Monday, July 27, 2015

Applications Due For Building/Improvement Permits


Did you know that residents need a village permit to do any construction or major renovations with Dorchester's city limits?

And time is running short to apply for that permit.

The Dorchester Planning and Zoning Commission will meet this Wednesday evening, July 29.  

That means anyone who wishes to conduct any building improvements, additions or replacements needs to have their building permit application turned in to the village clerk's office by end of business day on Wednesday.

For further information, call the village clerk's office.

Holy Craps! Dorchester's Tom Scheffert Makes National News


Holy craps! Dorchester's Tom Scheffert has made national news. 

Reporting from Deadwood, South Dakota, the Associated Press reported last month that casinos were betting on the introduction of keno, craps and roulette in Deadwood to help reinvigorate the historic Black Hills town and level its odds against gambling hot spots across the country competing to attract players.

The AP story ran in newspapers across the country.

The new forms of gambling were approved by South Dakota voters in November and authorized to begin July 1. 

The AP was able to track down Dorchester's Tom Scheffert, who told the news agency he was planning a trip to Deadwood for the July 1 opening of craps.  (Note: The Dorchester Times delayed running this story so the general public -- and potential thieves -- wouldn't know of Tom's absence from home during this time.)

Scheffert, 61, said he travels across the U.S. playing the game, which he likes for the excitement, the AP reports.  He said he's been to Deadwood before and wished for craps.

"Every year we'll make a couple trips up there," Scheffert said, now that the games are opening. "Before, we were basically never going back."

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Longtime Dorchester Educator Margaret Rasmussen Is Turning 100


For 32 years -- almost a third of a century -- Margaret Rasmussen was a fixture at Dorchester Public Schools, where she taught two generations of fourth graders.

Now Margaret Rasmussen is turning 100 years old.  And she's holding an open house to see all her former students and Dorchester friends.

The open house will be at the Dorchester Community Hall on Sunday Aug. 9, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.  Everyone is invited.

For those who don't know, Rasmussen started her teaching career after her high school graduation in 1932.  Taking night classes, attending summer school and doing extension work, she earned her bachelor's degree from Doane College.  For many years, she taught at country schools in Saline and Fillmore counties.  She even served on the advisory board for the Nebraska history textbook.

Rasmussen's first year with Dorchester Schools was 1961.  She retired in May 1993.  Her retirement closed the books on a 52 year teaching career.

For those who are unable to attend the Aug. 9 open house in Dorchester, birthday cards may be sent to Rasmussen's residence at 5550 Pioneer Blvd., Room 311, Lincoln, NE  68506.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Restoration Of 150-Year-Old Saline County Farmstead Begins


WESTERN, Neb. -- Channel 10/11's "Pure Nebraska" TV series reports on the planned restoration of a Saline County pioneer homestead near the community of Western.

According to the story, the restoration is being overseen by owner Kay Kottas, her husband Joe, and cousin Floyd Zabel.  The home has been in the family for 150 years. 

When they almost lost this piece of history in a flood Kay knew something needed to be done. "We have to do it now, I've always wanted to do it but we came very close to losing it so i really wanted to get it done," said Kay Kottas.

According to Kay, the historical society is helping to find the original foundation of the house since it was moved at one point about 75 feet from its original location.

Kottas says they want to be able to share the history of this one-of-a-kind home with tourists so they can "experience exactly what it was like for the pioneers when they lived here."

"There is no plumbing, there is no electricity. It would just be a really good experience for folks to understand what it was like," said Kottas.

The restoration of the home will take place in four stages and Kottas can't wait to get the fundraising and renovations started. "It's tremendous, we've had a lot of interest already.  I'm already finding we have relatives that I've never heard of before, it's great to hear from community members who think this is just a wonderful thing to do," said Kottas.

Floyd Zabel was raised on the farm and sold the farm to the Kottas'.

"When Kay came down, we jumped on the three-wheeler, went up to the pasture and looked at some of the native plants, her excitement grew about owning the farm and her excitement grew about preserving the pioneer history," said Floyd Zabel, previous owner.

Zabel says he can't wait to see Kay's vision plan out.  Kottas says she can't wait to share this piece of family history with the community.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

ACTION ALERT: Dorchester Legion Needs Financial Help Today


For more than 95 years, Dorchester's August-Vanek American Legion Post 264, has been an integral part of our community.

Today, due to a financial crisis, the Dorchester Legion needs the help of community members, Dorchester natives and alumni, and friends and family.

If you can spare $10, $15 or $20 (or more) to help keep the Legion's doors open, we hope you will do so today.  

Send your donations to:

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

Earlier this year, Dorchester Legion members held special meetings to decide the future of the Legion's club on Dorchester's main street.  According to information provided, the Legion was nearly out of operating cash, which would mean it would have to abandon its clubhouse on Dorchester's main street.  

Thanks to fundraisers held by the Dorchester Community Foundation and some timely donations, the Legion was provided much-needed operating cash.  

However, we have learned that a July 4 gun auction and fundraiser -- despite donated auction services and a large number of guns and rifles on the bidding block -- failed to provide much revenue after advertising costs.  

We hope the community and the Legion members will rally to find a way to keep Dorchester's Legion Post 264 an important part of Dorchester's main street and a central part of our village life.

Please consider sending a donation to the Dorchester Legion today.  

Also, if you would like to volunteer your time or services for future Legion events, please let Legion leaders know, including Roger Wolfe (402-946-2461 or wolfe1935@windstream.net) or Larry Kaspar (402-946-6711 or lckaspar@yahoo.com).

Developing...

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Looking Back: Gold Fever Struck Our Area 120 Years Ago


"Is there gold in them thar plains?"

Around 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.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Business Renovation Continues On West Side Of Main Street


For those who haven't noticed, there is plenty of exciting commercial work being done on the west side of Dorchester's main street.  

The owners of City Slickers continue their work on a new grill and dining area, and plans remain in place for a bowling alley, we are told.

In the meantime, more renovation is occurring up the street on the facilities that will soon permanently house the forthcoming Dorchester Bakery.  The new business will be housed in the former West Side Cafe building, as well as the attached building to the north.  

The renovation details are developing for both businesses.  If you know more information, please leave it in the "comments" section of this story.

The bakery's owner and operator Michelle Johnson was open on July 4 to much fanfare, and she is selling her baked goods at 709 Washington Ave. -- just south of the post office. Her hours coincide with the Dorchester's Farmers Market, held Fridays from 4:30-6:30 p.m. at the Dorchester Methodist Church parking lot.

(Editor's Note: Michelle posted the ad above on her Facebook page.  We thought we'd help her out by running it on the Times.)

For readers who may have missed our earlier reports, the Dorchester Bakery and the accompanying "Party Room" will be located in the building that was most recently the Dorchester Hardware Store and the additional space in Dorchester Grocery.  

The business is awaiting its permanent move to this location as renovations and repairs are being completed.

In a 2010 Times survey, readers said that a "cafe with a bakery" was one of the most needed businesses in Dorchester. In fact, a cafe commanded the second highest number of votes, behind only a convenience store.



Dorchester Baseball Looks To Revive Older Boys' Team


Play ball! That includes you older kids, too.

It appears an effort is underway to bring back older boys' baseball to Dorchester for next baseball season.  

This would be a 15 and under team.

The Dorchester Times has learned that the Dorchester Baseball/Softball Committee is inviting all Dorchester and surrounding community youth (15 years old and younger) to play for Dorchester's National League Baseball team.  

According to our records, Dorchester has not fielded a National League team since 2010, when Dorchester won the SFS League championship.  

Older records show that Dorchester was a dominant force in the SFS League's National League in the 1990s, '80s, '70s, '60s, and '50s -- the decade the league began.

There are many great opportunities to be had with the game of baseball -- one of which is creating lasting friendships.  

If your child would like to be part of a National League Baseball team experience and learn the importance of team play, fundamentals of the game, and personal growth, then consider joining the Dorchester National League Baseball Team.

Organizers say they want to take steps now to ensure Dorchester has a National Team for 2016.   

Those interested should contact Greg Tyser, Matthew Hoffman, or Stephanni Renn.  Also, click here and fill out the form with your child's information.

We commend the parents of those who are being pro-active in this effort.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Considering Starting Your Own Business In Dorchester?


Dorchester and the surrounding area are home to dozens of small businesses -- all looking for ways to grow and expand their customer base. Meanwhile, we continue to hear from individuals who are currently looking to start their own business in our community.

Recently, we searched a number of Web sites and publications dedicated to entrepreneurs and the small businesses that serve as the backbone of the national economy. We found several common themes that need to be considered by those who are thinking of starting their own operation in a small town, as well as those who are already in business.

Here are some tips for entrepreneurial-minded readers who are contemplating starting a new business in Dorchester or other nearby small towns:
  • Talk to others who have opened businesses recently. What challenges have they faced? What works and what does not? What appeals to community members and what does not?
  • If nobody has opened a business for awhile, dig deeper. Maybe there is no market. Or maybe they're just waiting for you to arrive. Sometimes a new business can generate demand. It's a judgment call.
  • Make a great first impression. Promotion isn't hard in a small town. Ten minutes after you've opened, everyone will know. Some towns resist doing business with newcomers. Others welcome new blood. Regardless, your first impression will linger a long time. And you'll have trouble recovering from a local opinion leader with a bad experience.
  • Uncover the town's market and memory. Considering buying a business? Take time to discover the owner's reputation. When the local residents seem eager for a change of management, you'll need a new name and image. But if someone has just moved away and everyone misses them, a wonderful opportunity exists.
  • Be sensitive to change and trends. In years gone by, coffee shops may have failed often. These days, they seem to be thriving.
  • Search the fine print of local regulations. For example, any time you serve food or drink, you know you're facing permits. Find out what's involved locally.
  • Prepare to do most of the work yourself. In a small town, you can have trouble finding good help. The local work ethic may surprise you -- in either direction.
  • Know your community. Will your market come from second- and third-generation local residents? Or are you serving those who relocated recently?
  • Build relationships. If you can attract a town leader, you'll draw a following. Conversely, if you inadvertently alienate a key player, you'll be miserable. And in a small town, business owners are expected to be super citizens. Choose alliances and sponsorships carefully. Prepare for all sorts of friendly requests to donate time, materials and money.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Dorchester's Berth Zak Passes At 94


Bertha Zak, 94, of Dorchester, passed away Thursday, July 16, 2015, Friend.  Born Feb. 9, 1921, Dorchester. 

A 1939 graduate, Dorchester High School, Bertha attended Business College, Omaha. She retired from Formfit-Rogers, Crete.  She was a member of St. Joseph Catholic Church and Altar Society, Friend, Saline County Historical Society and Museum, American Legion Auxiliary, both Dorchester, Saline County Democratic Women, ZCBJ (WFLA).

Survived by son, daughter-in-law, Edward and Carol Zak, Seward; six grandchildren, Ben Zak, Cowdrey, Colo., Dana Cotter, Valparaiso, Judi Schroeder, James J. Zak, all of Lincoln, Michael Zak, West Valley, Utah, Melissa Simmons, Crystal, Minn., 14 great-grandchildren, two great-great-grandchildren, two step-grandchildren, nieces and nephews. 

Preceded in death by parents, husband James J, son, James E, daughter-in-law, Vicky, sisters, Blanche Rawe and Rose Marie Olson, special nephew, Martin Kamper.

Mass of Christian Burial, 10:30 a.m. Monday, June 20, St. Josephs Catholic Church, Friend, Fr. Lawrence Stoley. Rosary: 9:30 a.m. prior to the service at church. Interment, St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery. 

Visitation: Sunday 1-8 p.m., with the family greeting relatives & friends 5-7 p.m., Lauber-Moore Funeral Home, Friend. Memorials: St. Joseph Altar Society or Saline County Historical Society, Dorchester. Condolences may be left at www.laubermoore.com.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Is It Finally Time For A Blight Tax In Dorchester?

 
Here's a statistic village board members and other leaders in our community should note: nearly 13% of houses and apartments in Dorchester are unoccupied (vacancy rate).  That's according to new information collected by Sterling's Best Places.

Nothing is harder on a town than vacant homes -- especially run-down, deteriorating vacant homes.

The village board has tried to make an example out of slum owners by bulldozing a vacant home on 9th Street, only to have the action stopped by a district judge.  She said the owners were "working on the property."  More than a year later, the garage collapsed with the weather and the empty home continues to fall apart. (Of course, her honor doesn't have to live next to the dilapidated property or worry about one of her kids get trapped under a falling garage wall.)

Perhaps its time for Plan B.

In 2009, this blog conducted an online poll in which nearly two-thirds of Times readers wanted the Dorchester Village Board to consider imposing a blight tax on neglected or abandoned properties in town.  With more than 80 readers voting, 64% supported the blight tax concept.  Another 14% said village board members should consider whether such a tax makes sense.

Blight tax revenue could be used to renovate Dorchester's main street, repair or pave streets, or enhance public spaces like the park.

Think it wouldn't work? The state of Georgia has experienced success with their statewide blight tax.  

In Kennesaw, Ga., the city has imposed a tax penalty that is seven times the current property tax rate for property owners whose homes repeatedly violate city housing standards.  This tax is levied only after repeated warnings and notices to address the problems.

We think it's worth considering in Dorchester.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Saline County Fair Will Be Hootin' Good Time, July 14-19


It's that time of year again -- county fair time! 

The 2015 Saline County Fair will run July 14-19 at Crete’s Tuxedo Park.  The theme is "A Hootin' Good Time." 

This year's fair will feature a double-shot concert on Friday night, July, with country rockers SwitchBak opening for the famous Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.

For a complete fair schedule, click here.  For a map of the county fair at Tuxedo Park, click here.

Highlights of this year's county fair include:

* Tractor driving contest (2 p.m., July 16)
* B.B. gun shoot (4 p.m., July 16)
* Figure 8 car race (7:30 p.m., July 16)
* Livestock judging (1:30 p.m., July 17)
* Friday night concert (7 p.m., July 17)
* Ag data and drones demo (2 p.m., July 18)
* Parade (4:30 p.m., July 18)
* Rodeo (8 p.m., July 18)

The iconic and profoundly influential Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, often cited as a catalyst for an entire movement in country rock, continues to add to their legendary status.  With multi-platinum and gold records, strings of top ten hits such as "Fishin' In The Dark" and "Mr. Bojangles", multiple Grammy, IBMA, CMA Awards and nominations, the band's accolades continue to accumulate.

Lincoln-based SwitchBak, a band with the driving guitars of southern rock, the storytelling of country outlaws and country stars, and the raw edge of Texas red-dirt, mixes all those ingredients together to create a distinctly rugged, natural sound.  SwitchBak will also play Saturday night, from 9 p.m. until 1 a.m.

Tickets for July 17 concert are $15 in advance until July 14; $20 after July 14 and at the gate. (Purchase your tickets online at www.salinecountyfair.org.)  Tickets can also be purchased at First State Bank-Dorchester branch.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

UMC Women Set To Host Guest Salad Supper On July 22


The United Methodist Women invite all women of the community and surrounding area to attend their annual "Guest Salad Supper" on Wednesday, July 22, at 6:30 p.m. at the church.  

Dorothy Applebee (the former "Organ Lady" from Lee's Chicken in Lincoln) will present a delightful musical program. 

Please RSVP to Rhonda Schlick 946-2143 or rschlick@hotmail.com by Monday, July 20, if you are able to attend.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Local Job Opportunity: Utilities Superintendent For Dorchester


The Village of Dorchester is seeking a qualified individual to be the community's assistant utilities superintendent.

This is a full-time position.

The village is accepting applications now.  The person who is hired for this important job will oversee the village’s water and wastewater systems. Duties also include general maintenance of streets, equipment, minimal electrical and upkeep of village property. 

The successful applicant must have or be able to obtain certification in both water and wastewater within one year of employment and possess a valid driver’s license. 

Experience is a benefit, but the village will train the right applicant. Wage is commensurate with experience.  Benefits include health, dental, as well as vision insurance -- and a retirement plan. 

Applications are available at the village office at 701 Washington Ave., Mondays through Fridays, 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.  Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. 

For more information contact the Village at (402) 946-3201 or e-mail dorchester@diodecom.net

The Times was not made aware of this job opening directly, but an advertisement was e-mailed to us by a loyal reader.

The Village of Dorchester is an equal opportunity employer.

Saline County Still Around 200% Of Average Year-To-Date Rainfall


Just how much rain did Saline County receive this past May and June? 

Even with the scorching sun and little precipitation over the past 21 days, almost all of Saline County is currently as much as 200% above the year-to-date normal precipitation level, according to data collected by the National Weather Service.

The same holds true for much of Thayer, Lancaster, and Nuckolls counties -- the four most water logged counties in eastern Nebraska.  

In fact, significant section of Thayer and Nuckolls counties have received up to 300% of normal precipitation amounts for the year, thus far.

The World-Herald recently reported that farmers such as Randy Vana of Wilber "might have felt a sense of déjà vu this spring as they planted their crops, only to have the seedlings flooded out by rain; then planted again, only to face more rain, more planting and still more rain."

On 85 of his acres, Vana said, “we gave up” after rain destroyed the third planting and he couldn’t reach that part of the field to try a fourth planting without crushing other young cornstalks.

Record rains this spring in parts of Nebraska mean some farmers were still planting the first few days of this month.

Natalie Umphlett, climatologist at the High Plains Regional Climate Center, said that in Crete, "we got nearly a year’s worth of precipitation in two months."  She said the rest of the summer in Nebraska should be cooler and wetter than usual.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Looking Back: The School Buildings Of Dorchester


(Note: This post was originally published in 2007.)

More than seven years after the beginning of construction on the new Dorchester School facilities, we thought it would be worthwhile to take a look at the history of our community's 142-year-old educational system.

According to the Dorchester Centennial history book, the first term of school taught in Dorchester was in 1872 at a select school held in the McIntyre house, which was Dorchester's first home and was located near the present Methodist Church. 

Also in 1872, District #44 -- the present school district -- was organized, even though there were only 21 children of school age residing in the district.

By late 1872 -- nine years prior to Dorchester's official founding -- nearly $3,000 in bonding authority was approved to build Dorchester's first schoolhouse, which was a two-story building. The first floor of the 1872 school was used for school instruction, while the upper level was used for public meetings and worship services. In fact, it was here that the Dorchester Methodist Church first organized around 1874.

By 1879, more than 100 pupils were enrolled in Dorchester Public School. 

By 1883, the town's newspaper -- The Dorchester Star -- was advocating for the construction of a larger school. Six years later, in 1889, District #44 patrons approved $12,000 in bonding authority to build a new school that was built in 1890 (pictured above).  What a grand structure it was.

During the 1911 school year, Dorchester was formally organized as a K-12 district. The class of 1914 was the first DHS class to graduate from an accredited twelve-grade high school. 

As more area families placed greater importance on the value of education, the 1926 Dorchester school board voted to build a new school -- just 35 years after the completion of the 1890 school building. The bond election was successful by a two-to-one margin and a new three-story school building was completed in December 1927.  (Almost all DHS alumni alive today attended school in this building.  That will be the case for some time, since the Class of 2020 is the first class not to have attended school while this building was in existence.)

A large addition to the school was approved in May 1963 for approximately $300,000. It included the present-day gymnasium, cafeteria, hallway classrooms, shop and music room. 

The 1964 gym and cafeteria have been renovated in recent years and look as fresh as the new $4.5 million school building, which was constructed in the summer of 2008 following voter approval.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Plowing Bee, Craft Show At Tabor Hall On July 12


The annual tractor plow and craft show at Tabor Hall near Dorchester has been set for Sunday, July 12, 2015.

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

Tabor Hall will open at 10 a.m.  Lunch starts at 11 a.m.

The craft show will be 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.  

Plowing with restored antique tractors begins at 2 p.m. in fields next to Tabor Hall, on County Road 1400, 5 miles south of town.

This event features around 30 antique tractors.  This year they will dig into at least 50 acres near Tabor Hall.  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 information, call Larry Fuller at (402) 641-4840.  For craft show information to to sign up for a booth, call Laura Sysel at (402) 580-8533. Or click here for the Facebook event page.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Dorchester: Here Is How To Get Paved Streets -- If You Want Them


In recent years, support for paving more Dorchester streets has grown. Supporters say that to grow Dorchester and encourage more people to build here and improve their homes, paved streets are a key.

As reported earlier by this blog, the power to pave is in the hands of Dorchester residents -- or at least those who own property in village limits.  
Nebraska law, Section 17-510, says a petition can be started by those who have property next to an unimproved street (meaning gravel or dirt).  

Now a loyal Dorchester Times reader has e-mailed us a document that will allow Dorchester residents accomplish their paving mission, if they so desire.

The power to get more paved streets is in your hands, and here is how you do it:

1.)  Use this petition sheet (click here) and determine what area you want paved.  You will note that the petition sheet has blanks for street names.  It is up to the petitioner(s) to determine their "paving district." It might be just one block of a single street, or it might be several blocks.  The smaller the paving district, the better chances of paving occurring, most likely.

2.)  Get the signatures of enough landowners -- representing at least 61% of the front footage of the property directly abutting the street proposed to be paved.  This means you will have to ask property owners (not renters) to sign your petition sheet.

3.)  Present the signed petition to the village board at their monthly meeting.  Call the clerk's office ahead of time to get on the agenda.  Unless the board can find a technical reason to deny the petition, they will need to proceed and levy special assessments on the land abutting or adjacent to the paved street to finance the work.  Special assessments for such projects can be paid over a 15-year period, according to state law, we are told.

The Times staff is not comprised of attorneys or development specialists.  However, we have received this information from residents of town who say they've worked with experts who have experience in establishing street paving districts.


After years of hearing complaints about a lack of paved streets in Dorchester, the Times is happy to help provide this assistance to residents and empower them to pursue paved streets, if this is what they want.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Alma UFO Scare Reminder Of Nebraska Sightings


A video making the rounds on the Internet purports to show a UFO flying through a thunderstorm this spring in Alma, Nebraska. 

See the video here.  


This incident reminds the Dorchester Times staff of an e-mail and photo we received in 2010 from reader "Cathy."  Cathy, who says she lives "a couple of miles" outside of Dorchester, tells us that in February 2010 she took the photo located above. 

In her e-mail to the Times, Cathy wrote that just before capturing the photo with her cell phone, she "saw a very bright reflective object in the afternoon sky" and that the object "was just floating in the same spot for about 60 seconds and then suddenly vanished or faded away. No quick movements or zipping across the sky." Cathy tells the Times she is "positive" she saw a UFO.

While we are not believers in UFOs -- at least those manned by little green men -- we have discovered that Nebraska has its share of UFO stories. Perhaps the most interesting story is one that took place up the road on Highway 6 near Ashland.  According to a Web site called UFOevidence.com, it is one of the "best-documented close encounters" ever noted.



On December 3, 1967, Ashland police officer Herbert Schirmer was on routine late-night patrol.  "At about 2:30 a.m., he noticed a group of lights near the ground and thought he could make out a semi-trailer off the road. He approached to investigate, only to see the thing -- whatever it was -- take off and disappear in the night sky. When he returned to the police station at 3 a.m., he wrote in the station log, 'Saw a flying saucer at the junction of Highways 6 and 63. Believe it or not!'"


According to the account, Sgt. Schirmer "went home that morning with a splitting headache and an inexplicable red welt on the side of his neck. Though only 22 years old at the time, Schirmer was so respected in Ashland that he was named chief of police a short time later. Two months later, he resigned from the force. He said he couldn't get the UFO encounter out of his mind. Investigators heard about Schirmer and found that 20 minutes seemed to be unaccounted for in his log of December 3, 1967."

After Schirmer agreed to undergo hypnotic regression to see if he could remember more details of the incident, Schirmer told investigators that several "humanoid beings" got out and approached him and he was taken aboard the craft. "Schirmer described the beings as 4.5' to 5' tall, with heads somewhat narrower and longer than an average human. ... He was told that these beings had been watching the human race for a very long time and were engaged in what he called a 'breeding analysis program.'" 

Schirmer said he was ridiculed by some of the townspeople, his car was dynamited, and his wife left him. You can hear audio accounts of his so-called "abduction" in Schirmer's own words by going to this YouTube site.

Whatever the truth is, nobody can say nothing ever happens in Nebraska.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Fairbury Flag Maker Proves That Small Towns Can Bring New Jobs


KETV Channel 7 in Omaha reports that the hum of sewing machines is noticeable in Fairbury, Nebraska. 

After a few larger employers left town several years ago, Fairbury, with just over 3,900 residents, fell on hard times, according to the story.  But MSA Brand Products -- a producer of American flags -- is working to bring manufacturing jobs back to the Jefferson County community.   Not only is the company re-employing some of those who lost their jobs when previous businesses left town, MSA is also one of only a few U.S. companies that produce Old Glory.

A business manager for MSA Products says "made-in-the-USA" American flags are difficult to find since many are now produced in China, but she says the company is making big strides with increased sales in retail stores and online.  The company can also produce flags for cities, schools, organizations or any events. Not sure of what design you'd like? MSA has in-house graphic artists to develop a design for you at no extra charge.  (Click here for MSA's website.)

This story is proof that the right business idea can get off the ground anywhere in rural Nebraska.  Think of this flag business -- which only needs a few employees to make it viable -- in Dorchester.

To those Dorchester residents with dreams of owning their own small business, we encourage you to keep putting together your plan and draw inspiration from stories like this.  

Click here to see the story on MSA Brand Products in Fairbury.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Dorchester's July 4 Celebration Draws Big Crowd


It was a busy day in Dorchester on Independence Day 2015.  

Pleasant weather in addition to added activities drew a large crowd to the village -- from the softball tourney at Nerud Field to the Sons of American Legion BBQ and Auxiliary/Jr. Auxiliary Pie and Ice Cream Social.  

From the County Museum to the "Show and Shine" on Main Street.  

From Bingo to the American Legion Gun/Rifle Auction (with services generously donated by Novak Auction Service.) 

From the childrens' tractor pull to the parade.  




And of course the spectacular fireworks show at Nerud Field.


If you want to see some of the many faces who turned out to watch the evening parade, just click here to see a neat video shot by Matthew Hoffman.  We bet you'll see more than a few familiar faces that lined the parade route.






Saturday, July 4, 2015

HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY! Dorchester's July 4 Schedule


Today, our country celebrates another anniversary of its break from the British Empire and the oppressive rule of King George III.

Lucky for us that Dorchester has one of the very best July 4th celebrations in southeast Nebraska. 

It's an annual tradition that draws in folks from near and far, including friends and family and DHS alumni from across the country.

Below is the schedule of Dorchester's 2015 Independence Day celebration.

Residents and out-of-town visitors will find plenty of things to do in Dorchester, without the hurried crowds of Seward or Lincoln. 

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



Dorchester's 4th of July Celebration
2015 Schedule of Events
All Day .................. Food and drinks at City Slickers.  Desserts and fun foods at the Dorchester Bakery.
                      All Day .................. Co-ed Softball Tourney (Nerud Field. Call Jared Jensen at 402.641.1154)
11 a.m.- 7 p.m. ....... Sons of American Legion BBQ (Legion Building)
11 a.m. ................... Auxiliary/Jr. Auxiliary Pie and Ice Cream Social/Raffle (Legion)
1-5 p.m. ................. Visit the Saline County Museum (Open to public.  At 2 p.m., there will be a special "Czech Program" by Sue Placek.)
1 p.m. .................... "Show and Shine" on Main Street. (Autos, motorcycles, tractors of any year.  Line up south of Tyser's Repair.  T-shirts for participants.  Call Matt Smith at 402.826.9303 for more information.)
2 p.m. ..................... Bingo (Community Building)
3 p.m. ..................... American Legion Gun/Outdoors Gear Auction (Fire Hall.  A preview of the auction items will begin at 2 p.m.  Call Darryl Novak for more information or to list consignment items.  Click here for sale bill.)
4 p.m. ..................... Kiddy Tractor Pull. South of City Slickers. (Sponsored by Farmers Co-Op.  Registration begins at 3:30 p.m.  Participants must register.)
7 p.m. ..................... Parade (Line-up begins at 6:30 at Co-Op parking lot near elevator.  Bring a description of your entry. For more, e-mail pegbergmeyer@yahoo.com)
10 p.m. ................... Fireworks at Nerud Field.  (Alternate date is July 5 in case of inclement weather.)
Firework sales are taking place south of the Dorchester Fire Hall, 5 p.m. until 10 p.m.  All proceeds go to support the Dorchester fireworks show on July 4.

Also, $1 Husker football raffle tickets are being sold at the fireworks stand south of the fire hall, as well as the Legion Hall.  The tickets were donated by First State Bank - Dorchester Branch.  Winner will be announced July 4 at 10 p.m. at Nerud Field.  Need not be present to win.

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


Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Allen Krivohlavek Passes At 75


Allen D. Krivohlavek, 75, Dorchester, passed away in peace at home on June 28, 2015. He was born in rural Dorchester to Henry and Helen Krivohlavek on August 9, 1939.

Allen was actively involved in swine production his entire life. From youth throughout the end of his life, he was a member of 4-H, judged many hog and cattle livestock shows, a member of Crete Saddle Club, Nebraska Pork Producers, State Fair Swine Superintendent, Farmer’s Co-op Board, UNL Presidential Advisory Council, Pork All American, active in Senek Swine Test Station, Honorary Member of East Butler FFA and Nebraska Simmental Association.

He married Sheila Parks on February 17, 1961 and they had three children. 

Survivors include wife Sheila, daughter Robbin, Brandon Koll, son Jeff and Judy Krivohlavek, daughter Kelly and Chad Krapp, grandchildren Tyler and Kylie, sister Janice Crofton, many nieces and nephews. 

Preceded in death by his parents and grandson, Kody.

A celebration of life will be held at 1:30 p.m. this Thursday, July 2, at Kuncl Funeral Home in Crete, Nebraska. Memorials to the family.

To send your private condolences, click here.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

New Dorchester Bakery Open On July 4


(UPDATE: We have received clarification that while Michelle Johnson's bakery will be open on July 4, she is operating on a temporary two-day permit.  So we will await news for a permanent opening for her bakery/cafe.  We're told the business will be in both the former West Side Cafe building, as well as the attached building to the north.  Developing....)  

Last summer, this blog reported that a new cafe and/or bakery would soon make its way to Dorchester's main street.

Now the Dorchester Times confirms a new Dorchester bakery will be open this Saturday, July 4.  

The bakery will be housed on Dorchester's main street, just south of the Post Office.

The bakery's owner and operator is Michelle Johnson.

Among the bakery's Fourth of July specials will be:
  • Cotton Candy - $2/bag (blue raspberry, pink bubble gum, orange, grape)
  • Designer Cookies - $1.25 each (stars and stripes, flip-flops)
  • Cake Cups - $2.50 each (turtle, strawberry/cream cheese, Reese's)
  • Dessert Bars - $1.50 each (lemon, pecan, brownie pizza, pumpkin)
  • Kolache - $1 each (raspberry, cream cheese, cherry)
  • Cold Bottled Water - 50 cents 
As the Times reported previously, the bakery/cafe will be located in the building that was most recently the Dorchester Hardware Store and the additional space in Dorchester Grocery -- and was also the former location of the West Side Cafe and Rec Room.  In Dorchester's early years, the building was home to Tom Jerrett's Hardware. Immediately north of the bakery is the Dorchester American Legion's memorial and the Gulf War tank, which now occupies the space where another building once stood, housing businesses such as Tex's Barber Shop and a harness shop in Dorchester's early years.

The proprietors, who have strong Dorchester ties, will need strong support by the community and area residents.

In a 2010 Times survey, readers said that a "cafe with a bakery" was one of the most needed businesses in Dorchester. In fact, a cafe commanded the second highest number of votes, behind only a convenience store.

Dorchester's Aggie Wagner Passes At 92


Agnes Ann (Duchek) Wagner, a longtime resident of Dorchester, passed away June 19 at the age of 92.  Her obituary follows:

Aggie lived a full and long life. She was welcomed into this world by Henry and Anna Duchek on February 17, 1923. Agnes left this world and passed into the loving arms of our Lord on June 19, 2015.

Agnes was reunited in heaven with her husband, Harvey; their son, Bill; granddaughter, Hope Ann; parents, Henry and Anna; brothers, Joe and Orin; and sisters, Alice, Marie, and Helen are there to welcome her.

Left on earth to be thankful for her life are her daughter-in-law, Judy Wagner; grandsons, Tony and Benjamin Wagner; granddaughter, Honey Lynn Wagner; her 6 Great Grandchildren, Ashlee and Brandon, Alessandra, Ashton, Jayden and Kinzey could make her smile, clap, and share a word in Czech.

Agnes shared her life with her nieces and nephews, cousins, and many friends throughout her life.

At their home in Dorchester, if Aggie wasn’t cleaning and polishing, she was baking kolaches or Monster cookies.  She enjoyed her gardens of flowers and vegetables and could always find a weed or two which needed to be removed.

Agnes was kept as comfortable and occupied as possible in her final years on earth by the wonderful staff of friends at Tabitha Nursing Center of Crete.

After you finish reading this take a moment to just close your eyes and imagine Agnes smiling, clapping, and tapping her toes to the beat of a good Czech Polka right now, in Heaven.

A Memorial Service to celebrate and honor Agnes was held at 10 a.m. on Monday, June 29, 2015 at Kuncl Funeral Home in Crete. Inurnment took place at Fairview Cemetery in Lincoln. Memorials are suggested to the family for designation. Condolences may be left online at kunclfh.com

Monday, June 29, 2015

Road Work Will Impact Dorchester Area Traffic


It's that time of year.

As reported by the Lincoln Journal Star, a number of state Department of Roads projects will get underway this week and next, weather permitting, including some near the Dorchester area.

This week, projects include maintenance work on Nebraska 15/6 three miles west of Dorchester. The work should take four days, with flaggers directing one-way traffic.

Also this week, one day of maintenance work will be done on Nebraska 15 three miles west of Milford.

Also next week, a three-day chip seal project will start on Nebraska 74 from a mile west of Tobias and to the Nebraska 74/Nebraska 15 junction.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Illegal Immigration Has Profoundly Affected Our County, Country


Latino gang graffiti spotted in Crete, behind the former CarQuest store.
One key difference between this blog and so-called "mainstream" news sources -- like the Lincoln and Omaha papers, or the national news media -- is we focus on issues and events that impact our readers.  And we write about it no matter how politically incorrect it has been deemed by societal elites.

Here you won't read about seven gay marriages in Douglas County or other issues that divide the nation over 2% of the population.  That won't change no matter how many e-mails or nasty comments we get from those who put rainbow flags on their vacuous Facebook posts or from young people still living with their parents -- or off their parents.

Instead, today we focus again on illegal immigration and its negative impact on our county and country.  We do this because we believe burying our collective heads in the sand is not only unwise, but dangerous.

In 2008, this blog took on the Crete News editor over the issue of illegal immigration and the additional crime it has brought to our county.  Back then, the Crete News editor disputed our analysis that showed nearly 40% of the stops and arrests by local law enforcement involved individuals with Hispanic surnames.  They included those charged with using stolen identities, as well as a habitual criminal who was booked on felony charges of committing terrorist threats.

What has happened in Crete since 2008? One estimate given to this blog says approximately 40% of the white residents residing in Crete in 2005 are no longer there.  Some have passed on, but many more have moved away.  

The point of this post is not only to recall our point-counterpoint with the Crete News, but to keep our readers focused on the bigger picture. Illegal immigration (and legal) is impacting every corner of our nation –- not just Saline County. Consider these statistics from around the country according to a nationally syndicated columnist:

  • Immigrants admitted before 1970 made more money, bought more houses and were more educated than Americans. The post-Kennedy immigrants are astronomically less-educated, poorer and more likely to be on welfare than the native population. 
  • Although America is admitting more immigrants, they are coming from fewer countries than they did before 1970. The country is becoming less "diverse," but a lot poorer and a lot more Latin.
  • America has already taken in one-fourth of Mexico's entire population. 
  • In 1970, there were almost no Nigerian immigrants in the United States. Our country is now home to more Nigerians than any country in the world except Nigeria. 
  • The government refuses to tell us how many prisoners in the United States are immigrants. That information is not available anywhere. But the ancillary facts suggest that the number is astronomical. 
  • There are more foreign inmates in New York state prisons from Mexico than from the entire continent of Europe.
  • In some areas of America, law enforcement authorities have given up on prosecuting statutory rape cases against Mexican men in their 30s who impregnate 12- and 13-year-old girls, after repeatedly encountering parents who view their little girls' pregnancies as a "blessing." (Sex with girls as young as 12 years old is legal in 31 of the 32 states of Mexico.)
  • The same North Carolina newspapers that gave flood-the-zone coverage to a rape that never happened at a Duke lacrosse party completely ignore real rapes happening right under their noses, being committed against children by immigrants providing cheap labor to the state's farming and meat-packing industries.
  • Since 2004, Mexican gangs have beheaded at least a half-dozen people in the United States. 
  • Mexican drug cartels -- not ISIS -- pioneered the practice of posting videotaped beheadings online. 
  • An alleged "ISIS" beheading video making the rounds in 2014 was actually a Mexican beheading video from 2010. 

If you would like to report illegal aliens, please call Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) at 1-866-DHS-2ICE (347-2423). They will need to know names, locations (either work place or residence) and any other specific information you can provide. 

Despite the current administration's inaction on illegal immigration enforcement, they must follow the law, eventually.  Keep calling.

If you are a legal resident of this country and are paying taxes, it's your right.