Buckley, Driscoll Named to Haverhill’s Vietnam Memorial Commission

Haverhill’s Vietnam Memorial Ad Hoc Commission is celebrating the appointment of two new commissioners—and a major fundraising boost—this week as renovations to the memorial at Mill Brook Park continue. Driscoll Funeral Home’s Patrick Driscoll has become the 14th member of the board tasked with overseeing upgrades to the landmark honoring the city’s Vietnam war dead, Commission Chairman Ralph Basiliere tells WHAV. He joins Haverhill Veterans’ Services Officer Amanda Buckley, who came aboard earlier this summer. Their appointments come shortly after the departure of Vice Chairman Christopher Smardz, Basiliere said. “We are excited to welcome Patrick and Amanda to our team.

Fentanyl Presence Growing as Opioid Deaths Decline Slightly

While opioid overdose deaths in Massachusetts declined for the second year in a row, prevalence of the powerful synthetic opioid fentanyl has continued to climb to the point where it is now present in almost every death that’s screened for drugs. According to the State House News Service, the latest Massachusetts overdose data, released Wednesday, showed fentanyl was present in 92 percent of opioid deaths where a toxicology screen occurred in the first quarter of 2019, up from 89 percent in 2018. The new statistics landed White House officials highlighted their efforts to go after fentanyl traffickers. Public Health Commissioner Dr. Monica Bharel highlighted the data at a Public Health Council meeting, where she said “too many people” are still dying from opioid overdoses, but that there are “signs of progress” in fighting the epidemic. There were 938 confirmed and estimated opioid-related overdose deaths—or more than five a day—in the first half of 2019, a figure the Department of Public Health said represents a decline of more than 10 percent from the 1,050 deaths logged in the first half of 2018.

Amesbury Road Neighbors Ask Council ‘Do We Matter?’ Amid Marijuana Special Permit Debate

Tuesday’s marijuana special permit process for Mellow Fellows and Haverwell Market left many unanswered—and unexpected—questions after the five-hour meeting, but one thing is for certain: Haverhill city councilors did hear the pleas of Amesbury Road neighbors. During a public hearing for both the Haverhill-based Mellow Fellows trio and Newburyport businessman Christopher Edwards from Haverwell Market, residents expressed concern over everything from property values to crime and even the packaging of edibles. Shop owners—and councilors—patiently heard each concern. Shattuck Street resident Chris Todino has attended most if not all of the previous cannabis-related public meetings, and stood with his neighbors to ask the council to deny both permits. “I understand there is a great opportunity from a revenue perspective, but we live in the neighborhood,” he said.

Haverhill’s Guertin Signs Two Additional Book Deals

Haverhill author and former Tilton School teacher Annemarie Riley Guertin has two additional book deals under her belt after signing on the dotted line with publishing company Familius, she tells WHAV. Christopher Robbins took on Guertin’s latest two picture books, “Finding Mr. Trunks”—a story about a stuffed animal lost at the airport—and “Thunderstormaestro,” in which a child learns not to fear thunderstorms, the educator says. Both are set for publication in 2021. The new books come 18 months after Guertin released her debut “How the Finch Got His Colors” in 2018. Her latest, “Why the Evergreens Keep Their Leaves,” based on Florence Holbrook's 1902 classic “Why the Evergreen Trees Keep Their Leaves in Winter,” hits stores Sept.

Sherwood Reflects on Merrimack River Voyage, Discusses Upcoming Chamber Events

Listen to the full interview below. Shortly after returning from a four-day journey down the Merrimack River, Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce President Dougan Sherwood reflected on his experiences from the voyage, which he described as, “wonderful.”

Sherwood, who joined WHAV’s Win Damon on “Win for Breakfast” on Monday, Aug. 19, discussed the journey that commenced in Franklin, N.H., and concluded at Plum Island. Sherwood talked about the difficulty of the trip, commenting that, “these were long, long days on the river.” Nonetheless, Sherwood asserted that the trip was valuable for all those who participated

“We go to know a number of different people from communities in the greater Merrimack Valley…We really got a better understanding of what this river is all about,” he said. Many community leaders joined Sherwood on the trek, including politicians state Sen. Diana DiZoglio, and state Reps.

Haverhill Firefighters’ Cornhole Tournament Raises $3,200 for MDA

Members of the Haverhill Fire Department Local Union 1011 came together for a day of fun for a cause Aug. 17, raising $3,200 for the Muscular Dystrophy Association through their cornhole tournament. The bean-bag toss awarded a $400 cash prize to the winner and $200 to the runner-up, with proceeds from food and raffle ticket sales going to the MDA, organizer Doug Burrill tells WHAV. “It’s great that the brotherhood of local 1011 brought the community together to raise money for a good cause,” Burill said. Next up, the union plans a 5-K walk/run in downtown Haverhill—kicking off from Essex Street’s Smith’s Tavern—on Sunday, Oct.

Haverhill Chamber Hosts Annual Golf Tournament Sept. 9

The Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce hosts their annual golf tournament on Monday, Sept. 9, at Haverhill Golf and Country Club, 58 Brickett Lane, Haverhill. The tournament begins with a shotgun start at 12:30 p.m., and includes a hole-in-one contest, swag bags, auctions, raffles, and an awards ceremony with prizes. Golfers pay $200 per person, or $800 per foursome, to participate, with lunch and dinner included. To register, call 978-373-5663.

Wednesday Afternoon Lightning Strike Leaves 9,000 in Haverhill Without Power

A Wednesday afternoon lightning strike that hit a National Grid substation in Groveland has knocked power out to 9,249 customers in Haverhill, the utility company told Mayor James J. Fiorentini just before 4 p.m.

Impacted neighborhoods include Ward Hill, Riverside and portions of River Street. Crews continue to diagnose the issue, Fiorentini said. Just after 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Haverhill’s Police Chief Alan R. DeNaro, who also serves as the emergency management director, said a previously issued tornado warning had expired, but warned that several of the city’s intersections were without working traffic lights. Residents are asked to stay off the road when possible and be mindful for flooded roadways. Lights are said to be out in the Water and Main Street area.