Westerly

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Celebrity gossip blogs are speculating that Taylor Swift plans to spend the Fourth of July in Westerly, where the pop star owns a beach house.

Last year, Swift hosted a star-studded holiday bash in Rhode Island, drawing attention on social media. The singer has blogged that the Fourth of July is one of her favorite holidays.

Courtesy of Steve Dubois

The Westerly Town Council is considering buying a quarry that has been a source of complaints and lawsuits over the course of more than five years. As a first step, the Westerly Town Council votes Monday night on whether they will move forward hiring an appraiser to assess the quarry's property value. 

RIPR file photo / CCRI

The community college of Rhode Island is partnering with submarine builder General Dynamics Electric Boat on a new satellite campus in Westerly. The facility will offer typical college classes as well as specialty technical training.

With the new partnership, Electric Boat will offer workforce development classes to its employees in fields including carpentry and pipefitting.  Electric Boat and CCRI will also begin a program for high schoolers, similar to vocational training, which could culminate in a job following graduation.

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Three Rhode Island school districts have been chosen for a new state initiative aimed at preparing students for jobs in high tech industries. Newport, Providence and Westerly will be part of the program known as P-TECH; short for Pathways in Technology Early College High School program.

RIPR FILE

The Community College of Rhode Island plans to open a new facility in Westerly to train workers for Electric Boat.

The company needs welders and other specialized employees to build nuclear submarines. Rhode Island Education Commissioner Jim Purcell said the new center is part of an effort to be more responsive to Electric Boat and other companies.

“And we’ve made a commitment to actually have a learning center at Westerly, which is really going to support job opportunity and access not only here in Rhode Island, but also at the Groton, Ct. site,” said Purcell.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Nearly three years after Superstorm Sandy, some Rhode Island residents are still dealing with the aftermath. And it’s not just damage to buildings and property. These Rhode Islanders are struggling with mental illness related to stress. 

Lia McLaughlin / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Work is underway to remove the White Rock Dam on the Pawcatuck River, along the Rhode Island/Connecticut border.The dam was built in 1940.

The White Rock Dam is located seven miles from the mouth of the Pawcatuck River, near Westerly and Stonington, Ct. Dams have restricted its flow since before the American Revolutionary War. The current dam stands six feet tall and more than 100 feet long. 

Courtesy of Steve Dubois

The Connecticut-based company operating a controversial quarry in Westerly has voluntarily shut down. The quarry has been a source of frustration for residents, who have complained about dust and noise pollution.

Celebrity magazines are reporting that Pop Star Taylor Swift is in Rhode Island, where she plans to host a barbeque for the 4th of July.

Scottish musician Calvin Harris posted a photo of Swift on Instagram at what looks like her Watch Hill Mansion. Swift can be seen grilling vegetables on a flagstone deck with the ocean in the background.

US Weekly reports that Swift hosted a 4th of July party last year at her multi-million dollar home in Westerly. This year the magazine reports her preparations include a large slide, and several deliveries.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

The Department of Environmental Management has announced the closure of two areas in Charlestown; trails through East Beach and Ninigret Conservation Area. The trails are closed as of Tuesday, to protect Piping Plover nesting areas. 

The small shore bird is endangered and makes its home in the Ocean State.

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The town of Westerly plans to spray for mosquitoes Friday. Helicopters will drop granules of mosquito larvicide on about 500 acres in Chapman Swamp. 

 

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The house finance committee is set to hear testimony this week regarding portions of the proposed state budget. The agenda includes the so-called “Taylor Swift Tax.”

It’s known that way because of the pop singer who owns a multi-million dollar vacation home in Westerly… the budget article proposes a property tax on vacation homes worth more than one million dollars.

National Grid has completed installing the last of seven weather stations throughout Rhode Island. This program collects local weather information in real time.

The weather stations are strategically located in Coventry, Bristol, Charlestown, Exeter, Hopkinton, and Little Compton. The town of Westerly has had its weather station for only a couple of weeks, and already it’s proved to be useful, said Amy Grzybowski, the town’s emergency management director.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

The head of the Environmental Protection Agency’s New England region is in Rhode Island Wednesday. Curt Spalding will survey parts of the state, to see which are at risk to storms and increased sea level rise.

For two days, the EPA’s Curt Spalding will tour areas in Westerly, South Kingstown, North Kingstown and Warwick. The idea behind the tour is twofold: to examine at-risk areas, and share ideas and existing tools for how to plan for rising seas and more violent storms.

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.

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