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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NEW ORLEANS, La.
LUVERNE -- Gilbert Ketterling still has the scars on his legs and a few marks on his back to show where shrapnel scattered and pierced his body 66 years ago. "I didn't get hurt that bad," said the now-90-year-old World War II veteran from Luverne. "It was just small pieces of shrapnel." Still, the injuries landed Ketterling in a hospital and were enough to earn him one of the military's most esteemed medals, the Purple Heart. That Ketterling talks in slang about the Japanese enemies he fought during four years, four months and 10 days of service to the U.S.
JEFFERS -- He served in every leadership position on the board -- most of them more than one term -- but as of last week, Ron Jorgenson is officially retired after 20 years of service to his local cooperative elevator. Jorgenson was recognized Jan. 11 during the annual meeting of New Vision Cooperative. He served as board chairman from 2003 through 2005, and prior to that spent one year as vice president, four years as secretary and two years as treasurer. Though his time on the board of directors is now complete, Jorgenson is far from retiring.
WORTHINGTON -- Nobles County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) technician Ed Lenz presented county commissioners on Tuesday with information on two programs that can help lower property taxes for people who own land adjacent to parcels identified for potential development. The Green Acres program, offered by the Minnesota Department of Revenue, offers a reduced tax rate for parcels adjacent to developable property for up to 10 years, with a reenrollment option available. Land enrolled in the program may continue to be farmed.
WORTHINGTON -- One of the greatest misconceptions regarding land purchased for Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) is that once the land is turned over for habitat development, tax dollars are no longer collected on the parcel. Scott Rall, president of Nobles County Pheasants Forever, said he's been trying to debunk that myth for years. In most cases, the annual taxes paid on WMAs are higher than what was collected when the land was in production. In Nobles County, the Department of Natural Resources maintains 30 WMAs, comprising more than 4,400 acres of marginal land.
WORTHINGTON -- The recent warm-up has certainly helped melt some of the snow that has accumulated in southwest Minnesota this winter, but it has also resulted in a freezing and thawing on roofs that could cause considerable damage if ice dams have already built up. Ice dams, which form on eaves and overhangs and create spectacular icicles, are a common sight this year because of all the snow that has fallen in the region. Richard Stone, Extension educator in housing technology from the University of Minnesota, said ice dams form as warm air from a home's attic escapes through the roof and me
WORTHINGTON -- At age 12, Cole Bartels isn't old enough to jump into the frigid waters of Lake Okabena this Saturday to show his support for the Southwest Minnesota Honor Flight. However, the sixth grader at Worthington Middle School is doing all he can to raise money and ensure that at least one veteran will be able to fly free of charge to view the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C., this spring. Last week, Bartels' mother was listening to The Highway Patrol -- U.S.
ROUND LAKE -- Nearly 175 employees of Farley's & Sathers in Round Lake walked out the doors of the production facility for the last time on Friday, the last day of product packaging at the site. The overnight shift at the plant finished work at 7 a.m. Friday, with subsequent shifts wrapping up their last day of work at 3 p.m.
PIPESTONE -- With the exception of his 42 months in the U.S. Air Force during World War II, 90-year-old Loren Hubner has spent his entire life within a quarter-mile stretch of farmland on the northwest side of Pipestone. It was the Air Force, he said, that allowed him to see the world, alongside the good and bad of a war between nations. "I'm happy that I was in," he said. "I saw so much of the world, and I was treated really good.
WORTHINGTON -- The Worthington City Council voted Monday night to take the first step in examining the feasibility of selling the city's industrial wastewater treatment facility. JBS has expressed interest in owning the plant, and is the facility's primary user. City Engineer Dwayne Haffield presented information from Wenck Associates of Windom and Flaherty & Hood P.A. on the technical and legal issues of pursuing a sale of the property.