Whittier Tech Metal Fabrication Students Undertake Rehab of Georgetown Police Cells

Prisoner cells at Georgetown Police Station were recently rehabilitated by Metal Fabrication students at Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School. Seventeen students in different grades, working under the direction of Welding Instructor Steve Palmer, undertook the job after Georgetown Police Chief David Sedgwick raised concerns over existing issues. These included the quality of the sheet metals and brackets inside the prisoner cells and their risk to inmate safety. “I couldn’t be prouder of, or more thankful to the students,” Sedgwick said. “They completed a job on-time, on-spec and to a high standard of quality.”

Students taking part included senior Anthony Ferullo of Haverhill; juniors Caleb Clocher of Amesbury, Ryan Deschenes of Haverhill and Aengus Longtin of Newburyport; sophomores Noah Allen, of Haverhill, Adrian Angeloni of Rowley, Elodie Bonfiglioli of Haverhill, Emma Casey of Georgetown.

Bigbelly Opens Waste Bin Manufacturing Plant on Methuen/Lawrence Line

Bigbelly, marked the grand opening this week of its U.S. manufacturing plant Monday at the former Malden Mills Complex on the Methuen/Lawrence border. The way the plant is laid out, Bigbelly waste bins are built in Methuen and shipped from Lawrence to sites throughout North America and abroad. There are approximately two dozen employees at the Methuen location, performing jobs that were previously conducted by a third party outside of the U.S. until Bigbelly said it “insourced” its U.S. manufacturing operation to the Merrimack Valley last year. “We’re excited to bring local, innovative employment opportunities to the Merrimack Valley,” said Jeff Satwicz, Bigbelly founder and vice president of business development. “Massachusetts workers are engaged, productive and deliver a cost-competitive product to better our world.”

Speakers at the event on Monday included Methuen Mayor Neil Perry, Lawrence Mayor Brian DePeña, state Reps.

NECC Hoops Standout Reynoso Goes Pro

When the Dominican Republic’s top professional basketball league, the six-team LNB, begins its Super League season on June 18, Northern Essex Community College standout Luis Reynoso will be there. Reynoso, the most-decorated hoops player in the Northern Essex Community College Knights’ history, was selected 16th overall in the Dominican national league’s draft this month by the Santiago Metros. Of the 56 players drafted overall, he was chosen in the second of seven rounds. Reynoso, of Lawrence, helped lead the Knights to their second consecutive Region 21/East District Championship this year, becoming the first player in the history of the Knights basketball program to earn two All-American awards. He is just the fourth athlete in Northern Essex athletic program history to earn that recognition twice.

Friedman to Receive Tibbetts Economic Impact Award from Lawrence Partnership

Evelyn Friedman, former executive director and CEO of the Greater Lawrence Community Action Council, will be awarded the David Tibbetts’ Economic Impact Award when the Lawrence Partnership meets next week for its 10th annual meeting. Friedman was named for her “unwavering commitment to inclusive economic development and her tireless efforts to advance Lawrence’s prosperity,” according to an announcement. The award will be presented during the annual meeting taking place Tuesday, June 18, between 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., at Central Catholic High School, 300 Hampshire St., Lawrence. The award is named for David A. Tibbetts, who received the inaugural Economic Impact Award in 2017. A Lawrence native and now of Newburyport, Tibbetts served as secretary of Economic Development for the Commonwealth under former Governor William Weld and founded the Merrimack Valley Economic Development Council in 1999.

‘Encounter The Real’ New Local Art Exhibit at Northern Essex Community College in Lawrence

Seven local artists have created a new black-and-white photography exhibit titled “Encounter the Real—Emotive Reflections at Northern Essex Community College’s Lawrence campus. The exhibit focuses on the conveyance of emotions and spirituality through the artists differing perspectives, influenced by their identities as women, non-binary people, LGBTQ and people of color. Two of the artists Kat Almonte and Mahli Rivera, owners of Grainy Daze Studios in Lawrence, organized the exhibit with a grant from the Lawrence Cultural Council. Almonte said the exhibit came about because the artists “wanted an opportunity for marginalized people to be able to have a space and opportunity to gain skills and work on their passions.”

The exhibit will be on display in the Louise Haffner Fournier Education Center on Northern Essex Community College’s Lawrence Campus at 78 Amesbury St., starting Saturday, June 15, from 4-8 p.m. It will then run from Sunday, June 16, to Saturday, June 29, between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., and the closing reception will be Sunday, June 30, 4-6 p.m. For more information visit GrainyDazeStudios.com.

Methuen Partners with First Baptist Church for Annual Juneteenth Celebration Saturday

The City of Methuen is again partnering with the First Baptist Church to host a community wide celebration for Juneteeth National Independence Day. The celebration will include music, food, cultural performances, educational opportunities and community engagement. It is a free event open to the public. “We are excited to bring the community together to celebrate Juneteenth,” said Mayor Neil Perry. “This event is an opportunity to not only commemorate a pivotal moment in our nation’s history but also to educate and inspire ongoing efforts towards equality and justice for all.”

The celebration will be held Saturday, June 15, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., at the First Baptist Church Fellowship Hall, 30 Park St.

Haverhill, North Andover and Merrimac Schools Receive Awards at Safe Routes to School Ceremony

Schools in Haverhill, North Andover and Merrimac were recognized last Thursday by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation in its Annual Safe Routes to School Award Ceremony, which celebrates the schools, community members, stakeholders and crossing guards who have championed the safety of Massachusetts students on their daily routes to school. The ceremony honored partners of the Massachusetts Safe Routes to School Program, a federally funded program that focuses on improving student independence, boosting school attendance, decreasing traffic congestion, and overall ensuring the safety of students in their communities. “We are thankful to all the school communities and the advocates whose input through the Safe Routes to School Program helps us identify the specific strategies, resources and tools needed to better protect our school children,” said state Transportation Secretary and CEO Monica Tibbits-Nutt. “Their dedication makes a meaningful difference, and these awards are a token of our appreciation not just for the winners whom we congratulate, but for everyone who has contributed to the important mission of keeping all road users safe.”

Schools that participated in the program and shared their Safe Routes to School 2023-24 accomplishments received Partnership awards. Each activity a school completes within the program has a designated point value, which once complied, determines the level of partnership the school is awarded.

Podcast: Spurr Relates Story Behind Finally Donning Graduation Cap and Gown After 65-Year Wait

(Additional photographs below.)

School graduation season offers a time for reflection, planning and often some heartwarming stories, but it was considerably more for 82-year-old Jean Spurr of Groveland. Spurr was awarded an honorary diploma June 1 from Georgetown High School where she was a member of the class of 1959 at graduation ceremonies on Saturday morning. She recently told WHAV listeners the unusual and heartfelt experience of how she came to finally don cap and gown and participate in high school graduation. Spurr and her companion, Steven D. Sardella of Haverhill, were guests on WHAV’s “Win for Breakfast” program. Earlier this year, Sardella had an idea about a special birthday gift for Spurr.