Tuesday, April 22, 2014

DHS Alumni Banquet, May 24

The 2014 Dorchester Alumni Banquet is set for Saturday night, May 24. Doors open at 5 p.m. and the banquet starts at 6 p.m.  Classes ending in "4" will be honored.

On the agenda for this year's banquet is the traditional dinner as prepared by the Dorchester American Legion Auxiliary.

This year's guest speaker will be legendary former Longhorn coach Jack Guggenmos.

A special tribute will be paid to the Class of 1964.

Reservations should be sent by May 5! Those who wish to attend should send their reservations to: 

Dorchester Alumni Association
P.O. Box 247
Dorchester, NE  68343.  

Use the following form:

                            DORCHESTER ALUMNI BANQUET - 6 P.M., MAY 24, 2014

Please reserve ___ seats at $20 each ........................................ $_____________
Donation to Dorchester Alumni Association ............................... $_____________
Donation to Dorchester Alumni Scholarship Fund ........................ $_____________

                                                                                                  TOTAL $_____________

Name: __________________________ Class of _________  E-Mail___________________

Address: __________________________________________________________________

City:______________________________ State: _______ Zip:_______________________

Friday, April 18, 2014

Egg Hunt At Nerud Field

The Easter Bunny is planning to drop in on Dorchester.

The Dorchester community Easter egg hunt will take place tomorrow, Saturday, April 19. The event will begin at 2 p.m. at the high school football field.

The hunt is sponsored by the DVFD and the Dorchester American Legion Post 264.

The Times wishes our readers a happy Easter. May you and your families enjoy the holiday together, as you remember the many the blessings bestowed upon Dorchester and our country. 

“He has risen!”

Ten Ways To Ruin A Small Town

(This post was originally published in July 2007.)

Recently, a Times reader sent us a thought-provoking piece that appeared in the Keith County News. Since both attitudes and actions play an important role in community development and prosperity, we thought it would be worthwhile to share this list of "ways to ruin a town" with other readers. Regardless of where you live, we think the following list serves as a good reminder of what not to do if you want to improve your community.

'Ten Ways to Ruin a Town'

1. Never attend public meetings. Criticize the way “they” do things.

2. Always remind others about the cold winters, hot summers and general tough conditions for those who live here.

3. Complain about community groups, volunteers, etc.

4. Keep convincing yourself that it’s not important to attend school programs, church services, concerts, ballgames, etc. You won’t be missed.

5. Knock your public officials, including school teachers and administrators. Talk about the “kickbacks” that the city council and school board must be getting.

6. Stay away from church. You might attend on Easter or Christmas to reassure yourself that all who attend are hypocrites.

7. Make purchases out of town or through catalogs or Internet sites. These firms will give back a lot to your community.

8. Remind others that your local newspaper and other communications are no good and have less local news than out-of-town media.

9. Remember: all kids are delinquents, all businessmen are crooks, and bad remarks about your town are the order of the day.

10. Above all, always be skeptical, cynical and negative about anything designed for the community’s progress and betterment.

If any of this sounds like something you do, even occasionally, do something about it. Try helping to build your community. You can make a difference. (This list originally appeared in "101 Ideas on Economic Development" by Cal Clark.)

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Open For The Season: Saline County Museum

(UPDATE: We received an e-mail alerting us that next Sunday, April 27 at 2 p.m., there will be an open house at the Saline County Museum.  The event will feature a musical program, as well as a dedication of the mural painted by DHS students, new trees for the museum grounds, and a new picnic table and bench.)

In the 1950's, Dorchester's own Rosa Dusanek had a dream of building a Saline County museum to house the history of our area's people. 

By 1957, the Saline County Historical Society was established.  In 1960, the Saline County commissioners gave the society a one-tenth mill levy.

The museum's first building -- the teal colored structure you see from Hwy. 33 -- was built in 1964. Today, in 2014, there are eleven buildings.

The Chapel contains “In Loving Memory” funeral displays, an altar and wedding dresses and suits. A nearby memorial pays tribute to Dorchester's Charlie Havat, the last American killed in WWII's European Theater.

The Memorial Building has an 1800’s bedroom, a parlor and a kitchen. There is a textile room, dentist office, doctor’s office and a beauty shop.

There is a section for all organizations of Saline County. The Museum will take organizational minutes and scrapbooks from disbanded organizations.

The Weidner Building which houses the fire truck, wagons, photography, and electrical displays.

The Machinery Building has implements from the past centuries.

The Voting Building is original. This building was only used for voting.

The Buckingham School is a one room country school from 1871. It is a building where present day children can go to school to see how their great grandparents were educated.

The Burden Home belonged to the first black homesteader in Saline County. Seven children were born and raised in this two room home, dated 1868.

The Cizek log cabin, dated 1866, is in a building, along with a large collection of barbed wire.

The Dorchester Depot Building houses fascinating railroad memorabilia.

And the Plato Post Office building is a traveling post office -- a tiny building that moved from farm to farm.

The Saline County Museum is operated strictly by volunteers. The Saline County Historical Society Board consists of ten individuals that meet quarterly.

There is no admission fee, although donations are welcome.

The Saline County Museum is now open for the season -- Sunday afternoons from 2-5 p.m.  

Museum contacts are: 
Judy - (402) 243-2356 
Mary Anne - (402) 448-5265

The museum volunteers tell the Times that they are working on new displays.  If you haven't been to the museum in a few years, you really need to stop by and seen the many changes.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Saline County Ag Land Soars 40% In Value In One Year

A story in the Omaha newspaper this week reported that "booming agriculture land values last year drove a nearly $21 billion increase in the state's taxable property valuation."  

This is bad news for area farmers who own land, due to the likelihood of soaring property taxes that follow sizable valuation increases.  It's also bad news for younger farmer who'd would like to buy their own farm ground.  

However, since property tax dollars pay for schools and roads, the ever-increasing portion of property tax revenues derived from farm land is probably good news for residential property owners, since their property taxes are kept in check.  (Readers should note that the amount property owners pay depends on the value of their property and the tax rates set by local governments -- not state government.  Around 65%-70% of your property tax dollar goes to pay for K-12 education, as a general rule.)

According to Nebraska's Department of Revenue, ag land valuations increased 29% between 2013 and 2014, following nearly 23% growth the prior year. This marks the sixth consecutive year in which ag land values grew by double-digits, based on sales.  

Chase County in southwest Nebraska experienced the largest jump in ag land values at 58.48%, but 16 other counties -- including Saline -- saw increases between 40% and 50%.  

According to our research, Saline County's ag land grew 40% in value from 2013 to 2014.  

Saline County's residential properties -- when new growth is excluded -- realized a 0.36% increase in value over the past year.  

Monday, April 14, 2014

Ideas From Around Nebraska: Oxford Library Is Youth Social Hub

According to a story on the news wires, the folks in Oxford, Neb., are making the town library a social hub for the kiddos.

The AP reports, "The kids come in their PJ's. They curl up with stuffed toys and munch on popcorn. And, while their parents are watching a grown-ups' movie at the Granada Theater next door, youngsters at the Oxford Public Library are enjoying a G-rated kid-friendly movie on their own big screen, helping the library fulfill its mission to be a vital, vibrant educational, entertainment and social hub of the community."

"We've done movie night all winter. It has become very popular," says library director Danielle Burns, who has, with her teen board, board of directors and "Friends of the Library," created other new programs and activities that are keeping the public library in residents' minds and hearts. "The library has lots of support and lots of volunteer time and talent from the community," Burns said.

Help with homework after school is part of the library's new "strategic plan" developed this year, and retired teacher Jan Anderson volunteered to help by offering tutoring. "It's free to the students, and has been very successful," Danielle said.

The community's Oxford Foundation provided funds for an XBox game system and television. The library also has a variety of DVDs available for check-out. "We feel very fortunate that we have so much support from the community," Burns said.

To further involve young readers in the library, Burns has created a five-member board of teens who are freshmen through seniors in high school. The board makes suggestions and recommendations of books of particular interest to teens and kids, and helps set up and clean up on Movie Night. "They're very, very helpful," she said. "And it helps them feel useful and part of the library."

Friday, April 11, 2014

Dorchester's Axlines Celebrate 50th Anniversary

A lot was going on in 1964.

The Rolling Stones conducted their first tour as headline act. 

President Lyndon B Johnson declared a "War on Poverty."  

The Beatles' "I Want to Hold Your Hand" hit No. 1 in the U.S.

The Warren Commission determined that "Oswald acted alone" in killing JFK.

Space probe Mariner IV flew by Mars, transmitting pictures of the planet's surface back to earth.

Indiana Governor Mathew Walsh tried to ban the song "Louie Louie" for obscenity.

And most importantly, Dorchester's Sharon and Harold Axline were married.

A loyal Times reader sent us this picture to let us know the Axlines will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary this weekend.

Tell them congratulations on this remarkable achievement!

Tax Credits Available For Town Restoration Projects

Did you know that the Community Development Assistance Act (CDAA) empowers the Nebraska Department of Economic Development (NDED) to distribute a 40% state tax credit to businesses, corporations, insurance firms, financial institutions, or individuals that make eligible contributions of cash, services or materials to approved community betterment projects?

It's true. 

And non-profit community betterment organizations -- like the Dorchester Community Foundation -- can apply to the NDED to become qualified for CDAA tax credits. Upon approval of a project, the community betterment organization can notify donors they are eligible for tax credits. The donors then submit a tax credit request form to the NDED.

Think of the potential Dorchester renovation projects you know that could benefit from this program.  

Recently, the Southeast Nebraska Development District (SENDD) assisted two communities with developing and submitting CDAA applications that have been funded.  The Friend Historical Society was awarded $25,000 in credits for their restoration of the Warren Opera House.  Deshler residents were made eligible for credits due to their renovation of their community library.

We hope Dorchester leaders will pursue opportunities made possible by the CDAA.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Bird, Zahourek Capture Top Honors At Turkey Creek Meet

The Friend Sentinel reports that the Turkey Creek Relays held earlier this month marked the first opportunity for area high school track teams to compete outdoors this spring.

Dorchester Coach Ryan Voelker is quoted as saying he didn’t think some of his athletes warmed up enough. “Don’t think the athletes were loving the weather. It was cold and it takes a good deal of warming up, which is unmotivated when windy and cold. Some athletes were tight,” he said.

Still, several Longhorns performed well at the event.

Dorchester took won the long jump with great performances from Corey Bird and Riley Zahourek.  The combo then took second place in the high jump.  In the triple jump, Dorchester took fifth thanks to Nixon Nerud and Tim Havlat.

The DHS girls 4x200-meter relay team captured sixth place, while capturing sixth in the 4,800-meter distance medley.

In the 4x60-meter hurdle shuttle, the Lady Lonhorns took third place thanks to Jordan Keller, Jacee Weber, Avery Behrens, Cassidy Olson.  

In the triple jump, Dorchester's Jacee Weber Lydia Kahle both took home medals. In the shot put, Bailey Velder and Avery Behrens took fifth place. DHS's Lydia Wells and Avery Behrens took fourth place in the discus.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

BREAKING: New Housing Development Coming To Dorchester?

Lately, this blog has heard lots of discussion about a possible new housing development on the edge of town.  

(UPDATE: Village Board officials have confirmed this idea was not discussed at this week's board meeting.  However, a phone call to a local resident has confirmed that a landowner is willing to discuss providing land south of town for a new housing development.  We regret the confusion.)

According to information received by the Times, Dorchester officials have been informed that a longtime Dorchester family and landowner is willing to sell the village his farm ground at below-market values if the town sees the need to add new housing.

It appears some residents are adamant that the project go forward, due to demand for new and improved housing in our town.

Our sources tell us the new development would be just south of Dorchester's current southern limit.  The e-mail sent to the Times disclosed that early suggestions would have a new street running from east to west, on the west side of Washington Ave.

This exciting news comes at an opportune time.

A recent survey of 25 DHS alumni ages 18-30, conducted by the Times last month, showed that 80% of these young people -- many of whom have already married and/or have children -- would consider moving back to Dorchester.  However, nearly all of those alumni said there would need to be adequate housing.  Several noted they liked the idea of a new housing development just outside of town.

Village board members are supposedly in contact with a housing developer in Lincoln who has shown interest in a housing project.


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Tonight: Meeting For Parents Of DPS Elementary Students Interested In Sports

Dorchester School officials are planning for the future.

There will be a Dorchester Elementary School athletics meeting tonight, April 8, at 6:30 p.m. in the school library.  

According to officials, this meeting is being held to brief parents of Dorchester Elementary School students on the current sports opportunities being offered -- as well as the outlook for Dorchester athletics.  

School officials also want to use this opportunity to gather input from parents.

All Dorchester parents with a student in elementary school -- or soon to be in elementary school -- are encouraged to attend.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Dorchester Sees 166% Gain In Weekend Traffic Since 2008

While Dorchester village officials probably won't hear any grumbling about traffic jams anytime too soon, they may want to take notice of the dramatic spike of weekend traffic on Main Street from just half a dozen years ago. 

They may also want to recognize the sizable increase in economic activity created by those who arrive in the additional vehicles.

According to a study conducted by the Times, weekend traffic on Dorchester's three-block business district has surged 166% on Friday and Saturday nights compared to just six years ago.

The Times compared ten random traffic counts taken in 2008 and another ten taken in 2014. The tallies were taken between the hours of 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. on Friday or Saturday evenings, when Dorchester's Main Street (Washington Ave.) tends to be its busiest.

In 2008, the average number of cars or trucks parked in the business district was 12. This year, the average number of autos was 32.

The increase in traffic can likely be attributed to the success of Ben's Iron Grill (and its successors), Joe's Place (and now City Slickers) and increased community activity at the Legion Hall and Dorchester Community Building.

The extra vehicles mean big dollars for Dorchester, even using conservative estimates. 

We estimate that each vehicle on Dorchester's Main Street on a Friday or Saturday evening equals at least $30 spent in town on food, drinks, donations, gasoline or something else. 

Using that figure, the additional 20 vehicles appearing in the business district on weekend nights would translate into an extra $62,400 spent in Dorchester throughout the course of a year.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Baked Potatoes & Ice Cream Sundae Bar Next Sunday

Spring, no matter how slow its arrival, has us thinking warm and sweet thoughts.

That's why next Sunday, April 13, you will find us and many others at the Dorchester United Methodist Church's Baked and Sweet Potato Bar.

Serving will begin promptly at 11:00 a.m. at the church.

You will have a choice of more than 10 toppings -- as well as the famous Ice Cream Sundae Bar.

Free will offering.  

See you at the Dorchester UMC!

Longhorn Volleyball Camps Being Offered This Summer

Hey, DHS Longhorn volleyballers (and parents)!

On June 12 and 13, Dorchester High School volleyball staff will be holding the Lil' Longhorn Camps at the DHS gymnasium.  

The Lil' Longhorns Volleyball Camp is open to any girls or boys in grades 3-9 during the 2014-2015 school year.  

The 3rd-6th grade camps will be conducted from 9:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. both days.

The 6th-9th grade camp will be conducted from 12:30 p.m. -2:30 p.m. both days. 

Also, on June 9 and 11, the College of St. Mary will be conducting a volleyball camp with the Dorchester and Wilber-Clatonia teams.  The St. Mary's camp is only open to volleyball players who will be in 9th-12th grade at those schools during the 2014-15 school year.  

Any 6th-9th grade athlete who attends both camps will get a $5 discount on the $20 cost of the Lil' Longhorn Camp.  

Registration forms and more information are available at https://sites.google.com/site/dorchestervolleyball/ or by contacting Coach Ty Peteranetz at coach.ty6@gmail.com.  Or call (402) 946-2781.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Does Your Young Child Have A Learning Disability?

Do you have a child 5 years or younger who displays a delay with learning, moving, playing, hearing, seeing and/or speaking?

Dorchester Public Schools wants to help.

A free dinner will be served at DPS next Tuesday, April 8, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. to all district residents who need assistance in identifying if their child could be at risk for learning disabilities and could benefit from special education services.

If your child is five years or younger and you're interested in this event, call (402) 946-2781 to reserve your spot for this April 8 event.

If you have questions, e-mail Cheryl Perkins at cperkins@dorchesterschool.org

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Check Out This Available Home In Dorchester Today

Dorchester is a small town on the rise -- and is getting noticed for all the right reasons.

Just consider what Dorchester has to offer:
  • A brand new K-12 school.
  • A clean, peaceful and safe community.
  • A new water system and new sewer system.
  • The lowest school tax levy in the county.
  • Affordable cost of living.
  • One of the largest agri-businesses (Farmers Cooperative) in the state.
  • Friendly, helpful neighbors.
  • A 10-minute drive from many employers in Crete and Seward. And only 30 minutes to jobs in Lincoln. Located next to two highways and minutes from Interstate 80.
However, one challenge facing Dorchester is housing.  Since the Dorchester Times has been in operation, we've heard from many readers who've said they would like to move to Dorchester, if only homes were available.

Today, we showcase the latest Dorchester home available right now.  If you're ready to call Dorchester home, we encourage you to take a look and make an offer.  Make Dorchester your home and grow with our community.

1009 Sumner Avenue:  If you like small town living, this is the house for you. This house is located a half block from the K-12 school.  Located directly behind the house is the community baseball diamond. The house has a large deck, with fully fenced in backyard, facing the baseball diamond and the football field, where the Fourth of July firework celebration takes place.  The backyard is large and perfect for entertaining.  The property has a 30' x 30', finished, heated and cooled garage with cable TV.  A perfect man cave, or just a great place for all your hobbies. $109,900.  Click here.

DHS Alumni Golf Tournament Set For May 31

It appears that DHS alumni will soon be gathering for a first-ever alumni golf outing.

According to school officials, the event is aimed at drawing a wide range of DHS alumni -- from ages 18 to 98.

The first annual DHS Alumni Golf Tournament will be Saturday, May 31 at the Friend Country Club.  

The event will be a four-man scramble tournament.  

Captains of each four-man team should contact Activities Director Brent Zoubek at: bzoubek@dorchesterschool.org or call the school at (402) 946-2781.  

Deadline to register and submit payment is May 16.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

DHS' Weber Wins Triple Jump At Doane, Other Longhorns Place

The Friend Sentinel reports that the Dorchester track team had some highlight reel moments at the Doane Invitational held recently in Crete, and that coaches were happy with the marks the athletes turned in.

“We put up some marks and times that are a good starting point where our goal will be to continually improve upon them,” Dorchester Coach Ryan Voelker said. “There is always room for growth, and it will start for us in being in solid physical condition.”

Jacee Weber led the way for the Longhorns, winning the triple jump with a leap of 33-3.75. Lydia Kahle finished third in the discus with a throw of 84-8, and the 4x400- and 4x800-meter relays were both sixth.

The Longhorn boys’ teams is down in numbers, the story points out, and that meant fewer team points. 

Riley Zahourek and Corey Bird each placed in two events for the Longhorns. Zahourek was second in the triple jump at 39-6.25 and third in the long jump at 20-3.5. Bird finished fifth in both the long jump and high jump.

Today, April 1, DHS was in the field for the Turkey Creek Relays held at Friend High. 

Monday, March 31, 2014

Zahourek, Donohoe Named To All-State Honor List

Three Dorchester High School basketball players have been awarded Class D-2 all-state honors this past weekend.

The March 30 issue of the Lincoln Journal Star listed Dorchester seniors Riley Zahourek and Kevin Donohoe in in its boys' all-state honorable mention rolls.

We salute both both of these outstanding Longhorn players for their accomplishments on the court.

The Dorchester Times staff is glad to see the hard work of these players pay off in the form of deserved recognition.

Butler Co. Bigfoot Sightings Stir Memories Of Dorchester Area Reports

The Lincoln Journal Star has run a story that Butler County is abuzz about reports from a teenager who spotted a hairy, 7-foot-tall creature. And about hairs found later in the vicinity.

Some readers may remember that several years ago, the Dorchester Times published a controversial story about possible Saline County sightings of a Bigfoot -- the elusive forest-dwelling man-ape, also known as a Sasquatch.

As we reported back in 2008, a longtime Dorchester area resident, now deceased, once told a Times staff member that he had clearly seen a creature resembling Bigfoot. 

According to the deceased, the Bigfoot-like creature was spotted in the woods of Turkey Creek near Pleasant Hill in the mid-1980s. The creature was witnessed for about 30 seconds, as the deceased was driving along what is now County Road II, south of Pleasant Hill.  The creature quickly disappeared into the thick vegetation surrounding the creek, according to the witness' account.

The Times was also told of a Dorchester man, a World War II veteran, who has seen what is called "the Johnson Creek monster."  According to our sources, in the early 1970s, this individual and his son saw it several times at their residence, which was near Johnson Creek. This individual's son has reported that the entire family once saw it in their yard. The description given resembles a Bigfoot, except smaller. It was described as a small, upright ape-like creature.

To be clear, we are highly skeptical of the existence of Bigfoot. Nonetheless, we can't forget the sincere and passionate accounts we heard ourselves about the Dorchester area Bigfoot. 

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Severe Weather Workshop Today At Saline Center

Our area is in the heart of Tornado Alley. That is why the Times recommends that area residents consider attending the 20th annual Regional Severe Weather, set for 12:30 p.m. today, March 29, at Saline Center Hall, just southwest of Dorchester at the intersection of County Road M and Hwy. 15.

Storm-chasing videos, severe weather safety, communications, mass casualty and emergency management and displays will be part of the seminar.  

Special presenters will be experts from the National Weather Service, Dr. Ken Dewey of UNL, and 10/11 News meteorologist Brad Anderson and Channel 8's Luke Dorris.

This afternoon's keynote presentation will be given by the Twister Sisters, also known as Peggy Willenbeg and Melanie Metz, who will recognize the 10th anniversary of the Hallam tornado. 

More information is available by calling (402) 821-3010 or emailing at scema@diodecom.net.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Saline County One Of Nebraska's Growing Counties

Population loss has plagued rural Nebraska since the Great Depression and Dust Bowl years of the 1930s.  But recently, the problem has become worse in many counties due to agriculture's rapid technological boom.

Fortunately, Saline County is one of 24 Nebraska counties that grew in population in the first decade of the 2000s.

Now comes a report that Saline County is one of 31 Nebraska counties that have grew in the first three years of the 2010s.

A report by the Omaha World-Herald says the latest estimates by the U.S. Census Bureau show that 61 of Nebraska's 93 counties have lost residents since the official 2010 Census.  

Meanwhile, eight Nebraska counties — Cass, Douglas, Sarpy, Lancaster, Hall, Buffalo, Adams and Seward — set all-time population records last year.  

Lancaster County will probably hit 300,000 next year.  And the Omaha metro area, which is made up of eight counties in Nebraska and Iowa, now has more than 895,000 residents.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Coming To Dorchester: Bowling Alley?

Did you know that archaeologists have discovered bowling balls, pins and other related bowling equipment in a child’s tomb in Egypt, dating the game as far back as 5200 B.C.

And yet all these years later, Dorchester is without a bowling alley.  

That could change in the near future, according to several sources who have either spoken to Times staff or e-mailed us in recent weeks.

Information provided to the Times indicates strong interest is growing in a Dorchester bowling alley, especially after feedback given to Dorchester's new planning commission and community task force.  One of our sources said initial plans would place a Dorchester bowling alley in the two buildings north of City Slickers Bar and Grill (one of those buildings is blighted and vacant residential space), or perhaps the former Sehnert Garage, were those buildings to be made available.

Of course, a future bowling alley is currently in the speculation stage only, but it appears there is strong demand for such a social and entertainment venue.  As readers know, Friend and Crete both lost their bowling facilities in recent years.   As a result, those who want to bowl on league teams must wait years before they can bowl in nearby towns like Wilber or Seward.

"If Dorchester residents were willing to contribute their own money towards a bowling alley, this community would have real ownership," wrote one town resident who e-mailed the Times about this potential development.  "It would finally give local residents a place to come together and share good times, just like social clubs used to provide years ago in the 1940s, '50s and '60s."

We have not yet heard from any members of the Dorchester Planning Commission/Task Force on this matter specifically, but we welcome their input, as well as information from other knowledgeable sources.


Sunday, March 23, 2014

MVPs For Alumni Tourney Weekend

Another DHS Alumni Tournament weekend has come and gone.  Unfortunately, none of the Times staff was able to see the tournament action this year, but we heard there were several exciting games, including a few buzzer beaters that kept fans on the edge of their seats.

Alumni weekend is an important weekend that brings together the DHS alumni brotherhood (and sisterhood) for fun, laughs and conversation.  It also is important to our main street and business community, as well as the DHS athletic program.  

So this year, we are naming the 2014 DHS Alumni Tournament MVPs -- the sponsors of the tournament:

Ben's Iron Grill 2
Heath Sports and Tees (Crete)
Stutzman Digging
Farmers Cooperative
First State Bank
Spring Creek Repair and Farm Supply
Runza (Crete)
BZ Construction
Clark's Lawn Service 
City Slickers Bar and Grill
Papik Seeds
Holly Well Drilling
Barley's Specialties
Rains Simmentals
Weber Feedyards, LLC
Velder's Taxidermy
Novak Auction Service

Without these sponsors, the tournament would not be possible.  Nor would adequate money be raised to benefit current and future Dorchester students.

Be sure to thank these sponsors and patronize their businesses.

We also want to name the volunteers of the Dorchester Community Foundation as MVPs due to their hard work.  This year's steak and hamburger feed -- held Saturday night -- was the most successful feed yet.   All the Times staff were there, and we know firsthand that this event was made possible by selfless volunteers who gave up their Saturday to benefit our community.  We even heard reports of Foundation volunteers cleaning up the community hall and Legion building after midnight on Sunday morning.  That's dedication!

Congratulations to all the players, fans and alumni who made it back for this year's tourney.  We're grateful for your dedication to Dorchester.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Big Weekend In Dorchester Begins Tonight

The 19th annual DHS Alumni Basketball Tournament begins tonight and continues through Sunday at the school gymnasium. 

This is typically one of the year's biggest weekends in the village.

Several teams are registered for this years tourney, according to DHS Activities Director Brent Zoubek, who assumes management duties following Scott Pohl's retirement last year. 

The first game tips off at 6 p.m. tonight, and the championship game is slated for Sunday afternoon. 

On Saturday night, March 22, the Dorchester Area Community Foundation is planning a steak and hamburger feed at the Community Building and Legion Hall from 5-9 p.m., giving DHS alumni and their families plenty of time to dine and catch up. 

Diners can choose a 12 oz. ribeye, along with salad, potato or chips, bread, drink and dessert -- all for $16.  Or choose the hamburger meal for $8.50, which includes all the aforementioned side dishes.  Or just get a hamburger and chips for $5.

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

Friday Is Dorchester Elementary's Excellence Rally At 8 A.M.

Get ready, Dorchester students and parents.  Tomorrow -- Friday -- is the big day.

Friday, March 21 is Dorchester Public School's Elementary Excellence Rally.  

This is a popular event that is back by popular demand.

The event starts at 8 a.m. in the school gymnasium.  Everyone is welcome!

Last year's event featured a "tunnel walk" of sorts that recognized every student of Dorchester Elementary School.

This is an excellent morale booster that also serves as a reminder of the importance of doing well in school -- not only academically, but also socially and in the realm of physical fitness.

Come be a part of this special event that pays special tribute to Dorchester's future.

Dorchester's Steak & Hamburger Feed This Saturday, 5-9 PM

Mark your calendars! Save the date!

This Saturday, March 22, is the Dorchester Community Foundation's Annual Steak and Hamburger Feed held at the Dorchester American Legion hall and community building.  

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

Diners can choose a 12 oz. ribeye (also known as Scotch fillet in Australia and New Zealand), along with salad, potato or chips, bread, drink and dessert -- all for $16.  Or choose the hamburger meal for $8.50, which includes all the aforementioned side dishes.  Or just get a hamburger and chips for $5.

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

As in recent years, the steak and hamburger feed this year will again coincide with the DHS Alumni Basketball Tournament. 

The event raised more than $2,500 after expenses last years -- helping support the Foundation's many good initiatives, including the new "Welcome to Dorchester" signs that are currently being erected.

Come out and support Dorchester!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Dorchester Resident Pleads For Puppy's Return

The Times' staff recently read a heartbreaking post on Craigslist from a fellow Dorchester resident who lost her puppy.

It reads:  "HELP!! My puppy was taken from our yard and we cannot find the one responsible! He's an Australian Shepherd, six months old. We've looked everywhere but if you have seen him or know of anyone who has recently 'gotten' a puppy that is like this one, LET ME KNOW."

The puppy's owner continues:  "We would really love to have him back home! I know his ID marks so it wouldn't be a problem for me to tell if it's him. He's very friendly and I'm sure he misses his puppy sister and his family. Please e-mail me! I check everyday!"

If you have seen this dog, e-mail the rightful owner simply by clicking on this link, then click the "reply" button at the top of the Craigslist page.

Let's get this puppy back home.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Friend Opera House Receives Tax Credits As Renovation Nears Completion

The Times has learned that the Nebraska Department of Economic Development (DED) is awarding $25,000 in Community Development Assistance Act (CDAA) tax credits to help restore Friend's historic opera house.

The Friend Historical Society will use the tax credits to retain architectural services for the renovation and restoration to the theater as it relates to future plans to host local, regional and national events.

To date, the Friend Historical Society and its partners have invested more than $250,000 to renovate the Warren Building. Nearly 90 percent of structural and cosmetic street-level improvements are completed.

According to the Friend Chamber of Commerce website, the Warren Opera House was the premier place for social gatherings beginning 1885. It served Friend and neighboring communities for 34 years, providing a venue for plays, dances, lectures, political and sporting events, and even a circus. Though abandoned years ago, the theater still features most of its seats intact and in place, old props displayed on stage, and a curtain that is rolled and stored.

Notable are hundreds of signatures of traveling and local theater troupe actors, and band members inscribed on the wardrobe room walls. 

The Yokel family, long-time purveyors of hardware and furniture, donated the building (home of the opera house) to the Society. 

The Warren Opera House is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and available for touring by appointment.  Contact Carey Potter, Friend Historical Society, at (402) 730-0276, or cpotsgo@msn.com.

For information about the CDAA program, contact Jenny Bindrum, CDAA coordinator, at 402-471-6280, or jenny.bindrum@nebraska.gov.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Journal Star Pays Tribute To Saline Center Auction

The Dorchester area is known for its quality auctioneers and auction services. 

And Sunday's Lincoln Journal Star paid tribute to the annual Saline Center Consignment Sale.

The story notes the "seven auctioneers ride in pickup beds, shouting through bullhorns at crowds of farmers in Carhartts and camo. You can buy a 1996 John Deere combine for $10,000 cheaper than usual, a miniature horse for $37.50 and worn-down wheels with their rusty axle still attached for $5."

As the Journal Star points out, the auction, in its 30th year, is hosted by the Saline Center Lodge and local volunteers. 

The money made from the equipment helps the Saline Center Czech Lodge support local philanthropic ventures, including the lodge and the Dorchester and Friend fire departments. And as far as volunteer Don Divoky knows, it's the biggest consignment sale around.

See the story here.

Saline Co. Pheasants Forever Banquet, March 22

Calling all Dorchester-area hunters.

You are invited to the Pheasants Forever Saline County Chapter's annual banquet this Saturday, March 22.

The event will begin at 5 p.m. at Sokol Hall, 315 S. Wilson St., in Wilber.

For tickets, call:

Dean, 402-429-1638, or dblaser23@gmail.com;
Denny, 402-676-4278, or dohabitat@gmail.com;
Jack, 402-826-5550, or jd68339@yahoo.com.

See you out there!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

News From Next Door: Crete Getting New Bank Building, Dairy Queen

For those who missed it, Crete's private sector is making a few changes in our neighboring community.

According to The Crete News, the east side of Crete, which is already home to a new, state-of-the-art Runza restaurant, will also soon see a new Union Bank building at the corner of Hwy. 33 and Grove Street.  

Furthermore, the famous Dairy Queen barn and accompanying business has been sold to a Lincoln group, whose plan includes demolition of the old building and construction of a new restaurant.

The Crete News also reports that Crete's Economic Development Director Max Kathol has told the Crete City Council that the Nebraska State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) is considering Saline County for its annual county historic survey.  

Kathol said the state office itself does one county-wide survey per year and Kathol did the legwork in starting the process for Saline County being considered for the state office survey. 

The Times advocates Dorchester leaders, who have already partnered with the City of Crete for electrical service, working with Crete on its historical reservations for guidance and advice on work that could be done in our community.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Dorchester Student Council Silent Auction, March 18

The Dorchester Student Council will be holding their annual Make-A-Wish silent auction on Tuesday, March 18.  This event will coincide with the elementary's spring concert, so make plans now to attend both.

All proceeds go to the Nebraska Make-A-Wish chapter, which benefits children who have been diagnosed with cancer. 

The items for the auction will be displayed for viewing and bidding no later than 6:30 p.m.  

The DPS elementary spring concert will begin at 7 p.m.  After the concert, bidding will remain open until approximately 8 p.m.  Winners will be announced at that time.  

Last year the Student Council raised nearly $1,000 from the auction, which was matched by a private sector sponsor.  Dorchester's district of student councils raised almost $10,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.  

Any donations would be great appreciated.  Giving ailing kids the dream of their lifetime is extremely rewarding.  

Any questions? Contact Stacy Lutjemeyer at slutjemeyer@gmail.com.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Youth Baseball, Softball Sign-Up Is March 17

(CORRECTION: This event will begin at 7:30 p.m. on March 17.)

Hey kids! 

Next Monday, March 17, is your chance to sign up for the Dorchester baseball and softball teams.  The sign-up for both boys and girls will be at the Dorchester School cafeteria (enter on the south side) at 7:30 p.m. 

Any boy ages 6-15 (15 years old on or before Dec. 31, 2014) can play Dorchester baseball.  

Any girl ages 6-18 (18 years of age on or before Dec 31, 2014) are eligible to play Dorchester softball. 

Fees will be due at time of registration.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Despite Possible Snow, Today's Precipitation Is Welcomed

Today's forecast calls for a 60% chance of rain, which could turn into a wintery mix of snow and ice later in the day and in the evening.  And it could be accompanied by wind gusts of up to 40 mph.

Sounds rough -- but we should not complain.  

As drought continues to ravage Nebraska, forecasters say there isn't a lot of hope in the immediate future for precipitation aside from today's system.  

The picture above of Turkey Creek near Pleasant Hill was taken by a reader yesterday.  

It shows how dry conditions are following a colder-than-usual winter that brought little snowfall.  And what snow did fall had very low moisture content.

According to UNL's drought monitor, Saline County and eastern Nebraska are currently abnormally dry, with drier conditions creeping in from the southwest.

Click here for the long-range forecast for the Dorchester area.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Former DPS Principle Stan Knapp Passes At 64

Stan Knapp
Former Dorchester Public Schools principal Stan Knapp, 64, passed away last Friday, March 7, from complications brought on by ALS. 

Born Aug. 16, 1949 in Akron, Iowa to Jack and Phyllis Knapp, Stan was a son, brother, husband, Army first lieutenant, father, grandfather, educator, coach, realtor, Kiwanian, longtime UNL Women's sports supporter, world traveler, and golfer.

Family members include wife, Diane; brothers, Gordon (Ritta) and Brian (Terresa); sister, Barb Brown (Craig); daughter, Maggie (Colin); son, Mitch (Kenna); grandchildren, Paige and Landon; sister-in-law, Terri Small (Scott); and nieces and nephews.

A skilled educator. A wonderful father and grandfather. A respected colleague. A dear friend. A truly beautiful man. Stan touched many lives and all are better for knowing him.

A celebration of Stan's life will be 11 a.m., Tues., March 11, 2014, at St. Mark's United Methodist Church, 8550 Pioneers Blvd. in Lincoln, with family greeting friends from 10-11 a.m.  Memorials may be made to family for later designation. Condolences online at www.lincolnfh.com.