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Top news stories and events of 2009 reviewed PDF Print E-mail
Written by Holyoke Enterprise   

Jan. 1

Shelly Larson steps down as Melissa Memorial Hospital’s CFO. Jim Rush of Oregon is hired to act as interim CFO.

Jan. 8

Christopher Matthew Hansen, son of J.J. and Samantha Hansen of Lamar, Neb., is born at MMH on Saturday, Jan. 3, claiming Holyoke’s “First Baby of the Year” honors for 2009.

Yearly weather report depicts 2008 as a year with higher highs, more precipitation and a lower low than what was seen in 2007.

Memories of the Depression years are shared by residents of Regent Park and Carriage House.

HJHS Student Council members dedicate a new tile Dragon sign in the junior high Commons Area on Jan. 6.

Jan. 15

City of Holyoke employees receive wage increases for 2009 to compensate for a heightened cost of living.

Holyoke and Amherst Volunteer Fire Depts. are summoned on Jan. 6 to a fire that burned hundreds of acres west of Imperial, Neb.

History of Amherst community is featured on KOGA Radio Station in its monthly Midwest Opinions: My Town segment. Speakers during the segment include Ken Oltjenbruns, Neil Hassler and Elton Oltjenbruns.

New welcome committee is formed at Regent Park and Carriage House.

Elisa Sagehorn recalls her travels through China in November as a state FFA officer.

Holyoke’s Ricardo Goytia Avitia and Aydaly Juarez are parents of Wray’s “First Baby of the Year,” Ricardo Yadiel Goytia-Juarez Jr., born Jan. 2.

Jan. 22

Pastor Kurt Hatteberg is installed at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Amherst and Venango, Neb.

Dustin Wieland earns his Eagle Scout rank at a Court of Honor held Jan. 18.

Remodeling of Phillips County Communications Center is complete after a year of renovations, and an open house is scheduled to commemorate the event. The remodeling included upgrading and installing new equipment in the dispatch area.

HHS junior Duncan Brandt is recognized as the District IV winner of the annual Voice of Democracy contest.

Maddie Starkebaum and Dylan Bradley are recognized on Jan. 16 for being HHS’s selections for Wendy’s High School Heisman awards.

Jan. 29

Dr. Stephen Bohrer resigns from his position as superintendent of Holyoke School District Re-1J.

Junior Megan Colglazier and HHS graduate Laura Mailander attend the Presidential Inauguration of Barack Obama in Washington, D.C. and share their stories with the Enterprise.

International speaker and abortion survivor Gianna Jessen speaks to a crowd of 400 at The Caring Pregnancy Resource Center of Northeast Colorado’s Holyoke fund raising banquet.

Second Thoughts, a new second-hand consignment store located inside J’s Home Furnishings, is opened by Barb Kreider and her daughter Summer Maloney.

Brittney Ferguson, a rehab patient at Craig Hospital in Englewood after being in a serious car accident in Laramie, Wyo. in September, turns 20. Holyoke Chamber of Commerce sponsors a benefit raffle for the Ferguson family.

Feb. 5

Four babies are born at MMH during the month of January, reports administrator John Ayoub.

Phillips County and Melissa Memorial Hospital Foundation are honored for the second straight year by NECALG for making the highest total contributions through the Northeastern Colorado Enterprise Zone.

Holyoke FCCLA chapter members Mallory Bennett and Taylor Haidle are elected district president and secretary, respectively, at the district meeting in Sterling Jan. 28.

Feb. 12

Kameron Knight, owner of S&W Auto, is named Star of the Year by local Chamber of Commerce. Others recognized include Ryan Baumgartner, Youth of the Year; Steve Young, Citizen of the Year; Tammy Kroeger, Employee of the Year; and Holyoke Marketplace, Business of the Year.

Feb. 26

Holyoke City Council announces Pelstar Development will not be building a Pamida store in Holyoke.

Chad Stroh becomes the first Holyoke Dragon wrestler ever to win two state wrestling championships after taking gold in the 125-lb. 2A division at the Pepsi Center in Denver on Feb. 21. Other medalists include Mark Edmonds, third; Skyler Dittmer, third; Luke Garrett, fourth; and Brian Strong, sixth.

CSU Extension agent Bonnie Sherman retires from Phillips County office.

March 5

Grainland Coop introduces its new liquid fertilizer plant system.

State Rep. Jerry Sonnenberg discusses legislative sessions and economy at a town hall meeting at the Pizza p.a.d. on Feb. 26.

Hospital board prepares for new Colorado provider fee legislation by joining a secondary redistribution pool through Colorado Hospital Association.

Mike Munn retires from Grainland Coop after 17 years as an employee.

Boys’ varsity basketball team wins the district championship at Sterling. Girls are district runners-up. Both teams move on to the regional tournament.

March 12

Holyoke School Board looks at mill levy override and contracts wtih CASB to find a new supt.

American Legion Post #90 celebrates its 90th birthday.

Holyoke City Council hires Mike Smith Construction to build a new city garage to be located just east of the City of Holyoke offices.

In memory of their infant son Baby Ethan, Brett and Josie Murray and family donate fish aquarium to Family Practice of Holyoke.

Darci Tomky joins the staff at The Holyoke Enterprise.

Harlan Gohl retires after 38 years with John Deere.

Boys’ varsity basketball players are Region 2 champs after beating Limon by two points in overtime. They are seeded #1 for the state tournament. Girls end season with a loss to Limon at regionals.

Ten students are inducted into NHS: Duncan Brandt, Logan Krueger, Kyle Carper, Ryan Baumgartner, Chasity Pelle, Elise Nelson, Diana Baeza, Karla Cruz, Marissa Smith and Flor Varela.

March 19

CBS4 News reporter Suzanne McCarroll interviews Albert and Annie Bahler and Chip Scheunemann for a report on beating the recession, which airs on the program the following week.

HHS Dragon basketball boys are state runners-up following two wins and then a heartbreaking loss to Colorado Springs by three points in the championship game at Pueblo Saturday, March 14.

March 26

Holocaust survivor Benny Hochman speaks to Holyoke community members and JR/SR High students about his experiences in the concentration camps.

Six Holyoke basketball players are recognized by the LPAA. All-Conference designation honorees are Maddie Starkebaum, Austin Tharp and Kyle Carper. Others recognized as Honorable Mention include Ryan Baumgartner, Marissa Smith and Katie Hoffner.

Three HHS boys’ basketball players are selected for All-State honors: Austin Tharp, Kyle Carper and Ryan Baumgartner.

April 2

Local author Caryl Harvey self-publishes two novels, “The Gold Train Connection” and “Back to Reason.”

PCEDC presents collaboration awards to Engage Haxtun and the Holyoke and Haxtun Ambulance Services at its annual meeting March 30.

Nora Deaver opens Grandma’s New to You store in the front portion of Deaver Hardware.

Dennis and Joyce Weaver close the doors to their store, D&J Hardware.

Assembly of God church welcomes new pastor Max Hines.

Holyoke High School presents spring musical “My Fair Lady” at HHS auditorium, March 27-28.

Local chapter members of Thrivent earn a “Chapter of Excellence” award for their contributions to the community.

April 9

New Congresswoman Betsy Markey speaks to and takes questions from Holyoke JR/SR High students in an assembly on April 6.

Brittney Ferguson and family return home after nearly six months of living in hospitals because of injuries Brittney suffered in a Sept. 25, 2008 car accident in Laramie, Wyo.

29 out of 32 HHS FCCLA members claim gold medals at the state conference in Denver April 2-4.

April 16

Former Melissa Memorial Hospital building is purchased by “The Core Group,” comprised of Paul and Teresa Mailander, Dennis Oliver, Dorothy Ortner and Bonnie Patterson, with the intent of turning it into a center for the arts.

A strong showing of support is made at the April 17 Holyoke City Council for Police Chief Phil Biersdorfer, following widespread talk that the police chief will not be re-appointed.

Weston Finch, son of Zeke Finch and Robin Conklin, returns to Holyoke with his wife Aniela after serving several years in the military as an Army Ranger.

HHS junior Chad Stroh earns High School All-American status at the High School Wrestling Nationals in Virginia Beach, Va.

New Highway 385 signs are unveiled by the High Plains Highway Coalition.

HHS athletes recognized in the Denver Post’s Best of the Best winter sports salute include wrestler Chad Stroh and basketball players Austin Tharp, Kyle Carper and Maddie Starkebaum. Honorable Mention goes to wrestlers Skyler Dittmer, Mark Edmonds and Luke Garrett; and basketball players Ryan Baumgartner and Marissa Smith.

April 23

Total rainfall for April 15-18 is recorded at 3.03 inches.

Pastor Gordon Penfold of First Baptist Church in Holyoke shares his experiences in a recent trip to Russia by giving a slide show presentation at First Baptist Church.

April 30

Police Chief Phil Biersdorfer is re-appointed by a 4-3 vote of Holyoke City Council members at their April 21 meeting.

HHS graduate Heather (Huss) Bieber is hired as the new JR/SR High English teacher for the 2009-10 school year.

Elise Nelson is selected to be the FBLA State Secretary for 2009-10 during the FBLA State Conference in Vail, April 19-21.

Owners Francisco and Gabriela Caraveo open Holyoke Video Center at 126 S. Interocean.

Megan Colglazier and Taylor Haidle are crowned Queen and King of the 2009 HHS Prom Saturday, April 25.

May 7

Bret Miles is named superintendent of Holyoke School District Re-1J for 2009-10.

Local health and school officials brace for a possible swine flu outbreak.

Extension horticulturist Linda Langelo is the recipient of Phillips County Public Health’s Shining Star award.

HHS hosts district baseball tournament May 1-2. Dragons advance to regionals.

May 14

During its May 5 meeting, Holyoke School Board decides to hold off on its pursuit of a mill levy override election to increase property tax for school funding.

36 HHS seniors graduate. Dylan Bradley is honored as Class of 2009 valedictorian.

Phillips County Raceway track size is reduced from a half-mile to 3/8 mile track.

Holyoke’s Amanda Bennett is one of six recognized at May 8 commencement ceremony at the University of Colorado for having a 4.0 throughout her college years.

May 21

Juniors Kyle Carper and Marissa Smith earn double golds at the 2A State Track Meet in Lakewood, May 14-16. Carper wins long jump and triple jump, while Smith takes first in the 200 and 400 meter races.

Phillips County Rodeo Club hosts the Colorado Junior Rodeo Association event at the Fairgrounds May 16-17, drawing hundreds of young competitors.

Centennial Mental Health moves to its new location at 115 N. Campbell Ave.

Duncan Brandt and Austin Killin are medal winners in critical thinking at the 2009 NJC Math/Science Contest held April 16.

May 28

Sara Bohrer resigns her seat on Holyoke City Council at May 19 meeting. Police chief reports and code enforcement position are reviewed and evaluated due to recent complaints.

Retiring teachers Clark Ginapp and Jerry Williamson look back on their years at HHS.

David Bloemker of Greeley is offered a fifth-grade teaching contract for 2009-10 school year.

Star 92.3 broadcaster John Thayer leaves the local station after landing a job with College Fanz Sports Network.

June 4

Netting 3.5 inches of rain, Holyoke is hit by torrential rainfall Monday evening, June 1.

Roy Pfaltzgraff’s crew erects the first wind turbine in Holyoke at Paul Mailander’s home, east of town.

Holyoke Community Helpers gives grants to Vernon and Ferguson families in final stage of Penny Harvest project.

Thom and Julie Elliott are new STS exchange program representatives for the area.

June 11

Holyoke City Council sends a letter of intent to Colorado State Trails Grant committee to apply for funds for a walking path to be located on the south side of Johnson Street, from Highway 385 to Melissa Memorial Hospital.

Recent activities of Holyoke Volunteer Fire Dept. are recognized just in time for the annual Firemen’s Ball. Included is the hosting of the 2009 Firefighter 1 Training Academy.

First Party Receivables of Greeley is hired by hospital district to take over the self-pay billing at Family Practice of Holyoke.

Harvey and Doris McCune are Phillips County Fair grand marshalls for 2009.

Chris Lee joins The Holyoke Enterprise staff as a reporter.

June 18

Cooler temperatures and cloudy skies dominate the weather forecast in June, with total rainfall for the month recorded at 5.83 inches.

President/CEO Harlan Stern announces his retirement from Grainland Cooperative after a 40-year career in the cooperative system.

Local Jolly Dozen FCE Club hosts the State FCE Convention at the Peerless Theatre June 11-14. Viola Colglazier is recognized as a 60-year member of FCE.

HHS baseball players Austin Tharp and Logan Krueger are cited in the Denver Post’s Best of the Best listing. Also recognized in the track and field listings are tracksters Kyle Carper and Marissa Smith.

June 25

Destructive hail in Holyoke and Amherst area results in 27 percent loss of county wheat.

J.C. Peckham fills vacant city council seat.

Greg Was begins his role as CFO at Melissa Memorial Hospital.

SIDS claims the life of 4-month-old Tyler Waln, son of Beau and Angie Waln.

2009 Phillips County Fair Queen Aimee Kanode crowned Lady-in-Waiting Sarah Heermann, and Princess MaKenzie Long at Holyoke’s Dandelion Daze event.

July 2

Hospital board approves the submission of a business plan to meet a failed Housing and Urban Development requirement.

Commissioners approve an interim construction bridge loan to finance completion of the Phillips County Event Center.

Five Holyoke students take a tour of Italy and Greece.

July 9

Rick Unrein begins duties as President/CEO at Grainland Cooperative.

First Baptist Church welcomes Chad Rozelle as new assistant pastor.

Phillips County Commissioners approve a $40,000 energy impact grant to replace the courthouse heating system.

HHS FBLA members attend national conference in Anaheim, Calif.

July 16

New Supt. Bret Miles outlines his Superintendent’s Entry Plan as he becomes familiar with the school district.

City Council holds a planning meeting to look at expansion and improvement of the Holyoke Municipal Airport.

School board considers an audit for the past year’s random student drug testing. Kate Shoemaker is offered a fifth grade position at Holyoke Elementary School.

Andrea McCallum focuses on life’s blessing as she shares the story of her 4-year-old son Blye who was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy.

Wilbur Stickert begins as Phillips County’s Weed and Pest Dept. supervisor.

Star 92.3 announces Marc Maelzer is the new voice of the radio station.

Seven members of Holyoke’s Summer Swim Team earn season-end trophies: Emily Jelden, Brenna Sullivan, Keegan Shaw, Danielle Brandt, Tara Krueger, LeAnne McWilliams and Emily Krogmeier.

July 23

Cornfields on the Phillips-Yuma county line southeast of Holyoke take a beating from hail.

Phillips County Family Education Services and Holyoke Community Garden secure federal stimulus funds through Northeastern Colorado Association of Local Governments.

Postmaster Sandy Triplette retires from Holyoke Post Office.

Melissa Memorial Hospital welcomes Dr. Danielle McClellan to its staff.

HHS FCCLA members attend nationals in Nashville, Tenn.

PCTelcom relocates administrative offices to their new headquarters at 520 S. Interocean Ave.

July 30

Holyoke Elementary School Principal Jennifer Kral resigns.

Seaboard Foods employs several foreigners through work exchange program.

A total of eight combines come together to assist Rick Potter’s wheat harvest after he was injured in a farm accident.

Bank of the West welcomes Brian Gales as new bank president.

Aug. 6

Offenders steal computer equipment during a break-in at Phillips County landfill.

John Schneider retires from Bank of the West after nearly 33 years in banking.

Holyoke Housing Authority uses stimulus money for improvements at SunSet View.

Linda Statz shares her story about participating in the cash for clunkers rebate program.

Master Gardeners dedicate time to the community garden.

Velma Biddle will celebrate her 100th birthday Aug. 8. She is the first of three centenarians in Holyoke during 2009.

Aug. 13

Holyoke School District hires Kyle Stumpf for elementary principal position and Clark Ginapp for alternative school director position.

Uptains produce cheese, creams, butter and milk on their old-fashioned Homestead Farms.

A rural Holyoke resident comes in close contact with rabies after his dog is attacked by an unprovoked coyote.

College student Jackie Vasa studies in Toledo, Spain.

Phillips County actors come together to perform the comedy The Curious Savage.

In memory of Tim Gribben, The Rudy Award is established as an athletic scholarship for an HHS boy or girl who has the qualities of Gribben and/or Rudy, the 1974 Notre Dame football player.

Aug. 20

Seven new teachers begin school in Holyoke. They include Shelby Lingbloom, David Bloemker, Mandy Krause, Kate Shoemaker, Troy Mayfield, Carla Mayfield and Heather Bieber.

Cancer survivor Amy Kropp shares her story as the community prepares for Relay for Life.

Cheyenne Wood begins as a new massage therapist at Brandt Chiropractic.

Austin Vieselmeyer’s hog wins the Tri-State Royal in Goodland, Kan.

Holyoke’s skatepark receives a facelift in a volunteer painting project.

Aug. 27

Enrollment in Holyoke School District increases by 32 students in the first-day student count.

Phillips County raises over $38,000 for Relay for Life.

Holyoke school district staff engages in data-driven dialogue to evaluate CSAP results.

Jean Clayton takes her pottery collection to the Antique Roadshow.

Rod Ellis will receive a kidney transplant from his 1978 HHS classmate Clay Warren.

Joe Ruiz opens a vehicle detailing business.

Five Indonesians visit the Holyoke area to study agricultural operations.

Sept. 3

East Phillips County Hospital receives positive results from community satisfaction survey.

Severine Barras from Switzerland spends the year in Holyoke as a foreign exchange student.

2006 HHS graduate Kurtis Huss returns to Holyoke as a student teacher for 10th grade American History.

Phillips County Historical Society gathers family history for a third volume of “Those Were the Days” history book.

Sept. 10

Supt. Bret Miles presents to the school board the Colorado Department of Education’s new growth model for evaluating CSAP scores to chart the progress each school has made over time.

U.S. Senator for Colorado Michael Bennet makes stop near Paoli to speak with farmers and agriculture community leaders in the area.

Holyoke School District Re-1J School Board approves investment of scholarship moneys in the amount of $130,000.

Sarah Heermann earns State Champion honors in Western Horse Division of Level II for 16-18-year-olds at the Colorado State Fair in Pueblo.

Sept. 17

Twenty-one new American flags fly at Holyoke Cemetery Sept. 11. The project was the vision of the Millage family.

The Miles farm, owned by Lucille Miles, was recognized at the Colorado State Fair for being in the family for over 100 years.

Lance Murray, a member of Holyoke Volunteer Fire Dept., climbs the 55 stories of the Quest building in Denver to honor the firefighters who died in the collapse of the World Trade Center Sept. 11, 2001.

PC Telcom returns to its customer service office at 240 S. Interocean Ave.

Sept. 24

Holyoke School District Re-1J School Board moves forward with three recommendations for year two of the JR/SR High random drug testing program.

Tommy Thompson, Ron Thompson and Charlie Triplette attend Holyoke City Council meeting to discuss warnings received regarding junk vehicles on their property.

Albert Bahler celebrates his 100th birthday Sept. 18.

Rod Ellis recovers after a successful kidney transplant from his former classmate Clay Warren.

Melissa Memorial Hospital receives a portable water purification unit from Colorado Rural Health Center.

Oct. 1

H1N1 flu virus is detected in Phillips County, according to hospital officials and Northeast Colorado Health Department.

Flu committee is formed at East Phillips County Hospital District board meeting.

Brittney Ferguson continues to make progress one year after auto accident.

Oct. 8

First year member Taylor Hendrix gets enthusiastically involved in 4-H.

Phillips County commissioners report the county’s preliminary assessed value is $58,327,170, a $9.3 million increase from last year’s $48,975,446 due to high natural gas production income in 2008.

A new boiler is installed at the Phillips County Courthouse.

Oct. 15

Preliminary school enrollment is at 634, an increase of 26 from one year ago.

An audit of the random drug testing of Holyoke students in grades 7-12 involved in extra-curricular activities is completed. A committee will review the policy and introduce new procedures to meet recommendations.

First snow of the year brings about three inches.

A nationwide shortage of the flu vaccine is felt in Holyoke, and officials expect the vaccine to arrive soon.

My Little Angel Toy Drive is launched in Holyoke to pay tribute to the memory of children who are no longer living.

Crazy Prices Store opens at 136 N. Interocean Ave. offering hispanic products.

Oct. 22

The Enterprise takes a look back at the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918.

Serina Almeida, age 6, calls 911 after her mom fell and was unconscious.

Re-1J schools see nearly 20 percent of students absent due to the flu and other illnesses.

Harchelroad Motors building in Imperial, Neb. burns to the ground in a fire early Saturday morning, Oct. 17.

Oct. 29

Reports at the Re-1J school board meeting highlight the value of Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) testing for Holyoke students in grades 3-10.

Application for a grant for the first phase of a bike/pedestrian trail is put on hold by city council members.

Elisa Sagehorn receives the American FFA Degree at the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis, Ind.

Mark Whittaker spends time in Zambia, Africa volunteering at an orphanage.

Holyoke Police Dept. receives two brand new shields or body bunkers as part of the Northeast All Hazard Region Homeland Security Grant.

Nov. 5

Kim Killin, Kris Camblin and Jeff Tharp discuss thoughts and expectations for upcoming Re-1J School Board terms.

Phillips County Event Center nears completion. The first day for events is scheduled Saturday, Nov. 14.

Charlie Dressel doesn’t let his disease dystonia hold him back from volunteering at Camp Machasay.

Nov. 12

Holyoke School District Re-1J School Board reports Alternative High School will relocate within HHS by Nov. 30.

Angela Purdy receives Habitat for Humanity House in Berthoud.

Marissa Smith and Ryan Baumgartner are named finalists for the Wendy’s High School Heisman. Smith finishes as a top 10 female finalist.

Nov. 19

Late corn harvest is delayed yet again due to snow. Farmers expect harvest to continue into mid-December.

Elise Nelson serving one-year term as FBLA State Secretary.

Chad Stroh signs with University of Nebraska wrestling program.

HHS freshman Rachel Schneider selected to fly with idol Harrison Ford at Denver’s Centennial Airport.

Dec. 3

Eileen Rudder turns 100 and is Holyoke’s third centenarian of 2009.

My Little Angel Toy Drive gives back to community. Seven families pay tribute to memory of deceased children.

New state law changes rules pertaining to cell phones and vehicle operators. Minors are not allowed to use mobile devices while operating a vehilce.

Telephone scam hits Holyoke and swindles residents out of money.

Dec. 10

H1N1 vaccine becomes available to everyone, not just high risk and target groups anymore.

Pearl Harbor attack is remembered by community members 68 years later.

Dec. 17

Parade of Lights is canceled and Country Christmas is postponed due to snow and single digit temperatures.

Corn harvest nears completion and sugar beets harvested in northern Colorado are in high demand.

Six Holyoke Dragons claim gold medals at Larry Stroh Memorial Tournament.

Dec. 24

Brittney Ferguson spends Christmas at home nearly 15 months after her car crash in Laramie, Wyo.

Random Drug Testing policy changes are proposed by RDT committee at the Dec. 15 school board meeting.

Dragon’s Wagon Preschool relocates to Phillips County Event Center.

Kyle Carper receives honorable mention in the Denver Post’s All-State football selections.