Whittier Tech Looks Ahead to Spring Sports; Says There Hasn’t Been Enough Room for Fall II Sports

Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School is aiming for a spring sports season after having cancelled sports for about a year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Whittier Tech Superintendent Maureen Lynch explained, for one, the school hasn’t had the space required by social distancing rules to offer athletics. Her remarks appeared to coincide with some students’ and parents’ calls to have Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association’s proposed Fall II season. “If we can’t offer a sports season to all Fall II athletes, we’re not having one at all because it simply wouldn't be equitable,” Lynch said in a statement. “We are hopeful, should COVID-19 case numbers stay down in our 11 sending communities, that we may be able to offer a spring sports season.

Haverhill City Council Asks for Local and State Suggestions for Route 125 Restaurant Crash Site

Haverhill will look at local options such as improved signage and ask the state for help improving a Route 125 intersection where three crashes within two weeks forced the closure of a restaurant there. Since Feb. 4, three cars have crashed through the front of Li’s Fine Asian Cuisine and Sushi Bar, with the most recent causing enough damage to force the closure of the business. City Councilor Mary Ellen Daly O’Brien, who once lived near the intersection on Main Street where the crashes occurred, said Tuesday night the increase in population at the state border has inevitably led to traffic issues. “The growth of the Plaistow, N.H., business community has really added to the traffic in that area, and speed is definitely a factor,” she said.

Council Approves Spending $60,000 on State-Required Haverhill High School Roof Plan

The Haverhill City Council on Tuesday approved spending $60,000 to pay for a feasibility study and design for a partial roof replacement project at Haverhill High School. The study and schematic design are required by the Massachusetts School Building Authority as part of a possible state Accelerated Repair Program grant. During the Schematic Design Study phase, the MSBA will work with the city’s project manager to find an economic, educationally appropriate and sustainable solution to the repair of the facility. In a related matter, a request by Council President Melinda E. Barrett for a status update on the newly combined city and school’s maintenance department was put on hold after Council Vice President Colin F. LePage said new Maintenance Director Steve Dorrance plans to address the Council in person to discuss what has been achieved over the past three months as well as his vision going forward. The Council agreed and tabled the discussion to March 16.

Leger-Ferraro Delivers Advice During Merrimack Valley Chamber’s Women in Business Program

Susan Leger Ferraro offers “Advice for Women in Business” when the Merrimack Valley Chamber of Commerce presents its online Women in Business Program. Humanitarian and CEO of Imajine That, G3, Inspirational Ones, and Peace Love & Happiness Real, Leger discusses balancing work and family life during the program Wednesday, March 3, between noon and 1 p.m.

The webinar is open to all is admission is $5 for members and $10 for non-members. Those interested may register at merrimackvalleychamber.com or by calling 978-686-0900. A webinar link will be emailed within 24 hours of registration.

VA Bedford Opens COVID-19 Vaccinations to All Veterans Regardless of Age Starting Today

VA Bedford Healthcare System is opening COVID-19 vaccinations to all veterans enrolled in VA healthcare, regardless of age, starting today. Enrolled veterans and designated caregivers may receive the vaccine by making appointments by calling 781-687-4000 weekdays. Appointments are available daily, including weekends, from 7 a.m.-4:45 p.m. VA is administering the Pfizer vaccine in the auditorium of Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital, 200 Springs Road, Bedford. Veterans will automatically be scheduled for their second dose in three weeks while in the clinic. Veterans who wish to use the shuttle between local VA clinics and the Veterans Hospital should reserve seats before making their appointments.

Investigators Say Cause of Corpus Christi Parish Rectory Fire Monday was Electrical Related

The four-alarm fire that caused $1.5 million in damage at  Corpus Christi Parish Rectory Monday in Lawrence was electrical related. In a statement, Lawrence Mayor Kendrys Vasquez, Fire Chief Brian F. Moriarty, Police Chief Roy P. Vasque and State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey said Wednesday the fire started in a void in the first-floor ceiling and the only heat source was an electrical cable. Fire broke out Monday, shortly before 6 p.m., at 35 Essex St. in Lawrence. A pastor inside the rectory was able to escape safely.

Haverhill, Methuen, Lawrence Share in $4.7 Million State Effort to Vaccinate Hard-to-Reach Residents

Gov. Charlie Baker is putting $4.7 million into a program to help vaccinate residents in Haverhill, Methuen and Lawrence and 17 other communities that are described as “disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.”

The effort aims to reduce barriers to vaccination in the 20 hardest-hit communities in the Commonwealth. The Commonwealth will work with Archipelago Strategies Group and Health Care for All to work with “local leaders and community- and faith-based organizations to strengthen existing efforts in these cities and towns.”

“This work will complement the Commonwealth’s $2.5 million public awareness campaign, ‘Trust the Facts, Get the Vax,’ adapting the campaign’s messaging for specific communities. The initiative will focus on the 20 municipalities with the greatest COVID-19 case burden, taking into account social determinants of health and the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on people of color,” Baker’s office said in a statement. The initiative specifically focuses on communities of color, homebound seniors, disabled individuals and other hard-to-reach populations. It is expected to hire local residents and work with local organizations with cultural and language competencies.

Methuen Police Seek Public’s Help Identifying Men Who Robbed Store at Gunpoint

Methuen Police are seeking the public’s help in identifying two men who robbed a liquor store at gunpoint Monday night. Two men walked into S&M Liquors at 47 Broadway St. around 10:20 p.m. One of the men then brandished a silver and black handgun and demanded cash from the register. They then fled the store on foot down Annis Street and were last seen cutting through a yard on Annis Street and jumping a fence towards Kirk Street. The man with the silver and black handgun is described as a Hispanic male in his late teens to early 20s, approximately five feet nine inches to six feet tall with light facial hair and medium complexion.