Tuesday, April 30, 2013

OUR OPINION: An Idea That's Catching Fire


It is being reported on the news wires that volunteer firefighters in Blue Springs, Neb. last Saturday burned down two homes in the small town just southeast of Beatrice.  The burns help clean up the community and give volunteer firefighters much-needed training.

Talk about hitting two birds with one stone.

Blue Springs Councilman Gene Reedy Jr. told the Beatrice Daily Sun the fires Saturday helped the small southeast Nebraska community remove two longtime eye sores. Reedy owns the property where one home was burned.  He says it was up to 100 years old and had been unoccupied for decades. The two houses bring the total number of such controlled fires to three this year.

At least one home in Dorchester's southern section was recently burned for practice by the DVFD, clearing the lot for commercial use.  We think this may be the only way to address some of Dorchester's long-time abandoned and dilapidated properties.  

As one Times staff member said the day of the practice burn as he watched from the grounds of the county museum: "Let's give our firefighters even more training if they need it."

Monday, April 22, 2013

DHS Students Selling Handmade Bracelets For Good Cause


Yes, there are ways you can help a good cause and look good while doing it. 

The Dorchester Student Council will be selling YUDA bands for a service project beginning today, April 22, and continuing through May 3.  

These are handmade bracelets of leather and coconut shell that were shipped from Guatemala.  The bracelets cost $7 each and there are many different designs to choose from.  

All proceeds support students in Guatemala -- as selected by the DHS Student Council -- to help give them an education. If you are interested in purchasing one, please contact Mrs. Lutjemeyer at the school or by emailing slutjemeyer@gmail.com.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Dorchester School Notices

  • Dorchester Play This Weekend:  Dorchester 7-12 Drama will be performing “Long Live Rock N Roll” by Cynthia Mercati  tomorrow (Friday) April 12 and Sunday, April 14.  The Friday night show will start after drama awards ceremony at 6:30 p.m. -- meaning the play will begin around 7 p.m.  The Sunday afternoon show will start at 2 p.m.  Come and watch what happens to the girls' academy when a rock star and his hillbilly family show up.
  • Longhorn Keychains, Necklaces Help Fight Against Cancer:  The Dorchester FBLA is hosting a fundraiser for Relay for Life.  You can purchase hand stamped keychains and/or necklaces that say "GO HORNS" or "DPS" for $16.  Additional orange or silver beads can be added for $2 each.  These quality products are made by Kylie's Creations.  Please turn in orders to Alyssa Cochnar by Friday, April 12, with checks payable to Suzy Cochnar.  For questions, contact Suzy at suzy.cochnar@doane.edu.

Dorchester's Jacob Cerny Wins Statewide Poster Contest, Meets Governor


The Dorchester Public School's second grade class was recently chosen as one of 10 grade-
school classes in the state named as winners in the "Call Before You Dig" poster contest.  

DPS' own Jacob Cerny and his fantastic poster were chosen as winners.  His art teacher, Stacy Lutjemeyer, entered posters from Grades 2 through 4 because she thought her students would enjoy the contest, especially since the subject matter was pirates.  

The students were presented information about the dangers of digging before they created their posters.  

The 2nd graders will get a cookie party, a tree, a bench and a plaque for the school, which will be presented May 1 at 2:30 p.m. by the Safe Diggers' Hotline. 

Pictured above is Jacob with his winning poster at the State Capitol, taken Wed., April 10.  His mother took him to the proclamation signing to declare April 2013 as Safe Digging Month.  He was very excited to meet the governor, the Times has learned.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Hail Hits Dorchester


Dorchester was one of many areas hit Tuesday evening with early spring hail.  Pea to marble-sized ice pelted our area, but no damage was reported.

These photos were taken by Toni Keller Ladely and sent to us by a reader who subscribes to Toni's Facebook page.  (Thanks, Toni!)

This was just the latest in a strange mix of weather our region has experienced.  Today's blast of cold air was a drastic change from Monday's humid temps in the upper 60s.  (Remember, it could always be worse -- like in western Nebraska, which received more than a foot of snow, as road crews reported 8- to 9-foot drifts.)

For tomorrow (Thursday), we will see a chance of light freezing rain. Rain and light sleet in the morning, then a chance of rain and light freezing rain in the afternoon. Highs in the upper 30s. North winds 15 to 20 mph with gusts to around 30 mph. Chance of precipitation 50%.

Cloudy conditions will continue Thursday, with a 20% chance of rain and snow in the morning. Highs in the upper 30s. Northwest winds 15 to 20 mph with gusts to around 30 mph.

The sun should finally appear Friday and Saturday, but highs will still only be in the 40s to mid-50s.  Sunday will be partly sunny with a 20% chance of rain. Highs in the mid 60s.

Monday, April 8, 2013

The Cold Beginning Of A Drought Buster?


It was no drought buster, but last night's rain is a start.

According to our official rain gauge, the Dorchester area received around 0.40" last night and early this morning.  Further south in Saline County, in the Tobias area, 0.60" was reported.

More rain and other forms of precipitation are forecast for Saline County. Tonight,  there's a 90% of thunderstorms. 

Tomorrow will be much cooler, with an 80% chance of thunderstorms in the morning, then more rain in the afternoon. Highs in the mid-50s. Temperatures falling into the upper-30s in the afternoon. Northeast winds 10 to 15 mph with gusts to around 25 mph.

By tomorrow night, it will be much colder -- with lows in the upper 20s and a 70% chance of rain or light freezing rain in the evening. Then a chance of light freezing rain after midnight. Ice accumulation of less than one quarter of an inch.

On Wednesday, winter will visit us one last time, with a 50% chance of rain or light freezing rain in the morning, then a chance of rain in the afternoon. Highs around 40. Northwest winds 15 to 20 mph with gusts to around 30 mph. 

A 30% chance of precipitation continues into Thursday.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Can We Beat The Doomsayers?

This article was originally published by the Dorchester Times on Oct. 3, 2007.  Some of the reader comments are from that year.

The Economist magazine recently published an article on small town revival. The article -- entitled "America the Creative" -- paints a bleak picture for many small rural towns across America:

"Most small towns are still struggling, as a tour of boarded-up main streets and closed John Deere dealerships in the rural heartland will show. Out-migration has drained their populations over the past century. Agri-businesses have replaced small farms -- and shopping malls an hour away (not to mention Wal-Mart and the Internet) have undercut local shops. In many small towns only old people are for the most part left, as there is little to attract the young. Just 17% of America's population today lives outside metropolitan areas."

But the article goes on to document a handful of communities "deep in the boondocks" that are determined to beat off the doomsayers with creative ideas, including:
  • Hidalgo, Texas decided to capitalize on its site in the migration path of the dreaded African killer bees. The town boldly erected a 20-foot (6 meters) long statue of a bee, made from fiberglass and steel, and was promptly dubbed the "Killer Bee Capital of the World." Soon, the tourists flocked.

  • Colquitt,Georgia, population 1,900 and in one of the poorest parts of America, was revived by a storytelling festival known as "Swamp Gravy." In the early 1990s, someone had the bright idea of performing local folk-tales as musicals. Today, some 40,000 people come each year to the festivities, which are held in a converted cotton mill. Many new businesses have opened on the town square, and retail and restaurant sales triple when the Swamp Gravy show is on.

  • Nelsonville, Ohio, has become an “artists Mecca” in recent years.

  • Culbertson, Montana, whose population dropped to 714 in 2005, recently replaced its old oil-seed factory with a biodiesel plant that employs several dozen workers.
The National Trust Main Street Center, an organization that has helped with small town revival, is lead by Doug Loescher. He says that many towns have been trying for years to revive themselves, with little success. “There's usually a lot of skepticism that another approach can really make a difference,” Loescher said. He adds that local officials also have to realize that downtowns have changed for ever. Clothing and hardware stores may never return to main street. Rather, says Mr. Loescher, restaurants and bars, government offices and even private houses should be given a place near Main Street.

Another channel is philanthropy. “Rural communities are not going to be rescued by large corporations setting up large factories,” notes Chuck Hassebrook of Nebraska-based Center for Rural Affairs. But small towns can and should look for help from people with money (example: Dorchester area natives who have made it in Chicago, New York or even Omaha and Lincoln, as well as area farmers who've been blessed by the recent boon in commodities). In particular, he says, the well-off should be encouraged to give not just to churches and libraries, but also to economic development.

The Times is interested in your economic development ideas for Dorchester. What special events or attractions could we bring to our community? What other "outside-the-box" proposals should village leaders be exploring? How can we to beat the doomsayers with our own creativity?

Monday, April 1, 2013

Wednesday Services For Steven Corning


Steven Corning, age 18, formerly of Dorchester, passed away on March 28, 2013.

He was born May 28, 1994.

He graduated from Dorchester High School in May 2012.

Services will be at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 3, at Lincoln Memorial Funeral Home, 6800 South 14th Street.

Visitation will be from 4-7 p.m. Monday, April 1. Interment will be immediately following service at the Dorchester Cemetery.

Memorials in care of the family. 

Condolences may be left online at www.lincolnfh.com.

TV Coverage Of Saline Co. Severe Weather Seminar


Over the Easter weekend -- on Friday night -- Nebraska had its first severe weather warnings of the year, including a tornado that touched down west of North Platte.

In case you missed it, the Regional Severe Weather Seminar was held this past Saturday at Saline Center.  Two members of the Times staff attended and we were impressed with the event, as we have been in years past.  The event included displays and presentations by storm chasers and meteorologists, as well as spotter training for severe weather for the public.

Several news organizations were present, including KHAS TV out of Hastings.  See KHAS' video story by clicking here.