Defense: Police ‘Misconstrued,’ Overemphasized Anonymous DPW Tip in Drug Deal

Nine months after an anonymous letter triggered a Haverhill Police investigation into alleged drug dealing on the part of highway department employees, a Haverhill District Court Judge ruled that the letter wasn’t enough for officers to initiate the traffic stop that led to the August 2018 arrests of Steven Allen, Kevin Moriarty and Erik Frasca. On Wednesday, Judge Patricia Dowling heard testimony from Haverhill Police narcotics unit Detective Daniel McDonald. The officer conducted surveillance with Detective Bryan Bailey on the morning of Aug. 30. That was two weeks after an anonymous letter came into Mayor James J. Fiorentini’s office alleging improper behavior on the part of city employees.

Whittier Tech Varsity Softball Coach Begin Celebrates 200th Win: ‘Belicheck of the Team’

Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School’s Cheryl Begin is celebrating a major milestone on the softball diamond this spring: Her 200th win. Now in her 14th year as varsity softball coach, Whittier head of security Begin is riding high in the role her coaching peers and players say is similar to that of another famous Massachusetts coach. “Cheryl is like the Bill Belichick of the Whittier softball team,” Athletic Director Kevin Bradley explains of Begin, who many of Whittier’s 14 players see as a surrogate mother. “Success is no surprise to me. It’s not just about what she does on the field, it’s about what she does off it too.

DiZoglio Secures $15,000 for Haverhill’s Vietnam Veterans Memorial Upgrades

More money is on the way for upgrades to Haverhill’s Vietnam Veterans Memorial at Mill Brook Park courtesy of state Sen. Diana DiZoglio. The freshman senator tells WHAV she has secured $15,000 for the city’s Ad Hoc Memorial Commission supervising the renovations to the monument and area honoring the 13 servicemen killed in the Vietnam War. The funds will help the commission continue a second phase of improvements currently underway at the park in the Haverhill Highlands neighborhood near the entrance to Plug Pond. In the works are curbing upgrades, seeding and an ADA-compliant crosswalk. “Nearly five decades since the last U.S. combat troops left Southeast Asia, the Vietnam War remains on the minds of many people in the Merrimack Valley and across the Commonwealth,” DiZoglio said.

Haverhill Expects to Name New Hunking, Silver Hill Principals For Next School Year

Two new principals are expected at Haverhill schools next school year, pending final negotiations. Shannon Gilligan, who currently works at a Woburn-based school coaching and leadership training organization is slated to become principal of Caleb Dustin Hunking School. Gilligan replaces Shannon Nolan, who is leaving the school district to become principal at Amesbury Elementary School. Mary Ellen Lucas is also expected to be promoted to principal at Silver Hill Elementary School. She currently serves as assistant principal there.

Traffic Stalls Plaistow Road Marijuana Shop Vote; Return to Voters Plan Dies Procedurally

Traffic congestion at the New Hampshire border emerged as the largest sticking point for a proposed recreational marijuana store—the first to come before the Haverhill City Council for a special permit. After hours of debate, councilors postponed a decision on whether to allow Full Harvest Moonz’ proposed 95 Plaistow Road to advance. The public hearing also delivered the revelation developer Janet Kupris plans backup shuttle parking on Amesbury Road—the only neighborhood where two other pot shops are already proposed. Shattuck Street resident Chris Todino summed up the concern. “We are the ones who are going to have to deal with traffic studies that are showing that the traffic is actually as close to the lowest grade it could possibly get, and it’s only going to get worse,” he said.

Haverhill Central Catholic Sophomore Wins Senate Praise for Track and Field Records

A Haverhill sophomore attending Central Catholic High School was recognized by the Massachusetts State Senate Tuesday for her two years of Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field success. Katharine Duren, a sophomore hurdler, broke the meet and school records Saturday during the Merrimack Valley Conference championship. She won in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 14.57 seconds, state Sen. Diana DiZoglio told her State House colleagues. “Katharine is one of the brightest athletic stars in the Merrimack Valley,” said DiZoglio, who invited Duren to the State House for a celebration in her honor. “Her impressive dedication has served her and her fellow Raiders well and it is my hope that she continues her success collegiately at the highest level in the coming years.”

Duren received a standing ovation in the Senate Chamber after receiving an official citation in honor of her accomplishment.

Haverhill’s TEACH Students Participate for the First Time in Special Olympics

Thirty-five students from Haverhill Public Schools’ TEACH program are participating for the first time today at the Special Olympics games at Lawrence High School’s Veterans Memorial Stadium. The students enrolled in the Therapeutic Education Assessment Center of Haverhill at St. James School—TEACH for short—will compete against athletes from around the Merrimack Valley in running and walking events, tennis ball toss and other track and field games. “All the kids and the teachers and our parents are talking about it and are very much looking forward to it,” TEACH Director Lyn A. Snow said. The TEACH program is a separate day school program that provides students with individualized, skill-based educational experiences and tailored behavioral support plans.

Haverhill Mayoral Hopeful Trocki Plans June 12 Fundraiser

First-time Haverhill mayoral candidate Daniel Trocki is ready to greet city voters at a campaign kickoff party Wednesday, June 12 at Maria’s Restaurant, 85 Essex St., starting at 5:30 p.m.

Pulling nomination papers with an intention to run against Haverhill’s longest-serving Mayor James J. Fiorentini on May 2, Haverhill Police Patrolman Trocki told WHAV his campaign priorities include public safety, education and funding for school and city building infrastructure. If elected, the married father of two children has already thought out how he’ll revise Haverhill’s public safety plan. “If you look at other cities, they have K-9s, full-time traffic/safety guys, full units, detectives on their night shift—some of that should be looked at,” said Trocki. Other public safety improvements he suggested include relocating the High Street fire station closer to Computer Drive, for example. Trocki must obtain at least 50 signatures before July 1.