Thursday, December 3, 2020

About NRI NOW

Northern Rhode Island News On the Web was founded in 2018 by North Smithfield-based journalist Sandy Seoane.

Aiming to bring a new source of information to the region, Seoane started the website with reporting focused on the town of Burrillville. She has since expanded, adding coverage in North Smithfield, and using experience in both conventional and online media to bring light to local issues – with the help of other local writers and experts in their fields.

NRI NOW is not a blog. It’s a news website by and for residents of northern Rhode Island. We cover human interest stories, as well as local government, politics and crime.

Your local newspaper, online; NRI NOW is primarily supported by local advertising.

Send your news tips and feedback to sandy@nrinow.news.

Editor: Sandy Seoane

Sandy Seoane is the founder, publisher, and editor of Northern Rhode Island News On the Web. A reporter for nearly a decade with experience in both print and online news, Seoane started her career in journalism in 2006 as a freelancer. In 2009, she was the founding editor of Woonsocket Patch, a hyper-local news project funded by AOL. In 2011, she was hired by The Valley Breeze, where she spent six years as the lead reporter for the weekly Woonsocket/Blackstone/North Smithfield edition. A SUNY Albany graduate with a degree in political science, Seoane also completed graduate-level coursework in journalism at Northeastern University.

Contributor: K. Iacobbo

An award-winning writer, award-nominated screenwriter and filmmaker, and long-time freelance journalist, K. Iacobbo wrote her first play, teleplay, and short story before the age of ten. She is the winner of The Animal Print magazine short story contest, and a winner of a Newport Life magazine writing contest.

Iacobbo has worked as a columnist for the New England Employment Review, and a freelancer for The Pawtucket Times and various speciality periodicals. Her films – co-produced with her spouse – have been broadcast on Rhode Island PBS, and screened or nominated at film festivals such as the Hoboken International Film Festival, one of the ten largest in the world.

The author notes she's known for unique and edgy story ideas, and superb research.

Contributor: Betty Mencucci

Betty Mencucci is the president of the Burrillville Historic & Preservation Society and author of the Burrillville Then & Now feature, which looks at how different areas of the town developed in comparison to how they look today.
A well-known and active member of the Burrillville community, Mencucci's work as a beekeeper, expert in gravestone restoration, author and more has also been covered in numerous feature stories.

Contributor: Cathren Housley


Cathren Housley has been writing for Motif Magazine in Rhode Island since 2015. She began with the feature Advice From the Trenches, then added alt health, films, gallery shows, human interest, and current events to her roster of topics.

A Rhode Island School of Design graduate, Housley says she comes to this eclectic range by way of a multidisciplinary career that was a mix of songwriting, children’s books, illustration, award winning cable TV production, and large scale grant funded installations. In 2017, her animated short, The Land of the SkyFighter, was accepted into the RI International Film Festival.

Contributor: Joe Gallant


Joe Gallant is the host of WNRI Radio's The Joe Show. Gallant keeps an eye on the local and national sports scene in Rhode Side Sports NOW and National Sports Spotlight NOW. Readers can hear Gallant live on WNRI Radio 99.9fm/1380am, every Monday and Friday from 9:30-11 a.m.

Contributor: Genesis Johnson

A recent graduate of the digital journalism program at Marymount Manhattan College, Genesis Johnson says she is thrilled to be back in Rhode Island, and reporting news in her hometown of North Smithfield.

In 2019, she landed an internship at Playbill.com, one of the top theatre news publications in the country, where she honed in on writing features, “Where Are They Now,” articles, and quizzes for theatre fanatics.

Her knowledge and love of media expands past her journalistic background. She served as social media manager for Blood Manor, New York City’s Premier Haunted House, and she currently assists with research and social media for Broadway Podcast Network’s “Why We Theater,” a podcast focused on the intersection of theatre and social justice.

With a soft spot for arts journalism, and a self-proclaimed theatre nerd at heart, Johnson said she looks forward to following the reinvention – and eventual reopening – of the arts industry, specifically here in northern Rhode Island.

Johnson said she believes that accurate and thoughtful reporting is vital to local news, especially in the media heavy reality we live in today. She notes that her goal as a writer is and always has been to amplify people’s stories.

Contributor: Jim Weicherding

Jim Weicherding is a Burrillville resident, and the founder and creator of an award-winning traffic safety effort Seasons of Safety. His work includes collaboration with groups such as the Governor’s Office on Highway Safety, the Rhode Island State Fire Marshal’s Office, the Rhode Island State Police, the Rhode Island Police Chief’s Association and the Rhode Island Fire Chief’s Association, along with Rhode Island Safe Kids Coalition, Rhode Island Safe Communities and Hasbro Children’s Hospital Injury-Prevention Division.
A talented artist who is also involved in the local car show circuit, Weicherding contributes kids' coloring cartoons, which can be printed and used to help parents discuss safety issues with their children.

Contributor: Brian Choquet


Brian Choquet has spent the last three years working as a multimedia journalist covering all aspects of rural and small-suburban communities for publications across Massachusetts, including The Bellingham Bulletin, DigBoston and Amherst Wire. A 2020 graduate from UMass Amherst, Choquet says he fell into journalism after realizing his love for both writing and telling the stories of those around him. Choquet recently moved to Providence and says he is excited to bring more local coverage to northern Rhode Island.

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