Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Woonsocket North Smithfield 01-17-2019

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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©2019 BREEZE PUBLICATIONS INC. Breeze THE VALLEY FREE JANUARY 17-23, 2019 Serving North Smithfield, Blackstone and Woonsocket BLACKSTONE – Two weeks after a town-wide ban went into effect, shoppers in Blackstone are settling into a routine without plastic bags. Last October, the Board of Health voted unanimously to ban the use of the bags for customers of all com- mercial establishments, including grocery stores, restaurants and retail- ers. Though the decision, which was made without much debate or fanfare, came as a surprise to some residents when it went into effect Jan. 1, Kevin Ryan, vice chairman of the Board of Health, said it was the result of more than a year's consideration. "We received a lot of complaints about these bags blowing all over the place, so we've talked about it for over a year now," he said. The ban, he clarified, does not apply to plastic trash bags but only the thin plastic bags with handles common in most grocery and retail Plastic bag ban receives mixed reactions By LAUREN CLEM Valley Breeze Staff Writer lauren@valleybreeze.com BREEZE PHOTO BY LAUREN CLEM BAYE LO, of Woonsocket, an employee at the Blackstone Park 'n Shop, bags grocer- ies in a paper bag at the store last week. A town-wide ban on plastic bags went into effect Jan. 1. WOONSOCKET – As commu- nities in Massachusetts open their doors to retail marijuana dispen- saries, police across the border in Rhode Island are preparing for the potential impact on the Ocean State. In Woonsocket, Deputy Police Chief Michael Lemoine told The Breeze he antici- pates a possible impact on Woonsocket as marijuana becomes more readily available in Massachusetts, where the first retail pot stores opened late last year. The city's proximity to several border towns that may soon host cannabis retail stores, he said, opens up the possibility of residents purchasing marijuana legally and bringing it undetected into the state. "I think there's definitely some challenges that collectively we're going to have to figure out what the best course of action is going to be," said Lemoine. The biggest challenge, he said, will be to identify and respond to individuals driving under the influ- ence of marijuana. In the case of Police prepare for retail marijuana impact By LAUREN CLEM Valley Breeze Staff Writer lauren@valleybreeze.com See BAGS, Page 11 See MARIJUANA, Page 18 LEMOINE Victory Highway property up for possible zone change Request pits commercial opportunities against residents' concerns NORTH SMITHFIELD – Neighbors of a Victory Highway property that is currently the subject of a zoning change request before the Town Council had a clear mes- sage for councilors at a meeting last Monday night: just say no. The debate began last November, when Home Towne Auto Body and Sales and Maxx Tanning owner John Russo came before the council to request the change for a property he owns adjacent to the auto body busi- ness. The property, currently zoned for residential use, was approved for a subdivision by the Planning Board last September. Under the original version of the plan, Russo sought to keep half of the newly subdivided property residential to build a home for his son, John Russo Jr., and rezone the other half to open it up for commercial development. After councilors and residents expressed concerns with traffic, drainage and noise levels on the property, Russo returned to the council last week with a new ver- sion of the plan. In the latest version, only part of the newly subdivided property would be rezoned business highway, leaving a residential buffer for neighbors living on Georgianna Avenue to the rear of the property. "I think this is a good faith effort to By LAUREN CLEM Valley Breeze Staff Writer lauren@valleybreeze.com See ZONE CHANGE, Page 20 6 Blackstone Valley Place, Building 3, Suite 307, Lincoln, RI 02865 www.hearforyouri.com Rachel A. Baboian, Au. D. Doctor of Audiology Licensed Audiologist FREE Hearing Screenings FREE Hearing Aid Checks & Cleanings Just call to schedule an appointment! Today's hearing aids are barely visible, highly effective and easy to afford. Come hear for yourself with a RISK FREE 30-day trial! 401-475-6116 Wills & Trusts Estate Planning & Settlement The Law Office of George M. Prescott Esquire Rhode Island does not have a procedure for the certification or recognition of specialization by lawyers. 300 Front Street, Lincoln, RI 02865 Telephone – 401.726.5577 www.GeorgeMPrescottLaw.com No fee for initial consultation. WET LEAKY BASEMENT? • PUMPS INSTALLED • UNDER FLOOR DRAINAGE • REASONABLE PRICING (401) 255-9999 LET A PROFESSIONAL SOLVE YOUR BASEMENT WATER PROBLEMS John A. D'Ambra Diversified Services RI Reg. #9386

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