Recent Stories

Haverhill Man, Former Leader—or ‘Inca’—of ‘Latin Kings’ Gang, Among 60 Arrested in Fed Sweep

A Haverhill man was arrested by a federally led statewide sweep Thursday that netted 60 gang members involved with the “Almighty Latin Kings and Queen Nation”—or “Latin Kings,” for short. The group included Juan Liberato, known as “King Prodigy,” of Haverhill. He was identified as a former leader—or “Inca”—of the Massachusetts region. Liberato is among those facing federal charges after more than 500 local, state and federal officers arrested dozens of Latin Kings leaders, members and associates and executed 31 search warrants at 24 locations. A four-year investigation assembled evidence the Latin Kings trafficked drugs, conspired to murder more than 10 victims and committed violent crimes including numerous incidents of robbery, shootings, stabbings and witness intimidation.

Hennessey School Principal Quiles Joins Northern Essex Community College Trustees

Shalimar Quiles, head of the Hennessey School in Lawrence, has been appointed to the Northern Essex Community College Board of Trustees by Gov. Charlie Baker. Born and raised in Lawrence and a 2008 graduate of Northern Essex, Quiles has been working for the Lawrence School System since 2012. She was hired as scholar re-engagement manager; named the superintendent’s chief of staff later that year; and appointed school leader (principal) of the Hennessey School, which has 384 students, pre-kindergarten through second grade, in 2016.  Before coming to Lawrence Public Schools, she served as senior coordinator of Family and Community Relations for the UP Education Network, a school turnaround organization in Boston. Lane Glenn, president of Northern Essex, said, “Shalimar is going to be a fantastic addition to our board, and I am so impressed with all she has accomplished…As a recent graduate of the college, she understands our mission and our students.  And, her insight will help us better serve the Lawrence Public Schools.”

Quiles replaces Joseph D’Orazio of Haverhill, who joined the trustees in 2015. Quiles attended the Arlington School in Lawrence and is a graduate of Lawrence High School.  After earning her associate degree in communications from Northern Essex, Quiles transferred to Simmons College, graduating in 2010 with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and a minor in Spanish.

Reminder: Greater Haverhill Chamber’s 27th Annual Christmas Stroll Tonight

The Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce is lighting up downtown tonight with holiday festivities during the 27th Annual Christmas Stroll. As WHAV previously reported, events include Pentucket Bank’s Santa’s Village. a promenade of ice sculptures, cookie decorating, S’mores and Pearl Pop-Up Camper with hot cocoa, cider and donuts. Columbus Park will also be lit up with blue and white lit trees for Elsa’s Wonderland. Covanta donated a 30-year-old blue spruce for this year’s Christmas Tree.

The Latest During Festival of Trees at the Buttonwoods Museum: Day for Seniors, Family and Concerts

The Festival of Trees at the Buttonwoods Museum offers fun for all ages today and this weekend with Senior Day, Family Day and Sunday concerts. Today is Senior Day at the Festival with the Comedy Masque Review performing from 11 a.m.-noon; Nostalgia Christmas from noon-5 p.m., with old-time radio shows while enjoying coffee, tea and pastries; and a Candlelight Tour of the Buttonwoods Museum from 6-7:30 p.m. Seniors receive $1 off admission. Saturday is Family Day with a visit from Santa from noon-1 p.m.; crafts, coloring and snacks for children; and a holiday concert featuring Voices of Hope with Emily Forisso kicking off the concert. The true meaning of the holidays is featured Sunday, Dec. 8, from 2-4 p.m. Area church choirs gather to read excerpts from the gospel and present religious Christmas music.

Two Methuen Firefighters Among 33 Massachusetts Firefighting Academy Graduates

Two Methuen firefighters were among 33 people from 14 fire departments to graduate Thursday with the 278th class of the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy’s 50-day Career Recruit Firefighter Training Program. Robert Cole and Christopher  Troy of the Methuen Fire Department participated in the ceremony at the Department of Fire Services in Stow. The guest speaker was Lynn Firefighter Derek Spitaleri. State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey said, “This rigorous professional training provides our newest firefighters with the basic skills to perform their jobs effectively and safely.” The Massachusetts Firefighting Academy, a division of the Department of Fire Services, offers this program tuition-free. Besides Methuen, communities represented were Lawrence, Canton, East Bridgewater, Falmouth, Fitchburg, Lexington, Littleton, Lynn, Medway, Plymouth, Truro, Wayland and Winchester.

State House’s Annual Gold Star Families Tree Dedication Salutes Fallen Heroes

Music, carolers, a visit from Santa and a holiday tree decorated with photos and memories of fallen heroes greeted families this week during the State House’s Annual Gold Star Families Tree Dedication. State Rep. Linda Dean Campbell joined government officials, veterans organization and families for the Wednesday ceremony, organized by the nonprofit Military Friends Foundation. The event pays tribute to Massachusetts service members who gave their lives in service to our nation and the families who carry their legacies forward. Campbell told attendees, “You are the reason that people all over the world pray every day that our experiment in democracy continues, messy as it is; that our country remains the strongest and most generous force in the world for freedom and basic human rights; and that we do not shy away from world leadership.”

As House chair of the Joint Committee on Veterans and Federal Affairs, Campbell’s remarks were among those offered by Gov. Charlie Baker, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, Adjutant General of the Massachusetts National Guard Major General Gary Keefe, Secretary of Veterans’ Services Francisco Urena, and Sen.Walter Timilty. More than 100 military families from across the Commonwealth were in attendance.

Today’s Obituaries—Dec. 5: Fenlon, Greaney, Moll

John L. Fenlon Jr., 78, of Salem, N.H., and formerly of Haverhill, died Dec. 2, urrounded by his family. He was a sergeant in the U.S. Air Force and was honorably discharged as a disabled veteran in 1969. He was a supervisor for the United States Post Office until his retirement. Calling hours are Friday, Dec.