Sunday, September 30, 2007

Small Town Tells Its Youth: You're Welcome Back

In central Nebraska, the little town of Arcadia is setting a big example for the rest of the state. The Valley County village -- population 359 -- is telling its students: You're always welcome back in your hometown.

The Grand Island Independent recently ran a
feature on a program organized by Arcadia Public Schools and Valley County Economic Development to make area students aware of opportunities for entrepreneurship in their own backyard.

The Independent reports: "'You're not going to appreciate what you have in these small communities until you get out into the world,' said Mindy Dorsey, an Ord optometrist and Arcadia graduate. '(But) we'd love to have you back, and I think there's plenty of opportunities and things that you can make happen around here.'

After growing up in a small town, many high school students can't wait to get out, said Mindy Conner, Arcadia's guidance counselor. The message verbalized by several speakers and tour hosts acknowledged that desire, encouraging students to go out and see the rest of the world. But rural towns need all the business start-ups they can get, and students often don't realize that they can do many of the jobs they want to do in their hometown, Conner said.
'Doing something like this makes them realize that there are opportunities around here,' said Jodi Sell, Arcadia's technology coordinator. Students heard about all kinds of journeys from four people -- from Dorsey, who moved back to open her own practice in Valley County after four years in Indiana and another four in New Hampshire, to Jim Trotter of Arcadia, who turned a rundown gas station into a slew of businesses operating in nearly two dozen Central Nebraska communities. They also got some hands-on experience by touring three Arcadia businesses to get a picture of how a successful business is run in a town of 350. At Linda Cruikshank's Progressive Farm Marketing office, students got a primer on commodities trading.

Between tours, several Arcadia seniors said their classmates are divided on whether they want to return to the area after college, but expressed appreciation of small-town life. 'I don't think I could live in the city for too long," many of the students said. The seniors found trading exercise particularly intriguing, saying it brought up new possibilities of making a living in a rural area.

We at the Times believe the time is right for Dorchester Public Schools to partner with community organizations, such as DACA or the Dorchester Future Business Leaders of America, to create a similar program. Dorchester should not wait another day to tells its youth that they are always welcome to return to their hometown.

Moreover, Dorchester's leaders and its young people should not waste another minute in exploring together the ways to make returning to Dorchester a more viable option.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Longhorns Prepare For Homecoming Duel With Diller-Odell

DHS celebrates homecoming tonight by welcoming Diller-Odell to Nerud Field in a 7 p.m. contest. The Times is predicting a 42-30 victory for the Longhorns, 2-2, over the 1-3 Diller-Odell squad.

Despite a heartbreaking four-point loss last Friday to unbeaten Humboldt-Table Rock-Steinauer, DHS is showing an improved defense, especially up front. Last week's Times' MVP was Chuck Parks.

Entering week five of high school football, Dorchester is in need of a victory if the Longhorns want to contend for the state Class D-1 playoffs, which begin Oct. 25.

Dorchester is curently ranked No. 43 in the Class D-1 team point standings, according to the Nebraska School Activities Association. Teams must finish in the top 32 in order to qualify for post-season play.

Here is a look at selected schools in the Class D-1 point rankings:

1.) Lourdes Central Catholic (4-0), 45.0000
2.) Anselmo-Merna (4-0), 45.0000
3.) Pope John (4-0), 43.7500
6.) Humboldt-Table Rock-Steinauer (4-0), 43.7500
15.) Johnson-Brock (3-1), 42.0000
23.) Bruning-Davenport (3-1), 40.7500
29.) Freeman (4-0), 40.0000
37.) Exeter-Milligan (2-2), 39.0000
43.) Dorchester (2-2), 37.7500

Meanwhile, the Lady Longhorns ran into a rough patch this week, dropping contests to Diller-Odell, Meridian and Sterling.

And on a somber note, with the new school construction planned for late next spring, one Times reader reminded us that tonight will likely be the last dance held in the school's old gymnasium, bringing to an end a long chapter in the history of Dorchester Public School.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Could School Cornerstone Hold Relics Of Dorchester's Past?

Could Dorchester have its own 'National Treasure'? Could the cornerstone of Dorchester's 80-year-old school building hold relics of the town's past, providing insight into the town's earliest days?

These questions are being asked by some of the town's residents as they prepare for the razing of the old school building, expected in late May 2008.

In response to a recent letter-to-the-editor, longtime Dorchester School custodian and bus driver Ronald Sehnert alerted the Times that there might be some interesting items in the cornerstone, located in the southeast corner of the building. According to several older Dorchester residents we spoke with, there is reason to believe that school and community leaders may have placed a time capsule or other items in the cornerstone during the construction of the building.

The cornerstone was laid on June 3, 1927. The construction of the school building was obviously celebrated by Dorchester's Freemasons, who were active during the early 1900s. The Dorchester Masons met on the second floor of what is now the building that now houses City Hall and Donna's Hair Creations.

The school cornerstone reads: "Laid by the M.W. Grand Lodge, A.F. & A.M. of Nebraska, June 3, 1927. Edwin D. Crites, Grand Master." The initials stand for the "Ancient Free and Accepted Masons." The Freemasons are one of the largest secret societies in the world. Thanks to Hollywood cinema and the Masons' connection to America's founding fathers, the mystery surrounding the organization has grown significantly in recent years. According to the Masons' Web site, "the Freemasonry is the oldest and largest worldwide fraternity dedicated to the Brotherhood of Man under the Fatherhood of a Supreme Being." The organization's obscure origins date back to the mid-1600s.

It is not unusual that the Masons of Dorchester were involved with the school in 1927. According to the Masons' own literature, "education is at the center of Freemasonry." The Masons' literature states: "Freemasons started some of the first public schools in both Europe and America. We supported legislation to make education universal. ... We encourage our members to give volunteer time to their local schools, buy classroom supplies for teachers, help with literacy programs, and do everything they can to help assure that each person, adult or child, has the best educational opportunities possible."

For centuries, Freemasonry has attracted criticism from many church officials for supposed competition with religion, and has long been the target of conspiracy theories that it practices occult rituals or its members are the center of world power.

It is unknown whether Dorchester still has active Freemasons in its ranks. What is known, however, is that many Dorchester residents will anxiously await to see what relics, if any, were laid in the Dorchester School cornerstone more than 80 years ago.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

School Project Featured On Ayars & Ayars Site

The renovation project of Dorchester Public Schools is now featured on the Web site of Ayars & Ayars, Inc. construction company.

According to the Web site, "Ayars & Ayars, Inc. latest tilt-up concrete project is also one of the first schools in Nebraska to be built using the design/build project delivery method."

The company summary continues: "Dorchester area voters determined the best way to provide quality education for Dorchester students is to demolish the original structure, built in 1927, and replace it with a 33,500 square foot addition featuring both elementary and high school classrooms, multi-purpose room with stage, library and administrative offices. Dorchester families believe that Ayars & Ayars, Inc. proposal to construct a new facility was the best way to provide students a well-designed school while making the most efficient use of limited taxpayer dollars."

Other Ayars & Ayars projects can be viewed by clicking here.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Times Taking Nominations for Village Board Candidates

The Dorchester Times wants to know who you would like to see run for Dorchester Village Board next year.

From now until Saturday, Sept. 29, the Times will accept the names of individuals nominated by our readers. The names should be e-mailed to dorchestertimes@gmail.com or can be left in the comments section of this post. Then we will announce the names of the individuals who receive the most nominations from Times readers.

Nominees must be residents of Dorchester and must be 18 years or older by November 2008. Nominees can be current or past board members, or have no history of public service.

As reported earlier, two seats on the village board will be up for re-election in 2008. Those seats are currently held by board members Alan Slepicka and Dean Pracheil.

A reminder: those interested in running for either the Dorchester Village Board or Dorchester Board of Education must file by July 15, 2008, by submitting the proper paperwork to the Saline County Clerk and Elections Commissioner. Additional information can be obtained by calling (402) 821-2374 or e-mailing clerk@saline.nacone.org.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Dorchester Farmers Get In Political Mix

Dorchester-area farmers recently entered the political fray when an Omaha television station interviewed local producers to gauge their reaction to the resignation of USDA Secretary Mike Johanns and the speculation he will run for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Chuck Hagel.

In an online article on the Web site of KETV Channel 7, Dorchester farmer Scott Vyhnalek said he's impressed with Johanns' service. "I know they'll be some critics that will say he didn't finish his job as governor and as secretary, so what's the guy going to do now? But I think he's served us well," Vyhnalek said.

The article continues: "The farm bill currently up for debate on Capitol Hill is important to Vyhnalek and his brother and father on their farm, he said. They said Johanns laid the framework on which his deputy director -- who will now take over as agriculture secretary -- can build.

"'He probably helped with it,' said brother Steve Vyhnalek. 'You still have familiar faces working with the bill.'"

"The Nebraska Farmers Union's John Hanson criticized Johanns for leaving just as the farm bill is at a critical stage. ... The Nebraska Farm Bureau said that elements from Johanns' proposal were adopted in the House version of the agriculture bill. 'On one hand, I would have liked to see the farm bill through because I know we trust him,' said Scott Vyhnalek. 'But on the other hand, I think he'll serve us well, and we need to keep him here, too.' The Vyhnaleks said Johanns will probably be the front-runner if he jumps into the Senate race, but that doesn't mean he will automatically get their vote."

We at the Times are interested in what our readers think about Johanns' prospective Senate bid.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

DHS Ready For Humboldt Road Challenge

The Longhorn football team, 2-1, tomorrow evening (Sept. 21) will square off against the district's second-ranked team, Humboldt-Table Rock-Steinauer, 3-0. The 7 p.m. match-up will be the second road test for DHS, as Longhorn fans will need to travel about 90 minutes to Humboldt to root for the Orange and Black.

The Times is predicting a 14-8 Longhorn victory over the Humboldt-Table Rock-Steinauer squad. Last week, HTRS beat a mediocre, Class D-2 Falls City Sacred Heart team, 28-14.
** UPDATE: 9/21 -- 10:30 p.m **
The Longhorns lost a heartbreaker in Humboldt. Final score was Humboldt/Table Rock-Steinauer 42, Dorchester 38.

After three weeks of play, here are the playoff point standings for Class D-1's District 1:

  1. Johnson-Brock (2-1, 0-0), 42.6667
  2. Humboldt-Table Rock-Steinauer (3-0, 0-0), 41.6667
  3. Freeman (3-0, 0-0), 40.0000
  4. Pawnee City (1-2, 0-0), 37.0000
  5. Dorchester (2-1, 0-0), 36.0000
  6. Diller-Odell (1-2, 0-0), 35.3333
In other sports action, the Lady Longhorns won their Sept. 20 Dorchester Triangular. Despite dropping earlier contests to Bruning-Davenport, Shickley, Heartland Lutheran and Osceola, DHS bounced back by defeating High Plains Community 25-21, 25-21, and defeating Shelby 25-22, 25-18. On The Longhorn volleyballers will next play on Tuesday, Sept. 25, in a home contest against Sterling.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

DACF Raffle Features Husker Football Tickets

The Dorchester Area Community Foundation is hosting a raffle to raise money for the Foundation. According to Foundation chair Carol Olson, two Husker football tickets were donated to the Foundation by state Senator Russ Karpisek of Wilber.

The football tickets are for the Oct. 13 game, when the Huskers meet Oklahoma State at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln. The pair of tickets, valued at $104 , are for section 28 (west stadium), row 7. You need not be present to win.

Prices for the raffle tickets are: $2 each, 3 for $5, or 10 for $10.

Other prizes include a $75 second place prize; a $50 third place award; and a $25 fourth place prize.

The prizes will be awarded at halftime during the Sept. 28 Dorchester football game, which is homecoming for the Longhorns.

All Foundation board members have access to the raffle tickets. Those interested in raffle tickets may contact any of the following members for a chance to win a prize -- and the opportunity to support the Dorchester Foundation:

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Perfect Weather Expected For Church Auction

A reminder: the Dorchester United Methodist Church’s Annual Community Auction will be held tomorrow, September 16, beginning at 11:30 a.m. on the church grounds. The day also includes a BBQ and bake sale. We hope all Dorchester residents will come out and support this worthy event.

The forecast calls for sunny skies and temperatures in the mid-80s, making the auction a great opportunity to enjoy the last weekend of summer.

Cash donations of all amounts are being accepted. For information on cash donations, contact Bernice Weber at 946-4191.

Click here for further details.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Longhorns Squeak By Meridian, 14-12

The Longhorns improved their record to 2-1 in the third week of high school gridiron action as they squeaked by the Meridian Mustangs on Friday night. A strong showing of orange-and-black clad fans gathered at Nerud Field to watch the DHS earn their second victory of the year.

The final tally: Dorchester 14, Meridian 12.

Week four will take the Longhorns to Pawnee County, where DHS will face Humboldt-Table Rock-Steinauer in Humboldt. The Times predicts another Longhorn win: DHS 14, HTRS 8.

In volleyball action, the Lady Longhorns saw action earlier this week, falling to Friend on Tuesday evening. DHS plays in the Shickley volleyball tournament tomorrow (Sept. 15).

Good luck to both Longhorn teams as they enter the heart of their seasons.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Lincoln Newspaper Features Tuesday's School Vote

The Times is pleased to report that today's Lincoln Journal Star contains a prominent story on this week's voter approval of the $3.98 million Dorchester School renovation plan.

In the article, the Journal Star reports that "Dorchester Public Schools district voters passed a nearly $4 million bond issue Tuesday night, paving the way for renovation of the district’s facilities and new construction." The newspaper reports that the bond issue will allow "an almost completely new high school" and that "work is scheduled to be completed in a year."

Dorchester principal Brian Rediger is quoted in the story, saying: "I’m excited because I can see the benefit to the instructional program for all the kids, and community and school pride, too."

The story continues: "The bond issue will lead to new elementary, junior high and high school additions and demolition of the district’s main building, which was built in 1927 and houses most of its high school classrooms. Other improvements will include a new multipurpose/liberal arts room that can serve as a gym, as well as a new wrestling room and administrative offices.

"The district sorely needed new and renovated facilities, (Rediger) said, partly because of increasing enrollment and an increase in young families in the area.

"To build support for the bond issue, promoters distributed fliers, and the district hosted public meetings.

"And someone, apparently a community member, promoted the bond issue through an Internet blog, Rediger said. He said he didn’t know who administers the blog at www.dorchestertimes.blogspot.com, but he said it provided plenty of fairly accurate information leading up to the bond issue election."

For the record -- and to reiterate a point we have made previously -- the Times never took a position in the school renovation discussion. We did, however, do our best to report the information made available to us. We worked to present both sides of the debate, when possible. And we hope that, ultimately, our stories helped produce better informed discussion among district patrons and decision making at the polls.

** UPDATE: 9/14, 5 p.m. **

The Associated Press also covered the Dorchester School election.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

School Renovation Plan Passes With 61% Of Vote

Dorchester area voters on Tuesday welcomed the beginning of a new era at the Dorchester Public Schools, giving the green light to a $3.98 million school expansion and renovation plan.

Nearly 470 voters from District 44 voted in Tuesday's special election. The new school plan was approved with 284 votes (60.81%), while 183 (39.19%) voted against the proposal.

Developing...

Exit Polls Show Voters Favor School Renovation

Based on exit poll interviews and e-mails from voters of District 44, the Times estimates the following results for today's special election on the $3.98 million Dorchester School renovation proposal:

** UPDATE: As of 5:20 p.m. **
  • YES -- 60%
  • NO -- 40%

Please note that this is a very unscientific poll; it is only a sampling of a handful of Dorchester school district voters. We will update these numbers periodically throughout this election day, as we hear from more District 44 patrons. If you would like to let us know how you voted, please e-mail us at dorchester.times@gmail.com. It is not necessary to provide us your name.

Monday, September 10, 2007

School's Future: Decision Time Is Now

After months of discussion, Dorchester-area voters tomorrow (Sept. 11) will finally get the opportunity to decide the fate of the Dorchester school building -- and perhaps the future of District 44. Polls will be open from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m.

Tomorrow's special election on a $4 million renovation plan for the school comes after a recent study found that school's main structure -- built in 1927 -- has a long list of problems requiring action in the near future. Included in the list were multiple structural issues such as lack of fire sprinklers; fire barriers between hallways and classrooms; boiler room concerns; deteriorating electrical systems; and problems with exit stairs and rails. Other concerns noted by engineers included inadequate classroom space, leaking ceilings, no vertical access for handicap students, highly inefficient plumbing and heating, indoor air quality concerns, and foundation and wall problems.

After review of the study findings, Dorchester school board president Brad Havlat said the board believed that putting any additional money into the 1927 school building was "not a wise way to spend public tax dollars."

A recent Times poll found that the majority of readers -- 71.6 percent -- said the project would be approved. However, a sizable 28.6 percent predicted the expansion project would be denied by District 44 voters. The survey of 105 readers was conducted from Aug. 26 through Sept. 3.

The $3.9 million improvement plan would completely revamp the school campus, with a new building replacing the 1927 structure and current portable classrooms. New additions would surround the 1963 gymnasium. The additions would provide space for an elementary attendance center, an administrative wing for supervision and modern rooms for high school classes. Also, the addition would provide full-sized rooms for wrestling teams and weight training.

Critics of the plan charge that the renovation project would increase property taxes too much, and that student enrollment figures and current conditions do not justify the cost.

Supporters of the project say that if the improvements are not made now, taxpayers will be forced to continue to pay too much for the maintenance of an deteriorating, inefficient building. Also, proponents contend that a few years from now, the conditions of the school will force taxpayers to spend twice as much for the same work -- or to spend $25 million or more for the construction of a consolidated school, which would also result in the loss of local control for Dorchester residents.

Earlier this year, school officials estimated that the current improvement proposal, under a 25-year bond authority, would cost taxpayers approximately 20.5 cents per $100 -- or about $205 per $100,000 of evaluation. That would result in an extra $17.08 per month in extra property taxes for a $100,000 home in the Dorchester school district. (The average Dorchester home is valued at $60,000, according to the Census Bureau.)

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Work Progressing On New Park Shelter

Those who have recently passed by the city park have noticed that much progress has been made on the new park shelter.

The roof is competed; there are sidewalks extending to the bathrooms, as well as to the existing sidewalks; there is a spot for the grills; and the storage area -- where electrical switches and serving tables will be kept -- is in place.

Picnic tables were assembled last weekend and placed in the shelter.

The new park shelter is a key improvement, and is one of the first projects initiated by the Dorchester Area Community Foundation (DACF) -- not to be confused with the Dorchester Area Community Association (DACA). Many area residents, former residents and DHS alumni have contributed to this project. The Foundation also received a $16,200 matching grant from the Nebraska Game and Parks.

The initial bid for the 30’x 40’ shelter was $39,000. The shelter features a concrete floor and gable roof, with lighting and electrical sockets. Donations are still needed for extras such as landscaping.

For those wishing to help with this important project or other improvements, send donations to DACF, P.O. Box 115, Dorchester, NE 68343. All donations to the Foundation are tax deductible and can be specified for a specific fund or to the general fund.

To learn about donation options and benefits, contact DACF secretary Peg Bergmeyer at pegbergmeyer@yahoo.com or 946-2471.

Bergmeyer also reminds area resident to donate their aluminum cans by dropping them in the Cans-For-The-Park wagon, located near the park basketball court.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Move-Back-To-Dorchester Idea Generates Reader Comments

A few days ago, we published a post suggesting that now may be the time for a "Move-Back-To-Dorchester" campaign, in which town leaders would combine efforts to retain our current young people and recruit DHS alumni back to the area.

We are pleased that a lively discussion is taking place and believe the subject merits another look.

Reader "Mike" has offered his three-point plan for implementing a Move-Back-To-Dorchester campaign. The keys to such an effort, Mike writes, are ensuring that quality housing is available and convincing fellow citizens that the community is a "product that must be sold" to others -- including our young people.

Reader "CJ" noted that there is a new housing development underway in the northwest section of town. An anonymous reader commented that "September 12 should be the launch of the pavement project" to improve Dorchester's streets.

We appreciate the substantive comments being generated at this post, and we enourage all Times readers to leave their own thoughtful ideas.

Horns Take On S.E. Consolidated Tonight In Stella

Tonight's 7 p.m. game against Southeast Consolidated will mark the Longhorn’s first road game of the 2007 football season. This evening’s road trip to Stella –- located in Richardson County –- is approximately 90 minutes from Dorchester.

The Longhorns are expected to bounce back after last week’s heartbreaking 28-26 loss to Exeter-Milligan, whose roster boasted 40 players. The ‘Horns have a well-rounded, well-coached squad that plays superbly as a team, a fact that was appreciated by last Friday’s large Dorchester crowd at Nerud Field.

The gridiron MVP for last week goes to Jared Jensen.
The Times is predicting a 35-14 Dorchester win over SE Consolidated, which lost by 10 points to Freeman last week.

In other DHS sports news, Dorchester's volleyball squad last night went 0-2 in its triangular at home. The Lady Longhorns were defeated by Giltner in two sets, 25-21, 25-12, and Hampton in three sets, 25-20, 25-11, 25-14. Hampton’s Lady Hawks went on to win the Dorchester Triangular.

The Lady Longhorns are 1-3 so far this year.
** UPDATE: 9/8/07, 9 a.m. **
Longhorn fans who made the drive down to Stella saw a dominating performance by DHS. The Longhorns overpowered SE Consolidated 22-0, elevating the Horns to 1-1 on the season.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

More Details On Sept. 16 Church Auction

As reported previously, the Dorchester United Methodist Church’s 20th Annual Community Auction will be held September 16.

More information is now available regarding some of the items that will be on the auction block, including: Callaway "Big Bertha" golf clubs and bag; a two-day, two-night fishing trip for people; ready-to-grill Nebraska Beef from Weber's Feed Yard; an oak shelf with quilt bar; John Deere wall decor; southeast Nebraska cookbook collection; Mexican fiesta for six; and a duck and dumpling dinner.

The day's event also includes a BBQ and bake sale. The BBQ will begin at 11:30 a.m. For more information on donating auction items, contact Vicky Parks 946-4691 or Carol Olson 946-3531.

Cash donations of all amounts are being accepted. For information on cash donations, contact Bernice Weber at 946-4191.

Also, all the children are invited to bring a cake for the cake auction. For information on the cake auction, call Lindsay Zoubek at 946-2198. Finally, bring your surplus garden produce to the free-will country market.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

DSIP To Hold Round Table Wednesday Night

On Wednesday, Sept. 5, members of the Dorchester School Improvement Project (DSIP) Committee will hold a round table discussion with the Dorchester Board of Education.

The event will begin at 7:30 p.m. at the Dorchester Methodist Church and will likely be the last opportunity for voters to ask questions prior to the bond vote next week.

Last week's DSIP Bar-B-Que and presentation on the proposed school renovation drew more than 200 district voters. Many tours of the school were given, and approximately 140 district patrons attended the presentation in the school gym.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Times Readers Predict Voters Will OK School Renovation Plan

With only a week left before the vote on the Dorchester School renovation and expansion plan, a new Times poll of more than 100 readers finds that more than 70 percent predict the project will be approved by the school district's voters.

The Times poll asked: "Considering what you have heard from other residents, do you think the new school project will be approved by voters on Sept. 11?"

The overwhelming majority of readers -- 71.6 percent -- said the bonding authority for the project would be approved. However, a sizable 28.6 percent predicted the expansion project would be denied by District 44 voters.

The survey of 105 readers was conducted from Aug. 26 through Sept. 3. The polls will open bright and early (8 a.m.) next Tuesday, Sept. 11. For more background on the proposed renovation and expansion, see past Times' articles by clicking here.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Time For A Move-Back-To-Dorchester Campaign?

A couple of years ago, a new Web site went up called MoveBackToNebraska.com. This Web-based service aims to recruit out-of-state professionals and entrepreneurs who were raised and educated in Nebraska by informing them of job openings and entrepreneurial opportunities here in the Cornhusker State.

The goal of the site is "to bring sharp, talented and enthusiastic people back home," reversing brain drain -- the all-too-frequently occurring scenario in which young Nebraskans are educated in our state and then take their talents and revenue-producing potential outside the state lines.

The verdict is still out on MoveBackToNebraska.com. While we appreciate the pro-active thought and effort that went into the site, we think small communities can go one step further.

The fact is, for most people who wish to return to their home area, the thought of moving back to their hometown probably holds as much -- if not more -- appeal than just relocating within their home state's boundaries.

We see fertile ground for opportunity. Dorchester leaders -- perhaps a combination of school employees and city officials or DACA members -- may wish to consider establishing a new campaign to recruit DHS alumni back to the area by informing them of jobs as well as available real estate, including businesses and vacant buildings for sale. The Dorchester Public School holds the most complete database of alumni contact information. However, the Dorchester Times would be more than happy to assist in any widespread communication effort.

Dorchester, like all small Nebraska communities, must reach out to its sons and daughters who have moved away -- for whatever reasons -- to another city or state, but now have thoughts of returning to our community and the surrounding area. We need their talents. We want them to be part of Dorchester once again.

Considering the soaring cost of living in large urban areas, and the higher quality of life offered by our town, the time is right for a Move-Back-To-Dorchester campaign.

Of course, we also hope that Dorchester teachers and parents are already encouraging our grade school, junior high school, and high school students to consider returning to the Dorchester area after they further their education. These young people need to know that the future of our town depends on them.

We would like to know your thoughts on the idea of a Move-Back-To-Dorchester campaign. Readers are also encouraged to share their recruitment ideas.