Newport residents threw a big welcome home party Sunday for Heather Abbott. She’s the 38-year-old woman who lost the lower part of her left leg in the Boston Marathon bombings. A veritable who’s who of Rhode Island’s political establishment was on hand to praise her courage and spunk.
The Preservation Society of Newport County donated the use of Rosecliff Mansion for Heather Abbott’s welcome home party. When she arrived on crutches, wearing a form-fitting royal blue sleeveless dress, she received a round of applause.
Newport residents received notice this week that levels of some cancer-causing chemicals in their water have exceeded what’s allowed by the federal government. It’s no emergency, but the city is upgrading its treatment facilities to prevent possible long term health effects.
A fundraiser swim across Narragansett Bay is in jeopardy because of federal sequestration. The environmental group Save the Bay says the Navy can no longer help host the summer event that’s been going on for more than 30 years in Newport.
The group still plans to hold the swim but says it’s facing financial challenges. Save the Bay says they’ve lost at least million dollars in annual federal funding over the past few years. Their Newport aquarium was also destroyed in Superstorm Sandy.
The Newport City Council will be reviewing a plan at Wednesday's meeting to rebuild the famed Cliff Walk damaged last year by Superstorm Sandy. Many in the town are concerned about how a proposed plan could alter the ocean waves that give the historic Breakers mansion its name.
The season of St. Patrick’s has already kicked off in Rhode Island. Pawtucket’s annual parade stepped off on Saturday. Newport’s St. Patrick’s Day parade gets marching on Saturday, March 16. And Providence’s parade takes place next Saturday. Sister Anne Keefe has been named this year’s Grand Marshal for the Providence parade. She’s recognized for her work in social justice and human rights, including chairing the Providence Human Rights Commission and co-founding the Institute for the Study and Practice of Nonviolence.
Rhode Island will soon be home to its very own Tall Ship: the SSV Oliver Hazard Perry. Picture the HMS Rose, featured in the Hollywood film Master & Commander, but much larger and made of steel. The 196 foot SSV Oliver Hazard Perry will be thirteen and a half stories tall, with three masts supporting square sails. The ship is being built by a non-profit organization, and is named for a Rhode-Island born naval hero of the War of 1812.