Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Woonsocket North Smithfield 05-23-2019

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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BREEZE PHOTO BY CHARLES LAWRENCE RENE DEGRE gives a military salute and his wife, PATRICIA, places her hand on her heart during "The Star-Spangled Banner" and the Pledge of Allegiance as he is about to be honored for his military service in both the Air Force and Coast Guard by volunteers from Beacon Hospice at his home in Woonsocket last Friday. See more photos on page 7. Thank you, Mr. Degre WOONSOCKET – Nearly a year after negotiations between the city and the Woonsocket Teachers Guild failed to yield a contract for teachers and paraprofessionals, city officials say they're willing to throw some extra cash – $250,000 extra – into the city's portion of the Woonsocket Education Department budget if it means wrapping up the standoff this month. With that number in mind, members of the city negotiating committee and WTG leadership were working quickly last week and this week to hammer out an agreement on pay raises amenable to both sides. As of press time on Tuesday, both groups were sched- uled to hold a vote Wednesday – for the WTG, among its full membership; for the city, among School Committee members – on a tentative contract. Updates on the outcome can be found at www.val- leybreeze.com. Though the $250,000 increase is Teacher contract takes center stage in city budget discussions By LAUREN CLEM Valley Breeze Staff Writer lauren@valleybreeze.com Landmark shortfall, pension costs also loom large in 2020 budget See BUDGET, Page 16 WOONSOCKET – A contro- versial request aimed at loosening restrictions on downtown liquor licenses passed the City Council by a 5-1 vote on Monday despite the pro- tests of one councilor who said the measure would deter businesses from opening in the city. The resolution asks the city's General Assembly delegation to submit state legislation exempting new liquor-serving establishments on Main Street from a state law requir- ing them to seek legislative approval before they can open within 200 feet of a church or school. Though it still requires action by legislators, the measure, if passed, would remove one level of approvals, leaving the decision on new licenses to the City Council. City looks to ease up on liquor licenses on Main Street By LAUREN CLEM Valley Breeze Staff Writer lauren@valleybreeze.com See LICENSES, Page 10 NORTH SMITHFIELD – How do you put a price on recreation? That's the question again facing North Smithfield in recent weeks and months as residents and town officials weigh the costs and ben- efits of various types of recreational activities and facilities. Over the past six months, the town has considered at least four proposals related to recreational opportunities for residents, most of which would require investing funds to upgrade or purchase addi- tional town properties. The debates that have ensued reveal differing perspectives on what types of recre- ational facilities would most benefit residents and whether the town can afford the cost of improving them. One of these proposals is a pitch for several big-ticket improve- ments at the North Smithfield High School football field, a facility sup- porters plan to rename "Veterans Memorial Stadium" in the near future. In April, Tony Guertin, chair- man of the Parks and Recreation Commission as well as the Veterans Memorial Stadium subcommittee, came before the School Committee to request support for a bond to Lots of talk, little investment in recreation spaces By LAUREN CLEM Valley Breeze Staff Writer lauren@valleybreeze.com See RECREATION, Page 10 ©2019 BREEZE PUBLICATIONS INC. Serving North Smithfield Blackstone and Woonsocket Breeze THE VALLEY FREE MAY 23-29, 2019 Mario's Appliances Serving Loyal Clients Since 1989 (401) 765-1636 Appliance Sales & Service Refrigerators, Stoves, Space Heaters, Washers, Dryers, Dishwashers & More! 6 Month Guarantee on parts and labor 968 Elm St. Woonsocket, RI 02895 mariosappliances@gmail. com 30 years in business! Are you looking Are you looking for a for a Check out the back Check out the back of our of our Classified section where Classified section where you'll find our advertisers' you'll find our advertisers' most current job offerings! most current job offerings!

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