Feds Award Essex North Shore Agricultural and Tech Money for Veterans’ Program, Upgrades

Essex North Shore Agricultural and Technical School recently won $850,000 in federal aid to expand workforce development and military veteran-focused programs.

Money earmarked by Congressman Seth Moulton for the Danvers-based school will be used to expand infrastructure, including upgrading Gallant Hall’s climate control systems, windows, doors and alumni gymnasium bathroom. Money will also provide space for Company2Heroes, a nonprofit service dog training organization, specializing in dogs working with combat veterans diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury or military sexual trauma. “We are proud of our work to provide workforce development opportunities to our day and evening students, including those with barriers to employment,” said Essex North Shore Superintendent Heidi Riccio.

Haverhill Receives $2.4 Million Federal Grant to Remove Lead Paint From Homes

Haverhill seeks to remove lead paint from at least 75 homes over the next three years thanks to receipt of a more than $2.4 million federal grant—the only such grant in New England and the largest nationwide. Mayor Melinda E. Barrett, during an appearance on WHAV last week, explained the importance of the award from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. “Lead Hazard Reduction Grant—it’s a whopper and it’ll impact families and households in the community. We have really old housing stock,” she said. In a statement Wednesday, the mayor said priority will be given to homes with court-ordered deleading because of the presence of a child with elevated lead blood levels, units with children having levels of greater than 3.5 micrograms per deciliter, units where at least one child under six lives or spends a significant amount of time visiting, buildings of two to four units with two or more bedrooms and housing in attics/basements where lead-based paint is more prevalent.

Boys & Girls Club of Greater Haverhill Names Osorio as its 2024 Youth of the Year

Jyn Osorio has been named the 2024 Youth of the Year by the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Haverhill. Eighteen-year-old Osorio was selected by a panel of judges from the Club’s board of directors after a competitive interview process. “Jyn’s commitment to self-improvement, academic pursuits and gratitude towards the Boys and Girls Club left a lasting impression on me. His poised demeanor, articulate responses and genuine appreciation for the opportunity to participate in the interview process solidified my decision,” said board member Josue C. Mendez. Osorio serves as president of the Keystone Club, the Boys & Girls Club teen leadership club that participates in community service projects.

Haverhill Public Library Plans Annual Comic Con May 11

If you love comics and the people who draw or write them, the Haverhill Public Library’s upcoming annual Comic Con is the place to be. Planned are presentations, a drawing workshop by Cathy G. Johnson, video games and virtual reality provided by One Up Games, an escape room and a cosplay contest

This free, all ages event features more than 25 Massachusetts- and New Hampshire-based writers and artists. It takes place Saturday, May 11, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Featured comic writers include writing partners Tom Sniegoski and Jeannine Acheson, “Vampirella,” Colleen AF Venable, “Katie the Catsitter;” Jason Viola, “Science Comics;” and Emmett Nahil, “Let Me Out.”

The Salem Ghostbusters will be on site with their Ecto-1. If visitors get hungry the Big Rig BBQ food truck from Amesbury sell lunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

A selection of Free Comic Book Day 2024 titles, courtesy of The Comic Book Palace, will be available while supplies last. For a complete listing of vendors and the day’s schedule, visit haverhillpl.org/hplcon.

Activities Fair Highlights Fun Ways to Keep Kids Busy This Summer

Parents can find out how to keep their young students busy this summer while keeping their reading skills from back-sliding. Haverhill Promise, a campaign for grade-level reading, hosts a Summer Activities Fair on Saturday, May 18, from 9 a.m. to noon at the Haverhill Citizens Center, 10 Welcome St. “Find great free and low-cost summer options for your kids, all in one place,” said Jessica Kallin, executive director of Haverhill Promise. “Don’t miss this opportunity to kickstart your child’s summer adventure.”

Parents will find information about read-alouds and music, camps and programs, outdoor adventures, community resources, sources for free books, and networking opportunities. There is no charge to attend and no registration is required.

AHEPA Awards Man of the Year to Papaefthemiou, Kakavitsas During Ceremony with Boston City Clerk

Boston City Clerk Alex Geourntas was in Haverhill Saturday night for the centennial of the Haverhill chapter of the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association and the presentation of Man of the Year Awards. Geourntas, in his capacity as AHEPA National Trustee, presented Acropolis Chapter 39 of Haverhill with the organization’s Diamond Jubilee citation as well as hand-carried a state citation from Gov. Maura Healey. Geourntas was formally named Boston city clerk in 2022 and had served as assistant city clerk since 2005. Christos S. Papaefthemiou and John Kakavitsas were surprised by the joint awarding of the annual Man of the Year Awards. Both men are longtime chapter members and also served on the anniversary committee.

Haverhill Schools Won’t Accept Out-of-District Students; Marotta Explains How Enrollment Shifts

Citing a lack of space, Haverhill Public Schools will not allow out-of-district students to attend this coming year. According to Superintendent Margaret Marotta, the school board also voted no to inter-district school choice in the past several years for similar reasons. Asked by member Yonnie Collins if there might be capacity this time, Marotta explained how enrollment starts misleadingly low, then quickly grows. “Generally, in the summer, we have some space in our classrooms, but we receive kids all school year long, and we particularly have a big bump of kids, oftentimes in early October, and in January as well,” she said. Due to families arriving from the Dominican Republic in early October—Marotta speculated flights become a little cheaper then—and a “big influx” of people moving in January, Marotta said class sizes swell.

Amid Steward Health Concerns, Walsh Lectures Legislature on Making Decisions in ‘Haste’

Massachusetts Health and Human Services Secretary Kate Walsh issued a broad warning Tuesday about hasty legislative solutions to address the role of private equity in health care, as officials and hospital leaders continue to brace for potentially major care disruptions amid Steward Health Care’s financial challenges. Walsh did not invoke any specific proposal when asked about the role of state or federal legislation to respond to the Steward crisis, following recent Beacon Hill hearings focused on the negative impact of private equity on patient care and possible strategies to boost regulatory oversight of health care transactions. “I think that the health care system in our country is really, really complicated, and I worry about broad brushstrokes that say, ‘private equity bad, not-for-profit good,’” Walsh told reporters following an event at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. “I think we have seen an extreme set of circumstances, the choices that Steward made as a health system to capitalize their system—it just didn’t work,” the secretary continued. “And so what we need to do when we get patients, and staff, and people and regions through this is sort of step back.