Haverhill Ward 2 City Council Race Heats Up with Hobbs-Everett Launching Campaign

Katrina Hobbs-Everett, in formally declaring her candidacy Monday for Haverhill’s Ward 2 city councilor, is calling for better support for small businesses, public safety planning that is threaded throughout city departments and greater transparency in city spending. Hobbs-Everett, who first ran for City Council in 2015, told WHAV she is looking forward to the “opportunity to complete what I started” as one of the city’s first ward councilors. “My top three issues are supporting small businesses—and that needs to include all of our small businesses, comprehensive public safety planning that resources are committed in all departments and seeing our tax dollars work for us, meaning pushing for real budget transparency,” she said. Ward 2 unusually melds together, what she calls, two “distinct” neighborhoods—Mount Washington and part of Bradford, but Hobbs-Everett notes she uniquely works in one and lives in the other. She explains she raises her children in Bradford operates her co-working business, Coco Brown in Mount Washington, a neighborhood she has served as an advocate since she was 17 years old.

Fiorentini Gives State of the City Address Tonight; Highlights Include New Sports Building, Villages

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Tonight, Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini is scheduled to give his final State of the City Address, recapping his 20 years in office and sharing his vision of the city’s future. Fiorentini gave WHAV’s audiences a preview, discussing where the city is now and how new projects such as a series of “villages” across the city and a $2 million indoor tennis and pickleball court are taking shape. He starts by looking back. “I’m going to talk about how we got here—by cutting, by adding revenue and mostly by improving our tax base, allowing us to invest more,” he said. For the future, the mayor said, the city’s new master plan introduced the concept of village centers, which are “a trip back to the future, back to the days when there were neighborhood stores to walk to in every neighborhood.”

“We will have a new downtown.

Haverhill’s Museum of Printing Plans Garage Sale March 25

Haverhill’s Museum of Printing plans its largest ever garage sale this Saturday, featuring letterpress materials. Among printing presses, type, cabinets, ink, paper and other graphic arts materials, there will be books on printing design, and typography during the sale Saturday, March 25, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., at the Museum of Printing, 15 Thornton Ave., Haverhill. Museum officials note one of its missions is to support the craft of letterpress and keep presses, type and materials in circulation. Sale items come from donations from organizations and people who wish to support the museum.

Federal Judge Sends North Andover Man, Who Brought Drugs to Jail, to Prison for 8 Years

A 25-year-old North Andover man who participated in a drug dealing scheme involving gang members in Lawrence, Haverhill and Methuen and a planned kidnapping, was sentenced Monday in federal court in Boston. Steven Rios was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Indira Talwani to eight years in prison and three years of supervised release. Last October, Rios pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit kidnapping and conspiracy to smuggle Suboxone into the Essex County Jail. U.S. Attorney Rachael S. Rollins’ office said in a press release Rios and a dozen others were charged in November 2021 after investigators intercepted communications between gang members and drug suppliers allegedly dealing in fentanyl, cocaine, methamphetamine and Suboxone in Massachusetts, Maine and southern New Hampshire as well as into the Essex County Jail. Jail officials were able to screen Rios, who had attempted to smuggle drugs into the jail by swallowing them.

District Attorney Identifies 24-Year-Old Shooting Victim Who Died Late Friday Night

A 24-year-old Lawrence man was identified as the victim of a fatal gunshot wound late Friday night in Lawrence. Essex County District Attorney Paul F. Tucker said Monday Christopher Garcia died of a single gunshot wound to the abdomen. He was pronounced dead at Lawrence General Hospital. Tucker said the investigation by the State Police Detective Unit assigned to the Essex County District Attorney’s office and Lawrence Police detectives continues, and more details will be released. Lawrence Police received a series of 911 calls just before midnight Friday, reporting shots fired and a man down in the area of 216 Walnut St., Lawrence.

Northern Essex Community College Considers Private Partnership for Sports Building, Fields Upgrades

Northern Essex Community College is turning to the private sector to potentially address about $9 million in deferred maintenance at its more than 50-year-old Sports and Fitness Center and surrounding athletic fields at its Haverhill campus. A little less than two weeks ago, the state Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance reached out to businesses and organizations about leasing the property, while giving the institution “primary or privileged use” to accommodate its athletics department and police academy. “Building D has various deferred maintenance needs, including accessibility upgrades and out-of-date mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems. The adjacent athletic fields, including a baseball field, softball field and asphalt track, suffer from drainage issues and do not meet the campus’ needs,” concludes the state request for “potential partners with the capacity to design, permit, finance, construct and operate facility improvements…”

A partner would have the option to renovate or completely replace the building. The college plans to add women’s basketball and, potentially, women’s soccer, women’s softball, men’s volleyball, flag football and wrestling. Should a partner be found, the state said Northern Essex could add certificate and degree programs in personal training, nutrition, sports management, physical therapy and other “hands-on health and wellness offerings.”

Should the college achieve its goal, it could offer field time for city and local youth leagues, healthy and sustainable food options and affordable childcare.

Essex Tech Masonry Teacher Collins Receives Gift of Life From His Boss

Sometimes, bosses get a bad rap, but a masonry teacher at Essex North Shore Agricultural and Technical School received the gift of life from his. After more than 20 years of battling kidney disease, Essex Tech masonry teacher David Collins of Haverhill learned last year that his life depended on finding a donor. Last month, Collins learned of an ideal kidney match from an unexpected source, his boss, Superintendent Heidi Riccio. On Tuesday, Feb. 21, Collins underwent surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital and received one of Riccio’s kidneys.

Police Dispatchers, Teachers, Mail Carriers, Other Jobs at MakeIT Haverhill Job Fair Thursday

Haverhill Public Schools, Haverhill Police, U.S. Postal Service, area manufacturers, social service agencies and others are among those seeking to hire during MakeIT Haverhill’s March job fair this Thursday. Haverhill schools are seeking cafeteria workers, bus monitors, bus drivers, custodians, paraprofessionals, teachers and nurses, while the police department seeks dispatchers and the post office wants to hire city and rural carriers. Besides jobs, the fair offers free career training, free blood pressure and glucose testing and resources from the Haverhill Public Library. It takes place Thursday, March 23, from 4-6 p.m., at MakeIT Haverhill, 301 Washington St., Haverhill. Other employers are Amazon, ABC Home Health Care, A Better Life Homecare, Elara Caring, Opportunity Works, Greater Lawrence Community Action Council, Rapid Coatings and Runtal North America.