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McCleary named Re-1J dist. supt. PDF Print E-mail
Written by Brenda Johnson Brandt   

John McCleary, 43, has been selected as the next superintendent of Holyoke School District Re-1J, beginning July 1.

A two-year contract was approved at the March 3 school board meeting. McCleary’s first-year salary was set at $95,000, plus housing in the district house.

Board members noted they were impressed with the quality of the four finalists for the interview process Feb. 27-28. They were also pleased to have the information from the community through the comment cards from Friday’s meet and greet and from the second interview committee Saturday.

McCleary, who attended the Tuesday night board meeting, said he’s excited to serve the students’ needs and work with teachers and administrators in educating the kids in Holyoke.

McCleary will be moving here from Joes, where he has served as superintendent/principal for Liberty School District for the past three years.

He is a certified language arts/social studies teacher and taught for five years in Colorado. He has been in administrative positions in Crowley County, Pueblo, Cotopaxi and Liberty District since 2001.

McCleary’s family includes his wife Valorie, a school psychologist/administrator currently serving as principal at Arriba/Flagler. Children include Sylvia McCleary, 16, Tre Young, 7, and they are expecting a child in May.

Holyoke Enterprise March 5, 2015

Event Center becomes Casino Royale for MMHF fundraiser PDF Print E-mail
Written by Holyoke Enterprise   

Tuxedos, sleek dresses and a few clowns reminiscent of characters from the James Bond legacy filled the room for a stylish and thrilling evening at the Saturday, Feb. 28, Melissa Memorial Hospital Foundation Legacy Event.

Above, a lively bunch of attendees show their excitement during the dance in the later hours of Saturday’s event.

At left, Holyoke Pharmacy owners Jason Burke and Jamie Hanes hold the cards of Imperial Centennial Ag’s Willy O’Neil’s poker hand as O’Neil weighs his chances against the other five players’ hands during the highlighted final table poker challenge.

Casino activities, martinis and other features highlighted the “James Bond 007” themed fundraiser.

At left, Nate and Carrie Dodson are pictured portraying Bond film characters Jaws and Honey Rider.

Click here for a complete report of the record-breaking event.

—Enterprise photos

Holyoke Enterprise March 5, 2015
New program aims to support diabetics with healthy shopping PDF Print E-mail
Written by Isaac Kreider   

In conjunction with the comprehensive diabetes management program that Melissa Memorial Hospital has been offering the past several months, a new supportive shopper program was announced at the East Phillips County Hospital District board meeting Tuesday, Feb. 24.

Nurse practitioner Judy Weimer will be conducting the free program in which she will walk a group of participants through Holyoke Marketplace and discuss various dietary-related topics, such as shopping for healthy food choices, making healthy substitutions for specific dietary needs, correctly reading product labels, pitfalls to avoid and more.

“With diabetes having such a high prevalence in our community, it is something that needs continual attention,” said hospital administrator John Ayoub. “Providing people with opportunities for leading a healthy lifestyle is paramount, and we want to make sure we continue to offer useful applications. This will be in a real grocery store with real groceries.”

Currently, MMH plans to offer the supportive shopper program once per month unless it gets overwhelmed with interest, in which case more dates will be added.

The program is primarily for diabetics, but it is also open to family members and caregivers of diabetics. Sign-up is required and can be done by calling the clinic at 970-854-2500 to schedule the next available opportunity.


Mammogram scanning passes inspection

An FDA certification inspection was recently conducted for the MMH mammography equipment and scanning process. The hospital staff exceeded requirements set for the inspection with zero deficiencies, according to Ayoub.

Without properly passing the necessary certifications, the hospital would not be able to conduct mammograms. Even slight deficiencies can force a hospital to stop conducting scans. Fortunately MMH’s personnel and equipment are fully up to par, and the hospital will continue to offer this important service.


New grant proposal submitted

A new trauma and EMS grant proposal was recently submitted by human resources director Sharon Greenman. This grant aims to acquire funding for a new cardiac monitor and various other important purchases of materials regularly used by the MMH staff. Most of the items the hospital put in for in the grant are capital budget-approved purchases.


Board views Banner Health presentation

­ A presentation from Jim Ferando, president of the western region of Banner Health, was given to the board Tuesday. Ferando covered what the company offers and some of the programs and projects it currently has in place. He also discussed how the industry continues to change at a fast rate.

“I’ve been doing this since I was 21 years old,” Ferando said, alluding to several decades working in health care administration. “And I’ve never seen health care change so rapidly as it has in the last three years. More change like this will continue in the coming future.”

MMH purchases some materials and services from Banner Health but is not affiliated with it otherwise.


Health fair approaching

Holyoke’s annual health fair is set for Saturday, March 21, at the Phillips County Event Center.

Blood draws at SunSet View began March 2 and run through March 13. MMH is offering scholarships for those who qualify to help pay for the cost of the blood draw. Sign-up and scholarship information can be obtained by contacting the hospital.


Gift sworn in as new board member

Newly appointed hospital board member Sheila Gift was sworn in at Tuesday’s meeting. She fills the board vacancy that has been open since Harlan Stern resigned in October.

Gift will fulfill Stern’s term, which expires in May 2016, at which time she will be eligible to run for another term if she chooses.


Other business

In other business Tuesday, the board:

—was informed that the new ambulance was put into service Saturday, Feb. 21, and had already been utlitized on a couple of emergency calls.

—noted CNA Jill Bishop is the February employee of the month.

—held two executive sessions for a total of 63 minutes. The first was for contract negotiation, and the second was for a personnel matter.

Holyoke Enterprise March 5, 2015

Local RadioShack closing announced PDF Print E-mail
Written by Brenda Johnson Brandt   

After RadioShack Corporate filed bankruptcy recently, PC Telcom announced to its employees last Friday, Feb. 27, the plan to close the company’s local RadioShack franchise around May 1.

An inventory liquidation sale was set to begin Wednesday, March 4, at the store located on the north side of 240 S. Interocean Ave.

RadioShack Corporation filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, with corporate stores up for auction next month. This action has a trickling effect on all stores, including PC Telcom’s RadioShack franchise.

Availability of inventory and support has deteriorated, leading PC Telcom to last week’s decision to close the local RadioShack franchise.

It is PC Telcom’s intent to keep a reduced level of inventory available, including routers, batteries, telephones and more, according to local RadioShack manager Jessica Cumming. The inventory will no longer be RadioShack affiliated.

Holyoke Enterprise March 5, 2015

Compressor site is cause of noise, odor complaint PDF Print E-mail
Written by Darci Tomky   

Complaints of noise and odor from a new compressor site on the south side of the county have been reported to Phillips County commissioners, they said at their Feb. 27 meeting.

At the same time, commissioners have received a recommendation from the Phillips County Board of Adjustments for approval of a conditional use permit for Omimex Petroleum’s Smokey Hill Compressor.

Commissioner Joe Kinnie said the process was backward, since the compressor site was already built before the company applied for the conditional use permit.

“It gives us the upper hand,” said Kinnie, because if the commissioners find excessive noise and odor at the site, they won’t approve the application, and legal issues could follow.

After discussion, commissioners postponed their decision so they could have an opportunity to visit the site. They are scheduled to observe the Smokey Hill Compressor site Tuesday, March 10, so they can make an informed decision.


Feasibility study continues for industrial park

The feasibility of an industrial park at CHS Grainland’s train loading facility northeast of Holyoke is being considered in an ongoing study.

Commissioners, along with representatives from the City of Holyoke and Phillips County Economic Development Corporation, met to review the study prepared by University of Colorado graduate student Kevin McCarthy through the Colorado Center for Community Development Program.

Commissioners also heard from Louis Harmon during a phone conference. He prepared an engineer’s estimate on utilities for the industrial park.

Representatives from CHS Grainland were unable to attend.

The industrial park is still in the preliminary stages, said Kinnie. The committee will meet again during the commissioners’ regular meeting March 10.


County’s assessed value is adjusted

Phillips County Assessor Doug Kamery reported that property was omitted from Phillips County’s 2014 assessed value. An addition of the Tallgrass Pipeline project adds $785,840 of additional assessed value to the county for 2014, collected in tax revenue for 2015.

The previously reported assessed value was $77,496,957. With the addition, it totals $78,282,797.

In February, the board held a public hearing on the county’s proposed supplemental budget for 2014, and commissioners adopted the supplemental budget as proposed.

Six budget areas had unanticipated expenses that needed to be covered. Commissioners approved the 2014 appropriation for the general fund to be increased by $26,989 to $2,975,536.

They also approved that the 2014 appropriation for the county fair fund be increased $11,850 to $63,000 for expenditures of the fair. The county fair fund also received $5,993 more in income than originally anticipated.

In addition, commissioners reported the 2014 annual highway users’ mileage report shows Phillips County maintains a total of 1,022 miles of road. The county receives funding from the state for this maintenance.


Right-to-farm regulations considered

Last month, commissioners attended a planning commission meeting where right-to-farm regulations were discussed and recommended by the commission.

Commissioners explained the proposed right-to-farm regulations mean adjacent property owners and the general public can’t complain or file suits against the noise, dust, etc. caused by standard farming operations.

A public hearing will be set to discuss the matter further.


Projection rental fees set

Phillips County has set a $150 rental fee per use for one projector/screen pair at the Event Center.

The county recently purchased two front/rear projectors and two 9-by-12-foot dual vision screens.

An additional $50 rental fee will be added for curtains around the screen.

The fees will be reviewed after the equipment has been in use for several months.

Additionally, commissioners approved two large purchases.

Servers at Phillips County Courthouse will be replaced with three servers, totaling $28,257. County Administrator Randy Schafer said the county has been experiencing problems with their servers in the last few weeks and are close to losing data. They want to get the new servers in place as soon as possible.

Due to poor sound quality at the Phillips County Fairgrounds grandstands, a new sound system has been approved. It will be purchased from Scholl Oil & Transportation for $22,795.

Covering both the arena and grandstands, the cost of the new system includes installation, microphones, speakers, amplifiers, mixers, etc.


Other business

In the month of February, commissioners:

—met with Josh Sonnenberg, the local representative for newly elected U.S. Rep. Ken Buck.

—approved the $8,850 purchase of a disc for District 1 for construction purposes.

—approved the purchase of a microfiche reader printer for $7,565 for Phillips County Clerk and Recorder Beth Zilla.

—hosted a public forum Feb. 19 for input on a proposed Great Outdoors Colorado grant for picnic shelters and a splash pad at Homesteaders Park.

—appointed David Bickford as the Phillips County representative on the Northeast Colorado Broadband Committee. Last month, commissioners reported Vince Kropp was the appointee, but since he is employed at PC Telcom, that was seen as a conflict of interest.

—appointed Bruce Mahnke to the county communications board.

—approved an agreement with the Red Cross that Phillips County Event Center can be used in a disaster situation.

—approved the 2015 Wildfire Annual Operating Plan, which was submitted by the county’s emergency manager, Bob Heldenbrand. Commissioners also approved an annual contract for Heldenbrand to serve as the county emergency manager in 2015.

—approved the hiring of Jordon Fleharty of Haxtun as a full-time dispatcher at the communications center. He replaces Tammey Evans.

Holyoke Enterprise March 5, 2015