Monday, August 31, 2015

Support DHS Booster Club Today


Here's a challenge for all Dorchester alumni, parents and other Longhorn supporters: Show your support for our DHS athletes and coaches by supporting the DHS Booster Club.

The club's goal is to get the community involved with our sports programs again.  

We can't think of a better time than now to get behind this organization's efforts.

Keep in mind of the special recognition you'll receive for contributions of $50 or more.  (Click on the photo above to see all the benefits you'll get by helping DHS -- in addition to that warm, fuzzy feeling.)

The DHS Booster Club is comprised of Dorchester supporters of all DHS sports teams who work to raise money for much-needed supplies, equipment, uniforms, and/or capital items beyond what the school budget can provide. 

Through such financial support, the Booster Club enriches DHS' extra curricular activities for both students and community members.

Your donation will remind our Longhorn youth that we support their extra curricular efforts. It  will also remind DHS students that it is a privilege and an honor to represent one's school and to wear its uniform. 

Regardless of a student's athletic talents, the lessons on leadership and self-improvement learned through school activities last a lifetime. Just as true, a student will always recall the level of support shown by fellow community members during his/her school days.

We hope you will take a moment to send your contribution to:

DHS Booster Club
506 W 9th St., Box 7
Dorchester, NE 68343

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Dorchester Volleyball Looks To Be More Than Just Competitive In 2015


The Lady Longhorns finished their 2014 volleyball season at 8-21.  It was a "building year," according to insiders.

This year, there are higher expectations at Class D2 DHS, with many returning sophomores, juniors and seniors donning the orange and black and representing their school.  

With some freshman talent coming through the pipeline, it appears DHS will field a very competitive volleyball team in 2015.

DHS' new season will get underway this week, with a triangular at home on Thursday, as the Lady 'Horns will take on Palmyra and Weeping Water, both Class C2 schools.

The Lady Longhorns are looking to forge a culture of winning traditions under a third-year head coach Ty Peteranetz.  

Coach Peteranetz is a self-described "transplanted, Colorado-born Husker fan" who moved to Omaha in 2011 after 30 years in Colorado to be the assistant volleyball coach at the College of St. Mary.  

He missed teaching terribly, so he resigned his position with CSM to be an educator and coach at DHS.  He teaches Dorchester's fourth grade.

With six starters back, the Longhorns are looking to be much improved from last season's 8-21 record. Senior regulars returning are 6-0 MB Jessica Kalkwarf, L Clarissa Bors, and S Avery Behrens, while the juniors are OHs Bailey Velder and Jacee Weber and S/RS Ripley Creamer.  Experts say to look for emerging stars this season, including from the freshmen and sophomore classes.

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

2015 DHS Longhorn Volleyball

09/03/15 Palmyra -- Triangular (at DHS) 
09/03/15 Weeping Water --Triangular (at DHS) 
09/08/15 Parkview Christian -- Triangular (at College View Academy) 
09/08/15 College View Academy -- Triangular (at College View Academy)

09/10/15 Hampton -- Triangular (at Giltner)

09/10/15 Giltner -- Triangular (at Giltner)
09/17/15 Friend (at DHS)
09/19-09/19 (To Be Determined)  -- BDS Invitational Tournament (at Shickley)
09/22/15 at Osceola  
09/24/15 Shelby/Rising City -- Triangular (at High Plains Community)
09/24/15 High Plains Community -- Triangular (at High Plains Community)
     09/26 (To Be Determined) -- Nebraska Lutheran Tournament (at Waco)
09/29/15 Sterling (at DHS)
10/01/15 Meridian -- Triangular (at DHS)
10/01/15 Diller-Odell -- Triangular (at DHS)
10/06/15 Parkview Christian (at DHS)
10/08/15 Cross County -- Triangular (at Cross County)
10/08/15 Exeter-Milligan -- Triangular (at Cross County)
10/13/15 McCool Junction -- Triangular (at McCool Junction)
10/13/15 BDS -- Triangular (at McCool Junction)
10/17-10/20 -- Crossroads Conference Tournament (2/3-Day Tournament at York)
10/22/15 at East Butler
10/29/15 Nebraska Lutheran (at DHS)

Friday, August 28, 2015

Comparing Dorchester Property Taxes To Our Big City Neighbors


The Dorchester Times strives to look at our community in a objective manner.  While there are things we'd like to improve expeditiously -- our streets, our business district, the condition of some homes -- we also know there are big advantages to life in the village right now.

Today, we examine property taxes.

The owner of a $150,000 house in Lincoln -- near the city average -- will pay about $2,915 this year for property taxes.  Over 10 years, that is nearly $30,000; over 20 years, it's more than $58,000. 

And with the news the the Lincoln Public School board has raised its budget by nearly 7%, Lincoln dwellers will pay even more next year, considering about 60% of a Nebraskan's property tax bill goes to his/her school district.

Meanwhile, the owner of a $150,000 house in Omaha will pay around $3,300 -- or $33,000 over a decade, or $66,000 over a 20-year span.

Now consider the estimated average house value in Dorchester is around $81,700.  That means, based on current tax levies, the average Dorchester homeowner is paying around $1,275 a year in property taxes -- or $12,750 over a decade, or $25,500 over a 20-year span.

At these numbers, the average homeowner in Dorchester will save about $17,000 over 10 years and about $32,500 over 20 years compared to their Lincoln counterparts.  Those savings are $20,250 and $40,450 when the comparison is with the average Omaha owner.

Keep in mind this does not take into consideration other expenses, such as mortgage interest (since the average homes are more expensive in Lincoln and Omaha) or other taxes, such as city wheel tax.

For those out-of-state readers who may be saying, "Property taxes in Nebraska are high no matter where you live!" -- we say, "You're right."  But consider that the average home price in many other states is between $300,000 and $400,000 -- which means most people are borrowing much bigger sums of money.  

Also keep this in mind: Your $100 in Nebraska is actually worth about $110-$115 due to the average cost of living in the U.S.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Dorchester's Dr. Jason Weber Back In Nebraska, Joins Lincoln Clinic


Lincoln Orthopaedic Center (LOC) surgeons and staff are pleased to welcome Jason P. Weber, MD, a 2001 graduate of Dorchester High School.

Dr. Matt Reckmeyer, president of LOC, said, “We are pleased to welcome Jason Weber to the medical staff of LOC. He will add a much needed specialty to our practice with his foot and ankle expertise. We look forward to Dr. Weber continuing our tradition of providing superior orthopaedic surgical care to Lincoln and surrounding communities.”

Dr. Weber joins the expert surgeons at Lincoln Orthopaedic Center while specializing in foot and ankle care. Dr. Weber is a Nebraska native where he studied at the University of Nebraska and graduated with honors and highest distinction.

Dr. Weber pursued his interest in medicine by attending the Nebraska College of Medicine (UNMC), earning his doctorate in 2009. Dr. Weber was a member of Alpha Omega Alpha, Honor Medical Society and the medical school admissions committee. He was welcomed into the orthopaedic surgery residency at Georgetown University Hospital, where he served as the academic chief and completed research on many surgeries.

Dr. Weber completed an orthopaedic foot and ankle fellowship at the Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Center of Washington D.C. where he focused on foot and ankle care in the clinical, surgical and academic setting.

LOC’s, Dr. Doug Tewes, inspired Jason Weber to pursue medicine as a young athlete. Dr. Tewes said, “Jason was a good athlete and student in high school, when I first met him. Because of his interest in medicine and his hard work ethic, he shadowed me and I got to know him well. I followed him as he obtained his medical degree at UNMC, during his fellowships and I was eager to get him back to Nebraska.”

For more information about Dr. Weber visit www.ortholinc.com. For an appointment, call 402-436-2000.

Friday, August 21, 2015

FLASHBACK: Results From Our 2014 Community Survey


A year ago, in August 2014, we asked Dorchester area residents to take our community survey, so we could get a better pulse of our village and future needs of those who call Dorchester home.  

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

Today, 12 months later, we look back on our survey and see what, if any, progress has been made.

2014 DORCHESTER TIMES COMMUNITY SURVEY
  • 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, said most respondents.
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" -- 72 (75.0%)
"Somewhat important" -- 18 (18.8%)
"Not important" -- 6 (6.3%)

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

"Work with young people to plan Dorchester's future" -- 29 (30.9%)
"Bring in new housing" -- 46 (48.9%)
"Start recruiting new businesses" -- 47 (50%)
"Recruit DHS grads back to the area" -- 13 (13.8%)
"Offer incentives for people to relocate, such as free lots on which to build" -- 25 (26.6%)

What is Dorchester best selling point? (Multiple choice)

"It's clean, quiet and safe" -- 27 (28.1%)
"The affordable cost of living" -- 29 (30.2%)
"Character of those who live here" -- 22 (22.9%)
"Proximity to larger towns and cities" -- 51 (53.1%)
"Its small, quality school and programs for kids" -- 36 (37.5%)

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

"Lack of new housing options" -- 12 (12.5%)
"Unpaved streets" -- 40 (41.7%)
"Too few employers in town or near by" -- 15 (15.5%)
"The loss of young people after high school" -- 18 (18.8%)

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

DHS-MHS Football Season Gets Underway Next Week


The crisp feel of autumn is in the air.  That means football season is upon us.
The Dorchester-Milford High School team will kick off its season with a road contest next Friday at Louisville. The MHS-DHS team is entering its third season as a cooperative in football in Class C-1, which offers a more competitive brand of football.
The team is coming off a 6-win season in 2014, and it boasts at least seven Dorchester players according our count.
SEASON OUTLOOK
The DHS-MHS squad will be led by 36-year veteran head coach Marty Hingst, who boasts a 237-146-2 lifetime record.
Milford-Dorchester relied on strong defense last season, and according to the sportswriters at the Lincoln Journal Star, that should be the case this season with the return of several defensive starters, including nose tackle Marty Schildt. Jaidon Policky is one of the top skill players on the roster. He received all-district honors at wideout in 2014. The Eagles are hoping to develop some depth on the offensive line.
All combined, the team will see six returning starters on both offense and defense.
DHS-MHS will look to make the playoffs for the third straight year this season. The back-to-back playoff berths in '13 and '14 are the school's only playoff appearances in its young history.

HISTORY AND OUTLOOK FOR DHS
The 2013 season marked the first time since 1948 that Dorchester had not had a high school team. (In 1949, DHS' football program was rejuvenated after years of not playing the game due to a student's death on the gridiron in the early 1930s.)
Three years ago, Milford school administrators and board members agreed to allow DHS to join in what is now officially deemed an "athletic cooperative" between the two schools, until DHS has sufficient numbers to resume playing at the Class D level.  The impacted athletics include football and wrestling.

According to several reports, it may be some time before football returns to Nerud Field.  The Times received two e-mails confirming that no Dorchester junior high boys are participating in football this season, despite a healthy number of Dorchester boys enrolled in 7th and 8th grades.

Milford-Dorchester 2015 Schedule

Aug. 28 | Louisville | A
Sept. 4 | GICC | H
Sept. 11 | David City | H
Sept. 18 | Holdrege | A
Sept. 25 | Fairbury | H
Oct. 2 Lincoln Christian | A
Oct. 9 Raymond Central | H
Oct. 16 Lincoln Lutheran | A
Oct. 23 | Wilber-Clatonia | H

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Can You Help The DVFD Today?


The volunteers of the Dorchester Fire and Rescue Department make a big sacrifice (physically and financially) to serve and protect the residents of our area.

The Dorchester Volunteer Fire Department is vital to our community.  We need them -- and they need our support in order to be there when needed.

Word has it the DVFD is working to raise funds for much-needed equipment.

Think of the difference we all could make if every person with connections to Dorchester gave just $10, $25 or $50 to the DVFD.

Many of us think nothing of dropping $100 in Lincoln or Omaha when shopping or dining.  Why not ensure some of that hard-earned cash stays in our community by giving to local community groups that are essential to our community's sustainability?

Please consider helping out the Dorchester Fire and Rescue volunteers right now.  

Readers are encouraged to send their donations to:

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

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Check Out This Dorchester Area Home Today


Dorchester and the surround area has a lot going for it.

Just consider what Dorchester has to offer:
  • A new K-12 school with some of the state's best educators.
  • A clean, safe community.
  • A new water system and new sewer system.
  • The lowest school tax levy in the county -- and one of the lower property rates in southeast Nebraska.
  • Affordable cost of living.
  • Headquarters for one of the state's largest agri-businesses (Farmers' Cooperative).
  • Friendly, helpful neighbors.
Of course, living inside city limits isn't for everyone.  Today we feature a home south of town.

925 County Road 1600, Dorchester: Beautifully updated 2 story home. 4.65 acres. You will be impressed as you walk into the fabulous eat in kitchen and formal dining room. Tastefully done. Class with a capitol C. First floor laundry room. Spacious living room with impressive windows. Character throughout. First floor bedroom. Four more bedrooms upstairs. Master bedroom has darling wall of windows and walk in closet. Wrap around porch will insure hours of enjoyment. Patio located on west side of home perfect for sitting and watching sunsets. 2 1/2 stall garage. New roof on house and garage. Four nostalgic outbuildings takes you back in time. Wonderful country setting, nestled in among bean fields and corn fields. Peaceful easy feeling. 4 1/2 miles south of Hwy 33. Turn south at Pleasant Hill sign. This is the type of home that makes Nebraska the place they call "The Good Life." Click here.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Ready For A Harsh Winter? It's Coming, Says Farmers Almanac


It's still summer.  

You'd best get out there and enjoy what's left of it. 

According to the news wires, The Old Farmer's Almanac predicts the coming winter will be super cold, with a slew of snow for much of the country.

Look for especially frigid weather in the Midwest, the almanac predicts.

"Just about everybody who gets snow will have a White Christmas in one capacity or another," editor Janice Stillman said from Dublin, New Hampshire, where the almanac is compiled. 

The weather predictions are based on a secret formula that founder Robert B. Thomas designed using solar cycles, climatology and meteorology. 

It's never too early to make sure your furnace is ready, your insulation is solid, and you have a backup source of heat.

Dorchester's Darrel Van Ackern Passes At 67


Darrel D. Van Ackern, age 67, of Dorchester, passed away August 9, 2015. He was born with his twin sister Carol Van Ackern in a pick-up truck on Bennett Road. Proud Army (Vietnam) veteran of 24 years. Beloved husband, father, brother and friend, passed away too soon.

He honorably served his country and retired with the rank of SFC. Tour of duties include Vietnam, Marshal Islands, Colorado, Germany and many other bases in the U.S. and around the world. He was a Farmland employee for 21 years.

Darrel was a loving, loyal, hard working husband, father and great friend. He had a great sense of humor and loved to joke around. He enjoyed hunting, fishing and spending time with his family.

He is survived by his loving wife Liane Van Ackern, his siblings, John (Kathy) Van Ackern of Nebraska; Louis (Lois) Van Ackern of Arizona; twin sister, Carol Van Ackern, Bonnie (Dave) Sierks both of Nebraska; Barbara (Dave) Funkhouser of Missouri; Mary (Verlin) Homolka of Nebraska. Children, Chris (Melinda) Van Ackern; Randy (Charlene) Van Ackern; Vicky (Tony) Simmons; Steven (Raven) Van Ackern all of Alabama. Step children, Luise Klein; Jeanie (Alex) Domkowski both of Germany. Kathy Hernandez; Rosa (Jeff) Dornan both of Nebraska and Manuela Poor of Florida. 17 grandchildren, one great-grandchild. Nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his father, Paul Van Ackern, his mother, Grace Van Ackern and a brother Robert Van Ackern. You will forever be greatly missed.

Memorial services were held on Thursday, August 13, at Wyuka Funeral Home with military services provided by the Nebraska Army National Guard. Memorials to the family. Online condolences may be left at www.wyuka.com.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Free Concert By Top-Ranked Cover Band Will Be Aug. 22 In Deshler


Would you like to hear "Hotel California" on a late summer's night in Nebraska?

We wanted to let our readers know about a free and noteworthy concert coming to nearby Deshler on Saturday, Aug. 22, at the Thayer County Fairgrounds.  (Did we mention it's free?)

The show will start at 7 p.m. (gates open at 6:30 p.m.).

The event is sponsored by Reinke Manufacturing.  

This is one that looks like a memorable time.

An amazing, top-rated cover group from North Carolina called ON THE BORDER will play all the hits from The Eagles -- one of the best bands of the 1970s. 

As some of our older readers will recall, The Eagles included members Glenn Frey and Don Henley.  

Back in the day, the group had several number-one singles, six Grammy Awards, five American Music Awards, and six number one albums. 

ON THE BORDER is considered the world's best Eagles tribute band.  

Hailing from from Charlotte, North Carolina, the group was recently crowned "the greatest Eagles tribute band in the world."

Performing 40-50 shows a year all over the U.S., the band's passion, showmanship and precise attention to replicating the details of The Eagles' music has earned them critical acclaim, name recognition and a loyal following. 

If you are looking for something to do Aug. 22, you couldn't do much better than a great free concert in Deshler.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Dorchester's Olga Bruha Celebrates 98th Birthday


Much was happening in 1917.
The United States was entering World War I.
Communist leader Lenin was taking over Russia.
Albert Einstein published his first paper on cosmology.
Houdini was performing his "buried alive" escapes.
And Dorchester's Olga Bruha was born.
Olga celebrated her 98th birthday last week. 
In honor of the occasion, her family is requesting a card shower. 
Cards may be sent to her at: P.O. Box 154, Dorchester, NE 68343.
According to our records, Olga and Josie Slama are Dorchester's oldest residents at 98 years old.  

Monday, August 10, 2015

DHS Alum Buford 'Boo' Grosscup Passes At 93


Buford "Boo" M. Grosscup of Lincoln passed away August 2, 2015, just nine days short of his 94th birthday.  Buford was born in Dorchester to Clinton and Helen (Powell) Grosscup and was part of Dorchester's Class of 1939.

That DHS Class of 1939 had 33 members, including Harold Krivohlavek  and Bertha Dusanek Zak, both of whom also passed away recently.

Buford attended Doane College on a basketball scholarship where he met his wife, Jane Skokan. After graduation, he joined the Navy as a "Ninety Day Wonder" and served in the Pacific during WW II as a PT boat commander with the rank of lieutenant j.g.

Buford and Jane were married on November 5, 1943. Their 71 year union produced three children: Lynn, Bryan, and Paul.  Buford began his teaching and coaching career in Norfolk in 1946. He continued teaching and coaching at Lincoln High School in 1951 retiring in 1983. He coached football for several years and was named head baseball coach in 1956 retiring from coaching in 1973. In 1956 and 1963 his baseball teams won state championships.

Buford was inducted into the Doane Athletic Hall of Fame, Doane's Honor D Club, the Nebraska State Officials Hall of Fame, the Lincoln High School Athletic Hall of Fame, and received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Nebraska School Athletic Association.

A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. tomorrow, August 11, at Butherus, Maser and Love funeral home, 4040 A street. Buford will be cremated followed by a private family burial at Lincoln Memorial Park. No visitation. Memorials may be sent to the Nebraska High School Sports Hall of Fame Foundation at 500 Charleston Street, Suite 3, Lincoln, NE, 68508.

Help Improve Dorchester's Main Street And Grow A Startup Business


If you've ever wanted help improve Dorchester's main street and get a small business off the ground, here's your chance.

As the Times recently reported, renovation is taking place along the west side of Dorchester's main street on the facilities that will soon house the forthcoming Dorchester Bakery.  The new business will be housed just south of the post office.

But restoring an old commercial building is expensive work.  The bakery's owner and operator Michelle Johnson is trying to raise some extra funds on the website GoFundMe.com.

You can click here to donate any amount you wish -- from $1 to $1,0000.

For readers who may have missed our earlier reports, the Dorchester Bakery and the accompanying "Party Room" will be located in the building that was most recently the Dorchester Hardware Store and the additional space in Dorchester Grocery.  

The business is awaiting its permanent move to this location as renovations and repairs are being completed.

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.

The bakery will create a place for residents to enjoy a cup of coffee and a sweet treat, a luncheon, special order cakes and cookies, and employment for 10 people. It will be the only full-service bakery in the entire county.

Johnson writes: "Could you please let your readers know that I am very thankful for those who have taken the opportunity to stop by The Party Room on Fridays? Their continued support is needed in order to maintain the building in its present state. And although I have set up a GoFundMe account, I certainly don't expect something for nothing. I would actually prefer people stop by and get something for their money. Plus it helps me get acquainted with the residents. And I've met some terrific people so far."

If you would like to help Michelle fulfill her dream of a operating a full-service bakery located on main street Dorchester, simply click here and donate whatever amount you wish.

To see pictures of some of Johnson's baked goods, we suggest you visit her Facebook page.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

New School Year Begins This Wednesday


There was a time, decades ago, that a kid's summer would last past Labor Day. 

Those days are long gone -- having gone the way of farm work that lasted from dawn until dusk, and classrooms that didn't have air conditioning.

The 2015-16 school year for Dorchester Public School kicks off this Wednesday, August 12. This year, the first school bell will ring at 8:10 a.m. every day, and the school day will conclude at 3:30 p.m.

A year-long calendar for Dorchester School activities can be found here or at the school website.

The school has hired one new staff member this year -- Mr. Nicholas Ginaap, who will serve as the new physical/health education educator.  We've heard Mr. Ginaap is a top-notch teacher who will certainly stress the importance of physical fitness at a time Dorchester is trying to refocus students on the need for teamwork and personal responsibility through participation in athletics.

Good luck to all of Dorchester's K-12 students!

Check Out This Dorchester Home For Sale Today


The village of Dorchester has a lot going for it, if you prefer living in a safe, clean, friendly and affordable community.

Just consider what Dorchester has to offer:
  • A new K-12 school with some of the state's best educators.
  • A clean, safe community.
  • A new water system and new sewer system.
  • The lowest school tax levy in the county -- and one of the lower property rates in southeast Nebraska.
  • Affordable cost of living.
  • Headquarters for one of the state's largest agri-businesses (Farmers' Cooperative).
  • Friendly, helpful neighbors.
A quick drive from many employers in Crete and Seward, and only 30 minutes to Lincoln, Dorchester is located next to two highways and just 10 minutes from Interstate 80.

However, one challenge facing Dorchester is available housing.  Since the Dorchester Times has been in operation, we've heard from many readers who've said they would like to move to Dorchester, if only homes were available.

Today, we are showcasing the latest Dorchester home available right now.  If you're ready to call Dorchester home, or it's time for you to move back to your hometown, we encourage you to take a look and make an offer.  Make Dorchester your home and help our community reach its full potential.

504 S Fulton Ave.: Come view this affordable acreage on the edge of Dorchester. It's cute, clean and move-in ready. This home was moved in on a new foundation -- no old basement issues here. The basement is poured concrete w/9'ceilings and has an egress window for future bedroom. Currently, there is a full bath and a laundry/mechanical room, plus space for a future family room. On the main level, you will find a living room, 2 bedrooms, kitchen and full bath. Seller says woods floors are under carpet, but cannot guarantee condition. Appliances are included, even washer and dryer (not the freezer in basement). There is new ductwork, newer mechanicals (2010 furn/ac; 2013 water heater) new countertops, new roof-2015, new gutters being installed in August, windows installed in 2011-12; new 36 exterior doors too, and even a water softener. 5.88 acres with outbuildings -- perfect set up for a few animals. Outbuilding has wire for 220 underground, but is not hooked up. Concrete floor in detached, single-stall garage. Click here.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Dorchester: Here Is How To Get Paved Streets -- If You Want Them


In recent years, support for paving more Dorchester streets has grown. Supporters say that to grow Dorchester and encourage more people to build here and improve their homes, paved streets are a key.

As reported earlier by this blog, the power to pave is in the hands of Dorchester residents -- or at least those who own property in village limits.  
Nebraska law, Section 17-510, says a petition can be started by those who have property next to an unimproved street (meaning gravel or dirt).  

Now a loyal Dorchester Times reader has e-mailed us a document that will allow Dorchester residents accomplish their paving mission, if they so desire.

The power to get more paved streets is in your hands, and here is how you do it:

1.)  Use this petition sheet (click here) and determine what area you want paved.  You will note that the petition sheet has blanks for street names.  It is up to the petitioner(s) to determine their "paving district." It might be just one block of a single street, or it might be several blocks.  The smaller the paving district, the better chances of paving occurring, most likely.

2.)  Get the signatures of enough landowners -- representing at least 61% of the front footage of the property directly abutting the street proposed to be paved.  This means you will have to ask property owners (not renters) to sign your petition sheet.

3.)  Present the signed petition to the village board at their monthly meeting.  Call the clerk's office ahead of time to get on the agenda.  Unless the board can find a technical reason to deny the petition, they will need to proceed and levy special assessments on the land abutting or adjacent to the paved street to finance the work.  Special assessments for such projects can be paid over a 15-year period, according to state law, we are told.

The Times staff is not comprised of attorneys or development specialists.  However, we have received this information from residents of town who say they've worked with experts who have experience in establishing street paving districts.


After years of hearing complaints about a lack of paved streets in Dorchester, the Times is happy to help provide this assistance to residents and empower them to pursue paved streets, if this is what they want.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Dorchester Loses Two WWII Vets In Past Week


Dorchester, with a population of around 600, has lost two of its decorated World War II veterans and outstanding community members in less than a week.

Harold E. Krivohlavek, 93, passed away last Wednesday, July 29.

Harold attended rural school district 104, walking 1¼ miles for the first 8 years (except when he could hook up the pony to the two wheel sulky). Then he attended and graduated in 1939 from Dorchester High School. He enjoyed 4-H, attending the county fair and the state fair with his livestock. Later he became a 4-H leader. He farmed all his life in Dorchester except for 3 ½ years during World War II. From 1942-1946 he served as a staff sergeant in the South Pacific, in the Northern Solomons and on the island of Luzon in the Philippines in the 112th Radio Intelligence Company. Following the war, he returned home to farm and raise livestock.

He married the love of his life, Virginia McCormick Spanyers, on June 8, 1968. He loved farming with his son Keith and enjoyed raising cattle and going to cattle sales. He liked taking his grandsons to the sales with him to teach them about how to pick out good calves. He loved to play with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and they all were rocked to Czech songs as babies. He was a member of and attended the Dorchester United Methodist Church. He served on the Saline County Soil conservation board, the Rural Fire Dept. board, and the Pleasant Hill cemetery board. He was very active in the Dorchester American Legion Post #264 and was a member of the VFW, ZCBJ Lodge Tabor #74, and was a Master Mason in Blue Valley Lodge #64 in Wilber. He knew the meaning of loving your country, and he never missed honoring veterans during the Memorial Day services. He also enjoyed teaching young people about patriotism at the school's Veteran's Day programs.  He was proud of the fact that he was the oldest man in Dorchester and the oldest Krivohlavek in Nebraska.

He is survived by his beloved wife Virginia of 47 years, daughter and son-in-law Sue and Tom Shaw of Bartlett, son Keith Spanyers and Pam Carlin of Dorchester, daughter and son-in-law Karen and Scott Wiles of Lincoln; and several grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Harold's visitation will be tonight (Tuesday) from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Dorchester United Methodist Church.  Memorial service will be 10:30 a.m. tomorrow (Wednesday) at the church. Graveside service and interment with full military honors by Dorchester American Legion Post #264 at Pleasant Hill Cemetery. Memorials: to the family for future designations. Condolences may be left by clicking here.

Edwin M. “Ed” Sanburn, 89, passed away Sunday, August 2. He was born March 8, 1926 in Dorchester to William E. and Edna M. (Britton) Sanburn. He attended and graduated from Dorchester High School in 1943. Ed was drafted into the U.S. Navy on July 24, 1944, and served in the South Pacific Theater until honorably discharged in July of 1946. 

He worked for the Western Electric Company in Lincoln from 1946-60. Ed then went to work for the United States Postal Service, first as a clerk and then a Rural Letter Carrier in Dorchester. When the Dorchester routes were consolidated he worked out of the Lincoln Post Office as a City Carrier. He returned to Dorchester in 1976 to serve as the Rural Letter Carrier out of the Dorchester office. 

Ed retired from the USPS in April of 1993. He also farmed 200 acres starting in 1949 and retired from farming in the late 1980’s. Ed married E. Elaine Crick in Dorchester on July 19, 1949. To this union they had one son, Robert Edwin. Ed enjoyed spending time with family, gardening and “Intarsia”, which is a form of wood inlaying.

Survivors include: wife, Elaine; son, Bob (Lori) Sanburn, Denton; and grandchildren and great grandchildren.

A celebration of life will be held at 2 p.m. this Friday, August 7, at Dorchester United Methodist Church with Rev. Dr. Paixao Baptista officiating, military honors to follow. Cremation/no viewing. Private family inurnment at Lincoln Memorial Park, Lincoln. Memorials are suggested to the family for future designation. Condolences may be left by clicking here.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Dorchester's Residential Electricity Rates 17.43% Higher Than State Ave.


We often boast about Dorchester's low cost-of-living -- and rightly so.  From our community's affordable housing costs, to our school district's below-average tax levy, we have it pretty good in Dorchester.  Cost of living is a key component to our quality of life.  And as we tell our friends, if you can't afford to live in Dorchester, you're going to struggle almost everywhere else in these great United States.

But we report both the good and the bad.  So when we examined electricity rates, we were disappointed to see Dorchester utilities were above the Nebraska average.


Before we give you the bad news, keep this in mind:

  • The average residential electricity rate in Nebraska is 10.04¢/kWh, which ranks 40th (11th lowest) in the nation and is 15.49% less than the national average rate of 11.88¢/kWh.  (This could change since the Obama administration seems hellbent to end coal-fired electricity production for what it deems "climate change.")
  • As of this writing, the average monthly residential electricity bill in Nebraska is $100, which ranks 29th highest in the nation and is 6.54% less than the national average of $107 per month.

Now the bad news on Dorchester's electricity costs.  According to a comparison using government data:

  • The average residential electricity rate in Dorchester is 11.79¢/kWh.
  • This average residential electricity rate in Dorchester is 17.43% greater than the Nebraska average rate of 10.04¢/kWh.
  • Despite this, the average residential electricity rate in Dorchester is 0.76% less than the national average rate of 11.88¢/kWh. 

Keep in mind that the Village of Dorchester oversees and owns Dorchester's electrical delivery service, even if the day-to-day maintenance is being performed by the City of Crete for the time being.  This means profit from the utilities stays in Dorchester, which is a good thing, as opposed to sending it to a larger entity like Nebraska Public Power District.

Also, we realize that Dorchester's lower housing costs and property taxes more than offset the higher than average utility bills.  Nonetheless, this in an area Dorchester leaders should address, especially when considering Dorchester's very high industrial and commercial electric rates.