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Sun, smiles and soccer! PDF Print E-mail
Written by Holyoke Enterprise   
Warm weather helps kids kick off inaugural season

As warmer spring weather is starting to show sure signs of sticking around, this week seemed like a fitting time to get the Holyoke Youth Soccer program kick-started.

More than 150 local kids, ages 4-14, are signed up to participate this season, the first year of the soccer program.

Practice for the season officially began Monday, March 23. The younger kids are practicing with their teams at the elementary school playground, and the older kids are gearing up on the practice football field.

Soccer kids will be practicing after school for a couple weeks before the first  area ballgames take place. Soccer action is scheduled to begin Saturday, April 11, and will continue until May 16.

Isabella Kropp smiles big after catching a ball that was kicked right into her hands during a team scrimmage.

—Enterprise photo

Colby Weber follows through after kicking a ball in a passing drill.

—Enterprise photo

Holyoke Enterprise March 26, 2015
Child care dialogue to continue Tuesday PDF Print E-mail
Written by Darci Tomky   

Survey confirms desire for more child care options

After survey results from February showed a clear majority of survey responders would use child care services now and in the future if they were available, the next step in Holyoke’s child care needs assessment is to hold another public dialogue meeting.

Anyone in the community concerned about the lack of child care available is encouraged to attend the meeting Tuesday, March 31, at 6:30 p.m. at Phillips County Event Center Biesemeier Room.

Free child care and goodies from The P Pod will be provided Tuesday evening.

Stephanie Edwards of Early Childhood Council of Logan, Phillips and Sedgwick counties will be facilitating the discussion.

A community nonprofit child care center could be a possibility for Holyoke in the future. Other discussion topics could include how to make more child care options available in the meantime.

Those planning to attend the meeting should RSVP to Edwards at 970-526-2440 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

A continuing dialogue is also taking place online using a Facebook page called “Holyoke Childcare Needs.”

Holyoke Enterprise March 26, 2015

Oils can be an essential part of a healthy livestyle PDF Print E-mail
Written by Isaac Kreider   

“Essential” is a word that is often thought to mean necessary — such as essential vitamins and minerals. However, the word’s use in “essential oils” refers to the powerful essence of a particular plant or its basic nature and all the intrinsic bodily and household benefits that it can provide.

Some people are beginning to feel that, perhaps, these oils are becoming an essential/necessary part of their lives.

“I’ve made a complete, healthy lifestyle change,” said Jordan Stone, a wellness advocate for doTERRA essential oils. “It’s all just a part of my daily routine now.”

These oils are not a new invention — think frankincense and myrrh, both of which boast antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties — but they are becoming much more common commodities, as the shift to healthy, natural living continues to broaden and improve.

Jordan Stone is pictured with her “medicine cabinet” of essential oils and her guide book of some of the thousands of health and wellness benefits and household uses they can provide.  

—Enterprise photo

Many essential oils have antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and antibiotic properties. A huge array of benefits has been shown to impact brain chemistry, emotional well-being and spiritual wellness. Aromatherapy and internal and topical consumption of the oils are making a strong return to people’s health and wellness arsenal.

“I haven’t taken any over-the-counter medications for probably eight or nine months now,” Stone noted.

What human senses may think of as simply scents or fragrances are actually aromatic compounds of a plant that can provide many protective, reproductive and regenerative purposes for the plant and also for people.

Stone showed the assortment of oils that she said goes almost everywhere with her, basically an essential pack she always has on hand.

“It’s amazing how well they work,” Stone said. “There is an oil for almost everything.”

Holyoke Junior/Senior High School ESL teacher Allie Balog is also a doTERRA wellness advocate. She said she finds herself using them for all kinds of things around the house and for health and wellness.

“Lately, my favorite use is for teething,” said Balog, who has an 18-week-old son. “I love that I can put them on Cameron because there’s not a lot of options with him being so little.”

Around Holyoke, doTERRA has been one of the most popular oil brands. Some other well-established essential oil companies are Rocky Mountain Oils, Young Living, Edens Garden and Native American Nutritionals.

Both Balog and Stone recommend that people start simple with what they need most, whether it’s help with stress, sleep, aches or whatever. Then they can build from there.

Lemon, lavender and peppermint provide a great blend for allergies. While a common way of using oils is with a diffuser, this blend is often taken as a drinkable “shot” of 2-3 drops of each oil.

“Brett (Stone’s fiancé) has terrible allergies when the season hits, and he was skeptical,” Stone mentioned. “But now he regularly uses this blend, and it has kept him much clearer.”

Lavender is often known as the “universal oil” to essential oil users. It can be used in hundreds of ways. From allergy and sunburn relief, to acne and dandruff treatment, or for calming and relaxation purposes — just to name a few — it is one of the most highly versatile and recommended oils.

“The oils are simply great for prevention,” Balog said.

Another common immune-boosting blend consists of wild orange, clove, cinnamon, eucalyptus and rosemary.

“There are so many benefits, it isn’t possible to touch on all of them right now,” Stone added. “They are so simple to use and can help completely revamp the medicine cabinet.”

Essential oils are generally extracted through a natural distillation process in which pressurized steam is circulated through plant material, drawing the oils out into the steam. As the mixture cools, the water and oils naturally separate, and the oil is then collected in its pure form. Some oils, such as citrus ones, are extracted through a compression process.

“They are really making people take a step back and realize the harmful products they might be using,” Stone said. “It’s comforting to know a child or pet is not going to get hurt if they accidentally get into a bottle of oil.”

She stressed the importance of being aware that everyday household products and medications have harmful additives.

“It’s important to be educated and become more informed,” Stone noted. “I hadn’t ever looked into alternative medicines before. But since I have, there are a lot of other people I’d never expect to get on board with the idea that now have.”

Stone has even been running a diffuser in her classroom at Julesburg Elementary School where she teaches special education, often opting for a calming or balancing blend.

“I’ve had students come in and say it is clearing their senses,” Stone said. “It’s a practice that has been around for thousands of years, and I think it’s returned in this age now for good.”

Holyoke Enterprise March 26, 2015

New city regulations set for shipping containers, carports PDF Print E-mail
Written by Isaac Kreider   

Members of the Holyoke Planning Commission have agreed on new regulations relating to storage containers and carports within the city. Holyoke City Council and Planning Commission member Kevin Scott informed the council of the finalized new bylaws at the Tuesday, March 17, regular meeting.

Shipping containers will now only be allowed on commercial properties. Any containers currently in place will be “grandfathered” in and allowed to remain.

Carports will now be classified as accessory buildings and must follow the regulations as such in regard to placement and spacing on a property. They can only have an enclosed roof structure and cannot have enclosed sides.


Public hearing discusses O’Neal ground plan

Holyoke’s Planning Commission held a public hearing Monday, March 23, to discuss a final plat, or divisional map, for the O’Neal ground south of the Cobblestone Inn.

The commission will have 30 days to make a decision to accept or deny the plat. If it is accepted, the plat will then come before the council for final approval.


Officials report

City Superintendent Mark Brown described how members of the city’s water and sewer department have been busy creating maintenance manuals for all of the department’s operations. This is a new regulation required by the state. According to Brown, the manuals are to be thorough enough so that a person can walk in without prior experience and be able to do what is needed for the job.

Brown also noted plans to replace the damaged roll-up door on the ball park shed with new heavy-duty double doors.

He mentioned that the street crew has had the street sweeper out a few times, and they continue to fill cracks and drag alleys.

City Clerk/Treasurer Kathy Olofson announced that the first-quarter Conservation Trust Fund payment ­— from lottery sales ­— was received in the amount of $5,226.


Other business

In other business Tuesday, the council:

—accepted the resignation of Holyoke police officer Damon Ellis, effective immediately.

—approved Mark Werts as a new police officer with a six-month probation.

—hired Kendra Schlachter to serve as the summer recreation director.

­—hired Garrett Thompson as a lifeguard with his Water Safety Instructor certification.

—discussed city parking ordinances in regard to parking semitrucks on city streets and parking vehicles or trailers in front yards.

—approved the reported ownership changes for liquor license approval for Red’s Liquors LLC, from Jeff and Olga Sullivan to Ozzy and Misty Torres.

—passed a resolution to execute the contract with Western Area Power Administration, effective 2024-2054.

—renewed the liquor license for The Skillet.

—held a 38-minute executive session to receive legal advice from City Attorney Al Wall.

Holyoke Enterprise March 26, 2015