Henri Zefta, Booster for Children’s Downtown Restaurant, Dies at 88

Henri Zefta, who played a significant role in his children’s downtown Haverhill restaurant, died March 17. He was born Aug. 9, 1934 and passed away at the age of 88. Zefta was the eldest of eight children and he met his wife, Laurice, at the age of 22 and they have been married for the last 64 years. They had four children together: Marie, Issa, Kamal and Jamal.

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.

Citizens Center

Council on Aging Offers Seniors Free Hip Hop Exercise Classes

Free hip hop dance exercise classes for seniors are taking place over the next few Thursdays in Haverhill. The complete chair, warm up and hip hop classes begin and end in the chairs with hip hop and rhythm and blues music. The Haverhill Cultural Council sponsors the hour-long chair exercise and dance classes taught by instructor Rondae Drafts Thursdays March 23, March 30 and April 13, at 11:30 a.m., at the Haverhill Citizens Center, room 45, 10 Welcome St., Haverhill. Those interested may register by calling Paula at the Haverhill Council on Aging at 978-374-2300, ext. 3916.

YWCA White Ribbon Day Campaign Flag Raising Monday Morning at Haverhill City Hall

YWCA Northeastern Massachusetts is hosting a White Ribbon Day Campaign this month to raise awareness and inspire action from men to stand up against violence against women and girls. The campaign started in 1991 when a handful of men decided to take action on the second anniversary of one man’s massacre of 14 women in Montreal. They began the White Ribbon Campaign to urge men to speak out against violence against women. Today, the campaign is observed in 60 countries. Men have an opportunity to take the pledge to stand up against all gender-based violence during a White Ribbon Day Campaign Flag Raising this morning at 10 at Haverhill City Hall.