Atkinson Congregational Church Debuts Monthly Wednesday Night Dinner Parties

Parishioners of Atkinson Congregational Church invite members of their community to attend monthly dinner parties free of charge the first Wednesday night of each month starting at 6 p.m.

Overseen by Pastor Jim Thomas, the effort aims to foster connections and conversation between locals, exploring what he calls “hard questions” over family-style meals. The 90-minute sessions take place in Lovejoy Hall attached to the Church, 99 Main St., Atkinson. Attendees do not need to be religious or a member of Atkinson Congregational to attend and no advance registration is required. More information is available at AtkinsonConnections.org.

Haverhill Woman Kicks, Punches Officer During Booking for Assault Arrest

A Lancaster Street woman originally arrested for alleged assault racked up a slew of additional charges after police say she kicked and punched the officer trying to take her into custody. Haverhill Police Officer Caitlin Brady was dispatched to 30 Lancaster St. last week for a report that Lisa Ricker allegedly assaulted another person and destroyed property shortly after 8 p.m. Thursday. During the booking process at the Bailey Boulevard police station, 56-year-old Ricker allegedly kicked and punched Officer Brady, spokesman Capt. Robert Pistone told WHAV. Brady was not injured and was able to get Ricker under control.

Fiorentini on Education Reform: ‘Haverhill Has Shown What Can Happen With Additional Funding’

Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini joined mayors from across Commonwealth Friday to implore the Joint Committee on Education to reconsider a decades’ old funding formula that puts certain cities and districts at a disadvantage. Joining Fiorentini for the hearing were Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and Lawrence Mayor Daniel Rivera, among others, who spoke to the committee that included Haverhill’s state Rep. Andy Vargas, through the lens of their respective districts. Fiorentini was quick to acknowledge Haverhill’s school success—but reasoned more must be done. “Haverhill, Massachusetts has shown what can happen with some of the additional funding that is proposed here today and I’m proud to be here to support this bill,” he said. In his remarks, Fiorentini used the Tilton Elementary School turnaround grant as an example of how an underachieving population can end up with some of the highest MCAS score improvements statewide.

Today’s Obituaries: March 22

Alice E. (Hanagan) Durgin, 81, wife of the late Robert I. Durgin, died March 20 at home surrounded by her family. Born in Bradford, she worked at Karelis Jewelers in Haverhill as a bookkeeper before raising her seven children. She also worked at Lenox Nursing Home and Crescent Circuit Boards, both in Bradford, and retired from Lucent. Calling hours are Sunday, March 24 from 2-5 p.m. at the Kevin B. Comeau Funeral Home, 486 Main St., Haverhill. Funeral services begin at 9 a.m. on Monday at the funeral home, with a Mass of Christian Burial celebrated at 10 a.m. at Sacred Hearts Church, 165 South Main St., Bradford.

MVCC Networking Mixer Is Monday in Methuen

A business networking and referral mixer is planned for Monday, March 25 at Mi Mexico Lindo, 5 Pleasant St. in Methuen, put on by the Merrimack Valley Chamber of Commerce. From 5-7 p.m., professionals can network, enter raffles and enjoy complimentary appetizers. Chamber members are invited for a $10 entry fee, while potential members may attend for $20. Registration is accepted by calling 978-686-0900.

Haverhill High Cross-Country Coach Maguire Named to State Track Hall of Fame

Haverhill High School cross-country coach Michael Maguire marks his 30th year leading brown and gold athletes this month, but that’s not the only impressive milestone he’s celebrating. The longtime sports leader and HHS teacher was recently named to the Massachusetts State Track Coaches Association’s Hall of Fame. One of three eastern Massachusetts coaches inducted this year, Maguire is in good company: His own track coach and mentor, Haverhill sports legend John “Coach O” Ottaviani, received the same honor in 1985. Telling WHAV he’s “honored and humbled” by the recognition from the group of 600 of his track coach peers, Maguire calls the honor a testament to those he’s worked with over the years. “It’s a credit to all of the wonderful student athletes I’ve had the privilege to work with.

Fourth Annual Barker Family Fundraiser for Sarah’s Place Is Sunday

Paper Potpourri’s Elaine Barker and her family are getting ready for their fourth annual St. Patrick’s-themed fundraiser to benefit Sarah’s Place Adult Day Health Center on Sunday at Haverhill’s Amvets on Primrose Street. Serving as a birthday remembrance for Barker’s late husband, Joseph, the bash includes food, raffles and music from The Chickenshack Blues from 2-5 p.m. A performance by Salisbury’s Bracken School of Irish Dance is also planned. Tickets are $25 for adults and $20 for seniors payable at the door or online at sarahsplace.org. Children under 16 are free.

Premier Martial Arts’ Godin Hopes to Raise $20K for Fifth Boston Marathon Charity Run

For his fifth Boston Marathon run next month, Haverhill’s KC Godin is running for a friend who can’t: Haverhill High senior Ryan Clough. Linked up with Clough through the Credit Unions Kids at Heart charity, Godin—the owner of Premier Martial Arts—hopes to raise $20,000 to assist his Children’s Hospital “patient partner” Clough, he tells WHAV. During practice runs along Bradford’s Route 125 and each Saturday with the 200-member Boston Hospital Marathon team, Godin keeps Clough, who suffers with cerebral palsy, top of mind. He also uses the time to live the mantras he teaches to karate students. “It’s a good chance for me to walk my talk.