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.
- Member for
- 2 years 9 months
WORTHINGTON -- During his report to Nobles County Commissioners Tuesday, Family Services Director Lee McAllister reported 14 cases -- totaling $46,795 -- of potential fraud in the one-year period that ended in September. The agency has provided the information to the county attorney for investigation. The money was dispersed through state and federal programs to those who qualified for Child Care Assistance, Minnesota Family Investment Program, Food Support and Medical Assistance.
WORTHINGTON -- Some have said that when Swift Independent purchased the former Armour's plant in Worthington, so began the town's demise. Wage reductions and increased expectations forced people to leave the processing facility behind -- to be replaced by workers willing to do the job for whatever pay they could get. Back in 1983, one local man left his job on the line after 19 years with what he believes was a relatively good company in Armour's.
WORTHINGTON -- In the more than 40 years that have passed since Worthington welcomed a pork processing facility to town, the community has changed. It's evident in the people met on the street, the variety of shops and restaurants that have opened downtown, and in the ethnic diversity abounding in the schools. Throughout the course of the past two weeks -- since Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials conducted a sweep of Worthington's Swift & Co.
WORTHINGTON -- When Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials shut down operations at Swift & Co. in Worthington on Dec. 12, the ripple effect went well beyond the families impacted as a result of the 230 workers detained on suspicion of identity theft and lack of documentation. Hogs were in the midst of being processed, many were in holding pens outside, and hundreds -- if not thousands -- more were on trucks waiting to be unloaded when ICE arrived and the work stopped.
LUVERNE -- Rock County commissioners approved a 3 percent cost of living adjustment (COLA) for all non-union and Merit System (family services) employees during their Tuesday morning board session. The county's unionized employees will also receive a 3 percent COLA, according to county administrator Kyle Oldre. With a new sheriff taking the helm Jan. 1 in Rock County, commissioners set Evan Verbrugge's salary at $59,000, with a review slated in six months. The salary will result in a cost savings for the county, which paid Sheriff Mike Winkels an annual salary of $65,625 in 2006.
WORTHINGTON -- High grain prices, demand for more land and the fulfillment of 1031 exchanges are resulting in record-high prices for southwest Minnesota farmland in 2006, and the trend looks as though it will continue. In Nobles County alone, the price paid for an unimproved acre of farm land jumped 19.5 percent from 2005 to June 30, 2006 -- marking the highest increase in a decade, according to Worthington Regional Extension Educator David Bau.
OKABENA -- Students enrolled in Tim Owen's Civil War class at Southwest Star Concept High School in Okabena had no idea when signing up for the class that they would learn how to make a quilt. Such was the case over the course of the last two weeks, as 20 students in grades 9-12 left their history room behind for the home economics room and sewing machines. Barb Pohlman, a special education teacher in the district and an avid quilter, led the lessons in quilting as students learned how quilts were used to guide slaves through the Underground Railroad. Pohlman used information from two boo
WORTHINGTON -- Students at Worthington's Prairie Elementary will soon be reading books about how raisins grow, where cheese comes from, how bees make honey and what agriculture has to do with those comfortable blue jeans we wear. Earlier this week, representatives of Nobles County Farm Bureau presented an Agriculture Literacy Book Bundle to the school and its librarian, Maggie Kraemer.
WORTHINGTON -- Nobles County Commissioners approved Tuesday a conditional use permit for the Lao Temple to continue operating in the northwest quarter of Section 16, Worthington Township. The temple will operate on the same conditions as previously set. Commissioners discussed the potential of granting a permanent permit for the temple after the question was raised by Commissioner Vern Leistico.
WORTHINGTON -- Nobles County's operating budget will increase nearly $3 million in 2007 to more than $25.1 million -- an 11.82 percent increase in budget spending over 2006. But with more than $1 million anticipated to come from the state in County Program Aid, the amount of money levied from property taxes will not increase at the same rate. During their Tuesday morning meeting, commissioners adopted an $8.5 million levy, amounting to a 7.42 percent increase over the previous year.