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  • By Lori Sorenson
    January 24, 2024
    A good way to measure growth over time is to track the number of building permits issued for construction. Luverne building official Chad McClure compiled numbers for 2023 when he issued 177 permits valued at $10,105,595. Of those, seven were for single-family home construction valued at $1,369,625 and comprised 13.5 percent of permit valuations last year. McClure points out that these…
  • By Lori Sorenson
    January 24, 2024
    Phone numbers with the 507 area code are running out, so new numbers assigned in southern Minnesota will begin with a 924 area code. The area code won’t be assigned for new phone numbers until Aug. 30, but the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission is telling callers in the region to begin using the prefix 507 when dialing starting Jan. 30. For example, Luverne City Hall at 449-2388 has been…
  • January 24, 2024
    Snowshoeing is the perfect way to beat cabin fever, bringing people outside for fresh air and providing a connection with nature that is beneficial for physical and mental health. Snow came late to Minnesota this year, and although there are still areas of the state with little snow cover, there are also many locations in northern and southwest Minnesota with enough snow for snowshoeing. There…
  • By Mavis Fodness
    January 17, 2024
    Sparks flew last week during Chris Louwagie’s Power Mechanics class at Hills-Beaver Creek High School. A $60,000 grant from the Frank Boon Trust allowed the school to upgrade the electrical infrastructure in the shop area and double the number of welding stations available for students’ use to 12. An iron-working machine was also purchased, allowing the students to easily pinch, cut, drill and…
  • By Lori Sorenson
    January 17, 2024
    Longtime Luverne educator and community member Elmer Menage died last week, prompting former students and athletes to reminisce about their beloved teacher, coach and mentor. “He was one of the best coaches I ever had,” said Luverne’s Burdell Braa who played football under Coach Menage in 1972, ’73 and ’74. “He was one of those guys who always had a smile on his face and a one-liner ready. He’d…
  • By Lori Sorenson
    January 17, 2024
    Construction is due to start in April on the new elementary school in Beaver Creek, and city and school officials are still discussing water options for the facility. Blayne Parkos is director of mechanical engineering for ATSR, the Minneapolis firm handling construction for the Hills-Beaver Creek School District. He addressed Beaver Creek City Council members at their Jan. 10 meeting to…
  • By Mavis Fodness
    January 17, 2024
    An important lesson comes to life during the Hills-Beaver Creek High School students’ one act play, “Complaint Department and Lemonade,” according to director Amy Comp. “You’ll have to stop by and see to hear it,” said Comp. “It’s a fast-paced comedy with some laughs for everyone.” The 40-minute performance is scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 19, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 21, at the high school…
  • By Mavis Fodness
    January 17, 2024
    For the past 18 weeks, Luverne teenager Thaddeus Ginn has calmly leaned into the K101 radio studio microphone and explained why he chose certain National Football League teams to win those weeks’ games. “I’m very passionate about radio and speaking my opinions to people,” the 13-year-old said. “It’s just a very fun experience for me to be able to come and talk about something I love very much…
  • By Mavis Fodness
    January 17, 2024
    Luverne High School ag instructor Matt Fodness is offering a basic welding class through Luverne Community Education for ages 14 and older. The four-session class is offered on Tuesdays beginning Feb. 6. Fodness said he’s returning the favor for skills he learned over the years. “I am ever grateful for the people that have been willing to share these things with me,” said Fodness, now in his…
  • January 17, 2024
    Art Ehde, Luverne, and his son, the late Scott Ehde, were honored as Outstanding Conservationists of the Year at the annual meeting of the Minnesota Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts last month in Bloomington. They were selected by the Rock Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) for the award, which recognizes individuals and organizations for outstanding accomplishments…
  • January 17, 2024
    Minnesota has had a net gain of roughly 43,000 acres of wetland from 2006 to 2020, according to the Minnesota DNR in its Wetland Status and Trends Monitoring Report. The report, released Monday, also shows that most of the wetland gain was realized in the last six years of that 15-year monitoring period.  Most of the gains are in emergent wetlands in agricultural areas that tend to occur after…
  • By Lori Sorenson
    January 10, 2024
    A two-day winter storm dumped nearly a foot of snow on parts of Rock County and the tri-state area Monday and Tuesday. The weather event prompted schools to close in-person classes and pivot to e-learning days. Meanwhile events and activities came to a grinding halt as rural roads became impassable. According to the Minnesota State Patrol, officers responded to more than 200 weather-related…
  • By Mavis Fodness
    January 10, 2024
    An open house for an innovative facility for child care in Hills will be Friday, Jan. 19, hosted by the Hills City Council. The event begins at 10 a.m. with a presentation at the Hills American Legion followed by public tours of the Hills Child Care Project located at the corner of West Third Street and South Main Avenue. A lunch provided by Sioux Valley Energy will follow the presentation.…
  • By Mavis Fodness
    January 10, 2024
    Music instructor Amy Comp enters her classroom at Hills-Beaver Creek Secondary School always determined to find an “aha” moment for each of her students. This dedication caught the attention of her peers at the Minnesota Music Educators Association who selected her as the new Middle School Music Educator of the Year. “You have influenced the lives of so many students and families through your…
  • By Mavis Fodness
    January 10, 2024
    Dennis and Marcia Hartman opened the Green Rail Food and Spirits in Hills Monday after purchasing the former Hills Cafe and Hideaway Tavern last summer. “It’s exciting and scary,” Dennis told Hills City Council in August. “I’m definitely ambitious. I want to see something develop.” The Hartmans will continue operating their rural Hills Cabinetworks business, from their 41st Street acreage, and…
  • By Mavis Fodness
    January 10, 2024
    Rock County collected nearly $200,000 in gravel taxes in 2023, making it the highest amount collected since the tax was implemented in 2003. In total, $195,419 was paid in 2023 from seven businesses who are required to self-report the yards of material removed from aggregate pits located in Rock County. The businesses are taxed 15 cents per ton of material removed. The collected taxes are…
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