Commuter Alert: State to Close Single Left Southbound I-495 Lane Wednesday and Thursday

As work progresses on the $102 million I-495 bridge replacement project, commuters face daytime lane restrictions this Wednesday and Thursday between exits 48 and 49. State transportation officials said a single left lane on the southbound side of the highway closes Feb. 19 and 20, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., both days, for joint repairs to the south abutment. Three lanes of a new northbound bridge have been completed and are carrying traffic. The new bridges are designed to last 75 years as opposed to the existing bridges built less than 60 years ago.

U.S. Reps. Trahan, Moulton, Kuster and Pappas Seek Fed Help to Stop Combined Sewer Overflows

Congresswoman Lori Trahan has assembled a coalition of Massachusetts and New Hampshire U.S. representatives fighting for an additional $500 million to help resolve the problem of combined sewer overflows into the Merrimack River. Trahan is joined by Reps. Seth Moulton of Massachusetts and Annie Kuster and Chris Pappas of New Hampshire. They sent a letter to the chairwoman and ranking member of the Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Subcommittee of Appropriations requesting additional money be allocated for the Environmental Protection Agency’s Sewer Overflow and Stormwater Reuse Municipal Grant Program for the year beginning next October. “Every American has a right to clean, safe drinking water.

Update: Missing 89-Year-Old N.H. Man Found Dead at Haverhill Business Park

An 89-year-old Weare, N.H., man last seen at his home Tuesday, was found dead today, not far from where his abandoned car was found in the Ward Hill Business Park. A Silver Alert was issued yesterday on behalf of Gerard Lemay. Before his yellow 2008 Hyundai Accent was discovered this morning at a parking lot at Covanta’s Haverhill energy-from-waste plant, there was a report he may have been spotted late yesterday afternoon in Methuen. Police said Lemay suffered from Alzheimer’s and dementia. “Preliminary investigation by Massachusetts State Police and Haverhill Police has revealed no evidence of foul play,” said Carrie Kimball, spokeswoman for Essex County District Attorney Jonathan W. Blodgett.

Moore Staffing Services Wins ClearlyRated’s 2020 Best of Staffing Client and Talent Awards

Moore Staffing Services recently won ClearlyRated’s 2020 Best of Staffing Client and Talent Awards for service excellence earned by less than 2% of all staffing agencies in the U.S. and Canada. The award is based on ratings by clients and candidates. Awards were presented in partnership by CareerBuilder, Indeed and Glassdoor. Moore Staffing Services received satisfaction scores of nine or 10 out of 10 from 87% of clients and 82.6% of placed job candidates, significantly higher than industry averages. “Our commitment to providing superior client and talent experiences is evidenced by these results.

Merrimack Valley Project Launches Wheels of Hope Ride Service for Those in Treatment

Wheels of Hope, which provides free rides to treatment centers for those seeking help with substance abuse issues, is now serving area communities. In coordination with, Lowell-based, Lucos Transportation, Wheels of Hope launched last month by the Massachusetts Substance Use Helpline. It gives rides to those who have a reserved bed at any treatment center in Massachusetts. “MVP listened to multiple disciplines and community partners from across the Merrimack Valley. Over and over, transportation to inpatient treatment rose to the top of the list as a top barrier to recovery.

New Report: Opioid Overdose Deaths Decline Despite Increasing Presence of Fentanyl

New data indicate Massachusetts has made some progress in beating back the tide of opioid overdose deaths with fatal overdoses declining 5% since 2016. Figures, however, show fentanyl was present in 93.2% of confirmed opioid overdose deaths in 2019, while fentanyl was present 75.6% of the time in 2016. Public Health Commissioner Monica Bharel said the state nonetheless continues to lose too many people to overdoses. The latest statistics, released Wednesday, show a total of 2,023 confirmed and estimated opioid-related overdose deaths in 2019, down from 2,031 in 2018. “Thanks to our public health interventions, we’ve flattened the death rate instead of watching it climb as fentanyl continues to increase in our communities,” Bharel said.

Gov. Baker Names Sarrouf of North Andover as Superior Court Associate Justice

Attorney Camille F. Sarrouf Jr. of North Andover was named Wednesday as an associate justice of the Superior Court by Gov. Charlie Baker. Sarrouf began his legal career as an assistant district attorney in the Middlesex County District Attorney’s office and served from 1993 to 1995, prosecuting more than 150 trials. He entered private practice as an attorney for Sarrouf, Tarricone & Flemming, and later joined Sarrouf Corso as a partner before forming Sarrouf/Gibson in 2008. “Attorney Sarrouf’s extensive courtroom experience, in conjunction with his dedication to charitable organizations, demonstrates that he has both the legal acumen and the proper temperament to serve on the Superior Court,” said Baker. Since 2017, Sarrouf has served as chair of the Board of Governors of St.

Sanders May Have Won New Hampshire, but Local Voters Prefer Buttigieg for President

Sen. Bernie Sanders may have won the Democratic primary in New Hampshire, but former South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg was the top pick in area towns. Salem, Plaistow, Atkinson and Newton ranked Buttigieg first, but the towns were not uniform on their second and third choice picks. Salem gave Buttigieg 28.5% of the vote, followed by Sanders, 24%, and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, 16.3%. Plaistow voters gave Buttigieg 27.5% of the ballots, followed by Sanders, 24.3%, and Klobuchar, 16.2%, while Atkinson put Buttigieg on top with 29.2%, followed by Klobuchar, 23.7%, and then Vermont’s Sanders at 22.1%.