Pentucket Regional School District Names Puteri as Remote Learning Principal

Emily Puteri has been named as principal of all remote learning students in the Pentucket Regional School District. Superintendent Justin Bartholomew said yesterday that Puteri’s new role takes effect Monday, Oct. 26, but she will transition into the role over the next week and stay in the post for as long as remote learning continues. Puteri, principal of the Dr. Elmer S. Bagnall Elementary School for the past four years and previously assistant principal at Pentucket Regional Middle School for three years, was chosen because of her experience working with students of all ages as well as her knowledge of technology in education. She will oversee all students attending virtual school, including students who selected the Florida Virtual School option; provide support to all educators involved in remote learning; and serve as a single point of contact for families of students in fully remote learning.

Blinded War Veteran Boucher Reminds Residents Today is White Cane Safety Day

Today is White Cane Safety Day. Gerard R. Boucher of Haverhill, a blinded war veteran, annually reminds residents that the Massachusetts White Cane Law requires drivers to come to a complete stop when a blind pedestrian is attempting to cross a street with a white cane or dog guide. Boucher said, “I am told that the blind people are afraid to go out of their homes in this area because they fear getting struck by an automobile.” He said he wants drivers to be “conscious of those who are just trying to get to their destination.”

White Cane Safety Day has been recognized in the United Sates since 1964 when Congress designated Oct. 15 of each year as White Cane Safety Day. White canes and guide dogs allow the blind and those with low vision to have greater mobility and safety and travel to work, schools, home and around the community unassisted.

Local Hospital Presidents to Share Merrimack Valley Chamber’s Highest Honor at Annual Lunch

Two local hospital presidents are sharing the Merrimack Valley Chamber of Commerce’s highest honor at the business group’s annual awards lunch. Holy Family Hospital President Craig Jesiolowski and Lawrence General Hospital President and CEO Deborah Wilson each receive the Ralph B. Wilkinson Good Citizenship Award during the lunch Wednesday, Oct. 28, from noon-1:15 p.m., at DiBurro’s Function Hall in Haverhill. Other award winners include Brian Mohika, founder and CEO of CathWear, who is to receive the Emerging Leader Award, and the Merrimack Valley Food Bank, which is receiving the Community Spirit Award. Sean P. Stellato, award-winning author of “No Backing Down,” is the featured speaker.

Veterans Northeast Outreach Center Distributes 1,000th Food Box for Local Veterans During Health Crisis

Local officials last week helped Haverhill-based Veterans Northeast Outreach Center mark the distribution of its 1,000th food box for local veterans. Each box contains enough food for a family of two to have three meals for 14 days, which translates to 84,000 individual meals distributed since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Representatives of Veterans Northeast were joined by state legislators, community partners and volunteers at Northern Essex Community College. The meals are distributed in partnership with Food4Vets, a statewide program administered by the Massachusetts Military Support Foundation. President Don Cox of the Massachusetts Military Support Foundation was in attendance to mark the occasion.

Greater Lawrence Family Health Center Receives Cummings Grant to Support Mobile Health Unit

Greater Lawrence Family Health Center, which will soon open the Haverhill Family Health Center and related pharmacy at 755 Main St., is one of 30 local nonprofits to share in $10 million in funding from Cummings Foundation. The 40-year-old organization will receive $500,000 over 10 years to support its mobile health unit which provides health care to the homeless throughout the Merrimack Valley. GLFHC also has five health centers and pharmacies in Lawrence and Methuen. The organization uses a comprehensive care service delivery model tailored to meet the needs of the target population – economically disadvantaged, minorities and working poor. All services are linguistically and culturally sensitive to patients’ needs.

DiZoglio Plans Methuen Committee Visit Supporting Pleasant Valley School as Youth Center

State Sen. Diana DiZoglio is joining a group of Methuen high and middle school students at tonight’s Methuen School Committee to advocate for a new Youth and Community Center. Members of the School Committee will take into consideration during the meeting scheduled for 6:30 p.m., a proposal to use the former Pleasant Valley School on Pleasant Valley Street as a location for a Methuen Youth and Community Center. DiZoglio has pushed for the establishment of such a center in the City of Methuen, saying Methuen is among the few communities in the Merrimack Valley that does not have a formal youth center. “Now more than ever during this COVID-19 emergency, our local youth who are stuck at home, isolated from their peers, are in need of vital guidance, support and services to keep them connected,” said DiZoglio. “The goal of this project is to provide them with that connectivity, as well as the mentorship opportunities and social and emotional learning to inspire them to pursue their unique talents and reach their goals.

Jury Convicts 34-Year-Old in Connection with Methuen Fentanyl, Heroin ‘Stash House’

A 34-year-old man associated with a Methuen drug “stash house” where fentanyl, heroin and drug processing equipment were found in 2018, was convicted by a federal jury in Boston Thursday. Carlos Soto-Villar, a Dominican national formerly residing in Lawrence, was convicted of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin and 400 grams or more of fentanyl. U.S. District Court Judge Patti B. Saris scheduled sentencing for next Jan. 27. According to testimony, Soto-Villar supplied a kilogram of fentanyl to co-defendant Ana Caraballo Dec.

Pentucket Regional High Temporarily Switches to Remote Learning After COVID-19 Outbreak

Pentucket Regional High School transitions to fully remote learning Thursday and Friday. The in-person learning pause comes after school officials learned of two positive student cases and approximately 25 close contacts resulting from a non-school-related sports gathering. Of the two positive cases, officials said, one student was last in school Friday, Oct. 2, and tested positive that night. The second positive student has not been in school since Tuesday, Sept.