Denise Tonniges

Denise Tonniges

First Insurance Agency of Utica, a division of Cedar Valley Insurance Agency, Inc. was recognized with a Star Award for exceptional performance on behalf of North Star Mutual Insurance Company in 2018.

First Insurance Agency is headed up locally by Denise Tonniges of Gresham.

Cedar Valley Insurance Agency is among seven agencies from Nebraska who received a Star Award from North Star Mutual this year. Agencies receiving this award are leaders in the area of production. Cedar Valley Insurance Agency has been representing North Star Mutual since 2017.

North Star Mutual Insurance Company is a Midwest property-casualty insurance company serving the states of Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Kansas. The company writes over $425 million in premium annually and is rated “A+” Superior for financial stability by A.M. Best.

Cedar Valley Insurance Agency is a local independent insurance agency (offices in Cedar Rapids, Petersburg, Clarkson & Utica, NE) that offers a wide range of property, crop, and health insurance options. The agency serves clients throughout Nebraska, Iowa, South Dakota, Colorado, Kansas and Arizona.

For more information about Cedar Valley Insurance, please visit www. For more information on North Star Mutual Insurance Company, visit

Eakes retail store winding down

You might have heard the news that Eakes Office Solutions will be shutting down the York retail store this summer. That is true. That will happen. What isn’t true though is that Eakes is leaving town. Far from it. Eakes will continue to serve its many business customers as they have before and the company is stronger than ever.

The store here in York has been in sales mode the last month or so and will continue for the next three or four weeks. It looks as if the first part of August is the target date when the doors will lock for good. When that happens, the retail sales location and print-it center will be gone.

What has happened over the last several years is the same thing that has happened again and again across the country. Customers are just not frequenting the brick and mortar stores to the same degree as they have in the past. This is what has happened with our store here in York and five other Eakes locations across the state.

The retail sales generated by the stores are a very small fraction of the overall company business as most of the company’s revenue comes from business to business transactions and that is where the emphasis will be going forward.

People have asked what that means for me. Eakes will be going forward in York with just a sales office from which I will operate out of along with Harvey Merrill who is the copier tech and who will also call this his home base. Eakes will continue to deliver the same as before and will continue to provide office supplies, furniture and business machines to our business customers the same as before.

I’ll continue to roam the streets calling on the many customers that Eakes has here in town. I’ll continue to write this column as long as the News-Times will have me and I’ll continue to host that wiley ole Pirate Jim as long as he is able to make it to town.

Treasure Hunt progressing

Are you out looking yet? Today’s paper should contain Clue #5 and that’s about when things start to heat up a little. By this time or the next clue, some people have figured out the general area where the medallion is hidden and that’s when things get interesting.

Over the years, people have told Pirate Jim that some of his clues don’t make sense. His reply is that there’s been 32 hunts over the years (two on year 30) and that the medallion has been found every year.

One thing that you can be sure of is that it’s going to be warm when the Treasure Hunt comes around. But that’s better than trying to head out and look when it would be ten degrees. Good luck hunting.

What the Heck…

Did you enjoy the 4th? Kudos to the York Chamber of Commerce and the many sponsors of the Firecracker Frenzy event that took place last Wednesday evening. Linda and I attended and sat in the grandstand for the show and the magnitude of the many shells that were exploding were pretty amazing.

Also, amazing were the many neighborhood displays that took place on the holiday. Some of the stuff that one can buy now is a lot bigger than the package of Black Cat firecrackers this guy used to buy back in the day. A lot louder too.

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