Friday, June 30, 2017

Dorchester's Elton Hansen Passes At Age 90

Elton Theodore Hansen, 90, of Dorchester passed away Sunday, June 25, 2017. 

He was born February 10, 1927 to Theodore and Maude Hansen in their rural home near Red Cloud, Nebraska. Elton attended school at Rural District 62 west of Red Cloud. As a young boy he became active in 4-H and even planted the windbreak for the family’s farm as one of his projects. As the oldest son in the family, Elton soon took on responsibilities on the family farm. 

Elton served in the U.S. Army from 1951-1952 and enjoyed sharing stories about his experiences. After serving in the army, Elton returned to the family farm in Red Cloud to pursue his love of farming. 

In 1957, Elton moved to Dorchester to begin farming with his younger brother, Wayne. Together they farmed and raised cattle. Elton was extremely fond of John Deere tractors and other machinery. Those who knew Elton best, knew how he loved to visit and reminisce. Elton retired from farming in 1995. 

Preceded in death by his parents Theodore McKinley Hansen and Maude (Duval) Hansen and brother-in-law Richard Koch. He is survived by sister Mae Koch, Spencer, Iowa, brother Wayne (Velma) Hansen of Dorchester, brother Phil (Marlene) Hansen, Red Cloud and sister Phyllis (Rocky) Vasquez of Seward, eight nephews, four nieces and many great nephews and great nieces. 

His family wishes to thank past staff members at the Friend Manor and the current caring staff at Tabitha in Crete. Visitation with the family members will be Thursday, June 29 from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. A funeral service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, June 30 at Kuncl Funeral Home in Crete with a burial at a later date in Red Cloud. Memorials are suggested to Dorchester Community Foundation.  Leave condolences online here.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

NEWS ROUNDUP: 4th Of July Parade; Acreage For Sale; DPS Gets Grant

Are You Entering A Float In Dorchester's 4th Of July Parade?:  We read on social media that the Peg Bergmeyer, "Dorchester Community Foundation Fund members were busy last night working on their float for the parade." Bergmeyer says she hopes many other businesses, organizations and individuals will participate and make this a memorable day in Dorchester. "We have heard there may be an Alumni Band from a nearby community participating," she wrote. For more information about the Dorchester 4th of July parade, contact Judy Schweitzer or Bergmeyer.  For the full July 4 celebration schedule, click hereDorchester Community Foundation folks have already made their float for the Dorchester 4th of July celebration and parade (7 p.m. on July 4, with lineup starting at 6:30 p.m.).  According to the Foundation's

Nice Acreage South Of Dorchester For Sale:  The Times has spotted an 11-acre farmstead for sale at 1057 County Road 1300, which is south and west of town.  According to the listing, this secluded farmstead featuring countless trees and wandering creek.  It features "a charming home with over 1200 sq. feet. Some wood flooring is beaming through."  The seller is leaving their cell-phone range extender.  "The covered deck is fabulous for sitting and enjoying the evenings or having morning breakfasts."  See the listing here.

Dorchester School Receives $100,000 Early Childhood Education Grant:  Dorchester Public School continues to be a leader.  The Nebraska State Board of Education recently approved 11 new and expansion Early Childhood Education Program grants to provide access to high-quality early childhood education for 3- and 4-year-olds at risk of failing in school. Dorchester Public School will receive a $100,000 grant, as DPS will now offer a school-administered preschool program beginning in the 2017-18 school year.  According to First Five Nebraska, "high-quality early childhood care and education programs support families as they carry out their critical role as children's earliest teachers."  See more by clicking here.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

HOME FOR SALE: Newer Ranch On Dorchester's South Side

Dorchester's real estate market is hot!  As we've reported recently, with demand for small town life growing fast, this village of around 600 cannot keep quality homes on the market for 24 hours. 

This comes as no big surprise since Dorchester has a lot going for it -- if you prefer living in a safe, friendly 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.
  • SAFE COMMUNITY:  With a new water system and sewer system.
  • LOWER COSTS: Affordable cost of living.
  • KEY BUSINESS: Headquarters for one of the state's largest agri-businesses (Farmers' Cooperative) and is situated on the thriving Burlington Northern Santa Fe rail line and along two major highways.
  • GEOGRAPHIC ADVANTAGE: A quick drive to many employers in Crete, Milford, Friend and Seward, and just 30 minutes to Lincoln and 10 minutes to Interstate 80.  Yet all the advantages of a rural 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 a timely offer (again, things are moving fast in this market).  Make Dorchester your home and enjoy a great small-town way of life.

107 WHITMAR STREET:  2 beds 2 baths 1,400 sq. ft. Very nice and well kept home located just minutes from Lincoln on the edge of the Village of Dorchester.  Large open floor plan and laundry all on the main floor.  The full basement has a roughed-in bath and is ready to be finished for additional living space. Come enjoy the country life, with no neighbors in the back or west, but still have town utilities/amenities.  Listed with Nicole Zalesky, Zalesky Realty & Auction LLC, (402) 826-5147.  Click here for Zillow's summary.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Fireworks Now On Sale In Dorchester

For those who like firecrackers, it's showtime. 

From June 25 (today) through July 4, firework sales will take place at the stand just south of the Dorchester Fire Hall.  

Here are the hours as provided to the Times:
  • June 25: 1 p.m. to 10 p.m.
  • June 26 - June 30: 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
  • July 1 - July 3: 1 p.m. to 10 p.m.
  • July 4: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
All proceeds will support the Dorchester fireworks show on America's Independence Day.

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. The drawing will be held July 3 at 5 p.m.  Need not be present to win.  

"Big stuff" items are being donated by: City Slickers Bar and Grill; Big T's BBQ; Saline Co. Farm Bureau; Rut Auction Service; Weber Feedyards; and Donna's Hair Creations.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Dana's Tree Service Of Dorchester Is Area Leader In Tree Services

If you own a tree -- or several -- Dana's Tree Service in Dorchester is who you call to keep them looking their best or to have them removed.  In fact, when it comes to tree services, Dana's is kind of a big deal in the Saline County region.

Owned by Adam Dana, Dana's Tree Service is committed to providing thorough and exceptional tree services for honest and reasonable prices. Dana's Tree Service guarantees the same high quality service each and every time.  

Here is what Dana's Tree Service offers:
  • Brush Removal
  • Stump Removal
  • Tree Bracing
  • Tree Health Evaluations
  • Tree Maintenance
  • Pruning Trees 
  • Tree Relocation
  • Tree Removal
  • Tree Trimming
  • Removal Of Large Limbs Over Buildings/Power Lines 
  • On-Site Cleanup
Best of all, they have experience, having been in the business for more than 10 years.  This business takes pride in being the leading source in the area for all tree services. 

With years of experience and a business built around positive referrals, you can count on Dana's Tree Service for total customer satisfaction and the most thorough job completed.  
Go to for contact information and to see Dana's equipment and services, or call 402-430-9543.  You can also contact Adam via the website by clicking here.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Happy 136th Birthday, Dorchester!

Tomorrow (Friday, June 23) marks the 136th anniversary of Dorchester's incorporation as a village. Happy Birthday, Dorchester!


As Dorchester's population grew to nearly 300 by the early 1880s, it became necessary to establish a formal system of government. 

On June 23, 1881, a petition was presented to and granted by the Saline County commissioners for the incorporation of the village.

The following residents were appointed by the commissioners as village trustees: D.G. Panter, John Oberlies, N.B. Alley, Thomas Jarrett and W.H. Pallett.  At the same time, C.F. Thomas, J.H. Clark and M.O. Alley were named village clerk, treasurer and marshal, respectively.

On July 6, 1881, the first meeting of the Dorchester Village Board was held.  At this meeting, the trustees designated that the first Monday of each month would be the regular meeting time for the board, which is still adhered to today, 135 years later.

Four other ordinances were approved at this first meeting of the Dorchester village board.  

They were:

  • Ordinance 1:  Regulating the sales of intoxicating liquors in the village;
  • Ordinance 2:  Imposing a license tax on dogs in the village;
  • Ordinance 3:  Levying a five mills to the dollar valuation taxes for the year 1881; and
  • Ordinance 4:  Providing for the grading and guttering of streets and alleys, as well as construction of wooden sidewalks.
These ordinances showed the concerns of a new community that was trying to improve conditions and encourage growth of our village.

Just a little history lesson on Dorchester's 136th birthday.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Pleasant Hill's Joan Cerny, Brian Mariska Pass Away

Joan Cerny of Pleasant Hill went home to be with the Lord on Saturday, June 17, 2017. She was 85. Joan was born on February 17, 1932 to Perry Elmer and Iva Garriott in Benton County, Indiana, one of 12 children. She was a high school graduate and worked at a livestock show place in Lafayette where she met Warren Cerny of Crete, Nebraska who raised and showed Yorkshire hogs and was a member of the Yorkshire Club. Joan and Warren were married in Elizabethtown, Kentucky, on June 14, 1958. To this union were born 4 children, Marc, Jon, Lisa, and Patrick. They lived their entire married life on a farm near Pleasant Hill. Warren passed on Nov. 29, 2010. Joan is survived by her children, Marc Cerny of Crete, Jon (Carol) Cerny of Bancroft, NE., Lisa (Lee) Krasser of Crete, Pat (Cindy) Cerny of Lincoln, 10 grandchildren and 5 siblings.

Funeral services will be 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, June 22, 2017 at Kuncl Funeral Home in Crete. Visitation will be tonight from 5-8 p.m. at the funeral home. Interment will be at Pleasant Hill Cemetery.  Memorials to the Dorchester United Methodist Church or the Dorchester Volunteer Fire Department.  See the obituary online here.

Also passing away recently was Brian L. Mariska, a Pleasant Hill native born on June 7, 1944 to Robert L. Mariska and Leonore (Fritz) Mariska. After much suffering and pain these last few years, mostly due to multiple sclerosis, he joined his family and friends in Heaven on June 15, 2017. Brian grew up in Pleasant Hill and graduated from Wilber High School in 1962. He earned a Bachelor's degree in biosystems management in the agricultural engineering department and a Master's degree in economics from UNL and had a successful career in state government. He is survived by his wife, Sharon of Lincoln; father, Bob Mariska of Crete; and others. A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. today, June 21, at Southwood Lutheran Church in Lincoln. Condolences may be left at

Olson Graphix Offers High Quality Signs, Decals, Dent Repair, Tinted Windows

Want to get noticed in a big way? There's a Dorchester business that can help.

Owned and operated by Cale Olson, Olson Graphix of Dorchester specializes in high-quality, printed or cut vinyl decals, signs and banners for homes, businesses, vehicles and more.  

We have heard many local individuals praise Olson's impressive, meticulous work.  There's a reason the business is growing!

Moreover, Olson Graphix provides paintless dent repair to repair hail damage and door dings on cars and trucks.  And Olson will work with insurance companies to reduce stress on the owners. 

In addition, Olson Graphix will soon be offering window tinting. 

In case you're wondering about the cost, Olson Graphix offers very competitive pricing and free estimates. 

Pictured below is some of Olson's recent work.

For more information on Olson Graphix or it services, call 402-826-7129 or e-mail  

The business is located at 508 W 8th St. in Dorchester.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

NEWS ROUNDUP: $9,000 In Delinquent Property Taxes In Dorchester Precinct

Nearly $9,000 In Delinquent Property Taxes In Dorchester Precinct:  No one likes paying property taxes, which are too high in Nebraska. But property taxes are what fund our schools, cities and counties.  When property owners are delinquent on their property tax payments, it creates an added burden for all of us.  According to the latest report from the Saline County treasurer's office, there are nearly $9,000 in delinquent property tax bills in the Dorchester precinct alone.  The owners of two Dorchester homes, one vacant lot, several main street commercial buildings, and two parcels of agricultural land had not paid their property taxes, according to the treasurer's list.  (We were unable to determine if the owners have made the payments since the list was published earlier this year, or if an investor has paid the taxes for the owners in hopes of getting first chance to own the property him/herself.)  See the entire 2017 Saline County delinquent property tax list here. (For property search and mapping, click here.)

Dorchester Preschool Hours Announced: As we reported a while ago, a Dorchester Public Schools-administered preschool is coming to town.  Mrs. Alison Nickel was hired as DPS' Preschool Teacher for the school year beginning August 2017.  School officials say she believes in creating a "caring, warm environment, where the children are exposed to play, social skills, and academic learning."  Now we know the preschool's hours as announced on the DPS website.  The 2017-2018 Dorchester Preschool hours are: AM Class (3 year-olds) will be 8:10 a.m. until 11:25 a.m. [Mondays-Thursdays]; and PM Class (4 year-olds) will be 12:15 p.m. until 3:30 p.m. [Mondays-Thursdays].  The first day for preschool is Monday, August 21.  Questions? Call 402-946-2781.

Friend Hog Farmer Elected To Lead National Pork Group:  Terry O’Neel, a pork producer from Friend, was elected as president of the National Pork Board at the organization’s June board meeting in Des Moines.  O’Neel and his wife Diane own and operate O’Neel Farms, a farrow-to-finish pig farm that markets 12,000 pigs annually. In addition to pigs, O’Neel Farms also grows corn and soybeans on 700 acres.  See more here.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Free Advertising For Dorchester Area Businesses

Running a small-town business is hard work.  That's why the Times wants to help support Dorchester's local businesses of all sizes.  

For a limited time, the Dorchester Times will run free advertising for businesses with a Dorchester address.

Perhaps you have a new business and you want to spread the word. 
Maybe your established business is running a sale or a special for new customers.

Or maybe you just want to remind readers of your business and its place in our community.

If you'd like to take advantage of the Dorchester Times free advertisement offer, do the following:

  • E-mail a brief description of your Dorchester-area business.  Include contact information, such as a phone number, e-mail and website address.  
  • Tell our readers why they should do business at your business. Be sure to note any specials or new promotions.
  • Include pictures or logos with your e-mail. 

The Dorchester Times website averages approximately 20,000 hits every 30 days.  So this free advertising offer is a great opportunity to reach potential customers.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Dorchester Water Park Fundraising Hits Halfway Mark At $75,000

Dorchester appears to be on its way to getting a new water park in its city park.

The Dorchester Community Foundation Fund has targeted a small-scale water park -- or splash pad -- as its next project.

A fundraising "thermometer" beneath the village's electronic marquee on main street shows the project has raised $75,000 already.  That's the halfway mark for the total $150,000 cost of the project, according to the information that has been made public.

We reported earlier this year that the Dorchester splash pad received a big boost thanks to a large donation from the Robert Havlat family. 

We've spoken to insiders who say other large donations have been made, but our sources refused to name the contributors until later.

This past spring, Dale Hayek, president of the Dorchester Community Foundation Fund, said, "The splash pad will take much community support and participation," calling the project the foundation's "largest and most challenging project" yet.

Dorchester's splash pad is expected to be a larger-scale splash pad, we are told, with the ability to expand it even more in the future.  The project is set to be located in Dorcheter's City Park and could begin construction by early next spring if fund raising is adequate. That's according to an e-mail sent to the Times.

If you would like to help speed the project along, donations are encouraged now.

Donations to the Dorchester Community Foundation Fund are accepted anytime, made payable to the Dorchester Foundation Community Fund and mailed to: 

Dorchester Community Foundation Fund
c/o Peg Bergmeyer
101 Washington Ave.
Dorchester, NE  68343.

The Dorchester Foundation is a non-profit subsidiary of the Nebraska Community Foundation, so all donations are 100% tax deductible.  For questions about the Foundation Fund, e-mail Dale Hayek at

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Countywide Flag Retirement Ceremony Tonight, 6 P.M. In Dorchester

Flag Day is today, June 14.  Make sure you take a moment to appreciate that you live in the world's greatest country -- and think about the sacrifice, promise and ideals represented by the American flag. (Then reflect if you're helping to contribute to those ideals.)

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

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

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

Plan on coming early and bring your unserviceable American flags.  

Hundreds of flags are expected to be retired.

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

In the meantime, please carefully read this poem.

Our Flag

by William A. Predeau






Tuesday, June 13, 2017

ALERT: Dorchester Area In Severe Weather Warning Until 1 A.M. Wednesday

UPDATE: DORCHESTER is in severe t-storm warning until 11:30 p.m. The National Weather Service in Omaha has issued a

* Severe Thunderstorm Warning for...
Northwestern Lancaster County in southeastern Nebraska...
Seward County in southeastern Nebraska...
Northern Saline County in southeastern Nebraska...
Butler County in east central Nebraska...
Southwestern Saunders County in east central Nebraska...

* Until 1130 PM CDT

* At 1056 PM CDT, severe thunderstorms were located along a line
extending from 4 miles southwest of Rising City to 3 miles
northeast of Staplehurst to near Dorchester, moving northeast at
35 mph.

HAZARD...60 mph wind gusts.

SOURCE...Radar indicated.

IMPACT...Expect damage to roofs, siding, and trees.

* Locations impacted include...
Seward, Crete, David City, Milford, Friend, Dorchester, Valparaiso,
Beaver Crossing, Rising City, Brainard, Staplehurst, Garland,
Pleasant Dale, Dwight, Bee, Ulysses, Malcolm, Goehner, Bruno and

This includes the following highways...
Highway 92 in Nebraska between mile markers 409 and 434.
Interstate 80 in Nebraska between mile markers 369 and 392.


For your protection move to an interior room on the lowest floor of a

See the latest warnings here.

It's another hot, humid and windy day in southeastern Nebraska, as highs are going top out in the lower to mid 90s.  It will feel like 97 degrees or better.

With this humid heat comes the real threat of very severe weather.

Late this afternoon, a cold front will push through helping to trigger thunderstorms that might persist into the late evening.

The best chance of severe weather will be between 9 p.m. and 3 a.m. -- but it could occur anytime after 5 p.m.  

The National Weather Service says some of these storms could be severe with large hail, damaging winds, and flash flooding possible. A tornado or two cannot be ruled out. 

AccuWeather -- the official weather service of the Dorchester Times -- predicts there's a 60% chance of precipitation, with a severe thunderstorm early.  Storms may bring downpours, large hail, damaging winds, and a tornado, AccuWeather says.

Keep an eye on the Dorchester area radar by clicking here.

Calm weather is expected Wednesday.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Affordable Health Exams Offered In Friend, June 21

Are you concerned about diabetes? Thyroid disorders? Or prostate issues? Do you need an overall health screening?

On June 21, Dorchester area residents can visit the Friend Community Healthcare System and be checked for one or all of these issues.  The FCHS is offering reduced-cost lab work once each quarter as part of their new "Wellness Wednesday" program.

FCHS will not collect health insurance information and no claim will be sent to insurers. Instead, patients will pay one low fee at the time of service.  This is smart healthcare.

Here are the examinations and the corresponding costs:
  • Health screening profile (includes CMP, hemogram, lipid panel, TSH): $35
  • PSA (prostate): $25
  • HA1C (diabetes): $20
  • FT4 (thyroid): $20
The screenings will be held 6 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the FCHS laboratory on Wednesday, June 21.  To schedule an appointment or for questions, call 402.947.2541.  Walk-ins are accepted.

Monday, June 5, 2017

BREAKING: Dorchester Receives $132,000 Grant For New Ambulance

Here is big news for the community of Dorchester and area residents who depend on the village's first responders.

This morning, it was announced that four southeast Nebraska communities will be awarded USDA Rural Development funds totaling $1,650,500.

Among the recipients is the Village of Dorchester.

According to information obtained by the Times, Dorchester's village government will receive $132,000 from USDA, leveraged with $100,000 from the village, to purchase a new 2017 ambulance.

The upgraded ambulance will provide a significant boost to the rescue team's capabilities, according to insiders.


Sunday, June 4, 2017

OUR OPINION: Students Need To Prepare For Jobs That Actually Exist

Today's post isn't just for Dorchester or Saline County readers.

It's for all our readers to ponder -- specifically students, parents, school counselors and educators.

Student load debt in America now exceeds $1 trillion. (That's not a typo.)

For the first time in history, as many members of the up-and-coming generation -- the millennials -- live with mom and dad as live on their own. 

Recently, we were e-mailed a link that alerted us to a posting from actor and pitchman Mike Rowe of "Dirty Jobs" fame.  It seems Rowe cut a short video providing his take on how best to close America's skills gap.  (That's the phrase invented to describe the fact there are millions of jobs available right now in America, but not enough people willing or able to fill them.)

"I can think of nine magazines off the top of my head that rank the top colleges," Rowe says. "None of them ever include a trade school."  Yet trade jobs account for more than half of the labor market, according to the video.  

Over the next 10 years, there will be more than 3.5 million job openings in America's manufacturing sector alone -- but roughly 2 million of those jobs will go unfilled due to the skills gap.  This could mean robotics, welding, engineering, design, drafting, etc.

Rowe concludes: "The jobs that exist right now don't require massive amounts of debt.  They don't require four years of liberals arts study.  They require the willingness to learn a skill that is actually in demand."   

See the video by clicking here.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Gates Open At 5 P.M. Tonight For Jerrod Niemann Concert

Tonight, June 3, big time country artist Jerrod Niemann will play a concert on Dorchester's main street.

Gates will open at 5 p.m. tonight, the Times has been told.  Niemann won't take the stage until around 8:00 or 9:00, but a live music will be provided by a warm-up band.

Tonight's concert is part of City Slickers' first annual "City Lights, Country Nights" street party. 

For those who don't know, Niemann is a top-ten country music singer and songwriter who hails from Liberal, Kansas, but has gone on to become a Nashville celebrity.  

Niemann's debut single "Lover, Lover", was released in early 2010. In March 2010, "Lover, Lover" became Niemann's first Top 40 single on the country music charts and in August hit number 1. The song is included on his first major-label album, Judge Jerrod & the Hung Jury.  The album's second single, "What Do You Want", debuted on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs chart in October. In May 2011, "What Do You Want" peaked at number 4. The album's third single, "One More Drinkin' Song", reached number 13 in December 2011.

Niemann released his fourth Arista single, "Shinin' on Me", on April 9, 2012. His second Arista album, Free the Music, was released on October 2, 2012. The album's second single, "Only God Could Love You More", was released to country radio on October 29, 2012.

"Drink to That All Night" was released in late 2013 as a single for his third album for Arista. The album, High Noon, was released in March 2014, and in April "Drink to That All Night" became his second number 1 single.

In March 2017, Niemann released the single "God Made A Woman," a song he called "my favorite song I’ve ever recorded."

He has also co-written three singles for Garth Brooks: the Chris LeDoux tribute "Good Ride Cowboy", as well as "That Girl Is a Cowboy" and "Midnight Sun". Jamey Johnson, Neal McCoy, Julie Roberts, Flynnville Train, and Zona Jones have also recorded Niemann's songs.

Classic Car Tour Rolls Through Dorchester Today At Noon

As if an alumni golf tournament and one of Nashville's hottest artists playing a concert in Dorchester wasn't enough for one Saturday.  

In addition, hundreds of classic automobiles will be rolling through Dorchester around noon today, June 3.

Dorchester is on the route of the Nebraska Rod and Custom Association's (NRCA) "Tour Nebraska" -- a unique driving event covering 600 miles in two days. 

The tour is open to all four-wheel vehicles that are 30 years old or older.  

The event has been held for 25 years and the record for participants stands at 424 in 2015 when the group started in Lincoln.  Tour Nebraska is a NRCA members only event, however, non-members are encouraged to join the association and participate.

This year's theme is "The Fifties" so grease em up and poodle down, say the event organizers.

(UPDATE: With Dorchester's main street closed for tonight's Jerrod Neimann concert, we are fairly certain the tour will pass through on Hwy. 33.  Spectators can watch from the grounds of the Saline County Museum.)

For more on the NRCA group, click here.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Superintendent: Dorchester Needs Housing, Economic Development Now

Today, we feature another editorial from Daryl Schrunk, who gives our readers his thoughts on Dorchester and its school after a year on the job.  Mr. Schrunk took over as superintendent of Dorchester's K-12 school at the start of the 2016-2017 school year.


At last month's Village of Dorchester Board meeting, I had an opportunity to visit with the village's elected representatives.  

First of all, I would like to thank the board for allowing me the time.  

My “talking points” to the board focused on my concerns regarding the school's enrollment. Key points I discussed were:
  • The need to attract more families with school-aged children to Dorchester;
  • The need for more economic development to create more economic opportunity;
  • The need to recruit potential businesses to town; and
  • The need for housing development.
I started by telling the village board members that Dorchester Public School is not closing its doors anytime soon.  However, I have a real concern with our enrollment.  

I'd like to do some joint “marketing” with others in the community to attract families (especially Dorchester alumni back) to the community.  I envision an advertisement that says: “Dorchester -- a small community with lots to offer. Great school system.  Affordable housing available..."  

However, the fact is Dorchester does not have houses available.

Our community needs economic development in recruiting both housing and potential businesses.  

I have spoken to many alumni especially between the ages of 25-35 who desire to move back to Dorchester.  I believe that available housing brings people (which brings families, which equals kids).  

With our location -- and our proximity to Lincoln, Seward, Crete, Wilber and Friend -- Dorchester alumni could come back to enjoying the safe, small town life, yet not need to travel far to work. 

As for local employment, there are many agriculture-related opportunities that could bring young people back to Dorchester, as well.  

Perhaps our town leaders can think of new financial incentives to encourage young couples to buy a house to remodel or build new.  Perhaps there could there be incentives for potential businesses to build/relocate in Dorchester?

Again, I want to thank the Village Board for allowing me to share my ideas and concerns.  I am certainly not an expert in economic development, but I am willing to be part of the solution.    

Daryl Schrunk
(402) 946-2781
Dorchester offers a quality education, supportive staff, new facilities, advanced technology and many opportunities for students in grades pre-Kindergarten through grade 12.  At Dorchester, every student truly matters.