Saturday, August 31, 2013

In September, Keep Your Dollars In Dorchester

September is "Keep Your Dollars In Dorchester Month."

Throughout the entire month, readers are encouraged to support our community businesses by doing all their business in Dorchester whenever possible. Whether its dining out, getting your hair done, filling up the tank, buying a new set of tires, opening a savings account, purchasing a used vehicle, or repairing the lawn mower, many forms of commerce can be conducted right here in town. 

And every dollar counts, especially in these economically challenging times.In addition to doing your business in town, remind friends and family that it is important to keep their dollars in Dorchester. Also, consider referring those who reside in the country and nearby towns to give Dorchester a try.

Help your fellow Dorchester residents who choose to do business here and employ others in our community.  Let the next 30 days be a reminder that the most important step in investing in the community is supporting our existing businesses.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Business Spotlight: TJ Country Market, Gatherings On The Blue

Occasionally, during slow news cycles, we like to feature area businesses.  Today, we shine the spotlight on two local establishments -- both just outside village limits.
TJ Country Market, owned and operated by Tim and Jean Springer, is fairly new on the small business scene.  Located five minutes north of Dorchester on Hwy 6/15, the market has locally grown produce, farm fresh meat and baked goods. 

Our mouths were watering when we saw lineup offered by the Market, especially the melons and cinnamon rolls. 

You can check out TJ Country Market yourself on Saturdays, 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.  

For directions, see this map or call (402) 946-7321 for more details.  Or go to the Market's Facebook page by clicking here or go to TJ Country Market's homepage.

Another area business we're featuring -- one that has been around for several years now -- is Judy Roth's Gatherings on the Blue, which has become quite famous amongst antique collectors for its numerous shed sales held throughout the year. 

The shed sales draw people from miles away, according to an e-mail sent by a reader (Gretta).  The Facebook page for Gatherings had more than 2,100 "likes," which is testament to the following the business has.
If it's a relic from the early 1900s or something from your high school days in the 1960s or 70s, it looks like you will find it at Gatherings on the Blue, which happens to be having another sale Friday, Aug. 30 through Labor Day.  
The address is 151 County Rd. 280, just north and east of the Blue River Bridge north of Dorchester.   For a map, click here.  Or call (402) 560-5984.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Grace Roth Passes At 77

Longtime Dorchester resident Grace Roth, 77, passed away Aug. 18, 2013 at her home in Crete. She was born on Dec. 19, 1935 on a farm by Dorchester to Henry and Tillie (Horak) Pecka.

She is survived by her children and children-in-law, Stewart and Loretta Roth of Paullina, Iowa, Randy Roth of Lincoln, Kevin Roth of Crete, Nick Roth of Crete, Dale Roth of Lincoln and; Cory and Mindi Roth of Loveland, Colo.; daughter and son-in-law, Kathy and Kevin Spicka of Friend; 16 grandchildren, 20 great grandchildren and one to be born in October; sister, Bertha Klein of Lincoln, sister-in-law, Lela Wagner of Lincoln; nieces, cousins and many other relatives and a host of friends. 

She was preceded in death by her husband, DeWayne; parents; sisters, Erma and Dorothy; brothers-in-law, Ed Dvorak and Elmer Kleckner.

A celebration of life was held Wednesday, August 21, at Kuncl Funeral Home in Crete. Rev. Paixao Baptista officiated the service. Memorials care of the family for future designation.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Friend Newspaper Covers DHS-MHS Football & Wrestling Co-op

Our friends at the Friend Sentinel have devoted considerable space to the temporary
athletics merger (football and wrestling) between Dorchester and Milford high schools.  We wanted to share it with our readers.

Starting this fall, Milford High School and Dorchester Public Schools will join forces for football and wrestling.  The coop is a two-year trial, so there will not be major changes to uniforms, Kevin Wingard, MPS superintendent, said. The coop will be for junior high and high school football and wrestling only, at this time. 

The high school football team, now known as the Milford-Dorchester Eagles, will remain in Class C-1. The high school wrestling team, also known as Milford-Dorchester, will  remain in Class B.  Since the coop is starting in the middle of the two-year schedule the Nebraska School Activities Association sets, seniors coming from Dorchester will not be able to play on the varsity team this season. Instead, they will play on the junior varsity, Wingard said. Next year’s seniors will be able to play varsity, since that will be in a new two-year schedule. “They set our schedules and it was mid-cycle, so they ruled it wouldn’t be fair to the schools on our schedule adding kids mid-year, so they ruled they only can play junior varsity,” Wingard said.

The coop was necessary due to the decreasing numbers of players interested in the football and wrestling programs at Dorchester.  Mitch Kupicek, DPS superintendent, said the coop is a great opportunity for the district’s athletes. “While we would like to have our own team, we were excited for the opportunity to compete at the 11-man game as well,” Kupicek said. “We’re excited that Milford was willing to work with us.”

The football team will still wear purple uniforms with an “Eagles” decal on the side of the helmet. The helmets will also feature a sticker of an interlocking “MD,” that will be about one and three-fourths inches in size, Marty Hingst, MHS football coach and athletic director, said. “From the stands, I imagine you’ll be able to see sort of what that looks like,” he said. “It’s primarily to remind ourselves.” Hingst said the team has already had a full contact camp earlier in the summer, and about nine players from Dorchester were in attendance. 

Hingst said usually, seniors are not allowed to play on the junior varsity, but this is a special scenario. “There are three seniors who showed interest,” he said. “You have to respect those seniors to go out and not play varsity.” 

The rest of the players from Dorchester will also join the junior varsity team and make progress with their teammates, Hingst said. The players from Dorchester have been adjusting well from 8-man football, Hingst said.  “Even in camp, the second day they were doing a really good job and had things figured out on their own,” he said.

In addition to the athletes from Dorchester, Ryan Voelker and Brent Zoubek, the two co-head coaches for Dorchester, will be joining the MHS coaching staff, Hingst said. “They’re really great guys,” Hingst said. “They also went to camp with us. The staff over here in Milford has been together for 31 years, we’re used to each other.”

Hingst said the two new coaches will give the staff a nice mixture.  He said the last coach who came onto the staff did so in 1983. “They represent probably a little different generation,” Hingst said. “So now these guys were in high school at that time. It’s good. It will give us some different perspectives.”

Kupicek said DPS wanted to continue to support its athletes by allowing the two coaches to join the staff. “The two coaches here, Brent and Ryan, have done an outstanding job over the years and we’re excited for them to be a part of the program,” Kupicek said.  Zach Rosenboom, from DPS will be the coach for the junior high football team.

The coop also includes wrestling, a winter sport. “We’ve done some planning with wrestling — not as much as football,” Kupicek said. “Our wrestlers have had the opportunity to meet the coach, there’s still a lot of planning to go.” Hingst said there have been about six to eight students from Dorchester interested in joining the wrestling program.

For those who would like to watch the Milford varsity squad and get a glimpse of next year's competition for DHS players, here is this season's Milford varsity schedule:

09/06/13   Lincoln Christian
09/13/13   Ashland-Greenwood
09/20/13   @ Grand Island Central Catholic
09/27/13   Wilber-Clatonia
10/04/13   @ Fillmore Central
10/11/13   Sandy Creek
10/18/13   @ Fairbury
10/24/13   @ Auburn

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

DHS Volleyball Boasts More Than 20 Players For 2013 Campaign

The fall sports season is nearly upon us -- and the official 2013 Dorchester High School varsity volleyball schedule has been announced. 

The Lady Longhorns are looking to forge a culture of winning traditions under a new head coach Ty Peteranetz, a first-year coach and educator.

In 2013, DHS will have the depth to accomplish some great things, with more than 20 girls out for the team.  

Insiders say the increased numbers of players will definitely bring more success and should prove as motivation for boys athletics in future years.

This year's contests include several top-notch programs, including powerhouse Exeter-Milligan, as well as several Class C opponents, such as Palmyra and Weeping Water.

The Lady 'Horns are expecting good things this year with some of last year's stars returning to the court and impressive new talent.

------------ 2013 DHS Volleyball Schedule -------------

09/05/13 Palmyra -- Triangular (host: Palmyra)
09/05/13 Weeping Wate -- Triangular (host: #Palmyra)
09/12/13 Giltner -- Triangular (host: Dorchester)
09/12/13 Hampton -- Triangular (host: Dorchester)
09/19/13 Friend
09/21-09/21 (To Be Determined) -- Tournament @ Shickley High School
09/24/13 @ Osceola
09/26/13 High Plains Community -- Triangular (host: Dorchester)
09/26/13 Shelby/Rising City -- Triangular (host: Dorchester)
09/28-09/28 (To Be Determined) -- Nebraska Lutheran Tournament @ Waco
10/01/13 Sterling
10/03/13 Diller-Odell -- Triangular (host: Meridian)
10/03/13 Meridian -- Triangular (host: Meridian)
10/08/13 Parkview Christian
10/10/13 Cross County -- Triangular (host: Exeter-Milligan)
10/10/13 Exeter-Milligan -- Triangular (host: Exeter-Milligan)
10/15/13 McCool Junction -- Triangular (host: BDS)
10/15/13 BDS -- Triangular (host: BDS)
10/19-10/24 (To Be Determined) -- Crossroads Conference Tournament @ York
10/29/13 Parkview Christian -- Triangular (host: Parkview Christian)
10/29/13 Nebraska Christian -- Triangular (host: Parkview Christian)
11/01/13 Nebraska Lutheran

Monday, August 19, 2013

Dorchester Awarded $250,000 For Drainage Project

The Dorchester Times has learned that the Village of Dorchester has been awarded a quarter of $1 million by the Nebraska Department of Economic Development today for its planned water drainage project.

Dorchester was one of seven Nebraska communities that received $1,416,000 in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds to pursue projects in the public works and water/wastewater categories. 

Dorchester will receive $250,000 to install pipe to improve surface water drainage off of municipal streets. The Village will finance an additional $83,200 to complete the project. 

We salute Dorchester leaders for their aggressive pursuit of this valuable funding.  The project is a long term investment in our community.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Crete Faces 17% School Levy Hike; Dorchester Has Lowest Levy In County

There is a little bit of controversy next door in Crete.

The Crete Public School Board has proposed a $33 million bond referendum, set for a mail-in vote ending Sept. 10.  The $33 million in new spending would fund what is being billed as Crete Schools "most comprehensive overhaul" in district history.

Crete School's proposed $33 million loan from the taxpayers makes Dorchester's $4 million bonded project back in 2007-08 -- for the new DPS K-12 school building -- look like a bargain.  Consider that farmers along with middle-class and upper-class homeowners will pay the bulk of the Crete district's increase in spending.  But as was the case for Dorchester in 2007, local voters will decide what is the best course is for their school and their wallets.

A recent story in The Crete News reported that if the $33 million bond measure is passed, property owners residing in the Crete school district will see their levy increase from 1.15% to 1.34% (about 17%).

The Crete News story also compares levy rates of surrounding schools, including Wilber and Friend.  But the story fails to use Dorchester's levy rate in the comparison.  We don't know if this was intentional, but we do find it a little odd since Dorchester Public School district offers the lowest levy rate in the county.  (Several experts say Dorchester's levy rate is commendable considering the quality of education, brand new facilities, top-notch faculty and small class sizes that Dorchester offers.)

Here are the current school district levy rates in Saline County and nearby districts:

CRETE PUBLIC SCHOOLS: 1.1531% (which would go to 1.34% if the Sept. 10 bond passes)
Under 1998 state law, all political subdivisions with authority to levy a property tax must operate under levy limits.  For every $100 of taxable value on a property, school districts are limited to a $1.05 levy.  However, districts are excluded from this limitation for bonded indebtedness for projects approved by the voters.   

School districts are also limited in their growth in general fund expenditures to no more than a rate between 2.5% and 4.5%, based on location. Exceptions to this rule apply.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

DHS Grad Cochnar Earns World Champ Titles

CreteATA AlyssaWorlds2013 32web
The Crete News reports that 2013 DHS graduate Alyssa Cochnar, an instructor at Crete ATA Martial Arts Academy, recently earned world champion titles in her practice.

According to The Crete News, Alyssa is a fourth degree black belt and a nationally certified instructor with the American Taekwondo Association (ATA). 

The ATA is the largest single martial arts organization in the world. 

Alyssa will be attending Doane College this fall.

Her goal is to become a 6th Degree Master instructor and run her own martial arts academy.

See the story by clicking here.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Tell Us: How Would You Improve Dorchester?

If you were appointed dictator of Dorchester for a day, what would you do to make our
town better?

What are your ideas for Dorchester's immediate future? What about the long term?

We want to know.

In our travels around Nebraska, we have found that when it comes to smaller communities, there are winners and there are losers -- towns that are thriving and towns that are withering away.  Very few small towns stay the same for too long a time.

So what would you do to make sure that Dorchester is one of the winners five, ten, and twenty years from now?

Give us your ideas in the comment box below.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Dorchester's Nerud Is Cruising In Figure-8 Racing

The York News-Times reports the following on Dorchester's Tyler Nerud:

"In the world of Figure 8 racing, Dorchester’s Tyler Nerud is having a year to remember. Entering the York County Fair Figure 8 on Saturday night, Nerud had been in seven races, made seven features, had seven top-five finishes and had collected four wins. Make that five wins.

Nerud drove his orange No. 5 car to a win in the 2013 York County Fair Figure 8 races Saturday night to strengthen his points lead in the Open Division.

Coming into Saturday night’s race, the Dorchester native held a 358 to 304 points lead over Tyler Osmera of Weston who was right on the heels of Nerud in the Saturday night feature event, but ended up second.

The Nebraska Figure 8 Championships are scheduled for Aug. 24 at the Saunders County Fairgrounds in Wahoo and the season comes to an end at the State Fair at Fonner Park in Grand Island on Sunday, Aug. 25."

For more on Tyler Nerud's success on the racing circuit, see the York News-Times' story here.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Spend A Night Under The Stars To Help Church End Malaria

All area residents are invited to spend a night under the nets as the Dorchester United

Methodist Church and Igniting Youth work to battle malaria in developing nations.

The event will take place Saturday, Aug. 17, from 7 p.m. until 7 a.m. on Aug. 18 at the Dorchester High School football field. The event is open to students in Grades 6-12, as well as families of all ages.  The cost is $10 per NET (nets provided).  Be sure to bring your sleeping bag. Participants can join just for the evening or stay overnight.  (Youth not spending the night must leave by 10 p.m.)

There will be games, a movie and plenty of good times to make this a memorable event.  The proceeds will go towards the effort to eradicate malaria.

Pre-register by this Thursday, August 8 with Matthew Hoffman (402-981-3829) or Rhonda Schlick (402- 946-2143).

Friday, August 2, 2013

Drought Buster -- With More Rain On Its Way

Saline County got soaked Thursday evening into Friday morning, providing what was a drought-busting rainfall for many in the area. Swanton received 3-4 inches of rain Thursday night. At least half the town was without power and winds clocked at 58 mph downed a number of trees.

And it appears more precipitation is on the way.

Here's a look at the are rainfall amounts over the past 24 hours:
  • 4.5 miles northeast of Western:  4.56"
  • 2 miles east of Swanton: 3.50"
  • 7 miles west of Wilber: 3"
  • In DeWitt: 2.24"
  • 2 miles northwest of Dorchester: 1.30"
  • 5 miles south of Friend: 1.29"
  • 2 miles east of Tobias: 1.12"
  • 1 mile southeast of Western: 1.02"
The forecast for Dorchester for the rest of today: partly sunny and a 20%chance of thunderstorms in the afternoon. Highs in the mid 80s. Tonight brings a 30% chance of thunderstorms. Saturday will be partly sunny. Highs in the lower 80s. There is a 40% chance of thunderstorms after midnight tomorrow. Sunday will also bring a 40% of thunderstorms with highs only in the 70s.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

UPDATE: Four DHS Alums Now Serving As Dorchester Educators

Dorchester starts a new school year in less than two weeks (Aug. 13). When the school bell rings again, three new teachers will grace the halls of DPS, including two very familiar faces.

Lisa (Bruha) Lautzenhiser will be Dorchester's new second grade teacher.  She will take the place of Lori Vyhnalek, who left for a job in Friend.  Lautzenhiser is a Dorchester area native and a DHS alumnae (DHS Class of 1987). 

According to DPS Principal Dohmen, Lautzenhiser comes highly recommended after her years of teaching in McCool Junction.

Also joining the faculty will be Ty Peteranetz, who replaces longtime educator Scott Pohl as fourth grade teacher.  Peteranetz will also serve as the new DHS volleyball coach.

Finally, it has been announced that DHS alumnus Brandon Bruha (DHS Class of 2008) will be replacing industrial technology instructor Steve Fusco. Bruha will be working to complete his IT endorsement, while organizing curriculum for IT courses offered by DHS. He will also assist in coaching Longhorn girls basketball.

Other staff changes will include Ryan Voelker taking over as the new girls basketball head coach, while Brent Zoubek (DHS Class of 1995) has fully assumed the role of athletic director.

*UPDATE* -- According to several sources, the upcoming school year will mark the first time in modern school history that four DHS graduates have served as leading educators in the classroom. Terri (Feeken) Carroll, Dorchester's kindergarten teacher, is a 1977 DHS graduate. (We are told there are still a handful of fellow teachers at DPS who taught Bruha and Zoubek.) 

Good luck to all DPS students and faculty members as they prepare to begin the 2013-14 school year.