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One Square Mile — West Warwick is next!

May 20, 2010

This week, the WRNI newsroom is working almost exclusively on our next One Square Mile series, which is focusing on the town of West Warwick. The series will be on the air all next week, beginning Monday, morning, May 24th on Morning Edition.  As our listeners know, One Square Mile offers an intensive, local focus on a small part of Rhode Island.  Our last two series focused on Newport and Central Falls.
Our general assignment reporter, Flo Jonic, is finishing up an introductory report that tells the story of the former mill town struggling to adapt to the 21st century economy. Flo will profile West Warwick, its history and it’s current economic challenges. Flo is also finishing up a story about RIVERPOINTE LACE, the oldest continually operating textile mill in the country.
Our political reporter, Ian Donnis, is taking a look at the challenges facing the town’s businesses – particularly in the wake of last April’s floods. In a town with one of the highest unemployment rates in the state (14 percent), times are tough. Then the town was hit hard by the floods. Ian is also working on a profile of State Senator Michael Pinga: he’s a full-time West Warwick baker and a Republican who ran a successful insurgent campaign in 2008. We will find out who he is, and what his bread tastes like.
Our education reporter, Elisabeth Harrison, is working on a profile of THE ISLAMIC SCHOOL OF RHODE ISLAND in West Warwick. This is the state’s only Islamic school, and Elisabeth will report on who attends and how they ended up in West Warwick. The school was badly damaged by the flooding, but is once again open for business. Elisabeth will also be reporting on a Saturday school program for elementary students in West Warwick. This is an effort to reach elementary students who are falling behind – and the program seems to be working – with some of the highest test scores in the district.
Our health care reporter, Megan Hall will tell listeners about THE HEALTH HUT – a primary care clinic in the West Warwick middle school that provides free health care services to children who lack health insurance. This is one of just two school-based health clinics left in the state.
Our political analyst, Scott Mackay, will tell the story of Fighting Bob Quinn of West Warwick, the architect of the so called “bloodless revolution,” the depression-era upheaval that wrested control of Rhode Island from Yankee Republicans and delivered it to Catholic, immigrant Democrats. Since then, Democrats have dominated the state. Scott will also be talking with former Rhode Island House Speaker, William Murphy, who is from West Warwick.
And finally, Morning Eddition host Bob Seay will interview author Ann Hood, who was also born in West Warwick. She has a new book about adopting a baby from China, and has written extensively about her home town.
That’s a taste of what will be on our all next week on Morning Edition.
Thanks for listening, and stay tuned.

One Comment leave one →
  1. May 31, 2010 11:59 pm

    I heard Ann Hood’s interview and was flooded with memories. My parents, Bob and Florence Newman, own Seena’s and my uncle and aunt, Seena and Max Margolis, own Maxine’s. Although it was family, they were competitors. My family didn’t live in Artic, but my aunt and uncle did. One 1st Seena’s was next to Majestic Hardware. My 2 sisters and I would spend many Sunday’s in the store while our parents were taking inventory – definetly before computers. We sould wander around the store trying to find things to do. One day we “found” a staircase and bravely went up only to find a theatre. We thought we discovered something noone else knew was there and of course we didn’t.
    Thanks for the memories.
    BTW, there is a reason why Seena’s was named after my aunt and Maxine’s their store.
    Maxine Goldin

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