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WhatsUpNewp welcomes Dr. Michael Fine, former director of the Rhode Island Department of Health and author, as a regular columnist. Fine joins a team at WhatsUpNewp with strong journalistic and professional credentials, and a dedication to providing our readers, viewers and listeners with quality news and lifestyle coverage.

Founded in 2012, What’sUpNewp is a local, independent online news source that’s dedicated to covering news and lifestyle events in Newport and throughout the region. Our audience – readers, viewers, and listeners – span a geographic region from New York City to Boston. 

Meet our staff:

  • Ryan Belmore, publisher has been involved with WUN 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. He has been involved in various Newport County non-profits, including the Fort Adams Trust, Potter League for Animals, Lucy’s Hearth, the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County. Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, the 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 ryan@whatsupnewp.com and 401-662-1653
  • Frank Prosnitz, News Editor brings to WhatsUpNewp several years of journalism experience, including 10 as editor of the Providence (RI) Business News and 14 years as a reporter and bureau manager at the Providence (RI) Journal. He began his journalism career as a sportswriter at the Asbury Park (NJ) Press, moving to The News Tribune (Woodbridge, NJ), before joining the Providence Journal. Prosnitz also hosts the Morning Show and It’s Your Business on WBLQ radio. He has twice won Best in Business Awards from the national Society of American Business Editors and Writers (SABEW), twice was named Media Advocate of the Year by the Small Business Administration and was recognized for investigative reporting by the New England Press Association, and newswriting by the the Rhode Island Press Association. Prosnitz also served as president and administrator of the Providence Newspaper Guild, and as communications manager of the Rhode Island Blood Center. Educated at Monmouth College, he has been involved in numerous non-profit and professional organizations throughout Rhode Island and the New England region. 
  • Ken Abrams, Lifestyle Editor writes about music and more for What’sUpNewp, Providence Monthly, SO RI, and The Bay. He DJ’s “The Kingston Coffeehouse” Tuesday nights, 6 to 9 PM on WRIU 90.3 FM. Abrams taught Social Studies for 33 years at Scituate Middle and High Schools, and was a department chair at Scituate Middle School, where he won numerous awards and grants. He was also a former president of the Scituate chapter of the National Education Association. He was the music critic at GoLocalProv for four years and won a Rhode Island Press Association award for Local Tourism Story for So Rhode Island’s “Wickford Past and Present.” Ken is also involved in various volunteer organizations. He is a graduate of Boston University, with an MAT from Brown University.


  • Gary Alpert, photographer, having been diagnosed with a profound hearing loss at the age of two, Gary has always witnessed the world around him with a heightened sense of sight. While hearing aids offer him a world with sound, he continues to experience the world with a visual edge. With a camera in hand, he hopes to show you what he sees.
  • Tyler Bernadyn, born and raised in the Ocean State, Bernadyn is a Providence College graduate and proudly calls Newport home. A professional realtor, he is a weekly contributor for WhatsUpNewp, writing about real estate. He is involved with a number of charitable causes. 
  • Jan Brogan, a WUN contributor has been a journalist for more than 30 years, working as a correspondent for the Boston Globe, a staff writer for the Worcester Telegram and the Providence Journal, where she won the Gerald Loeb award for distinguished business writing. She is the award-winning author of four mysteries, Final Copy, Confidential Source, Yesterday’s Fatal, and Teaser. She grew up in Clifton, New Jersey, and moved to New England to study journalism at Boston University. She holds a master’s degree in English from the University of Massachusetts, Boston. She continues to work as a novelist and a journalist, and she teaches writing at the Boston University Summer Journalism Institute. She lives with her husband in a Boston suburb.
  • Thom Cahir contributes occasionally, mostly on topics concerning South County and the West Bay. He is an alum of the Providence Journal newsroom but has also worked in mass communications, written and performed comedy, and was pivotal in establishing two non-profits in the wake of the Station Fire.
  • Michael Fine, MD, a What’sUpNewp columnist, is a writer, community organizer, and family physician. He is the chief health strategist for the City of Central Falls, RI, and a former Director of the Rhode Island Department of Health, 2011–2015. He is currently the Board Vice Chair and Co-Founder of the Scituate Health Alliance. He is the recipient of the Barbara Starfield Award, the John Cunningham Award, and the June Rockwell Levy Public Service Award. Fine is also an author of many short stories, and both fiction and non-fiction books. His books include, On Medicine as Colonialism, Rhode Island Stories, The Bull and Other Stories, Abundance, Health Care Revolt, The Nature of Health, and The Zero Calorie Diet.
  • Jay Flanders, a WUN columnist, is a native of Newport and avid cook. While he studied at the University of Rhode Island, he also attended the College of Food Network via his television set where he learned the basics of cooking. Also being an all-too-avid eater at restaurants, he really began to learn what ingredients went together, cooking techniques and other tips and tricks in the kitchen. He used that knowledge to teach himself how to cook and how to start making his own recipes. Now, he’s here to give you his tips, tricks, and sometimes uniquely tasty spins on recipes and to show you that great cooking can be done in the tiniest of kitchens like his.
  • Gerry Goldstein, a WUN contributor and columnist, is a retired Providence Journal editor and columnist. Goldstein is a graduate of the University Rhode Island journalism program who began his professional career in 1962 at the weekly, hot-type Narragansett (R.I) Times, where journalism was as personal as the next person to walk in the door. He later moved to the statewide Providence Journal, where for 25 years he was chief of its South County news bureau and a weekly columnist. For eight consecutive years the Rhode Island Press Association judged his column the best among community columns in the state, and in 2003 he was inducted into the Rhode Island Journalism Hall of Fame. His work has also been cited by the New England Press Association and United Press International for feature and news writing, community service, and investigative reporting. Since his retirement from the Journal in 2002 he has worked as a consulting editor, freelance writer, and essayist. He and his wife, Ann, live at Shalom Acres (Shalom meaning “peace” in Hebrew), their five-acre hobby farm in Greenville’s apple orchard country, which they share with two miniature horses, two Tibetan terriers, and a wide variety of itinerant wildlife.
  • Tim Jones is the creator, artist, and writer of the widely popular, self-syndicated comic strip, “SOUR GRAPES;” a comic about “Aesop”, a miserable flying dog and his odd friends, all living in a problematic and troubled world. Sour Grapes is currently published in multiple newspapers in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, California, and Texas and is also available online. Jones grew up in Attleboro, Massachusetts and now lives in Smithfield, Rhode Island with his wife, and two daughters. He has been a freelance cartoonist for more than 20 years and is a member of the National Cartoonists Society and ARIA (Association of Rhode Island Authors). He has created several Sour Grapes compilations and story-coloring books. Jones teaches cartooning and speaks at local schools and libraries.
  • Frank O’Donnell, WUN theater critic, is a well-known Rhode Island comic and actor, who has also written, produced, and directed four holiday-themed shows and once helmed the Notfanuttin’ Players, specializing in audience-participation dinner shows. He’s been performing as a stand-up comedian since 1982 and was inducted into the RI Comedy Hall of Fame. He’s written comedy for other performers, like Bob Hope, Jay Leno, and Joe Piscopo. He’s opened for performers as diverse as the Judds, Michael Bolton, Chicago, David Brenner, Gilbert Gottfried and more. O’Donnell has been writing reviews and features about theater in Rhode Island for more than two decades. His work to help save the monarch butterfly has been chronicled on NBC Nightly News. He is president of the Keri Anne O’Donnell Memorial Fund.
  • Jack Casey, a photographer for What’sUpNewp, has always loved music. Whether listening, playing solo or with friends these experiences over the decades have informed his photography. The passion to photographically preserve the pinnacle moment of a musicians’ performance is what fuels him. He has shot a diverse range of thousands of world class artists, dating back to the early 70s. Casey has photographed the Newport Festivals, the Philadelphia Folk Festival and New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festivals. It’s not uncommon to see him shooting at many local theaters, clubs and performance venues. Casey’s work has appeared on CD covers and in publications, physical and online media as well as being included by Joan Baez in the book, Musicians As Artists. After being retired for a decade from a career in social work, Casey is working on a photo-story book reflecting upon his life on the stage, backstage and in the photo pit.

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