UMass Lowell Touts Leading Online National Rankings for 2023, Notably for Veterans

UMass Lowell is a national leader in online education, notably for military veterans, according to 2023 rankings released Tuesday by U.S. News & World Report, which assessed online programs at more than 1,800 colleges and universities. “UMass Lowell is proud of the outstanding education and strong return on investment created by our graduate, online and professional programs as they engage students to advance their knowledge and become leaders in their professional lives and in the community,” said UMass Lowell Chancellor Julie Chen. UMass Lowell ranked no. 1 nationally for offering the best online master’s program in criminal justice and ninth for the best online master’s program in computer information technology, for veterans. The rankings specifically for military-connected students recognize the need for this population to benefit from reputable distance education that is both affordable and accessible.

Greater Lawrence Family Health Center Joins Community Care Cooperative April 1

As part of the state’s restructuring of its MassHealth accountable care organizations, Greater Lawrence Family Health Center and its Merrimack Valley associates are forming a new partnership to better coordinate care to patients. Accountable care organizations are teams of physicians, nurses, other clinicians and insurance providers who work together to administer coordinated, high-quality health care to their patients. In Massachusetts, these organizations care for 1.2 million MassHealth members. For five years, beginning in April, Greater Lawrence Family Health Center will be part of Community Care Cooperative, known as C3. This “Model B” organization is made up of 23 health centers.

As Year Begins, Pentucket Bank Promotes Nine to Senior Positions

Pentucket Bank promoted as of the first of the year nine employees to senior positions. Eric Landers and Kerianne Pereira were both elevated to posts as senior vice presidents; Jody Ronayne and Sara Wormald as vice presidents; Jacqueline Karlberg, Liri Rivera and Connor Shaw as assistant vice presidents; and Amanda McCafferty and Kerry Beaton, as branch manager IIs, according to Pentucket Bank President and CEO Jonathan Dowst and the senior management team. Landers, of Andover, senior vice president and senior credit risk manager, has worked at bank for more than nine years and brings more than 20 years of experience to his role. He oversees the underwriting, processing and closing of consumer and commercial loans. He is a volunteer with the Pregnancy Care Center where he serves as treasurer and a member of the Knights of Columbus.

Lindberg Takes Job as Haverhill Mayor Fiorentini’s Chief of Staff; Formerly up for Groveland Job

Christine Lindberg has been named chief of staff to Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini. Lindberg of Middleton succeeds Christopher Sicuranza, who left in December, and is the third person in a year to hold the job. Prior to Sicuranza, Allison Heartquist held the job for nearly five years. Earlier this month, former Haverhill City Councilor William J. Macek returned to City Hall as the mayor’s deputy chief of staff. There was no fanfare surrounding the announcement which was transmitted to city councilors Friday.

Employers Discuss, Showcase Job Opportunities This Thursday at MakeIt Haverhill Job Fair

Jobs for those from every walk of life are on display this Thursday with recruiters on hand to hire staff. MakeIT Haverhill’s latest job fair brings in a wide range of employers, including Community Action, L’Arche Boston North, Stericycle, A Better Life Homecare, Amazon, Monogram Foods, Opportunity Works, Haverhill Pavilion Hospital, U.S. Postal Service and Department of Developmental Services. Specific positions include teaching, family advocate, direct care staff, route drivers, warehouse associates, transportation supervisor, personal care attendants, general production laborers, maintenance technicians, warehouse material handlers, machine operators, van drivers and monitors, housekeeping, maintenance assistant, nurses and others. Northern Essex Community College will also be on hand to discuss its certified nursing assistant program, including a new bilingual class for Spanish speakers. MassHire Merrimack Valley will also offer free career resources.

A Year After Proposition 2 1/2 Tax Override Fails, Pentucket Seeks Public Input on School Spending

Groveland, West Newbury and Merrimac residents are invited to learn about Pentucket Regional School District’s spending plans being developed for the next school year. Superintendent Justin Bartholomew is scheduled to provide an overview of the current budget and the impact of a last year’s Proposition 2½ override on the current year. He will also will review the budget process and explain expected challenges in the 2023-2024 budget. “We encourage parents and anyone with an interest in education to attend and learn more,” Bartholomew said. “Community feedback is important as we develop a budget that meets both students’ needs and the educational vision of our communities.”

The joint meeting with the boards of selectmen and finance committees of Groveland, Merrimac, and West Newbury takes place tomorrow, Jan.

Methuen Police Arrest Barricaded Person; Identity Protected by Legislature’s Secrecy Law

An unnamed person, protected by the state legislature’s 2014 secrecy law, who was barricaded with, what police said, was “live” ammunition inside a Methuen home was arrested by Methuen police Sunday night. Methuen Police Chief Scott J. McNamara said “the individual was taken into custody without incident shortly before 9 p. m. Sunday. A live round of ammunition was found inside the residence, and Methuen Police are continuing to investigate.”

Shortly before 5 p.m., Sunday, Methuen Police responded to a home on Arabian Drive for a report that “a suspect in a prior incident” was at the residence. The Northeast Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council SWAT Team, known as NEMLEC for short, was dispatched for support. Police openly blamed the legislature for the lack of transparency, saying, “Due to the domestic violence law of 2014, Methuen Police are prohibited from releasing additional information about the suspect or the circumstances of the incident.” Critics of the law say it protects perpetrators and not victims.

Sen. Payano, Area Reps. Call on Regulator to Roll Back ‘Unfair and Deeply Damaging’ Electric Rates

Newly sworn-in Sen. Pavel Payano and Rep. Francisco Paulino joined a number of area legislators last week urging the state Department of Public Utilities to roll back its approval of higher electricity rates in light of dropping oil prices. Payano, one of Haverhill’s new senators, and freshmen Reps. Paulino, representing Lawrence and Methuen, and Adrianne P. Ramos, now representing Boxford, Groveland, North Andover and West Newbury, were among those legislators statewide signing a letter to DPU Chair Matthew H. Nelson. Other area representatives included Reps. Frank A. Moran, Lawrence and Andover, and Tram T. Nguyen, Andover, Boxford, North Andover and Tewksbury.