Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Cumberland Lincoln 3-27-14

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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©2014 Breeze PuBlications inc. By MARCIA GREEN Valley Breeze editor CUMBERLAND – Joseph Rodio, the attorney representing Cumberland in its standoff with unionized police officers, says the whole disagreement comes down to this: The spouses of seven married officers will be required to get health care insurance at their places of employment, rather than through Cumberland, thereby losing a "buy-back" benefit from their employers worth as much as $3,000 a year. That's the real reason, claims Rodio, that members of Cumberland Lodge 14 took a second vote to unanimously reject the contract a week after they'd ratified on Nov. 29. And it's that second vote that has propelled the town into Superior Court with a complaint last week. Rodio is asking a Superior Court judge to declare the con- tract valid based on the Nov. 29 vote making the officers bound by the terms of the agreement that was also approved by the Town Council on Dec. 9. Rhode Island labor laws make no allowance for retaking a rati- fication vote, says Rodio. Moreover, the contract plan doesn't work without that dis- puted provision for coordinating benefits between spouses, says Rodio. Town officials say elements of the three-year contract nest atop each other in a manner that makes it impossible to eliminate the coordination of benefits con- cession. Under the new contract, spouses of retired officers must accept health care coverage at Cumberland seeks Superior Court ruling on FOP contract vote CUMBERLAND – The town's annual Easter Egg Hunt has grown into a spring festival this year, the Department of Parks and Recreation announced this week. Offered in association with Phantom Farms, it's scheduled for next Saturday, April 5, at Diamond Hill Park, a week earlier than usual, with an April 6 rain date. The day will begin with the traditional egg hunt at 11 a.m. Children will be grouped by age, from toddlers to 10-year- olds. Beginning at 11:15 a.m., "Warm and Fuzzy Animal Adventures" presents its travel- ing petting zoo. Children can hold and pet baby animals such as goats, Holland lop bunnies, chicks, Lola the mini piglet and many more. Also at 11:15 a.m., chil- dren may greet the Easter Bunny, make a spring craft or catch a ride on a horse-drawn hay truck. Additionally, lunch will be avail- able from Mickey G's Clam Shack. Finally, Margaret Owen, a caricature artist, will be on hand to sketch the lucky winners of the special eggs in the Easter Egg Hunt. She will be available for purchased sketches, as time permits, for a fee of $5 per drawing after winners' sketches are com- plete. Events will all conclude at 1:15 p.m. Town gets ready for Easter egg hunt, spring festival see FOP Page 4 North Cumberland Fire District's ChRIs sMIth, center, took part in a contest that promised to bring one year's worth of free Charmin toilet tissue to the firehouse. Not only did Smith win 48 cases of tissue for the depart- ment, he was quoted in press releases nation- wide. With Smith are fire fighters RyAN hANEy, left, and tIM BOwE. Valley Breeze Photo By tom Ward By MARCIA GREEN Valley Breeze editor CUMBERLAND – As they ready to merge all their sup- plies and equipment, firefight- ers in the town's four districts can now add toilet paper to the list. Nine hundred and sixty rolls of Charmin will be split four ways, says North Cumberland Firefighter Chris Smith, after the Proctor & Gamble Co. picked his district as the single Rhode Island winner of all that bathroom tissue. Smith, a 22-year firefighter with North Cumberland, admits he may be living with the "Mr. Whipple" nickname for the rest of his life. "I'm squeezably soft," he told The Breeze last week, happy to turn the joke on himself after penning the Facebook com- ment that not only earned all the toilet paper, but put his name on the national press Firehouses upgrade from standard issue tissue see ChARMIN, Page 4 DISTINGUISHED DAVIES Davies Tech named a 'National Blue Ribbon School.' PAGE 10 SPRING BLOOMS Wildflowers add a pop of color to the landscape. LIVING Serving Cumberland and Lincoln Breeze thE VALLEy FREE @ MARCH 27-APRIL 2, 2014 "Like" us on "Follow" us on

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