Meals on Wheels Halts Deliveries Briefly After Two Drivers Test Positive for COVID-19

Haverhill and Lawrence residents who rely on Meals on Wheels were asked to use their supplied emergency meal pack as deliveries were temporarily halted when two drivers tested positive for COVID-19. Elder Services of the Merrimack Valley and North Shore CEO Joan Hatem-Roy said Wednesday a volunteer delivery driver in Haverhill tested positive late on Oct. 15, and, in an unrelated case, a volunteer driver in Lawrence tested positive Monday morning. Both drivers, and all other drivers they had contact with, were asked to quarantine. She said, “no one went without a meal” and deliveries of five-day meal packs continued beginning Tuesday.

Podcast: SCORE Seminars Aim to Help Local Businesses Thrive This Holiday Season

The upcoming holiday shopping season is a crucial one for businesses affected by this year’s COVID-19 pandemic, and a group of business veterans is offering free tips on to make it a better season. The nonprofit organization SCORE, which operates out of the UMass Lowell Innovation Hub in Haverhill, matches experienced business mentors with entrepreneurs. SCORE volunteer Michael Thompson was a guest this week on WHAV’s morning program, and explained upcoming online seminars offers timely help. One takes place this Thursday, Oct. 22,at 1 p.m.,  providing “Planning Tips to Make Your E-Commerce Business Thrive During Peak Season.”

“Helping people develop their plans for Thanksgiving and holiday shopping.

Handful of State Legislators Oppose Proposed Home Delivery of Recreational Marijuana

A handful of lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have asked that Massachusetts marijuana regulators scrap the proposed delivery license that would let operators buy marijuana wholesale from cultivators and manufacturers, store it in a warehouse and deliver it to consumers at home. The Cannabis Control Commission is expected Tuesday morning to consider feedback and hold a final discussion about its draft delivery policy, which would create two distinct delivery license types: a “limited delivery license” that would allow an operator to charge a fee to make deliveries from CCC-licensed retailers and dispensaries, and a “wholesale delivery license.” But in a letter last week, 19 state lawmakers told the CCC that they “believe that the wholesale delivery license category proposed in the draft regulations was not contemplated, nor supported, by the enabling legislation” and asked the commission to reconsider its plan to take a final vote on the regulations next week. No local legislators signed the letter, but others—including former Marijuana Policy Committee co-chair Rep. Mark Cusack—said the successful 2016 legalization question and the ballot law as amended by the legislature in 2017 “deliberatively and intentionally created a license that made clear delivery of marijuana to consumers is directly and only linked to marijuana retail establishments” and that “a wholesale delivery license direct to consumers is clearly not contemplated in the law.”

“Instead, the draft regulations create a shadow direct to the consumer marketplace not governed by the licensing requirements and regulations of marijuana retailers. These draft regulations also significantly change the landscape for cities and towns after many had already engaged in intensive community-wide conversations about the number and types of marijuana establishments their communities wished to host,” the lawmakers wrote. “Further, the proposed draft regulations have not had the opportunity to be sufficiently reviewed and may result in unintended consequences to our municipalities.”

The concerns about local control mirror those raised in a letter from the Massachusetts Municipal Association, which told the CCC that it “is extremely concerned with the definition of marijuana wholesale delivery license within the draft regulations ...

Essex County Grand Jury Indicts Haverhill Man in Connection with Fentanyl, Heroin Trafficking

A 41-year-old Haverhill man was one of two indicted last week by an Essex County Grand Jury in connection with a fentanyl and heroin trafficking operation. Jose Guerrero-Nunez of Haverhill and 29-year-old Willians Ramirez of Lawrence were charged with trafficking heroin over 200 grams and trafficking fentanyl, possession with intent to distribute a class e controlled substance, unlawful possession of a loaded firearm and conspiracy to violate the controlled substances act. Guerrero-Nunez was also charged with three counts of furnishing a false name or social security number at arrest and two counts of fraudulently using or obtaining a license/RMV Document. His additional charges are in connection with three incidents in Lawrence in 2014, 2017 and 2019. Attorney General Maura Healey said the charges stem from a joint federal and state investigation in which investigators seized more than 3.8 kilograms of fentanyl.

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.