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Spotlight on the Statehouse: Oct. 21, 2015

History repeats itself

Acelia Terrero, owner of Ada’s Creations on Broad Street, told the Providence Board of Licenses that she paid $29,000 in bribes, Turn to 10 reported Oct. 18. She did not specify to whom she paid the money or for what purpose.

Ada’s Creations — which has been a bakery, a restaurant and a nightclub — had “a history of violence” and required a police officer every night it was open while it was a nightclub. As a result, Terrero was charged $56,000 for police details.

Because Terrero could not meet the payment schedule, the board suspended the food and liquor license for Ada’s Creations, after which she explained that she paid someone $29,000. Since telling this to the board, Terrero filed for bankrupcy.

This comes after Gordon Fox, former vice chair of the board and former Rhode Island Speaker of the House, admitted to accepting $52,500 in bribes from the owners of Shark Bar and Grill on Thayer Street.

Sen. Juan Pichardo, D-Providence, who chairs the board, told Turn to 10, “Look, the past is the past. Obviously, if we don’t learn from the past, we’re bound to repeat it.”

Hospital renovations

Gov. Gina Raimondo and Lester Schindel, CEO of CharterCare Health Partners, announced that CharterCare would invest $17.5 million to renovate and expand Roger Williams Medical Center and Our Lady of Fatima Hospital, WPRO reported.

The renovations will include changes to the emergency departments and new lobbies and entrances. The renovations are expected to generate 235 jobs. The news comes not too long after the Lifespan health care system announced that budget cuts would eliminate 200 jobs at Rhode Island Hospital and close Hasbro Children’s Hospital’s early intervention program.

Software update

Rhode Island received a $112.8 million federal grant for the Unified Health Infrastructure Project, the Providence Journal reported Oct. 19.

UHIP is a project that began in 2013 to build a computer system to verify eligibility for Medicaid, tax credits for HealthSource RI — the state’s health insurance exchange — and other public assistance programs.

The new system will replace the 25-year-old InRhodes system, which is run by the Executive Office of Health and Human Services.

The addition of federal funds brings the total cost of the project to $380 million, including $80 million of state money. The additional funds were approved by the U.S. Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Sexual assault at clubs

Three Johnson and Wales students — Mohammed Aljohani, Tareq Alharbi and Mohammed Alsaqer — were scheduled to appear in front of a judge Tuesday on charges of first-degree sexual assault, the Providence Journal reported.

Yazeed Alasiri, is charged with second-degree sexual assault in conjunction with the other three, but he was released Monday by Rhode Island District Court Judge Anthony Capraro after surrendering his passport.

Alasiri is accused of groping a Johnson and Wales freshman. The other three students are accused of raping a different Johnson and Wales freshman at an apartment in Pawtucket. The men met the two female students at Colosseum nightclub in Providence Oct. 1.

Police detectives who searched the apartment where the alleged sexual assault occurred found prescription hydrocodone, “unidentified oval tablets engraved with H4, a clear plastic baggie containing a pale white rock type substance (and) disposable syringes,” the Journal reported.


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