Two More Recruits Join Haverhill Fire Department Ranks Following Academy Graduation Friday

Two more firefighters join the Haverhill Fire Department following their graduation Friday from the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy. Firefighters Raymond Robinson and Brendan Sargent are the latest in a surge of a new recruits to join the department, filling vacancies created by retirements as well as taking 16 new positions paid by a $4.1 million federal grant that was formally awarded last November. Robinson and Sargent were among 31 firefighters that graduated from Class 321 of the 50-day Career Recruit Firefighting Training Program. They join new firefighters going to work in Acton, Beverly, Boxborough, Gloucester, Ipswich, Natick, Northborough, Plymouth, Randolph, Scituate, Southborough, Wellesley and Woburn. State Fire Marshal Jon M. Davine discussed the high level of training recruits receive.

Haverhill Educator Faces Charges of Allegedly Sending Obscene Material to a Student

A 25-year-old educational support professional at Haverhill’s Gateway Academy in Haverhill was arrested yesterday and arraigned in court today on a charge of sending pornographic images of himself to a 16-year-old student. District Attorney Paul F. Tucker’s office said in a statement Justin Smith allegedly sent the images to the minor. Smith was arrested by Haverhill Police Thursday and arraigned today in Haverhill District Court on two felony counts of distributing obscene matter to a student. At the arraignment, the state asked that bail be set at $15,000. Judge Cesar A. Archilla set bail at $4,000 and ordered conditions requested, including to have no contact with the alleged victim, no contact with minors, stay away from schools and comply with GPS home confinement.

Judge’s Rulings This Week Limit Both Sides on Stem Impact Fee Suit Against Haverhill

Heading into trial, a Superior Court judge may well have shaped the future outcome of a dispute over “community impact fees” the City of Haverhill has assessed against a cannabis retailer over the last four years. Superior Court Judge Jeffrey T. Karp, in a Monday decision, refused Haverhill-based Stem’s request to immediately decide in its favor that city fees are overinflated and lack proof, while also saying Haverhill must properly account for any increased cost to the city by hosting cannabis businesses. Further, the judge knocked down one of Haverhill’s key arguments, deciding “marijuana use and abuse educational programming” is not a cost solely related to Stem. Karp left open the possibility that Haverhill could proportionally assess educational expenses against all cannabis retailers. Karp was also clear that legislative changes made since Haverhill and Stem entered into a state-mandated host community agreement in 2018 do not apply retroactively.

Merrimack Valley Chamber Annual Golf Spectacular July 15

The Merrimack Valley Chamber of Commerce is having its Annual Golf Spectacular in July with breakfast, dinner, networking and, of course, golf. The golf outing takes place Monday, July 15, with registration open at 10 a.m. and an 11 a.m. shotgun start at Indian Ridge Country Club, 73 Lovejoy Road, Andover. Admission is $235 and includes golf, cart, continental breakfast, post-game buffet of prime rib, chicken and more and a gift. Those interested may register online at MerrimackValleyChamber.com or by calling 978-686-0900.

Shred Unwanted Papers, Help Plaistow Library Saturday

Online commerce and banking offer the promise of a paperless existence, but that is far from reality. Billing statements, bank correspondence, medical documents and more contain information that, if in the wrong hands, can violate privacy and put finances at risk. The Friends of the Plaistow Library have scheduled a paper shredding event tomorrow to help residents rid themselves of extra paper while destroying unnecessary documents that contain sensitive information. The cost is $10 for a medium storage box, $25 for three, payable either by cash or check. Checks should be made out to the Friends of the Plaistow Library.

Job Training Pays Off for Haverhill Students at Bethany

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story inadvertently omitted several names, WHAV regrets the error. Five Haverhill students who completed career training celebrated their accomplishment during a celebration at Bethany Community Services, which partnered with the city to provide the work experience. Brianna Jones, Lawrence Linell, Tayjah Martin, Brian McGowan and Jaydon Pina who attend Haverhill’s Gateway Academy alternative high school at the former St. James School on Primrose Street, earned the praise of president and CEO Jered Stewart during a ceremony at Bethany’s Phoenix Row location. “We were very pleased with this new partnership with the Gateway Academy and to be a part of providing these students an opportunity to gain some valuable real-world experience.

Essex DA Tucker Warns Residents of Rising Cryptocurrency Schemes

With cryptocurrency scams becoming more prevalent, Essex County District Attorney Paul F. Tucker is advising citizens to beware of schemes that involve payments in cryptocurrencies at special ATMs.

In a public service announcement, Tucker presents an unnamed victim’s own story where the woman relates how she received a pop-up message on her laptop, instructing her to call Microsoft. She ultimately lost $13,000 after being told to make a deposit at a cryptocurrency ATM. Tucker says in his public service announcement she is not alone. “In Essex County, in the last calendar year 2023, we estimate that we’ve had about $10 million worth of reported fraud due to all different types of schemes,” says Tucker in his video

Cryptocurrency ATMs—also referred to as “crypto kiosks,” “bitcoin ATMs” or “BTMs”—look like traditional ATMs but allow customers to purchase cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin, litecoin, dogecoin and Ethereum, using cash, debit or credit cards or bank transfers. With high transaction fees, cryptocurrency ATMs convert the user’s physical cash into cryptocurrency and send it to the user’s “digital wallet.”

Transactions are instantaneous, and criminals can immediately transfer payments, preventing recovery of the funds.

Plaistow Public Library Hosting Don Jalbert as June Artist of the Month

American Impressionist Don Jalbert is Plaistow Public Library’s artist of the month for June. Jalbert is a painter from New Hampshire who captures animals, still lifes, landscapes, cityscapes and biblical scenes in a French and American Impressionist style. His works will be on display at the Plaistow Public Library, 85 Main St., through Thursday, June 27. Attendees can view the exhibit during regular library hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday and Friday, 9 a.m.- 7 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday and 9 a.m.-1 p.m. on Saturday.