Wednesday, April 30, 2008

News Briefs: Stutzman To Receive Doctor Of Pharmacy Degree

  • Dorchester's Lee Stutzman will receive his doctor of pharmacy degree from the University of Nebraska Medical Center during UNMC's commencement ceremonies this week. We salute Lee for his impressive achievement and wish him best of luck on what will surely be a successful career.

  • Dorchester's Karmen Lawver added two more gold medals to her collection at the Crossroads Conference Invitational this past weekend. The DHS sophomore standout tossed the shot put 37-9 and threw the discus 113-10, earning her the top spot in both events. Another week, another great performance from Karmen.

  • Dorchester senior Lucas Apfelbeck has signed his letter-of-intent to play football for Doane College in Crete. Best of luck to Lucas as he prepares to don the orange and black at the next level.

  • We want to recognize Dorchester junior Wendy Boller and DHS senior Andrea Hansen for being named to the academic all-state honor roll by the Lincoln Journal Star. Both Lady Longhorns were awarded the honor for their contributions on the basketball court as well their superior performance in the classroom. Wendy holds a 3.8 GPA and is second in a class of 23. Andrea carries a 3.8 GPA and is second in a class of 26. We tip our hats to both of these deserving DHS students.

Monday, April 28, 2008

T-Ball Organizational Meeting This Saturday

Attention, young ball players of the Dorchester area!

This Saturday, May 3, an organizational meeting will be held for those interested in playing T-ball this summer in Dorchester.

The Dorchester T-Ball League is open to both boys and girls who have completed kindergarten this year or will be entering kindergarten in this fall. The league will not only introduce youngsters to the game of baseball and softball, but will also provide healthy, positive social interaction for Dorchester's next generation.

If your child would like to play T-ball this year, plan to attend this weekend's meeting at Nerud Field on Saturday, 9:30 a.m. If you are unable to attend the meeting, call Scott Vyhnalek (402) 641-7062 so an accurate count of players can be compiled.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Editorial: Hats Off To Seward Co. Sheriff's Dept.

Most agree that local law enforcement officers deserve our gratitude. All too often, the heroic actions of our police and sheriff deputies go unnoticed by the news media. Fortunately, that is not case in Seward County this weekend.

Late Friday night and in the early hours of Saturday morning, Seward County Sheriff deputies arrested 14 illegal immigrants during a routine traffic stop on Interstate 80. According to the Lincoln Journal Star, Sheriff Joe Yocum said a deputy pulled over a van and discovered its passengers were illegal immigrants.

A Seward County deputy notified U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and escorted the van to the sheriff’s office. When the van was a block from the sheriff's department, it stopped and the driver and passengers fled.

The sheriff’s office called Seward Police and Nebraska State Patrol for assistance, and located all of the missing by Saturday morning. The sheriff’s office turned the suspects over to federal immigration officials.

No matter what your take on the immigration crisis, it is an atrocity that local law enforcement has become the front line in the war on illegal immigration. But due to Washington's lack of intestinal fortitude -- once known as guts -- there is no other choice: local sheriff deputies and police officers must detain illegal immigrants whenever encountered, regardless of the offense committed, and hold them until they can be processed by federal agents. Unfortunately, not all local law enforcement entities take this action. Many choose to look the other way.

We tip our hats to those at the Seward County Sheriff's Department. Their actions speak loudly to those who reside in our nation illegally, as well as those who employ them.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

DHS' Lawver Holds Top Spots In Class D Field Events

DHS standout Karmen Lawver remains near the top of the state's track and field leader boards in her events.

According to today's Omaha World-Herald, Lawver is currently No. 4 in Class D shot put. The Dorchester sophomore trails leader Kim Urbanovsky of Arnold, who threw a top toss of 40-½, as well as Whitney Collins, Prague, 39-4¾; and Sadie Waugh, Paxton, 38-10½. Lawver's best toss so far this season is an impressive 38-9.

In Class D discus competition, Lawver holds the No. 3 spot. She trails only Sadie Waugh, Paxton, who threw a best of 126-11, and Meka Melvin of McPherson County, who hurled a best of 123-4. Lawver's top throw so far this year is 120-9.

On a related note, we tip our hats to those who organized and attended last Sunday's spaghetti feed benefit at the the Dorchester Fire Hall to raise funds for Lawver's training and competition this summer. It is inspiring to see the community rally around its deserving, hard-working student athletes.

Friday, April 18, 2008

News Briefs: Lawver One Of State's Discus Leaders

  • Lawver Continues To Impress: Dorchester sophomore Karmen Lawver is one of the season's Class D leaders in the discus competition. Lawver is currently in the No. 2 postion statewide, trailing only Meka Melvin of McPherson County. Melvin has a season-best throw of 123-4, while Lawver's top throw so far is 120-9. At the Friend Invitational this week, Lawver won the shot put event with a toss of 38-4, which is the fourth-best throw in Class D this year.

  • Automated Gas Meters Coming To Town: Dorchester is among the communities that will be receiving automated natural gas meters as part of Aquila's $1.8 million upgrade of its meter system. According to the Lincoln Journal Star, the automated meter reading system will allow Aquila to remotely read gas meters, thereby increasing accuracy and customer convenience. The upgrade will take place sometime this year. Aquila will send Dorchester customers a postcard notifying them of the upgrade before work begins. Customers who have questions can call Aquila toll-free at 1-800-303-0752.

  • Deadline Extended For Community Improvement Program: Nebraska communities now have until June 30 to enter the 2008 Nebraska Community Improvement Program (NCIP), a program of the Nebraska Department of Economic Development. NCIP recognizes the leadership, community and economic development efforts of Nebraska's communities. These communities organize to plan their future, set goals, determine priorities and implement project action plans. For more information, interested Dorchester leaders may call 1-800-426-6505 or e-mail

  • BECA Grant Deadline Is May 9: Dorchester leaders have three weeks to apply for the Building Entrepreneurial Communities Act (BECA) grant awarded through the state. BECA grants are designed to encourage local organizations to unite for a common cause and pool their resources. For example, last year, a $28,000 BECA grant was by several towns in the Panhandle to kick start a program to educate and technically assist young small business owners and entrepreneurs. The grant is administered by the Nebraska Rural Development Commission. Application deadline is Friday, May 9, noon. To apply online, go to: For more information, call 308-749-2291 or email

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

DHS Class Of '98 Reunion Set For May 2-4

Ten years after graduating from Dorchester, the members of DHS' class of 1998 are getting together again.

The Times has learned that the class is planning a three-day reunion slated for May 2, 3 and 4.

The event kicks off 8 p.m. May 2, when the class of '98 will gather at Sheryll's West Side Saloon in Dorchester at for drinks and conversation. On Saturday, May 3, the classmates will dine together at the Friend Country Club at 6 p.m. The reunion concludes Sunday, May 4, with a potluck lunch at the Dorchester City Park beginning at noon. In case of inclement weather, the potluck will be held at the Dorchester Community Building.

All from the class of 1998 are urged to attend.

Also, as reported earlier, this year's Dorchester Alumni Banquet will be held at Tabor Hall on May 24. More details are available by clicking here.

Roadside Trash Pick-Up Rescheduled For Saturday

It's time for spring cleaning.

The community roadside trash pick-up has been rescheduled for this Saturday, April 19, according to Dorchester Area Community Association officials. Volunteers are needed.

Those participating in this community event should meet at the Dorchester Community Building at 1 p.m. It is suggested that volunteers bring a pair of gloves.

Dorchester's community roadside trash pick-up is part of the "Great Nebraska Trash Off " -- an annual event in its 18th year. This marathon day of cleaning Nebraska highways generates lots of fun and competition between groups, as well as good publicity for the program and those who participate.

Last year, more than 5,000 volunteers statewide joined forces to remove litter from 3,000 miles of the state’s highways.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

World-Herald: Sisters' Deaths Hit Dorchester Hard

Today's Omaha World-Herald reports on Dorchester Public School students and staff members who "are mourning the loss of a talented artist and her first grade sister."

Nelya Strilkivsky, 22, and her sister Anna Strilkivsky, 7, were killed Sunday morning when their Honda Civic collided with a semitrailer truck five miles east of Crete on Nebraska Highway 33. Their 11-year-old sister, Tanya, was in critical condition Monday at BryanLGH Medical Center West.

"The Strilkivsky sisters enrolled in the Dorchester schools in 2004, said Don Pieper, Dorchester's superintendent. The district has 240 students. Pieper said Nelya was a talented artist who graduated in 2005. 'She could draw things that were really excellent,' he said."

"Anna was in a first-grade class of 25 students, Pieper said. 'There were tears down there this morning,' he said of his visit to the first-grade classroom."

"There are 11 children in the Strilkivsky family, a close-knit Ukrainian family that took school seriously. Three of the Strilkivsky children, including Nelya, already had graduated from Dorchester, a school official said. Pieper said Anna and Tanya's teachers called each family in their first- and fifth-grade classes so parents could prepare their children for what they would hear about their classmates."It's obviously a tragedy, and we're dealing with it the best we can,'' Pieper said. "These are never easy times, but we'll make it through.''

** UPDATE: 4/15, 5:45 p.m. **

The Lincoln Journal Star reports that 11-year-old Tanya Strilkivsky remained in critical condition throughout yesterday, but that doctors talked of some encouraging signs, her sister Natasha said. Tanya, a fifth-grader at Dorchester Elementary School, has opened her eyes several times and was able to move her fingers in response to questions, Natasha said. “The doctors said the CAT scan looked very good,” Natasha said.

On the morning of the accident, the sisters "were on their way to services of a Ukrainian congregation that meets at Gates of Praise Church in Lincoln," according to the article. "The sisters’ father and stepmother, Vasily and Nina Strilkivsky, had left for church about 20 minutes after the sisters and came upon the accident.

"Vasily Strilkivsky and his first wife, Lyubov, the mother of his 11 children, moved to the United States almost 20 years ago, shortly before the fall of the Soviet Union. At their in between Crete and Dorchester, the family grew from three children to 10. Then, shortly before the birth of her last child, Lyubov fell ill with stomach cancer; she died on Christmas Day in 2001. Local benefits raised money for Vasily as he struggled to care for his children and return to work.

"The Strilkviskys are a very hard-working family, said family friend Harvey Schweitzer of Dorchester. Vasily has worked at Farmland Foods for many years and also repairs cars, he said.

"Nelya Strilkivsky mothered the clan for a year before her father remarried, Natasha said Monday. Nelya graduated from Dorchester High School in 2005 and worked for Molex in Lincoln. She lived with a grandmother in Lincoln during the work week, and spent the rest of her time at home. 'She liked to hang out with her sister, me,' Natasha said. She described Nelya as a quiet girl who kept to herself. 'She was very kind and caring. She was always doing things for the family. You never had to tell her, she just bought stuff or did stuff for us.'"

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Tragedy Strikes Dorchester School Family

There are heavy hearts in the Dorchester area following the tragic deaths of two Dorchester students earlier today. As the Omaha World-Herald reports, "two sisters from rural Crete were killed and another sibling was critically injured Sunday morning in a two-vehicle accident about five miles east of Crete on Nebraska Highway 33."

Nelya Strilkivsky, 22, and Anna Strilkivsky, 7, were pronounced dead at the scene after the Honda Civic they were in collided with a semi-trailer truck, according to investigators for the Lancaster Sheriff's Office. Nelya was a recent graduate of Dorchester High School. Anna was a Dorchester first grader.

Tanya Strilkivsky, 11, was taken by helicopter to BryanLGH West Medical Center. The condition of the driver of the semi, Jerry Bailey, 56, of Fairview, Kan., was not available. Anna was a passenger in the rear seat and Tanya was riding in the front of the Honda. No one in the Honda was wearing a seat belt, investigators said.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Strilkivsky family.

** UPDATE: 4/14, 1:30 p.m. **

A fund for the Strilkivsky family has been set up at Pinnacle Bank, where the family banks. Anyone wishing to make a donation may send it to: Pinnacle Bank, P.O. Box 66, Crete, NE 68333.

Also, students at Dorchester Public Schools will be working to raise funds for the Strilkivsky family. Admission for the Dorchester Student Council dance on Friday, April 18, will be $4 or $3 with a food item for the family. In addition, a school food drive will be held this week. Outside donations will be accepted. For more information, contact Stacy Lutjemeyer at

Friday, April 11, 2008

FLASH: Roadside Trash Pick-Up Postponed

The Times has learned that the volunteer roadside trash pick-up scheduled for tomorrow morning, Saturday, April 12, has been canceled due to wet weather.

Dorchester Area Community Association officials say the event will be rescheduled at a later date.

The Times will post the newly scheduled date and time as soon as it is received.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

School Auction Set For May 9

As work continues on the Dorchester school renovation and expansion project, school administrators are preparing for the school's surplus auction to be held early next month.

The auction will take place Friday, May 9 at the Dorchester school. Bidding will begin at 9 a.m. Items for sale will include equipment, furniture and other items from the 1927 building that will not be needed in the new facility.

Among the items listed for sale:
  • A Hamilton upright piano;
  • Chalkboards and dry-erase boards;
  • Cabinets (metal and wooden);
  • School desks;
  • Furnace & A/C units;
  • Lockers;
  • Water fountains;
  • Bathroom fixtures, including sinks and toilets;
  • Loud speakers;
  • Maytag electric stove;
  • Hot water heaters and soft water unit;
  • Tape recorders and record players;
  • Basketball hoop brackets; and
  • Computer tables.

Cash or a check with ID is needed the day of the auction. Profits from the event will go to help with the cost of the new school building and campus renovation.

For a complete listing of auction items, see the sale bill accompanying this story. Click on the graphic for a larger view.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Alumni Banquet To Be Held At Tabor Hall

Now is the time to begin making plans to attend this year's Dorchester High School Alumni Banquet.

The Times has learned there will be an alternative site for the annual alumni gathering. Due to the renovation of the school, the 2008 DHS Alumni Banquet will be held at Tabor Hall on Saturday, May 24 at 6:30 p.m.

Members of the 20-year class -- the class of 1988 -- have completed most of the preparations, and invitations will be sent within the next two weeks.

For more information on this year's alumni banquet, contact Donnetta (Sand) Hoffman at

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Journal Star Features Dorchester

Today's Hometown section of Lincoln Journal Star features Dorchester as the community of the month in the newspaper's "Under 1,000" series. Journal Star reporter Cara Pesek and photographer Gwyneth Roberts do a fine job capturing the high points and current events of our town.

The story -- entitled "Something Old, Something New" -- spotlights several Dorchester residents and issues. Among the topics touched in the the article are the efforts of the Dorchester Area Community Association (DACA); the new school renovation; work being done at the Saline County Museum; Dorchester's business community; and our community's struggle to fill all the buildings on main street.

Also mentioned prominently is Dorchester's Charles Havlat, who was the country's last casualty in World War II's European Theatre.

The entire Journal Star article can be found online. However, the hard copy of today's Journal Star features 10 photographs of Dorchester residents and sites not found on its Web site. Residents are encouraged to get a copy of today's Jouranal Star, available at the vending machine at Mr. and Mrs. Roger Wolf's residence just west of the school on 9th Street.

Also featured in today's Journal Star is a short story on the Dorchester Times. It can be found here.

The staff Dorchester Times tip our hats to the Lincoln Journal Star -- not only for its Dorchester feature, but its efforts to spotlight Nebraska's small towns, which are all too often ignored by Lincoln and Omaha media.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

News Briefs: DHS' Lawver Takes Two Golds

  • Despite this week's cool temperatures, Dorchester's Karmen Lawver is back to her winning ways. The DHS sophomore won two gold medals at yesterday's Mustang Invitational at Friend. Lawver hurled the discuss 120'-9" to take the top spot in that event. In the shot put, she took top honors with a toss of 37'-11¼". Last year, Lawver was the only freshman to compete in the Class D discuss throw at Nebraska State Track & Field Meet in Omaha, where she placed 16th.

  • Former Longhorn football standout Lance Bobolz is now listed on the University of Nebraska's Internet compilation of Husker Football letter winners. To our knowledge, Bobolz is the only DHS graduate to play football for the Huskers. Listed as a wingback, Bobolz lettered in 1990, his senior year at UNL.
  • Nearly 27 years ago, Dorchester celebrated its centennial. A reminder of that historic event can now be found on E-Bay, the Internet auction site. A seller in Council Bluffs, Iowa is offering a bronze medallion commemorating the 75th anniversary of Dorchester's Citizens State Bank. Many Dorchester residents will remember that the medallions were distributed during the town's centennial celebration, including during the centennial parade. Of course, the bank is now known as First State Bank. And the bank's 75th anniversary was actually in 1982.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Alma, Neb. Starts Campaign To Boost Population

The Associated Press is reporting that Alma, Neb. (population 1,200) has begun an Internet campaign that it hopes will boost its dwindling population.

We think this is newsworthy simply for the fact the Alma campaign could serve as a model for Dorchester, which is much more fortunate in terms of proximity to employment centers.

The "Tell a Friend about Alma" campaign seeks to have people familiar with the area urge friends and family to move to the Harlan County town. Those visiting the Alma Web site are encouraged to fill out contact information. The city will then send out information about what Alma has to offer.

Alma officials tout good schools, low crime and a newly expanded hospital as some of the town's best features. To see the Web site for yourself, go to

Upon our investigation of the Alma site, we noted that it was created in part by a grant from the Nebraska Travel & Tourism Office, a division of the Nebraska Dept. of Economic Development (DED).

We think it would be worthwhile for DACA or village board officials to make a call to DED to see if our community is eligible for assistance in establishing an Internet site similar to Alma's, should there be sufficient interest among Dorchester leaders.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Editorial: A Rebuttal To The Crete News On Illegal Immigration

We are disappointed and perplexed by an analysis in last week's issue of The Crete News regarding our February 12 editorial on illegal immigration.

We’re perplexed because our straightforward editorial was misinterpreted by a news organization that we have often referenced on this Web site. The point of our February polemic is that illegal immigration and the current influx of immigrants –- the largest in U.S. history –- has produced negative consequences here in our own backyard.

In no way did we target local police for issuing a “disproportionate number of citations to Hispanic immigrants,” as stated by The Crete News’ Jenn Lampila.

We’re disappointed because the Crete newspaper has apparently decided to turn a blind eye to the documented problems caused by undocumented residents, including the civil offences being committed in disproportionate numbers by members of the immigrant community.

The Crete News article stated: “An alalysis [sic] of pulbic [sic] documents found the data given in the (Times' editorial) and the conclusions drawn from it were reported inaccurately.”

Perhaps we should not take too seriously an article that contains two misspellings in its preface. (Also, editors at The Crete News should note that if “Hispanic” is capitalized, “Caucasian” should be capitalized also.) Nonetheless, the Times staff is obligated to defend our editorial stance.

We never intended the report in our February editorial to serve as a comprehensive, long-term examination of immigration and crime. However, we stand by the report's numbers, which are accurate. We also note that recent records published in The Crete News reflect similar trends.

The fact is, the weekly record in the Feb. 6 issue of The Crete News shows that 36 percent -- or 21 of 58 -- of the stops and arrests by local law enforcement involved individuals with Hispanic surnames. Figures from a two-year-old, statewide study, as cited in last week's analysis by Lampila, do not change the reality of the current situation in Saline County.

We cannot speak for The Crete News. However, we at the Times are troubled to read about the arrest of Marcelino Temporal-Padilla of Crete, who was charged with using the identity of another person to procure a drivers license and obtain employment, as well as to access financial resources of the victim.

We are concerned when we learn about the arrest of Felix Cesar Delacruz of Dorchester, a habitual criminal, who was booked on felony charges of committing terrorist threats.

We are alarmed by the ticketing of ten others listed in the same week for possessing no license or valid form of identification.

The point of this editorial is not only to counter The Crete News analysis, but to keep our readers focused on the bigger picture. Illegal immigration is impacting every corner of our nation –- not just Saline County. Consider these reports from respected organizations from around the country:

  • Mexican citizens living in the United States sent a record $23.1 billion back home in 2006. This has had a devastating effect on small-town businesses and their communities. (Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas; July/Aug. 2007)

  • Crimes committed by alien criminals, such as rape, murder or drug distribution costs U.S. taxpayers $1.6 billion in prison costs alone. The figure doesn’t include the cost of lost property, medical bills, time lost from work, higher insurance costs, etc. Today, illegal aliens make up 29 percent of the U.S. prison population -- or 500,000 illegals. Latino gangs like Mara Salvatrucha 13 (MS13) constitute most of the crime from the ranks of the illegals. MS13 is the largest and most violent of all gangs in the U.S. today, and have overtaken the Crips and the Bloods both in size and violence. (The DeWeese Report, 2008)

  • The following diseases have experienced a resurgence or re-emergence in the United States in large part due to immigrants from third-world nations: Tuberculosis; Chagas Disease (fatal, with no known cure); Leprosy (7,000 new cases in the past three years); Polio (once considered eradicated); Cysticercosis (a rare brain worm); and Hepatitis A, B, and C. (U.S. Center for Disease Control, Atlanta)

  • A report by the Center for Immigration Studies found that illegal immigrants in the United States costs the federal government more than $10 billion a year. (Washington Post, Aug. 2004)

  • Approximately 1,200 illegal aliens cross into the Tucson Sector in Arizona per day. In 2007, 14,111 of those apprehended were convicted criminals. (U.S. Border Patrol, 2008)

  • For all the tough talk out of Washington, illegal aliens caught along the Mexican border have almost no reason to fear they will be prosecuted. Ninety-eight percent of illegal immigrants arrested between Oct. 2000, and Sept. 2005, were never prosecuted for illegally entering the country, according to an AP analysis of federal data. Those 5.2 million immigrants were simply escorted back across the Rio Grande and turned loose. Many presumably tried to slip into the U.S. again. (Associated Press, April 2007)

Those are just some of the highlights from our limited research. We think they are much more telling than the apologetic piece in The Crete News, which told us that “some illegal immigrants fail to obtain a driver’s license because they do not have proper documentation.” That qualifies as news?

Instead, we would have preferred that The Crete News take time to investigate ways to counter illegal immigration locally, including ideas on how to provide area law enforcement with the authority and resources to assist in the effort.

Nebraska residents who know of illegal aliens residing in the United States can call the detention and removal offices of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The number, mentioned in a previous post by a reader and confirmed by the Times, is 952-853-2550 and press “0.”

For young people who would like to serve their nation and protect America's borders, we recommend exploring career options offered by ICE or the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

April 20 Deadline To Order School Commemorative Shirts

Time is running out for area residents and DHS graduates across the country to order their t-shirt commemorating the 1927 Dorchester school building. Orders must be placed by April 20.

The special edition t-shirt features a detailed sketch of the old school building, which will be razed in mid-May.

The drawing, by Dorchester art instructor Stacy Lutjemeyer, is featured on the back of the shirt. On the front is the saying "Pride in our past. Faith in our Future."

Colors available are banana (pale yellow) or sand (tan). The cost of each shirt is $10.

To order, e-mail and indicate the quantity, col0r and size of the t-shirts you want. Send your payment to: Dorchester Public Schools, Attention: Stacy Lutjemeyer, 506 W 9th, Box 7, Dorchester, NE 68343.

Checks should be made payable to Dorchester Schools.