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  • January 10, 2024
    The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is waiving vehicle permit fees at all 75 state parks and recreation areas on Monday, Jan. 15. With this year’s unusual weather, it’s good to know there are many winter park activities that don't require snow or ice, such as birding, winter hiking, nature photography, and having a campfire with hot chocolate and s’mores. And, if sufficient snow…
  • January 10, 2024
    The Luverne High School mock trial team put in a little practice Thursday night, Jan. 4, in the school’s media center. Team members’ family and friends were invited to view the prosecution and defense teams take on one another in a practice prior to this week’s opening of the mock trial season. Coach Zoe DeBates explained busy schedules prevented a full team practice and she organized family…
  • January 03, 2024
    Nearly 60 people hiked along with Blue Mounds State Park naturalist Tiffany Mueller for the First Day Hike hosted in part by Friends of the Blue Mounds State Park Monday afternoon, Jan. 1. Mueller pointed out unique park features such as the Sioux quartzite boulders and the fact that the ancient red rocks somehow give the park a bluish hue from a distance. She also said science has proven that…
  • By Lori Sorenson
    January 03, 2024
    Meeting with a children’s counselor can be more like a play date than a therapy session with Maria Aguirre, who recently joined Luverne Counseling. Aguirre, the only registered play therapist and bilingual counselor in Rock County, brings a new combination of skills to the local practice, according to Luverne Counseling director Erica Hough. “Having a counselor with Maria’s diverse skillset is…
  • By Lori Sorenson
    January 03, 2024
    Community members are mourning the loss of longtime businessman and volunteer George A. Bonnema, who died at age 74 on Dec. 26. His obituary (see page 7) lists personal and professional landmarks, but he will be best remembered for his untold, unpaid contributions to the community. George and Corrine came to Luverne in 1974 when they purchased Luverne Flowers and turned it into a thriving…
  • By Mavis Fodness
    January 03, 2024
    Barb Verhey looked away from the book shelves Friday afternoon, shaking her head, resisting the urge to straighten the crooked spines. Instead, she took the advice printed on the cookies served at her retirement party: “Retired – It’s your problem now.” Verhey, the assistant librarian at the Rock County Community Library in Luverne, officially retired Dec. 29, after assisting local children and…
  • By Mavis Fodness
    January 03, 2024
    The newest deputy at the Rock County Sheriff’s Office is embarking on a career path he started 25 years ago. Troy Wenzel was sworn in by Sheriff Evan Verbrugge on Dec. 26 in front of Rock County commissioners. Wenzel is the fourth deputy hired by Verbrugge in the past year. “I finally came upon someone who’s actually close to my age to hire, not someone just out of high school or college,”…
  • By Mavis Fodness
    January 03, 2024
    The Rock County Board will conduct a public hearing to change the county’s tobacco sales and use ordinance involving setback requirements between permitted businesses. Kwik Trip is set to open on South Highway 75 in Luverne next month and is requesting a change in the county’s 2,000-foot setback requirement. Chief Operating Officer Thomas Reinhart emailed County Administrator Kyle Oldre Dec. 22…
  • By Mavis Fodness
    January 03, 2024
    Rock County’s levy will increase 3.6 percent for taxes payable in 2024, according to action taken at the Dec. 26 Rock County Board meeting. Commissioners set the levy at just over $7 million, which is $245,910 more than what was levied for 2023. The county plans to spend just over $15 million in 2024. Increases in state aid allow the county to complete several building improvements.…
  • January 03, 2024
    Taking proactive measures now can help young yard trees survive winter weather conditions and hungry wildlife, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. “Yard trees provide countless benefits to our environment and our well-being. They help clean our air, reduce our electric bills and enhance our surroundings, to name a few,” said Nikki Henger, the DNR’s Forestry Division…
  • By Mavis Fodness
    January 03, 2024
    Members of the Hills-Beaver Creek High School mock trial team are preparing for the season that opens next week. The 15-member team is working on this year’s case, State of Minnesota vs. Smiley Inc., and the first two meets will be Jan. 9 in Slayton against Luverne and Jan. 17 in Ivanhoe against Murray County Central. Rounds 3 and 4 will be completed virtually. They will be matched against two…
  • By Mavis Fodness
    January 03, 2024
    The Luverne High School Mock Trial team will compete in Slayton Jan. 9 under the direction of new coach Zoe DeBates. The 2019 LHS graduate formerly worked as the child guide in Luverne Elementary School and stepped forward this fall to take over the successful team that was 4-1 over the past two seasons. “While working at LPS, I was made aware that the season was quickly approaching with no…
  • January 03, 2024
    Luverne’s Patti Overgaard shared this photograph with the Rock County Star Herald after Santa Claus was spotted wheeling around town in a City of Luverne recycling truck during the week of Christmas. Frank Mongold, who sometimes dresses as Santa during the holidays, works in the city’s Public Works Department.
  • January 03, 2024
    Jackson Gacke from Hills-Beaver Creek School is a winner in the local “Voice of Democracy” patriotic audio essay competition, “What are the greatest attributes of our democracy?” for grades 9-12. Jackson received a certificate and $75 cash prize from the Wilmont VFW and VFW Auxiliary, which sponsored the competition. Since 1947 this scholarship program has been the VFW’s premier scholarship…
  • By Lori Sorenson
    December 27, 2023
    Rock County’s biggest news stories in 2023 follow a theme of growth, development and progress, and the Star Herald headlines over the past 12 months reflect strong and resilient communities behind those successes.   National Guard Readiness Center opens Among the biggest success stories of 2023 was the recent grand opening of the $17.5 million Minnesota National Guard Luverne Readiness Center…
  • By Lori Sorenson
    December 27, 2023
    A Rock County man has been arrested in connection with the Dec. 13 fatal hit and run of a pedestrian in rural Rock County. An arrest warrant was issued on Dec. 22 for 36-year-old Lucas Strassburg, Kenneth, who was taken into custody on the evening of Dec. 24 on felony charges of criminal vehicular homicide. He is accused of driving the pickup that struck and killed 76-year-old William Krotzer,…
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