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  • By Lori Sorenson
    December 20, 2023
    For Rodger and Dianne Ossenfort, Santa was more than an act; it was a calling. And for the children — and their children — who climbed on their laps, Santa and Mrs. Claus fed their imaginations and nurtured their belief in the magic of the season. “They’re kind and caring and made each child feel special,” said Tammy Johnson, whose children were among the first to experience the Ossenforts in…
  • By Mavis Fodness
    December 20, 2023
    The design by Andrew Prekker of Luverne was chosen over 2,123 other designs to become the basis for a new Minnesota state flag. The state Emblems Redesign Commission announced their top pick late Friday afternoon in a press release. The commission indicated Prekker’s design may go through some modifications before it’s submitted to the Minnesota Legislature for approval. Prekker’s idea to…
  • December 20, 2023
    Visitors to Grace Lutheran Church in Luverne Sunday leisurely take in the sights and sounds of the annual Live Nativity in the church parking lot. The walk through the nativity scene provided a serene atmosphere as songs played in the background. Grace Lutheran youth and adults portrayed Mary and Joseph, an angel, wisemen and shepherds who tended to live goats, donkeys and camels. For warmth,…
  • By Lori Sorenson
    December 20, 2023
    In April, Hills-Beaver Creek School District voters approved a $26.5 million bond referendum for a new elementary school in Beaver Creek. As construction plans materialize, local leaders are wrestling with how to best meet the water needs of the new facility. At their Dec. 13 meeting, Beaver Creek City Council members signed off on the district’s building permit for construction across the…
  • By Lori Sorenson
    December 20, 2023
    Local law enforcement and the Minnesota BCA are investigating a fatal hit-and-run that occurred on the morning of Dec. 13 in rural Rock County. A passerby called law enforcement around noon to report a body had been discovered in the north ditch near the intersection of 141st Street and County Road 6. The man, identified as William Krotzer, 76, of Luverne had been found about one-half mile…
  • December 20, 2023
    About 260 students in four middle school and high school choirs sing under the direction of Seana Graber in the Luverne performing arts center last week to a full auditorium of audience members. There were over 1,000 people in the performing arts center for the candelight grand finale of "O Holy Night." On Dec. 14, the performing arts center again filled with music, this time with band students…
  • By Lori Sorenson
    December 20, 2023
    Luverne City Council members certified the levy at $3,232,740 for taxes payable in 2024. That’s an increase of $466,180, nearly 17 percent, over the current levy, and council members explained their rationale during the city’s annual Truth in Taxation hearing Tuesday night, Dec. 12. City Administrator Jill Wolf acknowledged that the levy increase is significant but said taxpayers will not bear…
  • By Lori Sorenson
    December 20, 2023
    Beaver Creek City Council members approved their 2024 budget and levy during their final meeting of the year Wednesday, Dec. 13. The levy was set at $146,342 for taxes payable in 2024. That’s a 6.85-percent increase over the current levy. The amount will fill the gap between Beaver Creek’s revenues of $140,814 and its expenses of $287,156. As part of the budget process, the council also…
  • By Mavis Fodness
    December 20, 2023
    The city of Hills is looking toward the future as council members agreed to hire a third party to develop a strategic plan for the community of 694 residents. Chris Webb with the Southwest Regional Development Commission in Slayton will lead city officials through the months-long process beginning early next year. The $12,000 contract, approved Dec. 12, is to provide public leaders a framework…
  • By Mavis Fodness
    December 20, 2023
    Four years after announcing plans to build a 1,522-acre solar farm north of Magnolia, developers are again moving forward with the Elk Creek Solar project. Tom Karas, senior project manager, and Marc Morandi, permitting manager with National Grid Renewables (NGR), updated commissioners Dec. 12. Residents can weigh in on the project during public hearings in February. “I’m sure you are aware…
  • By Lori Sorenson
    December 20, 2023
    A pickup stolen from Sioux Falls turned up in a crash near Beaver Creek Tuesday afternoon. According to Rock County Sheriff Evan Verbrugge, the report came in around noon Tuesday of a rollover accident near the I-90 overpass west of Beaver Creek. The driver, who has not been identified, was thrown from the vehicle and suffered serious injuries. He was transported by air ambulance to a Sioux…
  • December 20, 2023
    The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources encourages Minnesotans to use caution and stay aware of wildfire risk. Lack of snow and unusually warm, dry conditions over the next week are likely to increase fire danger in much of Minnesota. Dry, brown grasses and vegetation mean wildfires can start easily and spread quickly. This elevated risk is likely to persist until we have continuous snow…
  • By Lori Sorenson
    December 20, 2023
    Sanford Luverne hosted a party Thursday afternoon for Carol Wieneke, who retired from a 60-year career as a nurse. As Sanford’s longest-running employee on record, Wieneke has been celebrated at milestone parties marking 40 years, 50 years and even 55. Dr. Diane Kennedy, has worked alongside Wieneke during her own tenure in Luverne. “She is respected by everyone here and is extremely…
  • December 20, 2023
    Luverne Rotary Club member Gregg Gropel was recently selected as the Rotary District 5610 “Rotarian of Distinction” for his outstanding service above self for the local club and Luverne community. The district consists of 39 clubs. Local club members nominated Gropel for the district award, pointing out that he: •resurrected the club’s newsletter, “The Rotary Spoke,” during the pandemic to…
  • December 20, 2023
    Winter recreation options are abundant in Minnesota state parks, recreation areas and trails   Many Minnesotans visit state parks and hit the trails in summer, but winter outdoor activities are just as fun. To help people plan winter visits to state parks, recreation areas and trails, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources shares its top tips to have fun this winter, along with some…
  • By Kent Thiesse, Farm Management Analyst
    December 20, 2023
    At the end of every year, various publications, websites, etc. have their Top 10 or Top 5 list for that year. In this issue I am highlighting my “Top 5 Ag Topics” for 2023, based on issues that were discussed in the columns throughout the year.   Lower grain prices and tighter profit margins in 2023 Grain marketing decisions will have a big impact on profit levels for farmers in 2023. The “…
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