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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BIGELOW -- More than a dozen residents gathered at the Bigelow Fire Hall Monday afternoon to watch their mayor, Bryan Brandt, accept a check for $1.347 million from USDA's office of Rural Development. The money, consisting of a $680,000 loan and $667,000 grant from the USDA, will help fund an estimated $2.1 million centralized sewer system in this community of 231 residents. Construction is expected to begin either late this fall or early next spring. "As we all know, this has been a long process for us -- going on three years," Brandt said.
WORTHINGTON -- Despite the well-intentioned efforts of a group of local residents, Worthington's historic Central Elementary School can't dodge the wrecking ball. Friends of Central School, established more than three years ago to raise funds for the building's renovation, has been unable to reach its goal of $300,000 in public donations. At the same time, the Southwest Minnesota Housing Partnership (SWMHP) was turned down for two grants to help rehabilitate the building.
ADRIAN -- What would you do if terrorists struck your community? Would you know where to go if a tornado wiped out your town?
WORTHINGTON -- The Nobles County Developmental Achievement Center will host a public open house from 2 to 4 p.m. Friday to celebrate the completion of its expansion and remodeling project. The expansion nearly doubled the facility at 2121 Nobles St., which serves as a day training and rehabilitation facility. The DAC provides vocational training services to adults with disabilities, including those with physical handicaps and mental illness. Bob Schreiber, DAC director, said the addition of 4,000 square feet was greatly needed.
WORTHINGTON -- Nobles County Commissioners on Tuesday officially delayed the reconstruction of Nobles County 35 from Rushmore to Adrian until 2007. The decision came after Public Works Director Steve Schnieder announced that reports had not yet been submitted to the county by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Corps of Engineers. "The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is very close to submitting its biological findings to us," Schnieder said, referring to a study the agency conducted on the potential impact of the Topeka Shiner, a federally endangered species.
BIGELOW -- Sibley-Ocheyedan High School senior Lindsay Nasers will represent Iowa at the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis, Ind., this October. One week ago, the rural Bigelow teen earned first place for her proficiency records in swine production placement during the Iowa FFA Convention in Ames. The Nasers name is synonymous with pork production in this corner of northwest Iowa, with Lindsay's grandfather and two great uncles serving as the foundation of the family's swine business.
LUVERNE -- The eyes of 7-year-old Kally and 10-year-old Ashlyn shone as they talked about the decorating plans for their bedrooms. One wants a dancing ballerina painted on her wall. The other would fill her room with porcelain dolls if she could. The girls, two of Malissa Bentley's four children, eagerly await the completion of their new home in Luverne. The family was selected to receive the community's second Habitat for Humanity house, for which a groundbreaking ceremony will be at 9 a.m. Saturday at the construction site, 511 W.
BAGRAM, Afghanistan -- Cindy Brunk has had her share of unique experiences during her 16-year career in the U.S. Navy, but nothing can compare to getting a hug from the commander in chief on a military base in the middle of an Afghanistan desert. Brunk, in the midst of a six-month assignment as an SK2 (Store Keeper, 2nd Class) at Bagram Air Base, experienced a chance meeting with President George W.
ELLSWORTH -- It is a story that Christians never tire of hearing -- a story of discipleship ... a story of betrayal ... a story of a man who suffered death on the cross and rose again. For 25 years, a group of volunteers have performed the Ellsworth Area Living Last Supper, depicting the last days of Jesus' life -- from breaking bread together with his disciples, to his death on the cross and his resurrection.
WORTHINGTON -- Good hog, cattle and milk prices, and record-shattering crop yields in 2005 helped farmers reach their highest-ever net farm income, according to a new report issued by FINBIN, a farm financial database. The average Minnesota farm earned a net farm income of $87,491 in 2005, an 18 percent increase over net profits in 2004. The data used for the analysis was collected from nearly 2,400 farmers enrolled in Extension or MnSCU (Minnesota State Colleges and Universities) adult farm management programs. Those numbers, however, can be a little misleading, according to Dave Bau, Wort