Mosquitoes Test Positive for West Nile in Haverhill; City to Undergo Spraying Monday

Two Northeast Massachusetts Mosquito Control District trucks will be in the northeastern part of the city Monday night, Sept. 23 from 6:45-10 p.m. to spray after a pool of mosquitoes tested positive for the West Nile virus, Mayor James J. Fiorentini said Friday. Insecticide will be sprayed in the vicinity of Route 495’s Exit 51, heading to North Avenue to Concord Street to Kenoza Avenue to Amesbury Road to the Merrimac town line. Other public roads will also be sprayed. The solution used has an extremely low risk of toxicity to humans and animals, though residents are asked to keep windows closed and pets inside during spraying hours.

Second Amesbury Road Retail Marijuana Shop Plan Goes Up in Smoke…For Now

The company proposing a second recreational marijuana store on Amesbury Road is temporarily pulling its special permit request. Haverwell Market, which came under scrutiny over its ownership, would have been Haverhill fifth permitted adult marijuana store if approved Tuesday. In an email to city councilors today, Council President John A. Michitson said simply, “NEWS FLASH: Haverwell to Withdraw Special Permit Proposal (seeking without prejudice).” The Council is not obligated to honor the “without prejudice” request. If not, Haverwell Market would have to wait to bring back another proposal, or show there is a significant change in its proposal. William Faraci, the attorney representing Haverwell during the special permit hearings, had no comment when reached by WHAV Friday afternoon.

$1.5 Billion, Seven-Year Education Bill Will Have ‘Tremendous Impact’ for Haverhill Families: Vargas

Haverhill students are among those poised to benefit from a new $1.5 billion consensus school finance reform bill that House and Senate leaders rolled out Thursday that’s expected to hit the Senate floor in two weeks. Rep. Alice Pesich and Sen. Jason Lewis, the co-chairs of the Education Committee that has been working for months to develop the legislation, said a focus of the bill is providing resources to low-income students. “I think it’s fair to say that if this bill passes into law, we will have the strongest and most progressive education funding system in terms of how we reflect the needs of low-income students,” Lewis, a Winchester Democrat, said, according to the State House News Service. The bill, dubbed the Student Opportunity Act and unanimously endorsed by the Education Committee Thursday, would increase Chapter 70 aid to local schools by $1.4 billion, and House Speaker Robert DeLeo said it does not involve plans for additional taxes. All students in the state will see some benefit from the bill, Peisch said, though the school funding formula has always been intended to give more state aid to districts with greater need.

Haverhill Nets $780K After ‘Very Successful’ Public Property Auction

Six abandoned, city-owned fixer-upper homes and vacant land parcels were auctioned off during a live public auction Wednesday at City Hall, netting Haverhill $780,000, Mayor James J. Fiorentini’s office tells WHAV. Conducted by Shrewsbury’s Zekos Group Auctioneers, the properties auctioned were previously acquired through the tax-title process in the city’s effort to rehabilitate and improve neighborhoods. Ninety-four people entered bids at the event, which Fiorentini declared “very successful.”

“When the owner does not pay the taxes and abandons the home, very often the property falls into a state of severe disrepair and becomes both a public safety hazard and a source of blight and crime. Just one abandoned, dilapidated building can bring down the property values of an entire neighborhood.”

The two parcels that generated the highest bids were a two-story multi-purpose building that formerly housed the Liberty Club at 244 River St, which went for $265,000, and a two-family home at 9 Mulberry St., which was auctioned off for $210,000. A garage at 67 Pecker St.

Hillies Taking on Chelmsford Saturday: Hear the Football Game Live on 97.9 WHAV FM

Coach Tim O’Connor’s Hillies hope to bounce back from last week’s 34-14 loss against St. John’s Prep this weekend with a Saturday afternoon game against the Chelmsford Lions at home, and WHAV is broadcasting all the action live only on 97.9 FM. “Voice of the Hillies” Paul Ryan and color commentator Tommy Morgan kick off coverage starting at 2:30 p.m. before the players take the field at 3 p.m. In addition to interviews and play-by-plays, the pair will also host a post-game show from Trinity Stadium. Haverhill High School football on WHAV is sponsored by Andy DiPietro’s Climate Zone, Brian S. Dempsey Insurance Agency, Duffy’s Diner, Attorney Gerard LaFlamme, NRT Bus, Simmons Plumbing and Heating, Smith Motor Sales of Haverhill and Wingate Residences at Haverhill. Can’t catch the game on the radio?

As Patrols Added, Fiorentini to ‘Do Whatever It Takes’ to Keep Haverhill Safe After Jackson Street Shooting

In the wake of a brazen daytime shooting that put a Haverhill gang member behind bars, Mayor James J. Fiorentini vows to “do whatever it takes” to keep gang violence at bay. On Tuesday night, Fiorentini met with several Jackson Street neighbors, telling WHAV later those he chatted with were “scared” after the Sunday afternoon incident near 65 and 69 Jackson St. Ext. As WHAV previously reported, Haverhill police responded to High Street and Jackson Street Extension to interview possible witnesses, who said they saw a blue Ford Focus hatchback driven by a woman pull out from behind a white van parked in front of 43 Jackson St. and two males—including one with a gun in his waistband later identified as 18-year-old Brian Grande—get inside.

Wednesday Accident at Bradford’s South Main Street Dunkin’ Donuts Sends Two to Hospital

An early morning accident near the Dunkin’ Donuts at 915 South Main St. in Bradford sent two people to the hospital and diverted traffic during Wednesday’s busy morning rush hour for nearly an hour, police and fire officials tell WHAV. The two-car crash just before the Ward Hill Connector on Route 125 took place at 7:08 a.m. and Haverhill Police shut down the stretch of Route 125 near the donut shop for 45 minutes, diverting traffic around Boston Road, police spokesman Capt. Stephen J. Doherty Jr. said. Fire Chief William F. Laliberty told WHAV both drivers were treated on scene by firefighters and Trinity EMS before being transported to local hospitals for evaluation. No other details were available about the accident or their injuries.

Haverhill Nurse Pleads Guilty to Tampering With Hospice Patient’s Morphine

A licensed practical nurse from Haverhill pleaded guilty Monday in a Boston federal court to tampering with a hospice patient’s morphine and faces up to 10 years in prison for the crime. Lauren Perrin, 47, entered her plea on one count of tampering with a consumer product—the Schedule II controlled substance morphine—before U.S. District Court Senior Judge Mark L. Wolf and will be sentenced on Dec. 4. As WHAV previously reported, Perrin worked at Amesbury’s Maplewood Care and Rehabilitation Center when she tampered with three morphine bottles prescribed to a hospice patient by replacing extracted medication with another liquid. In the process, she lowered the potency of the medication to between four to 29 percent of the intended potency.