Smoky Basement Fire Temporarily Closes Bradford’s Roma Restaurant; No Injuries

A small fire Thursday night in the basement of the Roma Restaurant was knocked down quickly with no injuries and little damage. Haverhill Fire Chief William F. Laliberty told WHAV a malfunctioning ice maker overheated around 7:45 p.m., and caused the small fire. The Middlesex Street restaurant was closed for cleaning-related tasks in the aftermath. “All of the staff and diners were asked to evacuate. Roma’s staff did a great job getting everyone out safely and without any injuries,” Laliberty said.

Buttonwoods Museum Shows Haverhill Election-Oriented Documentary June 25

Buttonwoods Museum will hold its annual meeting Tuesday, June 25. The meeting will take place HC Media’s studios, 2 Merrimack St., Haverhill, starting at 6 p.m.

The first hour of the meeting will be devoted to museum business, while starting at 7 p.m., the public is invited to watch the Haverhill-based documentary “If It Fits.” The documentary focuses on Haverhill in the late 1970s, most especially the mayoral election between Mayor George K. Katsaros and Fire Chief Lewis C. Burton. The showing is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Linda Greenstein at 978-390-2425, or visit for more details.

Jaffarian Volvo Ushers in Renovated Scandinavian-Inspired Haverhill Showroom

Haverhill’s Jaffarian Volvo ushered in a new showroom look at a ribbon cutting ceremony Thursday. The renovation, according to Volvo, is “designed to reflect Scandinavian-inspired values of calm, clean lines with ‘cool on the outside and warm on the inside’-style architecture.” Volvo officials, customers and members of the business community heaped congratulations and best wishes on President and General Manager Gary Jaffarian and his family. Jaffarian explained his grandfather was born in Haverhill and his father first began selling Volvos in 1958. All four generations of family involved in the business have graduated from Haverhill High School. “Our roots are Haverhill and committed to the community and surrounding communities in serving the automotive needs for many years to come.

Vargas to Appear on Educational Television Sunday, Detailing Political Ascendancy

State Rep. Andy X. Vargas appears on television this weekend, where he discusses his story of grassroots political activism that compelled him to seek public office. The video is called “Stand Up,” and is part of a World Channel series called “Stories from the Stage,” which uses the storytelling technique to present new ideas and faces to the community. “Personal stories rich in human experience and emotion can create understanding, empathy and appreciation for people very different from us,” said Liz Cheng, the channel’s general manager and co-executive producer of the series. “With Stories from the Stage we hope to prove how much we all have in common and inspire community dialogue about our differences.”

Vargas’ installment airs Sunday, June 23, 2 p.m., and can also be viewed on the “Stories from the Stage” Facebook page.

MBTA to Move Bradford Layover Station After Decades of Neighbor Complaints

Following more than two decades of neighbor complaints of noise and fumes from idling trains and the Bradford-based layover station, the MBTA told WHAV this week plans to relocate the station are officially underway. Constructed in the early 1990s, the station serves as an overnight parking space for multiple trains, which start their engines early in the morning. The relocation was approved Monday as part of a larger, $18.3 billion capital improvement package from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation. MBTA spokeswoman Lisa Battiston tells WHAV officials are actively contacting area property owners in the new layover location, with design and construction on the way.

Jennings on Pineau Marijuana Permit: ‘City Made a Mistake’ in Not Protecting Haverhill Kids

Lloyd Jennings is doing it for the children in the City of Haverhill. On Tuesday night, Jennings begged city councilors to deny Caroline Pineau’s special permit for the Stem marijuana shop for the sake of Haverhill’s littlest Hillies. As the contractor explained before the Council and a packed room of Haverhill neighbors, downtown business owners and Pineau supporters, he and opponents J. Bradford Brooks and Stavros Dimakis say safety is being ignored when it comes to 124 Washington St. “I feel that our children’s safety should be first and foremost—not the profit that marijuana could bring to an individual to a city,” Jennings said. As WHAV reported ahead of Tuesday’s special permit hearing, Jennings joined Brooks and Dimakis in an effort to contest the validity of the zoning for Pineau’s storefront, which the men say was too close to where children congregate, making a case in land court.

Haverhill High Grad Pfifferling Named Schools’ New Assistant Superintendent

One of Haverhill’s Hillies is coming home to the public schools’ system starting this fall to assume the role of the district’s new assistant superintendent of finance and operations. On Tuesday, the School Committee voted unanimously to select Michael J. Pfifferling as a finalist to enter into negotiations for the role one month after contract talks broke down with Greater Lawrence Technical School’s Maria Silva. A city native now living in Groveland, Pfifferling comes to the district after six-and-a-half years as the business manager in Wakefield, where he oversaw construction of a middle school building and assisted in the opening of the Early Childhood Center at Doyle School and the Purposeful Opportunities for Successful Transitions Academy in Wakefield for older special education students. During an interview with School Committee members June 13, Pfifferling—who beat out Ian P. Gosselin for the position—was praised for his grasp on the challenges facing Haverhill’s students, said member Paul A. Magliocchetti. “I appreciate you making the distinction between equality and equity, because that’s something that we grapple with here in Haverhill a lot,” Magliocchetti said.

In Collaboration With Students, New Sign, Updated Field for Whittier Tech

Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School has two new construction projects—both planned and executed in collaboration with students. Late last month, work concluded on a new stone and metal sign bearing the school’s logo and name entirely designed and built by students studying in construction trades. Students from masonry, engineering, metal fabrication, and electrical all collaborated on this year-long project. The sign features both a metal logo and a screen for digital projections. Earl Corr, a carpentry instructor, said the project was a great way for Whittier students to collaborate in and out of the classroom.