Aquidneck Island

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Officials in Middletown say slow internet speeds are driving away business, and they’re urging  Newport and Portsmouth to help pay for a faster internet for all of Aquidneck Island.

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation is gearing up to demolish the old Sakonnet River Bridge. The old, truss bridge was built back in the 1950’s after Hurricane Carol washed away the stone bridge linking Aquidneck Island to Tiverton.

It was replaced in 2012 with a new span that caused a bit of a stir over tolling. 

Removing the defunct bridge requires permitting, said RIDOT’s deputy chief engineer Robert Smith, because it’s going to take explosives to bring it down.

Robert Knudsen. White House Photographs. / John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston

It’s been a half-century  years since the assassination of John F. Kennedy.  RIPR Political analyst Scott MacKay explores why Kennedy loved Rhode Island and why the Ocean State loved JFK.

Our state is America’s smallest but it loomed large in the life of John F. Kennedy.

From the time Kennedy was a young man, he and his family were shaped by experiences in Rhode Island.  If any event forged the career of John Kennedy it was his World War II heroics as patrol torpedo lieutenant in the U.S. Navy.

Flo Jonic / RIPR

Starting this Monday morning, it will cost you a dime to cross the Sakonnet River Bridge.  The toll went into effect at midnight over the objections of protesters.

About 100 people hung over the sides of the Sakonnet River Bridge Sunday evening waving American flags and signs saying “No Tolls” and “Stop the Theft.” Motorists honked in agreement.

Courtesy RI DOT

The state is slated to begin charging a new 10-cent toll on the Sakonnet River Bridge next Monday.  Yet it’s not exactly clear how the state will collect that money.

The General Assembly added the 10-cent toll, basically as a placeholder, at the end of the legislative session. The legislature took that action because the absence of a toll on the new span could prevent the state from adding one at a later date. State Rep John Edwards of Tiverton says the toll remains unpopular in the East Bay.