Recycling and compost yard closed until further notice
HAVERHILL — The city's recycling and compost yard at 500 Primrose St. will be closed effective March 24 and until further notice. The city will post one of its new electronic sign boards indicating this, plus other information.
As the yard is visited by hundreds of residents each week, public notice of the closure would be important. The city's website will be updated to reflect the closure.
When to be screened for COVID-19
HAVERHILL — Holy Family Hospital posted information about being screened for the coronavirus.
To be screened for COVID-19 at Holy Family Hospital, patients must have a lab order from their doctor and must have symptoms of COVID-19. If you believe you have the virus of that you've been exposed to the virus and it is not a medical emergency, consult with your doctor.
YWCA Tribute to Women postponed
LAWRENCE — The YWCA Northeastern Massachusetts has postponed its 37th annual Tribute to Women scheduled for May 14. The YWCA is actively seeking to reschedule and announce a new date in the future.
Massachusetts RMV opens eight locations with new protocols
The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) announced that eight of its 30 customer service center locations are open as of March 19, including the office in Lawrence.
These locations will be open until further notice: Boston/Haymarket, Brockton, Fall River, Lawrence, Pittsfield, Plymouth, Springfield and Worcester.
Hearings will be conducted at Boston/Haymarket, Brockton, Fall River, Lawrence, Springfield and Worcester.
Customers who do not have immediate needs for required in-person services are asked to delay their visits. These RMV locations will prioritize only transactions that cannot be completed online, over the phone or by mail. Customers are also asked to not bring multiple individuals with them. Meanwhile, AAA locations will continue to offer select RMV services to AAA members and road tests will be suspended indefinitely.
Customers visiting the open centers will be issued tickets on a first-come, first-served basis with priority given to those customers with transactions that cannot be completed online. Limited tickets will be issued based on capacity and number of customers that can be served realistically through the course of the day. Any remaining customers will be asked to leave and return another day.
Commercial license renewals extended
The Registry of Motor Vehicles announced on March 20 that it is implementing a 60-day extension to Commercial Driver’s Licenses (CDLs) and Commercial Learner’s Permits (CLPs) expired or expiring in March and April, and that the Service Centers in Milford and Wilmington are reopened to exclusively perform commercial license/permit transactions.
These initiatives recognize the importance of commercial vehicle drivers to the supply chain during the State of Emergency declaration, and will continue to prioritize reducing customer volumes in physical locations.
All commercial licenses or permits with an expiration date between March 1 and April 30 will have the 60-day extension applied to that customer’s credential.
In addition, in an effort to help customers maintain proper social distancing, as of March 20, the annual motor vehicle safety and emissions inspection expiration dates are being extended.
All non-commercial vehicle inspection stickers that expire on April 30 (designated by a number 4 on the inspection sticker) must be inspected by June 30
All motorcycle inspection stickers originally set to expire on May 31 must be inspected by June 30.
The RMV is also extending the time during which newly registered vehicles must be inspected, which is typically within 7 days of the date of registration.
COVID-19 scam warning
BOSTON — U.S. Attorney Andrew E. Lelling has issued a stern warning regarding scams and other crimes related to the COVID-19 outbreak.
"As our communities take extraordinary measures to confront the coronavirus outbreak, some may view this as an opportunity to prey on the public’s fears and anxieties," he said.
The Department of Justice is now focused on cybercrime, sale of counterfeit goods, treatment scams and other healthcare and investment scams arising from the pandemic, Lelling said.
"My office will aggressively prosecute anyone engaged in this kind of activity," he said.
Massachusetts residents who believe they are victims of fraud or other criminal activity related to the pandemic should contact the United States Attorney’s Office at USAMA.email@example.com or call 1-888-221-6023 and leave a message. Members of the public can also contact the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) by visiting www.IC3.gov. If you or someone you know are in immediate danger, please call 911.
City-wide Reading Challenge in effect
HAVERHILL — Haverhill Promise, the Campaign for Grade Level Reading has launched a City-Wide Reading Challenge for Haverhill students to help encourage daily reading during the COVID-19 learning disruption.
Students in Pre-K through grade 12 who attend any school or preschool program in Haverhill are encouraged to begin tracking their daily reading time and posting about their reading on social media.
It is recommended that students read aloud for at least 20 minutes each day during long breaks from school to keep learning and sharpening their reading skills. Economically disadvantaged students are especially at risk for losing valuable progress in their reading achievement when school is not in session.
Parents and caregivers can help students track daily reading time and send in their students’ progress at the end of each week for a chance to win gift cards to Market Basket, Barnes and Noble, and local restaurants. To participate, visit haverhillpromise.com/reading-challenge and join the City-Wide Reading Challenge event page on Facebook.
Participants can increase their chances of winning a prize by following Haverhill Promise on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and posting photos and videos of their students reading using #HaverhillReads2020, #HaverhillReads, and #HaverhillPromise. The challenge will continue for as long as the schools remain closed.
Families in need of books should email Haverhill Promise at firstname.lastname@example.org and a representative will work with the family to determine a quick solution.
Walk for Hunger on May 3 canceled
Project Bread’s 52nd annual Walk for Hunger, originally scheduled for May 3, has been canceled.
Many Merrimack Valley food pantries depend on the Walk; many Merrimack Valley residents participate to live their faith.
Baseball registrations are by mail only
HAVERHILL — Haverhill Senior Baseball has cancelled its in-person registrations and will only accept registration by mail.
Download an application at haverhillseniorbaseball.com and send it to the P.O. Box listed on the application.
Openings are limited. The spring season is open to players ages 13 through 15 who live in Haverhill, southern New Hampshire or surrounding areas.
For more information, contact Larry O’Brien at 978-373-6982 or Dan Francescone at 978-807-5068.
City works to eliminate online transaction fee
HAVERHILL — Mayor James Fiorentini said he is working with several vendors who provide online payment services for transactions such as paying water bills, excise tax and permit fees to eliminate the 3% fee that is currently charged.
“We encourage people to pay online and we want to make it as easy as possible for people without having to pay the transaction fee,” he said.
In the meantime, the mayor is asking residents to conduct City Hall business online, and not come to City Hall without first making an appointment by calling 311.
“There is nothing you can do in City Hall that you can’t do online,” he said.
Pizza with a Purpose
Salvatore's Restaurant in Andover is joining the #pizzawithapurpose movement by slashing prices and adding new menu items for delivery to keep people employed and able to earn a decent wage.
The price reductions and menu re-positioning is intended to provide high-quality food for a dramatically reduced price that can support struggling families sustain themselves while encouraging others to place orders to keep employees going and tips and wages flowing.
"The economic impact of the pandemic is disastrous," said Sal Lupoli, CEO and founder of the Lupoli Companies. "My singular focus has been to keep my employees working safely to support their families while offering sustenance to our thousands of neighbors who are struggling through this crisis. We have also partnered with Merrimack Valley Elder Services, local first responders and hsspitals to help them forge ahead."
As this pandemic continues, if any member of the community is in need or organizations would like to take advantage of Salvatore’s Restaurant opportunities, please contact Kevin Branco, the general manager of Salvatore’s in Andover at 978-409-2445.
Senior shopping, revised operating hours
HAVERHILL — To help make sure older adults, who are among the most vulnerable to the rapidly spreading and potentially deadly virus, can get what they need while still limiting contact with others, Market Baskets around the region are offering senior-citizen-only shopping from 5:30 to 7 a.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.
These hours are open to people 60 and older.
Effective March 23, all Market Baskets have new operating hours. The general public can shop from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Sunday.
For updates, visit online at shopmarketbasket.com.
Hannaford Supermarkets support local food banks
Hannaford Supermarkets announced its commitment to donate $250,000 to support area food banks that are experiencing increasing and unprecedented demand during the widening of the COVID-19 global pandemic. The money will be distributed to food banks in Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Vermont and New York.
Additionally, Hannaford is kicking off a register and store kiosk donation program that will make it easy for customers to donate toward hunger relief. Customers can donate to their community’s local food bank at the register with a $5 or $10 donation or with a cash donation at a kiosk located at the front of the store.
For more information, visit online at hannaford.com.
Hannafords dedicates shopping hours for high-risk customers
Hannaford Supermarkets announced that effective March 24, all of its stores will offer dedicated shopping hours for people age 60 and older, as well as those with compromised immune systems.
Stores will open early from 6 a.m. to 7 a.m. on Tuesday through Thursday to service this vulnerable population and allow a less crowded shopping environment, which enables better social distancing.
In addition, Hannaford is shortening its general store-operating hours in order to provide for additional time to clean, stock shelves and give associates additional time to rest. The new daily hours are 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Although associates will not be requesting ID for entry, Hannaford urges the community to respect the intention for the early opening.
Hannaford Supermarkets, based in Scarborough, Maine, operates 182 stores in the northeast. Stores are located in Maine, New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont. Hannaford employs more than 26,000 associates. Visit online at Hannaford.com.
Amtrak Downeaster schedule changes
The Amtrak Downeaster has announced that through Friday, March 27, southbound trains 680 and 682 and northbound trains 681 and 685 will be in operation. All other Downeaster trains will be suspended.
Some station buildings (including Brunswick, Freeport, Saco, and Wells) may be closed to the public, but Downeaster trains will continue to stop at the platform.
Make reservations ahead of time online at Amtrak.com or by calling 1-800-USA-RAIL.
Enhanced cleaning protocols have been implemented on trains and at Downeaster stations. For more information about measures being taken by Amtrak, visit media.amtrak.com.
Ruth’s House temporary closure
HAVERHILL — Ruth’s House has temporarily closed its thrift shop in Lafayette Square to protect workers and customers, but Ruth’s House is still open online, where service remains uninterrupted.
You can continue to support Ruth’s House online at ruthsthriftshop.com, on its Facebook page, or send a check to: The Thrift Shop at Ruth’s House, 111 Lafayette Square, Haverhill, MA 01832.
School donates medical supplies
HAVERHILL — Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School recently donated medical supplies to the Greater Lawrence Family Health Center in light of the evolving novel coronavirus (COVID-19) situation.
"Medical professionals need masks, gloves and gowns to protect themselves and their patients from this virus, and fortunately we had some of those supplies in our facility and were able to donate to support the work the Greater Lawrence Family Health Center is doing for our community," Whittier Superintendent Maureen Lynch said. "It's important, as our communities address this evolving public health issue, that we all do what we can to help."
Whittier is closed until at least April 7, and while the school was closed last week, administrators and educators collected various items to donate to the center. On March 23, the school donated 1,300 masks, more than 200 isolation gowns, more than 1,000 gloves and approximately 100 safety glasses to the organization.
The supplies came from the school's medical assisting, health assisting, dental assisting, auto body/collision repair, masonry, carpentry and science programs.
Bradford Christian Academy supporting online learning
HAVERHILL — Amid the disruptions wrought by the coronavirus, Bradford Christian Academy's Upper School has emerged as the standard of stability and excellence in education, school officials said.
Led by BCA president and head of school Vicki Kennedy and dean of Upper School Loren Stevens, teachers and staff worked to establish online learning literally in a matter of days. BCA was ready when schools across the commonwealth were closed.
Classes continue unabated online. Teachers conduct class, and students interact with them and one another in their virtual classrooms. Even instrumental music classes and lessons have continued online.
Parochial schools now closed until April 7
All Archdiocese of Boston parish schools and archdiocesan elementary and high schools are following the governor's orders and closed until April 7.
Parents of children in Catholic schools such as Sacred Hearts in Bradford are asked to visit the following website for information and links to a variety of educational resources: smore.com/r69a5-the-digital-classroom.
iHub shifts events to online
HAVERHILL — UMass Lowell's Innovation Hub (iHub) at Harbor Place has shifted many of its partner events online and has also added new webinars and other resources for businesses.
For a list of some of the upcoming online events for you to stay connected, visit uml.edu/Innovation-Hub/News-Events.