WOONSOCKET

In late August, the power was shut off at the River United Methodist Church. The church, in the heart of downtown Woonsocket, was about a thousand bucks in arrears on its electric bill.  The guy from National Grid apologized for doing what he had to do.

Church members, who specialize in doing a whole lot with very little, scrambled to do what they always do.   They took food from freezers and refrigerators and headed to a nearby park to feed hungry people. 

Fernand St Germain
Wikipedia

Former U.S. Rep. Fernand  "Fred"' St Germain, who rose from modest roots in French-Canadian Woonsocket to become one of the most powerful politicians in Washington, D.C., only to meet defeat in 1988 among allegations of ethical misconduct, has died. He was 86.

St Germain, a Democrat, first elected in 1960 with President John F. Kennedy, was known for paying vigorous attention to constituent services and bringing federal programs, especially housing for the elderly, to Rhode Island.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

The televised air wars have started in the Democratic primary for governor. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay wonders if voters are paying attention yet.

As the weeks dwindle towards the September primary, the advertising rhetoric among the major Democratic candidates has heated up. This is especially true of the campaigns of Providence Mayor Angel Taveras and General Treasurer Gina Raimondo.

The Woonsocket City Council is planning to take up a proposal that would allow residents to keep chickens in their backyards if they have a special zoning permit. Woonsocket City Clerk Christina Harmon-Duart says this is the second time that the idea has been proposed.

"This was brought up last year and it was defeated, and they're bringing it back with more restrictions."

Woonsocket would join a number of Rhode Island towns that already allow residents to raise chickens for their eggs. 

Woonsocket schools will offer full-day kindergarten starting in the fall.  The school department says it will come at no extra cost to taxpayers.

Superintendent Giovanna Donoyan says about 7 percent of first graders are held back each year because they are reading below grade level. To close that gap, the school department will offer more than 500 children full-day kindergarten in 22 classrooms.

This will require eleven new teachers and eleven new teaching assistants. The school department says that can be paid for with federal grants and a boost in state aid.

Pages