Valley Breeze

The North Providence Breeze 04-01-2020

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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Town continues to grapple with impacts of COVID-19 NORTH PROVIDENCE – Even before Gov. Gina Raimondo effec- tively shut down non-essential businesses last Saturday, Donna DiGregorio and her Michael Florist were enduring a massive hit to rev- enue. With funerals reduced to immedi- ate family affairs, that side of the flower business had shrunk to almost nothing. Another big source of income, purchases from area restau- rants, had dropped near zero with restaurants closed to sit-down busi- ness and only one local client left as of last week. But despite all that, DiGregorio was standing by her commitment to being the never-ending light of hope to those passing by, continuing to add new inspirational messages to the Michael's sign, which is located at one of the busiest spots in the state at the end of the Route 146 north exit on Mineral Spring Avenue. The ongoing coronavirus pan- demic is no time to be shutting down the sign's famous messages, said DiGregorio, whose husband John is the brother of local basketball legend Ernie DiGregorio. "Now it's just meaning more," she said. "It's just hitting more hearts." Raimondo's order over the week- end prompted the owners to shut the store down until April 13, but Donna and her daughter Dina DiGregorio say they'll continue changing the messages on the sign even while closed. DiGregorio, a North Providence resident, says she's always gotten lots of positive feedback on the sign's messages, but that's the case now more than ever. If she can encourage someone to be kind to someone else or see the good in the world even when times are tough, then she's accomplished her mission, she said. Having different messages on each side is intentional, she said, as many people commute to and from work and see both sides of it each day. One side of the sign this week read, "There is peace even in the storm." The other side urged viewers to "be an island of calm in the sea of craziness." A drive by on a recent rainy day found the message to "cre- ate your own sunshine." Donna said she gets many of her sayings from the book "Go Be Kind." By ETHAN SHOREY Valley Breeze Editor BREEZE PHOTO BY ETHAN SHOREY DONNA DIGREGORIO, of Michael Florist in North Providence, says the messages on her sign are more important now to people than ever, and will continue to be so even as she's been forced to close her business for two weeks. See FLORIST, Page 7 Six communities in northern Rhode Island will be without yard waste and bulky household item pickup service at a time when more people are cleaning their properties inside and out due to being stuck at home. MTG Disposal this week asked their partner cities and towns to agree to suspending yard waste and bulky item pickups indefinitely due to the impact of the coronavirus. The company is planning to contin- ue with regular trash and recycling pickups on a normal schedule. Impacted local communities are Cumberland, North Providence, Pawtucket, Central Falls, Smithfield, and North Smithfield, said Steve Mutter of MTG, which also has contracts with other com- munities across the state. Local officials acknowledged what an inconvenience this is to residents, but said they understand why MTG (Mega) has to imple- ment it. Dylan Zelazo, chief of staff to Mayor Donald Grebien in Pawtucket, said it's a positive that the city was able to start pickups weeks earlier than normal this year so at least residents had the chance to "get rid of stuff they had." He said MTG representatives assured him Monday that they'll be restor- ing the service as soon as possible, which seemed reasonable. He said No yard waste pickups for half-dozen local communities By ETHAN SHOREY Valley Breeze Editor See YARD WASTE, Page 5 THE NORTH PROVIDENCE ©2020 THE VALLEY BREEZE A Valley Breeze Newspaper THE NORTH PROVIDENCE Breeze FREE APRIL 1-7, 2020 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, Rhode Island 02865 Telephone – 401.726.5577 No fee for initial consultation. Lombardi Medical Associates LLC Wellesley Medical Building 1515 Smith Street, Suite M, North Providence, RI 02911 401-228-8775 Anthony J. Lombardi, Jr., MD Internal Medicine Owner: Michael Florist's positive messages more important now

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