Friday, February 16, 2018

Dorchester's Chili Cook-Off Is This Saturday

This coming Saturday evening, February 17, the Dorchester Volunteer Fire Department  will hold its second annual chili cook-off at Dorchester's Community Hall and American Legion Hall. 

The serving will start at 5 p.m.  Chili and cinnamon roll winners will be announced at 8 p.m.

This is a major fundraising event for Dorchester's volunteer firefighters and rescue personnel, intended to help provided much needed funds for new equipment and to help cover expenses.  All proceeds will go to support the Dorchester Volunteer Fire and Rescue efforts.

According to volunteers, this year's event will showcase "a people's choice award" and a cinnamon roll contest. 

Those who attend will be able to sample an amazing array of several different chili soup concoctions made by Dorchester business owners. 

From all reports, this fundraiser last year was a smashing success last year, with some 350 attending.  

Businesses that took part in last year's event were:

  • City Slicker's Restaurant;
  • Novak Auction Service
  • Big T's BBQ Pit Stop;
  • Farmers Cooperative;
  • Sharon Axline's Hair Salon;
  • Tyser Auto Sales/Tyser Repair;
  • BP Agronomics (Brant Pracheil);
  • Bill Velder Taxidermy; and
  • Mrs. G's Country Cooking.
The winner in 2017 was judged to be Brant Pracheil, while Sharon and Harold Axline took second place; coming in third place was Velder Taxidermy and Big T's Restaurant.

This year, egos and cooking skills will be on the line.

Besides chili and cinnamon rolls, the gathering will feature sandwiches and hot dogs, along with a silent auction.  

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Dorchester Girls' Basketball Team Advances In District Play

(UPDATE:  The Dorchester girls' basketball team has seen their 2017-18 campaign come to a close.  No. 3 Exeter-Milligan pulled out a 43-27 win over Dorchester last night, Feb. 15, despite a tough showing from a very young DHS squad.)

The Lady Longhorns' basketball team did what had to be done.

On Tuesday night, Feb. 13, the Dorchester girls beat a solid Mead High School squad by a tally of 48-38 at the D2-2 subdistrict tournament in Malcolm.  Mead was 10-9 going into Tuesday night's game.

In snagging the victory, DHS extends its season by at least one more game.

The 10-12 Lady Longhorns will now play Thursday at 7:00 p.m. at the D2-2 subdistrict finals in Malcolm, taking on Class D2 powerhouse Exeter-Milligan.

Exeter-Milligan's girls squad is 20-5 on the year and ranked No. 3 in the state by the Omaha newspaper.  Only Friend, BDS and Meridian have upset the Lady Timberwolves this season.

Exeter-Milligan won its first-round subdistrict game handily over Osceola, 56-14.

While the DHS ladies have a tremendous challenge on their hands, several Longhorn fans tell the Times that there will be a large crowd wearing orange and black to root on the upset.

Go Big D!

Raffle Ticket Sales Taking Place To Raise Funds For Dorchester Splash Pad

As reported last month, inside sources say Dorchester is getting very close to having its own small water park at the city park. Groundbreaking could occur this spring, we're told.

The Dorchester Community Foundation Fund has raised $110,000 of the $150,000 in funds needed to construct the proposed splash pad.

The Foundation is planning its popular steak and hamburger feed for March 17, where more funds will be raised.

In the meantime, Dorchester school children are currently selling raffle tickets for major prizes donated to the Foundation. For a $1 donation, you can get a ticket, or you can get six tickets for a $5 donation, or 15 tickets for a $10 donation.

Some of the prizes include:
  • Green Mountain Tailgate Grill (Donated by Spring Creek Repair)
  • Four NU Baseball Tickets Vs. Iowa (Donated by Farmers Co-op)
  • Four Tickets to NU Football Spring Game 
  • Four NU Baseball Tickets Vs Creighton (Donated by First State Bank)
  • Four Eagle Raceway Tickets
  • Two Oil Changes (Sid Dillon)
To get your raffle tickets and help make the splash pad a reality, contact Amanda Cerny at 402-720-8640 or Darin Nerud at 402-641-1241 or any Dorchester Elementary Student.

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

Monday, February 12, 2018

Sources Say Vacant Home On 9th St. To Be Burned

Dorchester is about to get rid of one of its most prominent vacant properties and eyesores, if reports to the Times are accurate.

While there are around two dozen neglected properties throughout Dorchester -- all of which are in need of immediate repair or removal -- perhaps no site has commanded more community attention than the longtime abandoned home at the intersection of Jefferson and 9th Streets.

The house, which was recently acquired by new owners who have cleaned up the two lots it sits on, is scheduled to be burned by the Dorchester Volunteer Fire Dept., according to reliable sources.

The burn should occur sometime in March, we are told.  

This would clear the way for new construction on a paved street in Dorchester, just two blocks from the school. 


Sunday, February 11, 2018

Legislature Is Advancing Bill To Let Towns Crack Down On Vacant Property Owners

For years, small town residents across Nebraska have complained about vacant properties, only to be told by lawyers or judges that there is little the law allows town officials to do about them.

Be warned, vacant property owners: That could be changing soon, for both residential and commercial property owners.

Last year at this time, we were sent information from an informed reader regarding LB 256, a bill pending at the Nebraska Legislature that would crack down on the problem of vacant properties.   

The bill, offered by State Senator Tom Briese, would provide communities a real tool to address problem properties and housing shortages. This sounds like a tool that could help Dorchester and nearby town address many current challenges.  That why we are glad to learn the bill is moving through the Legislature.  It has already cleared the first round of debate by a 40-0 vote.

According to the Legislature's website and a summary found by the Times, LB 256 would adopt the Vacant Property Registration Act. Under the Act, municipalities would have the authority to enact vacant property registration ordinances (VPROs) to identify and register vacant properties, collect fees to compensate for the public costs of property vacancy, plan for the rehabilitation of vacant properties, and encourage the occupancy of such properties.
The registry could apply to commercial or residential property.  

An amendment to the bill would exempt vacant properties that are advertised in good faith for sale or lease.  Also, town officials could conduct inspections of vacant properties.

If adopted, a vacant property registration ordinance would require registration of a property vacant for 180 days or longer. An initial registration fee of no more than $250 for a residential property and $1,000 for a commercial property would be assessed. Supplemental fees would be allowed.  Unpaid registration fees and fines would become a lien on the applicable property upon notice to the county.

Greg Ptacek, economic development director for the city of Neligh, testified in support of the bill. Approximately 10% of Neligh’s housing stock currently sits vacant, he said.  “If we were to take 5% of those houses and put them back on the market … we would have about 4,000 [more] homes in Nebraska,” Ptacek said.

Lynn Rex of the League of Nebraska Municipalities also testified in support of the bill.  She said, the bill would give small and medium-sized communities more ways to encourage owners of problem properties to cooperate with city government and find solutions. “Financial pressure does work when you’re trying to deal with vacant properties,” Rex said.


Saturday, February 10, 2018

War Hero, Dorchester Native Dale Bruha Passes At Age 89

Dale Frank Bruha was born Oct. 25, 1928, in Crete to Frank Jr. and Creolla “Sidy” (Neihart) Bruha, the oldest of three children, and passed away Jan. 29, 2018, at Memorial Hospital in Seward at age 89. Dale attended Glendale Country School southwest of Dorchester, later attending Crete and Dorchester Public Schools. Dale moved with his family to a farm southwest of Dorchester where he enjoyed hunting, fishing and trapping on Turkey Creek. Dale completed his schooling in the military, graduating from Military Police School, Criminal Investigation Command School, Airborne Infantry School and graduating as a parachutist and glider man.

Dale began his military career at an early age during World War II by joining the Army Air Force Auxiliary and later becoming a pilot. He enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps and served in the Pacific Coast area. During the Korean War, Dale served in the U.S. Army with the 82nd Airborne Division and the 11th Airborne Division and volunteered for a newly formed 187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team­—parachuting behind enemy lines in Korea with an infantry unit. He was awarded the Silver Star Medal for gallantry in action. Dale also was awarded 16 other medals while serving his country in the U.S. Army and in the Nebraska National Guard for more than 20 years.

Upon his return to the states from Korea and Japan, he joined the Lincoln Police Department and was assigned to the detective division as an undercover officer and later assigned to the motorcycle squad. In 1956, he was appointed assistant chief of police with the Crete Police Department, assisting and installing the first two-way radio system. 

In 1957, Dale received an appointment as a Nebraska Wildlife Law Enforcement Officer. In 1959, Dale received a commission as a U.S. deputy game warden with the Federal Department of Interior, working three states and in addition, he was involved with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Canada. Dale was also the Nebraska special agent in charge of the Army Criminal Investigation Division.

After his retirement from the Wildlife Service, he was assigned to a tri-county drug task force and finally, after retiring again, he moved to the Whiskey Jack Forest in the Northwest Territory of Ontario, Canada.

Dale was united in marriage to Darlene Jo Brabec in 1953, and to this union two sons were born. After her death, Dale later was blessed with a second marriage in 1993 to Patricia Rixstine. They resided in Milford. Both Dale and Pat enjoyed summers at their Canadian home. Dale was a member of American Legion Posts of Milford and Crete, a life member of Seward and Crete VFWs, 82nd Airborne Division Association, 187th Airborne Regimental Combat

Team Association, Marine Corps League-Cornhusker Detachment, Life Member-National Rifle Association, Crete Masonic Lodge 37, AF & AM, and he attended the Milford United Methodist Church.

Survivors include his wife, Pat; sons and daughter-in-law, Robert and Dean and Joyce Bruha, all of Milford; three granddaughters, Tammy (John) Kliewer of Cameron, Missouri, Cari (Caleb) Nance of Lowell, Arkansas, and Casey Bruha of Omaha; great-grandchildren, John and Sara Kliewer and Lily and Joshua Nance; three step-children, Jeff, David and Kevin Rixstine; seven step-grandchildren and six step-great-grandchildren; brother and sister-in-law, Jack and Ann Bruha of Dorchester; sister and brother-in-law, Carol and Bob Hrdlicka of Milford; several nieces and nephews; and a host of other relatives and friends.

He was preceeded in death by his parents, Frank and Sidy Bruha; and his wife, Darlene Jo.

A funeral service was held Feb. 1, 2018, at the Milford United Methodist Church with the Rev. Lyle Schoen officiating. Interment was in the Wilber Czech Cemetery, with military honors by the U.S. Marine Corps, assisted by the Crete VFW and Milford American Legion Post. Memorial contributions may be made in lieu of flowers to the Marine Corps League or to the Nebraska Law Enforcement Memorial Fund. Condolences may be sent to the family at

Thursday, February 8, 2018

NEWS ROUND-UP: Jeremy Pliva Earns Recognition For Artwork

Here are some of the latest headlines from our area:
  • DHS' Jeremy Pliva Gets Honorable Mention In Statewide Art Contest: Even with more than 3,700 entries and only about 30 percent being awarded recognition, DHS senior Jeremy Pliva recently received honorable mention in the statewide Scholastic Art Contest for his sculpture of a buck.  Pliva will be honored at a ceremony in Omaha on Feb. 24.  His artwork will be on display in Omaha until April.  We say great woodworking and painting done by this Dorchester senior.
  • DHS Freshman Scores 14 In First Varsity Start: The Friend Sentinel has a story in this week's paper that Dorchester girls basketball freshman Alli Novak got her first varsity start and scored 14 points for DHS last week in the Lady Longhorns' loss to Nebraska Lutheran.  The Dorchester girls, who beat Hampton 56-39 earlier this week, are 9-12 on the season.  They will finish the regular season with a home game against McCool Junction, tomorrow, Feb. 9.  Friday night is also parents’ night.  For the DHS girls, subdistrict play begins Monday, Feb. 12, at the D2-2 tournament at Malcolm and DHS will take on 10-8 Mead at 7:45 p.m.  The Dorchester boys will wrap up regular season play on Feb. 16 at Exeter-Milligan.
  • Storm Spotter Training Will Be March 12 This is an early notice that Jefferson, Saline and Gage County emergency management along with the Omaha National Weather Service will once again be sponsoring a storm spotter training class.  Storm spotter training will be March 12, 2018 at 7 p.m. at the Homestead National Monument, Education Center (west site), 8523 West State Highway 4, Beatrice.  Storm Spotter training is for the public who wants to learn what to look for, as well as the serious storm chaser. It is recommended that you attend a session every two years to keep up on any changes. For more information, e-mail John McKee at 

UPDATED Forecast: More Snow Headed Our Way

UPDATED: AccuWeather now says there's a 22% chance the Dorchester area could see more than 4" of snow over the next 48 hours.

Don't put those snowblowers and snowplows away.  

On top of the 3 to 4 inches of the white stuff that has dropped on Dorchester in the past few days, rounds three and four are on the way. 

The National Weather Service says more snow is in the forecast for Friday morning and again overnight Friday in to Saturday.  

Round one will start Friday morning with 1-3 inches expected. There will be a break in the afternoon, before round two hits overnight Friday into Saturday.  One to two inches of snow is expected in that system.

AccuWeather predicts Dorchester will likely see between 2" and 4" -- but more is possible.

The cold temperatures are expected to stick around without a break until at least the middle of February.

The snow has been causing problems for area drivers.  KWBE Radio reports that this morning, snow packed roads caused the driver of a pick-up to lose control of his truck on Nebraska Highway 112, three miles east of Odell. The pickup, traveling north, slid into the path of a southbound semi tractor-trailer.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Dorchester Methodist Soup & Sandwich Luncheon Is Feb. 11

Next Sunday, February 11, the Dorchester United Methodist Church's UMW group will host their annual soup and sandwich luncheon.  

This gathering always draws a crowd, so get there plenty early.  

Doors will open at 11 a.m. and food will be served up until 1 p.m.

Serving: Chicken Noodle, Chili, Clam Chowder and the UMW's famous Liver Dumpling.

Also on the menu will be sandwiches, relishes and some of Nebraska's very best deserts.

Best of all, the event will feature live entertainment with Jim Sprague.

The event is a free-will offering.  

Support a good cause and support the Dorchester UMW.

Dorchester Youth Wrestling Tourney Is This Saturday; Helpers Welcome

It's that time of year again.

The Dorchester Youth Wrestling Tournament is tomorrow (Saturday, February 3).  

This is always a huge draw for the area, bringing in youth, parents and grandparents from miles around.

If anyone would like to volunteer to assist in concessions or at scoring tables, please be at the school at 8:00 a.m. tomorrow. 

The tournament normally runs until mid-afternoon.

Show your support for Dorchester's young athletes and this annual event.

Deadline For Saline Center Consignment Sale Is Feb. 10

Hard to believe but some folks around these parts are already gearing up for spring.

And with the nearing of spring comes one of the biggest events in Saline County -- the annual consignment sale at Saline Center.

This year will mark the 34th consecutive year for this event, which will be held Sunday, March 18, 2018 at Saline Center.  

For those unfamiliar, Saline Center is three miles west and nine miles south of Dorchester on Highway 15.  A map of Saline Center can be found here.

If you have farm equipment, ag supplies or other items you'd like to cosign, it is time to contact organizers to let them know what you'll be placing on the auction block.

For free advertising, contact Sheldon Kohout at 402-947-2236 or e-mail at no later than Saturday, February 10.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

10/11 News: Dorchester Village Board Chairman Out On Bond

This is one of those rare instances when the staff members of the Dorchester Times are conflicted about publishing a news story.  In this case, we simply do not know the facts.  Because of the sensitive nature of the story, we have chosen not to report anything to date.  But considering the high-profile nature of this story, and the high-profile nature of the public servant who is well-known in Dorchester and Saline County, the Times has made the decision to publish excerpts of a wire story so that the community is abreast about what is being reported locally and statewide.


10/11 News in Lincoln is reporting that Matthew Hoffaman, chairman of Dorchester's Village Board, has been released from Saline County's jail following a bond payment.  This follows a court hearing held yesterday, Jan. 30.

10/11 reports it this way:  "According to the Saline County Sheriff’s Office, Matthew T. Hoffman, 41, was arrested on Jan. 17 for reportedly committing two acts of second-degree sexual assault of a protected individual. According to court records, the alleged assaults go as far back as June of 2017 and are as recent as January 8 of 2018.

The video version of the story reports that Hoffman has plenty of support in Dorchester, with many residents saying they do not believe the charges against him are true.

10/11 adds: "Hoffman is asking for more time" to decide on whether to have or wave his preliminary hearing "because he just retained an attorney Monday. Scott Gropp appeared in court Tuesday as Hoffman's Attorney.

"In Tuesday's hearing, Hoffman asked the judge to reduce his bond, and to have contact with his children.  His bond was lowered to 10 percent of $75,000. It previously was set at 10 percent of $100,000. The Saline County Sheriff's Office confirmed Tuesday afternoon that Hoffman posted bond hours later.

"Hoffman has conditions on his bond that state he can't have contact with any person under the age of 19.  He also can only talk with his kids by telephone."

Monday, January 29, 2018

Looking Back: 71 Seasons Ago, Alumni Were On DHS' Regular Season Schedule

Today, let's take the time machine back to December 1946.

That's when the Dorchester alumni took on the DHS boys varsity basketball team in a Friday night match-up on the tiles of DHS' gymnasium. 

The picture to the right is from Dorchester's 1946-47 season.

That first game of the '46-'47 campaign was the opening contest for the high school boys. 

Back then, most smaller communities had "town teams" for adult males and Dorchester had one of the better town teams for basketball and baseball, according to the old-timers and history books.

The Dorchester Star reported that the DHS boys lost to the DHS alumni by a tally of 16-27, unable to recover from a 7-12 halftime deficit.  

The Star reported, "Earl Parks, Tom Parks, Harold Fette and Leonard Bures (the DHS captain) looked good for the high school team," as Don Pisar, W. Plouzek, Dale Arnold and Harry Axline also saw plenty of action for the Longhorns.  

"Doc" Tobiska was the star for the "old grads." 

The alumni team went on to play other games that season against opponents like the Crete VFW.

By the way, for the old-timers of today, the DHS Annual Alumni Basketball Tourney will be March 16-18.  For alumni who wish to participate, call Brent Zoubek, DPS Activities Director, at (402) 418-1019 or e-mail  The Dorchester Community Foundation steak feed will take place that same weekend on Saturday, March 17, according to tradition.  That should be a swinging weekend in Dorchester, as usual.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Dorchester's Legion Buffalo Feed Is Sunday, Jan. 28

January in Nebraska is a long month with few highlights. 

But this Sunday, January 28, will bring one of those highlights to Dorchester.

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

The Dorchester American Legion's annual January buffalo feed is a decades-long tradition.  This year, a special touch will be added as the Skalak Band will be providing entertainment.

The luncheon will begin at noon on Sunday and continue until 2 p.m. 

The evening dinner will start 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.

There will be multiple raffles, pickle cards and a cash bar.  

Also, lunch specials will be available Monday at the Legion if all the food isn't sold out by Sunday evening.

The event raises money for community projects and scholarships provided by the Legion. 

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

Thursday, January 25, 2018

No. 1 BDS Too Much For DHS Girls At CRC

The Dorchester girls basketball team fell 54-26 in the quarterfinals of the Crossroads Conference Tournament in York last night.

The young DHS squad, coming off a miraculous win late last week, was no match for the No. 1 team in Class D1.

The York newspaper reports it like this: "It was all BDS from the opening tip to the final horn on Wednesday night" as "the Eagles took a 16-7 lead at the end of the first quarter, held the Longhorns scoreless in the second and cruised to the 54-26 win over the Longhorns.

"It was stifling defensive pressure that was too much for the young Longhorns to handle as the Eagles defense forced 17 first half turnovers and the BDS offense built a 27-7 lead at the break.

"The Eagles won the second half 27-19 to run their season record to 15-2 heading into Thursday’s showdown with Meridian.

"Dorchester (7-10) hit just 9 of 34 shot attempts and was 5 of 22 on 3-point attempts. The Longhorns were 3 of 6 at the free throw line.

Scorers for Dorchester were: A. Zoubek 6, Plouzek 9, J. Zoubek 2, Bird 9. 

To see or purchase photos from the CRC Tourney, click here.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Superintendent Schrunk: Help Us Grow Dorchester's School -- Be Part Of The Solution

Today, we feature another editorial from Daryl Schrunk, who gives our readers his thoughts on Dorchester and its school after a year on the job.  Schrunk took over as superintendent of Dorchester's K-12 school at the start of the 2016-2017 school year.


My goal is to increase enrollment, yet retain the strength of small class sizes.  I am encouraging all patrons to assist in this effort.  

By reaching out to friends in neighboring communities and promoting the quality education we provide, we can meet this goal.  In this joint effort, I hope to increase our K-12 enrollment to at least 200 students in two years (currently our K-12 enrollment is 180 students).  

The short term fix lies in option enrollment, especially targeting 7-12 students, since this is where we have lower numbers.  

Longer term fix needs to be focused on housing rehabilitation and development.  Need to have attractive housing options to bring in families.  

Ideally, the following needs to happen, with your help:
  • Keep the resident students in the district. 
  • Bring back resident students who have opted-out.  
  • Option-in students who can contribute positively to our district.  
The state formula for Net Option students gives the school district approximately $10,000 per student.  So if a school had a Net Option of five students, the school would get approximately $50,000 in additional funding.  Currently, Dorchester gets $0 for option students as our number of students who option-in compared to the number of students who option-out is equal.
Do you know of a student in a nearby school district who would benefit by optioning-in to Dorchester? If so, click here for the option enrollment form, which is due March 15.  Call 402-946-2781 for assistance.
A patron recently asked me how many students we could have enrolled at one time without adding costs of staffing and facilities.  There are obviously various factors to consider, especially the needs of the uniqueness of every student.  However, I immediately answered him by saying 250 students.  This would be class sizes averaging 18-20 students per grade level (currently we average 13 students per grade level).  This may seem like a lofty goal but it is definitely possible with a commitment by the school and community to build and sustain our safe, caring town.     

Dorchester Public School enrollment since 2002-03.  Click to see a larger image.

Dorchester Public Schools are fortunate to offer so many extra-curricular activities for our students.  A strength of a small school is the opportunity to participate in so many activities.  Please continue to encourage our youth to participate in as many activities during their time at DPS.  We believe that some of the most important life skills are learned through these experiences. 

Dorchester offers the following extra curricular activities: Football, Volleyball, FBLA, Jr. High Football, Jr. High Volleyball, Student Council, Wresting, Girls & Boys Basketball, Science Olympiad, Jr. High Wrestling, Jr. High Basketball, Electronic Vehicle, Track, One-Act Play, Quiz Bowl, Jr. High Track, Jr. High Play, Spring Play, Journalism, Speech, Elementary Honor Choir, Vocal Music, Instrumental Music, D-Club, Jr. High Vocal Music, Jr. High Instrumental Music, Reading Classic, National Honor Society (NHS), High Ability Learners (HAL), Jr. High Quiz Bowl.

Daryl Schrunk
(402) 946-2781
Dorchester offers a quality education, supportive staff, new facilities, advanced technology and many opportunities for students in grades pre-Kindergarten through grade 12.  At Dorchester, every student truly matters.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Marva Kasl Turns 80

A lot happened in 1938.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed into law the Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act.

Oil was discovered in Saudi Arabia.

Action Comics issued the first Superman comic.

Orson Welles' radio adaptation of The War of the Worlds was broadcast, causing mass panic in the eastern United States.

Adolf Hitler was Time magazine's "Man of the Year" (as most influential during the course of the year, not as "best" man of the year).  That same year, Hitler had abolished Germany's War Ministry and took direct control of the German military. 

Japan declared war on China.

Babe Ruth was signed as a Dodger’s coach for the rest of the season.

The average cost of new house had risen to $3,900, while the average wages per year hit $1,730.  The cost of a gallon of gasoline was 10 cents, compared to the cost of a loaf of bread, which was nine cents.

The average new car price rose to $763.

And Dorchester's Marva Kasl was born.

Share your birthday wishes with Marva for her 80th birthday on January 28. 

Marva's mailing address is 110 Whitmar, Dorchester, NE 68343

Sunday, January 21, 2018

DHS Girls Advance In CRC Tourney With 'Miracle' OT Win

Photo Credit: York News-Times
UPDATE:  BJ Fictum is reporting via social media that the Crossroads Conference Basketball Tournament games on Monday, Jan. 22, will be postponed until Tuesday, with Tuesday's scheduled games to be played on Wednesday.  Thursday and Friday will play as scheduled.

The DHS girls basketball team is a squad on a mission, even when the situation looks bleak.

In the first round of action at the Crossroads Conference Basketball Tournament in York, the Dorchester Lady Longhorns pulled off a miraculous victory Saturday night by scoring eight points with just over a minute remaining in overtime.

The York newspaper reports it like this: "East Butler fans had to be feeling pretty good when Kaitlyn Hain dropped in a free throw with 1:18 to play in overtime to give the East Butler Tigers a 54-47 lead."

But "the Longhorns scored eight unanswered points and pulled off a 55-54 unlikely win to advance to the quarterfinals of the girls Crossroads Conference Tournament.

"With under 10 seconds to play, Dorchester freshman Abbey Zoubek had ice in her veins and drilled a right wing 3-pointer to tie the score at 54-54.

"On the ensuing inbounds pass by East Butler, another Zoubek, this time freshman Jacee stole the pass and was fouled as she tried to put up a shot as time expired.

"The freshman stepped to the line, sank the first free throw and the Longhorns were on their way to the quarterfinals with the 55-54 win."

Dorchester was led in scoring by Jacee Zoubek with 16, Abby Plouzek, a 6-2 sophomore added 13, and Abbey Zoubek finished with 12.

The Longhorns were 19 of 46 from the field and 9 of 26 on 3-point shots. Dorchester was 8 of 20 at the charity stripe.

The 14 3-pointers combined by both teams on Saturday tied the record set in 2000 by Dorchester and Fairmont and in 2017 by these same two teams.

Dorchester (7-9) will take on No. 3 seed BDS this week.

Friday, January 19, 2018

NEWS ROUND-UP: Another Wicked Winter Storm This Way Comes

Yet Another Winter Storm Coming Our Way: Another winter storm could bring near-blizzard conditions to parts of Nebraska this weekend, but an early look shows the Dorchester area should avoid the worst of the weather.  Eight to 10 inches of snow are expected in parts of northern and central Nebraska beginning Sunday afternoon and into Monday. The National Weather Service is forecasting just 2 to 4 inches snowfall in our area, although some models show the city receiving as much as a foot of snow.  Stay tuned to the Times' forecast page for this developing situation.

Crete Man Charged For Stealing $1.1 Million:  KWBE Radio is reporting that federal authorities have indicted a Crete man already charged with stealing more than $1.1 million from his former employer in Lincoln.  The wire fraud indictment involves Mark Ackerman, who was office manager for Vertical Horizons Contracting Inc. in Lincoln. Federal prosecutors say Ackerman used accounts designated for reimbursement fees to transfer funds to his personal account for items never purchased. It also alleges that he falsely represented legitimate business expenses and made checks payable to himself from company accounts.

Dorchester Groups Get Tourism Promotion Funds: The Wilber newspaper has a story this week that Dorchester-based organizations were on the receiving end of funding from the Saline County Tourism Advisory Committee.  More than $18,000 in funds were available for increasing tourism in the county. Grant monies are generated by the lodging tax collected in the county.  In the fund for marketing and advertising for 2018 events, the Saline County Historical Society received funding for promotional materials for the Dorchester-based museum and genealogy room, while the  Dorchester American Legion received fund for promotion of events, including Buffalo Feed, auction, and dances.  The Dorchester Festival Committee received funds for the Fourth of July activities.  From the pool of funding for improved facilities, the Dorchester American Legion received dollars for its storage shed repair, while the Saline County Historical Society received money for the museum's sidewalk construction.

REDUCED: Dorchester House For Sale At 404 W. 11th St.

Dorchester is one of Nebraska's best little communities under 1,000 -- and it is getting noticed for the right reasons. 

Consider what our community has to offer:
  • A newer K-12 school, built in 2008, with small class sizes and a big school budget surplus (meaning property taxes won't spike).
  • A clean, peaceful, safe community, with a new water park coming to the city park soon.
  • A new water tower and sewer infrastructure.
  • The lowest school property tax levy in Saline County.
  • Affordable living.
  • One of the largest agri-businesses headquarters (Farmers Cooperative) in the state.
  • Friendly, helpful neighbors in a closely knit community.
  • A 10-minute drive from employers in Crete, Milford and Seward. And just 25 minutes to Lincoln. Located next to two major highways and near I-80.
However, one challenge facing Dorchester is housing supply.  We've heard from readers who've said they would like to move to Dorchester, if only good homes were available.

Today, we showcase the latest Dorchester home available right now.  And it's a dandy! If you're ready to call Dorchester home, we encourage you to take a look.  Make Dorchester your home and grow with our community.

404 W 11th St.UPDATE - This home is now listed with a realtor for $145,000, considerably lower than the seller had been asking. With four bedrooms and 1 bathroom, as well as 1,380 sq. ft., this home is for sale by owner.  It's a great home for a single family and is close to the Dorchester school. Remodeled with many updates just three years ago, renovations include roof, a/c, furnace, and water heater. Nice big corner lot for kids to play and on a quiet street. Large, new shop building is included with a whopping 1125 square feet. Must be pre-approved for a walk-through.  For more details and several pictures, click here.

FLASHBACK: Saline Co. Named Among Top 75 Counties In America

In October 2008, Progressive Farmer magazine published its "Best Places to Live in Rural America" report -- and the publication named Saline County as one of its best counties in America. 

The magazine's editors compiled their list of best rural counties based on certain criteria, including home and land prices; crime rates; environment; education; economic factors; and health care access.  

Three Nebraska counties made the magazine's top 20 list of Midwest counties. Red Willow County was No. 10, Adams County was No. 12, and Wayne County was No. 18. 

Saline County was ranked No. 71.

According to the magazine's statistics, Saline County scored well for its low housing costs; low unemployment and poverty rates; student/teacher ratio; large number of college bound students; and average sales tax rate. 

The county's score was hurt by a slow job growth rate and below-average number of health care clinics and pharmacies.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

School Soup Supper Is This Thursday, 5-9 P.M.

Just in time to beat the winter chill!

The Dorchester Elementary Parents Advisory Committee (EPAC) and Dorchester's Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) chapter will be sponsoring a free-will donation soup supper this Thursday, January 18, from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. during the DHS vs. Shelby-Rising City games. 

That's right -- soup on a cold January night while you get to help the mission of Dorchester's EPAC and FBLA.  

That's called a win-win!

Supper includes: Soup, sandwich, dessert and drink.

Several parents have volunteered to help work the soup supper. Those interested should call the school at (402) 946-2781.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Dorchester Hosts Teacher Development Session

Photo Credit: Friend Sentinel

The Friend newspaper has reported on a January 3 event hosted by Dorchester Public Schools that allowed 175 area school teachers to grow professionally.

The Friend Sentinel writes: 

The Blue River Cohort offers opportunities for faculty and staff from Dorchester, Exeter-Milligan, Friend, McCool Junction and Shickley to meet twice a year for speakers, break-out sessions and time to share classroom strategies.

“We hear a lot about consolidation,” Dorchester Superintendent Daryl Schrunk said. “We all believe in our schools. This way we’re able to keep our schools but do professional development together.”

Dorchester hosted the winter meeting Jan. 3, with about 175 teachers and administrators from the five schools attending.

Schrunk said the purpose of the meeting is to provide professional development to all the staff. By combining the resources of multiple schools and Educational Service Unit 6, these workshops can offer more topics and expertise than a single school might be able to give.

According to the Sentinel, break-out session topics included new apps to be used in the classroom, Title I rubric review, using para educators and curriculum strategies. A community panel featured presenters from Striv TV, Sandhills Publishing, Farmers Coop and Hudl.

The story also sheds some light on the training techniques employed at DPS.

Superintendent Schrunk said that at Dorchester, "teachers who go to training are asked to share what they’ve learned with DPS staff when they get back. The cohort gives other schools the chance to learn those things, too."

“We feel we have a lot of experts,” he said. “Let’s use them and share their knowledge.”

Friday, January 12, 2018

Dorchester Polka Party This Sunday, Jan. 14, At Legion Hall

Are you ready for polka? It's that time again.

Back by popular demand, the Dorchester American Legion Hall will be open Sunday, January 14, 2018 to once again host a polka dance.

The Accordionettes will be providing the music, according to information seen by the Times staff on social media.  

The event will kick off at 3 p.m. and continue until 7 p.m. (or later if the rowdies demand it). 

Come dance to your favorite polka; or just sit and listen to the entertainment and catch up with friends.

Only a $5 cover charge and the Legion kitchen will be open. Plan to have dinner at the Legion.

Free-will donations will be accepted. Proceeds will go to the Dorchester American Legion.

We're also told that the Dorchester Legion's famous buffalo feed is set for Sunday, January 28, so you'll want to keep the date open.

In the meantime, here's a little trivia: Polka originated as a Czech peasant dance. Historic folklore has it that a peasant girl named Anna Slezak invented the steps one day for her own amusement.  The word “pulka” is derived from the Czech phrase for “half-step,” which refers to the dance pattern of lightly stepping from one foot to the other.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Winter Blast To Impact Dorchester Area Tonight, Thursday

Another round of bitter cold, ice and blowing snow is due to hit our area this evening and through Thursday afternoon.  (Be sure to catch the latest forecast and radar image by clicking here.)

Today, the Dorchester area will see temperatures drop nearly 40 degrees, from an expected high of 55 degrees to just 18 degrees late tonight.  

Winds will pick up, and a shower this evening will be followed by periods of snow, sleet, and freezing rain late.  Up to 1-3 inches of snow accumulation could occur.

By tomorrow (Thursday morning), there will be snow and blowing snow, with a storm total of 2-4 inches.  The high will only reach 24 degrees tomorrow, with a low of 2 degrees.

A report by the Nebraska Radio Network says that traffic safety officials are telling drivers, “If it’s not urgent, stay home.”  They say that blowing snow will make driving dangerous, and can make a road you drive everyday unrecognizable.

The Nebraska State Patrol (NSP) also advises against driving in the worst of the weather.

Troopers say using up-to-date traffic information from Nebraska 511, online or via the mobile app, will help.  

NSP also issues the following reminders for motorists traveling in extreme weather conditions:

  • Always wear your seat belt and never drive faster than conditions allow.
  • Blowing and drifting snow can reduce visibility. Travel only when absolutely necessary.
  • If you must travel, use well-traveled routes and give yourself plenty of time to reach your destination. Let others know where you are going, your route, and when you will arrive.
  • If you do become stranded while traveling, stay in your vehicle until help arrives. Wind chill and freezing temperatures can be life threatening.
  • If your vehicle becomes stuck, run your motor sparingly and keep a window cracked to prevent buildup of carbon monoxide.
  • Carry a red flag or bandana in your car and attach it to the outside to signal for help.
  • NSP suggests basic items to carry in your vehicle are: First Aid Kit, phone charger, ice scraper, shovel, small bag of sand, flashlight with extra batteries, blankets or sleeping bags, extra clothing and winter accessories, jumper cables, tow rope, tool kit, matches, candles, red flag or bandana, high energy or dehydrated foods, and bottled water.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

NEWS ROUND-UP: Blood Drive At DPS Tomorrow, Jan. 8

Here's the latest from the village and surrounding area:

Blood Drive This Monday At School:  Donating blood is one of the most selfless acts.  When you donate blood, there's no telling who you'll be helping. Maybe a mother, a father, a son or daughter. A baby. Maybe a person involved in a car accident. Perhaps one of your own loved ones or friends. Thanks to the Dorchester FBLA and Dorchester volunteer firefighters, there will be a blood drive at the Dorchester School this Monday (tomorrow, January 8) from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.  Those interested in donating blood can e-mail, or call the school (402-946-2781), or you can just walk in from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. by checking in at the front office.

'Pack the Gym' This Tuesday for DHS Vs. Friend Basketball:  This Tuesday, January 9, the Dorchester Longhorns boys' and girls' basketball teams will host next-door rival Friend High School.  DHS is promoting that evening as "Pack the Gym" night.  The varsity girls will play at 6:00 p.m., while the varsity boys will start at 7:30 p.m.  All community residents are encouraged to show up, wear your orange and black, and pack the gym.

Dorchester Public Schools Honored For Saluting Veterans: Local schools recently received certificates from Nebraska Secretary of State John Gale for their participation in programs honoring military veterans in November.  Dorchester Public School was among 160 schools and districts across the state recognized for their efforts. “It really is heartwarming to see the efforts that teachers, staff and students put into these events,” Gale said, adding that he often hears from teachers about the appreciation and emotion expressed through these programs.  “They are very much about acknowledging the sacrifices of those who have served our nation, especially in combat,” Gale said.  See the secretary of state's full honor roll by clicking here.