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Rock County Herald May 23, 1873
Rock County Herald
First Edition, May 23, 1873

The Rock County Star Herald is an award-winning weekly newspaper that's been publishing since 1873. It's the official legal paper for Rock County, Minnesota, located in the county seat of Luverne in the southwest corner of the state. With a circulation of nearly 2,000 print subscribers and a robust online presence, it covers all the latest news, features and sports of the communities it serves in Rock County.

Rock County Star Herald
117 W Main St, PO Box 837
Luverne, MN 56156

Phone 507-283-2333 | Fax 507-283-2335

Editor 507-283-2333 |

Circulation 507-283-2333 |

Sales 507-283-2333 |

Obituaries 507-283-2333 |

Legals 507-283-2333 |



WEB ADVERTISING is a daily source of Rock County information with thousands of monthly visitors. As the use of the internet as a source for news information continues to grow, it is a perfect opportunity for businesses to advertise their products and services. With breaking news, area sports, videos, photo slideshows, a community section and regular updates throughout the day, your advertisement can be seen 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and at any location. 

We offer a variety of advertising options at all price ranges and specifications. Allow us to help you grow your online presence! Online advertising can also increase traffic to your website, promote current specials or events your business may have, and capture customer information through click-thrus, contest registrations, and more. The Star Herald has the latest technology and trained staff to design dynamic online advertising specifically for your business.

Contact us today to grow your online presence!


Advertise in the Star Herald newspaper! With a circulation of 2,000, the Star Herald is published weekly on Thursdays. The deadline for advertising, legals and classifieds is Monday at 10:00 am.

Reach a larger audience (9,700) with our shopper newspaper, The Luverne Announcer, published weekly on Saturdays. The deadline for classifieds and advertising is Thursday at 8:00 am.

Give Rick or Wyatt a call today!


Wyatt VanSteenberg: 507-220-1994 or

Rick Peterson: 507-290-0924 or

Our Staff


Rick Peterson

Rick Peterson

General manager since 2005 | 507-283-2333 (office)

Rick heads up the Star Herald business and advertising departments of the Star Herald while overseeing its day-to-day operations. This often includes minor plumbing and repair jobs that have earned him the title of “Office Dad,” among the Star Herald staff.

He brings to the Star Herald a lifetime of business management experience that dates back to the Country Kitchen in Worthington near his hometown of Brewster.

Rick attended the University of Minnesota in Morris where he studied business and played football for the Cougars. An advertising sales stint at the Worthington Daily Globe led to a long career in newspapers that brought him to Redwood Falls for 15 years before he came to the Star Herald in 2005.

“Nothing surprises me anymore,” he said about his work at the Star Herald. He and his wife, Mary, have three grown children and seven grandchildren. They live in Luverne with their four dogs.

In his spare time, Rick enjoys early morning and midday walks with his dogs who are his trained pheasant hunting companions in the fall. He also enjoys long Ranger rides in rural Rock County and volunteering with Rock County Pheasants Forever and the Luverne Area Community Foundation

Read Rick’s column - For What It's Worth


Lori Sorenson

Lori Sorenson

Managing editor since 1993 | 507-283-2333 (office) | 507-227-3820 (cell)

Lori is an award-winning reporter, editor, columnist and photographer who manages the Star Herald’s newsroom.

She grew up on a farm near Kenneth and graduated from Southwest Christian High School in Edgerton. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. She came to the Star Herald after interning with the Hastings Star Gazette and copy editing at the Worthington Daily Globe.

After more than 30 years at the helm of the Star Herald’s news, Lori said she enjoys her work more than ever. “The longer I’m here, the more I see the impact of a local newspaper on community health and setting the tone for dialogue and human connection,” she said about her work.

She lives in western Rock County with her husband, Matt, and their dog, Chance, a great pyrenees-lab mix they adopted from Tracy Area Animal Rescue. They have two grown children, a grandson and a grand dog.

In her spare time Lori enjoys jogging on the gravel roads near their home and helping Matt with their farming operation. She also manages Carson’s Cause, a foundation established in memory of her son, Carson Ehde, who died at age 21 from suicide in September 2022.

Read Lori’s column – On Second Thought



Mavis Fodness

Mavis Fodness

Reporter since 2014 | 507-283-2333 (office) | 507-227-8335 (cell)

Mavis is an award-winning reporter, columnist and photographer on Star Herald’s news team.

She grew up near Luverne and graduated from Luverne High School. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and communications from Augustana University, Sioux Falls. She came to the Star Herald from the Pipestone County Star and the Worthington Daily Globe.

“I meet a variety of interesting people for each issue of the Star Herald,” she said about her work. “I am proud to be a historian of present-day events for my hometown and surrounding communities, and I feel privileged to record milestones that are important to our readers.”

She and her husband, Bryan, live on the Fodness homestead near Hardwick where they raised four children and now share the love of the outdoors, horses and dogs with their four grandchildren.

In her spare time, Mavis enjoys reading, being an active participant with her grandchildren, horseback riding and competing in open shows around the area.

She’s a member of the Rock River Wranglers Saddle Club and is an active volunteer with Rock Ranch near Hills. Her most recent hobby is a focus on physical and mental wellness that includes participating in regional hikes, “tough mudder” events and an occasional donkey race.

Read Mavis’ column - Ruminations


Greg Hoogeveen

Greg Hoogeveen

Sports Reporter since 2022 | 507-283-2333 (office) | 507-920-2534 (cell)

Greg is the newest member of the Star Herald team after starting in November of 2022.

He grew up in Luverne where he graduated from Luverne High School, and he has a bachelor’s degree in communications from Augustana College, Sioux Falls.

He brings to the job over 10 years of photography and creative experience through his Digitell Studio business, which captures local sporting events in photographs that are shared online for sale.

“I really enjoy sharing the photos with students and their families,” he said. “The name ‘Digitell’ comes from ‘digitally telling a story.’ Working with the Star Herald is a progression of that.”

Prior to joining the Star Herald team, Greg worked briefly with the Luverne School District and for four years with ATLAS of Rock County before that.

He said working as the Star Herald sports reporter has been a rewarding career change.

“It’s challenging work,” he said. “But I really enjoy getting to know the coaches, athletes and their families.”

Greg lives in Luverne and has two grown children. When he’s not covering local sports, he enjoys walking his dogs, editing images for Digitell and spending time with his family.’

Read Greg’s column - Timeout


Esther Frakes

Esther Frakes

Copy editor and news assistant since 2004 | 507-283-2333 (office)

As the proofreader of nearly everything that appears in the Rock County Star Herald, Esther’s news team gives her credit for their successes and achievements, and she humbly accepts blame for the ones that slip through.

She scours stories, photo captions, headlines and often advertisements each week, looking to catch typos and errors before they find their way into print.

Esther’s role at the paper is a second career after she retired at age 55 in 1999 from 35 years teaching German in Luverne High School.

News editor Lori Sorenson frequently remarks how fortunate the paper is to have Esther’s talents in the newsroom. “She has a superb mastery of the English language, and we appreciate that her keen eyes catch so many of our errors before they’re published,” Lori said about Esther.

For her part, Esther said she enjoys her role in weekly news.

“I’m amused by the nuances of the English language and trying each week to be ‘letter perfect,’” she said. “And I enjoy working with everyone at the Star Herald. We really do feel like family.”

Esther lives in Luverne and in her spare time enjoys reading a good book, fixing challenging jigsaw puzzles, playing bridge, volunteering with various organizations and spending time with friends.



Wyatt VanSteenberg

Wyatt VanSteenberg

Sales representative since 2022 | 507-283-2333 (office) | 507-220-1994 (cell)

Wyatt is the Star Herald’s boots-on-the-ground sales representative, taking care of all things advertising and marketing for the newspaper, shopper and special projects.

Primarily, he sells ads and works with clients, new and existing, to reach their customers and to help them sell their products and services to Star Herald readers online and in print.

Wyatt started at only 23 years old, which gives him the current title of “office kid” and youngest in the Star Herald family of employees.

He came to the Star Herald fresh out of college at Minnesota State University, Moorhead, where he earned his degree in business administration. Since then, the 2018 Luverne High School graduate has hit the ground running, immersing himself in the business activity of his hometown.

Wyatt lives in Luverne and likes to spend his spare time fishing, watching movies and NFL football and spending time with his family.

“I like everybody here at the paper, and I like that we’re small and we all know each other,” he said.

“I love talking to everybody in the community. When I make sales calls, there are so many different people I meet every single week and I enjoy getting to know them.”

Read Wyatt's column - My Two Cents



Heather Johnson

Heather Johnson

Production manager and graphic designer since 2017 | 507-283-2333 (office)

Heather is an award-winning graphic designer who manages the Star Herald’s production department. Among her many creative duties, she designs advertisements for clients and manages special projects, such as the Star Herald’s community “Welcome to Luverne” tourism magazine.

Heather also works with our printing company to send pages on press day, works with our Blue Mound Digital screen content and oversees the Star Herald’s website and social media. As such, she’s become the de facto technical trouble shooter for software or network glitches.

“I love the small, close-knit work environment at the Star Herald and appreciate the opportunity to be creative every day doing something I enjoy,” she says about her work.

Heather graduated from Dakota State University with a major in Fine Arts Administration and a minor in Computer Graphics, and previously worked as a creative developer for Verizon in Dallas, Texas. She and her husband, Jim, moved to Luverne in 2008 when he started with Berkley Technology Services and she took time to raise their four children.

In her spare time, when she’s not attending or participating in her kids’ activities, Heather enjoys running, biking and all things crafty – especially creative baking for her hobby business, Embellished Luv. Advocating for her youngest daughter who has Dravet Syndrome is also a top priority.


Brooke Huisman

Brooke Huisman

Graphic designer since 2021 | 507-283-2333 (office)

Brooke works part time in the Star Herald’s production department, designing advertisements and assisting with weekly page set-up and press days.

She lends her talents also to helping with the Star Herald’s many other projects, such as the “Welcome to Luverne” tourism magazine, Blue Mound Digital screen content and Social Media content.

Brooke has childhood roots in Adrian and now lives near Ellsworth with her husband, Dalton, and their two small children. She attended Ridgewater College in Willmar where she earned her associate degree and diploma in professional photography.

When she’s not working at the paper, she’s busy being a mom and running their household. In her spare time, she enjoys horseback riding and spending time with family.

She also operates a portrait photography business, “Twisted Arrow Photography,” which specializes in newborn photography, high school seniors and families.

Brooke said being part of the Star Herald team adds the perfect balance to her home and professional life. “I enjoy the creative freedom that my job allows,” she said.



Deb Lusty

Deb Lusty

Office manager since 2012 | 507-283-2333 (office)

Deb takes care of all things “office and administration” for the Rock County Star Herald family.

She came to the Star Herald from Minnwest Bank in Luverne where she was managing operations at the Beaver Creek branch. Prior to that, Deb took care of information technology purchasing for Bank First in Sioux Falls, and she spent time at Berkley Information Services in Luverne where she met her husband, Jon.

Deb has a business degree from Nettleton College and a cosmetology degree from Stewarts School of Styling in Sioux Falls and had a brief career in hair styling prior to starting in the banking business.

Deb grew up in Luverne where she and Jon now live with their daughter, Emma, and fur baby, Bella.

In her spare time, she enjoys reading books, spending time with her family, planting flowers and tending to them in the spring and summer. She and Jon also find themselves attending Emma’s many school activities and softball games.

“I love what I do, and I like the business atmosphere at the Star Herald rather than working for a big corporation,” she said.

“I’ve worked in places with hundreds of people where you can’t know everybody. But at the Star Herald, we are family, and we are close. That makes work enjoyable.”


Jennifer Nelson

Jennifer Nelson

Office assistant since 2019 | 507-283-2333 (office)

Jennifer is the Star Herald’s office assistant and “Jack of all trades” for the various departments in the business. For example, she answers phones and assists subscribers and customers while also lending skills to the news department and ad sales team.

Among the many inches of text that fill each week’s paper, Jennifer is responsible for preparing public notices, classifieds, On the Record, letters to the editor, pastor columns and other submissions from readers, writers and businesses.

Jennifer came to the Star Herald from managing the Nelson family home in rural Magnolia where she raised two daughters and a son. She has a background in newspaper work from her earlier years at the Hills Crescent when it was in Hills, where she graduated from H-BC and grew up on a farm near Hills.

In her spare time, Jennifer likes to read, watch TV drama series, listen to music, cook and bake, attend hockey games and spend time with family and friends. Her fur babies are Breezer and Annie.

“I love it here,” Jennifer said about working at the Star Herald. “The atmosphere is relaxing and easy-going, and my co-workers are fun, kind and passionate about what they do.”

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