The morning’s cloudy skies and moderate winds gave way to a perfect day in time for the demolition of the center span of the old Jamestown Bridge, The Jamestown Press reported April 20, 2013.

With the hands of the congressional delegation and Gov. Don Carcieri on the ceremonial detonator, the bridge tumbled into the West Passage of Narragansett Bay amid the whooping and hollering of spectators gathered to watch the much-anticipated explosion.

100 years ago — April 14, 1923
(Newport Mercury)

Three bags of flower and vegetable seeds have been received by Rogers High School from U.S. Sen. LeBaron Colt and Congressman Clark Burdick. They have been sent to the principal for distribution to pupils who promise to use them at home. The three gardens at the school have received their own seeds.

75 years ago — April 16, 1948
(Newport Mercury)

The planning board has been asked to submit recommendations to the town council as to the extent automobile trailers will be allowed to park on public streets. The board, following the study, also has been asked to make suggestions to the solicitor to draft an ordinance regulating the trailers.

50 years ago — April 13, 1973
(Newport Mercury)

The 185-year-old windmill on North Road in Jamestown has been placed on the Register of Historic Places. Addition to the register “affords some degree of protection” from construction projects, according to Frederick C. Williamson, a liaison officer with the Rhode Island Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission.

The wind-operated grist mill was in continuous operation for 109 years and has remained “virtually unchanged” since its construction in 1787. It stands on high ground overlooking the East Passage of Narragansett Bay and is built of hand-hewn timbers. Restoration began in 1957, under the Jamestown Historical Society, and the mechanical and grinding works were repaired in 1960.

25 years ago — April 16, 1998
(The Jamestown Press)

The harbormaster is working to secure equipment that could be used to avert the catastrophic consequences of an oil spill off Jamestown’s shores.

The captain of the Port of Providence, following a site visit, said there is an increased risk for an oil spill off the shores of Jamestown because of its location in Narragansett Bay, including the narrow passage off Fort Wetherill. Because fuel-bearing tankers are unable to traverse the upper bay to reach Providence, they anchor north of the bridge near Taylor Pond to transfer fuel to smaller boats in a process called “lightering.” Harbormaster Sam Paterson has been attending safety meetings of the U.S. Coast Guard to get them to recognize the risk posed by those transfers.

“We sound like a broken record,” he said, “but at least they are starting to hear the words of a broken record.”

Although the local fire department has trained nearly 80 percent of its volunteers to clean hazardous materials, essential tools, like a skimmer boat and seagoing booms, are needed to combat potential spills.

10 years ago — April 18, 2013
(The Jamestown Press)

The annual swim from Naval Station Newport to Potter Cove in Jamestown has been canceled due to the federal sequestration that took effect in March.

The U.S. Navy said it cannot afford to pay security to direct traffic on the base during the event because of budget cuts to the U.S. Department of Defense. Jonathan Stone, executive director of the event’s organizing body, Save The Bay, said he was disappointed by the decision. He also called the Navy’s excuse “erroneous” because his organization offered to pay incremental costs associated with the swim.

“We understand that this is not a decision from Naval Station Newport,” Stone said. “This is a decision from Washington.”

The sequester also forced the cancellation of the Rhode Island National Guard’s air show at Quonset.