Saturday, January 31, 2009

DHS Grapplers Take First At Freeman

Good things are happening on the mat. The Longhorn wrestling team on Thursday beat 11 other squads to win the Freeman Invitational.

Three gold medal winners helped the DHS grapplers accumulate 135 team points, outpacing second-place Humboldt-Table Rock-Steinauer-Pawnee City (HTRSPC) by 23. Other well-respected wrestling schools finishing behind DHS included Freeman, Meridian and Southern.

In the 140 lb. class, DHS' Jared Jensen defeated Curtis Rexroth of HTRSPC, 7-4. In the 145 lb. class, DHS junior Adam Kahle defeated Kody Allgood of Auburn, 11-0. And in the 189 lb. bracket, the Longhorns' Russel Barak continued his winning ways by pinning Trevor Howe of Yutan in 4:18.

Earlier in the week, the DHS grapplers finished fifth at the Thayer Central Invite, which featured 11 teams. Adam Kahle and Russel Barack both collected gold metal in their respective weight classes.

The Times salutes the members of the Longhorn wrestling team for their efforts. The DHS wrestling team will next be in action Thursday, Feb. 5, at the Turkey Creek Invitational at Friend.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Experts Confirm Mountain Lion Near Columbus

In our continuing series on mountain lion sightings in or near Saline County, we note an Associated Press report this evening regarding the presence of a mountain lion near Columbus, only 60 miles from our community.

Over the past two years, we have received several e-mails from readers claiming to have seen mountain lions or cougar tracks in our area. The reader comments left on our Nov. 26 post indicate other area residents also have spotted the big cats.

Now those readers have more ammunition to validate their claims. This afternoon, the Game and Parks Commission confirmed the presence of a mountain lion near Columbus, according to the AP wire. The cougar was confirmed by its tracks found near the Loup River in Platte County west of Columbus. The Commission also confirmed the presence of a mountain lion through a photograph taken near the Loup River on Jan. 12 in Nance County.

We remain on the lookout.

DHS Girls Take Third At CRC

The Lady Longhorns and DHS coach Steve Fusco claimed the bronze this afternoon at the Crossroads Tourney in York, beating Hampton 50-41.

The Lady Hawks made DHS work hard for their third place finish. The game was tied 20-20 at halftime. And Dorchester did not help its cause, turning the ball over 28 times in four periods.

After a back-and-forth contest, the Lady 'Horns finally pulled away at the fourth period's 3:30 mark, when the aggressive play of Amy Havlat put DHS ahead by eight points, which marked the largest lead in the contest for either team at the time. Dorchester scored 18 points total in the final period, led by Charity Springer with 16 points on the day.

DHS improves to an impressive 12-3 on the season. Both boys and girls team will be in action again this Tuesday, Feb. 3, in a home contest against Shickley.

Exeter-Milligan Exacts Revenge On Lady 'Horns

Momentum is a powerful thing, as the Dorchester girls' basketball team discovered in York yesterday.

Despite beating the Timberwolves handily earlier this season, the top-seeded Lady Longhorns could not break Exeter-Milligan's streak at the Crossroads Conference Tournament in York, losing to the Timberwolves on Thursday, 42-29. DHS will play at 3 p.m. today in the CRC consolation, while Exeter-Milligan will battle for its seventh straight CRC championship.

Coming into the game, both teams were in the Nebraska School Activities Association's top 20 in Class D1, with DHS at No. 12 and E-M at No. 19. The first half of the contest was low-scoring and sloppy by both teams' standards, and was tied at only 15-15 at halftime.

But in the second half, the Longhorns' defense could not stop two Timberwolves, Pribyl and Kassik , who combined accounted for two-thirds of E-M's points. The biggest stumbling block for the Lady 'Horns was the third period, when DHS managed only three points.

Dorchester's scorers were: Boller 15, Lawver 5, Wells 2, Havlat 2, Spanyers 2, Springer 2, Pracheil 1.

The Lady Longhorns are now 11-3 on the season, with six big games remaining, including a Feb. 3 home contest against Shickley.

For more on yesterday's game, click here.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Bill Would Help Towns Tear Down Abandoned Buildings

Know of an abandoned building you would like to see torn down?

We read in the Omaha World-Herald that the Nebraska Legislature on Thursday gave second-round approval to a proposal that would provide state environmental grants to help small communities like Dorchester tear down abandoned buildings.

One more vote is needed, along with the governor’s signature, for LB180 to become law. It would allow the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality to provide state grants to towns and counties smaller than 5,000 to tear down abandoned buildings and recycle the materials.

We make note of this as just another tool that will likely soon be available. For more information on LB180, click here.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

DHS Boys Come Up Just Short -- Again

In another nail biter, the DHS boys basketball team fell to Shickley Tuesday night, 55-54, in their first round of CRC Tournament action. (See the York News-Times story by clicking here.)

The Longhorns, now 8-4 on the season, have lost three of four games by a combined total of nine points.

Throughout the game, No. 4 seed DHS led fifth seeded Shickley only twice -- once right before halftime and again following a Brandon Bruha three-pointer with only about 30 seconds remaining in the contest.

With just over 20 seconds remaining in the game, DHS gave up a basket to a Shickley player who made his only basket of the night. Dorchester could not convert after getting the ball with 2.9 seconds on the clock.

Scoring for DHS were: Zoubek 13, Bruha 27, Morris 2, Walton 8, and Kotas 4.

The DHS boys will have an opportunity to settle the score soon. Their next contest comes Feb. 3 in a home contest that will again pit Dorchester against Shickley.

Monday, January 26, 2009

CRC Tourney Games To Be Broadcast On York Station

(UPDATE, 1/27 -- What a difference a few days and some adjustments can make. The NSAA's No. 12 Lady Longhorns cruised to an easy victory this afternoon, beating Rising City 64-29 in DHS' first round of action in the CRC Tourney. To see the York News-Times coverage of the DHS win, click here. The DHS girls will next play at the CRC Tourney at 3 p.m. Thursday, facing the winner of today's Meridian vs. Exeter-Milligan contest.) Both Dorchester basketball teams are ready for this week's Crossroads Conference Tournament at York.

Fortunately for Longhorn fans who are not able to make it to the York City Auditorium, the CRC Tourney will be broadcast on York's KTMX 104.9 FM, according to a spokesperson from the radio station.

The tournament's top-seeded Lady Longhorns take to the hardwood today, Jan. 26, at 3 p.m. at the York City Auditorium, where they will battle Rising City, which beat Shickley 43-39 Saturday. Should DHS win, they would next play Thursday at 3 p.m.

The No. 4 seeded DHS boys will begin CRC action tomorrow, Jan. 27, at 8:15 p.m., when they'll play fifth seeded Shickley. If DHS wins, they would next play Thursday at 4:15 p.m., most likely against No. 1 seeded Hampton.

Friday, January 23, 2009

No. 8 DHS Girls Corral Mustangs; No. 17 Boys Fall By Five

DHS fans who traveled to McCool Junction Friday night saw both Longhorn basketball teams play well, representing their school and community proudly. When the dust settled, the DHS girls had garnered their tenth win of the season, while the boys lost a heart breaker.

The Lady Longhorns took out some frustration on McCool after Tuesday's loss to Giltner. In a balanced scoring attack and solid game plan by Dorchester coaches, DHS more than doubled the score on McCool, 54-26.

Before tonight's contest, DHS -- now 10-2 on the season -- was No. 8 in the Nebraska School Activities Association (NSAA) point standings. DHS trailed both Giltner and Deshler, the only two teams to defeat DHS this year.

The boys' match-up pitted the NSAA's No. 17 DHS against No. 15 McCool.

The Longhorns took an early commanding lead, leading McCool 23-17 after the first period. But McCool stymied the Longhorns in the second period, holding DHS to only two points and taking a 34-25 lead at the half. DHS could not recover, despite making the contest close. Final score was 59-54.

Scoring for DHS were: Zoubek 17, Bruha 18, Morris 7, Walton 2, Kotas 10. The Longhorns are now 8-3 on the season.

Both Dorchester basketball teams now head into the final stretch of the season, as the Crossroads Conference tournament in York begins tomorrow, Jan. 24.

The top-seeded Lady 'Horns won't play until this Monday, Jan. 26, at 3 p.m. at the York City Auditorium, where they will battle the winner of the Rising City-Shickley contest. Should DHS win, they would next play Thursday at 3 p.m.

The No. 4 seeded DHS boys will start CRC action Tuesday, Jan. 27, at 8:15 p.m., when they'll play fifth seeded Shickley. If DHS wins, they would next play Thursday at 4:15 p.m., most likely against No. 1 seeded Hampton.

For the York News-Times' tournament predictions, click here.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

DHS Girls Gouged By Giltner

In a game that was billed a "key game" by the Lincoln Journal Star, the Lady Longhorns were sent home more than disappointed by the girls of Giltner, listed this week as contenders in the LJS Class D1 ratings. The Hornets handed DHS their second painful loss of the year, 67-35.

The Longhorns this week (9-2) are rated No. 3 in Class D1 by the Omaha World-Herald and No. 9 by the Journal-Star. However, tonight's loss will undoubted drop DHS from the Top 10, as the team must now reorganize.

According to the Grand Island Independent's coverage of the game, "Giltner raced to a 29-10 halftime lead and exploded for a 67-35 win over Class D-1 No. 3-rated Dorchester. The Hornets completly dominated the game as they expanded their 19-point halftime lead in the second half. Stasia Ott led Giltner with 17 points and nine rebounds." Dorchester's scorers were M. Havlat 6, Boller 7, A. Havlet 4, Spanyers 5, Pracheil 11, Springer 2.

The girls will try to get back on track Friday when both Dorchester teams will travel to McCool Junction where the No. 17 DHS boys (8-2) will take on the No. 10 Mustangs (8-2). The Lady Mustangs are 4-7 on the year.

Monday, January 19, 2009

ALERT: Dorchester School To Dismiss Tomorrow At 1 p.m.

Dorchester Public School will dismiss school tomorrow, Jan. 20, at 1 p.m. for John Vernon's funeral.

The school will run from periods 1-5. Lunch will also be served. Buses will run accordingly.

"We apologize for any inconvenience that this may cause, and we pass our condolences on to Mr. Vernon's family, most especially Deb and Nixon," said Brian Redinger, superintendent of Dorchester Public Schools.

Friday, January 16, 2009

DHS Boys Win 87-22; Lady 'Horns Nearly Fall

One game was a rout; the other was nearly an upset in Class D1.

The DHS boys basketball team on Friday night had no problem handling a young, shorthanded Rising City team. The Longhorns (8-2) simply overpowered the Terriers in an 87-22 victory at DHS. Dorchester led 47-6 at the half, ensuring plenty of quality minutes for every substitute player. Dorchester scorers were: Zoubek 23, Bruha 20, Walton 10, Lee 7, Palky 7, Kotas 7, Kalkwarf 4, Morris 6, Kliment 3.

On a side note, the Lincoln Journal Star this week gave "extra credit" recognition to DHS' big man Alex Walton for his 54 blocked shots in eight games (6.75 per game). Walton added to those totals Friday night.

Before the game, the DHS boys had slipped to No. 17 in the Nebraska School Activities Association point standings for Class D1. Friday's win will likely not move the Longhorns too far in the standings, considering Rising City's 0-9 record.

Class D1's No. 3 Lady Longhorns, on the other hand, had to work for their victory against a 1-8 Rising City squad, squeaking by with a 54-52 victory. DHS was hesitant throughout much of the game and led by only one point at both halftime and the start of the final period.

Rising City was powered primarily by one player, Kovar, who accounted for 33 Terrier points. Still, DHS held off the feisty Terriers to garner their ninth victory of the season. Dorchester scorers were: Wells 10, Boller 4, Havlat 8, Pracheil 11, Springer 7, Lawver 14.

Before the game, the Lady Longhorns had advanced to No. 3 in the NSAA point standings, trailing only Deshler and top-seeded Bancroft-Rosalie.

(CORRECTION: Thanks to numerous readers who corrected this post. Only the Lady Longhors will travel to Giltner Tuesday, Jan. 20 to battle the No. 10 Hornets (8-2), who walloped High Plains by 29 points Friday night. Both DHS teams will travel to McCool Junction on Friday, Jan. 23, where the boys will take on the No. 8 Mustangs (8-2). The Lady Mustangs are 4-7 on the year.)

Jan. 12 School Board Minutes: Havlat Re-Elected As Board President

(The following minutes from the Jan. 12 Dorchester Board of Education meeting appear as submitted to the Dorchester Times by school administration staff.)

President Brad Havlat called the regular monthly meeting of the Board of Education of Saline County School District 76-0044, a.k.a. as Dorchester Public Schools, to order at 7:35 p.m. on Monday, January 12, 2009. All members were present along with Superintendent Brian Redinger, Principal Mitch Kubicek and Joyce Karl. Motion by Hansen, second by Boller to approve minutes of the December regular meeting. Members voting yes to the motion were Hansen, Boller, Bors, Zoubek, Kahle, and Havlat. Motion passed by a vote of 6-0. There were no visitors present.

After verification of publication of the meeting notice in the Crete News, local postings of the meeting notice (Dorchester Schools, Farmers Coop, First State Bank and the Village Office) and the advanced receipt of the meeting agenda and other meeting materials by individual board members, the President stipulated that meeting minutes should reflect that this meeting was held in compliance with the Nebraska Open Meetings Law. It was also noted the Open Meeting Act Poster is posted in the boardroom.

Reorganization of the Board of Education

Motion by Bors to nominate Brad Havlat for the office of President, second by Hansen and also moved that nominations cease. All members voted aye with Havlat abstaining.

Motion by Kahle to nominate Mark Bors for the office of Vice President, second by Hansen and also moved that nominations cease. All members voted aye with Bors abstaining.

Motion by Kahle to nominate Matt Hansen for the office of Treasurer, second by Bors and also moved that nominations cease. All members voted aye with Hansen abstaining.

Motion by Hansen to nominate Ron Kahle for the office of Secretary, second by Boller and also moved that nominations cease. All members voted aye with Kahle abstaining.

There was no request for change of agenda. The December Treasurer’s Report was reviewed. Motion by Bors, second by Kahle to approve the December Report. Voting yes were Bors, Kahle, Boller, Zoubek, Hansen and Havlat. Motion passed 6-0. Motion to approve January 2009 expenditures was made by Kahle, second by Hansen. Voting yes were Kahle, Hansen, Bors, Boller, Zoubek and Havlat. Motion passed 6-0.

Building/Grounds Committee: Installation of the railing for the front entrance was discussed. The front entrance will be the sole designated handicapped accessible entry with two handicapped accessible parking areas and one van accessible parking area. The project is being planned for the spring.

Principal’s Report: Mr. Kubicek discussed that the Otter Creek materials had been ordered and this initiative will begin when materials arrive. Mr. Kubicek, Mr. Rut and Mrs. Johnson will assist with administering the program. A summer workshop through the ESU #6 Professional Development Department on Curriculum Alignment will be arranged. Creation of mid-year assessment tests, aligned with the upcoming standards test, are being considered with assistance from ESU #6. Available grants for math initiatives were discussed along with the possibility of a Summer Reading Program.

Superintendent’s Report: Mr. Redinger elaborated on the Summer Reading Program and the prospects of offering an APEX Summer Credit Recovery Program.

New Business:

a.) Election of Officers – completed during reorganization

b.) Appointment of Board Committees for 2009:
- Americanism/Curriculum – Kahle and Zoubek
- Building/Grounds – Hansen, Boller and Havlat
- Transportation – Bors and Boller
- Negotiations – Bors, Kahle and Zoubek
- School Lunch – Hansen and Kahle

c.) Official Designees for 2009:
- Representative for State and Federal Programs – Superintendent/designee
- Attorneys – Kelley Baker and Karen Haase
- Newspaper –
Crete News
- Depository of District Funds – First State Bank, Dorchester and NE School District Liquid Assets Fund Plus

d.) Motion by Kahle, second by Zoubek to approve the school district’s implementation of multicultural education throughout the curriculum. Voting yes were Kahle, Zoubek, Bors, Boller, Hansen and Havlat. Motion passed 6-0.

e.) Mr. Kubicek’s 2009-2010 contract was discussed and may be approved in February pending his acceptance.

Motion by Kahle, second by Hansen to adjourn to executive session at 9:10 pm. All members voted aye. Motion by Hansen, second by Kahle to return to regular session at 10:05 pm. Voting yes were Hansen, Kahle, Boller, Zoubek, Bors and Havlat. Motion passed 6-0.

The next regular monthly meeting of the Dorchester Board of Education will be Monday, February 16, 2009 at 7:00 pm. Motion by Kahle, second by Hansen to adjourn at 10:06 pm. All members voted aye.

Signed: Ron Kahle, Secretary of the Board of Education

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Dorchester's John Vernon Passes At Age 59

We at the Times are saddened to hear of the loss of one of Dorchester's longtime residents and leaders.

According to a Google alert we received this morning, the Kansas City Star is reporting that "authorities have identified a truck driver who crashed and died after suffering from a medical condition as John I. Vernon of Dorchester, Neb." Vernon served as chief of Dorchester's Volunteer Fire Dept. and had been involved in other civic activities, including the Dorchester-Friend youth football program.

"Vernon, 59, was headed north on Interstate 29 when he suffered an unspecified medical condition about 5:45 p.m. Wednesday near American Avenue Road just north of Platte City, according to a Missouri Highway Patrol crash report.

The 2008 Freightliner he was driving traveled off the right side of the roadway, through a field and struck several trees before it hit an embankment. Vernon was taken to a hospital were he was pronounced dead about 7 p.m. His death was classified as a non-traffic fatality, according to the report."

The staff of the Dorchester Times sends its heart-felt condolences to the family of John Vernon.

Lady Longhorns Featured In Journal Star

Today's edition of the Lincoln Journal Star recognizes the surging Lady Longhorns basketball team, currently ranked No. 4 in the Nebraska School Activities Association Class D1 point standings and by the Omaha World-Herald. The Journal Star ranks Dorchester at No. 9.

In his article, longtime LJS reporter and girls' ratings guru Ron Powell writes: "Until Tuesday, Dorchester’s Molly Pracheil had never shot free throws late with the game on the line. The once-in-lifetime occurrence happened twice to Pracheil in the Longhorns’ 55-54 overtime girls basketball win at Friend. The 5-foot-8 senior hit one of two foul shots with two seconds left to send the game to overtime. With four seconds remaining in the extra session, Pracheil sank two free throws for the win to improve Dorchester’s record to 8-1."

Molly, who finished the game against Friend with 11 points, told the Journal Star: "It was pretty nerve-racking knowing if I didn’t hit at least one of the two, it would be over."

Powell's article continues: "Pracheil’s late free throws climaxed a Dorchester comeback that wiped out a 16-point first-quarter deficit, according to coach Steve Fusco. With an experienced team that includes four returning starters and five seniors, the Longhorns have learned how to handle those challenges. 'No matter what the score is, they keep playing hard because you never know what can happen,' Fusco said. 'In the game we lost to (Class D1's third-ranked) Deshler (66-60), we were down by 14, cut it to three in the fourth quarter and just ran of out gas at the end. These girls don’t quit.'"

Powell noted that the five seniors and four juniors on the Dorchester roster have played together since grade school, and "the chemistry that familiarity has produced sparks a balanced attack."

"Five players average between eight and 10 points per game. Karmen Lawver averages 10 points per contest, while Pracheil, Amy Havlat and Charity Springer score nine an outing. Last year’s leading scorer, Wendy Boller, averages 8.1 points, but she had 19 Tuesday against Friend.

Boller told the Journal Star that the team's goal this season is to qualify for the state tournament, something the DHS girls have done only once before (in 2004).

“We’ve played together so long and that’s always been our ultimate goal, to get to Lincoln,’’ Boller said. “We’re willing to do whatever it takes to make it happen.’’

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

DHS Wins Over Friend Put Girls At No. 4, Boys At No. 16

There is a reason they call it a rivalry. Before a packed gymnasium at Friend High School, both Dorchester basketball teams came away with hard-fought victories Tuesday evening. Despite having records of below .500, both Friend teams came ready to play on their home court, giving DHS all they could handle.

In the night's first showdown, the Lady Longhorns outlasted the Class C2 Bulldogs, 55-54. But it took overtime for DHS to earn their eighth victory of the year. The Lady 'Horns retain their No. 4 ranking in this week's Omaha World-Herald ratings, and their No. 9 standing in the Lincoln Journal Star.

With their win over FHS, Dorchester's girls also hold the No. 4 spot in the Nebraska School Activities Association's Class D1 point standings. (We note that former No. 1 Deshler, which handed DHS it's only loss last month, was defeated last night by Class C2 Sandy Creek.) The NSAA's top five girls teams are:
  1. Bancroft-Rosalie (9-0), 47.4444
  2. Deshler (10-1), 46.0909
  3. Wauneta-Palisade (9-2), 45.4545
  4. Dorchester (8-1), 45.4444
  5. Humphrey (8-0), 44.7500
In the Dorchester-Friend boys match-up, DHS beat the Class C2 Bulldogs, 45-38, by relying on tenacious defense and the inside game of 6'8" junior Alex Walton, who dumped in 12 points to lead DHS in scoring. DHS led at the half 27-18.

Also getting in on the scoring act for the Longhorns were: Zoubek 6, Bruha 7, Morris 5, Palky 3, Kotas 11, Kalkwarf 1.

With their win over Friend, the DHS boys (7-2) move up to No. 16 in the NSAA's point standings out of more than 60 Class D1 schools.

The Longhorn basketball teams take on Rising City this Friday, Jan. 16, in a home contest, only to hit the road again next Tuesday to take on the highly touted teams from Giltner. The Rising City girls team is 1-8, while the Terriers' boys squad is still without a win at 0-8.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

NEWS BRIEFS: DHS Graduate Is President-Elect Of Neb. Architects Group

  • DHS Grad Kristi Nohavec Elected Next President of Nebraska Architects: AIA Nebraska, a Society of the American Institute of Architects, has announced the election of its 2009 Board of Directors, including the organization's President-Elect Kristi Nohavec who is employed by the Clark Enersen Partners, Inc. Nohavec is a 1989 graduate of DHS and currently resides in Lincoln. "The American Institute of Architects is the voice of the architectural profession and the resource for its members in service to society," according to the organization's Web site. Last year, Nohavec was honored with the Midlands Business Journal's "40 under 40" award. She gave back to her hometown by designing the new shelter in the Dorchester City Park. We at the Times tip our hats to Kristi for her accomplishments in her young career.
  • DHS Grad Kayla Stehlik Earns Volleyball Accolades From Morningside College: According to the Sioux City Journal, 2007 Dorchester High School graduate Kayla Stehlik was named Morningside College's most improved improved player for the school's 2008 junior varsity volleyball team. In addition to the most improved player award, the 5-10, sophomore outside hitter was also honored with the team's JV hustle award during Morningside's post-season awards banquet, which was held last Sunday. As a senior at DHS, Stehlik was named to the Lincoln Journal Star's Class D1 All State Honorable Mention volleyball squad in late 2006, along with her classmate Amanda Hochstetler. Morningside's varsity team was an NAIA national tournament qualifier during the 2008 season and finished 37-6 overall, according to the team's Web site. We congratulate Kayla for her honors and hard work. To see more on Morningside College volleyball, click here.
  • Just Hot Air?: The Lincoln Journal Star is reporting Saline County "could become the wind capital of Nebraska." In an article by reporter Algis J. Laukatis, we are told "several companies (including a British business) are interested in developing wind farms in the central and western parts of the county, and some landowners were already contacted to sign long-term contracts to place wind towers on their land" and that a landowner could earn $2,000 to $14,000 in annual payments for each turbine." While wind turbines in our area might be great for property tax revenues, no mention is made of how such wind farms could increase Nebraska electricity rates, which are currently eighth lowest in the nation. Moreover, no mention is made of what rights adjacent landowners would have when it come to the obstructive views or noise caused by the wind farms -- or what the impact would be of transmission lines crossing the county in order to connect the turbines, which produce little electricity compared to coal, nuclear or even hydro-powered generators. Saline County residents can find out more about the wind projects -- and voice their support or opposition -- by attending upcoming 7 p.m. meetings at Saline Center on the following dates: Jan. 15; Jan. 17; Jan. 22; Jan. 26.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Upcoming Events Include Buffalo Feed, Chili Feed

Here are a few notable events for your Dorchester area calendar:

  • Dorchester Legion Buffalo Feed: The Dorchester American Legion's annual buffalo feed will be held Sunday Jan. 25 at the Legion Hall. Both a lunch and dinner session are planned. Lunch will be served from noon to 2 p.m., while dinner will begin promptly at 5 p.m.

  • Chili Feed at Crete Eagles Club for Dorchester Youth Basketball: A chili and cinnamon roll feed to support the Dorchester youth basketball program will be held this Sunday, Jan. 18, at the Crete Eagles Club from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Eagles have generously provided their facility, tea and coffee for the event, and will also match the proceeds from the event. This is a free-will offering event. The DHS basketball players will be there to serve the food and to visit with community members. The funds raised from the event will support youth basketball in their training, equipment and travel. For more information, email Tisha Hewitt at or call at (402) 418-1031.

  • DHS-Shickley Contest Rescheduled: The Dorchester boys and girls basketball games with Shickley, which were postponed last month due to winter weather, have been rescheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 3 at Dorchester, according to Crete News reporter B.J. Fictum. The girls JV game will be at 5 p.m. followed by the 6:15 girls varsity game. Boys varsity will begin at 8 p.m.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

NEWS BRIEFS: DHS Grad Wins National Innovation Award

  • DHS Grad Wins Innovation Award From National Farm Magazine: Dorchester High School graduate Kirk Beekley (DHS '68-'72) is the latest recipient of Successful Farming magazine's innovation award. Last month, Beekley, who farms between Crete and Wilber, won the magazine's "All Around the Farm Idea of the Month" contest. Beekley devised an indoor/outdoor extension boom for his wire-feed welder, air compressor and other machine shop tools. As a result, Beekley received $2,500 Firestone in-store credit by the magazine. To see more details of Beekley's invention, as well as a on-the-farm video and demonstration, click here. To see Successful Farming's profile of the Dorchester native, click here.

  • DHS Grapplers Take Fifth At Malcolm: Two DHS wrestlers competed in their respective class' championship round at Saturday's Malcolm Invitational. Overall, the Longhorn squad took fifth place, outscoring nine other area teams, including the Lincoln Northeast JV; Humboldt-Table Rock-Steinauer; Meridian; Freeman; Lincoln North Star JV; Lincoln High JV; and York JV. In the 145 lb. weight class, DHS's Adam Kahle took first place, while Russel Barak took the silver in the 189 lb. division.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Longhorn Teams Stampede At Meridian

The DHS Lady Longhorns, thanks to balanced scoring from their players, managed to win comfortably at Meridian Friday night, despite the frigid temps.

The DHS girls, now 7-1 on the season, beat the Mustangs 49-39 in a match-up that the Lincoln Journal Star had cited as a key game. The Lady Longhorns led by only three points after the first period and by five at the half. But Class D1's No. 4 team, according to the Omaha World-Herald ratings, kept on the pressure in the third quarter, holding Meridian to only seven points and giving DHS some breathing room.

Leading the way in scoring for Dorchester were Wendy Boller and Molly Pracheil, both with 9 points, followed by Wells 4, Havlat 7, Spanyers 8, Springer 4, Lawver 8.

Meanwhile, the DHS boys improved to 6-2 as they beat Meridian, 60-55. The win was good enough to bolt the DHS boys to No. 21 in the Nebraska School Activities Association's point standings out of more than 60 Class D1 teams.

(CORRECTION: This Tuesday, Jan. 13, both Longhorn teams take on rival and Class C2 opponent Friend at Friend. The Friend boys are 2-9 on the season, while the Lady Bulldogs are 5-6. Our post originally stated the game was a home contest and we regret the error.)

Friday, January 9, 2009

Journal Star Highlights Efforts On Pvt. Havlat Memorial

Two veteran reporters from the Lincoln Journal Star have issued their mea culpa to Dorchester.

In today's edition of the LJS, journalists Nancy Hicks and JoAnne Young note that they were incorrect a few weeks ago when they reported that no Nebraskans had asked the state highway commission to name any highways in recent years.

In their "Around the Rotunda" column, Hicks and Young write: "The Dorchester American Legion has asked three times that Nebraska Highway 33 between Dorchester and Crete be named after Charles Havlat."

The column goes continues: "Havlat, who died in the process of freeing a monastery in Czechoslovakia, was the last solder confirmed killed in the World War II European front. In 2006, the Highway Commission took no action on the request, thus rejecting it, and suggested naming a city street, park or having an historical marker or plaque displayed in an appropriate location to honor Charles Havlat, according to minutes of that meeting.

"The Dorchester Legion is now going to the state Historical Society to request a historical marker be placed at the Saline County Museum in Dorchester, according to Legion Commander Larry Kaspar. Charlie Havlat’s brother, Adolph, is writing the 180-word history allowed on the marker. The Dorchester Area Community Foundation is sponsoring and raising money for the project, which will cost about $5,000, Kaspar wrote in an e-mail."

We at the Times are glad to see the Journal Star devoted time and space to the memory of Pvt. Havlat and efforts of current Dorchester leaders.

To see the Times' June 2007 story on Pvt. Havlat and reader comments, click here.

SPORTS ROUND-UP: No. 4 Lady Longhorns Fly Past Sterling Jets

  • No. 4 DHS Girls Breeze Past Jets: The Lady Longhorns, rated No. 4 by the Omaha World-Herald, picked up their sixth win of the season as DHS breezed by Sterling Thursday night, 58-28. The feisty DHS defense held Sterling to only eight points in the final two periods, including only two points in the fourth. Leading the way for the Longhorns in their 30-point victory were the following players: Boller 15, Lawver 11, Pracheil 9, A. Havlat 8, Wells 4, Spanyers 4, Springer 3, M. Havlat 2.

  • Longhorn Boys Stymied By No. 4 Sterling: The DHS boys fell to 5-2 Thursday after a 56-30 road loss to Class D2's No. 4 Sterling. DHS could not recover from their slow start, in which they scored only 10 points in the first two periods. The Longhorns trailed 32-10 at the half. Dorchester was led in scoring by Zoubek 7, Bruha 4, Lee 2, Morris 4, Walton 8, and Kotas 5.

  • DHS-Meridian Contest Cited As "Key Game": Both Dorchester basketball are in action tonight, Jan. 9, as the DHS squads battle Meridian in another road contest. The Lincoln Journal Star touts the Lady Longhorns' contest against Meridian as a "key game" to watch.

  • Lady Longhorns Among State Basketball Leaders: Several players on the DHS girls basketball team are among area high school leaders in the game's categories, including three-pointers and assists. The lists include players from all area high school, regardless of class size. According to the Lincoln Journal Star, the DHS players are ranked in the following categories: "Three Pointers" -- Malinda Havlat is ranked No. 1 (seven of 12 shots made, 58.3%); "Free-Throw Percentages" -- Molly Pracheil is No. 7 (14 of 18, 78%) and Charity Springer is No. 9 (10 of 13, 77%); "Assists" -- Wendy Boller is No. 3 (28, or 4.7 per game); "Steals" -- Wendy Boller is No. 12 (22, or 3.6 per game).

  • DHS Wrestlers Back In Action Tomorrow: The Longhorn wrestling team is back in action Saturday, Jan. 10, as they travel a few minutes northeast to the Malcolm Invitational.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

NEWS BRIEFS: DHS Girls No. 4 in Omaha World-Herald

  • Lady 'Horns No. 4 in World-Herald Ratings: The DHS girls basketball team is ranked fourth in this week's Omaha World-Herald Class D-1 ratings. The Lady Longhorns (5-1) follow top-ranked Bancroft-Rosalie, No. 2 Humphrey and No. 3 Deshler, who recently beat top-10 Class C-2 Freeman, while narrowly defeating DHS at last week's holiday tourney. Meanwhile, the Lincoln Journal Star has the Lady 'Horns at No. 9. Both Dorchester basketball teams resume action tomorrow, Jan. 8, in a make-up contest at Sterling. On Friday, Jan. 9, the DHS squads battle Meridian in another road contest. The Journal Star touts the Lady Longhorns' contest against Meridian as a "key game" -- while the paper says tomorrow's DHS boys game at Sterling (ranked No. 4 in both polls) is another contest to watch.

  • Volunteers Needed to Help Area Elderly Apply for Homestead Exemption: The Saline County assessor’s office is looking for volunteers in the Dorchester and Crete areas to help the elderly and other Saline County residents fill out the Homestead Exemption papers for 2009. Those interested in volunteering should contact the Saline County assessor’s office at (402) 821-2588 by January 20. The assessor's office currently has a training session scheduled for Jan. 26 at 1 p.m. in Wilber.

  • Food Entrepreneur Seminar Offered To Area Residents: For Dorchester area residents looking for home-based-business opportunities, we suggest considering the Food Entrepreneur Assistance Program Seminar. The Food Processing Center at UNL is offering a one-day seminar in Lincoln for all individuals interested in exploring the idea of starting a food manufacturing business. The seminar will be offered on March 9. Pre-registration is required and space is limited. Registration deadline is Feb. 27. Contact Jill Gifford at (402) 472-2819 or for more information.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Longhorn Lip Balm A Hit At Crete Wal-Mart

In previous posts, the Times has featured Dorchester-related items for sale, including items found on the Internet. From a Dorchester city limits sign to a 1930's air mail envelope with a rare Dorchester postmark, we have been impressed with the wide variety of Dorchester memorabilia available to area residents and collectors.

This week, a reader of the Times sent us the latest Dorchester item on the market -- Dorchester Longhorns lip balm, which contains SPF 15 sunscreen.

While the lip balm is available through different outlets, our reader told us in an e-mail that she found hers at the Crete Wal-Mart in the sporting goods section. No other local school lip balms were found in the super store, according to our reader. She also reported that when she paid for her items, the Wal-Mart clerk noted: "Oh good, we have the Longhorn chapstick in again. I know a little girl who really wants this."

It looks like we underestimated the marketability of the Longhorns beyond the Village borders.

If you know of other unique or rare Dorchester-related items for sale, let us know by e-mailing our staff at

Monday, January 5, 2009

Times Issues Formal Reader Comment Policy

The new year brings new rules for reader comments at the Dorchester Times.

This Web site was designed to promoted and facilitate lively discussion and we want to keep it that way. We value the feedback from our readers and realize that most of the "news" generated by the Times is derived from the commentary after every post. But even here in the "blogosphere", it is important to have boundaries.

Since the Times first went online in April 2007, we have published the vast majority of comments submitted by our readers, unless they contained personal attacks, profanity or contained blatant factual errors. A few were not published because they were incredibly off subject or were direct comments to the Times staff.

As the Times' readership has grown, we feel we owe readers a more formal comment policy.

Since this Web site will still publish almost every comment submitted by readers, let us clearly state what type of comments that will not be posted, as established by the nine staff members of the Times:
  • Comments containing personal attacks. (Constructive criticism of decisions by public figures, including elected officials or members of the media, will be permitted as long as done tastefully, without libel or "unverifiable hearsay.")

  • Posts using racial, ethnic or religious slurs; or obscenity or profanity (including expletives with dashes/symbols).

  • Abusive, threatening or inappropriate remarks.

  • Incoherent communications.

  • Spam and unsolicited advertisements.

  • Posts with absolutely no connections to the topic of the Times story.
  • Comments intended for the Times staff.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of this blog. However, we do not want comments to become bogged down with discussion of the Dorchester Times, so we will moderate accordingly. (We plan to offer an "open forum" from time to time, so readers may leave comments pertaining to any issues weighing on their mind.)

Also, if you wish to receive a direct response from the Dorchester Times, please e-mail us at We will not and cannot always respond to blog comments.

It should be noted that all comments on this blog are the responsibility of the commenter, not the Times staff or its editors. By submitting a comment to the Dorchester Times, you agree that the comment content is your own.

In early 2007, we wrote that the success of this Web site would be determined by our readers. We still maintain that philosophy. It is our goal to continue to provide substantive reader commentary for area residents and others with Dorchester ties. By posting our criteria for reader submissions, Times readers can be assured of a healthy exchange of intelligent and informed ideas that will better our community.

We hope to hear from all our readers -- and often -- in 2009.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Mountain Lions Are Focus Of Jan. 7 Meeting In Beatrice

(UPDATE: 1/8, 9 a.m. -- As noted by one of our readers, the Lincoln Journal Star today reports that last night's Game and Parks meeting in Beatrice attracted more than 200 who wanted to learn more about mountain lions in the Cornhusker State. "Mountain lions are native to Nebraska," the story notes. "But the big cats disappeared in the 1890s because of hunting, trapping and poisoning, and there were no confirmed sightings for 90 years.") Several weeks ago, the Dorchester Times received a prank e-mail that boasted visual evidence that mountain lions had been photographed near Fort Calhoun, Neb. Many other Nebraskans found the same electronic waste in their in-box.

Fortunately, news media across the state reported the e-mailed photos were actually taken from a deer stand in the Black Hills of South Dakota.

Despite the hoax, members of the Times staff remain vigilant when it comes to the possibility of mountain lions in Saline County. Since this Web site went online in April 2007, the Times has received more than half a dozen e-mails from readers who claim to have seen mountain lions or tracks in the Dorchester area.

The reader comments left on our Nov. 26 post indicate other Dorchester area residents also have spotted what they believe are cougars.

The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission currently claims there is no evidence of mountain lions roaming the Saline County countryside. However, we wanted our readers to know that Game and Parks will present information on the status of mountain lions in Nebraska this Wednesday, Jan. 7, at 7 p.m. in Beatrice. The public is invited.

The meeting will include the commission’s protocols regarding mountain lions and a question-and-answer session. For more information, including a map of confirmed mountain lion sightings, go to the Game and Parks' Web site.

Friday, January 2, 2009

DHS Girls No. 3, Boys No. 15 In State Standings

Longhorn basketball is back, according to the Nebraska School Activities Association point standings.

By winning the Dorchester Holiday Tournament this week, the DHS boys basketball team (5-1) has emerged in the top 15 of Class D-1, which is comprised of more than 60 schools from across the state.

And despite falling from the No.1 spot, the Lady Longhorns (5-1) remain high in the NSAA standings at No. 3.

Moreover, we may have caught a glimpse of this year's girls Class D-1 state championship at the holiday tournament. Deshler now claims the top the top spot in Class D-1 after their narrow 66-60 victory over Dorchester Tuesday night.

According to the NSAA Web site, the girls top five Class D-1 point standings are as follows:

1. Deshler (8-0), 46.0000
2. Bancroft-Rosalie (4-0), 45.7500
3. Dorchester (5-1), 45.3333
4. Wauneta-Palisade (6-1), 45.1429
5. Sandhills/Thedford (6-0), 44.5000

The DHS boys trail No. 1 Arapahoe by three points in the NSAA standings. The only DHS opponent currently in the top 15 is Giltner at No. 6.

Both Dorchester basketball teams resume action Jan. 8 in a make-up contest at Sterling. On Jan. 9, the Longhorn squads battle Meridian in another road contest.