Rise & Shine! Your Newport County guide for Feb. 8

Rise & Shine! I’m Scott Barrett, digital editor for The Daily News, and today is Feb. 8, the 39th day of the year — 326 days remain in 2022. On this day in 1985, the CBS primetime television show “The Dukes of Hazzard” made its series finale, ending a 147-episode run over seven seasons.

Here & Now

• While Newport deals with issues regarding the construction of a new Rogers High School, officials in Middletown are examining the future of its own schools and how much money should be spend to improve them.

The town's School Building Committee presented a $90 million bond figure that would go before voters in November, but the Town Council in a split vote approved only a portion of that. Reporter Laura Damon spoke with council President Paul Rodrigues and School Building Committee head Charlie Roberts about what's transpired and what's next in the process. Read her story here.

• In his monthly From the Editor column, Will Richmond writes about longtime Daily News reporter Sean Flynn, who is retiring at the end of this week after 18 years at the paper and nearly 40 years as a journalist. Read his column here.

• I know Sean is reading this because he's a devoted Rise & Shine! fan, so I'll keep it brief (he doesn't enjoy being the center of attention). To me, he's everything you could want in a reporter. He always gets the story, files it on time and does so with very little fanfare. He has the respect of his colleagues and, perhaps most importantly, earned the respect of the people on which he's reporting.

There is so much more than can be said, but I'll leave it right there. You'll be reading more about Sean later in the week (and he's going to hate every second of it). While Sean will be missed, reporter Savana Dunning — also reading this as another devoted fan! — is ready to step into Sean's role as the government reporter in Newport.

She's going to do a great job, and if you have a news tip, be sure to send it her way at sdunning@newportri.com. You can also follow her on Twitter @savanaish.

• By now, you probably know the RMR hockey team slipped past Portsmouth 5-4 in overtime on Sunday. Sports reporter Steve Rogers dug a little deeper, writing about four things you might not have noticed from the game. Read more here.

• Speaking of high school sports, check out the latest nominees for The Newport Daily News Athlete of the Week and cast your ballot here.

• The long-awaited safety measures and traffic calming improvements for Hillside Avenue in Newport are expected to begin in the late spring of this year. Sean Flynn writes more about the details of the project here.

• Newport's annual application for a federal grant to fund public services is taking shape, with proposals from Edward King House and McKinney Shelter. But some local organizations may have been left out of the loop when it came time to apply. Savana Dunning has the story.

• Keith W. Stokes of the Rhode Island Black Heritage Society will present a lecture titled Newport Gilded Age In Color today at 5:30 p.m. at the Griswold House. Learn more and register to attend the free event here.

• Should Gov. Dan McKee extend the mask mandates in public schools? We could find out this week. Read more from Providence Journal education reporter Linda Borg here.

• From the inbox: Rhode Island the fourth-lowest gun death rate in the U.S. in 2020, according to a recent study by the Violence Policy Center. The Ocean State trailed only New Jersey, Massachusetts and Hawaii. Mississippi, Wyoming and Louisiana had the highest rates. Find the state-by-state breakdown here.

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Born today

Seth Green (actor), 48

John Grisham (author), 67

Mary Steenburgen (actress), 69

Nick Nolte (actor), 81

Weather report


Low tides: 6:46 a.m., 6:19 p.m.

High tides: 12:59 a.m., 1:18 p.m.

Sunrise: 6:47 a.m. Sunset: 5:11 p.m.

Water temperature: 38.2 degrees.

Municipal meetings


School Committee, 6:30 p.m.


Beach Commission, 4:30 p.m.

Library Board of Trustees, 6 p.m.

Zoning Board of Review, 6 p.m.


School Committee, 7 p.m.


School Building Committee, 3:30 p.m.

Town Council, 6 p.m.

Recreation Commission, 6:30 p.m.

North Tiverton Fire District, 7 p.m.


Library Board, 5:30 p.m.

Conservation Commission, 6:30 p.m.

Local obituaries

Malcolm F. Wheeler

Robert Deacon

Mary Freeborn

Herbert F. Sears

Katherine Triplett

Today is …

National Boy Scout Day

National Kite-Flying Day

Laugh and Get Rich Day

Trivia Tuesday

What historical structure appears on Newport's municipal coat of arms? Send guesses to sbarrett@newportri.com.

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This article originally appeared on Newport Daily News: Rise & Shine! Your Newport County guide for Feb. 8