Julie Buntjer joined the Daily 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 Daily 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 www.farmbleat.areavoices.com.
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- 3 years 8 months
WORTHINGTON -- When you ask people what they like about living in Minnesota, the response often has to do with the people, the lakes or the four seasons. In conjunction with the 150th anniversary of Minnesota's statehood on May 11, 2008, journals are making their way around the state for residents to jot down their favorite thing about Minnesota, a Minnesota memory or thoughts on the approaching sesquicentennial celebration. This week, one of a trio of journals is on display with a sesquicentennial banner at the Nobles County Library in Worthington.
WORTHINGTON -- After nearly a week without being able to order a Big Mac or McChicken sandwich in Worthington, the much-anticipated new McDonald's restaurant opened its doors Friday. "In a small town, when you open a McDonald's, it's a huge deal," said local franchise owner Steve Jackson just days before the opening. Filled with energy and excitement, Jackson is eager for people to experience the modernized, up-scale theme of the restaurant. "The McDonald's theme nationally is forever young," he said.
SIBLEY, Iowa -- For years, the highest point in Iowa has drawn visitors from across the country and around the world -- not to scale a mountain or hike a bluff, but to casually walk up the gentle slope of the Sterler farm north of Sibley. Thousands of visitors have stopped at the site over the years, walking just beyond the feed yard to a stone that declares Hawkeye Point, at an elevation of 1,670 feet, the highest point in the state. Earlier this week, the Osceola County Board of Supervisors completed a deal with the Sterler family to ensure the highest point in Iowa remains open to the pub
WORTHINGTON -- Gene Foth is contracted to work 20 hours per week as coordinator of Manna Food Pantry at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Worthington, but his board of directors is quick to point out his hours extend far beyond what he is paid for. In fact, most weeks, Foth puts in just as many, if not more, hours of volunteer labor for the pantry -- a donation of time board chairman LeRoy Ennenga said is much appreciated. "If we had to hire someone full-time, like the hours Gene puts in, (it would be a financial burden)," Ennenga said.
WORTHINGTON -- With remaining budget concerns and a staffing shortage, Nobles-Rock Community Health Services (NRCHS) director Brad Meyer recommended to the board Wednesday that the school nursing program offered by the agency be discontinued at the end of the current school year. The agency provides nursing services at several of the smaller school districts in the county, including Round Lake, Brewster, Ellsworth and the Worthington Area Language Academy.
WORTHINGTON -- Nobles County Administrator Mel Ruppert recapped the proposed 2008 county budget and property tax levy during a Truth in Taxation hearing that was attended primarily by county department heads Tuesday night. Nobles County has proposed a $23 million budget for 2008 and a tax levy increase of 7.66 percent. A portion of the levy increase -- 3 percent -- is dedicated for future capital improvement of county roads. Among the major factors impacting the county's 2008 budget are: The creation of a new school social worker position within the Human Services Agency.
WORTHINGTON -- Sister Karen Thein with St. Mary's Catholic Church in Worthington received three calls Monday morning from residents fearful that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers were in the area. Rumors, she said, can be a terrible thing -- especially leading up to today's one-year anniversary of the ICE raid on the JBS Swift & Co. plant in Worthington. The raid's impact meant deportation for undocumented workers and left a hog processing plant scrambling to cover shifts.
LUVERNE -- In an effort to curb some of the overtime hours logged by deputies in the Rock County Sheriff's Department, the Rock County Board of Commissioners approved creation of a Posse/Reserve program. An all-volunteer group is hoped to be in place by next summer. Rock County Sheriff Evan Verbrugge said the role of posse members will be to assist the 11-member sheriff's department with special assignments, particularly with traffic control for large events in Luverne such as Buffalo Days, Art in the Park, the Tri-State Band Festival and Winterfest.
WORTHINGTON -- A father and son from rural Worthington were honored earlier this week as Nobles County's Outstanding Conservationists during the Minnesota Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts annual meeting in Rochester. Dorward and Steve Dykstra, who operate a dairy and grain farming operation south of Worthington, were recognized along with more than 60 other families from SWCDs across the state at a ceremony Tuesday. The Dykstra farms -- located in Section 16 and Section 33 of Bigelow Township -- have been home to numerous conservation projects over the years, from the pla
WORTHINGTON -- Nobles County Commissioners went into closed session during their board meeting Thursday to conduct an annual performance evaluation of county administrator Melvin Ruppert. Following the session, chairman Norm Gallagher reported that evaluation forms completed by each of the five county commissioners rated the administrator's work as commendable and outstanding. "The evaluation forms were all excellent, and we didn't have a single (commissioner) that had a problem," Gallagher said. While the commissioners were pleased with his job performance during the past year, there will