Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Pawtucket 07-01-2020

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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©2020 THE VALLEY BREEZE Serving Pawtucket Breeze THE VALLEY FREE JULY 1-7, 2020 Despite calls for review, council approves police contract National policing issues take center stage locally PAWTUCKET – When Appleton Avenue resident Kevin Martins was pulled over in 2014 for having no inspection sticker, he says he tried and failed, despite having a bill of sale from the day before, to convince a Pawtucket police officer that he couldn't have it inspected before it was registered. After being told to "tell it to the judge," said Martins, he tweeted at Mayor Donald Grebien, who was able to arrange for him to speak with some- one in the Police Department. That officer, Martins told the City Council last week, had a list of every run-in he'd had with the police going back to when he was a 12-year-old arrested for stealing a Little Debbie's snack near Payne Park. The officer, he said, explained that he wanted to know who he's speaking with before he speaks with them. Martins said the list of past infrac- tions was explained to him as being part of an internal database that's not public record, but he said its presence on the table immediately ended any chance of honest engagement with the officer over his complaint. Instead of presenting records that should have By ETHAN SHOREY Valley Breeze Editor ethan@valleybreeze.com See POLICE, Page 8 PAWTUCKET – Campaign sea- son will likely be a busy one in Pawtucket, where Mayor Donald Grebien and nearly every incumbent member of the City Council is facing opposition. Three candidates will challenge Grebien, including returning candi- date David Norton in the Democratic primary. If Norton can best the incumbent on Sept. 8, he would go on to face independents Robert Plouffe and Kenneth Hazard in the Nov. 3 general election. Norton, who's run for a variety of elected posts in recent years, announced that he's running to help shape the city's strategy in dealing with a long-term health crisis and expected severe economic downturn. He is also pledging to make the city more inclusive on race, criticizing what he calls discriminatory hiring practices. Candidates won't make their cam- paigns official unless they return qual- ified signatures by a July 10 deadline, and a judge declared last week that they're allowed to gather those signa- tures electronically due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. A new group called the It's Her Time Political Action Committee has announced its formation and support for a slate of six women for City Council, including three for at- New and returning faces seek office in local races By ETHAN SHOREY Valley Breeze Editor ethan@valleybreeze.com See CANDIDATES, Page 7 PAWTUCKET – Not far down Riverview Avenue, colorful figures catch the eye. Nancy Connor, 86, said she felt she needed to do something to make people happy during the pandemic. "So everything's been going along fine until this COVID thing came along," Connor said. "People are walking by, I'm sitting in the window doing crossword puzzles, and I see them and they look so unhappy. They're broke and you know, I thought, 'what can I do to make them smile again?'" And smile many people have done as they've passed by 35 Riverview Ave., a home with a "Welcome to the Zoo" sign on the gate and a little baby bat to wel- come people in. "I'm handicapped, I'm old, I can't get out there like the doctors and nurses who are wonderful, putting their lives at risk," Connor said. "And I thought, animals. Everybody loves animals. So I took Mr. Trump's stimulus money and 'Welcome to the Zoo' on Riverview By KAYLA PANU Valley Breeze Staff Writer kayla@valleybreeze.com See ZOO, Page 10 BREEZE PHOTO BY ROBERT EMERSON Pawtucket Mayor DONALD GREBIEN carries a box of masks to a resident's car last Saturday morning. In three hours, more than 20,000 masks had been distributed by police and others associated with the mayor's office. See more on page 6. 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. • Complete Heating Systems • Remodeling • Repairs • Water Heaters • Complete Sewage Ejector Systems for Basement Baths • Senior Citizen Discounts C. J. Nemes, Inc. Plumbing & Heating 24-Hour Emergency Service 769-4776 Master Plumber, R.I. #1911 Mass. #25011 Member of The Better Business Bureau Drain & Sewer Cleaning Hiring Licensed Plumbers call for Details!

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