The week that was

The week that was

RIPTA takes off in Slatersville

A new RIPTA route that will bring riders from North Smithfield to Providence took off this week, and more than a dozen people hopped aboard the first run. According to Town Planner Robert Ericson, 11 people boarded the North Smithfield/Lincoln Express at the stop at Slatersville Plaza, and another 4 jumped on at the town's second new Park n' Ride at the North Smithfield Medical Center in Branch Village.

Boy found

The Woonsocket Police Department issued an Amber Alert last week as they sought the public's assistance in locating six-year-old Daniel Britt. Mother Andria Britt had brought her son to Washington state, in violation of a Rhode Island Family Court Order. On Thursday, Andria turned herself in to police in that state, facing charges that include being a fugitive from justice and child snatching.

Mayor Lisa Baldelli-Hunt praised city police for their part in the handling of the matter this week.

"They shared all the information they had obtained and they coordinated with numerous agencies around the country to make certain that this story had a happy ending," said Baldelli-Hunt. "We are all relieved in the city of Woonsocket that Daniel is safe and unharmed."

Blackstone couple pleads guilty to Medicaid fraud

A husband and wife from Blackstone pleaded guilty to stealing $32,000 from the state's Medicaid program through a false billing scheme this week.

Alan Morrissette, 54, and wife, Jacqueline Morrissette, 56, faced four counts of Medicaid False Claims and four counts of Larceny over $250 in Worcester Superior Court. Judge James Lemire sentenced the pair to five years of probation each, and as conditions of their probation, ordered that the Morrissettes not be involved in the Personal Care Attendent program in any capacity, and pay more than $32,000 in restitution.

Alan Morrissette was identified as the highest paid MassHealth PCA in the state during 2009, earning more than $100,000 annually, and prompting the Office of the State Auditor Bureau of Special Investigations to notify the Attorney General's office. Jacqueline reportedly assisted Alan in obtaining money for PCA services that were never provided by co-signing timesheets as the surrogate for the two MassHealth members that reside in their home.

The case was handled by Assistant Attorney General Ian Marinoff and was investigated by Investigator Gregoire Ucuz, both of Attorney General Martha Coakley's Medicaid Fraud Division.

Anchor gets preapproval for new building

The North Smithfield Planning Board approved motions in favor of a proposed expansion the Anchor Subaru dealership on Eddie Dowling Highway. The dealership has proposed building a 35,000-square-foot building behind their new parking lot, which owners say could result in up to 100 new jobs. The plan must now go before the Town Council for a proposed zoning change.