Haverhill Motorcyclist, 28, Receives Serious Injuries in Plaistow; Other Driver Faces DWI Charge

A 28-year-old Haverhill man is being treated at a Boston hospital for, what were described as, “serious injuries” after he and the motorcycle he was driving were struck by an allegedly drunk driver early Friday morning in Plaistow, N.H.

Matthew J. Wilson suffered “serious injuries to his lower extremities” and was flown to Tufts Medical Center by Boston MedFlight, where he was listed in serious condition, according to a statement by Plaistow Police. Police said 27-year-old Joshua Somma of Fremont, N.H., was arrested and charged with aggravated driving while intoxicated, a felony-level charge. Police said they came upon the crash at approximately 12:30 a.m., on Route 125 south, near 20 Plaistow Road. They said Somma was driving north and making a left-hand turn. Initial reports described the accident as a head-on collision with Wilson being thrown and suffering compound leg fractures.

Haverhill Establishes Cooling Locations Today as Temperatures Rise Into the 90s; Plug Pond Opens

Haverhill is setting up locations for residents to keep cool today as temperatures are expected to soar into the 90s. WHAV’s Wave Weather Meteorologist James Covington says temperatures are expected to reach a high of 94 today. Mayor James J. Fiorentini says residents may seek relief today until 4 p.m., at the Citizens Center, 10 Welcome St.; until 7 p.m., at the Swasey Field Splash Pad; and at water cannons set up at Riverside Park near the stadium. The revamped Plug Pond Recreation area is open for swimming with a limit of 200 people. A new playground there opens next week followed by a splash pad later on when construction is completed.

Fireworks, Food and Music Tonight in Haverhill; Sunday Night in North Andover and Lawrence

Haverhill’s annual Independence Day fireworks are set for tonight with bonus bands and food trucks. The free event begins at 5 p.m., at Riverside Park, 155 Lincoln Ave., adjacent to the Stadium, in Haverhill. The Chase Campbell Band opens the night, followed by the Abraxas Santana Tribute Band at 7:30. A fireworks display typically takes place after dusk. Residents are advised to bring their own lawn chairs.

Mass. Attorney General Offers Savings Tips and Resources as Home Energy Costs Rise

With electricity rates set to soar to record high prices this summer, Attorney General Maura Healey has launched a campaign to educate customers about programs available to reduce energy usage and lower bills. Inflation, the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine and other factors are driving up fossil fuel prices and, in turn, energy rates for customers across the country this summer. As part of a new education campaign, the attorney general’s office is airing radio PSAs, including over WHAV; distributing multilingual flyers; updating its website; and conducting trainings and webinars. “As temperatures rise this summer, so will your monthly bills. We want families who are worried about paying their monthly bills to know that help is available to manage these record high energy rates,” said Healey.

Haverhill City Clerk Prepares Residents for State-Required Voting Location Changes

The Haverhill City Clerk’s office is preparing the public for this fall’s elections that may be muddled by new polling places for some, introduction of sub precincts and changes to legislative districts for others. All of the changes come as a result of redistricting plans by the Massachusetts House and Senate last year. One of the stranger shifts sees a small number of River Street residents in Ward 7, Precinct 2, having to go across the river to vote. Haverhill City Clerk Linda L. Koutoulas told city councilors during recent budget talks. She had few, workable options.

State Awards COVID-19 Grants to Haverhill and Lawrence Nonprofits Among Others

Haverhill’s Leaving the Streets Ministries and two Lawrence organizations are among those receiving additional state grants targeted to communities hardest hit by COVID-19. The money comes from the Massachusetts Vaccine Equity Initiative, aimed at increasing awareness and access to the COVID-19 vaccine and mitigating impacts of the pandemic. The latest grants are part of the Baker-Polito Administration’s $58 million vow to promote vaccine access and confidence, primarily in communities of color. Grants of between $38,500 and $125,000 were awarded to Leaving the Streets Ministries, founded by Chaplain Jesus Ruiz and his wife Wanda; Asociacion Ministerial Evangelica Del Area de Lawrence; and Centro de Apoyo Familiar of Lawrence. “Throughout the pandemic, we have turned to trusted community-based organizations who know their communities best,” said Public Health Commissioner Margret Cooke.

Haverhill’s Whittier Birthplace to Host Dale Rogers’ ‘Big Dog Show’ This Fall

John Greenleaf Whittier would likely approve. Haverhill’s Whittier Birthplace is hosting “The Big Dog Show,” the signature public art exhibition of Haverhill-based artist Dale Rogers, when it returns to Bradford Common this fall. Twenty of Dale Rogers’ “American Dogs” will be assembled on the Bradford Common from Friday, Oct. 28, through Monday, Oct. 31.

Lynn Social Worker Leigh Launches Campaign for Essex County Sheriff

Virginia Leigh, candidate for Essex County sheriff, plans to kick off her campaign formally at the end of next week. Leigh is a clinical social worker running against incumbent Sheriff Kevin F. Coppinger. In a statement, she promised to “to put an end to the revolving door at the county jail by using her mental health expertise to change outcomes and a culture of politics as usual.”

“A majority of county prisoners are incarcerated for crimes related to mental health and substance use,” Leigh said, adding “Voters are the only people who can hold a sheriff accountable, so after six long years under politics as usual, it’s time to elect a different kind of Sheriff.”

Leigh said she has 12 years of experience working as a clinical social worker in detention centers, community health centers and schools. She said most people held by the county will return to their local communities, while still struggling with major mental illness and substance use problems. “If you effectively lower recidivism, you strengthen communities by reducing the cost of housing prisoners, lowering rates of re-offending and preventing future victims,” Leigh said. Her campaign kickoff is Saturday, July 9, 5 p.m., at the Galleries at Lynnarts, 25 Exchange St., Lynn.