Rhode Island Housing says it has awarded more than $2 million in federal HOME funds for affordable housing across the state.
In total, the money will help build or spruce up 145 affordable homes and apartments. Projects include fixing up Apple Creek Apartments in Tiverton, building a single-family home in South County, and building seven homes in Burrillville for low-income families. Each year, the state receives about $3 million in federal HOME grants.
The Rhode Island Department of Transportation is gearing up to demolish the old Sakonnet River Bridge. The old, truss bridge was built back in the 1950’s after Hurricane Carol washed away the stone bridge linking Aquidneck Island to Tiverton.
It was replaced in 2012 with a new span that caused a bit of a stir over tolling.
Removing the defunct bridge requires permitting, said RIDOT’s deputy chief engineer Robert Smith, because it’s going to take explosives to bring it down.
Tiverton police said they’ve seen double the number of home break-ins over the past two months. Capt. Patrick Jones said since December 1st there have been about 10 break-ins a month, that’s compared to the typical three to five per month. Jones said right before Christmas they were seeing one or two a week.
Tiverton police are looking for a local couple who allegedly used their children in a phony fundraising scam.
Tiverton police say a local couple has had their three children going door-to-door asking for donations for school. The scam started about two months ago, according to Tiverton Police Chief Thomas Blakey.
A Providence social service agency is stepping up its efforts to recruit foster parents. Officials at Family Service of Rhode Island say children are being forced to live in group homes for lack of a loving family.
As Lynne Bates prepares a Sunday meal of roasted chicken and mashed potatoes she reflects on the last 12 years, years in which a parade of ten foster children have passed through her home. She has two biological children and adopted two of the foster children. She’s the first to tell you fostering is not always easy, but she says it’s definitely worth it.
The state is slated to begin charging a new 10-cent toll on the Sakonnet River Bridge next Monday. Yet it’s not exactly clear how the state will collect that money.
The General Assembly added the 10-cent toll, basically as a placeholder, at the end of the legislative session. The legislature took that action because the absence of a toll on the new span could prevent the state from adding one at a later date. State Rep John Edwards of Tiverton says the toll remains unpopular in the East Bay.
The town of Portsmouth is continuing to challenge the imminent imposition of tolls on the Sakonnet River Bridge.
The town is appealing a federal court decision issued last week which allowed the tolling to proceed. Portsmouth town solicitor said they’ve asked the First Circuit Court of Appeals for an expedited ruling on their request for an injunction because the tolls are scheduled to start next month.
The House Finance Committee is slated Tuesday to consider a bill to block a toll planned for the Sakonnet River Bridge. The legislation would use a different approach to pay for bridge maintenance.
Legislation co-sponsored by state Representative John Edwards uses increased vehicle inspection fees and other sources to pay for keeping up bridges. The bill would also expand the oversight of the state Turnpike and Bridge Authority to cover all bridges longer than 700 feet.