July 6th, 2011
It may have been a holiday week in North Kingstown but that doesn't mean the news slows down.
This week, the Standard Times brings you up-to-date information on North Kingstown's 2011 budget, including what appears to be a $233K surplus when all is said and done.
In addition, we update you on the progress made by Exeter's Woody Hill School, which is undergoing a restoration. Plus, we preview this weekend's Wickford Arts Festival.
All that and more in this week's Standard Times. Pick up a copy today!
SOUTH KINGSTOWN â Ruth Tomlin Gronneberg was awaiting her granddaughterâs arrival from New York on June 17 on the platform of the Kingston station. The wind was strong as the train zoomed by, knocking the 91-year old South Kingstown off her feet, her husband, Edward Gronneberg said.
Well, itâs finally happened. By the time you read this weâll know whether Dr. Phil Thornton is going to stick around as the superintendent of North Kingstown schools.
He came into the job as the unanimous choice of the school committee with members like Melvoid Benson and the late Doug Roth singing his praises. Dr. Thornton has made it plain that if he goes out it will be largely due to the rancorous relationship with âsome membersâ of the committee.
By DAVID PEPIN
While the athletic fields at East Greenwich High School have received a major facelift the bad two years, the dugouts on the baseball diamonds have remained lingering blemishes.
John Mahoney and the Diamond Baseball Club, a group of baseball team parents and boosters, are hoping to change that.
Mahoney briefed the School Committee Tuesday night on his groupâs plans to improve the dugouts, lengthening them and building cinderblock structures and roofs. The current dugouts offer a fence, a bench and little else, or as Mahoney put it, âa metal cage.â
âItâs a great facility, but these dugouts donât fit the bill right now,â he said.
Without taking a formal vote, the committee gave its blessing to the plan. Chairwoman Deidre Gifford referred Mahoney to the Fields Committee, which Superintendent Victor Mercurio plans to convene next month to review plans for the dugout construction with an eye toward School Committee approval at its Aug. 16 meeting.
Mahoney said if the go-ahead is given then and details such as a construction plan and liability insurance are finalized, he and a group of parents can have the varsity field dugouts built by the beginning of November. He said they have raised $2,500 already, with each dugoutâs cost estimated between $4-5,000.
Gifford said use of the town impact fee fund, which is covering the cost of the new concession stand being built at the football field, is also a possibility.
The new dugouts are necessary for safety reasons, he said â from disturbances both climatological and parental.
âThereâs no privacy in these dugouts for the coach to talk to a player. The first game we were able to use the varsity field last year, we had a situation where a parent got into it with a coach and the police had to be called,â said Mahoney.
Another reason covered dugouts are needed, he said, is the baseball fieldsâ location, about a quarter-mile from the school building.
By KENDRA LEIGH MILLER
Special to the Times
NORTH KINGSTOWNâItâs been just over two decades since Joanne Sbrega first opened The Little Miracle Early Leaning preschool but after years of teaching and seeing more than 800 children come through the doors, her journey has officially ended.
The last field day and graduation at the pre-school, located at 860 Quidnessett Drive in North Kingstown, took place Friday morning with plenty of ice cream, huge blow-up bouncy toys and shared, fond memories.
NORTH KINGSTOWN â If you enjoy seeing the 40-plus American flags flying in Wickford during this yearâs Fourth of July celebration, you can thank Bill Pennoyer who started the tradition in 2004, aided by Updikeâs Newtown Cub Scout Pack 1.
Bill, a U.S. Army veteran of the Vietnam War, is 68 and is passionate about Old Glory.
HOPE VALLEY - Officers from the Richmond Police Department challenged several legendary sports figures on Sunday at Dow Field in Hope Valley.
The Bill Lee & Celebrities All-Star Softball team came to town to share the diamond that day, bringing with it such well-known stars as David Bavaro, Steve King, Patrick Pass and Jim Bowman of the Patriots; Jim Corsi and Dennis âOil Canâ Boyd of the Boston Red Sox; Bobby Miller of the Boston Bruins; and Jim Rourke of the Cincinnati Bengals.
BY MARTHA SMITH
Special to the Standard
NORTH KINGTSTOWN â People attending the townâs fireworks display on July 4 at the town beach will be facing a number of challenges.
The band pavilion is under construction, the old meal site is being demolished and both the Beechwood House and the 17th Century Lodewick Updike House, sitting on the lot next door, are ready to roll to their new locations.
CHARLESTOWN â Along with the scenic views of the Atlantic Ocean, alluring beaches, and thick forests, one of the best and most breathtaking pieces of Charlestown resides right above our heads.
The townâs gorgeous dark skies have become more than a reason to stop by the Frosty Drew Nature Center & Observatory. According to Observatory Director Francine Jackson, the skies have actually drawn people to visit and even reside in Charlestown.
By PAUL J. SPETRINI
NORTH KINGSTOWNâTuesday night, the North Kingstown School Committee held a special business meeting in which it elected member Kim Page as chairperson and Richard Welch as vice chairperson of the committee but the most newsworthy item of the night for the school district wasnât what was happening in NK, it was what was happening 35 miles away.
By a 6-1 margin, the Cumberland School Committee voted to select NK Superintendent Dr. Phillip Thornton for its vacant Superintendent position.