Around the Valley: Grand marshal selection, Recovery TV – NRI NOW

‘Recovery TV’ Expands to another local TV channel
John Tassoni, president of The Sentinel Media Group, and host of Recovery TV has announced the expansion of RECOVERY TV on another broadcast television outlet. 
“Recovery TV” is a 30-minute television show that features Tassoni discussing the issues pertaining to the addiction epidemic, along with information and guidance on services that are available. 
Recovery TV will be airing special editions on WNAC FOX Providence – channel 11 – on Sunday, Jan. 23 and 30. Then, starting Sunday, Feb. 20, Recovery TV will be airing every Sunday on WNAC at 11:30 a.m.  Additional airings will be moving to Saturday evenings at 10:30 p.m. on MY RI TV channels 15 and 21, and on Sunday mornings at 9:30 a.m. on Providence’s CW channel 9. All three Channels are affiliates of WPRI TV Media group in Rhode Island.  
Tassoni notes that Recovery TV comes at a time of a deepening crisis in addiction, especially in opioid abuse. Opioid overdose deaths have continued to steadily rise over the last several years. Last year, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, opioid-related deaths are estimated to have increased to nearly 90,000, almost double the previous year, according to a Washington Post report. In Rhode Island, accidental drug overdose deaths went up by 25 percent, according to official state estimates. 
“’Recovery TV’ will shed light on the ongoing epidemic of drug and alcohol addiction that continues to have a profound impact on our local communities,” Tassoni said. “This show will discuss the issues surrounding this crisis and provide real information and meaningful guidance to help those seeking recovery.” 
In addition to “Recovery TV,” Tassoni was the publisher of Common Ground newspaper, which focuses on issues that affect the labor community. He also is the past host of “Common Ground Radio” and “Recovery Radio,” which won a national award from the mental health community. Tassoni has over 30 years of experience in the private sector and labor community. He served as a Senator in the Rhode Island General Assembly from 2001 to 2012. 
Education Centers in Westerly & Woonsocket get $900,000 STEM Grant Renewal  
The Rhode Island Office of the Postsecondary Commissioner has announced that it has earned a renewal of an Office of Naval Research STEM grant that will continue to add capacity and equipment supporting workforce training and education services at its Westerly Education Center and it soon-to-be opened Woonsocket Education Center.
The $900,000 grant will advance OPC’s goals of postsecondary attainment, equity and workforce development. Westerly Education Center is a major provider of job training for Electric Boat shipyards in North Kingstown and Groton, Conn. The grant will increase the capacity to develop new STEM programs and offer them to a wider audience, including veterans, women, minority groups, graduating seniors, unemployed and underemployed U.S. citizens. 
Autumnfest committee offers scholarship, seeks input on grand marshal
The Autumnfest Steering Committee is offering a $500 scholarship to one graduating senior from Woonsocket High School or Woonsocket Area Career and Technical Center or Mount Saint Charles Academy or Beacon Charter High School for the Arts who displays the love and passion for the community by the volunteer work they are involved in with the community. 
“We ask that you tell us, in 500 words or less, how you embody similar qualities and include specific details on how you have volunteered to make a difference in your community and in the lives of those around you,” noted a release on the scholarship. “Be sure to include any community involvement and/or civic activities.”
Applications for the 2022 Autumnfest Scholarship is now open. The application can be downloaded and emailed once complete to Autumnfest Secretary Adam Brunetti at The deadline to send in the completed application and essay is May 1 by 1 p.m.
The committee is also seeking nominees for this year’s Autumnfest grand marshal and is looking for recommendations on individuals who have, without compensation, given of themselves above and beyond for the betterment of the community and in some way Autumnfest. 
“In short, their efforts and contribution must have come from the heart,” noted a release.   
The selection form as well as a complete list of former Autumnfest Grand Marshals can be found on the Autumnfest Website at The form can be filled out online, or downloaded and mailed to Autumnfest Grand Marshal, PO Box 574, Woonsocket, RI 02895. The submission deadline is Monday, Feb. 28.

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