Martin Luther King breakfast Monday

The city's contract with Trinity Ambulance service expired in early January but the mayor signed a 30-day extension with the company while he looks at options. He said he wants to sign again with Trinity, as everyone tells him the company is doing a great job. He spoke with the acting fire chief about the city starting its own ambulance service, but thinks the costs are prohibitive: It would also require more firefighters to be hired. The mayor did not seek bids from other companies because he is not required to under state law, and no other companies have inquired. A new ambulance service is now in Trinity's original location on Hale Street: PrideSTAR EMS Inc.

According to city firefighters, next week for the first time in the history of the Haverhill Fire Department, there may not be a training officer. Firefighters say there were three training officers at one time | a lieutenant, a captain and a deputy, and they served as safety officers at fires. Budget cuts brought that down to just one, but soon there won't be any, leaving what they describe as unsafe working conditions. They say when firefighters are injured in the line of duty, the cause is often lack of training.

Keep an eye open for a new convenience store on Salem Street in Bradford, where a neighborhood store closed recently.

One of Haverhill's most historic buildings is for sale. The former church at Winter and Franklin streets is where the famous Haverhill Petition of 1842 was signed and sent to Congress, opposing slavery. (The building was also the site of the start of the pasta business that just built a huge new home on Hale Street.)

Lack of funding will prevent the presentation of the annual mock automobile accident before the senior prom at Haverhill High this year, but there will be one at Whittier Vo-Tech to help prevent any post-prom accidents.

A sharp-eyed birder reports there is a peregrine falcon flying in the Monument Square area, moving between the First Baptist and First Congregational churches.

Word is that a Haverhill-based Catholic deacon will be leaving soon to enter a seminary and pursue full priesthood.

It might not surprise you to know the Rev. Norman Crook, formerly of the White Church in Bradford and First Congregational in Boxford, and his wife, Josette, have been traveling around the county. For 10 months a year over the last 15 years they have been taking part in dog shows everywhere. (He is also a former Haverhill Gazette reporter.)

Show pity for the plight of the Alzheimer's patient from Peabody who was driving the family car aimlessly and spotted by Groveland police early the other morning. He drove into Haverhill, where he was finally stopped and arrangements were made with Trinity Ambulance to get him back to his home. His wife couldn't come for him because he had the family car.

Lost and found department: A nice set of keys for doors and an automobile was found near The Gazette office on Merrimack Street the other day. They were dropped off in the office.

The value of early use of sand and salt on roads was proven in the past two snow storms in Haverhill | cars actually slid backward down steep streets, like High and Bethany streets, because of the slippery slopes.

Just after he was sworn into office, City Councilor Kenneth Quimby Jr. said his priority will be public safety. He said the city needs more police and firefighters, but he will not vote to raise taxes because he is all about the working people. He also wants to find ways to bring more businesses to the city.

The annual Dr. Martin Luther King breakfast is Monday at 7:30 a.m. at DiBurro's. All are invited to celebrate the legacy of King, and hear keynote speaker John T. Turner, Boston area development director for the United Negro College Fund. Tickets are $30 and can be purchased by calling the Merrimack Valley Branch of the NAACP at 978-975-5177.

Deval Patrick's Haverhill campaign for governor began in the home of attorney Damon Thomas more than two years ago. Thomas is a local expert on civil rights law and has donated hundreds of hours to the National Lawyers Guild, a legal association dedicated to providing free legal advice to those who cannot afford an attorney. Thomas is thinking about running for office.

Roz McKeon, credited with organizing Patrick's win in Haverhill, accomplished her feat with the help of Thomas. Observers say McKeon would surely be one of the many local activists jumping in on the Thomas candidacy along with the Gazette columnist Michael Veves, a longtime friend of both McKeon and Thomas.

Congresswoman Niki Tsongas returned from Iraq and Afghanistan yesterday. She went as part of a bipartisan Congressional delegation, to meet with deployed servicemen and women to make sure troops have what they need. The delegation also met with military commanders and national leaders in Iraq and Afghanistan to get informed.

A call over the police scanner last week reported a horse lose and running down a city street. When the dispatcher asked the police officer for the description of the horse, the officer replied, "Negative. A horse ... four legs."

Patrons of Mark's Deli say the name Fred Flintstone has been assigned to one of the city's elected officials, but which one?

Fourth-graders at Aviston Elementary School in southern Illinois are learning about their country, environments, climates, resources and highlights of each region. They would love postcards, souvenirs, resources or any information for each of the 50 states. The address is 4th Grade @ Aviston Elementary, 350 South Hull St., Aviston, Ill. 62216

A new business moving into 2 Essex St. may be new but it's somewhat the same. Taste of Bangkok will replace Mandarin Buffet. Owner Dave Burton received approval for a new sign over the door from the Washington Street Historic District Commission.

Everyone in the School Department central office was off between Christmas and New Year's Day, so School Committee member Kerry Fitzgerald filled in at the reception desk. Fitzgerald is now president of the School Committee.

Rep. Brian S. Dempsey announced that the Haverhill Council on Aging is getting a $61,731 grant to employ a principal account clerk, a coordinator of volunteers, and to provide transportation for clients.

The Haverhill High School Building Committee voted unanimously to accept $5.4 million from the state to finish the high school renovations. The state will pay 70 percent of the cost and Haverhill the remaining 30 percent. The mayor said the city will do all it can to procure its portion of the money.

Annamay Crimmin sent The Lamplighter an old post card addressed to a Miss Hayes at the Gazette office, but unfortunately no one could find Miss Hayes. Perhaps that is because the card was originally mailed in 1919. It was a picture of the "Old Stone Church" on the Isles of Shoals. Sorry we couldn't use it for the Thanks for the Memories photo, but it was still interesting.

Latitudes Travel and Tours will be showcased at the 17th annual Boston Wine Expo on Feb. 9 and 10. The Haverhill business is on Fourteenth Avenue.

Bethany Homes created a fundraising calendar for 2008 called Celebrating the 90s, and all residents 90 or older have a photo featured for the month of their birthday. Prizes will be raffled throughout the year, so each calendar comes with a raffle ticket. Calendars are $9 and can be purchased at or by calling Darlene Sutton at 978-374-2165.

The rate of workplace-related nonfatal injuries and illnesses in Massachusetts dropped by more than 7 percent from 2005 to 2006, and the number of workplace-related fatalities dropped by more than 13 percent, according to the state Division of Occupational Safety.

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