Recent Stories

Haverhill District Court First Justice Abany to Retire This Month

It’s an end of an era as Haverhill District Court First Justice Stephen S. Abany is retiring this month. Abany, well-known to defendants, plaintiffs and jurors alike, is credited not only with presiding over the law, but over the 50-year-old court building’s recent $8 million renovation. “He was not just a good steward of court business, but he was also a good steward of the court building. He oversaw the renovation of the building, including moving the court to two different places—Newburyport District Court and Haverhill City Hall. That’s not a small undertaking for anybody,” said Haverhill City Solicitor William D. Cox Jr.

Renovations began in 2017 when civil cases were temporarily moved to Haverhill City Hall and criminal cases to Newburyport District Court.

Confusion Causes Haverhill Councilors to Reconsider Marijuana Parking Space Vote Next Week

Controversy over marijuana retailing continued to perplex Haverhill city councilors Tuesday night. Councilors believed they had approved a police department-recommended parking license for Haverhill Stem on Washington Street, but the vote actually fell short because of opposition from City Councilor Joseph J. Bevilacqua and member absences. Councilors voted 4-1 to approve the use of two city-owned parking spaces on Phoenix Row, but five votes were required. The confusion was evident when acting Council President Thomas J. Sullivan assessed the vote. “We will assume it was a motion to pass and we will get a clarification from the city solicitor on that.

Methuen Police Department Hosts its Annual Toy Drive; Receives 1,000 Children’s Wishes

Methuen Police Department is hosting its annual toy drive to benefit children in need this holiday season. Police are working with Debbie’s Treasure Chest, which provides aid and support to families in need during the holidays. This year Debbie’s Treasure Chest has received close to 1,000 wishes. A “giving tree,” decorated with snowball-shaped tags holding one child’s wish for a toy, is set up in the roll call room at the Methuen Police Department. Toys can be for boys and girls of all ages, but no food can be accepted.

Haverhill’s Last Leaf Pickup of the Year Rescheduled From This Saturday to Next

Although it may be difficult to finish raking leaves with all of the snow on the ground, Haverhill’s Department of Public Works is pretty sure you won’t be ready by Saturday. Either way, the city’s trash contractor, Capitol Waste, is not able to pick up leaves that day due to storm-related collection delays. It has rescheduled the year’s final collection to Saturday, Dec. 14. Leaves must be placed in biodegradable paper bags or open-top containers that do not exceed 50 pounds by 6 a.m. in order to be picked up.

Merrimack Valley Chamber Plans Holiday Mixer at Lanam Club Dec. 17

The Merrimack Valley Chamber of Commerce is having its “Annual Holiday Season Mixer” Tuesday, Dec. 17, in Andover. Appetizers, cash bar, door prizes and business networking takes place in a festive atmosphere. Chamber members and guests meet between 5 and 7 p.m., at the Lanam Club, 260 N. Main St., Andover. Admission is $10 for members and $20 for non-members.

Today’s Obituaries—Dec. 4: Habashian

Irene Habashian, 81, of Haverhill, died Sunday, Dec. 1, at Penacook Place Nursing Home, Haverhill. Educated in the Haverhill school system, Irene helped out at her father’s Store, George’s Cleaners, formerly on Washington Street, Haverhill. Visitation is Thursday morning, Dec. 5, from 9:30-10:45, at H.L. Farmer and Sons Funeral Home, 106 Summer St., Haverhill, followed by a funeral service at 11 at the Funeral Home.

Passed Over Snowplow Contractor Allegedly Assaults Haverhill Highway Superintendent

A Haverhill snowplow contractor was charged early Tuesday morning for allegedly assaulting the city’s highway superintendent after being passed over for work during recent storms.

Fifty-seven-year-old Daniel J. Murray, 224 Newton Road, was arrested at his home and charged with assault and battery on a person 60-years-of-age or older. According to a police report, Murray was said to have pushed Brian J. Zaniboni to the floor when the highway superintendent told him he wasn’t needed during the snowstorm. Sixty-five-year-old Zaniboni was taken by ambulance to Holy Family Hospital in Methuen where he was treated for back and shoulder pain. Murray was arraigned yesterday in Haverhill District Court, where Judge Stephen Abany ordered him to have no contact with Zaniboni. Murray is scheduled to return to court in January for a pre-trial hearing.

Rep. Andy Vargas Says Anti-Vax Effort Fueled by Pseudo-Science, Digital Misinformation and Profit

Haverhill Rep. Andy X. Vargas was among those testifying yesterday in favor of removing a religious exemption against vaccinating children. Vargas spoke before the Public Health Committee in favor of his bill that would eliminate the current religious exemption from vaccinations, allowing only medical exemptions. He said the majority of parents using religious exemptions are “good-hearted people.”

“Unfortunately, figuring out what’s best for your kids is increasingly difficult in the era of pseudo-science, digital misinformation campaign and people who profit from the anti-vax movement,” he testified. Vargas told the committee to be wary of anyone who claims to be an expert and questions the effectiveness of vaccines. He said the hearing should not be about the science of vaccination, but instead about “the use of a quote ‘religious’ exemption to childhood vaccines ...