A federal judge has ordered the owner of the World Prodigy tanker to pay a $500,000 fine after the ship spilled 250,000 gallons of heating oil into Narragansett Bay, The Jamestown Press reported Oct. 5, 1989. Ballard Shipping Co. also agreed to pay $1 million in cleanup costs as part of a plea agreement. The tanker’s captain, Iakovos Georgudis, was fined $10,000 for violating the U.S. Clean Water Act.
100 years ago — Oct. 5, 1918 (Newport Mercury)
Jamestown doubled its portion as Rhode Islanders surpassed the $50 million allotment in Liberty loans by nearly $16 million. With an allotment of $25,000, the subscriptions by town donors totaled $54,500. Across the bay, Newport subscribers surpassed their $3 million allotment by $200,000. The war bonds will support the allied cause in Europe.
75 years ago — Oct. 8, 1945 (Newport Mercury)
A champagne bottle was smashed over the bow of a Navy destroyer named after a Jamestown admiral. The USS Richard P. Leary was launched from the Boston Boat Yard. The christening was
sponsored by Leary’s granddaughter, Mrs. George K. Crozer, a summer resident from Pennsylvania.
During the Civil War, Leary served on the monitor Sangamon assigned to the Atlantic blockade. He also commanded the cruiser San Francisco off the coast of Cuba during the Spanish-American War. Leary was 59 when he died in 1901.
50 years ago — Oct. 4, 1968 (Newport Daily News)
Pam Grant helmed Ripple to a victory in the Newport Yacht Club’s final race of the season for the Ensign class. In southwesterly winds between 8-10 knots, Grant’s boat led the entire way, from Goat Island to Kettlebottom in Mackerel Cove and back. Betsey Mathison and Lorna Tolderlund also earned podium finishes.
25 years ago — Oct. 7, 1992 (The Jamestown Press)
A week after Gov. Bruce Sundlun declared a state of emergency in Jamestown, the National Guard has started delivering water as North Pond dropped another 2 inches. Despite the shortage, municipal
water customers used 104,700 gallons last week, which is 20,000 more than the feds were able to deliver. The town is now awaiting word from the Pentagon, which will determine when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will be activated to construct an emergency pipeline from North Kingstown.
10 years ago — Oct. 9, 2008 (The Jamestown Press)
John Biddle, a Beavertail Road resident famous for his yachting cinematography, has died. He was 83. Biddle fought with the U.S. Army during World War II. Following the war, he was drawn to filmmaking in the mid-1950s after
watching a John Jay documentary about skiing. For his first film, he brought his camera aboard the 51- foot cutter Souvenir during the 1956 Bermuda Race. He filmed every America’s Cup from 1958- 87, capturing mercurial 12 Metres skippers such as Ted Turner, Dennis Conner, Ted Hood and Bus Mosbacher.