Thursday, March 28, 2013

Teen Dies After Crashing Stolen Dorchester Car

The Times has learned that an 18-year-old man died after crashing his stolen car into a traffic light pole in Lincoln this morning.

Lincoln police report the driver sped through north-central Lincoln until the car hit a curb, jump it, ran through a speed limit sign and crashed into the pole. The car belonged to a woman in Dorchester.

Police have withheld the name of the driver.

More from the Lincoln Journal Star:

The silver 2006 Toyota Corolla jumped the curb on the southeast corner of the intersection just before 9 a.m., tore up some grass, sheared off a speed limit sign before crossing 48th Street and hit the metal pole on the southwest corner.

“He was going really fast,” said Susan Beckler, who was about to make a right turn from Fremont onto 48th to go to work when the Corolla whizzed by. “I just saw a flash of silver come around the left side of me. It was extremely fast.” Beckler estimated the driver blazed through the intersection at 70 to 80 mph while trying to make a 90-degree turn. The speed limit on Fremont is 35 mph.

The crash shook the traffic light askew, and cleaved the car's engine block in half. It also took down a street sign near the Casey’s and carried it across the street before hitting the pole. The impact launched the sign some 60 feet, and debris sprayed out for as far as 90 feet.

Beckler said she got out of her car and tried to yank open the driver’s side door, but it was smashed shut. She then opened the passenger-side door and found the teenager sprawled across the middle of the car. He moaned a couple times and then died, she said. “I was pretty sure he was gone,” she added. “It was pretty obvious.”

Lincoln Police Capt. David Beggs said the car had been reported stolen before the crash. It's registered in Saline County to a woman who lives in Dorchester, according to state records.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Dorchester's Steve Vyhnalek Speaks On Farm Safety

Dorchester's Steve Vyhnalek, who serves as vice president of the Southeast Nebraska Corn
Growers Association, spoke about farm safety today, March 27, at the Saline County Fairgrounds Exhibition Hall in Crete.  

The Wilber Republican reports that Vyhnalek spoke at one of three workshops hosted by the Nebraska Corn Growers Association, Grain Systems Incorporated and the Nebraska Corn Board. 

The first workshop was held on March 26 in Kearney.  The next will be held on tomorrow, March 28, in Norfolk.  

All workshops encompass training in confined space entry, flowing grain safety, rope and harness techniques and hands on CPR.

The newspaper wrote:  "Farm-related accidents are exactly why Vyhnalek spoke at the workshop. He holds a personal interest in both farming and safety."

To learn more about the Nebraska Corn Growers Association call (402) 438-6459 or email

Monday, March 25, 2013

DHS Grad Vera Cline Passes At 91

Vera "Yvonne" Cline, passed away on March 19, 2013. She was born January 22, 1922 on a farm near Mahaska, Kansas to Ernest and Crystal Wheeler. Vera grew up in Beaver Crossing, Neb. and graduated from Dorchester High in 1939. Yvonne moved to Seattle, Wash. and worked as an electrician installing radio and radar equipment on ships being built during the war. After the war the Clines moved back to Lincoln to raise their four boys. Yvonne worked for First Mid America 19 years. Her favorite job was caretaker to her mother, Crystal, and her son, Stephen. Her hobbies were gardening, and shooting pool at the Legacy. She loved softball and played until age 68.

Graveside Service: Tuesday, 3/26/2013, at 10 a.m., Lincoln Memorial Funeral Home, 6800 S. 14th. Please meet at the funeral home at 9:45 a.m. Memorial service will follow burial at 11 a.m., Southview Christian Church, 22 & South Street. Visitation: Monday, 3/25, 3-7 p.m., with family 5-7 p.m. Memorials to Southview Christian Church. Condolences may be left online at

Friday, March 22, 2013

DHS Grad Vi Bures Passes At 90

Violet "Vi" (Bures) Brchan, age 90, passed away on March 20, 2013. She was born on Dec. 23, 1922 on a farm north of Dorchester to Frank and Marie (Mylnarik) Bures. 

She graduated from Dorchester High in 1941. Vi was united in marriage to Robert Brchan on Nov. 12, 1941 in Marysville, Kan. 

They resided on a farm near Pleasant Hill before moving to Lincoln in 1952. Vi worked as a cook at the old Cornhusker Hotel and at Phi Delta Theta fraternity on the UNL campus. 

She loved to crochet and play Bingo at the Legacy where she last resided as a charter member.

Funeral services will be at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, March 23, at Lincoln Memorial Funeral Home, 6800 So. 14th St. Visitation will be an hour prior to service at the funeral home. Memorials in care of the family for future designation. Condolences may be left online at

More Historical Dorchester Items On The Web

When our grandparents were growing up in Dorchester, the saying used to be, "You'd be surprised what you can find when you take a stroll around the businesses on Main Street."  

Once again, we were surprised by what you can find when you take at stroll around the Internet for items from Dorchester

For example, we found this Dorchester real estate ID tag by F.G. Johnson Real Estate, dated 1908.  

Next, we came across this giclée print of an original map of Dorchester, as it appeared in 1880.  This giclée (French for “to spray”) shows the names of original Dorchester area land owners -- quite interesting.  We ordered one for our living rooms.

Finally, we found this wonderful postcard showing the Big Blue River near Dorchester circa 1907.  The postcard was sent by Dorchester's Mrs. C.H. Meacham to a resident in Fairmont.  We are always impressed to see just how mighty the Big Blue was during those pre-irrigation days.

These items and many others are out there.  We encourage to take a stroll on the Web for items uniquely Dorchester.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

This Is Spring?

It's spring, but you wouldn't know it by stepping or peering outside.

Dorchester's high temperatures this time of year should be averaging around 57 degrees.  We are nearly 20 degrees colder than that, as today's forecast high is 39 degrees, with snow flurries throughout the day.  

Tomorrow, the day will bring temps no higher than 40 degrees, along with a small chance of very cold showers.  Saturday could bring between 2"-4" of snow, with a high of 39 degrees.

Dorchester and the surrounding area won't break 50 degrees until next Friday, March 29, according to the latest forecast.

See the Dorchester forecast by clicking here.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Local Racing Now Underway

Local auto racing fans know that the racing season is underway, as the Spring Nationals were held this past weekend at Beatrice Speedway. The classes included IMCA modifieds, with returning champion Bob Zoubek of Dorchester.

Beatrice Speedway will run regular competition on Friday nights, and the regular-season opener is April 26. Eagle Raceway opens April 19 with the Icebreaker races. Eagle has dropped the 360 sprint cars for the new Racesaver 305 sprints to help car owners save money and increase competition. Eagle will hold its regular-season opener April 27 and race on Saturdays throughout the summer. The Eagle Nationals are June 1, and the Rumble in the Bullring, with wingless sprint cars, is set for May 4. I-80 Speedway near Greenwood will open April 5-6 with the Spring Meltdown races. The annual Silver Dollar Nationals are July 18-20 and the Outlaws are due to race June 9. Junction Motor Speedway will open March 23-24 with March Mayhem, and start the regular season in April.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Funding Available To Help Promote Dorchester Area Tourism

Two grant applications are now available for Saline County organizations involved in tourism. Beginning this year, there are two separate funding options. Organizations may apply for monies to promote 2013 events from the marketing fund, and may also apply for improvement funds to maintain and enhance their sites.

Interested groups may pick up both applications at the Crete Chamber of Commerce office, 239 East 13th Street, the County Clerk’s Office, Saline County Courthouse, or at the Crete Super 8 Motel. Completed applications must be submitted to the Crete Chamber of Commerce office by 4 p.m. Monday April 15, either in person, or by mail. Award recipients will be notified of their grant awards by June 1; however monies will not be distributed until receipts are submitted to the committee.

There will be another round of marketing funds distributed in late fall. Applications for the second funding round will be available in late summer.

For more information about the two funds, the grant process and/or the duties of the Saline County Visitor’s Committee call Deb Polacek, Crete Chamber of Commerce (402) 826- 2136 or Lorine Mares at (402) 821- 2304.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

DHS Athletics In Good Hands With Zoubek

Nobody knows Dorchester's athletic programs better than DPS educator and football coach Brent Zoubek.  That's a good thing since Zoubek will take over the DHS athletic director's position next school year following the lengthy and faithful service of Scott Pohl, who is retiring after more than three decades at DPS.

Zoubek's rise to athletic director comes as very good news to Dorchester boosters.  The DHS community -- students, parents and alumni -- are rallying around him. 

Zoubek has proved his loyalty to Dorchester by building here and raising his family in our community.  He sacrificed by going back to school to get his teaching certificate. Then he turned down a chance to coach one of the state's better Class D football programs -- Exeter-Milligan -- to return to DHS this school year.  

We think Zoubek's promotion will pay high dividends for Dorchester's student athletes at a time of turbulence and low rates of student participation.

First, let's acknowledge Zoubek's outstanding resume.  In high school, he became Dorchester's only football player to rush for more than 1,000 yards in more than one season.  (He ran for 1,292 yards in 1992 and 1,228 in 1994.  Shawn Hostetler in 1995 and Bill Velder in 1978 are the only other two Longhorns to gain more than 1,000 yards in the modern era.)

Zoubek was also an outstanding basketball player, and those who know him best say he always took strong interest in other sports, too -- including baseball, track and wrestling.

Zoubek gets Longhorn sports because he's been a DHS team leader, himself.  His Longhorn pride and knowledge of the community will be needed for the foreseeable future.

Consider the situation Zoubek inherits:
  • The Milford-Dorchester junior high football merger will begin next season.
  • The schools' varsity wrestling co-op will begin next school year, as well.
  • A two-year varsity football co-op begins with the 2014-2015 season -- as long as projected combined enrollment numbers fall in the Class C-1 range. If the move would take the DHS-MHS squad into Class B, the co-op would be ended.
  • Junior high wrestling will be combined for 2013-14 and 2014-15.
These are challenging times for many small-school athletic programs, including Dorchester's.  But if Dorchester's young athletes are to experience the most success possible, DHS needs a leader and Dorchester loyalist like Brent Zoubek leading its sports programs.

If you're a DHS parent or student, be sure to take a minute to tell Zoubek that he has your support.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Former Dorchester Co-op Manager Now A State Senator

The Dorchester Times was sent an e-mail from a reader, notifying us that former Dorchester Cooperative manager Jerry Johnson is now a state senator serving the Sanders and Butler County area.
Johnson was Dorchester Co-op manager for half a dozen years in the 1980s. 

He and his Arlene were very active in the Dorchester community, and his children attended Dorchester Public Schools.  
After a 42-year career of managing grain elevators around Nebraska, Johnson moved to Wahoo a decade ago.  He was elected to the Wahoo City Council in 2006 and as Wahoo mayor in 2009. He was elected to the Nebraska Legislature last November.
Johnson's first co-op managing job was in Dorchester.  A couple of years ago, he was inducted into the Nebraska Co-op Hall of Fame.  
Johnson describes himself as an advocate for agriculture and a more practical approach to environmental and health concerns.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Can Dorchester Take A Page From Norfolk?

In its March 11 editorial, the Omaha World-Herald writes: "It’s a universal refrain across Nebraska: Young people grow up in the local community but then, as adults, relocate elsewhere around the state or country. What are some successful strategies to reconnect with those native sons and daughters and entice them to return home?"  

According to the editorial, the community of Norfolk "has put together an impressive initiative that provides some answers" through its GROW Norfolk program.   The program "uses a database of native sons and daughters from the area, with information about the people’s occupations and family connections." Leaders from Norfolk match the job information with current job openings and projected ones for the next five to 10 years."  

The initiative also offers a Norfolk Area Newcomers program, making an extra effort to welcome those who have moved to town with get-togethers and other events.

As communities across Nebraska pursue strategies to retain their young people at home and bring back adults who have relocated, GROW Norfolk can serve as an example of excellence for the state, the editorial concludes.

We agree.  This is exactly the sort of project that the Dorchester Community Foundation may want to explore as it looks for new worthwhile endeavors.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

UPDATE: Dorchester's New Water Tower Marks New Era

UPDATE:  Dorchester's skyline has become noticeably different.

Just hours ago, the crews working on Dorchester's new water tower attached the bulb.  It's quite a sight from Highway 33.  The picture at the right was taken around 2:30 this afternoon.

Inside sources say the crew's crane was not big enough to lift the entire bulb yesterday, so they had to cut off the top third in order to raise this much today. Once in place, the crews will weld the top lid while hundreds of feet from the ground. 

For the past century, since the early 1900's, the current water tower has been a focal point in our community.  That will change when the village's new water tower is complete.  

Work on the new tower is supposed to be completed no later than April 1.  The project could be wrapped up by the first day of spring, the Times is told.

The new tower will display Dorchester’s new village logo from high above the town's rooftops for decades to come.

"This will be a great first step in re-branding Dorchester's public image for the new century," said one community leader.

Records show that Dorchester's old water tower has been in its current location since the late 1880's.  The structure's appearance has changed little since the turn of last century, according to research by the Times staff.

The new village water tower, located in the far southeastern corner of town near the rail line, is much more modern in appearance.  One expert said it will be very similar to Fairmont's water tower in both size and shape.

When the old tower is no longer needed, it will certainly mark the end of an era.  

Dorchester's modern-day water system was established in 1914 after citizen's approved a $15,000 water works bond.  The old tower was erected prior to that time, although the structure has undergone several upgrades and renovations.

How Do You Read The Times?

We need your help.

The staff of the Dorchester Times is conducting a test to see how our readers are indulging this blog.

On Monday, the Times had nearly 500 unique visits, meaning hits from 500 different computers or smartphones.  On Tuesday, we had nearly 475.  We continue to be amazed how many people read this humble little blog six years after we first went online.

We recognize more and more of our readers are reading the Times on their smartphones, iPads, or tablets.  Sometimes, our counting devices do not recognize these hits.  Moreover, those reading mobile versions of the Times can't participated in our online polls, since the left-hand column doesn't appear.

So we'd like to ask you how you read the Dorchester Times. Go ahead -- tell us.  We're interested to see how the Times are a-changin'.

TIMES POLL: How Do You Read The Dorchester Times? free polls 

Monday, March 4, 2013

Listening Session On Dorchester Housing, Tonight At 5 P.M.

Last year, a large number of Times readers told us they wanted Dorchester officials to prioritize the removal or clean-up of blighted homes and properties.  So we were encouraged in August when the Village of Dorchester was the recipient of a $10,200 Community Development Block Grant to develop a housing market study.

Now it is time for us -- the residents of the Dorchester area -- to do our part and make things happen for Dorchester and its housing needs.

The Village of Dorchester is conducting a listening session tonight -- at 5 p.m. at the Dorchester Fire Hall -- for the public to hear/discuss housing issues, opportunities and results from the recent Housing Needs and Wants Surveys and Workforce Housing Needs Surveys.  That's according to Gloria Riley, Dorchester's Village Clerk.

All residents from Dorchester and the surrounding area are encouraged to attend. 

Hanna:Keelan Associates, P.C. -- a community planning firm in Lincoln -- is overseeing the housing study and listening session.  According to information we've received, the housing study will address issues important to Dorchester, including population growth, income of residents, a housing stock analysis, strategies for new and affordable housing, and a five-year action plan.  The plan will also look at ways to insure adequate housing for Dorchester's aging population -- those in their 60s and beyond.

Questions? E-mail Gloria Riley at