Sen. DiZoglio Seeks State Version of Paycheck Protection Program to Help Business Ineligible for Fed Aid

State Sen. Diana DiZoglio wants the state to help small businesses that were ineligible for the federal government’s Paycheck Protection Program. Her bill, “An Act establishing a Massachusetts Paycheck Protection Program” would create an emergency loan program to help small businesses keep employees on the payroll or rehire them. Like its federal counterpart, the loans would be converted to grants. The federal program used the Small Business Administration’s platform, enabling banks, credit unions and local lenders to issue the loans. “I ultimately filed this bill as a last resort for the many businesses who remain closed and entirely ineligible for any type of loan or grant assistance from the federal government,” DiZoglio said, explaining, “These are local families who pay taxes and employ our neighbors.

HHS Drama Club Performs ‘10 Ways to Survive Life in a Quarantine’ Saturday Night

If you’ve found yourself taking on strange new hobbies while in isolation, Haverhill High School’s Drama Club students want you to know you’re not alone. They’re presenting Don Zolidos’ “10 Ways to Survive Life in a Quarantine” online this Saturday night. The play, which offers such solutions as “putting on a musical with your dog, to becoming an announcer for a made-up sport, to falling in love with an inanimate object,” is being presented as a Zoom webinar as well as being streamed live to the Drama Club’s Facebook and YouTube pages. The performance begins at 7 p.m., Saturday, May 23. To register for the Zoom presentation, click here.

Essex County Community Foundation Awards $650,000 to Hunger and Healthcare Groups and Creative Gig Workers

Essex County Community Foundation Wednesday awarded $650,000 to hunger and healthcare nonprofits and creative gig workers. It was the fourth round of grants from its Essex County COVID-19 Response Fund, established in March to support nonprofits on the frontlines of the pandemic response in Essex County. The total includes $600,000 of funding from the Massachusetts COVID-19 Relief Fund, established by First Lady Lauren Baker and the One8 Foundation. “As this health crisis continues to affect people in our region in myriad ways, continued support from the Massachusetts COVID-19 Relief Fund has enabled ECCF to increase funding to our frontline nonprofit organizations, which are working tirelessly to assist the most vulnerable among us,” said ECCF President and CEO Beth Francis. To date, the foundation has awarded nearly $1.9 million to 124 nonprofits battling COVID-19 and the resulting economic fallout of the virus.

Haverhill Police Suspend Drive-By Parades as Business Reopenings Begin

The Haverhill Police Department says the beginning of business reopenings means it is no longer taking new requests for drive-by parades. Motorcades for birthdays, graduations and retirements became a new tradition during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, in a social media posting, the department said officers “will need to redirect their objectives back to delivering the highest quality of emergency services to the City of Haverhill and its citizens.”

“Every Haverhill Police Officer has been honored to be a part of your special occasion over the last two months,” the statement said.

Webinar, ‘Reopening: What It Means for Haverhill Businesses’ Takes Place Wed., 11 a.m.

Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini and the two local chambers of commerce will be answering questions Wednesday morning about the first phase of business reopenings. Called “Reopening: What It Means for Haverhill Businesses,” the forum takes the form of a free webinar at 11 a.m. The webinar is hosted jointly by the Greater Haverhill and Merrimack Valley Chambers of Commerce. To register and receive a video link, visit haverhillchamber.com. A second forum, “Preparing to Get Back to Work: What Businesses Need to Know to Protect Their Employees,” features panelists Garrett Bomba of Pentucket Medical, Haverhill Director of Inspectional Services Richard MacDonald and Haverhill Bank Vice President Lise Zapatka. The forum, moderated by Haverhill Chamber’s Kate Martin takes place Thursday morning at 10.

UMass Lowell Students, Including Methuen Plastics Major, Turn Out Personal Protective Equipment

UMass Lowell students in the university’s 3D Printing Club are using the technology to produce protective gear for frontline workers in the fight against COVID-19. The effort is allowing the students to put their education to work to solve a critical problem in the community. The project, which started small in March, is now a 24-7 operation and has already produced hundreds of masks, face shields and “ear-savers”—straps that wrap behind the wearer’s head to hold masks in place—for area health-care workers. “So far, we’ve donated more than 300 ear-savers to Mass. General Hospital, 250 to St.

Superior Court Judge Denies Motion to Release Man, Charged with Bradford Teen’s Murder

A Salem Superior Court judge today refused to temporarily release from prison one of four men accused of murdering a Bradford teen in 2017. Ruling from the bench, Judge Thomas Drechsler was not moved by the argument that COVID-19 in the prisons represented changed circumstances. Thomas J. Warner, of Delaware, is one of four men charged with armed assault to rob and murdering 18-year-old Bryce T. Finn in the doorway of his Bradford home. His lawyer, James B. Krasnoo of Andover told WHAV he is “disappointed” his motion wasn’t granted. “It is frightening to leave a healthy man in a den of contamination,” Krasnoo said of Warner’s imprisonment at the Hampshire County Jail and House of Correction while awaiting trial.

Haverhill Boys and Girls Club and YMCA Collaborate to Help Youth Get Out of The House

The Haverhill Boys and Girls Club is taking steps to help its members’ collective “mental wellbeing” by working around COVID-19 restrictions that have, up to now, kept youth trapped at home. Club Executive Director Javier Bristol, appearing on WHAV’s morning program Tuesday, says the organization is entering a collaboration with the Haverhill YMCA

“What we’ll be doing is providing a space for teens to have access to our computer labs. And the way that this will be set up is they’ll be following all public health guidelines, and it will essentially be appointment only setups with 45-minute blocks, giving us 15 minutes to disinfect the space to get everything really cleaned up. And really what it is, is kind of an opportunity for the teens to get out of their home, to get in a private setting and be able to call on their guidance counselor to be able to get homework help, to just really prepare and talk to people about any issues that they are having throughout this crisis, and really doing it in a comfort of a space they are used to such as the Boys and Girls Club and the YMCA,” Bristol says. Bristol says the Haverhill Boys and Girls Club also wants to play a role in feeding youth this summer.