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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- 1 year 9 months
WORTHINGTON -- Most people today equate Lake Okabena with windsurfing, jet skiing and fishing, but at one time, the lake served as one of the major sources of ice for railroad cars transporting perishables, meat processing facilities and even the small ice boxes people had in their homes. This month marks the 55th anniversary of the last ice harvest on Lake Okabena -- a bit of trivia one of Worthington's native sons is betting that few recall. Monday night, Tim Graf will return to Worthington to present a history lesson on the local ice harvests.
SIBLEY, Iowa -- With a state-imposed March 15 deadline for counties to submit their budgets for 2006-2007, Osceola County public safety commissioners said their backs were up against the wall as they settled on a law enforcement budget Wednesday night. The agreed-upon budget, which has yet to be approved by the county's board of supervisors, was set at $866,440 -- nearly $37,000 more than what the county and cities had offered for law enforcement.
ELLSWORTH -- Three stars shy of perfection. When one considers a perfect score as 40 stars, three stars short is still in the 90th percentile.
WORTHINGTON -- Nobles County Commissioners on Tuesday tabled a request to relocate the office of the county's emergency management official from the Government Center to new quarters at the Prairie Justice Center. Sheriff Kent Wilkening made the request, stating that moving the office to the PJC would allow for a better flow of communication between law enforcement and various response agencies. He also requested the position fall under the auspices of the sheriff. "We have to be committed to excellence and safer communities," Wilkening said.
WORTHINGTON -- In an effort to continue the fight against methamphetamine and illegal drugs, Nobles County commissioners on Tuesday approved the hiring of an additional full-time deputy in the sheriff's department. The added officer, who will be hired by May 1, will fill the void left when one of the department's deputies begins serving on the Buffalo Ridge Drug Task Force.
WINDOM -- As a group of men shared stories at a corner table over morning coffee, a line had formed at the counter for orders of Value Meals or hotcakes. Behind the scenes, McDonald's manager Jeff Hauglid moved from station to station to see that orders were being filled. It seemed like a typical Monday morning for the 30-something-year-old Hauglid who, in just two short months, will be honored with the highest award attainable for any McDonald's manager. He is among the top 1 percent -- roughly one of 150 managers nationwide -- chosen as a recipient of the 2005 Ray Kroc award.
ELLSWORTH -- Although she has traded in the North Country for the Deep South -- albeit temporarily -- Janelle (Jenniges) Palatas has done her hometown of Ellsworth proud. The Air Force ROTC (Reserve Officer Training Corps) cadet was recently selected from a field of more than 15,000 individuals as the U.S. Air Force Cadet of the Year. At the same time, the ROTC unit at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln -- of which she was a member -- earned the Right of Line award.
WORTHINGTON -- People may recognize them as sponsors of the Big Top tent filled with lions, tigers and elephants each July at the Nobles County Fairgrounds, but most know them only as drivers of the roaring motorcycles that perform figure-eights down 10th Street in the King Turkey Day parade. The Worthington Area Shrine Club, on the heels of its 50th anniversary in 2005, is celebrating once again after one of its members was honored as the El Riad Shrine's Noble of the Year. Gary Stewart, of Worthington, received the honor during a Jan.
WORTHINGTON -- Within a span of a few days, Nobles County Cooperative Oil Co. (NCCO) completed a merger and consolidated two of its Worthington locations into one. On Dec. 31, the member-owned cooperative was purchased by Osceola County (Iowa) Cooperative Oil Co. (OCCO), bringing an end to the 79-year-long run of NCCO.
LUVERNE -- The Luverne School District went down to the wire to approve a new two-year teacher contract, reaching a compromise Monday afternoon. Contracts not settled by Tuesday would have resulted in a state-imposed penalty of $25 per student -- or $32,000 for District 2184. Superintendent Gary Fisher said the total package, including teacher salaries, PERA, FICA and health insurance will amount to about an 8.5 percent increase.