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.


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.

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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.

Ainhoa Sanchez / Volvo Ocean Race

The six teams competing in the international Volvo Ocean Race departed Newport Sunday.It's the last time the sailors will see land until they reach Lisbon, Portugal.

Thousands of people turned up to Fort Adams in Newport, Sunday to see the crews off.  The City by the Sea has played host to the Volvo Ocean Race for the last week and a half.  It’s the only stopover city in the U.S. and North America.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Sailors competing in the Volvo Ocean Race are attesting to the growing amount of trash found in the ocean. They’ve reported plastic debris getting stuck on their rudders and keels, slowing down their boats. That was the catalyst for a summit focused on ocean debris during the Volvo Ocean Race stopover in Newport.

Sailor Dee Caffari, with Team SCA, has been sailing for 10 years, but she notes the trash has been most prominent along the new routes in this race around the world. What’s most heartbreaking, Caffari said, is witnessing the negative impact trash has on marine creatures.


Beaches have opened and warm weather is upon us, which can mean only one thing for the Ocean State, tourist season has begun. State officials are expecting increases in revenue compared to last year. Summer arrived later than usual last year, and Rhode Island saw just an average tourist season.  But this year thermometers have already been pushing 80 degrees. 

Director of tourism for Commerce RI, Mark Brodeur said early beach openings, and events like the Volvo Ocean sailing race in Newport are giving the season a strong start.

Kristi Wilson / Team Alvimedica

The international sailing world is on display in Newport, as teams from the Volvo Ocean Race make their only North American stop in the City by the Sea. The next week of events is expected to generate millions of dollars and draw thousands of tourists.

Rhode Island Public Radio’s John Bender headed down to Newport to see what all the fuss is about.

In the dead of night on Thursday, a chilly air settled over Fort Adams State Park. A crowd of 7,000 excited spectators thronged the lawn, waiting to catch a glimpse of the boats arriving in the Volvo Ocean Race.

Volvo Ocean Race

Dongfeng Racing arrived first in Newport to the cheers of thousands of fans.  From Fort Adams State Park, Rhode Island Public Radio’s John Bender reports that cannon fire greeted the first-place finishers. 

The Chinese Team, Dongfeng Racing, sailed into Newport Wednesday night, after a grueling, 5,000 mile journey from Brazil.

Several thousand spectators welcomed them to historic Fort Adams State Park, the only North American stopover on the race, waving flags and glow sticks from shore.

URI/RI Sea Grant

With more than 500 public drinking water suppliers in the state, the Rhode Island Department of Health is worried about how they will cope with climate-related changes like intense rains, rising seas, and warmer temperatures. For the next installment of our series, Battle With The Sea, environmental reporter Ambar Espinoza heads to Newport, home to one of the most vulnerable drinking water supplies in the state when it comes to climate change.