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A turn-of the century Newport woman is the subject of a new documentary out this week; she gained national attention for being ahead of their time.

Ida Lewis, tended the Lime Rock Lighthouse in Newport throughout out the late eighteen-hundreds, a job she inherited after her father passed away.

The Bottom Line: The State of Catering In RI

May 23, 2014

Providence Business News Editor Mark Murphy joins Rhode Island Public Radio's Dave Fallon for our weekly business segment The Bottom Line.

This week Dave and Mark talk with Lisa Mattiello, founder of Pranzi Catering and Events of Providence and Newport. She was recently named Small Business Person of the Year in Rhode Island for 2014.

When to Listen

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

Do you have insight or expertise on this topic? Please email us, we'd like to hear from you.

Aircraft Carrier In Newport To Be Scrapped

May 13, 2014

The Navy has announced that it will send an aircraft carrier that has been moored in Newport to Texas to be recycled into scrap metal. The USS Saratoga was decommissioned in 1994 after serving the Navy for thirty-eight years. Because a lack of local funding is preventing the ship from being turned into a museum, Chris Johnson of the Naval Sea Systems Command says that scrapping is a necessary course of action.

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The Newport Historical Society is working to attract more visitors by drawing more attention to the city’s revolutionary history. Historical Society director Ruth Taylor says they plan to revamp the historic Wanton-Lymon-Hazard house into a museum that brings Newport’s role in the American Revolution to life. Right now, said Taylor, places like Boston and Concord corner the revolutionary tourist market.

“They’re eating our lunch because really important things from the same period happened here. And it’s just less well known," said Taylor.

Providence Business News Editor Mark Murphy joins Rhode Island Public Radio's Dave Fallon for a weekly business segment The Bottom Line.

This week Dave and Mark talk Joe Paolino about plans he and his partners have to revamp Newport Grand. The idea is to turn the struggling slot parlor into an entertainment complex that offers table games, but that all hinges on residents approving the move at the polls.

When to Listen

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

Developer Joe Paolino and two partners have signed an agreement to buy Newport Grand.

Paolino isn’t ready to say how much he’s paying for Newport Grand, but said he and his partners are ready to bring table games to Newport and sink $40 million to upgrade the struggling slot parlor.

file / RIPR

Former Providence Mayor Joseph Paolino said he and some partners are interested in buying Newport Grand. Paolino said the struggling slot parlor needs to be saved before table games come to Massachusetts.

Paolino said he and his two partners have been talking with owners of Newport Grand since last summer. Since then Foxwoods has been looking at building a casino in Fall River, and Paolino sees that as a dire threat.

A state representative says he's outlived one Sakonnet River Bridges in his lifetime. He's concerned about whether the state will find the funds to maintain the current one.

Providence Business News Editor Mark Murphy joins Rhode Island Public Radio's Dave Fallon for our weekly business segment, The Bottom Line.

Newport Restoration Foundation

The Newport Restoration Foundation has added a new jewel to its crown of original colonial housing. And this isn’t just any home.  Its owner was a man who made American furniture-making history.

The Newport Restoration Foundation has purchased the home of Christopher Townsend, founder of the famous cabinet making company whose colonial-era furniture sells today for millions of dollars.  Foundation director Pieter Roos said they picked up the 1725 red house with white trim for $645,000.   The company’s original cabinet making shop is a single story wing at the right of the house.

The Rhode Island Music Hall of Fame has announced the class of 2014. There are nine inductees, who range from folk and jazz musicians to R&B to club owners. The museum located in Pawtucket's Hope Artiste Village will hold a series of events next month to induct the musicians.

Rhode Island Public Radio’s Catherine Welch caught up with the museum’s Rick Bellaire for a few stories about these musicians from Rhode Island who made a name for themselves around the world.

Springtime Snow On The Way For Rhode Island

Mar 24, 2014
Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

After a relatively warm weekend, with highs in the upper fifties on Saturday, Rhode Island is now being struck by below-freezing temperatures.  And now snow is on the way.

The National Weather Service is watching a storm that’s expected to hit the North East on Tuesday night, lasting into Wednesday.  Newport and Aquidneck Island are expected to get the brunt of it, with four to six inches of snow. A winter storm advisory has already been issued for the area. The rest of the state will see between two and four inches.

  The Newport Police Department is trying something new for tomorrow’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade-- they're giving citizens with smart phones another way to help keep the city safe.

An Australian museum official will meet with Rhode Island archaeologists to discuss a way to partner in the search for the wreck of Capt. James Cook's ship Endeavor.


British explorer Capt. James Cook traveled on the ship Endeavor to the east coast of Australia in 1770, thus Australians consider Cook their founder and the Endeavor their founding ship.


The Endeavor changed hands and was renamed the Lord Sandwich, which sailed to Rhode Island only to be sunk in 1778 during a British blockade of Narragansett Bay.


Salve Regina University

A huge, century-old painted canvas was discovered in Newport, hidden under two layers of paint on the ceiling of a Salve Regina University building. Visiting conservators were scraping off a layer of ceiling paint when they accidentally exposed the work of art underneath.

Salve Regina professor and chair of university’s cultural and historic preservation program Robert Russell described the moment of discovery:

John Bender / RIPR

Meteorologists predict Wednesday’s storm will be quick and hard hitting. Glenn Field with the National Weather Service said the snow will hit around 4:00 am and start coming down hard during the morning commute, “maybe one to perhaps two inches per hour, for about four or five hours during that rush hour period,” said Field.

A list of closings and parking bans can be found here.