Two-Alarm Methuen Blaze Likely Triggered by Lawnmower; Fire Marshal Warns of Gas Tool Danger

A two-alarm Methuen fire Monday afternoon appears to have been caused by a burning lawnmower. The blaze was reported just before 3 p.m., at 155 Woodburn Drive, Methuen. The Methuen Fire Department said there were no reported injuries, but the house appears to be a total loss. “Firefighters acted swiftly at knocking down a massive house fire,” the department reported on social media. Officials said the lawnmower had been used, but was stored under a back deck just before the fire started.

Haverhill Councilors to Decide Zoning Changes Tonight to Advance Re-use of Former Dutton Airport

Plans to convert the former Dutton Airport into Haverhill’s newest business park comes before the Haverhill City Council tonight for zoning changes. The former airport, off Route 110 near Kenoza Lake, closed in 1987. As WHAV first reported two years ago, the city’s new master plan envisioned the land and another site off Route 97 be used as business parks, but were placed on hold while landowners were consulted. Haverhill Economic Development and Planning Director William Pillsbury Jr. outlined the concept in 2020. “Those two industrial parks are conceived.

Retired State Police Detective Finds Unlikely Association Between Stolen Boston Pup and Haverhill Couple

The unlikely association between a purebred American Bulldog, reported missing earlier this month in Dorchester, and a Haverhill couple facing charges was discovered by a retired State Police detective. The Haverhill couple, later charged with receiving stolen property—the missing dog “Chica”—came to the attention of Haverhill Police Saturday, May 14, by the retired detective, serving as a volunteer with the nonprofit Missing Dogs of Massachusetts. The detective asked WHAV for anonymity. The pair were also each charged with possessing firearms without FID cards and unlicensed possession of ammunition. According to a Haverhill Police report, the married couple— 40-year-old Stella F. Cleghorn and 55-year-old Stephen M. Cook, both of 14 Laurier St., Haverhill—own Essex Fiber that was apparently working in Boston.

Campaign Notes: Haverhill Republicans Attend Convention, DeFranco Kicks Off Senate Run

Members of the Haverhill Republican Committee were in attendance last Saturday for the party’s convention. Among those attending the convention at MassMutual Center in Springfield were Chair Jeri Levasseur, members Jack and Taylor Roy and Barbara Greenwood and Merrimac Committee member Helen Spurling. Geoff Diehl was selected as the endorsed Republican candidate for governor. In other campaign notes, Republican state senate hopeful Sal DeFranco kicked off his campaign last night at Maria’s Restaurant in downtown Haverhill. DeFranco is running in the reformatted Second Essex and Middlesex Senate District.

Expanded Methuen Police Crime Analysis Brings Arrest in Alleged Catalytic Converter Thefts

Methuen Police Department Director of Crime Analysis and Disorder Dawn Reeby’s analysis of local crime trends—particularly the recent thefts of catalytic converters—led to one arrest late last week

Police Chief Scott J. McNamara said Monday Reeby collected data on catalytic converter thefts in Methuen and surrounding towns. She analyzed similarities among the cases across the region and produced bulletins for patrol officers and helped patrol supervisors deploy officers. Last Thursday afternoon Officer Brandon LaFlamme used the information when he came in contact with 52-year-old Mark Cristaldi in the area of Granite Street, where several catalytic converter thefts had been reported. Cristaldi, with no known address, was wanted on a warrant obtained by North Andover Police for alleged similar thefts. He was charged with larceny over $1,200 and six counts of malicious damage to a motor vehicle.

Armenian Spring Festival Takes Place Saturday, June 4, in Haverhill

Hye Pointe Armenian Church is planning its Armenian Spring Festival. The annual festival features finger foods; Armenian dinners of lamb, chicken and beef served with pilaf, salad and bread; Armenian desserts; and hot dogs and chips for children. There will also be children’s activities. The event takes place Saturday June 4, from noon-6 p.m., at Hye Pointe Armenian Church, 1280 Boston Road, Haverhill. Meal dine-in and take-out options are available, but the online ordering deadline is Wednesday, June 1.

City Councilors Dig In to Support Haverhill Police ‘Drop It Challenge’

Haverhill city councilors learned last week about the police department’s mission this month to raise money for the Dana Farber Cancer Institute by shedding some extra pounds. As WHAV reported previously, the “Drop It Challenge,” initiated by Dana Farber, asks police departments across Massachusetts to commit to losing weight during the month of May and collecting donations for those cast-off pounds. Amy Carter, director of officer wellness at the Haverhill Department, provided an update on the program’s progress. “I’m proud to say that 30 of our officers volunteered to be on the city’s team and, of all the state, municipal, sheriffs and corrections departments in the entire state of Massachusetts, Haverhill is in second place, earning the second highest amount of money for the kids at Dana Farber,” she explained. She added the team is still behind its set goal, however, and in a distant second place from the lead team made up of 49 Police Academy recruits in Plymouth.

Haverhill Police Arrest Two in Connection with Missing Dorchester Dog ‘Chica’

Haverhill Police last week arrested two in connection with the alleged theft of a two-month-old dog in Dorchester earlier this month. Arrested on warrants last Thursday afternoon were 40-year-old Stella F. Cleghorn and 55-year-old Stephen M. Cook, both of 14 Laurier St., Haverhill, according to a Haverhill Police log. Deputy Police Chief Stephen J. Doherty Jr. confirmed Saturday the arrests were related to the May 2 theft of American Bulldog “Chica.” The pair were also each charged with possessing a firearm without FID cards and unlicensed possession of ammunition. The Haverhill connection was not immediately known when the missing puppy made Boston news after Missing Dogs Massachusetts made a plea for Chica’s safe return. “Chica…was safely reunited with her worried family last night in the wee hours of the morning!” Missing Dogs Massachusetts posted Friday on social media.