Essex County Sheriff Staff Receive Honors During Correctional Employee of the Year Ceremony

During a recent ceremony, members of the Essex County Sheriff’s office were among those to receive Correctional Employee of the Year Awards. The event was offered by the state Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, Massachusetts Department of Correction and Massachusetts Sherriff’s Association and honored more than 50 correctional professionals statewide for exceptional performance and public service. K9 Sgt. Leonardo F. Jorge was honored for his role in helping Haverhill Police last July in locating a missing individual with suicidal thoughts. Jorge and his K9 partner, Drago, responded as part of a multi-agency team.

Merrimack Valley Credit Union’s Howard Participates in Panel Exploring Adaptation in Finance

Merrimack Valley Credit Union President and CEO John J. Howard was one of three featured panelists during the Cooperative Credit Union Association’s annual CU Accelerate conference earlier this month in Philadelphia. The conference brings together credit union professionals from New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Delaware for informative keynote presentations, lectures, panels and networking opportunities. Howard was a featured panelist during the event’s Adapting for Relevance panel discussion on Friday, May 3, alongside Devon Lyon, president and CEO of Central One Federal Credit Union and Janell Upton, president and CEO of Dover Federal Credit Union. “CU Accelerate was outstanding. I was so honored to be on this panel alongside my peers, Janell and Devon, discussing topics like fintech, mergers and culture—a subject that is so important to me and our team at MVCU.

Haverhill Participates in Emerging Adult Leadership Academy for Better Justice Outcomes

Haverhill officials took part recently in the state’s first-ever Emerging Adult Leadership Academy, which provided five days of training and shared field experience regarding adults involved in the justice system. The Academy’s first cohort included the Haverhill Police Department and Essex County District Attorney’s office. It was organized by the state Executive Office of Public Safety and Security in partnership with the Municipal Police Training Committee, UTEC Training Center for Excellence and ForHealth Consulting at UMass Chan Medical School. UTEC CEO Gregg Croteau said, “The leadership academy represents a deep commitment to investing in strategies that are proving to be successful in reducing recidivism and increasing a range of positive outcomes.”

Guest speakers included Haverhill Mayor Melinda E. Barrett, Rev. Kenneth M. Young, pastor of Calvary Baptist Church and Essex County District Attorney Paul F. Tucker. Public Safety and Security Secretary Terrence Reidy explained the purpose is to “create successful pathways for emerging adults with a shared goal of improving people’s lives and strengthening our communities.”

Merrimack Valley Chamber to Host Small Business Recognition Awards

More than a dozen local businesses are up for honors in June as the Merrimack Valley Chamber of Commerce conducts its annual Small Business Recognition Awards Program. U.S. States Small Business Administration Mass. Director Robert Nelson will be on hand as special guest speaker during the breakfast Friday, June 14, from 7:30-9 a.m., at Renaissance Golf & Country Club, 377 Kenoza St., Haverhill. Award recipients include Business Assistance, Benefit Advisors Group and Enterprise Center at Salem State University; Hospitality and Tourism, Historic New England and Salem Historical Tours; Discovery/Education, Bradford Christian Academy and Hill View Montessori Charter School; Environmental. Cooperstown Environmental and Sak Environmental; Healthcare, Aspen Hill Rehabilitation, Cedar View Rehab and Homewell Services of Andover; Innovative, Marble Ridge Winery and UMass Lowell Space Science and Technology; Longevity, Opportunity Works and Smith Motors; Manufacturing and R&D, Artisan Chef; and Manufacturing, Techprint.

West Newbury Culvert One of Two State to Study; Likely to Become Tidal with Rising Sea Levels

The Department of Fish & Game’s Division of Ecological Restoration yesterday said it has selected a road-stream crossing in West Newbury as one of two sites for future ecological restoration studies. The River Road Culvert in West Newbury is located on an unnamed stream off the Merrimack River. According to the state, “This crossing currently faces challenges with flooding and erosion and has the potential to be heavily influenced by increased storm events and sea level rise in the future. Conducting models of the way water moves at the site and investigating potential ecological improvements through restoration will enable a systematic approach to improving infrastructure and natural resource resiliency.”

Officials say culverts in West Newbury, along with Gloucester’s Concord Street Culvert along a tributary of Walker Creek, are expected to become tidal as sea levels rise—“a transition that presents significant challenges for road infrastructure. Division of Ecological Restoration is paying for and managing future studies to help communities, nearby landowners and partners identify and overcome technical challenges and plan for ecological restoration and climate adaptation.

North Andover, Haverhill Driving School Owner, Arrested for Drugs, Accepts Ban, $300K Settlement

The owner of a now-closed driving school with offices in Haverhill, North Andover and Andover school is banned from again owning such a business and must pay $300,000 to settle refund complaints with the Massachusetts attorney general. North Andover Auto School and owner Michael J. Larocque entered into a settlement related to the abrupt closing of his business following his October 2020 arrest on trafficking in the drug methamphetamine, as WHAV previously reported. The payment will be used to refund impacted consumers and for initiatives that promote consumer protection. Attorney General Andrea Joy Campbell’s office said some students may have already received refunds through the driving school’s state-required surety bond. The settlement permanently bars Larocque from both operating any driving school and providing any form of driver’s education in the Commonwealth.

State Begins Repaving Upper Broadway, Route 97, Beginning Monday Through Mid-June

Lanes will close from time to time from next Monday through mid-June along Route 97 for repaving between the Broadway Industrial Park and the Methuen line. The Massachusetts Department of Transportation confirmed the lane closings Wednesday. It said work will take place Monday, May 20, through Monday, June 17, between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, from the Haverhill/Methuen border and Silver Birch Lane, and between Research Drive and the easterly side of the Interstate 495 interchange. Haverhill city councilors last week received a heads-up from Public Works Director Robert E. Ward. He explained he and City Engineer John H. Pettis III lobbied for installation of sidewalks.

Lawrence General Hospital Medical Affairs Chief: Holy Family’s ‘Care is Clearly Declining’

As state officials continue to encourage people to seek care at Steward Health Care’s eight hospitals in Massachusetts despite the company’s bankruptcy, a doctor from a neighboring hospital said the messaging doesn’t tell the whole story of what is actually happening on the ground. Since Steward filed for bankruptcy in Texas last week, Gov. Maura T. Healey and others have sought to make clear that the legal proceeding does not necessarily mean that anything has changed for patients, urging people to keep their appointments at Steward facilities and encouraging residents to seek emergency care at Steward hospitals without reservation. Public Health Commissioner Robbie Goldstein told the Public Health Council on Wednesday that the state’s “consistent message to patients in the community has been and continues to be that all Steward hospitals in Massachusetts remain open, patients should keep up with their health care needs, maintain their appointments, screenings and tests.”

But the chief of medical affairs at Lawrence General Hospital, which is near to Steward’s Holy Family Hospital in Methuen and Haverhill, told the council that underneath the state’s rhetoric “is a reality, which is that in spite of these hospitals remaining open, their level of intensity of care is clearly declining.”

“And that’s a message that is not really advertised, but it is real. For the ones that are next door to them, we can see that vital support services—not just having emergency room physicians and nurses, but you need to have orthopedics, neurosurgery, you need to have all of these other things to be able to care for these patients. So, what we are finding is that they get in, they get evaluated, but then they get transferred out.