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Fair entertainment hits the bull's-eye PDF Print E-mail
Written by Holyoke Enterprise   

With nearly double the attendance at this year’s Bulls Gone Wild! event over last year’s total, the activities at the 2015 Phillips County Fair proved popular with the people of northeastern Colorado. Pictured above, Dan Baumgartner stares down a Mexican fighting bull during the American freestyle bullfighting event Saturday night. The Bulls Gone Wild! show also included bullriding and mutton bustin’.

The “Summer Days and Country Ways”-themed week encountered some roadblocks along the way, but after a few detours, most of the events got back on track with the help of the fair board and generous locals.

Entertainment for the fair included the ATV rodeo, Lower 40 concert with Jake Gill, the bullfighting, bullriding and mutton bustin’ performances, and many 4-H shows. Projects in both the open class and 4-H divisions were highlighted in Heginbotham Hall at the Event Center and the fairgrounds show arena.

Even the weather played along with the “summer days” mantra, holding off on the thunderstorms until the fair concluded Sunday afternoon.

Results and coverage of various events can be found in this week’s edition of the Enterprise. Additional coverage will be printed in the Aug. 6 edition, as well.

—Enterprise photo

Holyoke Enterprise July 30, 2015

Murphy hired as interim CEO PDF Print E-mail
Written by Brenda Johnson Brandt   

Jim Murphy of Lyons has been hired as interim CEO for Melissa Memorial Hospital starting Saturday, Aug. 1. He will serve until a full-time administrator is hired.

Steve Young, East Phillips County Hospital District board president, said Monday morning, July 27, that the board signed an employment agreement with Murphy.

The new interim CEO has served as an interim administrator for several hospital facilities, noted Young.

Murphy will be working with current CEO John Ayoub through Friday, July 31, before officially taking the CEO reins Aug. 1.

Holyoke Enterprise July 30, 2015

Deja Blu featured at Farmfest family event PDF Print E-mail
Written by Holyoke Enterprise   

From kids’ activities to good food to live music, Farmfest at the Patch will be a fun event for the whole family.

This Saturday, Aug. 1, gates open at 3 p.m. at Pumpkins and More A-Maiz-ing Farm, located 6 miles south and 3 1/2 miles east of Holyoke.

Activities available throughout the event include a waterslide, horseshoes, a jumping pillow, tetherball and the ball zone.

A burger/hot dog/brat dinner will be served from 5-7 p.m. with food and drinks included in admission. (Donations are also accepted.)

Families heading out to Farmfest should remember to pack some lawn chairs for the evening entertainment.

Dennis Fuller, a live one-man band, will play at 5 p.m., followed by Deja Blu from 7-11 p.m.

With a reputation as one of the best dance bands in Colorado, Deja Blu of Denver knows how to entertain an audience and have fun on stage. Their song list is extensive and covers over five decades of music, ranging from the ’60s to today’s current hits.

With fiery lead guitar solos, a solid rhythm section and a Hammond organ, the musicians are some of the best around. Add to this recipe five vocalists with harmonies that are especially tight and powerful, and that makes one of the best dance bands around.

The Farmfest crew said last year’s inaugural event was a lot of fun and a big success, so they are excited to see what’s in store for the second annual Farmfest.

For more info, visit the Farmfest at the Patch Facebook page or call 970-580-5382 or 970-580-2707.

Holyoke Enterprise July 30, 2015

Community steps up at fair PDF Print E-mail
Written by Holyoke Enterprise   

By Becca Brandt

With great food, entertainment and weather, the 2015 Phillips County Fair provided a week of “Summer Days and Country Ways” for all ages July 21-26. Despite a couple hiccups with scheduled events, the fair board worked diligently to maintain a fun atmosphere and big-ticket items at the Phillips County Fairgrounds.

Back by popular demand, the bullfighting, bullriding and mutton bustin’ program once again drew the largest number of attendees in its second year in Holyoke.

Fair board president Rick Bogan was pleased with an outstanding fair and cites the various players integral in ensuring the success of this year’s events.

Circumstances out of the board’s control led to a change in the lineup at Friday night’s concert. Learning during fair week that Stoney LaRue would not be able to perform, the board and musician Jake Gill pulled some strings for a last-minute performance from Lower 40.

Gill headlined at the 2014 county fair and returned this year as the opening act. Up-and-coming Oklahoma band Lower 40 gave a crowd-pleasing performance as this year’s headliner.

Lower 40 was a blessing to work with, said Bogan, willing to accommodate the Phillips County Fair with a positive and people-friendly attitude.

The second annual Leland Miller Memorial Gymkhana and team roping kicked off the activities at the fairgrounds Sunday, July 19.

Throughout the week 4-H reigned with several days of judging and showing. 4-H members’ presentation skills were put to the test with interview judging for general projects Tuesday, July 21.

Wednesday, the 4-H action continued with the horse show and gymkhana. The Thursday night fun included the ATV rodeo. With many entrants, the competition extended late into the evening.

The Friday night barbecue exceeded expectations, with so many people attending, there were fears of running out of food. The 4-H fashion revue provided the mealtime entertainment in Homesteaders Park before people made their way to the grandstands for the concert.

The parade saw several excited kids eager for candy Saturday morning. The floats did not disappoint, providing colorful decorations, water guns and candy.

Out at the fairgrounds, Saturday’s family fun day included the pet show, Orphan Grain Train brat feed, cow patty bingo, salsa contest, horseshoe pitching and rabbit bingo.

Bogan said the junior livestock sale was extremely successful, though it brought in about $10,000 less than the all-time high sale numbers from last year.

Saturday wrapped up with the Bulls Gone Wild! show. Attendance was nearly double at this year’s performance compared to last year.

Sunday concluded the Phillips County Fair with the round robin showmanship competition.

The fair board received a lot of positive feedback in regard to the format of the fair. The entertainment-driven week is something that the local community can look forward to, as the board hopes to bring back the bulls and concert.

Bogan and the board repeatedly expressed their gratitude to the people who stepped up to address any hiccups during the week and kept the fair running smoothly.

“We couldn’t have done it without the volunteer support,” said Bogan. “We all had the opportunity to chip in for the betterment of the fair and our local kids.”

Overall, Bogan noted attendance thoughout the week was on par with previous years, but he would like to see more participation in the general projects, especially at the youth level.

The carnival rides that were scheduled for fair week were replaced by inflatables and games to keep the kids entertained.

Despite the numerous recoveries of fair events, the pedal tractor pull and community church service were both still canceled.

Holyoke Enterprise July 30, 2015

Website proposed to City Council PDF Print E-mail
Written by Darci Tomky   

Come budget time, Holyoke City Council will be considering adding a budget item for a City of Holyoke website.

Police Officer Joe Marcum presented an option for a city website at the council meeting Tuesday, July 21.

“It’s really easy. It’s very intuitive. And the best part is they do it all for you,” said Marcum about a web design company called CivicPlus.

With some previous experience in web design, Marcum has been researching companies and other Colorado municipal websites. And so far, CivicPlus, an expert in government websites, is the most robust, comprehensive and easy system he’s found.

After looking into costs with CivicPlus, Marcum proposed a budget of $10,000 for the first year and $2,500 for every year after.

“CivicPlus is giving us a great deal for the simple fact we are a small community,” he said, noting it will be most cost-effective to include all the desired website features from the beginning instead of adding them on later.

One of the most important reasons for developing a City of Holyoke website is to have a .gov listing for both the website and emails.

The police department said they have had difficulties in the past because their email addresses are not .gov. Emails that end in .gov are recognized by other organizations that require certification of government credentials and will result in a more immediate response time.

Other website features that would be beneficial to the community include the posting of current news, city codes/ordinances and emergency contacts; sending mass emails to employees or the public; receiving resident ideas or anonymous complaints; listing job announcements; advertising local places to eat, shop and stay; and paying utility bills and fines online.

One concern that Marcum is looking into is the compatibility of the online bill-pay system to the city’s current computer software. He emphasized how easy it is to accept payment online, noting the money simply goes straight into the determined account and then a printout is received, listing who has paid so they can be crossed off the list.

By serving over 1,800 municipalities, CivicPlus already has fine-tuned features that work for local governments and could be customized for Holyoke. They would also offer support for security issues or any other problems with the website.

Marcum proposed to the council that the cost for the website could be offset by charging a $2.99 service fee per month to residents who want the convenience of paying their utility bill online. Another option is to add a small fee to all of the bills each month.

Additional funds could come from charging businesses for a listing on the places to eat, shop and stay pages.

Marcum said administrators can be added as needed to monitor various areas of the website. He added that he has time and would be willing to act as the overall website administrator, hopefully with some compensation from the city.


Complaints lead to review of solicitor code

City Attorney Al Wall and a committee will be reviewing Chapter 5.16 of the Holyoke Municipal Code — Solicitors and Itinerant Merchants — and will bring back recommendations to the council.

Officer Mark Werts described an incident that “caused turmoil” and formal complaints when a vanload of people was let out all over town to go door to door. Residents complained that the people were being very pushy.

Werts said he was lied to that they were a religious group talking about God, adding that he discovered two out-of-state warrants.

The police department sought clarification on the municipal code from Wall, and he said it could be updated to something the department is comfortable using. They want to be able to deal with incidences like this but don’t want to stop the exceptions that are allowed for religious groups and nonprofits going door to door, like the Girl Scouts.


Officials report

City Superintendent Mark Brown reported the airport taxiway project is moving forward. A pre-bid meeting for bidders to examine the site is scheduled for July 30 at 10 a.m. at Holyoke Municipal Airport, and bids will be received Aug. 13 at 10 a.m. at City Hall.

Brown said the seal coat program this month went really well, and the street crew received delivery of a new loader July 21. A power outage occurred July 17 because of a blown fuse.

Police Chief Doug Bergstrom reported they have been having major issues with the code enforcement car.


Other business

In other business July 21, the council:

—approved Ordinance No. 1-2015 authorizing the sale of real property to John Sagehorn following a public hearing at Tuesday’s meeting. The property is the west 145 feet of lots 7, 8, 9 and 10, block 7, Heginbotham Trust Addition to the City of Holyoke.

—approved a special events permit for the Pedal The Plains event Friday, Sept. 18, at Homesteaders Park with a beer garden by Pheasants Forever. The police department was OK with plans for the event.

—approved writing a letter of support for Rural Philanthropy Days to be hosted in Holyoke June 16, 2016.

—approved a request to have the swimming pool open from 5-9 p.m. Friday, Sept. 18, for the Pedal The Plains event.

—appointed Luke Goldenstein to serve on the Board of Variance Adjustment through June 2016.

—approved a travel request for City Clerk/Treasurer Kathy Olofson to attend a presentation on unemployment insurance July 21 in Sterling with mileage of $57.50.

—approved a travel request for Joe Marcum and Mark Werts to attend the I-9000 EBAT intoxilyzer training in Fort Collins Aug. 6, including free registration, hotel at $196, meals at $114 and use of a city vehicle.

—held a 42-minute executive session following Tuesday’s meeting to receive legal advice.

Holyoke Enterprise July 30, 2015