New Hampshire Police Arrest Haverhill Man for Alleged Rape, Strangulation

South Hampton, N.H. police are crediting a good Samaritan with preventing further harm from coming to a woman who was allegedly strangled by a 28-year-old Haverhill man on two separate occasions last week. In a social media posting, the South Hampton Police Department confirmed the arrest of Haverhill’s Jordan Greenwood on July 6. According to police, a 911 caller reported a possible rape in progress inside a car around 11:30 p.m. Once on the scene, they met a visibly shaken woman who was being comforted by a man they say confronted Greenwood after hearing commotion and “forcibly removed” him from the car, preventing further harm to the woman. Greenwood was located by South Hampton police, with the aid of the East Kingston, N.H., Police Department, after a brief search and arrested for felonious second-degree assault.

Feds Arrest Methuen Man on Fentanyl Distribution Charge; Faces Deportation

A 42-year-old Dominican national living in Methuen was arrested and charged Thursday in a Boston federal court with distributing fentanyl, United States Attorney Andrew Lelling’s office told WHAV in a statement. Milton Elias Lara was charged with distribution of and possession with intent to distribute 40 grams or more of fentanyl and was detained pending a July 18 hearing. He is subject to an Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainer, Lelling’s office said. Arrested after a raid on his home yielded 800 grams of fentanyl, 100 grams of cocaine and drug packaging tools and materials, Lara faces between five and 40 years in prison, along with at least four years of supervised release and a potential fine of up to $5 million.

Columbia Gas Settles With Family of Teen Killed in Merrimack Valley Explosion

Columbia Gas has settled with the family of the 18-year-old Lawrence teen killed in the September 2018 Merrimack Valley gas-related fire disaster, the company told WHAV in a statement. Spokesman Dean Lieberman said details of the agreement are confidential but confirms the terms were reached after a voluntary mediation between parties. As WHAV previously reported, Leonel Rondon, of 16 Chestnut St, Lawrence, was killed Sept. 13 while sitting inside a car near 35 Chickering Road in that city when a chimney fell onto the car after a house explosion. That explosion—with wide-ranging impacts felt across Lawrence, Andover and North Andover—was the result of an over-pressurized Columbia Gas line in what some city officials called an “Armageddon-like” scenario that left 21 injured, including firefighters.

Trahan, Minicucci Among Local Leaders to Offer Merrimack Valley Gas Disaster Recovery Update Tuesday

About 10 months after gas explosions and fires rocked the Merrimack Valley, more than 70 percent of the impacted locally-owned small businesses have returned to their pre-gas emergency levels of operations, business and civic leaders are expected to announce at a press conference Tuesday. The State House News Service reports Lawrence Mayor Daniel Rivera and Congresswoman Lori Trahan will join Sen. Barry Finegold, Rep. Christina Minicucci, local officials and community organizations to provide an update on business recovery efforts in Lawrence, Andover and North Andover. Gas explosions and fires leveled homes and businesses in the three towns on Sept. 13, forcing evacuations and months of repairs. Rose and Dove Gift Shop, which will host Tuesday’s 10 a.m. press conference, was closed in the immediate wake of the gas emergency, was without heat for months and then saw its entrance blocked for weeks due to construction.

Police Charge 29-Year-Old Dracut Man in Friday Night Methuen Shooting

Mass. State Police troopers arrested a 29-year-old Dracut man Friday night who is suspected of shooting a man earlier in the night outside a McDonald’s restaurant in Methuen. Just before 10:30, troopers, assisted by Dracut and Lowell Police, arrested Rodney Villar at his home without incident. State Police tracked Villar through the registration of a 2018 Toyota Highlander sport utility vehicle he used to flee the shooting scene. The arrest was made after Troopers Sean Milovanovic and David Rameau found the Highlander parked outside Villar’s residence in Dracut.

Methuen First Responders Save 5-Year-Old From July Fourth Near Drowning

A 5-year-old girl was rescued by Methuen firefighters and good Samaritans Thursday when she nearly drowned in the pool of an apartment complex, Methuen Police Chief Joseph E. Solomon tells WHAV. Methuen firefighters stationed across the street from the complex were dispatched to the scene and found the girl already out of the pool, having been pulled out of the water by bystanders, Solomon said. Firefighters revived the child with CPR. The girl was taken to Lawrence General Hospital for evaluation and is expected to make a full recovery.

Georgetown Hires First Full-Time Firefighters

Following an influx of funding from the town, the Georgetown Fire Department has hired three full-time firefighters to begin duty this week, with another reporting in September. The firefighters plan to work Monday to Friday to accommodate the town’s growing population and development. “We’ve also seen that it’s become increasingly challenging to staff our day shifts with part-time firefighters. It’s a huge commitment, and we need full-time staff to provide a consistent, full response,” Chief Fred Mitchell said. Each of the new firefighters, including Haverhill’s Brian Belfiore, has already been working at the station part-time for at least two years.

PHOTOS: Area Police Investigating Gas Station Break-Ins Across Merrimack Valley

Local police are investigating a series of gas station break-ins over the last week they say were allegedly committed by the same suspects. Earlier this week, Lawrence Police issued a social media plea for help to locate two suspects they say allegedly used a crow bar to pry open the door of the Gulf gas station at 233 Winthrop Ave. and take the cash register and lottery tickets just before 4 a.m. on June 28. According to police, the suspects drove a blue Dodge caravan. Methuen Police Chief Joseph E. Solomon tells WHAV the same suspects are sought in connection to a break-in at the Haverhill Street Mobil station around 3 a.m. that same day.