Bristol RI

Manuel C. Correira

The flags and bunting adorn the handsome colonials and Greek Revivals along Hope Street, the hydrangeas are blooming and a fresh stripe of red, white and blue has been painted along the July 4th parade route downtown.

The parking lot at the Lobster Pot was clogged yesterday, the Celtic music session at Aidan’s was standing-room only and Independence Park was jammed with revelers listening to a Jimmy Buffet cover band.

The old Rhode Island cliché is that only the best families in our state can trace their lineage all the way back to a slave trader or rum-runner. One of those families, the DeWolfs of Bristol, have dug deep into their family’s dark past as the largest slave-trading family in U.S. history.

Nathaniel Philbrick, a National Book Award winner and bestselling author, will be the commencement speaker at Roger Williams University for the 2015 graduation exercises.

Philbrick is a noted author who has made New England’s early history accessible to academics and lay readers alike, will receive an honorary degree at the university’s commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 16.

Hike the streets of Bristol this week. It’s an exercise in history and Old Home Week. From the concerts in Independence Park, to the taverns, markets and a Hope Street adorned with the freshly painted  red, white and blue stripe down the middle.

This old  New England port, marinated in history, is the scene this week of handshakes and hugs, as people who haven’t seen each other recently - some in many years – greet and relive the old times.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gina Raimondo says Rhode Island needs to do a better job of developing tourism as a spark plug for the economy. Raimondo unveiled a tourism plan Wednesday morning as part of her campaign for the state’s top job.

Roger Williams University

Roger Williams University is bringing HousingWorks RI into its fold. HousingWorks is a local nonprofit that studies affordable housing and economic development.

Associate Vice President for University Relations, Pete Wilbur, said HousingWorks RI already operates out of the university’s facility in Providence, and faculty members are on the board. He said making the nonprofit part of the university gives students hands on opportunities.