Julie Buntjer joined the 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 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 farmbleat.areavoices.com.
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WORTHINGTON -- Representatives from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development, Southwest Minnesota Housing Partnership and local dignitaries will gather at noon today in Worthington to celebrate June Homeownership Month and recognize a local woman and her son as first-time homebuyers. USDA Rural Development and the SWMHP worked together to get Delma Gonzales and her 16-year-old son Billy Rey Vallejo into a home of their own in Worthington.
WORTHINGTON -- Abang Ojullu sat in the middle of her living room floor on Sunday morning and told the story of her first Fourth of July experience in the United States. Born in Sudan, Ojullu knew well the sounds of war. The constant battles, the sounds of gunfire and the need to flee -- they were all a part of her past. So, when she was living inside a small apartment in Sioux Falls, S.D., and heard the "boom, boom" in the distance on the night of July 4, 1994, she grabbed her infant daughter and her 4-year-old son and hid in the closet.
WORTHINGTON -- Within a 10-day span, emergency personnel from Nobles County responded to two potentially serious events at area agriculture processing facilities -- a fire at Minnesota Soybean Processors (MnSP) in Brewster on May 23, and an anhydrous ammonia leak at JBS on Tuesday. While no one was injured in the soybean plant fire, the entire town of Brewster was evacuated and more than 20 fire departments from Minnesota and Iowa responded to the scene.
LUVERNE -- Honoring its prairie heritage and recognizing the buffalo herds that roam the Blue Mounds, the community of Luverne is marking the 25th anniversary of its annual Buffalo Days celebration this weekend. Events get under way Friday night and continue through Sunday. "This is a pretty good track record of everybody working together for the same means," said Luverne Area Chamber of Commerce Director Jane Wildung Lanphere of the community's long-standing celebration.
WORTHINGTON -- Investigators with the Minnesota Occupational Safety and Health Administration were on site at JBS on Wednesday, a day after an ammonia leak inside the pork processing facility sent 51 employees to the hospital. James Honerman, communications director for Minnesota OSHA, said one of the agency's top priorities is to investigate when three or more people are taken to the hospital as a result of a workplace accident. "We're going to interview employees who were working at the time, as well as interview the company's safety workers and review the training (provided) to employees,
WORTHINGTON -- Investigators with the Minnesota Occupational Safety and Health Adminstration were onsite at JBS on Wednesday, a day after an ammonia leak inside the pork processing facility sent 51 employees to the hospital. James Honerman, communications director for Minnesota OSHA, said one of the agency's top priorities is to investigate when three or more people are taken to the hospital as a result of a workplace accident. "We're going to interview employees who were working at the time, as well as interview the company's safety workers and review the training (provided) to employees,"
WORTHINGTON -- It has been one year since the Juvenile Sentencing Circle program was started in Worthington through Rock-Nobles Community Corrections (RNCC), and the agency's lead people are finding success. Jon Ramlo, director of RNCC, and Erin Top, juvenile restorative agent, told Nobles County Commissioners on Tuesday that there are a couple of active circle mentoring groups in the county today, with a third one to start in the near future.
WORTHINGTON -- Between 40 and 50 employees of JBS were transported to Sanford Regional Hospital Worthington (SRHW) Tuesday morning after they were sickened by an ammonia leak inside the pork processing facility, 1700 Minnesota 60 North, Worthington. As of 4:15 p.m. Tuesday, SRHW issued a press release saying that five of those patients were admitted and remain in fair condition in the hospital. The remainder were treated and released. The ammonia leak was reported to local law enforcement at 10:15 a.m. Tuesday.
JACKSON -- When Martin Lucin read a story in USA Today last December about a couple of women who have spent the last 50 years volunteering in Knox County, Ky., he found the story intriguing. So much so that it found its way into his sermon that following Sunday service. After church, he came home and tossed the article in the recycling bin. But the story of poverty and a health care system out of whack in one of the nation's poorest regions nagged at him.
WORTHINGTON -- Fabio Lopez realized at a young age that his homeland of Guatemala was not a land of opportunity. The third of 11 children born into poverty, he was just 10 years old when he left his home and family behind and headed into Mexico for work on coffee plantations. "We used to live in a civil war," he said. "I didn't see any opportunity to work (in Guatemala)." With military and guerilla forces at odds, the war was "pretty bad" when it arrived at his village.