Wikimedia Commons

Portsmouth is considering a no-smoking ordinance that could make all of Aquidneck Island’s public beaches and parks smoke free. The town council voted Monday to draft the ordinance, which could be approved as early as September.

Neighboring Newport and Middletown already have similar bans in place.

Portsmouth Town Administrator Richard Rainor says he’s not sure what penalty the ordinance might carry, but he believes it will still be effective.

Rhode Island Historical Society

America's first president, George Washington, comes to Rhode Island Saturday, or at least an actor who portrays Washington at his Mt. Vernon Estate.

The visit is part of the Historical Society's celebration of the 225th anniversary of Washington's final trip to Rhode Island

The stop in the Ocean State came in 1790, when Washington toured Providence and Newport , visiting at sites like Brown University and Touro Synagogue. It wasn’t his first trip to New England, but as president, Washington avoided the state because Rhode Island had not yet ratified the Constitution.

Megan Sepe

Ocean crews will sail through the night for the 11th annual Ida Lewis Distance Race. The race leaves Newport Friday.

Roughly 40 boats are expected to set sail from Fort Adams in Newport. Their course will depend on wind speeds and will take about 24-hours to complete.  Organizer Skip Helme said if the winds are strong enough, the boats may travel as far as Montauk Long Island.

Military's Tallest Ship Arrives In Newport

Aug 7, 2015

The tallest ship in the U.S. military arrives Friday in Newport.  The Coast Guard cutter, “The Eagle,” is 295 feet in length and uses more than 6 miles of rigging. For over 60 years, the sailing vessel has served as a classroom for future Coast Guard officers.

Michael Thompson is stationed with the U.S. Coast Guard in Newport. He will be assisting with public tours of the ship this weekend.

Newport Jazz Festival To Salute Miles Davis

Jul 29, 2015
Tom Palumbo/Creative Commons License

This year's Newport Jazz Festival marks the 60th anniversary of legendary trumpeter Miles Davis' first performance at the festival.

Plans for the celebration include musician tributes to Davis and other events, according to festival organizers.


Fifty years ago this week, on July 25, 1965, a young folk singer named Bob Dylan took the stage at the Newport Folk Festival and transformed himself from a defender of the folk tradition into a leader of a new breed of popular musician, the rock and roll troubadour.

This year’s Newport Folk festival kicks off Friday, and it will include a tribute to this moment in rock and roll history.  Rhode Island Public Radio host Chuck Hinman asked  Newport Folk Festival Founder George Wein to remember the iconic performance.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Earlier this spring, we brought you a report from our series Battle With The Sea about the impact of climate change on Aquidneck Island's drinking water with warmer temperatures, heavier rains, and more intense storms. But there’s more to the story. We pick up where we left off.

Wikimedia Commons

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
Wikimedia Commons

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.


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.