2017-05-11 / Island History


The Rhode Island Board of Elections is determining whether Democrat Fred Pease or Republican Jean MacGregor Brown was elected to the fifth and final council seat, The Jamestown Press reported May 15, 1997.

The town’s GOP committee pushed for the recount. Pease, a two-term council president, defeated Brown by a single vote, 693-692. According to a state election official, it will take 15 minutes to double-check the eight voting machines used by town.

100 years ago — May 11, 1917 (Newport Daily News)

Several hundred people attended a flag-raising ceremony at town hall just five weeks after America’s entry into the war.

A drum and bugle corps from Fort Greble landed by ferry and marched up Narragansett Avenue for the ceremony.

The Rev, Mark Mohler provided the closing remarks, saying everyone should provide moral support to the men sent off to fight and respect should be shown to the flag.

It was reported to be “perhaps the largest outdoor patriotic gathering ever held on the island.”

75 years ago — May 15, 1952 (Newport Mercury)

Passengers aboard the Hammonton were late for work after the ferryboat parted a steel cable off the southerly end of the Naval Torpedo Station.

The Hammonton departed Jamestown at 6:55 a.m. en route to Newport on the day’s maiden voyage. There were 200 passengers and 15 cars aboard.

Following the accident, a government tug nosed the Hammonton into its slip at Market Square for temporary repairs. The ferry company’s other boat, Governor Carr, assumed the Hammonton’s duties for the day.

50 years ago — May 12, 1965 (Newport Daily News)

A Fall River, Mass. man is safe after he fell off the Newport bridge into the bay while working on the third pier from the Jamestown shore.

The dockworker, Doyle Wilson, 42, was suffering from immersion when he was rescued by firefighters. After he fell, Wilson swam to the pier and clung to a cable. Although he shouted, it took firemen roughly 20 minutes to reach him because construction work and strong winds stifled his cries for help.

25 years ago — May 14, 1992 (The Jamestown Press)

As the groundbreaking approaches, fundraisers are selling naming rights to bricks, bookshelves, pillars and windows, which will be showcased on the North Road library following renovations.

According to library trustee Richard Berry, the dedications, which cost between $25 and $500, are “wonderful gifts” for birthdays, graduations and memorials.

10 years ago — May 16, 2007 (The Jamestown Press)

The U.S. Coast Guard issued a preliminary ruling opposing a plan to build a terminal for liquefied natural gas in Fall River, Mass.

According to the report, the 725-foot tankers will pose maneuvering difficulties during their deliveries via Narragansett Bay and the Taunton River.

“The sum of measures, mitigations and precautions described in the Weaver’s Cove proposal do not appear to sufficiently reduce the risks to a point where the waterway could be declared suitable for the proposed cargo transit,” Coast Guard Capt. Roy Nash said.

The ruling comes on the heels of the town council’s decision to send a letter to the Coast Guard opposing the terminal.

“The council believes that the proposed project poses unacceptable risks from the standpoint of navigational safety, environmental quality and bay security,” President David Long wrote.

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