Friday, October 30, 2009

Water Issue Generates Commentary, Questions

Our Oct. 26 post regarding drinking water issues has generated much conversation.

Reader Kelly Brummett reported that "all Dorchester residents need to vigorously boil all drinking and cooking water until further notice or use an alternate source." She also noted "there are contaminants in the water."

Many readers have been disappointed in the Village and this publication for not doing a better job in alerting residents. Others suggest new water policy. See the latest commentary on the water subject by clicking here.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Dorchester Cemetery Is Part Of Gravestone Project Archives

An anonymous reader has sent us the following report:

Dorchester Times readers should all know about the Nebraska Gravestone Photo Project. The mission of this project is to capture digital images of gravestones of our ancestors.

As decades pass, many stones are becoming harder, if not impossible, to read the inscriptions they originally contained. By archiving the images, we can help save these important records and also assist researchers using this valuable resource.

Nebraska Gravestone Photo Project has surpassed the 103,000 gravestone photographs. We are currently seeking volunteers to help take and upload photos for many counties across Nebraska. If you have an interest in volunteering for this rewarding part-time activity please contact the project's state administrator.

To see the Dorchester Cemetery archive at the Nebraska Gravestone Photo Project, click here.

Monday, October 26, 2009

NEWS BRIEFS: Residents Warned To Boil Water For Consumption

  • Report: Boil Your Water: Kelly Brummett reports that "all Dorchester residents need to vigorously boil all drinking and cooking water until further notice, or use an alternate source." She notes "there are contaminants in the water." This warning "is posted on the marque and there is a notice posted in the post office." Call the Village Office for more information at (402) 946-3201.

  • Ducks Unlimited Banquet Next Week: On Tuesday, Nov. 3, Saline County Ducks Unlimited will hold its annual banquet at 6 p.m., at the Saline County Fairgrounds, Ag Hall, in Crete. Contact: Robert, (402) 826-9052 or

  • Importance Of Small Town Grocery Stores: DHS alumnus Mike Feeken sent us an story from the Boomtown Institute on the importance of hometown grocery stores. "Rural grocery stores are small businesses, providing jobs and generating tax revenue that support the community. Without a local store, the payroll and tax revenue that our food purchases generate go elsewhere. ... Similar to a school, post office, restaurant and churches, a grocery store makes a community a more attractive place to live. Grocery stores can also be social places where you run into neighbors in the produce aisle, introduce yourself to someone new in town, or catch up on local news with the cashier. Without a local grocery store, residents miss out on these benefits." The story notes several models used by communities around the nation to keep their local grocery store. See the story by clicking here.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Saline County Farms See Drop In Ave. Size, Subsidies

The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) has just launched the results of its 2007 census of agriculture. Some of its findings may surprise you.

According to a USDA release, Saline County lost 26 farms from 2002 to 2007, a loss of 4%. The county's average farm size actually fell from 474 acres to 425 acres, a notable shift from recent trends.

About 200 Saline County farms are in the "50-179 acre" category. The second largest category is the "180-499 acre" group. Around 100 Saline County farms claim more than 1,000 acres, while another 100 hold 10-49 acres.

The average Saline County farm has a net farm income of $69,722, according to the census.

The average Saline County farm has seen a decrease in federal farm bill crop subsidies -- from $10,207 in 2002 to $9,293 in 2007. However, county farmers received about $5.6 million in 2007, an 8% increase from 2002.

Saline County ranks 34th of 93 Nebraska counties in corn production; 23rd in soybean production; and 6th in sorghum production. In livestock production, Saline County is 33rd of 93 in hogs and pigs; 83rd in cattle and calves; and 4th in broilers and other meat-type chickens.

To see the USDA agriculture census summary, click here.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Looking Back: Dorchester's Fast Past

In 2008, the Times ran this post about the "famous Dorchester race car" from the 1930s built and raced by Henry Sehnert, Dorchester's longtime Ford auto dealer.

We're told the retired car hung from the rafters of Sehnert's Garage at 8th and Washington for many years.

In addition to the latest model of Ford vehicles, Sehnert's Garage provided a number of services, including auto repairs and a towing service. Sehnert owned and operated his South Side Garage on Dorchester's Washington Ave. from 1925 to 1930. In late 1930, Sehnert switched over to a Ford dealership that continued until 1974, according to the Dorchester Centenial history book.

The post generated much discussion regarding the race car, as well as the current condition of the building that once housed the Sehnert Garage.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Illegal Immigration, School Athletics Are Subjects Of The Month

Illegal immigration and athletic participation at DHS are the main topics this month at the Times' open forum.

See the comments and leave your own by clicking here.

Also, we thought Times' readers would appreciate this story of a former Crete business owner who was granted a last wish: to watch one more Husker football game.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

NEWS BRIEFS: Larry Hromek Wins Husker Tickets

  • Larry Hromek Wins Husker Football Tickets: State Senator Russ Karpisek, who represents Dorchester and District 32 in the Unicameral, recently donated two Nebraska-Texas Tech football tickets to the community of Dorchester to help pay for the improvements being made to Nerud Field's athletic facilities, according to a letter we received from Joyce Karl. To raise the needed funds, the Husker tickets were the top prize in a raffle held last Friday at the DHS football game versus Freeman. One of our readers reports that Dorchester resident Larry Hromak was the winner of the Husker tickets. The raffle raised more than $500 in improvement funds, we are told.

  • Housing Funds Available For Small Neb. Communities: DHS graduate Mike Feeken, now an economic development specialist in St. Paul, Neb., reports to us that the Neb. Dept. of Econ. Development has extended the deadline for its community affordable housing development grant. Applications will be due no later than November 13, 2009 – via fax or email. The Nebraska Affordable Housing Program (NAHP) is intended to 1.) provide funds to eligible recipients for acquisition, rehabilitation, construction, and production of affordable housing to increase the supply of decent, safe, and sanitary housing for low-to-moderate income Nebraskans; 2.) promote and advance the goals of the 2010-2014 Nebraska Consolidated Plan for Housing and Community Development; and 3.) provide a mechanism to leverage private investment in the development of affordable housing. For more information, call (402) 471-6587 or email:

  • $92,000 Business Grant Available For Saline County: Have a business idea but don't know how to raise the capital to fund it? Reader "Newshound" reports the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development announced it has awarded nearly $399,000 to four Nebraska nonprofits to support business development and entrepreneurship. One of those is grant for $92,000 for Nebraska Venture Capital Forum to conduct new venture competitions in York, Red Willow, Nemaha and Saline counties. In these competitions, entrepreneurs submit business plans to a panel of judges. The winner receives a $25,000 cash investment and $10,000 worth of professional services, if the business locates in the respective economic regions. See more by clicking here.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Web Site Touts Dorchester's Ghost Sightings

(This article was originally published on Aug. 5, 2009.) Halloween is near and another Dorchester ghost-related Web site has been brought to our attention. According to, "Not everyone who inhabits Dorchester is alive." To prove it, the site allows visitors to post stories and photos of their personal encounters with the dearly departed. Add Image

Visit the Web site by clicking here. Some of the accounts of Dorchester-area ghost sightings are:
  • "A young relative died in our house years ago. We have heard a young girl singing during the day. Guests have felt someone staring at them in the night."
  • "Gilbert's Graveyard, located about 5 miles SW of Dorchester, is a graveyard where lies the Gilbert family who lived as pioneers in the 1890’s. ... A number of strange events have been reported here. Among them, strange noises and the movement of tombstones."
  • "Reports of figures or shapes moving around in the 2nd floor of the city hall building."
Another ghost-related Web site called has a Dorchester listing and features photos from town and surrounding sites.

Friday, October 2, 2009

OPEN FORUM: October 2009

New month, new open forum for Times readers.

Here is your chance to say something, report breaking news or ask a question -- on any issue.

Any topic is fair game, although the Times' comment policy still applies. (Please see the bottom of the left-hand column.)

The Times' Web site averages more than 250 page views a day, according to an independent tracking service. That means the Times is the perfect forum to air your thoughts, news tips, announcements, complaints and concerns.

So go ahead and sound off. We are listening.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Museum Open House Next Sunday, Oct. 11

Plan a step back in time next weekend!

Judy Rada with the Saline County Historical Society reports the Saline County Historical Society will host an open house next Sunday, Oct. 11, from 1-5 p.m. at the Saline County Museum in south Dorchester.

The program will begin at 2 p.m. with Jerry Penry on fatal air crashes in Nebraska during WWII.

Everyone is welcome. For information, call (402) 243-2356.