Valley Breeze

The North Providence Breeze 10-14-2020

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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NORTH PROVIDENCE EDITION | VALLEY BREEZE | OCTOBER 14-20, 2020 THE VALLEY 15 properties is targeted for a new playground, another for possible recreation space and an athletic field, and yet anoth- er as possible com- pensation to builder Sathuan Sa for the town's botching of the approval process for an ill-fated home on an undersized lot on North Elmore Avenue. When all is said and done with the 20 Marieville properties, said Lombardi, the town will have a new playground, more open space, and enhanced existing residential prop- erties, "all at no cost to the taxpay- ers. If anything, they might realize some additional revenue." The mayor said he initially approached the Housing Authority about the Charles Street property, saying he told leadership that his business sense would dictate that one should buy the property abut- ting one's own. Executive Director William Malloy then took it to his board and the town commissioned an appraisal determining that the property is worth about $92,000. Lombardi said he wanted to be fair, and since this was the Housing Authority, he offered the property for $75,000, which the board is now considering. The property gives the Housing Authority options, said Lombardi, including potential to acquire funds to add more units and develop new administrative offices if desired. "At least now they own it. No one can build anything next to them and encroach on them," he said. Lombardi said he only wants fair market value for any of the avail- able properties. "That's what we're going to do with everyone else," he said of the reasonable approach taken with the Housing Authority. If the town really wanted to maxi- mize its dollars in a return for the properties it purchased, it could carve out an additional four or five buildable lots on another Marieville parcel right near the Providence line, said Lombardi, "but I don't think it's the right thing to do." He said he thinks that parcel should be kept as open park space and a pos- sible ballfield for residents to enjoy. The Valley Breeze is committed to keeping quality news stories like this one free to our readers. You can be a huge part of this local journalism success story by making a one-time or monthly contribution to what we do every week at Thank you as always for reading. SALE From Page One Twelve years later, Nichelle, 25, who was crowned Miss Rhode Island USA 2020 last fall, will be competing in the 2020 Miss USA competition at Graceland in Memphis, Tenn., on Monday, Nov. 9. The competition will air live on A&E's FYI channel at 8 p.m. EST. "I've wanted to be Miss USA my entire life," said Nichelle, who began competing in pageants when she was 10 months old. "I'm defi- nitely excited." While there will be more rules and regulations as a result of the pandemic, she said, "I'm still looking forward to the experience nonetheless." Nichelle, who grew up in Connecticut, said it's definitely a challenge to work full-time while preparing for the competition, but noted that it's taught her time management. She currently works at a halfway house but said after the competition she'll begin a new full-time job as a juvenile correc- tions officer in Rhode Island. She also volunteers her time to a local shelter for victims and survivors of domestic violence. She graduated from Post University with a bachelor's degree in human services in 2017 where she said she worked a lot with at- risk youth. A member of the Screen Actors Guild for more than 20 years, Nichelle said she's appeared on an episode of "Law and Order" and as the voice of Baby Bear on "Blues Clues." A former track and field athlete and a dancer since age 2, she said she's been working out daily to prepare for the competition, and she's also been practicing mock interviews to get ready for the pub- lic speaking portion and personal interview with the judges. "Preparing for Miss USA is defi- nitely more challenging this year because of the pandemic," she said. "A lot of things have been post- poned or done virtually." Her sponsors include Scott's Fitness and PageantPrep, both in Warwick, she said. She's on a nutri- tion plan and has begun running again, she said, adding that she's working closely with PageantPrep "getting ready for the stage." In October 2019 she competed against about 30 other young women and won the title of Miss Rhode Island USA, she said. She's competed six other times in the past, including for Connecticut, she said, and each time has walked away from the competition learning something new about herself. "This last time, I felt I was more ready to take on the title," she said, adding that she felt relief at winning and then told herself "now the real work begins" to get ready for a big- ger stage. "It's exciting to have all my hard work come into place." She moved to Rhode Island when she became a cheerleader for the New England Patriots, she said. She cheered for one season and at Super Bowl LIII in 2019. She said she likes North Providence and Rhode Island a lot, noting it's more fast-paced than Connecticut. Nichelle said she's always had older role models who were involved in the Miss America and Miss Universe pageants, and said she plans to be the first Miss USA to appear as a Nike model. Anyone tuning in to the Miss USA competition will see Nichelle and 50 other young women "who are incredibly talented and intelli- gent," she said. "It's definitely going to be an incredible show." She added that there will be lots of surprises, which even she's not been told about yet. Folks can also vote for their favor- ite contestant by downloading the Miss USA mobile app, she said, noting that Miss Rhode Island is number 40. MISS USA From Page One LOMBARDI Debra Hill Debra (Pontbriant) Hill, 67, passed on Oct. 6 surrounded by her family. She was the wife of the late Thomas M. Hill Sr. She was the daughter of the late Eugene and Sally (Meehan) Pontbriant. A lifelong Lincoln resident, she worked at St. Joseph and Fatima hos- pital as a nuclear medicine supervisor for 44 years before retiring in 2016. She is survived by her son, Thomas M. Hill Jr.; her daughter, Sarah Simpson; her grandchildren Hailey Hill and Caleb Simpson; and is survived by her brothers Edward Pontbriant, Eugene Pontbriant, and her sister, Maryanne Melia. She is preceded by her brother, Thomas Bongarzone. A private memorial service was held at Keefe Funeral Home on Oct. 10. Visit . HILL OBITUARY also taken their efforts in a digital direction, pairing their popular out- door events with new and vibrant online programming, all part of an effort to expand the theater's reach and hopefully draw people from across the country and even around the world if they ever happen to be in the area. There's nothing like live programming, said Jonathan, but expanding online programming to build the foundation for the future, all while gaining a few bucks from audiences along the way, has been valuable. The idea is similar to someone watching football on TV for 20 years and then finally getting to go to a game, said Ricardo, where they can finally "see the magic happen for real." In the age of COVID-19, it's been fun to pull back the veil on what goes into performances and show audienc- es "how the sausage is made," said Ricardo of the open theater concept. The most challenging aspect with an outdoor concert during a pan- demic is getting everyone on and off the stage with their gear, and Mixed Magic's staff is thinking about those aspects in ways they never have before. As with NASCAR, it's absolutely key to keep the show mov- ing along, they said, as even a small delay can throw everything off. The delay in the concert gave a bit more time to make sure everything is but- toned up, said the father and son. The pandemic has been difficult for everyone in the performing arts, said Ricardo, as well as those in a restau- rant industry that relies on the arts to bring in patrons. Many are trying to take this time when they're not "hurtling along at a hectic pace" to have the difficult conversations that they haven't had time for, including how to be more diverse and inclu- sive, he told The Breeze. Many, such as Mixed Magic with Jeff Church at Burbage Theatre or Tony Estrella at The Gamm, are getting creative to collaborate on performances and facilities to build each other up. There's definitely a seller's market for outdoor events right now, said Jonathan, as people are missing and craving live music. Mixed Magic turned its popular Greatness of Gospel event into a follow-up series called Jammin' Frequencies. Businesses that are part of the Lorraine Mills and the Oct. 17 event include food trucks, a kimchi maker, sculptor, diner, breweries, a distillery and others. It all adds up to "a collec- tive and collaborative artistic destina- tion." The Oct. 17 event, with a vendor market to start at 1 p.m. and Peace Concert to start at 3 p.m. is designed to showcase the revival of the old mill. The event features some of the area's best singers, dancers, poets and musicians. This family-friendly Peace Concert is a pay-what-you-can event, but advance reservations are highly recommended due to regulations lim- iting seating. Temperature checks and contact tracing information will be required to enter the amphitheater, and masks will be mandatory at all times. Visit for more. MIXED MAGIC From Page 9 Performance Physical Therapy named NYSS Champion PROVIDENCE – The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has recognized Performance Physical Therapy as one of the first organizations to join the National Youth Sports Strategy Champions. HHS released the NYSS in September 2019 in response to Presidential Executive Order 13824, which called for a national strategy to increase youth sports participation. As a NYSS Champion, Performance Physical Therapy has demonstrated support of youth sports and commitment to the NYSS vision, according to a press release. Performance Physical Therapy will be recognized along with other NYSS Champions on as part of a growing network of organizations partnering with HHS to improve the youth sports landscape in America. Performance Physical Therapy has local offices in Smithfield, North Providence, Woonsocket and Pawtucket. Learn more at www. or call 401-726- 7100. In your time of need, The North Providence Breeze will print your loved one's full obituary for a small charge. The paper also places the obituary on our Web site,, as soon as it is provided to us by your family's funeral director. Notification to friends and neighbors is also made weekdays on WOON-AM radio announcements. Should you desire our services, kindly inform your funeral director. The full charge is $90, or $125 for lengthy obituaries, in the edition of your choice. You may place the obituary in any of our other editions for $50 each. Thank you. OBITUARIES

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