Sunday, March 29, 2015

2015 DHS Alumni Golf Tournament Set For May 30


DHS alumni will soon be gathering for the school's second annual alumni golf outing.

According to school officials, the event is aimed at drawing a wide range of DHS alumni -- from ages 18 to 98. Last year's event was a success, drawing many alums from near and far.


The 2015 DHS Alumni Golf Tournament will be Saturday, May 30 at the Friend Country Club in Friend.


The event will be a four-man scramble tournament.  Check-ins will be 7:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.  Shotgun starts will be 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. 


Cost is $50 per player, or $65 per player with a t-shirt.  $200 for four-person teams.  Players must be a DHS alum.  Checks should be made payable to Dorchester Public School.  Price includes 18 holes of golf, cart and pin prizes.


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


Deadline to register and submit payment is May 15.


Bird, Nerud Named To All-State Rolls For Basketball


Dorchester High School's Corey Bird and Nixon Nerud have been named all-state honorable mention by the Lincoln Journal Star.

The DHS seniors were named to the Class D-2 basketball honor roll due to their performance and productivity in the 2014-15 season.  The Longhorns compiled 10 wins and 12 losses in their most recent campaign.

Milford, Crete, Friend, Exeter-Milligan, and Wilber-Clatonia all have players named to the honorable mention list, also.

Friday, March 27, 2015

OUR VIEW: Dorchester Public School Has Much To Celebrate


In a day and age when the mainstream media concentrate on the negative events shaping our world, we are choosing today to spotlight the positive taking place in our little corner. 

The students and faculty of Dorchester Public Schools just held their third-quarter Excellence Rally -- a tradition started in recent years to celebrate the many accomplishments that take place inside the classrooms at Dorchester Public Schools.

Without a doubt, Dorchester and its school have plenty to celebrate right now.  

Just last month, we reported that the latest results from the Nebraska Performance Accountability System (NePAS) tests show the following:
  • 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.
Moreover, the statewide test results show Dorchester's "prime time learners" -- 5th through 8th graders -- outperforming their peers in neighboring school districts in almost every academic area.  

So go ahead, Dorchester students and faculty -- celebrate! Take some time to appreciate your hard work.

You've earned it.


Thursday, March 26, 2015

Show Your Hometown Pride; Give To The Dorchester Foundation Today


Several years ago, a few energetic, forward-looking residents of our community thought Dorchester could use a little boost.  They established a non-profit affiliated fund of the Nebraska Community Foundation -- and ever since, the Dorchester Community Foundation has been a force for positive change.  

Today, we are asking readers to donate to the Foundation -- to give back to the community that has provided so many great memories and a great way of life.

The Dorchester Community Foundation has been instrumental in various projects since 2007.  These include:
  • The city park's new playground equipment and picnic shelter; 
  • Annual scholarships; 
  • The Charlie Havlat Memorial at the Saline County Museum; 
  • The new welcome sign along Highway 33.
  • The new "welcome banners" on the light poles in town.
Today, we are asking Times readers -- whether you are an area resident, Dorchester alumni, or just a friend of the community -- to make a pledge to the Dorchester Community Foundation so it may continue to make needed improvements throughout our village.

Contributions to the Foundation are deductible for income and estate tax purposes.  

Whether it's a donation of $10, $25, $50, $100 or more, your generosity will help keep momentum going in Dorchester.

Click here to donate to Dorchester online.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Amazing Storm-Chasing Vehicle Coming To Saline Center


A 10,000-pound storm-chasing vehicle from the Iowa Storm Chasing Network and the story of the 2014 Pilger, Neb. twin tornadoes will highlight this year's regional severe weather seminar on March 28 at the Saline Center Hall, south of Dorchester.

This is according to a story by the Lincoln Journal Star.

The storm-chasing vehicle, nicknamed "Dorothy," started as a 2013 Ford E350 van and was modified with three-quarter-inch polycarbonate windows and double-walled, 14- and 6-gauge steel to protect occupants and equipment from storm debris.

“Chasing and Covering the Pilger Twin Tornadoes: An Insider’s Perspective” will be presented by the Iowa Storm Chasing Network.

Michael Moritz, a National Weather Service meteorologist from Hastings, will give the spotter training session. And Ken Dewey, professor of applied climate science at the UNL School of Natural Resources, will present “Tornadoes 2014: A Review of Nebraska and U.S. Severe Weather.”

Saline County Emergency Management, in cooperation with the weather service and other local businesses, is sponsoring the free event. NOAA all-hazards radios, rain gauges, gift cards and other weather-related items will be among the door prizes.

Saline Center Hall is 3 miles west and 9 miles south of Dorchester.

DHS Alumni Tourney Wrap-Up Report


The 21st annual Dorchester High School alumni basketball tournament was held March 20-22, 2015.

According to an e-mail sent to the Times, eight teams participated in this year's tournament with nearly 70 players hitting the DHS basketball court.

Each team played four games over three days, which makes us tired just thinking about.

The tournament was won 48-37 by Gene Slama's team, which included the following players: Gene Slama ('65), Mike Feeken ('96), Eric Feeken ('79), Chris Kirkpatrick ('96), Brent Zoubek ('95), Jamie Karl ('92) and Shawn Hostetler ('97). According to the e-mail we received, this team, with the help of Mike Nohavec ('93) and Cory Rains ('96) and Rick Gish ('92), has appeared in 14 championship games over the 21 years and won five of them.


We would like to make an editorial comment here: Readers will note that Gene Slama graduated 50 years ago this May. For those who use age for an excuse, you just ran out of excuses. Congratulations, Gene.  You inspire all of us who remember those fabulous years of DHS sports. (Slama averaged 25 points per game in the 1964-65 season, according to the 1965 DHS yearbook.)

The second-place team was comprised of Jason Elledge ('99), Jason Denker ('00), Brian Bergmeyer ('98), Craig Bergmeyer ('01), Brett Boller ('05), Chris Woerner ('98), Shane Schweitzer ('99), Andy Nichols ('98) and Abe Springer ('01).

The third-place team won in overtime.  It was comprised of the following DHS alums: Brandon Bruha ('09), Kyle Palky ('11), Brandon Zoubek ('10), Matt Carroll ('07), Alex Walton ('10), Bruce Zoubek ('91), Jason Sherman ('08) and Spencer Kotas ('10).

The fourth-place team included the following: Drew Denker ('03), Ross Havlat ('02), Brian Havlat ('03), Jake Bleach ('03), John Havlat ('05), Jeff Weber ('03), Adam Holly ('03), Kelly Vyhnalek ('89), Malinda Havlat ('11) and Lee Stutzman ('02).

We would like to congratulate all those who took the time to support DHS and Dorchester this past weekend.

The Times will publish information on the upcoming alumni golf tournament as it becomes available.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Report: Generous Donation To Dorchester Legion In Honor Of Arnold Bobolz


The Dorchester Times has been informed that a sizable donation will be made to the Dorchester American Legion Post 264 in memory of former Dorchester resident Arnold G. Bobolz, who passed away in late 2010. 

Mr. Bobolz served in the United States Army during World War II and was awarded the Purple Heart and four Bronze Stars. He was a member of the Dorchester American Legion and served as a district chaplain.  

Mr. Bobolz was also a long-time member of the United Methodist Church in Dorchester and was active in the church choir.  He and his wife Jean had four children who attended DHS.

In other news related to the Dorchester American Legion, we've received two e-mails asking us to alert readers that the first annual Dorchester Legion Firearms Auction has been tentatively set for the July 4 holiday as part of the community's Independence Day activities.

We are told that the fundraising idea resonated most among Legion members at a February meeting discussing the future of the Legion Hall in Dorchester.  Dorchester auctioneer Col. Darryl Novak of Novak Auction Service volunteered his services for the event, our sources said.

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."

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...

MVPs Named For Dorchester's Alumni Basketball Weekend


Following one of Dorchester's biggest weekends of the year -- and after the dust settled from the DHS alumni basketball tournament -- we asked key community members to give us their nominations for Most Valuable People (MVPs) who played a vital role in the weekend's activities in Dorchester.  

Here is the list of Dorchester MVP nomination responses we received:
  • The 21st annual DHS Alumni Basketball Tournament featured nearly 70 DHS alumni who braved some furious action on the court.  All those who were willing to play deserve to be named MVP, along with the Dorchester students who worked the score table and scoreboard over three days.  Also all the family and friends who watched the games deserve a "shout-out."
  • The DHS Athletic Department made some good money from the alumni tournament, and the word is the money will go for scoreboards in practice gym so it can be used for tournaments.  Not only did player and audience entrance fees help generate much-needed funds, but several sponsors made the tournament possible.  These sponsors were: Runza, Heath's Sporting Goods, Holly Well Drilling, First State Bank in Dorchester, Stutzman Digging, The Well, Novak Auction Service, Farmer's Cooperative, City Slickers Bar and Grill, Spring Creek Repair and Farm Supply, Weber Feedyards, Barley's Specialties, B.Z. Construction, Papik Feeds, Rains Simmentals, Klein Construction, JR's Stor-All, and Complete Ag.
  • It was a record-setting Dorchester Community Foundation Steak and Hamburger Feed on Saturday. Hundreds packed the Dorchester Community Hall and Legion Hall, as proceeds from the feed will go to benefit Tabor Hall and the Dorchester American Legion. Early estimates show revenue from Saturday's dinner may beat the previous record by more than $1,000.  MVP awards should go to each and every member of the Community Foundation, including those who were in the back of the Legion preparing the steaks and burgers, which won rave reviews.  Also, MVP awards go to the high school students who volunteered to help serve and take orders, in addition to businesses such as City Slickers and Sid Dillion of Crete who helped efforts.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Big Weekend In The Village


This is one of Dorchester's biggest weekends of the year.  The DHS alumni basketball tournament, paired with the Dorchester Community Foundation's spring steak and hamburger feed, means the village will be busting with lively activity.

The weather forecast couldn't be better. High temperatures will range from 70 to 75 all weekend with plenty of sun.

Here are this weekend's key activities in Dorchester:
  • The annual DHS Alumni Basketball Tournament is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.  A tradition that started in March 1995, the tournament is still going strong.  We've heard that at least eight or nine teams will be competing on the hardwood this year -- down a bit from previous years, but still enough to ensure some fierce competition and friendly rivalries.  Games start tonight (Friday) at 6 p.m. and will run until the championship at mid-afternoon on Sunday.
  • The annual Dorchester Community Foundation's Spring Steak and Hamburger Feed will be held at the Dorchester Community Hall and Legion Hall Saturday night from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m. Diners can choose a 12 oz. rib eye, 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. Proceeds from the feed will go to benefit Tabor Hall projects, as well as projects at the Dorchester American Legion Hall. 
  • We've heard that City Slickers will be running food and drink specials all weekend long, just as Joe's Place and Ben's Iron Grill did in previous years.  The weekend will be a perfect opportunity for out-of-towners to see all the construction and progress that has been made recently inside their favorite pub.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Illegal Immigrant Sex Offender Gets Up To 40 Years In Prison


The Associated Press is reporting that a man who had been living in Dorchester has convicted of sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl and was sentenced to 25 to 40 years in prison.

The news wire reports that 35-year-old Raymundo Cruz was sentenced Wednesday. He must serve about 27 ½ years before he is discharged and deported to Mexico.  He's already served nearly two years.

Cruz was convicted of first-degree sexual assault in November.  The girl testified she was outside a fast-food restaurant in July 2013 when Cruz, who she said she knew from her church choir, grabbed her and put her in the backseat of his car.  She says Cruz drove her to a lake near Crete, where she says he forced himself on her.

Cruz's government-paid attorney said Wednesday that it was an isolated incident and requested a 20-year mandatory minimum sentence.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Armadillo Spotted In Saline County


For several years, the Dorchester Times has reported on the migration of animals not normally seen in our area (from mountain lions to the Sasquatch).  One of those animals is the armadillo -- a few of which have been seen in Nebraska around the Kansas border and as far north as Butler County.  

Now a confirmed armadillo spotting has occurred in Saline County.  The Lincoln Journal Star reports that workers at Runza in Crete found a dead armadillo last Friday in the restaurant's parking lot.

Mike Fritz, a natural heritage zoologist with Nebraska Game and Parks, said he gets fewer than a dozen reports of armadillos in Nebraska each year. The numbers vary and often depend on the severity of the prior winter. Most are spotted along roadsides following an unfortunate run-in with a tire. 

The nine-banded armadillo has a great sense of smell but poor eyesight and is terrible at dodging cars. Armadillos have been marching steadily from South America north throughout recorded history, crossing the Rio Grande into Texas before 1854, according to the Kansas Mammal Atlas.

According to the Journal Star, winter generally stops their migration. They don’t regulate body temperature well, making cold weather fatal.

If you spot an armadillo, be careful.  They can carry leprosy, although instances of them transmitting the disease to humans are rare.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Cambridge, Neb. Proves Small Rural Towns Can Thrive


Small, rural towns can thrive in 2015.  And Cambridge, Neb. (pop.1,063) is proving it.

Located in Furnas County in southwest Nebraska -- 25 miles east of McCook and more than 50 miles south of Interstate 80 -- Cambridge has earned designation in the Nebraska Department of Economic Development’s Certified Leadership Community Program. It is the fifth community to earn certification, joining Tecumseh, Madison, Central City and Neligh.

Cambridge has amassed an impressive list of achievements:

• Ten new businesses have opened since 2010.
• A new 77-acre Harvest Meadows Subdivision is home to two new businesses and six new homes (two under contract).
• To date, 17 businesses have been awarded $60,440 from the Facade Grant Program, which has helped create improvements valued over $147,906
• A Down Payment Assistance Program has made seven low-interest loans totaling $121,800 to individuals and families to purchase or build homes in Cambridge. 
• The community’s Economic Development program oversees a Revolving Loan Fund to encourage business development. Currently, $62,968.59 in low-interest loans have been made to seven local businesses.
• Economic Development also operates an Internship Program, offering $1,000 grants to local businesses as an incentive to hire interns. To date, eight businesses have taken advantage of the program.
• The first College and Career Fair was hosted by Cambridge Economic Development in October 2014. The event featured 20 businesses and colleges and attracted 140 students from four area high schools.

The Nebraska Department of Economic Development created their Leadership Community Program in 2011 with the purpose of helping smaller Nebraska communities deal head-on with challenges and change. Communities must demonstrate having a solid planning and implementation process in place. Communities also must actively take advantage of technology, or be willing to learn to meet program objectives. 

Applicant communities are evaluated in: community involvement; strategic planning; community planning and zoning; business and technology development; incentives and implementation.

Cambridge has proven if you want to improve your small town, a little energy and initiative and smarts can get you there.  (We thank the reader who sent this information to our e-mail.)

For information about the Certified Leadership Development Community Program, contact Kelly Gewecke at kelly.gewecke@nebraska.gov, (308) 627-3151, or visit http://neded.org/community/community-info/community-improvement/leadership-community.

Area Firefighters Responding To Brush Fires


Do not burn anything.  Avoid starting lawnmowers.  And don't toss your cigarettes out the window.  

That's the message from area fire department officials. All of Nebraska remains in danger of brush fires following the record heat, and as the winds blow and grass has yet to green.

Yesterday, the Friend Volunteer Fire Department responded to a fire on Saline County Road 300, southwest of Friend.  It's unknown what caused the ditch fire, but the fire spread rapidly with the strong winds, according to a Facebook follower.  Thanks to a driver from Fairmont, volunteers were quick on the scene to fight the blaze.

Other reports of area grass fires -- in town and country -- are flooding in, whether it's from Pierce, Wahoo, North Platte, or Plainview.   Beatrice Rural Fire Chief Jim Engel says his firefighters had to respond to grass fires Sunday, fed by strong winds, according to KWBE.   

“The fire originated from a brush pile fire with a burn permit that had been written 35 days previously," Engel said. "So the wind rekindled the fire and started the fire going across a corn field.”

The fire burned through stubble in a corn field, but didn’t harm any structures. There is a report that three separate fires near Odell broke out Sunday with one burning a structure.

The National Weather Services has cautioned Nebraskans conditions are right for wild fires.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Our Favorite Pictures Of Dorchester's Main Street


A reader asked us to share our favorite "old time" pictures of Dorchester's main street (Washington Avenue).  We are always glad to help spur interest in Dorchester history, so here they are, in no particular order.  (You can click on each picture for a closer look.)










Readers should note that any pictures of Dorchester's main street without pavement were taken before the spring of 1936. 

Dorchester's main street was paved in late April 1936 and opened to traffic again on May 7 of that year.  The funding for the project came mostly from the federal Works Project Administration (PWA) under the Roosevelt administration, which was trying to work its way out of the Great Depression with public works spending. 

Russell Mooberry, a prominent Dorchester leader, is credited in large part for landing the paving project after tireless work and communications to federal and state leaders.

In early May 1936, a jubilee was held to mark the paving announcement, with races for the kids, street dances, two vaudeville acts, and free sandwiches from the 800 lbs. of beef barbecued donated for the occasion.

Dorchester's Steak And Hamburger Feed Is This Weekend


Ring in spring with a tasty steak or burger at the Dorchester Community Hall and Legion Hall this 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. (UPDATE: If there are Dorchester residents, alumni, or friends of the Dorchester Legion who would like to donate funds to the Dorchester Legion, but won't be able to make this dinner even, we're told they should contact Tom Cerny, Post 264 Commander, by phoning (402) 381-8049 or e-mailing thomas.cerny00@gmail.com.)

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 this Saturday, March 21.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Dorchester's Dorothy Beekley Passes At 86


Dorchester's Dorothy M. Beekley, 86, passed away March 11, 2015, at the Wilber nursing home. She was born Sept. 16, 1928, in Crete. A 1946 graduate Crete High School, she attended Doane College. Member: United Methodist Church, United Methodist Women, American Legion Auxiliary, Jolly Doers Extension Club, all Dorchester, Omega Psi Theta Sorority, Seward Quilters Guild.

Survived by: daughters, Connie LeMonde, Catherine Beekley, both of Lincoln, Marcia Beekley, Dorchester; son, Kirk Beekley, Crete; eight grandchildren, Lt.Col. Spencer Hansen, Lincoln, Brooks Riley, Omaha, Justyn Riley, Malmo, Brandy VanDeWalle, Ohiowa, Halley Beekley, Wichita, Kan., Jennifer Determan, Cedar Falls, Iowa, Jackie Eden, Ceresco, and Susy Kaplan, Providence, R.I.; seven great grandchildren; brother and sister-in-law, Ken and Marge Fridrich, Omaha, sister and brother-in-law, Mary Ann and Lloyd Reiss, Crete.

Preceded in death by parents, husband, Jack, daughter, Christine, son, Mark, brother, Ernie Fridrich, sister, Helen Miller, parents-in-law, Walter & Dorothy (Allen) Beekley.

Funeral: 10:30 a.m., Monday, March 16, Dorchester United Methodist Church. Visitation: 1-8 pm with family greeting relatives and friends 5-7 p.m. Sunday, Lauber-Moore Funeral Home, Friend. Memorials to United Methodist Church and other Dorchester organizations. Condolences at www.laubermoore.com.

PLEASE NOTE: A celebration was planned for Dorothy on Saturday, March 14, at the Wilber Care Center and has been cancelled due to her death.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Former DHS Student Killed In 2-Vehicle Accident


The Lincoln Journal Star reports that former DHS Longhorn and resident Sid Stern, 21, was killed in rural Saline County when his pickup truck collided with a semitrailer Tuesday morning.

Stern had been living in Wilber.  Stern was a member of the DHS Class of 2011.

According to the story, Sid was driving south in a Ford F-150 on Nebraska Highway 15 near the intersection with Nebraska Highway 41 when he crossed the center line, Saline County Sheriff Alan Moore said in a news release.

Stern's truck collided with a northbound International semi almost head-on just before 7 a.m., Moore said. 

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

There was no indication semi driver, Rolland P. Kutzbach, 69, of Reading, Minnesota, was injured.

The crash remains under investigation.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Nice Dorchester Home Still For Sale; Price Reduced To $88K


Dorchester is one of the state's best communities under 1,000 -- and it is getting noticed for the right reasons. Consider what our community has to offer:
  • A new K-12 school.
  • A clean, peaceful and safe community.
  • A new water tower and 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 employers in Crete and Seward. And just 30 minutes to Lincoln. Located next to two highways and minutes from Interstate 80.
However, one challenge facing Dorchester is housing.  We've heard from readers who've said they would like to move to Dorchester, if only good homes were available.

Today, we showcase the latest Dorchester home available right now.  And it's a dandy! If you're ready to call Dorchester home, we encourage you to take a look.  Make Dorchester your home and grow with our community.

801 Sumner Avenue: If you like small town living -- and affordable living -- this is the house for you.  Live in a quality home and get ahead financially for once. 
Ranch house with two bedrooms, 2 bath, 1,170 square footage with a big lot! Vinyl siding; front of house has paving located on a corner lot one block from the school. Enclosed porch one in front and one in back of house. Reduced to $88,000.

Click here for this home listing.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Baseball/Softball Sign-Up This Wednesday, 6:30 PM


"In our sundown perambulations of late, through the outer parts of Brooklyn, we have observed several parties of youngsters playing 'base', a certain game of ball. Let us go forth a while and get better air in our lungs. Let us leave our close rooms. A game of ball is glorious."

— Walt Whitman, 1846

Spring is in the air.  We've already seen a few Dorchester youth tossing the laced ball, getting ready for the upcoming baseball and softball seasons.

This Wednesday, March 11, is the sign-up for the Dorchester baseball and softball teams, according to Patricia Novak.

The sign-up for both baseball and softball will be at the Dorchester School at 6:30 p.m.  

Based on stories we've run in previous years, any boy ages 6-15 (15 years old on or before Dec. 31, 2015) 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. Players are required to buy a uniform shirt, which will be theirs to keep.

Common Sense On Addressing Negligent Property Owners


Every community has 'em -- those property owners who take absolutely no pride in their home or themselves; property owners who aren't considerate of those who live around them and nearby.  Every town has that small percentage of homes that make Sanford and Son's yard look exceptionally tidy.

A few years ago, the Village of Dorchester utilized the Southeast Development District to crackdown on blighted properties.  This action seemed to help and motivated several property owners to clean up their act.


Personally, we think the village action was long overdue.  While every property owner has certain rights, he/she doesn't have the right to drag down your home's value or create a health hazard.  With all the properties on the market today, why would someone want to deal with messy neighbors when they could get a house in a neighborhood without the eyesores? That is a question that all small communities in Nebraska must ask.


Recently, eHow -- the online self-help site -- published a list of ways to get negligent property owners to own up to their responsibilities, without resorting to legal action or waiting for your city officials to impose.  Their suggestions:

1.) Start with a direct approach. If the owner is living on the property, you can approach the owner and voice your concerns in a calm manner. If the owner does not live on the property, try your best to make contact with the person over the phone about the issue.

2.) Ensure that the person really is the property owner. If the person on the property is actually just a tenant, you have another step before going to authorities. Find out who is renting out the property and contact that person. You can do this through your county's property tax assessor's office. Once you have this information, send a letter to the landlord, including pictures of the negligence for added effect.

3.) Complain to the lender of the property if it is in a foreclosed state. Do not settle for a customer service representative on this one. Make sure you speak with management, and go all the way up to the chief executive officer if that is what it takes. If this isn't giving you fast enough results, go to your state's governmental website and find the state mortgage regulator. Contact the regulator.

4.) Contact your local government officials. Find the number for your local public health department and call the office to explain what is going on. Make sure to take note of all sanitation and safety issues involving the property.

5.)  If you must contact a lawyer, a real estate attorney would be best. You may be able to sue the owner of the property. Remember that these cases can drag on and be expensive, so this step should only be used as a last resort.

See the full eHow article here.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Classic Older Home Still Available In Dorchester; Reduced To $69,000


Dorchester is a great town and it's getting noticed for all the right reasons. Just consider what Dorchester has to offer:
  • A new K-12 school.
  • A peaceful and safe community.
  • A new water tower and upgraded 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.
  • Good people for 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.  We've heard from many younger and middle-aged 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.
 

609 Franklin Ave.:  If you like small town living and classic, WWII-era homes, this is the house for you.  Much larger than it looks! More than 1,600 sq. ft. Has four bedrooms and nice updates, including newly remodeled bathroom, brand new a/c, interior paint, new roof and will soon have new siding. Has partially finished basement for added living space. This is ready to move into and has a two-stall detached garage. Reduced. Click here for more information.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Seward, York, Fillmore Co. Job Fair Is March 17


Hey, Dorchester area residents.  Do you need a job? Want to upgrade your career?

The Times has learned that the York County, Fillmore County and Seward County economic developers and chamber directors are teaming up to host the Tri-County Job Fair and Career Day. 

The job fair will be held on Tuesday, March 17, from 2:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Holthus Convention Center, 3130 Holen Avenue in York.

A variety of jobs will be available.

Need to polish your resume? Resume review will be offered. There will be an application area available for your convenience.  Meeting rooms will be available for one-on-one interviews if a business wants to conduct an immediate interview. 

Are you a young person looking some college money? Businesses will have openings specifically marked for students and others looking for part-time employment.  

For more information, click here.

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.

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