Julie Buntjer joined the Globe newsroom in December 2003, after working more than nine years for weekly newspapers. A native of Worthington, she has a bachelor's degree in agriculture journalism. Find more of her stories of farm life, family and various other tidbits at farmbleat.areavoices.com.
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WORTHINGTON -- Dig out those sunbonnets and top hats, it's time once again for the Old-Fashioned Fourth of July celebration at Worthington's Pioneer Village. While a majority of the events take place on Sunday, the village is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, with the Prairie Reapers hosting their 24th annual Power Reunion. This year's display will feature the Massey Ferguson tractor and machinery, though all makes are welcome, according to organizer Reinerd Bosma of Round Lake. A tractor pull is planned at 11 a.m.
SIBLEY, Iowa -- Words on a wall inside the kitchen of John and Judy Schuck's rural Sibley home seem to say it all. "Home is where your story begins." For John, saying those words aloud Tuesday morning brought a catch to his voice and a hand to his eyes. Later in the day, the home that had served four generations of the Schuck family was coming down. At 103 years old, the damage from Friday night's tornado was just too much to overcome. It was the only home John had ever known in his 66 years. His parents moved out and his wife moved in after they were married 47 years ago.
SIBLEY, Iowa -- Dale Van Engen has lived on a farm all of his life, and he isn't going to let something like a tornado change that. If Van Engen had his way, another house would have been moved in "yesterday," he said Tuesday afternoon, more than three days after a twister wiped out 12 of his 14 buildings, left one shed with half a roof and moved his house slightly off of its foundation. That the home is standing at all is a miracle, according to Van Engen, who in greeting visitors to the farm says he's lucky to be walking and talking. When the storm hit Friday night, he was laying in bed i
SIBLEY, Iowa -- American Red Cross personnel packed up their supplies in Sibley Sunday evening and headed south toward Cherokee, Iowa, and another natural disaster -- flooding. Their departure is a sign that emergency response efforts are wrapping up after multiple tornadoes wreaked havoc on farmsteads in eastern Lyon County and western Osceola County Friday night. "Right now, we've basically disbanded our traffic control for the areas that were damaged, and we're asking for volunteers to clean up the fields," said Sibley Fire Chief Ken Huls Monday afternoon.
Sunday 10:39 p.m. update SIBLEY, Iowa -- Henry and Twila Bents had no more than stepped into the basement of their rural Sibley home Friday night when a tornado -- estimated at about a half-mile wide at times -- made a direct hit on their two-story home. The structure was ripped from its foundation, twisted and scattered in a corn field just east of their farmsite and beyond in a storm that damaged or destroyed 11 farms in far eastern Lyon County and western Osceola County. In the midst of it all, the Bentses survived virtually unscathed.
Sunday 10:40 update SIBLEY, Iowa -- Dead pigs were scattered and strewn about the Travis Dagel farmsite southeast of Sibley Saturday afternoon, more than 12 hours after a tornado ripped through four confinement barns on a path that destroyed farms and scattered debris for several miles in Osceola County. Dagel, who lives in Worthington, arrived on the scene shortly after 10:30 Friday night to find two of his four barns completely obliterated, a third moved at least 50 feet off its foundation and a fourth that, while still standing, will likely be declared a total loss. As h
LAKE WILSON -- Representatives from Rock, Nobles and Murray counties toured the Schwan's Call Center in Lake Wilson Thursday morning as part of continuing discussion about combining county emergency dispatch operations into one central location. The former school is one of two sites being considered as a joint dispatch center.
WESTBROOK -- After more than two years of planning, the community of Westbrook will dedicate a memorial Sunday afternoon to honor its veterans. Placed in a corner of the Westbrook City Park, near the H.J. Christensen ball field, the memorial features an etched stone, surrounded by four additional stones containing the names of 479 veterans with ties to the community. The memorial will be dedicated at 1:30 p.m. Sunday as part of Westbrook's Fun Days celebration. "We're going to have a small program," said Deb Jans, one of five people who served on the memorial committee. Sen.
PIPESTONE -- The Calumet Players will present The Music Man tonight through Sunday as part of Pipestone's annual Watertower Festival. Performances will begin at 7:30 p.m. today through Saturday, with a 2 p.m. matinee performance on Sunday, all at the Pipestone Performing Arts Center. Tickets are still available for each performance, and can be reserved by calling the Box Office at 1-877-722-2787. Among the events planned for today are a kids' bike parade at 6 p.m.; Wiener Dog Races at 7 p.m.; and hot dogs, chips and soft drinks served at Vet's Park from 5:30 to 7 p.m.
WORTHINGTON -- Nobles County Commissioners on Tuesday approved a development agreement with Energy Services Group of Wayzata to implement approximately $1.5 million in energy-saving projects in county buildings. The projects have the potential to save the county a minimum of $72,000 per year, according to ESG's Rob Brown, who spoke during the board meeting. Brown said ESG has been in business for more than 20 years, working with counties, cities and school districts on green initiatives.