HAVERHILL/LAWRENCE — The Merrimack Valley Regional Transit Authority will go fare-free for all local fixed route and EZ Trans paratransit services starting on March 1 for at least a two-year pilot program. Fares will still be collected on the Boston Commuter Bus.

MVRTA officials said this pilot program is an expansion of the city of Lawrence-funded initiative that has covered fares on three local routes in Lawrence since September 2019. The MVRTA will be using federal CARES Act and ARPA money for this pilot program. Officials expect that going fare free will attract new riders, increase patronage of local businesses, offer economic relief to individuals and families who rely on bus service, and connect people to jobs and other economic opportunities.

UMass Lowell campus closed Friday

HAVERHILL — The UMass Lowell campus, including the Haverhill campus at Harbor Place, will be closed Friday, Feb. 25, due to the snowstorm. All on-campus courses, business operations and transportation services will be canceled. Graduate Online and Professional Studies (GPS) classes will continue as scheduled. Parking is permitted only in designated areas. Essential personnel are to report as directed.

Take a virtual tour of Rome on Sunday

ANDOVER — Congregation Beth Israel of the Merrimack Valley will host a program via Zoom featuring Micaela Pavoncello Sunday, Feb. 27, starting at 11 a.m.

To receive the Zoom link contact Amy Sherr at 978-474-0540 or email amy@bethisraelmv.org.

Pavoncello will take her audience on a personal stroll through Jewish Rome. Her Roman Jewish family traces its origins back 2,000 years.

Visit online at www.BethIsraelMV.org.

Methuen Democrats to convene March 5

METHUEN — Methuen Democrats will convene virtually Saturday, March 5, at 9 a.m. and in person at Methuen City Hall, Searles Building, 41 Pleasant St., second floor, to elect 25 delegates and five alternates to represent Methuen at the 2022 State Democratic Convention.

This caucus will follow public health guidance and attendees may participate remotely by registering at https://tinyurl.com/mepx9j8.

Registered and pre-registered Democrats in Methuen age 16 or older may vote and be elected as delegates or alternates during the caucus. Youth (age 16 to 35), people with disabilities, people of color, and members of the LGBTQ+ community not elected as delegates or alternates are encouraged to apply to be add-on delegates at the caucus or by visiting massdems.org/convention.

The 2022 Convention will be a hybrid convention, with in-person proceedings taking place alongside virtual participation options on June 3 and 4 at the DCU Center in Worcester. Delegates will convene to endorse candidates for statewide office ahead of the September Democratic Primary. The MassDems are closely monitoring changes in public health guidance and will update plans accordingly.

For more information contact Chairwoman Lisa Yarid Ferry at lisa4methuen@gmail.com or Vice-Chair Jim McCarty at jim4methuen@gmail.com.

What’s your possible dream?

HAVERHILL — Team Haverhill is accepting ideas for its annual community visioning event titled “Possible Dreams 2022: Small Steps – Big Impact.” No idea is too big or too small to spark a discussion, build energy or become a reality, organizers said.

This year’s Possible Dreams, which will be a virtual event, is set for Monday, March 14, at 7 p.m. via Zoom. Public registration is now open.

To share and submit your ideas, visit https://bit.ly/PD_22_Ideas.

Support group focus is meal preparation

LAWRENCE — Recognizing the deep connection between food and mourning, Merrimack Valley Hospice is offering “Cooking and Eating for One” classes among its free, virtual support groups that meet via Zoom.

The series of three interactive workshops is offered on Mondays from 5:30 to 7 p.m. and will teach healthy recipes using minimal ingredients: Asian-inspired lo mein on March 7; Mediterranean-inspired chicken with mushrooms on April 4, and Mexican-inspired veggie chili on May 2. Register for one, two or all three sessions.

Merrimack Valley Hospice’s support groups for adults, children, spouses/partners and individuals in the LGBTQ+ community who are grieving a death are free of charge and open to the public. To register and learn more, call 978-552-4510 or visit www.MerrimackValleyHospice.org.

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