Methuen Mayor Perry Says in Official Video He is Returning to Work Remotely

Methuen Mayor Neil Perry said in a video released Thursday that he is now working remotely as he recovers from what he called an “experience that happened” during a routine dialysis appointment. Seated in a wheelchair, Perry thanked his fellow elected officials and department leaders who “picked up the slack” during his six-week absence

“The good news is, I’m on the mend and working on these legs to get them back in shape,” he said. Methuen confirmed in mid-February, the mayor was at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston after he “experienced some health issues.” At-Large Councilor David P. Beauregard Jr. has been serving as Methuen’s acting mayor, but Perry said he is now on the job. “I’m thrilled to tell you tonight that I’m back to work remotely and addressing the city’s issues day to day, and boy does it feel good to do so,” he said. The mayor offered reassurances to the public, saying, “While we’re going through this—while I’m working remotely—even though my legs aren’t working, this city remains in good hands.”

Perry also took time to thank those who have wished him well.

Haverhill Voter Choices to Have No Effect on New School Tax Total, But Could Allow for Added Spending

A new $160 million Dr. Albert B. Consentino School is coming no matter what, and Haverhill taxpayers will pay the same amount of money to build it no matter what voters decide in June. Haverhill Director of Finance Angel Perkins made the total clear during a presentation before the Haverhill School Committee last week. She made clear, however, voter approval would give city officials the capacity to pay for other projects the city wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford. “The payment itself is going to cost the taxpayer the same, whether it’s within the levy or excluded. If we funded it from within the levy limit, and then the entire available $4 million in levy was spent, that would result in about another $200 per year in taxes for the average single-family home.

Haverhill City Clerk Plans Primer for Voters, Candidates on Change to Mostly Ward-Based Elections

The Haverhill city clerk’s office wants to help both voters and candidates navigate the city’s new, mostly Ward-based elections of city councilors and School Committee members. City Clerk Kaitlin M. Wright said her office is hosting two information sessions, giving an overview of the upcoming shift away from all at-large councilors and School Committee members to both ward and at-large representatives. Her office will also present deadlines for those interested in running for office. Sessions take place Monday, April 10, and Wednesday, April 26, both at 5 p.m., in the Theodore A. Pelosi Jr. City Council Chambers, room 202, in City Hall, 4 Summer St. There will be time for questions-and-answers.

Haverhill Man, 26, Latest Gang Member to Plead Guilty in Drug Dealing Scheme

A 26-year-old Haverhill man is the latest to plead guilty in federal court to distributing cocaine, methamphetamine and fentanyl and conspiring with others in a scheme that included smuggling drugs into the Essex County Jail. Elijah Declet pleaded guilty Tuesday before U.S. District Court Judge Indira Talwani, who scheduled sentencing for June 16. In an earlier federal statement, Declet was also known under the name “Evil.”

According to a statement from U.S. Attorney Rachael S. Rollins’s office, Declet was charged in November 2021 along with 12 others in connection with a large drug conspiracy centering around a gang operating in Lawrence, Haverhill and Methuen. Declet was first targeted for alleged gang activity by Haverhill Police in 2015. Then-Capt. Robert P. Pistone said the arrest of Declet among six others in April of that year came as a result of “aggressive policing and investigations in the high crime areas of the Acre and the Mount Washington Hill area where violence has occurred in the past few weeks.” Declet was then charged with possession of a class D drug with intent to distribute, conspiracy to violate drug laws and a drug violation near a school zone.

Exchange Club Invites In-Person Registrations Sunday for Hometown Heroes Banners

The Exchange Club of Haverhill is helping residents apply for its Hometown Heroes military banner program during an in-person registration session Sunday. Hometown Hero committee members will be on hand to help with banners, including uploading information and completing forms Sunday, April 2, from 2-4 p.m., at American Legion, 1314 Main St., Haverhill. Those interested should bring a photograph of the service member, their branch, years of service, medals, wars served and distinctions. Banners are $250 each and may be purchased with check or credit card. Those with questions may email [email protected]

UMass Lowell Innovation Hub Plans Free Coworking Day, Delegation Workshop Next Week

The UMass Lowell Innovation Hub Haverhill hosts its next Community Coworking Day and a workshop on delegating and time management during separate events during the first week of April. Community Coworking Day, which allows the public to use the iHub’s coworking space, meeting rooms and community for networking and community building, takes place Wednesday, April 5. The iHub and Greater Haverhill Chamber host business and executive coach Steve DeVries for a workshop, “Learning to Let Go: Delegating and Managing Your Time,” Thursday, April 6 at noon. Both programs are free and open to the public. There’s more on Community Coworking Day here and Learning to Let Go workshop here.

Covanta, DiZoglio, Gómez, Linehan and Martinez Dominguez First to Win NECC ‘Impact Awards’

A local business known for its philanthropy, the newly elected state auditor, a former college trustee, a former student and a community leader are among those who will be honored in May at Northern Essex Community College’s first “Impact Awards” breakfast. Covanta is the inaugural recipient of the Community Partner Award, while former representative and senator and now state Auditor Diana DiZoglio is awarded the Public Service and Advocacy Award. Others to be honored are Jouel Gómez, Outstanding Alumni Award; former college Trustee Chair Jeffrey Linehan, Philanthropy and Volunteerism Award; and Greater Lawrence Community Action Council Chief Operating Officer Vilma Martinez Dominguez, Equity and Social Justice Award. Covanta is recognized for its “lasting impact at Northern Essex,” supporting numerous causes, including its 2011 establishment of an endowed scholarship for students pursuing an associate degree in natural, laboratory or engineering science. Covanta also recently matched a $100,000 grant from the Commonwealth for the Haverhill Promise Program.

Police Name 27-Year-Old Newton, N.H., Man as Fatality Victim; Children, Woman Receive Injuries

A 27-year-old Newton, N.H., man was identified Wednesday as the man who died in an East Kingston, N.H., crash that also left a woman and two children injured. According to the New Hampshire Department of Safety, Paul DiChiara was the driver of the vehicle that crashed around 1:30, Tuesday afternoon, on Burnt Swamp Road in East Kingston. State Troopers said an adult woman was a passenger and taken by medical flight to a Boston area hospital. Two children, a nine-month-old and a three-year-old, also suffered sustained serious injuries. State Police said a preliminary investigation suggests excessive speed was a factor.