Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Woonsocket North Smithfield 03-16-2017

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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©2017 BREEZE PUBLICATIONS INC. NORTH SMITHFIELD – It is affectionately called "Betsy," at times, or at others "Punnit," in honor of a programmer who helped to bring it to life. It is the first full-scale robot built by students from North Smithfield High School and this weekend, it will travel to Revere, Mass., to match up against others of its kind. The Northmen FRC Robotics "Team 6620" will compete in The Greater Boston Regional on March 19-21 and again at the Rhode Island District Robotics Competition at Bryant College on March 24-26. The team is the first of its kind at the high school, started thanks to physics and tech teacher Antonio Silva, who came to the district from a position at Tolman High School in Pawtucket last year. Silva was brought to North Smithfield, in part, because of his past experience with robotics, and getting the school's program up and running was one of his goals. FIRST Robotics Competition is an international program founded by Dean Kamen in 1989 that has attract- ed thousands of robot-builders from across the globe. With the acronym "For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology," FRC calls the games "the hardest fun you will ever have," and aims to live up to the mantra. Participants must meet a specific challenge each year, and details aren't released until the second week of January, leaving kids racing to solve what seem to be unsolvable No. Smithfield's first robotics team heads to competition this weekend By SANDY SEOANE Valley Breeze Staff Writer sandy@valleybreeze.com BREEZE PHOTO BY ROBERT EMERSON Student NOAH DARVEAU controls the robot from his Chromebook computer during a robotics demonstration in the North Smithfield High School library March 7. The Robotics team hopes to qualify for Nationals. See ROBOT, Page 9 See HOSPITAL, Page 14 Woonsocket hospital owner facing government fraud suit WOONSOCKET – When the state Attorney General's Office approved the sale of Landmark Medical Center to California-based hospital chain Prime Health Services in 2013, certain conditions were place on the sale. They included reporting and invest- ment requirements, as well as the caveat that Prime tell Rhode Island's top law office about the outcome of an ongoing fraud investigation by the Department of Justice. Now, it seems, the DOJ is in the midst a federal suit against the 43-hos- pital, 14-state health care chain. And concerns have been raised that an application to turn the Woonsocket facility back into a non-profit could jeopardize regulators' ability to further monitor Landmark, and its patient care in northern Rhode Island. Attorney General Peter Kilmartin filed a petition in Superior Court last week asking that those condi- tions, part of the 2013 regulatory bargain, be enforced, even if the facility's application for a Change in Effective Control is approved by the Department of Health. "If the proposed transaction is approved by DOH, the commitments previously made by Prime and Prime- Landmark could be in jeopardy," the By SANDY SEOANE Valley Breeze Staff Writer sandy@valleybreeze.com Serving North Smithfield, Blackstone and Woonsocket Breeze THE VALLEY FREE valleybreeze.com @ MARCH 16-22, 2017 FREE Hearing Screenings FREE Hearing Aid Checks & Cleanings Just call to schedule an appointment! 6 Blackstone Valley Place, Building 3, Suite 307, Lincoln, RI 02865 www.hearforyouri.com 401-475-6116 Rachel A. Baboian, Au. D. Doctor of Audiology Licensed Audiologist Today's hearing aids are barely visible, highly effective and easy to afford. Come hear for yourself with a RISK FREE 30-day trial!

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