Sunday, July 30, 2017

Dorchester Antiques Store Makes Nationwide Directory

Dorchester's Hedgehog And Hubby's antiques shop has made an elite listing of the nation's most established antiques stores.

The 2017 listing of about 60 noteworthy antique stores in Nebraska can be found at, or by clicking here.

Located in northwest Dorchester, just off the Highway 6 spur, Hedgehog and Hubby's Antiques has been in business a dozen years already.  The business is owned by Evy Thalmann.  

The business' phone is 402-946-2193.

The store offers a wide range of findings, such as architectural antiques like wood doors, oak columns, antique door casings, baseboards, porch posts, chairs, dressers. 

Other items include flour sacks, metal ice boxes, needlework, buttons, sewing antiques, costume jewelry, German dinnerware, vintage quilts, clocks and watches, hats/hat boxes, dolls/doll clothes, children's books and much more. 

Need a quick gift? Evy can readily find anything for you if you are looking for something specific.

Congratulations to this longtime Dorchester business for making the list of Nebraska's top antique stores.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Looking Back: Dorchester's Elmwood Pony Farm (And Rodeo)

Today we look back at one of the most intriguing pieces of Dorchester's past: The Thompson Elmwood Pony Farm. 

Owned and operated by Colonel W.J. Thompson, the Elmwood Pony Farm was located in the northeast corner of Dorchester. The farm sat on present day 10th Street, between Lincoln and Fulton Avenues -- home of the present-day "The Well" spa and health business.

Dating back to the 1890s, the Elmwood Pony Farm was one of the largest pony farms west of the Mississippi River. By the 1920s, the pony farm was home to more than 300 ponies.  

Thompson's pony farm was a popular destination for children from miles around, according to accounts of longtime residents. Children who lived in the country were even permitted to take home a pony and ride it all summer, if they agreed to keep it fed well.

Each September, Colonel Thompson took as many as 35 Shetland ponies to the Nebraska State Fair for rides. He entered many more of the animals in the fair's show contests. All of the ponies were herded overland from Dorchester to Lincoln by Thompson farm employees.

In 1930, Colonel Thompson's son, Wallace, started the Thompson Rodeo. It was usually a three-day event held each fall, complete with fighting broncos, cowboys, clowns, trick riders, cowgirls, bull dodgers, concessions, rides, dancing and "whoopee." The Dorchester rodeo attracted many top riders from around the country, as well as local talent. An Oklahoma rider even came within 0.7 seconds of the world's record in calf roping at the Dorchester Rodeo.

At one time, more than 7,000 spectators were reported in attendance at the Dorchester Rodeo. Many people had high hopes that Dorchester would become a permanent rodeo on the famous circuit that included Cheyenne Frontier Days, as well as the Burwell and Sidney rodeos. But by 1940, the rodeo hit a spell of heavy rain and events were cancelled.

By 1942, the country was fighting WWII and the Thompson Rodeo closed its doors permanently, becoming another chapter in the history book of our community.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

NEWS ROUNDUP: Our Message To The News Media On Reviving The Cold War

To The National News Media -- Don't Make History Repeat Itself: For those old enough to remember the lowest points of the Cold War -- when the former Soviet Union rattled its sabers weekly -- it now seems like a distant memory.  But we still recall the fear of knowing the world as we knew it could end any minute.  Fortunately, America had JFK and Ronald Reagan at the helm when US-USSR relations were most testy.  To remind Americans about how bad things would be if the missiles were launched, we had doomsday movies airing throughout the 1980s, one of which was titled The Day After.  It aired in 1983 on ABC and shocked the country.  (Many experts say it was the reaction to this movie, which was set in nearby Kansas, that helped produce to Reagan's 49-state landslide re-election in 1984, although the movie's makers likely wanted it to have the opposite effect.)  Some 34 years after the airing of The Day After, it's worth noting that when the entire national news media -- along with most of the Democratic Party and some hawkish Republicans (most of whom never served in the military) -- focus on demonizing Russia on the world stage, they're forcing the ex-Soviets to align even more closely with North Korea and Iran (two emerging nuclear nations led by leaders who seem suicidal).  With the news media's contrived "Russian scandals" and politicians' phony outrage, those Cold War days could return soon -- this time, more ominous than ever.

Erica Spanyers Wedding Set For Aug. 12: According to the Wilber newspaper, DHS graduate and Dorchester native Erica Spanyers will soon wed John Gross of Wilber, as the couple plans a wedding on Aug. 12 at the First United Methodist Church in Waverly.  Parents of the couple are Keith Spanyers and Debbie Spanyers of Dorchester, Gary Gross of Wilber and Marge Sonder of Lincoln.  The bride-to-be graduated from DHS and earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration from Chadron State College.  She also earned a bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene from the UNMC’s college of dentistry. She works as a dental hygienist at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Lincoln.

Is Your Child Enrolled In Dorchester's New Preschool?:  Mounting evidence from across the nation suggests that America’s K–12 schooling is falling short in preparing new generations for the ever-changing demands of the 21st century workplace.  (Have you noticed all the 30-somethings in America still living with their parents?)  One key way to improve your child's chances is through early childhood education.  Studies show that starting at birth, young children are continuously and rapidly learning -- wherever they are and from whomever they’re with. As we reported a while ago, Dorchester Public Schools this coming school year will be administering its own preschool.  Mrs. Alison Nickel was hired earlier this year as DPS' preschool teacher.  School officials say preschool students at DPS will have a caring, friendly environment in which they 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.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Looking Back: Gold Fever Struck Our Area More Than 120 Years Ago

"Is there gold in them thar plains?"

Yes, if you believe guys like this one, who posted a video on YouTube of a successful prospecting trip on a creek near the Niobrara River.

There aren’t high concentrations of gold in Nebraska, but the gold that is found here comes primarily from two distinct sources, according to experts.  From the west, rivers that drain the rich gold bearing lands in Colorado and Wyoming that flow through Nebraska carry very fine placer gold. And in the eastern portion of the state, like Saline County, there are glacial gold sources.

More than 120 years ago, believe it or not, there was a gold rush in the Dorchester area.

The Oct. 7, 1895 edition of The New York Times reported: "A raging gold fever has settled down on this section of country over a startling discovery" of gold just north of Dorchester.

Back then, it was a discovery that caught the attention of gold prospectors from as far away as Denver.

According to The Times, the primary source of speculation was a gravel pit near Milford, which was said to be "rich in gold dust."

The gravel pit had been used by Burlington Railway in the construction and upgrade of its rail system.

The New York Times noted that there was "great excitement in the vicinity of the reputed find" and that speculation was active. 

See The New York Times' 1895 article by clicking here.

And if you are too skeptical to go panning for gold on the West Fork or Turkey Creek, you can always look for buried treasure in old outhouses.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Dorchester's Cost Of Living Advantage

We've said it before: Dorchester has a lot going for it if you prefer living in a safe, friendly and affordable small-town community.  A new K-12 school with top-notch staff; a new water delivery system; and a quick drive to many employers in Crete, Milford, Friend and Seward, and just 25 minutes to Lincoln.  

But perhaps one of Dorchester's biggest benefits is its affordable cost-of-living, with the lowest school tax levy rates in the county and one of the lower property rates in southeast Nebraska.

The Dorchester Times has run the numbers.  Those numbers show that couples and individuals living in Lincoln or Omaha -- especially if they desire a close-knit, smaller community and saving money for the future -- may want to consider relocating to Dorchester.  Here's why:

Dorchester's Vs. Lincoln's Cost of Living

Dorchester's median home cost is $87,800 compared to Lincoln's $148,600.  So a couple or individual could live in the same quality of home in Dorchester for roughly $60,000 less, right up front.  

Then, over a decade, that couple would save roughly $17,000 on property taxes, according to tax data.

Over 10 years, a couple or individual would save roughly $77,000 just on housing costs and property taxes by moving from Lincoln to Dorchester.  What could you do with an extra $77,000? (Remember, this is just the average.)

Of course, this doesn't include the intangibles such as safety, quality of a child's upbringing, knowing your neighbors, peace and quiet, etc.

Dorchester's Vs. Omaha's Cost of Living

Omaha's median home cost is $155,000 compared to Dorchester's $87,800.  A couple or individual could live in the same grade of home in Dorchester for roughly $67,000 less, right up front.

Then, over a course of 10 years, that couple would save roughly $21,000 on property taxes (Sarpy County is even higher than Douglas County).

After a decade, a couple or individual would save roughly $88,000 just on housing and property taxes by moving from Omaha to Dorchester.  That savings would buy you another median-priced home in Dorchester, which could be used for rental income.

While a small town cannot compete in the area of amenities with cities that have populations over 250,000, there is a cost-of-living advantage that cannot be denied.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

NEWS ROUNDUP: Dorchester Residents In The News

Dorchester's Cecrle Featured in Omaha Newspaper:  A news story in the July 20 edition of the Omaha World-Herald shines the spotlight on Dorchester's Justin Cecrle and his experience with the Nebraska Figure 8 racing series.  The Omaha paper reports that Cecrle won the Open Class season opener on July 8 at the Clay County Fair in Clay Center.  Cecrle told the paper: “This is my sixth year in racing. My first year, I bought a cheap 1975 Chevy Monte Carlo. It was pretty much turn-key and I ended up bending the frame and needed to do something different, although I did win Rookie of the Year. I got a rolling chassis from a guy over in Iowa. It was one of the ‘box cars’ that are lighter and faster than the original Figure 8 cars. I still race that car today.” The paper reports that Cecrle said he likes being involved with the local county fair and always enjoyed when the Figure 8s came to the fair.  “I like the fairly short season compared to a circle track season and the pay in the Open Class, $800-$1,000 to win, isn’t bad, either,” he said.

Dorchester's Nerud Touts Governor's Trade Efforts:  The Associated Press reports that Dan Nerud, a Dorchester farmer and vice president for the Nebraska Corn Growers Association, was part of news conference held earlier this month to kick off Gov. Pete Ricketts' international trade council.  Nerud tells the AP that the effort is particularly important because so many of Nebraska's corn markets lie beyond the nation's borders.  "We must continue to expand upon these opportunities," Nerud said. "Our competition is not standing still, and neither should we."

DHS Volleyball Fundraiser is Aug. 2: DHS volleyball head coach Ty Peteranetz informs the Times that on Wednesday, Aug. 2, the Raising Cane's location near 56th and Old Cheney will donate 20% of their proceeds to the Dorchester Volleyball program. To get the 20% donation sent to DHS, you will have to tell the cashier that you're supporting the program when you order. If you have questions, contact Peteranetz via the Facebook page set up for this event.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Dorchester Has Lots Ready For New Homes

A reader recently e-mailed the Times, thanking us for reporting when homes were listed for sale in Dorchester.

But he also took us to task, writing, "Since Dorchester's real estate market is so hot, why don't you tell folks about available places in town that are ready for new homes to be built?"

We challenged the reader to tell us of any available lots in town -- and he responded by giving us three locations.

For those who are considering building in Dorchester, here are the options according to our reader:
  • EAST, NORTHEAST DORCHESTER:  We are told that Jack Bruha has housing lots available for new construction east of Fulton Street and Jackson Ave., as well as north of 10th Street.  This is a pretty part of the community and one of most peaceful.
  • NORTH DORCHESTER: We were also informed that Ron Zoubek has a handful of lots in north Dorchester just off of 11th Street and north of the football field.  This is a very nice neighborhood, and allows for quick access to the school and Highway 6.
  • FAR SOUTH DORCHESTER:  If you don't want cars driving past your home often, there are at least four lots available for new construction on Whitmar Street in south Dorchester, south of the museum grounds.  Bob Kasl has them for sale on this dead end street in a well-kept and quiet neighborhood.
The Times did not investigate any of this information.  We are simply passing it on since it comes from a well-informed and trustworthy resident.  Those interested in these lots should contact the owners directly, not the Times.  Of course, not only would the land need to be purchased, but the village government would need to approve the construction and provide the water, sewer and electricity to the new home.

As we've reported recently, with demand for small town life growing fast, Dorchester 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. 

If you're ready to call Dorchester home, we encourage you to take a look at these lots and consider building in our community.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Dorchester's Antique Tractor Event Gets Major News Coverage

The Lincoln Journal Star's July 17 edition has dedicated major coverage of yesterday's antique tractor plow held at Tabor Hall.

The story can be read here.  

The Journal Star article reports that rural Dorchester's Shelley Bruha decided six years ago "to break out the old 1936 John Deere Model A that he'd restored and head to the fields. Since then, neighbors and folks across Nebraska have shared Bruha's enthusiasm -- 20 other antique tractors plowed a wheat field alongside him 40 miles southwest of Lincoln in Dorchester."

"This is a big thing to him, the old tractors, because nobody does this anymore," daughter Pam Fuller said.

The story continues:  Tractors today are much different, Bruha said. Things move faster and there's more technology to get the job done efficiently.

"The good ol' days maybe weren't so good after all," Bruha laughed. "It's pretty hot out and the cabs are a lot better now. The biggest thing we had back then was an umbrella and that was a pretty big deal."

He doesn't farm too much anymore, but he does help his son and grandsons with their farms. He's proud to pass down decades of farm experience through generations of his family.

When he brought his '36 John Deere out to plow his daughter and son-in-law's field six years ago, he was joined by just a few friends.

But, to his surprise, a lot of people wanted to join. The next year they moved to fields near Tabor Hall,  to create a day-long event.

Nearly 100 people stopped by the old white building to visit with neighbors, have a meal or check out the craft fair on Sunday. It's a good way to bring people together and also to raise money to help maintain Tabor Hall, Dorchester's community center, Fuller said.

Just like the antique tractors, the building is a reminder of days past for Dorchester residents.

"A lot of people come just because the hall is open," Fuller said.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Antique Tractor Plow and Show, Craft Fair At Tabor Hall Today

If it's mid-July, it's time for the annual antique tractor plow, tractor show and craft fair at Tabor Hall near Dorchester.

This year, the event will be today, July 16.

All visitors are welcome, as food and refreshments will be available inside Tabor Hall, with all the proceeds going to fix the hall, which hosts dances and receptions.

The famous antique tractor plow will begin at 2 p.m. in fields next to Tabor Hall, on County Road 1400, approximately four miles south of Dorchester.

Here is a summary of the schedule of events:
  • Craft show at 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
  • Food begins serving 11:00 a.m.
  • Plowing will begin at 2:00 p.m.
  • Tractors on display throughout the day
This event features many antique tractors -- some plowing, some just for show, some doing both. 

Organizer Larry Fuller has said the plowing event grew from a picnic at which a bunch of farm neighbors got together and used their old tractors to plow like they did years ago.

Shelley Bruha of Dorchester said it is important to hold this event because it encourages rural neighbors to come together and allows those who have old tractors to have a chance to work with them. “Everyone always has a good time,” Bruha said.

For more on the tractor plow, contact Larry Fuller at 402-946-4051. For on the craft show, contact Laura Sysel at 402-580-8533.  Or click here for the Facebook event page.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Dorchester Business Now Selling SeneGence Skin Care & Makeup

Ladies, are you looking to add some life to your makeup line?

There's a business in Dorchester that can help you.

Dorchester educator and long-time resident Deb Nerud Vernon has a home-based business as an independent consultant for SeneGence International.  

The company is known worldwide for its popular skin care and makeup line. 

According to Nerud Vernon, products include LipSense, ShadowSense, anti-aging skin care, Acne care, and much more.   She points out that "there is no animal testing; no animal by-products and they only use natural ingredients. It is made in the U.S. for stringent quality control. There is no wax or lead in LipSense products. There are colors available for all skin tones."

For more detailed information, click here or simply e-mail

Nerud Vernon says that anyone who orders a LipSense bundle package (1 color, 1 gloss, and 1 "oops" remover) will be entered in a drawing for $20. Anyone who books and hosts a party with five in attendance, will receive their pick of a color. And in July and August, 10% of all sales will go to the Dorchester splash pad fund.

Get Smarter! Visit Dorchester's Main Street Library Saturdays & Wednesdays

We all know that kids who read books tend not only to do better in school, but also better in life in general.  

Did you know the same is true for adults who read books?

So if reading a book or two now and again is so beneficial, why not make a visit to Dorchester's main street library? It is there for you to use.

The Dorchester Public Library, located between First State Bank and the community hall, is open Wednesdays from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m., and on Saturdays from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.

We challenge all Dorchester parents and children to read one book a month.  We are guessing you will see the benefits almost immediately in your mental ability.

Here's another reason why children should be encouraged to read more: Despite Nebraska taxpayers spending more than $3 billion on K-12 education in 2016, nearly 30% of all Nebraska 11th graders failed to read at levels on statewide standardized tests.  

For creative ways to get your kids to start reading books, visit this link.

See you at the Dorchester Public Library.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

OUR OPINION: How To Deal With Negative People In A Small Town

Every community -- big and small -- has a percentage of negative residents. 

In a small town, most everyone knows who those negative people are. Nowadays, social media even makes it easier to spot them.  

These are the folks who can spot flaws in the best of situations.  They are the ones who like to air their negativity publicly. They believe that nobody can or could do the job better than them, if ever they were to actually help around town.

Obviously, no one can be happy all the time; no one who isn't on some type of illegal drug can keep a permanent smile on their face.  Yet, putting up with constant negativity is draining, at best. And at worst, it's a morale killer that negatively affects the attitudes and efforts of fellow residents.

Here are five strategies for dealing with negative people in and around a small town to turn the negative into a positive:

1.)  Don’t write off the negativity. It’s easy to dismiss negative attitudes and comments with remarks like, “That’s just the way she is.” But sometimes, negative people are pointing out real problems and legitimate concerns that can and must be addressed.  Town leaders, school administrators, business owners, and group organizers need to take into consideration all serious comments and complaints, even if from the consistently-negative crowd.

2.)  Consider the circumstances. If an always-negative resident is coping with a personal matter that is affecting his/her behavior, be sympathetic.  In a small town, we often hear what other people said, but we don't know the circumstances that may have prompted the comments.  The truth is, those constantly negative people probably have a big void somewhere in their lives. 

3.)  Make Negative Nancy & Ned part of the solution. Sometimes, community leaders simply need to let those who are constantly negative know that their concerns are being heard.  It would make more sense for them to tell someone who can do something about it, instead of airing their negative comments for all to hear or read.  Establishing a special committee and offering a committee spot to the negative person would put the burden on Mr./Ms. Negative to be part of the solution.

4.)  Be rational in your approach.  Negativity is mostly emotional, so don't combat emotion with more emotion; combat negativity with facts.  For example, if someone is constantly saying the cost-of-living is too high in Dorchester, show them Dorchester has the lowest school levy in Saline County; show them that rural Nebraska, overall, is one of the least expensive places in the U.S. to reside. 

5.)  Know when to say goodbye. We realize our words aren't so powerful that we can change personalities. At the end of the day, in a small town -- just like a big city -- some people only want to complain and wear a constant frown.  Perhaps they feel isolated or can't see it's their own attitude acting as an impediment to making their community a bit better.  For these people, it's best to leave them alone and not give them a platform.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Ice Cream Social Raises Over $1,000 For Water Park Project

Courtesy Photo
More than $1,000 was raised in just three hours last night for the forthcoming Dorchester water park.

That is according Peg Bergmeyer, who reported via Facebook that the Dorchester Community Foundation's ice cream social last night produced well over $1,000 in donations for the group's splash pad effort.

Around 150 attended the ice cream social at the park, according to an e-mailed report, including numerous families with young children who are anxious for the prospects of a small water park coming to Dorchester.  The crowd was especially sizable considering the day's blistering heat produced a heat index of around 105 degrees.

The Times has learned the Foundation has already raised "right around $95,000 for the splash pad," thanks to individual donations from area residents and businesses, as well as sizable contributions from the Dorchester United Methodist Church, the Village of Dorchester, and the Robert Havlat family memorial. 

Insiders say that Dorchester's splash pad is expected to be a larger-scale splash pad, with the ability to expand it even more in the future.  The project will be located in Dorcheter's city park and could be under construction by early next spring if fund raising is adequate, according to an e-mail received in May.

If you would like to help speed the project along, donations are encouraged.  Send donations to:  Dorchester Community Foundation Fund, c/o Peg Bergmeyer,101 Washington Ave., Dorchester, NE  68343.  The Dorchester Community Foundation Fund is a non-profit subsidiary of the Nebraska Community Foundation, so all donations are 100% tax deductible.  

For questions about the Foundation Fund, e-mail Dale Hayek at

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Lewis Total Lawn Care Offers Top-Notch Service In Dorchester Area

Dorchester is fortunate to have a total lawn care business right here in town -- it's called Lewis Total Lawn Care.  

The owners are Ricky and Kyleigh Lewis.  Kyleigh is an educator at Dorchester High School and heads DHS' Future Business Leaders of America chapter.

Ricky is the operator of the business. He graduated from Northeast Community College with a degree in horticulture and golf course management.  Ricky is the former superintendent at Kelly's Country Club in Norfolk, Steepleview in Humphrey, and Friend Country Club. 

Ricky recently purchased the lawn care business from R and R Lawn Care in Friend. The primary coverage area is Dorchester, Friend, Crete, Lincoln, and surrounding communities. 

Services offered by Lewis Total Lawn Care include five-step fertilizer program, mowing, spraying, aeration, landscaping, yard maintenance, and sprinkler repair. 

This small, family-owned, insured business can treat and maintain both residential and commercial property. Ricky has had 8-plus years of turf management and lawn care experience. Your top priority is his top priority -- and no yard is too big or too small.

Here is the contact information:

Lewis Total Lawn Care
103 Whitmar Ave. 
Phone: 402-929-0378

Friday, July 7, 2017

It's Polka Time At The Legion Hall, 6:00 Saturday Night

The fireworks have subsided, but the polka is just firing up again in Dorchester.  Get ready to party to polka.

Back by popular demand, the Dorchester American Legion this Saturday, July 8, will once again host a polka dance at the Dorchester Legion Hall in downtown Dorchester.

According to an e-mail sent to the Times, the Moonlighers Polka Band will show you how polka was meant to be played.

The dance will kick off at 6 p.m. and continue until 10 p.m.

Only a $10 cover charge at the door, which includes the dance and a meal, and the Dorchester Legion kitchen will be open.

And here's a little trivia: Polka originated as a Czech peasant dance. Historic folklore has it that a peasant girl named Anna Slezak invented the steps one day for her own amusement.  The word “pulka” is derived from the Czech phrase for “half-step,” which refers to the dance pattern of lightly stepping from one foot to the other.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Ice Cream Social In Dorchester Park Is Sunday, 6 p.m.

Just like the good old days, this Sunday, July 9, there will be a community ice cream social at Dorchester's City Park.

The ice cream social will be hosted by Dorchester Community Foundation Fund as a fundraiser for its splash pad project.

The ice cream social will be a freewill offering event.

The Times has learned that the Foundation has already raised around $90,000 for the splash pad, thanks to individual donations from area residents and businesses, as well as large donation from the Dorchester United Methodist Church, the Village of Dorchester, and the Robert Havlat family memorial. 

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 will be located in Dorcheter's City Park and could be under construction by early next spring, if fund raising is adequate. That's according to an e-mail sent to the Times several weeks ago.

If you would like to help speed the project along, donations are encouraged now.  Send donations to:  Dorchester Community Foundation Fund, c/o Peg Bergmeyer,101 Washington Ave., Dorchester, NE  68343.

The Dorchester Community Foundation Fund is a non-profit subsidiary of the Nebraska Community Foundation, so all donations are 100% tax deductible.  

For questions about the Foundation Fund, e-mail Dale Hayek at

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Longhorns Football Camp, July 10-11, For Boys Grades 3-8

Ready or not, the upcoming football season is just around the corner. 

In an effort to revive Dorchester football and re-establish the program for Dorchester Public School, the professional personnel at DPS are offering young players in the Dorchester area a chance to improve their fooball game.

This coming Monday and Tuesday, July 10 and 11, the Dorchester Area Youth Football Camp will be held for boys entering grades 3 through 8.   The camp will be conducted from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. both nights.

According to Coach Zoubek, the camp will introduce and reinforce some of the basic fundamentals of football.

Kids will learn more about the game through the instruction, discipline, and the fun and enjoyment the great game offers.

The cost is $15 per player. (Make checks payable to Dorchester School.) Both payment and entry form are due no later than the day of camp. 

Participants will receive a Dorchester Longhorns t-shirt. 

For more information or to register, please contact Brent Zoubek at 402.418.1019 or Ryan Voelker at 402.416.8058.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Dorchester's Independence Day Schedule

Dorchester's Independence Day is one of the very best small-town July 4th celebrations in all of Nebraska. 

It's personal. It's quaint. It's genuinely patriotic.

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 larger communities.

Of course, the highlight of the day comes after dark with the famous fireworks show, which has been delighting crowds for more than two decades.  


Dorchester's 4th of July Celebration
2017 Schedule of Events

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

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

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

3 p.m. - 5 p.m. .................... Kids' Games.

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 p.m. at Co-Op parking lot near elevator on Depot St. Bring a description of your entry. For more, e-mail

9:30 p.m. ............................ Taekwondo Performance at football field.

10 p.m. ............................. "The Big Show" -- Fireworks at football 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. 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.

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

Hey, Kids: Vacation Bible School Is July 10, 11, 12 -- In Tents!

It's Vacation Bible School time at Dorchester United Methodist Church. 

This year's VBS classes begin Monday July 10 and continue Tuesday (July 11) and Wednesday (July 12) -- 6:00 to 8:30 p.m. each night.

The good news is there is still time to register.

Just show up at the church on Monday, July 10, evening at 5:30 p.m.  That's when registration begins. 

Also, a light supper will be offered at the 5:30 p.m. registration.

All children, regardless of their parents' church affiliation, are invited.

The theme of this year's Vacation Bible School is "Camp Out VBS -- in tents."

For more information, call Cindy Kotas at 402-826-7106.

Also, we wanted to share photos from Vacation Bible School 2007.  

See how many faces you recognize from a decade ago. 

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Dorchester Home-Based Business Targets Thinning, Damaged Hair

Are you struggling with thinning or limp hair? Does your hair need a major makeover? 

Now there's a Dorchester-based fix for that.

In our effort to help promote Dorchester's businesses, we're telling you today about Monat, an anti-aging hair care company whose products are being sold by Dorchester's Penny Nichols Keller, who has benefited from the company's products, herself.

According to Monat, its hair care products maintain healthy levels of antioxidants in follicles to combat premature thinning while protecting color and shine.  

The product also helps to reduce scalp inflammation, strengthen and thicken hair while stimulating natural growth.

Monat is for women and men, according to information provided to the Times.

The products come with a 30-day guarantee, according to Keller.  

Also, she is willing to send or provide samples.

If interested in trying Monat hair care products to see what it can do for your thinning, damaged or aging hair, e-mail Penny at  

Or find her on Facebook here.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

OUR OPINION: Dorchester Housing Plan Needed

Two things really define a small town -- the character of its people and the quality of its housing.

With that in mind, here's a statistic that should concern Dorchester residents: Nearly 13% of housing units in the community are unoccupied, according to data collected by Sperling's Best Places. 

Some are empty because elderly residents recently passed or are in nursing homes.  Some are neglected properties that have been vacant for some time.  

We've said it before: Nothing is harder on a town than unoccupied homes -- especially deteriorating, hazardous properties (residential and commercial).

Dorchester's population has been stagnant for decades (at least we're not losing significant numbers, as many small towns across the Midwest and Plains).  But with the significant loss in farm families due to technology over the last 30 years, Dorchester needs to grow to ensure the well-being of its school and its long-term future.

The good news is Dorchester has a lot of hard-working, involved residents who are making positive change.

The bad news is we need more people to help in order to speed up the progress.  It can happen.

And that positive change should be focused squarely on housing and bringing new, young families to Dorchester.  Young families need to be told about all the benefits of living here, from lower taxes, lower housing costs, safer conditions, and better education.

Meanwhile, the strong majority of Dorchester homeowners are working very hard to improve their properties. (See our story on recent home improvements throughout town.) What's more, home price appreciation in Dorchester is up 5.40% over the last year.  

Dorchester homes are a source of pride for the vast majority of our town's residents. That is why it is unfair when a handful of severely deteriorating properties (such as the home pictured above, at 8th and Jefferson) threaten either the health of residents or the investments of nearby homeowners.

Here are steps we can all take, as individuals, to make Dorchester even better when it comes to housing:
  • Ask Town Representatives To Look At A Blight Tax And Fees On Vacant Properties:  We think all town residents should ask Dorchester Village Board members to consider a blight tax and fee on abandoned properties in town.  (Of course, exceptions would need to be made for properties owned by residents in long-term care and in extreme cases of hardship.) Keep in mind that a recent Times survey of readers found that 64% supported the blight tax concept and another 14% said the village board should at least obtain legal counsel and consider whether such a tax makes sense. But village board members need to hear from residents.
  • Gather Willing Investors And Get A Plan For New Housing Options:  Individuals are needed to invest in Dorchester's housing, whether as residents or investors. This includes DHS alumni, families with ties to our town, farmers, business owners, school staff -- they can collaborate and craft a long-term housing plan for Dorchester.  Maybe a townhouse or duplex development makes more sense in our small town today? Perhaps apartments? Those looking for expert housing help can get it from the Southeast Nebraska Development District (SENDD), to study best practices, success stories, programs and ideas implemented by towns of our size.  
  • Incentives For School Staff To Make A Home In The Community That Provides Their Salary: The school board could consider providing financial incentives for faculty to reside in town.  This makes sense since every teacher and administrator is paid with district property tax dollars.  While homes are rarely for sale in town, there are plenty of homes that could be renovated if owners had reason to sell.  And lots are currently available to build.  Renting is also a possibility, since renters make up 20.91% of the Dorchester population, according to new Census data.
  • Get Help For Those Homeowners In Dire Need:  Nebraska USDA Rural Development recently announced that USDA is seeking applications for grants to make housing repairs for low- and very-low-income rural residents. The grants are being provided through USDA Rural Development's Housing Preservation Grant program. For those who truly need financial assistance with home repairs, call USDA's Nebraska office at 402-437-5563.
Some will say this is too simplistic.  To those critics, we ask: How's the current approach working? Better yet, share your ideas in the comments section.  You may do so anonymously.