A Consentino Middle School student will be charged with a felony because he wrote a "hit list" containing the names of fellow students. A memo e-mailed by Superintendent Raleigh Buchanan to School Committee members on April 11, said the boy is receiving psychological care and was suspended for the maximum 10 days allowed by school rules. Deputy police Chief Donald Thompson said the boy will be summonsed to court and charged with making threats to kill. This is the second such arrest in the last two weeks of a Haverhill student.
A pair of students were charged with a string of car breaks in the high school parking lot. Sgt. John Arahovites said Officer Shawn Scharneck was pulling into the lot at 137 Monument St. about 11:45 a.m. Thursday, April 10, when he heard a car alarm sounding and saw two people running behind the storage trailers parked at the rear of the lot. When he caught up to them they were out of breath and covered with mud. Security video showed the pair wearing the same clothing in the three other car breaks that have occurred during the past week. After an investigation, Scharneck arrested Mark Rutherford, 18, of 20 Mechanic St., and Randie Matthews, 18, of 473 Groveland St. They were both charged with four counts of breaking and entering in the daytime with intent to commit a felony and two counts of larceny under $250. Arahovites said the pair had been stealing iPods, cell phones and cash.
Vandals smashed two 5-by-7-foot windows in the rear of the Hunking Middle School. Custodian Mark Barnes called police at 9:39 a.m. Thursday, April 10, to report the damage. The windows are in the music room at the rear of the school. Police said it was reported that several people were in the rear of the building playing basketball and skateboarding early Wednesday night. Officer Larry Newman is investigating.
Much of the criminal case against former highway superintendent James Flaherty is built on agents' observations that city workers paved driveways for Flaherty's private company while on city time, investigators say. Flaherty's lawyer, Scott Gleason, said he acknowledges that city employees sometimes worked for Flaherty's company during the regular workday, but Flaherty told them to punch off the city time clock or use vacation time whenever they did so. Gleason said he will prove that by simply calling the workers to testify at trial. Flaherty, 65, and his son Kevin Flaherty, 36, a former supervisor for the Highway Department, were indicted by a grand jury in June 2007 on criminal charges related to defrauding the city to benefit their family businesses. James Flaherty retired last year after Mayor James Fiorentini threatened to fire him. The mayor fired Kevin Flaherty following a civil service hearing a few months later. The Flahertys' next court appearance is Wednesday in Salem Superior Court.
Union officials representing highway department workers in the Flaherty case say the workers put in for vacation time whenever they worked for the private paving company owned by their boss. If the workers' paper time sheets reflect they were paid for regular time or sick time while working private Flaherty jobs, James Flaherty or his son Kevin Flaherty must have falsified the information because the Flahertys controlled and maintained the time sheets, said James Fiori, the elected business agent for Teamsters Local 170, which represents the 10 highway workers.
The root of this year's $4.4 million school budget deficit can be traced to pay raises given to teachers and other school staff, said School Committee member Scott Wood Jr. The current three-year deal given to teachers in March 2005, which expires June 30, included pay raises of 9.5 percent over three years. The raises cost the city about $2.5 million. The contract was proposed by an outside mediator hired by both sides after they could not reach a deal. The teachers and School Committee are in preliminary talks on a new contract.
Boy Scouts leaders are debating whether to repair their aging headquarters across from Kenoza Lake or move. Officials with the Yankee Clipper Council, Boy Scouts of America, said they are taking a close look at all facilities, including the Haverhill office. The building is in an environmentally sensitive area across Route 110 from Haverhill's main reservoir, and next to wetlands that feed the lake.
In the fight against downtown litter, police said they are prepared to write $50 tickets to anyone they see tossing gum wrappers, cigarette butts and other trash on the ground in the city center. Cigarette receptacles and trash containers are on Merrimack Street sidewalks and city leaders are appealing to merchants to keep the areas in front of their businesses clean. If they fail to, the mayor said, he is considering an ordinance that will fine them.
Residents say the city's trash removal company is leaving barrels in the road where they can be hit by drivers. Councilor James Donahue said he has received complaints from residents of 10th Avenue about shoddy trash pickup from Capital Waste Service Inc. Donahue wants Council President Michael Hart to send the company a letter asking that workers use more care.
Filling an open city seat on the Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School board has once again sparked division on the Haverhill School Committee. A meeting Friday began with five School Committee members interviewing the last of three candidates and ended with committee members deadlocked and insulting each other, according to several members who attended the meeting. Applicants for the three-year, unpaid position are: Christopher Kelley, a former longtime teacher, trade instructor and administrator at the vocational school; Corrine Corso, a special projects manager for a private child-care training and referral agency with bachelor degrees in economics and American studies; and William McArthur Jr., a retired corporate real estate manager for John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Co., and former elected School Committee member in Bridgewater. The 14-member regional board is entrusted with overseeing an annual budget of about $18 million, of which about $8 million comes from Haverhill. There are about 1,300 students at the vocational school, compared with about 7,400 in the regular Haverhill district.
Veterans of Foreign Wars Lorraine Post 29 wants the city to waive the $5,000 fee usually charged when an organization digs open a street to connect to a city water line. The club needs the connection because it lost its liquor license Jan. 1 for failing to install state-required sprinkler systems. The club borrowed $75,000 to install a sprinkler system and upgrade its fire alarm and electrical system.
Thieves took $280 in cash, a digital camera, and an iPod mini during a break into a Jaffarian Road home. Officer Ronald Hilchey was sent to the home about 12:21 p.m. on April 13 and spoke to a man who said his former wife was away and he had come to the house so his daughter could pick up personal items. He said that is when the break was discovered. The daughter told police she noticed a rum bottle on her nightstand, $80 was missing from her purse, and that her digital camera and iPod mini were missing. Her brother told police $200 cash had been taken from his bedroom.
Vandals damaged a bathroom at Haverhill Stadium and tried to steal copper piping. Police were called to the stadium about 12:47 p.m. Sunday, April 13, where they saw the bathroom door open and the toilet inside smashed.
Tilton Elementary School students held their annual jump-a-thon on April 15 to help raise money for the American Heart Association. In the last 10 years the students have raised more than $90,000 for the fight against heart disease. This year, the students dedicated the event to their fellow schoolmate, fourth-grader Ryan Brunell, who underwent heart surgery when he was younger and faces more surgery when this school year ends.
Federal agents, state troopers and local officers captured prison convict Miguel Caraballo in his Lowell apartment on April 16. Caraballo, 36, was wanted in connection with a Haverhill home invasion in December in which a man was pistol whipped. Police broke down his apartment door at 5:15 a.m. and surprised him in bed, then made the arrest and took him to Haverhill District Court. He was arraigned on charges of home invasion, unlawful possession of a firearm and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. Caraballo also faces warrant charges of violating the conditions of federal probation from a prior conviction.
The weekend Battle of the Bands concerts at the Haverhill Elks Club on Summer Street have led to a battle between lodge officials and neighbors seeking peace and quiet. Alex Pegnato, 1 Bartlett Ave., appealed to the city for help last week after police said they could not do anything unless the city's noise ordinance was violated. The City Council told Elks manager Michael Thompson to keep the noise down and was asked to give Pegnato his cell phone number so he could contact him directly when the noise gets too loud.
Thomas Minichiello Jr., a prominent local businessman with a long record of political and community service in Haverhill and Groveland, has been charged with beating, restraining and attempting to rape a 27-year-old woman in a Marlborough hotel. Minichiello, 55, of Groveland, was arrested Sunday, April 14, and held without bail until his hearing on April 17 in Marlborough District Court, during which the judge released him on personal recognizance. Minichiello is charged with two counts of indecent assault and battery on a person 14 or older, assault with intent to rape, intimidating a witness, and assault and battery. The case was continued to May 15.
Police have arrested a 13-year-old boy who they said threatened another Hunking Middle School student with a knife and demanded money. Police said there have been past problems with the boy causing problems with other students. Deputy Chief Donald Thompson said the attack took place April 15 and it was reported by a school official. The boy borrowed the knife from another student. The boy who loaned the knife was suspended. The boy who used the knife was charged with armed robbery and unarmed robbery.
Kathleen Shaw, 49, of Newburyport wrote a letter to the mayor, Police Department and Animal Control Officer Michelle Hamel asking why the German shepherd that bit her, requiring her to get stitches on April 7, has not been removed from its owners. Shaw said she walked out of an apartment building at 552 Washington St. when an unleashed, large, black German shepherd ran from the grassy hill on the site of the Hill View Montessori Charter School and bit her on her left upper leg, her right leg at the knee, left wrist and right hand. Haverhill's dog control laws require all dogs to be leashed if they are off their property. The laws also calls for pit bulls to be muzzled. A change to dog control laws will be looked at.