Friday, July 29, 2016

Dorchester Pilot Killed In Crop-Duster Crash

Sad news hit the Dorchester area late yesterday.

Authorities say a crop-dusting pilot died Thursday in the crash of the plane he was flying in eastern Nebraska.

The crash was reported just after 3 p.m. Thursday, about three miles northeast of David City.

The pilot was pronounced dead at the scene. The Butler County attorney's office identified him as 37-year-old Ragnar Emrich of Dorchester.

The crash is being investigated.

The Lincoln newspaper reports that Emrich was pronounced dead at the scene at 4 p.m., said Julie Reiter, the Butler County attorney.

Emrich was piloting the Emrich Aerial Spraying plane when it crashed in a cornfield about 70 yards north of County Road 38 and west of the County Road O intersection. A line of trees bordered the east-west road south of the crash site.

The crash was reported by a person who was in the area at about 3:20 p.m.

David City Fire and Rescue personnel made their way to the crash site with an ambulance, but soon moved the vehicle back to the road.

The site was restricted because of the presence of chemicals still in the plane.

Representatives of the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board were making their way to the scene.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

News Roundup: New Property Code Officer Starts In August

New Property Code Officer Starts In August:  Slops, be warned! Recently, this blog reported that a new enforcer has been hired to ensure that Dorchester residents are keeping their property up to community standards and village ordinances.  This was confirmed by the minutes from the Dorchester Village Board's May 2016 meeting.  Penny Keller is the village's new nuisance abatement and code compliance officer and will begin her duties in August, according to official documents.  This hire will help ensure that property clean-up notices and enforcement originally initiated by SENDD a few years ago continues.  In the meantime, if you suspect a property in Dorchester is non-compliant with village standards, you are urged to call 402-418-8670 or to

First Day Of School Is Aug. 17: Mom and Day can hardly wait for school to start again. We know that is the case in many Dorchester area households.  On Aug. 17, bells will ring again at Dorchester Public School.  See the calendar of DPS events by clicking here.

At least 25 Homes In Dorchester Now Vacant:  A recent drive around Dorchester found that at least 25 homes inside Dorchester's village limits are currently vacant.  Twenty-five houses in a town of under 200 households is far too high.  Perhaps it's time for a concerted, private effort of concerned citizens to start coordinating and planning to purchase and renovating these homes as rental properties. After all, it seems there is no desire or motivation by the current owners to do anything with most these homes but to let them deteriorate.

$30,000/Year Delivery Job In Crete:  Culligan of Crete is looking for a motivated full-time delivery driver.  If interested, visit them at 2220 West 11th Crete, NE.  Deliveries to Crete, Milford, Dorchester, Wilber, Dewitt, Friend, clatonia, Plymouth, etc.

Red Cross Needs Blood Donations Due To Serious Shortage: Earlier this month, the American Red Cross issued an emergency request for blood and platelet donations. A critical blood shortage still exists.  Dorchester area residents can help and will get a special "thank-you" of a $5 gift card claim for those coming to donate. Upcoming area blood drives will be held in DeWitt on Aug. 15, at the DeWitt Community Building from noon to 6 p.m.  Also, in Seward on Aug. 5, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at St. John Lutheran Church.  For more information, call the American Red Cross Blood Services at (402) 321-3576.

Study Says Tattoo Ink May Be Toxic:  A new European study finds that getting tattoos may lead to long-term skin problems and an increased risk of cancer.  The report by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) found red ink was the most dangerous, but they warned blue, green and black ink is also risky. Great. Does this mean taxpayers will be paying for the healthcare of all those inked hotties we've seen at Wal-Mart every week in the years since Dorchester has been without a grocery store?

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Huge Wind Farm Appears Destined For Saline County

Whoosh. Whoosh. Whoosh.

If you live near Milligan, on the Saline County side, that's a sound you may need to get used to.

According to the Lincoln Journal Star, Aksamit Resource Management (a wind energy corporation) won its bid Tuesday for a special use permit to build 37 wind turbines in Saline County, the first of three wind farms it plans for the state.

The county board voted 3-0 to approve it, despite concerns. Commissioners Marvin Kohout and Stephanie Krivohlavek abstained from voting, Kohout because he owns land contiguous to the project and Krivohlavek because she has family that could benefit from it.

The Lincoln paper's story goes as follows: "Following more than two hours of public comment that pitted neighbor against neighbor, Saline County Commissioners granted the permit requested by Aksamit Resource Management for a 74 megawatt wind farm the company plans to built northeast of Milligan."

According to the Journal Star, Aksamit plans to spend $110 million to build 37 turbines, each 440 feet tall when blades are at their highest point, said Michael Matheson, the company’s vice president of retail and municipal sales.

The story notes that wind turbines have been a contentious issue for Nebraskans in recent years.

"Christine McClain and her husband, Gary, bought land five months ago and spent their savings building a new home that will now be flanked by turbines. She said her dreams of a peaceful life in the country have been ruined. She fears the whoosh-thump of the turbines will cause her headaches and other ailments.

“Had I known this was going to happen, I would not have purchased my property. I’m furious,” she said.

Bright Beginnings In-Home Child Care Has Openings

Working parents know it's tough to find high quality child care.

That's why we're pleased to announce that Dorchester's Bright Beginnings in-home child care has an opening available for your child.

Owned and operated by DHS graduate Steph Brandt, who has more than a decade of child care experience, Bright Beginnings is conveniently located next to Dorchester Public Schools.

The business is state licensed.  Moreover, Bright Beginnings is a member of the Providers Network USDA Food Program and accepts Title 20.

Call 402-843-6388 for more information.

This post has been made available through the Dorchester Times offer of free advertisements to businesses with a Dorchester address.  If you would like to promote your business through the Dorchester Times, simply e-mail relevant details, contact information, and even your company logo or business picture to our official e-mail address:

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Dorchester Legion's Consignment Auction Set For Sept. 11

According to social media accounts, the Dorchester American Legion's is planning to hold its Outdoor Sportsman Consignment Auction on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016.

According to one organizer with the Legion, if you want to sell your rifles, shotguns, pistols, boats, fishing gear, camping gear, ATV, motorcycle or anything else, please call Tom Cerny (402.381.8049), Kelly Vyhnalek (402.610.5104), Roger Glenn (402.946.4181) or Jamie Karl (402.418.1021) by Aug. 12 if you want your item to be advertised. 

Sellers will keep 80% of the profit, with the rest going to the Dorchester Legion as a fundraiser.  An e-mail alert notes that the Legion will work with sellers of more than one item to let them keep 85% of the profits.
As it did last year, this auction is intended to attract many sportsman items such as firearms, ammo, boats, fishing/hunting gear, camping gear, ATVs, motorcycles, etc.  But other items will be sold.  So if there's any item you wish to sell, this would be a good opportunity.  

Auction services are being donated by Novak Auction.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Not Even Close: Dorchester Has Lowest Property Taxes In County

Over the years, this publication has tracked property taxes and how our tax dollars are spent.  

Today, we take another look at property taxes levied in Saline County, specifically by our public school boards. (Remember, property taxes are levied and collected by local government -- not the state or federal government.)

In 2015, the latest year available, Saline County's taxing entities collected more than $33.4 million dollars in property tax revenue.  School districts took nearly 64% of that amount -- or $21.1 million.

Here's where your property tax dollars go if you live in Saline County, by percentage:

* Your school district:  64%
* County government:  20%
* Your city:  7%
* Your community college district:  5%
* Misc. (NRD's, ESU's, etc.): Remaining  4%

Since we now know that almost 64% of our property tax dollars go to pay for our local school districts, how do area schools compare when it come to tax rates?  

Here's a look at the rates of area schools. (Generally speaking, these tax rates tell us about the financial condition of each school district and their board members willingness to tax and spend.  Remember, only voters in a particular school district can hold a school board accountable for its taxing and spending decisions.)

School District                                            2015 Tax Rate

CRETE                                         $1.29 for every $100 of valuation (includes bonds of $0.07 and $0.16)
FRIEND                                        $1.08 (includes bond of $0.14)
MILFORD                                     $0.99 (includes bond of $0.04)
WILBER-CLATONIA                    $0.91 (includes bonds of $0.01 and $0.08)
MERIDIAN                                    $0.72
DORCHESTER                            $0.70 (includes bond of $0.08)
EXETER-MILLIGAN                    $0.68

What does this mean in real life?
  • CRETE: If you have a $150,000 residence or commercial building in the Crete School District, you're paying $1,935 -- and that's just the school portion of your property tax bill.  Add the remaining liabilities and you'll own more than $3,020 on your $150,000 property in the Crete School District.
  • FRIEND:  Move that same $150,000 property to the Friend School District, you'll pay $1,620 for the school portion of your bill, and more than $2,530 overall.
  • WILBER: That $150,000 property in the Wilber-Clatonia School District means you'll pay $1,365 for the school portion, while you dish out roughly $2,130 overall.
  • DORCHESTER:  That $150,000 property in the Dorchester School District means your bill will come down to $1,050 for the school portion, and roughly $1,640 overall.
Now here's the real kicker.

Over a decade of property tax payments -- based on 2015 figures -- your total property tax bill for that $150,000 property in the Crete district would be $30,200.  

In the Friend district, your total would $25,300. 

In the the Wilber-Clatonia district, $21,300.  

And in the Dorchester district, $16,400 -- or about $14,000 less than you would have paid in the Crete district, or $9,000 less than the Friend district, or $5,000 less than the Wilber-Clatonia district.

Why the big difference? 

No matter what the elites in Omaha and Lincoln -- and the state Legislature -- say, smaller schools really are more economical in most cases.  Crete is Class B and Wilber is C-1.

Moreover, Dorchester school board members and district voters made a good call in 2007 when they chose build a new school at a time of lower costs.  School boards that chose to expand more recently -- and voters who gave them the OK -- have paid a high price.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Just Listed: Homes On 7th St. And Fulton Ave.

Dorchester has a lot going for it -- especially if you prefer living in a safe, friendly, closely knit and affordable community that has much potential for the future. Consider what Dorchester has to offer:
  • TOP-NOTCH SCHOOL: A new K-12 school with some of the state's best educators. The lowest school tax levy in the county -- and one of the lower property rates in southeast Nebraska.
  • QUALITY OF LIFE:  Extremely safe town.  New water system and sewer system. Near two major highways.
  • LOWER COSTS: Affordable cost of living. The cost of housing in Dorchester is 41% lower than the national average.
  • KEY BUSINESS: Headquarters for one of the state's largest agri-businesses (Farmers' Cooperative).
  • GEOGRAPHIC ADVANTAGE: A quick drive to jobs in Crete and Seward, and only 30 minutes to Lincoln, Dorchester is 10 minutes from Interstate 80.  Yet all the advantages of a small town.
However, one challenge facing Dorchester is available housing.  We often hear from many readers who say they would like to move to Dorchester, if only homes were available.

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

If you're ready to call Dorchester home, we encourage you to take a look and make an offer.
  • 913 Fulton Ave.:  Located on the east side of town in a nice neighborhood, this home is for sale by owners Bret and Amanda Cerny. We spotted it on our Facebook page. It is billed as a two bedroom, one office and one bathroom home.  Phone number unknown.
  • 203 W. 7th St.:  Ranch house for sale. Updates include newer siding, windows, roof and doors thru out on the main level. Over 2,000 square feet with main level and basement. Located on a corner lot with a chain link fence. City park sits catty corner to this property. Year built: 1974.  Two bedrooms, two bathrooms. See more here
And click here for a list of all Dorchester area homes currently on the market.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

FLASH: Mumps Returns To Saline County

This blog often covers historical events. But today's story is not from the 1930s or 1940s.

Mumps has returned to Saline County.

Area media report a mumps outbreak that began in June on the campus of Midland University in Fremont continues to spread across counties in Nebraska.

A total of 42 cases of mumps have been reported in Nebraska, including the most recent case of an adult testing positive for the disease in Saline County after contracting it in Iowa, where there have been more than 500 cases.

The mumps virus can be transmitted by coughing or sneezing, and is most contagious the three days before symptoms appear and the five days following.

Because the mumps outbreak is continuing, people who have not had the mumps and have not been immunized are encouraged to get immunized.  To keep a patient from spreading the virus to others, isolation is recommended for five days after parotitis begins.  (In the old days, when our nation had survival instincts, health officials would quarantine entire families until the threat had passed.)

In addition to staying away from others if you contract the mumps, you can help prevent the virus from spreading by covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, wash your hands often with soap and water, avoid sharing drinks and frequently disinfect community surfaces.

So why is mumps -- along with other nasty diseases of the days gone by, like tuberculosis, measles and scarlet fever -- returning in large numbers decades after vaccines had reduced it to a mere blip on the radar? Two reasons: 

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Saline County Fair Caused Tensions Between Towns In Late 1800s

It's county fair time again.  The fair is a great event that is enjoyed by many in our county and surrounding area.  (Click here for the fair schedule.)

But in years gone by, the fair was a source of tension in our Saline County community.

According to a loyal Times' reader ("History Buff"), Saline County’s first fair was held in October 1872.  There were 280 entries and 700 in attendance. 

The first fairs were held in Crete, in an area near present-day Crist Auto Body on the west end of town.  Key attractions included horse races and orators. Dorchester’s Ed McIntyre was treasurer of the Fair Board; nine of the judges at that first fair had Dorchester addresses.

By 1887, the fair was reported “better than ever,” but receipts were not enough to pay expenses.  

Meanwhile, Dorchester was busy preparing to host an area reunion of Civil War veterans. By May 1888, Dorchester leaders were so optimistic about the preparations that “a number of citizens from the vicinity” went to a meeting in Crete to propose moving the county fair to Dorchester. 

The Dorchester Star reported that “after ridiculing Dorchester in every conceivable manner for insinuating such a thing as having a fair, the meeting adjourned to see if Crete could raise $2,000 to keep it there.”

The June 1888 veterans' reunion was a huge success. There were grandstands, platforms, pavilions and tents and a crowd "estimated between 1,500 and 15,000." (Yes, we realize that is a big gap in the estimate.)  By July of 1888, W. P. Thompson purchased the ground in northeast Dorchester where the reunion was held. (Soon after, the parcel came to be known as “Thompson’s Rodeo Grounds.")

Meanwhile, the September 1888 County Fair at Crete was fraught with problems. The 1889 county fair was held in Wilber, then Crete and Wilber alternated for several years until 1900.  There were no Saline County fairs held again until 1925.  (Friend hosted a variety of fairs and racing meets during this time, and also hosted a Junior Fair from 1919 to 1921.)

The Saline County Fair was revived in October 1925 on Linden Ave. in Crete.  The following year there were exhibit tents at Tuxedo Park.  Gradually special show buildings were erected at Tuxedo; the Thompson ponies from Dorchester provided rides and shows; and rural schools built special floats for parades. 

The rest is history.

*** Fair Highlights From Years Gone By ***

  • In the ‘30s and 40’s, Lillian Vlcek (Rezabek), Bertha Dusanek (Zak), and Jerry Pracheil were rural students winning prizes for posters and penmanship. Harold Krivohlavek and Rudolph Freeouf showed 4-H livestock. Mrs. Albert Boden and Mrs. Stanley Nohavec brought embroidered pillowcases, and later still, Dorothy Feeken entered the hog calling contest.
  • There’s a photo at the Saline County Museum of the Dorchester Chamber of Commerce parade entry. Herman Schultz, Mike Broz, Ed Spinar, Bill Sanburn, Leonard Pechoucek, Harry Spacek, and John Kenny donned fake moustaches and derby hats, while Frances Spacek and Merle Schultz stand by with long black dresses and Japanese fans. A 1929 Buick pulled a trailer for the musicians, and they all smiled for photographer.
  • In 1963, it was reported that Anton Tesar drove a 1917 Buick parade entry. The Buick had "9,000 miles on it and original tires."

Sunday, July 17, 2016

CONFIRMED: New BBQ Restaurant Planned For Dorchester

The Times can confirm that a new restaurant will be on Dorchester's main street.  

Some reports say that could happen by the end of this month.

According to official village documents and several sources, a new barbeque restaurant plans to set up shop in the building that most recently housed Ben's Iron Grill II.  

In recent years, the building on the east side of Dorchester's main street also housed Rough Reins, R Lounge, The Longhorn Saloon, Pit Stop, and Last Call Bar and Grill.

The name of the new restaurant: Big T's BBQ Pit Stop.

A special meeting will be held Monday, July 18 at 5:30 p.m., at Village Hall to consider the liquor license application of the BBQ Pit Stop's owner -- Timothy J. Vejraska.


News Roundup: Two Dorchester Ladies Celebrate Milestones 100 Years Apart

Dorchester's Josie Slama Turns 100: Dorchester's own Josie Slama turned 100 earlier this month.  Born to Frank and Christie (Sipek) Belohlavy on a farm near Pleasant Hill, Josie married Joe Slama in May 1939.  They had two sons, Richard and Gene, four grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.  If you'd like to surprise Josie with a birthday card, it can be sent to: Josie Slama, 1540 Grove Street, Crete, NE 68333.  No gifts please.

Barleys Have Baby Girl:  Dorchester's Sam (Staley) and L.J. Barley are the newest parents in Dorchester after Sam gave birth to a baby girl at Bryan in Lincoln. Kyra Ann Barley was born July 12 at 3:21 a.m., weighing 7 lbs., 11 oz.

Mary Nerud Passes: Mary K. Nerud, 54, of Lincoln, passed away July 10, 2016. Daughter of the late James and Eileen Nerud. Graveside service was held Thursday, July 14, at Dorchester Cemetery, Dorchester. Memorials to family for future designation. Arrangements entrusted to Kuncl Funeral Home. Condolences at

Friday, July 15, 2016

ALERT: Days Of Triple-Digit Heat Predicted For Our Area Next Week

Dorchester and the surrounding area may be getting a break from summertime's heat today, but the furnace is about to be turned up again soon.  Big time.

Triple-digit heat will surge into the central U.S. next week.  

AccuWeather is forecasting triple digits for highs in our area from Wednesday, July 20, through Tuesday, July 26.

The actual temperature is expected to surge to 106 degrees on Wednesday in Dorchester.

"Heat will build to dangerous levels and bring the highest temperatures of the summer so far to many areas of the central United States later next week," according to AccuWeather Lead Long-Range Meteorologist Paul Pastelok.

The heat wave will be dangerous and could even be life-threatening if proper precautions are not taken. Pets, the elderly, children and anyone with respiratory or cardiovascular disease are most vulnerable to heat-related illnesses.


Wednesday, July 13, 2016

60th Anniversary For Phil And Bernice Weber

It's 1956. And much is happening in the world.
  • The most popular TV shows are "As The World Turns" and "The Price is Right."
  • Mothers can now buy disposable diapers and tefal non-stick frying pans. 
  • Elvis Presley is appearing on the Ed Sullivan show and entering the music charts for the first time with "Heartbreak Hotel."
  • Movie star Ronald Reagan is campaigning as a Democrat for President Dwight Eisenhower's re-election. 
  • And Phil and Bernice (Abrahams) Weber of Dorchester are getting married in Utica. 
This month, in 2016, the Webers are celebrating their 60th anniversary.  They have three children, Larry and Faye Weber, Lyle and Cathy Weber of Dorchester, and Ron and Lori Schultz of Seward; nine grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

In celebration of this milestone, they enjoyed an extended stay in Palm Springs, Calif., last February, hosting family and friends.

To honor them, cards can be sent to 419 County Rd. 1400, Dorchester, NE 68343.

Monday, July 11, 2016

News Roundup: New Code Compliance Officer; Car Port Permits Denied

Village Board Hires New Property Code Officer: It has been brought to our attention that a new enforcer has been hired to ensure that Dorchester residents are keeping their property up to community standards.  We confirmed this when we obtained the minutes from the Dorchester Village Board's May 2016 meeting.  Local resident Penny Keller was approved for hire by the board, which confirmed her as the village's new nuisance abatement and code compliance officer. The minutes confirm that Keller has been hired as an independent contractor, not a village employee.  This hire will help ensure that the clean-up notices and enforcement originally initiated by SENDD a few years ago continues.  Village leaders are to be commended for keeping the pressure on negligent property owners, as Keller cares deeply about Dorchester and its future.

Car Ports In Dorchester:  Let's face it -- car ports are popping up more often nowadays and they typically look rather shabby (looking like this.)  While car ports might be a better alternative than someone parking on their front lawn (c'mon -- show some pride), it appears the Dorchester Planning Commission is cracking down more often on their installation.  There are rules and regulations for car ports in Dorchester.  In recent months, permits for car ports have been denied and corrective actions have been ordered for existing car ports, including one right on main street.

Why Doesn't The Village Post Meeting Minutes Online?: Since the Village of Dorchester now has an official website, wouldn't it be nice if village board meeting minutes were posted online? The taxpayers deserve that much. Heck, if residents knew which topics were being discussed on a monthly basis, there might even be more civic engagement and attendance at board meetings. The Dorchester Board of Education posts their meeting minutes online -- surely the Dorchester Board of Trustees can do the same.

In Case You Missed It:  A couple weeks ago, we shared with our Facebook followers a posting by the Crete Police Department showing still shots of individuals using stolen credit card numbers at the Crete Wal-Mart and surrounding retail stores.  Good news -- those suspects have been nabbed. To them, we say: Adios! For some, it seems that working a legitimate, honorable job is just too difficult these days.  From shootings in Lincoln, to gangbangers in Omaha, to dope dealers, to crime rings like this one, there are lots of bad people out there.  We hope our Republican turned so-called Libertarian Senator Laura Ebke and her fellow state lawmakers will finally see the wisdom of providing for more law enforcement and additional corrections facilities instead of undoing Nebraska's strict criminal sentencing standards.  

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Parks-Kremer Wedding Is Sept. 10

Megan Kremer and Dorchester High School alum Charles Parks of Milford are planning a wedding on Sept. 10 at West Blue Church in rural Dorchester/Milford.

Parents of the couple are James and Janelle Kremer of Milford and Dave and Donna Parks of Dorchester. 

As our readers know, Donna is owner and operator of Dorchester's Donna's Hair Creations.

The bride-to-be is a 2010 Milford High School graduate. She graduted from Northwest Missouri State University in 2014. 

Megan currently works as an assistant benefits specialist at INSPRO Insurance.

The groom-elect graduated from Dorchester High School in 2008 and from Southeast Community College in Milford in 2010. 

Chuck currently works as a welder for Tuttle, Inc. in Friend.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Seven Key Ingredients To Successful Small-Town Life

What makes for a vibrant small town? One that has a bright future and involved citizenry?

Today we share with you a simple set of key ingredients for successful small communities across the nation.

This list was sent to us by a contributor to the Times.  

The middle of summer is a good time to reflect on our quality of life in Dorchester, why we live here, how we can preserve the aspects we enjoy, and how best we can fix the aspects that need improvement.    

All of us who call the Dorchester area home should read list this often.

We should constantly keep these simple factors in mind before we complain about any aspect of our corner of the world.

Seven Factors for a Successful Small Community

  • Leadership that matters: Leaders in a community must actively say: “We’re not fine with where we are. Here’s where we’d like to go; let’s figure out the steps that will take us there.”
  • Hopeful vision backed by grit.
  • Deliberate efforts to invite others into leadership roles, including people who might not otherwise participate.
  • Not letting fear be a barrier.
  • Willingness to invest in community.
  • Strong social networks.
  • Keeping in mind those residents who came (and sacrificed) before us, as well as the next generation of residents who will succeed us.

(Hastings, Lindsay. Nebraska Human Resources Institute)

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Dorchester Gets 1.70" Of Rain; Heavier Rains In Utica

A violent weather system packing strong winds, heavy rain and hail in some locations powered its way into eastern Nebraska early this morning, with the Dorchester area pounded by rain, stiff winds and lightning beginning about 1:30 a.m.

Dorchester received around 1.70" of precipitation, according to the Times official rain gauge.  Only pea-sized hail or smaller was recorded in our immediate area.

No power outages have been reported in the Dorchester area.  However, strong winds brought down some tree limbs onto power lines, leading to 1,700 outages in Douglas County this morning.

Here's a look at area rainfall totals beginning at midnight July 7 as reported by the NE Rain project:

* Utica: 3.04"
* Utica (2.6 mi. east-southeast): 2.53"
* Dorchester: 1.70"
* Friend (3.4 mi. E): 1.31"
* Seward (1.1 mi. NE): 1.12"
* Western (4.4 NNE): 0.81"
* Western (1.2 SE): 0.60"
* Wilber (7.0 WSW): 0.56"
* Wilber (4.1 W): 0.47"
* Tobias (4.7 SSW): 0.32"

Strong to severe thunderstorms are possible again this afternoon and into this evening across the region as a frontal boundary system drops southeast into the area, forecasters said. Quieter weather is expected for Friday and into much of Saturday. Temperatures in the 80s should prevail this weekend.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Sights From Dorchester's Independence Day Parade

An estimated 1,300 Dorchester residents and out-of-town guests watched a top-notch parade on July 4.  Organizers called this year's Independence Day parade one of the best in recent years, with more than 50 individual parade participants making their way down main street (Washington Ave.) and school street (9th St.).

While the parade was only one of several events comprising the community's Independence Day celebration, it was undoubtedly one of the day's highlights.  

(UPDATE: For those who missed "The Big Show" -- also known as Dorchester's famous fireworks display -- you can see part of it here.  A Lincoln fireworks expert e-mailed the Times today and told us the Dorchester show was "easily one of the state's best" fireworks displays, "regardless of town size." High praise for Dorchester and its organizers.)

Parade observers were treated to antique tractors and classic cars, as well as floats featuring the members of the Dorchester Methodist Church; baseball teams; Farmers Co-op; polka music; and even Christmas in July.

For those who were unable to attend, as well as those who were there, here is a look back on one of Dorchester's best Fourth of July parades yet. (Photos were taken by "friends" of our Facebook account.  For credits of the photos, and more images, see our account here, or see the Times official page here.)

Monday, July 4, 2016

Dorchester's July 4 Schedule

We are sharing Dorchester's Independence Day events schedule with all our readers in hopes that many from our area of Nebraska will be able to experience one of the very best small-town July 4th celebrations in Nebraska. 

Dorchester's July 4th all-day celebration is an annual tradition that draws in folks from near and far, including residents from neighboring communities, friends, family and DHS alumni from across the country.  You will find plenty of things to do in Dorchester on Independence Day, without the hurried (and sometimes rude) crowds of Seward or larger communities.

Of course, the highlight of the day comes after dark with the famous fireworks show, which has been delighting crowds for over 20 years.  

(UPDATE: The Dorchester American Legion's Sportsmen/Gun Auction has been postponed until Sept. 11.  City Slicker's will be open from 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. on the 4th of July for drinks and off-sale, but no kitchen.)


Dorchester's 4th of July Celebration
2016 Schedule of Events

All Day (July 3 and 4) ............ Co-ed Softball Tourney (@ Nerud Field. Call Jared Jensen at 402.641.1154)

10 a.m.-4 p.m. ....................... City Slickers open for beverages and off-sale (no kitchen).

11 a.m.- 7 p.m. ...................... Sons of American Legion BBQ (@ Legion Building)

11 a.m. ................................. Auxiliary/Jr. Auxiliary Pie and Ice Cream Social/Raffle (@ Legion Building)

1 p.m.-5 p.m. ........................ Visit the Saline County Museum (Open to public.)

1 p.m. ................................. "Show and Shine" @ Museum along Hwy 33. (Tractors, autos, motorcycles. Any year.  Call Matt Smith at 402.826.9303 for more information.)

1:30 p.m.................................Dorchester American Legion Sportsmen Auction (POSTPONED 'TIL SEPT. 11)

2 p.m. .................................. Bingo by Legion Auxiliary (Community Building)

4 p.m. ................................. Kiddy Tractor Pull. South of City Slickers on 7th St. (Sponsored by Farmers Co-Op. Registration begins at 3:30 p.m.  Participants must register.)

7 p.m. ................................. Parade (Line-up begins at 6:30 at Co-Op parking lot near elevator on Depot St. Bring a description of your entry. For more, e-mail

10 p.m. ............................. "The Big Show" -- Fireworks at Nerud Field.  (Alternate date is July 5.)


From June 25-July 4, firework sales will take place at the stand just south of the Dorchester Fire Hall.  All proceeds will support the Dorchester fireworks show on July 4.

Also, there will be a raffle drawing for "The Big Stuff" -- as in some of the big fireworks from the Dorchester fireworks stand.  Raffle tickets will be sold at the stand, and the drawing will be held July 3 at 5 p.m.  Need not be present to win.  "Big stuff" items are being donated due to the generous contributions of: BP Agronomics; Complete Ag; Novak Auction Service; Rut Auction Service; Weber Feedyards; Donna's Hair Creations; City Slickers; Ben's Iron Salvage; Smith's Tractor Salvage.

Dorchester's 4th of July celebration depends on private support. Dorchester area residents and friends of Dorchester are encouraged to send their donations to: 

First State Bank
4th of July Celebration
P.O. Box 264
Dorchester, NE 68343

Friday, July 1, 2016

News Roundup: Family Missing Dog; Post Office Accolades; Legion Open Sunday

Here is what is trending in Dorchester:

Our 'Main Street Improvement Award' Goes To Post Office:  About a year ago, we wrote, "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." Well, more improvements have been done recently.  That is why the post office is being awarded the Dorchester Times "Main Street Improvement Award" for 2016 -- for the attention and dedication to Dorchester's main street appearance.

American Legion Bar Is Open This Sunday:  The Dorchester 4th of July Softball Tournament begins Sunday, July 3.  The good news for all the players is that the Dorchester American Legion bar will be open Sunday from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m.  On Independence Day, City Slicker's will be open from 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. for drinks and off-sale, but no kitchen.  For the Legion BBQ and Legion Auxilary ice cream social, stop by the Legion Hall 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. on July 4.  See Dorchester's full July 4 schedule here.

Dorchester Family Is Missing Dog:  We recently spotted a sign in town, asking for help to locate a family's missing chihuahua.  The female dog is white and four years old, and its name is Chivtia.  The dog "comes from a loving family," according to the sign, which was composed by one of the family's children.  Call 620-408-4854 if you see Chivtia the missing chihuahua.

10-Year-Old Dorchester Boy Wants Mowing Job: Too many kids don't have any ambition to work nowadays.  That's why we were encouraged to see a sign in town posted by a 10-year-old named Dylan.  The sign reads: "I will mow your lawn for $10.  I will need to use your mower.  Call 402-418-1032.  I am 10 years old."  If you need your lawn mowed, we suggest you give hardworking Dylan a chance.