Two-Alarm Methuen Blaze Likely Triggered by Lawnmower; Fire Marshal Warns of Gas Tool Danger

A two-alarm Methuen fire Monday afternoon appears to have been caused by a burning lawnmower. The blaze was reported just before 3 p.m., at 155 Woodburn Drive, Methuen. The Methuen Fire Department said there were no reported injuries, but the house appears to be a total loss. “Firefighters acted swiftly at knocking down a massive house fire,” the department reported on social media. Officials said the lawnmower had been used, but was stored under a back deck just before the fire started.

Campaign Notes: Haverhill Republicans Attend Convention, DeFranco Kicks Off Senate Run

Members of the Haverhill Republican Committee were in attendance last Saturday for the party’s convention. Among those attending the convention at MassMutual Center in Springfield were Chair Jeri Levasseur, members Jack and Taylor Roy and Barbara Greenwood and Merrimac Committee member Helen Spurling. Geoff Diehl was selected as the endorsed Republican candidate for governor. In other campaign notes, Republican state senate hopeful Sal DeFranco kicked off his campaign last night at Maria’s Restaurant in downtown Haverhill. DeFranco is running in the reformatted Second Essex and Middlesex Senate District.

Expanded Methuen Police Crime Analysis Brings Arrest in Alleged Catalytic Converter Thefts

Methuen Police Department Director of Crime Analysis and Disorder Dawn Reeby’s analysis of local crime trends—particularly the recent thefts of catalytic converters—led to one arrest late last week

Police Chief Scott J. McNamara said Monday Reeby collected data on catalytic converter thefts in Methuen and surrounding towns. She analyzed similarities among the cases across the region and produced bulletins for patrol officers and helped patrol supervisors deploy officers. Last Thursday afternoon Officer Brandon LaFlamme used the information when he came in contact with 52-year-old Mark Cristaldi in the area of Granite Street, where several catalytic converter thefts had been reported. Cristaldi, with no known address, was wanted on a warrant obtained by North Andover Police for alleged similar thefts. He was charged with larceny over $1,200 and six counts of malicious damage to a motor vehicle.

‘Savor Methuen’ Kicks Off Today as City Welcomes Restaurant Week

More than a dozen food establishments are participating in Methuen’s Restaurant Week, themed “Savor Methuen,” starting today. Mayor Neil Perry welcomed the return of the event, taking place through Friday, May 27, and featuring specials during the week. “After a long two-year absence, I am happy to report that Restaurant Week is back!” Perry said. “Our excellent food establishments have provided some great deals, which is welcome during a time when everything is costing us more,” he added. Participating establishments include Bada Bing/Bada Boom Pizza, 32 Hampshire St.; Borrelli’s Italian Deli.

Plaistow, N.H., Selectmen Discuss Potable Water, Trash Carts, Old Home Day, More Tonight

Plaistow, N.H., selectmen tonight discuss an array of matters ranging from connecting town buildings to the new potable water supply to Old Home Day plans. The meeting takes place tonight, May 23, at 6:30, at Plaistow Town Hall, 145 Main St. Agenda items also include TRAC video contest, trash carts general discussion, patrol vehicle discussion, town manager’s report, selectmen’s reports/sharing of successes and events. Those wishing to make a comment or ask a question by email may write to Beth at [email protected] by 3 p.m. The meeting is shown on cable TV channel 17 or live streams at or

No Injuries at Overnight Two-Alarm Fire at Smolak Farms; Stands and Viewing Area Remain Open

North Andover firefighters, with assistance from other communities, battled a two-alarm fire early this morning at Smolak Farms.

No injuries were reported at the blaze that was reported about 2:15 a.m. at 315 S. Bradford St. Owners said via social media, “damage was contained to a small area of our property.”

Crews from North Andover were assisted at the scene by Methuen Fire Department and Andover Fire Rescue. Lawrence, Haverhill and Middleton Fire Departments provided station coverage. Lawrence General Hospital EMS and Rehab Five provided additional support during the fire. Smolak Farms said in a statement that its farm and ice cream stands as well as an animal viewing area is “open and fully operational,” but hayrides will not be running today.

Methuen Finds Truck to Lease, Resumes Yard Waste Collection Next Week

Methuen plans to resume regularly scheduled collection of yard waste next week now that it has overcome supply chain problems and leased a truck

Mayor Neil Perry and Public Works Director Patrick Bower said pickups start again Monday, May 23. “We are happy to say that we will begin picking up yard waste on the regular schedule that coincides with recycling collection every two weeks,” said Perry, noting, he realizes the city is off to a late start, but will continue collecting yard waste through the week ending July 15.”

As WHAV previously reported, Perry said a delay in securing a leased vehicle followed a long period beginning when the city sought, but was unable to find, a used truck to purchase. “We understand the frustration our citizens have been feeling and we greatly appreciate their patience as we worked through the process to secure the leased truck,” he added.

Plaistow, N.H., Details Memorial Day Plans with Parade and Services

The Town of Plaistow, N.H., is gearing up for its annual Memorial Day Parade and ceremony. Marchers gather Monday, May 30, at 9 a.m., at Pollard School and travel to the Elm Street Cemetery. A ceremony honors veterans who are buried there. Participants will walk back to the Town Hall Green for services. All are welcome to join or watch the parade.