Tuesday, January 29, 2013

It's Time To 'Like' Your Dorchester Baseball & Softball Programs

We get word from Dorchester baseball coach Tommy Hicks that the official Dorchester baseball and softball Facebook homepage is now up and running. 

Hicks tells the Dorchester Times that the page was designed to keep the community up-to-date on what is happening with the boys and girls teams -- on and off the diamond.

The page offers tips on buying gloves, notices on where to get good deals on softball and baseball equipment, and even a picture of the 1909 Dorchester baseball team as featured on this very website.

Hicks said: "We want the people in town and anyone else out there to "like" the Dorchester Baseball and Softball page.  We want our community to support our town teams."

Baseball and softball season are approaching quickly.  Showing your loyalty and support for our Dorchester youth is now as easy as clicking your mouse.  See the Facebook page by clicking here.

Former DHS Student Arrested For Burglary, Drugs

Former Dorchester High student Jason Kotas, 38, and his wife, Sheena Kotas, 28, both of Lincoln appeared in Seward County court recently after being arrested Dec. 8 on counts involving burglary and drug possession. Both individual cases were bound over to District Court where both are set to appear March 25.

The Dorchester Times contacted two former Dorchester teachers.  Both confirmed that Kotas was a student at DHS until 1991, when he dropped out of school late his junior year.  One teacher said:  "It was an unexpected event because Jason had reasonably good grades and was full of potential.  I'm sorry to see his life has turned out this way. It's quite sad really."

The Friend Sentinel provides this report:

The Kotases were arrested after being chased from an abandoned farmstead in Waco after a family friend who owns the farmstead spotted suspicious activity in the area, according to York County Sheriff Dale Radcliff.  After being spotted, the couple took off in a truck that was full of stolen items. The black truck was also found to be stolen from the Dorchester area earlier that month.

A pursuit led the York County Sheriff Department and the Nebraska State Patrol to Seward County. The pursuit ended in a rural area of Seward County.  According to court documents, Jason Kotas was arrested for flight to avoid arrest, possession of methamphetamine, possession of burglary tools and obstructing a police officer. Jason Kotas is listed as a habitual criminal.  He was charged with burglary in November 2011 in Saline County and for sexual assault in November 1995. He also is listed on the Nebraska Sex Offender Registry.

According to court documents, Sheena Kotas was arrested for possession of methamphetamine, possession of Oxycodone, possession of burglary tools and obstructing a police officer. Sheena Kotas admitted to authorities in taking part in three burglaries in Saline County from October 2012 to December 2012. She reported that the stolen contents would be sold to Alter Scrap or Capital City Metal Recycling in Lincoln and they would buy methamphetamine with the money. Sheena reported that Jason Kotas and William Rasp would sell three pickup loads of metal per day as often as six days a week. Sheena Kotas posted bond on Jan. 4. She was then arrested for burglary charges in Saline County.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Ten Ways To Help The Local Economy: No. 3

In tough economic times, small towns like Dorchester hold several advantages. By helping your local economy, you can support your neighbors, friends, family members and yourself. Small contributions will allow you to make a big impact. To examine ways we can all support the Dorchester area, the Times is featuring this series called, "Ten Steps To Help Our Local Economy."  Today, here's step No. 3:

3.) Support Local Non-Profits

There are plenty of non-profit organizations to support in our area: The Dorchester Methodist Church, the Saline Baptist Church, the Booster Club at Dorchester Public School, the Saline County Historical Society, the softball and baseball teams, the Dorchester American Legion and Auxiliary -- the list goes on and on. 

Your contributions can go a long way to assisting these organizations. You can help many of these groups by donating cash or supplies. Or donate your time and labor. It is often said a town is only as strong as its non-profit organizations, since most are comprised only of volunteers.

Another key non-profit is the Dorchester Area Community Foundation, which has already spurred several community improvements -- such as the city park renovation and the Charles Havlat historical memorial in the Saline County Museum. Contact Dale Hayek (dhayek@farmersco-operative.com) to see how you can get involved. Membership with the Foundation is open to all, regardless of location. Dues are $20 annually or $250 lifetime. Make checks payable to: Dorchester Area Community Foundation, c/o Peg Bergmeyer, 101 Washington, Dorchester, NE 68343.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Legion Buffalo Feed Set For Jan. 27

It is that time of year again, when hungry area residents will flock to Dorchester's main street to get their fill of the best buffalo served in southeast Nebraska.
As in past years, the Dorchester American Legion Post 264 is making plans to host its annual January buffalo feed. 

This year's event is scheduled for Sunday, January 27, at Dorchester's Legion Hall.

The event will begin at noon and last until 2 p.m. for lunch. A second serving for dinner will start at 5 p.m. and continue until supplies are depleted. 

For more information, contact any Dorchester Legion member.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Friend Sentinel Recaps DHS-Friend Basketball Contest

This week's edition of the Friend Sentinel recaps the last Saturday's nail-biter between the DHS boys basketball squad and next door rival Friend Bulldogs.

"A second-quarter surge put the Friend boys’ basketball team up 35-24 at halftime, but Dorchester battled back in the second half before losing a tightly-contested 58-53 game."

The paper quotes Dorchester's new coach Adrian Allen, who is credited for adding a new spark to the team, as saying the Longhorns didn’t keep their intensity for four quarters.

“The boys did a good job of coming back from 19 down at one point to have a shot at winning at the end,” Allen said. “The Friend team played well, and we didn’t match their energy.  We need to continue to work on playing a full 32 minutes if we want to be compared with the good teams in Class D.”

A three-pointer by Dorchester’s Kolton Kaspar cut the margin to two at 52-50 with a minute to play in the game, but Friend was able to hit free throws down the stretch to get the win.

See the full story here.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Ten Ways To Help The Local Economy: Step 2

In a hard economy, the best place to begin the rebound is at home. By helping your local economic system, you can support your neighbors, friends, family members and yourself. While some think it takes major dollars to support the community economy, just a few minor adjustments will allow you to make a big impact. Today, we look at Step No. 2:

2.) Hire a Local Contractor

Making improvements to your home or property is a great way to spend your disposable income or extra savings. After all, home improvement is an investment -- and it makes you feel better about the place you spend the majority of your life. By hiring a local contractor or landscaper to do the work, you can certainly help your local economy. Plus, many contractors are struggling to get work due to the housing crisis, so you might be able to get a great deal on supplies and/or labor.

In Dorchester, call B.Z. Construction at (402) 946-2178; Klein Construction at (402) 946-3071; Stutzman Digging at (402) 641-4704; Slepicka Bros., Inc. at (402) 946-3311‎; or Holly Well Drilling at (402) 946-3871.

(We apologize if we failed to list any Dorchester contracting business. The above businesses were those listed on our Google search.)

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Dorchester's Lonnie Karl Passes

Lonnie Robert Karl, 62, passed away peacefully at his home in Dorchester on Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013. Born Aug. 28, 1950 in Crete to Robert and Velma (Schachenmeyer) Karl. Lonnie was a hard-working, dedicated husband, father and brother, who always did whatever needed to be done, typically without asking for help. He sacrificed much for his family, which he always put first, and asked for nothing in return.

Lonnie was baptized and confirmed at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Crete. He graduated from Crete High School in 1968. Soon after, Lonnie found employment at the Crete Mills where he served as a maintenance technician for 43 years before retiring this past September. He treasured the many friends he made at work over the decades.

Lonnie's passion was farming, which he started in the early 1970's with his father-in-law, Alvin Mariska, before assuming full responsibility of the family farm in 1986. He was particularly proud of his ability to integrate new innovations on his Saline County farm while maintaining some of the practices used years ago.

Lonnie was an active member of his community, serving on both the Dorchester Village Board and Dorchester Volunteer Fire Department for eight years in the 1980's and 1990's. He also served as a youth football coach and renovated Dorchester's baseball park in the 1980's.

Lonnie is survived by his wife of nearly 43 years, Joyce, and their son and daughter, Jamie and Shannon, both of Lincoln. Other survivors include sister and brother-in-law, Trudy and Dennis Odvody, Pleasant Dale; brother and sister-in-law, Randy and Jo Karl, Lincoln; brother and sister-in-law, Doug and Sandi Karl, Crete; sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Judy and Cecil Roth, Milford; and nephews and nieces. Preceded in death by his parents, Robert and Velmas, and sister, Barbara, as well as mother and father-in-law, Al and Donna (Sehnert) Mariska.

Funeral service: 10:30 a.m. Friday, Jan. 11, at Kuncl Funeral Home, Crete. Memorials to the family for later designation.

Ten Simple Ways To Boost Our Local Economy


Times are tough. Many are tightening their belts, whether or not they have been directly affected by the sluggish economy.
In a hard economy, the best place to begin the rebound is at home. By helping your local economic system, you can support your neighbors, friends, family members and yourself. While some think it takes major dollars to support the community economy, just a few minor adjustments will allow you to make a big impact.
To examine ways we can all support the Dorchester area, the Times is featuring a series called, "Ten Steps To Help Our Local Economy." Today, we begin with step No. 1:
1.) Bank Locally

If you decide to save your extra money instead of spending it, then you can help your local economy by depositing the funds into a locally-owned bank, like Dorchester's First State Bank. (Forgive us for not having an update picture with the new sign!) Doing so not only supports our local economy, but small banks often have better interest rates and personal service. Community banks like ours in Dorchester focus on the needs of local families, businesses and farmers. Unlike many larger banks that may take deposits in one state and lend in others, community banks channel most of their loans to the neighborhoods where their depositors live and work, helping to keep local communities vibrant and growing. Also, community banks are typically deeply involved in local economic development and philanthropic efforts. Because community banks are themselves small businesses, they understand the needs of small business owners. Support your local bank.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

So Many Options For DHS Clothing And Gear

Over the years, we have always tried to show support for our school and hometown by wearing lots of Dorchester High School apparel.  You can never have too many Longhorn shirts, sweatshirt or caps, according to one member of the Times staff.

Fortunately for Dorchester residents and all DHS fans, there are many options for getting your official Dorchester apparel online.

The Dorchester Public Schools website features a direct link to MyLocker.net, a customized sports apparel and promotional products supplier and a privately held company located in Michigan. Longhorn shirts, sweatshirts, ball caps.  They are all there.  We especially liked the DHS winter coats for the little ones.

Another great website for DHS gear is PrepSportswear.com.  This site even features DHS "skins" to personalize your protective cases for your iPad or iPhone.  There's also options for a Longhorn seat cushion and/or back rest for those sporting activities.  Pretty neat stuff.

One online retailer, Shop.SpiritShop.com, offers a DHS coffee mug for those chilly October Friday nights, or a variety of drink containers for any time of the year.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Visit To Saline County Museum Is A Worthwhile Trip

"History is who we are and why the way we are."
~ David McCullough

"You have to know the past to understand the present."
~ Dr. Carl Sagan

We believe one of our area's real gems is the Saline County Museum. Today, we want to spotlight this attraction so you can start making your family's plans to visit when normal operating hours resume this spring.

The museum, located off Highway 33 in Dorchester, is one of Saline County's most visited and most popular sites. It is also one of the most affordable (free) family attractions in southeast Nebraska.

Ten buildings are located on five acres of land, including a chapel, railroad depot, a one room schoolhouse, voting hall, post office, log cabin and an agricultural machinery building.

The museum's most unique exhibit, "In Loving Memory", is located in the chapel and depicts the way early Nebraskans dealt wit
h death and funeral customs. This exhibit is the only one of its kind in Nebraska.

The Saline County Museum is operated strictly by volunteers. Hours in the spring, summer and autumn are Sun
days, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. While there is no admission fee, donations are accepted.

Start planning now to visit the museum this spring -- and retrace your Saline County roots.

Friday, January 4, 2013

State Website Exposes Individuals' Party Affiliations

Every so often, we like to share new sources of information that our staff has found helpful.  Today we present to you one of the more controversial information sources we've come across. (Don't shoot us, we're just the messenger.)

Have you ever wondered if your family members are registered to vote in Nebraska elections? Have you ever thought about which political party your boss belongs to? Your kids? Maybe your neighbors? It's all public information.

The Nebraska secretary of state's office runs a website called VoterCheck.  All you need to enter is the proper spelling of an individual's first and last name, as well as their county in which they reside.  Do that and you will be given the person's political affiliation (Democrat, Republican, non-partisan, independent), as well as a list of every single district in which he/she resides.  School districts, NRDs, public power districts -- it's all there.

If you want to check out Nebraska's VoterCheck for yourself, click here

Top 10 Reasons Small Schools Are Better

As Milford and Dorchester prepare to merge certain student activities, namely football, there have been plenty of exchanges between Times' readers regarding the merits of merging schools with Milford, Friend or other area communities. However, one thing on which most readers can agree is that a small school education offers several advantages

Smaller schools know how to educate their students and typically can do it with better results than their larger counterparts.

In a recent report by the Rural School and Community Trust, Lorna Jimerson, Ed.D, offered her top 10 research-based reasons why smaller works best for schools. The list below was forwarded to us by a loyal reader, and we thought it was important to share it with other readers of the Times.

Residents of the Dorchester Public School district are encouraged to review the following from time to time:

'Top 10 Reasons Small Schools Work Better'
  1. There is greater participation overall in extracurricular activities, which have been linked to academic success.
  2. Small schools are safer.
  3. Kids feel they belong.
  4. Small class size allows more individualized instruction.
  5. Good teaching methods are easier to implement.
  6. Teachers feel better about their work.
  7. Mixed-ability classes avoid condemning some students to low expectations.
  8. Small classes promote personalized learning and encourage positive social interactions.
  9. Smaller districts mean less bureaucracy.
  10. More graduates in one school alleviate many problems of transitions to new schools.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Are More Businesses Coming To Dorchester?

There have been interesting rumblings to start the new year.  It appears there is a chance that 2013 could bring at least one or two new business to Dorchester, as more than one source has told us that investors are eyeing Dorchester as a spot for commerce. 
  • Specialty Meats Store:  One reader has told us that a younger area resident is considering opening his own smokehouse in town, offering quality meats and meat services. According to the source, a full meat case with assorted cuts of beef, pork -- and even buffalo -- would be offered.  If the business plan comes to fruition, the business would offer full service slaughtering and meat processing of livestock and deer, while also providing catering services.  No specifics regarding business location were provided to the Times.
  • Convenience Store: The Times staff has also heard there may be plans to bring a convenience store to Dorchester.  According to our sources, one of whom provided a lengthy e-mail, Dorchester is a prime spot for a convenience store, especially after the closure of the Dorchester Grocery two years ago.  No business entities or individuals were named as the investors who might open the store, but we believe there may be some truth to this rumor.  It appears the empty lot adjacent to the fire hall, as well as a site along Highway 33 or Highway 6 are likely spots for this business. 

Stay tuned to the Dorchester Times for more on these potential business stories.  We would be interested to know what our readers are hearing regarding the possibility of new businesses making Dorchester home.