2018-08-16 / Island History


Despite efforts from the local legislative delegation, a $5.3 million bill to protect salt marshes from future oil spills died in committee, The Jamestown Press reported Aug. 20, 1998. The bill garnered support from Sen. Teresa Paiva Weed and Rep. George Levesque. It would have established a fund to restore tidal flow, build fish ladders, remove dams and research marine habitat. Save The Bay, which lobbied for the measure, identified salt marshes at Beaverhead, Marsh Meadow and Dutch Harbor that could have benefited from the money.

100 years ago — Aug. 16, 1918 (Newport Mercury)

The secretary for the Army and Navy YMCA visited Fort Greble to collect data for a report detailing the recreational activities of servicemen on Dutch Island. According to C.B. Phetteplace, eight companies per day are derailed for boxing and bayonet exercises. All the games benefit regular training and are based on the principal idea that emulates the fitness of a solider. The program was developed to give the country better fighters.

75 years ago — Aug. 16, 1943 (Newport Mercury)

Mrs. John Winthrop Wadleigh

has returned home from Maine following the launch of a U.S. Navy destroyer named in honor of her father-in-law, Rear Adm. George Henry Wadleigh.

The USS Wadleigh, which was built at Bath Iron Works, is a member of the Fletcher class. The 386-foot destroyer is scheduled to be commissioned in October at the Boston Navy Yard.

50 years ago — Aug. 16, 1968 (Newport Daily News)

A Warwick yachtsman rescued five sailors trapped in a burning 40-foot cabin cruiser in the waters north of Conanicut Point. The U.S. Coast Guard was

alerted about the blaze by a Good Samaritan, Donald J. Prout, who saw the burning boat southwest off the coast of Patience Island.

After fighting the fire with foam and water, the Coast Guard reported the cruiser was gutted, with holes below the water line. It sank.

The boat owner suffered slight burns on his hands; nobody else was injured.

25 years ago — Aug. 19, 1993 (The Jamestown Press)

The town has agreed to purchase a parcel of federally owned land at Fort Wetherill for $160,000. The 3.5 acres of land,

which borders the boat basin, is where the highway barn is located.

In a related decision, a utilization committee was appointed to investigate ways for the town to earn revenue from that property.

10 years ago — Aug. 21, 2008 (The Jamestown Press)

The town unanimously approved an application from Village Hearth Bakery to expand into a 36-seat restaurant. The only concern was water use. Steve Goslee, director of public works, recommended capping the utility consumption, then reviewing the matter in six months.

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