• 0

Robert Zarnetske ended his brief term as town manager this week noting he was most proud of developing a culture that encouraged town employees to speak up about issues.

“We’re getting to the point where folks realize their ideas matter. It’s not just top down, it’s bottom up,” he said during an interview in town hall with The Independent. However, following his own advice is partly the reason he is leaving.

  • 0

HELP WANTED: Kitchen staff, maintainers, front desk assistants, bartenders, wait staff, kitchen workers, cooks. And the list goes on.

With 68,000 people receiving unemployment compensation and only 10% working, local hotels and motels are still struggling to find help as an avalanche of tourists is expected to fall on South County this summer.

And this comes as the state has sweetened the deal by allowing many who return to work to collect the federal unemployment benefits and earn more money before losing some portion of their state benefits. Still the problem exists for these and other businesses.

  • 0

School officials in South Kingstown have backed off a threat to sue a local parent who has filed public records requests about race and gender curriculum, hoping instead to mediate the issue in a case that has drawn national attention.

At a special meeting June 2 lasting more than four hours, the School Committee unanimously decided it will try to go through mediation to respond to requests from Nicole Solas of Wakefield for information related to South Kingstown’s curriculum and how it incorporates teachings about race and gender.

  • 0

Prout School class of 2021 valedictorian Janice Hixon is thankful she was able to spend most of her senior year at the high school, among classmates and with her teachers.

Hixon and salutatorian Michael Garman are among the 102 Prout seniors who will graduate Tuesday night at the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul in Providence. It will be the 53rd commencement for the Catholic coeducational high school.

  • 0

The public’s right to access Rhode Island’s shoreline — a precious resource in the eyes of many — is a hot-button issue.

Recently, Narragansett formed a special Coastal Access Improvement Committee. The seven-member body is charged with “advising on public access to the coast as guaranteed in the Rhode Island Constitution,” according to a description on the town’s website.

  • 0

Two new police officers — just out of the police academy — are bringing experience to the force that no police training program can give.

These two young officers about to begin their careers in law enforcement and community policing say that living in single-parent homes has infused empathy for the many issues that can appear when law enforcement is summoned.

  • 0

After calling off last year’s ceremonies due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Main Street in Wakefield was once again filled with the sights and sounds of the annual South Kingstown Memorial Day parade, with civilians, politicians, public safety personnel, active duty service members and veterans turning out to honor the memory of those from South Kingstown and around the country who gave the ultimate sacrifice.

  • 1

Barbara Hendrick and her husband, John Hendrick Jr., wanted their land on Glen Rock Road in West Kingston to remain a special place where they could continue to grow hay, walk in the oak forest by Glen Rock Reservoir, or watch wildlife along the Queen River.

After several years of work, the couple has reached an agreement where the land — approximately 9.5 acres — will be protected through a conservation easement with the South Kingstown Land Trust.

  • 0

The SK Wellness support group has fallen victim to a lack of funding because of the pandemic, but local leaders have ensured that a grant the group received will continue to help young people in town.

The Town Council on May 24 unanimously approved a request from SK Wellness to move its town grant funding for 2021-22 to the Chris Collins Foundation.

The funds would support two South Kingstown High School youth groups, Rebels Inspiring Positive Lifestyles (RIPL) and Peer 2 Peer.

  • 0

It was important, David M. Dooley said, to leave the University of Rhode Island in a better place than when he arrived.

Looking at URI today, that made Dooley’s decision to retire as its president next month easier.

“I felt that we had a magnitude of momentum and success and newfound prominence, and I think a much better reputation, a much broader global footprint,” Dooley said. “I thought, ‘I could step down now and feel good about what the university’s done,’ … the university accomplished this, I didn’t.”

  • 0

Free of the worst of COVID-19 and with vaccinations on the rise, the University of Rhode Island is bringing back in-person graduation for 2021, with nine ceremonies spread over three days this weekend.

The timing of the commencement comes just as the state is poised to end its remaining COVID restrictions and just a week after the federal Centers for Disease Control advised that fully vaccinated people — those who have had their second shot for two or more weeks — can gather in small groups without masks.