Haverhill, North Andover and Merrimac Schools Receive Awards at Safe Routes to School Ceremony

Schools in Haverhill, North Andover and Merrimac were recognized last Thursday by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation in its Annual Safe Routes to School Award Ceremony, which celebrates the schools, community members, stakeholders and crossing guards who have championed the safety of Massachusetts students on their daily routes to school. The ceremony honored partners of the Massachusetts Safe Routes to School Program, a federally funded program that focuses on improving student independence, boosting school attendance, decreasing traffic congestion, and overall ensuring the safety of students in their communities. “We are thankful to all the school communities and the advocates whose input through the Safe Routes to School Program helps us identify the specific strategies, resources and tools needed to better protect our school children,” said state Transportation Secretary and CEO Monica Tibbits-Nutt. “Their dedication makes a meaningful difference, and these awards are a token of our appreciation not just for the winners whom we congratulate, but for everyone who has contributed to the important mission of keeping all road users safe.”

Schools that participated in the program and shared their Safe Routes to School 2023-24 accomplishments received Partnership awards. Each activity a school completes within the program has a designated point value, which once complied, determines the level of partnership the school is awarded.

Haverhill Public Library Holding Patron Food Drive for Sacred Hearts Food Pantry

Haverhill Public Library is asking for donations during its Patron Pantry Food Drive to support the St. Vincent de Paul Sacred Hearts Food Pantry. Contributors are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items such as canned foods, peanut butter, pasta and pasta sauce, olive oil, spices, baby food and formula. The food drive will run from Monday, June 17, to Saturday, June 29 during regular hours at the library at 99 Main St., Haverhill. Those with questions may call 978-373-1586, ext.

Pentucket Bank Donates $2,500 as Sponsor of National Small Business Week Award Ceremony

Pentucket Bank last month donated $2,500 in sponsorship of the Merrimack Valley Chamber of Commerce’s 2024 National Small Business Week Massachusetts Award Ceremony with U.S. Small Business Administration District Director Robert Nelson and other officials. Pentucket Bank CEO Jonathan H. Dowst said the bank is proud to have sponsored the event. “Small businesses are the engine of our economy providing jobs and services that benefit almost everyone. It is quite fitting to have such a ceremony recognizing those business that are standouts. We congratulate the award recipients, as well the Chamber for their outstanding and dedicated work.”

U.S. Small Business Administration’s Massachusetts Small Business Awards Ceremony took place Friday, May 10, in Andover.

Despite Looser Zoning, Haverhill Saw Few New Accessory Dwelling Units This Year

Despite smoothing the permitting process, Haverhill has not seen many new accessory dwelling units—small, independent houses on a larger property—in the year since the ordinance was changed. Community Development Division Director Andrew K. Herlihy told city councilors Tuesday night, “We certainly haven’t been overrun with these.” And for good reason, he added. After allowing these structures “by-right,” meaning without requiring advance council approval, the city established strict permitting guidelines developed through public input sessions. Mayor Melinda E. Barrett told councilors any new units built must meet quality standards. “You’re not putting nana in the shed.”

Officials explained construction in Haverhill can be quite expensive for units heralded by some state legislators as key to solving the affordable housing crisis.

As Residents’ Request, Haverhill Conservation to Make Park Maintenance Priority in Plan

Properly maintaining Haverhill’s open spaces—including providing bathrooms and seating in parks—will be top of mind for the conservation department going forward. “We’re trying to really see the image that our residents want to see for Haverhill,” Head Clerk McKayla Arsenault told residents gathered at the public library Tuesday night. “What do you want our lands to look like, and how do you want to use them?”

With some brief remarks from Arsenault, residents mostly milled about among presenters from organizations and departments like Brightside, which cares for planters and small gardens around the city, and the YMCA. A small group lobbied Environmental Health Technician Robert E. Moore Jr. for a pump track, a closed loop cyclists can ride without pedaling. The state requires cities to update their Open Space and Recreation Plans every seven years to continue receiving grants.

Area Fire Departments Preparing for Firefighter Memorial Sunday

Fire departments around the area are currently preparing to celebrate Firefighter Memorial Sunday, an annual Massachusetts commemoration of firefighters who have dedicated their lives to serving their communities and those who have lost their lives in the line of duty. The memorial is observed on the second Sunday of every June. This year it will be Sunday, June 9. Haverhill City Fire Department’s Annual Firefighter Memorial Sunday Parade will start at 8 a.m. at the 131 Water St. Central Station and continue to Linwood Cemetery with a ceremony to honor Haverhill firefighters who gave their lives serving their community.

Kindergarten Kickoff June 25 at Haverhill Public Library

Families preparing for their children’s transition into kindergarten over the summer will be getting some help during a Kindergarten Kickoff later this month. In preparation for Haverhill students entering kindergarten this fall, the kickoff features activities, a free bag of supplies and be able to help families connect with community resources and a chance to talk with principals, teachers and staff ready to welcome new students. The event is organized by Haverhill Promise, the city’s community-wide initiative focused on increasing grade-level reading by the third grade; Haverhill Public Library; and Haverhill Public Schools. Haverhill. Mayor Melinda E. Barrett, School Committee members and other local leaders will be on hand.

Haverhill’s Chaput, 92-Year-Old Korean War Vet, Receives Honors Before City Council

Haverhill’s Russell V.J. Chaput received the Massachusetts Disabled American Veteran of the Year Award at Tuesday’s Haverhill City Council meeting. Chaput is 92 years old and fought in the Korean War. A regular at City Council meetings in years past, Councilor John A. Michitson said to Chaput, “You’re a real Haverhill citizen, and I appreciate your effort.” Chaput responded by reciting his high school yearbook quote, “‘No matter what I do, to do it the very best of my ability,’ and I’ve followed that through all my life. I’ve been halfway around the world and back.”

He received additional citations from the mayor, City Council and Massachusetts House.