Aaron Read / RIPR

It’s New Year’s Eve, and though there is no city-wide celebration in Providence this year, there are still plenty of ways to ring in the New Year in the state’s capital.

Providence’s ample restaurants and nightclubs have you covered if you want your standard New Year’s fete. For something a little different head over to performance space AS220 for a night full of live comedy.  For the more adventurous find out what the “Psycho-magical beach party” is at the Providence community space and nightclub Aurora.

Wikimedia Commons

As the city of Newport rings in the New Year, it’s also culminating a yearlong celebration of Newport’s 375th anniversary.  

The city-by-the sea has been marking the milestone with lectures, readings, and concerts.  Organizer Steve Waluk said it’s provided residents an opportunity to reflect on the city’s history.  “I think that people who have lived in Newport for generations can appreciate the various impacts that the community’s had on Rhode Island history and U.S. history really,” said Waluk.

Rose Island Lighthouse Foundation

Scientists are embarking upon a major campaign to get wild heron back on Rose Island.  Over the last decade the birds have disappeared from the island which sits between Newport and Jamestown in Narragansett Bay. .

Some 300 hundred pair of heron nested on the island until the mid-2000’s.  That number has dwindled to zero. The island’s caretakers think human activity, and environmental changes are to blame.   They’re fundraising to bring the birds back.  Rick Best is a spokesman for the Rhode Island Lighthouse Foundation.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Teresa Paiva Weed of Newport is poised to be elected next month to her fourth term as president of the Rhode Island Senate. Paiva Weed recently sat down in her Statehouse office to talk about her priorities for 2015 and other issues.


The Navy is abandoning a plan to install wind turbines at Naval Station Newport.  Instead it is considering installing solar panels. 

December’s chill has not slowed the facelift of the historic Newport Casino.  Workers bundled in overalls and jackets, and hoodies and hard hats, have wrapped the steel skeleton of the new indoor tennis facility at the corner of Memorial Drive and Freebody Street and have begun installing the metal roof. The structure replaces a three-court building that opened in 1974.

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Officials in Middletown say slow internet speeds are driving away business, and they’re urging  Newport and Portsmouth to help pay for a faster internet for all of Aquidneck Island.

Wikimedia Commons

One of the last meetings in an ongoing battle over a visitor’s center at the historic Breakers Mansion in Newport will be held Tuesday.  

Early Wave Of Jazz Festival Tickets Go On Sale

Nov 25, 2014
Aaron Read / RIPR

Tickets the Newport Jazz Festival’s Friday shows go on sale at ten o’clock this morning.  It’s the 61st anniversary of the festival.

The Friday concert was added for the jazz festival’s 60th anniversary last year.  Festival organizers decided to offer it again this year.  The lineup will focus on emerging artists and new jazz styles.  Performers include Grammy winner Snarky Puppy, a thirteen piece jazz fusion group, who made their festival debut last year. 

The Friday concerts will be held at Fort Adams State Park in Newport.  The tickets cost $40, and $20 for students.

Spectrum Analyzer
Aaron Read RIPR

Friday night and mid-day Saturday (Nov.14 & 15) ended up being a bit of a saga for what was supposed to be a routine upgrade for our 102.7FM signal in South County.   So first off, an apology to our RIPR listeners on 102.7FM, and to MVYradio's listeners to the 96.5FM signal in Newport.  There were several dropouts, periods when RIPR was on backup transmitter (and thus 96.5 was off entirely), or when both transmitters were down.

Exactly what happened could be described as an avalanche of minutiae, but I'll lay it out as best I can.

Aaron Read / RIPR

Tickets for the Newport Jazz Festival go on sale today. This will be the 61st year for the annual Newport Jazz Fest.

Though the music doesn’t start until July 31st, the public will be able to purchase tickets for the historic festival 10 o’clock this morning.  Last year, for the sixtieth anniversary, the Jazz fest added a third day to its typical two-day lineup.  It’s holding onto the three day schedule this year. The festival is introducing a new cheaper one-day ticket, allowing visitors to choose whether they want to go on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday.


Developer Joe Paolino says he’ll try again to bring table games to Newport. Voters approved turn the Newport Grand slot parlor into a casino, but Newporters voted it down. 

Massachusetts voters gave gambling there a thumbs up. And that will hurt the slot parlor, said Paolino “You know right now I’m more concerned about the workers, because the workers are the ones that really put up this fight, they’re very concerned about their jobs.”

Proponents pushed the jobs angle; while opponents said a casino didn’t fit in Newport.


This Election Day Newport voters will decide whether table games like poker and blackjack will be allowed at Newport Grand slot parlor.  The issue has become divisive in the small waterfront city.


Newport residents defeated the expansion of table games like poker and blackjack at Newport Grand slot parlor two years ago.  But because casinos with table games are likely coming to southern Massachusetts, the issue is back on the ballot. 

This time however, a team of developers want to buy Newport Grand, and they have a plan to sweeten the pot, hoping to get approval.  As part of our Rhody Votes coverage Rhode Island Public Radio’s John Bender explains how the issue is dividing residents in this historic city by the sea.

Catherine Welch / RIPR

In our series One Square Mile we're exploring Narragansett Bay: what's lurking in the bay, its rich natural resources, how it affects the state's economy and the lives lived on the bay.  One of those lives is that of a tour guide who for years has delighted ferry passengers with fascinating stories of the many lighthouses in and around the bay.  

At Quonset Point, the ferry called The Ava Pearl idles along the dock as passengers line up to board. A man with a shock of white hair stands near the front of the line.