October 2015

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Lowell E. Moen July 4, 1940 • October 6, 2015

Lowell Moen

Lowell E. Moen, 75, of Benson, Minnesota  died Tuesday, October 6, 2015 at the Belgrade Nursing Home in Belgrade.  
Funeral services were held 1:00 p.m. Saturday at Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church in Swift Falls.  Visitation was held for two hours prior to the service at the church.  Burial was in the Rolling Forks Cemetery.
Lowell Eugene Moen was born  July 4, 1940 in Brooten, the son of Earl and Mearl (Solbrekken) Moen.  He was baptized at his home and confirmed at Rolling Forks Lutheran Church.  He grew up on the family farm in Gilchrist Township and attended country grade school in District #16 and 2.  He graduated from Brooten High School in 1958 and continued his education at the St. Cloud Business College.  

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A generous gift for Johnny Johnson

Johnny Johnson’s new motorized scooter, courtesy of the Benson Lions and the entire community, has allowed him to get around the town with ease and allows him to venture much farther away from his home than he was accustomed to.  Despite being very independent and wanting to do things for himself, Johnny was very appreciative to everyone for the generous gift.

Cost of an off-road, motorized scooter?  About $3,500.  Cost to build a shed to house the scooter?  About $1,500.  The never-ending smile that was on Johnny Johnson’s face from the moment he saw his new scooter?  Priceless!
Yes, the Benson Lions Club, as well as other civic organizations in the community, have done a lot of great things over the years, but the most-recent project by the Lions Club to buy a new off-road motorized scooter for Johnny Johnson not only helped someone in need, it will change his life.
Johnny, a 1980 graduate of Benson High School, who has been challenged since birth, has never had it easy getting around town.  Many people in the community can picture Johnny trying to get his lawnmower around town so he could mow the post office lawn, or trying to get around with his three-wheel bike using one of his hands to propel the wheels forward.

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Girls tennis team to play Montevideo in 6A opener

Kelsey Rajewsky returns a shot during action in Benson this season.  The Braves were set to play Montevideo, Monday, in the first round of the Section 6A Tourney.

The Benson girls tennis team closed out the regular-season with three-straight wins to raise its record to 15-5 heading into the postseason.  The Braves are having one of the top 10 seasons in girls tennis history this year with a win total that has been topped only seven times in the past 35 years.
The Braves started out 8-2 this season, but then went 1-3 over their next four matches with losses to Minnewaska Area, Melrose Area, and MACCRAY, before winning their last six-straight to end the regular-season.
Benson is seeded fourth in the upcoming Section 6A Team Tourney, and was set to host fifth-seeded Montevideo at 10:30 a.m., Monday, Oct. 12 at Fitness Evolution in St. Cloud.  With a win, Benson would face top-seeded Osakis at 8 a.m., Wednesday, Oct. 14 at Fitness Evolution and the championship is set for noon the same day.
 

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Benson volleyball loses heartbreaker to Minnewaska Area

Hanna Lindblad puts up a set for Victoria Pagel or Anna Gosson (back) during a loss to Sauk Centre

The Benson volleyball team lost a heartbreaker to Minnewaska Area last Tuesday night despite winning the first two games and leading game three.  When coupled with a three-game sweep to state-ranked Sauk Centre, Thursday at home, the Braves are 4-16 overall and 1-10 in the WCC heading into the final two weeks of the regular-season.
This week, Benson is set to play at Atwater-CGC, Monday, before taking the rest of the week off, including MEA break.  The next week, Benson has home games against Morris Area and Montevideo.
The Section 3AA Tourney is set to begin Friday, Oct. 30, and right now, the Braves are still looking like the eighth seed in their half of the section and a first-round match at NLS or Morris Area.

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Late field goal gives Sauk Centre 16-13 win and sends Braves to Paynesville for opener

Layton Connelly hands off to Brett Sulier (44), who led the Braves in rushing and was second in total tackles.

The Benson football team closed out the regular-season with a 16-13 loss to Sauk Centre, Friday night on Brock Field.  The Braves had their chances against the Mainstreeters, but a late field goal by Sauk Centre gave it a late 16-6 lead and after Benson pulled to within 16-13 with a touchdown with just over a minute remaining in the game, Sauk Centre was able to run out the clock to preserve the win.
“Our defense had a bend, but don’t break, mentality, and despite giving up some yardage during the game, for the most part, we were able to keep Sauk Centre out of the end zone,” Benson head coach Scott Gonnerman said.  “Our defensive line (Zack Sonnabend, Mitch Koosmann, Everett Lee, and Shawn Aarhus) was able to control the line of scrimmage for the most part.

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Benson hosts cross country meet

Austin Ose (with hat), Dylan Stewart (right) and others run during the Benson Invitational last Monday afternoon at the Benson Golf Club.  More pictures and a recap of the individual and team standings will be highlighted next week.

The Benson-KMS cross-country teams competed at the BOLD Invitational, Thursday, with the boys team placing fifth of nine teams and the girls placing fourth of five teams.
Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop won the boys’ competition by 12 points over Murray County Central, while Redwood Valley dominated the girls meet over runner-up Murray County Central.
Josh Bailey placed 10th for Benson, edging out teammate Jonathan Tostenson by less than a second, while Ashley Just was also 10th place to lead the Benson-KMS girls.
The Benson-KMS cross-country teams were also set to compete at Sauk Centre last Tuesday, and results of that meet can be found in separate story.  The next two meets are at home for the Fighting Braves as the Benson Invitational is set for Monday, Oct. 12, and the WCC Cross-Country Meet is set for Tuesday, Oct. 20, both at the Benson Golf Club.

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County broadband application 1 of 44

Swift County’s application for broadband funding is one of 44 that were submitted to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) by the Sept. 23 deadline.

In all, the 44 grant applications submitted are seeking $29.06 million to expand broadband coverage for their areas. However, just $10.58 million was made available by the Legislature for this year’s funding round.

Last year, DEED received 40 applications seeking $44.2 million, but had $20 million available in its Border-to-Border Broadband Development Grant Program.

In July, Swift County pledged $7.5 to $8 million in bond funds to help Federated Telephone expand broadband fiber optic cable to unserved areas in the eastern half of the county. County backing was essential to the broadband grant application Federated was submitting to DEED.

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County adopts rules for selling tax-forfeited property

When Bill and Ann Hanson offered to buy two parcels of tax-forfeited property in Appleton early in September, their request was tabled. At the time, Swift County was working on a new policy governing the sales of tax-forfeited properties.

The Hansons were offering $200 for the vacant lots, but planned to build a home on the property “with a value greater than $50,000 within the next three to five years.” They already own an adjacent lot. In the offer, they also pointed out that they would have to clean up the lots, on which debris had been left.

Both lots have been valued at $1,000 by the county. One of the lots has $2,700 in special assessments against it, mainly comprised of City of Appleton utility charges.

In April, Vincent Hughes had offered $250 each for the lots, but his offer was denied.

At its meeting Oct. 6, the county board again took up the Hanson request after adopting a plan governing the sale of tax-forfeited properties.

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Appleton prison a win-win for state

Minnesota’s Legislature will face a crucial decision on the future of prison facilities in the state when it weighs whether to build a new 500-bed facility near a current prison in Rush City or take advantage of an empty 1,600-bed facility in Appleton.
Though it is more than five months before the state Legislature convenes, there is already a special Prison Population Task Force made up of legislators, state prison officials and law enforcement considering how to most cost-effectively meet the state’s need for more prison beds.
Swift County and the City of Appleton are actively putting their case before the state Legislature for using the Prairie Correctional Facility. To help it make its point with the legislators and the public, it has retained well-respected lobbying firm Goff Public of St. Paul.
We believe there are several key considerations the task force needs to weigh as it moves forward.

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Farmers taking in a record crop

Nearly perfect growing conditions this crop season is leading to record yields throughout Minnesota.

Former University of Minnesota Extension Agent Kent Thiesse writes in this week’s column on Page 7A that the USDA is estimating the 2015 Minnesota corn yield at a record level of 184 bushels per acre.

The 2015 Minnesota anticipated corn yield is well above the final 2014 average state corn yield of 156 bushels per acre, and 160 bushels per acre in 2013. The previous record corn yield was 177 bushels per acre in 2010.

The USDA Report estimated the 2015 Minnesota soybean yield at a record level of 48 bushels per acre, which compares to 41.5 bushels per acre in 2014 and 42.0 bushels per acre in 2013, Thiesse, who is now a vice president with MinnStar Bank in Lake Crystal, writes. The previous state record average yield was 45 bushels per acre in 2010.

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