Wednesday, April 29, 2009

NEWS BRIEFS: DHS Tracksters Earn More Gold

  • Bruha, Lawver Grab Gold In McCool: The gold medals keep coming for the Longhorns. On Monday, at the Tom White Invitational At McCool Junction, DHS senior Brandon Bruha took top honors in the 110 hurdles with an impressive time of 16.16. Meanwhile, the Longhorns' Karmen Lawver finished first in the discus event with a throw of 123-7. Karmen, who holds the state's tenth best toss in the shot put this year among all class sizes, is listed as a state track and field leader by the Lincoln Journal Star.

  • Morningside College Honors Stehlik: DHS alumna Kayla Stehlik has received a top honor from Morningside College for her leadership and student achievement, according to a press release from the Sioux City, Iowa college. Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK) is a national leadership honor society that recognizes and encourages superior scholarship, leadership, and exemplary character. Stehlik was among a handful of new ODK inductees who were recognized for their scholarship and campus leadership.

  • Dorchester High School Gear Available On The Web: Recently, a Times reader inquired where he could buy a Dorchester Alumni shirt that we featured alongside one of our stories on the DHS alumni tournaments. The photo of the t-shirt came from the Web site of an online retailer who offers Dorchester merchandise. None of the Times staff has ordered merchandise from this site, so we cannot recommend the business to our readers. However, for those who want to view the products available, the DHS items can be found by clicking here.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Awnings Coming Back To Main Street

Those of you who have traveled down Main Street Dorchester lately have likely noticed the work taking place at Ben's Iron Grill -- which will be housed in the former location of R Lounge, Longhorn Saloon, Pit Stop, Last Call.

Several readers have e-mailed us and inquired when the new restaurant, owned by Dorchester area resident Ben Haufle, will open for business. Our sources tell us that the grand opening will be around the first week of June, but that information has not been confirmed by Mr. Haufle.

We can confirm that Ben's Iron Grill will feature awnings on the outside of the building, bringing back to Dorchester the look of a bygone era. One reader told us that Ben's Iron Works will also showcase some of the classic interior features of the building, so that it might more closely resemble its appearance from 70 or 80 years ago. Whatever the case, we are anxious to see the building for ourselves once all the work has been completed -- inside and out.

We especially applaud the return of the awnings. We realize that awnings require extra expense and maintenance, but we believe they will greatly enhance the appearance of our community's Main Street.

The photo that accompanies this story provides a glimpse of Dorchester's Main Street at the turn of the last century. Pictured are ponies from the Elmwood Pony Farm, which was owned and operated by Colonel W.J. Thompson and located in the northeast part of Dorchester. This is one of the best photos we have seen showing our Main Street buildings in their former glory.

The buildings that will house Ben's Iron Grill were home to Grothe's Flour & Feed, as well as a barber shop, during the era this photo was taken.

We tip our hats to Ben Haufle for the improvements he is bringing to Main Street Dorchester and for reminding us of Dorchester's earlier years.

Friday, April 24, 2009

NEWS BRIEFS: Hansen Headed To National Leadership Conference

  • Jessica Hansen Heading To National FBLA Conference: Several DHS students represented their school and community at the annual Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) State Leadership Conference in Omaha earlier this month. At the conference, students attended leadership seminars, voted for state officers, and participated in numerous educational competitions. Of particular note, DHS' Jessica Hansen received honorable mention and finished in the top 5 percent in three testing categories: Introduction to Business Communications; Marketing; and Proofreading. Jessica also placed 3rd out of nearly 400 students in Introduction to Business, and as a result will now be representing the state of Nebraska at the National Leadership Conference in Anaheim, Calif. in June. "This four-day conference is considered the pinnacle of the FBLA experience," according to FBLA's Web site. The Times has learn that Jessica is the first Dorchester student to make it to the National Leadership Conference in more than 15 years. We salute her for her efforts and we wish her the best at nationals.

  • Lawver Earns Two More Golds: DHS junior Karmen Lawver continued her winning ways on Tuesday at the Friend Invite by capturing two more gold medals. The Longhorn standout threw the shot put 37-4 1/4 and tossed the discus an impressive 119-10. Last year at the Nebraska State Track and Field Meet, Lawver finished in 10th place in the shot put in Class D with a toss of 35' 10-1/2" and in 6th place in the discus with a toss of 109' 5". We send our congratulations to Karmen for her efforts and constant improvement.

  • Local Food Bank Seeks Donations: The Friend Ministerial Association, of which Dorchester United Methodist Church is a member, is seeking donations of non-perishable food items for its food bank. Times readers are encouraged to donate noodles, beans & rice, flour, sugar, peanut butter, soups and similar food products -- as well as basic necessities such as toilet paper. The Dorchester Grocery has a grocery cart available for food collection. Readers may drop off donations just inside the front door of the church or contact, Vicky Parks, Carol Olson, Kathy Palky, Penny Veprovsky or Pastor Baptista. If you know of anyone who is in need of food bank items, please contact Pastor Baptista or the church office in Friend at (402) 947-3481.

School Board Minutes: Nearly $28,000 In Hail Damage At DPS

(The following minutes are from the April 9 Dorchester Board of Education meeting. They appear as submitted to the 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 8:03 pm on Monday, April 13, 2009. All members were present along with Superintendent Brian Redinger, Principal Mitch Kubicek, Joyce Karl and Scott Pohl, AD. Motion by Boller, second by Hansen to approve minutes of the March regular meeting. Members voting yes to approve the March minutes were Boller, Hansen, Bors, Zoubek, Kahle and Havlat. Motion passed by a vote of 6-0.

Visitors present were Susie Morris and Ben Haufle.

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 NE Open Meetings Law. It was also noted the Open Meeting Act Poster is posted in the boardroom.

Request for a change of agenda as follows: Discussion and action to approve the resignation of Traci Parr, ELL and K-12 Spanish teacher, effective the end of the current school year.

The March Treasurer’s Report was reviewed. Motion by Bors, second by Zoubek to approve the March Report. Voting yes were Bors, Zoubek, Boller, Hansen, Kahle and Havlat. Motion passed 6-0.
Motion to approve the March 2009 end of the month and April 2009 general fund expenditures was made by Kahle, second by Hansen. (A complete list of expenditures are available in the school office.) Voting yes were Kahle, Hansen, Bors, Zoubek, Boller and Havlat. Motion passed 6-0.

Committee Reports:
  • Wellness Committee: A meeting was held March 24, 2009 at 6:30 pm. In attendance were administration, board members, food service staff, parents and students. The physical education program was discussed along with the Safe Walk grant. Concerns were voiced about the summer weight program. Also discussed was the sale of high sugar content snacks and efforts to improve the selection of healthy snacks at the concession stand. Differences between Offer versus Serve were explained to the group. Our cafeteria utilizes the Offer system with students taking at least 3 of 5 items offered versus the Serve system where students are served all items. Students will be encouraged to eat what is on their plate, but not required. If parents have any concerns or requests, they are asked to contact the school.

  • Building/Grounds Committee: Mr. Redinger reported that adjusters had completed inspection of the buildings and vehicles after the hail storm. $25,484.00 worth of damage was done to the school building, shed and shop with $2,400.00 worth of damage done to vehicles. The playground equipment project will take place later in June/July.

Principal’s Report:

* APEX will be utilized this summer for credit recovery. Mr. Kubicek will coordinate and supervise this 4 week, 12 session program. The summer session is set to begin July 23rd. This program will provide students the opportunity to earn 5 or more credits with the ability to do assignments/homework off site with Internet access. Testing will be conducted on site under supervision. Individualized classes will be offered.

*Lynn Herr at ESU#6 has asked Mr. Kubicek to create a Learning Web Team. This team will attend NETA this spring. They will develop a project that will incorporate technology into the classroom while providing feedback for both students and teachers. This group will then be presenting at NETA in 2010. Costs will be covered by an ESU#6 grant.

*Dorchester was scheduled as an April ACT testing site. Due to low registration at our location, it was cancelled. Our location is still an option in June and through 2010.

*NeSA Reading is a new statewide reading test that all NE students in grades 3-8 and 11 will take beginning the spring of 2009-10. This will be an online test with an option to paper/pencil test. Student and school results will be publicly reported.

*New graduation requirements being implemented with the graduating class of 2012.

*Otter Creek has been implemented for 2 weeks for grades 1-9. Base line data has been collected and student performance will be tracked on a weekly basis.

*Handbook previews were given to the Board so discussion and action can take place at the May 11th Board meeting. Changes to include: 1) 9th hour is an extension of the school day – each missed hour will require an hour at Saturday school; 2) Prom and Homecoming will be considered as extra curricular activities; 3) rotating study hall to include Junior High students with non-band students enrolled in a Study Skills Class; 4) dress code to include no coats or jackets worn in classrooms and 5) ending the school day at 3:30 pm with all teachers being in their classrooms from 3:35 pm through 3:45 pm to increase teacher accessibility.

Superintendent’s Report:

*A Community Coffee is scheduled for May 4th at 7:30 am in the School Library.

*IDEA funds and stimulus dollars were reported.

*Gym renovation project was discussed.

Unfinished Business:

Discussion regarding summer building projects was held. Topic will be tabled until future meeting.

New Business:

Motion by Kahle, second by Bors to revise graduation requirements beginning with the Class of 2012. Voting yes were Kahle, Bors, Hansen, Boller, Zoubek and Havlat. Motion passed 6-0.

Sale or disposal of unused/outdated school property was discussed. The Board asked Mr. Redinger to go ahead with a public sale.

Motion by Hansen, second by Zoubek to approve Secondary Social Studies contract offered to Kyle Steinkuhler for the 2009-10 school year. Voting yes were Hansen, Zoubek, Kahle, Boller, Bors and Havlat. Motion passed 6-0.

Motion by Kahle, second by Bors to approve K-12 Physical Education contract to Jake Snodgrass for the 2009-10 school year. Voting yes were Kahle, Bors, Zoubek, Boller, Hansen and Havlat. Motion passed 6-0. Motion by Bors, second by Hansen to accept the resignation of Traci Parr, ELL and K-12 Spanish Teacher at the end of the 2008/2009 school year. Voting yes were Bors, Hansen, Zoubek, Boller, Kahle and Havlat. Motion passed 6-0.

Motion by Boller, second by Zoubek to adjourn to executive session at 9:45 pm. All Board members voted aye. Motion by Hansen, second by Kahle to return to regular session at 11:26 pm. Voting yes were Hansen, Kahle, Bors, Zoubek, Boller and Havlat. Motion passed 6-0.

The next regular monthly meeting of the Dorchester Board of Education will be Monday, May 11, 2009 at 8:00 p.m. Motion by Hansen, second by Kahle to adjourn at 11:26 pm. Voting yes were Hansen, Kahle, Bors, Zoubek, Boller and Havlat. Motion passed 6-0.

Ron Kahle
(s) Ron Kahle, Secretary of the Board of Education

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

West Side Saloon Offers Bailout Burger

Tired of seeing the government bail out everyone but you? Need a good deal on lunch? Check out the West Side Saloon on Tuesdays.

Now under the ownership of DHS alumnus Rob Parks and Sherri Parks, the West Side Saloon is offering the "Government Bailout Burger" special. For only $2.75, you can get a burger and fries. For those 21 and over, 75 cents will get you a glass of draft beer, while $4 buys a full pitcher.

We are hearing very positive reviews from those who have patronized the establishment since the Parks' have taken ownership. And we look forward to more creative specials like the Bailout Burger, which is certain to have folks flocking to Dorchester's Main Street.

Wanted: Your Suggestions For School's Time Capsule

According to an e-mail we received from several readers, Dorchester Public School superintendent Brian Redinger is taking recommendations for items to be placed in the school's time capsule. (Note: Click on photos to get a closer view.)

The Times has learned that the new time capsule will likely be included inside the new bell monument, which will be built with funds from the Dorchester Alumni Association.

The bell monument and 2009 time capsule will be dedicated during the upcoming DHS Alumni Banquet, scheduled for May 23.

We are pleased to see current leaders at DPS demonstrate so much thoughtfulness and make a worthwhile effort for future residents of Dorchester. Times readers, DHS alumni and others who are interested in submitting a list of the ten items they think should be included in the 2009 time capsule should e-mail Superintendent Redinger at

In the months leading up to the razing of the 1928 school building, the cornerstone of the 80-year-old school provided for much speculation and discussion. When it was opened last spring, the cornerstone contained a time capsule from 1927, providing much insight into the town's earlier days.

Sealed inside a metal container, items in the cornerstone included newspapers from Dorchester, Lincoln and Omaha; autographed pictures of the DHS Class of 1928; materials pertaining to Dorchester's Masonic lodge; and information regarding a handful of Dorchester area citizens who resorted to legal tactics in an attempt to prevent the construction of the 1927 school.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

NEWS BRIEFS: 'Friends Of Marvin Weber' Plan Saturday Cleanup

  • 'Friends Of Marvin Weber' To Conduct Hwy. 6 Cleanup Saturday: Next month, the DHS Class of 1959 will gather at the DHS Alumni Banquet as the honor 50 year class. Marvin Weber -- a member of the Class of ’59 -- passed away in July 2007 after several years of enduring the difficulties of poor health and multiple sclerosis. Because Marvin spent the majority of his adult life farming west of Dorchester along Highway 6, and because he loved farming and the rural way of life, “Friends of Marvin Weber” will gather this Saturday, April 25, at 9 a.m. at mile marker 279 on Hwy. 6 west of Dorchester (the junction of Hwy. 6 and Hwy. 33) to conduct a liter pickup of the roadside for two miles to Dorchester. Anyone who would like to join us in remembering Marvin may park at the office of Weber Feedyards west of Dorchester on Saturday morning. The group will have all the equipment needed for the litter pickup.

  • DHS' Boller Signs With Dana: The Omaha World-Herald reports that DHS senior and volleyball standout Wendy Boller has signed her letter of intent to play volleyball at Dana College. Boller was named to the Lincoln Journal Star's 2008 and 2007 Class D1 Volleyball Honorable Mention lists. Our congratulations for her DHS volleyball accolades and we wish her well in her collegiate career.

  • Get Paid For Recycling Your Old Fridge Or Freezer: Dorchester residents who want to get rid of old refrigerators may now do so through the Nebraska Public Power District's recycling program. The NPPD program offers free pick-up of old refrigerators and freezers, a $35 rebate check and proper disposal. Retiring a second refrigerator or freezer can save up to $100 a year in energy bills, NPPD spokesman Kenneth Young said in a news release. To schedule a free pick up, call (866) 444-9160 or visit Customers should be sure to have a utility bill in hand when scheduling. Dorchester is one of several participating in the program, as are DeWitt, Friend, Seward and Wilber.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

DHS Business Students Take Honors In UNK Competition

The Omaha World-Herald reports that Phi Beta Lambda, an organization for business students at the University of Nebraska at Kearney, recently hosted the 22nd Annual Business Competition Day. Business students from 20 high schools competed in 17 business contests. Six places were awarded in each category.

Dorchester students displayed their business acumen as the following Longhorns were top finisher's in the following categories:
  • Business English: Adam Kahle, third place.
  • Business law: Amanda Wenner, second place.
  • Business math: Ashton Kotas, sixth place.
  • Keyboarding I speed: Meredith Behrens, fourth place; Amanda Gosselin, sixth place.
  • Marketing: Spencer Kotas, sixth place.
Phi Beta Lambda is the collegiate division of Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA).

We at the Times tip our hats to the business students of DHS for their impressive performance at UNK.

Ben's Iron Grill Now Hiring

Dorchester's newest Main Street business is now hiring.

Ben's Iron Grill -- which will be housed in the former location of R Lounge, The Longhorn Saloon, Pit Stop, and Last Call -- is accepting applications for several positions.

Specifically, the restaurant and pub is seeking the following:

  • Bartender
  • Waiter/Waitress
  • Bar Back
  • Kitchen Preparation
  • Kitchen Cook
Resumes should be sent to: P.O. Box 252, Dorchester, NE 68343. For more information, call (402) 309-0796 and ask for Kelly.

We at the Times are happy to see Dorchester's newest business come to fruition. And we encourage local residents to patronize all of Dorchester's business owners who take on considerable risk to grow the spirit of free enterprise in our community.

Friday, April 10, 2009

NEWS BRIEFS: Lawver Takes Gold In Discus, Shot Put

  • Happy Easter From The Times: First and foremost, the staff of the Dorchester Times wishes all our readers and fellow Dorchester area residents a happy Easter holiday. May you and your families enjoy together the blessings we bestowed upon Dorchester and our country. “He is not here; he has risen!” - Luke 24:6
  • DHS Lady 'Horns Receive Journal Star Honors: DHS senior Wendy Boller and junior Karmen Lawver were recently named to the Lincoln Journal Star's Class D1 honorable mention all-state girls basketball squad. We salute both Lady Longhorns for their accomplishments on the court and the deserved recognition.

  • Lawver Collects Two Golds At Meridian Invite: DHS junior Karmen Lawver this week continued her domination in Class D1 field events by capturing two gold medals at the Meridian Invite. In the shot put, Lawver took first place with a toss of 36-10. In the discus event, Lawver took top honors with a toss of 122-5.

Community Coffee At School Set For May 4

Patrons of the Dorchester Public School district are invited to have coffee with DPS Superintendent Brian Redinger during a special meeting opportunity set for next month, the Times has learned.

The "community coffee" will be held in the new school library on May 4 from 7:30-8:30 a.m. Coffee and donuts will be provided.

"I would like the chance to meet and visit with our school's patrons about any topics of interest and answer questions you might have," Redinger said. Redinger also invites patrons to e-mail or call him to address specific questions or concerns.

Superintendent Redinger's e-mail is and phone number is (402) 946-2781.

Monday, April 6, 2009

NEWS BRIEFS: Black Hawk Landing, Concert At School

  • Black Hawk Helicopter Coming April 15: Reliable sources tell the Dorchester Times that next Wednesday, April 15, a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter is slated to land on the the Dorchester High School football field. The public is invited to this special event. The crew will be available to answer questions and visitors may be able to get on board the aircraft and inspect the Black Hawk for themselves. Landing time is tentatively set for 1:15 p.m. According to, the Black Hawk helicopter series is used by the U.S. military to perform a wide array of missions, including the tactical transport of troops, electronic warfare and aeromedical evacuation. The UH-60 saw its first combat service in the U.S. invasion of Grenada in 1983 and participated in the Gulf War of 1991. UH-60s continue to serve today in both the Afghanistan and Iraq campaigns.

  • Tuesday Concert At Dorchester School: The Dorchester School guidance office has arranged a special concert set for tomorrow, Tuesday, April 7, by artist and educator Ron Cole. The concert will take place at 2:30 p.m. at the school. The public is invited to attend. Cole -- a Nebraska native with relatives in the Dorchester area -- teaches messages about leadership, teamwork, ethics and community through the use of music, including the oldies, rock, country and pop. Area residents who would like to join Dorchester Public School's K-12 students and hear Cole's music and message is welcome. Readers can check out the artist's Web site at

Nebraska Ranked No. 1 In 'Happiness Index'

We at the Times thought our fellow Dorchester residents could use a little good news considering the 24-hour doom-and-gloom coverage provided by the drive-by mainstream media. It put a smile on our faces when we read that Nebraskans are happier than other Americans, according to’s new Happiness Index.

The Cornhusker state was awarded the top ranking because: it ranked 2nd overall in lowest number of foreclosures; it ranked 2nd in lowest unemployment rates; it ranked 5th in lowest percentage of non-mortgage debt by income.

According to, the new Happiness Index is a “fresh take on the old and tired Misery Index, made popular in the 1970s.” The Happiness Index “is all about which states are best weathering the current economic storm.” goes on to report: “Contrary to popular wisdom that densely populated urban areas of the country have ‘recession-proof’ housing markets and boast impressively high average salary ranges, The Happiness Index suggests that the Midwest is the main source of financial happiness. After Nebraska in the top spot, Iowa and Kansas came in at 2 and 3 on the list of the most financially happy states.”

To see ABC News' coverage of the story and a related video from the network's Good Morning America, click here.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

NEWS BRIEFS: DHS Students Earn Basketball, Academic Honors

  • Walton, Zoubek Establish New DHS Records: The Omaha World-Herald reports that DHS junior Alex Walton led all Nebraska boys basketball players, regardless of class, in blocked shots for the 2008-09 season. Walton blocked a record 85 shots this year. The second-highest tally of the season was 42 blocked shots by Columbus Scotus player. The Times has also learned that Longhorn junior Brandon Zoubek set a new DHS record for the highest percentage of free throws made. Zoubek made 84% of his shots from the charity stripe this season, improving upon the mark of Craig Slepicka, who made 81.5% of his free throws in the 1985 season. The staff at the Times sends our congratulations to both Longhorn players.

  • Five DHS Students Place At Hastings Academic Competition: Nine students from Dorchester attended ACTIONS Day academic competition at Central Community College in Hastings on March 26. There were 27 schools and nearly 1,000 students competing in 32 different content areas. DHS students who attended were: Ashton Kotas, Amy Havlat, Erica Spanyers, Adam Kahle, Spencer Kotas, Jessica Hansen, Megan Carroll, Brandon Schwisow and Jacy Hewitt. Those earning trophies were: Aston Kotas, first place in Sequences; Spencer Kotas, second in General Math and second in Algebra I; Adam Kahle, fourth in Algebra I; Jessica Hansen, fourth in English II and fifth in Geometry; and Jacy Hewit, fifth in Health. We tip our DHS hats to these fine Longhorn scholars.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Havlat Memorial Fundraiser Set For Saturday

As reported earlier by the Times, the Dorchester Area Community Foundation (DACF) is planning a steak and hamburger feed at the Dorchester American Legion Hall on the evening of Saturday, April 4. The dinner will begin at 5 p.m. and meals will be served until 10 p.m.

Proceeds from the event will go to the Private Charles Havlat memorial. A Dorchester native who died May 7, 1945, while helping to free a monastery in Czechoslovakia, PFC Havlat was the last soldier killed in the European Theater of World War II. PFC Havlat's death occurred about six hours after the unconditional surrender of the Germans. For more on PFC Havlat,
click here.

Last year, the Dorchester Legion asked the State of Nebraska and the roads department to name the small stretch of Highway 33 between Dorchester and Crete after PFC Havlat, but the request was denied. The Dorchester Legion and the Dorchester Area Community Foundation are now working on placing a historical marker on the grounds of the Saline County Museum in Dorchester. The Foundation is sponsoring the project, which will cost approximately $5,000.

If you are unable to attend Saturday night's steak and hamburger feed, or you wish to make an additional donation to help make the Havlat memorial marker a reality, send your contribution to:

Dorchester Area Community Foundation
Havlat Memorial
c/o Peg Bergmeyer
101 Washington Ave.
Dorchester, NE 68343