Monday, December 11, 2017

New Lights Coming To Dorchester Ball Field

Just in time for the 2018 baseball, softball and football seasons, we can report that new lights are definitely coming to Dorchester's Nerud Field. (Click on the picture at the right for a closer view.)

Work started in recent days, removing the half-century old lights and poles surrounding the baseball diamond, dugouts and snack shack.

The Dorchester Village Board recently applied for grants to help fund the new lighting.

This will be the first major improvements made to the town's shared football/baseball/softball facilities since 2009, when the new snack shack and restrooms were installed.

Nerud Field is named after Miles Nerud, who brought organized little league baseball to Dorchester in the 1950s.  

Nerud served as one of the founding fathers of the Seward-Fillmore-Saline (SFS) League in 1957, which is approximately when Nerud Field's original lighting was installed.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

NEWS ROUNDUP: Zoubek, Plouzek All-State Honorable Mentions In Volleyball

  • Two Longhorns Earn All-State Volleyball Honors: The Omaha World-Herald has named its Nebraska high school volleyball all-class teams and honorable mention selections.  Dorchester had two players named to its honorable mention rolls: Abby Plouzek and Jacee Zoubek.  Congrats to these Lady Longhorns for their accomplishments on the court. 
  • DHS Students Recognized For High Grades And Extracurricular Activities: Makenna Bird was recently recognized by the Nebraska School Activities Association for her high grades while being a key player for the Lady Longhorns volleyball squad and acting on the DHS stage.  Also earning honors from the NSAA was Nathan Cochnar for his grades and acting abilities.  To be eligible for the NSAA award, students must be a varsity player or play a significant role in an organizational activity, such as theater, all while holding a GPA of 3.7 or higher.
  • Dorchester's Burkey Farms Profiled By NET News:  Recently, Nebraska TV network, NET News, turned its attention to Dorchester's Burkey Farms and its efforts to grow organic crops, a $40 billion industry.  The NET story profiles Eric Thalken, whose wife is a member of the extended Burkey family.  The article says Thalken persuaded Burkey Farms to switch a weedy field to organic. And now, all 2,400 acres are making the transition.  Thalken told NET:  "Some of (this corn) is sold at $8.80, some of it’s sold at $9." That’s almost triple the current price for conventional corn.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Looking Back: The Holidays In Dorchester -- 71 Years Ago

Christmas decorations on the third floor of the old school.

Seventy-one years ago -- when World War II operations were winding down and a person's home community was often the center of his/her universe -- the Christmas season was a busy time for several organizations in 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 2017).
  • 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-one 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.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Dorchester FBLA Collecting Donations To Feed Area Needy

It's the season to show you care.

The Dorchester Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) chapter is asking you to help spread cheer this Christmas season by participating in the community canned food drive or the monetary collection for the backpack program.

Both are good causes that will benefit local residents.

You have until Dec. 21 to make your donation.

Please take donations to the Dorchester school business room.  

For questions, call (402) 946-2781.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Santa Comes To Dorchester This Saturday, 9 A.M.

Santa Claus is coming to Dorchester this weekend! 

And all kids -- if they've been nice -- are invited.

Santa will be arriving at the Dorchester Community Building at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 9 and staying until 11 a.m. 

The Dorchester Volunteer Fire Dept. will host the event, with help from other community supporters. 

There will be activities for the kids, in addition to telling Santa what they want for Christmas.

Admission is absolutely free.

Also, the staff of the Dorchester Times has noticed more Christmas decorations and lights appearing in and around town this year.

We want to know which Dorchester homes you think best reflect the Christmas and holiday spirit.  And we are taking your votes! 

Give us your nomination for best Christmas lights by Sunday, Dec. 17, by leaving it in the "comments section" of this post or by e-mailing your nomination to (Be sure to note the period between "Dorchester" and "Times.")

We will announce which displays received the most nominations the evening of Dec. 17.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

A Snowless Winter In Dorchester? Forecast Says It's True

Taken by a Dorchester reader Dec. 3.

With the recent warm spell, we had to ask: Are we in for a snowless winter? 

Could it be possible?

That is exactly what the long-range forecast for the Dorchester area is predicting, at least when it comes to accumulating amounts of the white stuff.

The Times staff gathered this weekend to study the 90-day forecast for Dorchester and the surrounding area.  

All the way through early March, the AccuWeather long-range forecast shows above-average temperatures, with just a few modest chances for ice and flurries.

In fact, the only time snow appeared in the 90-day outlook was January 20, when there are chances for a few wet and heavy flurries, as well as on Jan. 23, which should bring "a little snow."

Surprisingly, our staff did not spot any single-digit or teens for highs over the next three months.  

That may be too good to believe, so we're not holding our collective winter breath.

But when looking at the 90-day forecast, the coldest high temperatures we spotted were the mid-20s for highs.  And that was only for a handful of days.

Most days in December, January, and February will be 30 degrees and above, with a few days reaching 40s and even 50s.

So if you're dreaming of a white Christmas, or even a white January or February, it sounds like you may need to keep dreaming.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

DHS Basketball Teams Get Off To Tough Start Against Meridian

It is not the start Longhorn fans and players wanted.

The Dorchester High School basketball teams got off to a disappointing start Friday evening against two solid Meridian teams.

Dorchester's Lady Longhorns, coached by Brandon Bruha, are looking to improved from last seasons 11-13 record.  

Makenna Bird, a senior, will lead the attack this season for Dorchester after averaging 8.4 points last season. 

The Lady Longhorns lost four starters, and Coach Bruha says that they will look to a solid group of freshmen to contribute, according to the Lincoln Journal Star's pre-season coverage.
Photo credits: BJ Fictum

The DHS girls began the season against a very tough Meridian team last night, falling to the Mustangs by a 50-30 count.

Here were the scorers for Dorchester's girls: Creamer 2, A. Zoubek 11, Bird 8, Plovzek 4, J. Zoubek 3, Eberhardt 2.

The Lady Longhorns will attempt to get their first win Tuesday night, Dec. 5, against Diller-Odell.

Meanwhile, the Dorchester boys hope to see a more positive season after last year's struggles.  

The season didn't start as the Longhorns had hoped, as the Orange and Black Attack stumbled at Meridian, 54-29. 

Dorchester's boys will look to bounce back Tuesday, Dec. 5, at Diller-Odell.

To see the boys' schedule, click here.

For the girls' schedule, click here.

Friday, December 1, 2017

NEWS ROUNDUP: Winter Sports & Websites

Here is what is happening in the Dorchester area right now...
  • Winter Sports Season Begins Tonight:  Dorchester's girls and boys basketball teams open their seasons tonight, with a 6:00 p.m. girls tip-off at Meridian High School, and a 7:30 p.m. boys tip-off also at Meridian.  The DHS wrestling crew will begin their season at 9:00 a.m. Saturday morning with a tourney at Friend High School.
  • Dorchester Boosters Hosting Jr. High Tourney: The Dorchester Booster Club is hosting a junior high basketball tournament -- both boys and girls teams -- this Saturday, December 2.  Tip-off is 9:00 a.m. The Dorchester Booster Club is looking for volunteers.  If you can help out, let Deanna Bird know.
  • School Website To Be Updated Soon:  The website for Dorchester Public Schools will soon be getting a makeover, we are told.   Viewers will still be able to access it at  However, the appearance and format will be different.   Expect the new website to be up and running shortly after January 1. 
  • Alumni Basketball On Sundays:  Dorchester Alumni will have open gym at the Dorchester School from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. on Sundays from now until the Alumni Tournament.  We are told that alumni taking part in open gym Sundays should utilize the back doors (north side).  For questions, contact Jamie Karl at 402.418.1021.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

It's Official: Trash Collection Coming To All Dorchester Homes In January

Standardized garbage collection is officially coming to every home in Dorchester.

The Village of Dorchester this week officially announced that Waste Connections of Nebraska will be the only garbage company servicing Dorchester, starting January 1, 2018.

The monthly rate will be $14 per residence, unless you want more than one container.  Extra containers are $5 per month.  (To request an extra container, contact Village Hall.)  This fee will be part of your monthly utility bill, we are told, beginning with the February 1 bill.

Business rates vary based on size of dumpster.

Here are some things to know ahead of time:
  • Curbside garbage collections will begin every Friday, starting January 5.  (Due to the holiday week, that first pickup will actually be January 6.)  
  • Village officials are asking residents to leave their trash container within four feet from the street no later than dawn (6 a.m.) of collection day.
  • If you're moving, you must contact the village to let them know when to discontinue service, otherwise you'll continue to be charged.
  • Also, if you need additional containers, call ahead to request them.  Extra garbage bags are not allowed alongside the trash containers.
  • Any correspondence with the trash company must be mad through the village government.
  • If you're currently using another company and have paid in advance, be sure to call them to stop service and request a refund.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Dorchester's New Rescue Squad Is Now In Service

This month brought good news to the community of Dorchester and area residents who depend on the village's first responders.

The Dorchester Volunteer Fire Department's new 99-2 rescue squad is now in service. 

The ambulance was paid with funds from the village government, as well as with help from a USDA Rural Development grant of $132,000 from USDA.

The new 2017 ambulance cost more than $230,000, according to estimates.

The upgraded ambulance will provide a significant boost to the rescue team's capabilities, according to insiders.

Also this month, Dorchester's all-volunteer fire and rescue department held its officer elections. 

DVFD officers for 2018 are:
  • Fire Chief- Brant Pracheil; 
  • Assistant Fire Chief- Todd Axline;
  • Rescue Captain- Matt Steuk;
  • Assistant Rescue Captain- Cory Schlueter; and
  • Secretary/Treasurer- Chad Tuttle.
Hats off to our community's first responders and its leaders for serving Dorchester and its surrounding countryside.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Cougar Spotted In Nearby York County: Report

Since the early days of this blog, we've reported on area sightings of mountain lions.  

Some of those sightings may have been false, but the frequent reports lend credibility to the fact the big cats have migrated eastward over recent years.

Now a homeowner in Waco has reported seeing a mountain lion in the area on Friday night.  That's according to a wire report.

The York County Sheriff’s Office received the report just before midnight. The sighting was not confirmed.

Mountain lion sightings have been common in the area. Last September, a mountain lion and a dog tangled in the Waco area.

The first time the Dorchester Times ran a story on area sightings of mountain lions was in 2008.

What should you do if you do encounter a mountain lion? The experts with the National Parks Service say:
  • Remain calm! Enjoy the sighting.
  • Never run from a mountain lion. No one can outrun a mountain lion.
  • Do not crouch down; the lion has seen you long before you saw it.
If you happen to encounter a lion acting aggressively:
  • You must convince the lion that you are not prey and that you pose a threat to the animal.
  • If you have small children with you, pick them up and do all that you can to appear large -- hold your arms out.
  • Hold your ground, wave your arms, shout! If the lion still behaves aggressively, throw rocks at it.

Dorchester's John Nerud Passes At Age 57

John "Hunza" Edward Nerud of Dorchester passed away on Saturday, November 25, 2017. 

He was born on September 23, 1960 in Friend. John attended various country schools, St. James elementary and graduated from Crete High School in 1978. 

In 1979, John began his obsession with custom harvesting, a job he loved until the day he passed away. John also did many other jobs during the off season. He was always busy with several random farm projects and loved being busy. He couldn’t wait to teach his grandkids everything he knew, especially how to weld. 

John would always put his friends and family before himself and you could always count on him to be there when you needed him. He was a loving father, grandfather, son, brother, uncle, and friend to many and a source of joy and laughter for all that knew him. 

He will be missed by his children Jeremy (Bonnie) Nerud, Joseph (Lindsey) Nerud, Rachel (Tyler) Moormeier, and Jacob (Tara) Nerud. Grandchildren, Thor and Sawyer Nerud, and Fordham Moormeier. Parents, Don and Jeanette Nerud. Brothers, Tom Nerud, and Randy (Lisa) Nerud. And many Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, Nephews, and Niece. He will be missed and his memories will be cherished forever.  

Pallbearers Marc Cerny, Bill Weickert, Gene Benes, Ernie Odvody, Joe Gyhra, and Arlin Pomajzl. Honorary Pallbearers Bob Tyser and Larry Pomajzl. 

Services will be this Thursday, November 30, 2017 at 10:30 a.m. at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Crete. Visitation is Wednesday, November 29, 2017 at 5:00 p.m. and rosary at 7:00 p.m. at Kuncl Funeral Home in Crete. In lieu of flowers, memorials are in care of the family for future designation. Kuncl Funeral Home in Crete is handling arrangements.

To send private condolences to the family, click here.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Nominate Your Favorite Dorchester Display Of Christmas Lights

The Christmas spirit is alive and well in Dorchester.  

It is not even December yet and we are seeing so many displays of holiday cheer -- like these houses on Lincoln Avenue and main street (also known as Washington Avenue).

From one end of the village to the other, Christmas lights and holiday displays have gone up quickly, just like the daily temperatures as of late.

We at the Times like to see the lights greeting residents and out-of-towners alike.  They add a special warmth to the village.

We want to know which Dorchester homes you think best reflect the Christmas and holiday spirit.  And we are taking your votes!

What Dorchester residence gets your vote for best holiday display? Give us your nomination by Sunday, Dec. 17, by leaving it in the "comments section" of this post or by e-mailing your nomination to (Be sure to note the period separating "Dorchester" and "Times.")

We will announce which displays received the most nominations the evening of Dec. 17.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Get Your Christmas Gifts In Dorchester This Year

With Christmas nearing, why not consider buying gift certificates from City Slickers, Big T's BBQ Pit Stop, Donna's Hair Creations, The Well, Barley Specialties, Farmers Cooperative gas station, Tysers Repair and Auto Sales, and other Dorchester area businesses?

As one reader e-mailed us recently, it just makes sense to buy Christmas gifts locally instead of purchasing "the cheap, imported Chinese products that add to America's trade deficit."

We just want to avoid the crowds and online scams.

Other ideas include visiting Hedgehog and Hubbies Antique Shop on the west edge of town. The antique shop has a number of Dorchester and DHS vintage items. Maybe open a savings account for a grandchild at First State Bank.  Or help a local farmer and buy a corn burning stove.

Finally, during this time of giving and goodwill towards others, don't forget the importance of contributing to area philanthropies and charitable groups, or volunteering to help with local projects and organizations. 

Consider sending some well-deserved funds to the Dorchester Community Foundation Fund. As we've reported, the Foundation's next project on the list is a splash pad for the Dorchester City Park. Your donations to the the Foundation are tax deductible. Make checks payable to: Dorchester Community Foundation Fund, c/o Peg Bergmeyer, 101 Washington, Dorchester, NE 68343.

Also, think about sending monthly donation to the Dorchester Methodist Church.  Or perhaps the Dorchester Volunteer Fire Department.  Or volunteer to see how you can improve the appearance of Dorchester's Main Street and the downtown business area.

The Times welcomes your ideas on how to make the Christmas season just a little better in our community.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving From The Dorchester Times

Several years ago, the Times received an e-mail that we felt compelled to share with all of our readers.  

Today, it is reprinted here with the permission of the author. 

From all the staff of the Times, Happy Thanksgiving!


Sweet home Dorchester! Oh sweet Nebraska! On this Thanksgiving we have so many things to be grateful for.

You never really know how amazing something or someplace or someone is until you no longer have it or them in your daily life.  I lived away from here for several years and during that time I reminded myself almost daily of the things and the people I missed.

On this Thanksgiving, I will once again take time to give thanks for those things that make life worth living. They are:

1.) The fall harvest.

2.) My small town and the feeling of community.

3.) A main street I can walk with little noise and no fear of violence.

4.) Mom 'n pop businesses and no big box stores.

5.) Our Dorchester school and the wonderful students and teachers.

6.) Small town chatter, even the gossip.

7.) Farmers, hunters, people of commerce, and our community elders (the producers and providers).

8.) Not being honked at in your car or truck when you're at the one and only red light.

9.) The smell of a wood burning stove or fireplace.

10.) Pumpkin pie, homemade jelly and all the great local baking.

This is a good start.  Oh yes, I am also thankful for my great-grandparents who came to Dorchester to start their families.  It is because of them that Dorchester is my home.


Name Withheld

Mother, Wife and Farmer

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Go Back Nearly 80 Years With These Dorchester Advertisements

1938 was a big year.

That year marked the first appearance of comic book superhero Superman, as well as Bugs Bunny.

Heavyweight boxing champion Joe Louis knocked out Max Schmeling in the first round of their rematch at Yankee Stadium in New York City.

Winston Churchill, in a broadcast address to the United States, condemned the Munich Agreement as a defeat and called upon America and western Europe to prepare for armed resistance against Adolf Hitler.

The minimum wage was established by law in the United States.

Orson Welles's radio adaptation of The War of the Worlds was broadcast, causing panic in various parts of the country.

And Dorchester's business community was bustling.  

How do we know? A few weeks ago, the Times received an e-mail from a reader who sent us several photos of advertisements from a 1938 edition of The Dorchester Leader, one of two newspapers in town at that time. (The other paper was The Dorchester Star.)

See if you recognize any of the business names in these ads:

Monday, November 20, 2017

When It Comes To Housing, Dorchester Could Learn From Stuart, Neb.

Stuart, Nebraska and Dorchester have a lot in common.

Both villages have around 600 residents. Both are in rural counties, with mostly an ag-based economy.

And both villages are struggling with finding sufficient housing.

According to an article in the Norfolk newspaper, community leaders in Stuart don’t want anyone interested in moving to town to walk away because there isn’t any decent housing. That’s why they’ve made affordable housing their mission.

The newspaper article details all the steps implemented by Stuart dating back to the 1970s, when the village government invested in Parkside Manor, a 42-bed nursing home and assisted living facility that was built to care for the elderly, as well as free up existing houses for new residents or people who wanted different homes.

The local bank was heavily involved in that effort, the story says.

Then in the 1990s, the Stuart Development Corporation was established to be a “conduit for development.”  

Today, the corporation partners with the Village of Stuart, which operates its own housing rehab program, and the Central Nebraska Housing and Economic Developers, which was formed in 2005 by the Central Nebraska Economic Development District (CNEDD), which operates in 17 counties with a goal of improving housing and encouraging home ownership.  Those organizations provide a variety of means by which property can be developed.  For instance, the development corporation buys dilapidated property, cleans it up and sells it to individuals or some other entity that will develop it. Or the corporation develops it themselves, according to experts.

One of its first projects involved a hog farm that was technically inside the village and next to the city park.  The corporation received a no-interest loan from the village’s housing rehab program, bought the property in question, cleaned it up using volunteer power and built two speculative homes. Four lots then were sold to private developers.

That scenario has been repeated numerous times with all of the profits from the sale of the spec homes recycled back into the program.

While most of the houses start out as modestly sized and modestly priced, the people buying the houses can opt to customize them if they are able to acquire the additional funding either through the local bank or some other source, the Stuart banker said.  So far, the houses have ranged in price from $56,000 to $145,000, and 36 new homes have been constructed in Stuart since 1995. Eleven of those were public projects and 25 were private.

Although the process of creating affordable housing may sound daunting, it’s not, the banker said. “It’s one house at a time, one rehab property at a time. The only way to do it is to get started.”

See the full article on Stuart, Nebraska's housing efforts by clicking here.

WWI Helmet Shows Sacrifice Of Dorchester's Dr. Arnold

The stories of Dorchester's wartime heroes continue to spread across Nebraska and the nation.

The World War I helmet you see here belonged to Dr. Charles H. Arnold. It's a reminder of the bravery and sacrifice of Dorchester's early citizens. 

It also is a reminder of our community's sometimes-forgotten links to British ancestory.

Dr. Arnold was a native of Dorchester and a DHS graduate.  He received his medical degree in 1913. He enlisted with the British Expeditionary Forces during the first world war and served with the Royal Army Medical Corps on the front lines in France and Belgium.

Arnold was dressing a wounded soldier near Aveluy Wood, France, when a German sniper fired a bullet through his helmet. 

Although Arnold’s scalp was injured, he finished dressing the soldier’s wound before being attended to himself. 

He was released to the American Expeditionary Force in January 1919 and was discharged the following month with the rank of major in the Medical Corps Reserve. After his military service, Dr. Arnold returned to his Lincoln practice, where he continued to gain honors and prominence. 

He continued his studies at the University of Vienna in 1930 and 1933. When World War II began, he re-enlisted and was sent to England, where he served as consulting surgeon to more than 50 military hospitals in Europe. 

Dr. Arnold would go on to have an active medical career, spanning 53 years.  He served as a surgical staff member and lecturer on surgery at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Lincoln; a surgical staff member at Bryan Memorial Hospital in Lincoln; surgeon for Traveler’s Insurance Company; special lecturer in the surgical department at Creighton University School of Medicine; and surgical consultant and honorary professor of surgery at West China Union University at Chengtu, China, and at the Chinese Army Medical Center at Shanghai.

The Nebraska State Historical Society has a wonderful collection of materials that belonged to Dr. Charles Arnold and his family. Click here to learn more about Dr. Arnold's service and career.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Christmas Shopping Alert: Major Holiday Vendor Event This Sunday At DHS Gym

Want to get your Christmas shopping done early? 

Or maybe you want to sell a line of products to local customers?

Here's your chance.

Dorchester's Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) chapter will be hosting a Holiday Vendor Extravaganza at the Dorchester School Gymnasium (506 W. 9th St.) on Sunday, Nov. 19, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.  

The event is intended to raise money for Longhorn students who attend the National FBLA Conference in Baltimore, Maryland.

The event will also feature a free-will soup luncheon to benefit Dorchester's FBLA, complete with desserts and other goodies.   

There will be dozens of vendors at this huge event, making it the perfect venue to find high quality and unique Christmas gifts for your friends and loved ones.

More information is available for sellers and buyers by contacting Kyleigh Lewis at

Last year's holiday vendor extravaganza in Dorchester was a smashing success.

For those who are unfamiliar, the FBLA is a nationwide career and technical student organization.  

Established in 1940, FBLA is non-profit organization of high school ("FBLA"), middle school ("Middle Level"), and even college ("PBL") students, as well as professional members ("Professional Division"), who primarily help students transition to the business world.

FBLA is the largest student-run organization in the United States.  It is also one of the top 10 organizations listed by the U.S. Department of Education.

Dorchester's FBLA charter has been active for 26 years.  

While DHS' participation numbers in some activities have declined, DHS' FBLA membership today claims numerous students -- impressive for a Class D school.

Over the years, Dorchester has become a force to be reckoned within the FBLA universe and its statewide competitions. 

In 2015, Dorchester took second place at the Nebraska FBLA competition for the Market Share Award, for example.

In the 2010-11 school year, Dorchester's Jessica Hansen was elected as Nebraska's FBLA state secretary.  

Other Dorchester alumni have served as state FBLA officers over the years.

The Dorchester community can be proud of its FBLA chapter and should support its FBLA members by attending this year's Holiday Vendor Extravaganza at the Dorchester School.

TONIGHT: One Act Show And Dinner At DHS

Tonight, Saturday, Nov. 18, Dorchester High School will host a one act play and dinner.  And attendees are sure to have a blast.

Dinner will start promptly at 6:30 p.m. and the show will start at 7:15 p.m.  Dinner includes pasta, salad, garlic bread and dessert.

Tickets are $12 for adults and $8 for children (10 and under).

The one act play being presented by Dorchester thespians is called "Dinner with the MacGuffins."

At first glance, this is a typical family comedy: teenager James and girlfriend Karen try to make out one afternoon, only to face repeated interruptions by other members of James' family. But the ultimate interruption comes when a cell phone goes off in the audience, breaking the "fourth wall" so that James can see the spectators. 

As James tries to convince his increasingly worried family that a wall is missing from their house, and that people are watching them, the play takes more left turns than Bugs Bunny should have taken at Albuquerque -- until it reaches a happy (if twisted) ending.

Come out to the DHS theater tonight and catch a great time!

Monday, November 13, 2017

Want To Build In Dorchester? We Know A Place For That

A reader e-mailed the Times this past weekend to notify us of "lot for sale" signs that have appeared in Dorchester's northeast corner.

We checked it out for ourselves, and sure enough -- the signs are there.  (See the photo above just off Jackson Ave.  Click photo for closer view.)

For those considering building in Dorchester, here are the options we know of:
  • EAST, NORTHEAST DORCHESTER:  We are told that Jack Bruha has housing lots available for new construction east of Fulton Street and Jackson Ave., as well as north of 10th Street.  This is a pretty part of the community and one of most peaceful. (As seen on the sign, Jack's phone number is 402-946-2321. Confirmed by the Times.)
  • NORTH DORCHESTER:  We were also informed that Ron Zoubek has a handful of lots in north Dorchester just off of 11th Street and north of the football field.  This is a very nice neighborhood, and allows for quick access to the school and Highway 6.
  • FAR SOUTH DORCHESTER:  If you don't want cars driving past your home often, there are at least four lots available for new construction on Whitmar Street in south Dorchester, south of the museum grounds.  Bob Kasl has them for sale on this dead end street in a well-kept and quiet neighborhood.
The Times is passing this information along since it comes from a well-informed and trustworthy resident.  

Those interested in these lots should contact the owners directly, not the Times.  Of course, not only would the land need to be purchased, but the village government would need to approve the permitting for construction.

As we've reported recently, with demand for small town life growing fast, Dorchester cannot keep quality homes on the market for 24 hours.  This comes as no big surprise since Dorchester has a lot going for it -- if you prefer living in a safe, friendly and affordable community that has much potential for the future. 

If you're ready to call Dorchester home, we encourage you to take a look at these lots and consider building in our community.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Sunday's Chicken & Hamburger Feed Will Help Make Splash Pad A Reality

Inside sources say Dorchester is getting closer to have a its own small water park!

To make a community splash pad a reality, the Dorchester Community Foundation Fund is working extra hard to raise funds needed to construct the splash pad in the Dorchester City Park.

The Foundation is planning its popular grilled chicken luncheon and hamburger feed for this Sunday, November 12, at the Dorchester Legion and Community Hall from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m.
As we've reported previously, the Foundation has targeted a splash pad as the next project. Around $100,000 has already been raised in the past year, according to a sign located near the village's main street marquee.

A splash pad is a small scale water park without a pool, but includes several water fountain or spray type features to help cool anyone off on those hot summer days. There are no lifeguard expenses, as with a pool, and it shuts off automatically when there is no activity. 
The Foundation's November 12 dinners can be eaten at the community hall, or prepared to go (just call 402-946-3791). Delivery will also be offered in town to those that may not be able to make it downtown. 

The grilled chicken dinner includes your choice of mashed potatoes and gravy, potato salad or chips, dinner salad, baked beans, dinner roll, and drink. The hamburger dinner will include the same options. All meals are available with a free-will donation.  

The Times encourages everyone to give generously so the splash pad can happen sooner rather than later.

Donations for the current and future improvements by the Foundation are accepted anytime, made payable to the Dorchester Foundation and mailed to: Peg Bergmeyer, 101 Washington Ave., Dorchester, NE 68343; or Dale Hayek, 652 County Road 1200, Dorchester, NE 68343.

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

Friday, November 10, 2017

Shirley Gautreaux Passes At Age 69

Shirley A Gautreaux, wife of longtime Dorchester High School educator and principal Terry Gautreaux, passed on Nov. 8, 2017, as a result of complications from a stroke at Warren Memorial Hospital in Friend at the age of 69 years, 4 months and 21 days. 

A funeral service will be held at 2 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017, at Friend Public School's East Gym officiated by Rev. Brian Tuma. Interment will be in Andrew Cemetery. Visitation is from 2-6 p.m. on Sunday and 2-9 p.m. Tuesday, with the family greeting relatives and friends from 6-8 p.m. at Lauber-Moore Funeral Home, Friend.   Memorial Donations are suggested to: LCMS Mission Central, Friend School Scholarship Fund or Warren Memorial Hospital.

Shirley Ann Gautreaux, was born June 18, 1948 in Tecumseh, Nebraska, to Gerald “Jerry W. and Mildred M. (Bartels) Rinne, the oldest of three children.  As a young girl she attended school in several locations as she moved with her parents. Shirley graduated from Gering High School in 1966 and later attended the University of Nebraska. She graduated in 1970 with a degree in German and Education. While at the University of Nebraska, Shirley met Terrence “Terry” Michael Gautreaux of Chalmette, Louisiana. Shirley and Terry were married on June 7, 1970 in Gering, Nebraska and to this union three sons were born, Keith, Jeffrey and Elliott.

Shirley began her teaching career in 1972 in Waukegan, IL. She started teaching at Friend Public School in 1973 and, having found the perfect small town, never left. She taught at Friend until her retirement in 2013 after 40 years of dedication to students, parents, and the school district. She spent most of her life, youth and adult, in school as a student or a teacher.  She was an encouraging mother and teacher, loving her sons, and especially her grandchildren who were the highlight of her life. Shirley especially enjoyed the many trips she took to spend time with her grandchildren after her retirement as a teacher.

Shirley’s life was dedicated to her family, St. John’s Lutheran Church in Cordova, and Friend Public School. She was “Mrs. G” to thousands of students from Friend. She taught Geography, Social Studies, Speech, English, and German at Friend. She drove the school bus, coached Speech, directed one-act plays, coached junior high track, kept statistics for the football team, and organized school events too numerous to mention. Shirley taught Sunday School and was a constant presence at the church for Bible study, potlucks, weddings and funerals. Shirley was always thinking of those in need of prayer, assistance, or, her special lasagna.
In 2004, Shirley was honored as Friend’s Citizen of the Year. This award recognized the significant impact she made on Friend and its residents. Shirley exemplified what it meant to be a citizen and always was proud to call Friend her hometown. After Shirley retired from teaching, she became even more active in her community as she became a member of the Friend Rotary Club, and was an active helper with the Friend Historical Society.  Even after she retired from teaching, Shirley remained a fixture at Friend Public School, as a substitute teacher and driving the bus for extracurriculars, as well as attending many sporting events and activities. 
For the full obituary and to leave your condolences to the family, click here.

Events To Honor Veterans Will Be Today In Dorchester

This weekend, most of the nation -- at least those who aren't taking a knee at an NFL game during the national anthem -- will pay tribute to our veterans.

Veterans Day, November 11, gives Americans the opportunity to celebrate the bravery and sacrifice of all U.S. veterans. (Don't confuse this holiday with Memorial Day, which honors our military men and women who have died in service to our country.)  

In 1954, after having been through both World War II and the Korean War, the U.S. Congress -- at the urging of the veterans service organizations -- made it official that Nov. 11 would be a day to honor all American veterans of all wars -- not just the end of WWI, as the day had originally been designated.

After signing the legislation making November 11 "Veterans Day," President Eisenhower said, "It is my earnest hope that all veterans, their organizations, and the entire citizenry will join hands to insure proper and widespread observance of this day. ... I have every confidence that our Nation will respond wholeheartedly in the appropriate observance of Veterans Day."

Today, Friday, November 10, the Dorchester American Legion, Post 264 will be hosting a 10 a.m. Veterans' Day Service at the Dorchester Public School.  The ceremony will be conducted in cooperation with the Dorchester Junior Auxiliary.  The public is invited and encouraged to attend to honor our veterans.  

Then later today, a soup supper will be held at the Dorchester Legion Hall from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m.  There will be a free-will offering to help the Dorchester Legion.  The public is invited to attend.