WOONSOCKET

On Politics
4:29 pm
Fri July 26, 2013

Chafee death penalty controversy ends with a whimper

The death penalty contretemps between Gov. Lincoln Chafee and the usual gang of talk show babblers and assorted right-wing nuts has ended with a raft of sound and fury…signifying not much.

Citing Rhode Island’s long tradition of opposition to the death penalty, Chafee argued against the death penalty for Jason Wayne Pleau, who in 2010 robbed, shot and killed David Main, the manager of a Woonsocket gas station.

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RIPR News
2:59 pm
Fri July 26, 2013

U.S. Attorney Takes Death Penalty off the Table for Jason Pleau, Who will Plead Guilty

The man at the center of a legal tug-of-war between Gov. Lincoln Chafee and the U.S. Attorney’s office over the death penalty will plead guilty to murder charges and will not face the death penalty.

U.S. Attorney Peter Neronha’s office says 35-year-old Jason Pleau will plead guilty by way of a federal indictment for the 2010 robbery and murder of a Woonsocket gas station manager. And as part of a plea deal his office will not seek a death sentence.  

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Business
12:39 pm
Tue July 9, 2013

Shaw’s Supermarket Planning to Keep Employees at Closed RI Stores

Shaws says it will be closing two under-performing stores in Rhode Island.
Credit RIPR FILE

The Shaw’s supermarket chain says it’s closing six underperforming stores. Four are in southeastern Massachusetts and two are in the Rhode Island communities of Westerly and Woonsocket. 

But the closures won’t necessarily mean massive layoffs. A spokesman for Shaw’s said the company will try to avert layoffs by absorbing the affected employees into their remaining stores.  After the closures of the stores in Westerly and Woonsocket there will be eight Shaw’s stores left in Rhode Island.

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Health Care
5:19 pm
Fri June 28, 2013

Prime's Application to Buy Landmark Now Complete

Credit Catherine Welch / RIPR

Rhode Island regulators have deemed Prime Healthcare’s application to buy Woonsocket’s Landmark Medical Center complete.

Now the Attorney General and Department of Health can begin their official review of California-based Prime Healthcare’s bid to buy the troubled community hospital. That review begins July 1st and ends October 28th under Rhode Island’s Hospital Conversion Act.

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The Pulse
3:46 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

Landmark in Limbo as Regulators Review Prime's Application, Once Again

Credit Catherine Welch / RIPR

Been wondering what's happening with Landmark Medical Center? So has Woonsocket's mayor, Leo Fontaine. He wrote a letter to Governor Lincoln Chafee, pleading with him to weigh in on the process, use his influence to somehow resolve it. Problem is, regulators say that won't help.

Here are excerpts of the mayor's letter to the governor, a copy of which he apparently emailed to several newsrooms, but not to the primary regulators involved in approving or denying Prime Healthcare's application to buy to Landmark Medical Center:

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Politics
7:27 am
Thu June 20, 2013

RI Cities and Towns Voice Concerns Over the Proposed State Budget

Advocates for Rhode Island’s cities and towns are criticizing the budget passed Tuesday by the House Finance Committee.  The Finance Committee cut a planned increase in state aid to local communities.

The Finance Committee cut back a hike in local aid proposed by Governor Lincoln Chafee in his budget. The associate head of the Rhode Island League of Cities and Towns, Peder Schaefer, also serves on Woonsocket’s budget commission. He said the reduced aid will hurt struggling communities.

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RI News
4:18 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Tax Hike For Woonsocket Residents

A tax hike is on the way for Woonsocket residents. The House has passed a supplemental tax leaving home owners with additional $240 dollars a year 5 year period.  The tax will help close the city’s 17 million dollar budget gap. Woonsocket City Councilman Roger Jalette says he does not support the proposal.

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Health Care
1:56 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

BCBSRI Responds to Steward Suit Over Failed Landmark Deal

Credit Catherine Welch / RIPR

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Rhode Island is responding to a lawsuit claiming that it stymied Steward Health Care’s bid to acquire Landmark Medical Center in Woonsocket.

Steward is the Massachusetts-based, for-profit health care chain that tried to acquire Landmark, which has been in receivership for several years. Steward filed suit in Superior Court this week claiming Blue Cross thwarted those plans purposefully to maintain what Steward calls an unlawful monopoly on commercial insurance and hospital services.

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On Politics
12:55 pm
Tue April 23, 2013

Baldelli-Hunt announces mayoral run in Woonsocket

Putting an end to speculation about her next move, state Represenative Lisa Baldelli-Hunt announced Tuesday that she's a candidate for mayor in Woonsocket.

Here's part of her statement:

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RI News
7:58 am
Tue April 9, 2013

Woonsocket Supplemental Tax Bill Returns to Statehouse

The Woonsocket budget commission is hoping supplemental taxes will resolve the city's financial problems.
Credit 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.

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