CVS Bomb Scare Thursday Mirrors Earlier Walgreens Scare

For the second time in less than two months, an East Greenwich pharmacy had a bomb threat phoned in, this time at the CVS on Main Street Thursday afternoon. A similar threat happened at Walgreens, 1000 Division St., in June.

On Thursday, July 31, a man using a Middle Eastern accent called the store at around 2:40 p.m. and told the employee who answered that someone had been to the store earlier in the day and placed a bomb there with the intention of killing everyone, said EGPD’s Lt. Robert Siple.

The employee immediately hung up the phone, someone called 911, and the store was evacuated. When police arrived, the rest of the plaza was evacuated. In addition to EGPD, members of the State Police, a bomb-sniffing dog, and a bomb technician from the state Fire Marshal’s office responded to the threat. 

After searching inside and outside of CVS and surrounding buildings, police allowed people back into the stores at around 3:45 p.m., Siple said.

“It follows the line very closely,” Siple said, referring to the Walgreens incident and others around the country. In the past two days alone, there have been bomb threats called in to pharmacies in Washington, Pa., Bozeman, Mt., and Princeton, N.J.

In the EG Walgreens incident in June, the caller told the employee to activate prepaid cards, and that same request has happened at many of the pharmacy bomb scares that have taken place across the country. It didn’t happen here, but Siple said he thought might be because the employee hung up as soon as the threat was made.

Although the episode today and the one in June turned out to be false alarms, “you still have to take it extraordinarily seriously,” Siple said of threats like these.

Today In EG: Irish Music at Academy Field

dancing

Getting a little bit lower, at last week’s Academy Field concert.


 

Recycling is ON; yard waste pickup is OFF (yard waste is being picked up every other week through September). For the full 2014 pickup schedule, click here.

Thursday, July 31

Celebrating Ireland @ Academy: For the last Academy Field concert of the season, Celebrating Ireland will perform Irish and folk tunes. It’s presented by the EG Parks & Rec Department and is free. Bring something to sit on (and leave your pets at home) and enjoy! Free. 6:30 to 8 p.m.

Friday, Aug. 1

Goddard Park Farmers Market: The farmers market at Goddard Park is open through Halloween and offers a wide variety of products. Here’s more information about the market and vendors. Fridays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Football anyone? The season starts next week, but NK Jaguars still have space in the 5 to 7 and 12 to 14 age ranges. The Jaguars have adopted the Head’s Up Football program this year, to help keeps players safe. For more information, contact Paul Zarrella, 741-6749 or zarrellap@cox.net.

Just Sold: 5 EG, 3 Nearby Warwick Homes Sold this Week

By Patti DePriest

A property report of the homes purchased in East Greenwich, Cowesett and Potowomut from July 23 to 30, 2014.

25 Pheasant Drive

25 Pheasant Drive, EG

Date: 7/23/14

Sale Price: $652,500
Seller: Andrew J. Hines and Kaur Damanjeet
Style: Colonial

Approx. Total Living Area: 3,738 sq. ft.

Bedrooms: 4

Baths: 3.1

550 Cedar Avenue 

550 Cedar Avenue, EG

Date: 7/24/14

Sale Price: $200,000
Seller: Estate of Dorothy B. May
Style: Cottage

Approx. Total Living Area: 748 sq. ft.

Bedrooms: 2

Baths: 1

240 Shady Hill Drive

240 Shady Hill Drive, EG

Date: 7/24/14

Sale Price: $254,500
Seller: Michael T. and Melissa M. Machowski
Style: Ranch

Approx. Total Living Area: 3,260 sq. ft.

Bedrooms: 3

Baths: 3

29 Wildwood Trail 

29 Wildwood Trail, EG

Date: 7/28/14

Sale Price: $314,000
Seller: Ann M. Proia Revocable Trust
Style: Cape Cod

Approx. Total Living Area: 3,439 sq. ft.

Bedrooms: 3

Baths: 2.1

108 Pine Glen Drive

108 Pine Glen Drive, EG

Date: 7/28/14

Sale Price: $285,000
Seller: Joyce E. Bellemare
Style: Condominium

Approx. Total Living Area: 1,760 sq. ft.

Bedrooms: 2

Baths: 2

90 Sage Drive

90 Sage Drive, Warwick-Cowesett

Date: 7/23/14

Sale Price: $270,000
Seller: Timothy Stowers
Style: Colonial

Approx. Total Living Area: 2,654 sq. ft.

Bedrooms: 4

Baths: 2

490 Ives Road 

490 Ives Road, Warwick-Potowomut

Date: 7/25/14

Sale Price: $275,000
Seller: Gregory J. Fornal
Style: Cape Cod

Approx. Total Living Area: 1,300 sq. ft.

Bedrooms: 4

Baths: 1

149 Wamanoag Road

149 Wampanoag Road, Warwick-Potowomut

Date: 7/30/14

Sale Price: $205,500
Seller: Frederick W. Poulin Trustee
Style: Ranch

Approx. Total Living Area: 936 sq. ft.

Bedrooms: 3

Baths: 1


 

Just Sold homes listed on East Greenwich News are arranged by town and closing date as provided by the Rhode Island Multiple Listing Service. Cover art is solely the decision of the editor.

Patti DePriest is a Realtor® with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in East Greenwich. For questions or comments, please call 401-243-5041.

 

EG Police Reports: Brass Knuckles, a Box Cutter & No Pants

eg police dept.

These reports come from the East Greenwich Police Department and are public information. An arrest does not mean the individual has been convicted of a crime. EG News does not identify those arrested for misdemeanor charges.

Monday, July 21

3:56 p.m. – Police arrested a Cranston man, 38, for driving with a suspended license after he was stopped for turning left from Main Street onto First Avenue after the light had turned red. Routine checks turned up the license suspension for failing to pay child support. He was processed at the station and issued a 3rd District Court summons along with a traffic ticket.

6:03 p.m. – Police arrested a Cranston man, 24, for disorderly conduct; an East Greenwich man, 27, for disorderly conduct and an outstanding warrant; and another Cranston man, 20, for possessing an illegal weapon, after a fight in front of Thorpe’s Liquors on Main Street. According to the report, the East Greenwich man was driving on Main Street and, in a case of mistaken identity, started yelling at the two Cranston men that they were “pussies” as they walked down the street. The men yelled back and one of them threw a can of Arizona iced tea at the EG man’s car. They met up in front of Thorpe’s and started threatening each other. The EG man allegedly threatened to cut the other men, who continued arguing. Police arrived just after a Thorpe’s employee had moved in to separate the men. In searching the 20-year-old Cranston man, police found a pair of brass knuckles, which are illegal. The EG man had a box cutter on him and a warrant out of Warwick for his arrest on a shoplifting charge. The men were processed at the station and given 3rd District Court summonses. Warwick police came for the EG man.

Tuesday, July 22

12:01 p.m. – Police arrested a Johnston man, 23, for possessing less than an ounce of marijuana after he was pulled over for speeding and almost hitting a police car on Main Street. The man was sweating, smelled of alcohol and was not wearing any pants. When he opened his glove compartment to get his license, police saw a baggie containing what looked like marijuana. He told police he’d had five beers over the course of five hours while at his girlfriend’s house in Warwick and that they were on their way to Wendy’s for some food. His girlfriend was in the passenger seat. Police asked the man to take field sobriety tests, which he passed. He was issued a traffic court summons for the marijuana and one for speeding with presence of alcohol. Police seized the marijuana and the man was released. A relative came to drive the couple from the scene – police did not feel comfortable letting the Johnston man drive despite his having passed field sobriety tests.

3:30 p.m. – A employee of Regency Cigar on Main Street told police he’d gotten a call from someone claiming to be from National Grid. The caller said power to the business was about to be shut off for nonpayment. The employee, suspicious, hung up the phone and contacted National Grid. An NG representative said the bill had been paid and that it was a scam. Police called the number retrieved from caller id and got a voice message saying, “Welcome to the gas and electric disconnect department.” Police were unable to leave a message.

9:45 p.m. – Police were called to a residence on Dedford Street on a report of an argument. On arriving, they heard a woman yell, “Leave me alone!” The woman said the man, her boyfriend, was drunk and that she didn’t want him around because he was mean when he was drunk. Both parties admitted to having had some drinks. The woman had several old bruises on her legs but didn’t know where they were from. She said her boyfriend did not hit her. Both parties said the argument had been verbal only. Because of the circumstances, the man was picked up by a friend to spend the night someplace else.

Many EG Businesses Showcased In RI Monthly ‘Best Of’

best of rim 2014

Rhode Island Monthly’s “Best of” issue is out and East Greenwich businesses are all over it, particularly in the Reader’s Choice Best of West Bay section. But three EG businesses – all on Main Street – got named in the editors’ Best of picks: Raw Bob’s for its fresh juices, Rasa for its fried cauliflower and Twigs for being an old favorite in a new location.

All three entities just happened to have opened in 2013 – which fits with RIM’s fresh take on what’s out there for its editors’ picks

Raw Bob’s has established a devoted following for its healthy juices and smoothies. Rasa has also drawn a loyal following with its Indian fare. Twigs, which moved here from Cranston, brought its customers with it, but has quickly become a good neighbor on Main Street.

In the Reader’s Choice section, a number of East Greenwich businesses were singled out – many for a second, third, fourth, even fifth time (Sprigs!). Congratulations to all!

Statewide

Independent Book Store: Symposium Books

Restaurant and Romantic Restaurant: Siena

Tapas: Besos

Kid’s Toys & Craft Store: Benny’s

News Anchorman: Gene Valicenti, NBC 10

Radio Talk Show Host: John DePetro, 630 WPRO

Wedding Photographer: Sara Zarrella Photography

West Bay

Local Market: Dave’s

Florist: Sprigs

Place to Unwind: Massage Envy

Local Music Venue: Blu on the Water

Gift Store: Sweet Twist

Animal Shelter: East Greenwich Animal Protection League

Consignment Store: Karma Couture

Independent Book Store: Symposium Books

Asian: Kon Asian Bistro

Mexican: Tio Mateo’s

Italian: Siena

Diner: Jigger’s

Breakfast: T’s

Coffee House: Mainstreet Coffee

Art Gallery: Heritage Art Gallery & Glass Studio

Garden Store/Nursery: Wildwood Nursery & Garden Center

Free Attraction: Laughing Elephant Yoga @ Goddard Park

If I left you off the list, please let me know, either as a comment here, or send an email to elizabeth@eastgreenwichnews.com.


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On November Ballot: Abolish FTM? Borrow $2 Million To Fix Roads?

town hall

The Town Council voted 5-0 in favor of ballot questions addressing three changes to the Town Charter and whether or not to borrow $2 million to fix roads at a meeting Monday night. The questions will appear on the Nov. 4 general election ballot.

The biggest of the ballot questions on the charter would be whether or not to abolish the Financial Town Meeting, a yearly assembly where East Greenwich electors vote on the budget passed by the Town Council – if there’s a quorum. That’s a big “if.”

The ballot question will read:

(1) Should the Charter be amended to eliminate the Financial Town Meeting and to extend the time within which the Town Council must adopt an annual budget?

In recent years, the number of people who actually attend the FTM has dwindled. The meeting in June brought out a mere 35 electors. A quorum 250 registered voters is required to even open the meeting and that number hasn’t been met in more than a decade. Without a quorum, the Town Council’s budget and any attached warrant articles become final.

Charter question #2 deals with the town’s acquisition in June 2013 of the East Greenwich Fire District and the subsequent establishment of an EG Fire Department in its place:

(2) Should the Charter be amended to provide for a Town Fire Department now that the East Greenwich Fire District has been acquired by the Town?

It would bring the charter up to date on town departments.

The final charter question – (3) Should the Charter be amended to correct minor, non-substantive errors identified by the publisher of the Town Charter? – would allow typos in the charter to be fixed without having electors vote on those fixes.

The other ballot question asks voters to approve borrowing up to $2 million to fix roads in town. The bond would authorize the town to finance “construction, renovation, rehabilitation, repair, improvement and landscaping of roads, sidewalks and drainage facilities in the town….”

In recent years, the town has allotted smaller sums of money to repave specific roads in town, but Public Works Director Joe Duarte has been asking for a more comprehensive spending plan for several years now.

What road or sidewalk do you think needs fixing first? Let us know in the comments.

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Parents Continue Push For Later School Start Time

Parents interested in getting the school district to explore a later school start time for high school and middle school students have continued spreading their message this summer. After months of asking for the issue to be put on a School Committee agenda, the group has been told the issue is on the Aug. 12 meeting agenda.

In addition, 179 people have so far signed a petition requesting that the School Committee “prioritize” consideration of a later school start time. You can find the petition here.

On Monday, two members of the group spoke to around 400 high school students (many from East Greenwich) about sleep for adolescents at the regional Youth 2 Youth regional conference taking place this week at URI.

One member of the group, Katherine Sharkey, a sleep medicine doctor and sleep researcher, was interviewed in June on Rhode Island public access.

What do you think about a later start time for middle and high school students? Let us know in the comments section.

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Middle Road Bridge Work Should Be Done By End of August

middle bridge out

We may have gotten used to it, but the closure of the Middle Road bridge over Route 4 has been a big pain. The good news is that the repair work is on schedule and the bridge is set to reopen by the end of August. That would make it just in time for the first day of school, Aug. 27.

“Work is progressing at the Middle Road bridge in East Greenwich, with some concrete work remaining on the west side of the bridge before we shift over to the east side,” said Rhode Island Department of Transportation’s Rose Amoros Monday. “The project is on time, and the bridge is scheduled to reopen to traffic by the end of August. There will be some work continuing this fall, as we paint the steel below the structure. The [painting] process will take about two weeks and may require some nighttime lane closures on Route 4.” 

Tax Rate for New Fiscal Year Smidge Lower Than Projected

egtownblue

The new fiscal year began July 1 and, yes, our taxes are up. But the increase is $.04 less than had been announced at the Financial Town Meeting June 9

The actual tax rate for the new year is $23.26 per $1,000 assessed value, up $.36 over last year’s $22.90 tax rate. 

For someone with a house assessed at $400,000, that comes to a property tax bill of $9,304, an increase of $146 over this year. It reflects a 1.57 percent tax rate increase and marks the lowest tax increase in five years.

The reason the tax rate is not finalized at the Financial Town Meeting is because the tax assessor must certify the tax role before the start of the new fiscal year. The newer calculation was approved by the Town Council July 14. 

 

 

 

 

Resident Sues Town Over Voided Zoning Board Membership

town hall

William DiStefano, a resident of Miss Fry Drive, has filed suit against the Town Council after his membership to the Zoning Board was nullified in January.

The lawsuit, filed in Superior Court July 7, accuses the Town Council of violating the Open Meetings Act by “failing to properly post agendas and meeting minutes, and failing to give the proper notice concerning the termination of DiStefano’s appointment to the Zoning Board.”

DiStefano was appointed to the Zoning Board last November, after submitting a written application for the position that included the question, “Are you a registered voter of East Greenwich?”

According to the town’s appointment policy for boards and commissions, “applicants shall be residents and electors of the Town of East Greenwich.”

According to Council President Michael Isaacs, DiStefano said he was a registered EG voter on his application. Based on the application and an interview with the Town Council, DiStefano was appointed to fill out a term on the Zoning Board that expired June 30. He served on the board once, at its Nov. 26 meeting, as an alternate.

Subsequently, it was learned that DiStefano was not a registered EG voter at the time he filled out his application. According to the Town Clerk’s office, DiStefano registered to vote in East Greenwich on Dec. 26, 2013, more than a month after he was appointed to the board.

Isaacs said the Town Council did not rule on the matter. Rather, he said, “the appointment was void as a matter of law. He did not meet the qualifications, so it was just void.”

DiStefano’s contention that the Town Council failed to properly post the matter in a meeting agenda, according to Isaacs, is wrong.

“There was no open meetings law violation because there was no meeting,” Isaacs said. “He was notified by the solicitor” that his membership was void.

According to the lawsuit, “DiStefano has suffered and continues to suffer severe and substantial damages” as a result of the town’s action.

DiStefano did not respond to requests for a comment.