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October 15, 2018

Obama signs bill for national park along the Blackstone River

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — President Obama signed legislation Friday establishing a national park at eight sites that dot the Blackstone River, according to an announcement by Sen. Jack Reed.

The Blackstone River Valley National Park will include the Old Slater Mill in Pawtucket, which is regarded as the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution in the United States, and the Museum of Work and Culture in Woonsocket, in addition to three more Rhode Island sites and three sites in Massachusetts.

In a news release, Reed said the Blackstone Valley “is finally getting the recognition it deserves.”

“This new park will help preserve the character and historical significance of the area and tell visitors about an important chapter in American history,” he said.

The park is located within the John H. Chafee Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor, which runs from Worcester to Providence and was established in 1986. The corridor along the 45-mile river is also getting renewed federal funding to the tune of $650,000 as part of the law championed by Reed and signed by the president.

Congress has not appropriated any money for the park itself. In fact, the government has yet to determine its specific boundaries. That will be done “with the input of the states, local communities, and interested stakeholders,” Reed’s news release said.

“This designation will help preserve key historical, cultural, and environmental resources for future generations,” the senator said. “It will help educate people about our past and contribute to our economic future by supporting tourism and recreational opportunities.”

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Obama signs bill for national park along the Blackstone River

Local Politics

Fall River Mayor Will Flanagan hugs supporters after conceding defeat in a recall election, Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014.Fall River Mayor Will Flanagan hugs supporters after conceding defeat in a recall election, Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014.

Voters in Fall River recalled Mayor Will Flanagan in a special election Tuesday and replaced him with Bristol County District Attorney Sam Sutter.

Flanagan conceded defeat within an hour of the polls closing at 8 p.m. The incumbent had two chances in the special election. One was to avoid recall. The second was being selected again to be mayor.

Flanagan’s name was listed first on a slate of eight candidates.

It was not certain Tuesday night when the handover would take place.

The Herald News reported that Sutter would take office when the election is certified. The governor would appoint Sutter’s replacement, who would serve until the next election.

Unofficial results from the city Board of Elections showed 69 percent of voters casting ballots in favor of the recall.

With all of the precincts reporting, Sutter won the office with about 37 percent of the vote. Flanagan was second with 27 percent, followed by Shawn Cadime with 19 percent.

“This is a wonderful moment for me, and let’s hope it turns out to be a wonderful moment for the city,” Sutter said.

Asked Tuesday night if he had any regrets, Flanagan told NBC 10, “Of course, but I’m proud of our administration.”

Critics of Flanagan sought his recall, claiming fiscal mismanagement, fire department layoffs and a public outcry over the city’s pay-as-you-throw trash program.

Flanagan won his third term as mayor in November 2013 with 69 percent of the vote, the same percentage that voted for his recall Tuesday.

Sutter has run unsuccessfully for Congress and considered a run for attorney general. His office is prosecuting a 2013 case in which Aaron Hernandez has pleaded not guilty to murder.

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Local Politics