Tickets are now on sale for the Holden Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Banquet which will be held at the Community Activity Center January 26 beginning at 6 p.m..
Those interested in attending the evening’s festivities may buy their tickets at local businesses.
The chamber has announced that this year’s speaker will be David A. Stallings, CPA, MPA, the president of Community Mediation & Consulting of Overland Park, KS.
Stallings’ organization provides nonprofit organizations with consulting and planning services throughout the midwest.  He works in the are of board education, development and governance, organizational development, strategic planning and financial management of nonprofit organizations.
He is a Senior Fellow with the Midwest Center for Nonprofit Leadership in the Bloch School of Business and Public Administration at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.  He also previously served as an adjunct instructor in the Masters of Public Administration program at UMKC teaching public finance and financial management of nonprofit organizations.
By Steve Sullins

Jo Ann Alpert, president of the Holden Chamber of Commerce, attended a three-day conference with the Missouri Economic Development. One of the benefits she brought back was the incentive to develop a new website to promote local business.
The news was shared during the regular meeting of the chamber last Thursday at Strate’s Drive Inn.
The site,, provides an opportunity for all businesses in the area to list coupons and specials at no charge. Chamber members are able to sell their products through the website at no charge. The website states, “The Holden Area Chamber of Commerce members are individuals and businesses located in Holden and the surrounding areas. They are dedicated to promoting Holden and the businesses in this area. The website gives several reasons to shop locally such as to support local merchants, save on gas, create jobs, and keep tax money local for schools, roads, parks, police, fire, and the library.
Alpert said, “We want our businesses to stay open. Who wants to drive 28 miles to buy things?”
Website visitors can print off money-saving coupons to participating businesses. For more information, email to or call 732-6844.
The chamber members thanked for her work in coordinating with the Missouri Economic Development meetings and bringing information back to the chamber.
Alpert said she will be attending the upcoming annual Farmers’ Market Growers Association meeting at Lake of the Ozarks in the near future.
In other chamber news, membership packets have been mailed along with banquet tickets. The annual chamber banquet is scheduled for January 26 at 6 pm with dinner at 6:30 p.m. A caterer has not yet been determined but bids have been requested.
Pat Zvacek commented that Future Business Leaders of America members from Holden High School helped decorate the Downtown Park for Customer Appreciation Day and “did a great job.” 
Diane Klossen reported for the community betterment committee that they completed their drive-around assessing area housing and reports were sent to the economic development committee. They were able to make revisions to the comprehensive plan with the committee planning to have another draft available sometime in January.
The December 15 Chamber after Hours gathering sponsored by the Holden Animal Clinic will be at Tiger Jack’s.
By Terri Vinck
News Staff

Jim Jackson, defeated candidate in the November 4 election for state representative from the 121st District, has filed a request with the Missouri Secretary of State to conduct a recount due to the closeness of the final outcome of the voting.
Jackson received 6,875 votes while winning candidate Denny Hoskins tallied 7,004.  Since the vote totals  were  within one percent, Missouri law states that any candidate shall have to right to a recount of the votes cast.  Hoskins polled 50.46 percent while Jackson had 49.54, a difference of .92 of one percent.
“With an election that was this close, I feel it is proper to have a recount to insure that every person who gave up their time to stand in line and cast their ballot has had their vote accurately counted,” Jackson explained.
Johnson County Clerk Gilbert Powers stated that the recount will begin Monday, December 15 at 9 a.m. and will probable be completed in two days, but three days have been set aside in case it takes longer.
The recount, which will be paid for by Johnson County, will be done by two bi-partisan teams of one democrat and one republican, and the county clerk and his staff.  They will be closed sessions, but the candidates or their attorney and two disinterested person may observe the proceedings.
In a statement, state representative-elect Hoskins stated, “I hadn’t spoken to Jim (Jackson) since before the election and was unaware that he was going to ask for a recount.  It’s unfortunate in today's challenging economic times that the recount could cost the Johnson County taxpayers more than $5,000.
“I have the utmost respect and confidence in the ability of our county clerk and staff and the numerous unbiased, bi-partisan election-day volunteers.  They should be commended for their excellent job of handling thousands of citizens coming into the polls.  It’s because of their professionalism and perfectionism that I believe they fairly and accurately counted each and every vote and therefore I perceive a recount unnecessary.  The voters of the 121st District have spoken and I will look forward to continuing the Missouri State Legislature Tour throughout the month of December and serving my constituents to the best of my ability.”
By Steve Sullins

Superintendent of Kingsville School District Kevin Coleman recently received the independent auditor’s report from certified public accountant Randal Fiene on the state of the district’s financial management.
Coleman said it was a clean audit and he was happy with the report.  He added it will be presented to the school board at their regular meeting scheduled for Wednesday, December 10.
Fiene said, “In my opinion, the financial statements referred to present fairly, in all material respects, the respective modified cash basis financial position of the governmental activities, and each major fund of the Kingsville R-I School District as of June 30, 2008, and for the year then ended in conformity with the modified cash basis and accounting described in previous notes.”
He went on to say, “In accordance with Government Auditing Standards, I have also issued my report dated December 10, 2008, on my consideration of the Kingsville R-I School District’s internal control over financial reporting and on my tests of its compliance with certain provisions of laws, regulations, contracts, and grant agreements and other matters.  The purpose of that report is to describe the scope of my testing of internal control over financial reporting and compliance and the results of that testing, and not to provide an opinion on the internal control over financial reporting or on compliance.  That report is an integral part of an audit performed in accordance with Government Auditing Standards and should be considered in assessing the results of my audit.”
By Dana Raker
News Staff

The filing period for two three-year Holden R-III School Board seats will open Tuesday, December 16 at 8 a.m. according to an announcement at the board meeting held Monday night in the Elementary School library.  Interested parties will have until January 20, 2009 at 5 p.m. to file.
Filings may be accomplished at the district offices located at 1612 S. Main Street.  The two seats are presently filled by Mike Watterson and Pat Zvacek.
In another area, the board voted to purchase a new telephone system from Total Technologies Voice and Data for $71,090.87.  According to Julie Brunner, director of Technology Services for the district, the present system’s lease will expire and continuing with the system would be too expensive.
Reports were presented by Jim Harvey, safety; Donna Fizer, curriculum and instruction, Larry Arnone, auxiliary services; and district superintendent Mike Ringen.
In a final item, 16 members of the HHS boys’ and girls’ cross country teams were presented with plaques in recognition of state participation, while Justin Houser, cross country, and Jill Hutchings, volleyball, were recognized for being selected All-State in their sport.
By Steve Sullins

The Holden High School boys varsity basketball team won their first game of the season, 65-55, over Clinton, but after three quarters of play, there was some doubt as to whether the evening would end so pleasantly for Eagle players and fans.
The boys trailed the Cardinals in the home game played last Monday in the HHS gymnasium by eight points after three stanzas and had been sputtering all evening.  They were having trouble hitting shots from the field, getting rebounds and had canned a woeful 13 of 30 from the charity stripe.
“We were just not shooting well and not rebounding like we should have been,” stated head Eagle coach Dale Wescott.  “A lot of that had to do with the fouls as Deron Binkley only played about three minutes in the first three quarters due to foul trouble.  There were a lot of fouls called on both sides making it hard to get into any offensive rhythm.  Finally in the fourth quarter, we ran about five set plays and were successful and were able to pull away from Clinton in the final period.”
The Cardinals had led by one at the end of the first quarter, by four at the intermission, and stretched it to a a lead by as many as 11 in the third quarter.  The Eagles outscored Clinton 24 to six in the final period to overtake the Cardinals and win the non-conference matchup.
“We shot better in the fourth quarter and started to get some rebounds and putbacks.  We hit nine of 14 from the free throw line in the fourth,” added Coach Wescott.  “I’m happy we won the game against a Class 4 school.  I know we have a lot to work on, but it’s still better to win and still have things to improve.”
Although the Eagles looked a little ragged at times, the coach said there were still some good things that happened in the game.  “Bryce (Evans) had a good game getting a double-double and Deron (Binkley) did a lot of things to help the team when he was in there.  Also, senior David Lerda had a great fourth quarter hitting a big three-pointer and canning five of six free throws.”
The coach also praised his bench, as several reserves were pressed into action because of the foul situation.  “Sophomore Kyle Elkins gave us some good minutes,” Wescott continued.  “He came in and pressured the ball well and added a driving layup and a free throw to give us a lift.  At one point, we had our third-string point guard.”
It’s still up in the air to when starting point guard Trevor Yancey will return from his injury.
Statistics for the game included:
Points - Evans, 17; Zak Anstine, 13; Lerda, eight; Binkley, seven; A. J. Langston, seven; Crosby Coleman, four; and Elkins, three.
Rebounds - Evans, 10; Z. Anstine, six; and Binkley, four.
Assists - Langston, five; A. Anstine, two; Lerda, two; and Binkley, two.
Steals - Evans, four and Lerda, two.
After a trip to Archie Tuesday night, the junior varsity and varsity boys will join the varsity girls in games with Renaissance Academy in “Pack the Gym Night” tonight (Thursday) beginning at 5 p.m.  Fans may buy a “Pack The Gym” T-shirt for $10 and get a free ticket into the games.
Next week, the boys will take on Sherwood away on Tuesday and come home to entertain the Odessa Bulldogs Friday, December 19.  The varsity will be idle after that until January 3, 2009 when they meet the Crest Ridge Cougars at
By Steve Sullins

Running back Dennis Hutchings and offensive lineman Denny Holsey led a quartet of Holden High School 2008 football athletes who were selected to the Misosuri Football Coaches Association 2008 All-State Football Team.
Both Hutchings and Holsey were named to the first team, while senior defensive end Deron Binkley was tabbed for the second team.  Senior linebacker David Lerda was given the nod on the third team.
The football team celebrated their 2008 accomplishments at their annual awards banquet held Sunday at the HHS gymnasium. 
Announcements during the festivities included Hutchings and Lerda being named to the KMZU Dream Team with Hutchings reaping their Offensive Player of the Year Award.  He was also a WCMO Sports Player of the Week during the season and Lerda was named as a Prepcasts Player of the Week as well.
Seniors Andrew Wakeman and Aaron Ferguson were recipients of the Pop Gard and Harry Burgen awards respectively.
The Eagles finished the year 11-1 with a number three state ranking.  They were knocked out of the state playoffs in the sectional round.
By Steve Sullins


Bouncing back from an earlier week two-overtime loss to Pleasant Hill, the Holden High School girls’ varsity basketball team demolished Clinton, 58-23, Friday night at the HHS gymnasium.
The Lady Eagles were led in the scoring column for the second straight game by sophomore Kelsey Carver, who poured in 16 points in the pounding.  Senior Lauren Geisler added 12 to also score in double figures.  Junior Kelsey Whitehead was a “monster” on the boards, ripping down 13 rebounds in the victory.
“We did a much better job of rotating on our pressure and we kept Clinton out of a set offense for most of the first half,” explained Holden head coach Travis Fleming.  “Offensively our posts got involved and we worked the ball inside out.  Jenna Brockhaus did a good job working from the high post and Kelsey Whitehead showed her true athleticism pulling down 13 rebounds.”
The coach also praised Carver and Geisler for their play offensively.  “We have a lot of weapons on offense and it’s nice to see the girls start to play with some confidence and aggressiveness.”
Coach Fleming named Carver as the offensive player of the week as she averaged 19 points per outing and Stacey Calhoun the defensive player of the Week.  Whitehead received the hustle/motor player honors.
Statistics on the night included: 
Scoring - Carver, 16; Geisler, 12; Valerie Lambert, eight; Whitehead, Brockhaus and Calla Burden, all with six; and Calhoun, four.
Rebounds - Whitehead, 13; Carver and Brockhaus, four apiece; Katie Passler, Lambert and Calhoun, three each; Geisler, two; and Burden and Lauren Adams, one apiece.
Steals - Carver and Lambert, three each; Whitehead, two; and Brockhaus, Geisler and Burden, one apiece.
Assists - Calhoun, five; Carver, Brockhaus and Lambert, four each; Whitehead and Passler, three apiece; and Burden, two.
The girls will take on Renaissance Academy in “Pack the Gym” night, tonight (Thursday).  All those who buy a $10 t-shirt will also receive a free ticket to the game.  Tuesday, the Lady Eagles will travel to Odessa for a game beginning at 5:30 p.m.
Pleasant Hill 53
 Holden 41 In 2 OTs
In their opening game loss to the Lady Chicks, Coach Fleming said, “This is definitely not the way we wanted to start out the year.  We opened the game with a good run fueled by some hot shooting, but then our shooting cooled and we spittered and sputtered the rest of the way.  We finished the night shooting 29 percent from the floor and 33 percent from the foul line.  I though we did a good job of taking care of the ball, but the turnovers we did make came at critical times.”
The Lady Eagles took a 14-7 lead after the first quarter, but scored only 19 more points through the rest of regulation play, ending the fourth quarter tied with Pleasant Hill, 33-33.  Both teams scored five points in the first overtime, but the Lady Chicks outscored Holden 15 to 3 in the second OT.
The coach continued, “At the end of regulation and the first overtime, we got good defensive stops and had offensive possessions but just didn’t execute.  Defensively we worked, but not together.  We had too many breakdowns and missed rotations.  Our strength has to be our defense, but it takes five kids playing together to be good defensively but in the P. Hill game we never got there.”
The coach said he was pleased with sophomore Kelsey Carver’s offensive aggressiveness.  She finished the night the high scorer with 22 points.  “She hit some big shots,” Fleming continued, “and came up with a big block late in the first overtime.”
He praised others, “Valerie Lambert did a good job on both ends of the floor, but we need her to play with more confidence offensively.  Against their zone we settled for perimeter shots and abandoned our inside game.  I’m sure we’ll learn from the game and come back ready to play.”
Statistics for the game included: 
Scoring - Carver, 22; Stacey Calhoun, six; Lambert, four; Lauren Geisler, three; Kelsey Whitehead, two; Jenna Brockhaus, two; and Lauren Adams, two.
Rebounds - Lambert, five; Whitehead, four; Carver, four; Geisler, three; Calla Burden, one; Calhoun, one; and Brockhaus, one.
Steals - Whitehead, three; Lambert, two; Carver, one; Calhoun, one; Geisler, one; and Burden, one.
Assists - Lambert, five; Geisler, three; Whitehead, two; Carver, two; Brockhaus, two; and Kelsey Holmes, one.
By Steve Sullins

In their first outing of the year, the Holden High School varsity wrestling squad lost a close dual match to Butler, 36-30, in the HHS gymnasium.
“We had four open weight classes,” explained head wrestling coach John Jones.  “One of those was due to a wrestler not making his weight.  Of those four classes, Butler took advantage of two of them, giving them an automatic extra 12 points.  If we could have filled those spots, we would have been the victors.
“We have twice as many wrestlers out this year as last, but we don’t have any at the 103 pound, 112 pound or heavyweight - which is odd considering that we were district champions in both football and cross country.”
Winning their matches were Spencer O’Neil, 125 pounds, on a forfeit; Stephen Parker, 130 pounds, on a pin; Billy Fannin, 135 pounds, also on a pin; Zach Turner, 140 pounds, defeated opponents 4-2 in regular decision; David Carter, 160 pounds, regular decision, 10-8 in overtime; and Jacob Reiman, 171 pounds, on a pin.
Losing their matches were J.C. McLennan at 119 pounds who was pinned, Jake Giffin, 145 pounds, on a pin; and Kevin Kephart, 285 pounds who was pinned in a close match against senior state-qualifier Cody Hardie.
“I was very pleased with our first showing of the year,” Coach Jones continued.  “While we have things to improve upon, we are further along this year than we were a year ago.  That lies solely upon the fact that my Holden wrestlers want to work hard.”
The Eagles bring into competition this season three state qualifiers from last year.  They are senior Zach Lavely and sophomores Reiman and Parker.
Heading into a busy season, the squad will face Lone Jack, Wentworth Academy and Blue Springs JV in a quad meet at Lone Jack tonight (Thursday).  Tuesday they will host Adrian in a dual matchup.


Neal Callahan, 86, Holden, died Tuesday, December 2, 2008 at his home.
He was born June 29, 1922 in Kingsville, Missouri the son of Maurice Wade Callahan and Nina June Ballard Callahan.
On September 15, 1943, he married Edna Alice Shippy in Warrensburg, MO.  She preceded him in death on July 17, 2003.
Neal lived in the northwest Johnson County area his entire life and was a lifetime farmer in the Johnson County area and raised livestock and row crops.  Neal was a member of the Elm Spring Baptist Church on 50 Highway, Kingsville, MO.
Survivors include five children with spouses, Gene and Brenda Callahan, Odessa, Sue Allen, Shawnee, KS, Kay and Jim Gudde, Kingsville, MO, Larry and Mitz Callahan, Holden, MO, Connie Hurt, Holden, MO; brother, Marion Callahan, Holden, MO; 11 grandchildren, Megan Oetting, Carey Cumper, Kate Allen, Tracey Van Meter, Brandon Gudde, Travis Callahan, Jake Callahan, Mikki Young, Vickie Hutchison, Jesse Price, Jenny Templer; eight great-grandchildren, Brian Van Meter, Aubrey Van Meter, Mitchel Young, Mason Young, Acea Hutchison, Luke Cumper, Calvin Templer, Caleb Templer.
He was preceded in death by a sister, Letha Withrow; and great-granddaughter, Malaina Young.
Funeral services were held at 2 p.m. Saturday, December 6, at the Ralph O. Jones Chapel, Odessa, MO with Chris Launer, hospice chaplain officiating.  Burial was in Elm Spring Cemetery, Elm, MO.
Pallbearers were J.W. Withrow, Dale Callahan, Ernie Shippy, Jay Van Meter, Brian Van Meter and Les Brooks.
Memorial contributions may be made to Southern Care Hospice.

Thomas G. DeLong, Sr., 60, Holden, MO, passed away Wednesday, December 3, 2008, at home.  He will be cremated.  Arrangements are under the direction of Royer Funeral Home, Oak Grove, MO.
The family received family and friends from 2-5 p.m. Sunday, December 7, 2008, at their home at 257 NW 1401, Holden, MO.
Tom was born August 10, 1948 in Jefferson City, MO, the son of Joseph and Bessie (Reed) DeLong.  He had been employed by General Motors, Fairfax Division.  Tom enjoyed cars, wood-carving, and spending time with his family, especially  his granddaughter, Katelyn.
His survivors include his wife, Barbara DeLong of the home; son and daughter-in-law, Thomas, Jr. and Roxanne DeLong of Holden; granddaughter, Katelyn DeLong; and brother and sister-in-law, Jim and Judy DeLong of Pleasant Hill, MO.
In lieu of flowers, contributions to St. Jude Children’s Hospital are suggested.

Francis M. ”Frank” Page, 89, of Lansing, died Sunday, Dec. 7, 2008, at Saint John Hospital.  He was born March 25, 1919, in Holden, Mo., the son of Arthur C. and Audrey (Billingsley) Page.
He served in the U.S. Army Air Corps. On Feb. 10, 1946, he married Gladys Mae Byler in Fort Scott, Kan.  She preceded him in death on Oct. 6, 2001. He was also preceded in death by an infant son, Francis M. Page Jr.
Frank is survived by his children, Patricia Ann (Allen) Minor of Leeton, Mo., Robert M. (Sheila) Page of Lansing and Daryl F. (Dorothy) Page of Clinton, Mo.; 12-grandchildren; 17-great-grandchildren; two great-great-grandchildren; two brothers, William Page and Loren Page; and numerous, nieces and nephews.
Frank worked at Bendix in Kansas City from 1950 to 1973.  He enjoyed farming and fishing.
Visitation will be from noon to 1 p.m. Wednesday, Dec 10, 2008, at the R.L. Leintz Funeral Home in Leavenworth, KS.  A funeral service will begin at 1 p.m. after the visitation at the funeral home. Burial with military honors will follow at Mount Calvary Cemetery. Memorials are suggested to Saint John Hospital.

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