Senate $2.86B Economic Development Bill Promises Local Benefits, Policies

Both of Haverhill’s state senators are touting local benefits and advantages—including city and town infrastructure, small business and culture—contained in the Senate’s proposed $2.86 billion economic development bill passed Thursday. Senate President Karen E. Spilka, praising Sen. Barry R. Finegold, Senate chair of the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies and others, said the bill builds on “the diverse and thriving economic ecosystem that enables people to stay in our state to build careers and families.”

“Massachusetts is home to great talent, industry and education, but we must act now to remain competitive in a changing global and national economy,” said Finegold. “This economic development bill bolsters our state’s competitiveness by strengthening sectors we already excel in and creating pathways to secure the lead in emerging fields.”

The bill, which still must be reconciled with a House version and signed by the governor, authorizes $400 million for MassWorks public infrastructure projects. Haverhill, for example, has used this money in the past to complete the Rep. Brian S. Dempsey Boardwalk. Sen. Pavel M. Payano said the bill includes his proposal to allocate $10 million toward social enterprise capital grant programs to pay for job skills training and paid employment opportunities to low-income individuals, prioritizing those from socially and economically disadvantaged backgrounds.

Armenian Apostolic Church at Hye Point Picnic Takes Place Aug. 25

The Armenian Apostolic Church at Hye Point plans its annual Armenian Picnic in August. The menu includes a choice of lamb shish kebab, chicken kebab, losh kebab and a kheyma vegetarian plate. Hot dogs and chips will also be available along with Armenian pastries and Armenian coffee. Dinners include pilaf, salad and bread. Live Armenian music will be played by the Jason Naroian Ensemble.

Team Haverhill’s Clean & Green Neighborhoods Seeks Volunteers for July 20

Team Haverhill’s Clean & Green Neighborhoods seeks volunteers Next Saturday to spruce up the Mount Washington neighborhood. Volunteers will meet Saturday, July 20, at 9:30 a.m., at the traffic island on Washington Street between Benedetti’s Deli and Fantini Bakery. Participants are asked to bring trash pickers and gloves if they have them for litter pick-up. Those who wish to learn more or have questions may call Bill Taylor at 508-451-2512 or email him at [email protected].

All Haverhill Legislators Unopposed for Re-Election, Talk Holy Family Hospital Crisis, Cost of Living

All Democrats and all running unopposed, Haverhill’s incumbent state legislators say they have advocated for the city as Steward Health Care faces bankruptcy proceedings, and the fate of Holy Family Haverhill hangs in the balance. With the approach of the primaries Sept. 3 and general election Nov. 5, WHAV asked each of the four about their priorities for their next term, particularly as related to the Steward crisis, which could lead to the closure of the city’s only hospital, a possibility residents have rallied against. If reelected, Rep. Andy X. Vargas, Sen. Pavel M. Payano and Rep. Ryan M. Hamilton all said they would highly rank reducing the cost of living as Massachusetts becomes less and less affordable.

Cemetery Visit Unveils Lives of Haverhill’s Early Settlers

Elementary and middle school-aged kids and their families will take a giant leap back in time when the Buttonwoods Museum visits Haverhill’s first burial ground. A scavenger hunt in Pentucket Cemetery on Water Street will uncover the hidden stories about the lives of Haverhill’s earliest settlers. A first-hand look at the art of stone carving is an added bonus. This activity takes place on Tuesday, July 16, beginning at noon. It’s free, but parents are asked to register either by completing the form on the museum’s website, or emailing [email protected], listing the number of children they will bring.

Shaw, Garcia, Burcke and Smalley Join Northern Essex Community College Foundation Board

Northern Essex Community College Foundation is welcoming four new members to its board. They are Gregory Shaw, executive vice president and chief operating officer at Haverhill Bank; Tobit Garcia, a senior tax manager and partner at JBS Tax Corp in Lawrence; John Burcke, president and chief lending officer at Newburyport Bank; and Steven Smalley, government affairs manager for National Grid. Shaw, of Manchester, N.H., says he learned much about Northern Essex from his time coordinating workforce training for a previous employer and found the program to be very beneficial. He is also a board member of Penacook Place and Family Services of the Merrimack Valley. Shaw holds a degree in Economics from the University of Vermont.

Report: Federal Prosecutors Begin Criminal Investigation of Holy Family Hospital Owner

Federal prosecutors in Boston have begun a criminal investigation into the parent company of Holy Family Hospital in Methuen and Haverhill. CBS News, citing two people familiar with the matter, said U.S. Attorney Joshua S. Levy’s office is investigating Steward Health Care on allegations of fraud and violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. According to the U.S. Justice Department, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977 prohibits bribing foreign officials for business favors. CBS News investigative reporter Michael Kaplan says the company had no comment. “They previously told us that they always put patients first and said that they deny there are any other considerations, i.e., profits, that go ahead of that.

Group Seeks Public Input Ahead of Latest Round of Beyond Walls Murals in Haverhill

The City of Haverhill and Creative Haverhill are partnering with Lynn-based Beyond Walls to develop and install another round of epic community-driven murals throughout the city by professional and internationally renowned muralists. The goal this year is to install two to three murals in the last two weeks of September, culminating in a mural tour and celebration to close out the Haverhill Art Walk season on Saturday, Sept. 28. Toward this end, Beyond Walls is asking the public to complete a brief survey to share ideas and input. The language of the survey at is selectable by users.