Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Woonsocket North Smithfield 11-19-2020

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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Page 19 of 109

20 BLACKSTONE / WOONSOCKET NOV. 19-25, 2020 | VALLEY BREEZE | NORTH SMITHFIELD BLACKSTONE WOONSOCKET 20 State Ethics Commission for their consideration. In addition to Keefe, the report discussed actions by Selectman Robert Dubois and Town Administrator Daniel Keyes. Last Tuesday, Nov. 10, was the first time the full board met since the release of the report in late October. The findings were controversial, with Keefe defending his actions and questioning why the investigation didn't delve further into a deci- sion by Keyes to offer raises and bonuses to certain employees. Selectwoman Taylor Greene also raised issues with the report, accusing her fellow investiga- tion subcommittee members of choosing Pollack's firm without her input. Those arguments were on full display during Tuesday's meeting, when Pollack spent more than three hours defending his report to town officials amid comments by Greene and Keefe. Greene accused him of misrepresenting the comments of some employees, failing to interview key wit- nesses and committing various spelling errors in the 15-page report, which was the result of close to two months of investigation. Responding, Pollack said Keefe and Greene were trying to distract from the "real issues," namely, what he called "flagrant violations of conflicts of interest" by Keefe. "You've had a lot to say, but not a lot to say about your conflict of interest without acknowledging it," Pollack told Keefe later in the meeting. The report revolves around a July 1 meeting between Keefe, Dubois and Keyes during which the three men discussed a series of payments pro- posed by Keyes using CARES Act funds. By his own admission, Keefe suggested a "fair and equi- table" system that would have resulted in a higher payment for his wife than the one Keyes originally proposed, but has said he only participated in the meeting out of concern the payments were unau- thorized and did not plan to vote on them if and when they came before the full board. Both Keefe and Dubois have wives who work for the town and were included on the list of employ- ees set to receive payments. Board members on Tuesday seemed eager to move past the controversy, with several stating they did not think a letter of reprimand would do any- thing to resolve the division that has affected the town since July. A more controversial vote was on Pollack's rec- ommendation that the town reopen an investiga- tion into certain members of the Blackstone Police Department. According to the report, former Police Chief Ross Atstupenas was in the process of inves- tigating the conduct of several officers, including current Chief Gregory Gilmore, when the entire department was placed under investigation by the Board of Selectmen last year. Atstupenas later sepa- rated from the department without completing his investigation, according to the report. Pollack recommended reopening the investigation into certain officers, a suggestion that drew fierce pushback from Greene and Keefe. Dubois also said he didn't support reopening the investigation, citing a potential lawsuit on the matter. The board ultimately voted 3-2 not to reopen the investigation, with Selectman Robert Kluchevitz and Selectwoman Mary Bulso voting in favor. The episode concludes the town's second large- scale investigation in fewer than 18 months. The subcommittee hired Pollack Solomon Duffy to com- plete the most recent report at a cost of $20,000. INVESTIGATION From Page One "Every Sunday, there would be 10 or 12 bap- tisms. Here, they haven't had a baptism in sev- eral years," he said. Before the brothers moved in, the Earle Street house was a convent for nuns who taught at St. Charles School. While the Earle Street residence will soon be placed on the market, the Brothers of the Sacred Heart still have a significant presence in north- ern Rhode Island. In addition to Mount Saint Charles Academy, the brothers also run a center for retired brothers in Pascoag. The BROTHERS OF THE SACRED HEART are leaving their residence at 159 Earle St. after nearly 50 years of ministry. BROTHERS From Page 7 CCF names Vision of Hope award winners WOONSOCKET – Connecting for Children and Families has announced it will be com- memorating its 25th anniversary by celebrating champions who have helped transform the lives of Woonsocket children and families throughout the organization's 25-year history. On Oct. 21, CCF hosted its 25th Anniversary Celebration featuring the Vision of Hope Awards. Through its virtual, live-stream event, CCF is welcoming the entire community to engage in an evening of inspiration and hope. The event included remarks from CCF's pre- school students, a sneak peek into a day in the life of a child enrolled in CCF's programs, and a ceremony honoring the following award recipi- ents: • Gov. Gina Raimondo and Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott – Beacon of Hope Award • Rhode Island Foundation – Visionary Award, accepted by Neil Steinberg • Cox Communications – Outstanding Corporate Partner Award, accepted by Jay Allbaugh • George Briggs – Inspiring Hero Award • Janice Porteous (aka "Grandma Jan") – Devoted Volunteer Award • Daishanay Francis, Jaliyah Joseph, Johandalys Montas, & Nabou Thiam – Youth Activism Award thank you for supporting our Valley Breeze advertisers. They make this free newspaper possible! 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Both locations have been renovated to meet Covid19 regulations and are Open for •Indoor/Outdoor Dining •Take-Out •Online Ordering •Curb Side Pickup Uncle Ronnie's Restaurant & Red Tavern U R 2692 Victory Highway, Burrillville, RI 568-6243 Fine Food & Spirit "MUSIC BINGO" Every Sunday 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. STEAKS • SEAFOOD • PASTA GLUTEN FREE AND KIDS MENU! Offering Indoor Dining and "Take-Out" for Thanksgiving Dinners Thanksgiving hours: 11:30am to 6pm Temporary New Hours: Closed Monday & Tuesday Wednesday & Thursday 4-9 p.m. • Friday 2-9 p.m. Saturday & Sunday 11:30 a.m. - 9 p.m. Bar seating open! Local Eats

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