EGAPL Looks for Help Paying for Sick ‘Frozen’ Pups

Frozen pup 3The East Greenwich Animal Protection League is seeking donations to help several gravely ill puppies. The “Frozen Pups” litter are 2-month-old terrier mixes named after the characters in the popular movie “Frozen.” They originated from a Southern shelter where their mother was abandoned while pregnant. After a mandatory quarantine in the South and another in Rhode Island, they developed symptoms of Parvo (a dangerous and often fatal disease for dogs) and needed to be rushed to Ocean State Veterinary Specialists during the blizzard. Sadly, one puppy did not survive; two more remain hospitalized, costing the League thousands of dollars each day.

EGAPL has requested donations be made to help the Frozen Pups. Every donation, big or small, will go towards the care of these puppies and allow the League to continue helping other cats and dogs in need of shelter this winter. To donate through PayPal, visit the League’s Facebook page or click donate at egapl.org, or checks may be mailed to EGAPL, P.O. Box 184, East Greenwich, RI 02818.

Frozen pup Frozen pup 2

They Called Him ‘Chief’ For a Reason, Part Two

A portrait of Fire Chief Fred Miller that hangs at the EG Volunteer Fireman's Hall.
A portrait of Fire Chief Fred Miller that hangs at the EG Volunteer Fireman’s Hall.

You can read Part One of They Called Him “Chief” for a Reason here.

Getting back to being a fireman. . . . Through Fred’s efforts, and that of other dedicated members, the East Greenwich Fire Department developed a reputation of being one of the best around, considered the finest volunteer company in the state, and one to be emulated by others. Much of that was due to Fred and his tireless efforts to keep the department functioning at a high level.

Remember, in those days, it was served by volunteers. I remember guys being let out of class at EGHS to go and fight fires, and many of the men worked deals where they could be let out of work when The Horn went off.  Oh, that Horn! Blasting out its two or three number call telling what zone of town the fire was in. Count the blasts. Check your book and go like a bat out the reaches of Hades.

I cannot remember ever failing to answer that horn, many times sprinting from my house behind the police station the two blocks to the firehouse. I didn’t always make it to the station on time, but it wasn’t for lack of trying and the sprint sure helped me later in athletic endeavors.

I was motivated by a sense of civic duty, the desire to be of service and the excitement of it all. Being a fireman, that volunteer spirit, most of my friends were volunteers at one time or another. Some hung around it their whole lives.

East Greenwich was one of the first fire districts in the state to start a junior firemen’s program. Back then the chief saw the future of the fire department and the firefighting profession in the dedication of young volunteers. In that though, time, the times and the love of money would prove him wrong.

The young vols of that time would have to take first aid training and spend 15 hours of work at Kent Hospital. Many of the 100 or so young volunteers also took fire courses at R.I. Junior College (now CCRI). Drills were usually held Sunday mornings and there were meetings held midweek.

Many times the drills would consist of fighting a fire in some old building, set on fire for the express purpose of giving the trainees, and even the vets, experience in putting out fires. It was the only way to give them that vital experience.

That was not the case though in getting first aid and rescue experience. With an active Quonset Point Naval Air Station only five minutes away, the young volunteers got plenty of experience patching and bandaging young sailors and Marines coming back from liberty, usually drunk and speeding.

There was also the occasional dead serviceman. One was killed down by the Railroad Inn one night and his body lie there in one spot with his head fifty yards away. Another time four NK football players were hit by a train chasing their girlfriends. No one there will ever forget that.

I even recall a baby or two being delivered along the way, way back then.

These were quite the experiences for 15- and 16-year-old boys back then and they grew up fast in the ways of the world.

Chief Miller was always lavish in his praise for “his boys,” who kept the department going. They put their lives on the line for NO PAY! Guess they were stupid, or at least “too yesterday.” Yet, they performed marvelously at big fires like the Big Star Market fire; the Benny’s fire; the Dunn house; the Ross Aker fire; the Dooser-Reynolds Pig Farm fire, which was set to cover up the murder of a family of five up on South Road and the Bleachery fire to name a few of the bigger ones.

In fact, Chief Miller saved my life and that of two of my fellow firefighters, taking us off the roof of one of the Bleachery buildings just before it collapsed into a fiery pit below. We had nailed a ladder on the icy roof of one building to get above a building across the way and send a stream of water to quell that blaze, not knowing that there was a blaze going on beneath of us. Chief Miller saw it though and got us off just minutes before our perch collapsed into the flames below thus making my mother happy to see her son come home that night (and we did this for free?).

 

I wonder what Fred would think of the situation today. The chief, deputy chief and fire marshall all have department vehicles. Fred used his own car, had a portable light and, I think, eventually got one of those stickers you can slap on door saying EGFD. He did have his white fire chief’s hat though. I think he was proud of that. Today firemen only answer the call on the day they are working, and that is one of every three or four, and despite being paid now they can still work an extra job or two. As one of them said, “I thought I’d died and gone to heaven!”

Would Fred think they were part-time firemen? The volunteers worked another job and answered the call whenever The Horn sounded! Maybe they should be volunteers. I am sure he was not against firemen making money to support their families. No one is against that. But, he would be upset if they created a situation where their love of the Almighty Dollar caused hardship to their fellow townsmen. He never liked that! He was never like that! And, I don’t suppose he would take kindly to those that were. We’ve had a few.

I bet he would glow, though, when he heard of the firemen in New York City, who, on 9-11, left warm house and beds to rush in on their day off to battle the fires devastating the Twin Towers. Some of them rushed to their death. I think he would say that those guys deserved to pat themselves on the back and call themselves firemen! Anyway, it would be interesting to get his take on it.

So, Chief, even though you have been gone quite awhile, you are still thought of warmly (no pun intended). You left a legacy of service and giving that is unparalleled. You were way back then, you are now, and you always will be: “The Chief”

They called you that for a reason AND justifiably so!

This piece of Mems & Rems (Memories & Reminiscences) is dedicated to all those local boys, those firemen who answered the call – who answered The Horn! – for all those years, with no thought of self, no pay and very little glory. Those guys who put duty first and service to other above all, but especially to George, Adolph, Mac, Pumpkin, Leigh, Hub, Don, Frank, Joe, Elmer, Guy, Bill, Ken, Moose, Lawson and a host of other dedicated volunteers, too numerous to mention here, who gave of their blood, sweat, tears and time through all those years to make the volunteer spirit something to be proud of! Some people may think you fools or crazy for laying it all on the line for no compensation, but you have something you can always be proud of and there are many who are proud of you!

May you never be forgotten, and I hope that Spirit might someday, catch on again with our young people.

God Bless You All and May You continue to Live In The Spirit . . .


Bruce Mastracchio grew up in East Greenwich and loves telling stories of his boyhood in a simpler time, in a small town, filled with outstanding people, amazing characters and adventures by the barrelful.

 

EG Weekend: ‘Seussical’, Tom Rush, Super Bowl

A very tall snowman, with two of his creators Friday.
A very tall snowman, with two of his creators Friday. Credit: Kim Ragosta

Recycling is ON. Because of Tuesday’s storm, trash pickup is delayed one day for the rest of the week. For the full 2015 pickup schedule, click here.

Friday, Jan. 30

‘Seussical the Musical’: The EGHS Drama Club presents “Seussical the Musical” tonight, with more than 75 students involved. 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 and available at the door. The show continues Friday at 7 p.m. and two shows Saturday, at 1 and 7 p.m. (read about the brunch matinee below). To buy family four-packs for $35, contact rpetrucci@egsd.net or call 398-1579.

Saturday, Jan. 31

‘FIRST Tech Challenge: New England Institute of Technology sponsors the 9th annual FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Tech Challenge, hosting 33 Rhode Island middle and high school robotics teams – including EGHS – at the college’s Center for Automotive Technology, 101 Access Road, Warwick. From 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

‘Seussical the Musical’ Brunch, two shows: Come to the matinee but start with some green eggs and ham (and pancakes, French toast, sausage, etc.) first! You can hang out with the characters too. $15 includes brunch (at 11:30 a.m.) and the matinee (at 1 p.m.).

Tom Rush @ the Odeum: The great Tom Rush returns to the Greenwich Odeum tonight. The folk legend helped to shape the folk revival of the 1960s and the renaissance in the 1980s and ‘90s. Artists including James Taylor, Emmylou Harris, Tom Petty and Garth Brooks have all cited Rush as a major influence. Tickets are $40, $50 for VIP seating. 8 p.m. 59 Main St. For more info and to buy tickets: http://odeum.ticketleap.com/rush/.

Sunday, Feb. 1

EG Animal Protection League open house: Every Sunday, the EGAPL opens its doors so people can meet the dogs and cats in need of permanent homes. Read about the league’s efforts to save the “Frozen” pups. EG Animal Hospital, 4302 Post Road, Cowesett. 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Super Bowl XLIX: Kick-off is at 6:30 p.m. That means supermarkets and liquor stores are going to be BUSY Sunday afternoon – you’ve been warned. Go Pats!


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Showcased Home: Room to Stretch Out at 40 Woodbridge Drive

40 Woodbridge Drive
40 Woodbridge Drive

This new-to-the-market Colonial in the High Hawk neighborhood has 4 bedrooms and 5 full bathrooms in over 6,000 square feet of living space.  Stand-out features in the stately home include gorgeous fireplaces that were reclaimed from Newport mansions, a four season sunroom, and lower level office with a walkout to the back yard. The home’s private, estate-like 2-acre setting includes a circular driveway, gunite pool, and a hot tub.

There will be an open house on Sunday, February 1, from 1 to 3 p.m.

The price is $850,000. Judy Brady of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage has the listing. For more information, call 401-742-8946.


If you would like a home to be showcased on East Greenwich News, please e-mail a high resolution (400×600) exterior photo and details about what makes it unique to patti.depriest@nemoves.com.

Ideally, houses chosen for East Greenwich News’ Showcased Home are newer listings with Open Houses that weekend. The final decision is solely that 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: Mystery Driveway Visitor, Missing Catalytic Converters

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, Jan. 19

10:57 a.m. – A person complained to police about a tractor trailer blocking Liberty Street while unloading equipment at LLC Astro of New England, the occupant of the warehouse at 461 Main St. This followed several complaints made the previous week. The manager told police he would make changes in his operation to avoid blocking the street. Police said this was his last warning and trucks would be towed if it happened again.

1:40 p.m. – A Somerset Street resident told police about a near-accident on Liberty Street, when two cars and a pedestrian nearly collided because the stretch of Libery between Somerset and Greene streets was blocked by a tractor trailer truck. Police told the manager of the company, Astro, to immediately cease operations. They complied and said a new method would be implemented after today.

3:19 p.m. – A resident of Shoreside told police someone had stolen his laundry from a dryer in the communal laundry room. He said he’d taken clothes out of a dryer that was finished running in order to put his wet items in and he wondered if that had angered the other person. He also said he needed to file a police report to get management to give him access to the video surveillance footage.

6:20 p.m. – A resident of Arrowhead Trail told police he arrived home at 12:40 a.m. and found a silver minivan in his driveway. As he pulled into the driveway, he saw a white male, approximately 5’10” with thinning dark hair around 40 or 50 years old come out from in front of the minivan, get in and drive away. The Arrowhead resident gave police the license plate number, which turned out to be stolen from a Warwick residence.

Tuesday, Jan. 20

10:55 p.m. – Someone from Aim High Academy told police the catalytic converters had been removed from both Aim High vans while they were parked on the south side of the building around 4:30 p.m., Friday, Jan. 16. Police saw exhaust pipes on both vans had been cut cleanly and the converters removed.

1:04 p.m. – Someone complained to police about barking dogs at a house on Adirondack Drive. Police found three dogs outside the house but confined with an electric fence and barking loudly. A neighbor said the dogs were routinely outside during the day and barked all day. The owner was not home but police reached her by phone. She said she would come right away and would try to keep the dogs quiet during the day.

5:09 p.m. – An EG resident told police she’d gotten two phone calls from someone saying he was with the IRS seeking information. Police called the number the calls had come in on and a man with a foreign accent answered the phone. There was noise in the background consistent with it being a call center. The man told police he could not speak to a third party, only with the resident. Another man, also speaking with a foreign accent, got on the phone and said police could call the Better Business Bureau about them. Police asked why the BBB would comment on a government agency at which point the man on the phone said they would start to investigate the officer on the phone. When police asked if the man was threatening him, the man hung up. Police told the woman to contact her phone provider and ask them to block that number.

Wednesday, Jan. 21

1:24 a.m. – While on routine patrol, police noticed a car sitting behind the Denny’s restaurant in the Center of New England off New London Turnpike. The car was running with one person sitting in the back seat. Police ran the plates and it came back as having been stolen out of West Warwick. It turned out there was a BOLO (be on the lookout) for someone whose last name was the same as the name in which the car was registered, and that the man could be dangerous. Police called for backup and notified West Greenwich police, since the restaurant is in the West Greenwich portion of the shopping center. Together with Coventry police, they approached the car and took the man into custody without incident.

6:50 a.m. – Police arrested Alvin Cook, 53, of East Greenwich on a warrant for fourth degree arson after tracking him down in his car while he was driving east on Frenchtown Road. The charge is a felony. He was processed at the station, then was arraigned in Third District Court.

11:49 a.m. – The head of security for Dave’s Marketplace told police two young women had passed a counterfeit $100 bill on Monday, Jan. 19. They bought a cake and some peanuts with the bill, which the cashier took. Later, though, a manager recognized the bill as fake. Surveillance video shows the two women getting out of silver Cadillac CTS but does not allow a view of the license plate.

2:32 p.m. – Police were called to assist North Kingstown police in the turn in of weapons owned by a NK man with a restraining order. The man’s guns were at his mother’s house, in East Greenwich. The mother turned over four long rifles to NKPD and she was given ah receipt for the weapons.

3:42 p.m. – Police arrested a Narragansett man, 24, for driving with a suspended license after he was stopped for speeding on Route 4 near exit 7. Police noticed the smell of marijuana when they spoke to the man as he sat in his car. The man said there was marijuana in the car and handed over two bags. Routine checks turned up the license suspension. In addition, the license plates were not registered to the car. He was given a district court summons and citations for the registration and marijuana offenses and his car was towed from the scene. Police took the man to a nearby Dunkin Donuts to await pick up.


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EGHS Graduation Rate 96%; Among Highest In State

Members of the EGHS Class of 2014 celebrate after graduation.
Members of the EGHS Class of 2014 celebrate after graduation.

East Greenwich High School’s Class of 2014 had a 96 percent graduation, one of only five schools to score 95 percent or above, according to data released Thursday by the state Department of Education. It’s a four-point increase from 2013.

The other schools with graduation rates above 95 percent are Block Island School (100 percent), Classical High School in Providence (98 percent), Cranston High West (95 percent), and Portsmouth High School (97 percent).

Over all, the state’s graduation rate ticked up 1 percent over 2013, to 81 percent. That’s a 5.5 percent increase over 2009. The dropout rate of 8 percent was a percent lower than year ago and six points lower than 2009.

Find all the data on the RIDE website here.


 

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Obituary: Joseph F. McDonald, Jr., 88

Joseph McDonald
Joseph McDonald

Joseph F. McDonald, Jr., 88, a WWII veteran who served with honor as a special agent of the FBI for 25 years, passed away peacefully in his sleep in the nursing facility of the Havenwood Retirement Community in Concord, N.H., just before dawn of New Year’s Day, Thursday, Jan. 1.

Born in Medford, Massachusetts, July 3, 1926, the first child of Joseph Francis McDonald and Esther (Cross) McDonald, he attended St. Joseph’s Elementary, in Wakefield, Mass., and graduated Wakefield High School in 1943, where he lettered in varsity ice hockey, track and cross country.

He enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps immediately upon graduation, and served at Kwajalein in the Marshall Islands as a flight mechanic for Marine Bomber Squadron VMB-613 from late 1944 through early 1946.

He returned to Wakefield that year and attended Boston College, graduating in 1951, before joining the Bureau. He served as a Special Agent in Knoxville, Tenn.; Pittsburgh, Pa.; New York City, and White Plains, N.Y., before retiring from the Providence, field office in 1977. Subsequently Mr. McDonald worked in a variety of security and investigative roles.

He was widely revered as a devoted father, grandfather, and for his community service. He served as chair of the Holy Name Society of Immaculate Conception Church in Tuckahoe, N.Y., and as chairman of the residents’ council at Havenwood, as well as a youth hockey coach in East Greenwich.

In 1953, Mr. McDonald married the former Rita Mildred Slocumb of Wakefield, Mass., who preceded him in death by exactly three years to the day. Together they raised six children.  His survivors include daughter Maura, of Cape Elizabeth, Maine, and sons John (DJ), of Brooklyn, N.Y.; Joseph Francis III, of Bow, N.H.; James, of Hermosa Beach, Calif; Gerard, of Reading, Mass.; and Brian, of Portland, Maine. He is also survived by his eight grandchildren; Geoffrey, Ryan, Molly, Martha, and Patrick McDonald and Augustus, Oskar and Greta Frankwicz. He was predeceased by his brother, William T. McDonald.

His funeral Mass will be celebrated in Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, 80 Loudon Road, Concord, N.H., on Sat., May 23, at 2 p.m. Burial is private.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Havenwood-Heritage Heights, 33 Christian Ave., Concord, N.H. 03301.

The online obituary and condolence page can be found here.

Obituary: Louise L. Behan, 87

Louise Behan
Louise Behan

Louise L. Behan, 87, of East Greenwich, passed away Wednesday, Jan. 28, at Brentwood Nursing Home in the loving arms of her family following a courageous 10 year battle with Alzheimer’s disease. Born in Sullivan County, Tenn., April 21, 1927, the daughter of the late Benjamin Franklin and Vergie Elizabeth (Blakely) Loggans. She is predeceased by her husband of 39 years Thomas Joseph Behan.

Louise attended URI, Tennessee State, and King Colleges while earning her bachelors and masters degrees. She spent most of her professional life as a social studies teacher for the East Greenwich School System until her retirement in 1990. Her passion was sharing her love of learning with her students throughout her years at the East Greenwich Junior High.

She enjoyed spending her personal time with her family, gardening, and quilting. Louise’s grandchildren and great-grandchildren were her pride and joy; she enjoyed spending time with them often. She was the loving mother of Katherine L. Crouse, her husband, Michael, and Louise E. Behan; grandmother of Isabel Virginia DelVecchio and Carl Joseph DelVecchio, Jr., and great-grandmother of Giovanni Antonio DelVecchio-Behan and Donna Elizabeth Bonnin-Behan. She is the sister of John, Lavada McDaniel, Albert, Robert, and the late Jessie, Della May Loggans, Henry, Hope Baines, Willy, and Jerry. She is survived by many nieces and nephews. She is also survived by her dear friend Ruth Morrissey.

Calling hours are 3 to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 1, at the Hill Funeral Home, 822 Main St., in East Greenwich. Burial will be private. In lieu of flowers kindly make donations to the Alzheimer’s Association. Special thanks to the staff at Brentwood Nursing Home, Greenwich Farms, and our nurse, Lisa, from Gentiva Hospice, for their loving care of our mother. The words “thank you” will never truly express our gratitude.

The online obituary and condolence page can be found here.

Sledding at Academy – That’s the Life!

academy sled 1
Academy Field was the place to be Wednesday afternoon.

 

sled 8
Into the wild blue yonder.
sled 13
Pushing off.

 

Landing!
Landing!
sled 11
Three for the road, er … hill.

 

sled 7
Getting some air!

 

sled 10
Downhill racer.
sled 6
Fun on a innertube.

 

Joy.
Joy.
An eager sledder hits the hill Tuesday afternoon, mid-storm.
An eager sledder hits the hill Tuesday afternoon, mid-storm.

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