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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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.
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.