June 2017

Fri
09
Jun
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Bill compensating city $20 million signed; but PUC needs to act as well

Fibrominn, now Benson Power, under construction in 2005.

While Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton has signed the Jobs & Energy bill that included language that would see the City of Benson paid $20 million between 2018 and 2021 for economic development, there is still another hurdle to clear.

Whether or not the deal proceeds depends on state Public Utilities Commission (PUC) approval for Xcel Energy to buy out the owners of Benson Power, LLC, and then proceeding to shut it down. That shut down could come as earlier as the summer of 2018.

Benson Power produces 55 megawatts of power by burning turkey litter and woodchips. It employs 45 people at the plant with another 50 to 60 people working in jobs supplying the plant with turkey litter and wood chips. Ash from the plant is conveyed to the adjacent North American Fertilizer plant incorporated into fertilizer products. It has been estimated that over 100 people’s livelihoods are tied to the plant not counting the employees who work there.

Fri
09
Jun
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Long Lake produces abundance of fish during second week of Fishing League

Scott Lee holds a nice 24.5-inch walleye from Page Lake, which was the top fish from the first week of competition.

The second event of the Swift Fishing League was held on Long Lake.  The air temp was 65, with a cool surface water temp of 53 from the cold nights we’ve had.  There had been a good bite on Long Lake that week, so teams were hopeful.  Within the first few minutes, some teams had hooked-up on some nice walleyes.  It didn’t take long to find out the bigger fish were active that evening.  There were numerous big fish caught, and point totals were some of the highest we’ve had.  There were six teams that brought in the league limit of six fish....

 

For more on this story, and to keep up on all the latest in area sports, subscribe to the Swift County Monitor-News print edition or our PDF internet edition. Call 320-843-4111 and you can get all the local news and sports delivered to you!

Pictured: Scott Lee holds a nice 24.5-inch walleye from Page Lake, which was the top fish from the first week of competition.
 

Fri
09
Jun
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Hoium and Habben fall in 6A semis

Eric Hoium returns a shot during a match in Benson earlier this season.  He and partner, Nathan Habben, lost in the Section 6A semifinals last week to the top-seeded pair.

Eric Hoium and Nathan Habben lost their final two matches of the season at the Section 6A “Final Four” Individual Tennis Tournament last Tuesday at St. Ben’s College.

Hoium and Habben, who were seeded fourth among the 16 doubles’ teams, won their first two matches the previous week, but fell to the top-seeded duo from Foley last Tuesday, 6-3, 6-1, and also lost the third-place match to a team from Foley, 7-5, 6-2.

Going on to claim Section 6A titles were Josh Prahl of Litchfield, in singles, and Logan Scott and Jordan Ziwicki, of Foley, in singles.

The Benson boys tennis team ended the season with a 3-13 overall record after losing to Litchfield, 7-0, in the Section 6A quarterfinals.

Litchfield went on to win the section team title with a 5-2 win over Foley in the championship match.  The Dragons had qualified to state for 11-straight seasons, but the last state berth was 2007.

Fri
09
Jun
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Enderson and Maurer end season at 3AA golf finals

Kellie Enderson, who missed a state berth by 11 strokes, earned six All-Conference awards during her high school golf career.

Two members of the Benson-KMS girls golf team ended their season at the Section 3AA Boys and Girls Golf Finals last Tuesday at the Oakdale Golf Club near Buffalo Lake.

Kellie Enderson and Alissa Maurer were among about 44 golfers who qualified to the girls’ finals, while another 44 boys also competed in the boys’ Section 3AA finals.

Enderson and Maurer both failed to advance to state tourney, ending the season for both of them and officially ending the season for the Benson-KMS girls golf team, coached by Sally Jones.

Minnewaska Area edged Marshall by 12 strokes to claim the girls’ section title, while New Ulm topped Minnewaska Area by one stroke to earn the boys’ title.

The State Boys and Girls Class AA Golf Tournament is set for June 13-14 at Ridges on Sand Creek near Jordan....

 

Fri
09
Jun
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Tostenson qualifies for third-straight state meet

Jon Tostenson (right) qualified for his third-straight state track meet in the 800 meter run.  Tostenson placed first, edging runner-up Lawrence Mettler, of USA.  Photo courtesy of Brooke Kern, Morris Sun-Tribune.

The Benson-KMS track and field teams competed at the Section 6A Track and Field Meet, Thursday at Moorhead State University and, for the third-straight season, Jon Tostenson is the lone member of the teams to qualify for a state berth.

Tostenson, a junior from KMS, will be competing in the 800 meter run for the third-straight season at the state meet after winning the Section 6A title last week with a time of 1:59.34.

That time is just off the school record of 1:58.19 set by Tony Rosemeier in 1988.

Perham and Pequot Lakes dominated both meets as Perham won the girls title by 12 points over runner-up Pequot Lakes, and Perham also won the boys title by 22 points over Pequot Lakes.

The Benson-KMS girls managed five total point to place 15th, while the boys team had 14 points, including 10 by Tostenson, to place 13th.

Fri
09
Jun
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Edgerton edges KMS for 3A softball title, 7-4

Sam Gjerde (left) dives for the ball on a first-inning popup in front of home plate, but the ball bounced off her glove and in for a hit.  Edgerton would go on to score four runs.  At right is catcher Savanna Hagen.

For the third time in the past four seasons, the KMS softball team was eliminated in the Section 3A championship game by Edgerton-Southwest MN Christian.

The Saints and Flying Dutch played in the section championship game, Thursday at Cottonwood, with Edgerton claiming a 7-4 victory to earn its fourth-straight Section 3A title.

KMS, which finished the season with a 21-4 overall record, advanced to state in 2011-2013, but has now been kept from state action for the last four seasons despite winning at least 20 games each season.

Edgerton, which won last year’s Class A state title, goes into the state tournament with a 22-3 overall record, having lost only to Class AA Pipestone twice and Class AAA Brainerd once.

Wed
07
Jun
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How to Spend $20 Million. Payments Would Be Opportunity, Heavy Burden

How to Spend $20million

Payments would be Opportunity, Heavy Burden

 

by Reed Anfinson
Publisher, Swift County Monitor-News

 

Twenty million dollars.

That is an awful lot of money for a small town to be looking at for investing in economic development.  We don’t have it yet, but the odds are looking better that it might be coming our way.

While the Legislature passed the bill including the language that provides the city with four payments between 2018 and 2021 totaling $20 million, and Gov. Mark Dayton signed it, the Minnesota Pubic Utilities (PUC) still has to weigh in.

Mon
05
Jun
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Art Flannigan

Arthur William Flannigan
Art Flannigan
February 10, 1942 • June 2, 2017
Fri
02
Jun
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Some school scoreboards aged, failing

Benson Pubic Schools’ Activities Committee will be looking into the costs and a schedule for replacing scoreboards in the district’s gymnasiums and outdoor sports facilities.

Benson Public Schools’ scoreboards range in shape from barely hanging on to okay, Activities Director Shannon Schmidt told the board of education at its May 15 meeting. She told the board that she was giving it the update on the scoreboards so that it didn’t end up one day with a gym or field without a working scoreboard.

If the school district were to modernize all its scoreboards, including upgrading with digital video screens, it could cost over $100,000 based on the experiences of other school districts in the area.

The softball field scoreboard is from around 2005 and was purchased used, she said. It is in the worst shape of any of the district’s scoreboards and needs to be replaced.

Fri
02
Jun
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6W may need additional agent in 2018

6W Community Corrections is likely to need an additional agent in 2018 to handle the rapidly expanding workload agents are dealing with.

Commissioner Gary Hendrickx, District 1-Appleton, said at the Swift County Board of Commissioners meeting May 16. Hendrickx, along with Commissioner Pete Peterson, District 3-south Benson, serves as a liaison on the 6W board. It provides probation and parole supervision for Swift, Chippewa, Yellow Medicine and Lac qui Parle counties. It has 18 employees with 11 career agents.

“The workload for the agency is getting beyond the point where it can do the job with due diligence,” Hendrickx said. The 6W board voted to have the dollars in by Jan. 1, 2018, for another fulltime agent, he said.

Commissioner Joe Fox, District 4-Hegbert Township, asked what it would cost Swift County to add a fulltime agent to the 6W staff. Peterson said it would be around $17,000 a year.

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