2018-03-01 / Island History


Telephones throughout town were silenced for two hours following a power surge that disabled equipment, The Jamestown Press reported March 1, 1990.

Arthur Jones, spokesman for New England Telephone, said the calls went through but residents weren’t able to hear their phones ring. The incident came six months before the company’s plan to install modern infrastructure in town. According to Jones, the existing equipment dates to the 1950s.

100 years ago — March 1, 1918 (Newport Mercury)

The town council voted to notify Providence about the condition of state roads in town, including the bridge under the road west of Four Corners on Narragansett Avenue, which is not draining surface water. The town also is concerned about the gutters at West ferry and near the Littlefield farm on East Shore Road. Finally, water from the bay is washing onto the road in front of Shoreby Hill.

75 years ago — March 5, 1943 (Newport Mercury)

An Army corporal from Fort Wetherill was critically injured after driving into the rear of a trailer truck in Warwick.

Paul J. Lojander, 35, is believed to have dozed off at the wheel. Two soldiers from another vehicle lifted him from the wreckage.

50 years ago — March 1, 1968

The first strand in the two cables of the Newport Bridge were installed. Each cable will have 76 strands with the prefabricated strands having 61 parallel wires. This is the first time prefabricated strands have been used in bridge construction.

25 years ago — March 4, 1993 (The Jamestown Press)

Approval of the $8.4 million budget, which represents a 10 percent spending increase, marks the first time in three years voters took a single night to approve the proposal.

The measure ballooned the tax rate from $21.42 to $23.37 per $1,000 valuation. Nearly two-thirds of that hike was fueled by increased spending at the schools, which is expected to lose state aid in the upcoming academic year.

Because of the uptick in education, David Bouchard, a Republican candidate for council, proposed an amendment to reduce the school budget by $181,341 to achieve level spending. The motion, however, was defeated, 389-196.

A second amendment to reinstate nearly $8,000 in stipends for town councilors was passed. It was offered by Hull Cove resident Edward Smith.

10 years ago — March 6, 2008 (The Jamestown Press)

Democrats in town broke with the voting trend in Rhode Island by choosing U.S. Sen. Barack Obama over U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton, 815- 644, during the presidential primary.

Statewide, Clinton garnered 58 percent of the vote to Obama’s 40 percent. On the Republican side, U.S. Sen. John McCain received 261 votes to Ron Paul’s 25 supporters. Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, received 12 votes.

The voter turnout broke records statewide. In town, 1,925 residents cast ballots during the primary, or 43 percent of registered voters.

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