Block Island

Forest Wander / Creative Commons

The deer culling scheduled to begin this week on Block Island has been postponed until next year. The sharpshooting company hired to cull the deer recommended to postpone the project.

With no natural predators on the island, the Virginia white tailed deer population has grown out of control.
The deer have damaged the island’s ecosystem and spread Lyme disease.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Professional sharpshooters will descend on Block Island next week to cull the island’s deer population.

The Connecticut-based company hired to cull the deer population has been scattering bait since early February to lure deer to specific areas around Block Island.

Copyright: Alstom / Nicolas Jobs

Deepwater Wind has selected a Norwegian company to carry and install the turbines for the Block Island offshore wind farm project. This is the second contract Deepwater has awarded recently.

The Norwegian company, Fred. Olsen Windcarrier, is supplying what’s called a liftboat to install the wind turbines. The liftboat, called the Bold Tern, has a large open deck and cranes robust enough to manage the weight and size of a wind turbine while at sea.

RIPR File

Deepwater Wind selected the French company Alstom to supply its wind turbines for the Block Island offshore wind farm project.

According to a company press release, Deepwater Wind made an initial multi-million dollar payment to Alstom back in December, so that the French manufacturer could begin to build the turbines.

Alstom will supply Deepwater Wind with five 6 megawatt turbines, including tower sections for the wind farm. Construction of the turbines marks a major milestone for the project.

State Managed Deer Hunt Begins On Block Island

Jan 20, 2014
Wikimedia Commons

Starting Tuesday, the second annual state managed deer hunt will be held on Block Island.

It’s the only hunt of its kind on state-owned land. 

The four week hunt takes place on a one-hundred fifteen acre parcel of state-owned land known as Black Rock.

Any Rhode Islander with a state hunting license is eligible to take part in the hunt. However only six hunters will be allowed on the property per day; they’ll be chosen via a lottery system. The bag limit is eight deer per hunter.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

The state Department of Environmental Management has announced plans to cull the population of Virginia white-tailed deer on Block Island.

The density of white-tailed deer on Block Island is estimated at 80 to 100 per square mile.  That’s eight to ten times the desirable level so the state Department of Environmental Management has decided to cull the herd.

The DEM’s Catherine Sparks says they’ll hire professional sharp shooters to kill some of the deer early next year.

Doctors Dropped From Medicare Ask State Leaders For Help

Oct 23, 2013
Wikimedia Commons

United Healthcare has notified an unknown number of Rhode Island doctors that they’re being cut from its Medicare Advantage plan network. The news comes during Medicare’s open enrollment period and could affect thousands of senior citizens in the Ocean State.

Block Island Asks State For Help Combating Lyme

Oct 21, 2013
Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Block Island Health Service officials say the state Department of Health has agreed to meet with them about the steep increase in Lyme disease on the island. Island officials want the state to take a more active role in fighting the disease.

Block Island Health Services officials say they’ve seen 68 cases of Lyme disease through August of this year. That’s up from 48 for all of the previous year. Health service head Barbara Baldwin says she decided it was time to ask for some help.

Courtesy RISCA

The Rhode Island State Council on the Arts is taking submissions from local artists for gallery space at TF Green and the Block Island airport.

An airport might not be the first venue that comes to mind when one thinks of an art gallery. But both the Block Island Airport and TF Green have set aside space to highlight the work of Rhode Island artists. Now the state’s arts council is looking for work to fill those spaces next year.

file / RIPR

Deepwater Wind is looking for a new location to connect its offshore wind farm to the mainland. The original plan was to run a line from its Block Island wind farm to Narragansett’s Town Beach.

Residents complained about the plan, and the town council voted to suspend talks with Deepwater back in May. Deepwater Wind insisted that the lines would be buried ten feet underground. After meeting with residents back in June, Deepwater Wind CEO Jeff Grybowski withdrew an application request on Friday.

The owner of Block’s Island most historic theater said he will have to close later this year unless he can raise $50,000 to buy a digital projector.  An online fundraising drive has raised about $9,000 so far.

At issue is the Empire Theatre, a rustic structure that started life as a roller rink in 1882.  It’s been showing films since the dawn of the movie industry. But after Labor Day, films for its 35 millimeter projector will no longer be available. The industry is converting to digital. 

John Bender / RIPR

In commemoration of National Nurses Week a celebration was held today at the State House in honor of Block Island nurse, Mary Donnelly.

Donnelly retired from her position as a state nurse on the island after more than 55 years of work.  She recalled the beginning of her career, when there was no doctor on the island.

“Best time of my life was when there was no doctor.  Do you know?  Because you had to use your head, use whatever you could to help a person.  And that was innovation I’ll tell you, to work that way.”

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Feb 5, 2013

House lawmakers consider an e-verify bill for employers.  The General Assembly begins hearings this week on the state's budget for next year. These stories and more on the RIPR Morning News Podcast. 


Do you have insight or expertise on this topic? Please email us, we'd like to hear from you.  news@ripr.org
 

Flame Box Crab found around Block Island

Feb 4, 2013

The flame box crab, or Calappa Flammea, has recently been caught twice in the waters off Block Island. 

The crab, distinct for the red flame-like pattern on its shell, is generally found in the Gulf Coast, though it has been found as far north as Massachussetts.

Chair of the Block Island Shellfish Commission, Hermann Gempp, told the  Block Island Times that the crabs most likely migrated north in a storm, or traveled up the Gulf Stream.

(PROVIDENCE, RI) Rhode Island has a new state poet. Dr. Rick Benjamin of Warwick has been selected to replace outgoing state poet Lisa Starr of Block Island, whose 5 year term has expired.   Benjamin lectures at Brown, RISD and is on the faculty of Vermont’s Goddard College. He has published two volumes of poetry and has edited several others.

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