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Coventry teachers learn about technology

July 22, 2011

LAUREN KNIGHT
lknight@ricentral.com
In order to stay current, teachers across the state have learned through the Rhode Island Teachers of Technology Institute (RITTI) course how to integrate technology into their classroom, according to Michael Sexton, one of the RITTI program coordinators.
The nine-day, 60-hour course was held at the Alan Shawn Feinstein Middle School for the teachers in Coventry.

Briar Point Beach open for the season

July 21, 2011

LAUREN KNIGHT
lknight@ricentral.com

With school out and high humidity here for the summer, families may want to take advantage of the local Briar Point Beach for a dip.
The beach has been open on weekends since the beginning of June, according to lifeguard Rebecca Searly.
“We opened up full-time on June 18,” she said.

More affordable housing on the way in Coventry

July 7, 2011

ANGELENA CHAPMAN
achapman@ricentral.com

Forty-four more units of affordable housing are underway in Coventry.
Construction started in January on the new units that will be behind Dollar Tree and Hyde Music on Tiogue Avenue.
Entrance to Coventry Meadows will be on Edith Street, off of Arnold Road.
Edith Street will be continued and loop around right inside the new Coventry Meadows complex.
It will be a six-building complex and the first building is now nearing completion.
The affordable housing units are being built by Coventry Housing Associates Corporation, more commonly known as the Coventry Housing Authority.
Coventry Housing was started in 1963 “to provide housing opportunities to low-income households for the citizens of the Town of Coventry,” according to their website.
The money for this new project was awarded at the end of 2010.
Coventry Housing’s executive director, Julie A. Leddy, said when they applied for the funding the fact that they were “ready to go” was in their favor.
Work started the Monday after New Year’s Day, she said.
The main utilities for all of the buildings will be tied into the first building. That building will hold a Community Hall and laundry facilities for the whole complex.
It will be completed first and then they will go building-by-building to complete the other housing units.
The foundations of the other five buildings have already been laid.
Inside the main building that houses the Community Hall, there will also be four housing units.
When it is completed they will begin filling those units.
As they complete each of the other buildings, which will house eight units each, they too will be filled with tenants.
All the site work should be done, Leddy said, allowing them to “work our way out.”
They’ll start with the buildings closest to the main building, she said.
By September, they hope to have the first units ready.
The units will have one, two or three bedrooms.
Leddy explained how each unit will have its own entrance and there will be no hallways to walk through.
It will be built right into the grade, she said, that the units, though two-levels, can be accessed at ground level on each side.
Residents will drive right up to their own unit, she said.
There will also be a separate patio outside of each one, she said.
Coventry Housing has other units for the elderly or disabled and these units, though the same individuals could apply for them, are more suited for family housing, Leddy said.
Coventry Meadows will have a totally separate waiting list than The Crossroads, Coventry Housing’s other family-style affordable housing complex.
The Crossroads is located on Lacolle Lane in Coventry and has been at full occupancy since it opened. It is a 32-unit facility opened by Coventry Housing in 2003.

Budget would raise taxes, level-fund schools, cut $800,000

April 4, 2011

ANGELENA CHAPMAN
achapman@ricentral.com

The town manager’s budget would raise the motor vehicle and property taxes rates as well as make cuts to departments.
He is recommending the tax rate be adjusted to the highest allowed by Senate Bill 3050, a 4.25 percent total increase and close to $800,000 in cuts town wide, as well as level funding to the school department.
The $2 million capital budget would go almost entirely to the town and the schools would be encouraged to go out to bond on their own to pay for extensive capital improvement needs.

Town to receive a NRCS grant for erosion repairs

March 31, 2011

ANGELENA CHAPMAN
achapman@ricentral.com

Approved at Monday night’s town council meeting the town of Coventry has entered into an agreement for erosion repairs along the Pawtuxet River.
The agreement is for a grant from the United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).

Plugs, poppers, tied flies and fish stories a-plenty

March 23, 2011

BY JAMES MEROLLA

There were 10,000 plugs, but no sockets, 10,000 jigs but no dances, and hundreds more gulps and spoons that had nothing to do with food.
Welcome to the very successful 8th Annual Rhode Island Salt Water Anglers Association’s annual fishing show spectacular, with an angle for every angler and the allure of a million lures.

With spring around the corner work at the Senior Center garden set to begin

March 21, 2011

ANGELENA CHAPMAN
achapman@ricentral.com

Work on the community garden at the Senior Center and in preparation for the larger community garden across from town hall will begin this week.
After putting the garden to bed in the fall it is time to start replanting. Just in time for daylight savings and just over a week before the first day of spring, work will begin this Friday and Saturday.

Good Citizenship Award

March 17, 2011

Jessica Selby
jselby@ricentral.com

Jaryn LaPlante tutors students who need extra help after school.
Alexis Ruest found $50 in the supply closet at her school and turned it in.
Kristina Andrea helps out the exchange student that her school hosts.

Lincoln, Civil War takes the RI stage

March 13, 2011

BY JAMES MEROLLA

Mary Todd Lincoln came to Cranston last week. So did Lincoln’s Vice President Hannibal Hamlin.
They were accompanied by three other members of the Attleboro GOP in authentic 1860s array to discuss Abraham Lincoln in the marvelous confines of the impressive Governor Sprague Mansion.
The decorated visit put the ‘civil’ in Civil War.

All day kindergarten unlikely

March 9, 2011

ANGELENA CHAPMAN
achapman@ricentral.com

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 “absolutely the best” for children.
Despite being in support of all-day kindergarten from an educator’s 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 “fiscally impossible” 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, “While both the Coventry Public Schools’ 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.”
The letter says it would be “cost-prohibitive without a guarantee of a State-funding source.”
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 “a fiscal note attached.”
At the Feb. 14 town council meeting where Sprengelmeyer shared the letter with council members, Councilman Raymond Spear called it “another unfunded mandate.”

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