The week that was

The week that was

McGee hired as new interim Woonsocket superintendent

Curriculum Director Patrick McGee has once again been tapped to lead the city's school district, filling the hole left by the departure of former Interim Supt. James DiPrete.

According to a letter confirming the appointment signed by Budget Commission Chairwoman Dina Dutremble, McGee will continue his duties as director of curriculum, for which he will receive his regular pay. For the additional duties of superintendent, McGee will receive a gross rate of $210 per day for the duration of the assignment.

The district has been in the process of searching for a new superintendent since the commission voted not to renew the contract of former Supt. Giovanna Donoyan in June. McGee was tapped to serve as interim for a brief stint then as well, prior to DiPrete's appointment.

DiPrete has given little in way of explanation for the departure, listing "personal reasons."

Mayor Lisa Baldelli-Hunt, who serves on the commission, said she was disappointed by the news, a sentiment echoed by Dutremble and Commission member Carolyn Dias.

DiPrete was expected to help find Donoyan's replacement, and was one of just eight members of a Superintendent Search Committee that had begun to undertake the task. The process has been subject to some criticism by members of both the public and the School Committee, who have pointed out that there are no parents, students or teachers on the board. Last month, DiPrete assured School Board members that he would push for more community involvement in the process.

Business Manager Joseph Spagna also resigned last week.

McGee's appointment was unanimously confirmed on Wednesday, Aug. 20.

Families displaced, dog dead after fire on School Street in Woonsocket

A fire at 315 School St. displaced nine residents and killed a family pet on Tuesday, Aug. 20.

The blaze at the three-story building was reported around 2 p.m., and members of the Woonsocket and Cumberland Hill fire departments responded to find a small fire, and dangerously smoky conditions.

All of the residents, along with one dog and one cat made it out of the building, but a second dog, a 5-year-old dachshund, perished.

Damage to the exterior of the wood structure was minimal, but the building has been shut down as a result of smoke and heat damage.

The blaze was called in by a worker from National Grid, who was on site with a road construction crew when the fire began.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but officials said they believe it started inside the first floor apartment.