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September 22, 2018

Community Good Works

Friday, April 3, 2015, 11:07am

Community Good Works

April 3, 2015

Bristol County Savings Bank, H&K Insurance Agency, Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union and more are featured in our weekly roundup of organizations giving back to their communities.

Bristol County Savings Bank

Taunton-based Bristol County Savings Bank recently contributed $250,000 to the Bristol Community College Foundation for the John J. Sbrega Health & Science Building, which is being built on the school’s Fall River campus.

Eastern Bank

Former NFL quarterback and Eastern Bank spokesperson Doug Flutie surprised guests at the bank’s the 11th Annual “Community Quarterback” celebration by tossing autographed footballs to representatives from 61 nonprofits, as Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation donated $850,000 in grants.

H&K Insurance Agency

H&K Insurance Agency has donated $1,000 to the MetroWest YMCA for its LIVESTRONG cancer recovery program. The company’s Treasurer and General Manager Paul Perry is a cancer survivor.

Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union

Lowell-based Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union’s hosted its fifth MoneyStrong for Life Fair on March 31 at the Tsongas Center in Lowell. Approximately 350 Lowell High School students participated in the interactive fair that teaches students about adult careers and managing their income.

Leominster Credit Union

Leominster Credit Union is holding Shred-A-Thon at its headquarters, located at 20 Adams St., on May 2, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Both members and non-members are invited to bring old, sensitive documents to securely shred.

MutualOne Bank

Framingham-based MutualOne Bank’s charitable foundation has awarded $2,500 to the Heritage Chorale to support its spring and pops concerts.

UniBank

Whitinsville-based UniBank has donated a total of $20,000 to the following food pantries: Blackstone Millville Food Pantry, Daily Bread Food Pantry in Milford, Grafton Food Pantry, Northbridge Association of Churches Food Pantry, People First Food Pantry in Uxbridge, St. Denis Food Pantry in Douglas, The People’s Pantry in Douglas, United Parish Food Pantry in Upton and the Worcester County Food Bank.

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Community Good Works

Crackdown on Protestors: Police Adopt New Plan

For weeks, protestors have declared the streets of Fresno theirs, carrying signs denouncing police brutality while joining their voices with protestors across the country following the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner.

But the most recent protest, on Saturday, caused the biggest disruption to date.

Protestors blocked Blackstone Avenue, near the River Park Shopping Center, chanting, “Killer cops, off our streets!”

“Our officers have been extremely patient with these individuals,” says Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer.

“A protestor will get in the face of the officer, a captain, telling him they hate him all while on video, and our officers are expected to take that.”

Dyer says he supports freedom of speech and the right to protest, but the most recent protest is an example of people breaking the law.

His patience, and the patience of many, is now wearing thin.

“When that spills over into the public right of way, a street or a sidewalk that is blocked, then it requires our enforcement efforts,” he says.

“Citizens have an expectation of us to enforce the laws, equally. And we’re going to do that.”

This week, Chief Dyer and the City Attorney’s Office created a plan of action that, they hope, will keep future protests peaceful — and limit disruptions to the general public.

It starts with reviewing social media posts and police video of previous protests, to identify the organizers.

They will receive warning letters from the City of Fresno.

“What has happened has happened. I’m not going to pursue criminal charges for the past, but in the future, we will,” he says.

“We will be seeking out a warrant for those individuals that are in violation of a misdemeanor obstructing a roadway.”

Those arrested, wouldn’t experience a revolving door at the Fresno County Jail either.

Bench warrants would be signed by a judge, meaning those arrested would be kept in custody.

The police department will also seek restitution for money spent to send officers to control traffic.

In Saturday’s incident, the city spent around $6,000.

“The citizens of Fresno should not have to pay for police officers to be present to block off those roadways and take those police officers away from their neighborhoods,” Dyer says.

He adds that if people really want to protests in the streets, they can go about it the legal way: obtain a parade permit.

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Crackdown on Protestors: Police Adopt New Plan

Aldermen discuss streets, sidewalks

The Russellville City Council’s Finance Committee discussed funding three items from the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) during its Tuesday meeting — paving streets, the Reasoner Lane extension and fixing some sidewalks, particularly on North Phoenix Avenue.

The committee has earmarked $500,000 for overlay of city streets, but Mayor Bill Eaton said it may be awhile before any overlay is done. That’s because there’s so much overlay and renovations being done through the Arkansas River Valley on Interstate 40 by the primary company who does overlay — Blackstone Construction Co.

Eaton told the council representatives from Arkansas Tech University have encouraged the city to move forward with a design for Reasoner Lane’s proposed extension to State Highway 124. This drew some questions and criticism from Aldermen Richard Harris and Martin Irwin. Harris said he was struggling with the idea of building a street on private property.

“Can we get an idea of what Arkansas Tech is going to do with the property?” he asked.

Mark Tripp said he understood the aldermen’s concerns, but the extension of Reasoner Lane boils down to another positive partnership with Arkansas Tech University. Fire Station No. 3 was built on land leased from ATU and after years of discussion, the extension of Phoenix Avenue became a reality.

“ATU and the city need each other,” Tripp explained. “What is good for Arkansas Tech is good for the city, and what is good for the city is good for Arkansas Tech.”

Irwin said if ATU’s purpose is to develop student housing south of the street, then that would change his opinion. If the purpose was to develop between north of the street and Interstate 40, then that would make his view a little different.

“I agree wholeheartedly with Mr. Tripp. I think that Russellville, Arkansas and Arkansas Tech ought to be synonymous with one another. It matters to me what the intent for development is. I’d just like to know what their intentions are.”

Kurt Jones — who attended his first meeting as new director of Public Works — pointed out that the project was included in the city’s CIP plan because it would relieve congestion from other downtown roadways.

“ATU officials have asked the city to configure the new road in such a way that it will allow for development, whether the land is conveyed through a lease or right-of-way,” he said. “We all know at this point that they have some plans to develop it, whether it’s divide the lots and sell them off or actually build apartments or whatever.

“There are other locations — Russell Road is a perfect example; it went through land that was undeveloped. The bottom line from the city’s standpoint is that there needs to be some kind of connection running along that interstate back to 124 to relieve some of the congestion at Harrell Drive.”

Harris said he would meet with Jones before next Thursday’s Finance Committee meeting, where the Reasoner Lane extension will be discussed further.

Eaton said the issue has been discussed since the 1990s, and is not about the present but the future.

“This is not something that was dreamed up in the last year or so,” the mayor said. “I just know this will be another option that we don’t have right now for connectivity that we can provide. It may not happen next year. Look what happened down here on Parkway. People said that was dumbest thing they had seen in their life. They couldn’t imagine anybody driving on Parkway.

“But what’s the second-most used street in town? Parkway. What’s happened on Parkway? Development. What happens with that development? It puts taxes in the city coffers so we can build other streets and hopefully connect things for the next generation — not you and me. Down the road, it will be a tremendous benefit.”

Another issue the city must tackle has to do with fixing downtown sidewalks to improve their connectivity for the growing number of people who use regular and motorized wheelchairs in the city. The mayor pointed out that is their only form of transportation and they are not getting served by the city.

“We’ve got people that cannot go from an area west of El Paso to the east side of Arkansas Avenue,” Eaton explained. “People have called me and said the only access is to go through Arkansas Tech, across Arkansas Avenue, and there is not a wheelchair-accessible point. They can’t do their business, unless they go back through Arkansas Tech. If we don’t get some sidewalks and stuff that way, we’re really missing the boat.”

The committee also agreed that work on refurbishing Cedar Street — which will lead to The Landing convention center site north of I-40 — could be done by city employees.

Look for more from Tuesday’s meeting in a future edition of The Courier.

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Aldermen discuss streets, sidewalks

Your Town, Your Life: Lincoln

By: Alexandra Cowley

acowley@abc6.com

In this weeks Your Town, Your Life we take you to Lincoln, Rhode Island. A town in Northern Rhode Island named in honor of Abraham Lincoln. It consists of seven villages: Manville, Albion, Lime rock, Lonsdale, Fairlawn, Quinnville, and Saylesville.

Lincoln was settled in the 17th century. Back then, the types of homes built were called Stone-Enders. Where one end of the home is a huge stone chimney wall. The Arnold House in Lincoln is a unique surviving example of this type of construction. It was built by Eleazer Arnold in 1693. The house has gone through some updates and changes throughout the centuries to keep it standing. It’s open for tours on the Weekends year round from 11 A.M. to 4 P.M.

Lincoln was also a big mill town in the 19th century. There were many that ran along the Blackstone River. Some of the old mill buildings have been converted into apartments. However, there is one that remains empty with most of its tools still in tact. The Moffett Mill was built in 1812 and was donated to the town of Lincoln in 1980’s. It made parts for ships, machines for textiles, wagons and carriages. The stone dam that was built in 1850 still exists.

In the town of Lincoln, in the village of Lime Rock, is home to some very rare plants. That’s because of the lime in the soil which makes it sweet. We took a walk through the Nature Preserve which hosts these unique plants, the only place to do so in R hode Island

Kathy Barton knows everything there is to know about plant life. For 35 years, Barton gave tours to those interested in Rhode Island’s native plants. She says the Lime Rock Preserve is special in that it hosts plant life that needs the lime to survive.

“Cumberland, Lincoln has an even more special habitat because of the lime deposits,” said Barton.

The trail we walked used to be a commuter railroad and Limestone quarry. It is now owned and preserved by the Nature Conservancy. Had it not been taken over and preserved, Barton says all this could have been bulldozed for condos.

A few of the unique plants to the area of Lime Rock is the Walking Fern and the Hepatica Plant. Barton takes pride in preserving this natural habitat and the plants that call it home.

“All the big places have been saved. We have Yosemite, we have the Grand Canyon, and what’s left are little local gems like this. Maybe not real super big, but they’re worth saving because of what’s in them,” explained Barton.

Someone who understands that is Lincoln resident Deborah Krieger. She lives nearby and wrote into ABC 6 about the Lime Rock area.

“We raised two sons here and one of them I know this was a huge influence on him and he went to study environmental science. So I feel like we have a nice little gem here in Rhode Island and in Lincoln,” Krieger said.

The Blackstone River State Park offers a ten mile trail that winds through Central Falls, Lincoln, and Cumberland. People walk, run, and bike the length. Enjoying the views of the rushing waters through the Blackstone River.

If you want somewhere you can dive into the water, then the Lincoln Woods State Park is perfect. The park has a public beach open for swimming, canoeing, and even fishing in some areas. There is also a trail that winds around the water with breathtaking views. Campsites are available at the park, but only for the day.

A little romantic history still lives on in the town of L incoln at The Hearthside House. It was built by Stephen H opkins Smith in 1810. Legend has it that Smith built the home with winnings from the L ouisiana State Lottery to woo a wealthy woman from Providence. However, when he took her to see it she said who would want to live in the wilderness. Smith’s heart was broken and he never married. Hearthside now belongs to the town and hosts many events.

We want to know what’s unique about where you live. Click on the Your Town tab and fill us in.

(C) WLNE-TV 2014

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Your Town, Your Life: Lincoln