July 27th, 2011
By ERIC RUEB
WARWICK â Joe Hassett is usually the most famous player in the field when he takes part in a Rhode Island Golf Association event. After an eight-year NBA career that including a title with the Seattle Supersonics in 1979, Hassett â the radio color man for Providence College basketball â has earned the honor.
At this weekâs 28th Rhode Island Stroke Play Championship, however, Hassett knew where he stood in the pecking order.
âIâm a distant No. 2,â he said. âMike Schmidt, he was a Hall-of-Fame player and was a great player to watch.â
Bruce Sundlun was, perhaps, one of the biggest names in Rhode Island in the past 50 years and his death this week sent shockwaves around the Ocean State as friends, families and longtime political counterparts weighed in on the man who became a legend.
This week, the Standard Times takes a special look back at Sundlun as Martha Smith examined the former governor's Jamestown ties.
In addition, we've got all the latest news on both the Wickford Train Station project and newly-appointed Interim Superintendent Dr. Philip Auger's goals for the district.
Pick up a copy on newsstands today!
SOUTH KINGSTOWN â While still at a standoff with NEASK over whether the Basic Education Plan and the Human Capital policies are a mandatory subject of bargaining, the school committee filed a complaint last Thursday in the Washington County Superior Court against NEASK and the Commissioner of Education and the Board of Regents.
WOOD RIVER JUNCTION - The Chariho Regional School Committee approved the new Consolidated Resource Plan for the upcoming school year at a meeting held in the Chariho High School library on Tuesday.
This week, it all starts to hit the fan.
Central Falls, the stateâs smallest city, is going to be the test tube for the experiment of what the hell are we going to do about pension funds we canât afford to maintain anymore. Next to that will be the Petri dish growing a culture to determine whether bankruptcy is a solution for fiscally crippled municipalities.
COVENTRY â Coventry Little League 11-year Old All-Star Cam Reid had had a brilliant offensive performance against Narragansett in Friday nightâs District 3 final.
Reid had already delivered a two-run home run, a two-run double, eight RBIs and three runs scored through six-and-half inning.
SOUTH KINGSTOWN â After a Wakefield man was arrested in Narragansett for robbing a Dunkin Donuts, the suspect admitted to three break-ins in South Kingstown Tuesday morning, including the Subway at the Towers, the Sea View Market Place and Pier Cleaners.
HOPKINTON - While the waiting room at Wood River Health Services in Hope Valley is crowded with people seeking a wide range of different medical services, Dave Henley scurries about the building putting up flyers for an upcoming blood drive.
BY MARTHA SMITH
Special to the Standard
NORTH KINGSTOWN â Rita Perry, 91, a mover and shaker in many community activities, who, with her friend of seven decades, Helen Beaven, started the townâs first Girl Scout troop and headed up numerous PTAs, passed away last Wednesday at Kent Regency, in Warwick, after a period of declining health.
By DAVID PEPIN
The featured performer for this yearâs Summerâs End concert can boast of having spent the past 15 years working with a music legendâŠand having received his big break in show business from a boxing legend.
John Pagano, a Providence native whose repertoire ranges from pop chestnuts to rhythm and blues, will be performing with the R.I. Philharmonic at the townâs annual concert, to be held Friday, Sept. 2, at Eldredge Field. Rain date for the show is Saturday, Sept. 3.
Pagano, who began his career in the â80s as an R&B singer, has been a featured vocalist since 1997 with Burt Bacharach, the pianist and songwriter responsible for many entries in the canon of pop music standards over the past 50 years. Along with two female singers and an 11-piece orchestra (including his brother Vinny, its drummer), they have toured throughout much of the world, most recently a six-date swing through Italy.
âThe girls cover many of his hits, and I do all the male songs,â says Pagano, who usually performs âThis Guyâs In Love with You,â âWhat the World Needs Now (Is Love Sweet Love),â âRaindrops Keep Falling on My Head,â âAny Day Nowâ and âGod Give Me Strength.â
Now living in southern California, Pagano returns roughly every three months to visit his family, and tries to work in a shown or two while heâs in the area.
Before meeting Bacharach, and before recording a CD on MCA, however, came his âdiscoveryâ by that noted musical talent scoutâŠMike Tyson (yes, the former world heavyweight champion).
âI played in a band called Xpo around Albany with my brother. Mike trained about a half-hour away, and he came and saw us and took a liking to my band and my voice. He said I ought to sing the national anthem at one of his fights,â Pagano remembers.
In 1989, Pagano stood in the center of the ring as the Las Vegas Hilton and sang âThe Star-Spangled Bannerâ prior to Tysonâs successful title defense against Frank Bruno.
In the audience that night was an assistant to Irving Azoff, one of the recording industryâs giants, then chairman of MCA records.
âShe saw me in the elevator on my way to the afterparty, and I met Azoff two days later,â Pagano says. While he had been discussing a record deal with Warner Brothers at the time, he ended up signing with MCA, which led to his first encounter with Bacharach and his then-wife, songwriter Carole Bayer Sager.
âAzoff took me over to see him because he was looking for material for my album, but Burt didnât have anything that fit,â says Pagano.