Man Dies in Three-Alarm Groveland Blaze, Becoming First Fatal Fire Victim in 56 Years in Town

A man died in a three-alarm fire Friday afternoon at a multifamily apartment building in Groveland—the first fatal fire in the town since 1966. Groveland firefighters were dispatched just after 3 p.m. after receiving a 911 call reporting a fire at 2 Manor Drive, a four-unit apartment building. Witnesses also reported hearing an explosion which may be traced to a residential oxygen tank. The name of the victim, who was in a first-floor apartment, was not immediately released pending formal identification by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, according to Groveland Fire Chief Robert E. Valentine, Police Chief Jeffrey T. Gillen, state Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey and Essex County District Attorney Jonathan W. Blodgett. The nearest Groveland engine, stationed nearby on Main Street, was on a medical call at the time, leading to Groveland Fire to immediately request mutual aid from the West Newbury and Georgetown Fire Departments.

Plaistow Police Releases Name of 21-Year-Old Motorcycle Crash Victim from Haverhill

A 21-year-old Haverhill man died after a motorcycle crash Tuesday afternoon in Plaistow, N.H.

Plaistow Police formally released the man’s name Thursday morning. They said Michael Roy was riding a 1995 Honda CBR600 motorcycle just before 5 p.m., north on Route 125 near Plaistow Center Plaza, when he collided with a 2002 Toyota Avalon driven by 46-year-old Veronica Pellegrino. Police said Pellegrino was making a left turn into the Mavis Tire entrance. Roy suffered serious injuries and was taken by MedFlight to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston where he later died of his injuries. Police said Pellegrino was not injured.

Northern Essex’s Schade and Martin Receive Awards for Building Online and Hybrid Courses

Two Northern Essex Community College faculty members were recently recognized by Massachusetts Colleges Online for their work on their online and hybrid courses. Courses designed by Patricia Schade and Brian Martin each won an MCO Course of Distinction—or COD—Award. They are presented to state faculty who develop and teach innovative online and hybrid courses that creatively use eLearning instructional tools to enhance teaching and promote student success. Schade’s Reading, Writing and Reasoning course was nominated by the College Coordinator of Instructional Technology and Online Learning Sue Tashjian. Schade uses Open Educational Resources—various free instructional materials—in the course.

Governor’s Council Approves Rep. Kelcourse 5-3 for Parole Board

Amesbury Rep. James Kelcourse squeaked through the Governor’s Council at a Wednesday session where he was confirmed to the Parole Board on a 5-3 vote. Councilors also unanimously approved Maryanne Galvin, a forensic psychologist, to the Parole Board. A motion to approve Kelcourse’s nomination was met with arguments similar to those aired at a hearing last week, with some councilors upset by Kelcourse’s lack of experience in the mental health and substance abuse fields. Councilors Bob Jubinville, Joe Ferreira, Eileen Duff, Mary Hurley and Terry Kennedy supported Kelcourse’s bid, while Councilors Marilyn Devaney, Paul DePalo and Chris Iannella voted in opposition. Hurley said she was initially a “no” vote, which would have tied the council 4-4 and likely led Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito to act as tiebreaker.

Parkins Plays Classical Works Tonight at Methuen Memorial Music Hall Summer Series

Methuen Memorial Music Hall continues its annual Summer Series of Organ Recitals tonight with Robert Parkins of Durham, N.C., playing works by Scarlett, Eberlin, Bach, Liszt, Brahms and Mendelssohn on the Great Organ. The recital takes place tonight, June 22, at 7:30 p.m., at historic Methuen Memorial Music Hall, 192 Broadway, Methuen. Tickets are available online at or at the door for $15 each for adults and $5 for children. There’s more at

Pentucket Regional Schools Fires Substitute After Arrest on Child Pornography-Related Charges

An on-call, substitute teacher at Pentucket Regional School District’s Sweetsir and Donaghue Schools was arrested in Merrimac and pleaded not guilty to charges of possession of child pornography and photographing an unsuspecting nude person. Twenty-four-year-old Kenneth Niven was arraigned at Newburyport District Court. Pentucket Regional School District Superintendent Justin Bartholomew said in a statement Niven was fired. “The investigation is in its early stages and we do not have further details to release at this time. However, I can share that this individual, who had been given a pre-employment background and criminal record check prior to starting as a substitute, has been terminated from their role as an on-call sub and we have issued a no-trespass order, barring them from all Pentucket Regional School District property.”

He said the Pentucket Regional School District is cooperating fully with the Merrimac Police Department and the Essex County District Attorney’s office, who are actively investigating these allegations.

DiZoglio Says State Bond Bill Pays for Rescue Boat, Castle Shop and More if Baker Approves

A $5.07 billion general government bond bill before Gov. Charlie Baker would pay for a new rescue/fire suppression boat for the Haverhill Fire Department, a café and gift shop at Winnekenni Castle and other capital projects in Methuen, Newburyport, Amesbury and Salisbury. State Sen. Diana DiZoglio said the local projects come as a result of amendments she filed to the borrowing package. “The Haverhill Fire Department recently decommissioned its 41-year-old rescue boat, having served the community for many years,” said Haverhill Fire Chief Robert M. O’Brien. “Haverhill plays host to multiple marinas along the Merrimack River and boating has always been popular in the community. Combined with the new kayaking company and riverboat cruises coming to our downtown this summer, we anticipate a very busy year on the river that will only increase going forward.”

Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini said the city’s vision is to make the carriage house on the grounds of Winnekenni Castle into a small performing arts center with a gift shop, café and remodeled caretaker’s quarters.

Methuen City Hall Pride Flag Ceremony Wednesday

Methuen raises its Pride Flag tomorrow. Mayor Neil Perry said the Pride Flag Raising Ceremony at Methuen City Hall is open to all and takes place Wednesday, June 22, at noon. “It is important for the City of Methuen to join in the recognition of the struggle of the LGBTQIA+ community,” said Perry. “We are committed to ensuring that the LGBTQIA+ community feels safe, accepted and welcome. Our goal is a more inclusive, and accessible Methuen for all.”

Pride Month is celebrated each June in commemoration of the LGBTQIA+ community’s uprising at New York City’s Stonewall Inn, which began June 28, 1969, and continued for six days.