2018-03-22 / Island History


The town has acquired 32 acres of land in the north end to be protected in perpetuity, The Jamestown Press reported March 28, 2002.

The property was purchased from Dick and Fran Rembijas. Along with 48 acres owned by the Conanicut Island Land Trust and another 35 acres owned by the town, which are adjacent to the new acquisition, the 115 acres of contiguous property will conserve the North Pond watershed. This deal also will protect 130-yearold trees and wildlife, including wood ducks and warblers.

100 years ago — March 22, 1918 (Newport Mercury)

A New York boat that visits Rhode Island daily is not allowed to serve liquor while it sails in Narragansett Bay because of a government order establishing Newport as a dry town.

The law prohibits the importation of liquor within 5 miles of the city. As the boat approaches the bay, it will be required to curb sales once it reaches Beavertail, and vice versa.

75 years ago — March 23, 1943 (Newport Daily News)

The U.S. government has filed papers in federal court to acquire 205 acres on Conanicut Island. The action will affect 126 landowners.

Among the properties included in the U.S. Navy condemnation are the YWCA camp and Conanicut Park, a summer retreat that features a wharf and beach. The feds want to use the land for a survey related to torpedo testing.

50 years ago — March 26, 1968 (Newport Daily News)

The school district’s budget for 1968-69 is $383,775, or $42,775 more than last year.

According to Fred C. Clarke Jr., chairman of the school committee, the 12 percent increase stems from $24,042 in salary increases following negotiations with the teachers’ union. There also was a tuition uptick of $72 per pupil to attend Newport public schools.

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

The library on North Road is set to close through April so the building can undergo an expansion.

The five-week closure is a safety measure because the walls between the proposed addition and the current building must be demolished. Librarian Judy Bell is encouraging residents to “check out all the books” they want prior to the closing. There will be general amnesty offered for all overdue books when the library reopens in May.

10 years ago — March 27, 2008 (The Jamestown Press)

The school department has proposed an $11.7 million budget for 2008-09, which represents a 5.6 percent increase from last year.

Although state law does not allow an increase of more than 5 percent, Superintendent Marcia Lukon said outside revenues will absorb any costs above that ceiling.

The councilors expressed concern. Julio DiGiando, council president, cited the “remarkable” 62 percent increase in administration salaries since 2003. Councilmen Bill Kelly and Robert Sutton reiterated concerns about the class sizes. Kelly suggested fewer teachers while increasing the classrooms to about 23 students per class.

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