Newport

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Rhode Island’s attorney general is taking no position on who owns a pair of ceremonial bells at Newport’s Touro Synagogue. The bells are the subject on an ongoing court battle.

The lawsuit centers on an ornate pair of silver bells that date to colonial times. Congregation Shearith Israel, which calls Touro Synagogue home, wants to sell the bells to Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts to raise money. But a congregation in New York is crying foul.

They claim they own the bells, and have no interest in selling.

Introducing A New Generation To Kites At Newport Festival

Jul 11, 2015

Hundreds of kites will fly over Brenton Point this weekend for Newport’s annual Kite Festival. The festival has been going on for more than twenty years.    

(From festival organizers, this video showcases a kite race from the event in 2011.)

Festival organizer Ron Kitt says the event is a way to expose people to the sport of kiting.

French Replica Warship L'Hermione Docks In Newport

Jul 9, 2015
Bachelot Pierre J-P / Wikimedia Commons

A replica of French warship from revolutionary times docks Wednesday in Newport. L’Hermione  made a famous voyage from France to America under the command of French General Marquis De Lafayette.

Ruth Taylor of the Newport Historical Society said the ship tells an important story about French support for the American colonists during the revolution.

“I hope that the ship will remind us that international cooperation has created great things in the past and probably can again. And I also hope that people recognize that the past has something to teach us,” said Taylor

Photo Courtesy of St. Michael's Country Day School

The bill to make the American burying beetle the official state insect heads to the governor’s desk. This was the result of steady lobbying by third graders in Newport.

  

John Bender / RIPR

The first man to sail non-stop around the world by himself (in 1968) is in Newport this week preparing for the Transatlantic Ocean Race, which kicks off this weekend.

Now at age 76, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston is skippering is one of nearly 40 teams participating in the 3,000 nautical mile race from Newport to Cornwall England. He sat down with Rhode Island Public Radio’s John Bender on his boat in Newport harbor to talk about his life-long career in sailing.

More than forty sailboats are getting ready to compete in the historic Transatlantic Ocean Race in Newport. The official start of the race is this weekend.

The race stretches from Newport to South Cornwall, the southernmost point in England. The event is considered a classic competition, the first Transatlantic Race set off from Newport in 1866.

This year’s competitors include Sir Robert Knox-Johnston, the first man to sail solo around the world without stopping. At 76, Knox-Johnston says he thinks he’s got a good shot at success thanks to a strong team.

Newport City Council OKs Smoking Ban On City Beaches

Jun 24, 2015
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The Newport City Council has banned smoking on all public beaches. The ban also includes Newport’s famous Cliff Walk and other public walkways. It takes effect immediately.

Newport’s Mayor, Jeanne-Marie Nepalitano says the action came after the recent Volvo Ocean Race, which left some beaches littered with cigarette butts.

RIPR FILE

Hugh Auchincloss III, one of Rhode Island’s last links to John Kennedy’s presidential administration has died at age 87 in Newport. Rhode Island Public Radio political analyst spoke with afternoon host Dave Fallon, about Auchincloss’ ties to the political family, and his life in Newport.

Auchincloss spoke to Rhode Island Public Radio in November 2013, during the 50th anniversary of JFK’s assignation. It can be heard here.

Ainhoa Sanchez / Volvo Ocean Race

Sailors in the Volvo Ocean Race embarked on the final leg of a months-long odyssey around the globe.  The local favorite, Team Alvimedica is in 5th place. 

The competition kicked off last October, with stops in Spain, South American and Newport in May. The weeklong stopover drew thousands of tourists and an estimated tens of millions of dollars. Newport officials hope it will bolster the city’s reputation as an international sailing hub.

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After more three years, the fight over colonial silver bells, between two of the country’s oldest Jewish congregations is heading to court. The trial will take place at U.S. District court in Providence.

The fight began in 2012, after the congregation at Touro Synagogue in Newport, received a $7.4 million appraisal for a pair of ornate silver bells, dating back to colonial times. The ceremonial bells are part of the Torah housed in the 250 year-old synagogue.

Daniel Guy via Flickr Creative Commons

Newport beaches and parks, and the historic Cliff Walk may soon become smoke-free. The Newport City Council has given a preliminary green light to a smoking ban.

Newport Mayor Jeanne-Marie Napolitano said the city council will likely give the smoking ban a final approval next month. She said most of the council members support the move, while a few others would like a compromise, such as designated smoking areas.

Napolitano said the benefit of a smoking ban on public beaches and in parks is two-fold.

Wikimedia Commons

The Newport Folk Festival has announced plans to celebrate this year’s 50th anniversary of Bob Dylan going electric.  But details of the celebration remain a mystery.

In true Folk festival fashion, producers are keeping silent on the headlining act for what they’ve dubbed “65 revisited,” an affectionate nod to the Bob Dylan album ‘Highway 61 Revisited.’

John Bender / RIPR

    

Memorial Day marked the kickoff of Navy Week in Rhode Island. The event comes to cities across the U.S., but this is a first for the Ocean State, despite a long history with the Navy. East Greenwich (unofficially) touts itself as the birthplace of the American Navy, and Newport continues to be home to a naval station, and the Naval War College.

Rhode Island Public Radio’s morning host Chuck Hinman sat down with Capt. Dennis Boyer, commanding officer at Naval Station Newport to talk about the celebration and the Navy's role in Rhode Island, past and present.

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 speak to Douglas Stark, the director of the International Tennis Hall of Fame museum. The museum just reopened following a $3 million renovation. Stark discusses the genesis of the renovation plan.  He also discusses the inclusion of high-tech exhibits, which he hopes attracts younger audiences.

When to listen

You can hear The Bottom Line each Friday at 5:50pm.

International Tennis Hall of Fame

After being closed for six months, the International Tennis Hall of Fame Museum reopens Wednesday, following a $3 million renovation.

For a more in-depth look at the new museum check out Mike Szostak's On Sports blog post.

The museum will now display nearly 2000 objects, including the one of the earliest known paintings of tennis, dating back to 1538.  The museum will also display historic racquets, and memorabilia from the early days of modern tennis.

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