Saturday, December 30, 2017

Dorchester's Citizen Of The Year: Peg Bergmeyer

The Dorchester Times is proud to name Peg Bergmeyer as its "Dorchester Citizen of 2017."

Peg is receiving this honor based largely on her volunteer efforts with the Dorchester Community Foundation, as well as her solo efforts to improve her community.

Our decision was made this past autumn, when Peg was seen working hard in hot temperatures to groom Dorchester's main street median.  

In decades gone by, main street's flowers and trees were tended to by a cadre of green thumbs, typically retirees who formed groups such as Dorchester's "Green Thumbs."  

Nowadays, Bergmeyer and a handful of others -- such as Carol Olsen -- are seen working on the medians, which are a unique and highly visible feature of our community.  (For example, in 2016 we reported that  Julie Holly, owner of The Well in Dorchester, reported that her out-of-town customers who attend The Well's yoga classes commented on the beauty of our main street and the flowering trees on Dorchester's median.)

Peg has been a key leader for the Dorchester Community Foundation, which is currently working to raise funds for Dorchester forthcoming water park or splash pad.  Whenever Dorchester area residents or alumni received fundraising requests and updates from the Foundation, Peg's name is prominently mentioned.

Established over a decade ago, the Dorchester Community Foundation Fund is guided by one central mission:  To raise funds for worthy projects that will enhance Dorchester and our quality of life.  Contributions to the Foundation are deductible for income and estate tax purposes.  

Peg and the other members of the Foundation have been instrumental in various projects and activities.  These include the city park's new playground equipment and shelter; annual scholarships; the Charlie Havlat Memorial; the village welcome signs; the new cemetery directory; and the annual steak and chicken feeds.

Our previous Citizen of the Year winners include Penny KellerCarol OlsonDale Hayek, and Bill Velder

Honorable mentions submitted to the Times ( over the years include (in no particular order): Amanda Cerny, Tom Cerny, Larry Kaspar, Lyle Weber, Greg Tyser, Todd Axline, all members of the Dorchester Volunteer Fire Dept. and Rescue, 
Jason and Kathy Duhrkop, Mike Pracheil, Tim Vejraska, Ben Haufle, Brent Zoubek, Kyleigh Jo Lewis, Phil Weber, Steve Ottmann, Scott Pohl, Eric Stehlik, Joyce Karl, Adam Briggs, Rob "Bert" Parks, John Bruha, Mark Bors, Tom Cerny, Amanda Cerny, Julie and Joe Holly of "The Well", LJ Barley, Bob and Marva Kasl, Dan Nerud, Mike Nohavec, Ryan Voelker.

Congratulations to Peg Bergmeyer, our Times' Citizen of 2017!

STORY OF 2017: Signs Everywhere Of Dorchester's Positive Momentum

Several improvements positively affecting Dorchester are collectively the Dorchester Times "Story of the 2017."

Among the positive developments have been:

  • A significant renovation of Dorchester's main street buildings.
  • Further success of Dorchester's two restaurants on main street, both considered tops in our region.
  • Expansion of existing businesses.
  • New lights at Dorchester's Nerud Field, replacing the original lights from the 1950s.
  • A town-sponsored crackdown on negligent property owners resulting in cleanups and reinvestment.
  • A new research building and several repainted buildings adorn the grounds of the Saline County Museum.
  • A new superintendent who is taking Dorchester Public Schools to the next level.
  • Homes for sale that sell within days, if not hours.
  • The announced return of Dorchester Football in 2018.
  • Larger participation numbers in elementary-aged activities.
  • A planned water park, as well as other new projects in town.
  • A resurgence of young couples and young families moving to town and the nearby countryside.
Yes, there have been plenty of positive developments in Dorchester.  

Perhaps among the most exciting of this year's developments is the face-lift given to main street over the summer and fall, starting with the exterior improvements made to the cornerstone city-owned building that houses City Hall and Donna's Hair Creations.  This building is a key focal point of our downtown, so residents were glad to see the village leadership make the investment.

Soon after, the owners of City Slickers made exterior improvements to their very popular eating/drinking establishment, as well as the two buildings to the north.  It was like a breath of fresh air had swept through Dorchester's main street, giving the business district a new pulse.  This was followed by very noticeable improvements made to the former grocery store, which now serves as a community gathering center and place of worship.

All of this proves that positive momentum breeds positive momentum in a community.

Speaker Tony Robbins once wrote the following:

Have you ever noticed that depressed people tend to get more depressed? Passionate people tend to get more excited? Successful people tend to breed further success? This is called the power of momentum.
It starts by creating a map from where you are to where you want to be. You need to gain clarity about where you’ve been, where you are now, and where you want to go so that you can create lasting change in every area of your life. Everyone has some part of their life they want to improve -- “gaps” that exist between who they are and what they want to be.  You need to develop a step-by-step process and a plan to close this gap now. 
Communities are like people.  You're either getting better or you aren't.  You're either part of the positive change or you aren't.

We are glad to report that Dorchester continues moving in the right direction.  The community needs to maintain the positive momentum in 2018.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

New Year's Eve: Windchill Could Hit 40 Degrees BELOW Zero

"And now for some bad news. The lowest wind chills for Sunday night into Monday could dip between -30 to -40 below zero. If you have any outdoor plans New Years Eve or New Years Day, please be prepared for extremely dangerous cold temperatures."

In a word: Brrrrr!

That's the latest report from the National Weather Service out of Valley, Nebraska.

The high temperature for Sunday is expected to be -1, according to AccuWeather services. 

Actual air temperatures on Sunday night and Monday morning could drop to -20 degrees, with windchill hovering around -25 degrees.

The Dorchester forecast for New Year's Eve day and night says: "Clear and frigid; extreme cold can be dangerous for outdoor activities."

The high on Monday will be around 3 degrees, forecasters say.

Temperatures will not again hit the lower 30s until the weekend of January 6-7.

According to the long range forecast, the next true warm-up won't come until January 15, when temps could top 40 degrees.

The next chance of snow comes soon after, January 16-20.


Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Shirley Veprovsky Passes At 79 Years Old

Shirley Ann Veprovsky passed on Saturday, Dec. 23, after an unexpected illness.

She was born April 11, 1938 to James and Hattie (Kliment) Eret, on the old homestead four miles North of Wilber by the Blue River. She attended Bower Country School and then Fairbury High School graduating in May of 1956. Shirley continued her education at Fairbury College and became a school teacher. She taught elementary school for several years until she married. 

Shirley met Emil Veprovsky at a the Sunset Dance Hall in Emerald. They were married June 5, 1960 and lived 1/2 mile south of Pleasant Hill for 5 years. They then moved to their permanent home in 1966 south of Dorchester. To this union three children were born. 

As a mother of three, a homemaker and farm wife, she had more than a full-time job providing for her family’s needs. She made sure her children were well rounded by having them learn music, swimming, gardening, cooking, etc. 

She was very involved in community activities, including the Dorchester Band Mothers and the American Legion Auxiliary. She was a 50-year member at the WFLA Lodge Tabor Hall and spent a lot of evenings at the hall working the many wedding dances. She held the office of Secretary for the Lodge for many years. 

 Later in life she continued to enjoy her family and her hobbies. She loved to bake and was a longtime vendor at several of the local Farmer’s markets. Her kolaces, pies, cakes, fresh eggs, and fresh produce were always in demand and she enjoyed meeting and visiting with the many people who attended the markets.

Left to cherish her memory is her husband of 57 years Emil Veprovsky of Dorchester, son Gary (Penny) Veprovsky of Dorchester, daughter Karen (Tim) Chadwick of Vermillion, Kan., and son Kevin ( Lisa ) Veprovsky of Dorchester.  Brothers Charles (Bonnie) and Frank (Judy) Eret, Sister Vicki (Richard) Kuzelka. Sister in law Jarmila (Arnest) Dvorak. Grandchildren Joshua, Melanie and Shelby. Four step-grandchildren and four  great-grandchildren, as well as many nieces and nephews. Shirley is proceeded in death by her parents, sister-in-law Rosie & (Orin) Duchek. 

Family will be receiving visitors at Kuncl Funeral Home in Crete from 5-8 p.m. today (Wednesday, December 27). Funeral services to be held Thursday, December 28 at 2 p.m. at Kuncl Funeral Home, Crete, Nebraska. Interment will be at the Riverside Cemetery in Crete. 

Leave your condolences for the family here.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Tom & Jerry Party Set For Dec. 31 At Fire Hall

Looking for something to do on New Year's Eve morning and early afternoon?

Dorchester has several options.  One of them will be at the Dorchester Fire Hall.

Consider joining your friends at the Dorchester Fire Hall for Tom and Jerry's this Sunday, Dec. 31, when the members of the Dorchester Volunteer Fire Department will be hosting a Tom and Jerry party.

The event will kick off at 9 a.m. and continue until around 1 p.m. 

According to our in-depth and extensive research, the Tom and Jerry -- now known as a traditional Christmas time cocktail -- was devised by sports writer Pierce Egan in the 1820's. The eggnog-brandy-rum drink is a reference in Egan's book "Life in London." 

To publicize the book, Egan introduced a variation of eggnog by adding ½ fl. oz. of brandy, calling it a "Tom and Jerry."  

The additional fortification helped popularize the drink.

To try Tom and Jerry's at your home this holiday season, here is our recipe:


Boiling water
1 tbsp Tom And Jerry Batter*
1 oz Cognac
1 oz Dark rum
Whole milk, hot

Garnish: Nutmeg, clove and allspice
Glass: Coffee mug or Tom and Jerry cup


*Tom And Jerry Batter

12 Eggs, separated
1 tsp Cream of tartar
2 lb Sugar
2 oz Dark Jamaican-style rum
1 tsp Vanilla extract (optional)
In a nonreactive bowl, whip the egg whites with the cream of tartar until they form stiff peaks.  In a separate bowl, beat the yolks with the sugar, rum and vanilla (if using). When the mixture is completely liquid, fold it into the whites.


How to make the Tom And Jerry Cocktail

Rinse a small coffee mug (or, indeed, a white ceramic Tom & Jerry cup) with boiling water to warm it and discard the water. Add the batter, cognac and rum to the cup and fill with hot milk. Garnish with a mixture of 2 parts freshly grated nutmeg to 1 part each ground clove and ground all spice.

NEWS ROUNDUP: DHS Football Division Is Set For 2018

Stock Photo - Not Necessarily DHS' Helmet.

Here is what's happening in Dorchester right now...

2018-19 Football Division Announced:  As reported previously, the upcoming 2018 football season will bring the return of high school football to Dorchester on Friday nights.  This Dorchester Public School board recently voted to bring back football after more than 20 DHS students committed to playing.  Due to small numbers in junior high, DHS football will return in the six-man form.  This version of the game is gaining popular support statewide, with more than 40 Nebraska high schools expected to be play six-man ball next season.  Now we receive word that DHS has its sub-district assignment for the 2018 and 2019 seasons.  Included in the new District D6-2 will be: Deshler, Dorchester, Lewiston, McCool Junction and Sterling.

'Pack the Gym' Jan. 9 for DHS Vs. Friend Games:  On Tuesday, Jan. 9, the Dorchester Longhorns basketball teams will host next-door rival Friend High School.  DHS is promoting that evening as "Pack the Gym" night.  The varsity girls will play at 6:00 p.m., while the varsity boys will start at 7:30 p.m.

School Website Gets Overhaul:  The website for Dorchester Public Schools has gotten a makeover.   Viewers may still access it at  The site even includes a string of the school's latest Twitter messages, so all parents and patrons can stay updated as breaking school news occurs.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Merry Christmas, Dorchester!

The Dorchester Times wishes our readers and all area residents a Merry Christmas. 

Thank you for allowing us to come into your homes and continue to be a part of our community and a part of your daily life. 

We are grateful for yet another wonderful year online and in Dorchester.  

As we celebrate this special time, we want to share with you the following poem, which reminded us of our community and so many special communities across Nebraska.
by Linda Watson Owen

At last! Tomorrow is the day
When our little church has its Christmas play.
Girls and boys, men, women, too,
Will deliver lines in quaint costumes. 

Shepherds and wisemen will walk the aisle
To center front then stop and smile.
'The King is born!' will be the story
Of the infant Babe Who came from glory. 

Tiny tots with fluffy stuff
Will be the lambs and sweet cherubs.
A star will shine and candles glow
When we perform our Christmas show.

Grandmas will "Ooh!" and gramps will grin
To see their grandkids marching in.
"Away in a Manger" was never so good
As it will be tomorrow in our neighborhood.

Tomorrow is it. All the practice is done.
The music will rise as the story is sung.
And somewhere far deep in the depths of our souls,
The glory of Christmas rises. It flows. 

Amid all the flurry of costume and pageant,
A holiness greater than we can imagine,
Will visit our church, settle into our hearts
For that is where Christmas, God's Gift, truly starts.

The love Jesus brought, the joy that He brings,
Is the melody every heart here truly sings.
Yes, tomorrow our evening of pageant will say,
"It's Christmas again in Small Town USA."

Looking Back: The Record-Setting Christmas Blizzard Of 2009

The blizzard of Christmas 2009 was one for the record books. Not even Bing Crosby would have been too happy.

Climatologists at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln confirm that year's snowfall was the most snow ever recorded in the Dorchester area on Christmas.

Eight years ago this month, the news wires were abuzz, reporting that most eastern Nebraska residents had lost electricity during the storm. 

Most highways were closed.  Rural residents were literally trapped in their homes as country roads were drifted shut.

The Christmas blizzard of 2009 brought an estimated 11 inches of snow to Dorchester. 

The Lincoln Journal Star reported that December 2009 was the Lincoln area's snowiest December ever, with a total 23 inches on average.

The following pictures were taken in Dorchester in late December 2009, sent to us by Times readers. 

While many of you want a white Christmas, let's hope we don't see a repeat of Christmas 2009 in the near future.

See the Dorchester forecast here.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Get Last Minute Christmas Gifts In Dorchester

With Christmas almost here, why not get your last minute gifts in Dorchester?

Gifts from Dorchester? 


Here are some options to consider:

  • Gift certificates from City Slickers, Big T's BBQ Pit Stop, Donna's Hair Creations, The Well, Barley Specialties, Farmers Cooperative gas station and garage (new tires, anyone?), Tyser's Repair and Auto Sales, and other Dorchester area businesses.
  • Unique items from local vendors such as Dorchester's Deb Nerud Vernon's home-based business with SeneGence International, or Monat products sold by Dorchester's Penny Keller, or Cale Olson's Olson Graphix of Dorchester, which specializes in high-quality, printed or cut vinyl decals, signs and banners for homes, businesses, vehicles and more.  
  • Antiques from Hedgehog and Hubbies Antique Shop on the west edge of town. The antique shop has a number of Dorchester and DHS vintage items. 
  • A savings account for a child or grandchild at First State Bank.  
As one reader e-mailed us recently, it just makes sense to buy Christmas gifts locally instead of purchasing "the cheap, imported Chinese products that add to America's trade deficit."  We just want to avoid the crowds and online scams.

Finally, during this time of giving and goodwill towards others, don't forget the importance of contributing to area philanthropies and charitable groups, or volunteering to help with local projects and organizations. 

Consider sending some well-deserved funds to the Dorchester Community Foundation Fund. As we've reported, the Foundation's next project on the list is a splash pad for the Dorchester City Park. Your donations to the the Foundation are tax deductible. Make checks payable to: Dorchester Community Foundation Fund, c/o Peg Bergmeyer, 101 Washington, Dorchester, NE 68343.  

Also, think about sending monthly donation to the Dorchester Methodist Church.  Or perhaps the Dorchester Volunteer Fire Department.  

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Top 10 List: Best Decorated Christmas Homes In Dorchester

The Christmas spirit is alive and well in Dorchester, with so many outdoor displays of holiday cheer.

With the warmer weather this month, it seems there are more outdoor lights this Christmas season than usual. From one end of the village to the other, Christmas lights and holiday displays went up quickly.

The Times staff members are happy to see the lights greeting residents and out-of-towners alike.  They add a special warmth to the village.

Based on no criteria other than what most caught our eye, we have crafted our own Top 10 list for Dorchester's best decorated homes for Christmas.

If you think we left out a deserving home, be sure to tell us in the "comments section" of this post.

Now, without further ado, here is our top 10. 

Honorable Mentions: 801 Sumner Ave. and 408 W. 11th St.

NUMBER 10: 107 Whitmar St.

NUMBER 9: 105 Whitmar St.

NUMBER 8: 505 W. 9th St.

NUMBER 7: 609 Fulton Ave.

NUMBER 6: 1112 Colfax Ave.

NUMBER 5: 806 Stephens Ave.

NUMBER 4: 106 W. 11th St.

NUMBER 3: 307 E. 10th St.

NUMBER 2: 805 Jefferson Ave.

NUMBER 1: 813 Stephens Ave.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

DHS' Abby Zoubek Sets Net On Fire With Seven 3-Pointers In Big Win

The Dorchester girls basketball team appears to be surging as their young season progresses.

That is thanks to strong performances from freshman players, including DHS' Abby Zoubek, who hit seven three-pointers, five in the second quarter alone, helping Dorchester top Osceola this past Thursday, 58-38, for their second straight win.

KWBE radio station and their affiliate website, News Channel Nebraska, covered the game, in which Zoubek finished with 27 points and had six three-pointers at the half, which had her on pace to break the state record for 3’s in a game – which is 11.

See the game highlights here.  See the post-game interview with Abby here.  See the interview with Coach Brandon Bruha here.

Abby’s outside shooting helped Dorchester turn the tide on Osceola, who held a 13-10 lead after the first quarter.

The Lady Longhorns' scorers were:

Abby Zoubek – 27 pts
Jacee Zoubek – 9 pts
Makenna Bird – 8 pts
Lena Zahourek – 3 pts
Kaytee Eberhardt – 3 pts
Kyra Creamer – 2 pts
Abby Plouzek – 2 pts

The Lady Longhorns will next be in action at the Weeping Water Holiday Tournament, set for Dec. 28-29.

Looking Back: Dorchester's Main Street, Circa 1910

Today, we go back in time.

In fact, we're going way back to 1910.

Thanks to a loyal reader who sent us an image via e-mail, we get this glimpse of the Bank of Dorchester and corner drug store just after the turn of the 20th century.

The image is from a vintage postcard.  (Click on the pictures for a closer view.)

Notice the patriotic display in drug store window. 

A postcard rack can be seen through the storefront window.  

Classy. Simple. Much different days indeed.

According to our research, and some help from the 1981 Dorchester centennial book, the two businesses sat on the corner of 7th Street and Washington Avenue (Main Street).

Notice the windmill behind the building, which surely supplied water since it sat where Dorchester's old water tower stood prior to its removal in 2013.

Today, First State Bank resides at this location, but the building has long had a much newer front.

The Bank of Dorchester operated from 1913 through 1930, when it fell victim to the Great Depression.  (To the south of the bank was Randall's shoe shop, owned by William Randall from 1888 through 1917.  The space separating the bank and the shoe store -- which is the public library today -- was there even in the early 1900s.)

It is unclear which former Dorchester drug store is pictured, since Dorchester had at least half a dozen drug stores from 1900 through 1920.  

Our best guess is that the pharmacy pictured belonged Dr. J.E. Waller, who owned and operated this store from 1909 through 1915. 

The Times would love to hear about any history our readers can share regarding these businesses.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Separating The In's From The Out's

Every community in America needs them: 


Movers and shakers. 

People who make things happen.

And every community has those on the other end of the spectrum: the naysayers; sticks-in-the-mud; those would would rather complain than work to better their own corner of the world.

With this in mind, we share with our readers an article published in the North Platte Telegraph a decade ago. Written by former Telegraph reporter Mary Ann Koch, the piece concludes that residents in any community belong to one of two groups -- the "Ins" and the "Outs."

Read this short piece and let's all ask ourselves: To which group do I belong?

Separating the In's from the Out's

There is an easy way to tell the “In's” from the “Out's” in a community -- any community.

  • The In's are the people who spend long, hard hours working for community improvement. The Out's are the people who spend their time and energy being critical.
  • The In's invest hours in meetings, organizing programs and weighing alternatives. They are usually generous in their opinions of others, knowing that anything to be done must be done with the help of others.  The Out's invest in gossip, repeating rumors without regard for truth, and spreading resentment and frustration.
  • The In's see a need in the community and try to do something constructive to meet that need. The Out's complain about everything the community lacks and find fault with everyone who tries to do anything about it.
  • The In's get their names in the news because they are news makers. The Out's don’t get involved.
  • The In's look for the best in people and believe that people do the very best they can in a given situation. The Out's are sure that everyone in the public eye is crooked and has a selfish motive for everything.
  • The In's believe a person who has accumulated material wealth has worked hard and deserves that wealth. The Out's believe a wealthy person got that way in some dishonest manner or simply inherited it all.
  • The In's are doers. The Out's are talkers.
  • The In's are positive. The Out's are negative.
Which one are you? When it comes to Dorchester and its future, are you in?

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Can We Beat The Doomsayers?

This article was originally published by the Dorchester Times in October 2007.  Some of the reader comments are from that year.

The Economist magazine recently published an article on small town revival. 

In an article entitled "America the Creative," a bleak picture is painted for many small rural towns across America:

"Most small towns are still struggling, as a tour of boarded-up main streets and closed John Deere dealerships in the rural heartland will show. Out-migration has drained their populations over the past century. Agri-businesses have replaced small farms -- and shopping malls an hour away (not to mention Wal-Mart and the Internet) have undercut local shops. In many small towns only old people are for the most part left, as there is little to attract the young. Just 17% of America's population today lives outside metropolitan areas."

But the article goes on to document a handful of communities "deep in the boondocks" that are determined to beat off the doomsayers with creative ideas, including:
  • Hidalgo, Texas decided to capitalize on its site in the migration path of the dreaded African killer bees. The town boldly erected a 20-foot (6 meters) long statue of a bee, made from fiberglass and steel, and was promptly dubbed the "Killer Bee Capital of the World." Soon, the tourists flocked.

  • Colquitt,Georgia, population 1,900 and in one of the poorest parts of America, was revived by a storytelling festival known as "Swamp Gravy." In the early 1990s, someone had the bright idea of performing local folk-tales as musicals. Today, some 40,000 people come each year to the festivities, which are held in a converted cotton mill. Many new businesses have opened on the town square, and retail and restaurant sales triple when the Swamp Gravy show is on.

  • Nelsonville, Ohio, has become an “artists Mecca” in recent years.

  • Culbertson, Montana, whose population dropped to 714 in 2005, recently replaced its old oil-seed factory with a biodiesel plant that employs several dozen workers.
The National Trust Main Street Center, an organization that has helped with small town revival, is lead by Doug Loescher. He says that many towns have been trying for years to revive themselves, with little success. “There's usually a lot of skepticism that another approach can really make a difference,” Loescher said. He adds that local officials also have to realize that downtowns have changed for ever. Clothing and hardware stores may never return to main street. Rather, says Mr. Loescher, restaurants and bars, government offices and even private houses should be given a place near Main Street.

Another channel is philanthropy. Small towns can and should look for help from people with money. (Example: Dorchester area natives who have made it in Chicago, New York or even Omaha and Lincoln, as well as area farmers who've been blessed by the recent boon in commodities). In particular, the well-off should be encouraged to give not just to churches and libraries, but also to economic development.

The Times is interested in your economic development ideas for Dorchester. 

What special events or attractions could we bring to our community? What other "outside-the-box" proposals should village leaders be exploring? 

How can we to beat the doomsayers with our own creativity?

Sign Up Now For Dorchester's Co-Ed Volleyball League

The Times has learned that a new co-ed volleyball league is in the works. 

Sign-up is now open, according to an e-mail sent to the Times. 

The sign up sheet is located on the Village of Dorchester website at, or by clicking here.

Registration to be part of Dorcheter's 6x6 co-ed volleyball league is due no later than Friday, December 29. 

Games will start January 7 and will be played Sundays.  Here are the rules:

  • Teams are to consist of 6 players. Teams may have up to 6 women but no more than 4 men on the court at a time. 
  • The teams playing the first match of the night are responsible for setting up the net. The teams playing the last match of the night are responsible for tear down.  Play time is 45 minutes. Each match will consist of 3 games of rally scoring to 21, win by 2.  
  • Overhand, underhand, and jump serves are allowed.  The serve receive may not be blocked or spiked or attacked with an overhand gesture towards the ball.  All passes must be clearly hit, and not lifted or thrown.
  • Substitute players are allowed if they are not currently enrolled in high school.  Please contact the opposing team if you are unable to play.
The $30-per-team registration fee must be included with the form. Make checks payable to Village of Dorchester.

For more information, contact Andrea Pracheil at

Monday, December 11, 2017

New Lights Coming To Dorchester Ball Field

Just in time for the 2018 baseball, softball and football seasons, we can report that new lights are definitely coming to Dorchester's Nerud Field. (Click on the picture at the right for a closer view.)

Work started in recent days, removing the half-century old lights and poles surrounding the baseball diamond, dugouts and snack shack.

The Dorchester Village Board recently applied for grants to help fund the new lighting.

This will be the first major improvements made to the town's shared football/baseball/softball facilities since 2009, when the new snack shack and restrooms were installed.

Nerud Field is named after Miles Nerud, who brought organized little league baseball to Dorchester in the 1950s.  

Nerud served as one of the founding fathers of the Seward-Fillmore-Saline (SFS) League in 1957, which is approximately when Nerud Field's original lighting was installed.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

NEWS ROUNDUP: Zoubek, Plouzek All-State Honorable Mentions In Volleyball

  • Two Longhorns Earn All-State Volleyball Honors: The Omaha World-Herald has named its Nebraska high school volleyball all-class teams and honorable mention selections.  Dorchester had two players named to its honorable mention rolls: Abby Plouzek and Jacee Zoubek.  Congrats to these Lady Longhorns for their accomplishments on the court. 
  • DHS Students Recognized For High Grades And Extracurricular Activities: Makenna Bird was recently recognized by the Nebraska School Activities Association for her high grades while being a key player for the Lady Longhorns volleyball squad and acting on the DHS stage.  Also earning honors from the NSAA was Nathan Cochnar for his grades and acting abilities.  To be eligible for the NSAA award, students must be a varsity player or play a significant role in an organizational activity, such as theater, all while holding a GPA of 3.7 or higher.
  • Dorchester's Burkey Farms Profiled By NET News:  Recently, Nebraska TV network, NET News, turned its attention to Dorchester's Burkey Farms and its efforts to grow organic crops, a $40 billion industry.  The NET story profiles Eric Thalken, whose wife is a member of the extended Burkey family.  The article says Thalken persuaded Burkey Farms to switch a weedy field to organic. And now, all 2,400 acres are making the transition.  Thalken told NET:  "Some of (this corn) is sold at $8.80, some of it’s sold at $9." That’s almost triple the current price for conventional corn.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Looking Back: The Holidays In Dorchester -- 71 Years Ago

Christmas decorations on the third floor of the old school.

Seventy-one years ago -- when World War II operations were winding down and a person's home community was often the center of his/her universe -- the Christmas season was a busy time for several organizations in Dorchester.

The Dorchester Times staff examined Christmas-time issues of The Dorchester Star newspaper from 1946. Here are some of the activities on the Dorchester calendar the week before Christmas:

  • Dorchester Activities Club:  The Dorchester Activities Club, which met once a month, had 68 residents attend the December 1946 meeting to share a turkey dinner prepared by "the ladies" and then to hear from a guest speaker discuss the future of "atomic energy."
  • American Legion: On Dec. 15, 1946, the Dorchester American Legion Post 264 held a trap shoot for the public at the J. Owen Potter farm.  Pheasants were at "such a high premium" that year that it was decided shooting at clay pigeons made more sense than a hunt.  On Dec. 19, the Legion and Auxiliary held a Christmas covered dish supper for the community (just as they did in 2017).
  • Dorchester Quilting Club:  The Quilting Club enjoyed a Christmas party at the home of Mrs. Lillie Arnold.
  • Friendly Nabor Club:  The 20 members of the Friendly Nabor Project Club met at the home of Mrs. Sabina Potter on Dec. 11 for lunch and had a exchange of homemade gifts.  They announced the January meeting would be hosted by Mrs. Hans Weber and Mrs. Jay Younkin.
  • Triple A Club:  Mrs. John Freeouf was hostess of the Triple A Club.  It was reported that "Miss Myrtle Briker was high at bridge."
  • Dorchester Bridge Club:  The Bridge Club met Dec. 17, 1946, at the home of C.C. Whitcomb.
  • Dorchester School:  Dorchester's 5th and 6th graders decorated their classrooms for Christmas with posters of Christmas scenes, as well as poinsettias and candles and a Christmas tree.  Jack Bruha brought a new 1947 calendar for his classroom.  In high school, the DHS Pep Club girls decorated the hallways and student assembly, and they "dressed a tree placed in the upper hall."
  • Dorchester Library:  The Dorchester Public Library was open on Saturdays in December 1946 from 7-9 p.m. on Saturdays and from 2:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m. on Tuesdays.
  • Methodist Church:  The Dorchester Methodist Church's young people went caroling around town on Dec. 21, 1946.  The "Junior Department" of the UMC Sunday School held a pageant "A Little Child" on Christmas Eve.  The adult choir practiced on Dec. 19.
  • L.M. Club:  The weekly L.M. Club (we don't know what L.M. stood for) met at the home of Mrs. William Sehnert, as Madames Earl Moser and Henry Andelt received traveling prizes.
  • Women's Club:  The Dorchester Women's Club held their weekly meeting on the afternoon of Dec. 18 at the Community Hall.
These were just some of the holiday events we found taking place in Dorchester seventy-one years ago.

How has our community changed over the years? How is it still the same? 

Consider sharing this with your children and asking for their opinions.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Dorchester FBLA Collecting Donations To Feed Area Needy

It's the season to show you care.

The Dorchester Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) chapter is asking you to help spread cheer this Christmas season by participating in the community canned food drive or the monetary collection for the backpack program.

Both are good causes that will benefit local residents.

You have until Dec. 21 to make your donation.

Please take donations to the Dorchester school business room.  

For questions, call (402) 946-2781.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Santa Comes To Dorchester This Saturday, 9 A.M.

Santa Claus is coming to Dorchester this weekend! 

And all kids -- if they've been nice -- are invited.

Santa will be arriving at the Dorchester Community Building at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 9 and staying until 11 a.m. 

The Dorchester Volunteer Fire Dept. will host the event, with help from other community supporters. 

There will be activities for the kids, in addition to telling Santa what they want for Christmas.

Admission is absolutely free.

Also, the staff of the Dorchester Times has noticed more Christmas decorations and lights appearing in and around town this year.

We want to know which Dorchester homes you think best reflect the Christmas and holiday spirit.  And we are taking your votes! 

Give us your nomination for best Christmas lights by Sunday, Dec. 17, by leaving it in the "comments section" of this post or by e-mailing your nomination to (Be sure to note the period between "Dorchester" and "Times.")

We will announce which displays received the most nominations the evening of Dec. 17.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

A Snowless Winter In Dorchester? Forecast Says It's True

Taken by a Dorchester reader Dec. 3.

With the recent warm spell, we had to ask: Are we in for a snowless winter? 

Could it be possible?

That is exactly what the long-range forecast for the Dorchester area is predicting, at least when it comes to accumulating amounts of the white stuff.

The Times staff gathered this weekend to study the 90-day forecast for Dorchester and the surrounding area.  

All the way through early March, the AccuWeather long-range forecast shows above-average temperatures, with just a few modest chances for ice and flurries.

In fact, the only time snow appeared in the 90-day outlook was January 20, when there are chances for a few wet and heavy flurries, as well as on Jan. 23, which should bring "a little snow."

Surprisingly, our staff did not spot any single-digit or teens for highs over the next three months.  

That may be too good to believe, so we're not holding our collective winter breath.

But when looking at the 90-day forecast, the coldest high temperatures we spotted were the mid-20s for highs.  And that was only for a handful of days.

Most days in December, January, and February will be 30 degrees and above, with a few days reaching 40s and even 50s.

So if you're dreaming of a white Christmas, or even a white January or February, it sounds like you may need to keep dreaming.