Man electrocuted on Danforth St. ID'd; boxing helps gym owner to recovery: Our top stories

·4 min read

Before we begin the new week in earnest, we're taking a look back at the week that was, and the stories that led the news with Taunton Daily Gazette readers.

Top stories this past week included:

Raynham voters saying no to a debt exclusion to pay for the town's portion of the construction of a new Bristol-Plymouth Regional Technical School in Taunton. Unofficial results of the Special Town Election show 295 “no” votes and 199 “yes” votes, with a total of just 494 votes cast. With this outcome, it looks like the town could have to make some deep cuts. Gazette Reporter Daniel Schemer takes a look at what happens next.

In the latest Greater Taunton real estate report, a two-century-old home in the city's Historical District, off Church Green, has sold for $750,000. The Federal-style estate, with 4,000 square feet of living space, six bedrooms and three bathrooms, was built in 1825 and "has stood the test time," according to the home's description, from listing agent Keller Williams Realty. Take a little tour of this historic property, as well as other recent top-sellers.

These were the Top 5 stories of the past week, according to Gazette readers:

Man electrocuted in Taunton was a master carpenter and father of two

Our top story this past week was about Michael E. Messina, a husband, father of two girls, and a master carpenter, who died tragically while doing work on Danforth Street here in Taunton.

Messina died after an antenna he was removing from a Danforth Street home touched a power line, according to a preliminary investigation.

Loretta Messina, his wife, who was kind enough to speak to the Gazette during this difficult time, said her family's hearts are broken.

"He was the best person, nicest man, the best father," she said.

Messina was a master carpenter, construction supervisor and real estate investor who also enjoyed boating on Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire with his family.

Undated photo of 415 Danforth St., Taunton, but taken before the Thursday, June 23, 2022 electrocution of a man on the fire escape. An antenna he may have been removing is visible above the fire escape.
Undated photo of 415 Danforth St., Taunton, but taken before the Thursday, June 23, 2022 electrocution of a man on the fire escape. An antenna he may have been removing is visible above the fire escape.

Passion for boxing helped gym owner on road to recovery

Chad Leoncello, a Brockton native and West Bridgewater resident who now runs Leoncello Boxing in Raynham with his girlfriend and business partner, Brieanna Resendes, began his journey to sobriety with a phone call to a boxing gym.

After going through a divorce and facing losing custody of his son Carlo, Leoncello faced the challenge of staying sober so that he could move forward with a planned visit to see his son.

Unsure of where to turn, he made a phone call to KO Gym in New Bedford.

Owners of Leoncello Boxing in Raynham, Brieanna Resendes and Chad Leoncello, at the gym for a kids class on Tuesday, June 21, 2022.
Owners of Leoncello Boxing in Raynham, Brieanna Resendes and Chad Leoncello, at the gym for a kids class on Tuesday, June 21, 2022.

It was the first step on his road to recovery, and he credits boxing for giving him direction on the journey.

This is his story.

'It's magic, man, it's magic': A passion for boxing helped gym owner on road to recovery

Dighton, Somerset friends create Engayge app to help LGBTQ+ community

Many businesses claim to be LGBTQ+ friendly, but who is really walking the walk?

Dighton resident Maryellen “Rudy” Founds and Somerset resident Jamie Gagnier, co-founders of the new Engayge social media platform, made it their mission to find out when they launched their new app in June.

From left, Renee Matton, Jamie Gagnier, Maryellen "Rudy" Founds and Lauren Founds in a publicity photo for the new Engayge LGBTQ+ Social Media Platform.
From left, Renee Matton, Jamie Gagnier, Maryellen "Rudy" Founds and Lauren Founds in a publicity photo for the new Engayge LGBTQ+ Social Media Platform.

According to the founding partners, the launch is a “soft launch,” and the site currently has two main features: a friend-finding application, not unlike many we all know, but targeted to the LGBTQ+ audience, and a crowd-sourced business directory, which Gagnier compared to a “queer Yelp.”

See how the new app works, right here.

Community resource: They wanted an app to find friends, LGBTQ-friendly businesses. So they made it themselves.

Where to celebrate Fourth of July in Taunton and beyond

It's Fourth of July weekend, and locals are looking for ways to celebrate Independence Day.

Jordan Fisher and girlfriend Betsy Cappra, kiss each other on top of a pickup truck during the fireworks  at the Summer Celebration at Hopewell Park in Taunton on Friday, August 27, 2021.
Jordan Fisher and girlfriend Betsy Cappra, kiss each other on top of a pickup truck during the fireworks at the Summer Celebration at Hopewell Park in Taunton on Friday, August 27, 2021.

From parades, fireworks, and even a carnival in Middleboro, we've got a list of all kinds of 4th of July events that everyone can enjoy.

Fireworks, carnivals, and parades: Where to celebrate Fourth of July in the Taunton area

Taunton plans crosswalk upgrades downtown

Mayor Shaunna O'Connell said the city plans to upgrade three downtown crosswalks on Main Street to make it safer for people to cross the street.

Taunton plans to make crosswalk at the corner of Main and School streets safer for people to use by installing a pedestrian flashing beacon light, colored pavement within the pathway and improved curbing
Taunton plans to make crosswalk at the corner of Main and School streets safer for people to use by installing a pedestrian flashing beacon light, colored pavement within the pathway and improved curbing

The crosswalk improvements on Main Street will be completed at the corners of School, Trescott and Cedar streets.

Downtown improvements: Here are the Taunton crosswalk upgrades aimed at boosting safety and foot traffic

These upgrades are connected to a 2018 Downtown Taunton Improvement Plan.

Taunton Daily Gazette/Herald News copy editor and digital producer Kristina Fontes can be reached at kfontes@heraldnews.com. Support local journalism by purchasing a digital or print subscription to The Herald News and Taunton Daily Gazette today.

This article originally appeared on The Taunton Daily Gazette: Taunton Gazette top stories Michael Messina Leoncello Boxing Engayge