Cup o’ (Pro)Jo: February 28, 2011

Barely a week after hundreds gathered at the statehouse in support of Wisconsin unions, President of the American Federation of Teachers Randi Weingarten will be arriving in the Ocean State this Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. to lead a rally in opposition to the 1,926 termination notices distributed to all of the Providence public school teachers last Thursday.  Though Taveras agreed to rehire up to two-thirds of the fired teachers, Providence Teachers Union President Steve Smith made the union’s line clear in his Sunday meeting with the Providence mayor — “We are not opposed to layoffs, but we are opposed to firing teachers for no reason.” The city currently faces a $40 million deficit and, according to Smith, is only the second Rhode Island community after Central Falls to implement mass firings.

Rhode Island is one of four states working with the FBI on a new billboard campaign geared towards catching the East-Coast-Rapist. The suspect — thought to be a six foot black male in his mid forties — is believed to be responsible for the rapes of and attacks on 17 women since 1997. Though the most recent attack took place in Virginia in 2009, the rapist has also struck in Rhode Island — involving a 2006 peeping-tom incident —, Maryland and Connecticut.

Edward Imondi, a North Providence strip club manager, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court Monday morning to providing bribe money to North Providence Councilmen in the parking lot of the Cadillac Strip Lounge. The three councilmen, also scheduled to appear in court, are accused of demanding a $75,000 dollar bribe as a “show of faith” in return for a zoning change that would allow for the residential development of an aging mill. The exchange of the bribe money — which was provided by the developer of the building project — was “surveilled and photographed” by the FBI and members of the Providence police April 26, 2010.

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