Methuen Independence Day Festivities Now Set for July 9 at the Loop With Bands and Food

Methuen has updated its Fourth of July plans with fireworks and festivities taking place Saturday, July 9. The event features the city’s Independence Day Celebration and Fireworks display along with music by the B Street Bombers and Veterans Den Band and food trucks. Festivities begin at 6 p.m., Saturday, July 9, The Loop in Methuen. The on and off ramps of Route 213, exit 4, will be closed from noon – midnight that day for set-up. During that time, motorists are advised to use exit 3, Pleasant Valley Street.

State Awards COVID-19 Grants to Haverhill and Lawrence Nonprofits Among Others

Haverhill’s Leaving the Streets Ministries and two Lawrence organizations are among those receiving additional state grants targeted to communities hardest hit by COVID-19. The money comes from the Massachusetts Vaccine Equity Initiative, aimed at increasing awareness and access to the COVID-19 vaccine and mitigating impacts of the pandemic. The latest grants are part of the Baker-Polito Administration’s $58 million vow to promote vaccine access and confidence, primarily in communities of color. Grants of between $38,500 and $125,000 were awarded to Leaving the Streets Ministries, founded by Chaplain Jesus Ruiz and his wife Wanda; Asociacion Ministerial Evangelica Del Area de Lawrence; and Centro de Apoyo Familiar of Lawrence. “Throughout the pandemic, we have turned to trusted community-based organizations who know their communities best,” said Public Health Commissioner Margret Cooke.

Plaistow Reports Delays in Cardboard Collection at Dumpsters, Asks Residents to Hold Off

Plaistow, N.H., officials are asking residents to hold off on leaving cardboard at recycling dumpsters until the town resolves a delay in having the bins emptied. The town is working with JRM Hauling of Peabody for a resolution. JRM signed a new contract with Plaistow last fall that included semi-automated trash and recycling collection. Residents may continue to use household recycling carts to dispose of cardboard, but are asked not to stack the material near the dumpster locations. Dumpster locations were established on the cemetery side of Stephen C. Savage Way; Public Works Garage, 144F Main St.; Vic Geary Center, 8 Greenough Road; and the Red Oak Drive turnabout between the commercial and residential areas.

Lynn Social Worker Leigh Launches Campaign for Essex County Sheriff

Virginia Leigh, candidate for Essex County sheriff, plans to kick off her campaign formally at the end of next week. Leigh is a clinical social worker running against incumbent Sheriff Kevin F. Coppinger. In a statement, she promised to “to put an end to the revolving door at the county jail by using her mental health expertise to change outcomes and a culture of politics as usual.”

“A majority of county prisoners are incarcerated for crimes related to mental health and substance use,” Leigh said, adding “Voters are the only people who can hold a sheriff accountable, so after six long years under politics as usual, it’s time to elect a different kind of Sheriff.”

Leigh said she has 12 years of experience working as a clinical social worker in detention centers, community health centers and schools. She said most people held by the county will return to their local communities, while still struggling with major mental illness and substance use problems. “If you effectively lower recidivism, you strengthen communities by reducing the cost of housing prisoners, lowering rates of re-offending and preventing future victims,” Leigh said. Her campaign kickoff is Saturday, July 9, 5 p.m., at the Galleries at Lynnarts, 25 Exchange St., Lynn.

Northern Essex Graduates 53 From Police Academy Including 3 Haverhill and 7 Methuen Officers

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Haverhill and Methuen are adding to their police departments following the officers’ graduation last Friday from the Northern Essex Community College Police Academy. Haverhill wasted no time, swearing in three new patrolmen Monday. Joining the force are Officers Elias Mejia, Rafael Nunez and Carmen Rosato. They were administered the oath of office at a city hall ceremony that included Mayor James J. Fiorentini, Police Chief Robert P. Pistone, family, friends and other officers. Methuen graduates from the academy were Officers Jason Young, Cameron Fountain, James Smith, Kayleigh Forgetta, Dannery Serrano, Robert Fitzgerald and Angel Mejia Jr.

The Haverhill recruits now begin an eight-week on-the-job training program with veteran Haverhill Police Department officers, while the Methuen recruits will participate in a three-month field training program working side by side with a field training officer.

DiZoglio, Campbell and Minicucci Join Other Women Legislators With Concerns Over Abortion Decision

Three of the region’s female legislators are joining 54 other women in expressing their opinion of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn abortion rights. Sen. Diana DiZoglio and Reps. Linda Dean Campbell and Christina A. Minicucci joined the Massachusetts Caucus of Women Legislators in a statement Monday calling the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision “deeply impactful to women in this country.”

“While members of the bipartisan and diverse Women’s Caucus have varied positions on the issue of choice, we do know that decisions about healthcare are best made between people and their doctors. We are committed to continuing to uplift the health and well-being of all women, recognizing the deep disparities that exist in our health care ecosystem, which are likely to grow even deeper in light of this decision.”

The Caucus also said overturning the right to abortion presents “significant economic consequences.”

The statement said access to reproductive health services remains legal in the Commonwealth, and the 57 legislators will continue to work with colleagues in state government to ensure “women and their health care needs are supported, affirmed and safe.”

The Massachusetts Caucus of Women Legislators is a group of the 60 women serving in the Massachusetts state House and Senate.

Salisbury Woman Pleads Guilty to Sexual Exploitation of a Child; Area Police Aid Prosecution

A Salisbury woman pleaded guilty last Friday in federal court in Boston to the sexual exploitation of an infant. Twenty-six-year-old Desiree Daigle pleaded guilty to sexually exploiting a child. U.S. District Court Chief Judge F. Dennis Saylor IV scheduled sentencing for Oct. 24. U.S. Attorney Rachael S. Rollins’ office said in a statement the prosecution was assisted by the Amesbury, North Andover, Salisbury, Methuen and Haverhill Police Departments, among others.