Poor weather blamed for fewer beachgoers

Rhode Island officials are blaming the weather for a 21 percent drop in the number of people visiting state beaches this summer. The Department of Environmental Management says about 824,000 people had visited the state’s seven beaches as of Aug. 24. That’s down from more than a million at the same time last year. One official told the Providence Journal that extensive rains kept people away in May and June. He said even a blistering July couldn’t make up the difference, because many people didn’t want to go outside when it was so hot. The official said late-summer beach attendance has also fallen in recent years because of earlier starts to the school year at colleges and public schools. (AP)