Council to Hear Hexagon Energy’s Revised Plan for Haverhill Solar Farm Tuesday

Three weeks after Hexagon Energy representatives vowed to shore up their plan for a solar farm in Haverhill and allay neighbor fears over diminishing property values, the Virginia-based company plans to again appear before the City Council Tuesday night. During a late February Council session, Councilors Michael S. McGonagle and William J. Macek were among those left with unanswered questions about the one-and-half acre array said to be able to power 40 homes in the area of 1037 Broadway. Macek’s concerns, among others, centered around the lack of clarity in Hexagon’s initial proposal. He also touched on aesthetics, arguing that the city wants to prevent something as “hideous” as the solar display currently located on Hilldale Avenue. Kristine Lane neighbor Diane Hudson argued at the time that a potential 20-year lease is nothing more than a blatant money grab.

City Puts Finishing Touches on Downtown Haverhill Electric Car Charging Stations

Mayor James J. Fiorentini touted the Haverhill of the future in this month’s State of the City address, and downtown’s Herbert H. Goecke Parking Garage is one step closer to that idea with the installation of three new electric car charging stations. WHAV joined Fiorentini on Merrimack Street Monday to inspect the trio of units expected to be up and running within the next week. Owned by the city and operated by ChargePoint, the units were installed over four days by Methuen subcontractor State Line Electrical on behalf of the Voltrek company out of Andover. “There is more and more demand for electric vehicle charging station, so this is a service for the public and residents, as well as part of the city’s ongoing efforts to be environmentally responsible and a green leader,” Fiorentini said. Each charging station includes two ports to accommodate two parking spaces and two vehicles, Fiorentini’s office said.

Whittier Tech to Share in $123K in Financial Education Grant Money

Haverhill’s Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School is among 43 high schools across the Commonwealth to share in more than $123,000 in grant funding to bolster financial literacy courses and programs locally. Through the Innovation Fund grant program, $2,500 is earmarked specifically for the city’s vocational school. Elsewhere across the Merrimack Valley, matching grants were extended to both Georgetown and Methuen High School. The four-year-old program aims to help schools create or expand “Credit for Life” fairs that help students become fiscally responsible. “Learning skills such as budgeting and money management is essential for students as they enter college or the workforce,” Acting Commissioner of Banks Merrily S. Gerrish said in a statement.

Haverhill Man Receives 15-Year Federal Prison Sentence for Fentanyl Sales, Gun Crime

A 31-year-old Haverhill man was sentenced Monday to 15 years in federal prison for dealing in the deadly drug fentanyl and having a gun during a drug trafficking crime. Joshua Smith was hired by an illicit drug organization to sell fentanyl to customers from various New England States, according to New Hampshire U.S. Attorney Scott W. Murray. He was charged with conspiracy to distribute more than 400 grams of fentanyl and possessing a firearm to further drug trafficking. Smith previously pleaded guilty Dec. 18.

Haverhill Public Meetings: Week of March 18

The public has opportunities to shape policy this week as various Haverhill boards meet. In the interest of transparency in government, WHAV provides this list of upcoming meetings every week. Monday, March 18

Haverhill High’s Site Council gathers in the 137 Monument St. school’s conference room to hear an update on HHS turnaround plan efforts and other upcoming events. The meeting kicks off at 3 p.m.

Tuesday, March 19

MassHire’s Merrimack Valley Workforce Board connects in Lawrence at 255 Essex St., 4th floor, to discuss budget needs and the issuing of grants starting at 8 a.m.

From 9-10 a.m., the Haverhill Board of Assessors meets in room 115 of City Hall, 4 Summer St.

Additional School Resource Police Officer on the Way for Haverhill’s Nettle School

A third school resource officer is being introduced to the Haverhill Public Schools community after the School Committee unanimously voted to implement the role at Nettle Middle School. The Nettle officer joins officers already in place at Haverhill High School and Consentino Middle School. The decision was made during Thursday night’s School Committee meeting at the urging of Scott W. Wood Jr., with funding being made available from the existing school budget, Superintendent Margaret Marotta said. Arguing that officers are “proactive advocates” in schools, Marotta acknowledged Haverhill’s police department is already stretched thin, but vowed to do what she can immediately to improve the climate at Nettle. “Because of the limited number of SROs in Haverhill, it’s sort of a reactive position and they’re not able to do the kind of work and make the kind of relationships with kids that keep everyone safe,” Marotta said.

Haverhill Nurse Faces Up to 10 Years in Prison for Alleged Drug Tampering

A nurse from Haverhill was charged last week in federal court with one count of drug tampering and faces up to 10 years in prison, the U.S. Attorney’s office confirms.

Lauren Perrin, 47, is accused of tampering with the pain relief medication morphine while working at Amesbury’s Maplewood Care and Rehabilitation Center. Court records show Perrin tampered with three morphine bottles prescribed to a hospice patient by replacing extracted medication with another liquid. In the process, she lowered the potency of the medication to between four to 29 percent of the intended potency. It is not clear when the incident took place. If convicted, Perrin faces up to 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine that could be as high as $250,000.

School Committeeman Wood Delivers National Presentation on Cyberbullying

Haverhill and the Merrimack Valley were well represented late last month at the School Safety Advocacy Council’s national conference on bullying with School Committeeman Scott W. Wood Jr. joining Methuen Police Lt. Joseph Aiello to offer a presentation on the role of social media in cyberbullying. Wood tells WHAV he joined Aiello and Police Chief Joseph E. Solomon at the Jacksonville, Fla. event to understand how other states across the country protect student from tech-based bullies. According to Wood, the Methuen Police pair are among the nation’s leading experts in law enforcement responses to bullying. “Technology is always the biggest scare now relative to bullying,” he tells WHAV.