HAVERHILL — The city is advocating for smart water practices by offering discounted rain barrels through the Great American Rain Barrel Company.

"We are encouraging residents to use rain barrels because they help the city manage its water resources by reducing runoff, lowering municipal water demands, saving energy at treatment plants, and improving residential storm management," said Gunther Wellenstein, solid waste manager for Haverhill.

"Rain barrels provide homeowners with a supplemental water supply during periods of drought,'' he said. "Homeowners who use rain barrels have decreased their water bills by up to 40%. It's a win-win for the town and the homeowner."

Visit www.greatamericanrainbarrel.com/community and select your town. Barrels are $69 each and the deadline to place your order is April 11 at midnight.

Barrels can be picked up on Saturday, April 17, from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Haverhill Recycling Center, 95 Downing Ave. The recycling center is part of the city's public works complex at 500 Primrose St.

NECC announces fall semester plans

Northern Essex Community College in Haverhill and Lawrence will expand its course options in the fall, offering more opportunities for virtual and in-person interactions between students and their professors.

Students will have four types of courses to choose from: online without required online meetings; online with required online meetings; hybrid courses combining in-person socially-distanced classroom meetings with online work; and on campus, socially-distanced, in-person courses.

In the fall of 2020 and spring of 2021, Northern Essex offered 90% of courses online without required online meetings and 10% face-to-face.

In early April when students begin registering for fall 2021 classes, the class schedule will include an icon showing how the course will be delivered. That will give students the opportunity to choose their preferred way of participating in classes.

Lane Glenn, Northern Essex president, said the college is committed to bringing back face-to-face courses, and will consider expanding these options as it becomes safe to do so.

Also new in the fall, returning students will be able to register themselves, using the one-click navigation tool available through Navigate, the college’s student app. In the past, most students were required to meet with an academic advisor and fill out a paper form to register for courses, a process which could create long lines on the day of registration.

For more information, visit www.necc.mass.edu or contact admissions at admissions@necc.mass.edu.

Business Expo, Health and Wellness Fair planned

LAWRENCE — The Merrimack Valley Chamber of Commerce will hold a virtual Spring Business Expo, Health and Wellness Fair on Wednesday, April 7, from 1 to 3 p.m.

Registration is free to people interested in learning about area businesses that will be participating in this event.

For business participants and sponsorship opportunities, and for attendee registration, visit https://merrimackvalleychamber.com and click on the link to "Events."

Blood supply running low

Officials with the American Red Cross say the blood supply continues to face challenges from the pandemic and extreme winter weather that has impacted much of the country.

More donors, especially those with type O blood, are needed now to ensure that patients have lifesaving blood products available for emergencies and everyday medical treatments.

March is Red Cross Month, and the Red Cross is celebrating blood, platelet and plasma donors for stepping up to meet the constant need for blood amid the pandemic. All who come to give blood until March 26 will receive an exclusive Red Cross T-shirt, while supplies last.

To find a blood drive, visit www.redcrossblood.org/give.html/find-drive and enter your zip code. Check the site regularly for updates on where drives are being held. You can also download the Red Cross Blood Donor App at www.redcrossblood.org/blood-donor-app.html, by calling 1-800-733-2767 or by enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.


Pentucket Bank welcomes new board members

HAVERHILL — Pentucket Bank welcomed two community leaders to its Board of Directors and Trustees at its129th annual meeting on March 11.

Michelle Lavigne, a corporator of Pentucket Bank since 2019, owns several Servpro franchises, including in Haverhill where their headquarters are located. Lavigne officially joined the Servpro team, her family’s business, in 2006 where she worked for her father and fellow Pentucket Bank Corporator Dave Hart as marketing and office manager before purchasing the business with her husband, Patrick, in 2013.

Lavigne is a member of the Exchange Club of Haverhill and serves on the board as treasurer. She is also an active supporter of many local organizations, including the Liz Murphy Open Hand Food Pantry, Sacred Hearts School, the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Haverhill and various youth sports programs. She lives in Haverhill with her husband and their two children.

Daniel Norris became a bank corporator in 2011. He practices corporate law and is a director in the McLane Middleton Law firm in Manchester, New Hampshire, and in Woburn. His areas of focus include mergers and acquisition, and corporate business law.

Norris is a member of the Central Catholic Board of Directors and the Salem, New Hampshire, Chamber of Commerce. He has served on the Salem Boys & Girls Club Board of Directors, where he is past president. He lives in Salem, New Hampshire, with his wife, Lori, and their three children.

More information is available at www.pentucketbank.com.


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