Monday, November 30, 2015

Survey: Tell Us What Dorchester Needs Now


Attention all of you who care about Dorchester and its future.

A couple of loyal readers of the Dorchester Times blog have recently e-mailed us, requesting that we conduct survey of area residents to get their feedback when it comes to Dorchester's priorities.

We want to know what's on your mind when it comes to Dorchester's challenges and opportunities -- whether it's main street, housing or community engagement.

Take our new survey by going to https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/FKPTL52

We will publish the results sometime in December.  

Stay tuned.

Monday Could Bring Up To 2" Of Snow, Ice


Here's the latest, folks...

Dorchester and the surrounding area are once again in a winter storm warning.  (Did we mention that winter is still more than three weeks away?)

Catch the latest forecast here.

The good news: sunny weather and temperatures around 40 degrees should be here by Friday.

Here are the nasty details from the U.S. National Weather Service:

...WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 6 PM CST THIS
EVENING...

* TIMING...A MIXTURE OF FREEZING RAIN...SLEET AND SNOW IS LIKELY
EARLY THIS MORNING BEFORE CHANGING TO ALL SNOW. SNOW WILL
DIMINISH DURING THE AFTERNOON.

* MAIN IMPACT...1 TO 2 INCHES OF SNOW ACCUMULATION IS POSSIBLE
WITH LIGHT ICING THIS MORNING.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A WINTER STORM WARNING FOR SLEET AND SNOW MEANS THAT A WINTER
STORM SYSTEM IS OR WILL BE IMPACTING THE AREA WITH SIGNIFICANT
AMOUNTS OF SLEET AND SNOW. TRAVEL IS LIKELY TO BE SEVERELY
IMPACTED.



Sunday, November 29, 2015

This Week: Church Carry-In Supper, Drug And Alcohol Prevention Meeting


A couple of announcements:

  • The United Methodist Women of Dorchester would like to invite the women the community to join them for a Christmas "Carry-in Supper" this Wednesday, Dec. 2, at 6:30 p.m. at the Dorchester Methodist Church. Bring supper -- and the UMC ladies will provide the dessert.  The program will be the Friend School music department. If you are planning to attend, let Rhonda know at (402) 946-2143.
  • The Saline County C/URB Coalition will hold its December Drug and Alcohol Prevention meeting on Thursday, Dec. 3, beginning at 7 p.m. The meeting will be held this month at the Public Health Solutions, 995 Hwy. 33, Suite 1 in Crete. The Coalition invites the public and encourages all residents dedicated to the prevention of drug & alcohol use among area youth to take part in the discussion, planning and prevention activities.  For more information, call Tim McDermott at (402) 821-3581 or e-mail nebraskatim@gmail.com.

Friday, November 27, 2015

TRAGEDY: Dorchester Woman Killed In Thanksgiving Day Accident


The Lincoln Journal Star is reporting that a 37-year-old Dorchester woman was killed on Thanksgiving Day when her pickup collided with another pickup on an icy bridge on the west end of Crete. 

Jenna Bales was driving westbound on Highway 33 when her pickup collided with an eastbound pickup driven by George Buhr, 66, of Dorchester, said Crete Police Officer Brian Stork.

Icy road conditions played a part in the accident, he said. 

Buhr was not seriously injured.

The Times sends its sympathies to all involved and to the Bales family.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

LOOKING BACK: Dorchester's Main Street 105 Years Ago This Month


Meacham's Hardware store on the east side of Dorchester's main street in 1910.

It's duck hunting season in the late fall of 1910. What do you do? 

You walk -- or drive the Model T or take the horse -- to Dorchester's bustling business district on main street (Washington Ave.) and stop in at Meacham's Hardware to get hunting supplies.  

After all, in 1910, Meacham's Hardware billed itself at "The Winchester Store."  (Remember, 1910 is the first year that electric lights appeared in Dorchester, powered by electricity generated from a Pleasant Hill mill water wheel on Turkey Creek -- although electricity outages were common until around 1916, when an electric plant came from town and power was purchased from the Blue River Power Co.)

We found this amazing photograph some time ago, preserving for all of us proof of what Dorchester's main street storefronts looked like a century ago.  (Yes, we had our photo editor enhance the picture a little so we could capture more detail for our readers. Click on the photo for a better view.)

Meacham's Hardware was in operation from 1903 until 1931, operated by Charles H. Meacham, Sr., and his son, Charles H. Meacham, Jr. (UPDATE: We're told that Charles Meacham, Jr., and his wife Mary's daughter Elizabeth Ann, born in Dorchester in 1936, passed away last month, October 2015, in Overland Park, Kan.)

The building that housed Meacham's Hardware no longer exists.  It was in the "Longanecker Building" -- destroyed by fire in 1973.  The Longanecker Building stood where the Tyser's Welding and Repair Is today.  

Meacham's Hardware occupied the northern most ground-level portion of the Longanecker Building, while Dr. Panter occupied the second story directly above.  C.W. Crain Insurance and Colson's Cafe were next door.  Also in the building were Joy and Edward's Grocery, the telephone office, and a dentist's office.

Thanksgiving Day Downer: WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY


Folks, Dorchester's first blast of winter weather couldn't come at a worse time.

UPDATE: See the latest forecast updates here.

Dorchester and the surrounding area are in a winter weather advisory, which will be in effect until Thursday 9 p.m. CST. 

That's according to the latest from the U.S. National Weather Service.

Here are the nasty details:

...WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT UNTIL 9 PM CST THIS
EVENING...

...WINTER STORM WARNING IS CANCELLED...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN OMAHA/VALLEY HAS ISSUED A WINTER
WEATHER ADVISORY WHICH IS IN EFFECT UNTIL 9 PM CST THIS EVENING.
THE WINTER STORM WARNING HAS BEEN CANCELLED.

* TIMING...A MIX OF SLEET AND FREEZING RAIN WILL BECOME ALL SNOW
AND END THIS EVENING.

* ICE ACCUMULATIONS...ONE TO TWO TENTHS OF AN INCH ESPECIALLY ON
ELEVATED SURFACES.

* SLEET AND SNOW ACCUMULATIONS...UP TO AN INCH CAN BE EXPECTED.

* OTHER IMPACTS...THE COMBINATION OF ICING AND WIND COULD RESULT
IN SPOTTY POWER OUTAGES. CAUTION...TRAVEL MAY BECOME DIFFICULT
DURING THIS TIME.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY MEANS THAT PERIODS OF SNOW...SLEET...OR
FREEZING RAIN WILL CAUSE TRAVEL DIFFICULTIES. BE PREPARED FOR
SLIPPERY ROADS AND LIMITED VISIBILITIES...AND USE CAUTION WHILE
DRIVING.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Adolph And Doris Kohout Celebrate 65th Anniversary


A special Dorchester couple is celebrating a special anniversary.

Dorchester's own Adolph and Doris (Hronik) Kohout were married November 21, 1950. 

This month, the Kohouts are celebrating 65 years of love, laughter and being awesome parents, grandparents and great-grandparents. 

The couple was blessed with two children, Marilyn (Owen) Jensen and Marvin (Lorraine) Kohout; four grandchildren, Renee (Luis) Jaime, Shaun Jensen, Jeremy (Lindsay) Kohout and Patrick Kohout.

Today, the Kohouts have six great-grandchildren, Emalyn, Belanie, Mallory Jaime and Conner, Jonathan, Gracyn Kohout. 

Many Dorchester alumni will fondly recall Doris Kohout as a favorite elementary school teacher in town.  She started teaching in Dorchester in 1970 and taught for 23 years upon retirement in 1993.

Please shower the honored couple with cards sent to Adolph and Doris Kohout, 1009 Fulton Avenue, Dorchester, NE 68343.

Happy 65th, Doris and Adolph!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

SETBACK: Fire At City Slickers Friday Closes Establishment


Less than a week after we reported the good news about the near completion of the renovation at Dorchester's City Slickers Bar and Grill, a fire broke out at the establishment just before noon yesterday (Friday).

The following report was left on City Slickers' Facebook account: "Kitchen fire yesterday....old kitchen is done for. Rest of building got a lot of smoke damage."

The establishment is closed for the time being until further notice.

Dorchester Volunteer Fire Dept. personnel were on the scene in a hurry and the fire was contained within the old kitchen, we are told.  But there is heavy smoke damage throughout the original bar area -- known to so many as Joe's Place.

We are told the new kitchen and dining area, located in the building just to the north, were not damaged. 

Insurance adjusters will be in town Monday, according to reports.

Last week, the Dorchester Times reported that City Slickers -- Dorchester's one and only bar and grill at the present time -- would soon complete its interior construction project.  The completion of this project will allow for more seating, while offering patrons a bigger and better kitchen.

The renovation project has been in the works for the past year and a half.


The owners of this famous establishment had planned hosting a "grand re-opening" party next month. It's unclear when the re-opening will take place now due to the fire.


DEVELOPING...


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Updated Forecast: This Friday Could Bring 1-3 Inches Of Snow To SE Nebraska



UPDATE -- THE FIRST REAL SNOW OF THE SEASON CAME WEDNESDAY MORNING IN DORCHESTER, AS FLAKES BLANKETED LAWNS AND ROOFS... DEVELOPING...

Yes, it was thundering and lightning Monday night in Dorchester, but the season's first snow for southeastern Nebraska could come this Friday.

That's according to forecasters at AccuWeather.com.

This Friday, November 20, the Dorchester area will see a high of 43 degrees with intermittent snow, sleet, freezing rain and rain.  (That's right -- the first winter weather of the season will likely occur less than four days after severe thunderstorm watches were issued for the some area.  Welcome to Nebraska.)

Friday will be rather cloudy, breezy and colder with periods of rain, then snow in the afternoon, up to 1 inch. Friday night will bring snow at times, up to 1 inch; otherwise, becoming clear and colder; storm total 1-3 inches.

Regarding the long-term forecast, we have bad news and good news.  The good news is mostly sunny days, along with above average temperatures, are expected until the last week of December, when a nasty bout of winter weather is anticipated.

However, between this weekend and Christmas, the worst days of the long-range forecast are expected for Thanksgiving (ice and precipitation) and Christmas Eve (freezing rain).

Stay tuned to the Dorchester Times for developing weather...

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Sources: City Slickers Renovation To Be Completed By Dec. 1


The Dorchester Times has learned that City Slickers -- Dorchester's one and only bar and grill at the present time -- will soon complete its interior construction project.  The completion of this project will allow for more seating, while offering patrons a bigger and better kitchen.

The renovation project has been in the works for the past year and a half. According to sources, the remodeling at City Slickers could be finished by Dec. 1.  


The owners of this famous eating establishment plan to host a "grand re-opening" party next month, we are told.


Last year, this blog reported that City Slickers and its owner had a strong interest in establishing a new Dorchester bowling alley.  However, we are told that project is on hold for the time being, due to the large expense and unforeseen costs connected to the kitchen and dining area renovation project.


Dorchester area residents are strongly encouraged to patronize and financially support City Slickers, according to town leaders.


Some residents have suggested that the village board or community foundation do more to work with City Slickers to help encourage the development of a bowling alley in the two buildings north of the bar and grill (one of those buildings is badly blighted and vacant residential space).  We are told that encouragement has not gotten any traction.


There is strong demand for a social and entertainment venue in Dorchester and surrounding area.  Friend and Crete both lost their bowling facilities in recent years. Milford has no such facility, either.  As a result, those who want to bowl on league teams must join a long waiting list before they can bowl in nearby towns like Wilber or Seward.


City Slickers Bar and Grill is owned by Jason and Kathy Duhrkop, who purchased the establishment in 2013 from Rob Parks, who had owned Joe's Place since 2009.


The modern history of the current space occupied by Joe's Place/City Slickers dates all the way back to 1952, when local legend Joe Ladman bought the building and started Joe's Place, which operated until 2004 when Ladman's son-in-law, Dewayne Schmale, sold the bar to Verna Lewis.  For a short time, the bar was known as the Blue Moose, until it changed hands again in 2007, under Sheryl Olson, and was known as the West Side Saloon until 2009, when it again became Joe's Place.


City Slickers owners say "their goal is for customers to come in hungry and leave satisfied."  The Duhrkops want the establishment to remain a staple in the community for many years to come.


Community members say they enjoy the food and environment of City Slickers -- and we agree

Thursday, November 12, 2015

ESPN Spotlights Homecoming, Six-Man Football In Cody, Neb.


Thanks to a high profile feature by ESPN, Cody, Neb., population 155, and Cody-Kilgore High School, have basked in the national spotlight this week.

"This is Nebraska's ranch country," the network notes. "The football team is something for the communities to rally around. Everyone is part of the family and part of the celebration of the intersection of sport and rural culture."


Cody-Kilgore seventh grader Liz Rosfeld said, "We don‘t have very many kids. Every single boy went out for junior high football, and we still only had like eight people."

We liked the story for three reasons:

1.) Cody-Kilgore reminds us of a smaller, western Nebraska version of DHS. Even the school colors are the same.

2.) We know that western Nebraskans tend to be a hardier lot compared to most, but we were still impressed that Cody-Kilgore had a 100% junior high football participation rate. One of the high school boys tells ESPN that the kids play to represent their community and that he "feels the pride in my heart."

3.)  In a single short story, this piece captures the current conditions in many small Nebraska communities -- too tough to die, as the ESPN headline says.

At Cody-Kilgore High School, they play six-man football, a wide-open game in which literally everybody has an opportunity to handle the ball. 

One important point made in the story: There are only 14 schools playing six-man football in Nebraska, as compared with the 234 six-man teams in Texas. In a time of declining K-12 school enrollments statewide; a time of decreased participation in male sports; and a time of increased bullying and dictator-like rule by the Nebraska School Activities Association, we are still scratching our heads as to why Nebraska schools don't do more to utilize the six-man game.  (The smaller number of Nebraska kids playing for the University  of Nebraska today -- compared to decades past -- shoots holes through any argument that more six-man football might diminish the quality of play in the high school ranks.)

See the ESPN feature here.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Dorchester's Veterans Day Events


UPDATE: Inclement weather kept the numbers down for Wednesday evening's free-will fundraiser at the Legion. The Times hopes you will donate $10, $15 or $20 (or more) to the Dorchester American Legion today. Send donations to:

Dorchester American Legion, Post 264
PO Box 197
Dorchester, NE 68343

Dorchester thinks highly of our nation's veterans.  So our community is paying America's true heroes a special tribute on Veterans Day.

The Dorchester American Legion, Post 264, will be hosting a Veteran's Day Service on Wednesday at 10 a.m. 

This service will be held at the Dorchester Public School and will feature Dr. William Jackson, the American Legion's Nebraska Department state chaplain, as the speaker.

The Dorchester Boy Scouts and Junior Auxiliary will also participate in this special service. The public is invited.  Please join us in honoring our nation's vets.

A soup and sandwich supper will be held at the Dorchester Legion Hall from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.  This will be a free will offering to help the Legion.

Help Dorchester salute America's heroes who wear (and have worn) the uniform.

Saluting Dorchester's Legion Post No. 264


Tomorrow is Veterans Day and the Times wants to salute every veteran who has served our nation, in times of war and in peace.

We also want to pay tribute to Dorchester's August-Vanek American Legion Post #264, the Sons of the American Legion, the Legion Auxiliary and Junior Auxiliary.

Many in our community may not realize that Dorchester's Legion Post is nearing its 96th anniversary.

Following World War I, the veterans of Dorchester wanted to join the American Legion, a national organization for U.S. veterans. State Department Adjutant Frank B. O'Connell of Lincoln presided at the May 24, 1920, meeting to organize a Legion Post in Dorchester. 

The following Dorchester men signed an application for a charter: Claude Kennedy, Frank Mares, William Sanburn, Joe Mateja, Casper Schuerhoff, Frank Grant, Tony Wolfe, Fred Littlefield. Russell Freidell, Frank Kozak, Russell Bruning, Vincent Rogers, Clark West, Cecil Ward, John Cerny, William Johnson, Nels Hansen,Walter Hartly, Albert Peterson, and Ray Ward. 

The charter was presented on August 1, 1920 and filed August 10. 1920. Dr. N.P. Hansen was the first Commander of the Post of the American Legion #264.  The name August was selected for the Post in honor of Ernest R. August who was killed in W.W.I. 

In those early years, the Dorchester Legion was housed in a few different locations.  In 1954, the Post bought a building from W.O. Howlett. This building was remodeled for the use of the Legion. the Auxiliary and also club facilities and dedicated on March 23. 1956. It is still the present Post. 

In January 1955 the Post added another nnme "Vanek" to their Post name honoring Emil Vanek killed in action in the Pacific theatre of action in W.W.II. 

Legion activities throughout the years have been a key part of community life in Dorchester.  Way back in 1922, there was a Model-T Ford raffle drawing.  

In the 1930s and '40s, the Legion held home talent plays.  Legion members built a cabin for the Scouts on the Kenney farm in the '30s.  In 1933, lights and light poles were purchased and erected north of the elevator for all types of softball league games and tournaments.  

By the 1950s and '60s, the Dorchester Legion was sponsoring representatives to attend Boys State -- and later on, Girls State. 

Many community activities have been and are sponsored by the Legion, and its Auxiliary, to serve veterans in need and in final rites for the deceased. 

Ninety-five years have proven that the stronger our American Legion Post, the stronger our community.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Show Your Hometown Pride; Give To The Dorchester Foundation Today


Several years ago, a few energetic, forward-looking residents of our community thought Dorchester could use a little boost.  They established a non-profit affiliated fund of the Nebraska Community Foundation -- and ever since, the Dorchester Community Foundation has been a force for positive change.  

Today, we are asking readers to donate to the Foundation -- to give back to the community that has provided so many great memories and a great way of life.

The Dorchester Community Foundation has been instrumental in various projects since 2007.  These include:
  • The city park's new playground equipment and picnic shelter; 
  • Annual scholarships; 
  • The Charlie Havlat Memorial at the Saline County Museum; 
  • The new welcome sign along Highway 33.
  • The new "welcome banners" on the light poles in town.
Whether you are a current Dorchester area resident, Dorchester alumni, or just a friend of the community, please consider making a pledge to the Dorchester Community Foundation so it may continue to make needed improvements throughout our village.

Contributions to the Foundation are deductible for income and estate tax purposes.  

Whether it's a donation of $10, $25, $50, $100 or more, your generosity will help keep momentum going in Dorchester.

Click here to donate to Dorchester online.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Dorchester Community Foundation Hosting Lunch On Sunday, Nov.8


The Dorchester Community Foundation will be hosting a chicken and hamburger fundraiser Sunday, Nov. 8, at the Dorchester Legion from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.  

The meal will consist of a grilled half-chicken or hamburger, with salad, choice of mashed potato and gravy/potato salad/chips; baked beans, bread, dessert and drink.

This is a fundraiser and a freewill offering.  Give what you can afford -- but your presence is most important.

Those who have attended previous dinners hosted by the Foundation have always found quality steak and wonderful service.  Better yet, this is one of those rare times you see everybody you know but haven't been able to talk to for months.

The Foundation has served Dorchester well over the past two decades -- from the welcome sign in the Saline County Museum to the welcome signs on the town's light posts; from the city park shelter to a planned gravesite directory at the Dorchester Cemetery. 

Contributions for the Dorchester Community Foundation can be made at any time. 

Checks -- payable to "Dorchester Community Foundation Fund" -- should be sent to: Peg Bergmeyer, 101 Washington Ave., Dorchester, NE 68343.

The Dorchester Community Foundation Fund is a non-profit subsidiary of the Nebraska Community Foundation so all donations are tax deductible.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Farmers Cooperative Is Among Largest Co-op's In U.S.


By being home to the headquarters of the Farmers Cooperative, Dorchester has an asset the community must not take for granted.
This week, we were reminded of that when the Farmers Cooperative was one of nine Nebraska cooperatives ranked among the top 100 in the country, according to a report by National Cooperative Bank. 
The NCB Co-op 100 list ranks Dorchester-based Farmers Cooperative at No. 75 based on revenue in 2014.  It is the fourth largest ag-based co-op in Nebraska, just behind Aurora Co-op.
Ag Processing Inc. of Omaha was the largest co-op domiciled in Nebraska, and the eighth largest in the country.  Affiliated Foods Midwest, a grocery co-op based in Norfolk, came in No. 23, up from 34th in 2013. It was the only non-agricultural Nebraska co-op on the list.
Other Nebraska co-ops on the NCB Top 100 list and their rankings are as follows: 

FCS of America of Omaha, 57th, up from 71st; Aurora Cooperative Elevator Co.; 71st, down from 54th; Cooperative Producers Inc. of Hastings, 77th, down from 57th; United Farmers Cooperative of York, 87th, no change in rank; Frenchman Valley Farmers Co-op of Imperial, 91st, up from 93rd; and Central Valley Ag Cooperative of Oakland, 93rd, up from 94th.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Your Help Needed: Youth Basketball, Wresting Tourney



Volunteers are the lifeblood of a community.


That's especially true in small towns.


With that in mind, we say, "Attention area sports fans! Dorchester youth programs need your help."


Girls Basketball Coach: Dorchester's girls youth basketball program is in need of a head coach for grades 5-6.  If you are interested, call Brent Zoubek (402-946-2781 or 418-1021) at the school.  The coaches are already in place for the boys' teams (both grades 3-4 and 5-6), as well as for girls grades 3-4.  Practices will begin later this month.


Jr. High Wrestling Tournament:  Help is needed at the annual Dorchester Jr. High Wrestling Tournament, set for Friday, Nov. 20.  Experienced individuals are needed at the tables to help with scoring of matches and to ensure wrestlers are where they need to be when its their turn to hit the mat.  If you're available to help, contact Brent Zoubek.  Again, the number at the Dorchester Public School is 402-946-2781.


Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Dorchester's Mountains Turn Heads


This time of year, Dorchester's surrounding countryside grows its own version of mountains.

They can't compete with the Rockies or even the Appalachians.

Nonetheless, our mountains turn some heads.  

As proof, note that the Lincoln Journal Star was in town today.  

An LJS photographer captured this road grader giving scale to a mountain of corn piled on the ground just west of Dorchester Tuesday.

The Journal Star's photo accompanies this post -- or can be seen by clicking here.

It seems even those Lincoln newspaper people are fascinated with our version of mountains in the fall.

Here's to another bountiful harvest.

Monday, November 2, 2015

DHS Wraps Up Regular Season, Prepares For Sub-Districts Tonight


UPDATE:  For those who missed it, Exeter-Milligan defeated Dorchester on Monday night, 25-20, 25-11, 25-19.  The Longhorns end their season 16-14.  Thanks for representing your school well, ladies!

After wrapping up regular season play, the Dorchester High School volleyball team is preparing for its sub-district competition, as the Lady Longhorns must now win every future contest in order to keep its season alive.

DHS fell short on the road at East Butler on Oct. 22, but won the last game of the regular season at DHS against Nebraska Lutheran this past Thursday.


DHS finished its regular season well above the .500 mark, finishing 16-13.  This was much improved from last season's 8-21 record. 


Tonight (Monday), Dorchester will be part of the Class D2-2 sub-district tourney at Fillmore Central in Geneva.  Dorchester will play at 5 p.m., pitted against one of the state's best programs in Class D, Exeter-Milligan (23-3).  

If the Longhorns win, the will face either Meridian (19-9) or Hampton (24-5) in the sub-district final at 8 p.m.

Good luck Lady Longhorns.