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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BREWSTER -- There were no injuries, no lives lost and no mass explosions, but when a fire broke out at Minnesota Soybean Processors on May 23, more than 20 fire departments from across southwest Minnesota and northwest Iowa responded to the scene with manpower, tanker trucks, aerials and turn-out gear. The call came into the Nobles County Sheriff's Office shortly before 10 p.m. on the Saturday night of Memorial Day weekend.
ADRIAN -- It was a Christmas tragedy and a Christmas miracle all rolled into one very long day for Jeff Bullerman and his family on Friday. The rural Adrian farmer awoke that morning to find much of the roof on one of his 100- by 344-foot cattle feeder barns collapsed under the weight of snow, with cattle trapped underneath. Within hours, family, friends and neighbors -- estimates are between 30 and 50 people -- had arrived on the scene to help remove sheets of metal and wooden rafters from the pole-type building and save the animals they could.
LUVERNE -- Johnnie Johnson is fondly referred to as a triple-decker by some of the staff at the Royal C. Johnson Veterans Administration Hospital in Sioux Falls, S.D. The nickname refers to the collection of medals Johnson earned while serving in World War II -- the Purple Heart, Bronze Star and Navy Commendation. Johnson, of Luverne, is among more than 60 World War II veterans who have already submitted applications to take part in the first ever Southwest Minnesota Honor Flight, planned in the spring of 2010.
WORTHINGTON -- In its final meeting of the year, Nobles County commissioners on Tuesday finalized the 2010 budget, setting the property tax levy at $9,568,807 for the coming year -- an increase of .71 percent over 2009.
WORTHINGTON - The Nobles County Planning Commission Wednesday night approved an updated subsurface sewage treatment ordinance that will, if approved by county commissioners, require all property owners to have a compliant septic system in operation at the point of sale or transfer to a new owner. The requirement is among several rule changes that will be recommended to the county board for approval at its Jan. 19 meeting. Once approved, the changes will take effect prior to the state-imposed deadline of Feb.
WORTHINGTON -- Students in the Partners in Prevention program at Adrian, Ellsworth, Luverne, Hills-Beaver Creek and Round Lake-Brewster gathered in Adrian Wednesday to begin a new initiative that takes a closer look at nutrition in the schools of Nobles and Rock counties. Organized by Nobles-Rock Community Health Services, the training was funded by the Statewide Health Improvement Program (SHIP) grant the agency received earlier this year to focus programming on tobacco and obesity prevention. Paula Anderson, NRCHS health educator, said looking at nutrition options in the schools is one way
LUVERNE -- They are considered the men and women of the greatest generation of Americans. They served their country during World War II and quietly returned home to their families. They desired not fame or recognition, but now that a national monument has been built in their honor, it's only fitting that they be able to see it. Since May 2005, World War II veterans from around the country have been able to see their memorial, free of charge, thanks to the Honor Flight program.
WORTHINGTON -- It was a disappointing turnout for H1N1 flu shot clinics offered to preschool through 12th grade students in Ellsworth, Hills-Beaver Creek, Adrian and Round Lake-Brewster school districts on Friday and Monday. Nobles-Rock Community Health Services Administrator Brad Meyer said just 35 percent of the students in each of the districts returned parental consent forms and received the shot during the first school-wide vaccination clinics offered for the H1N1 injectable and nasal mist.
WORTHINGTON -- Six-year-old Samara sat atop the bed in her room, looked around at her pink walls and family pictures and exclaimed that it was "beautiful." She was not only referring to her room, but the entire house that she and her mother, Amber Nordby, and 2-year-old sister Kiana were going to be moving into Saturday afternoon. The Nordbys celebrated the dedication of their new home in a ceremony Saturday morning.
WORTHINGTON -- One week ago today, Eugene Erlandson walked the halls of The Meadows in Worthington proudly wearing the cap that told his fellow neighbors he was a survivor of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. While not at Pearl Harbor specifically -- he was stationed on the base of Wheeler Air Field, some 15 to 20 miles inland -- Erlandson will never forget the day all hell broke loose on the Hawaiian island. Erlandson grew up the son of farmers in rural Rushmore.