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Fire Chief Steven Pinch faced his maroon sports utility vehicle near South County Hospital’s helipad. Engine 10 from the Union Fire District’s Peace Dale station stood by with a few firefighters just in case a ride was needed for Santa.

The questions of the day were: Will or will he not appear? The “he” is Santa Claus. Also, will potential rain scuttle a traditional helicopter ride to the Wakefield Mall and instead will he go by fire truck with sirens screaming and horns blaring? 

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Christmas, Hanukkah and other December holidays often come with the thought of giving and getting gifts, but for some folks in Narragansett and South Kingstown giving them is a big struggle.

There’s not enough money to buy a few nice gifts for their children or others, or even for a special holiday dinner. They also don’t feel a sense of gratitude for being spared hardship that others combat.

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In Narragansett, town council veteran and top vote-getter Susan Cicilline Buonanno was denied the chance to lead the new council.

In South Kingstown, two men will head up a council with a female majority, and the top election winner was passed over for leadership roles there as well — for the second time in two years.   

This was the new landscape at the end of meetings in both towns Monday, and now some residents are concerned about what’s in store for the next two years.

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Local healthcare providers are supporting state health leaders who are cautioning residents to avoid hospital emergency rooms unless necessary in an effort to curb overcrowding and the spread of disease as incidents of respiratory viruses increase.

“Emergency Departments are appropriate for strokes, severe bleeding, chest pain, breathing difficulties, head trauma, severe burns and other situations where every lost second could mean life, disability, or death,” said Anitra Galmore, South County Health’s chief nursing officer.

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Rhode Island Air National Guard Brig. Gen. Michael Comstock is struck by veterans who, looking back on a long life, take immense pride in their service while in their teens and 20s.

“But more than pride, I think they also felt gratitude that they were part of something that made a difference and was worth the hardships they had faced,” Comstock, with the Guard’s 143rd Airlift Wing, told the crowd that gathered Friday at Saugatucket Park as part of South County’s Veterans Day observances.

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WAKEFIELD — The Contemporary Theater Company has fired four actors and publicly accused them of “racism and misogyny.”

The firing of the cast of “The Thanksgiving Play” — a play centered on issues of race — came after the cancellation of the mid-October opening night performance and involves four white performers and Tammy Brown, the theater’s African-American creative director, arguing over creative intentions that erupted into divisions over racial and mental health issues.

The theater accused the cast in a social media post last Thursday of “racism and misogyny.”

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Democrats made a clean sweep of South Kingstown’s town council for the second time in two years on Tuesday, following a statewide trend that saw the party keep seats that threatened to go to the GOP as part of a “red wave” that ultimately fizzled.

A full slate of five Republicans couldn’t ouster the three incumbents running for re-election, who returned to their seats on the council along with two new faces.