March 11th, 2011
PEACE DALE--Residents of Schaeffer Street where a child killer was found living amongst them 29 years ago after murdering a five year old do not want him back.
In 1975, Michael Woodmansee brutally killed his 5-year-old neighbor, Jason Foreman. The boy was mysteriously missing for seven years until 1982, when Woodmansee was caught after attempting to strangle a second boy on his paper delivery route. Now, Woodmansee is scheduled to be released in August after serving just 28 years of a 50-year prison sentence for murder. He was initially to serve just 40 years of the sentence, but shaved off an additional 12 years for good behavior.
Woodmansee grew up in the quiet friendly neighborhood on Schaeffer Street, where children from around the block, including Harrison Street, Austin Street and Uncle Samâs Lane all played together until the streetlights came on. It was a simpler time in 1975 when parents could let their kids out to play, believing they were safe in a neighborhood where everyone knew one another. Woodmanseeâs horrific act shattered that peace of the small town community.
The Charlestown Land Trust is holding a bonfire and celebration of open spaces this Sunday, March 13 from 1 to 4 p.m.
CRANSTONâProvidenceâs Poverty Institute hosted âBudget Rhode Map,â a discussion and lecture event sponsored by local non-profits to discuss the condition of the state and nationâs budget challenges. The conference was attended by various state representatives including Sen. Spencer Dickinson and representatives Teresa Tanzi and Donna Walsh.
The first speaker, Jon Shure, Deputy Director of the Center on Budget and Policy Prioritiesâ State Fiscal Project presented a discussion titled âThe State of State Budgetsâ and said that âin a perfect worldâ state leaders would raise the income tax in a time of recession, not the sales tax. The proposed increase in the sales tax would adversely affect the poor who spend more of their income on items that would be taxed. But Shure said that he would still support it if it was the only way to raise revenue.
According to Governor Chafee, the plan would raise $89 million in new revenue that state-funded programs need in order to serve Rhode Islanders. Shure also described how, contrary to popular opinion, states that raised taxes in a recession performed economically better because they made necessary investments.
PEACE DALE--In 1982, South Kingstown thought it freed itself of the cannibalistic murderer who was sentenced to jail for killing 5-year-old Jason Foreman in 1975, but Michael Woodmansee would not remain behind bars forever.
NORTH KINGSTOWNâWithin the darkened auditorium, the only light coming from the stage, over 50 North Kingstown High School students sacrificed their Saturday for a 12-hour day of rehearsals for âWest Side Storyâ last weekend. The classic story of star-crossed lovers came to amazing life during the cue-to-cue light rehearsal, which started at 10 a.m. and lasted until well into the evening hours.
The students have been putting in seven-hour rehearsal days after school since January, according to director Norma Caiazza.
SOUTH KINGSTOWNâThe Economic Development Committee met last Thursday, March 3 to discuss the new property tax treaty drafted by the town.
The âTax Exemption and Stabilization Programâ was received by the council as a troubling example of miscommunication.
"One Hand, One Heart"
West Side Story, the classic story of two star-crossed lovers, comes to life this weekend in North Kingstown and we've got everything you need to know about the play in this week's Standard Times as writer Judee Cosentino gives you an inside look at the play and those behind it.
In addition, see how local schools and local residents are reacting to Governor Chafee's budget proposal in relation to education and the effect of rising gas prices.
WARWICK-The National Multiple Sclerosis Society honored Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI) as its 2010 Representative of the Year at the organization's annual Public Policy Conference. The award distinguishes a Member of Congress who has demonstrated exceptional leadership and dedication to issues most significantly impacting the lives of people with Multiple Sclerosis, or MS. It represents one of the highest honors the Society awards to public officials.
SOUTH KINGSTOWNâSouth Kingstown state representatives recently met with the Coastal Resources Management Council to discuss potential solutions to the coastal erosion along Matunuck Town Beach.
Sen. V. Susan Sosnowski, D-Dist. 37 South Kingstown, New Shoreham and Rep. Donna M. Walsh, D-Dist. 36, Charlestown, New Shoreham, South Kingstown, Westerly, along with town council president Ella Whaley met with Grover Fugate, the executive director of the Coastal Resources Management Council and other members of the CRMC.
School Committee Vice Chair Nancy Sprengelmeyer came out against all-day kindergarten in a letter to the Rhode Island House of Representatives, despite thinking it is âabsolutely the bestâ for children.
Despite being in support of all-day kindergarten from an educatorâs point-of-view, Sprengelmeyer testified against it for financial reasons.
In a Feb. 9 letter to the Rhode Island House of Representatives that is signed by Sprengelmeyer and Superintendent of Coventry Public Schools Michael Convery they write that it would be âfiscally impossibleâ to implement such a program at this time.
The bill, H 5049, was introduced by Rep. Roberto DaSilva (D-East Providence, Pawtucket) and Rep. Raymond Johnston, Jr. (D-Pawtucket).
It would require all districts in the state to have all-day kindergarten, or in other words to increase the hours a kindergartener must attend class. It would require students to be in class five and a half hours per day.
The letter to representatives on behalf of Coventry states that, âWhile both the Coventry Public Schoolsâ administrative team and its School Committee members unanimously support the concept of all-day kindergarten, the cost to implement this program would be a fiscally-impossible undertaking at this time.â
The letter says it would be âcost-prohibitive without a guarantee of a State-funding source.â
At their Tuesday night meeting Sprengelmeyer asked Rep. Lisa Tomasso, who was in attendance, about the status of the bill.
Tomasso told the school committee that she did not see the bill coming to the floor because representatives were realizing the impact of sending a bill to communities with âa fiscal note attached.â
At the Feb. 14 town council meeting where Sprengelmeyer shared the letter with council members, Councilman Raymond Spear called it âanother unfunded mandate.â