NEW: ProJo Lists Station Fire’s Great White Under Best Local Band in Readers’ Poll

Sunday, January 08, 2017

 

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The Providence Journal's "2017 Reader's Choice" poll lists Great White as a choice under "Best Local Band" - the band that was playing when pyrotechnics were set off at the Station Club in West Warwick in 2003 that killed 100 and injured hundreds more. 

Great White guitarist Ty Longley was killed in the fire. 

The poll, which includes hundreds of categories, allows voters to write entrants in, and if they vote 25 times, they can win a $500 gift card.

According to the promotion's rules, the sponsor is ProJo owner Gatehouse Media, and lists a contact address in Pittsfield, New York.

Great White in RI

Great White, a Los Angeles-based band, was playing at the Station Club when the fire was caused by pyrotechnics set off by Daniel Biechele, tour manager of the band Great White.

The pyrotechnics ignited sound insulation foam on the walls behind the stage and the ceiling above it. The fire took less than six minutes to spread and consume the entirety of the nightclub. 

In December of 2003, the owners of The Station nightclub - Jeffrey and Michael Derderian- and Biechele were all charged with 200 counts of involuntary manslaughter. The counts added up as two counts per the 100 deaths for criminal-negligence manslaughter and misdemeanor manslaughter. All three men plead not guilty.

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Three years later, in 2006, Biechele plead guilty to 100 counts of involuntary manslaughter. 

Biechele was sentenced to 15 years in prison, with four to serve and 11 years suspended, plus three years' probation. 

Biechele was released early from prison in March 2008.

In 2008, the Derderian brothers pled no contest. Michael Derderian received the same sentence as Biechele. Jeffrey Derderian received a 10-year suspended sentence, three years' probation, and 500 hours of community service.

Lack of Oversight?

The hundreds of categories in the ProJo promotion include a number of questionable entries including "Twin Rivers" (instead of 'Twin River' Casino), and such entrants as "Beehive Childhood Center" under "Colleges and Universities."

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Related Slideshow: Where the Former Projo Stars Are Today

Take a look at where the top Providence Journal writers and reporters from the 1990s and 2000s are now reporting. UPDATED April, 2017

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AP

Scott Mayerowitz

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Photo: News Media Guild

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NY Times

Dan Barry

New York Times

Barry was part of the young gun investigative group at the Journal in the early 1990s that won a Pulitzer for the investigation into Chief Justice Thomas Fay, and also investigated Cianci’s Nick Ricamo and others.

He was a Pulitzer Feature Writing finalist at the NY Times for his portfolio of "closely observed pieces that movingly capture how the great recession is changing lives and relationships in America.”

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Boston Globe

Christopher Rowland

Washington Bureau Chief at the Boston Globe

He also has served as Metro political editor and as a healthcare reporter on the Business Desk.

Rowland covered Providence City Hall (among a number of assignments) during his Projo years. 

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LA Times (formerly)

Dean Starkman

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Starkman previously was an editor at Columbia Journalism Review, Wall Street Journal and GoLocal. Starkman was part of the investigative team in 1994 at the Projo that won a Pulitzer.

An award-winning journalist and media critic, he is the author of 2014's “The Watchdog That Didn’t Bark: The Financial Crisis and the Disappearance of Investigative Journalism.” Before leaving for Europe he was the Wall Street reporter for the LA Times.

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USA Today (formerly

Tom Frank

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Since leaving the Providence Journal, he has had stints at Long Island's Newsday and The Denver Post.

At USA Today, Frank was a 2012 Pulitzer finalist "for his sharply focused exploration of inflated pensions for state and local employees, enhancing stories with graphic material to show how state legislators pump up retirement benefits in creative but unconscionable ways."

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The Weekly Standard

Philip Terzian

The Weekly Standard

Terzian is literary editor of The Weekly Standard. In the 1990's he served as the editorial page writer for the Providence Journal.  In his career, he has been a writer and editor at Reuters, newspapers in Alabama and Kentucky, the New Republic, and the Los Angeles Times.

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Wall Street Journal

Jennifer Levitz

Wall Street Journal 

She was a pitbull State House reporter at the Providence Journal and has made a mark at the New England office of the Wall Street Journal. 

She was part of the reporting team that was a Pulitzer Finalist in 2014 for a series called "Deadly Medicine," a stellar reporting project that documented the significant cancer risk to women of a common surgery and prompted a change in the prescribed medical treatment.

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Washington Post

Kevin Sullivan

Washington Post

Once the State House reporter at the Providence Journal, today at the Post, Kevin is a longtime foreign correspondent who has been based in Tokyo, Mexico City and London, and also served as the Post’s Sunday and Features Editor.

He won a Pulitzer for international reporting with the Post in 2003, along with Mary Jordan, for their "exposure of horrific conditions in Mexico's criminal justice system and how they affect the daily lives of people."

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NY Times

C.J. Chivers

New York Times

Pulitzer Prize winner in 2017.

Chivers is a foreign correspondent for the New York Times, where he "contributes to the Foreign and Investigative desks of The Times on conflict, politics, crime and human rights from Syria, Libya, Afghanistan, Iraq, Russia, Georgia, Chechnya and elsewhere on a wide range of assignments."

His assignments are far from his political coverage in Providence City Hall and the State House.

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Boston Globe

Cynthia Needham

Boston Globe

Today she serves as the political editor at the Globe and oversees coverage of the State House, City Hall, and Massachusetts politics. She was a political and State House reporter at the Providence Journal.

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AP

Steve Peoples

Associated Press

Peoples has become a top political reporter and the lead on Presidential coverage at the Associated Press. In 2012, he covered the Mitt Romney campaign.  After he left the Providence Journal he covered politics for Roll Call and contributed to GoLocal.

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Computer World

Ken Mingis

Executive Editor, News and Strategy at Computer World

Mingis has risen through the ranks at the high tech pub and has served as the Apple expert and the online editor for Computer World, which is a different world from being the lead city reporter cover Buddy Cianci in the 1990s. He was the reporter who broke the infamous DiPrete Cranston Land Deal.

 
 

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