2017-03-23 / Island History


The town quickly has mobilized a vaccination clinic following an unprovoked attack by a rabid fox on a child, The Jamestown Press reported March 26, 1998.

The victim’s father bludgeoned the fox to death with a nearby piece of firewood before it was able to bite his child.

According to the state Health Department, the fox was the 13th confirmed rabies case in Newport County this year. That is nearly half of the entire state’s total from last year.

100 years ago — March 23, 1917 (Newport Journal and Weekly News)

Unlike its last meeting, the Republicans had a brief and courteous caucus to nominate candidates for the upcoming town elections.

The hall was filled beyond its seating capacity, but the “courtesy of the contending factions toward each other was such as was never seen before at a caucus here.”

There also were several members of the Jamestown Equal Suffrage League at the meeting, the first time women have been spectators at a caucus.

75 years ago —March 27, 1942 (Newport Mercury)

Schoolteachers with more than four years of service will receive a biweekly raise of $4 for the next 10 years.

In other news, the school board reported the state has made it mandatory for all students to be immunized annually for diphtheria by May.

50 years ago — March 27, 1967 (Newport Daily News)

Lights went out from Beavertail to Hamilton Avenue after a swan with a 9-foot wingspan flew into high-tension wires, causing fuses to blow.

Howland Avenue resident Burton Ford, an emergency repairman for the Newport Electric Corp., immediately was dispatched to the scene. However, he wasn’t able to determine the cause in the moonlight. The swan was discovered in the morning.

25 years ago — March 26, 1992 (The Jamestown Press)

Controversy erupted following the town council’s 3-1 vote to appoint Michele Musselman to the harbor commission instead of incumbent Larry Buckley.

Donald Armington, chairman of the waterfront board, said he was surprised and disappointed by the decision.

“He absolutely had the commission’s endorsement,” Armington said about Buckley, a federal fisheries scientist with a Ph.D. in biochemistry. “We were not asked whether we endorsed anybody.”

Councilman Nick Robertson nominated Musselman and two of his three Democratic colleagues also approved her. Democrat Mary Meagher abstained.

Republican Councilman Mark Liberti was the lone dissenter, citing Buckley’s impeccable attendance record.

“Is there anyone on this council who is unhappy with Mr. Buckley’s performance?” he asked.

Robertson said he nominated Musselman because he believes there should be term limits, regardless if the incumbent is in good standing.

10 years ago — March 29, 2007 (The Jamestown Press)

After 12 years as the sole owner of Jamestown Hardware, Steve Sherman is passing the torch to his son, Scott, who has been working alongside his father for eight years.

The elder Sherman, 65, purchased the hardware store in a family partnership in 1991. He became the lone proprietor four years later. Although there will be a different owner, the younger Sherman, 39, doesn’t plan on changing.

“Everything works well the way it is now. We’re here to help,” he said. “I plan on being here for a long time.”

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