2018-02-22 / Island History


The school committee voted to split its two schools into separate entities, The Jamestown Press reported Feb. 28, 2002.

While Lawn and Melrose schools always have been housed in separate buildings, they have been considered one school by the district. The impetus for the split came from the state Department of Education because of the transition to a complex management system.

“We’ve been a bit unusual,” said Frances Gallo, superintendent of schools.

100 years ago — Feb. 22, 1918 (Newport Mercury)

The library’s annual report for 1917 showed there were 8,968 books circulated among 701 patrons.

Broken down by subject, borrowed were 7,373 works of fiction, 317 history, 231 biographies, 112 geography; 262 science, 169 poetry, 227 language and 277 miscellaneous.

75 years ago — Feb. 26, 1943 (Newport Mercury)

The thermometer dipped to 13 degrees below, marking the coldest day recorded in town since 1934.

Cities and towns throughout Newport and Bristol counties were stricken by the cold, forcing school closures and ferry cancellations. The intense freeze, with a low of 20 below recorded at the Mount Hope Bridge, was blamed for one death. John F. Ferrent, 70, was found dead from exposure at his Reservoir Avenue home in Middletown.

50 years ago — Feb. 23, 1968 (Newport Daily News)

Mrs. Allan G. Davenport counted 61 cardinals at 31 feeding stations during the annual census, including 10 birds at J. Elliott Walsh’s property on Cole Street.

There were 33 males among those spotted; every feeder with a female was accompanied by at least one male. While the female cardinals had no difference in their color, Davenport said, some males were lighter than others.

The cardinal is a southern bird. Few were spotted in Rhode Island until 1957, which is when the population exploded.

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

The town councilors have agreed to a new three-year contract with the police union, which includes a 3-percent pay increase this year and 4.5 percent raises in 1994 and 1995.

The union, however, did agree on three concessions. Two of those concessions dealt with health insurance, but a third term will transfer the dispatchers from the police union to another labor organization, which is expected to save taxpayers on salaries and benefits.

10 years ago — Feb. 28, 2008 (The Jamestown Press)

Jamestowner Peter T. Gaynor, a retired U.S. Marine Corps lieutenant colonel, has been appointed by Mayor David Cicilline to lead the Providence

Emergency Management Agency, which also administers the state’s office of Homeland Security.

Gaynor, a decorated soldier who managed operations at Marine headquarters following 9/11, will now direct the agency charged with preparing the capital city for terrorist attacks and natural disasters.

Gaynor’s 26-year resume with the Marines includes security for the president of the United States at Camp David.

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