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United in Orange and Bronco Proud! PDF Print E-mail
Written by Holyoke Enterprise   

Bronco spirit was contagious at Holyoke Elementary Friday, Feb. 5, as students of all ages competed for the honor of “best-dressed Bronco fan.”

Bronco lovers everywhere are still feeling the Bronco pride after the satisfaction of earning the championship title Sunday, Feb. 7. The Denver Broncos, considered the underdog by many, defeated the Carolina Panthers 24-10 at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif.

This is the third Super Bowl win in Broncos history and Peyton Manning’s 200th win as a starter on an NFL team — an NFL record in itself.

Click here to read more about what it was like to be there in person for the big win, according to HHS graduates Rod and Melodee (Lutz) Ellis who flew out for the event.

Excited second-graders shout “go Broncos!” from the lunch line Friday, Feb. 5, decked out in orange and blue. They are pictured from left, front row, Teagan Martin, Joel Estrada and Colby Weber; and back row, Rosalinda Turcios Espinal, Emma Gordon, Anessa Colglazier, Jassmin Montes and Esteban Rojas.

—Johnson Publications photo

Holyoke Enterprise February 11, 2016

Holyoke Chamber advocates community involvement PDF Print E-mail
Written by Brenda Johnson Brandt   

Touting involvement and support in the community, the Holyoke Chamber of Commerce held its 23rd Annual Gala Wednesday, Feb. 3, recognizing excellence from businesses, organizations and individuals that call Holyoke home.

Originally scheduled for Monday, Feb. 1, the Gala was postponed due to the snowstorm that hit the area. A solid turnout made the postponed event a priority at the Phillips County Event Center two days later.

Citing encouragement, friendliness, compassion, mercy, support, participation, integrity and more, awards were presented to businesses, youth, employees and citizens.

Holyoke Community Federal Credit Union was named Business of the Year. Their participation in community activities was emphasized, as well as their donation of the old Peerless Theatre to the community close to 20 years ago.

“He greets every single customer with a friendly greeting as he fills grocery bags and carries them out to their cars,” said the person nominating Eric Nickell of Holyoke Marketplace as Employee of the Year.

Youth of the Year honors went to HHS senior Jahir Gardea. “Through his compassion and the positive attitude he displays in everything he does, he has demonstrated a commitment to this community, his family and everyone who knows him,” said his nomination letter.

“They encourage us to be good to each other, to think of others, to honor ourselves, to read the Bible, to include others and to get along,” said four junior high youth who nominated the JH/HS Fellowship of Christian Athlete leaders as Citizens of the Year.

Ardie Besse has been a tremendous supporter of the community, as well as a volunteer for many years, leading to her selection as Citizen of the Years.

Also selected as Citizen of the Years was Joy Schafer, driven by the spiritual gift of mercy, who views her service as volunteer coordinator for two food programs in the county as a ministry.

The last award of the evening, Star of the Year, is the only one that was not announced in advance. The Holyoke Enterprise was indeed surprised and honored to be selected. “This business is definitely based on integrity and timeliness,” said the award letter.

Click here to read the award bios.

Tomky praised

“We let Mary Tomky retire, she trained her replacement, we held a celebration to thank her for her years as executive director, and then we called her back,” said Chamber president Gloria Bergner to acknowledge the dedication of the former executive director who thought she retired!

Tomky had a little more than a month of retirement, then came back in December to fill in while the Chamber searched again to fill the position.

Thanking the board for their kind words and thoughtfulness, Tomky did emphasize with a smile that they’re still looking for an executive director, the role she assumed 14 years ago.

Mary Tomky, temporarily back in the Chamber executive director role from retirement, addresses the Gala crowd.

—Johnson Publications photo

Players entertain

Promoting their upcoming show “Murd-Arrr!!! Pirates of the Salty Dog,” Phillips County Players, decked out in their pirate gear, provided entertainment at the Chamber Gala.

Their clever script combined their pirate-themed show with Chamber award winner references.

“Murd-Arrr!!! Pirates of the Salty Dog” performances are scheduled at the Peerless Theatre in late February.

Silent auction items lined the perimeter of the Gala banquet area and, as always, provided friendly competition for top bids.

Chamber board members emceed last week’s Gala, with Randy Schafer giving the invocation. R & B Catering prepared the dinner, with dessert by The P Pod, and Holyoke United Methodist Church youth group members handled serving.

Decorations for the evening were compliments of Kimberlee Bennett’s FUNtastic Designs, assisted by Laura Roth.

Seaboard Foods sponsored the awards, and CHS Grainland the door prizes of scrip for answering trivia questions throughout the evening.

Holyoke Enterprise February 11, 2016

Mayor plus 3 council positions open for election PDF Print E-mail
Written by Karen Ortner   

Eligible electors interested in running for mayor or one of three available city council member positions can pick up petition nomination forms at the clerk’s office, as announced at the Wednesday, Feb. 3, Holyoke City Council meeting.

The election will take place Tuesday, April 5. The positions currently held by John Schneider, Scott Murray and Kevin Scott in addition to Mayor Orville Tonsing are up for election for four-year terms.

Currently, Tonsing and Scott intend to run again, while Murray and Schneider are undecided. J.C. Peckham, Steve Moore and Brian Akey are still midway through their terms on the council.

Eligible candidates must be United States citizens, registered electors, residents of Holyoke for 12 consecutive months preceding the date of the election and at least 18 years of age by the election.

Nomination forms are due at the city clerk’s office by the close of business Friday, March 11.


Officials report

City Superintendent Mark Brown reported a closure at the city pool from Jan. 21-22 to repair a water level control float.

Additionally, a truck delivery person submitted a complaint about a lack of numbers on houses in town.

“Maybe one of the kids’ groups could take it on as a project,” suggested City Clerk/Treasurer Kathy Olofson.

City crews have been devoting much time to snow removal, a project over which Tonsing has received many positive comments.

Police Chief Doug Bergstrom reported 89 calls for service since the previous meeting.

City Attorney Al Wall reported that the American Civil Liberties Union has been surveying Holyoke and other communities’ standards for setting jail bonds in municipal court. However, Holyoke has neither the ordinance nor the facilities for setting jail time in municipal court, which is why city police officers can issue tickets into municipal or county court.


Other business

In other business at the Feb. 3 meeting, the council:

—approved 2015 year-end budget transfers.

—set the price of city-owned lots at $90 per frontage foot for center lots and $95 per frontage foot for corner lots, with lots sold in a manner in which the entire block can be sold. Prices are reviewed the first of each year, and the city furnishes curb, gutter and oil.

Holyoke Enterprise February 11, 2016