Sunday, August 31, 2008

News Briefs: Wind Farm In Saline County's Future?

  • DHS Alum Matt Carroll To Start For Peru State: According to the Nebraska City News Press, former DHS Longhorn is slated to start for Peru State College this year on the football team's offensive line. Peru State is coming off last year’s 6-5 team. According to the preview released as part of the school’s media guide, the key to the success of the Peru State offensive team will come down to the line. Carroll, a sophomore, will play at the right tackle position.
  • Area Accident Claims Life Of Milford Teen: An auto accident on a gravel-road intersection near Dorchester took the life of one Milford teen and seriously injured another. According to the Lincoln Journal Star, killed in the crash was Zach Blowers, 15, of Milford. Two others, 15-year-old Richland Walker of Milford and 47-year-old Robert Haufle of Crete were hospitalized with serious injuries. The crash involving Blowers and Walker, sophomore members of Milford’s football squad, happened just before 5 p.m. Walker’s 1989 Chevrolet pickup collided with a 2002 Dodge pickup at an intersection two miles northwest of Dorchester. Haufle was driving the Dodge that also held his wife, Arlene, and two children. Friday evening in Milford, more than 100 students attended an impromptu prayer service for Blowers and Walker on the school’s football field. Blowers’ funeral will be Tuesday.

  • Wind Energy Pitch Presented To Saline County Residents: Last Thursday evening at Saline Center, a representative from the nation’s largest wind energy development company pitched the creation of a wind farm in central Saline County to a group of about 50 landowners, according to the Lincoln Journal Star. A development manager for Denver-based Renewable Energy Systems Americas Inc., explained to his audience that his company has been looking at the development of wind energy resources in six Saline County townships for the past year. The Journal Star article reports that it would be feasible, company representatives said, to build an 80-turbine wind farm in central Saline County, altering the appearance and economy of the county and generating up to $12,000 per year per a wind turbine for landowners. Thursday night's pitch from RES, which also developed Nebraska's largest wind farm, near Ainsworth, was the second such proposal the county has heard in the past month, said Randy Pryor, a University Of Nebraska extension educator in Saline County, and also a local land owner. District 32 Sen. Russ Karpisek of Wilber said landowners need to make sure they know what they're getting into before they sign any contracts. A bill (LB629) passed in 2007 by the Nebraska Legislature, makes it easier for private companies to work with the Nebraska Public Power District to develop wind energy. Pryor doesn't deny the prospect of the wind farm is exciting."It would totally change the way the middle of Saline County would look," he said. "That would be the largest project in the state."

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Help Wanted: New School Move Is Next Week

All able-bodied area residents are needed to help prepare the new school building for the upcoming school year.

As of this writing, Dorchester school staff plans to move supplies and equipment into the new school next Tuesday and Wednesday, Sept. 2 and 3, as well as Friday, Sept. 5.

According to Superintendent Brian Redinger, the help of district patrons, parents, alumni, students (grades 6-12), school staff, and any other adults would be tremendously appreciated.

If you are able to help with this historic event, plan to be at the school around 10 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 2. Several volunteers will be needed, Redinger says, due to the large amount of items that will be unloaded from a semi-trailer.

Volunteers will be needed Wednesday, Sept. 3 -- also a 10 a.m. start -- only if there are still items left to unload from the semi-trailer.

Many volunteers will again be needed 8:30 a.m. Friday, as items will be moved from the new wrestling room to individual class rooms. Plans are being made to provide volunteers with lunch. Volunteers are also encouraged to bring brooms to help sweep sidewalks and the new parking lot.

For more information on how to help with the new school move, call the school at (402) 946-2781.

The Times has also learned that at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 10, the a ribbon cutting ceremony will be held to commemorate opening of the new school and renovated DPS campus.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Times' Ten Day Challenge: Support The DHS Booster Club

Can you spare $1 a day for the next ten days?

We challenge Dorchester residents, parents, alumni and friends of the community to make a $10 contribution to the DHS Booster Club by month's end. If the Booster Club receives more than $500 by Sept. 1, the Times will contribute an additional $50, above and beyond the contributions of our individual staff members. (UPDATE: 8/25, 10 a.m. -- Former DHS principal and teacher Terry Gautreaux has pledged to match the Times' $50 contribution if the $500 goal is reached.)

The DHS Booster Club is comprised of Dorchester supporters of all DHS sports teams who work to raise money for much-needed supplies, equipment, uniforms, and/or capital items beyond what the school budget can provide. Through such financial support, the Booster Club enriches DHS' extra curricular activities for both students and community members.

Your small donation will remind our Longhorn youth that we support their extra curricular efforts. Your contribution will remind DHS students it is a privilege and an honor to represent one's school and to wear its uniform. Your $10 contribution will remind all Dorchester youth that self-motivation, the desire to excel, good health habits, and interscholastic competition are critical to the overall educational experience.

Regardless of a student's athletic talents, the lessons on leadership and self-improvement learned through school activities last a lifetime. Just as true, a student will always recall the level of support shown by fellow community members during his/her school days.

Before Sept. 1, we hope you will take a moment to send your $10 (or more) contribution to:

DHS Booster Club
506 W 9th St., Box 7
Dorchester, NE 68343

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

DHS Fall Sports Preview Aug. 29

Get ready for the red carpet roll out of the 2008 DHS teams, Longhorn fans!

The Dorchester Booster Club is sponsoring the annual fall sports preview next Friday, Aug. 29, at Nerud Field. According to DHS Athletic Director Scott Pohl, the festivities will kick off with the Booster Club offering a tailgate meal starting at 6 p.m. Cost is only $3.

The DHS volleyball coaches will introduce the 2008 Lady Longhorns at approximately 6:30, followed by the football coaches' introduction of the 2008 Longhorn gridiron team. A scrimmage of the football team will be held after the players' introduction.

Instead of bringing a sports drink for admission for the scrimmage -- as has been the tradition in the past -- the DHS Boosters are asking that a donation be given to the new Nerud Field concessions/restroom facility effort. The new facility will be built late this fall.

The DHS Booster Club is also asking any and all community members to join the Club and help support the youth of Dorchester. Those with questions should contact Scott Pohl at

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

DVFD Glo-Ball Golf Tourney Sept. 6

Get ready for the second annual Dorchester Volunteer Fire Dept. "Glo-Ball" Golf Tournament.

The tourney is set for the evening of Saturday, Sept. 6 at the Friend Country Club. Cost is $25 per person with two-person teams. The tourney will begin promptly at dark.

Flag prizes and raffle prizes will be awarded.

This is a wonderful and fun opportunity to support the volunteer first responders of our community. Contact the Friend Country Club (402-947-6501) to reserve your spot.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Nerud Field Facility Set For Late Fall Construction

Sources have told the Times that the new sports activity facility at Nerud Field will begin to take shape in late fall, following the last home DHS football game.

The facility will be a 24’ by 40’ building that will include new restrooms and a covered eating area with picnic tables.

As reported by a reader last month, Dorchester citizen Bill Velder is heading the project, a joint venture between the school and village.

Donations are being accepted at the First State Bank, village office, school office and Dorchester Grocery. Those who wish to volunteer their labor or donate cash should call Bill Velder at (402) 946-2491.

News Briefs: Farmers' Co-op Takeover Will Take Place Sept. 1

  • Farmers' Co-0p Will Take Over Countryside Co-op: Earlier this week, the Lincoln Journal Star reported that some Nebraska Tire stores have been closed as their owner, Countryside Cooperative of Firth prepares to be taken over Sept. 1 by Dorchester's Farmers Cooperative. Interim CEO Terry Samuelson said Countryside members voted 92% on July 24 for the co-op to be taken over by Dorchester, a larger cooperative. Meanwhile, Countryside has been downsizing its Nebraska Tire operation. The Nebraska Tire stores remaining are in Firth, Nebraska City, York and Fremont. The rationale behind the merger, Samuelson said, was primarily to be able to address capital needs for agriculture for the future. “Very fine companies are being challenged,” Samuelson said. “When we had corn at $6, approaching $7, it takes three time the amount of capital to do the same amount of business as it did three years ago.” Countryside also owns elevators, fuel and propane stations, feed stores, ammonia plants and other operations at Firth, Pickrell, Princeton, Diller, Cortland, Sterling, Syracuse, Pawnee City, Hallam, Filley and Crete, according to its Web site. Farmers Cooperative of Dorchester currently has operations in 35 other communities in southeast Nebraska and Kansas.

  • DHS Alum Nohavec Named As Business Leader: 1989 DHS alumus Kristi Nohavec, now of Lincoln, has been honored with the Midlands Business Journal '40 under 40' award. Nohavec is an architect and associate principal at Clark Enersen Partners, Inc. in Lincoln. Recently, Nohavec designed the new shelter in the Dorchester City Park.

  • Baby Holtmeier Newest Member of Dorchester Area Community: Penny (Olson) and Mike Holtmeier of Dorchester are the proud parents of a new baby boy, born Aug. 7 at Saint Elizabeth. Our congratulations to the happy family.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

School Update: New Photos Now Online

Thanks to the recent run of dry weather, construction crews working on the Dorchester School renovation project are making solid progress. Work has now begun inside the new school building where the 1928 school once stood.

Ayars & Ayars, Inc. has updated
photos of the new facility -- inside and out. We are impressed, as well as a little envious of the Dorchester students who will soon be filling the new classrooms. The new 33,500 square foot addition, which will feature both elementary and high school classrooms, a multi-purpose room with stage, library and administrative offices.

* UPDATE: 8/3 -- According to school administration, the new school year will be begin Sept. 10 for secondary students (grades 7-12) and Sept. 12 for elementary students (kindergarten through grade 6).

Editorial: What's Good Enough For Fairmont...

The Lincoln Journal Star reports that Gov. Dave Heineman has announced $5.1 million in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding for projects in 35 communities across the state.

These grants are distributed as part of the state’s annual allocation of CDBG funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. As the Times has mentioned on several occasions, these grants provide smaller communities like Dorchester an excellent resource to address infrastructure challenges, including the paving of streets.

Point and case: One of the towns receiving CDBG funds is right down the road on Highway 6. Fairmont will receive $20,000 to undertake a streets improvement study. Regardless of where you stand on the issue of paving Dorchester's streets, it is difficult to argue against such a study.

Unfortunately, to our knowledge, the Village of Dorchester has never applied for a CDBG grant. Never. Not once. Nunca. (A little Spanish lingo for some our friends at the Crete News.) At least not in recent memory.

That our local government has never sought to tap this source of federal funding, which is up for grabs, is a shame. There's no other way to put it.

For a community to show progress and improvement, or at least maintain what it has, persistent leadership is required. But so is interaction from the citizenry. When is the last time you have spoken to a Village board member about the needs of our community? The staff of the Times pleads guilty as anyone to inaction on this issue.

So consider this our plea to the Village Board: We ask board members to please seriously explore grant opportunities and other assistance available at the state and federal levels -- for help with streets, water or sewer, or a number of other challenges. One simple call to the Nebraska Department of Economic Development might do wonders. And it won't cost a dime.

Also, a town hall held by board members would provide much needed communication between residents and village leadership. We think such an event in warranted.

In the meantime, we hope that we aren't the only ones sounding this message. We realize our elected local leaders aren't mind readers. Residents of Dorchester need to do a better job communicating.