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'Ella McCay' filming; Washington Bridge inspection; Chace feud: Top stories this week

Kathleen Hill
Providence Journal

Here are some of The Providence Journal's听most-read stories for the week of Feb. 4, .

Here are听the week's top reads听辞苍听providencejournal.com:

Hollywood descends on a quiet neighborhood off Providence's Blackstone Boulevard

Emma Mackey, star of the new James L. Brooks movie "Ella McCay," which is now filming in Rhode Island.

Filming got underway in Providence this week for "Ella McCay,"听the James L. Brooks movie starring Emma Mackey as an idealistic lieutenant governor looking to advance to the governor's office, and co-starring screen veterans Jamie Lee Curtis and Woody Harrelson.

Steven Feinberg, head of the state Film and Television Office, said the movie will use the State House for filming, as well as one or more unspecified locations on the East Side and an as yet unnamed city or town.

As filming began on Monday, one of the producers said the movie company is still looking for extras.

Meanwhile, the filming has led to some excitement in the Ocean State, as Harrelson popped in unannounced at Lang's Bowlarama in Cranston for a few impromptu frames with his family and crew. And it led to a little confusion about what appeared to be a mysterious new restaurant that sprang up suddenly on Broadway.

Film industry:Hollywood descends on a quiet neighborhood off Providence's Blackstone Boulevard

Federal highway official, RI Gov. Dan McKee examine situation at Washington Bridge

In the event that he has to sign off on a replacement of the westbound听Washington Bridge, the head of the Federal Highway Administration walked the ailing span on Monday with Rhode Island officials to see the situation for himself.

"It's a very complicated structure," Federal Highway Administrator Shailen Bhatt said while standing halfway up the closed Gano Street exit ramp off Interstate 195.

State officials on Monday declined to provide any estimate on how long the westbound bridge would be out of service if the span has to be replaced. Bhatt said it could be a "year or two," but that it would depend on the construction plan.

In other news this week, it came to light that the Rhode Island Department of Transportation required its employees to sign non-disclosure agreements for the period of time spanning听a legal fight over who would get the last big Washington Bridge construction contract.

Transportation: Federal highway official, RI Gov. Dan McKee examine situation at Washington Bridge

Six months pregnant with nowhere to go 鈥 an unhoused woman's plight on RI's streets

Shanelle Saraceno, six months pregnant and living on the streets, sits among grocery bags containing her and her boyfriend's possessions on a bench in Providence's Burnside Park.

It鈥檚 10:10 on a bitterly cold Tuesday morning and Shanelle Saraceno is already worrying about the night ahead.

鈥淚 have no clue听where we鈥檙e going tonight,鈥 Saraceno said minutes after stepping off a bus at听Providence's Kennedy Plaza听with her boyfriend, Dylan Ballou. All their possessions fit into three grocery bags.

Saraceno is six months pregnant and desperate. She and Ballou had been sleeping in a tent near听the Apex building听in Pawtucket 鈥 that is, until someone stole their tent and blankets two weeks ago.

Find out how her situation became so dire, and why her efforts to find shelter have so far been fruitless.

Homelessness: Six months pregnant with nowhere to go 鈥 an unhoused woman's plight on RI's streets

A legal fight between one of RI's richest families will head to trial

Providence developer Arnold B. 鈥淏uff鈥 Chace Jr.

A Superior Court judge on Tuesday refused to dismiss听a lawsuit accusing real estate developer Arnold 鈥淏uff鈥 Chace Jr.听of self-dealing in his handling of a $80-million family trust.

Judge Brian Stern P. Stern concluded that he did not have enough facts to rule whether Chace and William Saltonstall 鈥渁cted solely in the interests of beneficiaries鈥 as trustees of the family trust, as required, and that the case should head to trial.

At issue are听a series of deals in which Buff used trust money听to help purchase and renovate buildings in downtown Providence through his development company, Cornish Associates.听Stern, however, declined to remove Buff and Saltonstall as trustees, saying more facts and evidence need to be vetted.

It's the latest chapter in a bitter feud that has roiled one of the state's most prominent families.

Courts: A legal fight between one of RI's richest families will head to trial

Valentine's Day and Ash Wednesday share a date in 2024. What that means for Catholics.

Are chocolates a no-no for Catholics on Valentine's Day this year?

Candy hearts, chocolates, romantic dinners: These are the typical indulgences of Valentine's Day.

But are they out this year for Catholics who are听observing Ash Wednesday, one of their faith's two obligatory days of abstinence and fasting?

In 2024, Valentine's Day and Ash Wednesday fall on the same day,听just as they did in 2018. Before 2018, the last time the two observances coincided was 1945, making the calendar clash rather rare.

How do the two days reconcile? And is there a possibility of a dispensation from Bishop Richard Henning?

Religion:Valentine's Day and Ash Wednesday share a date in 2024. What that means for Catholics.

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