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Sandi Gardner is proud of the U.S. space mission to Mars — as only a mother can  be — after seeing her son, Nate, help to make the recent landing there a success.

While North Kingstown is a long, long way from Mars, she watched eagerly as the mission showed that a critical technology for the heat shield, which her son helped to test the reliability of, protected the Mars Perseverance rover during launch and landing.

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Celebrating high school seniors has become a cause that parents, teachers and administrators are now championing amid a pandemic that has been stealing the traditions graduating students once shared and treasured together.

“They have worked so hard and should be having a fun senior year, but they have been told ‘no’ to most things they’ve wanted to do for almost a year now,” said Christine Fewlass, one of several parents involved in this memory- and bond-building effort.

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Those with keen eyes may have noticed some peculiar groupings popping up in yards around town the past few weeks: pink lawn flamingos, accompanied by a sign that says “You’ve Been Flocked.” It’s called flocking, and it’s the newest fundraising effort by the North Kingstown High School Class Council to support the senior class while also spreading some cheer during a tough time.

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It’s no secret that the past year has not been a kind one to small businesses, with the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting shutdowns, restrictions and limits leaving many scrambling to survive, something which many businesses sadly have not.

In such trying times, it’s good to have an ally to help navigate the troubled waters, and that’s exactly what the North Kingstown Chamber of Commerce and Executive Director Kristin Urbach have sought to be to the business community of North Kingstown, through applying for and receiving several grants to adapt to new challenges and keep places in business, as well as turning to virtual meeting spaces to allow for business owners and leaders to network with each other while still practicing social distancing.

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Plans for the former Lighthouse Inn property in Galilee to become a large parking area with just a few shops could undergo changes, Narragansett’s town manager told the Town Council Tuesday.

Developer PRI X, the arm of the Procaccianti Group that leases the property from the state, has put together an alternative plan for the site, James Tierney said. What that plan is hasn’t been revealed, but could be known soon.

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Jennifer Acuna let out some tears the other day as ovens she rents in the Church of the Ascension’s commercial kitchen remained off for her second week in business in Wakefield.

“There’s no orders this week, so there was no baking this week. Maybe next week will bring a big break,” said Acuna, 54, still hopeful her dream to build a bread, cake and cookie making business will come true.