Monday, March 2, 2015

Dorchester's Steak And Hamburger Feed March 21


Ring in spring with a tasty steak or burger at the Dorchester Community Hall and Legion Hall on Saturday, March 21.  

In the process, you'll be helping save the Dorchester American Legion and Tabor Hall.

The Dorchester Community Foundation's Annual Steak and Hamburger Feed will be held in conjunction with the weekend of the Dorchester High School Alumni Basketball Tourney.

The feed will take place from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m.

Diners can choose a 12 oz. ribeye, along with salad, potato or chips, bread, drink and dessert -- all for $17.  

Or choose the hamburger meal for $9, which includes all the aforementioned side dishes.  

This event has been one of the most popular in Dorchester for the past six years.  And the food always gets top-notch reviews.

Proceeds of the March 21 feed will go to benefit Tabor Hall projects, as well as projects at the Dorchester American Legion Hall. Both organizations are struggling financially.

In previous years, the event has raised as much as $2,500 after expenses -- helping support the Foundation's many good initiatives, including the new "Welcome to Dorchester" signs.

Come out and support Dorchester on March 21.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Weather Service Wants More Storm Spotters


The Omaha World-Herald reports that with tornado season right around the corner, the National Weather Service is seeking the public’s help in getting its warnings right.

According to the Omaha paper, the weather agency is recruiting and training storm spotters. The first classes will be held this week.  No special expertise is needed, and spotters don’t have to leave their own property.

Click here to see a schedule for storm spotter training in eastern Nebraska.  A class will be held March 17 in Beatrice.  Better yet,  another spotter class will be held March 28 at Saline Center Hall, 3 miles west and 7 miles south of Dorchester on Highway 15.  For more information, e-mail brian.e.smith@noaa.gov.

Local emergency storm spotters are part of a network of volunteer spotters, organized by local emergency officials. They go through more rigorous training, typically have assigned spotting locations and often must have specific types of communication equipment. Volunteers who work strictly for the weather service perform at a more informal level. The amount of work they do depends on their personal circumstances. 

Friday, February 27, 2015

Deadline Nears To Enter DHS Alumni Basketball Tourney


The annual Dorchester High School alumni basketball tournament is just around the corner.  We've been told we should remind alumni that if they want to play, teams and individual players will need to register very soon.

Dates for this year’s tournament are March 20-22, the first weekend of spring.  

If you have any questions regarding the tournament, please contact DHS Activities Director Brent Zoubek at: bzoubek@dorchesterschool.org or call the school at (402) 946-2781. 

If school officials are following last year's schedule, team and individual registrations must be turned in no later than Friday, March 6.  We have received no official e-mails from the school, so we urge interested teams and individuals to contact the school directly.

There is a player entry fee.  Teams may combine players "in any manner that promotes fairness, equity and good-natured competition.  The tournament director reserves the right to make changes or adjustments as he sees fit to allow these rules to be followed."

For those who have not yet registered, provide the names of your team members, their year of graduation, the jersey number they wish to have, shirt size, and the $25.00/player registration fee to: 

Dorchester High School Alumni Tournament
c/o Brent Zoubek, Activities Director
P.O. Box 7
Dorchester, NE  68343

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Looking Back: Dorchester's July 4 Parade In 1908


Imagine, if you will, the year is 1908.

Theodore Roosevelt is president.  Oklahoma has just joined the union as our 46th state.  And the first around-the-world car race has started in New York City.

And it just happens to be Independence Day.  

You're in Dorchester -- and you have a front row seat for the village's celebrated Fourth of July parade. 

The scene would have looked like this...



The amazing image comes courtesy of a postcard we've stumbled across.  The scene was captured by Dorchester's famed early photographer Russell Friedell.

The theme of Dorchester's 1908 Fourth of July Parade was "Comic Parade." 

Students Urged To Enter Legion's Americanism Essay Contest


Kids, are you proud to be an American? Then tell us why!

Students in grades 3-12 are urged to take part in this year's American Legion Auxiliary "Americanism Essay Contest."  One award in each of the five classes will be presented -- and winners will get $50, as well as a $50 donation to the Children of Warriors Scholarship Fund made in the winning student's name.

Your essay title will be, "What Does Freedom Mean To My Family?"

Here are the five classes of competition and the length requirements:

Class I (Grades 3-4) -- 150 to 250 words.
Class II (Grades 5-6) -- 250 to 300 words.
Class III (Grades 7-8) -- 350-400 words.
Class IV (Grades 9-10)-- 450-500 words.
Class V (Grades 11-12) -- 450-500 words.

The deadline is approaching fast.  If you're interested in taking part, call Marva Kasl at (402) 946-6851.

Boys Basketball Team Will Fight Tonight For Winning Record


(UPDATE: The DHS boys basketball team concluded their season Tuesday night with a 57-51 loss to Lawrence-Nelson in the first round of subdistrict action.  The team ends with a 10-12 record for the 2014-15 campaign.)

The Dorchester boys basketball team will conclude its regular season schedule tonight at the DHS gymnasium.  

The Orange and Black Attack has a lot on the line, since the 10-10 Longhorns will be fighting to claim a winning regular season record for the 2014-15 campaign.

But there are two big question marks standing in the way for tonight's game.  

The DHS boys are coming off a disappointing 32-61 loss at McCool Junction last week.  

What's more, the Longhorns tonight face one of the standout teams in Class D2, Exeter-Milligan, which sports a 15-6 record.

The E-M Timberwolves blew out DHS last month at the CRC Tournament in York by a score of 59-26.

Regardless of what happens in tonight's game in Dorchester, the Longhorns already know their subdistrict assignment for next week.

On Tuesday, Feb. 24, DHS will take on Lawrence-Nelson (7-13) at the D2-2 subdistrict tournament at Sandy Creek.  If Dorchester beats Lawrence-Nelson, the boys would likely meet Exeter-Milligan for a third time this year on Feb. 26.

The Lady Longhorns' season concluded this past Monday evening at the Class D2-2 subdistrict contest at Sandy Creek, as the DHS ladies fell to Lawrence-Nelson 42-30.  The Lady 'Horns finished 3-18 on the season.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Joe's Place's Sharon Schmale Passes At 74


Sharon K. Schmale, 74, of Dorchester, passed away yesterday, Feb. 23, at Warren Memorial Hospital in Friend. 

She was born Oct. 6, 1940, in Exeter. Sharon married Dwayne Schmale on Oct. 13, 1984.  For many years, Sharon worked at her stepfather’s famous bar/restaurant in Dorchester, “Joe’s Place.”  In 1984, Dwayne purchased the bar, and he and Sharon continued to work there for another two decades.

Survivors include her husband, Dwayne Schmale; stepson Jeff (Nicki) Schmale; sister-in-law, Loretta (Robert) Powell; aunt, Tillie Soukup; nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her mother and stepfather, Shirley and Joe Ladman; mother-in-law, Mary Hartog.

Funeral Services will be held 2 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 26, at Kuncl Funeral Home in Crete.  Rev. Roger Wolfe will officiate the service. Visitation will be on Wednesday from 4-8 p.m. at Kuncl Funeral Home. 

Interment at Dorchester Cemetery.  Memorials may be directed to the Capital Humane Society.

Private condolences may be left here.

DHS Captures 2nd Place At CRC Quiz Bowl


The academic accomplishments and awards for Dorchester High School continue to accumulate.

The DHS Longhorns' Quiz Bowl Team traveled to Shickley earlier this month for the Cross Roads Conference (CRC) Quiz Bowl competition.  

The Dorchester students dominated the competition much of the way to capture the runner-up award at the CRC championship.  

The team from High Plains edged the Longhorns for first place. 

We congratulate Dorchester's committed students and academic standouts who participated on this year's quiz bowl team.

We also commend the Dorchester educators whose dedication and professionalism ensured another successful showing by DHS' best and brightest.

Dorchester Legion Wants To Hear From You


When we broke the news about the Dorchester Legion's financial problems, our Facebook followers discussed some of the problems facing Legion posts all over the country.

One of the key issues is declining membership.  

We are told the Dorchester Legion wants to hear from anyone who might be interested in joining either the American Legion (for active military personnel and veterans) or the Sons of the American Legion (for relatives of those who served).  

If you are in the Dorchester area or have Dorchester ties and want information on joining either group, call Roger Wolfe (402-946-2461) or e-mail wolfe1935@windstream.net.  Or call Larry Kaspar (402-946-6711) or e-mail lckaspar@yahoo.com.

Click here to learn more about American Legion membership. Click here for more on the Sons of the American Legion.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Saline County Residents Could Be On 'American Pickers'


Who has seen the TV show "American Pickers" on the History Channel? We must admit we've only seen a few minutes of the program, but we've heard much about it. 

Last weekend, a Dorchester Times reader e-mailed us to share that "American Pickers" will be touring the country soon, and he thinks "Dorchester and Saline County is prime 'picking' territory."

Locals who have many collectibles or a "junk collection" could be selected and get to be on "American Pickers" -- and perhaps make some money. 

According the History Channel website, "American Pickers" features antique collectors Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz.  

Here's what the website says:
  
"Hitting back roads from coast to coast, the two men earn a living by restoring forgotten relics to their former glory, transforming one person’s trash into another’s treasure. American Pickers follows them as they scour the country for hidden gems in junkyards, basements, garages and barns, meeting quirky characters and hearing their amazing stories. If you think the antique business is all about upscale boutiques and buttoned-up dealers, this show may change your mind – and teach you a thing or two about American history along the way."

If you have an old barn, house or storage shed full of collectibles -- even if you don't know what's in there -- Frank and Mike want to hear from you, according to the History Channel website.

If you would like to be considered for the TV show, send an e-mail now to americanpickers@cineflix.com.  The more details (and pictures) you can send them, the better your chances.

Update: Legion Members Seek Ways To Keep Doors Open


The Times has been provided follow-up information to a story reported earlier this week regarding the financial troubles of the Dorchester American Legion, Post #264.

We've learned that Dorchester Legion members met Thursday evening at the Legion Hall to discuss ideas on how to produce more revenue to keep the club functioning in its current location, and how boost involvement from members and the community at large.

More than 30 people were in attendance at Thursday's meeting, we are told via an e-mail.

Among some of the ideas mentioned were raffle drawings, dinner fundraisers, and raising money online.  

It was announced that Rick Thompson donated a mini chopper motorcycle (pictured) that runs and drives.  According to the e-mail, "Dorchester Legion members will soon be selling raffle tickets to win this mini chopper.  The drawing will be held during Dorchester's Fourth of July celebration."

We are told that the fundraising idea that resonated most among Legion members was a gun auction to be held over the Labor Day weekend.  Dorchester auctioneer Col. Darryl Novak of Novak Auction Service volunteered his services for the event, our source said.

According to the e-mail, the Dorchester Legion gun auction is definitely going ahead.  

Our source wrote: "Anyone who has guns or rifles (or equipment related to firearms and/or hunting and/or gun collecting) will be able to sell their items at this auction on Labor Day weekend at the Dorchester Legion.  The Legion will keep a small percentage of the winning bid to help fund its activities and clubhouse."

We are encouraged to hear of this development and hope the community continues to rally to save the Dorchester Legion so that it can continue to serve our area and inhabit its facilities on main street.

In the meantime, if there are Dorchester residents, alumni, or friends of the Dorchester Legion who would like to donate funds to the organization, we're told they should contact Tom Cerny, Post 264 Commander, by phoning (402) 381-8049 or e-mailing thomas.cerny00@gmail.com.

Developing...

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Vote Today For DHS Student As "Artist Of The Week"


The Times has learned that Dorchester student Jordan Keller has been nominated for "Artist of the Week" on Artsonia -- an online, nationwide kids art museum where young artists and students display their art for other kids worldwide to view. 

Jordan is in the 10th through 12th grade category.  Her artwork posted on Artsonia depicts a skateboard with printed pineapples in the background.  

According to information received by the Times, this is the second time in the past year that Dorchester has had an artist selected by Artsonia, with Ripley Creamer being honored earlier.  

The public is encouraged to vote for their favorite artwork of the week.  But if you want to help Jordan, time is limited.  Vote today!

If Jordan gets the most votes, she will receive a $50 Dick Blick Certificate and the school will receive a $100 certificate. 

Voting is very simple.  Just click here.  Vote for the artwork with Jordan's name and the "Dorchester, NE" location.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Source: Dorchester's American Legion Could Shut Doors Forever By April


Last November, on Veterans' Day 2014, this blog composed a tribute to Dorchester's August-Vanek American Legion Post #264.

This May, Dorchester's Legion Post will celebrate its 95th anniversary.

And for 95 years, the Legion and its members have been a key part of community life in Dorchester.  

But now this blog has learned the members of Dorchester Legion members will be holding a special meeting this week to decide the future of the Legion's club.

According to information e-mailed to the Times, the Legion is nearly out of operating cash and will soon be forced to close its clubhouse on Dorchester's main street.  

Our source told us that date could come within 40 days.

We hope the community and the Legion members will rally to find a way to keep Legion Post #264 an important part of Dorchester's main street and a central part of our village life.

Developing...

Monday, February 16, 2015

Celebrate Lent With Bible Study Class Beginning Thursday


Ash Wednesday is this Wednesday, Feb. 18.  The Dorchester United Methodist Church invites you to begin your journey by attending the Lenten Bible Study starting Thursday, Feb. 19 in Dorchester at 7 p.m.

This is a seven week Bible study entitled:  "The God We Can Know- Exploring the 'I Am' Sayings of Jesus" by Rob Fuquay.  This Bible study is perfect for Lent or any time of year, and this series will help you find and form an answer to the most essential questions in the Christian faith.

One by one, Jesus’ statements grab our imagination, reveal more about his identity and purpose, and connect us to the God of Moses, who spoke the first “I Am.” These significant yet ordinary images (bread, light, shepherd, vine, and more) give us insightful ways to experience Jesus and point us to a God who wants to be known.

Also, don't forget about the Dorchester United Methodist Church's weekly services on Sunday.  Worship service begins at 9 a.m., while Sunday School starts at 10:15 a.m. 

One final note:  The Friend/Dorchester United Methodist Church is seeking a church secretary working roughly 15 hours per week. Send resume to um71502@windstream.net or leave a message at (402) 947-3481.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Hey, Fourth Graders! Win Big Money In Severe Weather Poster Contest


The springtime severe weather season is quickly approaching and that means it’s time for the annual 2015 Nebraska Severe Weather Awareness Poster Contest.  But the deadline to turn your poster in is Feb. 27!

The contest, sponsored by Nebraska Association of Emergency Management, the National Weather Service and the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency, is part of the annual Severe Weather Awareness Week effort by emergency management directors and coordinators across Nebraska.  

There will also be a contest just for Saline County students.

The poster contest is open to all fourth-grade students in Nebraska (including home-schooled and private school students). Teachers are encouraged to have students participate while teaching them about hazards of severe weather in Nebraska. While not specifically designed to promote tornado awareness, tornadoes are the most common theme chosen for posters. Lightning and flooding, which are also products of severe thunderstorms, are also good topic choices. 

The first-place winner in the state contest wins a $125 gift card, second-place winner receives a $100 gift card and third-place winner receives a $75 gift card provided by the Nebraska Association of Emergency Management. The fourth-place poster winner will receive a $50 gift card sponsored by the National Weather Service. All four state winners will also receive a NOAA All-Hazards Weather Alert Radio from Saline County Emergency Management. (In the Saline County portion of the contest, the top four poster artists will receive gift cards and awards during the Regional Severe Weather Seminar at Saline Center Hall on Saturday, March 28 at noon.)

Here are the rules:
  • Poster artists must be a fourth-grader. Entries must be related to the theme of severe weather safety and will be judged on originality, effort and accuracy. All entries must be on an 11" x 17" sheet of white paper, providing a 1-inch white border to allow for mounting the winning posters. Any medium may be used (crayon, paint, markers, etc.). Only one entry is allowed per pupil.
  • All entries must be received by Saline County Emergency Management by Feb. 27, 2015. Contact BJ Fictum, Saline County Emergency Management Coordinator, at (402) 821-3010 or via email at scema@diodecom.net for more information. Her will pick up the posters.
  • Each entry must include student name, age, complete home address, home phone number, name, location and phone number of school on the back side of the entry. 

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Report: Dorchester Students Outperforming Most Area Peers


Running a school -- even a small one -- is expensive.  The personnel and operating budget of Dorchester Public School, for example, is roughly $2.9 million a year.  It takes a lot of tax dollars to educate your kids -- and many more kids who aren't your own.

So are Dorchester School district patrons getting their money's worth?  According to the latest Nebraska Department of Education report, the answer is a resounding "yes."

The Times analyzed different categories of education -- reading, math and science -- and compared state test scores of selected Dorchester grades to those of four other area schools.  We found DPS students are matching, and in many cases surpassing, their peers nearby.

First, a little background information:  The Nebraska Performance Accountability System (NePAS) was developed by the State Board of Education and Nebraska Department of Education as required by state law.  In August 2012, the State Board of Education adopted NePAS, which is based on student scale scores within grades, buildings and districts.  The system is intended to inform educators, parents, school board members, community members and policymakers about the learning progress of Nebraska schools and school districts. 

For last school year, 2013-2014, Dorchester students showed strong numbers for all grades tested under the NePAS system:  
  • 84 % of Dorchester students met or exceed state standards for reading; 
  • 76 % met or exceeded state standards for math; and 
  • 74 % met or exceeded state standards for science.
When comparing area schools, here are the results for last year's fifth graders:

5th Grade Reading -- Percentage of Students Meeting or Exceeding Standards

Dorchester -- 84.62%
Milford -- 81.63%  
Wilber -- 65.96%      
Friend -- 64.71%               
Crete -- 55.45%

5th Grade Math -- Percentage of Students Meeting or Exceeding Standards

Friend -- 94.12%
Milford -- 91.84%  
Dorchester -- 76.92%      
Wilber -- 74.47%               
Crete -- 58.04%

5th Grade Science -- Percentage of Students Meeting or Exceeding Standards

Milford -- 91.84%
Dorchester -- 84.62%  
Friend -- 70.59%      
Wilber -- 65.96%               
Crete -- 55.36%

When comparing area schools, here are the results for last year's sixth graders:

6th Grade Math -- Percentage of Students Meeting or Exceeding Standards

Dorchester -- 92.31%
Milford -- 90.57%  
Crete -- 62.61%      
Wilber -- 59.57%               
Friend -- N/A

6th Grade Reading -- Percentage of Students Meeting or Exceeding Standards

Dorchester -- 92.31%
Milford -- 88.68%  
Friend -- 85.71%      
Wilber -- 70.21%               
Crete -- 70.18%

When comparing area schools, here are the results for last year's seventh and eighth graders:

7th Grade Math -- Percentage of Students Meeting or Exceeding Standards

Dorchester -- 83.33%
Milford -- 81.48%
Friend -- 68.75%
Crete -- 65.03%
Wilber -- 56.52%

8th Grade Math -- Percentage of Students Meeting or Exceeding Standards

Dorchester -- 83.33%
Friend -- 77.27% 
Crete -- 71.21%               
Milford -- 66.67%               
Wilber -- 58.54%

Friday, February 13, 2015

Report: 40% Of DPS Student Get Free/Reduced Price Lunch


More than 40% of Dorchester Public School students receive their school meals courtesy of the taxpayers. 

That is according to the latest "State of the Schools Report" released by the Nebraska Department of Education based on data from the previous school year.

Dorchester Schools' free or reduced-price meals have soared in recent years.  In 2008, 26% of the DPS student body were on the government program.

The rules determining whether students can get their meals free or reduced are set at the federal level in Washington, DC. Those guidelines are based on family size and income or benefits such as Food Stamps or Temporary Assistance to Needy Families.

Roughly 34% of students in the Wilber-Clatonia school district receive free or reduced price lunches, while about 30% in the Friend school district get their meals courtesy of the taxpayer. 

Nearly 55% in the Crete school district get free or reduced meals.

Meanwhile, in Milford, fewer than 16% of that district's students are on the government meal program.

Across Nebraska, 45% of K-12 students get taxpayer-subsidized or purchased meals.  That number has increased from 30% in 2000 -- which leads us to believe that politicians (who get votes based on handouts) continue to water down the definition of "impoverished."

A reader who pointed us to these figures raises a good point.  He wrote: "This is an excellent learning opportunity for youngsters who complain about the quality and quantity of food they're being served under First Lady Michelle Obama's school lunch guidelines.  When the government pays your way, you will do what you're told and you will like it.  Keep that in mind."

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

DHS Boys Prepare For Final Two Regular Season Games


The Dorchester boys basketball team are once again sporting a winning record, going beyond the .500 mark following a 43-39 victory on the road against Hampton last night.  

The DHS Lady Longhorns, meanwhile, fell to the Hawks by a 50-35 count.

Fueled by the firepower of Corey Bird and Anthony Cordona, and supported by the efforts of Leo Conte, Tim Havlat and Nixon Nerud, the DHS boys squad is playing more consistently and as a team as the regular season comes to a close.  

But according to several DHS fans we've spoken with, the team will need more offensive juice if it wants to crack a dozen victories in the 2014-15 campaign.

The DHS boys are now 10-9 on the season.

Dorchester's boys team are back in action Friday night with a road contest against Class D-1 McCool Junction (6-11), before hosting Class D-2 powerhouse Exeter-Milligan at home on the following Friday, Feb. 20, for the last game of the regular season.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Where Do You Do Business In Dorchester?



Dorchester is lucky to have its share of great businesses.  Some have been here for decades, while others are new on the scene.  Some have storefronts on main street (Washington Ave., for those who don't know), while several others operate elsewhere within or around town.

The Dorchester Times doesn't offer advertising space, like traditional newspapers, but here is your chance to tout your favorite Dorchester-area business.

In the comments section of this post, business owners and customers are encouraged to let readers know about specials or new offerings.  Or just remind us of why and how we can do business with you.

Those of you who patronize Dorchester area businesses, tell us which are your favorites and why others should give them a try.

Many services and products are available right here in the Dorchester area.  It is important to keep our dollars close to home, to ensure that our community businesses not only survive, but grow.

The best way to do that is by spreading the word about our community's top-notch businesses.  

So go ahead -- tell us where we should be spending our dollars?

Sunday, February 8, 2015

A Look At The History Of Crete


Today, we take a few minutes to explore the history of next-door neighbor Crete, the largest community in Saline County and the oldest.

Crete quickly rose from the prairie in 1869 and 1870 when the railroad was extended to our area, bringing many settlers.  In 1871, two rival towns merged to form a new town, which was named after Crete, Illinois, the former hometown of an early settler.  In those early days, Crete was a contender for county seat.

According to Andreas' History of the State of Nebraska, written in 1882, in just a 10- or 12-year span, Crete had been "transformed into a splendid city teeming with a thrifty population, bustling with busy marts of trade, resounding with the measured stroke of industry and manufacture, wherein the sound of the millstone is ever heard and the grinding is never low."  Andreas wrote: "The marvel is, not that Crete exists at all, but that in so short a time, it should have attained so much and such splendor."

Here is more on Crete's founding according to Andreas' History:
The first settler to locate on and near the town site was J. C. Bickle, who staked off his place in the summer of 1863. Others, attracted by the beauty and auspices of the place, came in, and soon the valley of the Blue became dotted off, here and there, with the rude habitations of numerous settlers. Those who owned the lands afterward selected as the town site, were J. C. Bickle, Mary George, Samuel Bingaman, G. W. Bridges and O. W. Baltzley. The town, or rather two adjacent towns were laid off in the summer of 1870; one by J C. Bickle, on a forty-acre tract lying in the bend of the river, and called Blue River City, and one by the town company of the Burlington & Missouri River Railroad Company, lying just back of and adjacent to the one laid out by Bickle, and named Crete. A rivalry was thus engendered between the two parties as to which should control. The town company, backed by the railroad, had both the capital and influence, it is true; but, that Bickle held the commanding site, secure against the world and superior to any along the line between the Mississippi and Platte rivers, was patent to all. The company knew this, and exerted themselves strenuously to obtain possession of the land, which Bickle very independently refused to grant. 
To such length the matter ran, in the attempt of the company to freeze Bickle out, which he in turn vehemently met, as with fire against fire, that they gratuitously gave lots to those who would take them. This game foreshadowed no benefit to the company, who, seeing they had clenched holds with the wrong man, resolved to select a better location than they now had, and by the strategems practiced by railroads, to bleed Bickle's town to death. However, before this move was made, a compromise of the matter was effected, and the two places became united into the present town of Crete.

By the early 1880s, Crete had blossomed into a city of 2,500 inhabitants, "with stately business blocks hedging her streets, fifty business houses of varied sorts and sizes, sixteen manufacturing establishments, three grain elevators; three large lumber yards, two extensive coal yards, eight physicians, and as many lawyers, and six churches, two banks, the united capital stock amounting to $225,000, a fine opera hall, and three hotels, one of which, the Cosmopolitan, under the proprietorship of H. Code, excels, by far, anything of the kind in the State, outside of the cities of Lincoln and Omaha."

Aside from its industrial base and booming business sector, Crete had something else that made it a shining star in a new state of the union: Doane College.  Andreas wrote: "Long before Nebraska became a state, efforts were put forth which had for their object the founding of Christian schools. At the General Association of Congregational Churches gathered at Omaha June 7, 1872, the Committee on Education made an earnest plea in behalf of a Christian College. The outcome of the action of the Association was Doane College, located at Crete, seventy-five miles west of the Missouri. A Preparatory Department was at once opened -- September, 1872 -- and in one year the first Freshman class was entered."

Crete has always been the most populated community in Saline County dating back to the county's founding. Industrial growth, including the expansion of The Crete Mills, nurtured Crete to 3,692 by 1950.  Once Alpo and Farmland built large facilities on the edge of town, Crete's population skyrocketed to 4,444 by 1970.  Another surge of population growth came in the 1990s and 2000s, and today Crete is home to roughly 7,200 people.

Crete's ethnic makeup has changed greatly over the years, due in large part to the large number of jobs in meatpacking.  As of the census of 2010, there were 6,960 people, 2,199 households, and 1,447 families residing in the city. The racial makeup of the city was 70.6% white, 1.0% African American, 0.5% Native American, 2.5% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 23.1% from other races, and 2.2% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 35.7% of the population.

Crete has a magnificent and impressive history.  You can check out pictures of Crete's early years by visiting the Crete Heritage Society's website.  There's also a large number of Crete historical items for sale on eBay right now, including items highlighting the past of Doane College, Crete High School, and The Crete Mills.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

REMINDER: Methodist Church Soup Luncheon Is This Sunday, Feb. 8


Blowing snow and blizzard conditions postponed the Dorchester United Methodist Women's annual soup luncheon that had been scheduled for last weekend.   

That's why tomorrow, Sunday, February 8, at the Dorchester United Methodist Church, the UMW group will host their annual soup and sandwich luncheon.  This gathering always draws quite a crowd, so get there plenty early.  

Doors will open at 11 a.m. and food will be served up until 1 p.m.

Whether you fancy chili, clam chowder, chicken noodle or liver dumpling soups, you'll be sure to find it.  

Also to be served will be sandwiches, relishes and some of Nebraska's very best deserts.

Best of all, the event will feature live entertainment with Jim Sprague.

There is no charge for the event -- just a free-will offering.  Support a good cause; support the Dorchester UMW.


Thursday, February 5, 2015

DHS Boys Now Playing Over .500 With Easy Win Thursday


(UPDATE: In a heatbreaker, DHS fell Friday night at home to Giltner, 48-54.  The Longhorns move to 9-9 on the season.)

Thursday evening was a big night for the DHS boys basketball team, as the Longhorns managed to turn a big corner and get on the right side of a .500 season.

It was "Retro Night" at the Dorchester School gymnasium, and unlike the crowd -- decked in their vintage Longhorn wear -- the DHS boys never looked back.

By the end of the contest, Dorchester came out on top easily, beating Nebraska Lutheran by a tally of 62-46.

The DHS boys are now 9-8 on the season.

The Longhorns are back in action Friday night with a home contest against 9-8 Giltner -- a very important contest against a similar opponent.

Next week, DHS will travel to Hampton (2-14) and McCool Junction (5-10), before hosting Exeter-Milligan at home on Feb. 20 for the last game of the regular season.
Dorchester does old school — with Debbie Skalak, Sandy Rains, Deanna Sand Bird, Judy Bors and Julie Axline Behrens, Darin Kotas, Lyle Weber, Brad Havlat, Brent Zoubek, Mark Bors, and others.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Dorchester Gets Another 6" Of Snow


Round two of snow, delivered just 48 hours since the last round ended, dropped a healthy amount of the white stuff on the Dorchester area during the morning hours of Feb. 4.

A preliminary snow total from the National Weather Service shows about 6" fell in Dorchester's village limits.

Here are totals for other communities in Nebraska:

Lincoln -- 5.5" - 6.2"
York -- 4.2"
North Platte -- 7.8"
Bradshaw -- 4.2"
Hyannis -- 7.0"
Aurora -- 6.3"
Miller -- 6.4"
Sutherland -- 7.0"
Arnold -- 7.0"
Callaway -- 8.5"
Arthur -- 8.0"

Your Chance To Sell Items At Saline Center Consignment Sale


One of the biggest events in our area coinciding with the arrival of spring is the annual consignment sale at Saline Center.

This year will mark the 31st consecutive year for this event, which will be held Sunday, March 15, 2015, at Saline Center -- which is 3 miles west and 9 miles south of Dorchester.

If you have farm equipment or ag supplies or other items you'd like to cosign, or if you want to reserve a craft table, call (402) 821-7799 or (402) 821-2367 by February 15.  

If you call by February 15, your items will be advertised for free.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Here We Go Again: Winter Weather Advisory Issued


The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory for much of our area for Wednesday.  (UPDATE: The advisory in effect from Wednesday, 2:00 a.m. CST until noon Wednesday.  Dorchester Public Schools will be closed Wednesday, as will several area schools.  See the school closing list here.)

Our immediate area is supposed to received between 2 and 5 inches of snow, according to forecasters.

Stay up-to-date on all the latest forecast details by clicking here.

Here are the details as of 11 p.m.:

 TIMING...LIGHT SNOW WAS ALREADY BEGINNING IN PARTS OF NORTHEAST
NEBRASKA. HOWEVER MORE PERSISTENT SNOW SHOULD MOVE INTO THE THE
COLUMBUS TO NORFOLK AND ALBION AREAS BY 2 AM...EXPANDING TOWARD
OMAHA...COUNCIL BLUFFS AND LINCOLN BY 5 AM. THE REST OF
SOUTHEAST NEBRASKA AND SOUTHWEST IOWA CAN EXPECT SNOW BY
SUNRISE. THE SNOW WILL END QUICKLY FROM NORTH TO SOUTH BY LATE
MORNING.

* SNOW ACCUMULATIONS...2 TO 4 INCH SNOWS WILL BE COMMON...WITH A
SWATH OF 5 INCH SNOWFALL POSSIBLE...MOSTLY LIKELY FROM JUST
SOUTH OF COLUMBUS TO TO SOUTH OF OMAHA.

* MAIN IMPACT...THE LIGHT TO MODERATE SNOW AND BLOWING SNOW WILL
AFFECT MORNING TRAVELERS. TRAVEL WILL BE DIFFICULT DUE TO
VISIBILITY RESTRICTIONS FROM ACCUMULATING SNOW AND BLOWING
SNOW.

* NORTH WINDS INCREASING TO 15 TO 25 MPH WITH GUSTS OF 30 TO 35
MPH.

* COLD AND WIND CHILLS...TEMPERATURES WILL ONLY BE IN THE TEENS
WITH SINGLE DIGIT ABOVE AND BELOW ZERO WIND CHILLS. IT WILL BE
MUCH COLDER THURSDAY MORNING.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY FOR SNOW MEANS THAT PERIODS OF SNOW
WILL CAUSE PRIMARILY TRAVEL DIFFICULTIES. BE PREPARED FOR SNOW
COVERED ROADS AND LIMITED VISIBILITIES...AND USE CAUTION WHILE
DRIVING.

A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY FOR BLOWING SNOW MEANS THAT
VISIBILITIES WILL BE LIMITED DUE TO STRONG WINDS BLOWING SNOW
AROUND. USE CAUTION WHEN TRAVELING...ESPECIALLY IN OPEN AREAS.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Pictures Of The Blizzard Of Feb. 1


How does the Blizzard of Feb. 1, 2015, compare with those of previous decades to hit the Dorchester area?

For those old enough to remember more than five decades or more, this one probably cracks the top 20 list.  It doesn't match the severity of the blizzard of Christmas 2009, or the blizzard of 1978, as was mentioned on our Facebook page earlier today.  It certainly doesn't touch the blizzards of the 1950s that made Nebraska look like Antarctica. 

Still, this storm is going to be talked about for a while, if only for the fact that the weather experts were forecasting only 1-3 inches just a few hours before the first flakes fell on Saturday, Jan. 31.

We are told many of Dorchester's streets are still impassable and that the county roads are just plain treacherous.  Howling northwest winds are drifting shut passages that were opened just minutes earlier.

Because you should be staying put until conditions are safe, here are some of the pictures of the Dorchester area today that we've found on Facebook, and others that were e-mailed to the Times.   (Click on each picture for a better view.)










Blizzard Of Feb. 1 Will Usher In Subzero Temps


The winter storm warning for the Blizzard of Feb. 1 may be coming to an end.  

But a new warning is being sounded about the coming subzero temperatures.

Tonight and early Monday morning will see the thermometer drop to -10 degrees, with a windchill of -20 degrees.

Please take caution if you must venture outdoors tonight or Monday morning.  

Also, pets should be sheltered appropriately.

School in Dorchester and many surrounding communities is cancel for Monday.

Developing...

Methodist Church Soup Luncheon Postponed Until Feb. 8


NOTICE: Due to blizzard conditions, the Dorchester Methodist Church has postponed the UMW soup luncheon until next Sunday, Feb. 8.