Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Five Longhorns Compete In State Journalism Finals

Continuing its long run of excellence in journalism, Dorchester High School has captured a first-place spot at the Nebraska School Activities Association state journalism contest at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.  

In all, five DHS Longhorns made it to the state journalism finals.  This is an amazing feat for a small school.

Unlike the state finals for athletics, there are only two divisions for students to compete in journalism -- Class A for the state's largest schools in Class A, and Class B for everyone else.

DHS' Marivelle Magana took top honors in the "Yearbook Theme Copy Writing" competition for Class B.  She competed against students from Waverly, Blair, Yutan and Sandy Creek in the state journalism finals.

Meanwhile, Magana, along with fellow Longhorn Brittany Knorr, competed in the "Yearbook Theme Development" contest at finals.  

Knorr and fellow DHS student Brittney Zoubek competed in the finals for "Yearbook Feature Writing."

DHS' Zoe McKnight qualified for the state finals in "News/Feature Photography, while Kaytee Eberhardt earned a spot into the finals for "Sports/Action Photography." 

Our congratulations to the budding journalists at DHS.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Selma Pracheil Passes At 89

Selma Henning Pracheil, of Wilber, and formerly of Dorchester, died April 24, 2015. She was born to Elmer and Violet (Nienmeier) Johnson on 3 September, 1925 in Concordia, Kan.

She was preceded in death by Husbands, Glen Henning and Jerry Pracheil, Brother, Carl Johnson and Sister-in-law, Norma Johnson. 

She is survived by Sister, Leta Murray, Ft Lauderdale, Texas; and her Children, Sharon and Paul Gana, Martell, Neb., Jim Henning, Austin, Texas, Randy Henning, Martell, Tammie and Jay Welsch, Sutherland, Neb.; Step Children, Michael and Peggy Pracheil, Dorchester, Neb., Judy and Tony Switzer, Dorchester, Diane and Lyle Brown, Crete, Neb. 

Selma was also blessed with numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Memorial Service to be held Tuesday, April 28, 2015 at 10:30 a.m. at United Methodist Church, Dorchester and a luncheon will follow in The Church Fellowship Hall. Condolences can be sent to

Friday, April 24, 2015

Please Attend Fourth Of July Committee Meeting May 6

Dorchester has one of the best July Fourth celebrations in southeast Nebraska. 

It's an annual tradition that draws folks from near and far, including alumni and friends and family from across the country.

The planning process for this year's Independence Day is taking place right now -- and your help is requested. 

Another meeting of the Dorchester Fourth of July Committee will be held Wednesday, May 6, at 7 p.m. at the Community Hall.  

The committee is searching hard for volunteers.  

Please offer to lend a hand.  The town's celebration will only be as good as its volunteers. 

Also, bring your ideas. 

Help make this year's July Fourth celebration in Dorchester the best one yet.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Dorchester Native Mildred Freeouf Brodt, 96, To Speak In Omaha

As we've reported recently, Dorchester has a unique place in the annuls of World War II due to the service and sacrifice of many area men in that tragic event of the early and mid-1940s.  The most notable, of course, is the death of Private Charley Havlat, the last confirmed U.S. battlefield casualty in the European Theater.

Now, Dorchester's WWII history becomes even more distinguished.

A Dorchester native who served in the Women’s Army Corps in the Pacific during World War II will give a free public lecture later today at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

Mildred Freeouf Brodt, 96, grew up in Dorchester.  She enlisted in 1943 and served in New Guinea and the Philippines during the war. 

She was on General Douglas MacArthur’s staff during the postwar occupation of Japan.

Brodt attended the Japanese war crimes tribunal and was among the first Americans to view the destruction from the atomic bombs at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. 

She graduated from University of Nebraska-Lincoln after the war and today lives in Fairmont, Minnesota.

Brodt’s talk, hosted by the UNO history department, will be at 1 p.m. today in Room 201 of the Barbara Weitz Community Engagement Center. 

Dorchester area residents are encouraged to attend, if possible.

DHS' Corey Bird Ranked Among State's Best High Jumpers

Dorchester High School's Corey Bird is currently in the state's top 10 rankings for the 2015 high jump competition.

The DHS senior is currently ranked tenth in Nebraska, regardless of class size, with his season and career best jump of 6-4¼.  What's more notable is that Bird is just 3/4 of an inch away from being tied for fifth place.

Here are the all-class standings for boys' high jump as of yesterday, April 22:

Meyer, Diller-Odell ... 6-9
Heitkamp, Syracuse ... 6-9
Zitterkopf, Lexington ... 6-6
Nelson, O. North ... 6-6
Searle, Waverly ... 6-5
Wagner, Seward ... 6-5
Dukes, Plattsmouth ... 6-5
Dempsey, Millard South ... 6-5
Fowler, McPherson Co. ... 6-5
Bird, Dorchester ... 6-4¼

Bird has tied the DHS boys' high jump record, matching the school's longtime best mark set by Lenny Gish in the late 1980s.


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Take Part In Dorchester's Recycling Program

Think about this: We Americans generate about 250 million tons of trash every year.

On average, each of us generates about 4.4 pounds of trash every day.

That means our small community of Dorchester produces more than 2,700 pounds of trash every 24 hours. 

That's nearly one million pounds over the year!

You can be part of the solution by recycling. And the Village of Dorchester makes it easier to do.

For those who aren't yet taking advantage of Dorchester's recycling program, visit the recycling bin, which has been moved south of the city park.

Bring your glass, plastics and newspapers every week.  Set recycling goals with your family.  

Just be sure to separate your trash from your recyclables -- and make sure what you're dropping off is indeed recyclable.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Swan City: Saline County's First County Seat

Swan City, Saline County's first community.

We at the Times are proud of Saline County's rich history.  We enjoy exploring the history of not only our community, but also the communities that surround us -- and the communities that are no more.

Nearly 150 years ago, on February 17, 1866, the Saline County Board held its very first meeting at Swan City -- a town that lost the county seat to Pleasant Hill in 1871 and disappeared completely two decades later.

According to the Nebraska Historical Society, Swan City, which was located a few miles west of present-day DeWitt, was the first town and county seat in Saline County. 

Situated in the fork of Turkey Creek and Swan Creek, from which it took its name, Swan City held prominence for only a few years. But it did have its share of businesses, including a general store and a sawmill, both built around 1865. Soon after, the "thriving business" center added a hotel and another store. 

The O'Connor Circus spent a few winters in Swan City, according to our research.

Over its short life, Swan City grew to approximately 200 residents.  

But in 1871 -- just five years after the town's formation -- the county seat was moved from Swan City to Pleasant Hill.  

That same year, the railroad was built about three miles from Swan City. Since most early Nebraska settlers wanted to be near the railroad, most residents moved to either DeWitt or Wilber or Pleasant Hill, signaling the death of Saline County's first town.

Swan City's flour mil continued to operate until it burned down in 1891 -- the year when Swan City officially joined the ranks of Nebraska's ghost towns.  

Today, nearly 150 years since its founding, a state historical marker alongside Highway 103 designates the approximate location of the community.

Swan City: Gone but not forgotten.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Alan Kaspar Passes April 16 In Pleasant Hill

Alan B. Kaspar, of Wenden, Ariz., formerly of Dorchester, passed quietly on April 16, 2015 at his former residence in Pleasant Hill. 

Born January 31, 1940 to Bernard and Helen (Cerny) Kaspar on a rural farm south of Dorchester. 

He was an avid motorcyclist.

In his youth, Alan was a member of DHS' Class of 1957.  He lettered and started in football and basketball and track, and served as his class' vice president for four years.

Survivors: brother, Larry Kaspar of Dorchester; sister, Jane Swanson (Dale) of Emerald; daughters, Shari Lewis, Penny, Kim Kaspar; and son, Joseph (Deana) Kaspar. Grandchildren: Adella and family; Amy and family; Joseph D., Kolton, Ross, and Devon. Great grandchildren; nieces and nephews; many other family and friends.

Celebration of life is 3 p.m. Sunday, April 19, at the Dorchester Community Building. Memorials in care of the family.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Roger Beranek Passes At 74; Memorial Service Is Saturday

A memorial service for Roger Dean Beranek of Dorchester will be held at 2 p.m. this Saturday, April 18, at the Dorchester United Methodist Church with Aseracare hospice chaplain, Shari Lagemann officiating. Burial of ashes will be in the Dorchester Cemetery. 

There will be visitation tonight, Friday, 9 a.m.-8 p.m. with family greeting relatives and friends from 6-8 p.m. at Lauber-Moore Funeral Home, Friend. Memorials are directed in care of the family for later designation.

Roger Beranek was born February 20, 1941 in Friend to Libby Sally (Bruha) and Benjamin F. Beranek.  He passed away this past Wednesday, April 15, at the Friend Manor at the age of 74 years 1 month and 26 days. He attended school in Dorchester and graduated with the Class of 1959. On March 30, 1974, in Crete at the Grace United Methodist Church, Roger married the great love of his life, Janie Annetta DeWitt and to this union seven children were united: Debbie, Diane, Brenda, Kevin, Donna, Dan and Kenny.

Together they made their home in Dorchester. Roger was employed at Crete Mills as a corn miller for 42 years, retiring in 2006. He was a member of the National Rifle Association and Arbor Foundation. Roger served his community for several years as Volunteer Fireman. In his spare time, he enjoyed gardening, hunting, fishing and trapping and sharing the outdoors and his garden produce with family and friends. He was also a member of the Brewcrew tank racing team for 7 years that regularly competed in the Polar Bear tank racing from Mullen to Thedford on the Loup River.

Roger took pride in the accomplishments of all his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Roger also enjoyed polishing rocks and always asked his family to bring back rocks from wherever they went. He enjoyed his many “AG Tours” with family and friends.

He is survived by his wife of 41 years, Janie of Dorchester, children and spouses, Debbie and Brad Sharp, Park Rapids, MN, Diane and Bill Velder, Dorchester, Brenda and Tim Fisher, Longmont, CO, Kevin and Tracy Beranek, Milford, Donna and Dave Parks, Dorchester, Dan and Kelley Burianek, Pleasant Dale, 19 grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren, sister and brothers-in-law, Pat and Andy Jacox, Garland, Ron Blecha, Minden, brothers and sisters-in-law, David Beranek, Long Beach CA, Don and Sue Beranek, Snohomish, WA, Dan Beranek, Apache Jct., AZ, Arlene Beranek, Springfield, OR, many nieces, nephews and a host of other relatives and friends.

Roger was preceded in death by his parents, a son, Kenny Beranek in 1991, grandson, Charles David Parks, brother, Benjamin F., sisters, Shirley Johnson and Ramona Blecha.

Online sympathy notes may be left here.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

DHS Spring Play Is Friday and Sunday

UPDATE: Please note the Sunday time change below.

Get ready for a merry mix of mayhem, melody and mania to hit the Dorchester Public School stage this coming weekend.

This spring's school play is "Lucky Dollar Private Eye" and it features a star-studded cast of Dorchester's finest acting talent.

The show will be featured twice this weekend: Friday, April 17, at 7 p.m. and Sunday, April 19, at 4 p.m.  (We're told that the Dorchester Jr. High awards for drama, speech and thespian awards will be presented starting at 6:30 p.m. prior to the Friday performance.)

"Lucky Dollar Private Eye" is a musical about Los Angeles’ favorite gumshoe searching for the deadly "Pearl of Persia" and battling his old foes.  It’s a tough job, but it has its up-side -- the "dames," who find him irresistible.  

Suitable for all groups, this is a real crowd-pleaser. 

All the public is invited to see if Lucky can crack the case.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Crete Store Owner Headed To Jail For Food Stamp Fraud

It's Tax Day.  Most likely, you've paid your fair share of income taxes to Uncle Same and the state.  So we couldn't help passing along this morsel.

The Lincoln Journal Star is reporting that a Crete store owner, along with a Lincoln man, received probation and jail time Wednesday for buying food stamp card numbers from homeless people, giving them 50 cents on the dollar.

Juan Garivay, 48, bought the card numbers from people at the Lincoln City Mission, then gave them to Jose Banos, 40, the owner of Crete's Super Latina Store, who manually entered them in his credit card machine for hundreds of dollars of grocery purchases that never happened, according to the Nebraska State Patrol.

The two split the money.

In February, they pleaded no contest to felony theft charges, setting up sentencing Wednesday.  With good time, they will have to serve a little more than three months in jail. That's it -- and 18 months probation.

No word on whether the two are in the county legally.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Government (taxpayers) spent $74.1 billion in fiscal year 2014 to give 46.5 million Americans food stamps -- including guys like Garivay and Banos.

Happy Tax Day.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Sources: Bowling Alley Plans Still On Track

Last year, this blog reported that Dorchester's City Slickers and its owner had a strong interest in establishing a new Dorchester bowling alley, especially after feedback given to Dorchester's new planning commission and community task force.

While there has been no immediate development, likely due to the current renovation and expansion of City Slickers, we are told the plan for a bowling alley is still in place.

To bring readers up-to-date, our sources say initial plans would place a Dorchester bowling alley in the two buildings north of City Slickers Bar and Grill (one of those buildings is blighted and vacant residential space).

The interested parties last year discussed the matter with the Dorchester Village Board and other leaders.

There is strong demand for such a social and entertainment venue in Dorchester and surrounding area.  Friend and Crete both lost their bowling facilities in recent years.   As a result, those who want to bowl on league teams must join a long waiting list before they can bowl in nearby towns like Wilber or Seward.

If you have any breaking information, please leave it in the comments section of this story.


Monday, April 6, 2015

Source: Bakery/Cafe Still Plans To Open On Main Street

Last summer, this blog reported that a new cafe and/or bakery would soon make its way to Dorchester's main street.

Eight months later, there's still no sign of such a business.  However, we are told that that plans are still in place for the bakery to open around the Thanksgiving or Christmas season.

As the Times reported in July, the individuals who plan to open the bakery/cafe wanted to occupy the building that was most recently the Dorchester Hardware Store and the additional space in Dorchester Grocery.  Older residents will remember the site as the former location of the West Side Cafe and Rec Room.  We do not know if that original plan is still in place, or if another vacant location is being sought.

The proprietors, who have strong Dorchester ties, will need a unique spin on their operations, good marketing, as well as strong support by the community and area residents.

Community members we spoke with last summer were elated by the news and anxious to see the cafe open.  

In a 2010 Times survey, readers said that a "cafe with a bakery" was one of the most needed businesses in Dorchester.  In fact, a cafe commanded the second highest number of votes, behind only a convenience store.


Thursday, April 2, 2015

Easter Egg Hunt At Nerud Field This Saturday

Hey, kids! The Easter Bunny is planning to drop in on Dorchester.

The Dorchester community Easter egg hunt will take place this Saturday, April 4. The event will begin at 2 p.m. at the high school football field.

The hunt is sponsored by the DVFD and the Dorchester American Legion Post 264.

The Times wishes our readers a happy Easter. 

May you and your families enjoy the holiday together, as you remember the many the blessings bestowed upon our little corner of Nebraska and our country. 

“He has risen!”

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

UPDATED: Severe Weather Threatens Tonight

Radar at 10:15 p.m. on April 1, 2015.

(UPDATED: Keep alert by watching the area radar right here. A severe thunderstorm watch has been issued until 1 a.m.)

It appears the first severe thunderstorm of 2015 will make its way to our neck of the Plains today, the first day of April.

According to the complex computer models, it appears thunderstorms could hit the Dorchester area around 8 p.m.  

Chances for severe storms will remain until at least 6 a.m. Thursday morning.

Please make note: These thunderstorms could bring hail and damaging winds. 

Today's high temperature is expected to be 85 degrees in Dorchester, with a low temperature of 46.

More seasonable temperatures will return tomorrow, April 2.  

For Dorchester and Saline County's complete 10-day forecast, click here.