Gov. Healey Stops in at North Andover High School as Part of National Robotics Week

Besides her visit to Amazon’s new distribution facility Monday, Gov. Maura T. Healey visited North Andover High School as part of National Robotics Week. The governor met with the high school robotics club and congratulated them ahead of the Vex Robotics World Championships, which they will compete in later this month. She saw their robotics projects and presented a proclamation for National Robotics Week. Healey also visited MassRobotics, described as the largest independent robotics hub dedicated to accelerating innovation and adoption in the field of robotics. “Massachusetts is proud to be home to one of the lead robotics hubs in the world, and it’s essential that we continue to lengthen this lead through targeted investments like the Mass Leads Act,” said Healey.

H. P. Lovecraft Comes to the Merrimack Valley to View the Total Eclipse of 1932

Horror writer H. P. Lovecraft was on hand locally to view the total solar eclipse of Aug. 31, 1932. Lovecraft, who spent time in Haverhill during the 1930s because of his contributions to the Haverhill-based amateur journalism publication, “The Tryout,” met amateur pressman W. Paul Cook in Boston. The next day, they headed to Newburyport to view the solar eclipse. Lovecraft had been fascinated by astronomy from an early age.

Groveland Home Uninhabitable After Tree Causes ‘Major’ Damage, Forces Evacuation

Groveland firefighters escorted a woman from her Salem Street home after a falling tree broke through the roof Thursday, causing “major” structural damage. The extensive damage at the house at 796 Salem St. was among the worst of the early spring nor’easter that also brought other fallen trees, power outages and flooded and blocked streets Thursday and Friday. Groveland Fire Chief Robert Valentine detailed the scene for WHAV. “She was sitting in her living room.

With Healey Blessing, Whittier Tech Explores New Building, Shared Campus with Northern Essex

If tentative steps toward a “shared campus” with Northern Essex Community College continue, a new building may be on the horizon of Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School. The high school and college will “explore ways to create a new, modern facility for Whittier Tech, … increase enrollment capacity at both institutions and make them more affordable. It will also open up new avenues for potential additional funding sources beyond cities and towns in the Merrimack Valley,” according to a press release issued Thursday by Gov. Maura T. Healey’s office. Northern Essex President Lane A. Glenn said the plan would increase collaboration already happening between the two schools, with Whittier Tech Superintendent Maureen Lynch praising the endeavor. To find a path forward, a representative of the governor’s office told WHAV, “we intend to convene legislators and municipal officials” from the 11 communities that send students to Whittier Tech.

With State Budget Underway, MeVa Urges Legislative Committee Not to Cut Regional Transit Money

As state lawmakers work on next year’s budget, Merrimack Valley Transit Authority leaders requested regional transit authorities receive the same amount of money as last year—with a slight boost for inflation—and the Department of Transportation continue administering a $15 million grant program. Administrator and CEO Noah S. Berger, speaking at a meeting of the Massachusetts Joint Committee on Ways and Means last week, highlighted how the authority—or MeVa—made its services fare-free for all riders two years ago, an initiative he said they paid for with “Covid relief funds.”

“That has been unabashedly a success,” he said. “Since going fare-free, we have tripled our ridership, and even more importantly, and I think this is a better metric, complaints are down by a third.”

The authority transports 60% more riders than it did before the pandemic, Berger added, “which is unheard of in this industry.”

Chief Communications Officer Niorka Mendez said, “I’m always in the community. I’m talking to our riders. I’m at the senior centers, at schools, and it’s unbelievable the positive impact that our free service has had in our region.”

With the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority usually dominating discussion, he argued the state’s 15 regional transit authorities—of which Merrimack Valley’s is one—are also essential.

Merrimack Valley Credit Union Grows in Industry Loan Rankings in Mass. and N.H.

Merrimack Valley Credit Union was included in Banker & Tradesman and The Registry Review’s Top Lenders of 2023, marking the first time the credit union has been featured on these lists. In Massachusetts rankings, the credit union was ninth for volume of single-family mortgages and 10th for number of loans, seventh for volume of loans and eighth for number of condominium mortgages, seventh for volume of residential nonpurchase loans, 10th for volume and eighth for number of commercial purchase loans and fourth for volume of loans and fourth for number of multifamily purchase loans. In New Hampshire rankings, Merrimack Valley Credit Union was 10th for volume and ninth for number of single-family mortgages and 10th for volume and eighth for number of condominium mortgages. Executive Vice President and Chief Lending Officer Brad Egan credited the accomplishments to the credit union’s professionals. “Looking forward, we will be launching exciting new products and continue investing in technology to improve the speed and convenience of obtaining loans,” he added.

Methuen Opens Riverside Drive Boat Ramp for the Season

Methuen, in a sure sign of spring confidence, this week reopened the Riverside Drive Boat Ramp for the season. Boaters and water enthusiasts were able to launch vessels starting Monday. The boat ramp is open from 5 a.m.-9 p.m. daily. “Boaters are encouraged to familiarize themselves with local regulations, practice safe navigation and respect the natural surroundings to ensure a harmonious coexistence with the ecosystem,” the Methuen Conservation Department said in a statement.

Today is Northern Essex Community College’s Giving Day; Third Annual Event Ends at Midnight

Today’s the day to join alumni, friends, staff, faculty and students supporting Northern Essex Community College’s third annual Giving Day. The college kicked off the 24-hoiur drive yesterday at G’s Southern Texas Flair in downtown Haverhill. Like all Giving Day donations, portion of food and drink sales went to the NECC Fund. Gifts to the fund are unrestricted and may be immediately put to use to pay for resources and programs crucial to the success of students, faculty and staff. Historically, the NECC Fund has offered support to such areas as student scholarships, innovation, academic programming, career programming and classroom resources.