bonus Q+A as we talk Woonsocket's economy, its upcoming mayoral race, consolidation, the historic tax credit, and other issues.

Municipal retirees in Woonsocket are being asked Monday to accept pension and healthcare concessions as part of a five-year plan to improve the city's finances.

City Council President John Ward, a member of a state budget commission, says a freeze in 3 percent annual cost of living adjustments in Woonsocket's local pension plan is part of the proposal.