Tampa Bay Rays Draft Northern Essex Community College’s Voelker

Northern Essex Community College sophomore right hander Jayden Voelker has been drafted in the eighth round of the 2024 Major League Baseball Draft. Selected by the Tampa Bay Rays as the 246th overall pick in draft taking place at the Cowtown Coliseum in Fort Worth, Texas. Voelker becomes the first MLB Draft pick out of Northern Essex since Spencer Brown was drafted in the 39th round in the 2019 draft by the Los Angeles Angels. Steve Bedrosian ‘77, also went on to play major league baseball after Northern Essex and won the National League Cy Young Award in 1987. Players in the 2024 draft were selected from four-year public and private colleges, high schools, and international programs but Voelker is one of just four selected in the first 10 rounds from an American community college.

‘Rapid Growth of Residential Units’ in Haverhill Up for Zoning Discussion Tonight

As concerns about overdevelopment swirl, Haverhill officials tonight will discuss potential changes to the city’s zoning ordinances—laws that determine where different types of structures can be built.

Of interest is the impact of “recent rapid growth of residential units” on “the number of pupils in schools and … the city’s infrastructure,” according to the announcement for the Haverhill City Council’s Planning and Development Committee meeting. City Councilors at a May 21 meeting raised concerns about the current rate of development and where new residences might go. In particular, Councilor Melissa J. Lewandowski suggested revisiting the zoning for the former site of Haverhill Paperboard. As WHAV reported then, Mayor Melinda E. Barrett said she told Procopio Companies to “burn” plans to place roughly 800 units on the riverfront property at 100 S. Kimball St. A spokesperson for Procopio declined to comment.

Cedar’s Tsakirellis Tells Haverhill Chamber Members How Family’s Story Shaped Her Values

Aimee Tsakirellis, this year’s Greater Haverhill Chamber Community Leadership award recipient, not only works in the food industry, she has a special place in her heart for feeding the hungry. Tsakirellis, executive vice president of marketing at Haverhill-based Cedar’s Mediterranean Foods, said her lessons learned came from her parents’ own food insecurity. Her father was raised on a small island in Greece in a household without electricity or running water. His parents worked as cotton and potato farmers to support him and his siblings. “He told me they had one chicken in their yard, and they would pray it would lay an egg they could share it for dinner,” she explained.

Haverhill Council on Aging Plans Trip for Chair Yoga, With Goats

Yoga is a popular activity that improves body and mind. Add goats to the mix and it lightens the mood as well. The Haverhill Council on Aging is planning a trip to Georgetown for a Chair Yoga session with baby fainting goats from Goats on the Go. Because of strict limits on the number of participants, reservations are required. The cost is $20, and there will be an opportunity for participants to drive themselves to the site if they wish.

Haverhill, Methuen, Others Share in Grants to Reduce Cybersecurity Threats

The cities of Haverhill and Methuen, area communities, school districts and others are receiving federal money to help pay for protection against cybersecurity threats. They shared in $7 million in grants distributed by the state Executive Office of Public Safety and Security. Haverhill was awarded $43,640, while Methuen received $100,000; Andover, $92,000; North Andover, $43,600; and Merrimac, $24,933. Additionally, Essex North Shore Agricultural and Technical School was awarded $100,000 and Essex County Sheriff’s office. $99,124.

Haverhill Republican City Committee Joins ‘Tuna in July’ Drive, adds Drop-Off Sites

The Haverhill Republican City Committee is urging support for the “Tuna in July” fundraiser for military veterans and Haverhill families in need. Republican City Committee members voted last week to help sponsor 411 Cares with the drive, noting “411 Cares is the brainchild of Dee O’Neil and her wonderful volunteers, who work hard to make Haverhill a great community to live in.” It noted the nonprofit makes and delivers five days-a-week brown bagged lunches to veterans, elderly and the homeless. The group also assists a number of homebound people with food, personal care items and medical equipment. In addition to locations previously listed, donations of canned tuna in water, necessary for longer shelf life, are accepted between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., in the black milk crate on the front steps at 271 Hyatt Ave., Haverhill, and in the milk crate in the driveway of 71 Old Amesbury Line Road, Haverhill.

Three Years Later, Haverhill Task Force Continues Careful Progress Toward Honoring Indigenous History

(Additional photograph below.)

Amid calls to remove the 1874 Hannah Duston statue in GAR Park, the Haverhill City Council in 2021 decided on a compromise. In addition to removing the hatchet from her hand and removing the word “savages” from the inscription, the proposal sent to the mayor’s office included, “That the statue remain where it is in GAR Park and also that the city provide the Abenaki an opportunity to erect their own memorial, with the city to provide land and site work in GAR Park,” Councilor Thomas J. Sullivan, who is now council president, said at the time. Three years later, no changes to the statue or the area around it have been made. Still, chair of the Native American Commemorative Task Force Daniel Speers told WHAV “we have confidence we are on a positive track.”

Former Mayor James J. Fiorentini created the group in 2021, as WHAV reported. Failing to mention the raging controversy around the GAR Park statue, he said, “I am establishing the Native American Commemoration Commission to plan and design the proper method of honoring and commemorating those indigenous peoples who inhabited this land.”

In Speers’ view, the group was tasked with addressing complex questions people have strong feelings about—a process he said should not be rushed.

Haverhill Riverfront Walk of Fame Adds Sapienza, Mobley and Cogswell at Rotary Ceremony

Editor’s Note: Additional information and a clarification was added to this story after initial publication. A coach and world-class marathoner, a pioneering African-American entrepreneur and a philanthropist, educator and abolitionist last week became the latest additions to Haverhill’s downtown walk of fame. The Rotary Club of Haverhill Thursday dedicated plaques along the Rep. Brian S. Dempsey Boardwalk to Anthony “Tony” Sapienza for his contributions to sports and education; William “Professor Bill” Mobley for his work shaping the city’s economic landscape; and Dr. George S. Cogswell, prominent physician, philanthropist, educator, abolitionist and civic leader. Creative Haverhill’s Danielle Kravetz Smida detailed contributions by Cogswell, who lived from 1808 to 1901. “In public service, he was appointed by President Lincoln as a collector of the Internal Revenue for the sixth district of Massachusetts, a role he was appointed to again by President Grant in 1870.