Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Slinking Back to Rhode Island

Bridge will get you there:

"Upgrade begins for R.I. rail route; $41m project for Kingston station" by Amy Anthony Associated Press  June 30, 2015

WEST KINGSTON, R.I. — A $41 million project to build new platforms at the Kingston train station and an additional section of track so Amtrak’s high-speed train can bypass regional rail service will create new jobs and attract businesses to Rhode Island, state officials said Monday.

Governor Gina Raimondo said improving infrastructure is necessary for the state to make an economic comeback.

‘‘If Rhode Island is going to be competitive and have a good business environment, we need good infrastructure,’’ Raimondo said.

The state’s congressional delegation and transit officials joined Raimondo at the Kingston station for the project’s groundbreaking. Construction will begin in July and is scheduled to be complete next summer.

The state Department of Transportation is partnering with Amtrak to build the 1½-mile track that will allow the Acela to bypass regional trains, thereby shortening its already faster commutes.

The project is being funded by $26 million in federal grants and $15 million from Amtrak.

Everything is fein with Amtrak.

The funds will also pay for the construction of two high-level platforms, which transit officials said will improve efficiency in the boarding process and also provide accessibility to passengers with disabilities.

Officials said they hope the improvements will be an incentive for expanding the commuter rail in the future.

The commuter rail, operated by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, goes as far as North Kingstown, about 10 miles north of the Kingston station.

The Providence-Warwick metropolitan area has the highest commute time for workers who take public transit of any medium-sized metro area, according to data from the US Census Bureau.

Public transit advocates point to a public bus system that must serve the entire state as one reason for the high commute times.

‘‘It’s not acceptable that our commute times are longer than other regions, and this project today is precisely one that’s designed to reduce that,’’ Raimondo said.



"A Massachusetts man will serve time for embezzling more than $5,000 from the Rhode Island Lottery. Paul Mahfouz, 47, of Raynham, was ordered Monday to serve six months of a five-year sentence behind bars. He must also pay $36,064.20 in restitution. Mahfouz was found guilty in April by a Providence County Superior Court jury of embezzlement and of unlawful appropriation in an unrelated incident. Prosecutors said Mahfouz embezzled $5,064.20 from the lottery when he took funds that he held in trust for the agency as a retail agent and used them for himself." 


More $cum:

"A New Bedford man has been sentenced to serve up to 15 years in state prison for selling cocaine after the US Postal Service discovered a package containing 5 kilograms of the drug addressed to his apartment, officials said. Emmanuel Hernandez, 35, was sentenced on Friday after a three-day trial where he was charged with trafficking over 200 grams of cocaine, according to a statement from the Bristol district attorney. Postal service inspectors in Puerto Rico seized a suspicious package addressed to Hernandez on Dec. 5, 2012, and forwarded the package to the Rhode Island Mail Depot for further inspection." 

Puerto Rico has bigger problems right now.

"A cat missing from a Portsmouth, R.I., veterinary clinic since April has been found in Southeastern Massachusetts. The Newport Daily News reported that the long-haired black feline named Slinky was found by a woman last week in Rochester, Mass., and taken to a veterinarian on Cape Cod. That vet found that Slinky had an identifying microchip embedded between his shoulder blades, and was able to reunite him with his owners. Dr. Gary O’Neal with the Portsmouth Veterinary Clinic said no one knows how Slinky managed to travel more than 35 miles and across several bridges, but everyone at the clinic is glad he’s home."

I suppose that is a good use for such things, but how long until they do it to people?

Also seeFirst phase of R.I. nightclub memorial set to start

NDUR.I. crews begin repairs to closed Cranston bridge

Time to burn them for this blog.

UPDATES: Foundations for first US offshore wind farm head for R.I.

Blew out the fire. 

Trying to get it going again:

"Governor says she won’t investigate Cranston bridge closure" by Jennifer McDermott Associated Press  June 27, 2015

PROVIDENCE — Governor Gina Raimondo said Thursday that she will not order an investigation into a bridge closure near the Cranston law office of the speaker of the House.

Speaker Nicholas Mattiello, a Cranston Democrat, wants to know why the state Department of Transportation did not fix the Park Avenue bridge after it was marked structurally deficient in September.

The bridge was closed Tuesday because officials said it was a safety risk. They are working on plans to reopen it in a month or two.

Raimondo said the bridge has been structurally deficient and weight restricted for years. She said she inherited a poorly run Department of Transportation that is now being restructured, and bridge inspections are being accelerated. These steps are enough, she said....

Raimondo said it is possible more bridges will close because the state has the worst bridges in the nation.

‘‘It’s time to stop with the Band-Aids,’’ she said. ‘‘Let’s get serious, not worry about what’s politically easy, and come up with a comprehensive solution to finally fix Rhode island’s bridges.’’


Also seeDriver’s arm severed in SUV rollover crash in R.I.

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