2017: The year in review

By Linda Kor

Part II


The Arizona Governor’s Conference on Tourism honored the Winslow Visitor’s Center team of Bob Hall and Angela Moser with the prestigious award for Tourism Spirit of Service after being nominated by community members.

The historic Hubbell Trading Post, which now houses the Winslow Visitor’s Center and the Winslow Chamber of Commerce, celebrated 100 years since the building was first opened as a trade center.

The Navajo Nation Council gave approval to a lease extension that would allow the Navajo Generating Station in Page to continue operating through December 2019.


Holbrook Mayor Robert “Bobby” Tyler announced his intention to run for one of two District 6 seats in the Arizona House of Representatives, positions currently held by Republicans Brenda Barton of Payson and Bob Thorpe of Flagstaff. Holbrook Vice Mayor Wade Carlisle indicated his intention to seek the post of District 6 state senator, a position currently held by Sylvia Allen.

People across the country made sure they had the best seat possible to observe a total solar eclipse visible within a band across the entire contiguous United States, passing from the Pacific to the Atlantic coasts.

Joseph City Junior High/High School welcomed Eric Miller as its new principal. Miller had previously served as a teacher for 10 years, as well as the junior high activities director, high school activities director, dean of students, athletics coach and assistant principal.

Gretchen Herndon was elected president of the Holbrook Chamber of Commerce. Shar Gillespie retained her position as vice president; Trent Larsen was elected treasurer and Missy Daniels, secretary.

The Holbrook City Council gave approval for the police department to administer naloxone, a drug that counteracts opioids in the system, to individuals experiencing an overdose as the country faced a major opioid epidemic.

Holbrook High School business teacher Jeremy Madison was honored as the Arizona Business Education Association’s New Business Education Teacher of the Year for 2017-18.

Third generation rancher Jim O’Haco of Jim O’Haco Cattle Company working on the Chevelon Butte Ranch was selected as one of six regional honorees of the Environmental Stewardship Award Program (ESAP) by the Arizona Cattlemen’s Association.

Officials of Pacific Holt Corporation received approval for an extension for the final plat for subdivisions in Perkins Valley and Mesa Hills Estates, both in the Holbrook area, by the Navajo County Planning and Zoning Commission.

The Winslow City Council honored Lieutenant Quentin Hayes and retired Corporal Joe Marquez for their 20 years of service to the Winslow Police Department.

Warden Ed Jensen took over has the warden of the Arizona State Prison Complex-Winslow following the transfer of Berry Larsen to the Lewis Complex in Buckeye.


Holbrook High School business teacher Jeremy Madison was honored as the Arizona Business Education Association’s New Business Education Teacher of the Year for 2017-18.

Officials of Pacific Holt Corporation received approval of an extension requested for the final plat for subdivisions in Perkins Valley and Mesa Hills Estates, both in the Holbrook area.

The Holbrook Public Library joined the Intergovernmental Technology Educational Consortium that was striving to bring broadband Internet to Navajo County.

Jack Hardy of Holbrook qualified for the Rocky Mountain Junior Golf Tour Cup 54-hole match. Jack qualified by playing at the 54-hole New Mexico Junior Classic in Albuquerque, N.M.

The 2017-18 winners of the Navajo County Junior Miss Pageant included Miss Teen Paige Murray of Winslow and Miss Sweetheart Ziva Johnson of Holbrook.

Brandon Gardner of Joseph City and his car Petun-Ya won the Navajo County Fair Demolition Derby.

The annual Pedal the Petrified bike ride throughout the Petrified National Forest had a record 250 riders, bringing in over $40,000 for Northland Pioneer College scholarships.


A contract to begin repair on the Woodruff Bridge was awarded to J. Banicki Construction of Phoenix that included repair and the removal of existing asphalt.

Glenn Kephart was appointed to the permanent position of Navajo County Manager following the resignation of James Jayne, who had served Navajo County for 14 years. Kephart was previously employed by the county as the public works director.

Winslow’s multi-use recreation field was dedicated to the late Valentine Lopez Jr., who passed away in August 2016. Lopez dedicated 30-plus years of his life to the youth and community of Winslow, which included coaching baseball, soccer and other youth sports, as well as volunteering in many other capacities.

Bar T Bar Ranch Inc., Winslow, was ranked as the 10th largest in registering the most Angus beef cattle in Arizona with the American Angus Association during fiscal year 2017.

Corporal Justin C. Ahasteen was named the USO Marine of the Year. According to the organization, Ahasteen, a 2014 graduate of Holbrook High School, earned a reputation as an intelligent, articulate professional and demonstrates maturity, initiative and performance beyond his years. In 2016 alone, Ahasteen donated more than 430 hours of his time volunteering in his community.

Holbrook resident and Northeastern Arizona Law Enforcement Training Academy recruit Krystopher Sanchez received a Meritorious Service Award by Navajo County Sheriff KC Clark due to his actions at the scene of a fatal train-vehicle accident at the S.R. 77 crossing in Holbrook.

Brandon Queen and Randy Turley, both of Holbrook won awards at the Men’s Open Raw powerlifting competition. With Queen taking first in the 198-pound weight category with a 1,313-pound lift total, and Turley in Men’s Open Raw in the 265-pound weight category with a 1,403-pound lift total.


Holbrook High School’s Donovan John placed fourth at the Arizona Interscholastic Association Region I individual chess tournament, qualifying for state.  Donovan won four of five rounds from a field of more than 70 competitors.

Joseph City High School athlete Talon Smith took home the Division IV individual state track title.

Winslow voters passed Proposition 411 to extend the levy of the existing two percent transaction privilege tax on restaurants and bars for a period of 20 years from July 1, 2018.

Josh Kishbaugh, a student at Holbrook High School, traveled to the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America, National Cluster meeting in Washington, D.C., as a member of the FCCLA state officer team. While in Washington, D.C., Josh competed and won first place in the Technology in Teaching category of the skills demonstration event.

Laura Pontel, art teacher at Washington Elementary School, Bonnie Brennen Elementary School and Jefferson Elementary School in Winslow, was selected by the Arizona Art Education Association as 2017 Outstanding Elementary Art Educator.


The Native American Grant School Association honored Holbrook High School senior Cristen Halwood as “Student of the Year” at the 22nd NAGSA Conference in Las Vegas, Nev.

Candidates for Winslow City Council included, Robin Boyd, John “JD” Barker, Samantha Crisp, Rickey Jackson, Sharon Oliva and Michelle Pennington. Candidates for mayor included, Thomas McCauley and Harold Soehner.

The Hashknife Posse prepared for its 60th Pony Express ride by placing the mail barrels out with one at the Holbrook, Winslow, Snowflake, Taylor, Show Low and Pinetop post offices.

US Air Force Lieutenant Colonel William “Bill” Fish, Jr., a graduate of Winslow High School, was the recipient of the 2017 Young Professional of the Year Award, presented by the Young Professional Initiative of Northwest Louisiana, along with the Greater Shreveport Chamber of Commerce and Bossier Chamber of Commerce.