Highs and lows from last week

Highs and lows from last week


High: Congratulations to Westerly musician Will Evans. The 29-year-old erstwhile leader of popular jam band Barefoot Truth was one of 10 finalists in Guitar Center’s Singer-Songwriter III competition, which took place at the Hotel Café in Los Angeles on Saturday. Evans was selected from tens of thousands of entries in the contest, whose winner won $25,000 and the opportunity to record an EP produced by Grammy Award-winning producer Don Was. “It was pretty exciting to make it,” Evans said.

Low: Is your vehicle’s suspension damaged? Or maybe the exhaust system? How about wear and tear on shocks and struts, or a punctured tire? Any of that? If so, it’s no surprise. Not with the crater-sized potholes mine-fielding the area’s streets. Thank Mother Nature’s interminable winter for that. Said Peter Chiaradio, director of the Westerly Public Works Department: “This weather’s destroying our roads. Between the salt, the sand, the snow, the ice, the rain and the traffic, the ground is constantly moving.” Public works crews have gone through 50 tons of cold patch mix already this winter to fill potholes, Chiaradio said. “If we’re not plowing or sanding from a snowstorm, then we’re out patching.”

Low: Frank Perkins Hixon Jr., a Wall Street investment banker who maintains a residence in Watch Hill and is a member of the exclusive Misquamicut Club, has been arrested and charged with insider trading offenses and making false statements to the FBI. According to a news release from the FBI, the 55-year-old Hixon was charged with five counts of securities fraud, two counts of securities fraud in connection with a tender offer, and one count of making a false statement. He is accused of using information he gained through his position at Evercore Group LLC to arrange for securities trading to benefit his girlfriend, Destiny “Nicole” Robinson, and his father, illegal trading that brought in almost $1 million. Said FBI Assistant Director in Charge George Venizelos: “This is the same old song: Another high-ranking finance official allegedly broke the law and abused his position.”

High: What’s better than the Lenten tradition of fish and chips at the Portuguese Holy Ghost Society in Stonington? Good food at a good price for a good cause: All proceeds go to the club’s taxes on its building, to charitable organizations like the Pawcatuck Neighborhood Center, and to scholarships. But you better get there early. “Sometimes we’ll get 300 or 350 people a meal,” club member Larry DeSantos said. “The line can go out the door.” The fish fry runs Fridays through Good Friday (April 18).

High: The Pawcatuck Neighborhood Center also benefited from a tasty tradition: the annual Cabin Fever Festival and Charity Chowder Cookoff at Olde Mistick Village. Last weekend’s festival raised $21,000 for the center, smashing the former record $13,183 set in 2013. “We had a true New England winter,” said an overwhelmed Vicki Anderson, executive director of the PNC, “so today’s crowd was a case of cabin fever.” Unfortunately, Vicki, this brutal New England winter isn’t over.

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