Tuesday, June 30, 2015

New Dorchester Bakery Open On July 4

(UPDATE: We have received clarification that while Michelle Johnson's bakery will be open on July 4, she is operating on a temporary two-day permit.  So we will await news for a permanent opening for her bakery/cafe.  We're told the business will be in both the former West Side Cafe building, as well as the attached building to the north.  Developing....)  

Last summer, this blog reported that a new cafe and/or bakery would soon make its way to Dorchester's main street.

Now the Dorchester Times confirms a new Dorchester bakery will be open this Saturday, July 4.  

The bakery will be housed on Dorchester's main street, just south of the Post Office.

The bakery's owner and operator is Michelle Johnson.

Among the bakery's Fourth of July specials will be:
  • Cotton Candy - $2/bag (blue raspberry, pink bubble gum, orange, grape)
  • Designer Cookies - $1.25 each (stars and stripes, flip-flops)
  • Cake Cups - $2.50 each (turtle, strawberry/cream cheese, Reese's)
  • Dessert Bars - $1.50 each (lemon, pecan, brownie pizza, pumpkin)
  • Kolache - $1 each (raspberry, cream cheese, cherry)
  • Cold Bottled Water - 50 cents 
As the Times reported previously, the bakery/cafe will be located in the building that was most recently the Dorchester Hardware Store and the additional space in Dorchester Grocery -- and was also the former location of the West Side Cafe and Rec Room.  In Dorchester's early years, the building was home to Tom Jerrett's Hardware. Immediately north of the bakery is the Dorchester American Legion's memorial and the Gulf War tank, which now occupies the space where another building once stood, housing businesses such as Tex's Barber Shop and a harness shop in Dorchester's early years.

The proprietors, who have strong Dorchester ties, will need strong support by the community and area residents.

In a 2010 Times survey, readers said that a "cafe with a bakery" was one of the most needed businesses in Dorchester. In fact, a cafe commanded the second highest number of votes, behind only a convenience store.

Dorchester's Aggie Wagner Passes At 92

Agnes Ann (Duchek) Wagner, a longtime resident of Dorchester, passed away June 19 at the age of 92.  Her obituary follows:

Aggie lived a full and long life. She was welcomed into this world by Henry and Anna Duchek on February 17, 1923. Agnes left this world and passed into the loving arms of our Lord on June 19, 2015.

Agnes was reunited in heaven with her husband, Harvey; their son, Bill; granddaughter, Hope Ann; parents, Henry and Anna; brothers, Joe and Orin; and sisters, Alice, Marie, and Helen are there to welcome her.

Left on earth to be thankful for her life are her daughter-in-law, Judy Wagner; grandsons, Tony and Benjamin Wagner; granddaughter, Honey Lynn Wagner; her 6 Great Grandchildren, Ashlee and Brandon, Alessandra, Ashton, Jayden and Kinzey could make her smile, clap, and share a word in Czech.

Agnes shared her life with her nieces and nephews, cousins, and many friends throughout her life.

At their home in Dorchester, if Aggie wasn’t cleaning and polishing, she was baking kolaches or Monster cookies.  She enjoyed her gardens of flowers and vegetables and could always find a weed or two which needed to be removed.

Agnes was kept as comfortable and occupied as possible in her final years on earth by the wonderful staff of friends at Tabitha Nursing Center of Crete.

After you finish reading this take a moment to just close your eyes and imagine Agnes smiling, clapping, and tapping her toes to the beat of a good Czech Polka right now, in Heaven.

A Memorial Service to celebrate and honor Agnes was held at 10 a.m. on Monday, June 29, 2015 at Kuncl Funeral Home in Crete. Inurnment took place at Fairview Cemetery in Lincoln. Memorials are suggested to the family for designation. Condolences may be left online at kunclfh.com

Monday, June 29, 2015

Road Work Will Impact Dorchester Area Traffic

It's that time of year.

As reported by the Lincoln Journal Star, a number of state Department of Roads projects will get underway this week and next, weather permitting, including some near the Dorchester area.

This week, projects include maintenance work on Nebraska 15/6 three miles west of Dorchester. The work should take four days, with flaggers directing one-way traffic.

Also this week, one day of maintenance work will be done on Nebraska 15 three miles west of Milford.

Also next week, a three-day chip seal project will start on Nebraska 74 from a mile west of Tobias and to the Nebraska 74/Nebraska 15 junction.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Illegal Immigration Has Profoundly Affected Our County, Country

Latino gang graffiti spotted in Crete, behind the former CarQuest store.
One key difference between this blog and so-called "mainstream" news sources -- like the Lincoln and Omaha papers, or the national news media -- is we focus on issues and events that impact our readers.  And we write about it no matter how politically incorrect it has been deemed by societal elites.

Here you won't read about seven gay marriages in Douglas County or other issues that divide the nation over 2% of the population.  That won't change no matter how many e-mails or nasty comments we get from those who put rainbow flags on their vacuous Facebook posts or from young people still living with their parents -- or off their parents.

Instead, today we focus again on illegal immigration and its negative impact on our county and country.  We do this because we believe burying our collective heads in the sand is not only unwise, but dangerous.

In 2008, this blog took on the Crete News editor over the issue of illegal immigration and the additional crime it has brought to our county.  Back then, the Crete News editor disputed our analysis that showed nearly 40% of the stops and arrests by local law enforcement involved individuals with Hispanic surnames.  They included those charged with using stolen identities, as well as a habitual criminal who was booked on felony charges of committing terrorist threats.

What has happened in Crete since 2008? One estimate given to this blog says approximately 40% of the white residents residing in Crete in 2005 are no longer there.  Some have passed on, but many more have moved away.  

The point of this post is not only to recall our point-counterpoint with the Crete News, but to keep our readers focused on the bigger picture. Illegal immigration (and legal) is impacting every corner of our nation –- not just Saline County. Consider these statistics from around the country according to a nationally syndicated columnist:

  • Immigrants admitted before 1970 made more money, bought more houses and were more educated than Americans. The post-Kennedy immigrants are astronomically less-educated, poorer and more likely to be on welfare than the native population. 
  • Although America is admitting more immigrants, they are coming from fewer countries than they did before 1970. The country is becoming less "diverse," but a lot poorer and a lot more Latin.
  • America has already taken in one-fourth of Mexico's entire population. 
  • In 1970, there were almost no Nigerian immigrants in the United States. Our country is now home to more Nigerians than any country in the world except Nigeria. 
  • The government refuses to tell us how many prisoners in the United States are immigrants. That information is not available anywhere. But the ancillary facts suggest that the number is astronomical. 
  • There are more foreign inmates in New York state prisons from Mexico than from the entire continent of Europe.
  • In some areas of America, law enforcement authorities have given up on prosecuting statutory rape cases against Mexican men in their 30s who impregnate 12- and 13-year-old girls, after repeatedly encountering parents who view their little girls' pregnancies as a "blessing." (Sex with girls as young as 12 years old is legal in 31 of the 32 states of Mexico.)
  • The same North Carolina newspapers that gave flood-the-zone coverage to a rape that never happened at a Duke lacrosse party completely ignore real rapes happening right under their noses, being committed against children by immigrants providing cheap labor to the state's farming and meat-packing industries.
  • Since 2004, Mexican gangs have beheaded at least a half-dozen people in the United States. 
  • Mexican drug cartels -- not ISIS -- pioneered the practice of posting videotaped beheadings online. 
  • An alleged "ISIS" beheading video making the rounds in 2014 was actually a Mexican beheading video from 2010. 

If you would like to report illegal aliens, please call Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) at 1-866-DHS-2ICE (347-2423). They will need to know names, locations (either work place or residence) and any other specific information you can provide. 

Despite the current administration's inaction on illegal immigration enforcement, they must follow the law, eventually.  Keep calling.

If you are a legal resident of this country and are paying taxes, it's your right.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Dorchester Farmers' Market Begins Today

The farmers’ market is back!

Beginning today, June 26, the Dorchester Farmers' Market at the United Methodist Church parking lot will kick off this annual summer gathering that has become a family favorite.

All vendors to bring their items -- from garden goodies to homemade arts and crafts.  

No vendor fees, we might add.

And everyone from far and wide is welcome to shop.

The market will be held every Friday during the warm-weather months, from 4:30 p.m. until 6:30 p.m.

See you at the market!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

RANDOM THOUGHTS: Dorchester's Post Office, Football Future, And Medical Pot

Dorchester's Post Office: For those who haven't noticed, Dorchester's Post Office Building looks more attractive than it has in a long time, perhaps since the building was erected in the 1960s.  We salute those responsible, including Dorchester's new postmaster.  This is a model hometown of pride and for how buildings along main street should be maintained.

Dorchester's Football Future: Ever since Dorchester High School lost it's own football team following the 2012 season, we've heard many around town and the countryside say they hope Longhorn football returns to Nerud Field in the near future.  The only way that can happen is to introduce more young boys to the game.  Once again, the coaches at DHS are offering young players in the Dorchester area a chance to improve their gridiron game.  On July 6 and 7, DHS football coaches Ryan Voelker and Brent Zoubek will hold the Dorchester Area Youth Football Camp for boys who are entering grades 5 through 8. We have no idea why parents wouldn't encourage their boys to be part of this camp and allow their boys -- who won't be little kids forever -- the chance to make up their own minds about playing a game that teaches lifelong lessons.  For more information, or to register, contact Brent Zoubek at (402) 418-1019.

Medical Pot is a Bust: This week it was reported that a comprehensive review of 28 extensive studies -- with around 2,500 patients -- showed there is little justifiable use, ever, for medical marijuana.  These clinical trials tested medical pot for 10 conditions and, according to the LA Times, those trials uncovered that there is "very little reliable evidence to support the drug’s use." The review was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.  Given these studies, where are the comments from Nebraska lawmakers -- who were on the verge of approving medical pot for use in Nebraska until a last minute pullout by the bill's sponsor, Senator Tommy Garrett?  Many of the elected politicians we now have in office (along with some religious figures, corporate executives and other opinion leaders) are followers of the mainstream news media and Hollywood.  They are all riding a wave of political correctness sweeping the western world, powered by feel-good emotions, a void of fact, and spiraling standards of conduct.  They'd be wise to realize that the pendulum always swings back towards the truth and well-worn traditions proved right by generations who've come before. 

Monday, June 22, 2015

So You Want To Run For Village Board Or School Board

So you're thinking about serving on the Dorchester Village Board or Dorchester Public School Board?

Even though the 2016 election is months away, if you are considering running for local public office, or filing for re-election, it's time to get your campaign in order.

Two of the five village board seats are up for election next year, including an open seat left by this month's resignation of Brandon Koll.

The school board will have three seats up on the ballot -- those of Lindsey Zoubek, Mark Bors and Brad Havlat.

For those interested in school board, the filing deadline for anyone currently holding public office is Feb. 16, 2016.  It is March 1, 2016 for non-incumbents.  

For village board -- since the race does not have a primary election -- the filing deadline for those already in public office is July 15, 2016 for the general election.  For non-incumbents it is August 1, 2016.  

Those seeking election or re-election must submit the proper paperwork to the Saline County Clerk and Elections Commissioner. 

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

Rifles, Pistols, Boats, Scooters, More At Legion's July 4 Auction

In an effort to keep the Dorchester American Legion, Post 264 functioning and located at its current location on main street, Legion members have decided to hold the first annual Dorchester American Legion Outdoor Sportsman Consignment Auction.

The auction will be held 3 p.m. on Saturday, July 4, at the Dorchester Volunteer Fire Department, according to information sent to the Times.  

Novak Auction Service is donating their services for this worthwhile cause.

We're told there's still time to get your consignment items on this sale -- so you can make some money by selling your unwanted rifles or outdoor gear, all while ensuring a small percentage goes to the Dorchester Legion. 

Donate your item(s) by contacting Novak Auction Service at (402) 641-7213 to give them the information directly.  Or check the sale bill for other contacts.

See the official sale bill for the auction by clicking here

Anyone interested in selling his/her guns, rifles, hunting gear, tents, ammo, archery, fishing equipment, ATVs, campers, boats or other outdoor sporting goods will be able to sell their items at this auction, which will be part of Dorchester's Independence Day celebration, we are told. 

Here's a listing of items that will be up for auction, as listed this past week:

1859 Sharps Calvary Carbine - 52 cal. S/N# 65821 
1864 Springfield Musket - 58 cal. w/ Bayonet 
Thompson Sub Machine Gun - 45 cal., 50 round drum, 30 round stick, hard case
Weatherby Vanguard 30-06, Hard Case (Never Shot, Bought New), S/N#VS13039
Savage M93-17cal.,HMR, w/ Simmons Scope Camouflage, S/N#1087065
Winchester Model 70, 270cal w/ Weaver 4x Scope S/N#G1615735
Traditions Tracker, 50 cal., In-line muzzleloader rifle
LLAMA, 22cal. S/N#722718
Pioneer Model 23, 22cal.
1982 IMC2, C-6007, 22cal.
Turkish Mauser, 8MM S/N#1964
Turkish Mauser, 8MM S/N#8958
Argentine, 7.62x54cal.S/n#P8852
British 308 S/N#W148672
Chinese Air Rifle
2-Bricks of 22cal. Long Rifle Shells
2000 TulAmmo large rifle magnum primers (20 boxes/100)
1000 Cheddite shotgun primers (10 boxes/100)
1000 Claybuster shotgun wads 1 1/8oz - 12ga
1000 Claybuster shotgun wads Optimum load - 12ga
Small box of misc. 50 cal muzzleloader bullets
Pistol Grip for shotgun
Misc. Rifle Scopes
Eastern Arms Co., 32cal. S/N#58550
CAJ, 7.62cal. w/ Holster S/N#01866
Heritage Rough Rider, 22cal. (New inbox) S/N#G52SI3

1994 Sea-Doo Jet Ski w/ Trailer
1978 Phantom Boat, Fiberglass, 17ft, 140hp Mercury Outboard w/ Trailer
1964 Lone Star Boat, 35hp Evinrude Outboard w/ Trailer
10-Fishing Rods & Reels
24-Flamboy Duck Decoys w/ Weights
Primo Field Muzzle Loader, S/N# 1848HB
Sun Room, 16'X8'

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Steve Havlat, DHS Class Of '76, Passes At 58

Steven Scott Havlat, 58, Crete passed away on June 18, 2015. He was born on February 20, 1957 in Lincoln to Robert and Vera Havlat. He went to school in a one room country schoolhouse, District 31 and District 25, both in Saline County. Steve graduated from Dorchester High School in 1976. Steve helped local farmers and was very mechanically inclined. He enjoyed fishing, hunting, playing in card tournaments at Kramer, accordion and Polka music. Steve loved the Colorado Mountains especially in the Evergreen, Colo. area. Steve also helped drive a tractor in the Tractor Cade to Washington, DC.

Survivors include his mother, Vera Havlat of Dorchester; brothers, Robert Jr. & Sandy Havlat of Crete, Wayne & Cindy Havlat of Dorchester; sisters, Kathy Bernadt, Lori & Mike Schmidt all of Lincoln; his best and special friend, Linda Lorenz of Crete; many nieces, nephews, great nieces & great nephews. He is preceded in death by his father Robert Sr.; grandparents, Thomas & Libbie Havlat, Ladislav & Selma Vosika; many aunts and uncles.

Open house reception: 11:30 a.m. Monday, June 22, Crete VFW Club. Casual attire requested. Memorials in care of family for future designation. Condolences at kunclfh.com.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Dorchester Vacation Bible School Set For July 7-9

Spread the word!

It's almost time once again for Vacation Bible School at Dorchester's United Methodist Church.  

Vacation Bible School will begin Tuesday, July 7 and continue through Thursday, July 9.  Start time will be 5:30 p.m. on July 26 with a light meal served.

The good news is there is still time to register.  Contact Amy Weber for more details.

All children, regardless of their parents' church affiliation, are invited.

Here's How To Get Your Street Paved

We've recently heard from some Dorchester residents who have long supported paving more of the town's streets.

One supporter told us, "If we want to grow Dorchester and encourage more people to build here, improve their homes here, and bring more business here, we need paved streets."

He added: "It would sure be nice if we could start the street paving process without waiting another 20 years for the village board to move."

Well, it can be done, according to our research. 

Section 17-510 of Nebraska law says a petition can be started by those who have property next to an unimproved street (meaning gravel or dirt).  This means petition signers wouldn't need to be residents of Dorchester, just property owners.

If the petition were signed by enough landowners -- representing at least 61% of the front footage of the property directly abutting the street proposed to be paved -- the governing body (the village board) by ordinance would be forced to create a paving district or districts, barring some loophole -- such as no sewer or water hook-up on that street.

Of course, the petition would have to be worded precisely to specify that paving of a certain street or streets is desired.

As it was explained to the Times, a paving district -- or street improvement district -- could take one of many forms.  The street improvement district could consist of one street on one block, or comprise the entire town, or anything in between.  The smaller the paving district, the better chances of paving occurring, it would appear.

The process is simple, yet there are many moving parts, according to attorneys we contacted.  For example, the village board would need to levy special assessments on the lots and parcels of land abutting on or adjacent to the paved street to finance the work.  

Special assessments for such projects could be paid over a 15-year period.

To see the section of state law that allows this petition process, click here.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

COMMUNITY CONVERSATION: Only Dorchester Can Improve Dorchester

Recently, on one of our blog posts, a rather harsh comment was left by Times reader "Chevy Van."

He/she wrote:  "Give Dorchester's Main Street 25 years. At that point it will be beautiful as a new corner system pivot waters corn, where the streets used to be.  Main Street will be greener than ever. Pavement should have been installed years ago. Dorchester's fate was sealed back then. Drive through the muddy streets today. Show me a rougher town in Saline county. My opinion will meet great criticism, but until people are willing to invest in and clean up their properties, this town is doomed to a future of low income housing and the problems that come with it."

We disagree with the negative sentiment of our reader.  Truth is, there are communities in worse shape than Dorchester in Saline County.  Dorchester has a natural advantage due to its geographical location, grain elevator and co-op subsidiaries, new school, and close-knit community.

We do, however, agree that the next two decades will be a telling time for Dorchester and many small towns across the state.  It will be a time of do or die.

We also agree with the point that "until people are willing to invest in and clean their properties," no town has a promising future.

Here are the facts:  Many small towns are in disrepair and decline across America.  Dorchester is blessed by a rich history and a strong fabric of good families, alumni and boosters who volunteer their time and resources.  But we need more input and more involvement from the community at large.  And as we've said before, Dorchester needs a game plan.

To drive the point home, we leave you with an article e-mailed to the Times by an economic development expert with Dorchester ties.  It reads:

"Can you save a small town? If your town can’t get its act together enough to accept help or seek opportunities, should outside groups spend any of their limited time and resources on you? Or should they focus instead on the places with the best prospects of success? ... In this era of extremely limited resources, the agencies and funders will have to draw some lines. 

"You want your town to be saved? Start saving it yourself, as best you can. Your tiny steps will lead to small successes. You’ll fail, too, along the way. Other people will squash your best ideas, and the opposition will drive you bananas. That’s part of what it takes to succeed. But it will all lead to bigger successes. And successful communities attract more resources. Towns that are just begging won’t get much positive attention.

“'But my town sucks,' you might say. Let’s be honest. Most towns suck to some degree. You have to start by acting on your own. You do what you can, and it won’t be easy. Build relationships with other local revolutionaries. Savor small, even tiny, victories. Build relationships with the people in neighboring towns, the towns that other people consider enemies. Build online relationships with like-minded people in different areas. Draw support from each other and dream up small but meaningful ways to make a difference.

"Fair warning: The towns that keep sucking the life out of their residents are going to be the ones that head downhill the fastest. People can be extraordinarily mobile today, and they can choose to invest themselves in any one of the many amazing and cool small towns out there. It matters that you take even a tiny step to make your town a little better place to live."

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Confirmed: American Pickers Coming To Nebraska To Film In July

A while back, this blog broke the news that the TV show "American Pickers" on the History Channel might be considering filming in Dorchester and Saline County, according to a reader who e-mailed us. 

Now we have confirmation that the "Pickers" are indeed coming to Nebraska next month.

For now, it looks like the antique collectors will be concentrating on the Nebraska City and Otoe County area.  That's according to a release from Nebraska City's tourism office.  

But the release makes it sound like all of southeast or eastern Nebraska is up for grabs as "prime picking territory."  That means Saline County is still in play.

As reported by 10/11 News, the Pickers -- which features collectors-turned-celebrities Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz of LeClaire, Iowa -- will be filming in Nebraska by July.  

"The team will film episodes of their hit series ‘American Pickers’ throughout Nebraska. Filming will begin next month," 10/11 reports.

Frank and Mike still want to hear from you if you have a large collection or want to refer someone.  Just e-mail your name, number, address and description of the collection and photos to: americanpickers@cineflix.com , or call 1-855-old-rust.

Who knows? Saline County just might be headlining "American Pickers" just yet.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015


The Times received the following letter from reader Laura Sysel regarding her business idea to help redevelop Dorchester's main street.
Today, we share it with the community and all who care about Dorchester's future:

Dear Dorchester Times:

I have considered contacting the Times before with my idea, but now that I noticed the story about the price reduction of the building that housed Ben's Iron Grill, I felt even more compelled to submit my idea.  I have considered the option of Ben’s building along with several others in town. What is holding me back is that I have an option on a house to move to my property in the country and financing.

I would be open to investors or a partner for an in-town property.  I have had a business idea for quite some time and would love it if you could promote it and see if there would be any interest in such a business among potential investors who want to get it off the ground.  

I was originally looking to have the business out in the country on my property, but with my desire to work with the youth of Dorchester, I feel it would be better suited to in town. With Dorchester Public School no longer offering a Home Economics program (or Family Consumer Science as they call it now), I would really like to gear the business to the youth of town to fill some of the void in our financial education.  I would welcome adults as well who want to learn new skills.  I have been wavering back and forth on location for this business.  Community support would make a huge difference.

Here is my multi-faceted business concept:

1.) The first would be rental based.  I would have cake pans and supplies as well as wedding/prom/party decorations.  Other things could also be added to the rental part.

2.) Teach cake decorating classes, as well as home canning and cooking.  I would be open to other individuals wanting to teach a skill like some of those offered through SCC.

3.) Have custom embroidery and sewing items for sale, as well as teaching anyone wanting to learn.

4.) Provide alteration services.

5.)  We would have handmade baby gifts, school based gifts, etc. for sale.  Other crafters in the area could sell their items, as well.

6.)  I would like to have an area for scrapbooking and supplies.  Also a space for classes and group meetings.

I have already talked to the bank about a loan. I have many of the supplies on hand already so there wouldn't be much more to attain.  I am currently working on writing the business plan so I may proceed with the loan application.

You are welcome to post any of this on the blog or contact me for more information.  Our youth really need other things to do then roam the streets and such.

Laura Sysel
(402) 580-8533

Monday, June 15, 2015

Swampland: 15 Inches In 15 Days -- Nearly 30 Inches Over 45 Days

For many in our area, the rains of the past 45 days have been inconvenient.  For others, they've been messy.  

And for many, they've been costly -- from flooded or washed out fields, to damaged homes and other properties.

Still no relief in sight, either.

UPDATED: As of 8 a.m. this morning, Dorchester had recorded 4" in town since 9 p.m. last night.  

Today's forecast calls for a chance of rain until 8 p.m. tonight.  Click here for the latest forecast and radar images, as well as warnings.

How much rain have we had lately? 

Depends on whose gauge you're checking -- but the Times' gauges show Dorchester has received 15 inches over the past 15 days.  

Enough to designate the area an official swamp.

Since May 1, Dorchester has seen approximately 29 inches.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Sign Up Now For Dorchester Times Breaking News

The Dorchester Times wants to do a better job of keeping our readers informed.  

If you'd like to receive occasional notices or breaking news from the Dorchester Times, send us an e-mail at our new address: dorchester.times@yahoo.com

Dating back to our founding in April 2007, we have sent occasional e-mail alerts to readers notifying them of the latest headlines at the Dorchester Times.

However, our e-mail contact list has become sadly outdated -- and Gmail now prohibits mass e-mails.

So by sending us an e-mail at dorchester.times@yahoo.com, you'll be sure to get on our notification list.  (We promise to limit updates to once every 10 days or so, once they begin again.)

Keep connected to Dorchester by reading the Dorchester Times.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Flag Retirement Ceremony Will Be Sunday Evening

Flag Day arrives this Sunday.

To mark this special day, the Dorchester American Legion, Post 264, will hold its annual Saline County flag retirement ceremony Sunday evening, June 14. 

The ceremony will begin at 6 p.m., with a covered dish dinner following the services. 

All area residents are welcome and encouraged to attend this very patriotic event.

Plan on coming early and bring your unserviceable American flags.  

Hundreds of flags are expected to be retired.

For more information, call Larry Kaspar at (402) 946-6711 or Rich Kasl (402) 946-7651.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Torrential: Wet Weather Continues

We wish we could report better news regarding our weather, but the record rain continues.

Dorchester recorded 4.5 inches between 10 p.m. Wednesday and 8 a.m. this morning.  The Lincoln Airport recorded 3.02."

More rain is possible between 2 and 11 p.m. today.  See the forecast for our area here.

The Lincoln Journal Star reports that the Big Blue River near Crete was a foot above its 21-foot flood stage at about 1 a.m. Thursday, the weather service said.  Minor to moderate flooding was predicted.  The river was expected to rise to about 25 feet by early Friday morning.  Moderate flooding from the Big Blue river near Barneston also was predicted by the weather service. Lincoln Creek near Seward also was rising.

Saline County Emergency Management coordinator B. J. Fictum says drivers are urged to stay away from water-covered roads for their safety.

"The road guys are starting to run out of barricades," Fictum said. "That's not a good thing."

Officials were watching the west fork of the Big Blue River closely and the main channel of the river, he said. A gauge at Crete showed the Big Blue River at 23 feet Thursday morning, which is about 2 feet above its flood stage.

Turkey Creek is also coming up, Fictum said, and will remain high through the weekend as water moves downstream from Fillmore County.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Former Joe's Place Owner Dwayne Schmale Passes At 78

Dwayne J. Schmale, 78, formerly of Dorchester, passed away in Friend on Saturday, June 6, 2015. He was born on December 5, 1936 in Beatrice to Emil amd Mary (Otto) Schmale. Dwayne and his wife, Sharon, were the former owners and operators of Joes Place in Dorchester.

In 1984, Dwayne purchased the bar from his father-in-law, Joe Ladman, who passed away in 2009. Dwayne and Sharon continued to work there for another two decades.

Sharon passed away Feb. 23 of this year at the age of 74.

Schmale also served on the Dorchester Village Board.  In 2008, he was selected as chairman of the board.

Dwayne's survivors include his son, Jeff (Nicki) Schmale of Crete; step-sons, Tim (Judy) Barker of Lincoln, Tom Barker and his son, Eli, of Loveland, Colo.; step-daughter, Pam Barker of Lincoln; grandsons, Joseph (Beth) Peterson and family of Omaha, Stephen (Jill) Brindley and family of Phoenix; sister, Loretta (Robert) Powell of Beatrice; nephews, Tim Schmale of Florida, Alan Murdock of Beatrice, Doug Murdock of Marysville, Kan.; niece, Kim Hackbarth of Beatrice; one great niece and several great nephews. Dwayne is preceded in death by his wife, Sharon Schmale; parents and brother, Richard Schmale.

Funeral services are 10:30 a.m. tomorrow, Wednesday, June 10, at Kuncl Funeral Home in Crete.  Burial will be at Dorchester Cemetery. Visitation is be 5-8 p.m. tonight at Kuncl Funeral Home in Crete. Memorials are suggested to the Dorchester Legion.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Grants Available Help Repair Housing For Low Income Residents

Nebraska USDA Rural Development announces that USDA is seeking applications for grants to make housing repairs for low- and very-low-income rural residents. The grants are being provided through USDA Rural Development's Housing Preservation Grant program.

USDA provides grants to qualified organizations so they can help rural homeowners and rental housing owners make needed repairs and improvements to their housing infrastructure. Grants can be used for a variety of needs, such as repairs to resolve health or safety issues or for energy-efficiency improvements to reduce utility costs.

Eligible applicants for Housing Preservation Grants (HPG) include town or county governments, public agencies, and non-profit and faith-based organizations. USDA does not provide funding directly to homeowners under this program. 

Pre-applications are due by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on July 6, 2015. Visit http://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/housing-preservation-grants/ne for pre-applications.

For HPG information in Nebraska, contact Multi Family Housing Specialist Sharon Kluck at 402-437-5035 or Sharon.kluck@ne.usda.gov.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Hromek-Kerby Wedding Held Saturday In Dorchester

Wedding bells were ringing in south Dorchester yesterday.

And fortunately, the rain held off.

Bill and Teri Hromek, formerly of Dorchester, recently announced the June 6 wedding of their son Jordan, a 2003 DHS alum, and his bride Amanda Kerby.

The two were married June 6 at the family home in Dorchester, now the residence of Chad and Jessica Tuttle.

A reception was held at Tabor Hall.

Congrats to the newlyweds!

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Flashback: Readers Want New Housing In Dorchester

We asked. Our readers answered.

Last May (2014), we asked readers who lived in Dorchester if they wanted to see new housing built in Dorchester.  More than 60 readers/residents responded to the survey.  

Here are the results.  

When we asked if you support new housing in Dorchester, an overwhelming 83% said "yes."  Around 17% said "no."

Those who said they wanted new housing in Dorchester were then asked which area of town would they like to see new homes built.  Readers were evenly divided, with 40% saying north of town and 40% saying south of town.  

Around 28% would like the new housing inside Dorchester's current city limits, while the same percentage want to see new housing east of town.

The Times conducted the survey last year because we had heard rumblings that at least one local landowner was willing to sell land south of town for a new housing development.

Another informal survey (conducted in March 2014) of 20 DHS alumni ages 18-30 showed that 80% of these young people -- many of whom have already married and/or have children -- would currently consider moving back to Dorchester.  

However, nearly all of those alumni said there would need to be adequate housing.  Others told us they would not move back unless there were more streets with paving.  We've heard the same sentiments from Baby Boomers nearing retirement.

Pray For No More Rain: Storms Expected Today Through Sunday

Turkey Creek near Dorchester (Photo by Amanda Nohavec)
Pray for no more rain.

The Lincoln Journal Star is reporting that with more rain on the way Saturday night, residents and landowners along the West Fork of the Big Blue River in southern York and northern Fillmore counties were preparing for the worst flooding in 50 years.

The crest of the West Fork of the Big Blue River was expected to reach the town of McCool Junction on Saturday evening.  To the west, near Stockham in Hamilton County, landowners reported water on the West Fork of the Big Blue was the highest they'd seen in 80 years.

Our surrounding area has seen as much as 7 inches of rain since Wednesday.  In Dorchester, we've received around 6" since mid-week.  This is on top of a record-setting May, where parts of Saline County saw better than 14" over 31 days.

Elsewhere, U.S. 136 remains closed in west Beatrice due to flooding along the Big Blue River. The Big Blue in Beatrice was nearly 7 feet above its 18.0-foot flood stage on Saturday morning.

Flood warnings were up for the Big Blue from Crete to Barneston, the West Fork of the Big Blue to Dorchester, the Little Blue at Fairbury, the Big Nemaha at Falls City, Turkey Creek at Wilber and the Missouri at Rulo.

The chance of rain returns Saturday afternoon and evening, with severe weather possible. Large hail and damaging winds are the main threat, with the areas of Columbus, Norfolk and South Sioux City in the target area for severe weather.

In Dorchester, there's a 30-50% chance of rain or thunderstorms after 2 p.m., with rain 80-90% likely Saturday evening into Sunday morning.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Random Thoughts: Village Employee, Semi's, And Business District

Some random thoughts from the Dorchester Times...

  • VILLAGE EMPLOYEE'S RESIGNATION:  We've received more than one e-mail from readers who are concerned by the loss of John Bruha, the village's maintenance technician.  Bruha appeared to us to be an ambitious, competent, responsive and hard-working staff member who always put the taxpayer interests first. We're not privy to the behind-the-scenes information, but we think the town board -- which lost a member of its own this week due to a resignation -- should attempt to get Bruha back on staff, whatever it takes.  
  • SEMI'S ON MAIN STREET: We are beyond grateful that the Farmers Cooperative is in Dorchester.  It's a major employer and the pulse of Dorchester's business community.  But do we really need fully loaded semi-trucks rolling through town on Dorchester's main street? We've seen it all too often. There are multiple ways to get to the elevator without using Dorchester's main street, which is already showing serious signs of wear.  One study shows that a fully loaded 18-wheeler causes road damage that is equivalent to 9,600 cars. Semi drivers should have enough common sense to use the highways and crushed rock streets.  If they don't, a village ordinance is in order.
  • BUSINESS DISTRICT: Maybe its due to the construction on main street, but we can't help but notice that our village's business district is looking rough.  There's no way to soften our assessment.  The old East Side Tavern/Last Call/Ben's Iron Grill building is still for sale.  The old Sehnert Garage continues to show its wear.  The former telephone building/Guggenmos Insurance Co./Snip 'N Curl beauty salon continues to deteriorate.  And much of the west side of main street is in disrepair.  Let's be sure to support those downtown businesses that maintain their properties and are making a commitment to Dorchester -- including City Slickers Bar and Grill, Donna's Hair Creations, Tyser Repair and Auto Sales, Barley Specialties, and First State Bank.

Flood Warnings In Effect

Severe weather is in the forecast for Dorchester and the surrounding area, as flood warnings have been issued for Saline County.  Here's the official alert from the National Weather Service:







Stay tuned to the Dorchester Times for weather updates.  

Check here for warnings.  

Check here for the radar.  

And check here for the hourly forecast.


Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Job Openings: Farmers Cooperative Now Hiring

Need a job?

Dorchester-based Farmers Cooperative is hiring.

One of Nebraska's largest ag cooperatives, Farmers Cooperative currently has two open positions in Dorchester, according to the company's human resources department. 

Farmers Cooperative has over 40 locations across southeast Nebraska and Kansas.  

Benefits include but are not limited to health care, retirement, paid vacation, clothing allowance, personal time off and an annual discretionary bonus plan.

One position at Farmers Cooperative's Dorchester headquarters is a full-time opening for a custom applicator. An applicator's license is required.

The other opening in Dorchester is a part-time job as a courier.

All applications should be sent to Jeff Adams in Dorchester by e-mailing Jadams@farmersco-operative.com

See other openings for Farmers Cooperative by clicking here.