Recent Stories

In Reversal, Full School Committee Ratifies Pact with Educators Related to Remote Learning

The Haverhill School Committee changed its mind last night and approved an agreement with educators that governs next week’s rollout of remote learning. Committee members voted unanimously to approve the understanding that was hammered out earlier this week between the Haverhill Education Association and school negotiators. The breakthrough came after three members withdrew objections to paying a full-year of activity stipends for a reduced school year. Unable to approve the original pact, the full committee instead voted Wednesday to send back an amendment. Union President Anthony J. Parolisi told members he is “both excited and relieved” at the turn of events.

Fiorentini Says COVID-19 Health Crisis and Possible Budget Impact Vindicates His Thrifty Spending

Mayor James J. Fiorentini has received his share of name calling over the years for tightly holding the city’s purse strings, but he says he is being vindicated now as the city’s looks at likely shortfalls in the aftermath of the coronavirus. Specifically, the mayor has taken heat over not spending enough on repairs and maintenance at city buildings—most recently, the city’s central fire station on Water Street. Just Tuesday, some city councilors suggested raiding the city’s surplus instead of cutting projects. Fiorentini told WHAV Thursday the city doesn’t have as much in the bank as some think. “Had we listened to the voices demanding that we greatly increase spending, we would have a crisis on our hands today.

Haverhill Council OKs Most of Fiorentini’s Plan to Save Money Now While Preparing for the Worst

Looking ahead to difficult financial times ahead, Haverhill city councilors largely agreed this week with a series of spending cuts suggested by Mayor James J. Fiorentini. Fiorentini proposed transferring nearly $275,000 from various planned projects and placing the money in a COVID-19 emergency account. He painted a rather bleak picture of a post-coronavirus economy. “Next year’s budget is going to be a very, very difficult budget. No one knows how bad it’s going to be.

Northern Essex Grads to Forgo Pomp and Circumstance as College Cancels Formal Commencement

Caps, gowns and an inspirational speaker on the quadrangle is an experience this year’s graduates of Northern Essex Community College will forgo as officials continue to deal with the ramifications of the coronavirus. College trustees were briefed on graduation ceremony plans Wednesday, learning the May 16 scheduled commencement will be a casualty of the times. How graduation will be conducted is now up to the Student Government Association to decide. “Celebrating the hard work of our grads, especially after such a challenging semester, is very important to us,” Director of Public Relations Ernie Greenslade told WHAV. “We’re still figuring out the best way to do this and we hope to share details soon.”

According to Greenslade, two thirds of classes are already affected with this past Monday’s change to remote learning.

Haverhill Council Asks Health Board to Restrict Smoking Near Outdoor Diners

Should smokers be allowed to indulge their habit outdoors if they are near restaurant customers enjoying open air dining? Haverhill City Councilor Mary Ellen Daly O’Brien raised the question during the body’s regular Tuesday night meeting. She spearheaded an attempt to have the Health Board rule on the matter two years ago, but says with the warmer weather ahead, it is time to bring it up again. “Three restaurants have mentioned it to me—all in different sections of the city, and it’s worth putting another letter to them and asking them to address this. I think we need some kind of ruling from them.

Soroptimist Club Providing Resources for Local Women and Girls

WHAV’s Community Spotlight is turning its microphones to those civic and charitable organizations that make Greater Haverhill a wonderful place to live. The Haverhill/Merrimack Soroptimist Club is among 10 Soroptimist service clubs in New England, providing resources and opportunities to women and girls for education and training through volunteering. Locally, it presents the Women’s Opportunity Award to a female head of household pursuing higher education to improve her employment opportunities and promotes “Sister Power” (formerly called “Images”), encouraging participants to become confident, educated women. For more information on Soroptimist programs and events visit soroptimistner.org.

Haverhill Receives Extra $600,000 in Federal Community Development Block Grant Stimulus Money

Haverhill is receiving more than $600,000 in additional federal stimulus money to cope with the aftermath of the coronavirus. The money comes in the form of extra Community Development Block Grant money. The city already receives around $1 million a year as a so-called “entitlement” community. It was grandfathered into receiving such aid directly—rather than being first funneled through state government—since the program replaced urban renewal. Besides Haverhill, Congresswoman Lori Trahan, said other communities in her House district to receive extra money are Lawrence, Lowell and Fitchburg.

Today’s Obituaries—April 2: Paszko

Stanley F. Paszko, 95, died March 27. Born in Haverhill, he graduated from Haverhill High School and Haverhill Trade School with the Class of 1942. A veteran of World War Two, he served in the U.S. Navy and was a recipient of the World War Two Victory Medal, American Area Medal and the Asiatic and Pacific Area Medal. Paszko was a former member of Saint Michael’s Church of Haverhill and a member of the AmVets Post 147, the Carl Davis Post of the American Legion of Plaistow, the American Legion of Port Charlotte and the V.F.W. of Georgetown. Services and burial will be private under the direction of Berube-Comeau Funeral Home, 47 Broadway, Haverhill.