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RINewsToday’s new writers & Top 10 stories of 2022

by Nancy Thomas, publisher

Pandemic times inspired a wealth of health stories – whether we wanted to write them or not, they were stories that needed to be written. Providing vital health information became as much the responsibility of the news media sector as the Health Department, hospitals, or the CDC.

As we entered 2022 we looked forward to a return to the routine of the news cycle, from events to positive news stories, sports, features, and investigative stories. While we couldn’t quite consider 2022 post-pandemic because of our mini-surges, and even a tripledemic (flu, COVID and RSV), we did see an ease of the nitty-gritty of COVID coverage as we all became more comfortable in knowing what to do to protect ourselves, deal with COVID if it entered our homes or businesses, and return to what our new-normal would be.

A more diverse selection of stories began to formulate and some new writers came aboard. We welcomed:

Alison Mountford of Ends + Stems as our new food writer and bid Anthony Salemme a hearty thank-you for holding that role from the very beginning. Anthony’s recipes are still archived on our site under his name.

Brendan Higgins came aboard as a contributing writer, first covering wrestling events that have started to have more prominence in Rhode Island, and then covering features on small business and interesting people.

Dr. Anthony Gallo of South County Psychiatry & Dr. Vincent Pera of The Weight and Wellness Institute joined us to write about weight loss, and psychology, helping us with stress, anxiety, and ways to maintain a healthy life. More colleagues from their group will be writing in 2023.

John J. “Jack” Partridge, a Rhode Island leader contributes regularly with opinion pieces that are some of our most stimulating items – write more, Jack!

Kevin Kearns, fitness and exercise specialist features information each week in his Burn with Kearns series, complete with directions for the novice and the skilled fitness person, photos and video. Read his columns on Saturdays as we all struggle with those New Year’s resolutions.

As we close 2022 we also note the passing of:

Harris N. “Hershey” Rosen, who joined us in 2020 and died in the last quarter of 2022. Hershey was a dear friend and advisor and contributed factual and helpful information for us to organize and protect our important life records on behalf of our families. We will miss Hershey. His columns are archived in our “Our Team” tab, under his name.

We thank ALL our writers – approximately 25 – and all their stories can be found in the Our Team tab, from the opening page, under their names.


And now we present our TOP 10 STORIES of 2022:

#10 – Gimme’ Shelter – Meow Meow’s waiting at the Providence Animal Control Center

Look for our Gimme’ Shelter special each Sunday featuring an adoptable pet of the week

#9 & #8- Fore! Clearing the way for TopGolf Cranston

Cranston’s Carpionato Corporation found its way through years of community opposition to get unanimous approval from the Cranston City Council (after most Council members pledged in a pre-election forum ‘no Topgolf’) to build a mega entertainment facility next to the Chapel View development. A valuable lesson for advocates in the community – and hopefully a positive outcome for the “center of Cranston” that will not lose the very boutique flavor of what keeps people coming to it.

#8 – Shovels in the ground for Topgolf in Cranston – company says it’s Topgolf Providence “for now”

#7 – Top 10 dog-friendly beaches in Rhode Island

So many people had interest in where they could frolic with their dog on beaches in Rhode Island – who knew?

#6 – The Forgotten Souls of Burnside Park – Brendan Higgins

Beginning our series on the homeless in Rhode Island, a series of photos of the homeless with disabilities in Burnside Park in Kennedy Plaza in downtown Providence, caught the attention of state and city officials – within days those living in the park were no longer there.

#5 – Cranston plan razes Legion Bowl, builds 4-story, multi-use development. Public site visit set

Fresh on the heels of TopGolf, Cranstonians maintained a healthy interest in local development projects and how they will change the face, traffic, safety and economics of the city.

#4 – Pop-up winter homeless village in the works – Cranston bolts at being state’s go-to location

Homeless issues took a unique turn when a plan to locate a pop-up “pallet shelter” village on state property on the Pastore Complex in Cranston came before the city council and citizens and council members, joined by the mayor risked calls of NIMBY-ism to say STOP – Cranston is already doing the lion’s share with 150 homeless living at Harrington Hall, a population including child molesters and sex offenders, noting incidents that have occurred in the neighborhoods and at the public library. No doubt this plan has not gone away and will see continued interest by homeless agencies.

#3 – Biggest little state waves off bold, goes for subtle – not so for most states

A surprise at #3! The contest to have Rhode Islanders pick the winning design among the subtle 5 final entries to design a new RI license plate – we DO love our license plates, now, don’t we? NOTE: RI’s new license plates will be available next week.

#2 – 117th annual St. Mary’s Feast – Cranstonians welcome all

We LOVE our St. Mary’s Feast! Slipping to #2 from its #1 spot in 2021. Thousands flocked to this story to find out the who, what, when, where, and whys of the event – we also found ourselves taking phone calls like, “where can we get a sausage and pepper sandwich, and how much is it?” – “where is the Madonna?” – and “when and where are the fireworks”?

#1 – Why did Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott resign abruptly in the middle of a pandemic? – Richard Asinof

Taking #1 at no surprise, was the exit interview by Richard Asinof, founder and publisher of ConvergenceRI – about the abrupt resignation of the RI Dept. of Health Director, Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott. Perhaps moreso in 2022 than the pandemic specifics, was the shifting around of people who led the effort – from the CDC to RI’s Department of Health. Departures were in quick succession, and a year later we’re still unsure of just why.

A writer’s fear is that there will come a time when there is nothing to write about. In our little state, that has never, not one day in over 6 years, been the case.


We wish you – our readers – and you – our writers – the happiest, healthiest, and most engaged New Year! We look forward to it.

Nancy Thomas, Publisher