Officials Identify Remains of Haverhill Man Missing Since Last July; Found in Saugus Sunday

The skeletal remains of a 53-year-old Haverhill man, last seen last July, were discovered Sunday morning in Saugus woods. Essex County District Attorney Paul F. Tucker’s office said Tuesday the remains were positively identified by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner as those of John F. Lawler of Haverhill. Tucker and Saugus Police Chief Michael Ricciardelli said a person walking a dog discovered the remains in the woods off David Drive, Saugus, and notified police shortly after 10 a.m.

Lawler was reported missing last July 14. According to the National Institute of Justice’s National Missing and Unidentified Persons System, Lawler was “last seen walking toward Route 1 carrying his fishing pole.”

Tucker’s office said an investigation remains open pending a final determination by the medical examiner of the cause of death, adding, “While this remains an active and ongoing investigation by Massachusetts State Police Detectives assigned to the District Attorney’s office and Saugus police, there is no known risk to the public.”

Haverhill Cultural Council Awards Grants for Music, Art and Other Community Programs

Haverhill Garden Club’s “Edible Avenue on the Bradford Rail Trail Extension” is one of more than three dozen concerts, art displays, movies, plays and other community programs in the works thanks to more than $50,000 in grant awards this year by the Haverhill Cultural Council. Visitors to the rail trail will also be able to enjoy a Team Haverhill-sponsored Art Walk as well as the traditional downtown Haverhill Art Walk. Other art-related programs are sponsored by Whittier Birthplace, which plans an open house weekend and art show, and Haverhill YMCA’s Teen Art Nights. Citywide, musical programs include the Jumpin’ Juba Senior Concert, Creeque Alley: A Tribute to American Folk Music and 60s folk-rock, Hip Hop Chair Dance for Seniors, a Summer Series by the Merrimack Valley Concert Band, fall shows at the New Moon Coffeehouse and more. The infrastructure behind many arts and cultural activities is also getting a boost with $2,000 going to the Haverhill High School ceramics studio for the purchase and installation of clay storage unit, $1,500 to the John Greenleaf Whittier School for a sound system to be used for productions, $1,000 to the East Parish Meeting House for grounds and building maintenance

Each year, the local Council distributes its allocation of money from the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

Third Annual Digital Equity Challenge to Award $10,000 in Search for Internet Access Solutions

An estimated one in five Essex County residents lacks access to internet service and computers, along with an understanding of how to use digital devices. Aiming to solve this disparity, the third annual Digital Equity Challenge invites individuals with ideas that address these issues to enter the annual pitch contest, which will award $10,000 in cash prizes to the most promising solutions. Essex County Community Foundation Director of Strategic Initiatives Kate Machet says there is more work to do. “We look forward to hearing from this year’s contestants about their visions for increasing access to the digital resources needed to navigate life today.”

Individuals of all ages, including college and high school students, along with business and nonprofit professionals, may apply online by Friday, March 29 to participate. Six finalists, to be announced in April, will be invited to pitch their ideas May 2 at the UMass Lowell Innovation Hub in Haverhill.

National Grid Available Thursday in Haverhill for Those Who Need Help with Energy Bills

National Grid plans to have customer advocates on hand Thursday to help residents manage their energy bills or obtain assistance paying. Representatives will discuss such options as discount rate, payment plans, budget billing and the utility’s Arrears Management Program Thursday, Feb. 22, from 10 a.m.- 1 p.m., at the Citizens Center, 10 Welcome St., Haverhill. No appointment is needed, but residents are advised to bring benefit cards and/or program acceptance letters if they receive SNAP, MassHealth, SSI or WIC in order to enroll in the discount rate program.

Former 20-Year Haverhill Police Officer, Church Deacon Gaudreau Dies at 87

Deacon Robert J. Gaudreau, 87, of Hampstead, formerly of Haverhill, passed away on Thursday, Feb. 15 surrounded by family at Lawrence General Hospital. Born in Haverhill, Robert “Bob” Gaudreau was the son of the late Henry J. and Beatrice V. (Gauthier) Goudreault. He was a four-year member of the Air Force achieving rank of staff sergeant in the years following the Korean War Armistice, serving domestically and abroad in Iceland. He was a 20-year veteran of the Haverhill police department, achieving the rank of sergeant. After retiring he worked for a time at Merrimack College, and was later ordained by the Archdiocese of Boston as a deacon of the Catholic Church.

Glenn Says Early College Delivers for Haverhill High Students; Whittier Tech Grad Explains How it Helped

As a program at Haverhill High School that makes college classes available has come under scrutiny in recent weeks, early college defenders say it is still delivering on its original promise to encourage students who may not have thought college was right for them. Last month, as WHAV reported, student council members told the Haverhill School Committee those who would benefit the most are not gaining access. Haverhill High partners with Northern Essex Community College. In their telling, high-achieving kids flooding the program have disrupted its goal to assist students who do not believe they can get into, afford, or thrive in college. Moreover, they said the schools the high-achievers want to attend do not accept early college credits.

Rep. Vargas Names Orellana of Haverhill as Legislative Aide

Nikolas Orellana, a Haverhill resident and financial literacy researcher, has been named a legislative aide at the office of state Rep. Andy X. Vargas. Orellana previously worked for the Global Financial Literacy Excellence Center where he researched how Americans understand inflation, diversification and risk. His position as a research assistant also allowed him to contribute to the economic literature on personal finance issues affecting under-resourced groups. “I’m excited to welcome Nik to our team. As a Haverhill resident with a background in economic research, he understands the needs of our community and is prepared to continue our diligent service to Haverhill residents.

Buttonwoods Presents ‘Hidden Stories, Unheard Voices: A Study of Haverhill’s Black History’

Buttonwoods Museum is presenting “Hidden Stories, Unheard Voices: A Study of Haverhill’s Black History” as part of Black History Month. The museum offers a close look at some of the stories of Haverhill’s enslaved, freed and free African-American individuals from the settlement period through the 19th century. Sponsored by the Cummings Foundation, the free program also offers narratives of Haverhillites of African descent who significantly shaped the city. Grant Project Manager Carol Majahad and Grant Research Intern Claire Brady help attendees explore the Local History Collection and Biographical Files at the Haverhill Public Library’s Special Collections and share a comprehensive array of published and unpublished sources and other educational resources. “Hidden Stories, Unheard Voices: A Study of Haverhill’s Black History” takes place Thursday, Feb.