The new elementary school on Melrose Avenue is officially open for business, The Jamestown Press reported Aug. 15, 1991.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was conducted to commemorate the building receiving its occupancy permit. Built by the F.W. Brown Company, of Connecticut, the school will serve students in kindergarten through fourth grade. Although the contracted bid to build the facility was $3.26 million, the final cost was $4.1 million, according to Phyllis Schmidt, superintendent. That price included “everything to make the school livable,” she said, from furniture to the archaeological survey.

100 years ago — Aug. 11, 1923
(Newport Mercury)

The tugboat Boxer lost a member of its crew off the Dumplings as it was putting out to sea with a tow of three barges. The man fell overboard and before help could reach him, he disappeared. A report was made at the U.S. Customs Office in Newport.

75 years ago — Aug. 13, 1948
(Newport Mercury)

Jamestown will reverse the trend of most neighboring communities by reducing its tax rate from $23.50 to $21.50 largely through the use of money from its sinking fund. The tax assessors have reached a tentative figure for the 1948-49 fiscal year, which will permit the reduction.

The current assessments will raise $117,030. The present figures could change slightly, however, when data is furnished by the Federal Land Development Corporation on its Jamestown Shores resident project.

Voters directed the assessors to raise between $112,000 and $120,000. This will result in the lowest tax rate since 1940, when it was $20 per $1,000. To pay ferry notes and road bonds, $32,760 was taken from the sinking fund, which enabled the lower rate.

50 years ago — Aug. 10, 1973
(Newport Mercury)

Merton Hull, who was Jamestown’s fire chief for 20 years, died at South County Hospital in Wakefield after a long illness. He was 74.

A member of the fire department for 42 years, Hull served as chief from 1945 until he retired in 1965. He was a carpenter contractor and a caretaker of summer cottages. Hull, a charter member of the Jamestown Lions Club, is a direct descendant of Jamestown’s earlier families. His parents were Charles Edward and Nettie Caswell Hull.

25 years ago — Aug. 13, 1998
(The Jamestown Press)

A landmark policy by the federal government has made Rhode Island the only state in the nation to ban the dumping of marine sewage into its coastal waters.

John DeVillars, who serves as the regional administrator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, approved the request based on a six-year study by the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management. The state agency said it needs to further increase the number of the pumpout facilities, which has ballooned eightfold since 1990, because the number of registered boats continues to grow.

Gov. Lincoln Almond said this law “will go a long way in enabling us to maintain the pristine water” in the Ocean State.

“We’re very proud that Rhode Island is the first state in the nation to have this designation,” Almond said. “It’s testimony to my administration’s commitment to protect the environment.”

The two pumpout facilities in Jamestown — at East Ferry and Dutch Harbor — are both free to use. Harbormaster Sam Paterson said there is no fee because the complimentary service encourages boaters to use the stations.

“Any little thing helps,” he said. “I want to achieve clean water.”

10 years ago — Aug. 15, 2013
(The Jamestown Press)

The quasi-public state bridge authority said it will return both the Sakonnet and Jamestown spans to the Rhode Island Department of Transportation if it is unable to increase and collect tolls on the Sakonnet River Bridge.

David Darlington, chairman of the board for the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority, said the contract with the state has a provision that allows the agency to return the bridges to the state if a revenue source can’t be found to pay for the four-span system.

The transportation agency already has said it doesn’t have the money to maintain the two spans. The bridge authority still would own the Newport and Mount Hope bridges if it returned the other two spans.

A decision by the state legislature at the end of its 2013 session instituted a 10-cent toll on the Sakonnet span. The legislature said if no toll was imposed, federal law could prevent any tolls in the future while the 10- cent toll allows for future increases.