Greater Lawrence Family Health Center’s Climate Change Pledge Receives Recognition at UN

Greater Lawrence Family Health Center received national recognition last Thursday as one of 102 health care organizations in the country pledging to reduce emissions and become more resilient to climate change. The Health Center, with locations in Lawrence, Haverhill and Methuen, was named by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services at the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference. While caring for its patients, the Health Center said in a statement, social determinants of health play a major factor in a person’s overall health. Spearheaded by the organization’s Greater Lawrence Family Medicine Residency program, the Health Center “promises ongoing action to curb this major looming factor in the health of individuals and families seeking health care services throughout the Merrimack Valley.”

“Pursuing health equity means that we must each do our part in providing people and patients a fair chance at healthful lives,” said President and CEO Guy L. Fish. “That means examining our practices and eliminating climate impacts we are creating.

Haverhill, Area Communities Share in $4.2 Million State Recycling Dividend Grants

To mark America Recycles Day last week, a number of area communities shared in $4.2 million in state grants to help communities improve recycling, composting and waste reduction programs.

Haverhill, received $31,500, while other grants went to Lawrence, $56,000; Methuen, $33,000; North Andover, $8,190; and Groveland, $1,260 through the Sustainable Materials Recovery Program, approved by the state Department of Environmental Protection. “One of the most effective measures we can take to reduce the waste stream in communities across the Commonwealth is to support and encourage recycling, diversion and reuse of waste materials,” said Gov. Charlie Baker. “With this funding, we are ensuring that local officials, residents and small business owners can adopt practices that protect our environment and preserve Massachusetts’ natural resources.”

This year, 265 communities qualified for the Recycling Dividends Program. Added this year was a condition that included diversity, equity and inclusion in trash and recycling programs. Reuse categories were also added that provided money for encouraging pilot deconstruction projects and single-use plastic bans. Curbside collection of food waste was also encouraged with additional money.

Bill Rodgers of Olympic and Marathon Fame to Serve as Feaster Five Grand Marshal

Marathoner and Olympian Bill Rodgers is the grand marshal for this year’s Feaster Five Road Race, a Thanksgiving Day tradition that annually attracts thousands of runners and walkers of all levels. The 35th Annual Feaster Five Road Race is presented by Schneider Electric and hosted by the Merrimack Valley Striders running club. It offers a 5K or five-mile route option, with all finishers receiving a Table Talk Apple Pie. “Feaster Five is a great example of a community that supports the well-being of people of all ages,” Rodgers said. “In running and walking together, all the barriers fall and the result is a renewed focus on health and wellness.

Methuen Police Officers Complete Crisis Intervention Training

Twelve Methuen police officers recently completed 40 hours of Crisis Intervention training. This training was provided by the Middlesex County Crisis Intervention Team and involved sessions around mental health disorders, trauma and chronic stress, homelessness, domestic violence, suicide prevention, autism, elder issues, substance abuse and officer wellness, amongst others. Each officer received guidance in community resources and skills to share with the community when appropriate. Training involved engaging presentations, role playing and independent research of community resources. In a statement, officials said the Methuen Police Department “understands the importance of the mental health of our community members.

Atkinson Congregational Church Welcomes the Public to its 250th Anniversary Celebration

Atkinson Congregational Church begins celebrating its 250th anniversary this weekend with an open house and musical performances. The open house takes place Saturday, Nov. 19, at 3 p.m., at Atkinson Congregational Church, 101 Main St., Atkinson, N.H.

It features various musical talent including the church’s handbell choir, organ and piano solos by Ann Chalk, the Kokopelli Flute Ensemble, a piano and flute duet by Chalk and Carol Boudreau and more. The performances continue Sunday, Nov. 20, at 10 a.m., at worship service.

Methuen Exchange Club Honors Mueskes and Wholley at First Responders Night

Methuen Police Sgt. Matthew Mueskes was named Police Officer of the Year, while Methuen Firefighter Sean Wholley was named as Firefighter of the Year Tuesday by the Methuen Exchange Club. The program is part of the club’s annual ceremony recognizing first responders. Both men were also presented with citations from the Massachusetts House of Representatives and the Massachusetts Senate. Mueskes was honored for his work leading the department’s years long effort to earn certification from the Massachusetts Police Accreditation Commission.

Merrimac Receives State Brownfields Grant to Recover Contaminated Site

Merrimac is receiving $250,000 in state assistance to recover a contaminated—so-called, “Brownfields” site—into a redevelopment opportunity. The town was one of 13 communities statewide to share in $2.6 million in Brownfields Redevelopment Fund awards. Speaking at a Monday ceremony in Taunton, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito said the administration “look(s) forward to seeing the projects that will grow from these cleaned-up properties.”

“For over 20 years, the Brownfields Redevelopment Fund has invested tens of millions of dollars to ensure blighted and abandoned sites in Massachusetts can be safely redeveloped for residential and commercial use,” said Polito. In Merrimac, the money is to be used to test a remaining foundation and soils for contamination and remove the foundation and contaminated soils at 2 Littles Court, off Route 110. Former Lawrence mayor and now MassDevelopment President and CEO Dan Rivera said “Brownfields awards will help communities from Gateway Cities to small towns address buildings, sites and projects that for decades have laid dormant and blighted, depriving neighborhoods of hope and vibrancy.”

MassDevelopment oversees the Brownfields Redevelopment Fund.

Pentucket Regional School Puts New Auditorium to Use with Production of ‘Into the Woods Jr.’

Pentucket Regional Middle-High School is unveiling its theatrical premiere of “Into the Woods Jr.” at the new middle-high school auditorium. The auditorium, which seats 620 people, opened in September along with the rest of the school. The musical, directed by theatre teacher Rachel McGowan, is the first production to use the space. Pentucket Regional School District Superintendent Justin Bartholomew discussed the upcoming production during a recent interview on WHAV’s morning show. “We’ve got our first, our very first production is coming up.