East Greenwich

John Bender / RIPR

Gayle Corrigan has a permanent job in East Greenwich. The controversial CPA is now officially town manager of the affluent suburb.

Corrigan had served as temporary town manager for East Greenwich beginning last summer. Council leaders brought her in to shore up town finances, and hold the line on property taxes.

Corrigan is considered a municipal turnaround specialist. But her tactics, including consolidating and slashing town employee benefits, are controversial. The policies have drawn large crowds of angry residents to council meetings.

There's barely a month left in 2017, meaning we're on the brink of what promises to be a dynamic election year in Rhode Island. So thanks for stopping by for my weekly column. As usual, your tips and comments are welcome, and you can follow me through the week on the twitters. Here we go.

John Bender / RIPR

It’s not every day an angry crowd shuts down a town council meeting. But it’s happened more than once in East Greenwich, a well-off suburb not known as a hotbed for political animus. 

John Bender / RIPR

Gayle Corrigan, the controversial East Greenwich town manager, will retain her position for now. The Town Council voted 3-2 Monday night to reinstate Corrigan despite vocal opposition.

Sure, Rhode Island is on a glide path for the holiday season, but a dynamic election year is fast approaching. So thanks for stopping by for my weekly column. As usual, your tips and comments are welcome, and you can follow me through the week on the twitters. (A quick program note: my TGIF column is taking next week off and will resume on December 1.) Here we go. 

John Bender / RIPR

An East Greenwich Town Council meeting was forced to shut down after hundreds of angry residents turned out, and many were turned away. 

The 2017 military construction and Veterans Administration legislation approved today by the Senate Armed Services Committee on a 30-0 vote includes $20 million for a new National Guard readiness center in East Greenwich, Sen. Jack Reed announced today.

Reed, the ranking Democrat on the committee, said the $20 million will build a new 80,000 square foot readiness center to support training, administrative and logistical requirements for the Rhode Island Army and Air National Guard.

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Debra Messing, the East-Greenwich raised actress known for her role in the ``Will and Grace’’ television sitcom and Woonsocket Jazz club owner John Chan will both be honored with Pell Awards at Trinity Reparatory Theater’s annual tribute to the arts and the memory of the late U.S. Sen. Claiborne Pell.

The ceremonies are scheduled for June 15 at Trinity Rep, with a reception to follow at the nearby Providence Public Library.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

J. Michael Lenihan, the East Greenwich Democratic state senator and tireless advocate for open government causes, died at his home yesterday after a battle with cancer. He was 71.

Lenihan was a leader of government reform forces in the aftermath of the credit union collapse of the early 1990s. A burly high school history teacher, he played a crucial role in crafting legislation on lobbyist disclosure, open government records laws and increasing transparency in a state government not known for always being accountable to voters.

Pat's Pastured

One East Greenwich farmer is filling a need for guard dogs in New England. Pat McNiff at Pat’s Pastured is breeding and selling puppies who will guard livestock, and in some cases flowers, for farmers across the region.

McNiff said the dogs are breed for the job and mom does all the training. He said his guard dogs have been a big help with the chickens. “So we used to lose 50 chickens in a week,” said McNiff, "but now we lose none. It’s pretty amazing.”

UPDATE 01/21: Multiple letters sent with no response, and the pirate's still broadcasting.  A letter has been mailed to the FCC's Enforcement Bureau.   If you are an RIPR listener to 102.7 and you have experienced interference due to this pirate, you can submit your own letter to the FCC as well.

UPDATE 12/19: The pirate has been found!  Well, we're pretty sure we have found the pirate.  Using a directional antenna and a signal meter, we triangulated the position to a house a few blocks from the Locust Grove Cemetery in South Providence.  

A letter of notification of interference to RIPR was mailed to this address several weeks ago, but apparently this pirate doesn't care as there's still an illegal broadcast on 102.9 from this location.

UPDATE 11/5: Thanks to a fellow engineer who informed me there is a pirate broadcasting on 102.9FM and that is likely the source of the interference people have reported (see below).  Quite possibly the atmospheric changes made it worse, but the bulk of the problem is likely the pirate.

The Rhode Island Health Department has lifted a boil water advisory for customers of the Kent County Water Authority after a third day of tests showed the water clean of bacteria.   Some 25-thousand customers have had to boil their drinking water since Sunday, when the contamination was discovered in a storage tank. The tank has been taken offline until the source of the contamination is determined.

A boil water order remains in effect for 25,000 customers of the Kent County Water Authority after tests showed the water was contaminated with E. coli bacteria

School was held Monday in West Warwick but it wasn’t completely business as usual.  Bottled water was trucked in Sunday afternoon, as soon as school officials learned of the problem with E. Coli bacteria in the water supply. And other changes were made to keep kids safe, according to Kenneth Townsend, the school department’s director of property services.

State police report an East Greenwich police officer has been arrested on charges of using excessive force on a man who was in custody.

State police said East Greenwich police Lt. Paul Nahrgang had a confrontation with a prisoner, then lunged at him and grabbed him around the neck. Nahrgang alerted East Greenwich police Chief Thomas Coyle about the incident. Coyle viewed the incident on surveillance tape and then alerted state police.

The Rhode Island Clean Water Finance Agency will have its first new leader in the 19 years.

The Clean Water Finance Agency is essentially a loan agency. It’s a revolving fund that awards low interest loans to help municipalities improve their sewer and drinking water systems. For the last 19 years, its Executive Director has been Anthony Simeone. During his tenure, he grew the agency’s assets from $102 million to $1.3 billion dollars. But he said it’s time to go.

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