School Committee Delays Approval of $88 Million Budget, Citing Too Little Time to Study

While there was general praise of next year’s proposed school spending plan, Haverhill School Committee members concluded last night there just wasn’t enough time to review it. Members decided to take up the $88 million school budget again next Wednesday night and have a public hearing Thursday, June 13. School Committee member Scott W. Wood Jr. led the discussion, saying he would have been forced to oppose the plan if a vote was taken. “It’s not that I’m against the budget. I just don’t know all of the details and $88 million is a lot of money,” Wood said.

Why Are Purple Ribbons Taking Over Haverhill? Mayor Fiorentini Explains!

From now until June 8, Haverhill is going purple—for a good cause! Ahead of the city’s annual Relay for Life American Cancer Society fundraiser, purple ribbons and other colored fabric have been hung throughout Haverhill in an effort to raise awareness for the disease and the event, taking place at Northern Essex. Earlier this week, Fiorentini joined Lee Henderson at City Hall to hang one of several ceremonial purple ribbons outside the Haverhill landmark to promote Relay for Life. Others have been set up on telephone poles, businesses and homes across the city, with ribbons are available for purchase through River Street’s Leisure Line for $10, organizers said. The city has also set up an electronic billboard to tout Relay for Life’s June 7-8 event at Northern Essex on Route 495, Fiorentini’s office said.

Haverhill’s Master Plan Committee Holding First Public Session Wednesday at Consentino

Introducing…Haverhill 2035! Next Wednesday night, Mayor James J. Fiorentini plans to formally convene his 13-member Master Plan Committee for the first time in a public session at Consentino School during a community outreach meeting to discuss what he’s calling “Vision Haverhill 2035”—a plan to guide city progress for schools, businesses, homes, parks and playgrounds. The new master plan replaces one developed in the 1990s, Fiorentini said. “This is about deciding what the Haverhill of the future will look like,” Fiorentini told WHAV in a statement ahead of Wednesday’s meeting. “We want to hear from a broad spectrum of the public, not just consultants and city officials.

UPDATED: School Committee to Vote on $88M Budget Largely Sight Unseen: ‘Are We Supposed to Guess What’s In It?’

Editor’s Note: The two sides of the School Committee dispute each other’s accounts, as shown below in this updated version. WHAV received, along with Committee members, an emailed version of the budget at 1:45 p.m., Thursday. Haverhill Public Schools Superintendent Margaret Marotta is asking members of the city’s School Committee to approve the 2020 budget Thursday night—but some sitting on the board tell WHAV they’ll be doing so largely sight unseen. Though Marotta and the School Committee workshopped a general overview of her proposed $88,856,526 budget for the next school year last month during public sessions at Harbor Place, School Committee member Scott Wood tells WHAV he and others have yet to pore over the hundreds of individual line items—doing a potential disservice to city families and taxpayers. “I don’t know how any member of the School Committee could vote for a $90 million budget they have never seen.

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: ‘Belichick 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.

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 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.