Haverhill Public Library Holds Patron Appreciation Day

The Haverhill Library is thanking the public by holding its third annual Patron Appreciation Day on Sunday, March 24, from 1-4:30 p.m.

This all-ages event features scavenger hunts, face painting, performers and more. Attendees can even try their hands at the Duckie Derby for a chance at a prize. Library Assistant Director Ricky Sirois said, “Patron Appreciation Day has become one of the staff’s favorite days of the year, and we are excited for this third edition. We love transforming the library and inviting everyone to experience something a little different from the usual routine.”

The event is free and open to the public.

Northern Essex Men’s Basketball Members Receive High Honors

Three members of the Northern Essex Community College Knights men’s basketball team have been chosen to the 2019 Region 21 All-Region Honorable Mention team, as selected and voted by the regional coaches. Evan Hardy of Methuen, along with Emir Alagoz, and Guney Kilitcioglu, both of Istanbul, Turkey, received the honors. Hardy led the team in scoring at 15 points per game and finished his rookie campaign with 389 points. Alagoz was among the team leaders in a number of categories as he ranked first in shooting percentage with 52.6 percent. Alagoz averaged 12.3 points per game and finished his career with 726 points over two seasons.

Align Credit Union Receives SBA Award

Align Credit Union was recently recognized as the 2019 “Lender of the Quarter” by the Massachusetts District Office of the U.S. Small Business Administration. The award was given for outstanding commitment to the SBA’s 7a Loan Program and for showing the highest quarterly increase in loan approvals during the first quarter of fiscal year 2019. It was accepted by Align President Ken Del Rossi and Vice Presidents Ray Wrobel and Andrew Patton. SBA Massachusetts District Director Robert H. Nelson said, “Align Credit Union is delivering much needed small business capital to build the local community.”

Align Credit Union has branches in Haverhill and Methuen.

Today’s Obituaries: March 7

John M. Collins, 66, of Groveland, died Monday, March 4. Born in Haverhill. Collins was a graduate of the former Haverhill Trade School, class of 1971. Calling hours are Friday, March 8 from 4-7 p.m. at the H.L. Farmer and Sons Funeral Home, 106 Summer St., Haverhill. Funeral service is Saturday, March 9, at 10 a.m. at the funeral home.

Mayor Highlights Housing, Crime At State of The City

Speaking before a nearly packed City Council Chambers Tuesday night, Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini outlined the city’s top priorities in his annual State of the City address. Among some of the items on the mayor’s agenda were combating both “illegal housing” and “gang violence.”

In his speech, Fiorentini touted seven new housing and development projects currently underway in the Shoe City. But new housing wasn’t the only goal the mayor had in mind. Fiorentini made a commitment to improving existing housing units. Stronger Home Inspectional Services
Fiorentini called for the city to take direct action on illegal housing by strengthening its inspectional services team.

TEACH Parent Rebuffs Former Haverhill Educator’s Claims

A former Haverhill Public Schools special needs teacher, who resigned from his job in order to highlight mistreatment of elementary aged children, spoke out again at Thursday night’s School Committee meeting. Timothy Walsh, of Effingham, N.H., stepped down after three years at the Therapeutic Education Assessment Center of Haverhill—known as TEACH—in order to bring attention to what Walsh called “abuse” of special needs students. Walsh, whose students are on the autism spectrum disorder, claimed that his concerns were being ignored by the new administration of St. James School. Last night, Walsh told the School Committee that he remains unsatisfied that his questions regarding the treatment of his students have gone unanswered by the district.

DeNaro Outlines Plan to Combat Haverhill Violence Amid Spate of Gang-Affiliated Shootings

Haverhill Police Chief Alan R. DeNaro addressed his department’s plan to combat gang-related violence at Tuesday’s City Council meeting. Urged to come before the Council at the request of President John A. Michiston and Councilor Michael S. McGonagle, DeNaro said he has spoken in-depth with Mayor James J. Fiorentini over the past few days about the recent shootings and stabbings in the city. One of the challenges that DeNaro and his officers face is when shooting victims—many of them gang-affiliated—refuse to come forward to police or cooperate with an investigation. “When they’re shot, they don’t cooperate with us. A lot of times, they will tell us absolutely nothing because they want to handle it themselves,” he said.

Haverhill Hexagon Solar Project Talks Tabled After Residents, Councilors Express Concern

Concerned neighbors spoke out at Tuesday night’s City Council meeting against a proposed solar installation in Haverhill. On the heels of the Conservation Commission’s approval of the project, Hexagon Energy outlined the 20-year lease they hope to enter into at 1037 Broadway. Abutters—and several councilors—expressed skepticism about the plan. Addressing the Council on behalf of the Charlottesville, Va.-based Hexagon Energy, Scott Remer said he has met with Haverhill planners and engineers about the parcel, and that the special permit his company would receive is contingent upon bringing the blighted property up to code. “It’s enough to power approximately 40 homes.