Bristol

State of Rhode Island

State leaders are touting their support for a $27 million bond for the construction of a new state veteran’s home. The Bristol home will serve more than 200 elderly veterans.

Voters approved a$ 94 million bond for the home in 2012, but costs swelled as the state worked to comply with federal guidelines. If the bond is approved, the state will spend less money than originally budgeted for the project, due to federal matching funds.

State department of Veterans Affairs spokesman Michael Jolin said the new home will provide both medical care and shelter.

Newport Historical Society

Efforts to mark Newport’s connection to the American slave trade are moving forward. That’s according to a local group hoping to construct a monument commemorating the city by the sea’s place in the country’s dark history.

Organizers say they’ve identified an ideal location for a potential marker. They say they’re holding off on announcing the exact location until they can present a proposal to the Newport Town Council.

RIPR FILE

Voters head to the polls Tuesday for primary elections in Rhode Island, and one of those primaries will fill a House seat formerly held by Ray Gallison. The Democrat resigned under a law enforcement probe likely to include legislative grants, given to an organization with Gallison on the payroll. Rhode Island Public Radio Political Analyst Scott MacKay discussed the race with News Director Elisabeth Harrison.

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
FullChannel

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.

Pages