A Warwick man was involved in a small plane crash in Connecticut over the weekend. Anthony Vespia of Warwick, was the pilot of the ultralight plane that crashed after the engine stalled. Vespia was removed from the plane and taken to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
Some Newport businesses that cater to the boating industry are claiming that a revised waterfront ordinance passed by the council earlier this year is hurting their business. The ordinance put a 14 day limit on the harbor’s open anchorage areas. After 14 days, they have to leave for at least 4 days before they can return. The Daily News reports that the revised ordinance has caused a problem for boat owners looking for new sails and refits that take more than two weeks. It also impacts people who live on their boats and work in water related businesses.
There will be a public debate on the casino ballot questions this Thursday night at 6pm in the Rogers High School Auditorium. The debate will feature casino proponent and URI Professor, Edward Mazze, who prepared the Economic Impact Study of the proposed casino and casino opponent, former Connecticut U.S. Representative Robert Steele, author of “The Curse: Big Time Gambling’s Seduction of a Small New England Town”. The event is free and open to the public. It is sponsored by the Redwood Library.
Several states attorneys general are meeting in Rhode Island to discuss the problem of sexual assault on college campuses. The eastern region of the National Association of Attorneys General is meeting today and tomorrow in Providence for a conference on the issue.
It appears that West Nile Virus activity is on the decline in Rhode Island. State environmental officials say the latest round of mosquito trapping and testing shows no West Nile or Eastern Equine Encephalitis. The state tested mosquitoes from 69 mosquito pools in various locations around Rhode Island. The disease still remains present in the area, as Massachusetts and Connecticut have both reported positive West Nile tests.
For the first time, the town of Portsmouth has received a triple A rating by the Standard & Poor’s rating service. The triple A rating is the highest a community can receive, reflecting the town’s sound financial management.
Middletown Police are looking for two men who have been involved in numerous shoplifting incidents in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Patch reports that the two men recently stole steaks from the Stop & Shop on West Main Road in Middletown. The men have been seen getting into a brown Chevy Malibu with Mass plates. They’ve also been involved in cases in Newport, Dartmouth and New Bedford. Anyone with information is being asked to contact the Middletown Police Department at 846-1144.
The group that convinced the state to eliminate tolls on the Sakonnet River Bridge is back at work. This time they are looking to have the DOT take over the functions of the Turnpike & Bridge Authority. According to the Daily News, the group wants the DOT to take over because it gets a better bond rating than the authority and in its best year, only 37% of the authority’s money went for maintenance.
The University of Rhode Island is moving into the crucial stage of their campus redevelopment plans. School and government officials are calling on voters to approve the measure that would invest 150-million-dollars into new engineering facilities. The current engineering facility opened in 1958 and closed in 1930, and officials say the buildings don't fit the needs of current students.
New England Institute of Technology is receiving a large federal grant to help train workers for jobs in growing industries. The grant of more than two-million-dollars will allow the East Greenwich school to grow job training partnerships. Grant recipients are required to partner with companies to develop programs and train workers to obtain good jobs. The goal of the program is to take low income earners and transform them into middle class workers.
A woman is critically injured after being hit by a car in Westerly. The woman was apparently crossing Oak Street yesterday afternoon when she was hit by a vehicle driven by a Westerly man. The woman was rushed to Rhode Island Hospital with life threatening injuries. No charges have been filed against the driver, but the incident remains under investigation.
The hearings on the Preservation Society of Newport County’s application for a special use permit to construct a visitors center at The Breakers has been postponed. According to the Daily News, the Zoning Board of Reviews vice chairwoman, Lynn Ceglie, recused herself to avoid any appearance of a conflict of interest, leaving the board without enough members to have a quorum. Ceglie is a candidate for the Ward 2 seat on the City Council. The hearings could be rescheduled as late as November.
The Tiverton Fire Department is the first in the state to use new device that helps restore oxygen to someone who’s not breathing. The new camera laryngoscope allows them to oxygenate a patient quicker, increasing their chances of survival. The new devices have been used several times over the past few weeks.
A complaint has been filed against the Citizens Concerned About Casino Gambling. The complaint alleges that the groups’ campaign finance reports are inaccurate. According to the Daily News, the group has said that the while the report did not include all the groups expenses, it was due to the fact that all the receipts for expenses had not been turned in to the groups’ treasurer yet. The group will file an updated report that will include the expenses that have not been reported yet.
Rhode Island Senate President Teresa Pavia-Weed is now opposed to expansion of the casino in Newport. Pavia-Weed says she doesn't want to see table games added at Newport Grand. The state's top ranking lawmaker says she decided to oppose the measure after the Newport City Council rejected the expansion plan this week. State voters and those locally in Newport will be asked on Election Day whether to allow the expansion.
The Newport City Council rejected the “ Municipal Community Agreement” negotiated between the proposed developers of Newport Grand and the city solicitor’s office. The council voted 4-3 against the agreement at their meeting last night at the Pell Elementary School. The agreement would have given the city an additional $1 million dollars in revenue over three years in addition to the increase in share of slot machine revenue called for in the legislation that put the casino question on the ballot in November. In addition to $1 million, it would have guaranteed the city a minimum $1.5 million share starting in July 2018 along with other provisions that included giving Newport residents preference in hiring for new positions at the casino.
Although last nights city council vote did not favor the host agreement put together by the developers of Newport Grand, the Daily News reports that Joe Paolino said he and his partners are committed to Newport and put together a new plan called the “Newport Partnership”. As part of the new plan, the partners have pledged a dollar for dollar match for whatever the city invests in the proposed North End Innovation Hub, up to $1 million dollars. It also offers that Newport Grand remain permanently at its location and it would institute a responsible gambling program. All this is contingent upon the approval of Question 1 by voters statewide and by voters in Newport.
The first case of the respiratory illness enterovirus in Rhode Island is being confirmed by public health officials. The adult who had the virus was hospitalized briefly earlier this month, but has since returned home and recovered. The Department of Health urges parents to be aware of the symptoms of enterovirus, as it most adversely affects children. These symptoms are similar to a severe cold, including a fever, sore throat, sneezing and cough.
The Tiverton Planning Board met last night on the proposed Tiverton Crossings application. There is concern that the development would cut through a small historic district that is on the National Register of Historic Places. The board voted to have an independent fiscal impact analysis done on the proposed development to determine the cost and impact on the town. The hearing will continue on October 21st at the Tiverton High School.
There was a main mast stepping ceremony for the Sailing School Vessel Oliver Hazard Perry in Portsmouth yesterday. A crane was used to put the 13 ½ story mast in place. The ship will be complete in the spring and will be a sailing education vessel for students interested in learning about marine biology and history.
Central Falls police Sergeant Derrick Levasseur is the winner of the latest season of the CBS reality show Big Brother. Levasseur was selected by a jury in the season finale last night and was awarded the 500-thousand-dollar grand prize. The long running show forces strangers to live together inside a home, with no contact with the outside world at all. Levasseur never let on to his housemates that he's a cop, instead telling them he is the city parks and recreation director.
A Rhode Island teenager who went missing in the forests of Wyoming is safely back in civilization. Officials confirm that 18-year-old Nolan Reifsteck of Wakefield was located yesterday afternoon after being missing for more than a day. Reifsteck went for a walk Tuesday morning in the Shoshone National Forest and did not return. He was dehydrated and disoriented when rescuers located him yesterday, but he's not injured.
The Perigrine Group announced yesterday that will be purchasing the Newport Yachting Center, including the Mooring Restaurant, the Smokehouse Restaurant, the Sunset Terrace along with the marina and the parking operations from Newport Realty. The sale is expected to close in November. Newport Harbor Corporation will continue to operate the restaurants under the Newport Restaurant Group umbrella, Sunset Terrace and boat shows under long-term lease agreements. In a statement released yesterday Paul O’Rielly, President and CEO of Newport Harbor Corporation said the primary reason they made the decision to sell the property was to invest in the companies expanding restaurant and hotel operations. They made the decision to exit the concert and festival segments of the company because the city noise ordinance was not designed for the concert business. Evan Smith, CEO of Discover Newport spoke with WADK 1540 Live’s host Ryan Belmore yesterday afternoon about the sale and the future of many of the events that had taken place at the Yachting Center. You can listen to the entire interview by visiting the 1540 Live podcast page on our website. http://wadk.com/podcasts/-1540-live
Newport’s Canvassing Authority was notified yesterday by the state director of elections that Question 1, the statewide casino question, will be highlighted in yellow, the same color as local questions in Newport. The request to have the question highlighted came from the City Council and the local board of canvassers earlier this month after the state General Assembly approved legislation in June requiring only a statewide ballot question.
The city of Newport has been added as a defendant in the lawsuit against the Secretary of State that alleges that the upcoming referendum question regarding the expansion of gambling at Newport Grand is unconstitutional. The Daily News reports that the addition of the city as a defendant came at the request of the Judge during the initial conference on the matter because the city will be affected by he outcome of the legal action. According to the Interim City Manager, the city hasn’t taken a position on the constitutionality of the General Assembly’s actions.
The Newport City Council meeting will be held tonight at 6:30 in the cafetorium of the Pell Elementary School. On the agenda is the “Municipal Community Agreement” between the proposed developers of Newport Grand and the city solicitor’s office.
The City of Newport has announced that metered parking is now in effect on Narragansett Ave from Ochre Point Ave east to Forty Steps from 9am-9pm daily. The fee is $1.25 per hour with a four hour limit and includes weekends and holidays. There is no parking at any time on either side of Narragansett Ave from Bellevue Ave eastward to Ochre Point Ave. Metered parking throughout the city is in effect from May 1st through October 31st.
The Newport Yachting Center has been sold to the Peregrine Group. WLNE reports that the facility known for the concert series, skating rink, boat show, and more will be torn down.
Recent projects from the Peregrine Group include the acquisition, planning, and financing of Rumford Center (as a principal owner), a $40 million mixed-use redevelopment of a 9-building, 8½-acre mill campus, the acquisition, permitting, financing and project management of The Ocean House, a $150 million seaside hotel and residences, and ongoing asset management of the American Locomotive campus, a 200,000 sf office mill adaptive reuse.
The average price of a gallon of gas in Rhode Island has fallen another 5-cents to it's lowest of the year. AAA Southern New England's weekly price survey Monday found the average cost of a gallon of self-serve regular in the state fell to $3.43. The lowest it had been this year was $3.44 in early February. The local price is down 9 cents in the last month. Still,the Rhode Island average is 9 cents more than the national per -gallon average. Rhode Islanders were paying an average of 21 cents more per gallon a year ago.
Today is National Voter Registration Day and the Secretary of State’s office is partnering with the Board of Elections and CCRI to register voters and provide voter IDs for the upcoming November election. The events will take place at CCRI’s Newport, Warwick, Lincoln, and Providence locations from 11-1 today. Free voter IDs will be available at the Warwick and Newport locations.
The principal at the Gaudet Middle School will be taking a year off. According to the Daily News, Principal Mancieri will be taking the time off for professional development. Michelle Fonseca, principal at Aquidneck Elementary will act as interim principal at Gaudet and retired principal Vincent Guiliano will replace her at Aquidneck.
The Newport County Development Council is getting a $1.7 million dollar grant from the US Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration. The grant money will be used to redevelop the Sheffield public school for a technology business incubator that will support defense, marine, climate change, environmental and digital industries.
The Newport Yachting Center pleaded no contest yesterday to multiple noise violation charges that were lodged against it since June of this year. Even after spending about $180,000 to help control the sound levels prior to the start of the concert season. The sound level at almost a dozen of the concerts was still above the city limit of 75 decibels. According to the Daily News, the attorney for the Yachting Center said they were going to examine ways to further reduce the noise levels.
The three missing Afghani soldiers who went missing during a training exercise at a Cape Cod military base this weekend have been found according to a high-level law enforcement source speaking on conditions of anonymity to the Cape Cod Times. The Afghan soldiers had been participating in a U.S. Central Command Regional Cooperation training exercise at Joint Base Cape Cod, U.S. military officials said. They arrived at Camp Edwards on Sept. 11 and were last seen at the Cape Cod Mall in Hyannis Saturday night. The source said the men were taken into custody at the Rainbow Bridge Canadian/US border crossing near Niagara Falls on Monday. The men told Customs Agents they were refugees. They were identified as Major Jan Mohammad Arash, Captain Mohammad Nasir Askarzada and Captain Noorullah Aminyar.
Runway repairs and safety improvements at Quonset State Airport in North Kingstown are scheduled to be completed by the end of November. The 3-point-8 million dollar project includes repairing the runway,restoring pavement,replacing a culvert and improving safety areas.
The work is supported by 1-point-7 million dollars from Washington. Quonset State Airport is the second largest public use airport in the state,after T.G. Green Airport in Warwick. The general aviation facility handles military aircraft and small private planes. It is also home to the Quonset Point Air National Guard Station and 143rd Airlift Wing of the Rhode Island Air National Guard.
The League Of Woman Voters, Newport County is sponsoring a voter registration drive tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the C.C.R.I. Newport Campus, 1 John Chafee Blvd. Representatives from the Secretary of State's Office will be there from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. to issue voter ID cards. A complete list of documents required for voter registration or ID cards can be found at the Secretary Of State's website: sos.ri.gov.
The Portsmouth Town Council meets tonight at 7 at their Town Hall. The agenda features a discussion of the recommendations of the new Revenue Subcommittee for ways to increase revenue for the town. Suggestions include increasing mooring fess and charging residents for parking at Sandy Point Beach and for ambulance and auto accident services. The board will also hear Town Administrator John C. Klimm present his annual report.
Police are confirming that the body of a woman who fell from a boat that was moored off Portsmouth has been recovered. Police say the 73-year old woman's body was found by a civilian boat that was helping with the search. The boat was moored at the mouth of Potters Cove off Prudence Island when she apparently fell overboard and did not surface. Authorities say the woman's husband reported her missing on Sunday morning.
Three Newport residents have filed a lawsuit against Secretary of State Ralph Mollis alleging the upcoming referendum election is unconstitutional. According to the Daily News, the three claimants are calling on the court to stop the election because the General Assembly passed a law that calls for one statewide referendum on the proposed addition of table games at Newport Grand, but does not provide a separate local referendum in Newport. Attorneys representing both sides will meet on Monday to determine when the initial hearing on the complaint will be held.
Both Rhode Island senators voted in favor of President Obama's plan to arm Syrian rebels to fight Islamic terrorists. Senator Jack Reed says he decided to support the bill yesterday because the resolution does not authorize the use of U.S. troops on the ground. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse says while he shares the concerns of many state residents about further military engagement, he is also horrified by the brutal tactics of the ISIS terrorists.
Mark your calendars…The Newport Jazz Festival has announced its dated for 2015. The 61st Anniversary of the jazz festival will take place July 31st through August 2nd. None of the acts have been announced.
The 4Bridges Ride, a 26 mile charity bike ride hosted by the RI Turnpike & Bridge Authority is this Sunday. The ride begins at 7am at the park-and-ride lot on the North Kingstown side of the Jamestown Bridge. During the ride, cyclists will pedal across the Jamestown, Newport, Sakonnet and MT. Hope Bridges. Early morning motorists in Jamestown, North Kingstown, Portsmouth and Newport should prepare for slight delays and traffic detours. Get more information on the ride by visting www.4bridgesride.com .
Four hundred people from Rhode Island are headed to New York City to take part in a march to raise awareness about climate change. Several busses had to be added for the trip because of interest. Sunday's march is timed to coincide with the United Nations Climate Summit. Nine busses will now leave the state early Sunday. The Sierra Club worked with activists at Brown University and the Enviromental Justice League to plan the trip.
A new mass transit center is in the works for the Providence Amtrak station. The Governor and the DOT announced yesterday that the state has received a $650,000 federal grant that will be used for the final preconstruction planning to build a modern intermodal facility at the train station.
The EPA has approved the cleanup of the former Robert E Derektor Shipyard site at Naval Station Newport. The clean up will include dredging the open water areas, new soil covers, repaving and well monitoring. The clean up should begin in December of next year at an estimated cost of more than $21 million dollars.
The controversy over the ballot question for the casino continues to grow. The Daily News reports that Jeffery Teitz, the former state chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, who wrote the section of the state constitution titled “Restriction on Gambling” said their should be two separate referendum on the establishment or expansion of gambling in any community. That would require a state referendum and a local referendum. The legislation approved in June by the general assembly only calls for one referendum question on the state ballot. According to the Daily News, there is a potential casino-related constitutional lawsuit that could be filed Mike Cullen a candidate for school committee.
There will be a Newport Open Space Forum tomorrow night at 6:30 at the Jane Pickens Theater. The event is the kickoff to a two year comprehensive planning effort for Newport’s parks and open spaces. There will be panel of speakers addressing best practices and new thinking for open space protection. Get more information by visting: www.newportopenspace.org
Colonel Steven G. O’Donnell, Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police and Commissioner of Public Safety, announced that on September 17, 2014 at approximately 1:40 p.m., members of the Rhode Island Violent Fugitive Task Force, Rhode Island State Police Detectives assigned to the Adult Correctional Institute, members of the Providence Police and Special Investigators from the Department of Corrections apprehended Keurys Pena, age 25 on Daboll Street near Updike Street in the City of Providence. Pena walked away from his work assignment at the Prison Industries Building earlier in the week. Pena is currently serving a ten year sentence for breaking and entering and could earn more jail time on charges of escape from a correctional institution. Pena could receive three more years if convicted.
Health officials say Rhode Island’s immunization rate for children and teachers is among the highest in the country. The state Department of Health says the rate for children between 19 months and 35 months for the series that protects against 11 diseases was 82 percent, the highest in the U.S.
If casinos open as expected in Massachusetts in the next few years it could deal a crippling blow to gambling interests in Rhode Island. A report indicates that three casinos and a slot parlor across the border would cost Rhode Island's economy 150-million-dollars or more a year. The report was produced for Governor Lincoln Chafee. Two casino licenses have been issued in Massachusetts, including one to Wynn Resorts for a Boston area facility.
Rose Island Lighthouse will be receiving a Rhody Award later this month. The award will be presented by Preserve Rhode Island and the state Historical Society. Winners of the award are chosen by the public to honor projects, individuals and organizations for their contributions to the preservation of historic places in Rhode Island. According to the Daily News, the lighthouse is one of 11 projects, places and people that will be honored.
The Tiverton Recreation Committee approved lowering beach fees at Grinnell’s Beach. The move comes after fees were raised for non-residents and traffic to the beach decreased. The new fee structure for that will be in place for non-residents next year is $7 weekdays and $12 on weekends.
Gasoline Prices continue to drop in the Ocean State.
Tpriple-A Southern New England says a gallon of self serve regular on average costs 3 cents a gallon less than a week ago. Gas prices have dropped an average of 6 cents a gallon over the past month. However, at 3-dollars 48-cents a gallon, gas prices in the state remain nine- cents higher than the national average.
The brother of a Tiverton man is admitting to his role in shipping over 200 pounds of marijuana from Pennsylvania to Rhode Island. Benjamin Daniels of Utah pleaded guilty in Providence yesterday to a federal charge of conspiracy to possess and distribute more than 50 kilograms of marijuana. His brother Michael Daniels of Tiverton pleaded guilty in the case last month. The brothers are each facing up to 20 years in federal prison at their sentencings this fall.
Police are looking for a young man who robbed a bank at McQuade's Marketplace in Westerly. Police say the man believed to be in his 20’s entered the Washington Trust Bank last night and told the teller he had a gun. The man quickly fled the bank with an undetermined amount of money and fled the scene on foot.
The Newport City Council is taking a close look at the host city agreement proposed by the casino developers. The agreement proposes that city receive $1.5 million dollars a year or 1.45 percent per year of the slot machine revenue, whichever is greater for 6 years. All that depends on the approval of adding table games in November. According to the Daily News, some of the council members thought the agreement did not offer enough money to the city for the long haul. If the host agreement is rejected and the addition of table games is approved by voters, it could jeopardize a guarantee of revenue for the city. The host agreement will be presented to the City Council at the September 24th meeting.
Does Newport have the legal right to reclaim some of the land it sold to the owners of Jai Alai? There are differences in opinion as to whether or not the reverter rights associated with the property deed have expired or not and that question has interim City Manager, Joseph Nicholson Jr., getting a second opinion from a lawyer outside the city. The Daily News reports that the issue is whether the city can buy back about 10 acres of land because the deed on the land stipulates that the property must be “used continuously and exclusively in connection with or as part of a Jai Alai Fronton development and/or Civic Center”. The land is currently being used as the Newport Grand Parking lot.
The lawsuit against those who engineered the huge failed loan guarantee to 38 Studios is being allowed to proceed. A state judge is denying a stay of the lawsuit sought by one of the defendants as the state Supreme Court reviews whether a law passed this year can apply to the case. The 14 defendants are accused of convincing the former state Economic Development Corporation to provide a 75-million-dollar loan guarantee to 38 Studios. The company had already collected 49-million-dollars when they closed in 2012.
A Westerly man is facing a possible 25-year prison sentence after admitting to stealing over 80-thousand-dollars in government assistance. Prosecutors say 53-year-old Donald Gingerella submitted false claims to various federally funded public assistance programs. These programs included aid for Storm Sandy relief, the food stamp program and others. Gingerella will be sentenced in December.
The USS Saratoga has arrived in South Texas. The Saratoga reached its final destination on Friday after leaving Rhode Island on August 21st . The Navy is paying Esco Marine a penny to dispose of the Saratoga and the company plans to make its money by selling what it recovers from the ship.
The former general manager of a Newport time share development is accused of stealing more than a half-million-dollars from the homeowners association. State Police say they began investigating Timothy Roche of Portsmouth after receiving complaints about missing funds. Roche is accused of writing more than 30 checks for his own benefit between 2008 and last year, and is free on bond.
Prudence Island Ferry has made its last trip. The service that has operated since the 1980s made its final run yesterday, as they are being replaced by A-and-R Marine. Prudence Island Ferry had sought a court order to prevent the competition from taking over, but they lost that challenge. A-and-R is expected to take a couple weeks before they are able to transport vehicles, which is a big concern for Island residents.
The federal government is pledging 13-million-dollars towards a proposed streetcar line in Providence. The 117-million-dollar proposal would create a circular route running through downtown to South Providence. Now that the federal money is secured, it's up to the city to figure out where the final 104-million-dollars will come from. Congressman David Cicilline pushed for this project while mayor of Providence, and says it will mean jobs, business development and a more walkable Capital City.
A bar in Providence's Federal Hill will be closed for 60 days because of an incident where a woman was beaten in a bathroom. City license regulators say the owner and staff at Skarr did not maintain control of the facility. The bar is also being fined 36-thousand-dollars for offering hookah smoking illegally and for having entertainment without a license. Owner Gianfranco Marrocco says the penalties are unreasonable.
Hodgson Yacht services is opening a new sales and marketing office in Newport. According to Patch, the new office will promote Hodgson boatyard and shipyard refit and maintenance services. The location of their new office is expected to be released at a press event today. Hodgson has additional facilities in Maine and Monaco.
Jamestown residents will need to fill up their cars off the island until the beginning of next month. There were two working gas station in the town, one shut down permanently and the other is closed for renovations. The lack of gas has some residents concerned, others are more concerned with the lack of convenience stores. Renovations on the Cumberland Farms gas station are expected to be complete with the gas pumps open for business on October 8th.
Tonight the Portsmouth Patriots get set to play their first football game of the season. The game will be broadcast on WADK.com. Prior to kickoff there will be a dedication ceremony in honor of Robert Guzzo (goo-zo). According to the Daily News, a black granite stone will be dedicated to the former Portsmouth High football player who died almost two years ago. Guzzo graduated in 97 and went on to become a Navy Seal, receiving several medals for his service and later succumbed to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The dedication ceremony begins at 6pm.
The Newport City Council will petition Secretary of State Ralph Mollis to present the statewide casino question on paper that is the same yellow color as local ballots for Newport voters. The Daily New Reports that the council unanimously voted in favor of a resolution calling for the state questions to be highlighted on the local ballot. Statewide ballot questions are printed on blue paper.
Police and firefighters in Rhode Island will gather to remember the victims of the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The Rhode Island State Police have planned a statewide commemoration for this morning at the State House. The event begins at 8:30 a.m. The lieutenant governor, law enforcement officers and other state leaders, as well as family members of the victims, plan to speak. The Providence Fire Department will also host a ceremony at the Providence Public Safety Complex this morning at 9 a.m. Gov. Lincoln Chafee is calling for a voluntary statewide moment of silence at 8:46 a.m. on this morning to mark the 13th anniversary. U.S. and state flags will fly at half-staff.
Federal, State, Local and other dignitaries will join the Portuguese Ambassador to the United States, Nuno Brito at Brenton Point in Newport tomorrow at 2pm for the dedication of the Portuguese Discovery Monument. The Monument is dedicated in memory of Portuguese navigators, mapmakers, explorers, fleet commanders and those Portuguese who assisted on the discovery of the maritime routes of two-thirds of the world. The event is open to the general public.
The International Tennis Hall of Fame and Museum board of directors has elected Todd Martin as their new CEO. Martin was elected at the Hall Of Fame’s Annual Meeting. Martin is succeeding Mark Stenning, who has spent 35 years with the organization, the last 14 as CEO. Martin is a former ATP World Tour top 5 ranked player and has been serving as CEO-designate since April.
An animal rescue team from Mystic Aquarium is planning to release four harbor seal pups into the waters off Rhode Island. The four seal pups were thin and two were dehydrated when they were found in May. They were rehabilitated and taught to catch fish at the aquarium in Mystic. The seals are set to be released at Blue Shutters Town Beach in Charlestown this morning.
The second phase of improvements to the athletics facilities at Portsmouth High School could begin soon. The Daily News reports that the proposals for Phase 2, which is to build a storage facility for athletics and the high school, will be reviewed by the subcommittee next Tuesday. When complete, the 'T3' Project will bring more of the track and field facilities up to NCAA standards.
Construction on the Middletown fire station is running on time and within budget. According to the Daily News, the renovation project was approved by voters in 2012 and construction began at the beginning of the year. The project should be complete by the Spring of 2015.
Allan Fung gets the Republican nomination in Rhode Island's race for governor. The Cranston mayor defeated Ken Block, a businessman from Barrington. Fung's opponent in November will be state general treasurer Gina Raimondo, who won the Democratic primary outdistancing Providence Mayor Angel Taveras and Clay Pell.
Lauren Carson of Newport was the people’s choice in House District 75. Carson won four of the five precincts defeating three term incumbent Representative Peter Martin.
A man from North Kingstown was arrested Monday after being accused on charges of child molestation that allegedly happened during a Newport International Polo match in July. The Providence Journal reports that Brian Smith, 52, is charged with 2nd degree child molestation and simple assault after an investigation into the incident which occurred at the Garner Seveney Complex in Portsmouth. Two 10 year old children told police that a man began talking to them, and then touched them, including reaching under one girl’s skirt. The investigation led police to Smith, who was arrested in Lynnfield MA. The Peabody District Court released Smith on $10,000 cash bail on Monday to face the charges in Newport District Court. According to police Smith has been arraigned and posted $30,000 surety bail.
Registered Rhode Island Republicans and Democrats head to the polls to choose their party's candidate for governor and other statewide races. Voters are advised to bring their approved photo identification in today's primary election, as proper ID is now required at the polls. Voters not in possession of an approved ID can cast a provisional ballot, where their signature will be checked against their voter registration card. Polls open at seven a.m. in most communities, and close at eight p.m. statewide.
Find out where to vote: https://sos.ri.gov/vic/
A South Kingstown man was killed in a car crash on Sunday. Robert Sheehan, 31, was driving his car on Route 1 near Saugatucket Road when it struck a tree and burst into flames. The cause of the crash is still under investigation anyone with information about the crash is asked to contact the South Kingstown Police Department.
The Portsmouth Water and Fire District is notifying customers that its water exceeds a standard for disinfection byproducts. According to a news release from the district, this is not an emergency and customers do not need to boil water or take other action. The disinfection byproducts develop as treated water ages. Steps have been taken to lower the levels and anyone that would like more information can contact the Portsmouth Water and Fire District at 683-2090.
The plan to build a welcome center on the grounds of the historic Breakers mansion in Newport has passed another hurdle from the city planning board.
The Daily News reports the board found the plan by the Preservation Society of Newport County was consistent with city's Comprehensive Land Use Plan. It will now go to the zoning board for approval of a special use permit.
The National Park Service, which has designated The Breakers a national historic landmark, has determined that it does not need to review the plan before it goes forward.
The Preservation Society of Newport County wants to build the $4.2 million visitors center.
But a neighbors group and some preservationists say the plan will detract from The Breakers' landscape.
A Westerly man is facing federal charges accusing him of committing an assault on Narragansett Indian tribal land. Prosecutors say Troy Lake Simonds stabbed a man in the back and chest during the tribe's annual Powwow celebration. The victim says he was stabbed while trying to help a woman who had been involved in a motor vehicle crash. Simonds and the victim are both members of the tribe.
It appears that voters are getting energized for this year's elections. Over 29-thousand state residents have registered to vote in time for tomorrow's primaries, a 30-percent increase over the registrations in 2010. That's the last time Rhode Island held an election for governor. Almost two-thirds of the new voters are under the age of 40.
Phillip Clement of Portsmouth was arrested on charges of operating a water craft while intoxicated and other charges. Clement and another man were in a canoe when it capsized off Portsmouth on Thursday. The second man, Michael Yazel, of Portsmouth died from the incident. Neither man was wearing a life jacket.
Citizens Concerned About Casino Gambling held an event at the Elk’s Lodge on Pelham Street Saturday morning. The group is concerned with the impact that the casino will have on local businesses, jobs and the tourist industry. Former Providence Mayor Joseph Paolino and his partners plan to invest $40 Million dollars to transform the current facility into a Monte Carlo Style Casino with the addition of table games, an entertainment center and a health spa. The Daily News reports that Paolino has extended an open invitation to opponents of the casino plans and anyone else who is interested to take a tour of Newport Grand, where he will show them the plan to transform the facility. A majority of statewide and Newport voters must approve Question 1 in November for the table games to be allowed.
A woman was rescued from Grennell’s Beach in Tiverton on Friday. The woman was in the water when she had a seizure and collapsed. She was pulled out of the water by a police officer and bystanders and was unconscious. WLNE reports that they administered CPR until rescue crews arrived. They were able to resuscitate her and transport her to the hospital. She is expected to be okay.
Tomorrow is primary day in Rhode Island. Ocean State residents will be able to choose candidates for governor on both the Republican and Democratic side in tomorrow's balloting. Only registered Democrats and Republicans may vote, meaning around 750-thousand state residents are eligible to cast ballots. For information about finding a polling place people are advised to visit the Secretary of State's web site at https://sos.ri.gov/vic/.
One man has died off the coast of Portsmouth after the boat he was in capsized. The AP reports the 65 year old man was in a boat with one other person about 100 feet off shore Thursday afternoon when it over turned. Chief Michael O'Brien of the Porstmouth Fire Department told WPRI-TV that several people who witnessed the accident attempted to help. The man was unresponsive when he was brought out of the water and a bystander performed CPR on him. He was brought to St. Anne's hospital, but died. No names have been released at this time.
There have been 142 fatal overdoses from heroin and prescription drugs in Rhode Island has climbed this year. The Journal reports that state Health Director Michael Fine called the overdoses a major crisis during a seminar on the issue at the Health Department yesterday. Fine says more than 1,000 people have been saved with the antidote Narcan and an additional 250 people's lives were saved at emergency rooms.
A Little Compton therapist has been arrested and accused of fraudulently billing Blue Cross Blue Shield for more than $83,000. Rhode Island State Police said 55-year-old Denise Fleurant of Little Compton was arrested Thursday and charged with insurance fraud and filing a false document. They say she owns Newport Psychological Services in Middletown. Fleurant was arraigned on the charges in district court yesterday and released on personal recognizance.
Former Rhode Island state representative Leo Medina has been sentenced to serve three years in prison for stealing $28,000 from a life insurance policy from a friend’s daughter. Medina, who served one term in the General Assembly, was found guilty of unlawful appropriation of funds by a jury yesterday in superior court.
Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse head to Washington this week with a fresh perspective about the student loan crisis. The senators held a forum yesterday in Newport with state residents struggling to pay off student loans. They also heard from real estate experts on how student loan debt and defaults are hurting the housing market. The Senate is expected to hold a procedural vote this week on a bill that would allow many people with student loan debt to refinance at lower rates.
A missing teenage girl from West Warwick has been located. The family of 14-year-old Khia Lake reported her missing last Thursday, and say she had run away from home in the past. Her disappearance led to searches over the last week, and she turned up safe and unharmed yesterday. Police are not offering any information about where the girl has been for the last week.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says industry and government needs to improve innovation in the building of weapons systems. Hagel was in Newport yesterday to address a defense industry conference. Hagel says American dominance in the air, sea and space cannot be taken for granted any more. He also thanked the many area submarine industry executives on hand, saying the region has become the Silicon Valley of undersea warfare.
Three men are facing charges accusing them of operating an illegal sports gambling ring out of a club in Bristol. State Police say the three suspects are Antonio DeMatos and Norberto Pacheco of Bristol and Kevin Connolly of Canton, Massachusetts. The men allegedly had multiple illegal slot machines operating on the second floor of the Bristol Sports Club on Wood Street. All three have been arraigned and released, with court appearances scheduled at a later date.
Middletown residents gathered at Town Hall last night to get an update on the proposed 50,000 square foot field complex on land between East Main Road and Mitchell’s Lane. According to the Daily News, the meeting had to be cancelled because of a lack of a quorum. Only 7 members of the Recreation Facilities Master Plan Advisory Group were present and 10 were needed to hold the meeting. There has been no word on when the meeting will be rescheduled.
Salve Regina University is growing its list of sustainability initiatives. They are no longer letting their cafeteria waste go to waste. Sodexo Dining Services, the university’s food provider, is now colleting the food scraps instead of throwing them away. Twice a week, the scraps are collected by The Compost Plant, Rhode Island’s first full-service food scrap collection and commercial compost operation and delivered to Earth Care Farm in Charlestown. The food scraps are then processed into compost for Rhode Island farms and gardens.
Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse will host an hour long discussion this morning at 10:45 at the Community College of Rhode Island’s Newport Campus. The senators will hear from working residents who are struggling to pay back student loans. They will also from the CCRI Financial Aid Department and the Rhode Island Association of Realtors, who will address how the student loan debt hurts the housing market. The discussion is open to the public with limited space available.
The Bellevue Ochre Point Neighborhood Association wants the Newport Zoning Board to delay their reviews of the Preservation Society’s Welcome Center proposal. They would like it delayed until the National Parks Service determines whether or not the Caretakers Cottage at The Breakers should be considered a resource to the mansion’s National Historic Landmark status. The Zoning Board has the hearing tentatively scheduled for September 29 to 30th.
The Narragansett Rune Stone that was founded off Pojac Point in 1984 has been tied back to travels of the Knights Templar. The stone which was examined by a forensic geologist contains symbols that link it to the secret society. It may also be linked to the Newport Tower, a stone structure in Newport’s Touro Park. According to Patch, The Narragansett Rune Stone is being kept at the Narragansett Bay campus of URI and town council members would like the stone displayed in Updike Park in Wickford.
The US Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel, is scheduled to be in Newport today. Hagel will be speaking at an event at the US Naval War College and addressing the role that southern New England plays in the defense industry.
Service to Europe is coming to TF Green Airport next summer. Airport officials say Condor Airlines will begin offering two direct flights a week from TF Green to Frankfurt, Germany. The seasonal service will begin in June and end in September. The flights to Germany will take over seven hours, while the return trip will feature more than eight hours of flying time.
Rhode Island State Police are charging a dozen people with drunk driving following targeted enforcement over the holiday weekend. Police say one of those drivers was found to have a blood alcohol level of point-four-zero, which is five times the legal limit. State Police also made 60 other arrests for various offenses over the Labor Day weekend.
The Jamestown Town Council meets tonight at 7pm at the town hall. On the agenda for tonight’s meeting is a presentation by National Grid for the Clark Street Substation and an update on the Fort Getty Design Project.
Rhode Island municipalities will be charged $250 for every load of contaminated materials that are included in recyclables instead of trash. Those charges go into effect today. The Daily News reports that Materials Recycling Facility in Johnston has said that communities that use 55 gallon recycling carts that are contaminated are on the rise. 15 of 39 towns will be using the large cart system. Middletown has been using large carts for recyclables for years and Newport will be using the cart system starting November 3rd.
Revenue from collections of the state hospitality taxes are on the rise. The Department of Revenue says collection of the two main taxes on the hospitality industry were up by nearly five-percent in the fiscal year that ended June 30th. The state collected over 25-million-dollars in total in hotel room and meal taxes during the year. State Revenue Director Rosemary Booth Gallogly says the growth is welcome news, especially in the hotel room tax.
The Coast Guard rescued three people who were aboard a boat that was taking on water in Weaver Cove in Portsmouth early Sunday morning. The three people who were aboard that boat were taken to a pier in Portsmouth and were treated them for minor injuries. The boat remains partially submerged in the water. They are warning boaters in the Weaver Cove area to use caution. There’s no word yet on what may have caused the vessel to start taking on water.
An organization dedicated to the preservation of architectural and cultural history is relocating from Connecticut to Newport. The 1772 Foundation is moving their headquarters from Pomfret Center, Connecticut to the Aquidneck Mill building in Newport. The organization has held several of their quarterly meetings in Newport over the years. The mill building was built in 1831 and has been restored by its owner, the International Yacht Restoration School.
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