Monday, August 31, 2009

Dorchester Resident Shares State Fair Memories

More than a century of tradition will soon end as Lincoln hosts its final Nebraska State Fair. In the Aug. 30 edition of the Lincoln Journal Star, area readers shared their memories of state fairs past -- including Dorchester's Rev. Roger Wolfe. In the article, Rev. Wolfe recalls when he won first place in the Nebraska State Fair's 1937 baby contest, as well as his recollections of the horse exhibits and the trips via his grandpa's Whippet automobile. Wolfe writes:

"I can remember even though I was only a little over two, I was given 1st Place in the Baby Contest as The Grand Champion Rural Child in 1937. (Still have the cup, ribbons, article from the Lincoln paper.) Horses being a big part of farming back then, I remember seeing the many horses in the horse exhibits. I rode to the State Fair in my Grandpa Pavlish's 1929 Whippet automobile. I showed animals there from 4-H as a teen. Have been in many parades with the American Legion."

To see the article and the Rev. Wolfe's commentary, click here.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Nomination Deadlines Nearing For Community Improvement Awards

What makes Dorcheter stand out? Community spirit? Outstanding volunteers? Tremendous youth leaders?

The Nebraska Dept. of Economic Development Awards has announced its September deadlines for its Special Project Award; Governor’s Community Spirit Award; Founder’s Award; Good Neighbor Award; Youth Leadership for Outstanding Community Service Award; and the Marilyn Ristine Leadership Award.

If you think Dorchester or one of its leaders deserves recognition, get your nominations in for one or all six awards affiliated with the Nebraska Community Improvement Program (NCIP). Deadlines are Sept. 2 and 4. For information, contact Christina Bartels or Sara Watson at 800-426-6505 or or click here.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Contagious H1N1 Flu Outbreak In Crete

State health experts have announced that Crete is experiencing a swine flu outbreak.

The AP wires report that Nebraska health officials say our neighbor to the east is one of four areas of the state experiencing outbreaks of the highly contagious virus. In addition to Crete, outbreaks have been reported in Omaha, Chadron and Loup City.

The swine flu can cause a fever of more than 100 degrees, body aches, coughing, sore throat, respiratory congestion, vomiting, diarrhea and, in some cases, death. So far, three deaths in Nebraska are linked to the swine flu.

Also known as H1N1, the swine flu originated in Mexico. Recommendation against travel to Mexico has been issued by the Center for Disease Control. This spring, some health advocates urged the federal government to halt immigration and commerce from Mexico by sealing the border. No such action was taken.

For tips to prevent H1N1 and help stop its spread (including a version in Spanish), click here.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

NEWS BRIEFS: Sept. 20 Fundraiser Set To Support Galen Johnson

  • Memory Walk Organized For Galen Johnson, Alzheimer's Group: The Times has learned that former Dorchester resident Maurine Johnson is participating the Alzheimer's Association Memory Walk. Maurine's husband and former Dorchester School superintendent Galen Johnson has been diagnosed with the disease. Maurine's team, called "Galen's Gang," hopes to raise at least $1,000 to support the local Alzheimer's Association, which provides consultation, information and referral, and support programs to those affected by Alzheimer's. Friends of Galen are encourage to make a donation, join the team and request donations for Galen's Gang, or attend the Memory Walk on September 20 at Lincoln's Antelope Park, beginning at 1 p.m. with registration beginning at 11:30 a.m. To learn more or make a donation directly on-line, click here.

  • Dorchester's Schwisow Holds Master Angler Award: The Lincoln Journal Star reports Justin Schwisow of Dorchester is one of the state's top master anglers. The 2008 Nebraska Master Angler "kept division" notes catches by weight, date/location, lure/bait and angler. Schwisow caught a 2-pounds, 7-ounce Sucker on July 8, 2008, on Gracie Creek using a nightcrawler. Good fishing, Justin!

  • DHS Football Team Gets District Assignment: The Longhorns have again been placed in District 2 in Class D1, according to the Omaha World-Herald. The assignment means that DHS will again be grouped with Deshler, Exeter-Milligan, Freeman, Meridian, and Pawnee City when it comes time to determine who goes to the state playoffs this season.

  • Saline County History Online: How well do you know the histories of Saline County's communities? The University of Nebraska-Lincoln has assembled a nice collection of historical summaries recounting the earliest days of the towns in our county. See them all by clicking here.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

DHS Football Squad Profiled In Journal Star

On Aug. 16, the Lincoln Journal Star profiled high school football teams from around the region, including the DHS Longhorns. To see the entire LJS Prep Football Preview, click here.

According to the LJS profile, DHS has the second-best strength of schedule in Class D1 (out of 59 teams) based on last year's records.

The Journal Star wrote that, "The schedule maker did Dorchester no favors in 2008, as seven of the Longhorns' eight opponents made post-season play. But as DHS showed in its upset of an eight-win Sterling team a year ago, the Longhorns will battle. Spencer Kotas and Adam Kahle are this season's senior leaders."

Inside sources tell the Times that depth will be much better for this year's Longhorn squad. The 2009 schedule is comprised of all D1 opponents, except for Sterling, which is in Class D2.

The Journal Star lists the following players as Dorchester's "playmakers": Kotas, Kahle, Russ Barak (jr.), Kyle Palky(jr.), Brandon Schwisow (so.), and Jeremy Inderlied (jr.). The paper wrote that QB Schwisow threw for 615 yards as the Longhorns' freshman quarterback in 2008.

The profile also mentions that co-coach Brent Zoubek played on Dorchester's 1994 playoff team, and then coached the Longhorns when the returned to post-season play 12 years later in 2006.

Through the years, Dorchester has had 5 playoff appearances since Nebraska implemented a playoff system in 1975, according to the LJS profile.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Source: Dorchester Business "On The Brink"

A reliable source has informed the Times that a Dorchester business is "on the brink" and could close its doors within weeks unless it experiences a significant uptick in income.

Our source appealed to the Times, asking us to alert readers and urge them to do more business in our community. So we are sounding the alarm.

What can you do to help ensure every Dorchester business succeeds in these leaner times? Do business in Dorchester every chance you get. Spend at least $50 that is currently spent outside town at a Dorchester business. Then tell your friends and family to do the same.

Consider this: If half of Dorchester's residents spent just $50 a month at a Dorchester business, that business would generate $15,350 in sales over 30 days. That is more than $184,000 a year.

The loss of a Dorchester business is more than just an inconvenience for area residents. It means a loss of local jobs -- and the loss of much-needed property tax revenue that pays for our school, town infrastructure and village employees. It means the loss of another sponsor of local youth clubs and high school athletics. Wost of all, the closure of a Dorchester business spells the possible loss of a hard-working individual or family who wanted to call Dorchester home, but had to look elsewhere because because he/she was not supported by friends and neighbors.

The Dept. of Labor reports that for every $100 spent in independently owned stores, $68 returns to the area community through taxes, payroll and other expenditures. If you spend that in a national chain, only $43 stays here. Spend it online and nothing comes home.

So get your hair cut in Dorchester. Have fun on the town with dinner and an adult beverage. Buy your weekly groceries and gasoline. Shop for antiques. Upgrade your used vehicle. Use a Dorchester businesses when building or making repairs to your home.

"Use it or lose it" goes the old saying. That phrase especially rings true when it comes to local business. It is time to rally around our community and its centers of commerce that enhance our quality of life. (*Editor's Note: The ads appearing in this article were used only because those particular businesses sponsored a recent high school football guide published by the Lincoln Journal Star. The Times supports all Dorchester businesses and encourages readers to do likewise.)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

More Readers Share Photos

The reader photos keep coming. Last month, the Times offered space on this Web site to those who wish to share pictures or videos with fellow Times readers. Below are the latest entries.

The photo at the lower left is another gorgeous Saline County sunset as captured by Kathleen Jezl near Saline Center. (Click on the photo for a better view.) The photo at the lower right is entitled "All Roads Lead To Dorchester" and was submitted by a reader who wishes to remain anonymous. (Again, click on the picture to see an enlarged version.) Take a close look at this picture and you will notice a hawk on its way to town.

Keep those great shots coming. If you find yourself with a front-row view of some major event, community gathering, sporting contest, severe weather, a beautiful sunset, or you are just strolling down Dorchester's streets, take a picture or video and share the experience with fellow Times' readers. Send your images to and include a brief description.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

NEWS BRIEFS: Co-op Plays Role In Trade Mission

  • Dorchester's Farmers Co-op Participates In Trade Mission: According to the Web site Grain Net, the United Sorghum Checkoff Program recently helped the U.S. Grains Council host a "sorghum-focused trade mission in Kansas and Nebraska" -- and one of the stops included Dorchester. The mission's goal was to bring together potential Mexican buyers and U.S. sellers of grain sorghum and turn those relationships into sales opportunities. As part of the trade mission, 11 buyers visited a variety of elevators, grain processing sites and sorghum growers throughout Kansas and Nebraska. Specific stops during the July 16-18 mission included Farmers Cooperative in Dorchester.
  • Miss Czech Slovak Pageant Seeks Dorchester-Area Contestants: Each year, the Miss Czech Slovak U.S. Pageant is held in Wilber during the Wilber Czech Festival. In its 23 years, the pageant has hosted more than 225 contestants trying to become the next Miss Czech Slovak U.S. Queen. Currently, nine states have Miss Czech Slovak Pageants. Area females who are ages 16-26, single, and of Czech or Slovak decent may compete for the national title and more than $10,000 in cash and prizes. Travel opportunities also await the pageant winner; the 2008 queen traveled more than 20,000 miles promoting the Czech and Slovak heritage, preservation and continuing relationships. For more information, go to the Miss Czech Slovak Web site by clicking here, or contact Mary Elizabeth Lackey, Miss Czech Slovak U.S. pageant director, at (785) 317-5010.

  • Dorchester Polka Scene Headlines Polka Catalog: Speaking of Czech heritage, the Dorchester polka scene is well represented on an online retail site selling polka CDs, tapes, t-shirts and other polka-related items. -- whose motto is "Happy Music for Happy People" -- offers recordings by Dorchester polka artists including the U-Neta Orchestra and Hank Zahourek and his orchestra. See the listings of Dorchester polka artists by clicking here.

Monday, August 10, 2009

DHS Sports Preview, Time Capsule Dedication Set For Aug. 28

The fall sports season is almost here. That is good news for Longhorn fans. To whet the appetites of DHS fans, the annual Dorchester Fall Sports Preview will be held Friday, Aug. 28. Several events are planned for the evening, beginning with the insertion of the time capsule into the school bell monument at 5:30 p.m.

According to Dorchester Activities Director Scott Pohl, plans are also being made for a possible "name it-claim it" event that will enable school district patrons to purchase school equipment that is no longer being used.

The 2009 volleyball team will be presented to the public at 6:30 p.m. and may include an intra-squad scrimmage. The DHS Booster Club will be accepting members for the 2009-2010 school year, as well as selling hamburger meals from the outdoor concession stand beginning at 7:15 p.m.

The presentation and scrimmage of the 2009 Longhorn football team will take place at approximately 7:30 p.m.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

OPEN FORUM: August 2009

New month, new open forum for Times readers. Once again, we are providing an open forum for area residents who want to say something, report something, or ask a question -- on any issue. Any topic is fair game, although the Times' comments policy still applies.

Earlier this year, Times readers voted overwhelmingly (75% to 25%) in opposition to our decision to limit remarks following stories.

The Dorchester Times' Web site averages more than 235 hits a day, according to an independent Web tracking service. That means the Times is the perfect forum to air your thoughts, news tips, announcements, complaints and concerns -- on any issue. So go ahead and sound off. We are listening. And so are hundreds of others.

Another Area Cougar Sighting? Big Cat Seen Near Malcolm

Since our earliest days, the Times has tracked news of mountain lion sightings in eastern Nebraska.

Now the Lincoln Journal Star is reporting that wildlife investigators will examine hair found at the scene of a reported mountain lion sighting near Malcolm to determine if it belongs to a big cat. "A woman and her daughter reported seeing the animal Tuesday in a pasture about two miles west of Malcolm," says the LJS story.

The Lincoln paper reports that Nebraska has had 46 confirmed sightings of mountain lions since 1991. The closest to the Dorchester area was in 2005 along Interstate 80 in Sarpy County.

"Wildlife biologists believe most of the Nebraska cats have been pushed out of bordering states with higher mountain lion populations, namely South Dakota and Wyoming," the Journal Star reports.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Early Morning Storms Leave Mess In Dorchester, Surrounding Area

Winds exceeding 70 miles per hour and blinding rain blew through the Dorchester area early this morning, leaving a mess behind for Dorchester area residents. The damage from the pre-dawn was even worse in towns such as Milford and Pleasant Dale, according to reports. Hail up to 2 inches in diameter was reported a mile south of Lincoln. Conditions are worst in Saline, Gage, Seward and York counties.

The damage in Pleasant Dale included the loss of part of the roof at the fire station. In our area, the wind did some crop damage, flattening some soybeans and stripping leaves off corn during its crucial pollination phase. At the height of the storm, more than 4,000 customers lost power, beginning at 4:45 a.m. The affected areas included Hickman, Crete, Firth, Adams, Sterling, Bennet and Panama. Crete was restored by 6 a.m.

Power crews began working in Wilber after electricity went out around 3 a.m., according to the Saline County Sheriff's Office. Multiple trees were uprooted in the county. There is a 20% chance of showers and thunderstorms tonight, and a 30% chance of showers and thunderstorms tomorrow.

Reader Photos Keep Coming

Last week, the Times encouraged its readers to share pictures or videos with fellow readers. At the right is the latest entry. Colleen Vernon sent us this shot taken at a recent training exercise conducted by the Dorchester and Crete Volunteer Fire Departments.

If you find yourself with a front-row view of some major event, community gathering, sporting contest, severe weather, a beautiful sunset, or you are just strolling down Dorchester's streets, take a picture or video and share the experience with fellow Times' readers. We will select the best and use them in a future post. Send your images to and include a brief description in the message field. We would especially appreciate any photos of damage caused by this morning's storm, if any readers wish to make such shots available.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Important Dates In Dorchester

As the dog days of summer come knocking, here are some important dates to remember -- beginning with tonight's Farmers Cooperative customer appreciation picnic and DHS Booster Club meeting. The Times requests that readers send us other important event notices (along with dates, times and locations) at
  • Aug. 3 (tonight): Farmers Cooperative Customer Appreciation Picnic. Dorchester City Park.

  • Aug. 3 (tonight): DHS Booster Club Meeting. School cafeteria at 7:30 p.m.

  • Aug. 20: First day of school at Dorchester Public School.

  • Aug. 28: DHS Fall Sports Preview and scrimmages for the public.
  • Aug. 31: DHS Band at State Fair.

  • Sept. 3: First DHS volleyball game at 5:30 p.m. at DHS.

  • Sept. 4: First DHS football game at 7 p.m. at Shelby.
  • Sept. 7: Labor Day. No school.

  • Sept. 8: School pictures for Dorchester students.