Five Things You Need To Know Today: Sept. 30
Today is Friday, Sept. 30, 2011. Here are five things you need to know.
ShelterWalk helps Woonsocket families
After experiencing a loss of income and other personal difficulties, Danielle Plante and her children Nathaniel and Brianna found themselves homeless. They sought help at the Woonsocket Shelter, where in addition to emergency housing they received support including heathcare, life skills training and after school tutoring. The family is currently working with the staff to find a place to call home and is pictured above.
For over 20 years, the Woonsocket Shelter has been helping people like the Plante family get the support they need to transition to safe, permanent housing. Last year the shelter served 340 individuals, more than half of them children. The current economic conditions have led to an increase in the need and also to cuts in critical shelter programs. On Saturday, Oct. 15, Family Resources Community Action is hosting its 23rd Annual ShelterWalk to support the Woonsocket Shelter. The 3-mile walk begins and ends at River Island Park, 100 Bernon Street, Woonsocket. Registration starts at 9 a.m. and the walk kicks off at 10 a.m.
Individuals, families and teams from schools, churches, businesses and neighborhoods are encouraged to participate. Sponsorship opportunities are also available including ads in the ShelterWalk program, on T-Shirts worn by walkers and on the event banner. For more information about how to become a sponsor or to register to walk please visit www.famresri.org or contact Tracey Abrams at 401-235-6061 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chafee rejects plan for compassion centers
Gov. Lincoln Chafee has announced that the state will not be pursuing a plan to create three dispensaries for legal distribution of medical marijuana. In a statement on Thursday the governor explained that while he supports reliable and well-regulated access to marijuana for therapeutic purposes, the law passed in Rhode Island in 2009 "is illegal under paramount federal law."
Although the drug is legal for verified medical purposes in 16 states, federal law prohibits its use, often resulting in raids of state-approved dispensaries. Chafee said his decision was prompted by communications from federal officials who said that "large scale commercial operations such as Rhode Island’s compassion centers will be potential targets of “vigorous” criminal and civil enforcement efforts by the federal government."
"Federal injunctions, seizures, forfeitures, arrests and prosecutions will only hurt the patients and caregivers that our law was designed to protect," the governor explained.
The decision effectively ends an application process and debate regarding a location for the facilities that has affected cities and town across the state for the past two years. The Woonsocket City Council created multiple barriers to the creation of a such a dispensary within city borders in 2010.
Welcome Center Closed
The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) along with the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation (RIEDC) permanently closed the I-95 North Welcome Center yesterday. The facility, located between exits 2 and 3 on the Interstate, was closed due to a lack of funds and, according to the RIDOT, "changes in tourism trends nationwide."
The center, opened in 1989, provided informational brochures and maps for travelers, but RIDOT points out that the Internet and GPS devices have replaced these more outdated approaches to getting information. RIDOT budgets $400,000 annually for the Welcome Center. RIEDC ran the center and has let three full time and three part time employees go.
Music- The Rhode Crew will play tonight at 77 Restaurant and Pub. The bar also has four HD TVs, and beer and drink specials this evening. The show starts at 9 p.m.
For your final Friday thing to know, Reflections with Connie Lemonde-
Yesterday, at a mall in Massachusetts, JoAnn ran into Laura, her former neighbor, whose husband, Leo, was seriously hurt in a car accident five years before. As she saw Laura walking toward her, she immediately remembered how frantic the woman had become when she was told that he would be in a wheelchair for life. She was almost hysterical, and kept on repeating “Why did God allow this? Why does He let things like this happen?” Then she started to cry uncontrollably.
A few months later, they moved to an adjoining state to be closer to his family. As JoAnn watched them drive away, she felt heavy- hearted for both of them. He indeed was to spend the rest of his life in a wheelchair; and she seemed to be facing a lifetime of grief about her his situation, and anger about God's allowing this accident. .
Now, as Laura got closer, JoAnn noticed something different about her. “You look great,” she said, as the two hugged. “How are you? And how's your husband?”
“We're both fine,” Laura said calmly. “Leo is getting healthier every day. I really marvel at him. He certainly doesn't like to be in a wheelchair, but he has a wonderful attitude, and he's really going on with his life.” Then she looked straight at JoAnn. “Do you remember how angry I was with God?”
“I sure do! You're not anymore?”
“No. Leo and I are closer than ever before; and several other positive things have happened: family concern and support, for instance. That, and other things that we had never valued much, have brought us so much comfort and joy that I could not help but see God's presence in our life. Now I realize that when the laws of nature collide and we get hurt, God picks us up, supports us through the trial, and eventually brings us to a better place. Instead of being angry, I'm grateful--and I'm at peace.”
“And that's why your health has improved so much,” JoAnn said, as they walked arm in arm into the coffee shop for a chitchat that would last a few hours.
My short inspirational, surprising and humorous stories about local people can be heard on radio WOON 1240 AM every Friday at 9:00 a.m. and Saturday at 8 a.m. Also, at www.onworldwide.com anytime. Just scroll down to to C'est La Vie. Do you have an inspiring or interesting story to tell? Contact me a email@example.com. SUBJECT: radio