2018-04-05 / Island History

ISLAND HISTORY

Lori Leonardo, a Republican hopeful for school committee, is appealing a decision by the board of canvassers that rejected her “candidacy because she is not a qualified elector,” The Jamestown Press reported April 10, 1997.

According to the canvassers, Leonardo did not become a registered voter until after the declaration deadline. The state election board will hear the appeal.

100 years ago — April 5, 1918 (Newport Mercury)

With a single candidate running for each of the 15 posts, the annual election of officers drew little interest, with only 32 names checked on the voting list.

Lewis Hull, who was vying for first councilman, was the lone candidate elected unanimously, garnering all 32 votes. Moderator Williams Caswell and Town Clerk William Severance were both reelected with 31 votes. Aside from Leroy Meredith, who was marked on 29 ballots for tax collector, the remaining candidates all received 30 votes.

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

Jamestown will be included in a month-long daylight drill to prepare civilian defenses for air raids.

The drill will be conducted in six sections of the state. The purpose is to avoid confusion if warning devices from neighboring municipalities were to overlap. Gen. Earl Webster, state director of civilian defense, is encouraging businesses to participate in the drills, as long as their operations will not be disturbed. War industries, however, are not expected to interrupt production.

50 years ago — April 8, 1968 (Newport Daily News)

No further burning permits will be issued in town, according to Arthur S. Clarke Jr., fire chief. This action was prompted because of a rash of grass fires during the weekend.

In a two-day span, volunteer firemen were dispatched to Cajacet, the East Shore Road home of Mrs. Lucius Collins, to extinguish a grass fire caused by sparks from burning leaves. Hours later, a fire was smothered on the Swinburne Street property of Mrs. Frances Little.

The next day, embers from burning leaves caused a fire on an unidentified lot on Anthem Street. Almost simultaneously, firefighters responded to an alarm at a vacant lot on the corner of Beacon Avenue and Spanker Street. The origin of this blaze was suspicious, Clarke said.

25 years ago — April 8, 1993 (The Jamestown Press)

The town could make an additional $73,000 annually by municipally operating the golf course, a report from the town councilors indicated.

The town currently leases the Conanicus Avenue course to Joseph Mistowski for $35,000 per year, but the reports said the course profit could be $108,074 if it were managed by the town.

At the 1986 financial town meeting, voters authorized purchasing the nine-hole course, along with the 100-seat lounge and the 130- seat restaurant, for $2 million. After grants, the town borrowed $1.72 million in bonds for 20 years to finance the property, which leaves taxpayers with a yearly debt payment of $161,000.

10 years ago — April 10, 2008 (The Jamestown Press)

The school committee is concerned with a policy that allows teachers, in order of seniority, to select their jobs from available vacancies in the district.

Cathy Kaiser, chairwoman of the board, said an interview process would be more effective than the established protocol. Committeewoman Julia Held agreed.

“Precedent holds little weight with me. Just because you’ve done it, doesn’t mean it’s the best way to do it,” she said. “Administration ultimately should be the decision maker. The process leading to a decision needs to be a cooperative one.”

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