Methuen Formally Swears in Police Chief McNamara During Tuesday Ceremony

Scott J. McNamara was formally sworn in Tuesday morning as Methuen’s new police chief in what was not only a community event, but a family affair. McNamara was administered the oath office by City Clerk John J. Wilson and his wife pinned the chief’s badge on him. Their daughters recited the Pledge of Allegiance. “This is a city that is truly all pulling in the same direction. I’m awestruck and blown away by it, and I know now I need to double down on my own efforts just to keep up,” McNamara said.

Feds Award Greater Lawrence Family Health Center $1.1 Million for Capital Projects

The Greater Lawrence Family Health Center, with clinics in Haverhill, Methuen and Lawrence, was recently awarded $1.1 million for major construction and renovation projects from the American Rescue Plan. Health Center President and CEO Dr. Guy Fish said he is grateful for the relief money through the Office of Health and Human Services. “With these American Rescue Plan capital construction dollars, GLFHC will be able to expand access to primary care, behavioral health, and pharmacy services, and to add new services, facilities, and partnerships to lift the health of our patients and community in the Merrimack Valley,” he said. Congresswoman Lori Trahan said the local Health Center joined community centers in Lowell and Fitchburg in sharing the aid. “Health care workers at these facilities have been working around the clock to maintain a high level of service for the patients they serve.

I-495 Construction Update: Southbound Bridge Opening Appears Imminent

While there is no official announcement from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, the current Interstate 495 work schedule suggests the opening of the new southbound bridge is imminent. The concrete deck has been installed on the new bridge and pavement preparation calls for daytime and overnight lane and ramp closings this week. An earlier construction schedule expected “median restoration” this fall and next spring. The median temporarily carries southbound traffic on and off the new northbound bridge. There will be double right lane closings on I-495 south, between exits 108, Route 97, and 106, Ward Hill, Sunday, Oct.3, through Thursday, Oct.

DiZoglio Receives Endorsement of Professional Fire Fighters of Mass. in Auditor Bid

The Professional Fire Fighters of Massachusetts formally endorsed Sen. Diana DiZoglio in her bid for state auditor. The organization, which represents more than 12,000 members and 223 cities and towns, met with DiZoglio last week. In a statement, officials said they discussed her years in the legislature, “standing up to the political insiders who have taken organized labor’s support for granted for far too long.”

“We admire Diana’s fighting spirit as a relentless advocate for working families. This will serve all Massachusetts residents well as our next state auditor as she calls for transparency and accountability across government. Diana has earned our endorsement with her strong record in the legislature, supporting the most critical issues to firefighters and our families,” said Rich MacKinnon, president.

UMass Lowell iHubs Plan Free Marketing and Financial Planning Workshops for Business

The UMass Lowell Innovation Hub is partnering with Manchester, N.H.-based York IE to present two free workshops for startups and growing businesses. The first event is “Drumbeat Marketing: How to Make Your Startup’s Voice Heard.” It takes place Wednesday, Oct. 6, at noon, at the iHub Haverhill, 2 Merrimack St., third floor, with an online option. York IE’s Kate Campbell, vice president of advisory services, leads the workshop that guides companies and startups in ways to make their companies stand out in a crowded field and while on a tight budget. Register for “Drumbeat Marketing: How to Make Your Startup’s Voice Heard.”

The second event, “Financial Planning and Modeling for Startups,” takes place Thursday, Nov.

New Lawrence- and Methuen-Anchored Senate Seat Could Emerge Through Redistricting

A new majority-minority senate district anchored by minority populations in Lawrence and Methuen was put on the table Tuesday in an effort to increase the political clout of minority and low-income communities. The Drawing Democracy Coalition would add nine House districts and four Senate districts where people of color represent the majority of the population. The creation of a new district would also mean changes for Haverhill and communities downriver now partnered with Methuen. “Today, with these maps, we aim to push back against inequity,” said Cheryl Clyburn Crawford, the executive director of MassVOTE. The proposed House map would increase the number of majority-minority districts from 20 to 29, increasing the likelihood that a person of color could win a seat in cities like Everett, Framingham, Malden, New Bedford, Randolph and Revere, where historically there have never been majority-minority districts.

Northern Essex Community College Opens COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics Wednesday and Thursday

Northern Essex Community College is offering two pop-up vaccination clinics this week—one in Lawrence and one in Haverhill—for faculty, staff, students and the general public. Greater Lawrence Family Health Center will operate the clinics in partnership with the college. The first takes place Wednesday, Sept. 29, from 8-noon under a tent in the parking lot of the Dimitry Building, 45 Franklin St., Lawrence. The second clinic is  Thursday, Sept.

State Honors Greater Lawrence Wastewater Plant for Offsetting Its Own Energy Use

The Greater Lawrence Sanitary District in North Andover received state honors last week for reducing its carbon footprint to zero by creating an organics-to-energy project that produces enough power to meet the plant’s own electrical needs. As part of Climate Week in Massachusetts, Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen Theoharides and Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Martin Suuberg highlighted the clean energy project, which received more than $35 million in financial support from multiple state agencies. “The organics-to-energy capability also goes a step further. It includes the ability for ‘black-start’ and ‘islanding,’ which means if the electrical grid has a blackout, GLSD can disconnect from the gird and restart the engines to provide virtually uninterrupted operation of our treatment facility,” said plant Executive Director Cheri Cousens. “Ensuring stable and low-cost energy to the treatment facility is paramount during times of unpredictable power supply from outside sources.”

Greater Lawrence Sanitary District’s organics-to-energy project takes food waste and organics away from the waste stream, pumps it into anaerobic digesters at the plant and mixes it with sewage sludge, produces a renewable fuel source, biogas.