Legislature’s Public Health Committee to Hear Vargas Amendment on Vaccinations

The legislature’s Public Health Committee holds a hearing Tuesday on a pair of vaccination-related bills, including an amendment by Haverhill Rep. Andy X. Vargas to allow only medical exemptions

State law requires children who are entering school to be immunized against diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, measles and poliomyelitis, unless a physician certifies that a vaccine would endanger the child’s health or unless the parent or guardian offers a written statement that vaccination or immunization conflicts with their “sincere religious beliefs.” The Vargas bill would strike the language about religious belief, allowing only medical exemptions. Rep. Paul J. Donato and Sen. Rebecca L. Rausch have filed a bill seeking to standardize immunization requirements and exemption processes. Rausch and Donato plan to testify on their bill, according to Rausch’s office, as do others including security analyst Juliette Kayyem and American Federation of Teachers Massachusetts President Beth Kontos.

Haverhill Chamber’s ‘Christmas Stroll’ Friday Brings Santa, Tree Lighting, Music

The 27th annual Christmas Stroll of the Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce takes place this Friday night in downtown Haverhill. Family friendly activities include a visit Santa’s Workshop, cookie decorating, ornament making and live music with performances by local artists. Holiday music includes performances by wandering carolers and a saxophone quartet. The highlight of the night is the official tree lighting with Santa in Washington Square. Attendees may also take advantage of discounted goods and services, taste delicious fare from local restaurants.

On #GivingTuesday, Consider Supporting Nonprofit Local News Over WHAV

You had Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday, but tomorrow is Giving Tuesday. Giving Tuesday presents another opportunity to support nonprofit local news heard of 97.9 WHAV FM, WHAV.net, area cable television stations and on social media. The effort to provide local news is struggling nationwide. WHAV has filled the void for many years with more original journalism and other local content than all other sources combined. This is a good time to take out a monthly membership or simply donate to Greater Haverhill’s only public radio station.

Updated: Haverhill Schools Closed Monday; Winter Weather Advisory in Effect

(All updates were broadcast live over 97.9 WHAV FM.)
Haverhill schools will be closed Monday as a winter weather advisory is in effect until 7 a.m., Tuesday morning, and Haverhill and area communities say they are ready for the first blast of the season. WHAV Wave Weather Meteorologist Jim Vaughn says to be prepared for snow tonight changing to a wintry mix. Snow accumulations through Sunday of 2 to 4 inches. Low temperatures in the mid to upper 20s. Tomorrow will be cloudy and breezy with a wintry mix, high in the mid-30s with snow accumulations of another four to six inches.

Haverhill’s Santa Claus Connection; Macy’s Began on Merrimack St.

(This article first appeared on these pages in 2018.)

Is there a more iconic holiday film than the 1947 movie “Miracle on 34th Street?”

The story takes place between Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day in midtown New York City. The film focuses on Kris Kringle (Edmund Gwenn), a last-minute replacement hired to replace Santa. He becomes the department store’s Santa Claus. The problem is, Kris claims to be the real St. Nicholas.

Membership, Sponsor Drive Falls Short; WHAV Buys Time with All-Christmas Format

Happy Thanksgiving! The management and staff of WHAV give thanks today to those listeners who have joined or renewed their memberships and sponsors that have begun or strengthened their commitments to local service. Their support has helped move 97.9 WHAV FM toward long-term sustainability, but more help was needed to continue a high level of original journalism and comprehensive local news coverage. WHAV will remain on the air for now, but will begin an all Christmas music format during the holiday season. With #GivingTuesday ahead and hopes for generous year-end donations and support, WHAV will do its best to restore local news.

Officials Say 44-Year-Old Manchester, N.H., Man Was the Victim of I-495 Construction Accident

Officials say it was a 44-year-old Manchester, N.H., man who died yesterday morning after falling out of an aerial work platform and onto a barge at the I-495 replacement bridge project. A second worker—a 46-year-old man—was injured after falling from the same platform, known as a telescopic boom. He was taken to Lahey Burlington with “serious injuries.” Both worked for a subcontractor of SPS Construction. The name of the deceased man has not yet been released by the Essex County District Attorney’s office, pending complete family notification. Carrie Kimball, spokeswoman for Essex County District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett, said the name of the injured man will not be released.

One Construction Worker Dead, Another with ‘Serious Injuries’ After I-495 Bridge Accident

One person is dead and another has been med-flighted to a Boston hospital after an apparent accident at the site of a new I-495 bridge construction project. Massachusetts State Police said two bridge construction workers fell from a bucket truck around 10 a.m., on Bank Road, near the river’s edge close to routes 110-113, in Haverhill. “One individual is confirmed dead on the scene and another is being Med-Flighted to Boston, via ambulance to Lawrence General, with serious injuries,” said Carrie Kimball, spokeswoman for Essex County District Attorney Jonathan W. Blodgett. She said State Police detectives and Crime Scene personnel are in Haverhill assisting investigation into construction accident. The victims’ names have not been released.