Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze & Observer 07-12-2018

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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SMITHFIELD SCITUATE FOSTER GLOCESTER EDITION | VALLEY BREEZE & OBSERVER | JULY 12-18, 2018 NORTH COUNTY 11 WOONSOCKET – The Woonsocket branch of the Division of Motor Vehicles is slated to open a new location on Diamond Hill Road later this summer, and state officials anticipate the move will make for a better DMV experience for custom- ers and staff. The new branch, located in a store- front that once housed a McDonald's at the far left side of Woonsocket Plaza, appeared to be making its final preparations to open during a visit earlier this week, with hours of operation and the DMV logo printed on the glass doors. According to Paul Grimaldi, chief of information and public relations at the Rhode Island Department of Revenue, custom- ers will likely begin visiting the new location in August. "We expect to open our new branch sometime next month. We're firming up the opening date now," he said. "It depends on the final equipment/furniture installation, staff training and similar details. We're excited that the move is close at hand." Grimaldi said the new location will have more clerk stations than the branch's current location on Pond Street with the possibility of transferring additional staff from divi- sion headquarters. For customers, that could mean shorter wait times and better service at a location that serves all of northern Rhode Island as the division's only branch north of Cranston. "The Woonsocket branch handles about 10 percent of all DMV trans- actions," said Grimaldi. "It's our sec- ond-busiest office after our Cranston headquarters. The new office is going to provide a better experience for our customers and our staff." The opening of the DMV branch is the latest in a series of openings and closings in a plaza that has seen high turnover in recent years. Since last spring, the plaza sometimes referred to as Diamond Hill Plaza has seen the opening of Ollie's Bargain Outlet as well as the closing of New China Super Buffet, Radio Shack and long- time city business Oceans of Pets. A Planet Fitness previously located in the plaza moved to neighboring Walnut Hill Plaza last summer, while across the street, the Ocean State Job Lot previously located down the road moved to a larger space in the former Walmart building earlier this year. Woonsocket Plaza is currently owned by New York-based Madison Properties, which purchased the plaza in 2015. According to Grimaldi, the DMV will not continue any operations in the Pond Street location after the move to Diamond Hill Road, though the building will remain state property. The new branch location will maintain the same hours as the current location, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. New Woonsocket DMV location opening next month By LAUREN CLEM Valley Breeze Staff Writer lauren@valleybreeze.com The June 6 renewal of the Netflix original show "13 Reasons Why" for season three has renewed the contro- versy surrounding the show, which addresses teen suicide, rape, and other issues. Based on the 2007 young adult novel by Jay Asher, the show (rated TV-MA) follows the story of Hannah Baker, a 17-year-old girl who dies by suicide and leaves behind 13 audio tapes explaining why she blames 13 classmates for her death. Asher, with executive producer Selena Gomez and creator Brian Yorkey, adapted the book into a Netflix original show, releasing its first season in March of last year, and its second on May 18. With the renewal, season three should arrive sometime in 2019. The series airs at a time when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that suicide rates went up more than 30 percent in half of U.S. states since 1999. The Rhode Island Department of Health reported an average of 124 deaths by suicide annually between 2013 and 2017, and the state's annual suicide total is four times more than its annual homicide total. With suicide obvi- ously a pressing issue, "13 Reasons Why" had the poten- tial to be a valuable source of conversa- tion and possible solutions, say some local critics, but its execution fell short, according to Erika Sanzi, former Cumberland School Committee member, parent, educator and blogger, and Trevor Yingling, licensed mental health counselor. Yingling works at Anchor Counseling Center in Lincoln and has 10 years of experience counsel- ing children, adolescents, adults, and families in a variety of settings. He told The Breeze that the show has promoted awareness of topics such as suicide, but not in a good way. "TV and movies don't always por- tray the long-term consequences that come after suicide," he said. "They focus on the immediate shock value, and then show everyone else mov- ing on." This depiction, Yingling said, ignores the reality that the con- Locals remain concerned as '13 Reasons Why' renewed for third season By GABRIELLE LANDRY Valley Breeze Intern SANZI See 13 REASONS, Page 17

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