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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ARNOLDS PARK, Iowa -- For 89 years, the original steamboat Queen traversed the waters of West Okoboji, hauling lumber and mail, but mostly people, from point to point around the lake. She arrived back in 1884 as a transport vessel, according to Mary Kennedy, curator of the Great Lakes Maritime Museum.
WORTHINGTON -- Gayden "Gator" Wohlman figures he owns more than 500 tractors and hundreds of other pieces of implements, from drags and disks to manure spreaders, combines, augers and wagons. While you might think he owns an implement dealership or two, he probably could -- as long as his customers were only interested in miniature John Deeres. Wohlman, who grew up on a farm midway between Sacred Heart and Renville, transformed his love for farm life into a small-scale farming operation in the basement of his Worthington home.
CHANDLER -- The USS Gambier Bay went down in history as the only American aircraft carrier to be sunk by gunfire during World War II. She remains at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean today, a victim of an Imperial Japanese Navy attack on Oct. 25, 1944. More than 120 of the Gambier Bay's sailors were killed in action, with another 208 wounded in battle. Still, an estimated 800 men survived -- among them, Carl "Whitey" Amundson of Chandler. They floated for 44 hours at sea, the injured taking refuge in life rafts to avoid attracting sharks with a nose for iron-rich blood.
WORTHINGTON -- On a 3-1 vote Tuesday morning, Nobles County Commissioners decided to move forward with a public hearing in Commissioner District 4 to discuss filling the seat vacated by Norm Gallagher. The hearing, required within 30 days of a vacancy, will allow commissioners to collect comments and recommendations from residents of District 4. The meeting is slated for 7 p.m. April 19, in the board room of the Nobles County Government Center.
WORTHINGTON -- Nobles County Commissioners tabled action on a resolution pertaining to the Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) consolidation during their meeting Tuesday. The proposed project involves the consolidation of several county dispatch centers in southwest Minnesota into a central dispatch site. Six counties have participated in the PSAP study for the past several months. "It's up to each county board if they want to make that decision to move forward," said Nobles County Sheriff Kent Wilkening on Tuesday morning. Initially, nine counties were involved in the study.
WORTHINGTON -- On a 3-1 vote this morning, Nobles County Commissioners decided to move forward with a public hearing in Commissioner District 4 to discuss filling the seat vacated by Norm Gallagher. The public hearing, required within 30 days of a vacancy, will allow commissioners to collect comments from the public. The meeting is slated for 7 p.m. April 19, in the board room of the Nobles County Government Center.
WORTHINGTON -- The Nobles County Planning Commission has tabled a request from Mortenson Construction & enXco to develop a lay-down yard, construction offices and a concrete mix plant on land in the northeast quarter of Section 6, Dewald Township. The action was taken during the commission's March 31 meeting. The two entities are now in the process of meeting with other landowners in the area that may be willing to rent them some land for the operation.
WORTHINGTON -- With bids for the next phase of the Minnesota 60 four-lane expansion project due to the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) in less than three weeks, construction is still on track to start sometime around mid-July. The good news is that there will not be a detour this year for the project. Rebecca Arndt, Public Affairs Coordinator with MnDOT's District 7 office in Mankato, said the decision to avoid a detour in 2010 was made in January. "We're going to keep traffic on the existing road until spring 2011," said Keith Bloomgren, resident engineer of the Windom offic
LUVERNE -- Whether you have an hour or an afternoon, the Rock County Veteran's Memorial Building in downtown Luverne is a must-see for anyone interested in the history of southwest Minnesota and the stories of Rock County veterans who served in World War II. Between its opening on July 18, 2009, and the end of the year, the Herreid Military Museum, located on the third level of the four-story former jail, welcomed more than 6,800 visitors. While many of them were from the region, visitors have stopped in from California to Florida.
LUVERNE -- More than a decade after volunteers with the Rock County Historical Society began restoring the Hinkly House Museum to the Queen Anne stylings of the late 1800s, the finishing touches are finally completed. With paintbrush in hand on a recent afternoon, Diane Jauert was busily adding a second coat of paint to a cabinet in the kitchen -- the final room to get a makeover. "Every room in the house will be done now," said Jauert, who was instrumental in renovating each of the 12 rooms in the home. "I'm very happy with it.