WARWICK SCHOOL CONSOLIDATION
Warwick delays schools consolidation, will study
WARWICK, R.I. (AP) - The Warwick school committee has put off a decision to close the Veterans High School as part of a consolidation plan.
The board voted unanimously Tuesday night to hire a consulting firm to look at the school's long-term needs before taking action.
Several hundred opponents of the plan cheered at a public meeting where the vote was taken.
The proposal came in response to declining enrollment at the city's three high schools. It has met with stiff community opposition at public meetings to discuss it.
School officials have said it would save about $4.5 million by converting Vets high school into a middle school and closing two middle schools. Veterans High School students would transfer to Toll Gate or Pilgrim high schools.
The school committee didn't set a timeline for its next steps.
Pols, bishop write letters for RI lawyer in fraud
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - A Roman Catholic bishop, a onetime U.S. ambassador and others have written letters to a judge in Rhode Island to support a lawyer convicted in a $46 million investment fraud that preyed on terminally ill people.
Letters released Tuesday show a number of high-profile people have written to U.S. District Judge William Smith telling him about the good deeds of Joseph Caramadre (kah-rah-MAH'-dray), who pleaded guilty to wire fraud and conspiracy last year. Caramadre is set to be sentenced next week, and prosecutors have asked that he be sent to prison for 10 years.
Providence Bishop Thomas Tobin asked the judge to show leniency. Former Ambassador and Boston Mayor Ray Flynn detailed Caramadre's work with Big Brothers. Former state Supreme Court Justice Bob Flanders said Caramadre has already suffered enough.
SCHILLING'S GAMING COMPANY
38 Studios intellectual property being auctioned
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - An auction is being held for the intellectual property of former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling's bankrupt video game company.
Heritage Global Partners is holding the auction for 38 Studios' assets Wednesday by telephone. The property includes the unfinished game under development in Providence with the help of a $75 million loan guarantee from Rhode Island's economic development agency.
The auction house has declined to estimate the IP's worth. 38 Studios receiver Richard Land says initial bids due last week are being kept confidential.
38 Studios collapsed last year, and the state is responsible for some $90 million related to the deal. The Economic Development Corp. is suing Schilling, former 38 Studios officials and others, alleging they knew the company was on course to run out of money.
FEDERAL ARTS FUNDING-RI
RI groups sharing $123K in federal arts funds
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - Six organizations in Rhode Island are sharing $123,000 in federal grants to support a range of arts programming.
The state's congressional delegation announced the funding from the National Endowment for the Arts on Tuesday.
Everett Dance Theatre in Providence is getting $15,000 to support "The Freedom Project," a new multidisciplinary performance about the U.S. prison system. New Urban Arts is getting $15,000 to support youth mentorship and summer arts programs. Trinity Repertory Company is receiving $10,000 for a new production of the musical based on Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist, "Oliver!"
Other awardees are the Alliance of Artists Communities, which is getting $40,000; RiverzEdge Arts Project, which is getting $23,000; and FirstWorks, which is receiving $20,000.
This is the first round of competitive grants from the NEA this year.
HOSPITAL GREETER-100 YEARS
RI hospital greeter turns 100
WARWICK, R.I. (AP) - A Rhode Island hospital has thrown a birthday party for its eldest employee - 100-year-old Mary Poncin.
The Providence Journal reports that Poncin celebrated her centennial on Tuesday at Kent Hospital in Warwick, where she works as a greeter.
Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian attended the party to wish Poncin well, and Gov. Lincoln Chafee sent a decree.
Poncin began working at the hospital after she was laid off from a retail job three years ago. As a hospital greeter she offers an encouraging word and a kind smile to patients and their families.
Poncin says it's the best job she's ever had and she has no plans to retire.
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