pawtucket

A developmentally disabled pregnant woman who’s been missing for a week has been found safe and sound. 

A man who had seen a missing poster of Luisa Pena noticed her walking down a street in Central Falls and contacted police.  Pawtucket police Major Arthur Martins said it’s unclear where Pena has been for the past week but she appears to be in good condition.

Susan Vollucci

There's still no sign of that pregnant Pawtucket woman who vanished a week ago. But police say there’s no evidence to support the theory that the woman has been abducted.

Twenty-one-year-old Luisa Pena vanished last Wednesday from her aunt’s home in Pawtucket.  The day before she disappeared she had reported a sexual assault to police. Her family fears her assailants came back to silence her. But Pawtucket Police spokesman Arthur Martins said there’s no evidence to support a kidnapping theory.

Flo Jonic / RIPR

Pawtucket police say there is no reason to believe a missing, pregnant woman has been abducted.  Relatives of 21-year-old Luisa Pena have expressed concern that she was kidnapped by men she had accused of sexual assault. But Pawtucket police spokesman Major Arthur Martins says there is no evidence of that.

Pena vanished last Wednesday from her aunt’s home in Pawtucket. Relatives say she has the mind of a ten-year-old, has difficulty expressing herself and can’t drive.

Pawtucket Pit Bull Ban Being Challenged

Oct 4, 2013

The city of Pawtucket says it will defend its pit bull ban against a lawsuit challenging it.  The Pawtucket ban appears to conflict with state law.

Pawtucket banned pit bulls nine years ago.  The ordinance is now being challenged by pit bull owner Albert Alix and a group called Defenders of Animals.  They said the ordinance was invalidated when the General Assembly enacted a state law forbidding cities and towns from breed-specific bans on dogs and cats.  But Tony Pires, Pawtucket’s director of administration, said the ordinance is exempt from state law because it predates it.

Credit Peter Goldberg / The Gamm TheatreCasey Seymour Kim and Alexander Platt in "Far Away" by Caryl Churchill, directed by Tony Estrella.Edit | Remove

For decades, English playwright Caryl Churchill has been accorded Goddess stature in the upper reaches of play writing circles. Fiercely political, strongly on the left, Churchill made her mark with plays of attitude and insight.

Catherine Welch / RIPR

Representatives of HealthSource RI, the state-run health insurance exchange, are meeting with Latino business owners in Central Falls Wednesday. It’s part of a push to educate the state’s growing Latino community about the upcoming exchange. Rhode Island Public Radio’s Catherine Welch was at a similar meeting last week in Pawtucket, where she learned about the challenges of translating a complex health care system to non-English speakers.

Flo Jonic / RIPR

The newly rebuilt Pawtucket River Bridge was re-dedicated Thursday.

The nearly 600-foot span connects Massachusetts and Rhode Island via Interstate 95.  The original span, built in 1958, had become so rundown the bridge had to be closed to multi axle trucks.  

Truckers who used the bridge risked a three thousand dollar ticket. Governor Lincoln Chafee remembered those truckers in his prepared remarks.

In a ceremonial signing, Care New England and Memorial Hospital will formalize a new partnership Tuesday.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Transgender issues have been the the news quite a bit lately, following the announcement from Bradley Manning, the army private who leaked documents to WikiLeaks, that she is transgender and will now be living as Chelsea Manning.

Rhode Island Public Radio's education reporter Elisabeth Harrison speaks with All Things Considered Host Dave Fallon about a Pawtucket student she profiled, who has been openly transgender for a year now.  

Hanna Rini, who is 12, started junior high school this week. 

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

It’s back to school season in Rhode Island. There’s an ever so subtle hint of fall in the air and schools around the state are opening their doors again for students after the long summer break.

With the first day of school comes that familiar mix of nerves and excitement. Will my friends be the same?  What new people will I meet? Will I like my teachers? And perhaps no start of school is quite as nerve-wracking as the first day of junior high.

The fate of the bit bull that bit a Warwick police officer over the weekend will be decided at a vicious dog hearing. Warwick police say an officer was responding to a domestic disturbance call Saturday morning when he was bitten by a pit bull.

The officer was arresting a 19-year-old man outside a home when a woman opened the door and a pit bull ran out and bit the officer twice. The officer fired two rounds, injuring the dog. Police say the officer was treated for two bites on his leg and is recovering. The pit bull remains at an animal hospital.

Woonsocket and Pawtucket are asking the Rhode Island Supreme Court to intervene in their effort to get more funding from the state. The districts filed briefs late last week, arguing they do not receive enough state aid to meet the state’s basic education requirements. The districts claim their students are being denied equal access to an education, in violation of their rights under the state constitution.

RIPR FILE

Rhode Island will mark its annual Victory Day holiday Monday. The holiday marking the US victory over Japan in World War 2 is not without some controversy.

Rhode Island has for years been the only state to still celebrate what was once known as Victory Over Japan Day. Thanks to support from veterans and other defenders, the holiday has survived occasional attempts to rename or eliminate it.

The City of Central Falls plans to repair and pave 16 roads. Mayor James Diossa said the Pawtucket Water Supply Board is ripping up the roads to make repairs to water mains. Instead of just patching the roads back together, the city will completely repave them.

“Pawtucket Water Supply opens up the roads and they were willing to grid the roads and leave it to the point where we just have to cover it with asphalt,” said Diossa, “so that’s why it’s very, very cheap for 16 roads.”

The City of Pawtucket said a new state law blocking cities and towns from banning certain breeds of animals does not apply to them.   At issue is Pawtucket’s longstanding ban against the ownership of pit bulls. 

Pawtucket officials said they will continue to enforce a ban on pit bulls despite a new state law that forbids cities and towns from outlawing the ownership of specific breeds of dogs or cats. Pawtucket director of administration Tony Pires said the law applies only to future bans, not ones already on the books like theirs.

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