Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Halloween Special: Dorchester's (And The Area's) Spookiest Places

Beginning back in 2007, the Times has showcased reports claiming Dorchester is home to haunted places. 

We have always been skeptical, but since Halloween will soon be here we are publishing this update on the latest reports regarding Dorchester's spooky spots:

Gilbert's Graveyard:  
The most famous of Dorchester's "haunted places," Gilbert's Cemetery -- the final resting place of the family of John W. Gilbert -- continues to draw attention from inside and outside Saline County.  (There's even this video of some brave souls who went into the graveyard at night for electronic readings.)  Click here to see some of the stories left about Gilbert's Cemetery on a site called "Strange USA."  Another report on the pioneer cemetery came from a website called  "Hauntings" (no longer active), which featured a "pre-haunt interview with the locals" in Dorchester.  The site recounts some of the history behind Gilbert's Graveyard and its namesake, using historical accounts published by this blog and the 1981 Dorchester Centennial book.  As Hauntings reports, "a number of strange events have been reported here. Among them, strange noises and the movement of tombstones. ... Sadly, this location has been host to vandalism and disrespect for the dead. If you plan to visit this location, think on how you would want your remains and the stone markers of your final resting place treated."

The website also featured firsthand accounts from those who have visited the cemetery.  One visitor named Chris wrote the following: 
"The first trip we had made (to Gilbert's Graveyard) I ended up in tears; just the feeling of being there was enough to make you sick. We started to drive through the graveyard, and someone pointed at a tree that was knocked down over a grave, and when I looked over there I saw a black fog coming up from the grave, we decided to leave. As we left the graveyard, we looked over to the graveyard and about 9-plus flashing lights came up from the graveyard and seemed to follow us.  I was the driver and I looked in my rear view mirror to be horrified to see a older lady staring at me in the mirror, then scream and then i began to cry uncontrollably. I stepped on that gas and swore I would never return.  But consequently we did, and the second time it was more calmer then the first, not much happened except for hearing footsteps in the distant, and the feeling of you being followed closely."
Former "Squeaky Bridge":  According to GhostsOfAmerica.com, the site of the former ''squeaky bridge'' over Turkey Creek, south of Dorchester, is "extremely haunted" (County Rd. 1500 between county roads G and H). "According to legend several men were hanged on the bridge, which was closed and removed in or around 1994. However the ghosts still appear on a routine basis. They are transparent figures hanging by a noose right where the bridge once stood. Some have said the hanged men will occasionally look up and stare at observers."

Specter of Highway 33:  The Times staff has for years heard reports of a "man" who supposedly walks on Highway 33 as you near Crete. People have reported seeing him on the road, or just off to the side, and swerve to miss him.  When they look back, he is gone. The Times has investigated the story further.  Some say the apparition is that of a Dorchester lad who died decades ago in a very bad accident a mile west of Crete.  Others say it is the ghost of an Oregon Trail pioneer who lost his way and died on the journey.  

Second Floor Above the Village Office:  According to GhostsOfAmerica.com, "there have been many reports of figures or shapes moving around in the second floor of the village office building" on main street Dorchester.  The website claims to have a picture of the ghostly figure taken with a cell phone in 2009.

Dorchester School Boiler Room:  Without a doubt, we can confirm that the boiler room of the 1927 Dorchester School building is no longer haunted, if it ever was.  The old school building was razed in mid-2008 to make room for the current DPS campus.  But when it existed, there were reports that in the late 1920s, a child "locked himself in the boiler room and died." According to the old stories, school janitors in the modern era sometimes heard yells coming from the boiler room during the night -- and "when they went down into the boiler room, they didn't find anyone."  So convincing were the reports, that the Lincoln Journal Star in 2006 wrote a story on the the old boiler room.  The story quotes former school secretary Joyce Karl and custodians Ron Sehnert and Sharri Kasl, who said: "I never go down there in the mornings if I’m ever here by myself."  Another publication ranked the Dorchester boiler room the second-most haunted site in Nebraska.

Doane College Library: The old library seems to be haunted by a woman in a white dress. On a full moon, she will appear in front of one of the windows. She has been reported to roam about the basement, also. 

Monday, October 24, 2016

DHS Volleyball: Longhorns Enter Final Stretch Of 2016 Volleyball Season

It all comes down to this.

Dorchester's volleyball squad is now in its final chapter of the 2016 season, with the last games of the regular season taking place this week.

Next week, sub-districts begin.

The Lady Longhorns, which are currently 12-14, will host Tri-County on Tuesday, Oct. 25 in the season's last game at the DHS gymnasium.

DHS will then wrap up the regular season Friday, Oct. 28, at Nebraska Lutheran in Waco.

The Lady Longhorns are under fourth-year head coach Ty Peteranetz and are led by a group of six seniors.

Fans are rooting for the Orange and Black Attack.

Record 12-14

09/01/16 Palmyra -- LOST
09/01/16 Weeping Water -- WON
09/06/16 Parkview Christian --WON
09/06/16 College View Academy -- WON
09/08/16 Giltner -- WON
09/08/16 Hampton -- LOST
09/15/16 @ Friend -- LOST
09/17-09/17 BDS Tournament -- WON, LOST
09/20/16 Osceola -- LOST
09/22/16 Shelby/Rising City -- LOST
09/22/16 High Plains Community -- WON
09/24/16 Omaha Christian Academy -- WON

09/24/16 Nebraska Lutheran -- LOST
09/24/16 Parkview Christian -- WON
09/27/16 Sterling -- WON
09/29/16 Meridian -- LOST
09/29/16 Diller-Odell -- LOST
10/06/16 Cross County -- LOST
10/06/16 Exeter-Milligan -- LOST
10/11/16 McCool Junction -- WON
10/11/16 BDS  -- LOST
10/15 Nebraska Lutheran -- LOST (Crossroads Conference Tournament)
10/19 Giltner -- LOST (CRC Tournament) 
10/20/16 East Butler -- WON (Homecoming)
10/25/16 Tri County
10/28/16 @ Nebraska Lutheran

Friday, October 21, 2016

Little Tavern Band Is Headlining Oct. 23 Polka Dance At Dorchester Legion

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

Back by popular demand, the Dorchester American Legion this coming Sunday, Oct. 23, will once again host a polka dance at the Legion Hall.

The Little Tavern Band will be putting on quite the show, according to information received by the Times.  

Sunday's 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, waltz or fox trot; or just sit and listen to the Little Tavern Band.

Only a $5 cover charge and the Dorchester Legion kitchen will be open. 

Chicken baskets will be served, so 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 another polka party is set for Saturday, Nov. 12, at City Slickers Bar and Grill.  That's when Angie Kriz and the Polka Toons will be in town from 5-9 p.m.

And 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, October 19, 2016

DPS Receives Memorial From Margaret Rasmussen Family

Dean and Dale Rasmussen, both proud graduates of Dorchester, recently presented an $800 check to the Dorchester Public School Board of Education.  

The money was given in memory of their mother, Margaret Rasmussen, who was a fourth grade teacher at Dorchester for more than three decades.  

The money will go towards purchasing books for the classroom and library.  The books will be especially geared toward Nebraska history, which Margaret was so fond of teaching.  

Many area parents and grandparents were students of Mrs. Rasmussen and will remember the Nebraska history classes she taught.  With this gift, their children and grandchildren will experience the love of reading about the pioneers who built our great state. 

Rasmussen, who celebrated her 100th birthday in August 2015 at an open house in Dorchester, passed away in August, one day short of her 101st birthday.  

Her first year with Dorchester Schools was 1961.  She retired in May 1993, closing the books on a 52-year teaching career.

Homecoming Pep Rally Is 6 P.M. Tonight At City Park

It's homecoming week at Dorchester Public School, and orange and black pride is running strong!

Tonight, Wednesday, Oct. 19, there will be a homecoming pep rally and hamburger feed.  The rally will help prepare the DHS volleyball team for its contest Thursday evening, when the Lady Longhorns take on East Butler at the DHS gym. 

Tonight's pep rally and dinner begin at 6:30 p.m. at the City Park.

All Dorchester residents and district patrons are encouraged to attend.

DHS Booster Club members are asked to bring two dozen individually wrapped desserts to the park by 6:15.  

Lead volunteers will be at the park around 5:15 p.m. to set up, for those interested in helping. 

Go Big D!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Gold Fever Struck Our Area In October 1895

"Is there gold in them thar plains?"

Around 121 years ago this month, believe it or not, there was a gold rush in the Dorchester area. 

The Oct. 7, 1895 edition of The New York Times reported: "A raging gold fever has settled down on this section of country over a startling discovery" of gold just north of Dorchester and south of Milford on the Blue River.

Back then, it was a discovery that caught the attention of gold prospectors from as far away as Denver.

According to The Times, the primary source of speculation was a Blue River area gravel pit a few miles Milford, which was said to be "rich in gold dust." 

The gravel pit had been used by Burlington Railway in the construction and upgrade of its rail system.

The New York Times noted that there was "great excitement in the vicinity of the reputed find" and that speculation was active. 

See The New York Times' 1895 article by clicking here.

Feel like looking for gold in Nebraska?

Gold in Nebraska comes from two primary sources, according to the experts. To the west, rivers draining rich gold ground in Colorado and Wyoming enter the state, carrying small amounts of very fine gold particles. To the east, receding glaciers that once covered much of the Midwest deposited small amounts of gold, which included a small part of Nebraska in the far eastern edge of the state. Gold has reportedly been found in the Little and Big Nemaha Rivers, and could likely be found in many of the tributaries as well. The Blue River (including the fork just north of Dorchester) and Missouri Rivers  are also worth trying, the experts say.

If panning for gold or searching sandbars on a river isn't your thing, maybe search these sites in Nebraska for hidden gold treasures. Be sure to pay special attention to old outhouses!

Monday, October 17, 2016

NEWS ROUNDUP: Homecoming Week At DHS; Halloween Parties Set For Oct. 29

Here is what's trending in Dorchester right now...

DHS Celebrates Homecoming Week: This week, Oct. 17-21, is homecoming week at Dorchester High School.  This means this is the traditional Spirit Week, complete with dress-up days and themes for students.  Spirit week will consisted of: Decades Days (Oldies Day); Tourist/Safari Day; Animation Day; Olympic Day; and Orange and Black or Throwback.  On Thursday evening, Oct. 20, the DHS volleyball team will take on East Butler at the DHS gym.  On Friday, there will be an elementary excellence rally, also at the DHS gym.

Dorchester FBLA And EPAC Halloween Party Is Oct. 29:  The Dorchester High School FBLA and Dorchester's Elementary Parents Advisory Committee (EPAC) is planing a Halloween party for Saturday, Oct. 29, from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.  Hayrack rides, a haunted hallway and games and snacks are just some of the fun awaiting those who are brave enough to attend.  For questions or to volunteer, contact Amanda Cerny or the school at (402) 946-2781.  EPAC is overseen by parents and the school to help DPS teachers and students with classroom supplies, while also advancing the academic pursuits of Dorchester's elementary students. 

Dorchester Establishments To Hold Halloween Parties Oct. 29: A couple Saturdays from now might be a crazy, scary one on Main Street Dorchester.  City Slickers (formerly known as Joe's Place) has announced its Halloween Party will be Oct. 29.  The owners of City Slickers are promising a night "filled with plenty of food, fun and, of course, drinks! Costume contest with cash prizes, as well as drawings for City Slickers gift certificates and giveaways all night. The band 300 Proof will be rockin' the house!"  Also on Oct. 29, another Halloween party will be taking place across the street -- at Dorchester's newest establishment, Big T's BBQ Pit Stop.  We're told there will be food and drink specials all day, along with a costume contest and games starting at 9 p.m. with raffle drawings throughout the night.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Huskers.com Spotlights Inspiring Story Of Saline County's Tanner Zlab

Wilber's Tanner Zlab (far right) with Sam Foltz and Sam Hahn. 
"To anyone who’s ever thought of quitting, whether in sports, music, drama, careers or even relationships, please know and understand the Tanner Zlab story."
That's a line from a story at Huskers.com spotlighting Tanner Zlab, a 2012 graduate of Wilber-Clatonia High School, where he was a standout in Class C2 football.
There are several lessons to be gleaned from Zlab's journey to becoming a Nebraska Cornhusker football player.
We were so impressed by this guy's determination we wanted to share it with the readers of the Dorchester Times.  
Be forewarned: Zlab's story is inspiring -- from losing his dad to cancer at age 6; to being rejected multiple times as a NU walk-on; to his transfer from Doane College to SCC-Beatrice; to his friendship with NU players Sam Foltz and Sam Hahn (of DeWitt); to his ability to fly small airplanes at a young age; to his eventual reward of earning a spot on the NU roster under Coach Riley after four attempts and going into his senior year of college. 
“It says a lot about him as a person, his character,” said Kenny Wilhite, a former NU player and current recruiter for the Huskers. “Some kids would just say, ‘OK, I’m not good enough.’ He always thought he was good enough to have some role on this team. He was persistent about it. The kid has a heart of a lion. I admire the kid. That’s why I always pushed to get him on the roster."
Wilhite went on to say that Zlab "exemplifies what Nebraska high school kids are. They’re tough, they’re hard-nosed, they’re hard-working. Most of them are from farm communities and they farm growing up. It instills hard work in them from day one.”
By the way, Zlab is no slouch in the classroom, either. He holds a 3.762 GPA and will graduate in December with a double major in agronomy, and fisheries and wildlife.
From his goal setting, to his work ethic, to his willingness to pay his dues, Tanner Zlab is the kind of guy the world needs more of. We hope he will stick around Saline County after graduation to ensure our corner of the world remains the special place it is.
See the full story here.

Friday, October 14, 2016

NEWS ROUNDUP: Halloween Parties Set For Oct. 29

Dorchester Establishments To Hold Halloween Parties Oct. 29: A couple Saturdays from now might be a crazy, scary one on Main Street Dorchester.  City Slickers (formerly known as Joe's Place) has announced its Halloween Party will be Oct. 29.  The owners of City Slickers are promising a night "filled with plenty of food, fun and, of course, drinks! Costume contest with cash prizes, as well as drawings for City Slickers gift certificates and giveaways all night. The band 300 Proof will be rockin' the house!"  Also on Oct. 29, another Halloween party will be taking place across the street -- at Dorchester's newest establishment, Big T's BBQ Pit Stop.  We're told there will be food and drink specials all day, along with a costume contest and games starting at 9 p.m. with raffle drawings throughout the night.

Roll-Off Dumpster Available For Dorchester Residents This Saturday: The Village of Dorchester has ordered a roll-off dumpster for the dump site for this Saturday, Oct. 15.  No hazardous items such as wet paint or chemicals. Acceptable items are wood, mattresses, furniture, carpet, etc. Ben's Iron Salvage will provide a trailer for wet cell batteries and any appliances. If you're cleaning up your property -- or just getting rid of clutter -- take advantage of this free service. And tell your neighbors, too.

Who Gets State Aid In Saline County?: Roughly $13.5 million in state aid funding went to Saline County last fiscal year, according to the state Revenue Department.  Of that amount, nearly $10 million went to Saline County school districts.  Among school districts, Crete took in nearly $9 million in state aid dollars.  Wilber-Clatonia School was second with more than $560,000; Friend School was third with $231,710, and Dorchester School was fourth at $193,482.  Among city governments, Crete received nearly $1.2 million in state aid, followed by Wilber at $318,017; Friend at $170,376; DeWitt at $98,378; and Dorchester at $75,550.  Western, Tobias and Swanton received around $105,000 combined.  The Saline County government received $1.6 million in state aid.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Just Listed: Country Acreage SW Of Dorchester

The Dorchester area and school district have a lot going for them -- especially if you prefer living in a safe, friendly and affordable community that has much potential for the future.  Among the features is a new K-12 school with some of the state's best educators. 

Moreover, Dorchester Public School has no debt and one of the lowest school tax levy in the county -- and one of the lower property rates in southeast Nebraska.

However, one challenge facing Dorchester is available housing.  We often hear from many readers who say they would like to move to the Dorchester area, if only homes were available.

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

If you're ready to call the Dorchester area home, we encourage you to take a look and make an offer.  Make Dorchester your home and enjoy a great small-town way of life.

988 County Road I: Built in 2016! A slice of heaven on over six acres. Located approximately 35 miles from Lincoln, this partially fenced and tree-lined multi-acre parcel is what we all have wanted! This 3 bedroom, 2 bath area ranch home is nearly brand new and sits on a 4' deep crawl space with a concrete floor all built/installed in 2016! There are numerous outbuildings that line the property, including a brand new 36'x36' Cleary building/garage with 12'x12' roll-up door and 5 thick cement floor along with many other utility/storage buildings.  Click here for more details.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

OUR OPINION: DHS Student Athletes Learn Life Lessons

This blog has been going strong for nearly 10 years, and over those years we have been occasionally criticized, both publicly and privately.  (You should see some of the comments we've blocked.)  

We've also seen of a multitude of comments directed at individuals and organizations who are working hard, trying to do good in our area community.  (For those of you living outside of Dorchester, you know this happens everywhere else, too, and always has.)

Whether you are a public servant, business owner, volunteer, employee, student, teacher, school official, parent, or neighbor, it is safe to say you've been criticized more than once for just doing your job and trying to improve a situation.

It's not fair, but it's life.  It's part of the human experience.  Always has been.

This week, the Dorchester Times (on its FaceBook account) was criticized (softly, mind you) for a poorly worded headline to our story summarizing the DHS volleyball season up to this point.  

We know the athletes of DHS work hard, and that their hard work is why they've racked up 10 wins already this season -- but the headline implied that a winning record was now in doubt.  (We've changed the headline on the blog.)

The reason we admire DHS students who go out for athletics is because they learn life's lessons early.  They learn at a young age how to endure pressure, competition, scrutiny, fatigue and even ridicule on rare occasion.  

But rewards also come with all that -- from self-confidence, to leadership, to the appreciation of teamwork and training.  These kids will be better adults for their experience.

Most importantly, they are learning that their efforts matter more than the words of the carping critics, some of whom never had the guts themselves to do what the student athletes are doing.

For those students, we leave this quote:
"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."

- Theodore Roosevelt, April 1910

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

DHS' Jacee Weber Named KLKN/Runza's Student Athlete Of The Month

Big news from the Dorchester sports arena.

Congratulations are in order for DHS senior Jacee Weber.  She has been selected as the KLKN-TV Channel 8 and Runza student athlete of the month. (UPDATE: Click here to see Jacee's special segment on Channel 8.)

That's right -- one of Dorchester's own gets recognized by a Lincoln news outlet.

Jacee's interview will air on Channel 8 today, October 11, during the 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. sports segments.

Jacee is three-sport standout at DHS, as well as an accomplished scholar who has earned high grades in the classroom.

The news channel writes: "Balancing school work, athletics and a personal life can be a difficult challenge for high school students.  Some students do this so well that Runza and Channel 8 KLKN-TV feel that these students should be recognized.

"Each month, Channel 8 Eyewitness News Sports Director, Jon Wofford, will highlight the Runza Channel 8 Eyewitness News High School Student Athlete of the Month.   Look back here each month to see the report streamed on KLKNTV.com.  Each honored student athlete will also receive a $500 scholarship for college."


Friday, October 7, 2016

Big T's, City Slickers Get Our Citizens Of The Year Award

There are nearly three months remaining in 2016. 

It doesn't matter. 

We've gone ahead and named the operators of both Big T's BBQ Pit Stop and City Slickers Bar and Grill as recipients of our "Citizens of the Year."

Operating a small business -- especially in the food and beverage category -- is a high-risk venture.  It takes blood, sweat and tears.  

Both of entities have managed to thrive in Dorchester, drawing not only local residents but also customers from far and wide.

Despite being in the same small community, these two restaurants and bars are actually complementing one another, feeding off one another's successes they draw more and more people with every passing weekend.

Several well-known food critics, including some in Lincoln, have called both City Slickers and Big T's the "best dining options in a 30-mile radius." 

We believe them.

That is why we're awarding the Times' "Citizens of the Year Award" based on two sets of criteria:


INTERIOR RENOVATION/BUSINESS OVERHAUL - MAIN STREET: First, City Slickers Bar and Grill (known as Joe's Place for decades) totally transformed its space. 

Following a setback a year ago after a grease fire, the bar underwent a complete revamp, turning into a true restaurant and entertainment center. 

In March of this year, City Slickers unveiled the outdoor portion of their renovation, revealing three new and attractive windows on the north section of the establishment. 

The new-and-improved City Slickers' features a new kitchen with a wide food selection and daily specials; much larger dining area, with many tables separate from the bar area for a pleasant dining experience; deluxe salad bar; a mega TV; KENO; a pool area; and a dance floor with a band/DJ area. 

It's not only a dining experience, it's a fun, lively place to meet up with friends and family.


NEW BUSINESS - MAIN STREET: Big T's BBQ Pit Stop is Dorchester's newest business, and it has caught on like wildfire.  

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

Big T's BBQ was approved in July for a liquor licence and for KENO operation by the Dorchester Village Board.  

But it's the area-famous BBQ, as well as the awesome breakfast menus and lunch specials, that have caused the dramatic spike in traffic on Main Street from just a few months ago. 

According to an updated Oct. 2 study by the Times, weekend traffic on Dorchester's three-block business district has surged almost 600% on Friday and Saturday nights compared to just six years ago.  And it's up over 1000% on Sunday evenings. 

Big T's BBQ Pit Stop, whose owner is Tim Vejraska, has also added nice touches on the east side building's classic brick exterior.  There's a reason we've seen cars parked around the block on Fridays and Saturdays.


Congratulations to both of these businesses for their growing success in Dorchester and Saline County.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Crazy October Weather Continues: Tornado Warning, Frost Advisory On Same Day

It's crazy out there, man. 

Dorchester and Saline County are in a tornado watch until 9 p.m., according to the National Weather Service in Valley. 

The watch covers a swath of Southeast Nebraska counties and comes about four hours after heavy rain rolled through our village, flooding streets for the second time in less than 48 hours.  (UPDATE: Around 3.5 inches of rain fell in Dorchester over the 60-hour span from Tuesday morning through Thursday night.)

Today's high is projected to be 67 degrees, with showers and thunderstorms likely until 11 p.m.

Then get ready for cold temps as a frost advisory will be in effect from 3 a.m. to 9 a.m. tomorrow morning (Oct. 7).

Stay tuned for the latest by catching the forecast here.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

SOAKED: Dorchester Gets Drenched In October Storm

Around 2.5 inches of rain had dropped on Dorchester as of 7:15 p.m. Tuesday night, with roughly 2 inches of that coming down in a 75 minute soaking that started at 6 p.m.

Small hail also pounded the village.

The early October thunderstorm was accompanied by wicked-sharp lighting that apparently struck a light pole near the post office and Barley Specialties on Main Street (Washington Ave.) around 6:30 p.m.  
By Kelley Vyhnalek

Utility crews from the City of Crete and Village of Dorchester, along with volunteers from the Dorchester Volunteer Fire Dept., were quick on the scene.  It appears all was repaired without serious incident.

No reported power losses to Dorchester, although we are certain there will be some water damage in area basements. 

No reports yet from the surrounding countryside.

Radar shows Friend and Dorchester received some of the heaviest downpours, as severe thunderstorms rocked Fillmore, Thayer, Saline and Seward counties. Egg-sized hail was reported earlier near Bruning.

Last night (Monday), storms in central Nebraska dropped 5 inches of rain near Tryon in McPherson County, and Stapleton saw 2½ inches in a 90-minute period. As the storms moved east overnight, ping pong-ball sized hail was reported near Aurora.

A tornado watch remains in effect until 9 p.m. for Saline County and most of southeastern Nebraska.  

On Wednesday, skies will clear before chances of rain return on Thursday.

Stay tuned to your weather radio for updates, and check the Times weather alerts frequently.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Dorchester Residents Will Be Ticketed For Roaming Dogs

Dogs -- or at least their roaming and barking -- are currently drawing lots of complaints among Dorchester residents.

While dogs have been a top cause of unhappy neighbors since humankind left the cave, it seems that in Dorchester as of late there have been more people voicing their concerns to village officials and county law enforcement about our furry canine friends.

The village's latest code compliance newsletter cites "a large number of complaints about dogs running at large."

The newsletter also warns that the Saline County Sheriff's Department will ticket dog owners when the loose dogs have been identified.

That's right: Law enforcement will be cracking down on dogs roaming Dorchester's streets and yards, issuing tickets that will force fines.

Recently, this blog reported that all pets in Dorchester limits are to be kept fenced or on a chain in accordance with Village code. No more than three pets (dogs/cats) are allowed per household. Pet licenses in Dorchester are required and are available ($2.00 each) at the Village Office.


Sunday, October 2, 2016

Dorchester Busting With Autumn Displays This Year

October is here and autumn in Dorchester is in full swing!

Take a stroll through our town of Dorchester and you will find some creative autumn decorations and Halloween displays.  

In fact, several residents have commented at the number and quality of this year's autumn displays in town.

"Maybe this past summer's heat sparked extra appreciation for fall this year," said one of our readers.

We want to know which Dorchester area homes you think best display the festive fall spirit so that readers may check out the decorations for themselves. 

What Dorchester residence gets your vote for best docorated home?

Let us know your nomination in the comments section of this post. 

Or you can e-mail your favorites at Dorchester.Times@gmail.com.

Happy autumn to all our readers!

Friday, September 30, 2016

Crete Plans Great Pumpkin Festival This Sunday, Oct. 2

For years now, the Dorchester Times has advocated bringing back our community's fall festival -- not only as a great event for locals, but as a way to bring in out-of-towners.

We are pleased to see that next-door neighbor Crete is planning its first-ever "Great Pumpkin Festival" set for this Sunday, Oct. 2.

According to a great website created just for this event, Crete leaders are working hard to harvest pumpkins for the town's Great Pumpkin Festival.  

The Great Pumpkin Festival is being hosted by the Crete Chamber of Commerce this Sunday, from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. on Crete's Main Street. It will be a day full of autumn fun. Among the planned activities are: 
  • Hayrack rides;
  • Carnival games;
  • Food court;
  • Great Pumpkin Giveaway;
  • Craft Show and Farmer's Market;
  • Petting Zoo; 
  • Antique Tractor Show; 
  • Zipline and Bouncy Houses; 
  • Walk-Ability Treasure Map; 
  • Great Pumpkin Competition;
  • Pumpkin Drop;
  • Scarecrow Competition;
  • Live Entertainment;
  • Pumpkin Pie Eating Contest;
  • Festival PiƱatas.
Winners of the Scarecrow and Pumpkin Competitions can earn Crete Cash.

The Dorchester Times has been asked to especially urge readers to participate in the tractor show, which will be held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Both antique tractors and newer tractors are welcome.

For more information about the festival or to become more involved, visit cretepumpkinfest.com or contact Kayleigh Schadwinkel at cretechamber@gmail.com.

See more at www.cretepumpkinfest.com

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Looking Back: Dorchester's Elmwood Pony Farm (And Rodeo)

Today we look back at one of the most intriguing pieces of Dorchester's past: The Thompson Elmwood Pony Farm. 

Owned and operated by Colonel W.J. Thompson, the Elmwood Pony Farm was located in the northeast corner of Dorchester. The farm sat on present day 10th Street, between Lincoln and Fulton Avenues -- home of the present-day "The Well" spa and health business.

Dating back to the 1890s, the Elmwood Pony Farm was one of the largest pony farms west of the Mississippi River. By the 1920s, the pony farm was home to more than 300 ponies.  

Thompson's pony farm was a popular destination for children from miles around, according to accounts of longtime residents. Children who lived in the country were even permitted to take home a pony and ride it all summer, if they agreed to keep it fed well.

Each September, Colonel Thompson took as many as 35 Shetland ponies to the Nebraska State Fair for rides. He entered many more of the animals in the fair's show contests. All of the ponies were herded overland from Dorchester to Lincoln by Thompson farm employees.

In 1930, Colonel Thompson's son, Wallace, started the Thompson Rodeo. It was usually a three-day event held each fall, complete with fighting broncos, cowboys, clowns, trick riders, cowgirls, bull dodgers, concessions, rides, dancing and "whoopee." The Dorchester rodeo attracted many top riders from around the country, as well as local talent. An Oklahoma rider even came within 0.7 seconds of the world's record in calf roping at the Dorchester Rodeo.

At one time, more than 7,000 spectators were reported in attendance at the Dorchester Rodeo. Many people had high hopes that Dorchester would become a permanent rodeo on the famous circuit that included Cheyenne Frontier Days, as well as the Burwell and Sidney rodeos. But by 1940, the rodeo hit a spell of heavy rain and events were cancelled.

By 1942, the country was fighting WWII and the Thompson Rodeo closed its doors permanently, becoming another chapter in the history book of our community.