— South Kingstown —

April 4, 2013

BREAKING: University of Rhode Island on Lockdown

Carroll Andrew Morse

Multiple news organizations are tweeting about a possible gunman on the University of Rhode Island Kingston Campus. Kim Kalunian of WPRO, in the last five minutes, has tweeted...

State PD say "no evidence" of active shooter at URI Kingston campus, investigating now

URI worker says someone in class stood up and said they had a gun; Chafee building evacuated and all others on lockdown


From Bill Rappleye, via Meg Fraser...

@NBC10_Bill said police at URI found a plastic gun in a classroom. Hopefully that's all there is to the story
...and from Ted Nesi...
Eyewitness outside Chafee Hall on URI tells me *nobody* says shots have been fired.

From Tony Gugliotta...

State PD Col. Steven O'Donnell: "No evidence of active shooter on #URI campus." #URIlockdown
There are a growing number of reports that this was an actively perpetrated hoax, and not a misunderstanding.


Or maybe not. It seems the incident was spawned by someone shouting something in a lecture hall, but we're not sure what was yelled. Kim Kalunian again...

Reports of what student yelled in lecture hall range from: "I have a gun" to "I'm a Mexican" an "I'm a nice guy." URI still in lock down.
FINAL UPDATE to this post:

From an old-fashioned blog-post from Pamela Cotter of the Projo...

Kassandra Burke, a junior at the University of Rhode Island, said she was in a lecture hall inside the John Chafee Social Science Center when she heard the door open at the top of the hall, and a man shouted, "He's got a gun."

June 8, 2009

Referendum Tomorrow

Monique Chartier

From today's Providence Journal.

Voters will decide Tuesday whether to cut $1.3 million from the $59.6-million school budget for the next fiscal year.

A special all-day referendum was scheduled after hundreds of taxpayers filed a petition following a Town Council vote last month to approve the spending plan. Councilman James W. O’Neill, who cast the lone dissenting ballot in the council’s 4-to-1 vote in favor of the spending plan, proposed the approximately 2 percent cut and led the petition drive.

View the ballot here, in Adobe Acrobat PDF form.

Why a cut at all? Concerns about the rise of the school budget over the last ten years have been expressed in several different ways. Perhaps the easiest way to illustrate the numbers is to point out the sharply different trends of school spending and student enrollment, as I highlighted in an l.t.e. that the South County Independent kindly printed on Thursday.

- In 1999 to 2000, the South Kingstown school fund was $34,425,000 to educate 4,380 children.

- The 2009-10 school fund just approved by the Town Council is $59,611,000. This is to educate 3,500 children.

Voting will take place tomorrow at Broad Rock School from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm.

June 1, 2009

"It's For the Children": Legitimate Plea or Nice Window Dressing?

Monique Chartier

On Friday, Andrew highlighted a letter to the editor laying out some of the issues that has prompted the June 9 Referendum, at which the town will decide whether to cut the school fund property tax appropriation (not the entire school budget) by 2.7%.

This sign, urging a "no" vote on the cut, has popped up in some locations around town. It incorporates a theme that A.R. readers may be familiar with.


Below, however, are the budget cuts which Superintendent Robert Hicks has recommended to the School Committee should the referendum pass.

Custodial Supervision: $80,000

2 Teaching Assistants: $60,000

HVAC Technician: $50,000

Middle School athletics: $60,000

Grade 7/8 math position (stimulus): $75,000

P accounts (texts, supplies, materials): $100,000

Ed Programs (CARES, FCE, Smile): $50,000

1.0 Elementary Band: $75,000

0.5 Elementary Strings: $40,000

1.0 Middle School Guidance: $75,000

2.0 HS (Language, Art, FCS, Tech-Ed): $150,000

2.0 Support (Psych, OT, SLP, PT, SW): $150,000

Technology: $110,000

Maintenance Supplies: $40,000

0.6 K-5 Art, Library, Music reductions: $60,000

Undesignated Fund Maximization: $125,000

TOTAL: $1,300,000

And an excerpt from the memo explaining the rationale.

However, at this stage I compile a list not of what we should reduce, but what we can reduce. We still need to operate our classrooms, heat our buildings, and remain safe. We still need to uphold laws and regulations and honor our contractual obligations.