Friday, November 29, 2013

Co-Op Plans To Build Another New Silo

In the past few years, Dorchester has experienced a construction boom.

That boom continues as Dorchester's Farmers Cooperative plans to construct yet another mega silo.

According to information e-mailed to the Times, construction crews in 2014 will begin working on the eighth additional silo to complement the original Co-Op elevator. 

According to sources, the new silo will represent another $1 million-plus investment in our community. 

The last new silo was finished in 2010.

Since 2008, Dorchester has welcomed a new picnic shelter at the city park; a new K-12 school and campus renovation; a new concessions shack and restroom facility at Nerud Field; and several commercial building improvements.  Also, there have been several residential improvement projects throughout town -- the most housing renovation activity Dorchester has experienced in the past two decades. 

We applaud leaders at the Cooperative who continue to put Dorchester on the map in the agribusiness world.  The Co-Op and the jobs it supports are the economic hub of north central Saline County. 

This new activity signals positive developments for our community and our citizens' quality of life.  That means more property tax revenue for the village (streets, sewer and other projects) and the school.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving, Readers!

Happy Thanksgiving, from our family at the Dorchester Times to yours.

On this special day, we wanted to take a step back -- back to a simpler and more wholesome time, before things like the Internet and blogs -- to put things in perspective.

The Thanksgiving prayer from this scene in the classic 1950s sitcom "Father Knows Best" sums up perfectly our thoughts on this holiday and time spent with loved ones.  

For most of us, our lives are blessed and our troubles are tiny compared to those in other parts of the world.  Please take a moment to count your blessings and share your gratitude with your family and friends.  And remind them of the importance of giving thanks.

Train Derails Near Friend

Here's another reminder why you should never get too close to the tracks when you find yourself waiting at a
railroad crossing.

The Friend Sentinel reports that a Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway train derailed early Monday morning, Nov. 25, near Friend.

“The train derailed on the siding and was moving slowly when it derailed,” Andy Williams, BNSF public affairs director, said.

The Friend newspaper reports that out of the 75 cars, seven of them derailed and four fell on their sides.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

'Nebraska' Now Showing In Theaters

Today, we share with our readers a review of the movie "Nebraska," the new film by Nebraska native
Alexander Payne.

In his review published in today's Lincoln Journal Star, film critic L. Kent Wolgamott declares the movie "an homage to the small towns of the Plains."

He says it's a movie that’s so real and right we should be proud it bears the name of our state.

"Nebraska" was filmed mostly in the Norfolk area last year.  It opened in select theaters Nov. 15.  In Lincoln, the movie will begin showing Nov. 27.

Wolgamott writes: "If you’ve spent any time in any small Nebraska burg, Payne and (movie writer and Nebraska native Bob) Nelson nail it -- the insularity, the aging population, the oft-crumbling main street, the living connections to a  better time, the bullies and busybodies, and the good, just plain folks."

Will Forte, one of the main actors in the film and an alum of "Saturday Night Live," recently told The New York Times that he had never spent much time in the Plains states until the filming of "Nebraska."  On the state, itself, Forte said: "It’s certainly a lot of corn, Nebraska, but I found it really beautiful. I thought it was going to be this real monotonous visual experience, and it wasn’t. There was a lot of texture to it. It kept reminding me of a van Gogh painting — these big beautiful circular corn husk bales, the way the light would hit them and the shadows they’d cast. Brilliant hues of yellow — it was really striking."

You can read Wolgamott's review of "Nebraska" by clicking here.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Reminders For Residents Of Dorchester

A few months ago, we informed readers that officials at City Hall in Dorchester had issued a couple of important notices.  

Today, we are reminding Dorchester residents of these recent changes in village administration rules:
  • Delinquent Electricity/Water Accounts:  Courtesy calls will no longer be made on delinquent accounts.  Delinquent payments must be received no later than the last day of the month for which the payment is due.  Electricity disconnections will be the first business day of each month for all unpaid delinquent accounts.  Reconnect fees are $50 with the total account due in cash or money order. Payment extensions will no longer be honored.
  • Pet License:  Your dog and/or cat must have a Dorchester license.  Period.  No exceptions.  Pet licenses are $2 each.  All dogs and cats must be chained, fenced or kept in a kennel or home at all times, per village law.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Survey: Readers Split On Reasons For Lower Student Participation

Why aren't kids today going out for athletics in the large numbers of generations past?

A new Dorchester Times survey of finds more than one-third of respondents blame "growing complacency and laziness of today's youth."

Meanwhile, nearly a quarter of respondents say the low participation rates are due to the fact there is "less emphasis placed on athletic success and physical competition today compared to earlier generations."

Just over 17 percent say the Internet and other electronic entertainment is to blame; another 17 percent say the finger should be pointed at parents.

One reader wrote: "Maybe it's just because there weren't as many boys born for a period of time."  That reader is making reference to the fact that at DHS, male sports have suffered more than female.

The survey findings come after Dorchester School officials have told district patrons that DHS' participation rates are lower than they would like, and as the DPS Board weighs its options to include girls and boys basketball, as well as volleyball, in the athletics co-operative with Milford.

As the Times has noted, the problem of lower student participation in school activities is not unique to Dorchester.  It is impacting many schools all across the state.

Here's the full breakdown of the survey when readers were asked:  "Which ONE of the following do you believe is most responsible for the low student participation plaguing high school athletics all across Nebraska?"

The informal survey was conducted over a 24-hour period from Nov. 20-21.  Exactly 39 individuals from unique households or mobile devices took part.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

DHS Grad, Crete Public Servant Tom Busboom Passes At 64

Dorchester High School alumnus and Crete City Council member Tom Busboom passed away Sunday at the age of 64.

According to the Crete News, Busboom served on the city's council for nearly 20 years, and was the current council president.

He grew up in rural Crete, graduating from DHS in 1967. He attended the UNL, majoring in Animal Science with a minor in Ag Economics. Busboom worked for Beatrice Concrete, Crete Ready Mix for 41 years and was manger for 26 of those years. He was a member of several local and state professional organizations over his career, including a charter member of the Board of Directors to the Crete Area Improvement and Development Corporation, Board of Directors of the Crete Chamber of Commerce and at one time, Vice President of the Nebraska Concrete and Aggregate Association. He had served on the Board of Directors of the Nebraska Concrete Council.

He is survived by his wife, Pamela, their daughters, Elizabeth and Amanda, his mother, two brothers and one sister, as well as many other close relatives. Services were (Nov. 21) at the UCC Church in Crete.

Survey: 74% Say Keep Sports Co-Op With Milford

(UPDATE: 11/21/13 -- 4:57 p.m.) -- A new Dorchester Times survey of finds nearly three-quarters of respondents want to keep Dorchester Public School's current athletics co-operative with Milford Public School.

However, the majority is split over whether to add girls and boys basketball, as well as volleyball, to the arrangement.  

A little more than 28% of respondents said they favored adding the additional sports to the DHS-MHS pairing, while 46% said they thought DHS basketball and volleyball should remain unconsolidated.

Six respondents favored partnering with another school; and four respondents said DHS' discussions about athletic co-ops should end all together.

Here's the full breakdown of the survey when readers were asked: "Regarding the immediate future of DHS' athletic programs, what should the Dorchester School Board do?" 

The informal survey was conducted over a 24-hour period from Nov. 20-21.  Exactly 39 individuals from unique households or mobile devices took part.

As we reported yesterday, a special informative gathering was held at DPS on Monday night, Nov. 18. The town hall focused specifically on the future of DHS' athletic programs.  School officials told the crowd that DHS participation and enrollment numbers were lower than they would like, and that the DPS Board is weighing its options.  

As one Times reader pointed out, the projected number of Dorchester boys out for basketball next school year (2014-15) is six, although some DPS parents have questioned that estimate.  Meanwhile, there were 20 DHS girls participating in volleyball this year, one of the largest volleyball teams in school history.

A special meeting of the Dorchester School Board is scheduled for tonight, Nov. 21.  Board members may decide that DHS' current co-op arrangement with Milford -- in which the schools have combined football and wrestling squads -- should be extended to include girls and boys basketball, as well as volleyball.

There would certainly be pros and cons to expanding the co-op.  Students would likely not see as much playing time as they do in Class D athletics, but they would certainly learn to be more competitive and perhaps prioritize the activity for which they're best suited -- a skill that will come in handy later in life.  Also, the loss of a DHS-only team may discourage quality young teachers who also want to coach from applying at DPS, but there would likely be a cost savings realized by taxpayers who must foot the bill for school athletics via property taxes.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Novaks, Ducheks, Parks Take Top Honors In Dorchester Longevity

Today, we run one of our most unusual but morbidly fascinating stories.

New data from the U.S. Census bureau show if your family name is Novak, Duchek or Parks -- and you live in the Dorchester area -- odds are good you will outlive your peers with common family names.

The data, compiled by the website, show that among the most common names of deceased individuals who lived in Dorchester, those with the last name of Novak lived to an average age of 89.4 years.  Not too far behind were those with the last name of Duchek, living to an average age of 88.2.  Those named Parks came in third in Dorchester's longevity race, passing at an average age of 87.7.

Among the most common names of deceased individuals who had resided in Dorchester, those named Sehnert were at the bottom of the top ten list, living to an average of 73.7 years (which still beats the U.S. average).  Those named Stehlik came in at No. 9, living to an average of 76.1, while Bruhas came in at No. 8, living to an average age of 78.4.

Other common names appearing on Dorchester's deceased list include Nerud (average age of death at 84.9), Mariska (80.2 years), Weber (84.8 years), and Krivohlavek (83.7 years).

One final note: If your name is on the list, don't blame us -- we're just the messenger.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Robert Luzum Passes At 74

Robert Steve Luzum, 74, of Dorchester, passed away on Nov. 15, 2013 in Crete. 

Born on June 20, 1939 to Steve and Mildred Luzum. Robert attended District 19 County School and Crete Public School. Robert me Elaine Meinke and was married on Oct. 9, 1960 and resided on a farm near Dorchester where Robert grew up and enjoyed farming and raising livestock. Robert and Elaine had four children.

Preceded in death by his parents, brother, sisters, aunts and cousins. Robert is survived by his wife of 53 years, Elaine of Dorchester; son, Terry Luzum of Dorchester and special friend, Jodi Foxvog; daughter and son-in-law, Rhonda and Larry Hayek of Crete; daughter, Deb Luzum of Dorchester and special friend, Randy Bargman; son and daughter-in-law, Kevin and Carrie Luzum of Dorchester; seven grandchildren.

Funeral services: 2 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 20, at Kuncl Funeral Home, Crete. 

Visitation: 6-8 p.m. Tuesday at the funeral home.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Nov. 18 Meeting To Discuss Future Of DHS Extracurricular Programs

Does Dorchester Public School and its extracurricular activities have a future? 

That depends mostly on you -- the residents of the school district.

On Monday, Nov. 18, there will be a town hall meeting in the school library to discuss the future of DHS' athletic and activity programs.  (No time for this meeting has been published.  Call the school at 402-946-2781 for more information.)

All school district residents, especially those with students, are encouraged to attend.

School officials report: "Our participation and enrollment numbers are low, and we are investigating options to continue to provide extracurricular programs for our students.  We plan to share information and listen to input from our patrons."

This past summer, the Dorchester Times asked readers their opinions about the current situation facing DHS athletics and the low participation rates.  Specifically, we asked:  "How do you propose boosting participation in athletics among Dorchester youth, particularly boys?"

Here are the results:

Be sure to attend the town hall at the DPS Library on Nov. 18 -- and make your voice heard about the future of Dorchester's extracurricular programs.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Show Your Support For Dorchester At Nov. 17 Lunch

The Dorchester Community Foundation will host a chicken and hamburger fundraiser Sunday, Nov. 17, at the Dorchester Legion and Community Hall from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m.  

The lunch will consist of a grilled half-chicken or juicy hamburger, with a choice of mashed potatoes and gravy/potato, salad/chips; baked beans, roll, dessert and drink.

A freewill offering is requested.  

The Foundation has funded several projects in recent years, including the city park shelter and the two "Welcome to Dorchester" signs that are still in progress. The lighted signs will feature the village logo that is on the new Dorchester water tower.

Contributions to the Dorchester Community Foundation may be made any time. Checks -- payable to "Dorchester Community Foundation Fund" -- should be sent to: Dale Hayek, 652 County Road 1200, Dorchester, NE 68343.

The Dorchester Community Foundation Fund is a non-profit subsidiary of the Nebraska Community Foundation, so all donations are tax deductible.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Evelyn Novak Passes At 93

Evelyn E. Novak, 93, of Seward, formerly Dorchester, passed away Nov. 12, 2013. She was born on Nov. 27, 1919 to George and Alice Kortman. She was a retired teacher and food service manager at Dorchester Public School. 

Evelyn married Adolph J. Novak on April 25, 1943. They resided on their farm northwest of Dorchester for 65 years. 

Evelyn was extremely active in many community and area organizations and enjoyed cooking, collecting vases, quilting, gardening, dancing, and helping others.

She is survived by her children and spouses: Darryl and Barb Novak, Deane and Susan Novak, Marla Jean Ritter; nine grandchildren; 21 great grandchildren.

Funeral services are 10:30 a.m. Friday at United Church of Christ, First Congregational, Crete. Memorials in care of the family. Condolences may be left at

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Survey Results: Your Thoughts On Dorchester

The results are in from a new Dorchester Times survey regarding life in our community.  

We wanted to know why you live here -- or would live here if you could.  Moreover, we wanted your thoughts on how we can make life even better in Dorchester.  

Lots of you responded.  Here is what you said:


More than two-thirds of you (67%) said you live in Dorchester, or would like to, because this is where your family resides or you grew up here.  (We think this large number reinforces the need to impress upon our area youth that we want them to always feel welcome in Dorchester and that we're looking for ways to keep them here, even after they go away for higher education or training.) Another 28% of you cited Dorchester's community life or quality school as the reason you live here or would like to.


Regarding how you would make Dorchester an even better place to live -- if given only one option -- our readers were more split.  However, about 60% of you said you think paving at least parts of Dorchester would greatly enhance quality of life here.  Another large block (31%) would like to see more local business here to improve the Dorchester experience.  Nearly 15% said more investment in new housing and home renovation would help.

One reader offered his/her own suggestion: "Plant thousands of flowering trees, or alternatively, sugar maples for beautiful fall foliage so that people would go out of their way to check out Dorchester."

The survey was taken over the period of Nov. 9-13.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Museum Mural Will Be Unveiled April 27

In late September, we reported that Dorchester High School's Art I class had begun work on a new mural located in the newest building of the Saline County Museum. 

Today, we receive word that the DHS art students are nearly finished.  There is still some minor detailing to be done, and that work will be completed when the museum reopens in the spring.  

The mural dedication will be held April 27 at the museum.  The public is invited.

DHS art instructor Stacy Lutjemeyer said, "This was a great learning experience for the students.  They were able to go out to the public to work on some artwork.  They experienced working large scale and learned some detail techniques of painting landscapes.  I hope everyone will come to see the mural in the spring!"

Art I students pictured include: Bryce Rockenbach, Derek Pohl, Agustine Perez, Lydia Wells, Laura Davidsen, Taylor Vavra, and Justin Schwisow.  These students started the mural with the sketching, layout, and base painting.  After it progressed, students Kacey Zoubek and Eliseo Ruiz began helping with the mural adding details and finishing touches.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Images Of Dorchester's Autumn

Nebraska is a special place in the autumn -- especially if you reside in Saline County.
We were pleased when a local reader sent us some of the pictures she captured of the Dorchester area this fall.  And we wanted to share them with all of those who read the Times.

There's the Dorchester skyline.  

An old abandoned GMC grain truck.  

The ever-expanding mountain of corn west of town.

With today's technology, it's easy to share such special images.  But we still always appreciate when people take the time to do so.

If you have any pictures of the Dorchester area you wish to share, e-mail them to


Thursday, November 7, 2013

DHS Volleyball Coach Comments After Season Comes To End

Earlier this week, the DHS volleyball team's season came to an end after the squad fell to Meridian in the District 2, Class D-2 Sub-District tournament.  The Lady Longhorns finished their season with a 5-21 record, which was disappointing for the team, despite having one of the youngest team's in its class. 

DHS Coach Ty Peteranetz told the Friend Sentinel that the Longhorns played the best they had since the Crossroads Conference tournament. “We had had some problems with playing as a team in the matches since CRC, and I was very proud of the way we came together,” he said. “We had more than one run where we played great volleyball, and there were certain plays that exemplified the fight and finish that I was hoping to instill in the girls this season.”

The Sentinel notes that young players like Jacee Weber, Kacey Zoubek and Avery Behrens helped lead the team during the season.

Peteranetz made the following comments regarding the season:  "I am so unbelievably proud of this group of young women.  In times when they could have given up, they didn't. They welcomed freshmen as contributors and welcomed a new coach with open minds and open arms. Every player contributed in practice, in matches, and off the court. I am thrilled, THRILLED, with the growth they showed this year.

“We had a good measuring stick as we played many teams more than once, and were able to show those teams how much we can improve with hard work. It was a blessing to work with this group of athletes, and I look forward to even greater things in the future.”

As the Times reported earlier, participation for DHS volleyball this season was at its highest level in three decades.

Mr. Peteranetz is a self-described "transplanted, Colorado-born Husker fan," who moved to Omaha in 2011 after 30 years in Colorado to be the assistant volleyball coach at the College of St. Mary.  He missed teaching terribly, so he resigned his position with CSM to be an educator and coach at DHS.  He teaches Dorchester's fourth grade.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Beware! Phone Scammers Posing As Power Company

The Norris Public Power District, which serves the Village of Dorchester and rural Saline Couty, is warning customers of a phone scam spreading across the country in an attempt to defraud customers of electric utilities.

Norris says some of its customers have reported receiving phone calls from an unknown source, claiming to represent the utility and then trying to defraud them.

Residents across Nebraska said the callers threatened customers with disconnecting electric service to their homes or businesses if they didn’t make payments immediately.

The scam artist instructs them to send money via prepaid card or online payment service like PayPal so the company will not shut the power off.  Sometimes customers are asked for credit card numbers.

Norris Public Power District does not contact customers to ask for credit card numbers as a company policy. Norris customers who receive such calls should not attempt to make any payment and contact Norris at 1-800-858-4707 to report the request. Customers are also encouraged to contact local law enforcement if they receive a call demanding payment.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

DHS Volleyball Team Heads To Sub-Districts

Dorchester's young volleyball team is working overtime in its preparation for sub-district play.  

And for good reason.  All teams now begin a new season.  It's win or go home.

The Class D-2, Sub-District 2 tournament will be held at Wilber-Clatonia High School on Monday.

Dorchester (5-20), which is the fifth-seeded team in the sub-district tourney, will take on fourth seed Meridian (11-13) at 5:30 p.m.

Later on Monday night, the third seed Hampton (16-11) will face second seed Diller-Odell (16-12) at 6:30 p.m.

Then, the Meridian-Dorchester winner will face top seed Exeter-Milligan (20-8) at 7:30 p.m.

The sub-district final will be held at 7 p.m., Tuesday, in Wilber.