Sergeant P. Andrew McKenna was honored posthumously with the "Rhode Island Cross" this week. The Green Beret died in action overseas in August.

Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo met privately with the parents of Sergeant P. Andrew McKenna  Wednesday. She presented them with the flag that flew at half-staff atop the Statehouse following the news of McKenna’s death.

A wake for Sergeant Peter Andrew McKenna will be held Sunday in Warren as family and friends prepare for his burial on Monday.

McKenna was an army Green Beret, who was killed last week in Afghanistan. His death at the age of 35 followed a suicide bombing in Kabul. 

Known to friends by his middle name, Andrew, McKenna was born in Bristol, where flags now line the streets in his honor. 

Bristol Representative Ray Gallison described the mood there and in the neighboring town of Warren as somber.

Rhode Island and U.S. flags are flying at half-staff in honor of Master Sergeant Peter McKenna. McKenna died in Afghanistan Saturday.

Manuel C. Correira

Organizers believe Bristol has the longest running, continuous 4th of July celebration in the country. It began as what are called "patriotic exercises" in 1785. The parade likely started in the 1800’s.

This year’s Chief Marshall, State Representative Raymond Gallison, Jr., has attended the event every year since 1974. In all those years, he missed the parade just once, in 1978, the year he got married.

John Bender / RIPR FILE

This story is part of our series “Rising Tide” about how – or whether - Rhode Islanders are emerging from the deepest economic recession since the 1930s. The question we’re asking is: Does a rising tide really lift all boats, or are some Rhode Islanders still being left behind?

Bristol-based engineering company helped build a surfboard that could set a world record. The board would be the world’s largest, at 42 feet long and 11 feet wide.

Company president John Barnitt said it started with a phone call out-of-the-blue from an Australian surfboard company. They wanted his company, Mould-CAM, to help them build, the massive surfboard.

This summer, 62 people will ride the board simultaneously, in an attempt to break the world record. Barnitt says he is excited about the project, but won’t be riding the waves himself.

Elisabeth Harrison

High School students in the Bristol-Warren Regional School District were unable to begin PARCC testing as scheduled on Monday. The district says a technical problem led them to delay testing by one day.

A spokeswoman from the superintendent's office said she was unaware of the specifics of the problem, but described it as a technical glitch. She said the district had scheduled an extra day for testing, just in case such a problem arose.

National Grid has completed installing the last of seven weather stations throughout Rhode Island. This program collects local weather information in real time.

The weather stations are strategically located in Coventry, Bristol, Charlestown, Exeter, Hopkinton, and Little Compton. The town of Westerly has had its weather station for only a couple of weeks, and already it’s proved to be useful, said Amy Grzybowski, the town’s emergency management director.

Catherine Welch / RIPR

Narragansett Bay has encircled Rhode Island’s history and culture since the colonial era. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay kicks off our One Square Mile series on the bay.

Narragansett Bay was ours before we were Rhode Island. In 1524, the Italian explorer Giovanni de Verrazano sailed into the uncharted waters of the bay. He was impressed with what he saw, says Christopher Pastore, a professor at the SUNY at Albany and author of the new book `Between Land and Sea’ a history of the bay.

FullChannel Jamie Griffin

Our good friends at FullChannel cable, available to residents of Barrington, Warren and Bristol, are not only nice enough to put RIPR's audio on channel 799.   But also their engineer, Jamie Griffin, has started his own "Engineer's Corner" email newsletter for cable TV folks.

file / RIPR

Rhode Islanders looking to get into the marine trades industry can apply for a free training program. Every graduate from the last round of training landed a job.

 The Rhode Island Marine Trades Association held its first round of training over the summer, and every graduate found a job within 30 days of graduation. So the trade association is doing it again, offering a free, full-time, five-and-a-half-week course.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

With just 37 seats, Persimmon isn’t one of the largest restaurants in Bristol, but it’s won accolades far and wide for its creative cuisine.

Persimmon is nestled on State Street in downtown Bristol.

We took a visit there as part of our One Square Mile series. The sound of an industrial blower can be heard in the background of Persimmon’s kitchen.

Aaron Read / RIPR

A forum featuring Bristol boat builders and industry leaders discussing how the boat building industry is recovering from the bottom dropping out during the financial crisis of 2008.  Recorded Thursday, October 10th at the Bristol Elks Lodge.

One Square Mile: The Portuguese Gardens of Bristol

Oct 12, 2013
Photo Cred. Emma Ruddock

All this week we've been bringing you stories from Bristol in our series One Square Mile. Today we check in on the Portuguese Gardens in Bristol. This specific style of gardening sheds light not only on specific Portuguese traditions but also on the individuals who choose to practice it. Rhode Island Public Radio's Emma Ruddock visits Ed and Rachel Castro to learn more about the beautiful gardens right in their back yard. Here is an audio postcard.


Providence Business News Editor Mark Murphy joins Rhode Island Public Radio's Dave Fallon for a weekly business segment we're calling "The Bottom Line." Each Friday they look at business news and themes that affect local business and the public.

This week Dave and Mark talk with Jonathan Craig, sales and marketing director of GMT Composites of Bristol. The nearly 30-year-old company develops carbon fiber products for a diverse clientele, including the maritime and robotics industries and medical components.

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