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The city of Central Falls, R.I., battered by debt and
years of financial woes, has filed for bankruptcy protection.
Central Falls has Rhode Island's highest unemployment
rate - about 15 percent - and the state's lowest per-capita income, data
indicate. It made headlines last year when its under-performing high school
fired, then rehired, its entire faculty.
"The current situation is dire," said Gov. Lincoln Chafee
when announcing the bankruptcy filing, "and it necessitates decisive steps to
put the city back on the path to solid financial footing and future
The city of 19,000 is on track to end the fiscal year
next June 30 with a $5.6 million deficit, based on projected revenues of $16.4
million and projected expenses of more than $22 million, court filings reveal.
Chapter 9 bankruptcy is reserved for municipalities as a
reorganizational bankruptcy, during which the municipality or the debtor can
restructure its debts to its creditors.
Many other cities and towns across Rhode Island and the
country are watching what happens next.
articles about consumer debt by Ted Connolly, co-author of The Road Out of Debt
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