Anglers may be responsible for reservoir break-in attempt

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LITTLE COMPTON — Young would-be fishermen may be to blame for vandalism reported last week at the locked gate to the Harold E. Watson Reservoir outflow area.

The Newport Water Authority alerted police on Tuesday, Oct. 15, to a damaged lock and aluminum grate that someone had apparently tried to pry loose.

Joe Roque, supervisor of distribution and collection for the water authority, said that while the lock was damaged, it does not appear that anyone got in.

"We suspect that it was young people trying to get in to go fishing," he said. No serious damage was done but "we have asked police to keep an eye on it for us."

Several years ago, an intruder did manage to break in and open a valve that released millions of gallons of water in the midst of a drought.

Since then, Mr. Roque said the authority has boosted security there.

The Newport Water Authority owns the reservoir and uses it as a reserve supply for Aquidneck Island.

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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.