Flo Jonic / RIPR

Scores of workers who helped clean up after Superstorm Sandy were officially thanked Friday.

The Department of Labor and Training said it had $1.5 million in federal aid and hired about 98 workers to help clean up after the storm. They cleared debris from Fort Adams State Park, the East Bay bike path and worked around Misquamicut Beach to get it ready for the Memorial Day opening of the summer season.

Catherine Welch / RIPR

It was one year ago that Superstorm Sandy slammed onto the Rhode Island coast. The storm raked across Misquamicut Beach, destroying businesses and dumping tons of sand onto Atlantic Avenue. 



The streets are quiet in Misquamicut Beach, mostly the ocean roar and sounds of construction fill the air. Many of the motels and restaurants are closed for the season. But the New Land Motel and Apartments is open. Manager Rinette

Test results from two mosquito pools in Rhode Island have come back positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis. This is the second time EEE has been confirmed in the state this year.

The samples came from traps set in Tiverton and Westerly.  The Department of Environmental Management says the findings aren’t surprising for this time of year, and it’s likely that EEE is present in other parts of the state.

Furthermore, two mosquito pools in Tiverton and Hopkinton have confirmed positive results for Highlands J Virus, that virus is a bird disease that doesn’t affect humans.

Flo Jonic / RIPR

A White House panel says coastal communities damaged by Hurricane Sandy should prepare for future storms due to rising sea levels.

The Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding task force has released a list of recommendations to help communities reduce future damage.

The Presidential task force report says that towns and cities near the coastline need to spend money now in order to avoid costly damage later.

That’s because climate change and rising sea levels are increasing the threat of extreme storms.

The Town of Westerly and Copar Quarries head into mediation Wednesday to see if they can settle a dispute that will please both the quarry and residents.


The Shaw’s supermarket chain says it’s closing six underperforming stores. Four are in southeastern Massachusetts and two are in the Rhode Island communities of Westerly and Woonsocket. 

But the closures won’t necessarily mean massive layoffs. A spokesman for Shaw’s said the company will try to avert layoffs by absorbing the affected employees into their remaining stores.  After the closures of the stores in Westerly and Woonsocket there will be eight Shaw’s stores left in Rhode Island.

Flo Jonic / RIPR

Members of President Obama’s Hurricane Sandy taskforce will be in Rhode Island Monday touring coastal areas hit by last year’s storm.  Westerly officials will make their case for more financial help.

The south coast took a beating, with 150 homes and 30 businesses damaged just in Westerly. Town Manager Steven Hartford says funding is needed to rebuild, elevate and drain Atlantic Avenue, which was severely flooded during Sandy. He said Rhode Island may not have grabbed headlines during the storm, but it needs help too.

Westerly Starts Spraying for Mosquitos

May 15, 2013

Westerly residents may be awakened to the sounds of helicopters overhead Thursday morning.  Continuing a practice begun in 1997, the town of Westerly is conducting aerial spraying against mosquitos.

The targeted areas are portions of Chapman Swamp and the swamp area adjacent to Hespar Drive.

The town uses Bti, a naturally occurring bacterium which prevents larval mosquitoes from developing into adults.  The state Department of Environmental Management says it safe to humans and the environment.

Spraying begins Thursday at 7:00am and continues through 2:00pm.

Flo Jonic / RIPR

The town of Westerly is close to fulfilling its promise to rebuild the Misquamicut Beach area by Memorial Day.  The town has made great strides since Superstorm Sandy left a path of destruction last fall.

It’s not perfect yet, but Misquamicut Beach looks a lot better than it did six-and-a-half months ago. Tons of sand the storm dumped on Atlantic Avenue have been put back on the beach, sand dunes have been restored and shopkeepers are making repairs. Jennifer Cordier of Hartford, Connecticut visited the beach Sunday and was pleasantly surprised.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Rhode Island authorities have until the end of April to make a decision about whether to allow the sale of Westerly Hospital to Connecticut-based Lawrence + Memorial Hospital, but on Wednesday members of the Westerly community will have the chance to comment on the proposed sale.

The Department of Health and the attorney general’s office have final say on the deal, but Attorney General Peter Kilmartin says public input helps to inform the decision.