Andrea Hansen / Redwood Library

Newport’s historic Redwood Library is about to start charging entrance fees for the first time in its 269-year history. The private library was founded in 1747 and has been funded through a combination of membership fees, donations and grants. 

But this year the library has fallen short of expenses. Spokeswoman Gretchen Markert said starting next month they will charge a $10 entrance fee for all non-members who visit the library collection.

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Three Rhode Island school districts have been chosen for a new state initiative aimed at preparing students for jobs in high tech industries. Newport, Providence and Westerly will be part of the program known as P-TECH; short for Pathways in Technology Early College High School program.

RIPR file photo

The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority has secured millions in federal financing to upgrade the Gateway Center on America's Cup Avenue. The funds will be used for exterior repairs and improvements to the transit and visitor's center, which was damaged during Superstorm Sandy.

According to the state's Congressional delegation, the funding represents an expansion of an earlier $1.6 million grant. That grant led to a design process that revealed more work would be needed to "improve passenger protection and reduce flooding" at the site.


Tickets for the Newport Folk Festival go on sale Wednesday, about six months before the event. As usual, no artists have yet been announced for the 2016 festival. In previous years, a limited number of early-bird tickets were sold first. This year, all tickets will be released at the same time, (though the first ten percent sold will be discounted.)

Organizers expect tickets to go quickly, as the event has sold out in recent years. The Folk Festival is limited to about 10,000 people per day, making it smaller than many other high-profile music festivals.

Providence Business News Editor Mark Murphy joins Rhode Island Public Radio's Dave Fallon for our weekly business segment, The Bottom Line.

This week Mark and Dave chat with RI Department of Environmental Management Director Janet Coit about the return of the Volvo Ocean Race in 2018.


Coit says race organizers plan to make Fort Adams the only U.S. stopover in the race for a second time after receiving strong reviews from sailors and spectators.

Amory Ross / Team Alvimedica

The Volvo Ocean race is coming back to Newport in 2018. The international sailing event drew more than 100,000 people to the city by the sea this summer.

According to state officials, the final tally was nearly 130,000 spectators, who came for the races at Fort Adams State Park.

Newport was the only North American stop on the grueling international sailing race, which spans some 40-thousand nautical miles and takes nine months to complete.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Six months after the launch of her foundation, Boston Marathon bombing survivor Heather Abbott is providing a Massachusetts woman with a prosthetic leg. The foundation is dedicated to providing specialty prosthetic devices so patients can do all kinds of activities like running and swimming. Abbott lost part of her left leg in the Boston Marathon bombings.

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The chair of the National Endowment for the Arts, Jane Chu, toured the Ocean State Friday. The visit was part of the 50th anniversary celebration of the NEA.

Chu says she was surprised by what she called a “thriving” arts community in Rhode Island. She said the state recognizes the impact of the arts on the economy.

"When we put the arts in a corner, or we think that it’s a frill, we’re really doing a disservice to the transformational power of the way arts touches our lives every day; everything from jobs to career training, to the beauty of arts themselves," said Chu.


Three marketing firms have been chosen to develop a tourism campaign for Rhode Island. The announcement follows a months-long, national search. One of the firms is New York based Milton Glaser Inc., the agency responsible for the iconic “I Heart New York Campaign.”

In a written statement, Mr. Glaser wrote, “We’re enthusiastic about working on the Rhode Island project, because, among other things, small is beautiful.”

The other firms are HAVAS PR, a public relations firm with an office in Providence, and the Jamestown-based design group Epic Decade.

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As the Pope concludes his historic trip to the United States, dozens of Rhode Island students plan to attend his outdoor mass in Philadelphia. 

Collection of John Benson

This Saturday, Sept. 26, the Newport Art Museum opens the exhibit "Reviving Durr Freedley: Newport's Forgotten Artist." Freedly painted the murals that cover the interior of the Seamen's Institute chapel, but the painter and his art has been all but forgotten, until now.


This week on The Bottom Line, RIPR's Dave Fallon sits down with Discover Newport CEO Evan Smith to discuss the strongest tourism season in recent memory.

Providence Business News editor Mark Murphy, who usually joins the conversation, is on vacation, so RIPR News Director Elisabeth Harrison fills in.

According to Smith, food travel is taking off in a big way in Newport, and many tourists are increasingly seeking "authentic" experiences. That leaves an opening for new businesses, such as movie tours and kite surfing.


Newport teachers wrapped up two days of training Thursday before the new school year starts after Labor Day. But their contract talks remain at an impasse. National Education Association of Rhode Island President Larry Purtill said there is still time to return to the bargaining table.

“Right now there’s nothing formally set up or any formal discussion but I would hope that would take place very quickly,” said Purtill.

The main sticking point is a contract provision that provides extra pay when class sizes go over the limit.

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Students in Newport will learn tips during the new school year on how to stay out of harm’s way when they walk and bike to school.

Newport Historical Society

Dozens of historical reenactors gather in Newport Saturday to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the Stamp Act Riots. The events were some of the first rumblings of the Revolutionary War.