Seafood company facing $214,000 in OSHA fines

The U.S. government has proposed more than $214,000 in fines against a Canadian seafood processing company accused of violations at a New Hampshire plant.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration says inspectors found 17 violations of workplace health and safety standards at High Liner Foods in Portsmouth. It says most violations involved problems with an ammonia piping system used for freezing.

The company is based in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. Its U.S. brands include Fisher Boy and Sea Cuisine. It’s accused of failing to inspect and test the piping system, which OSHA says was corroded. It also was cited for failing to correct previous problems.

The company has 15 days to comply or contest the findings. CEO Keith Decker says the company takes safety seriously and expects to discuss the proposed citations with OSHA.

Boater convicted in friend’s death begins her sentence

The former leader of a boating association entered jail Tuesday to begin serving her one-year sentence for killing her best friend in a speed boat crash.

Her luggage, however, was stopped at the door.

“We had to remind her we’re not checking into a hotel,” said Daniel Ward, superintendent of the Belknap County House of Corrections. “We provide clothing and everything else she needs.”

Erica Blizzard, 36, of Laconia, was convicted in March of negligent homicide for failure to keep a proper lookout when she drove her high-performance boat into the ledge cliffs of Diamond Island on Lake Winnipesaukee in June 2008. An opened vodka bottle was found in the wreckage.

Her best friend, Stephanie Beaudoin of Meredith, died in the crash. Another close friend, Nicole Shinopulos of Burlington, Mass., was seriously injured. Blizzard’s face was shattered, and she has undergone reconstructive surgeries.

Blizzard was head of the New Hampshire Recreational Boaters Association at the time and only weeks earlier had testified against imposing speed limits on Winnipesaukee, the state’s largest lake.

Marine Patrol investigators testified that she was driving too fast during a night of inclement weather and very low visibility. Blizzard testified that she lost her bearings but wasn’t speeding.

The day after her March 18 conviction, Blizzard was cited for driving 84 mph on Interstate 93 and for driving in such a distracted manner she almost struck the trooper who tried to flag her down.

Blizzard must serve at least six months before becoming eligible for work release outside the prison. The determination will be made after her performance on jail work details is evaluated, Ward said.

Two held without bail in shooting death of boy, 14

Two people were ordered held without bail Tuesday in the shooting death of a 14-year-old Boston boy who was accosted as he rode a scooter, then allegedly held down by one suspect while the other shot him.

As the victim’s family members watched, Crisostomo Lopes, 20, and Joshua Fernandes, 16, pleaded not guilty to murder and firearms charges in Dorchester District Court.

Prosecutors say Fernandes will be tried as an adult under state law.

According to Suffolk Assistant District Attorney Patrick Haggan, the two jumped on Nicholas Fomby-Davis Sunday evening as he rode a scooter after going fishing. Haggan said in court that Lopes shot Fomby-Davis three times with a .25-caliber handgun while Fernandes held onto him.

A gun was later found on Fernandes, who allegedly told police “You’ll catch one soon!” according to Haggan.

Both suspects were hidden behind a wall and were not visible in court. They were ordered to return to court July 9.

Their defense lawyers declined to comment after the brief hearing.

“I don’t know what I’m thinking, actually,” the boy’s father, Nathaniel Davis Jr., a truck driver and church deacon, told reporters after the hearing. “I don’t know where the hatred is coming from.”

“Why they did it?” asked the victim’s mother, Latrina Fomby-Davis, who stood next to her sister outside the courthouse. “Why? That’s all I want to know.”

According to police, an undercover officer witnessed the shooting. Police said he and another officer chased down the suspects.
Police didn’t disclose a motive but say the victim was not involved in gangs.

Pelosi plans visit to factory aided by stimulus program

Democratic U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is planning to visit a Watertown-based battery manufacturer to highlight what she’s calling one of the success stories behind the federal stimulus program.

Pelosi and U.S. Rep. Edward Markey are set to tour A123 Systems on Wednesday. The firm develops and manufactures advanced lithium-ion batteries and battery systems for plug-in hybrid and all-electric automobiles.

A123 Systems has received a $249 million federal stimulus grant through the Department of Energy to expand its manufacturing capacity in Michigan.

The company has also created 50 corporate and research and development jobs in Massachusetts in the past year.

Democrats are hoping to reverse criticism of stimulus spending by pointing to areas where they say it has helped businesses and created jobs.

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