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RI bridge risks; veteran's DMV surprise; Shrine of the Little Flower: Top stories this week

Kathleen Hill
Providence Journal

Here are some of The Providence Journal's听most-read stories for the week of March 24, .

Here are听the week's top reads听辞苍听providencejournal.com:

Could Baltimore bridge disaster happen in Rhode Island? What to know about the risks.

The Claiborne Pell Bridge, connecting Jamestown and Newport.

On a foggy night in 1975, a gasoline tanker plowed into the Mount Hope Bridge.

It was "only by chance" that the gasoline tanks didn't rupture, which "would have probably caused an explosion and fire resulting in the loss of the vessel, the bridge, and possibly human life," the State Pilotage Commission later determined.

In other words, a nightmare scenario like听the one that unfolded in Baltimore early Tuesday morning听when a cargo ship collision caused the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge, could happen here.

What policies does Rhode Island have in place to prevent bridge collisions? And how might the disaster in Baltimore affect shipping volume at Rhode Island's ports?

Infrastructure: Could Baltimore bridge disaster happen in Rhode Island? What to know about the risks.

Vietnam veteran's DMV visit leaves him in tears. But they're tears of joy.

Standing in the driveway of his Tiverton home, Vietnam combat veteran Ed Campbell holds his Bronze Star plate starting with 鈥4F,鈥 the Selective Service designation for 鈥淯nfit for military service.鈥

Ed Campbell of Tiverton is a 79-year-old Vietnam veteran who had an experience with the听听recently that drove him to tears.

It wasn't from frustration with red tape. Ed was crying tears of joy, a reaction to how well he was treated by the staff at the听

When Rhode Island authorized special veterans plates for service members who'd earned a Bronze Star, Ed ordered one. But when he went to pick them up, the first thing he noticed was that the first two letters on the plate were 鈥4F,鈥澨

What happened after Ed pointed this out to the DMV staff completely bowled him over and accomplished the unthinkable: It restored his faith in bureaucracy.

Veterans Voice:Vietnam veteran's DMV visit leaves him in tears. But they're tears of joy.

The Shrine of the Little Flower is RI's only Catholic shrine. Here's its story.

A statue of Saint The虂re虁se of Lisieux, also known as The Little Flower, at the Burrillville shrine named in her honor.

Rhode Island Catholics are accustomed to making pilgrimages to the in nearby North Attleboro, Massachusetts, particularly at Christmastime to see the annual Festival of Lights, and during Holy Week.

鈥淢aybe Easter has me wondering this, but are there any shrines in Rhode Island?鈥 a What and Why RI reader wrote in to ask.

There is one:听in Burrillville. The Journal's Katie Landeck visited to learn about the "Little Flower" for whom the shrine is named, a nun whose humble piety and simple, daily gestures of kindness led to her canonization.

At the end of her visit, Katie said a brief prayer and lit a candle for a friend whose mother had just died. As she was leaving, something unexpected happened.

What and Why RI: The Shrine of the Little Flower is RI's only Catholic shrine. Here's its story.

Former Patriot Malcolm Butler appears briefly in Warwick court on DUI charge

Cornerback Malcolm Butler鈥檚 last-minute interception clinched the Patriots' win over Seattle in Super Bowl XLIX in 2015.

Malcolm Butler, a former NFL defensive player who helped the New England Patriots win two Super Bowls,听appeared in District Court in Warwick on Thursday听and pleaded not guilty to a charge of driving under the influence.

Butler was arrested on Saturday after drawing the attention of听听at 3:22 a.m. by stopping and blocking traffic on Mineral Spring Avenue, according to Police Chief Alfredo Ruggiero Jr.

The officer detected a strong odor of alcohol on Butler's breath and observed that his speech was slurred and his eyes were watery and bloodshot, Ruggiero said.

Local news:Former Patriot Malcolm Butler arrested in North Providence

What's it like to eat at RI's James Beard-nominated restaurants? Take this tasty tour.

Ricotta Frittelle at Giusto in Newport, fried cheese balls served with drizzles of honey, truffles and Parmesan cheese.

Wondering what all the hype is about听with Rhode Island's James Beard Foundation semifinalists?

The awards are widely considered the "Oscars" of the dining world, a path to national recognition for a restaurant or chef.

Rhode Island boasts 10 semifinalists for the 2024 awards, the state's best showing ever. The five finalists in each category will be announced on April 3.

Food editor Gail Ciampa clues you in on the delights to be enjoyed at these nominated restaurants. Hint: Try everything.

Dining: What's it like to eat at RI's James Beard-nominated restaurants? Take this tasty tour.

To read the full stories, go to听providencejournal.com.Find out how to subscribe听.