Saturday, September 27, 2008

School Open House Set For Oct. 13

The Times has been informed that an open house and tour of the new school will be held in two weeks.

According to Dorchester Superintendent Brian Redinger, the Dorchester Public School open house will be held 7-9 p.m. Monday, Oct. 13.

If school district patrons are unable to participate at those times, school administration staff will be willing to give personal tours, according to Redinger.

"We here at the school are very thankful to the school patrons for this wonderful new facility," Redinger said in a written communication to the Times. "So it would give us great joy to show anyone around. Just give us a call in the office to arrange a time."

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Lady Longhorns Net Fifth Win

Despite a rocky start, the Lady Longhorns cruised to a convincing victory at home on Tuesday night.

DHS defeated Osceola in four sets -- 21-25, 25-16, 25-23, 25-18. The Longhorns' juniors and seniors were instrumental in the comeback win.

Dorchester, now 5-4 on the season, was ranked in Class D-1's top 30 teams before tonight's victory, according to the Nebraska School Activities Association (NSSA).

The Lady Longhorns will next be in action at the Shelby triangular on Thursday. (UPDATE 9/25, 11 p.m.: DHS split a pair of contests in tonight's Shelby Invitational. After defeating High Plains Community, 25-23, 25-15, the Longhorns stumbled against a 1-7 Shelby team, 25-20, 25-21. The Lady 'Horns are now 6-5 on the season. DHS will mark the mid-way of the season on Tuesday in their match at Sterling.)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

New School, New Era, New Pride

For those who missed it, the Sept. 17 edition of The Crete News featured a front page story on the grand opening of the new Dorchester School and its renovated campus.

On the morning of Sept. 10, "exactly 365 days after (Dorchester School district) voters approved a $3.98 million school bond, proud school board members stood in front of the new doors with a pair of giant scissors and orange and black ribbons," writes reporter Crete News Jenn Lampila. (The accompanying photo is courtesy of Diane Fisher, who took the aerial shot the morning of the ribbon cutting. Readers may click on the picture for a closer view.)

The opening day ceremony featured an invocation by Dorchester Methodist Rev. Paixao Baptista, as well as DPS Superintendent Brian Redinger's recitation of Walt Whitman's poem "An Old Man's Thought of School."

According to the Crete News article, Dorchester School Board President Brad Havlat reminded those present of the sacrifices made for their new building. "A round of applause was given for former Superintendent Don Peiper who could not attend the ceremony. His efforts and years of service to the district were commended."

Architect Christy Joy was on hand to see her designs put to use by Dorchester students. The elementary wing of the new building sits were the 1927 school stood until last May. The new high school classrooms are primarily adjacent to the 1964 gym.

We at the Times are more than impressed with the new school -- we are awe struck. So much positive action has taken place in just one year's time it's difficult to believe that just last September, we were reporting on the Dorchester School Improvement Project (DSIP) Committee's round-table discussion with fellow school district patrons.

We tip our collective hat to all Dorchester School Board members and district residents who got behind the project and supported a much-needed investment in our community.

We hope the DSIP Committee will not be dissolved, but will stay active in school affairs. We hope the new school and campus will act as a catalyst for more positive change in our community. And we hope the students of Dorchester will recognize the large investment that has been made on their behalf -- and return the favor to their community one day soon.

From what we have witnessed, new found pride and enthusiasm are already apparent at Dorchester Public School. We at the Times would like to hear from school students and staff on their thoughts of the new building and campus, as well as if and how their perception of Dorchester has changed. (Note: Unfortunately, Ayars and Ayars has not yet updated their Web site with photos of the completed project. We anticipate new photos will soon be posted.)

Saturday, September 20, 2008

DHS Teams Stumble But Still Look Strong

On Friday night, the Longhorns fell short in their bid to enter the Class D-1 football rankings. Playing in their first road contest of the year, the Horns were upended 42-22 by a feisty group of Mustangs from McCool.

DHS is now 1-2 on the young season.

Despite that DHS was handed its second loss -- and although the team is still not at full strength due to injuries -- the Longhorns remain in second place in their Class D-1 district, trailing top-seated Meridian (2-1) by less than a point. The district rankings are based on strength of opponent and margin of victory or loss.

Next week's homecoming contest will feature the 2-1 Pawnee City Indians, ranked fourth in the district standings and trailing DHS by about three points.

On Thursday evening, the Lady Longhorns proved they can compete in Class C-2, losing a nail biter to next door rival Friend in five sets. Despite losing the first set 25-15, the Horns roared back to sweep the next two sets 25-21 and 25-15 against a loaded Friend team with a deep bench. Friend won the last two sets 25-13 and 15-7.

The Lady Horns, now 3-2, remain in Class D-1's top 15 teams by point standing, according to the Nebraska School Activities Association (NSAA). Victories at today's Shickley tournament could propel the Orange and Black into the top 10. (UPDATE 9/20, 8 p.m.: Dorchester defeated Bruning-Davenport 25-20, 25-23 in round one of the Shickley Invitational, but fell to Silver Lake in two sets, 25-20 and 25-23. In the third place match, the Longhorns were defeated by Shickley 25-19, 16-25, 25-15.)

Friday, September 19, 2008

DHS Announces Impressive List Of Boosters

The Dorchester High School Athletic Department has announced the names of this year's DHS Booster Club members. An impressive list of area residents, businesses, alumni and other DHS supporters comprise the Dorchester Booster Club's ranks. The 2008-09 Booster members are:

* Randy & Kelly Brummett
* Brian & Colleen Schwisow
* Joyce Karl
* Wayne & Cindy Havlat
* Matt & Donna Hansen
* Brad & Donna Havlat
* Roger & Lisa Wells
* Ron & Joyce Kahle
* Dave & Donna Parks
* Carol Schnell
* Rich & Deanna Sand
* John & Rochelle Bruha
* Dennis & Lori Pracheil
* Scott & Nancy Pohl
* Jennifer Feeken
* George & Jen Kasl
* Dale & Deanna Bird
* Russ & Tish Hewitt
* Matt & Donetta Hoffman
* Ron & Michelle Barak
* Eric Plonkey & Corby Aaberg
* Shaun & Annette Walton
* Toni Ladley
* Joel & Amy Weber
* Allen & Kellie Moyer
* Marvin Kohout
* Deb Spanyers
* Scott & Lori Vyhnalek
* Todd & Donna Jensen
* Terri Carroll
* David & Darlene Rasplicka
* Leornard & Jan Stehlik
* Dale Kasl
* Ron Velder
* Jerome Schnell
* Matt Carroll
* Aaron & Missy Stutzman
* Galen & Maurine Johnson
* Kevin & Carol Olson
* Loren & Judy Vyhnalek
* Jack & Dorothy Beekley
* Eric Stehlik
* Don & Louis Williams
* Michael & Lynn Feeken
* Bill Moser
* Larry Kaspar
* Earl & Karen Parks
* Peg Bergmeyer
* James and Daniel Sehnert
* Mr. & Mrs. Alden Johnson
* Doug & Kelly Feeken
* Tina Axline
* Jack & Ann Bruha
* Dorchester Times Staff
* Terry Gautreaux
* Bob & Judy Weber
* Rosie & Shelley Bruha
* Lowell Kotas
* Lori & Marc Cerny
* Wal-Mart
* Farmland Foods
* Farmers Cooperative
* Crete Area Medical Center
* Pepsi Cola
* Ben's Iron Salvage
* Dr. Kubicek/Friend Denatal Clinic
* Pinnacle Bank
* Bors' Tree Transplanting
* Dorchester Grocery
* Weber Feed Yard

The DHS Booster Club is comprised of Dorchester supporters of all DHS sports teams, raising 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.

It's not too late to become a DHS Booster. Your contribution of $10, $25, $50 or whatever you can afford 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. Moreover, a DHS student will never forget the level of support shown by fellow community members during his/her school days.

If you would like to become a DHS booster, send you contribution of $10 or more to:

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

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Annual Church Auction This Sunday, Sept. 21

Dorchester United Methodist Church’s 21st Annual Community Auction will be held this Sunday, Sept. 21.

All Dorchester area residents are strongly encouraged to join the fun, which will be held on the church grounds. Sunday's activities begin with a beef and pork barbecue from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The auction starts at 1 p.m.

According to Carol Olson, there will be numerous auction items that will be of special interest, including a kids' Husker Bench; Nebraska Football package; and a children's picnic table. A full list of auction items can be found at any of Dorchester's local businesses.

Those who would like to place a bid but are unable to attend may still take part in this important fundraiser by calling Vicky Parks (402-946-4691) or Carol Olson (402-946-3531).

Some more highlights planned for this Sunday:

* Chain saw artist
Nick Jensen from Garland will be demonstrating his carving skills from 10:30 am until 12:45 p.m. The items he carves will be auctioned. Come watch "Papa Bear" Jensen create his unique wood sculptures, which make great rustic yard art or home decor.

* Youth Cake Auction: Community youth will be bringing cakes and other sweet treats that to be auctioned off.

* Farmers Market: Fresh produce from local gardens will be offered at a free will offering.

* Book Exchange: Bring a book to exchange for a new read or purchase any available.

Cash donations of all amounts are also being accepted. For those who would like to make cash donations, please contact Parks or Olson at the phone numbers above.

We hope all Times' readers will enjoy the first weekend of fall by supporting the community's church and the good work of its members by contributing generously at Sunday's auction.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Horns Get First Football Win, First Volleyball Loss

The Dorchester Longhorns earned their first win of the young football season on Friday night in an 8-6 victory over the Sterling Jets.

The Horns, now 1-1 on the year following last week's loss to Shelby, will travel to McCool Junction next Friday for a 7 p.m. contest against the Mustangs. (*UPDATE 9/16, 2 p.m.: The Lincoln Journal-Star has named the Longhorns as contenders in Class D-1 after knocking Sterling out of the Class D-2 top 10. Our congratulations to the men of DHS.)

On the volleyball court, the Lady Longhorns came away with a split decision Thursday at the Hampton Triangular. The Horns soundly defeated the Hawks of Hampton in two straight sets, 25-17, 25-17. However, top-10 ranked Giltner handed DHS its first loss of the season, beating the Longhorns in straight sets, 25-22, 25-15. The Hornets of Giltner went onto win the triangular after crushing Hampton 25-16, 25-13.

The Lady Longhorns will look to bounce back next week, on Sept. 18, in a home contest against next door rival Friend.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Editorial: Public Image Counts

Back in May 2007, Dorchester made national news thanks to an Associated Press story on the dramatic increase in the construction across the Midwest due to the growth of the ethanol industry.

The AP story -- which appeared in newspapers across the state and nation -- was read by millions of Americans. A recent Google search by the Times found the article is still readily available on the Internet, on dozens of Web sites.

Set in Dorchester, the article opens with the following lead:

"DORCHESTER, Neb. -- Outside of two bars and a bank there’s little activity on Washington Street here, where more windows are covered by boards than 'Open' signs. But at the end of the street, semi-trailers stir the dust near a concrete symbol of economic activity. It towers over the signs of small-town decay ..."

As we stated some 16 months ago, the AP account portrays our town in a negative and unfair light. Dorchester certainly has more life and economic activity than journalist Jenkins reported. Yet, the story still serves as a good reminder that Dorchester needs to make improvements if we are to enhance our public image -- and our own quality of life.

We are encouraged by the many upgrades made across town over the last year. Recognition goes to the Dorchester Area Community Association and Foundation, as well as the individuals who made an investment of time and financial resources. The new school is remarkable -- it is a structure that any community would prize. We also recognize other enhancements, including the main street electronic marquee, upgrades made to the city park, and improvements of buildings along main street.

However, we are disappointed by some of the eyesores that remain -- eyesores that could be easily addressed. The sight of weeds growing on the sidewalk on the west side of main street, in front of blatantly neglected buildings, is an obvious reminder there is still work to be done. We are especially disappointed this has occurred on a very visible sidewalk less than half a block from Village Hall.

As we said previously, public image matters. Public image attracts growth to a community or expedites its decline. Again, we ask readers to take a minute to scroll down the left-hand column of this Web page and read the historical profile of Dorchester 120 years ago. Times were tough back then, too. But town leaders wanted Dorchester to be known for more than its train depot.

In 2008, let's hope that all Dorchester residents want our town to be known for more than its grain elevator, despite its significant contributions to the area economy.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

DHS Volleyball Rolls To First Victories

The Lady Longhorns are out of the gates this season in convincing fashion as the DHS volleyball team rolled to a pair of victories Thursday evening.

At a triangular held in Weeping Water, Dorchester defeated Palmyra in two sets, 25-20 and 25-20. The Longhorns then went on to wallop the hometown team, crushing Weeping Water in straight sets by scores of 25-16 and 25-22.

DHS head coach Jodi Fintel is returning six starters on this year's Longhorn volleyball team, which includes four solid seniors.

One respected sportswriter told the Times that he believes the DHS volleyball squad should be ranked in Class D-1. Dorchester is currently unranked in both the Lincoln Journal Star and Omaha World-Herald prep polls.

Based on the Journal Star polls, ranked D-1 teams in the immediate area are Mead (No. 5), Freeman (No. 6), Giltner (No. 9) and Pawnee City (No. 10).

The Lady Longhorns will again be in action in Hampton on Thursday, Sept. 11, in another triangular.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Youth Football Day On Sept. 11

Autumn is in the air and football season is here. That means it's time for the third annual "Longhorn Football Youth Day" -- when young fans and future Longhorn stars can learn a little more about the gridiron game and have some fun with their peers.

Longhorn Football Youth Day will be held next Thursday, Sept. 11, 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Dorchester's Nerud Football Field. This free event will be open to all boys and girls in kindergarten through sixth grade.

Every participant will receive a free pass to the Sept. 12 DHS home game against the Sterling Jets.

"We look forward to seeing every Dorchester elementary student at this exciting event," said DHS football coaches Brent Zoubek and Ryan Voelker. "Young Longhorns are encouraged to come meet the players of this year's DHS football team and have fun learning some of the fundamentals of football."

Plan to bring your child to Longhorn Football Youth Day on Sept. 11.