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  • By Lori Sorenson
    August 31, 2015
    The quiet neighborhood at the base of the Blue Mounds State Park was a busy place Monday when the Luverne Fire Department exercised a controlled burn on the house next to the quarry parking lot. The training, which began at 6 p.m. and continued after 10 p.m., allowed seven teams of firefighters to practice fighting house fires. It meant the house was ignited and extinguished several times…
  • By Lori Sorenson
    August 31, 2015
    The Luverne Fire Department has added a key piece of equipment to its firefighting fleet. Fire Chief Dave Van Batavia requested the Luverne City Council approve the purchase of a newer platform truck to replace the 1985 unit currently in use. Van Batavia said the current 30-year-old truck is becoming a liability because of its age and obsolete parts. He had located a 2010 truck in Trenton,…
  • By Mavis Fodness
    August 31, 2015
    Luverne Middle School’s encore classes allow students to choose different exploratory classes that expand learning beyond the basic classroom lessons. In the past five years, the Legos Mindstorms class has become a student favorite. “It has been very popular and we offer it every quarter,” said Bill Thompson, the district’s graphic arts teacher. Legos Mindstorms combines skills in problem solving…
  • By Mavis Fodness
    August 31, 2015
    For the next 12 months, Allie Parkhurst will be embracing everything Minnesotan as she completes her director of Christian education internship with St. John Lutheran Church in Luverne. “This is my first time living in Minnesota, though I am familiar with many different states,” she said. Her dad, Geoff, was in the U.S. Air Force (now retired) and moved his family frequently, including spending…
  • By Mavis Fodness
    August 31, 2015
    Hardwick’s search for a new rescue unit ended last week, thanks in part to a donation by a Lyons, Nebraska, woman. Two years ago, when Lorraine Glissman of Lyons died, her bequest fulfilled the Lyons Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department’s goal to upgrade its existing rescue unit with a new four-wheel-drive vehicle.  “She was grateful for what we gave to help her,” said Karolyn McElroy, rescue…
  • August 31, 2015
    Luverne Public Schools Flexible Learning Year Survey Results* Survey Question 1: I am completing this survey as a _____: (check one)                                                                                                                                              Responses                                                                              Luverne High School Freshman…
  • August 31, 2015
    Rock County Broadband Alliance broke ground Tuesday on a $14 million project to bring high speed Internet service to rural Rock County residents.  RCBA is a subsidiary of Alliance Communications Cooperative based in Garretson, South Dakota. The co-op received a $5 million state grant to expand its fiber-to-the-home service that served parts of western Rock County to the rest of the county. The…
  • By Lori Sorenson
    August 27, 2015
    Law enforcement agencies in Minnesota, Iowa and South Dakota are patrolling extra hours for drunk driving enforcement from Aug. 21 to Sept. 7. Representatives from multiple agencies met at the I-90 state line rest area Friday for a kick-off event, which included an address by Brad Bigler, survivor of a drunk driving crash that killed his 5-month old son, Drake, in 2012. Bigler shared his powerful…
  • By Lori Sorenson
    August 24, 2015
    Luverne High School marching band members performed a test run for their 2015 season at Saturday night's home football game. According to director Richard Owen, the performance was rough around the edges, considering about 20 band members were out with the football team and the group hadn't practiced in a week. "If people can come and see a competition when we have everyone…
  • By Mavis Fodness, reporter
    August 24, 2015
    Tony Speltz, the only new teacher at Luverne Public Schools for the 2015-16 school year, knew before he graduated from Cotter High School in Winona that he was going to be a high school social studies teacher. Social studies, he explained, teaches students how to interact and collaborate with others, a life skill he wants to pass on to other students “By the time I was a senior, I wanted to pay…
  • By Lori Sorenson
    August 24, 2015
    Casey Hoiland, who is starting second grade in Luverne Elementary, smiles for Lifetouch photographer Jessica Kodada Thursday evening, Aug. 20, in the elementary gym. His dad, Stuart Hoiland (left) observes as Donell Henckel helps to make him smile. Yearbook photographs were part of the district-wide open house for teachers, students and families to get acclimated to school and prepare for the…
  • By Mavis Fodness
    August 24, 2015
    Lloyd and Gladys Hemme’s farm west of Hardwick was recently named Rock County’s 82nd Century Farm. The Century Farm Program honors Minnesota farm families that have owned the land at least 100 years. A Century Farm must be at least 50 acres in size and currently involved in agricultural production. Since the program began in 1976, nearly 10,000 farms in the state have been recognized, with…
  • By Lori Sorenson
    August 24, 2015
    Another property has been approved for the city of Luverne’s Residential Demolition Grant program. John Oksness applied for a grant through the program on behalf of the Edward Wehler Estate for the structures at 715 N. McKenzie. Oksness, who is administrator of the Wehler estate, told city officials the house and garage both show lack of repair and maintenance on the exterior, and the foundation…
  • By Mavis Fodness
    August 24, 2015
    Rock County Commissioners unanimously approved the conditional use permit for a retail semi-trailer sales dealership to build an office and operate a sales lot on South Highway 75. A July 27 public hearing drew property owners and residential neighbors near the site just south of I-90 on the east side of Highway 75. MSBD Partnership spokesperson Darv Habben from Albert Lea was unable to attend…
  • By Mavis Fodness
    August 24, 2015
    A company familiar with the county’s rock formations has been hired to bury 554 miles of fiber optic cable for the upcoming countywide broadband project. Three years ago Michel’s Corporation, headquartered in Brownsville, Wisconsin, buried the power cable and constructed the overhead electrical lines for the Prairie Rose Wind Farm in northwest Rock County. The project earned satisfactory reviews…
  • By Mavis Fodness and Lori Sorenson
    August 24, 2015
    Not many private citizens know Angel Otero or have even heard of his name, but the public in general has benefited from his role in lining up workers for dozens of local public projects. On Friday Otero will be honored from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Prairie Justice Center in Worthington. He is retiring after 22 years as the community service supervisor with Nobles-Rock Community Corrections. Otero began…
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