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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WORTHINGTON -- With one rain delay after another keeping area farmers out of the fields, Gene "Pucky" Sandager thinks farmers should start putting names to these "monsoons" of rain and snow showers that have interrupted harvest -- kind of like they assign names to tropical storms and hurricanes. Maintaining a good sense of humor is critical, said the rural Hills farmer, just as the latest information on Minnesota's crop harvest shows that nearly two-thirds of the state's soybean crop is still in the field, along with more than 95 percent of the corn crop.
WORTHINGTON -- More than 30 people attended an informational meeting Thursday afternoon on the proposed Nobles Wind Project to be constructed in Olney, Dewald, Larkin and Summit Lake townships beginning in the spring of 2010. The meeting was the first of two planned Thursday at the Reading Community Center, and was meant to give the public an update on the permitting process and to ask questions. The Nobles Wind Project will include 134, 1.5-megawatt GE wind turbines, for a total capacity of 201 megawatts. The towers will stand 389 feet tall, including the blade.
WORTHINGTON -- A few changes are in store for Ridley Block Operations on the east edge of Worthington in the coming months. The plant that specializes in Crystalyx, a blended molasses nutritional product for cattle, will undergo an expansion by mid-December to manufacture the Golden Lyk line of compressed nutritional blocks for livestock. Ridley Inc. announced the purchase of Golden Lyk LLC and its parent company, Denco, to shareholders earlier this month.
SIBLEY, Iowa -- Sibley-Ocheyedan High School agriculture instructor Mike Earll has been named a runner-up in Iowa's 2009 Excellence in Education award. More than 70 teachers across the state were nominated for the honor. Earll will be recognized at an awards ceremony and banquet Tuesday, at Hy-Vee Hall in downtown Des Moines.
WORTHINGTON -- During a special meeting of the Nobles County Board Monday afternoon, commissioners adopted a resolution to complete a participation plan -- the next step in the process toward implementing a new radio system. The action was taken in response to the Federal Communication Commission's requirement that agencies nationwide switch to a narrow band communications system by 2013. In Minnesota, the metro area converted to the ARMER (Allied Radio Matrix for Emergency Response) system several years ago.
ELLSWORTH -- They shimmered and shone in the sunlight by mid-afternoon Saturday -- 14,000 white plastic spoons, each to symbolize the death of a child under the age of five.
WINDOM -- A coating of snow and temperatures in the upper 20s wasn't what the people of Windom had hoped for when they planned their grand re-opening of the Windom Municipal Airport Saturday morning. Guests were dressed in winter coats, hats, scarves and mittens to welcome Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, along with State Sen. Jim Vickerman and Rep. Rod Hamilton to the airport's hangar for the event. The grand opening celebration was one of the final events to cap off what had been more than a month-long salute to aviation at the Cottonwood County Historical Museum in Windom.
WORTHINGTON -- Eleven people, including one infant, are without a home after fire and smoke heavily damaged their multi-unit house early Friday morning. The Worthington Fire Department was paged to 839 10th St. shortly after 1 a.m. Friday to find the fire confined mostly to the kitchen and living area on the main floor of the older, three-story home. No one was injured in the blaze, and six people were at home at the time the fire broke out. Worthington Fire Chief Rick Von Holdt said the cause of the fire was a space heater that was plugged in or running.
WORTHINGTON -- Worthington native Branden Roth, who left his hometown behind more than two years ago to pursue a life-long dream to become an actor, will appear in an episode of "I'm Alive" tonight on Animal Planet. The show airs at 8 p.m., and is the first in what Animal Planet hopes will be a new series on its network. The show shares the real-life stories of people who encounter attacks by animals and survive. In the episode, Roth plays the older brother of a boy who was bitten by a Black Widow Spider.
WORTHINGTON -- A bridge closure near Ellsworth and concerns regarding ownership of a bridge over a judicial ditch north of Worthington dominated the discussion at Tuesday morning's Nobles County Board of Commissioners meeting. Nobles County Public Works Director Stephen Schnieder said the county took action to close the bridge on County State Aid Highway 11, about a mile northeast of Ellsworth, after it was discovered the bridge had shifted about two to three inches and was beginning to tilt. "The bridge is starting to tip, and the beams underneath are completely rotted through," said Schnie