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A North Kingstown woman will serve seven years at the state prison in connection with a 2019 drunken driving crash that claimed the life of a woman and injured two others.

At a hearing Monday in Providence County Superior Court, Justice Daniel A. Procaccini sentenced Barbara Trojan, 63, to 12 years at the Adult Correctional Institutions in Cranston with seven years to serve and the balance of the sentence suspended with probation.

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Mark LaHoud, owner of Java Madness coffee shop on Salt Pond Road, said he sees “little to no” improvement in the help shortage affecting restaurant businesses since the pandemic started.

Kevin Durfee, owner of George’s of Galilee in Point Judith said the same and may think some could never return to the restaurant business.

“I’m still looking for people. We’re hunting. I’ve even had to reduce some of my capacity to serve and shut rooms and bar areas because I just don’t have the staff,” he said.

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We never know what small experience will spark within us as children and slowly grow into a raging passion, but for one little boy from South Kingstown the compelling stories of conflict in World War II led to a passion for storytelling that has earned him a place in the Rhode Island Hall of Fame.

Tim Gray, a Rhode Island native and graduate of the University of Rhode Island, is being inducted into the Rhode Island Hall of Fame on Saturday, Oct. 23 for his work in writing and producing 29 documentaries chronicling the stories of the war.

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When the staff at Clark Farms in Matunuck was deciding on this year’s theme for its annual corn maze, its members kept coming back to the idea of an “escape” after so much time trapped inside due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Eventually, they came up with their theme: Escape from Alcatraz.

“We just thought, ‘Escapism, and break out of your house and do something different,’” said Thomas Crudale, Clark Farms’ marketing manager. “You know, go to a corn maze in Matunuck.”

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A commission that’s looking at redrawing the boundaries for Rhode Island’s legislative and congressional districts came to South Kingstown on Thursday to explain the process and seek input from local residents.

Kimball Brace, consultant for the Special Legislative Commission on Reapportionment, said population shifts within the state will have effects on Washington County. 

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The changing tree leaves from green to vibrant colors like orange also bring the fall ritual of Pumpkin Palooza at the Peace Dale Congregational Church gong on this week through the end of the month.

On a schedule that seems in sync with nature, the pumpkins arrived recently and have been selling quickly to people wanting to embrace outdoor Halloween festivities largely postponed last year because of the COVID pandemic.

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While the proposed Mill Creek Rail Yard at Quonset Business Park will benefit the state, it is also an economic benefit to the town that now receives millions of dollars in direct revenue from companies in the park, said top town officials.

The Quonset Development Corporation (QDC) recently broke ground for the rail yard that will accommodate the storage of up to 58 rail cars by constructing two sidings totaling 5,700 linear feet of track with six turnouts to help bolster commerce among businesses in the park.

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Animal Rescue Rhode Island raised over $25,500 to help animals in need at their 10th annual Bark On The Beach fundraising event at Narragansett Town beach on Saturday Oct. 2.

Proceeds from the event will help to support AARI’s Curtis Corner Road shelter in Peace Dale, buy food and supplies for ARRI’s community pet food pantry and fund their Bark & Ride program which transports pets from Southern shelters to ARRI for a new life in New England.

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The Endeavor, the University of Rhode Island’s oceanic research vessel that has advanced the understanding of marine ecology for more than four decades, got a going away party of sorts last week.

The ship is heading to Quonset Point to dock there while URI tears down and rebuilds its pier at the Narragansett Bay Campus. The work is taking place to modernize URI’s bay facilities and prepare for the eventual arrival of the National Science Foundation regional class research vessel Narragansett Dawn. Endeavor will remain in service until the Narragansett Dawn is completed.

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Exercise fanatics, gym rats and others looking for a daily dose of fitness will have a new place for workouts starting this week when Planet Fitness opens in Wakefield.

Just off Old Tower Hill Road in a shopping plaza shared with other businesses, the gym will offer more than 75 pieces of cardio equipment in its sprawling space and join a group of other gyms in the area that cater to the vibrant fitness regimen of an area with an aging population. “We chose Wakefield because we felt it was underserved with fitness options and it’s the type of positive community the Planet Fitness brand was built on,” said Steve Venezia, franchisee owner for the Wakefield Planet Fitness.

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During a funeral two years ago of a girl she met in elementary school, a tough insight to life came to teenager Samantha “Sami” Ronci.

“I remember sitting there thinking to myself, this can’t happen. Kids shouldn’t be dying. Ella should be going to high school,” she said about her thoughts as a then 15 year-old.

Ella Integlia, 14, had died in August 2019 from leukemia after a hard-fought fight, which brought remission at one point, yet returned without relenting the next time. It tapped into Ronci’s percolating emotions and stirred within her that she should help others.

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The future of South Kingstown’s Saugatucket Park could include a nod to its past by drawing on the park’s original design from the 1930s.

What that future might ultimately look like was the topic of a special gathering hosted by the town’s Economic Development Commission on Tuesday.

For two hours at the Contemporary Theater, which is on the bank of the Saugatucket River and just off Main Street, participants traded ideas back and forth about what they’d like to see for the park and surrounding area.