representative carson
Rep. Lauren H. Carson (D-Dist. 75, Newport)

The following was an email that Representative Carson sent to her constituents on Monday, January 28th;

Good morning – Monday January 28, 2019

I am sure that as I write this that many of you are safe and warm in your own homes, as am I.  We had an awful week in Newport last week, but it seems as though we are out of the woods and getting back to normal. Now what?  I am writing to say that the work continues. 

We need to settle back into our own homes; we need to repair any residual damage that was caused by the crisis and we need answers. Both homeowners and Newport businesses want answers. Here is the direction that the aftermath is taking in the short term:

National Grid is still on the ground in Newport.  They are closing shop at Gurneys on Monday but will be at the Discover Newport all week. 

You are encouraged to go to see National Grid and complete a claim form for reimbursement. Currently, they are reimbursing for hotels, food, space heaters and locksmiths, if they needed to amend your lock to get into your property.  I know you may have experienced other expenses – we are working on setting up a system to review those expenses. 

Property owners who experienced additional expenses, like plumbers, are encouraged to save all receipts, take photos or video to document the damage and repairs.  Ask your plumber to document that the repairs were needed as a result of the gas crisis.

A short-term loan fund is being set up for small businesses and I encourage business owners to contact the Newport Chamber of Commerce for more information.

Many more questions remain and I do not have all the answers today. But I will keep you informed to the best of my ability.  Anyone is encouraged to call me at 401-523-1143 if they need answers now.

And now the long term and onto to the big question: how did this happen?  I can assure you that policymakers, like myself, are beginning to focus on what questions we must ask and we are seeking to get answers. Along with other Assembly members from Aquidneck Island, I am working with the Governor’s office to determine our next steps to get answers and insure that this does not happen again anywhere in Rhode Island.

Above all, thank you Newport and Middletown. The response from our friends, neighbors, community organizations, and the business community has been outstanding.  The long days, the running around, the emails, the rain, the texts, the reporting in social media  – all contributed to a most successful recovery for all of us.

As always, I am Putting Newport First. 

Representative Lauren Carson

Ryan Belmore is the Publisher of What'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

Belmore and his wife, Jen, currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, a move they made in 2021. Read more about that here -

Belmore visits Newport every couple of weeks to support the 12+ paid contributors What'sUpNewp has on the ground across Rhode Island, a place he called home for 39 years.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.

In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.
Belmore can be contacted at and 401-662-1653.