MassDOT to Close Ramps Between Interstates 495 and 93 in Andover Nightly, Starting Monday

Ramps at the interchange between Interstate 495 and 93 in Andover, are scheduled to close overnights from Monday, Nov. 28, through Saturday morning, Dec 3. The Massachusetts Department of Transportation said the temporary closings take place from 8 p.m.-5 a.m., along I-495 north, exits 97A and 97B. Access to one of the ramps will be maintained at all times. Traffic will be detoured as marked along the roadways.

Essex County Sheriff Receives $30,000 Grant to Treat Prisoner Opioid Addiction

The Essex County Sheriff’s office was selected by the state to receive $30,000 in federal grants to provide substance use treatment to prisoners. The Residential Substance Abuse Treatment program awards $243,095.50 to Massachusetts sheriffs to support the delivery of addiction services to individuals in their custody. The federal grant funding is administered by the Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Assistance. In Massachusetts, the money is managed and distributed by the Office of Grants and Research. “Our administration remains focused on using every tool available to address the opioid epidemic and expand access to substance use treatment, and these awards are the latest step in those efforts,” said Gov. Charlie Baker.

Methuen Plans Flag Retirement Ceremony Wednesday, Dec. 7

Methuen is having its annual flag retirement ceremony on Pearl Harbor Day. The ceremony takes place Wednesday, Dec. 7, 11 a.m., at Elmwood Cemetery, 130 N. Lowell St., Methuen. Paul Jensen, director of Methuen Veterans Services, asks that residents drop off flags to be retired in advance of the ceremony. In a flyer, the city notes “it is prescribed that a flag, to be retired from service, be burned by fire, to return to ashes, to be returned to the dust from which she was made, and that a new flag fly, to once again demonstrate the strength of our great nation.

Fire Marshal Says Thanksgiving Day is the Number One Day for House Fires, Offers Safety Tips

State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey is urging residents to make fire safety a priority in the kitchen on Thanksgiving Day—the number one day for home fires in Massachusetts. “Each year, we see about twice as many fires on Thanksgiving as on the next-closest day,” Ostroskey said. “Don’t let a fire ruin this special time with your family and loved ones.  Practice fire safety when cooking and heating your home, and be sure you have working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms that can alert you to danger.”

There were 678 Thanksgiving Day fires in Massachusetts from 2017 to 2021, and 87% of them started with cooking. These Thanksgiving Day fires caused seven civilian injuries, seven fire service injuries and more than $3 million in estimated losses. Ostroskey reminds residents to be sure ovens are empty before turning on the heat; keep flammable items away from the stovetop; wear short or tight-fitting sleeves when cooking; turn pot handles inward over the stove; “stand by your pan” when boiling, frying.

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.