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 -- One week after Nobles County Commissioners enacted a hiring freeze in all county departments, excluding essential employees, Sheriff Kent Wilkening brought forth two requests to replace positions during Tuesday morning's board meeting. Wilkening is hoping to fill a night sergeant position in the sheriff's office that was vacated due to a retirement, and a full-time jailer post also recently vacated. Board chairman Marv Zylstra reminded Wilkening of the county-wide hiring freeze, but Wilkening -- armed with the state statute clarifying what constitutes an essential employee --
SLAYTON -- Denny Johnson and his wife, Debbie, figure they had about half a dozen good years in their new home on Valhalla Road, just west of Lake Shetek, before the stench arrived. On a good day they might dare to open the window and let in the cool breeze, but they have become wary of doing so. One never knows when the wind will change direction and their home will be filled with the smell of human waste. The Johnsons' front door is within 110 feet of lift station No. 2 in the Shetek Area Water and Sewer (SAWS) District.
ELLSWORTH -- Since its inception in late 1981, the Kanaranzi-Little Rock Watershed District has had a Frahm serving on its board of directors. First it was Dennis, who served until his death in 1992, and then it was his wife, Connie, who in the last 18 years has helped to oversee how dollars are spent on projects to improve soil conservation and water quality in Nobles and eastern Rock counties. With nearly three decades of leadership on the board, the Frahms learned much about conservation practices and how they can be utilized to make agricultural land more productive.
HERON LAKE -- Finding a balance between conservation practices and production agriculture took center stage Wednesday night and Thursday morning, as the public weighed in on the efforts of the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council. The 12-member council is tasked with identifying and funding projects across Minnesota that protect, enhance and restore wildlife. It receives one-third of the funds raised through the special three-eighths of 1 percent state sales tax implemented in July 2009.
WORTHINGTON -- As long as farmers continue to pay high prices for land, property values are going to continue to climb -- and they did again this year. Nobles County Assessor Byron Swart said owners of agricultural land will see another 10 percent increase in their valuations after recorded land sales from Oct. 1, 2008 through Sept. 30, 2009, showed demand for farm ground has not waned. During the one-year period, 47 sales were recorded in Nobles County -- only three of which included farm buildings.
WORTHINGTON -- After considerable discussion on how to cut nearly $750,000 from the 2011 budget as a result of lost state aid, Nobles County Commissioners Tuesday night ultimately decided to direct department heads to get creative. With budget talks fast approaching, commissioners planned the special Tuesday evening meeting to be updated on the county program aid forecast, and come to a consensus on how county departments should proceed with their budget plans. Before moving into their discussion on budget cuts, however, board members decided to hold off on filling the vacant finance directo
WORTHINGTON -- Cities and townships across Nobles County were tasked with reevaluating 55 parcels during their individual board of adjustment meetings in recent months, but just one of those property owners came before Nobles County Commissioners Tuesday night to request further reduction in property valuation. Judy Christians was granted a $200 reduction -- from $306,600 to $306,400 -- from the Larkin Township Board after pointing out an incorrect description in a grain bin.
WORTHINGTON -- Everyone has a story. This, Sharon Kelly knows. The Worthington woman has been busy in recent weeks going door to door in her neighborhood and around the community selling luminary bags and butterfly sponsorships for this weekend's 14th annual Nobles County Relay for Life, a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. Kelly, a two-time cancer survivor, will serve as Honorary Chair of the event and speak during the 7 p.m.
WORTHINGTON -- With states to the east, west and south all noting confirmed cases of the measles and mumps in recent months, the concern is that it is only going to be a matter of time before Minnesota sees an increase in cases. Earlier this week, Nobles-Rock Community Health Services administrator Brad Meyer said the return of measles and mumps cases is because some people are choosing not to have their children immunized.