2018-07-05 / Island History


The town council delayed a long-awaited decision on a vendor to record its meetings and possibly broadcast them over the Internet, The Jamestown Press reported July 7, 2011.

While the town received several bids for hardware and software proposals, free video recording was offered by Sav Rebecchi, owner of the Jamestown Record website.

Rebecchi has offered to provide the town with full, unedited recordings that would be uploaded from his server and embedded in a webpage created by the town for its home page. Rebecchi also has offered to provide the town with DVDs of every recorded council meeting for the town’s archival purposes, which Rebecchi said he already has been doing for free.

100 years ago — July 12, 1918 (Newport Mercury)

A Fourth of July social at the Fort Wetherill YMCA hut, given by women from the local service club, was a success. Nearly every enlisted man at the post not on duty attended, and all were served ice cream and cake.

After the orchestra played to dancing, the women left the hut to enthusiastic cheers from the servicemen in hearty appreciation of their kindness.

75 years ago — July 9, 1943 (Newport Mercury)

For more than three hours, firemen fought a stubborn brush fire that burned 40 acres of land on East Shore Road owned by Mrs. S. S. Thompson.

A wall of fire 12 feet high swept through the growth on the west side of the road. It was visible to passengers on the afternoon ferry. Residents in Newport who could see the smoke across the bay through it was an emergency at the Quonset Air Station.

50 years ago — July 6, 1968 (Newport Daily News)

Newport-bound cars were jammed for a half mile on East Shore Road past the golf course en route to the jazz festival’s opening night at Fort Adams.

A contingent of 25 military police from the 103rd Artillery in Providence arrived in town to assist local cops with traffic enforcement. Ferries ran all night, the last boat leaving Newport for East Ferry at 1:30 a.m.

“It’s certainly the largest crowd we’ve had,” said impresario George Wein, founder of the festival. He estimated the crowd at about 7,500 visitors.

25 years ago — July 9, 1993 (The Jamestown Press)

Village business have felt the impact of the recession, but now they are feeling the impact of a new villain called vandalism.

Since the weather warmed, merchants are reporting windows smashed with rocks and black spray-painted messages on stop sings, buildings and fences. Even the post office and mail trucks have fallen victim.

“The whole thing is kind of sad,” said pharmacy owner Tim Baker.

The town council has discussed the problem, suggesting a curfew as a possible solution.

“You can’t shake a kid down anymore,” said Fred Pease, council president. “You could get sued.”

Police chief Tom Tighe agreed, saying teenagers at a street corner is no reason for police to stop and question them.

“We have to act within the confines of the law,” he said.

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

Melissa Minto, the teen center’s director emeritus, is leaving her post to pursue a graduate degree in agriculture from Cornell University in New York.

Debbie Tungett, an Aquidneck Island native, will take over for Minto. She previously coordinated the student activity center at Rogers High School.

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