Essex Heritage Names Colby-Campbell People’s Choice Winner for Haverhill River Photo in Contest

Haverhill’s Alison Colby-Campbell was named “People’s Choice Winner” for her entry in the 2022 Essex Heritage Photo Contest. The award is given for the most “liked” photograph on Facebook from the pool of submissions. Colby-Campbell presented her “Haverhill by Night on the River” photograph. She will join other winners at a free reception Thursday, March 2, at 6 p.m., at Salem Armory Visitor Center, 2 New Liberty St., Salem. All winning photographs will be on display and light refreshments will be served.

‘Crow Shows’ Online and In-Person Offer Insight Into Roosting of Thousands of Birds

Every winter at dusk, thousands of crows fill the sky along the Merrimack River and noisily roost in a cluster of trees in Lawrence. On the next two Wednesdays, Merrimack River Watershed Council helps explain why the crows are there and what are they doing. The two free “Crow Show” programs—one online and one in person—delve into the secrets of this natural phenomenon. This Wednesday, Feb. 8, at 7 p.m., local expert Craig Gibson present an online slideshow explaining the crow behavior and the likely explanations for why 20,000 crows fly up to 40 miles nightly to gather together.

Officials Offer Advice and Warm Spaces During Below Zero Temps Today and Saturday

With WHAV Meteorologist James Covington calling for temperatures to drop into the single digits today and as low as minus 10 tomorrow, residents in Haverhill and the Merrimack Valley are bundling up and creating contingency plans. Haverhill school Superintendent Margaret Marotta says schools remain open today, but Saturday classes are cancelled. In an email, she urges families to ensure their children are dressed in winter weather clothing or to contact the parent liaison at school if children need coats, hats or mittens. Saturday School, which provides students with extra time and assistance completing assignments in a small-group setting, resumes next Saturday, Feb. 11.

Amid DPU Shakeup, State Agency Orders Reductions in Natural Gas Prices on March Bills

Natural gas bills for most residents will drop 4 or 5% next month after the Department of Public Utilities—amid an agency shakeup—approved a mid-season reduction in gas supply charges as natural gas prices drop. Gas companies are required to buy natural gas at the market rate and pass costs on to their customers without making a profit. Rates are typically adjusted Nov. 1 and May 1, but the Healey administration said Thursday that DPU can require gas companies to revise their gas supply rates “whenever the companies will materially over- or under-collect costs from customers.”

Due to dropping market prices for natural gas, Massachusetts gas companies are decreasing supply rates for gas consumed during February, March and April. “Families and businesses need relief, and our administration is heartened to see a downward trend in natural gas prices,” Lt. Gov. Kim Driscoll said.

Former Plaistow, N.H., Resident Pleads Guilty to Cocaine Drug Charges in Federal Court

A 42-year-old man, formerly of Plaistow, N.H., pleaded guilty this week in federal court to charges of possession with intent to distribute cocaine

New Hampshire U.S. Attorney Jane E. Young said Thursday Corey Buckley is scheduled to be sentenced on May 18 in U.S. District Court in Concord, N.H.

According to court documents and statements made in court, police investigated leads into the defendant’s alleged drug trafficking and ultimately obtained a federal search warrant for his Plaistow residence. During the May 2022 search, investigators found approximately 1.1 kilograms of a substance, later confirmed to be cocaine, in his kitchen. Other evidence of drug trafficking, including a ledger, a scale, approximately $50,000 and two firearms, were also found. This matter was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration with assistance from Massachusetts State Police and the Haverhill, Mass., Police Department.

Jurors Find Man Guilty of First-Degree Murder in 2016 Methuen Strangling Death

An Essex County Superior Court jury Thursday found a 38-year-old man guilty of first-degree murder for the 2016 killing of Wanda Rosa at their Methuen apartment. Jurors, sitting in Salem, found Emilio DeLarosa, guilty of strangling Rosa in front of their four-year-old son, who’d been lying in bed with his mother. “One of the most important things we do is give voice and seek justice for victims,” Essex County District Attorney Paul F. Tucker said. “The work done by our team gave voice to Wanda, and justice to her family, friends—and son.”

During a trial that began Jan. 23, Assistant District Attorney Kate MacDougall said the couple had an abusive relationship.

Chief Says Large Police Response in Groveland Wednesday Night was Result of Hoax

A large local and state police and first responder deployment Wednesday night in Groveland was the result of a hoax, known as “swatting.”

Groveland Police Chief Jeffrey T. Gillen said Thursday his department is investigating the hoax 911 call that came in t the night before at about 8:45, falsely reporting an act of violence. The caller told dispatchers he harmed someone in a home on Marjorie Street and would harm first responders. “Out of an abundance of caution, and following established policies and procedures, a police, fire and emergency medical response ensued. This included summoning of mutual aid from all neighboring police departments and Massachusetts State Police,” a statement reported. Neighboring homes were also evacuated as a precaution.

Police Arrest Second Man Said to be Connected with Sunday Murder, Armed Robbery in Methuen

A second man, believed to be connected to last Sunday’s deadly shooting in Methuen, was arrested Wednesday while awaiting a flight out of New York City. Twenty-two-year-old Kelvin Francisco-Perez of Lawrence was arrested by Customs and Border Patrol agents and Port Authority Police while awaiting a flight at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City. Essex County District Attorney Paul F. Tucker and Methuen Police Chief Scott J. McNamara said in a joint statement, Francisco-Perez was charged under a warrant with accessory after the fact, murder, and accessory after the fact, armed robbery related to the early Sunday killing of Carlos Bello, who was shot in the Haverhill Street area of Methuen and later pronounced dead at Lawrence General Hospital. Seventeen-year-old Adrian Isabel of Methuen was also charged Tuesday afternoon with murder after surrendering. As is customary, a not guilty plea was entered during his arraignment on Wednesday in Lawrence District Court.