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 The Farm Bleat.
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WORTHINGTON -- There is a favorite remark Heidi Junker recites when it comes to explaining the lifesaving surgery she endured last August. "A friend of mine once said, 'How often is it that a mother can give you life twice?'" recalled the 29-year-old Worthington woman just three months after her mom, Nancy Raboin, donated her left kidney so that her daughter's life might return to some sense of normalcy. Junker's health began to deteriorate when, as a 24-year-old, she was diagnosed with ulcer colitis.
SIBLEY, Iowa -- Elizabeth Grote knows all too well the motto, "You're only as young as you feel." In fact, she lives by those very words. After celebrating her 90th birthday on Monday, the Sibley woman was ready to hit the lanes at the local bowling alley on Tuesday.
ROUND LAKE -- Church bells will ring in communities across southwest Minnesota Friday morning in the first of what will become a monthly reminder to area residents of the soldiers serving our country at home and abroad. Organized by the Family Readiness Groups of the National Guard's 1-125th Field Artillery, the "Freedom Rings: A Tribute to our Troops," campaign will continue until the soldiers return home from their anticipated 18-month deployment.
WORTHINGTON -- Al and Marie Schnieder have been married for more than 50 years, but there are some things he's never shared with his bride about his experiences in World War II. So when he sat down earlier this week to recount his years in the U.S. Army, she listened intently to his story. Al Schnieder was a 22-year-old farm boy when he left his rural Lismore home behind on Dec. 1, 1941, for what he thought was a one-year commitment in the U.S. Army.
WORTHINGTON -- Autumn. It's the time of year when southwest Minnesota's landscape changes from its ordinarily flat prairie ground with slightly rolling hills to, well, flat prairie ground dotted with massive, golden-yellow mountains. Corn mountains. One of the biggest around may just be outside of Lake Wilson, where more than 3 million bushels of corn have been poured on rented alfalfa ground, according to Prins Grain Co. president David Prins.
BIGELOW -- Students of the Worthington Area Language Academy are celebrating a rather unusual holiday today at their school in Bigelow. Each year in Central and South American culture, citizens set aside Nov. 1 and 2 to honor those who have gone before them. Dia De Los Muertos -- translated as Day of the Dead -- honors the spirits of adults who have died. Tuesday was Dia De Los Angelitos, to honor the children, or little angels, who have died. While "Day of the Dead" may imply it is a sad holiday, the opposite is true, according to Leann Enninga, a special education teacher at WALA.
WORTHINGTON -- Among the highest costs associated with rising methamphetamine use in southwest Minnesota are the increased need for law enforcement officers and court-related expenses in prosecuting addicts. In Nobles County alone, County Attorney Gordon Moore said his office has seen costs jump more than $100,000 in a two-year period -- from expenses of $352,295 in 2003 to budgeted expenditures of $500,121 in 2005. Accounting for a large part of that budget increase was the addition of two employees in July 2003 to work primarily on City of Worthington cases.
WORTHINGTON -- Lye, anti-freeze, rubbing alcohol, muriatic acid, hydrogen peroxide, iodine, drain cleaner containing sulfuric acid, ammonium nitrate and lithium batteries. While these don't sound like chemicals anyone would want to ingest, when mixed with cold tablets containing pseudoephedrine -- along with a few other ingredients -- meth addicts can cook up the drug in the comfort of their own home. Mixing chemicals and cooking meth, however, come with a wide array of dangers, and the health impact caused by ingesting the drug can be astounding. Among the most-used images of meth's impact
LUVERNE -- A list of projects faced John Call as he began his first week Monday as the new Luverne city administrator. The Spirit Lake, Iowa, native said Wednesday morning that he's starting to get settled in to his new job and has already met many of the local businesspeople and community residents. Call began his career in city management as an intern at the Vermillion, S.D., City Hall in 1987, the same year he earned his master's degree from the University of South Dakota.
IONA Case Vos pulled the leather corn-husking tool out of his jacket pocket and began to strap it around his right hand. This part is worn the most, said Case before using his teeth to pull the leather strap tight and secure it inside its metal clasp. A few days beyond the age of 80, Case made one round Sunday afternoon for old-times sake on the Vince Crowley farm north of Iona. Crowley hosted the old-fashioned harvest on a plot of land he planted last spring with his team of horses and an antique planter.