On the Current Pandemic, Fiorentini Says, ‘Nothing in the World that Compares”

Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini says nothing compares to the coronavirus outbreak in the city’s recent history. Appearing on 97.9 WHAV FM’s “Win For Breakfast” last Thursday morning, the mayor discusses current and continuing COVID-19 precautions, including a ban on 10 or more people gathering publicly and Haverhill businesses that are helping out. Fiorentini also heaps praise on city Public Health Nurse Mary Connolly. “There’s nothing in the world that compares to this,” Fiorentini said. Hear the entire interview by clicking above or subscribe to WHAV’s “Merrimack Valley Newsmakers” podcasts on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, iHeart Radio, Google Podcasts, TuneIn and Alexa.

FCC Chairman Pai Thanks Broadcasters for ‘Tireless Efforts During the Coronavirus Outbreak’

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai thanked radio and television broadcasters Monday for their tireless efforts during the coronavirus outbreak, including running public service announcements on social distancing, airing educational programming to help with distance learning, expanding COVID-19 reporting and holding fundraisers to help those who have faced financial hardship due to the virus. “As always, in times of emergency, broadcasters are stepping up to serve their communities and help keep people informed, healthy, and safe,” said Pai. “From airing PSAs on social distancing to supporting distance learning with educational programming, broadcasters are going above and beyond the call of public service. I want to especially recognize those reporters who are on the front lines, often putting themselves in harm’s way, to obtain vital information on COVID-19 to ensure their viewers and listeners have the most up-to-date and accurate information. We’ve seen time and again that broadcasters’ efforts to keep their communities informed during emergencies help save lives, including when it comes to this pandemic.”

For its part, 97.9 WHAV FM is pleased to have expanded hourly local newscasts to accommodate breaking news, safety information and notices of food programs, cancellations and postponements; increased the number of morning interviews with newsmakers on the front lines of the pandemic; provided special coverage of the Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce’s Dollar-for-Dollar Gift Card Program; aired public service announcements on COVID-19 protections; restored live broadcasts of Haverhill City Council and School Committee meetings upon City Hall closing; increased the number of podcasts and where they may be heard; and more thanks to the financial support of WHAV sponsors and members.

Is Local News Just for Wealthy Communities? Here’s Your Chance to Put ‘Skin in the Game?’

These are difficult times to be sure and all of us at WHAV hope you and your families are safe and well. This is the last formal day of WHAV’s annual March Membership Month. Thank you to new WHAV members and old friends who are staying the course. Even before the pandemic, major national funders of nonprofit journalism recognized demand for grants to pay for local news far outweighed money available. In rationing support, grantmakers appear to favor those communities with a good deal of skin in the game.

WHAV Podcast: Haverhill Mayor Fiorentini Urges Changes to Halt ‘Community Spread’ of COVID-19

In a special message, Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini says “community spread” of the COVID-19 virus is taking place in Haverhill and urges residents to stay home “whenever possible.”

The mayor says community spread means “you have to treat every person you meet as if they have the virus.” He asks residents to stay indoors, limit grocery shopping to one or two days a week and stay home at all times if they have cough or cold. He said the city is operating with skeleton crews, but remains available to help residents through the city’s telephone help center available by dialing 311 or online at cityofhaverhill.com. At the city’s website, as WHAV has previously reported, there is a new link to “Resident Support Services.” It connects people who need help are linked to volunteers and is a service provided by the new group Mutual Aid Society of Haverhill. Help is also available by calling 978-228-5322 or emailing [email protected] Fiorentini also reminds residents that unemployment assistance is available at mass.gov, including to those who were previously self-employed.

During a Crisis, People Turn to Local Radio for News—They Always Have

Where do people turn for information during a crisis? Local radio. They always have. They may take it for granted at other times, but they know local radio quickly and conveniently provides up-to-the-minute news—all for free. This week in particular, WHAV has provided the most comprehensive listings of cancellations, postponements and closures; live interviews with newsmakers on the front lines; and special broadcasts, but resources are stretched.

WHAV Podcast: From Medication to Other Support, Haverhill School Staff Remain in Service

As a continuing public service, 97.9 WHAV FM has made its facilities fully available to local, state and federal officials to provide information about precautions surrounding coronavirus disease—COVID-19. The public has heard of home-based learning, “grab and go” breakfast and lunch pickups and myriad “social distancing” measures, but recent closures have also raised questions about how to provide continuing medical and emotional support for students. Haverhill Public Schools Director of Health and Nursing Services Katie Vozeolas, speaking live over WHAV Tuesday morning, says, in addition to all of the other steps being taken, the schools have been getting medications back to parents that may have been stored at individual schools. “They’re only allowed so many each month, so if we had a two- or three-week supply of a medication that a child takes every day, they in turn would need that. The nurses did a great job of calling around to all those parents with kids who had daily medications and others who they thought may need those medications.

Today is WHAV’s 73rd Birthday; Become a Supporter and Keep Local News Coming

Today is WHAV’s 73rd birthday. On this day in 1947, at 1 p.m., WHAV AM 1490 signed on the air with a special address from founder and General Manager John T. Russ. “WHAV is going to be your station—a station for the people of Haverhill and for the people in our surrounding towns What concerns you directly—your lives and businesses, your community betterment—will always get first priority on the WHAV airwaves,” Russ said. Russ came from a family of news people and knew—especially in times of uncertainty or emergency—residents would turn to their radios for the latest local news. It’s still true today.

Holy Family Hospital’s Dr. Lee Lane on WHAV with COVID-19 Facts

What are the symptoms of Coronavirus disease and who’s most at risk in case of a local outbreak? Dr. Leewood L. Lane, chief of Emergency Medicine at Holy Family Hospital in Methuen and Haverhill, answered these questions and others during a live appearance Thursday morning over 97.9 WHAV FM. He says most people just experience cold symptoms, but most at risk are those 65 or older or have “compromised” health conditions. He also offers advice on how to protect oneself. Lane appeared during WHAV’s “Win for Breakfast” show with Win Damon.