ANDOVER — Fire Chief Michael Mansfield is warning residents to disregard any calls from individuals claiming to be soliciting donations on behalf of the Andover Fire Department.

On Friday, a resident reported receiving a phone call from an unknown person seeking donations on behalf of the Andover Fire Department, citing the natural gas disaster in the Merrimack Valley.

Andover public safety officials are not soliciting monetary donations of any kind, according to a press release.

"It's shameful that someone would attempt to capitalize on this incident for their personal gain," Mansfield said. "Residents should know that any person claiming to be collecting donations on our behalf is a criminal, and that they should ignore any such solicitations."

Andover has established a single point of contact for all offers of support and donations. Email regarding any donations or offers of support.

Chamber celebrates women in business

SALEM, N.H. — Join the Merrimack Valley Chamber of Commerce in celebrating women in business with a wine tasting networking reception next week.

The Chamber will host the reception from 5 to 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 24, at Tuscan Kitchen, 67 Main St., Salem, New Hampshire.

Enjoy networking, food, wine and raffle prizes while being inspired by women who have succeeded in business.

This event is complimentary for members and non-members. For more information, visit

Grant Information Night planned for Wednesday

HAVERHILL — The Haverhill Cultural Council will hold a Grant Information Night at 7 p.m. on Wednesday at the Citizens Center, 10 Welcome St.

Those wishing to learn how to apply for a grant or who would like to find out more about the application process are encouraged to attend.

Council members and past recipients will be available to answer questions. Light refreshments will be served.

For more information, contact Alison-Colby Campbell, council chair, at 978-374-4500, ext. 31, or email

Grief Support Group for LGBTQ individuals

HAVERHILL — Merrimack Valley Hospice is offering a support group specific to LGBTQ individuals who are grieving the loss of a loved one.

The group is scheduled to meet Wednesday, Sept. 19, and will continue on the first and third Wednesday of each month until Dec.19 at High Pointe House, the hospice and palliative care residence of Merrimack Valley Hospice located at 360 North Ave. in Haverhill.

The group will be co-facilitated by trained bereavement volunteers.

For more information and to register call 978-552-4510.

Speaker gives talk on the Batann Death March

HAVERHILL — Award-winning speaker Patricia Vaillancourt will present the talk, "The Naked Truth about the Bataan Death March and Japanese POWs," at 1 p.m.,  Wednesday, Sept. 19, at the Citizens Center, 10 Welcome St.

This presentation offers lessons, anecdotes, and stories of great courage and sacrifice. The audience will view a photo journal with many original documents, including letters from dignitaries and President Harry S Truman. The presentation aims to provide perspective into the only surrender in American history from the men who lived it.

Contact Kathy or Rita at 978-374-2390 to register.

Planning Commission to meet

HAVERHILL — The Merrimack Valley Planning Commission will meet at 7 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 20, at the MVPC Office, 160 Main St. The agenda includes updates of the commission’s activities and is available on the MVPC website,

Wet Paint Auction planned at Whittier Birthplace

HAVERHILL — Some of the area’s most talented artists will bring their palettes and brushes to the John Greenleaf Whittier Birthplace on Oct. 13, where they will create artwork throughout the day in support of the 2018 Whittier Wet Paint Auction. This event is rain or shine and will be held at 5 p.m. at the birthplace, 305 Whittier Road.

Artists, volunteers and guests will take part in a social hour before guest auctioneer Jay Cleary presides over a live auction of freshly painted artwork.

All proceeds will help support the Whittier Homestead and Museum.

Admission is $40 and tickets can be purchased at

Dubus to speak at NECC Fundraiser

HAVERHILL — Just in time for the release of his first book in a decade, author Andre Dubus III will be the guest speaker at the Women of NECC membership tea at noon, Wednesday, Oct. 24, in Northern Essex Community College’s Hartleb Technology Center on the Haverhill campus, 100 Elliott St.

The Newbury resident will discuss his newest novel, “Gone So Long,” which explores how the wounds of the past afflict the people we become and probes the limits of recovery and absolution, according to its publishers.

Dubus' presentation will be followed by a question-and-answer session, along with a book signing. This event is open to the public.

More information about Dubus can be found at his website,

Funds raised from this event will be used toward student scholarships and special projects funded by the Women of NECC. Since its inception, the volunteer organization has raised more than $518,000 – providing $330,000 in scholarships.

Tickets to this event are $50 each. To reserve tickets or tables, call Lori Smerdon at 978-556-3789.


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