Podcast: Sen. DiZoglio Cosponsors Legislation to Make Juneteenth a Statewide Holiday

Last Friday was the observance of “Juneteenth,” commemorating the day in 1865 when Texas became the last state in the nation to be notified of President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation to free its’ slaves. State Sen. Diana DiZoglio wants to make the date a formal holiday. Appearing on WHAV’s morning show, DiZoglio said is co-sponsoring legislation to officially recognize Juneteenth in Massachusetts. “You know, I believe this legislation is a testament to the importance of this day, and I look forward to fighting for the day to actually become recognized as a state holiday,” she says. DiZoglio says Juneteenth was observed on the local level in several communities.

Holy Family Hospital’s Lab Director Discusses COVID-19 Testing During WHAV’s Morning Show Today

With COVID-19 testing becoming more widely available, Holy Family Hospital’s Sue Sullivan appears over 97.9 WHAV FM this morning to discuss the Commonwealth’s stepped-up test site efforts. Sullivan, director of Holy Family’s Laboratory and Cardiovascular Services, appears live on WHAV’s “Win for Breakfast” program at about 8:15. She talks about who should take the test, where to go, what to do about a positive result and more. Massachusetts provides an informational site here (mass.gov/covid-19-testing).

Pentucket Regional Schools Feature Students Virtual Art Shows Online

Pentucket Regional Middle and High School has placed its student Art Festival online. Superintendent Justin Bartholomew and Fine & Performing Arts Chair Marcia Nadeau say the virtual art gallery features more than 280 pieces created by students in grades seven through 12. The art exhibited includes paintings, digital art, photography and 3D sculptures. To view the online gallery, click here. The exhibit is organized by grade and class, and clicking allows viewers to learn which student crafted the item.

Judge Sentences Columbia Gas for 2018 Explosions; Firm Must Pay $53 Million Criminal Fine, Leave State

Columbia Gas of Massachusetts was formally sentenced Tuesday in connection with the gas explosions on Sept. 13, 2018, in Lawrence, Andover and North Andover that killed a teenager, injured 22 and damaged homes and businesses. Bay State Gas Company, the local division of Columbia Gas, was ordered by U.S. District Court Chief Judge F. Dennis Saylor IV to pay a criminal fine of $53,030,116 which represents twice the amount of profits the company earned between 2015 and 2018 from a pipeline program called the Gas System Enhancement Plan. In addition to a fine, the court also sentenced the company to a three-year period of probation during which its operations will be monitored to ensure compliance with federal and state safety regulations. The three-year period of probation will continue until Columbia Gas is sold to a qualified buyer.

Podcast: Rep. Mirra Says Business Reopening Schedule Entirely up to Gov. Baker

Phase Two of Gov. Charlie Baker’s re-opening plan is underway—part of which includes restaurants being able to offer inside seating. The speed of reopening Massachusetts during the COVID-19 pandemic has been a matter of debate. State Rep. Lenny Mirra, a recent guest on WHAV’s morning program, however, says the pace is all at the governors’ discretion. “The governor is in control of it. These are executive orders.

Groveland Town Meeting Takes Place Tonight; Masks and Social Distancing to be Required

Groveland voters are being asked at Town Meeting tonight to place the assessing department under the Finance Department, approve spending $25,000 for a dog park and take other actions. Finance and Personnel Director Denise Dembkoski says Groveland will undertake several public health measures related to the pandemic at tonight’s meeting which begins at 7, at Dr. Elmer S. Bagnall Elementary School, 253 School St. The quorum for this Town Meeting has been reduced to 50 registered voters. Four EMTs will conduct no-contact temperature checks on everyone attending the meeting and all attendees are asked to wear a mask for the entire meeting. Those who do not have masks of their own will be provided one.

State Approves Monogram Food’s Haverhill Tax Incentives; Also Signs Off on Amazon in North Andover

The state’s Economic Assistance Coordinating Council Thursday approved Haverhill’s newest food manufacturer, Monogram Food Solutions, for participation in the Economic Development Incentive Program. It also certified the planned Amazon storage and distribution center in North Andover. The Council’s action provides $925,000 in state investment tax credits. Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini tells WHAV he lobbied by telephone before the state board. “I sat in on the conference call this morning.

Men Associated with Haverhill Office Furnishings Firm Receive Probation and Fines for Fraud

Three men, including a Groveland man involved in a Haverhill office furnishings company, were sentenced Wednesday in federal court in Boston for conspiracy to defraud the United States and mail fraud in connection with a scheme to obtain government contracts. Frank Apicella, 63, of Groveland; Michael Sforza, 59, of Alpharetta, Ga.; and James Apicella, 37, of Kingston, N.H., were sentenced by U.S. District Court Senior Judge Douglas P. Woodlock to two years of probation, two years of supervised release and ordered to pay $300,000 each. In addition, Frank Apicella and Sforza were also ordered to each pay a $300,000 fine. They pleaded guilty in February this year. James Apicella lists Tactical Office Solutions on his website as operating from 150 Summer St., and 80 Wingate St., Haverhill.