2018-01-11 / Island History


Homeowners armed with shovels, snowblowers and snowplows dug themselves out of 2 feet of snow following the blizzard that paralyzed the East Coast, The Jamestown Press reported Jan. 11, 1996.

The nor’easter, which impacted the Atlantic seaboard from Virginia to Massachusetts, featured winds that peaked at 60 mph locally. The winter storm also was a financial burden. According to the finance office, the budget for plowing and sanding is $8,000 in the red.

100 years ago — Jan. 11, 1918 (Newport Mercury)

Newport County experienced its severest spell of winter weather on record, with temperatures ranging between zero degrees and 12 below.

All traffic was impeded from the cold. Ferryboats did not make trips to Fort Greble because the bay was frozen, while trains had trouble creating steam in the low temperatures. There also was a fatality related to the frigid weather -- Newport resident John Corbett was found frozen to death in a sitting position.

75 years ago — Jan. 12, 1943 (Newport Daily News)

The town councilors warned residents to obey quarantine laws or they would be subject to drastic penalties.

While the epidemic of children’s diseases was stymied, the town physician said there could be another outbreak unless residents strictly observe proper regulations.

50 years ago — Jan. 15, 1968 (Newport Daily News)

Republicans want to ensure heavy trucking is controlled across the Jamestown bridge when the traffic flow is no longer enforced by toll collectors.

Tolls are scheduled to be eliminated when the Newport bridge opens in the fall. According to Anthony Vieria, chairman of the town GOP committee, toll collectors had been responsible for spacing apart heavily loaded trucks so they were not on the center span at the same time. Those workers, however, are expected to be eliminated with the tolls.

25 years ago — Jan. 14, 1993 (The Jamestown Press)

After pushing for budget cuts across the board, the town council agreed to eliminate their salaries if the spending plan is approved by voters.

The measure is 4.8 percent higher than last year, which doesn’t include police, highway and clerical salaries, whose unions still were negotiating contracts.

Sandra Bouchard, council president, proposed cutting the board’s pay. The proposed budget includes $7,695 for council salaries.

10 years ago — Jan. 17, 2008 (The Jamestown Press)

A mooring field in the harbor off Head’s Beach does not violate the rights of waterfront homeowners along the western coast, according to Peter Ruggiero, town solicitor.

According to members of the Jamestown Shores Association, the neighborhood has “enjoyed that beach for 50 years, and declaring the area as a mooring field is going to create land side parking issues and interfere with beach access.”

In his legal opinion, however, Ruggiero disagreed.

“There are two sides, the land side and the water side,” he said. “Deeded rights have nothing to do with the use of the water. The only area that could be somewhat gray is if the activities on the water side proved to interfere with use of the land side. A mooring field obviously does not do that.”

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