Podcast: MakeIt Haverhill’s Boucher Tells of Motivation by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

This week’s observance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day brought back memories for some and reinstilled long held values motivated by the slain civil rights leader. Among them, Keith Boucher, founder of MakeIt Haverhill, who first became aware the concept of equity when he was a child. “When I was young, back in the early 60s, we used to eat a lot of grapes during the summer, I don’t know why, but my mother, one time just said we can’t have grapes. We said ‘Why, where are the grapes?’ She said because there’s a gentleman out in California, Cesar Chavez, who is organizing people because they aren’t getting paid enough to pick those grapes, so we are going to support those people. And, that just started for me the whole issue of diversity, equity and inclusion that everybody has the right to a decent wage and a decent life, so that’s kind of how we got started,” he told WHAV listeners.

Haverhill Police Hockey Club Again Takes on Boston Bruins Alumni Hockey Team March 30

The Haverhill Police Hockey Club is again up against the Boston Bruins Alumni hockey team in a charity match this spring to benefit the Haverhill Police Relief Association. The match takes place Saturday March 30, at 1 p.m. at Veteran’s Memorial Rink, 137 Monument St., Haverhill. Proceeds will go towards the Haverhill Police death and disability benefit fund. Spectators are asked to bring canned goods to the game for the Sacred Hearts Food Pantry. The game will also feature a 50/50 raffle.

Podcast: Community Colleges are ‘Hot’ Right Now; Dolan-Wilson Explains How to Avoid Debt

Community colleges are seeing enrollment growth with new state initiatives and are poised for more if the state Senate is successful in providing free community college for everyone. Northern Essex Community College Vice President of Institutional Advancement Allison Dolan-Wilson, a recent guest on WHAV’s “Win for Breakfast” program, is delighted with the focus. “First and foremost, community colleges are so hot right now. I love that. I love any attention because it is absolutely well deserved.

Boys & Girls Club of Greater Haverhill, HP3 Launch ‘The Bridge’ Job Skills Program Next Week

The Boys & Girls Club of Greater Haverhill and the Haverhill Public-Private Partnership, known as HP3 for short, join forces next Wednesday to launch a new workforce development program for high school students. Called “The Bridge,” meaning Building Relationships & Integrating Dynamic Growth Experiences, Club, the program will span five months and is designed to help students discover their interests and skills through assessments, living wage discussions, visits from career representatives and exposure trips to local businesses and schools. It begins Wednesday, Jan. 10, with 13 students ranging in age from 13 to 18. Recently appearing on WHAV’s “Win for Breakfast” program was Boys and Girls Club of Greater Haverhill Executive Director Javier Bristol, who says the project even pays a small stipend while members participate.

Podcast: Whittier School Drama Club Readies for Disney ‘Descendants: The Musical’

A new theatrical season is about to open at the John Greenleaf Whittier School in Haverhill with the production of Disney’s “Descendants: The Musical.”

Music teacher and JGW Drama Club Executive Director Robert D. “Bobby” Gariepy III explained how to audition for a part during a recent appearance on WHAV’s “Win for Breakfast” program. “Jan. 8 is vocal audition. Come prepared to sing 30-seconds of your favorite song. Tuesday, Jan.

Podcast: Coach ‘Spike’ Sprague Prepares to Celebrate 50th Anniversary of HHS Hockey Team

This season represents a milestone for the Haverhill High School hockey team. It was 50 years ago that the first Haverhill High Varsity team hit the ice. For those oldest enough to remember, Gerald Ford was sworn in as vice president in December, the film “The Exorcist” made its debut and Richard “Spike” Sprague scored the first goal for the Haverhill Hillies hockey team. “I was fortunate enough to be on the ice for the first shift, and I got lucky enough to score the first goal, and the only thing that upset me the whole time was my coach said whoever scored the first goal would get a cigar. I never got the cigar,” he said.

Podcast: Looking Back, Fiorentini Details 20-Year Path to Haverhill’s Turnaround

Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini was sworn in almost 20 years ago against the backdrop of the largest municipal debt in state history, downtown buildings that had been mostly vacant for decades, the recent layoffs of 43 city workers and even ragged carpets in City Hall held together with duct tape. The downtown commercial district had been in decline for decades, worsened by such efforts to prop it up as the federal urban renewal demolition program. It was the financial collapse of the city-owned Hale Hospital, part of a national trend, however, that turned simmering hopelessness into full-blown panic. As he prepares to leave office, the mayor detailed during an extensive WHAV interview how the city turned around. During a live appearance on WHAV’s “Win for Breakfast” program, Fiorentini said, for example, downtown’s renaissance came down to parking, but not in a conventional sense.

Ceremony Launches Bradford Mixed Housing and Retail Complex, Start of Traffic Improvements

Although actual construction began months ago, ground was ceremonially broken Tuesday for “The Beck,” a 290-unit housing development, park, restaurant and retail complex along the Merrimack River in Bradford. The ceremony also called attention to planned roadway improvements aimed at relieving a bottleneck at the intersection of South Elm Street, Blossom Street, Laurel Avenue and Railroad Avenue near the Joseph C. Comeau Bridge. Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini praised the developer and the state for the upgrade. He said, “I want to thank the Procopio Companies for working with us. I want to thank the state for this $2 million MassWorks grant that’s going to finally improve traffic and pedestrian signaling in this area to make the great project we know it will be.”

These improvements include updated traffic signals and coordination with lights on the Haverhill side of the bridge; realigning Laurel Avenue with South Elm Street to reduce open pavement areas, driver confusion and pedestrian crossing lengths and provide additional separation from the Blossom Street; realigning Railroad Avenue with South Elm Street to improve transit bus maneuverability constrained by the existing bridge abutments; constructing bicycle lanes to provide a direct connection from the surrounding area to the Bradford Rail Trail; reconstructing sidewalks and installing an enhanced pedestrian crossing; install traffic signals at two intersections to clearly define driver rights-of-way and providing exclusive pedestrian crossing phasing; and fixing deterioration of the existing road surface.