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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WALNUT GROVE -- Tall grasses wave in the breeze as, in the distance, a team of horses leads a covered wagon along the banks of Plum Creek.
RUSHMORE -- The Rushmore Booster Club has been hard at work to organize this weekend's bigger, better and busier Pride and Heritage Days celebration.
WORTHINGTON -- They are brown, they are ugly, they have pinchers for tails, and they seem to be everywhere you look. The earwig population has exploded in the region, though University of Minnesota Extension Entomologist Jeff Hahn isn't sure what is contributing to their populous presence. "When we first started seeing them back in the 1990s, homes could get some really severe infestations," Hahn said. "Definitely, this is the worst year in a long time. Why it's happening, I can't really say.
WORTHINGTON -- From American bluegrass to Celtic dance, African rhythm and Korean dancers, the 17th annual International Festival this Friday and Saturday in Worthington should have broad public appeal. Hosted on the plaza of the Nobles County Government Center downtown, the event highlighting the community's cultural diversity will begin with a 5:30 p.m. opening ceremony Friday. A parade of flags representing 40 countries from around the world will kick off the event.
WORTHINGTON -- Two property owners impacted by Nobles County Ditch 2 spoke during a public hearing Tuesday morning regarding the possible clean-out of the four-mile long ditch system located west of Bigelow in Ransom Township. Richard Lowe, who owns property both in Minnesota and Iowa that abuts the ditch system explained he hasn't noticed any flow issues in the ditch system along his property, and said the assessment for clean-out would be a "major deal" for him. Jim Russell said the water level in the ditch last Friday was a foot and a half above his field. "The last time Harry (Russell)
WORTHINGTON -- Nobles County commissioners on Tuesday authorized Sheriff Kent Wilkening to replace a night sergeant position vacated more than a month ago by a retirement, but the move didn't come without considerable discussion and a few attempted political maneuvers by the sheriff. In a follow-up to a request tabled at the last board meeting, Wilkening asked Tuesday to stay at the staffing level commissioners approved for this budget year.
PIPESTONE -- A motherdaughter team of caregivers in Pipestone is making it possible for people to remain in their own home, and out of the assisted living or nursing home setting, a little longer. Lisa and Allison Hubers established a Comfort Keepers franchise in their community last November and have now expanded to serve clients across southwest Minnesota, from the South Dakota and Iowa state lines as far north as Morris and east to Windom. Comfort Keepers, with more than 550 franchises around the world, focuses on providing services to seniors and adults in need.
WORTHINGTON -- The Independence Day holiday has long been used as a gauge in crop development, but the old adage of knee-high by the Fourth of July seems rather outdated. Actually, this year's corn crop is hip-high to waist-high in most area fields. There are spots, however, where the crops aren't looking as well, particularly in fields damaged by high winds and hail -- more prevalent in west-central and southeast Minnesota, as well as in northwest Iowa.
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.