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It’s now called the “Ocean State Air Show,” but despite the name change and a new sponsor, it will mostly be the same Quonset Air Show that has drawn thousands of spectators for over 20 years.

“The idea is that we are bringing an air show that is very popular and these shows are very patriotic and family oriented,” said Chris Dirato, spokesman for AirDotShow,  a national event management company that hosts and livestreams air shows.

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Building more housing, directing grants to small businesses and expanding childcare topped the list of proposals to address “kitchen table issues” Gov. Dan McKee announced in his first State of the State address Tuesday night.

McKee previewed a plan to allocate $250 million from the American Rescue Plan Act federal aid for “thousands” of new housing units, including affordable housing and workforce housing for middle-class families.

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Accolades from local office-holders came pouring in Tuesday after U.S. Rep. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.) announced his decision not to seek re-election this year, capping a career of more than 20 years in the House of Representatives and more than 30 in public service.

Langevin has served 11 terms and nearly 22 years in Congress, representing the Rhode Island 2nd District, which includes Washington County.

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The University of Rhode Island plans to resume in-person classes when the spring semester starts on Jan. 24, President Marc Parlange said in a letter this week to the URI community.

Parlange said URI’s high vaccination rate against COVID-19, and its requirement that all students, faculty and staff get a booster shot before returning, mean the school doesn’t anticipate changing campus operations.

“We will continue to monitor the conditions across the state, and we will adjust as needed, but we expect to resume in-person learning with the first day of classes on Monday, January 24,” he said.

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As a writer who has traveled around South County meeting people who love the area as much as I do. I have been lucky to meet them and in the last year have them share with me the ways the love and live in this area.  

Each reminded me how special it is to simply “be” in South County. These are not people found on the 6 and 11 o’clock TV news reports or frequent fliers on newspapers’ front pages.

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As we prepare to leave 2021 behind it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. After the pandemic year that was 2020, many of us hoped that this year would bring us a return to some semblance of normality. In some ways that’s just what we got. Restaurants reopened, schools began to hold in person classes and those who were fully vaccinated were once more able to safely venture into the outside world without a mask.

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From wild weather to rowdy school committee meetings, 2021 was a year of disruption in South Kingstown. While the town closed out the last few months of the year in relative calm, there was no shortage of controversy and upheaval in local affairs. On the positive side, one of the town’s most well-known and loved residents also completed a project with personal significance to veterans and their families.

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A poem fashioned into an ornament by Rudi Hempe of Narragansett has hung on his Christmas tree for 27 years.

But there’s a back story. Hempe is a Christian, but the poem was written by close friend Gerry Goldstein who is Jewish. Both are journalists and Goldstein wrote it in 1994 on Christmas Eve for a newspaper at which he worked.

Both men, now nearly 82 and have shared a lifetime together since meeting in the early 1960s, have this ornament bridging their separate religions that reminds them every year of their special bond.