Pack Those Backpacks! Haverhill Schools Plan Open Houses Ahead of Aug. 27 Start Date

Haverhill Public Schools are gearing up for the start of the 2019-2020 school year, with open houses planned at each school before students start classes on Tuesday, Aug. 27. With classes starting later this month, the district—under the direction of Superintendent Margaret Marotta—hopes to reorient students and families by introducing them to school facilities, teachers, and class assignments. Students in grades 1-12 report to school on Tuesday, while kindergarteners report on Tuesday, Sept. 3.

Annual Native American Pow Wow Returns to Haverhill’s Plug Pond Sept. 7-8

The Annual Native American Pow Wow, sponsored by the Massachusetts Center for Native American Awareness and the city’s recreation department, returns to Haverhill’s Plug Pond on Saturday and Sunday Sept. 7-8. The pow wow takes place at the Plug Pond Recreation Area, where it has happened each fall for the last 31 years. A celebration of Native American culture, the event features drumming, singing, and inter-tribal dancing. Tipis are also planned to be at the event, where guests can learn more about traditional Native American living situations and partake in relevant games and storytelling activities.

Atkinson Congregational Church to Host Pet Blessing Wednesday, Aug. 21

The Atkinson, N.H. Congregational Church is hosting a pet blessing ceremony on Wednesday, Aug. 21 from 6-7:30 p.m. in the church’s outdoor sanctuary, 101 Main St., Atkinson. The ceremony is open to any pet owners and features a blessing of the animals by the church’s Pastor Jim Thomas. Of the purpose of the event, Thomas told WHAV it is, “to bestow special blessings upon them, as they continually enrich us in so many ways.”

Pets are to be leashed, or in carriers if they do not co-mingle well with other animals. To register, contact the coordinator, Vikki Quick, at 603-362-5519.

Fiorentini, Trahan to Host Haverhill Census Forum Next Week

Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini and Congresswoman Lori Trahan plan to host a forum on 2020 nationwide census next Wednesday, Aug. 21, from 5-6 p.m. at the Barking Dog Alehouse, 77 Washington St., Haverhill. In announcing the forum, Trahan emphasized the importance of Haverhill getting an accurate count in the constitutionally mandated census. If Haverhill receives a lower count for the census, significant portions of federal funding could be reduced or eliminated. All community members are able to come ask questions of Fiorentini and Trahan on the census process.

Methuen Library Holding Tuesday Course Geared Toward Youth Staying Home Alone

The Nevins Memorial Public Library in Methuen is hosting a course to arm area youth with the tools to stay safe and secure while staying home alone on Tuesday, Aug. 20 from 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

The course, presented by South Shore Safety health educators, takes serious topics and makes them fun. Subjects addressed include basic self-defense, first aid, and common-sense safety. Children aged 9-11 are eligible to attend. The cost of the course is $40, and registration is required.

Methuen Mayoral Race Heats Up with Jajuga Retirement

Multiple local communities hold municipal elections Tuesday, Nov. 5, with Methuen’s balloting getting particular attention for its mayoral contest. Four candidates are running to succeed Mayor James P. Jajuga, who announced he would retire after one term in June. City Councilor Jennifer Aziz Kannan, who ran unsuccessfully for mayor in 2013, is in the race, along with educator Neil Perry, Realtor Dan Shibilia and Don Riccio. Two of the candidates will be eliminated in the preliminary Tuesday, Sept.

Trahan to Headline Haverhill Democrats’ Annual Breakfast Saturday, Sept. 7

Third District Rep. Lori Trahan is slated to headline the Haverhill Democratic City Committee’s annual breakfast Saturday, Sept. 7, at Maria’s Family Restaurant, 81 Essex St., Haverhill. The breakfast, which runs from 10-11:30 a.m., features Trahan as its keynote speaker. The committee is also recognizing state Rep. Linda Dean Campbell as its annual “Distinguished Democrat” for her contributions to the party. Candidates running for mayor, city council and school committee in Haverhill’s upcoming local election have also been invited and are to be recognized.

Merrimack Valley Hospice Hosts ‘Cruising on the High Seas’ Benefit Sept. 26

Merrimack Valley Hospice hosts a “Cruising on the High Seas” event on Thursday, Sept. 26 from 5:30-8:30 p.m., at the Black Swan Country Club, 258 Andover St., Georgetown. The evening includes food, a wine and beer sampling and a silent auction, with proceeds benefiting local hospice patients and their families. To purchase tickets, call Erin at 978-552-4188.