NEW: Prov. School Bus Drivers to Vote on New Contract Tuesday Night

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Saturday, February 28, 2015
GoLocalProv News Team

Providence school bus drivers are scheduled to vote Tuesday night on a new contract that could either avert a strike, or if voted down, set one in motion.  
Nick Williams with the Teamsters Local 251, who represent the drivers, said Friday that he has been in touch with national Teamsters representatives, and the Local 251 members are slated to now vote Tuesday on a negotiated contract. 
“Rick Middleton has informed me they were able to get First Student to move on the three hour guarantee,” said Williams.  Middleton is the International Vice President of the Western Region of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.
“That’s all I know right now.  I’ll find out more Tuesday morning,” said Williams.  “Hopefully it’s enough to get a ‘yes’ vote.  If it’s a ‘no’ vote, that would mean a strike’s on the table.  It’s the last resort, but we’re coming to that point.”
The issue of guaranteed hours is what prompted the initial threat to strike by the Teamsters on February 16, who cited the bus monitors’ three-hour guaranteed shifts as reason for seeking the same.  Currently, drivers are gauranteed two to two and a hafl hours for each morning and afternoon shift.  
Following the announcement, the Teamsters and First Student went back and forth regarding the contract and negotiations.   

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New England sports teams are among the best in the nation:
The New England Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady has been described as one of the “Greatest Quarterback of All Time”.
Not to mention the stars that have come out of the Boston Celtics like Larry Bird, and David Ortiz from the Boston Red Sox. 

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New Englanders have a very unique vocabulary.
For example, a water fountain is known as a “bubbler”, and sandwiches piled high with toppings and meats are strictly “grinders”.
There’s a “wicked” lot of slang that New Englanders use that most people outside the region will not understand. 

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Social Tolerance
New England is known for being socially liberal and the individual states within it paved the way for the LGBT community to gain civil rights.
All states in the region were among the first 15 states to overturn the ban on gay marriage. 

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New England loves seafood.
It has its own type of creamy clam chowder, is an authority on clambakes, and exports lobsters from Maine to the whole country. 
Native Rhode Islanders are even allowed to clam dig without a license in the state. 

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New England was one of the first regions in the US to be affected by the Industrial Revolution.
The Revolution benefited the textile manufacturing industry the area was known for in the 18th century. 
Mills are now common in many New England towns and are often repurposed or preserved as historic landmarks. 

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Ocean Views
New England states have many beaches, lighthouses, and sprawling ocean views unlike any other place in the US. 
Point Judith Lighthouse in Rhode Island and Port Head Lighthouse in Maine are among the most beautiful lighthouses. 

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The stonewalls in New England towns have been immortalized in poems like Robert Frost’s “Mending Wall”.
Most are still standing reminders of the colonists that first inhabited the region.

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It’s a little-known fact that basketball was invented in New England.
James Naismith invented the game inside a gymnasium at what was once known as the YMCA Training School in Springfield, MA.
He was a graduate student studying psychology at Springfield College. 

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Dunkin’ Donuts
New England is the birthplace of the famed coffee chain Dunkin’ Donuts.
The business was founded in 1950 by William Rosenberg in Quincy, Massachusetts. 
The company is now an internationally recognized brand and recently opened up franchises on the West Coast. 

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Salem, MA
Salem, Massachusetts is best known for its infamous “witch trials” which occurred in 1692.
The trials lead to the deaths of about 19 men and women with hundreds more accused of witchcraft.
The events of the trials have been the focus of literature – such as Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible” – and a historical reminder of the danger of hearsay poses to the justice system.

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Revolutionary War
The American Revolution began in – you guessed it – New England.
The battle of Lexington and Concord was fought April 19, 1775 and was the first battle of the war which the Americans won against the British.
This is the famous battle that sparked the tale of Paul Revere running through the streets shouting “The British are coming!” which is historically inaccurate. 

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New England has seen a growth of breweries in the past few years – Maine alone has seen 50 new breweries spring up in the past 28 years.
Massachusetts and Rhode Island recently re-acquired “America’s Oldest Brewery”- Yuengling – this past year. 
Craft beer and home-brewing are highly popular here as well. 

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The First Hamburger
The very first hamburger was created in New Haven, Connecticut in 1895. 
The Library of Congress verifies that Louis’ Lunch created the first hamburgers by owner Louis Lassen. 
The restaurant is currently owned and operated by Lassen’s family. 

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Higher Learning
New England is home to the oldest college in the country: Harvard University which was established in 1636.
Harvard is one of the three Ivy League colleges that are based in the region.
Dartmouth College located in New Hampshire, Yale University located in Connecticut, and Brown located in Rhode Island were both established in the 1700’s. 

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New England has over 400 waterfalls and cascades. 
Here’s the breakdown: Connecticut’s waterfalls are known for being pristine and well-protected. 
Some waterfalls in Maine require entrance fees.
Most of Massachusetts’ waterfalls are in the Berkshires. 
New Hampshire’s are usually located near White Mountain National Forest.
Vermont’s are good for swimming as well as admiration.
And, Rhode Island has only one natural waterfall in existence. 
Photo: Spirit Falls, Royalston, MA

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Bostonians and Mainers are often chided for their one-of-a-kind accents.
New Englanders have a tendency to not pronounce their “r”s which gives you phrases like:
“Use yah blinkah” and makes it difficult to know when someone is talking about their pants (“khakis”) or keys (“cah keys”). 

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Four Seasons
New England is lucky enough to be able to experience four distinct seasons.
Natives get to enjoy the waterfront in the summer, the snow in the winter, and the flowers in the spring. 
People will even travel to New England just to leaf-peep in the fall. 

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Besides Europe, New England has a lot of “rotaries”.
These strange roads also known as “roundabouts” and “traffic circles” and can cause confusion for those visiting.

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If you enjoy winter sports, New England is the place to be.
The mountain ranges in the region offer many different places to go skiing or snowboarding in the winter. 
Stowe Mountain and Loon Mountain offer lodging for the whole family after a long day in the snow. 

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School Systems
New England has some of the best school systems in the country.
Massachusetts, Vermont and New Hampshire are all ranked in the top ten.
Ratings were based on factors such as student-teacher ratios, and dropout rates in each state. 

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New England has some of the best locations to sail to and from, including:
Newport, RI which hosts the international Newport to Ensada Yatch Race every year, and the New England Science and Sailing Community Center in Stonington, Connecticut. 
Photo: Newport to Ensada

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US Navy
The New England town of East Greenwich, Rhode Island is the birthplace of the US Navy.
The US Navy was assembled on June 12 1775 and Governor Nicholas Cooke signed orders for the government to employ armed vessels.
Fun fact: East Greenwich was named for Greenwich, England. 

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Tanglewood is one of the most beautiful places to hear live music in New England.
It features public grounds where you may picnic and has hosted international acts like Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett.
Founded by music lovers in 1934, Tanglewood has been the summer home of The Boston Symphony Orchestra. 
Photo: Tanglewood

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