Haverhill River Bards Host Whittier Poetry Readings and Open House at Whittier Birthplace

Haverhill River Bards plan an open mic and readings from the poetry of John Greenleaf Whittier at the poet’s own birthplace. The special night begins Wednesday Aug. 18, at 6 p.m., with a tour of Whittier Birthplace, 305 Whittier Road, Haverhill. Poetry readings follow from 6:30-8 p.m. It is a free in-person event. Open mic sign-ups will be available on-site and on a first-come, first-served basis.

Campaign Parties Takes Place Wednesday Separately for Councilor Candidates Morrow and Everett

Haverhill City Councilor William J. Macek is the principal speaker this Wednesday when Josiah Morrow officially launches his campaign for Haverhill City Council Campaign. The event takes place Wednesday, Aug. 4, from 5-7 p.m., at Morrow’s home, 38 Columbia Park, Haverhill. Light refreshments will be served. Contributions are welcome, but those who have already donated or cannot do so remain welcome.

I-495 Construction Update: Daytime Lane Closings Affect Southbound Traffic and Route 97 West

Work relating to the $102 million Interstate 495 twin bridge replacement project will cause daytime lane closings this week. Massachusetts Department of Transportation reports the closings affect travel along I-495 south and Route 97 west. A single right lane closes on I-495 southbound, between exit 108, Route 97, and exit 106, Ward Hill, from Monday, Aug. 2 through Friday, Aug. 6, between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., each day, for roadway widening and paving work.

While Still Low, Haverhill COVID-19 Rates Going Up; Officials Ask 20-39-Year-Olds to Get Vaccine

While nowhere near the levels the city was experiencing a year ago, Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini says COVID-19 numbers have begun spiking within the last two weeks and worse figures are preventable with vaccinations. Speaking before the City Council this week, the mayor said the statistics are concerning because they are similar to last year’s numbers, just before the start of the school year. “A year ago we were seeing a big drop in cases. Many people thought COVID was over and then when we got back inside in the fall and in the winter, when the kids got back to school, that’s when we saw that big spike. And that’s what we need to avoid at all costs,” he told councilors.

Program Helping Sixth and Ninth Graders Explore Living Wage Careers Opens at Burnham School

Haverhill Public-Private Partnership, known as HP3 for short, has opened a mentorship training classroom and office at Thomas E. Burnham School to further its mission of helping Haverhill public school students obtain a living wage job. The nonprofit, founded in 2019 by retired Army Lt. General Jack Gardner, also recently conducted online outreach to identify sixth graders who might benefit from the program. The fledgling organization begins a pilot mentoring program in September for students at Dr. Albert B. Consentino School and mentors from Holy Family Hospital, with the intent of scaling up to a larger program by mid-2022. “I have met with and talked to Lt. General Gardner many times and have always been very impressed with his energy and dedication to his goal of helping the youth of Haverhill,” Mayor James J. Fiorentini said. “He works closely with my office and the school department and is well respected by everyone who knows him.

Free Basketball Clinic Begins Aug. 10 at Haverhill YMCA

A free basketball clinic is coming soon to the Haverhill YMCA. Haverhill High School Boys Basketball Team and Coach Souleymane Wane offer the clinic Tuesday, Aug. 10, from 5:30-7 p.m., at Haverhill YMCA, 81 Winter St. There are only limited spaces available. Those interested may register at the Welcome Center or by calling 978-374-0506.

Servpro of Haverhill/Newburyport Receives Chairman’s Platinum Award

Servpro of Haverhill/Newburyport was awarded the Chairman’s Platinum award at the company’s 52nd annual convention last week at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort in Orlando, Fla. Patrick and Michelle Lavigne of Servpro of Haverhill/Newburyport joined the more than 650 franchise owners and key employees to receive recognition at the gala award ceremony. Forty-three of those award-winning entrepreneurs became first-time millionaires as Servpro franchise owners over the past business year. In all, Servpro boasts 663 franchisees who have attained the million dollar or more milestone through their franchise ownership. “On behalf of the entire team at Servpro of Haverhill/Newburyport, I’m proud to accept this award,” said Patrick Lavigne.

Haverhill VFW Lorraine Post 29 Donates Water Dispenser to Bedford VA Medical Center

Haverhill Veterans of Foreign Wars Lorraine Post 29 of Haverhill recently arranged with the Edith Nourse Rogers VA Medical Center to provide complimentary water through the clinic. For the time being, water is being distributed through small water bottles until the Bedford VA clinic sets up the water dispenser. “Knowing that a lot of our veterans who use the clinic walk to their appointments, the VFW is honored to be able to provide this water for all our veterans. Those who walk to their appointments, or those who would simply just like a nice cold bottle of water,” said Junior Vice Commander Keith Gopsill. He mentioned the VFW is working on the logistics so that the clinic will always be will supplied with water, especially on really hot and humid days.