Second Man Faces Accessory Charge in Connection with Methuen Murder

A second man was arraigned Monday in connection with the March 15 shooting death of a 30-year-old man in Methuen. Twenty-three-year-old Darren Jimenez, of Lawrence, was formally charged in Lawrence District Court, called an accessory after the fact following the murder of Kelvin Frias of Lawrence, according to Carrie Kimball, spokeswoman for Essex County District Attorney Jonathan W. Blodgett. Frias died the morning after being shot in the head at a gathering at Mr. Hookah vape shop, 170 Broadway, Methuen. Methuen Police Chief Joseph E. Solomon said the shooting was not a random act and believed to be specifically related to a prior incident at the store. Jimenez’ arrest follows the arrest of 24-year-old Remy Salazar, also of Lawrence, who is accused of firing the shot that killed accused of killing Frias.

Haverhill’s Historic Debt and Pension Liability Top Council Agenda

Haverhill’s long-term debt of more than $78 million, and what to do about it, is one focus of Tuesday’s City Council meeting. Mayor James J. Fiorentini is expected to address the public about the lingering effects of the failure of the city-owned Hale Hospital almost 20 years ago. In his request to speak to councilors, the mayor called the liability “the largest municipal debt in the history of The Commonwealth.”

According to figures released last summer, the city still owes $4.5 million on deficits related to the hospital. The remaining debt is related to school construction, water and sewer costs and other borrowing. Fiorentini said he specifically wants to discuss “continuing state aid.” Over the years, former state Rep. Brian S. Dempsey delivered $22 million in additional state aid to help pay down the hospital debt.

Haverhill Woman Kicks, Punches Officer During Booking for Assault Arrest

A Lancaster Street woman originally arrested for alleged assault racked up a slew of additional charges after police say she kicked and punched the officer trying to take her into custody. Haverhill Police Officer Caitlin Brady was dispatched to 30 Lancaster St. last week for a report that Lisa Ricker allegedly assaulted another person and destroyed property shortly after 8 p.m. Thursday. During the booking process at the Bailey Boulevard police station, 56-year-old Ricker allegedly kicked and punched Officer Brady, spokesman Capt. Robert Pistone told WHAV. Brady was not injured and was able to get Ricker under control.

Fiorentini on Education Reform: ‘Haverhill Has Shown What Can Happen With Additional Funding’

Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini joined mayors from across Commonwealth Friday to implore the Joint Committee on Education to reconsider a decades’ old funding formula that puts certain cities and districts at a disadvantage. Joining Fiorentini for the hearing were Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and Lawrence Mayor Daniel Rivera, among others, who spoke to the committee that included Haverhill’s state Rep. Andy Vargas, through the lens of their respective districts. Fiorentini was quick to acknowledge Haverhill’s school success—but reasoned more must be done. “Haverhill, Massachusetts has shown what can happen with some of the additional funding that is proposed here today and I’m proud to be here to support this bill,” he said. In his remarks, Fiorentini used the Tilton Elementary School turnaround grant as an example of how an underachieving population can end up with some of the highest MCAS score improvements statewide.

Haverhill High Cross-Country Coach Maguire Named to State Track Hall of Fame

Haverhill High School cross-country coach Michael Maguire marks his 30th year leading brown and gold athletes this month, but that’s not the only impressive milestone he’s celebrating. The longtime sports leader and HHS teacher was recently named to the Massachusetts State Track Coaches Association’s Hall of Fame. One of three eastern Massachusetts coaches inducted this year, Maguire is in good company: His own track coach and mentor, Haverhill sports legend John “Coach O” Ottaviani, received the same honor in 1985. Telling WHAV he’s “honored and humbled” by the recognition from the group of 600 of his track coach peers, Maguire calls the honor a testament to those he’s worked with over the years. “It’s a credit to all of the wonderful student athletes I’ve had the privilege to work with.

Premier Martial Arts’ Godin Hopes to Raise $20K for Fifth Boston Marathon Charity Run

For his fifth Boston Marathon run next month, Haverhill’s KC Godin is running for a friend who can’t: Haverhill High senior Ryan Clough. Linked up with Clough through the Credit Unions Kids at Heart charity, Godin—the owner of Premier Martial Arts—hopes to raise $20,000 to assist his Children’s Hospital “patient partner” Clough, he tells WHAV. During practice runs along Bradford’s Route 125 and each Saturday with the 200-member Boston Hospital Marathon team, Godin keeps Clough, who suffers with cerebral palsy, top of mind. He also uses the time to live the mantras he teaches to karate students. “It’s a good chance for me to walk my talk.

Fiorentini to Petition for Increased School Funding Friday at Statehouse

Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini is taking his plea for increased school funding to Beacon Hill Friday, testifying at the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Education hearing, his office tells WHAV. He plans to address the committee in an 11:30 a.m. panel discussion alongside Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and other urban city leaders to push for money for public schools. “Gateway cities like Haverhill don’t have the tax base and have more needs than more affluent communities,” Fiorentini told WHAV in a statement Thursday. “The only way to close the achievement gap between the rich and the poor is to give more resources to cities. Right now, that achievement gap is increasing, not decreasing, and it is critical that we start addressing these inequities.”

Friday’s legislative hearing considers a reform to the 25-year-old education funding formula that would earmark additional money for school districts like Haverhill with large enrollments of low-income and special education students.

City to Soon Accept Bids for Haverhill Stadium Name Change

Merrimack Valley emergency medical service provider Trinity EMS has seen the company’s name in lights at Haverhill’s Lincoln Avenue stadium, and later this spring, the city is giving other businesses or individuals a chance to do the same. As part of an open request for proposal (RFP) process, the seven-member Haverhill Stadium Commission plans to consider applications for naming rights, Commission Chairman and Haverhill High School Director of Athletics Thomas O’Brien tells WHAV. “Trinity has been an outstanding partner for the last eight years and we hope they can continue, but at the same time, we will be considering other bids if they’re out there,” O’Brien said. Trinity acquired naming rights in 2013 for $200,000, entering into an initial three-year contract that was extended for another five years. As O’Brien explains, the opportunity is a big one for those looking for presence in the City of Haverhill.