Monday, September 25, 2017

Where Do You Stand On Bringing Back Dorchester Football?

UPDATE: When it comes to the possible return of high school football to Dorchester on Friday nights, it appears Times readers are solidly on board with the idea.  An online survey of Times readers, conducted from Sept. 23 through 3 p.m. today, shows that nearly three-quarters (73.53%) of respondents want football to return to Dorchester, even if only in the six-man form.  That's up from 68% in 2014.  Of the 68 readers who answered the survey, only 20% opposed bringing back DHS football.  Of those, only three explained their reasons for opposition, which were: 
  • "Dorchester missed the boat when a single board member swayed the entire board away from cooping sports with Friend."
  • "The team won't have the full support of the teachers!"
  • "No, don't have any interest in watching 6 man teams. The scoring is completely different and it is not as exciting. It's only a matter of time before these small schools that do play 6 man will be forced to consolidate with other schools anyway. So I don't see the need for the unnecessary costs and wasted time."
When asked if they supported the expansion of six-man football in the state, nearly 8 in ten readers (79.41%) said yes.


As we reported earlier this week, the Times has learned from reliable sources that Dorchester leaders are seriously exploring bringing back six-man football to Dorchester High School in time for the 2018 football season.

DPS Superintendent Daryl Schrunk has informed our readers that this Tuesday, Sept. 26, at 6:30 p.m. in the school library, there will be a parent meeting to discuss bringing football back to Dorchester. 

Dorchester has been without a football team of its own since 2013, as fewer enrolled boys in grades 9-12 and decreased participation rates raised questions whether a viable 8-man team could be fielded. 

Now it seems six-man football is gaining popular support in our corner of the state, and the revival of Longhorn football at Nerud Field is a real possibility next season.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Dorchester Area About To Get Gorgeous Autumn Weather

Tired of the hot, humid weather? Don't sweat it -- a change is coming in Dorchester's weather, ushering out summer temps that have dominated September.

According to AccuWeather -- the official forecasting service of the Times -- our area won't see temps get above 75 again until next week, as an early autumn cool front blankets our region.

Tomorrow (Monday, Sept. 25) will bring heavy rains and a high temperature of 68 degrees.  Gorgeous fall weather -- sunny and temps of upper 60s and low 70s -- with comprise the rest of the week.

See this week's forecast here

So what can we expect for October?

According to the Farmers Almanac, which has a good track record for its long-term weather predictions, our area will see the following for the month:

  • Oct 1-9: A few showers, cool; 
  • Oct 10-12: Sunny, cold; 
  • Oct 13-18: Rain, then sunny, chilly; 
  • Oct 19-22: Sunny, mild; 
  • Oct 23-29: Rain, then sunny, cool; 
  • Oct 30-31: Rain.

Want to look further ahead?

The Farmers Almanac says our winter will be milder than normal, with above-normal precipitation and snowfall. The coldest periods will be from late November into early December, from late December into early January, and in early February. The snowiest periods will be in mid-November, early to mid- and late December, and early February.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Sign Up Now For Women's Volleyball League In Dorchester

A women's volleyball league is coming to the Big D, with a possible co-ed league to follow.

The Times has learned that the Village of Dorchester and Dorchester Public School are teaming up to start a 3 x 3 women's volleyball league. 

Games will be played Sunday evenings, running from Oct. 8 through Dec. 10. 

The registration fee is $30 a team. Participants cannot be currently enrolled in high school.

Registration forms can be downloaded from the Village of Dorchester website or picked up at the school office. 

Forms and fee are due in Dorchester's Village Hall office by Oct. 4.

The plan is to have a co-ed 6 x 6 league start in January, according to our sources.

Monday, September 18, 2017

REPORT: 6-Man Football May Be Returning To DHS Next Year

UPDATE: In the comments section of this post, DPS Superintendent Daryl Schrunk wrote: "On Tuesday, Sept. 26, at 6:30 p.m. in the school library, we will be having a parent meeting to discuss bringing football back to Dorchester. This Wednesday (9/20), I will be attending a NSAA meeting in Lincoln regarding football around the state. Also, I have visited with many superintendents around the area that are highly considering six-man football. The state could potentially have 40+ six-man teams for Fall 2018." Superintendent Shrunk notes that a decision will need to be made at or around the "October board meeting" since the DPS board will "need to approve the contract with Milford or commit to six-man football."  Superintendent Schrunk adds that he has "been in constant communication with the administration at Milford" regarding the situation, and that DHS has "been fortunate that Milford has allowed our students to play football. If we are unable to bring football back to Dorchester, we certainly would like to continue our football co-op with Milford so our students who wish to play football have that opportunity."

The Times has learned from reliable sources that Dorchester leaders are seriously exploring bringing back six-man football to Dorchester High School in time for the 2018 football season.

That's according to extremely reliable sources.

According to reports, school leaders are now gathering input from parents and students to gauge support for the idea.

One town resident and DHS parent told us that he supported starting six-man football next fall.

"The contract with Milford [allowing DHS to co-op with MHS for two more seasons] will need to be renewed or declined soon," the parent wrote in an e-mail.  "While co-oping with Milford was a worthwhile experiment, and a few kids were able to see the playing field, busing our football kids 15 minutes away has hurt our school pride and our sense of community.  Average and young Dorchester boys aren't going out.  It has hurt Dorchester's football culture.  It's time to get that back.  I want that for my son. He wants it, too."
The idea of six-man football at Dorchester is not new.  Sixty-nine years ago this fall, Dorchester resumed its football program (following an hiatus in the program following the 1930s death of a DHS player) with only eleven players going out.

In the late 1940s and throughout the 1950s, the Longhorns played six-man ball for ten seasons, getting better with every snap.  In fact, Dorchester's six-man teams of the 1950s were quite successful.   DHS alum Vern Johnson once told us that "the best six-man player DHS ever had was Jack Bruha, a two-year all-state player in the early 1950s."

DHS transitioned to eight-man football in 1959, when DHS went undefeated.  (Back then, Nebraska did not have a state playoff system for football.)  By 1969, Dorchester was playing 11-man football, a tradition that continued until 1991, when DHS reverted to eight-man ball and dropped in size to a Class D school.  Due to fewer enrolled boys and decreased participation rates, DHS ceased to have its own football team in 2013, when it decided to co-op with Milford.

A Times poll in 2014 found that nearly 70% of Times readers wanted to see DHS football return to Nerud Field in the form of the six-man game.  

There would be challenges to starting a six-man team at DHS -- the biggest being there are only a handful of Nebraska schools currently playing the six-man game.  Currently, 26 Nebraska schools play six-man ball, up from just 18 three years ago.

The six-man game is no longer sanctioned by the Nebraska School Activities Association, although that may change in the near future considering the large number of eight-man schools that are struggling to field a team.

Currently, a separate group oversees the scheduling, playoffs and championship for Nebraska's six-man football. That group of individuals and the membership have not indicated that they want the NSAA to take administrative control.

The nearest school to Dorchester participating in the state's Six-Man Football Association's Hampton, Deshler and Harvard.  Most of the six-man schools are much further west, but the trend is definitely moving east. 


FLASHBACK: DHS Homecoming, 56 Years Ago

Maybe this photo will jog a few memories.

This image is from Dorchester High School's 1961 homecoming king, queen and candidates. 

Thanks to our reader who has e-mailed this blast from the past.

How many of you can recall when this photo was taken? A couple of individuals on our staff can.

Pictured in this photo, from left to right, are: Jimmy McReynolds, Bill August (No. 11), homecoming king Doug Sysel (No. 10), Dan Tesar (No. 3), Sharon Nohavec, homecoming queen Judy Woehrle, Connie Johnson, and Cindy Drake. 

Once a Longhorn, always a Longhorn.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

DHS Seniors Bird, Jensen Are 2017 Homecoming Royalty

Courtesy photo
This past Thursday, Sept. 14, Dorchester High School celebrated its 2017 homecoming by hosting a volleyball contest against next-door rival Friend.  

DHS fell to the Class D1 Bulldogs in three sets, but the Orange and Black still put up a good fight.

With two losses yesterday, Sept. 16, the Lady Longhorns volleyball team slip to 3-7 on the season, but are projected as favorites in their contest this Tuesday at Osceola.

By popular vote of the student body, senior Longhorns Jason Jensen and Makenna Bird were crowned DHS homecoming king and queen for 2017.  

The crowning ceremony capped a festive spirit week at DHS, which included theme-driven dress-up days at school and an impressive homecoming parade and pep rally at the city park.

This year marked the fourth consecutive year since the late 1940s that the traditional homecoming ceremonies were not held in coordination with a Longhorn football game.

Meanwhile, the Milford-Dorchester Eagles football team lost 47-7 on Friday evening to Bishop Neumann (Wahoo).  

Only half a dozen DHS players contribute to the combined Milford-Dorchester squad.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Rural Dorchester Girl Missing; Sheriff's Dept. Asks For Help

The Saline County Sheriff's Office is asking for help finding a missing teenage girl.

The sheriff's department said 14-year-old Isabelle Magana is missing from the Dorchester area.

Isabelle is described as being 5'6" tall, between 130-135 lbs, brown hair, brown eyes.

The above are accurate pictures of Isabelle, who is a student at Dorchester Public School.

She has been missing since Thursday, September 14.

She was last seen wearing black leggings with white arrows going down the side of the legs, a black tank top and grey "DC" hat with a red bill.

She is believed to be in the rural Dorchester and Crete area.

Anyone with information about Isabelle is asked to contact the Saline County Sheriff's Office at 402-821-2111 or call 911.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

NEWS ROUNDUP: Dorchester FBLA Members Win State Fair Awards

DHS FBLA Members Win State Fair Awards: Congratulations are due to Dorchester High School's Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) students and their achievements at the Nebraska State Fair.  According to media reports, Kyra Creamer took home two second place finishes in PowerPoint and Computer Graphics. She received a $50 scholarship for each event. Jaki Acosta and Haley Weber received a third place finish. They each received a $25 scholarship.  The community applauds the continued growth and achievements of Dorchester's FBLA chapter.

DHS Homecoming Parade Tonight: It's homecoming week at Dorchester. The 2017 DHS Homecoming Parade will take place tonight (Wednesday) around 6:15 p.m., with the parade beginning at the school and finishing at the park for a cook out.  Alumni, parents and all community members are encouraged to participate!

Dorchester Dump Site Open for Fall Yard Waste:  Fall is a time when most homeowners are doing a lot of yard work -- raking leaves, frequent lawn mowing, tree and shrub trimming, and clearing the garden.  To dispose of yard and tree waste, the Dorchester dump site will be open Wednesdays from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.  No trash -- just yard and tree waste is accepted.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Award Winners For Dorchester's Recent Home Improvements: West Side

When it comes to Dorchester's housing stock, sometimes, this blog is rightly criticized for focusing on the negative.  As a collective group, the Times staff believes that shining the spotlight on the most critical areas -- especially vacant or neglected properties -- is the most effective way to achieve different results.

However, we also believe it's necessary to point out the positive.

Today, we are giving our "Home Improvement Awards" to three sets of homeowners on Dorchester's west side.  (Don't worry, east siders; we will soon do the same for that side of town, too.)

All three of these homes have seen dramatic improvements over the past couple of years or more recently.  We think these property owners need to be heralded and celebrated for investing in their homes and their community.

The West Side Home Improve Awards for 2017 go to:

702 Jefferson: This is one of the more impressive home improvements we've seen in some time.  The owners took an already solid home and turned it into an eye catcher, while adding a new garage.  Kudos to these proud Dorchester residents for owning and renovating a great place!

1103 Franklin: This historic home renovation deserves a standing applause.   Formerly the Fermin Rediger home, and located at the northwest corner of W. 11th and Franklin Ave., this remarkable home has been restored to its historic self.  A showcase house since it was built at the turn of last century, the house's new owners took on a major restoration by lifting the home and putting in a new foundation.  A cleaner appearing yard with underground sprinkler and a new garage sets this home apart.  What's old is amazingly new again!

1013 Jefferson:  This home was looking rather rough just a few months ago.  But new owners have invested in the home and completely turned it around, making a run-down house into a beautiful home and refurbished yard.  (We think it's a shame that the negligent property owner to the south of this house doesn't clean the property or sell it -- but we urge village officials and neighbors to continue to pursue a clean-up solution.)

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Dorchester Methodist Church Auction, BBQ Is Sunday

It's September and that brings another annual tradition to Dorchester.

Dorchester United Methodist Church’s Annual Community Auction will be held this coming Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017.

All Dorchester area residents are encouraged to join the fun, which will be held on the church grounds at 612 Lincoln Ave.

The day's activities begin with a beef and pork barbecue from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.  

Lunch will feature a choice of beef brisket or smoked pulled pork, along with homemade coleslaw, potato salad and yummy desserts. 

The auction starts at 1 p.m. and will continue through approximately 3 p.m.  Up for bids will be Husker football and volleyball tickets, handmade crafts and wood goods, paintings, and several other items.

For more on the auction, click here.

During the auction, time will be set aside for the annual children's cake raffle -- always a big hit with grandparents.

There will be numerous auction items that will be of special interest. Novak Auction Service will be taking the bidding.

All Times' readers are encouraged to enjoy the weekend by supporting the community's church and the good work of its members by contributing at this Sept. 17 auction.

Dorchester's Wayne Hansen Passes At Age 86; Services Monday

Wayne M. Hansen, 86, died September 8, 2017. Wayne was born November 20, 1930 to Ted and
Maude Hansen in rural Webster County. He was educated at Rural School District 62 near Red Cloud, Nebraska. During his youth, Wayne became active in 4-H and began raising turkeys. It was during this time he earned his nickname Turk. He attended high school at Red Cloud where he was active in F.F.A. He graduated as salutatorian in 1948. To pursue his love of farming Wayne attended college at the University of Nebraska. He was a fraternity member of Alpha Gamma Rho while he obtained a Bachelor of Science Degree in agriculture in 1952. It was while he was at UNL he met Velma Stehlik.

Wayne served in the Army from 1952-1954. Most of his duty was in Germany where he conducted various meteorology tests. He and his army buddies spent many weekends traveling through Europe. Following his time in service, Wayne returned to UNL and served as a graduate assistant.

Wayne and Velma were married July 25, 1954 and resided in Lincoln where Wayne was a graduate assistant in the agronomy college at UNL. Soon the couple moved to Dorchester where Wayne began his farming operation and raised cattle. Wayne and Velma raised four children. The young couple was named as the Grange Farm Family of the Year in 1958. Wayne truly loved farming but always made time for travel. At the end of each summer a family vacation was taken. He and Velma also enjoyed countless trips in their retirement. Highlights of their travels were an Alaskan cruise and a trip to Europe.

Christian faith was important to Wayne so he was an active member of the United Methodist Church in Dorchester where he served on many levels. Wayne was also active in his community serving with many organizations: Grange, Farm Bureau (local, county and state levels), Exeter Feeders and Breeders, and the American Legion. His love of education continued throughout his life. He pursued additional education by taking classes at Milford Tech. Wayne also served on the Dorchester School Board for 12 years. He was on the board of directors for Production Credit Association and for Southeast Community College at Beatrice. Wayne was a member and served as president for the Upper Big Blue NRD. Hansen also served on the Saline County Zoning board. Wayne was bestowed the honor of being Admiral in the Great Navy of the State of Nebraska; Nebraska's highest honorary title by approval of former Governor James Exon.

Wayne is survived by his beloved wife, Velma, three daughters Amy of Dorchester, Brenda (Jeff) Raymond of Seward and Marla (Mike) Weber of Friend and son Matt (Donna) Hansen of Dorchester, nine grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, sister Mae Koch of Spencer, Iowa, brother Phil (Marlene) Hansen of Red Cloud and sister Phyllis (Rocky) Vasquez of Seward, nieces, nephews, and many friends. He was predeceased by his parents, his brother Elton and brother-in-law Richard Koch.

Special thanks go to the devoted, caring staff at Tabitha in Crete.

Funeral services will be at 10:30 on Monday, September 11,2017 at the Dorchester United Methodist Church with Rev. Dr. Paixao Baptista officiating. Visitation with family greeting friends on Sunday from 5-7 PM at Kuncl Funeral Home in Crete. Interment will be at Dorchester Cemetery. Memorial gifts in his memory can be made to the United Methodist Church or the Dorchester Community Foundation. Condolences may be left at

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Looking Back: Natives and Dorchester's First European Settlers

Today we look back on Dorchester's earliest recorded history and some of the area's first residents of European descent, as well as some of their confrontations with Native Americans who roamed the region.

According to the Dorchester Centennial history book, the first official survey of the Nebraska Territory was taken in 1857, shortly after the Kansas-Nebraska Act became law. The surveyor's notes for the Dorchester Precinct describe the area as having "generally level and gently rolling, good, second-rate soil." The West Fork of the Blue River was described as "clear with a very rapid current ... producing very fine cat fish and buffalo fish (carp)."

Two of the first families to settle in the Dorchester area were the Frink and West families.

In 1857 or 1858, Ephraim Frink and his wife, Mary, came from Pennsylvania and settled near Turkey Creek and just west of what is now Pleasant Hill. Soon after, the West family arrived in the area. Thomas West came from Iowa and, along with his family, brought friends Orion Johnson and William Smith. Johnson built Saline County's first homestead just north of present-day Dorchester on the banks of Johnson Creek (pictured above) and made some of the wooden burrs for the West Mills, the first grain mill between Nebraska City and the western states.

Soon after their arrival to Nebraska, Smith and West learned firsthand the dangers of living on the edge of the frontier. In the autumn of 1859, on a trip back to Dorchester from Nebraska City -- the nearest trading post -- Smith and West were confronted by a group of Pawnee Indians. Typically, the Pawnee posed little danger to white settlers. However, these particular Natives -- fearing that Smith and Johnson would report them for killing a heard of government-owned cattle -- tied up, tortured and planned to shoot both West and Smith.

Using gestures and sign language, West convinced the Natives not to kill him and his partner. The Natives agreed to release them, but not before taking all their supplies and food they had purchased in Nebraska City. West and Smith were then blindfolded for the rest of the day, driven in their oxen-led wagon for a length of time, and deserted on the prairie. For 16 days, the men wandered trying to find their way home, resorting at one point to killing a badger and eating it raw for nourishment.

Mr. West's troubles with the Natives continue soon thereafter. In March 1860, the West family's log cabin was set on fire by the a band of Omaha Indians. Sioux Indians, meanwhile, killed many of the Frink family's cattle.

One of the most unfortunate confrontations between Natives and Dorchester-area settlers came in 1860 -- when there were only around 30 residents in Saline County. A small party of Indians made a hostile raid on the Patton family, who had come from Kentucky and lived in the area southwest of present-day Dorchester. After a group of Natives stole Mr. Patton's cattle and "mistreated" his wife while he was away from home, Mr. Patton vowed he would kill an Indian in vengeance. He did, somewhere in Gage County. In response, the first governor of the Nebraska Territory, J. Sterling Morton, encouraged pioneers in and near Saline County to protect themselves by organizing a citizens' militia, armed with firearms issued by the Territory.

According to the Dorchester Centennial history book, the Natives and the settlers of Saline County learned "to become more friendly and even helpful" to each other. Mary West, Thomas' wife, was often seen feeding the Natives stew. The Natives "taught the settlers how to cure meat, tan hides and make moccasins."

Thomas West became known as "Good Thomas" by the Natives due to his gentle nature. When he died of typhoid fever in 1880, a small group of Natives formed a circle around his grave and performed something similar to the Pawnee's peace pipe ceremony that "recognized the spirits of nature" -- earth, sky and the four winds. It is reported they then let out "howls" of mourning in tribute to one of the Dorchester area's first white settlers -- a man who, probably unknowingly, helped forge the permanent change in Natives' land and way of life.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

This Saturday Brings 'Massive Gun Auction' To Downtown Dorchester

Autumn is auction time in Nebraska.  

And a big one is coming to Dorchester this Saturday, Sept. 9.

According to social media accounts, the Dorchester American Legion will hold a 'massive gun auction' and sportsman/outdoorsman auction beginning at 1:30 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 9 as a fundraiser for the Legion.

The Legion's sale bill reports there will be rifles, shotguns, military items, decoys, silver coins, and much more.

According to the Legion's social media posts, there is still time to place an item on this auction.  

If you have items you'd like to sell on an auction, you're encouraged to call Tom Cerny (402.381.8049) as soon as possible.

Buyers are encourage to click here to keep an eye on items.

Auction services are being donated by Novak Auction for the Legion free of charge.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Eyesore On 9th & Jefferson Sold To Local Investors

Courtesy Photo

This blog has made no secret about our staff's opinions regarding vacant and abandoned houses.

While there are about two dozen truly neglected properties in Dorchester -- all of which are in need of immediate repair or removal -- perhaps no site has commanded more community attention that the long-abandoned home at the intersection of Jefferson and 9th streets.  This is due primarily to the house's proximity from Dorchester Public School on a well-traveled street.

Earlier this year, we reported that this home at 813 Jefferson posed a real threat to human health due to its condition and the critters that currently call it home.  (We also made this property the butt of our April Fools joke.)

Recently, an e-mail sent to the Times reported that the property had been sold to investors who are considering their options to build new family housing.  According to the e-mail, "this only happened because the investors" -- a Dorchester family -- "had the initiative" to approach the property owner.

At this point, those are all the details we have.  But we thought the development was worth reporting considering the property's history.  (According to sources, the village government tried to demolish the structure a few years ago, but a judge intervened saying that "improvements were being made."  Now, years later, the house's chimney has collapsed and the roof is caving in.)

There is no one-size-fits-all answer for communities looking to reinvent themselves. Dorchester residents and those with deep Dorchester ties know what is best for the community.  It's good to see fellow residents step up to the plate and make change happen instead of waiting for government or others to solve the problem.

If this development is true, and the home has indeed been sold to investors in our community who plan to redevelop this property, this action could likely be a catalyst, causing other negligent property owners to finally sell their properties that are prime for redevelopment.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Month-Long Dorchester Clean-Up Campaign Begins

Town residents are encouraging a village-wide clean-up of Dorchester -- starting right now.

The Times has learned that several Dorchester residents are organizing a month-long Village Clean-Up Campaign, set to be completed by Sunday, October 8.

If you're an owner of a neglected or blighted home, yard, building or lot, you have about a month to get your place looking better.  You don't want your property sticking out like an ugly, swollen thumb. (We could have chosen a more appropriate analogy, but this is a family friendly site.)

All Dorchester residents are encouraged to "take the time to clean their yards and other properties to show that they have pride in Dorchester life," according to an e-mail sent to the Times. 

Organizer Carol Olson says that the campaign is not just aimed at trying to get people to clean their own yards, but also helping others clean up their property. 

"We want the entrances into town to be cleaned and mowed," Olson said.  "We will be asking for volunteers to walk the curve north of town to the spur to pick up trash."  

Olson notes that the United Methodist Church has volunteered to host a pot luck meal on Sunday, October 8 for all the volunteers and anyone in the community who wants to join the UMC for fellowship.

For more details and to volunteer for this clean-up effort, contact Carol Olson at 402-656-3615 or

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Nice Dorchester Home At 806 Fulton Set For Sept. 16 Auction

Dorchester's real estate market is hot!  As we've reported recently, with demand for small-town life growing, this village of around 600 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. Consider what Dorchester has to offer:
  • TOP-NOTCH SCHOOL: A new K-12 school with some of the state's best educators. The lowest school tax levy in the county and one of the lower property rates in southeast Nebraska.
  • SAFE COMMUNITY:  With a new water system and sewer system.
  • LOWER COSTS: Affordable cost of living.
  • KEY BUSINESS: Headquarters for one of the state's largest agri-businesses (Farmers' Cooperative) and is situated on the thriving Burlington Northern Santa Fe rail line and along two major highways.
  • GEOGRAPHIC ADVANTAGE: A quick drive to many employers in Crete, Milford, Friend and Seward, and just 30 minutes to Lincoln and 10 minutes to Interstate 80.  Yet all the advantages of a rural small town.
However, one challenge facing Dorchester is available housing.  We often hear from many readers who say they would like to move to Dorchester, if only good homes were available.

Today, we are showcasing the latest Dorchester homes available right now.

If you're ready to call Dorchester home, we encourage you to take a look and make a timely offer (again, things are moving fast in this market).  Make Dorchester your home and enjoy a great small-town way of life.

806 Fulton Ave.:  This nice ranch style home, which is being offered at auction, consists of a living room/ dinning area, kitchen, 2 bedrooms, full bath, 3/4 bath, and a utility room on the main floor. The home is also sitting on an unfinished basement with lots of potential. Accompanying the home is a nice 2 stall attached garage and a utility shed.  The property consists of approximately three lots.  ALSO SELLING AT AUCTION IS 2-1/2 LOTS OF PROPERTY LOCATED BEHIND THE HOME.  Listed with Novak Auction Service, which will conduct the Sept. 16 auction to sell this property.  See the Novak Auction Service website for details.

2017 DHS Volleyball Season Now Underway

The Dorchester High School volleyball team's 2017 campaign is now underway.

Last Thursday, the Lady Longhorns kicked off the season with a very competitive match at Class D-1 East Butler, as DHS lost a squeaker in five sets by scores of: 26-24, 21-25, 25-19, 13-25, 15-12.

This year, there are high expectations, with key returning sophomores and seniors, along with talented freshmen, donning the orange and black -- representing their school.  

Bottom line: It appears the mighty DHS will field a very competitive volleyball team in 2017.

This week, Dorchester will play in a triangular at Weeping on Thursday, Aug. 31, as the Lady Longhorns take on Class C-2 Palmyra and Class D-1 Weeping Water.

The Lady Longhorns are looking to continue a culture of winning traditions under fifth-year head coach Ty Peteranetz and very capable assistant coaches.  

Coach Peteranetz is a self-described "transplanted, Colorado-born Husker fan" who moved to Nebraska in 2011 after 30 years in Colorado to be a volleyball coach.  He teaches Dorchester's fourth grade.

Here's a look at this year's DHS volleyball schedule:

2017 DHS Volleyball Schedule

08/24/17 @ East Butler -- Lost
08/31/17 Palmyra -- Triangular (host: Weeping Water)
08/31/17 Weeping Water -- Triangular (host: Weeping Water)
09/05/17 Parkview Christian -- Triangular (host: Parkview Christian)
09/05/17 College View Academy -- Triangular (host: Parkview Christian)
09/07/17 Hampton -- Triangular (host: Hampton)
09/07/17 Giltner -- Triangular (host: Hampton)
09/14/17 Friend
09/16-09/16 -- BDS Tourney (1-Day Tournament, >4 Teams) Shickley
09/19/17 @ Osceola 
09/21/17 High Plains Community -- Triangular (host: Shelby/Rising City)
09/21/17 Shelby/Rising City -- Triangular (host: Shelby/Rising City)
09/23/17 -- Nebraska Lutheran Tourney (4-Team Round Robin) Waco
09/26/17 Sterling
09/28/17 Diller-Odell -- Triangular (host: Diller-Odell)
09/28/17 Meridian -- Triangular (host: Diller-Odell)
10/05/17 Cross County -- Triangular (host: Dorchester)
10/05/17 Exeter-Milligan -- Triangular (host: Dorchester)
10/10/17 McCool Junction -- Triangular (host: Dorchester)
10/10/17 BDS -- Triangular (host: Dorchester)
10/14-10/17 -- Crossroads Conference Tournament (2/3-Day Tournament) York
10/24/17 @ Tri County  
10/26/17 Nebraska Lutheran

Friday, August 25, 2017

FLASHBACK: Results From Our 2014 Community Survey

In August 2014, we asked Dorchester area residents to take our community survey.

The was idea was to help community members get a better pulse of our village and its future needs.  

Nearly 100 respondents took the survey (96 to be exact).

Today, three years later, we look back on our survey and see what, if any, progress has been made.


  • A strong majority (75%) thinks it is "very important" for Dorchester to grow its population.
  • To encourage population growth, most respondents said new housing and new businesses were key.
  • Dorchester's close proximity to larger towns and its school are top selling points, most respondents said.
  • Unpaved streets are a key factor in keeping Dorchester from reaching its full potential, most respondents said.
Here is a look at each question we asked, followed by the answers chosen:

How important is it for Dorchester to grow its population? (One answer)

"Very important" -- 75.0%
"Somewhat important" -- 18.8%
"Not important" -- 6.3%

How would you encourage new population growth in Dorchester? (Multiple choice)

"Work with young people to plan Dorchester's future" -- 30.9%
"Bring in new housing" -- 48.9%
"Start recruiting new businesses" -- 50%
"Recruit DHS grads back to the area" -- 13.8%
"Offer incentives for people to relocate, such as free lots on which to build" -- 26.6%

What is Dorchester best selling point? (Multiple choice)

"It's clean, quiet and safe" -- 28.1%
"Affordable cost of living" -- 30.2%
"Character of those who live here" -- 22.9%
"Proximity to larger towns and cities" -- 53.1%
"Its small, quality school and programs for kids" -- 37.5%

Which factor is keep Dorchester from reaching its full potential? (One answer)

"Lack of new housing options" -- 12.5%
"Unpaved streets" -- 41.7%
"Too few employers in town or near by" -- 15.5%
"The loss of young people after high school" -- 18.8%

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Main Street Improvement Of The Month: Dorchester Fire Hall

The Dorchester Volunteer Fire Department's building gets our award for main street improvement project of the month.

An out-of-town painting crew worked hard this past weekend to paint the fire hall.  And the difference is turning heads. 

The new paint job is the first noticeable exterior improvement to the fire hall since 2008, when a stone and brick marker was erected by Klein Construction. That marker recognizes the year in which the DVFD was established (1914), and was built using the Ed Smith Memorial Fund.

The volunteers of the Dorchester Fire and Rescue Department make a big sacrifice to serve and protect the residents of our area, and the department is vital to our community.  

If you'd like to show your appreciation and donate to the DVFD, you may do so by sending a contribution to:

Dorchester Volunteer Fire Dept. 
P.O. Box 36
Dorchester, NE  68343 

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

FLASHBACK: The "D" Club -- 55 Years Ago

The "D" Club.  When we were students at Dorchester High School, we all knew who belonged to that group of individuals -- those who had lettered in their chosen sport or activities. 

For every generation that has roamed the hallways of Dorchester Public Schools, at least in the post-WWII era, the black and tan letter jacket (or D Club sweater), emblazoned with the big, bright letter D, has always commanded respect and admiration.

The photo above is of the 1961-1962 D Club.  Notice at that time, the D Club was all male.

That was quite a year for DHS athletics.  Most memorable was the undefeated football team, which some local sports fan say was one of the best teams ever to play at Dorchester.  The team was led by a very nimble, quick senior Dan Tesar, who held several records at DHS for decades.

Pictured in this photo, from left to right, are: (Top Row) Bill August, Rex Johnson, Marty Kamper, John Howlett, F.C. Green, Gary August, Dale Weber.  (Bottom Row) Duaine Bullock, Larry Jonas, Jack Guggenmos, Mr. Semin, Dr. Drake, Dan Tesar, Doug Sysel, and Harold Axline.

Monday, August 21, 2017

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

We have received word that next door in Crete, they're planning its annual "Great Pumpkin Festival" on Oct. 8. (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 again this year, solidifying the bond between DPS and the rest of the Dorchester area community is vital.  (To re-invigorate football, it's time to initiate plans for six man football and all-fall, youth flag football games, some of our staff members say.  But we'll save that for another day.)

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 Dorchester fall festival sound nice? It's an idea whose time has come -- again.

UPDATE: Dorchester One Of Best Places In U.S. To See Today's Eclipse

Today, Monday, Aug. 21, 2017, parts of this country will see day turn to twilight as the sun disappears behind the moon, causing the temperature drop rapidly and revealing massive streamers of light streaking through the sky around the silhouette of the moon.

Today, a relatively select swath of America will fall under the path of a total solar eclipse.  And Dorchester, Nebraska will be right in the heart of this unforgettable (and extremely rare) occurrence.

In Dorchester, the moon will be in the sun's path starting at 11:36 a.m. and continue for 2 hours, 52 minutes. The total eclipse will start at 1:01 p.m. and continue for 2 minutes, 34 seconds

To give Dorchester residents a great view and experience, there are three great options to view the eclipse in Dorchester:

* DHS Football FieldStudents and community will gather at the Dorchester School football field (Nerud Field) for the event. Bring a blanket and view the eclipse from the field in your hometown. The concession stand will be open with "eclipse food" such as Starburst, Moon Pies, Sunkist, Bomb Pop Rockets, Sun Chips, and more! Hot dogs and walking tacos, as well as soda, Gatorade, and popcorn will also be served over lunch. The stand will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with the proceeds going to the school library. 

* Tyser Auto Sales lot on main street.  This will be a community potluck lunch, with Greg Tyser providing pulled pork, brisket and stuffed cabbage.  Everyone is invited, and encouraged to bring goods to share will fellow eclipse watchers.  Come on out beginning just before 11:30 a.m.

* Saline County Museum: The Saline County Museum in Dorchester, just off Highway 33, will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday.  The museum will offer wide open space to see the eclipse.

The so-called Great American Total Solar Eclipse will darken skies all the way from Oregon to South Carolina, along a stretch of land about 70 miles (113 kilometers) wide. People who descend upon this "path of totality" for the big event are in for quite an experience.

We are fortunate that Dorchester will be one of the best places in the nation to view the Aug. 21 eclipse.

Here are the facts on the total solar eclipse in Dorchester:
  • The eclipse event will begin at 11:36 a.m. on Aug. 21.
  • The total eclipse (sun being fully blocked by the moon) will start at 1:01 p.m.
  • The total eclipse will last roughly 2 minutes and 30 seconds.
You will need ISO- or NASA-approved eye protection to view most phases of the eclipse.  

The Times staffers are not astronomers, astrophysicists, or experts regrading the cosmos, but we know that the basics of a total eclipse are that the moon goes in between the sun and the earth -- and as the moon "moves" across the face of the sun. 

You will need to be in that path in order to see the "total" eclipse.  Dorchester is nearly in the heart of the total eclipse path.  Click here for the 2017 solar eclipse map.

Here is what one solar eclipse expert wrote:
"We cannot stress this enough -- if you're in the path, you see what is perhaps one of the most phenomenal sights that human eyes can convey to a brain! If you're not in the path, even by only a mile or so (!!!!!), you will come away wondering what in the heck we even bothered to make this site for! And you will have completely missed the whole show. People fly to the remotest deserts, jungles, islands -- frozen, desolate, and mosquito-infested places -- just to be in the path of a total eclipse. So please, please, please: walk, run, fly, drive, hike, roll, thumb, or cycle yourself into the path on eclipse day, and you will not regret it! Miss it, and you'll have to wait till the next one in the USA (not till 2024). Take it from us -- do not think that you're "close enough" to the path to see something cool. Look at the maps ... please, please get yourself there by whatever means are necessary! Even if it's 1,000 miles or more! People will come from all over the world to see this grand spectacle."
The experts encourage people to look at the eclipse videos to prepare yourself for what you'll experience.  But they warn that these videos are NOTHING compared to what you will see with your own eyes during totality.

One experienced eclipse viewer wrote this:
"I've kissed the Blarney Stone, and seen the Grand Canyon, Victoria Falls, Ayers Rock, the Berlin Wall, the Great Wall, the Taj Mahal, the West Edmonton Mall, the Pyramids in Egypt, the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor, Stonehenge, the giant Sequoia Trees, Victoria Falls, Death Valley, the Panama Canal, Mt. Kilimanjaro, Meteor Crater, Yellowstone, the North Pole, the Midnight Sun over the Arctic Ocean, Shakespeare's grave, the Alps in Switzerland, the Grand Mosque in Istanbul, the geysers in Iceland, the Sydney Opera House, the Eiffel tower, the CN tower, Sydney Tower, Shanghai Tower, Auckland Tower, Berlin tower, the Ring at Bayreuth and the Met, the Berlin Philharmonic playing Mahler, and my kids being born -- and I'm not kidding: A total eclipse is a spectacle to rival them all."