In The News

The latest news articles:

July 7, 2017

Lawmakers OK $40.2B spending package
BOSTON — Following weeks of closed-door negotiations, the state Legislature passed a $40.2 billion budget Friday that bumps up local aid for cities and towns and schools without raising sales or income taxes.

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July 8, 2017

Longtime school employee honored as 'Unsung Heroine'
METHUEN — Colleen McCarthy started working for Methuen Public Schools while she was still a student there, doing clerical work after hours.

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July 5, 2017

PMA Entrance Facelift Begins
The Presentation of Mary Academy welcome mat is about to get a much-needed makeover.

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July 2017

July Valley Patriot
Pg. 6 – “Great Energy and a Packed Hearing for Civics Education”

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July 2, 2017

Changes in policies may ease group home runaway problem
HAVERHILL — Policy changes have been made for three group homes in the city struggling with runaway residents that are sapping police resources.

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June 30, 2017

Lawmakers revisit ban on drivers' hand-held phones

BOSTON -- Lawmakers are revisiting a perennial proposal to ban the use of cellphones and other hand-held electronic devices by motorists, but sticking points have emerged over how much motorists should be fined for violations.

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June 18, 2017

Lawmakers cite need for better civics lessons

BOSTON -- Kids aren’t learning enough about their government, say lawmakers and education advocates who want to update a decades-old social studies curriculum and make passing civics a graduation requirement.

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June 16, 2017

Methuen zoning change heads to state

METHUEN — A proposed zoning change that would aid development in the city's downtown is moving on to the state, though without the inclusion of the Quinn Public Safety Building.

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June 13, 2017

WOULD CIVICS REQUIREMENT PROMPT MORE YOUNG PEOPLE TO VOTE?

By Katie Lannan

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE

STATE HOUSE, BOSTON, JUNE 13, 2017.....A state representative pushing to make civics projects a graduation requirement for Massachusetts students on Tuesday pointed to municipal election statistics from her district to make her point.

Rep. Linda Dean Campbell, a Methuen Democrat, said during the city of Haverhill's last municipal election, approximately 11,000 people between the ages of 18 and 24 were registered to vote, but only about 750 cast ballots.

She said lawmakers must "do all that we can to increase civic participation" and pitched civics education as one potential way to do so.

"Our public education system was developed to prepare us for citizenship, and we in the Legislature I think have done a good job at increasing access to voting," she said. "The educational component...that can convince the younger generation why to vote is partially included in this bill."

Campbell's bill (H 2016) is one of 17 dealing with civics curriculum that the committee accepted testimony on Tuesday.

The state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education and Board of Higher Education last year voted to revise their definitions of college and career readiness to include a section on "civic readiness," calling for "a deep understanding and knowledge of U.S. history and its foundational documents, along with the knowledge, intellectual skills, and applied competencies that citizens need for informed and effective participation in civic and democratic life."

Education officials are also reviewing the state's curriculum framework for history and social science, with plans to propose a revised set of standards in June 2018. Campbell said this work makes the issue "very timely" and said she hopes the committee will consider a "comprehensive approach" to civics education.

Other civics bills the committee is considering include a Rep. Jonathan Zlotnik bill (H 333) that would incorporate curriculum on personal finances, civics and "basic legal concepts" into high school social studies programs; a Rep. Shawn Dooley bill (H 237) that would establish passing a civics test as a graduation requirement; and a Sen. Eric Lesser bill (S 278) that would create a voluntary pilot program and test on news media literacy, "with the ultimate goal of requiring news media literacy be taught in all schools across the commonwealth."

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June 13, 2017

Residents Back Measure to Require Civics in Public Schools

About 40 people expressed interest Monday night in a bill to encourage public school students to better understand how government works and encourage greater voter turnout, among other aims.

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June 6, 2017

Noise improvements promised for train station neighbors.

HAVERHILL — Commuter rail officials will bring in newer, cleaner burning locomotive engines and change the procedures for morning start-ups after neighbors complained the MBTA has not done enough to reduce noise, vibrations and fumes they say continue to plague their part of the city.

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May 30, 2017

METHUEN — Normally, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker can tower over just about anyone in the room.

But the notoriously tall governor brought it down to the kids' level during a story time at Nevins Memorial Library on Tuesday morning, sitting cross-legged on the floor and reading animatedly from a copy of “The Three Little Pigs” to the group of youngsters arrayed around him...

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May 30, 2017

In the Merrimack Valley and across the nation, Monday was a day of marching bands and honor guards, rifle salutes and cannon blasts.

It was a day as American as the Fourth of July, except that when the parades and the speeches ended, the honor guards played "Amazing Grace" and taps.

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May 18, 2017

"I was proud to co-sponsor State Senator Kathleen O'Connor Ives' legislation that would finally close the loophole that allows individuals to claim parental rights for children born as a result of the rape they committed. There is strong bipartisan support for this measure in the legislature because it is simply wrong when the law compels a woman to have to make custody decisions about her child with her rapist and attacker."

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May 15, 2017

TIM JEAN/Staff photo Methuen State Rep. Linda Dean Campbell presents the Purple Heart Award to Alex Le during Methuen High School's JROTC annual Pass in Review event in the Larry Klimas Memorial Field House...

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May 9, 2017

Chapter 90 Funding

The Massachusetts House passed legislation providing $200 million in funding for future repairs to municipal roads and bridges, also known as Chapter 90 funding. It includes 1.18 million dollars for Methuen. Cumulatively the legislature has allocated 1 billion in bond funding over the past 5 years while still ensuring that we fall under the bond cap to remain fiscally responsible. Additionally, funding is being dispersed allocated last year for municipal bridges in need of repair that are not eligible for federal funding. This program is unique in the U.S.

April 6, 2017

Statewide Disability Abuse Registry

I proposed legislation which would create a state Disability Abuse Registry. This registry would contain information of those who have been reported for abuse in caring for the disabled. This bill, Nicky's Law, is named after a client who was abused by a caretaker who went on to obtain similar employment. Nicky's Law will not prevent all abuse cases from happening, but it will be helpful in reducing incidents of abuse.

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March 16, 2017

Civic Education Bill

I have filed legislation to provide more opportunities for our youth to learn about how government affects their lives and their futures! This legislation brings civic education back to the forefront. It provides a flexible requirement for civics education for all high school students in Massachusetts that both works from the best research we have about ways to get young people engaged while providing flexibility for school districts to meet their own specific needs. Supportive comments from the Superintendents of Methuen and Haverhill outlined the need in the Tribune article below.

<a class="button" title="Read More" href="http://www.eagletribune.com/news/merrimack_valley/campbell-s-bill-would-boost-civics-education/article_d0679e7b-e9c2-5c68-b93a-ce87ffb63d7d.html" target="_blank">Read More</a>

March 30, 2017

Painkillers certainly aren’t to blame for all opioid addictions, but the doctor’s office is a starting place for enough people who struggle with drug abuse that state and health officials in Massachusetts are now closely monitoring prescriptions and advocating for alternatives....

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February 5, 2017

BOSTON — A raft of proposals to limit the cultivation, sale and use of marijuana is infuriating pot advocates who say lawmakers are trying to eviscerate key provisions of a voter-approved law.

Among more than three dozen bills pending in the Legislature are proposals to cut in half the number of marijuana plants that can be grown on someone’s property from a dozen to six and impose a two-year ban on edible marijuana products.

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November 8, 2016

Thank you Methuen and Haverhill !!

I am truly humbled by your support. I will continue to work for real change that addresses the challenges faced by many working families throughout our Commonwealth.
Please continue to make your views known to me as I continue to work with my colleagues in State, Local, and Federal Government to make our communities stronger, safer and more unified. We are all in this together – we all need to be part of genuine solutions to our challenges. We all have skin in the game!

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September 11, 2016
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Post 9/11, we're still trying to balance freedom, security
BOSTON — Hundreds of millions of dollars have gone to state and local governments since the Sept. 11 attacks to prevent and prepare for acts of terrorism and other disasters.

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July 28, 2016
This past weekend the House of Representatives began consideration of overriding some of Governor Baker’s vetoes for the FY 17 budget. In considering these overrides, we took into account reduced revenue estimates and considered items that are essential to maintaining our safety nets and maintaining effective government operations. Some of these include: mental health services, drug courts, DA offices, early voting for the November election, assistance for the disabled, grants for economic development, and elder services.

These overrides did not add to our budget, but restored cuts that the Governor made to our budget. We will return this weekend as well to consider some additional overrides and to hopefully finalize some major pieces of legislation including an economic development bill, a comprehensive energy bill, and a bill to regulate ride sharing companies such as Uber and Lyft. Please do not hesitate to give us a call on budget matters or legislation that is important to you!

July 11, 2016
BOSTON — More than 1,300 small bridges owned by communities — spanning culverts, creeks and rivers — need repairs but don't qualify for federal money.

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July 11, 2016
METHUEN — Walking around the Children's Department at Nevins Memorial Library, Kathy Moran-Wallace can't keep the smile off her face, whether she's talking about reading programs or pointing out various activities set up for the kids.

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July 6, 2016
Kindergarten money cut to balance budget

“The House of Representatives voted for full funding of these grants and I hope that moving forward that they can be restored.”

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June 29, 2016
Methuen awarded $812K in CDBG funds
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“This needed grant will contribute substantially to neighborhood revitalization, public safety, housing and needed services for our seniors"

METHUEN — The city is set to receive roughly $812,000 in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds to put toward projects and programs to benefit low- to moderate-income residents.

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May 26, 2016
My thoughts and prayers go to the families of those killed and injured and those who witnessed the tragedy in Orlando. We need to grieve, to pray, and to remember the family and friends of those killed and injured, as well as those who witnessed this horrific act of hate...
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June 10, 2016
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After many delays, boat ramp at Bea's site opens
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May 26, 2016
Legislators, Baker clash over funding for climatologist
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May 25, 2016
Open records law set for reform
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May 25, 2016
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Today at the Statehouse we recognized many acts of bravery performed by our State Police, acts of courage that are not publicized. We also honored the memory of Auburn State Police Officer Ron Tarentino Jr.

My thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Auburn Police Officer Ron Tarentino Jr.
What I believe is important to remember about Officer Tarentino Jr. is that the fatal moment he approached Jorge Zambrano’s 1997 Infiniti this past Sunday was not unlike other moments that he or the other brave policemen and policewomen who serve and protect our Commonwealth face every day. Many questions remain as to how this situation developed. These questions will take time to answer.
For now, we should honor Officer Tarentino Jr. and his family and never forget his service to us. I do believe that this moment of profound sadness provides the opportunity to focus on the many police officers who are never recognized, who throw themselves into harm’s way daily because of their commitment to their community and their country.

May 9, 2016
Campbell Budget Amendment for additional mental health services for High School students covered by Tribune
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April 26, 2016
Gas Pipeline Tariffs Face Growing Opposition
Strong bipartisan opposition to the unprecedented step of having rate payers pay directly for the cost of a new pipeline. I want to thank Minority Leader Brad Jones- R and Vice Chairman Representative Steve Kulik for their leadership on this issue.
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April 20, 2016
Thank you and congratulations to the Methuen Rail Trail Alliance, the City of Methuen and Ground Work Lawrence!

As your State Rep, I could not ask for a better team when I go to my colleagues in the Legislature and to the Governor and advocate for funding for the Methuen Rail Trail. Whether it be funding in the State budget, or the $1.65 million grant recently appropriated by the Baker Administration – the catalyst has always been the long term dedication of Methuen's citizens who understand how this can enhance the quality of our lives and bring economic development to our downtown. To Timothy Vermette and members of the Methuen Rail Trail Alliance – Thank you – and keep up the great work! Tim and his team are always looking for new volunteers to keep our trail clean and welcoming. Below is recent coverage of the state grant to pave and beautify our rail trail, recent press, and my comments at the grant announcement.
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Here are my comments from yesterday:

"Mr. Secretary thank you for coming to the Merrimack Valley today, and I want to thank you and Governor Baker for recognizing how important these grants are to our quality of life here and our economic development.

In the chaos in which we live, natural public spaces are no longer desirable, they are necessary for all us to be able to briefly disconnect from daily noise. Some cannot travel miles to experience the peace and serenity that nature provides – so we must do our best to make space where we live and work.
Taken together, these grants do just that. I am particularly thankful for the connection that the Methuen Rail trail will provide to trails north and south – and beyond our border.

It is a place where we can walk, run and bike free from the noise and danger of cars.
It will pass by the MSPCA and through the beauty of the Spiket River bird sanctuary which houses extensive wildlife. It will indeed become part of the Spiket River Greenway in a most magnificent way.

Finally, I would be remiss in not thanking Groundwork Lawrence our local Mayors and local government leaders, and the hundreds of volunteers who spur us to action.
Government has worked here – and worked well. "

April 21, 2016
Kinder Morgan has suspended plans for it’s North East Energy Direct pipeline. As many of you know, this pipeline was set to have many detrimental impacts on our communities in the Merrimack Valley.

In the final analysis, Kinder Morgan could not quantify the need for additional capacity, or convince state leaders and the public that there was in fact such a need.
In Methuen, safety concerns were paramount. This pipeline is very dangerously close to homes, (within a few yards in some cases) and it transverses neighborhoods and driveways and through many wetlands. Residents have legitimate concerns regarding investments in mature landscaping that will be removed by this expansion, particularly, mature trees that add considerably to their property value.

I am so grateful for the tremendous commitment and advocacy from members of the community, Attorney General Maura Healey, State Senator Kathleen O'Connor Ives, Senator Barbara L'Italien, Representative Gary, the group Methuen Pipeline Awareness, and Methuen’s Jean Theberge, who made a major personal commitment of time and energy to research the facts regarding this proposed expansion.

We still are unsure of what the final result will be of this announcement, but it demonstrates how much we can accomplish when we work together for the right cause.
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Integrity | Leadership | Results