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Rhode Island school thrives after last-ditch purchase from diocese

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Rhode Island school thrives after last-ditch purchase from diocese


“There are so many miracles that happened in those three days and over the three months while the decision was made,” Casey said, “but we became owners of three acres with a church that seats 400 people, a school that can accommodate 160 students and a rectory [at which] we are housing our teachers.”

“It has been a crazy ride, but we believe God and Our Lady are at the helm,” Casey said. 

Volunteers help install a sign at Chesterton Academy of Our Lady of Hope. Credit: Chesterton Academy of Our Lady of Hope

Following the school’s acquisition of the property, volunteers and engineers both pitched in to help prepare it for opening. Workers “did quite a bit in a short time to get the buildings to code to move in,” Casey said. “We spent about $55,000 to open it and during the first year we needed about $20,000 in repairs that showed up as we started using the property again.”

He admitted that those investments were financially “draining” but that the school is engaging in fundraising as it grows into a four-year institution, after which “the financials look pretty good.” The school currently hosts about 20 students; the St. Francis property can accommodate a total of 160.

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Casey said the school is well supported as it launches. Benefactors “are starting to get behind the mission and vision to help the school get to the next level,” he said, while volunteers “have been incredible, sharing their gifts in areas such as painting, construction, and much sweat equity.”

Students in the classroom at Chesterton Academy. Credit: COLE DeSANTIS/Rhode Island Catholic
Students in the classroom at Chesterton Academy. Credit: COLE DeSANTIS/Rhode Island Catholic

Casey said the experience with the school shows that lay Catholics looking to help the Church need to “step up and help instead of hoping someone else does it.”

“Catholic laypeople must become part of the solution for the Church’s future,” he said. “We need to support our diocese and priests.” The diocese, Casey added, has been “so supportive” of the school, with a different priest visiting the school “every day” to celebrate its daily Mass. 

“Priests visit us from all over Rhode Island and southern Massachusetts, and the students have an opportunity to see how each priest has a different journey in faith,” he said. “They sometimes share lunch with the students. Priests or deacons help us every month for our First Friday Holy Hours. Both bishops and a few monsignors have celebrated Mass with us.”

Casey said the school aspires to “bring spiritual life back to the Warwick and greater Rhode Island community and help families committed to raising their children to be the next generation of saints.”

(Story continues below)

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“Many Chesterton schools do not start this way with buying at the start,” he said, “but we believe with Our Lady of Hope guiding us, that we will be able to fill the school and help bring more souls to Christ.”





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Rhode Island

Rhode Island taxpayers gawk at the $132 million price tag of a new stadium

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Rhode Island taxpayers gawk at the $132 million price tag of a new stadium


Rhode Island taxpayers are feeling sticker shock as they may shell out over $130 million in debt payments for a soccer stadium in Pawtucket. One reporter noted it was similar to the amount the government of Pakistan is charged to borrow money.

Plus, the bids are in for major offshore wind projects that could bring energy and jobs to Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts, where New Bedford and Salem stand to gain big shares of the money pie.

And a surprise resignation by New Hampshire Congresswoman Annie Kuster has stirred fierce competition for the seat — including a top Biden aide with local roots.

It’s Under the Radar‘s Regional News Roundtable.

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Storm packing strong wind knocks out power to some in RI. Here’s what to expect today.

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Storm packing strong wind knocks out power to some in RI. Here’s what to expect today.



A fast-moving storm is bringing strong wind to Rhode Island, knocking out power for some, cancelling ferries and raising flood concerns

PROVIDENCE – A powerful storm bringing rain and strong wind to Rhode Island has knocked out power for some residents and forced the cancellation of ferries to Block Island.

The heaviest rain is likely later this morning and could include some thunderstorms, according to the National Weather Service.

The weather service has posted a wind advisory, effective until 2 p.m., with south winds of 15 to 25 mph gusting up to 50 mph.

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“Gusty winds will blow around unsecured objects. Tree limbs could be blown down and a few power outages may result,” the advisory says.

As of about 7:35 p.m., some 1,200 Rhode Island Energy customers had lost power.

Check outages here.

With a gale warning for Rhode Island coastal waters and seas of 6 to 11 feet, the Block Island Ferry has canceled all trips.

A coastal flood advisory is in effect until 2 p.m.

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River flood watches are still in effect for the Pawtuxet River at Cranston and the Wood River at Hope Valley as well.

Conditions should begin improving this afternoon, the weather service says.



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Rhode Island Senate Passes Bill to Revise Rhode Island's Criminal Definitions – Newport Buzz

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Rhode Island Senate Passes Bill to Revise Rhode Island's Criminal Definitions – Newport Buzz


In a move aimed at reforming Rhode Island’s criminal justice system, legislation sponsored by Sen. Jonathon Acosta (D-Dist. 16, Central Falls, Pawtucket) to revise the state’s definitions of felonies, misdemeanors, and petty misdemeanors has been approved by the Senate.

The proposed bill, numbered 2024-S 2100, echoes similar legislation previously approved by the Senate during the 2021, 2022, and 2023 sessions. It seeks to address issues within the state’s legal framework by easing pressures on the correctional system, promoting diversion and rehabilitation, and enhancing public safety.

Senator Acosta emphasized the necessity of addressing systemic injustices that disproportionately affect residents of color or those with limited socio-economic status. He clarified that the bill aims to rectify an unintentional overlap between Federal immigration law and Rhode Island General Laws concerning misdemeanors. Concerns raised over the past three years primarily revolved around potential unintended consequences, with opponents suggesting the bill might shield perpetrators of serious crimes from severe immigration repercussions. Senator Acosta, however, asserted after extensive research that such concerns were unfounded. He stressed that updating outdated definitions would mitigate persistent judicial injustices, save taxpayer money, and alleviate pressures on the correctional system, ultimately leading to meaningful positive impacts on individuals striving to reintegrate into society.

The proposed legislation seeks to redefine felonies, misdemeanors, and petty misdemeanors. A felony would be defined as any criminal offense punishable by imprisonment for over one year, while a misdemeanor would encompass offenses punishable by imprisonment exceeding six months but not exceeding 364 days, or solely by a fine exceeding $1,000. Petty misdemeanors would cover offenses punishable by imprisonment not exceeding six months or solely by a fine between $500 and $1,000.

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Senator Acosta clarified that the redefinition of misdemeanors would specifically prevent non-deportation eligible offenses from escalating into aggravated felonies under immigration law. He emphasized that a 364-day suspended sentence would prevent a misdemeanor from becoming an aggravated felony. However, he underscored that certain crimes, such as domestic violence, remain deportable offenses regardless of the sentence. For instance, while a legal permanent resident receiving probation for domestic assault may still face deportation, a one-year suspended sentence for the same offense would escalate it to an aggravated felony, leaving no recourse for deportation relief.

The legislation will now proceed to the House for consideration, where Rep. Leonela Felix (D-Dist. 61, Pawtucket) has introduced a companion bill numbered 2024-H 7527.

 

 

 


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