Julie Buntjer joined the Daily Globe newsroom in December 2003, after working more than nine years for weekly newspapers. A native of Worthington and graduate of Worthington High School, then-Worthington Community College and South Dakota State University, she has a bachelor's degree in agriculture journalism.
At the Daily Globe, Julie covers the agricultural beat, as well as Nobles County government, watersheds, community news and feature stories. In her spare time, she enjoys needlework (cross-stitch and hardanger embroidery), reading, travel, fishing and spending time with family.
Find more of her stories of farm life, family and various other tidbits at www.farmbleat.areavoices.com.
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WORTHINGTON -- With the number of bird and human cases of avian flu on the rise -- and with the recent outbreak of mumps in Iowa -- the timing of a mock pandemic immunization drill planned next week in Nobles and Rock counties seems impeccable. Public health, clinic and hospital personnel, along with more than 30 volunteers, will conduct a mass dispensing clinic June 15 in Worthington as part of their training for a disease pandemic.
WORTHINGTON -- Nobles County Commissioners on Tuesday tabled the adoption of a personnel policy that calls for all county employees to wear identification badges while on the job. The proposed policy, developed as a result of the county's long-range plan of 2004, was hoped to create an "environment of safety and security" for county employees and the public.
ROUND LAKE -- There won't be a parade, a street dance or games in the park, but Round Lake will still be hopping Saturday when it hosts a stop on the KICD-sponsored tractor ride through Jackson County. The Round Lake Community Club has cancelled this year's Sun & Fun Day due to a lack of volunteers to help organize the one-day event. Instead, local church youth group members, senior citizens and the Legion will serve food to some 250 people coming to town on the tractor ride. The public is invited to see the tractors and enjoy bratwurst and other food items from 11 a.m.
ELLSWORTH -- Panther Pride will be in full force during Ellsworth's Family Fun Days celebration this Friday through Sunday, cashing in on the theme, "Big Dreams in a Small Town." Mary DeBoer, Ellsworth Optimist Club member and parade organizer, said there will be plenty of maroon and gold as the town celebrates its heritage -- and its boys basketball team, which was the state Class A runner-up in March. The entire team will serve as Grand Marshals for Saturday's 7:30 p.m. parade.
WORTHINGTON -- Grass clippings whipped in the wind as Avera McKennan's Careflight helicopter approached for landing Friday night at the Worthington Municipal Airport. The helicopter's visit was part of a training exercise for the region's emergency personnel and was hosted by the local squadron of the Civil Air Patrol (CAP).
JACKSON -- Although Jackson's sesquicentennial celebration is more than a month away, folks in this southern Minnesota community are finding unique ways to celebrate their rural heritage all year long. Such will be the case next Friday and Saturday, when the community serves as host to a caravan of antique and classic tractors -- 250 in all -- that will parade throughout the county in a two-day span encompassing a northern route and a southern route. Sponsored by KICD radio of Spencer, Iowa, the tractor ride is in its seventh year.
WORTHINGTON -- More than 40 Worthington High School students became published writers and poets during the 2005-2006 school year, their works appearing in such periodicals as the National High School Writer and Young Poets Speak Out -- among others. Now, thanks to a volunteer project completed by a graduating senior during spring quarter, those works can be viewed locally in the WHS-produced Trojan Writer.
LUVERNE -- What began as a way to celebrate the only state-owned buffalo herd in Minnesota has grown into the 22nd annual Buffalo Days celebration in Luverne, complete with a grand parade, craft fair and notorious buffalo chip-throwing contest. The event, slated for Friday through Sunday, coincides with the Minnesota State Park open house -- a weekend in which people can visit any state park within Minnesota's boundaries for free. "The community wanted to do something to ... show off Blue Mound State Park," Luverne Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Dave Smith said.
WORTHINGTON -- Summer vacation is here -- or is soon to come -- for school-aged children in southwest Minnesota. For parents, it means making arrangements for child care and scheduling swimming lessons or other activities to keep kids busy. Invariably, a child's summer vacation creates issues for working parents who wonder, "When is a child old enough to stay home alone, or care for a younger sibling?" Karen DeBoer, director of Southwest Child Care Resource and Referral in Worthington, said it depends on the development of the child.
WORTHINGTON -- Agencies across southwest Minnesota have gathered together in recent months to conduct table-top drills, build stronger relationships and develop a system of coordinated response in the event of a natural disaster or pandemic situation. On Thursday, those agencies -- including law enforcement, public health, hospitals and emergency management -- came to the table again. But instead of acting out a scenario to supply vaccine to essential personnel or identify the county's emergency response locations, participants this time learned how to deal with the press. While movies and