Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Dorchester On Ice


This photo, sent to us by a loyal reader, shows Dorchester this morning as the village was covered by a glaze of ice.  Sunrise temperatures hovered around 25 degrees, as the ice followed more than 48 hours of rain, mist and ice storms.


Monday, January 16, 2017

Dorchester's Legion Buffalo Feed Set For Jan. 29


(UPDATE: The Skalak Band will be providing entertainment at this special event.) 

January is a long month with few highlights.  

But Sunday, January 29, will bring one of those highlights in Dorchester.

It is that time of year when hungry area residents will flock to Dorchester's main street to get their fill of the best buffalo served in southeast Nebraska.

As in past years, the Dorchester American Legion Post 264 is making plans to host its annual January buffalo feed. 

The luncheon will begin at noon on Jan. 29 and continue until 2 p.m. Then, an evening dinner will begin at 5 p.m. and continue until 7 p.m., or until supplies last. 

Meal includes buffalo roast, barbecue and meatloaf, with homemade sides, bread and beverage.

The event raises money for community projects and scholarships provided by the Legion. There will be multiple raffles, pickle cards and a cash bar. Also, lunch specials will be available Monday, Jan. 30, at the Legion if all the food isn't sold Sunday.

You will want to come early for this very popular event, as finding parking can be difficult.  Bring your friends!

Sunday, January 15, 2017

NEWS ROUNDUP: Soup Luncheon, Polka Party Set For Jan. 22


Lots of things currently trending in the Dorchester area...

* Dorchester Methodist Church Soup Luncheon Is Jan. 22:  Next Sunday, Jan. 22, will bring the Dorchester United Methodist Church's annual soup and sandwich luncheon.  The ladies will be serving from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. On the menu will be chicken noodle soup, chili, clam chowder and liver dumpling soup, along with sandwiches, relishes and many desserts.  The entertainment will be provided by Jim Sprague. Everyone is welcome.

* Polka At Dorchester Legion Hall On Jan. 22:  Also on next Sunday, Jan. 22, Dorchester's Legion Hall will be rocking -- or perhaps we should say polka-ing. The Brad Husak Combo will be playing from 3 p.m. until 7 p.m.  Covered dish dinner will be served. Again, everyone is welcome! The cover is only $5.  

* Dorchester Girls Basketball Has Won Last 7 Of 8 Games:  With the exception of their loss last week at Friend, the DHS girls basketball team is on a notable surge.  The Class D-2 Lady Longhorns have won the last seven of eight ball games, handily defeating High Plains, East Butler and Sterling in recent days.  Under the tutelage of head coach and Dorchester alum Brandon Bruha, DHS' record now stands at 8-5 overall.  Up this week are two Class C-2 schools -- Cross County (at DHS on Tuesday) and Shelby-Rising City in an away contest.  (Click here for the York News-Times story on DHS' win over High Plains. Click here for the Friend paper's story on DHS' six game win streak.) The Crossroads Conference tournament begins in York on Saturday and continues into the following week.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Ice-ageddon? Major Storm Could Paralyze Area Sunday, Monday


(UPDATE: As of 10:30 a.m. Sunday:

*ICE STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 3 AM CST TUESDAY...

* TIMING...PERIODS OF LIGHT FREEZING RAIN ARE EXPECTED TODAY.
THE FREEZING RAIN INTENSITY IS EXPECTED TO INCREASE LATE
TONIGHT AND INTO MONDAY MORNING. TEMPERATURES WILL CLIMB TO
NEAR OR SLIGHTLY ABOVE FREEZING ON MONDAY MORNING INTO THE
AFTERNOON POTENTIALLY ALLOWING FOR A MIX OF FREEZING RAIN AND
RAIN. THE INTENSITY WILL DIMINISH BY MONDAY AFTERNOON WITH THE
LIGHT MIX POTENTIALLY ENDING AS A PERIOD OF LIGHT SNOW MONDAY
NIGHT.

* ICE ACCUMULATIONS...SIGNIFICANT ICE ACCUMULATIONS OF A QUARTER
TO HALF INCH OR MORE ARE POSSIBLE FROM THIS STORM SYSTEM.

* IMPACT...HAZARDOUS OR IMPOSSIBLE TRAVEL DUE TO ICY ROADS.
SIDEWALKS AND PARKING LOTS WILL BE VERY SLIPPERY AS WELL.
SCATTERED POWER OUTAGES ARE POSSIBLE. DAMAGE TO TREE LIMBS AND
OTHER OUTDOOR OBJECTS IS POSSIBLE.

* OTHER PRECIPITATION TYPES...SLEET MAY MIX WITH THE FREEZING
RAIN AT TIMES...WITH LITTLE OR NO ACCUMULATION EXPECTED. A
DUSTING OF SNOW MAY FALL AS THE STORM ENDS ON MONDAY NIGHT...
AGAIN WITH LITTLE OR NO ACCUMULATION EXPECTED.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

AN ICE STORM WARNING MEANS SEVERE WINTER WEATHER CONDITIONS ARE
EXPECTED OR OCCURRING. SIGNIFICANT AMOUNTS OF ICE ACCUMULATIONS
WILL MAKE TRAVEL DANGEROUS OR IMPOSSIBLE. TRAVEL IS STRONGLY
DISCOURAGED. COMMERCE WILL LIKELY BE SEVERELY IMPACTED. IF YOU
MUST TRAVEL... KEEP AN EXTRA FLASHLIGHT... FOOD... AND WATER IN
YOUR VEHICLE IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY. ICE ACCUMULATIONS AND WINDS
WILL LIKELY LEAD TO SNAPPED POWER LINES AND FALLING TREE BRANCHES
THAT ADD TO THE DANGER.)

Before it even arrives, some are calling it "Ice-ageddon." 

A storm system that is brewing along the west coast could cause big problems for the Midwest early next week. Cathy Zapotocny is a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Omaha and says there is a lot of concern with this storm system because it packs a lot of moisture.  The temperature in Nebraska is very cold right now and we have a potential of a wintry mix of precipitation, icing and snow.

Zapotocny says, “The storm system will be affecting the area later on Sunday, into Monday and Monday night. That would be the time frame we are most concerned with and that is when the storm system would be coming in and that is when the greatest amount of influx of moisture and the potential for that icing and snow accumulations will be coming in.  Parts of the area will see rain but the icing is what we are most concerned about.”

She says significant icing means a half-inch or more. This system could impact a wide area, including the Dorchester area.

Some weather models show icing is expected in eastern Nebraska with snowfall in the central and western parts of the state.

Stay tuned to the Dorchester area weather forecast, available here on the Times.

Developing...

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Saline Co. Residents Can Now Get Local Emergency Alerts Sent To Phone


Dorchester residents and others living in Saline County are now eligible to receive emergency alert sent to their phones or other electronic device.

The service is being offered by Saline, Jefferson and Gage Counties.

Blue Rivers Basin Alerts will provide emergency alerts and severe weather warnings that could directly impact you and your family.

Emergency officials are utilizing this system because many households no longer have traditional land-based telephone lines. 

The system, powered by AlertSense, is intended to be used for emergency alerts, as well as non-emergency incidents that may have significant impacts to residents. Emergency alerts could be related to specific hazards that require some kind of action be taken such as evacuation, shelter in place, boil water orders, etc. 

Non-emergency alerts could include significant transportation problems with prolonged impacts or significant ongoing police or fire activity. This list is not meant to be all inclusive, and demonstrates that this system will not be used for routine information. 

In addition to receiving information on your wireless device, you may also receive notification on your land telephone line (if you have one) depending on the type of incident or event. 

These alerts are provided free of charge, however standard text messaging rates and other charges may apply.

To sign up for free, simply click here.

Monday, January 9, 2017

What Could Have Been: Major Dorchester Business Ideas That Failed


From time to time, this blog has examined Dorchester's business history.  

For example, a while back we looked at Dorchester's business scene in the post-World War II years.

Dorchester's history is replete with hundreds of mom-and-pop businesses -- small operations.  Some thrived for decades or still exist today.  Others didn't even make it a year.  


Many of our readers could name some of those former businesses right now.

But did you know at the turn of last century, Dorchester was on the brink of being home to some major businesses -- at least in concept? 


Had those businesses been successful, they would have turned into major area employers and likely shaped Dorchester's climate of commerce for at least the 20th century.


In a publication called "Obsolete American Securities and Corporations, Volume 2," the Times staff located the following proposed business from Dorchester that didn't quite get off the ground in the first decade of the 1900s:

  • Dorchester Butter and Cheese Co.
  • Dorchester Grain and Live Stock Co.
  • Dorchester Telephone Co.
  • Buntin Mining and Coal Co.
We look at the history books and wonder what might have been. 

But we also take time to pause and be thankful for the success stories Dorchester has produced. After all, being home of the nation's 61st largest cooperative isn't too shabby.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

NEWS ROUNDUP: DHS Girls Win Sixth Consecutive Game


Here's what is trending in our area:

DHS Girls Win Six Straight: Don't look now, but Dorchester's lady Longhorns basketball team has won six straight games -- just as 8-4 Friend prepares to host DHS this Tuesday, Jan. 10.  The Dorchester girls got off to a rocky start, losing to their first four opponents (only one of which was a fellow Class D-2 school, and that was top-ranked Exeter-Milligan).  Under the tutelage of head coach Brandon Bruha, DHS has turned it around, most recently beating Sterling by 52-30 this past Thursday, which came on the heels of winning the Weeping Water Holiday Tournament.  The Lady Longhorns have a favorable schedule ahead, as only Class D-1 Friend and Class D-2 Hampton have winning records as of today.  If Dorchester's girls play hard and smart, the team could easily win 14 or 15 games this season and be a real contender in D-2.

Saline County Pheasants Forever Banquet Is Jan. 28:  Saline County Chapter Pheasants Forever banquet will be Jan. 28 in Willber's Sokol Hall. 5:30 p.m. doors open; 7 p.m. meal.  $60/membership and meal, $20/spouse, $10/youth. Jim Aschenbach, 402-477-6227.

Famous DeWitt Agribusiness Suffers Major Fire: A feed mill at Waldo Genetics in DeWitt was damaged during a fire on Friday night, according to the Lincoln Journal Star.  The business' feed mill was destroyed and the business is contacting others to find alternative sources for animal feed, but that it will not affect business. Waldo Genetics was known as Waldo Farms until 2014, when it rebranded.

Orv's Grocery In Friend Closes:  The Friend newspaper reports that Orv’s Grocery in Friend closed in December, leaving the town of over 1,000 people -- and 25 minutes from a major box store -- without a grocery store.  Owner Vickie Himmelberg said she closed the store down on Dec. 17. She and her husband, Brian, purchased the store from his father, Orville Himmelberg in 1994. In recent years the store struggled to attract customers, which when added to increasing utility bills, forced the Himmelbergs to close up shop, despite their efforts to attract customers.  Orv's owned a grocery store in Dorchester, as well, until the late 1980s, before the Dorchester mainstreet store re-opened as Torson's Grocery.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Dorchester Loses Community Stalwart Don Eret At Age 85


Longtime Dorchester citizen Don Eret was a lot of things: scholar, veteran, rocket engineer, farmer, state lawmaker, activist, community volunteer and leader.  But to most of us, he was simply known as Don -- a man who loved Dorchester.

Don passed away Wednesday at the age of 85.  His funeral will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 9, 2017, at the Dorchester United Methodist Church with Pastor Paixao Baptista officiating. Interment is in the Dorchester Cemetery with military services. Visitation will be from 1-8 p.m. on Sunday at Lauber-Moore Funeral Home, Friend. Family will greet relatives and friends from 6-8 p.m. Sunday at the funeral home and one hour prior to the service on Monday. Memorials have been established to the Dorchester Alumni Association for scholarships. 

His obituary follows.

Donald Lee Eret, was born May 31, 1931 on a farm south of Dorchester to Adolph and Emma (Nejdl) Eret, the oldest of three children and of Dorchester, passed away suddenly, on Wednesday, January 4, 2017, at the age of 85 years 7 months and 5 days. As a young boy, he attended country school south of Dorchester and graduated with the Class of 1948 from Dorchester High School. Don furthered his education at the University of Nebraska, and completed his BS Degree in Agriculture in 1953. While attending the University, he was united in marriage to Lois Naomi Arnold on December 22, 1950, at the United Methodist Church in Dorchester and to this union three children, Joyce, Lee and Larry were born. 

Don joined the US Army and during his service, he served on the staff at the Ordinance Guided Missile School in Huntsville, AL where Don and his family lived for 17 years. When Don was discharged from the service in 1956, he went to work for Brown-Teledyne Corporation as a mechanical-aerospace engineer. This position included providing engineering services to NASA on the Saturn V booster moon landing program. 


In 1970 Don and Lois returned to Nebraska and took over the family farm in 1972. Don was a long and faithful member of the United Methodist Church of Dorchester. He was also a member of the Dorchester American Legion Post, WFLA Tabor Lodge and the Farmer’s Union.


He was active in the American Agriculture movement and participated in the tractorcade to Washington in 1978 when several thousand farmers drove tractors to Washington, DC in response to the US ag policies. Don organized supporters to keep the Nebraska Testing Laboratory active, which became the official designated tractor testing station for the US.


From 1983 to 1987, Don served in the Nebraska State Legislature. He was active in the Saline County Democrats and was honored with the Nebraska Democratic Party Hall of Fame Award in 2011. 


He had kind heart and a smile for everyone he met. He was an excellent care-giver to Lois for many years. He had a special love for his grandchildren and enjoyed spending time with them and making them laugh.


He is survived by his daughter and son-in-law, Joyce and Bobby Boyd, Madison, AL, sons and daughters-in-law, Lee and Janice Eret, Lincoln, Larry and Betty Eret, Goehner, nine grandchildren and spouses, Brian and Melissa TeGantvoort, Garth TeGantvoort, Jessie and Josh Franklin, Michelle and Mitch McCarthy, Lindsey Eret and Jordan Wilmes, Kelli and Brian Kohout, Nikki Avery, Jamie and Jeff Bishop, Andrea Eret and fiancĂ© Jack Classen, 17 great-grandchildren, sisters and brother-in-law, Doris Richtarik, Wilber, Gladys and Ted Schmidt, Fremont, sister-in-law, Belva Johnson, York, numerous nieces, nephews and a host of other relatives and friends. 


Don was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, Lois in 2015, grandson, Dale Boyd, brothers-in-law, Dale Arnold, Chuck Johnson and Gene Richtarik.


Condolences to the family may be sent by clicking here.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Looking Back: Dorchester's Secretive Organizations Of The Past


This week, the Dorchester Times received a scathing e-mail from a critic who has issues with our blog's anonymous nature.

"I don't like the secretness [sic] of your publication," the writer said.  "If your [sic] so proud of your little blog and you think you can get so much done in our town, come out and let us know who is behind the Dorchester Times."

OK. Thanks for your input.

The six staff members of the Dorchester Times have been anonymous since the blog's founding in April 2007.  We've lost only one member, who passed away a few years ago.  We have done just fine cloaked in our secrecy. 

Dorchester's history is rich with groups whose members remained anonymous while staying focused on the community's greater good.

One such group were the Dorchester Freemasons, who were active during the early 1900s. The Dorchester Freemasons met on the second floor of the building that now houses City Hall and Donna's Hair Creations. 

According to the Masons' website, "the Freemasonry is the oldest and largest worldwide fraternity dedicated to the Brotherhood of Man under the Fatherhood of a Supreme Being."  

When the old Dorchester school building was razed in 2008, Dorchester's residents received a history lesson on the Freemasons, who laid the cornerstone of the 1927 building.  Click here for our story on the opening of the 1927 cornerstone.

Another organization with ties to Dorchester's early past is the Independent Order of Odd Fellows (I.O.O.F.), which was concerned with local civic and political matters.  Dorchester's I.O.O.F. Lodge No. 74 was founded May 13, 1879.  While not as secretive as the Freemasons, the Odd Fellows didn't exactly publicize their membership.

The purpose of Dorchester Odd Fellows' lodge was to "care for the sick, bury the dead, and care for the widows and orphans."  Dorchester's I.O.O.F. Lodge No. 74 was active until 1973.

No one will confuse the Dorchester Times with the Freemasons, the Odd Fellows or any of the world's other elite secret organizations.  But in our own, secretive way, this blog continues to serve a purpose and do some good.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Soup Supper This Thursday At Dorchester School, 5-8 P.M.


The Dorchester Elementary Parents Advisory Committee (EPAC) and Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) will once again be hosting a free-will donation soup supper during the home basketball games with Sterling High School this Thursday, Jan. 5, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. 

On the menu will be chili and chicken noodle soup, along with sandwiches and dessert provided by the FBLA members.

Soup donations and volunteers to help work the event are still requested. 

Those interested should text Amanda Cerny at (402) 720-8640, or Facebook message her by clicking here.

EPAC is overseen by parents and the school to help DPS teachers and students with classroom supplies, while also advancing the academic pursuits of Dorchester's elementary students. 

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Dorchester Offers Affordable Options For New Year's Celebration


If you are looking to ring in the new year like a champ, you couldn't do much better than celebrating the arrival of 2017 in Dorchester.  

And it's much more affordable than the big city prices.

New Year's Eve will bring many party and dining options to Dorchester.  Here are the public celebrations we know of:
  • Big T's BBQ Pit Stop:  The east side of Dorchester's main street will be swinging on Dec. 31, that's for sure.  Big T's will be hosting Panama Road.  In addition, the restaurant will be serving a special buffet, including prime rib, BBQ meats, and seafood with the fixings.  Drink specials all day, we are told.
  • Dorchester American Legion: Dorchester's Legion Hall will be rocking -- or perhaps we should say polka-ing. The Brad Husak Combo will be playing at the Legion's New Year's Eve dance.  The Legion's doors will open at 8 p.m. and the music will go beyond midnight.  The cover is only $5.  
  • City Slickers: On the west side of main street, City Slickers will be serving prime rib; steak and shrimp; and New York Strip.  And you can add Crab Legs to any special.  Full salad bar will be available, as well as desserts and complimentary champagne.  Free pool and jukebox all night long.  The establishment is accepting reservations. Regular menu also available.
Happy New Year's Eve from the Dorchester Times.

Friday, December 30, 2016

DHS Girls Basketball Takes First Place In Holiday Tourney


Here are the scores from Dorchester's Dec. 29-30 holiday basketball tournament action at Weeping Water.  

The DHS girls' team took first place.


Girls


Round 1: DHS 41, CEDAR BLUFFS 36


Round 2 (First Place Game): DHS 47, WEEPING WATER 25


****************************


Boys



Round 1: WEEPING WATER 55, DHS 28
Dorchester 11 --28 
Weeping Water 11 16 17 11 --55 
Dorchester--Cervantes 4, Cochnar 3, Havlat 8, Hoffman 3, Nelson 6, Vielma 2, Youngblood 4, Zahourek 2.
Weeping Water--Garner 14, A. Heath 7, M. Heath 14, May 4, Brammier 11, Smith 2, Patton 3.

Round 2: McCOOL JUNCTION 56, DORCHESTER 30


Dorchester 6 11 2 11 -- 30 

McCool Junction 19 12 12 13 -- 56 
Dorchester--Stats not available.
McCool Junction--Cogswell 23, Forman 7, Hobbs 4, Perry 12, Gonnerman 1, Green 7, Stutzman 2.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Looking Back: The Holidays In Dorchester ... 70 Years Ago

Christmas decorations on the third floor of the old school.

Seventy years ago, as World War II operations were winding down, the holidays brought lots of hustle and bustle to Dorchester.

The Dorchester Times staff examined Christmas-time issues of The Dorchester Star newspaper from 1946. Here are some of the activities on the Dorchester calendar the week before Christmas:
  • Dorchester Activities Club:  The Dorchester Activities Club, which met once a month, had 68 residents attend the December 1946 meeting to share a turkey dinner prepared by "the ladies" and then to hear from a guest speaker discuss the future of "atomic energy."
  • American Legion: On Dec. 15, 1946, the Dorchester American Legion Post 264 held a trap shoot for the public at the J. Owen Potter farm.  Pheasants were at "such a high premium" that year that it was decided shooting at clay pigeons made more sense than a hunt.  On Dec. 19, the Legion and Auxiliary held a Christmas covered dish supper for the community (just as they did in 2016).
  • Dorchester Quilting Club:  The Quilting Club enjoyed a Christmas party at the home of Mrs. Lillie Arnold.
  • Friendly Nabor Club:  The 20 members of the Friendly Nabor Project Club met at the home of Mrs. Sabina Potter on Dec. 11 for lunch and had a exchange of homemade gifts.  They announced the January meeting would be hosted by Mrs. Hans Weber and Mrs. Jay Younkin.
  • Triple A Club:  Mrs. John Freeouf was hostess of the Triple A Club.  It was reported that "Miss Myrtle Briker was high at bridge."
  • Dorchester Bridge Club:  The Bridge Club met Dec. 17, 1946, at the home of C.C. Whitcomb.
  • Dorchester School:  Dorchester's 5th and 6th graders decorated their classrooms for Christmas with posters of Christmas scenes, as well as poinsettias and candles and a Christmas tree.  Jack Bruha brought a new 1947 calendar for his classroom.  In high school, the DHS Pep Club girls decorated the hallways and student assembly, and they "dressed a tree placed in the upper hall."
  • Dorchester Library:  The Dorchester Public Library was open on Saturdays in December 1946 from 7-9 p.m. on Saturdays and from 2:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m. on Tuesdays.
  • Methodist Church:  The Dorchester Methodist Church's young people went caroling around town on Dec. 21, 1946.  The "Junior Department" of the UMC Sunday School held a pageant "A Little Child" on Christmas Eve.  The adult choir practiced on Dec. 19.
  • L.M. Club:  The weekly L.M. Club (we don't know what L.M. stood for) met at the home of Mrs. William Sehnert, as Madames Earl Moser and Henry Andelt received traveling prizes.
  • Women's Club:  The Dorchester Women's Club held their weekly meeting on the afternoon of Dec. 18 at the Community Hall.
These were just some of the holiday events we found taking place in Dorchester seventy years ago.

How has our community changed over the years? How is it still the same? Consider sharing this with your children and asking for their opinions.

Monday, December 26, 2016

NEWS ROUNDUP: Three New DPS Board Members Set To Begin Terms


Here's what is trending in Dorchester right now:

  • New School Board Members Will Begin Duties In January:  At the Dorchester Board of Education Meeting held earlier this month, longtime DPS Board members were honored by Superintendent Daryl Schrunk.  Retiring school board members are Brad Havlat (20 years of service); Mark Bors (14 years of service); and Lindsey Zoubek (8 years of service).  Newly elected board members -- Neal Pavlish, Mike Hatfield and Kelli Schweitzer -- will begin their duties in January.  The Board's next meeting will be Jan. 9 at 7 p.m. at the DPS School Library.  It is open to all school district patrons.
  • Opponents Call DHS Administrators Regarding Longhorn Athletes: It is reported that following a December basketball game, officials from the Bruning-Davenport-Shickley School called to commend DHS girls' basketball players for their attitudes, sportsmanship and community service.  "From their smiles and greetings," to their efforts to pick up after the game, BDS told DHS administrators that they were impressed by the character of DHS' girls.
  • DHS To Buy New Wrestling "Under Mat": (Correction: A reader clarified an earlier version of this summary.) Although there are only two DHS wrestlers this season, the DPS School Board recently voted 6-0 to approve the purchase of a new mat to place under the school's wrestling mats.  The cost will be shared 50/50 with the youth wrestling programs, according to DPS Board minutes.
  • Overheard In City Slickers: Last week, we overheard a local resident talking about the Dorchester School's advertisement in The Crete News in an effort to get more option-enrollment students.  This individual suggested that instead of spending advertising money, why not offer current DPS educators a $200/month stipend to live in Dorchester -- especially those with children?  We've heard worse ideas.

Need Year-End Tax Deductions? Consider Dorchester's Splash Pad Fund


The Dorchester Community Foundation Fund has targeted a splash pad as the next project. 

During the holiday season, when many give donations to their favorite charities, readers may want to consider donating to the Foundation for this special project.

We are told more than $30,000 has already been raised for the splash pad (unofficial numbers), but around $150,000 in total will be needed.

A splash pad is a small water park without a pool. It includes several water fountain or spray type features to help cool anyone off on those hot summer days. There are no lifeguard expenses, and it shuts off automatically when there is no activity. Splash pads are a popular, less expensive way for adding summer fun.
  
According to several websites we've seen, splash pads can be elaborate with water features such as a rainbow (semicircular pipe shower) or a tree shower. 

Some splash pads feature movable nozzles similar to those found on fire trucks to allow users to spray others.  These splash pads are often surfaced in textured non-slip concrete or in crumb rubber.

Dorchester's splash pad would be a larger splash pad, we are told, with the ability to expand it even more in the future.  

The project is expected to be located in the City Park and could begin construction as early as summer 2017 if funding is adequate, our sources tell us.

Donations to the Dorchester Community Foundation Fund are accepted anytime, made payable to the Dorchester Foundation Community Fund and mailed to: 

Dorchester Community Foundation Fund
c/o Peg Bergmeyer
101 Washington Ave.
Dorchester, NE  68343.

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

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Note To Dorchester's Village Officials: Follow McCool's Lead


Interesting story in the Lincoln Journal Star this morning.  We hope Dorchester's elected board members, including the two newest, read it.

According to the Lincoln paper, when the Dorchester-headquartered Farmer's Cooperative put up new silos in 2012 in McCool Junction, McCool's city government "used a boost in tax increment financing revenue to give the entire village a facelift -- redoing streets and sewers, refurbishing parks, even acquiring land."

The Journal Star reports that "when a redevelopment project adds value to a 'substandard and blighted' property, TIF allows cities to capture the additional property taxes on that added value to help pay for related improvements that have some public benefit, generally using a bond that is repaid over 15 years."

Nebraska had 766 TIF projects as of last year.  That's a big number of community improvements.  Dorchester should be in that mix.  

Of course, a good attorney will be needed to walk the village board through the process. But just think of the opportunities:

  •  Maybe a new apartment or row-house building on the site of an abandoned, neglected home. (The one on 9th Street comes to mind.)
  • Perhaps a refurbished commercial building on main street.
  • Or what about the next time the Farmers' Cooperative does another major, $1-million-plus project in town, like any one of the silos that have gone up here in the past half dozen years?

You need to give people a financial incentive to spend big dollars in small communities.  And when they do, our village should be capturing those extra property tax dollars (created by increased property values) to benefit our community's quality of life.

Dorchester's elected leaders need to start getting creative.  Examining the use of TIF in Dorchester might be a good start to help improve our community's businesses, street conditions, and housing stock.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Country Star Jerrod Neiman Coming To Dorchester; Tickets Available Now


(UPDATE: Tickets for the June 3 Jerrod Neiman concert in downtown Dorchester are now available for purchase at City Slickers in Dorchester. There will be a limited number of tickets available for this event, according to organizers, so get yours soon. More information can be obtained by calling 402-946-2171.)

Some of you may recall those amazing street dances Dorchester used to have 25 or 30 years ago. Well, they're coming back -- in a big way -- in another form and fashion, and with a big headline act.

Recently, Dorchester's City Slickers restaurant announced that it will be hosting the first annual "City Lights, Country Nights" street party in downtown Dorchester, Saturday, June 3, 2017. 

City Slickers promises this will be "an amazing event" featuring country music singing star Jerrod Neiman.

Ticket information will be provided in the following weeks, according to City Slickers' Facebook posts.

For those who don't know, Niemann is a country music singer and songwriter.  He has released one single and three albums: Judge Jerrod and the Hung Jury (2010), Free the Music (2012), and High Noon (2014). 

These albums have produced a combined six Top 40 entries on the Hot Country Songs and Country Airplay charts, including the number 1 singles "Lover, Lover" (a cover of Sonia Dada's "You Don't Treat Me No Good") and "Drink to That All Night". 

He has also co-written three singles for Garth Brooks: the Chris LeDoux tribute "Good Ride Cowboy", as well as "That Girl Is a Cowboy" and "Midnight Sun". Jamey Johnson, Neal McCoy, Julie Roberts, Flynnville Train, and Zona Jones have also recorded Niemann's songs.

Developing...

Friday, December 16, 2016

NEWS ROUNDUP: Dan Nerud Selected To Help Lead Nebraska Corn Growers


Here's what is trending in Dorchester...

* Dorchester Farmer Elected V.P. For Nebraska Corn Growers:  Dan Nerud of Dorchester has been elected the new vice president of the Nebraska Corn Growers Association.  The group, which is the premier legislative and membership advocate for Nebraska’s corn growers, made the announcement earlier this week following its annual meeting in Lincoln.

* Dustin Nelson Named To Class C1 Football Honorable Mention List:  Who says Dorchester guys can't hang with Class C1 football teams? Dorchester's Dustin Nelson, a DHS senior, has been awarded an honorable mention spot for his efforts as a starter for the Milford-Dorchester football team in 2016.  That is according to the Omaha World-Herald. Way to go, Dustin. See the full list for all classes here.

* Exeter's Town Board Considers Paving Rest Of Town's Streets:  At its board meeting earlier this month, the Exeter town board discussed a $1.4 million plan that will finish the paving of unpaved streets in that community, according to the Friend Sentinel. The Exeter board is also planning a downtown improvement project that includes LED lighting for its street lamps.

Scores From DHS' Dec. 15 Basketball Games


Here are the scores from the Dec. 15 DHS basketball games:

Boys: 

OSCEOLA 56, DORCHESTER 32
Osceola 21 16 11 --56 
Dorchester 10 --32 
Osceola--Stats not available.
Dorchester--Vielma 5, Havlat 15, Cervantes 3, Nelson 9.

Girls:

DORCHESTER 50, OSCEOLA 29
Osceola 15 --29 
Dorchester 16 11 14 --50 
Osceola--Stats not available.
Dorchester--Stats not available.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Dorchester's Citizen Of The Year: Penny Keller


The Dorchester Times is proud to name Penny Keller as its "Dorchester Citizen of the Year."

Keller is receiving this honor based largely on her efforts to clean up neglected properties throughout Dorchester.  Many small towns in Nebraska -- from Wymore to Lyman -- have neglected to be proactive in this area, and it shows.

One reader told us: "I’d like to nominate Penny Keller.  She cares about the community of Dorchester.  She is a loyal and tireless citizen who wants to make our wonderful village an even a better place.  She has passion for Dorchester."

In the summer of 2016, Keller was hired by the village board as Dorchester's new nuisance abatement and code compliance officer to ensure that residents and other property owners are keeping their properties up to community standards and ordinances.  

Keller, who is working as a contract employee, started her duties in early August, according to official documents.  Her job is to help ensure the continuation of property clean-up notices and enforcement originally initiated by SENDD.

Within just weeks of Keller starting her job, residents noticed the difference. For example, one clean-up of commercial property south of the city park received rave reviews.  The Times received several e-mails and online comments praising the village for requiring action.

"It's good to see property owners willingly and promptly complying with the village requests for clean-up," we wrote in August.  "They, too, should be applauded for their efforts. Those who ignore the warnings and requests should face consequences."

Run-down, neglected, and unsafe pieces of property trample the rights of those who live nearby.  Moreover, they harm Dorchester's public image, which matters if we want to grow our village.  Approaching people to tell them it's time to clean up their mess -- whether in person, by phone or by mail -- is no easy task.  We commend Keller for the work she has done over the past several months. 

If you suspect a property in Dorchester is non-compliant with village standards, call 402-418-8670 or to i.comply@outlook.com.

Keller has also volunteered for several years by serving on the Dorchester Planning Commission.  This commission is charged with guiding village efforts to grow and improve Dorchester's quality of life.  Among the actions the commission undertakes is dealing with zoning issues.

Our previous Citizen of the Year winners include Carol Olson, Dale Hayek, and Bill Velder

Honorable mentions submitted to the Times (Dorchester.Times@gmail.com) this year and in years past include:  Peg Bergmeyer, Lyle Weber, Greg Tyser, Todd Axline, all members of the Dorchester Volunteer Fire Dept. and Rescue, Ben Haufle, Brent Zoubek, Kyleigh Jo Lewis, Phil Weber, Steve Ottmann, Scott Pohl, Eric Stehlik, Joyce Karl, Adam Briggs, Rob "Bert" Parks, John Bruha, Mark Bors, Tom Cerny, Amanda Cerny, Julie and Joe Holly of "The Well", LJ Barley, Bob and Marva Kasl, and Ryan Voelker.

Congratulations to Penny Keller, our Times' Citizen of 2016!

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Scores From Dec. 13 DHS Basketball Games


Here are the scores from the Dec. 13 Dorchester basketball games:
Boys:
HARVARD 42, DORCHESTER 24
Dorchester 10 --24 
Harvard 15 10 --42 
Dorchester--Stats not available.
Harvard--Brand 1, Scott 1, Nieman 12, Alvarez 11, Callahan 7, Marshall 8, Wilkerson 2.
Girls:
Dorchester 39, Harvard 30

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Tragic Case In Crete: Woman And Her Three Kids Living In Storage Unit, Car


The story from York earlier this week (see below) was evidence that the world has changed in recent years, and not necessarily for the better.  

More proof of that fact came from Crete yesterday, when news broke that a woman arrested in town had been living with her children in a storage unit and out of a car.

According to the Lincoln Journal Star, when Crete police arrested the 29-year-old mother last week on a Lancaster County warrant, officers found her three youngest children -- ages 5, 3 and 2 -- "in the back of an SUV, filthy, half-clothed and each holding a stolen boxer puppy."

From what we can gather, all the children had different fathers.  (Yes, it matters, which is why we've included that in this post.)

The Journal Star's updated story reports: "The Crete woman arrested last week has five children according to court records. Her oldest daughter, 12, lived with her father at the time. The woman is not named here to protect the identity of her kids.  Her second oldest, a 9-year-old boy, has missed school for days or weeks and bounced between Crete and Lincoln school districts seven times since 2013, according to court records."

According to the Lincoln newspaper, "School officials said his mother appeared intoxicated and unable to follow conversations. ...  The boy spent days in intensive care this summer after he nearly lost his left arm when it became badly infected, and court records indicate his mother neglected to take him to follow-up medical appointments after doctors put pins in his arm to fix a broken bone.

"Crete police caught up with her Thursday as she dropped her 9-year-old son off at school after he'd been truant for days. In the back seat of her trash-filled SUV, officers found her youngest three children holding puppies.  The 5- and 3-year-old girls each had one bare foot and the 2-year-old girl was naked from the waist down and wrapped in a blanket, according to court documents. ... Police arrested the woman on a misdemeanor warrant for pawning property by a convicted person and cited her for possession of stolen property, theft and child abuse.

"The children have been placed with their fathers. Their mother was in Saline County jail Monday evening."