2017-03-16 / Island History


Shelley Tyre, the wife of Ocean State Scuba owner David Swain, drowned Friday while vacationing with her husband in Tortola, the largest of the British Virgin Islands, The Jamestown Press reported March 18, 1999. The couple was scuba diving at depths of 85 feet in the Caribbean Sea when Tyre, 46, drowned. She was a former middle school principal. Fast forward: Swain was convicted of killing his wife in 2009, but the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court of Appeal overturned that verdict in 2011, saying there were problems with the jury instructions read by the trial judge.

100 years ago — March 16, 1917 (Newport Journal)

Members of the Lucretia C. Greene Guild formed a committee to design a hall and raise money for its construction.

The group wants to provide instruction to 30 boys in the fields of shop work, printing, etc., which cannot be done without a hall. Plans or the hall include a kitchen, workshop, lavatories and heating plant in the basement, and an upstairs gymnasium with a stage for performances and public gatherings.

75 years ago — March 20, 1942 (Newport Mercury)

A bill has been introduced that would give state lawmakers the power to refinance the Jamestown Bridge Commission at a lower rate when the bond market is more favorable. The legislation also would give the state permission to rehabilitate the ferries and settle the existing $140,000 debt owed by the Jamestown & Newport Ferry Company. The town would retain ownership of the ferry company.

50 years ago — March 16, 1967 (Newport Daily News)

Councilman Albert Lyons said the town is considering buying one of the state-operated ferries that service the East Passage of Narragansett Bay.

Lyons said the town was interested in buying the boat to dock permanently at the ferry landing. It will be retrofitted into a restaurant after service is discontinued when the Newport Bridge opens late next year.

According to Gov. John Chafee’s office, the ferries and the surrounding property must be offered to the town before they can be publicly sold.

25 years ago — March 20, 1992 (The Jamestown Press)

The Jamestown Press was delayed one day because of technical difficulties. Usually published Thursdays, this week’s issue was delivered Friday because the system crashed, disabling the printer.

10 years ago — March 22, 2007 (The Jamestown Press)

The Narragansett Bay Coyote Study has launched an online educational program that will be used by 30 partners in Rhode Island, including both Jamestown schools.

The curriculum will include lessons on passive coyote management, which means changing human behavior to reduce the canine’s population. The agency has been using GPS to track coyotes from nine packs on Aquidneck and Conanicut islands.

“Coyotes are sensitive to the amount of food resources available and adjust their reproductive output accordingly,” said Numi Mitchell, who leads the study. “The more food, the more puppies they have.”

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