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 remaining budget concerns and a staffing shortage, Nobles-Rock Community Health Services (NRCHS) director Brad Meyer recommended to the board Wednesday that the school nursing program offered by the agency be discontinued at the end of the current school year. The agency provides nursing services at several of the smaller school districts in the county, including Round Lake, Brewster, Ellsworth and the Worthington Area Language Academy.
WORTHINGTON -- Sister Karen Thein with St. Mary's Catholic Church in Worthington received three calls Monday morning from residents fearful that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers were in the area. Rumors, she said, can be a terrible thing -- especially leading up to today's one-year anniversary of the ICE raid on the JBS Swift & Co. plant in Worthington. The raid's impact meant deportation for undocumented workers and left a hog processing plant scrambling to cover shifts.
WORTHINGTON -- Nobles County Administrator Mel Ruppert recapped the proposed 2008 county budget and property tax levy during a Truth in Taxation hearing that was attended primarily by county department heads Tuesday night. Nobles County has proposed a $23 million budget for 2008 and a tax levy increase of 7.66 percent. A portion of the levy increase -- 3 percent -- is dedicated for future capital improvement of county roads. Among the major factors impacting the county's 2008 budget are: The creation of a new school social worker position within the Human Services Agency.
LUVERNE -- In an effort to curb some of the overtime hours logged by deputies in the Rock County Sheriff's Department, the Rock County Board of Commissioners approved creation of a Posse/Reserve program. An all-volunteer group is hoped to be in place by next summer. Rock County Sheriff Evan Verbrugge said the role of posse members will be to assist the 11-member sheriff's department with special assignments, particularly with traffic control for large events in Luverne such as Buffalo Days, Art in the Park, the Tri-State Band Festival and Winterfest.
WORTHINGTON -- A father and son from rural Worthington were honored earlier this week as Nobles County's Outstanding Conservationists during the Minnesota Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts annual meeting in Rochester. Dorward and Steve Dykstra, who operate a dairy and grain farming operation south of Worthington, were recognized along with more than 60 other families from SWCDs across the state at a ceremony Tuesday. The Dykstra farms -- located in Section 16 and Section 33 of Bigelow Township -- have been home to numerous conservation projects over the years, from the pla
WORTHINGTON -- Nobles County Commissioners went into closed session during their board meeting Thursday to conduct an annual performance evaluation of county administrator Melvin Ruppert. Following the session, chairman Norm Gallagher reported that evaluation forms completed by each of the five county commissioners rated the administrator's work as commendable and outstanding. "The evaluation forms were all excellent, and we didn't have a single (commissioner) that had a problem," Gallagher said. While the commissioners were pleased with his job performance during the past year, there will
SLAYTON -- For livestock producers, continued growth in the ethanol industry can either be considered a boon or a bane, depending on what four-legged animals are being fed in the barn. During Cattle Feeder Day in Slayton Wednesday, University of Minnesota Extension's Mike Boersma said cattle producers should see brighter days ahead as more corn goes into ethanol production and the price of distiller's dried grains (DDGs) starts to flatten out. "If ethanol continues to grow the way it is now, producers will see an increase in corn price and a decrease in distiller's grains," Boersma said. Ro
LUVERNE -- "We all do better when we ALL do BETTER." That's the message Connie Connell sees every day when she goes to her refrigerator. The quote from the late Sen. Paul Wellstone serves as inspiration for the woman, who was recently honored by the Southwest Initiative Foundation (SWIF) for her 20 years of involvement in the 18-county region. Connell's tie to the foundation began in 1988 -- just two years after it was established -- when she submitted a grant request to SWIF while working for the Southwestern Mental Health Center in Luverne.
WORTHINGTON -- Are you planning to give or receive a new flat screen TV for Christmas? How about a new DVD player or computer? The Nobles County Environmental Office is starting a new program after the holidays that will allow residents to get rid of their old and non-working electronics for free. Environmental Officer Mark Koster said the city will host a collection in early January, in conjunction with Windom and Jackson. "We are working with other counties in the region, and if we get enough, they'll do a milk run and fill a semi load," Koster said.
ADRIAN -- For the first time in more than 40 years, Marvin Hoffenkamp wasn't able to deck his house and yard with festive lights and holiday decor for the Christmas season -- so his family, friends and neighbors did it for him. More than a dozen volunteers worked through snow, sleet and freezing rain Saturday to put up lights, glowing four-foot-tall candles, Santa and his reindeer and an array of other yard ornaments at the Hoffenkamp house on Arkansas Avenue, kitty-corner from the water tower in Adrian. Hoffenkamp's daughters, Dolly Bruns and Ruth Gunnink, coordinated the effort.