Thursday, August 25, 2016

A Vital Renovation: The Well At The Old Thompson Mansion In Dorchester


The Dorchester Times hereby declares the renovation at 1002 Lincoln Ave. the village's most important renovation of the early 21st century.

Not only did this impressive restoration a few years ago save of one of Dorchester's most historic homes -- the former estate of Dorchester pioneer W.J. Thompson -- it also brought a new business to town.

The 3,000 sq. ft. home, built in 1901, sits on the corner of 10th and Lincoln Avenue and is an intriguing piece of our past as the site of Dorchester's famous Elmwood Pony Farm.

Now the mansion is known as The Well, which will soon complete its third year in business.  Co-owner Julie Holly says the businesses name is short for "wellness" -- and because her husband Joe drills water wells. 

Holly's goal for the area community is wellness -- wellness through massage, eating healthy and exercise.  Over the past three years, the Well has been visited by many in our county.  In fact, this unique business draws people from all over southeast Nebraska.

The Well's customers know that it is there for those who are serious about living a healthier lifestyle.  The Well offers alternative and holistic health, including massages, aromatherapy 
health, essential oils, soaps and lotions, crafts -- even yoga class.  It also offers healthy snack items, fresh herbs grown at the Holly farm and herb plants started in the Holly green house. 

"One day we  hope to have a bed and breakfast in the upper portion of the house," Holly said a couple years ago, noting that the renovation is ongoing so visitors are able to experience the house as it changes.  

Back in 2014, Holly was quoted as saying, "Joe and I are trying to bring the house back to its early 1900's roots. ... Our hope is to share this house with the community. People are welcome to stop by whenever they see we are there. I post a sign at the door during massages so my clients are not disturbed."

At last check, Julie was in the process of getting the house on the National Register of Historic Places. 

Hours of operation are currently 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tues.-Thurs.; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays; and by appointment.  The hours are subject to change.  Click here for The Well's website.

The Well's phone number is 402-418-1838 or e-mail her at thewell2@hotmail.com.


The Well has a Facebook page, too, where specials are posted.  

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Dorchester Sees 375% Gain In Weekend Traffic Since July


While Dorchester village officials probably won't hear the public grumbling about traffic jams anytime too soon, they may want to take notice of the dramatic spike of weekend traffic on Main Street from just a few weeks ago. 

It's also worth recognizing the sizable increase in economic activity produced by the individuals who arrive in those additional vehicles.

According to a study by the Times, weekend traffic on Dorchester's three-block business district has surged 375% on Friday and Saturday nights compared to just six years ago.

The Times compared two random traffic counts taken in late June and late July of this year, and two counts on the weekends since Big T's BBQ Pit Stop opened earlier this month. The tallies were taken between the hours of 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. on Friday or Saturday evenings, when Dorchester's Main Street (Washington Ave.) tends to be its busiest.


The traffic count has increased by 1100% on Sunday evenings, although that is not significant as it sounds since there were no businesses open on Sunday evenings until the opening of Big T's BBQ Pit Stop.

The increase in traffic can obviously be attributed to the success of the new BBQ restaurant and the continued success of City Slickers.


The extra vehicles mean big dollars for Dorchester, even using conservative estimates. 

We estimate that each vehicle on Dorchester's Main Street on a Friday or Saturday evening equals at least $30 spent in town on food, drinks, KENO, donations, gasoline or something else. 

Using that figure, just additional 20 vehicles appearing in the business district on weekend nights would translate into an extra $62,400 spent in Dorchester throughout the course of a year.


Have you supported Dorchester's restaurants lately? Have you encouraged your family and friends to do so, as well?

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Noticable Results Since Property Code Enforcement Started This Month


Earlier this summer, the Times reported that a new enforcer had been selected to ensure that Dorchester residents and other property owners are keeping their property up to community standards and village ordinances.  

The Dorchester Village Board officially hired and gave the green light to Penny Keller, the village's new nuisance abatement and code compliance officer.

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

We have noticed results just weeks since Keller started the job.  

One of the more welcomed clean-ups has been the commercial property south of the city park.

It's good to see property owners willingly and promptly complying with the village requests for clean-up.  They, too, should be applauded for their efforts.

Those who ignore the warnings and requests should face consequences.  After all, a run-down, neglected, unsafe and trashy piece of property tramples the rights of neighbors and hurts Dorchester's public image.

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

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Attention Dorchester Kids: Flag Football In Crete Wants You


Feel that autumn in the air?

It means football season is almost here.  And Dorchester kids are encouraged to sign up for the flag football league in Crete.  It's an easy, fun and non-intimidating way to learn the game.

The league is open to both boys and girls in first, second, third and fourth grades.

Deadline to register is this Friday, Aug. 26.  (No registrations after the deadline.)  Cost is $45 per player.

The games will be held Sept. 11, 18, 25 and Oct. 2 at the old armory in Crete at 515 E. 1st St.

Register online by clicking here, or submit the registration and payment in person at the Crete Recreations Office at 243 E. 13th St. in Crete.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

NEWS ROUNDUP: Newspaper Spotlights New DPS Superintendent


New DPS Superintendent Featured In Friend Newspaper: The Friend Sentinel has done quite a write-up on Daryl Schrunk, Dorchester Public School's new superintendent.  According to the story, Mr. Schrunk said he was very selective when it came to applying for a superintendent’s position.  The former Columbus Lakeview Elementary administrator told the newspaper that Dorchester School is "a diamond in the rough," as described by a former Wayne State College instructor.  "Schrunk said he has a solid vision for Dorchester and is committed to education. The key is a strategic plan that will allow the community to participate," according to the story. "His plan includes five areas: perseverance, respect, integrity, decision-making and excellence (PRIDE). One of his goals is to find people in the district with whom the students can connect."  He adds: "Dorchester needs to be Dorchester no matter what."  

Bors Wins National FBLA Award:  More than 336 Nebraska students and advisers recently attended the Future Business Leaders of America National Leadership Conference in Atlanta.  Nebraska FBLA members competed June 29-July 2 in 70 events. More than 12,000 FBLA members from 46 states, as well as U.S. territories and international chapters attended the conference.  Dorchester's Clarissa Bors was one of a handful of participants who were recognized with the FBLA's National Community Service Award.  Congratulations to Clarissa.

Dorchester Area Residents Win Czech Day Awards:  We are guessing that a high percentage of Dorchester residents, from both town and country, attended the annual Czech Days celebration in Wilber a couple weekends ago.  We note that some of those folks came home with awards.  Betty Buhr with Horse “Sparky” won first place in the "Horses" division at the Czech Days parade.  At the two-mile Duck and Dumplings race, Judy (Kasl) Bors ran it in 18:14, capturing 1st place in her age category, beating her closet competitor by over a minute.  Former DHS track standout Janet (Uher) Schrick ran the 2-miler in 15:36 and was 1st in her age group.  Dorchester student Carly Rains, 11, took 6th in the 14-and-under division.  Clarissa Bors took 8th in the 15-20 group.  On the men's side, Jamie Karl ran the two-miler in 13:19, good enough for 2nd place in his category.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

MHS-DHS Football Prepares For 2016 Campaign; Dustin Nelson Gets Spotlight


Football season is nearly upon us.

The Dorchester-Milford football team will kick off a new season with a road contest next Friday, Aug. 26, at Columbus Lakeview. The MHS-DHS team is entering its fourth season as a combined unit in football at the Class C-1 level, which offers a more competitive brand of football.
And to prove that Longhorns can compete, DHS's Dustin Nelson is getting much attention in the pre-season media.
The team is coming off a 6-win season in 2015, and it boasts half a dozen Dorchester players according our count.
The DHS-MHS squad will again be led by 37-year veteran head coach Marty Hingst, who is one win away from his 250th career win.  With one more victory, Hingst will become the 16th coach in Nebraska history to reach 250 career wins.
The team this year will have five returning starters on both sides of the ball.
The Lincoln newspaper reports:  Priority No. 1 for Milford-Dorchester will be rebuilding the offensive line. Outside of Parker Moore, the Eagles will have four new starters up front, but coach Marty Hingst likes the upside and size of his big men. Jaidon Policky, a four-year starter, aims for a healthy season at running back and safety after missing three games last year. Dustin Nelson, Austin Martin, Drake Burton and Elliott Carraher could be splitting the carries with Policky, and Jacob Bitterman will battle for the starting quarterback spot.
Regarding Dorchester's Dustin Nelson, the Journal Star names him as the team's "spotlight player," adding that Nelson returns after leading the team in tackles (70) from his linebacker position in 2015. He also averaged 7 yards per carry.
***
HISTORY AND OUTLOOK FOR DHS
The 2013 season marked the first time since 1948 that Dorchester had not had a high school team. (In 1949, DHS' football program was rejuvenated after years of not playing the game due to a student's death on the gridiron in the early 1930s.)
Four years ago, Milford school administrators and board members agreed to allow DHS to join in what is now officially deemed an "athletic cooperative" between the two schools, until DHS has sufficient numbers to resume playing at the Class D level.  The impacted athletics include football and wrestling.

Milford-Dorchester 2016 Schedule
Aug. 26 | Columbus Lakeview | A
Sept. 2 | Adams Central | H
Sept. 9 | David City | A
Sept. 16 | Bishop Neumann | A
Sept. 23 | Ashland-Greenwood | H
Sept. 30 | Southern | H
Oct. 7 | Raymond Central | A
Oct. 15 | Lincoln Christian | A
Oct. 21 | Fairbury | H

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

OUR OPINION: Should Schools, Parents Bring Back Spanking?


One complaint you'll hear often from public school teachers today is they're expected to raise other people's children -- and discipline them -- when they're supposed to be teaching in the classroom.

Hey, we know there are still plenty of great kids out there, from good families.  But there's no doubt times have changed over the past few decades.  More single moms and deadbeat dads, and less respect for once revered institutions, have meant big time consequences in small and big schools alike.

One reason more youth misbehave today is because they can.  Fewer modern-day parents discipline their children in meaningful, memorable ways that would deter kids from being repeat offenders.

In 1954, the Gallup organization asked Americans to reflect on their teenage years and name the most effective form of punishment for "children your age who refused to behave." The top answer, given by 40%, was what the original Gallup news release reported as "whipping" -- encapsulating a variety of responses that included "beating," "shellacking," "spanking," use of the "strap" or "stick," and other forms of punishment. "Taking away privileges" was a distant second (25%), followed by being kept at home -- or, in today's parlance, being grounded (11%).

Problems with youth did not show up as a major public concern in Gallup's data on the most important problem facing the country in the 1950s. Today they do.

Example: The breaking story of the South Carolina teens who shot and killed a good Samaritan who stopped to help the kids get their car out of a ditch.  Or the new story about two teens in nearby Beatrice who broke into the public library urinated and defecated on the floor and on a statue, and then deployed the fire extinguishers.

Wanna bet these kids were rarely, if ever, disciplined growing up?


Back to the 1954 Gallup poll: 55% of adults said they thought school officials should have the right to give pupils a "licking."  And when asked to name the oldest age at which a child should be spanked, 32% thought this was appropriate through the ages of 12 to 14, and 17% said 15 or older. 

Many among us have been brainwashed to believe all corporal punishment is wrong, whether carried out by parents, other relatives or school teachers/administrators.

But the social order, in many corners of our country -- including in our own state -- is no longer in order.  And some of today's kids are mirroring this fact; they will eventually pay an awful price for their parents' unwillingness to do their job.

Better for a child to get a spanking for his misbehavior and disrespect today than to get a life behind bars -- or worse -- tomorrow.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Longtime DPS Teacher Margaret Rasmussen Passes; Funeral Is Saturday


For 32 years -- almost a third of a century -- Margaret Rasmussen was a fixture at Dorchester Public Schools, where she taught two generations of fourth graders.

The Times has received word that Rasmussen, who celebrated her 100th birthday at an open house in Dorchester exactly one year ago last Tuesday, has passed.

Rasmussen started her teaching career after her high school graduation in 1932.  Taking night classes, attending summer school and doing extension work, she earned her bachelor's degree from Doane College.  

For many years, she taught at country schools in Saline and Fillmore counties.  She even served on the advisory board for the Nebraska history textbook.

Rasmussen's first year with Dorchester Schools was 1961.  She retired in May 1993.  Her retirement closed the books on a 52-year teaching career.

An obituary will be posted when it is made available to the public.

UPDATE: Here is Margaret's obituary, as posted by Lauber Moore Funeral Home:

A Funeral Service will be held at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, August 20, 2016 at the United Church of Christ in Friend with Pastor Dave Coleman officiating. Interment will be in Andrew Cemetery. Visitation will be on Friday, 1-9 pm at Lauber-Moore Funeral Home, Friend. Memorials are directed in care of the family for future designation. Pallbearers will be Justin Hesser, Mark Zieg, Todd Hilifiker, Gerald Zieg, Tanner Rasmussen and Douglas Rasmussen. Honorary Pallbearers will be John Stewart, Sonny Hanson and Loki Rasmussen. Shirley Milton, organist, will accompany Gloria Riley, vocalist, for the songs, “I Know Who Holds Tomorrow” and “How Great Thou Art”. The congregational hymn will be “In The Garden”. 

Margaret Geraldine Rasmussen was born August 16, 1915 on a farm near Cordova to George and Anna A. (Ahl) Zieg, Sr. the oldest of three children and passed away on Monday, August 15, 2016 at Bryan Medical Center East in Lincoln at the age of 100 years, 11 months 30 days. As a young girl she attended country school and graduated from Friend High School with the Class of 1934. Following her graduation, Margaret received her Normal Teaching Certificate and taught in Saline County School Districts #23, #33 and #101. She then taught in Fillmore County Districts #23 and #33 before returning to Saline County #23. Margaret took night classes, attended summer school and did extension work so that she could complete her Bachelor’s degree, which she received from Doane College. Margaret taught at Dorchester Public School from 1961 to 1993. She was united in marriage to Harold Axel Rasmussen on May 28, 1946 at St. John’s Danish Evangelical Lutheran Church in Cordova and to this union two sons, Dean and Dale were born. 

Together they made their home in the Friend and Dorchester area where Margaret was a busy mother raising her sons and teaching school. During the summer months she often was found tutoring students. Margaret taught 32 years at Dorchester for a total of 52 years when she retired. 

Margaret served on the Advisory Committee for the Nebraska History text “Changing Nebraska.” She was a member of Nebraska State Teachers Association. 

In her spare time, Margaret raised a large garden, canning the bounty. She did embroidery and was an avid reader. One of her favorite holidays was Thanksgiving for the gathering of the family.

Margaret is survived by her sons and daughters-in-law, Dean and Rose Anne Rasmussen, Lincoln, Dale and Pam Rasmussen, Ceresco, three grandchildren, Douglas Rasmussen, Challis, ID, Loki Rasmussen, Charlottesville, VA, Tanner Rasmussen, Lincoln, sister-in-law, Marie McCormich, Lincoln, nieces, nephews and a host of other relatives and friends. 

She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, brother, George “Bud” Zieg, Jr., sister, Gertrude “Gertie” Steffensen.

Farmers Almanac: Expect Teeth-Shattering, 'Ice Cold' Winter


If you're tired of the heat and humidity, the 2017 Old Farmer’s Almanac long-range forecast is for you.  The Almanac predicts a harsh winter for our neck of the woods.

The long-term weather forecast calls for a teeth-chattering winter for the eastern two-thirds of the nation. 

"We're calling it the return of the old-fashioned winter. The ice cold winter is back," said Sandi Duncan, managing editor.

While August and September will remain hot and bring tropical storm threats and scattered thunderstorms, especially in late August and Sept. 16-19.

Although winter temperatures will then be above normal, the periods of coldest weather will arrive in late December, mid- and late January and early and mid-February.

To accompany these colder temperatures, snowfall will be higher than normal in our region. The snowiest periods will be in mid- to late January and early to mid-February.

The Farmer’s Almanac is based on a “secret formula” that uses both historical methods and scientific calculations.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

NEWS ROUNDUP: Dorchester School Hosts Open House Tuesday Night


School Open House Is Tuesday:  As the kids (and parents) mentally prepare to begin another school year, Dorchester Public Schools will hold an open house the evening before the first day of school.  The open house will take place Tuesday, Aug. 16, 6:30 p.m. in the gym.  Students will meet their new teachers and see their classrooms.  Students can bring their school supplies so they're ready when the bell rings on Wednesday.  DPS' new superintendent, Mr. Schrunk, will also greet students and parents.  Be there as the 2016-2017 school year gets underway!

Dorchester Preschool Taking Applications Now:  The Dorchester Preschool is now taking applications for enrollment for the 2016-17 school year.  The preschool specializes in preparing young minds with the thinking skills and concepts needed for school readiness in the 21st century.  Dorchester Preschool is available for kids who will be 3 years old by September 1, and for 4-year-olds who plan to attend Kindergarten the next fall.  For more information, call Doris at 946-2066 during school hours, or at her home at 402-821-2547.

Husker Fantasy Camp Design Carved In Local Corn Field: Did you happen to see U.S. Cellular's design carved in a corn field just west of town? Probably not, unless you were operating your drone or flying yourself up and around the Dorchester skies.  The image to the right is from the social media account of Joel Weber, the DHS alum who is owner and operator of Weber Feed Yards.  We are told by inside sources that the U.S. Cellular Husker Fantasy Camp Sweepstakes offers an exciting opportunity that includes a Memorial Stadium tour, chalk talk with former Nebraska football players,on-field activities, game jersey and playbook.  Whatever it is, that's quite a billboard.

Old-Fashioned Replica Signs Available For Your Business:  Some of our readers recall days when every business on most main streets across America had their own cool-looking neon or bulb-lit sign.  Now businesses in Dorchester and elsewhere can replicate that look to draw attention to their operations.  A company based in San Diego will personalize this sign for you and your needs.  Click here to see the company's Craigslist ad.  (The Times is neither receiving compensation for this mention, nor are we affiliated with this business.  We just wanted to share this interesting ad with our readers.)

Friday, August 12, 2016

Hey, Nebraskans! You're Richer Than You Think


Recently, we received an e-mail alerting us to a new study that should make all of us Nebraskans feel a little better -- at least financially. 

A think tank in Washington, DC, called the Tax Foundation recently released a map showing the real value of $100 in each state. The Foundation considered purchasing power using data from the Consumer Price Index, which serves as a measure of inflation.  

As reported by The New York Times, North Dakota emerged as the state where per-capita incomes have the most purchasing power, but Nebraska wasn't far behind.  

North Dakota's "real per-capita personal income" is roughly $56,000.  Nebraska came in at No. 6 out of 51, with a real per-capita personal income of $48,000.  

The states where incomes fell shortest were Utah, New Mexico, Arizona, Idaho and Hawaii, all of them home to real per-capita personal incomes of $36,000.  

In its blog, the Tax Foundation noted, "Adjusting incomes for price level can substantially change our perceptions of which states are truly poor or rich.  For example, Nebraskans and Californians earn approximately the same amount in dollars per capita, but after adjusting for regional price parity, Nebraskan incomes can buy more."  

What's more is the Foundation analyzed purchasing power within the states, themselves.  It concluded that "cities are almost uniformly more expensive than rural areas due to the higher price of land."

Here in Saline County and other parts of rural Nebraska, your $100 bill is essentially worth $116.30, according to the Foundation.  While in Denver, that $100 is only worth $95.  In Miami or Chicago, it's only worth $94.  And in New York City, it's only worth about $80.  

While these may not seem like huge differences, they are when you consider the effect on $50,000 or $100,000.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

National Website Brags Up Dorchester


A nationally known website is touting Dorchester's positive qualities.

Sperling's Best Places analyzes data regarding demographics and the selection of "Best Places" to live, work or retire.

Here are some of the key findings from Sperling's analysis of Dorchester:

  • According to Sperling's, Dorchester's cost of living is 20.30% lower than the U.S. average.
  • In addition, the median home cost in Dorchester is $81,700, the website says.
  •  Dorchester's average home price appreciation over the last year has been 5.40%.
  • It looks like the Dorchester School Board and administrators are looking out for local property taxpayers.  According to Sperling's, Dorchester public schools spend $11,921 per student. The average school expenditure in the U.S. is $12,435. 
  • There are about 10.8 students per teacher in Dorchester -- and studies show that small class sizes typically produce superior students and prepared adults for the nation's workforce.
  • Sperling's predicts that future job growth in Dorchester over the next ten years is predicted to be 35.30%.  (Do they know something we don't regarding the Co-op's expansion?))

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Dorchester's Corrine Tyser Passes At 83


Corrine C. Tyser, 83, of Dorchester passed away yesterday, August 9, 2016.  She was born December 19, 1932 in Saline County near Swanton to Joseph and Libbie (Wanek) Stirba.

Survivors include her sons, Sheldon Tyser of Hallam; Gregory Tyser of Dorchester; grandchildren, Kodee Tyser, Taylor Tyser of Wilber; Kohl Tyser, Karter Tyser of Dorchester; sister, Marilyn Wolfe, Dorchester; sisters-in-law, Gladys Tyser of DeWitt; Verla Tyser of Wilber; and many nieces and nephews.

Corrine is preceded in death by her husband, Dwain E. Tyser; parents, Libbie and Joe Stirba; brothers-in-law, Kenneth Tyser, Joe Tyser.

Funeral Services will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, August 12, at Kuncl Funeral Home in Wilber. 

Visitation with family greeting friends will be on Thursday from 6-8 p.m. at the funeral home. Interment at Wilber Czech Cemetery. 

Memorials care of the family for future designation. 

Condolences may be left online at kunclfh.com. A full obituary will appear later.

OUR VIEW: It's Time To Bring Back Dorchester's Fall Festival


We have received word that next door in Crete, they're planning a "Great Pumpkin Festival" on Oct. 2. (See details here.)

Good for Crete, we say.  And we encourage our readers to make plans to attend.  After all, fall is a time of celebration.  It's appropriate in this part of the country.

Some of our readers may recall that in the late 1970s, Dorchester held its own fall festival, an idea conceived and organized by school administrators and educators and town leaders. 

Dorchester's autumn celebration was complete with a parade, kid activities, performances and food, like kettle corn and carmel apples.

This recollection made us wonder aloud: Why in the world doesn't Dorchester rekindle this tradition? 
Dorchester needs more community events to get everyone together again -- and get us talking to one another, other than through blogs, text messages or social media posts.
Dorchester -- home of one of the state's largest farmers cooperatives -- is a perfect site for a fall festival.

We already have a fantastic farmers' market each and every Friday during the production months.

In the late '70s, school leaders helped bring about the town's fall festival as a way to unite the entire community and school.  

With no football team playing at Nerud Field this year, solidifying the bond between DPS and the rest of the Dorchester area community is vital.

Perhaps the Dorchester Community Foundation, business owners, church leaders and Dorchester School personnel can plan a weekend this fall for a town get-together.  There have been crazier ideas.

A parade, fundraisers for student events or organizations, caramel apples, kettle corn -- the opportunities for an enjoyable (and even profitable) weekend are endless.

Doesn't a fall festival sound nice right about now? It's an idea whose time has come -- again.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

NEWS ROUNDUP: Pleasant Hill Man Arrested In Kidnapping Of Toddler


Pleasant Hill Man Arrested For Attempted Kidnapping:  The Lincoln newspaper reports that Fairbury police arrested 66-year-old George R. Buhr of Pleasant Hill last week on suspicion of trying to kidnap a 4-year-old.  Our records indicate that Buhr lives at 856 County Road 1625, Dorchester --  in the former Pleasant Hill country schoolhouse.  Police got a call early Wednesday afternoon that a man took the little girl out of a shopping cart at the Fairbury Wal-Mart and told her he was a kidnapper. The girl's father grabbed her back, and Buhr ran from the store and drove off in a white Dodge pickup with Saline County plates, police said.  About an hour later, a deputy with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department saw the truck at the Rock Creek Campground southeast of Fairbury and confirmed with Buhr that he was the suspect.  Deputies and Fairbury police officers arrested Buhr, who said he was kidding when he told the little girl he was a babynapper.  He is out of jail on $50,000 bond.

Local Farm Families Honored:  Back in June, the AKSARBEN Foundation, along with the Nebraska Farm Bureau and the Nebraska Association of Fair Managers, announced honorees for the 2016 Nebraska Pioneer Farm and Nebraska Heritage Farm Awards. The awards recognize Nebraska farm families who have consecutively held ownership of land in the same family for at least a 100 years (Pioneer) or 150 years (Heritage), respectively. Local recipients included Dan and Joan Nerud, Dorchester, as well as Diana Pomajzl, Crete; John and Francis Siedhoff, Crete; Edward and Darlene Slama, Crete; and LaVern and Dorothy Novak, Milligan.

Ex-Saline County Court Clerk Gets Jail, Probation:  The news wire is reporting that a former Saline County Court assistant clerk has been given probation and some jail time for stealing thousands of dollars from the office.  Court records say 42-year-old Jodi Rezabek was sentenced Monday to three years of probation and 90 days in jail. Rezabek had pleaded guilty to felony theft and attempted forgery.  The Nebraska State Auditor's office says that when confronted with a $15,500 discrepancy in the county court's financial books, Rezabek admitted that she had taken the money to pay a contractor who did work at her home. An audit also said Rezabek had drawn a cashier's check for more than $62,000 from the account in May 2015 and then deposited it a month later.  Court records say Rezabek already has paid restitution.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Big T's BBQ Pit Stop Is Now Open On Main Street Dorchester


Dorchester's new main street restaurant is up and operating.

(UPDATE: Big T's BBQ Pit Stop is closed Mondays and Tuesdays.  Open Wednesdays thru Fridays, beginning at 11 a.m.  Open for breakfast Saturdays and Sundays beginning at 7 a.m. and open until late evenings on both days.)  

This past weekend was the first for Big T's BBQ Pit Stop.

The new eatery is located in the same building that most recently housed Ben's Iron Grill II.  


Big T's BBQ was approved last month for a liquor licence and OK'd for KENO operation by the Dorchester Village Board.

In recent years, the building on the east side of Dorchester's main street also housed Rough Reins, R Lounge, The Longhorn Saloon, Pit Stop, and Last Call Bar and Grill.

Big T's BBQ Pit Stop's owner is Timothy J. Vejraska.

Developing...


Saturday, August 6, 2016

NEWS ROUNDUP: Former DHS Teacher, Coach Blain Condreay Passes At 62


Former DHS Teacher, Coach Passes:  Sad news as former DHS educator and basketball coach Blain Condreay, 62, of Platte Center, passed away unexpectedly last Sunday, July 31, 2016, at his residence.  Funeral services were held yesterday, Aug. 6, at St. Edward Catholic Church in St. Edward. Interment followed at Evergreen Cemetery in St. Edward.  Condreay is survived by his wife, Dorothy of Platte Center; children, Marcus Condreay and wife Kiley Mackie of Kenai, Arkansas; Joel Condreay and fiancée Christie DeVries of Lincoln; Sheri Tremain and husband Matt of Dayton, Wyoming; and Christina Condreay and husband Aaron Tharp of Baumholder, Germany; and three grandchildren.  Memorials can be directed to the family’s choice. Condolences may be sent to the family at www.levanderfuneralhome.com.

Dorchester Community Foundation Plans Aug. 21 Golf Fundraiser:  The Dorchester Community Foundation Fund is planning a Golf Tournament fundraiser for Sunday, Aug. 21, 2016, at the College Heights Country Club in Crete. There will be a lunch at 11:30 a.m., followed by a shotgun start a 1 p.m.  For $50 per golfer or $100 per 2-person team, you'll get 9 holes of golf, a cart, lunch and pin prizes.  If you are interested participating in this fun event, please contact Linda Easley at (402) 641-0564.  

DHS Booster Club Seeks Members:  Dorchester Times readers -- from all across the nation -- are asked to join the DHS Longhorn Booster Club.  The club aims to make participation in all high school activities an enjoyable experience for students.  Examples of this include purchase of new athletic equipment; sponsorship of the homecoming pep rally; paying DHS coaches' fees to belong to the Nebraska Coaches Association.  If you have any questions regarding the DHS Booster Club -- or how you can contribute -- call DHS Athletic Director Brent Zoubek at (402) 946-2781.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Dorchester's Andelts Celebrate 50 Years Of Marriage


A lot was happening in 1966.

The federal Medicare program started.

The federal debt was $328.5 billion compared to today's $19.4 trillion.

The number of U.S. deaths in the war in Vietnam more than tripled in 1966.  

A more innocent era slipped away as young people in San Francisco conducted "acid tests" and the hippie and anti-Vietnam movements ramped up.

America experienced its first modern mass shooting in 1966, as sniper Charles Whitman shot and killed 16 people from atop a tower at the University of Texas. In another infamous mass killing, Robert Speck murdered eight nursing students in a Chicago dorm.

On a happier note, actor Ronald Reagan was elected governor of California.

And Larry and Gloria Andelt of Dorchester were getting married.

The Andelts recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in late July.

Their children are Brian Andelt and Healther Davey, Brad and Angela Andelt and Angie and Steve Conner. They also have nine grandchildren.

To celebrate, their family is throwing them a card shower. Cards may be sent to the couple at P.O. Box 118, Dorchester, NE 68343.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Czech Out Wilber This Weekend


The first weekend of August is nearly here and area folks -- young and old -- will be headed to the annual Wilber Czech Days Festival, one of Saline County's most noted and celebrated annual events since John Kennedy was president.

This year's theme for the festival: "Czechs Past, Present and Future." (Of course, like any ethnic celebration, we're all at least part Czech during Czech Days.)

Readers in Wilber tell us town officials have spent months preparing for the 2016 National Czech Festival (Thurs., Aug. 4 through Sunday, Aug. 7).

Every year at this time, the population of Wilber swells to as many as 50,000 as folks traverse from miles around to celebrate their own Czech ancestry or just to pay tribute to some of the county's early pioneers and traditions. 

The community of approximately 1,700 has been the official Czech capital of Nebraska since 1963 -- and of the United States since 1987.  

See the 2016 Czech Days schedule here.

This year, Czech Days activities will include a free dance at Hotel Wilber, Czech bingo, the accordion jamboree, a sand volleyball tournament, a children's parade, an art show, dance contest, Czech dinners, museum tours, quilt show, Czech heritage demonstrations, and the sounds of various polka bands.

The official Czech Days' parade starts at 2 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday. The Miss Czech-Slovak U.S.A. Queen Pageant begins at 7 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday at the outdoor theater.  

If you go, have fun and be safe.  And if you don't speak Czech, just tell them: Ahoj kámo! (Hello, friend!)

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Wilber Shows That Restoring Main Street History Can Be Done With Determination


The Omaha World-Herald is giving coverage to Steve Ourecky's efforts to renovate and rejuvenate the Fox Hole Tavern -- a fixture on Wilber's main street since the end of World War II.

According the the Omaha paper and reporter Paul Hammel, the Fox Hole won’t be up and running by this weekend’s annual Czech Festival, but Ourecky hopes to have the old watering hole back by Dec. 31 as a popular gathering spot in the Czech capital.

"Five generations of my family have had a beer there," Ourecky said. "It’s just a piece of the community I didn’t want to see die."

Ourecky’s late grandmother Irma was known as “Mrs. Wilber” for her longtime involvement in the annual Czech festival and the Nebraska Czechs of Wilber, a 54-year-old group that works to preserve Czech heritage through a museum, a cultural center and the annual festival.

Ourecky said that at one time, the tavern had the longest-running contract with Schlitz beer in the state.

The World-Herald story says "Ourecky bought the bar on Jan. 1, and has so far stripped the structure, built before 1888, back to its bricks. He wants to restore it to its glory days in the ’50s. He found an old fox painting that used to hang in the bar, hired a taxidermist to restore old elk and fox mounts that used to hang in the bar, and is re-creating the old wooden booths.

"Ourecky said he’d like to locate one of the old card tables, which, he’s told, had a slate top for scorekeeping and a handy shelf below to park frothy glasses of pivo.  A local collector also gave him a batch of Fox Hole Tavern tokens, redeemable for 5 cents apiece, that were used in card games."

“'I’m getting a lot of support from the community,' he said. 'I’m very happy about that.'

"The name of the bar came not from a local critter but from the original owner, who had just returned from World War II, according to Ourecky.

"When asking for a loan from a local banker, he was told to create 'a foxhole that fellow soldiers would want to come back to.'”

This example shows what can be done in Wilber -- and in Dorchester.

See the Fox Hole article here.

Monday, August 1, 2016

UPDATE: Nov. 8 Election Will Bring Contests For School Board, Village Board


Even though the 2016 general election is still a few months away, today marks the last day candidates can file to get on the ballot for Dorchester's Village Board.  (Note: It seems the election commission's office in Wilber put out some confusing information, but we have confirmed that today, Aug. 1, is the deadline to get on the November ballot for village board.)

Here's a look at which seats are up locally:  

Dorchester Village Board

Dorchester's village board will have two of its five seats up for election.  

One seat will be that of board member Lyle Weber. Weber, who was elected in 2008, will not run again.

The other seat up for election is that of Matthew Hoffman, who was appointed to the board last year following the resignation of Brandon Koll.  

Hoffman, Andrea Pracheil, and Gerald Sehnert have filed for village board, according to sources who contacted the Wilber courthouse.  Hoffman and Pracheil will appear on the ballot, while Sehnert filed as a write-in candidate, we're told.

Again, the filing deadline for town board is today -- August 1.  After today, those wishing to run for village board will need to run write-in campaigns by signing an affidavit at the clerk's office.

The election will take place November 8.

Dorchester Public School

The school board will have three seats on this year's November ballot -- those of current board members Lindsey Zoubek, Mark Bors and Brad Havlat.  None of these incumbents will seek re-election, we were told in an e-mail to the Times.

We know of at least two candidates who have filed and will appear on the ballot: Neil Pavlish and Mike Hatfield. Two other locals, Donald Hoffman and Kelli Schweitzer, are write-in candidates.

Sine the deadline has passed for school board candidates to appear on the Nov. 8 ballot, those wishing to run for school board will need to run write-in campaigns by signing an affidavit at the clerk's office.

Additional information can be obtained by calling the clerk's office at (402) 821-2374 or e-mailing clerk@saline.nacone.org.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Dorchester Pilot Killed In Crop-Duster Crash


Sad news hit the Dorchester area late yesterday.

Authorities say a crop-dusting pilot died Thursday in the crash of the plane he was flying in eastern Nebraska.

The crash was reported just after 3 p.m. Thursday, about three miles northeast of David City.

The pilot was pronounced dead at the scene. The Butler County attorney's office identified him as 37-year-old Ragnar Emrich of Dorchester.

The crash is being investigated.

The Lincoln newspaper reports that Emrich was pronounced dead at the scene at 4 p.m., said Julie Reiter, the Butler County attorney.

Emrich was piloting the Emrich Aerial Spraying plane when it crashed in a cornfield about 70 yards north of County Road 38 and west of the County Road O intersection. A line of trees bordered the east-west road south of the crash site.

The crash was reported by a person who was in the area at about 3:20 p.m.

David City Fire and Rescue personnel made their way to the crash site with an ambulance, but soon moved the vehicle back to the road.

The site was restricted because of the presence of chemicals still in the plane.

Representatives of the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board were making their way to the scene.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

News Roundup: New Property Code Officer Starts In August


New Property Code Officer Starts In August:  Slops, be warned! Recently, this blog reported that a new enforcer has been hired to ensure that Dorchester residents are keeping their property up to community standards and village ordinances.  This was confirmed by the minutes from the Dorchester Village Board's May 2016 meeting.  Penny Keller is the village's new nuisance abatement and code compliance officer and will begin her duties in August, according to official documents.  This hire will help ensure that property clean-up notices and enforcement originally initiated by SENDD a few years ago continues.  In the meantime, if you suspect a property in Dorchester is non-compliant with village standards, you are urged to call 402-418-8670 or to i.comply@outlook.com.

First Day Of School Is Aug. 17: Mom and Day can hardly wait for school to start again. We know that is the case in many Dorchester area households.  On Aug. 17, bells will ring again at Dorchester Public School.  See the calendar of DPS events by clicking here.

At least 25 Homes In Dorchester Now Vacant:  A recent drive around Dorchester found that at least 25 homes inside Dorchester's village limits are currently vacant.  Twenty-five houses in a town of under 200 households is far too high.  Perhaps it's time for a concerted, private effort of concerned citizens to start coordinating and planning to purchase and renovating these homes as rental properties. After all, it seems there is no desire or motivation by the current owners to do anything with most these homes but to let them deteriorate.

$30,000/Year Delivery Job In Crete:  Culligan of Crete is looking for a motivated full-time delivery driver.  If interested, visit them at 2220 West 11th Crete, NE.  Deliveries to Crete, Milford, Dorchester, Wilber, Dewitt, Friend, clatonia, Plymouth, etc.

Red Cross Needs Blood Donations Due To Serious Shortage: Earlier this month, the American Red Cross issued an emergency request for blood and platelet donations. A critical blood shortage still exists.  Dorchester area residents can help and will get a special "thank-you" of a $5 Amazon.com gift card claim for those coming to donate. Upcoming area blood drives will be held in DeWitt on Aug. 15, at the DeWitt Community Building from noon to 6 p.m.  Also, in Seward on Aug. 5, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at St. John Lutheran Church.  For more information, call the American Red Cross Blood Services at (402) 321-3576.

Study Says Tattoo Ink May Be Toxic:  A new European study finds that getting tattoos may lead to long-term skin problems and an increased risk of cancer.  The report by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) found red ink was the most dangerous, but they warned blue, green and black ink is also risky. Great. Does this mean taxpayers will be paying for the healthcare of all those inked hotties we've seen at Wal-Mart every week in the years since Dorchester has been without a grocery store?

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Huge Wind Farm Appears Destined For Saline County


Whoosh. Whoosh. Whoosh.

If you live near Milligan, on the Saline County side, that's a sound you may need to get used to.

According to the Lincoln Journal Star, Aksamit Resource Management (a wind energy corporation) won its bid Tuesday for a special use permit to build 37 wind turbines in Saline County, the first of three wind farms it plans for the state.

The county board voted 3-0 to approve it, despite concerns. Commissioners Marvin Kohout and Stephanie Krivohlavek abstained from voting, Kohout because he owns land contiguous to the project and Krivohlavek because she has family that could benefit from it.

The Lincoln paper's story goes as follows: "Following more than two hours of public comment that pitted neighbor against neighbor, Saline County Commissioners granted the permit requested by Aksamit Resource Management for a 74 megawatt wind farm the company plans to built northeast of Milligan."

According to the Journal Star, Aksamit plans to spend $110 million to build 37 turbines, each 440 feet tall when blades are at their highest point, said Michael Matheson, the company’s vice president of retail and municipal sales.

The story notes that wind turbines have been a contentious issue for Nebraskans in recent years.

"Christine McClain and her husband, Gary, bought land five months ago and spent their savings building a new home that will now be flanked by turbines. She said her dreams of a peaceful life in the country have been ruined. She fears the whoosh-thump of the turbines will cause her headaches and other ailments.

“Had I known this was going to happen, I would not have purchased my property. I’m furious,” she said.