Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Rain Brings Welcome Relief To Dorchester Area

While yesterday's rain wasn't a drought buster by any means, it was welcome relief for
farmers, gardeners and others throughout the Saline County area.  And the cooler temps (some of our wives had the heaters turned on) gave the vegetation a break, as well.  

The Omaha World-Herald this morning reports that July 2013 has been one of the driest on record for that city, so we will take whatever precipitation we can get.

Here's a look at the rainfall totals for area communities.
  • Wilber: 1.14"  
  • Western: 1.00"
  • Tobias: 0.66"   
  • Friend: 0.65"  
  • Dorchester: 0.59"
  • DeWitt: 0.48" 
  • Milford:  0.17"
Meanwhile, the USDA reports that the rain Nebraska received over the past week hasn't been enough to alleviate dry conditions statewide, but irrigated crops are still doing OK. Only 24% of Nebraska's subsoil and 31% of the topsoil has adequate or extra moisture.  About 78% of the irrigated corn in the state is in good or excellent condition. That's better than the average of 74%.  But only about 40% of dryland corn is in good or excellent condition. That's much lower than the average of 64% good or excellent.  The USDA says about 64% of the soybean crop is in good or excellent shape.

Wire: Dorchester Illegal Immigrant, 32, Arrested For Raping 13-Year-Old Girl

DORCHESTER, Neb. (AP) — Authorities have arrested a 32-year-old man living in Dorchester on suspicion of raping a 13-year-old girl he met while singing in a local church choir. 

Raymundo M. Cruz — also known as Luis Lopez-Muniz and Raymundo Perez — remains in the Lancaster County Jail on $300,000 bond.  The use of alternative names suggests Cruz is present in the U.S. illegally.

The girl told police she met Cruz about a year ago and the two became friends. 

She says on July 17, he asked to meet her to discuss a mutual friend. The girl says Cruz drove her to a lake near Crete, where he raped her in the backseat of his SUV.

If convicted of first-degree sexual assault of a child, Cruz faces up to life in prison.

*UPDATE*:  Here is more on the story from the Lincoln Journal Star:

Authorities have arrested a 32-year-old Dorchester man on suspicion he sexually assaulted a 13-year-old girl he met while singing in the choir at Sacred heart Church in Crete. The girl told authorities she met Raymundo M. Cruz, also known as Luis Lopez-Muniz and Raymundo Perez, about a year ago. On July 17, the girl got a message from Cruz asking to meet at a Burger King in Crete and talk about a mutual friend, the affidavit said.

Cruz drove the girl from the Burger King to Bluestem Lake, the affidavit said, and they drank beer together as he drove. The affidavit said the girl told investigators that at the park they both got out of the Ford Expedition, Cruz lowered the back seats, grabbed her around the waist, pushed her into the back of the vehicle and sexually assaulted her.

The affidavit said the next day Cruz told the girl not to tell anyone about what happened because it would ruin his life and hurt his children.  The girl told her parents, who took her to be examined at Saint Elizabeth Regional Medical Center and contacted authorities.  Cruz went by the name Luis Lopez-Muniz for employment purposes because he is undocumented and in the United States illegally, the affidavit says.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Become A Longhorn Booster Club Member Today

With the new school year only days away (Aug. 13), newly hired Dorchester Athletic Director Brent Zoubek is asking Dorchester area residents to join the Longhorn Booster Club.

According to Zoubek, the DHS Booster Club's main aim is to make athletics and other student activities more enjoyable.

In recent years, the club has purchased new equipment, sponsored the annual homecoming pep rally, paid Nebraska Coaches Association fees for DHS coaches, and paid for meals for DHS athletes who qualified for state competition.

But the Booster Club can't function without volunteers and dues payers.

If you would like to become a Longhorn Booster, simply call Director Zoubek at (402) 946-2781.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Dorchester Prepares For Football Season -- Without H.S. Team

For the first time in more than 60 years, Dorchester area residents are getting ready for
football season with no high school team to cheer.

This fall, Dorchester begins a trial co-operative with Milford for both junior high and high school football.  However, because of the Nebraska School Activities Association imposes a probationary period on the joining school when such an athletics merger takes place, DHS football players will be allowed to participate only in Milford's junior varsity competition, according to information provided to the Times.

The 2013 season will mark the first time since 1948 that Dorchester has not had a high school team.  In 1949, DHS' football program was restarted after years of not playing the game due to a student's death on the gridiron in the early 1930s.

One parent who was a standout DHS football player told us that the rebuilding process begins now.  "Dorchester can have a proud football culture once again," he said.  "But we need to take advantage of this merger with Milford to get our kids interested in playing the game, regardless if those kids come from town, the farm, from single-parent households, from low-income homes ... whatever.  We want to rebuild the idea of team and get these boys to work for something bigger than themselves.  Football can teach that, but the community must get behind our efforts. The merger with Milford is going to teach these boys a faster paced brand of ball.  In the end, it's the shot in the arm our school and community need if we want a proud football program and morale builder."

Jr. High Football (Grades 7-8):  DPS Superintendent Mitch Kubicek has informed district patrons that Dorchester school officials will hold a meeting at the school on Wednesday, Aug. 7 at 6:30 p.m. for parents of Dorchester Junior High football players.  For more information, call the school at (402) 946-2781.

Midget Football (Grades 4-7):  For the first time ever, Dorchester will be co-oping with Milford for its youth football program.  This decision is likely spurred by the co-op of the two town's high school programs, although no reason was provided to the Times.  For Dorchester area boys interested in playing on the Dorchester-Milford team, uniform checkout is Aug. 12 at the South Park practice field in Milford. Registration forms are at the post office in Dorchester and perhaps the Village Office.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Farmers' Market Coming To Dorchester Starting July 26

Dorchester is getting its own farmers’ market

Beginning this Friday, July 26, the Dorchester farmers' market will be held in the Dorchester United Methodist Church parking lot.  

The market will be held every Friday during the warm-weather months, from 4:30 p.m. until 7 p.m.

The best news? No vendor’s fee! And all vendors are welcome.

Contacts for the Dorchester Farmers' Market are Bob and Judy Weber at (402) 641-2253 or (402) 947-2777.  Or e-mail jw33307@windstream.net or um71502@windstream.net.

See you at the market!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Your Donation Needed To Put School Yearbooks, Alumni Pics Online

Attention former attendees and graduates of Dorchester Public School.  Your help and financial backing are needed, regardless of where you live today.

The Dorchester Times has learned through multiple sources that Dorchester Public School and the DHS Alumni Association are teaming up to put all the annuals/yearbooks (1947 to current) on the Dorchester School website. 

This is a huge undertaking -- and expensive, from what we have been told. 

Also going online will be the 1981 Dorchester Centennial history book, and perhaps other items requested by community members.  

To accomplish this task, a goal has been set to raise $4000.  

According to sources, the school yearbooks should be available on the DPS website before school starts this fall.  

Superintendent Mitch Kubicek has added a couple touches to make it even easier to access any picture of any individual that has ever been in a Dorchester yearbook. These pictures will be open for anyone to access with a computer or at a kiosk in the Dorchester School lobby. DPS attendee pictures will date all the way back to the 1800s.  

If you would like to donate, e-mail Tom Scheffert at tomscheffert@live.com or call Dorchester Public School at (402) 946-2781.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Restoration Begins On Col. Thompson Home

Restoration has begun on one of Dorchester's most historic and largest homes.

Dorchester residents have likely seen the scaffolding outside the old estate of Dorchester pioneer W.J. Thompson.  

The 3,000 sq. ft. home, built in 1901, sits on the corner of 10th and Lincoln Ave. and is an intriguing piece of Nebraska's past as it was the site of Dorchester's famous Elmwood Pony Farm.

In 2007, the Times named the structure one of our favorite old homes in Dorchester, calling it "a diamond in the rough" with the potential to "be a crown jewel for the entire region."  The house was on the market just a few years ago.

So far, the work done to the exterior of this historic Victorian Mansion is remarkable. Restoring a beauty such of this is no easy task and we applaud the current owners for taking on the project.  

All of Dorchester benefits whenever homeowners renovate and keep up their properties, especially the larger, historic homes.

Times staffers have noticed several home improvements around town, including two homes in the northern tier of our community.  

The dilapidated property at 11th and Stephens had become an eyesore.  

We are encouraged to see this home being restored.

Know of other home improvements around town? Share them with fellow readers by telling us in the "comments" section below.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Dorchester Receives $23,000 In Planning Funds

The Times has learned from inside sources that the Village of Dorchester is the recipient of a $23,000 grant from the Nebraska Department of Economic Development (DED).

The funding is part of a larger pool of federal dollars in 2013 Community Development Block Grant planning funding that has been delivered to several Nebraska communities.  

Dorchester's $23,000 in funding is considered "third cycle" and will help the village to undertake it's comprehensive plan, zoning & subdivision ordinance.

We have been told that the planning is an essential step in Dorchester's revitalization, which aims to bring in new and renovated housing -- and possibly more paved streets.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Dorchester Plowing Bee This Sunday

As reported first by the Lincoln Journal Star, the second annual Tabor Hall Antique Tractor Plowing Bee and Craft Fair near Dorchester will be held this Sunday, beginning at 1 p.m.

The Lincoln newspaper reports: "Last year, roughly 30 old-style tractors dug into 40 acres, plowing up some nostalgia along with Nebraska soil during the fundraiser for the renovation of historic Tabor Hall. The bee will begin at 1 p.m. about five miles south of Dorchester on land across from Tabor Hall on County Road 1400 and continue until all 40 acres are plowed. Visitors are welcome, and food and refreshments will be available inside the hall, which opens at 11 a.m.

The bee grew from a picnic created so farm neighbors could get out their old tractors and plow like they did years ago -- celebrating Saline County's proud agricultural past. This wonderful demonstration was a unique opportunity to recognize our area's history and progress.

In case you have not yet seen them, last year, photojournalists from the Omaha World-Heard and the Journal Star were present to capture images from the plowing event and preserve memories for the ages. To see the fantastic photos by the World-Herald, click here. For the Journal Star's photo, click here.

Pictured above is Debbie Skalak, who last year drove a 60-year-old International Harvester tractor, as her husband Russ looked.  This year, even more tractors are expected to take part.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Pay No Sales Tax, Win NU Football Tickets At Dorchester Fireworks Stand

The sounds and sights of fireworks fill Dorchester as Independence Day nears.

The Dorchester Community Association is selling fireworks on Main Street to raise money to help pay for the community fireworks display. (We are informed by the Dorchester Fireworks Committee that the stand has daily specials and sales.)

The town fireworks stand will be open through the holiday, with the following hours:
  • June 25-July 3 ........ 5 p.m.-10 p.m.
  • July 4 ...................11 a.m.-9 p.m.
First State Bank Nebraska-Dorchester Branch has donated two Husker Football tickets for the 2013 season.  

Visit the fireworks stand (trailer) on Main Street by the DVFD station to win these prime Husker ticketsThe more you stop by, the more you can enter the ticket giveaway.

Also, you will pay no sales tax at Dorchester fireworks stand.  No state sales tax.  No city sales tax (unlike Crete, Seward or Friend.)

Farmers Cooperative in Dorchester is covering the sales tax on all purchases of $20 or less.

All proceeds from this stand go to support Dorchester's Fourth of July Fireworks show.
For those who would like to contribute directly for the town fireworks display, donations should be mailed to: 

First State Bank
4th of July Celebration
P.O. Box 264
Dorchester, NE 68343