Lawrence Woman, 37, Dies in North Andover Crash; Other Driver Faces Motor Vehicle Homicide Charges

A Lawrence woman was killed late Sunday night and a North Andover woman criminally charged after a vehicle crashed into a building in North Andover. Essex County District Attorney Paul F. Tucker’s office said Tuesday 37-year-old Diana Melo of Lawrence was pronounced dead after being taken to Lawrence General Hospital following the approximately 11 p.m. incident. Vickiana Vargas-Guevara was charged with motor vehicle homicide while under the influence of alcohol and being negligent; motor vehicle homicide by reckless operation; leaving the scene of a collision resulting in death; leaving the scene of property damage; driving under the influence of liquor; and reckless operation. North Andover Police and the Massachusetts State Police Collision and Reconstruction Section continue to investigate. Vargas-Guevara was arraigned in Lawrence District Court Monday.

Haverhill Corrections Officer Receives Probation for Attempt to Smuggle Drugs to Prisoner

A former 29-year-old Essex County Sheriff’s Department corrections officer from Haverhill was sentenced to probation Monday in federal court for his role in trying to smuggle drugs to a prisoner at the Middleton jail. Gregorit Sanchez was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Angel Kelley in Boston to five years’ probation with the first year to be served in home detention. The U.S. Attorney’s office in Boston said in a release the court acknowledged that U.S. sentencing guidelines suggest 30-37 months in prison and the prosecutor recommended a sentence of 30 months in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release. In March, Sanchez pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute fentanyl, cocaine and other controlled substances and possession with intent to distribute fentanyl, cocaine and other controlled substances. Sanchez was charged in December 2021, along with 20 other individuals.

State Restores 911 Mass. Emergency Lines; Residents May Now Call 911 in Emergency

Updated: The Massachusetts 911 system was disrupted and unavailable for a time today, but state officials now report service was restored. The public may now resume calling 911 for emergencies. The Massachusetts State 911 Department says it continues to investigate the cause of the disruption. –Earlier–

Local police and fire departments said this afternoon the statewide 911 emergency system is out of service, and state officials said they are investigating the cause. The outage comes as a dangerous heat wave settles in over Massachusetts and as Boston prepares to host a victory parade for the NBA champion Boston Celtics on Friday.

Updated: Pilot Dies Following Merrimack River Plane Crash Between North Andover, Methuen

Updated: The pilot of a small, single-engine airplane was killed Monday afternoon after crashing in the Merrimack River between North Andover and Methuen. Officials said the crash occurred around 2:15 p.m. Observers could see the Van’s Aircraft RV-6A plane flipped over, but largely intact in the water behind the Amazon distribution warehouse on Osgood Street in North Andover. The aluminum airframe plane with molded canopies and fiberglass parts comes in kit form. Essex County District Attorney Paul F. Tucker’s office confirmed the death of the as-yet unnamed pilot after conferring with the North Andover Police Department, according to Chief of Communication Michael Keefe-Feldman. The

The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating.

The Surprising List of Republican Bills Killed by the House Thursday

by Ethan DeWitt, New Hampshire Bulletin
June 14, 2024

The House killed a long-debated proposal to legalize cannabis Thursday, in a spectacular finale on the last day of the legislative calendar that followed weeks of frustrations with the Senate. But the marijuana bill wasn’t the only bill that died in the Republican-led chamber Thursday. In a series of surprise votes, representatives killed a handful of other bills that had appeared to be Republican priorities. Here are some of the bills you might have missed that the House struck down Thursday. ‘Sanctuary city’ ban
Without debate, the House again rejected a bill Thursday that would have outlawed so-called “sanctuary cities” and required local law enforcement to assist federal immigration officials.

Wright, Ferullo and Marsh Among Those Receiving Recognition as Commonwealth Heroines

Women from Haverhill, Methuen and North Andover were recognized Friday as community leaders in the Annual Commonwealth Heroines Class of 2024 by the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women. Of the 125 women receiving honors were Haverhill Kaitlin M. Wright, nominated by Haverhill Rep. Andy X. Vargas; Methuen Public Health Nurse Karen Ferullo, nominated by Ryan M. Hamilton of Methuen; and North Andover Youth and Recreation Services Assistant Director Demi Marsh, nominated by Andover-based Sen. Barry R. Finegold. Every year the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women partners with state legislators to recognize women who make outstanding contributions to their organizations and communities. The Commonwealth Heroine Class of 2024 marks 21 classes since the Commission’s founding in May 1998. It comprises over 125 women who serve as leaders in industry, business, nonprofit and advocacy.

State Sen. Payano Praises Passage of HERO Act to Support Veterans, Increase Benefits

Sen. Pavel M. Payano is hailing last Thursday’s unanimous state Senate passage of the HERO Act, boost support for hundreds of thousands statewide who have served in the U.S. military, including nearly 30,000 women veterans and thousands of LGBTQ+ veterans. The package, formally known as an act Honoring, Empowering and Recognizing Our Servicemembers and Veterans, would increase benefits for disabled veterans, bolster support for businesses that hire veterans, update the definition of a veteran, expand the scope of the Veterans Equality Review Board and place medical and dental benefits into the law. “I am proud to have voted in favor of the HERO Act which passed the Senate yesterday,” said Payano Friday the “legislation reaffirms our commitment to our veterans and active duty service members. This bill isn’t just about increasing benefits, it’s about ensuring our veterans feel valued and respected when they arrive home. The HERO Act modernizes our veteran services to meet the population’s diverse needs and ensures that no one is left behind, whether they’re women, LGBTQ+ or anyone else who have honorably served our country.”

Senate President Karen E. Spilka added, “We are a Commonwealth that has the deepest respect and gratitude to our veterans, and the HERO Act doubles down on that commitment to our service members by delivering the support that they and their families deserve.” She thanked the Healey-Driscoll Administration for introducing this legislation, Sen. John Velis for his work and leadership on the issue and her Senate colleagues.

Pentucket Regional Middle High Receives $140,301 Grant for Career Skills Education

Pentucket Regional Middle High School was awarded a state $140,301 Skills Capital Grant last week. Nearly $15 million in Skills Capital Grants were awarded to schools across Massachusetts to support the purchasing and instillation of new equipment meant to upgrade and expand the schools’ career technical education and training programs and will provide students in Pathways programs with more career opportunities in industries with high demand and high pay. Pentucket Regional Middle High’s grant will be used to purchase industrial-grade equipment for the school’s manufacturing, robotics, engineering, life sciences and biology programs.

“We recognize the important role we play in supporting the regional economy and are excited to begin our new pathways in the fall,” said Superintendent Justin Bartholomew. In April, the state designated Pentucket Regional Middle High as an Innovation Career Pathways school in the fields of manufacturing and in environmental and life sciences. College and Career Pathways programs provide students with work-based learning in growing industries to meet the needs of the state’s economy.