November 2017

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Nov
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School Board Must Respond To Citizen Concerns

by Reed Anfinson
Publisher, Swift County Monitor-News

There are times when a thoughtful, frank discussion about sensitive issues that have a broad impact on the quality of life in a community are necessary. The conversation is going to hurt feelings, offend people in positions of influence and authority, and demand leadership from those responsible for solving the challenges.

We are having one of those discussions now about the persistent losing records of many of our athletic programs at Benson High School. The impact reaches far beyond the athletic fields, rinks, and courts of BHS.

How the discussion evolves will depend on the seriousness with which it is carried out and the character of those taking part.

Fri
24
Nov
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School board asked to address athletic team performance

District 777’s Board of Education listened to parent Angela Nissen outline what she feels are the challenges facing Benson High School athletic programs at its meeting Monday night. She asked the school board to take action to ensure the persistent losing records of some teams is addressed. School Board Members are, from left, Bill McGeary, Chair Chad Payne, (Supt. Dennis Laumeyer,) Paul Carruth, Mary K.W. Langan, and Gary Williams.

Nissen says accountability and leadership needed

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

 

Nearly 30 people attended Monday night’s District 777 Board of Education meeting for a discussion on the state of Benson High School athletics; only one was allowed to speak.

Angela Nissen, a 1991 BHS graduate, told the school board that she was the mother of four children, a son who is a third grader, a boy who is a ninth grader, and two daughters who have graduated, one in 2013 and one in 2017.

Nissen was one of several parents and district residents who addressed the school board at its Oct. 16 meeting with their concerns about persistent losing records. They were not on the agenda but allowed to speak under the citizens’ comments section at the start of the meeting.

Fri
24
Nov
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Future of Benson Power before PUC Nov. 30; loggers sue to stop closing

 Xcel Energy’s petition to end its power purchase agreement with Benson Power, LLC, goes before the Public Utilities Commission Nov. 30.

Minnesota’s Public Utility Commission (PUC) is scheduled to meet Thursday, Nov. 30, to decide what action it will take on Xcel Energy’s proposed termination of its power purchase agreement with Benson Power, LLC.

The PUC could approve Xcel’s petition, deny it, or delay a decision. Parties unhappy with the PUC’s action, for or against, could appeal it.

The agreement requires Xcel to buy the 55 megawatts of electricity produced by the power plant, which burns a combination of turkey litter and wood chips, through 2028.

When Benson Power, known initially as Fibrominn, was constructed back in 2005, Xcel signed the 22-year power purchase agreement obligating it to buy the plant’s power. The deal helped satisfy Xcel’s requirement to buy 125 megawatts of green energy under the state’s biomass mandate. Passed as part of an agreement under which Xcel was permitted to store spent nuclear fuel at Prairie Island, the mandate has become a financial burden.

Fri
24
Nov
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Substation testing could cause a Benson outage

While the testing should go off without anyone noticing, the City of Benson wants every business owner and resident to be aware that there is a remote possibility they could suddenly lose electric power.

Thursday, Dec. 6, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) is going to be testing the substation through which power flows from Benson Power, LLC, into the region’s electric grid. The City of Benson’s electricity also comes through the substation and it is tied into some Agralite Electric Cooperative customers.

The city is meeting with GRE, NERC, Agralite and Otter Tail Power at 11 a.m., Tuesday, Nov. 28, to go over the testing plan.

They are testing the relay switches at the substation through which Benson Power’s 55 megawatts of power flow. The switches are designed to detect any fault currents and open the switch to protect the grid. Fault signals are sent to the substation to see if switches react.

Fri
24
Nov
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Farmers still working on corn harvest

Sunday and Monday’s warm temperatures were blown away by winds gusting to 40 mph out of the north Monday night.

Sunday’s high of 50 degrees was the first 50-degree high in November. Monday’s high of 52 degrees was the warmest November temperature. But the strong north winds had temperatures sinking to 19 degrees Tuesday morning with the high forecast to only reach 28.

During the third week in November, highs average 35 and lows 19. By the end of the month, the high average falls to 30 degrees and the low average to 14.

Minnesota farmers took advantage of the 5.4 days suitable for fieldwork and harvested 11 percent of the state’s corn acreage during the week ending November 19, according to USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. While some farmers were putting away equipment for the season, others were harvesting, baling corn stalks, spreading fertilizer, and working on fall tillage.

Fri
24
Nov
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BHS celebrates National Honor Society induction

Pictured are members of the BHS National Honor Society.  Front row, left to right: Katelyn Tolifson, Maranda Wieber, Erin Dubbels, Courtney McNeill, Madison Wieber, Gracie Lenz, and Brenna Knutson.  Second row: Matilyn Short, Jacquelyn Hanson, Madison Gelhar, Paige Cain, Grace Lee, Abbey Hoffman, Emily Miller, Elizabeth Staton, Brooke Norby, and Sophia Curriel.  Back row: Matt Ebnet, Riley Grube, Adam Forsberg, Jonas Habben, Matt Goossen, Sam Lundebrek, Matt Connolly, Emma Heinzig, and Anna Samuelson.

The Benson High School chapter of the National Honor Society held its annual reception and induction ceremony Tuesday, Nov. 14 in the senior high cafeteria.

During the induction ceremony, 15 juniors and two seniors became the newest members of the NHS at Benson High School.  These juniors and seniors were elected for their exemplary standards of leadership, character, service, and academic performance.

The new members of the Benson High School NHS are:  seniors Grace Lee and Madisen Wieber; and juniors Gracie Lenz, Matilyn Short, Matthew Ebnet, Paige Cain, Brenna Knutson, Jacquelyn Hanson, Jonas Habben, Riley Grube, Madison Gelhar, Matthew Goossen, Anna Samuelson, Maranda Wieber, Adam Forsberg, Katelyn Tolifson (junior representative), and Sophia Curriel.

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Nov
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Peterson, Rasmusson, Rudningen earn All-District for KMS

Dylan Rudningen (right) runs for the Saints during an early-season game against Benson, getting great blocking from the rest of his teammates.  Rudningen was one of three Saints earning All-District honors this season and he was also selected as KMS’ Offensive MVP.

The KMS football team recently announced its season-ending awards following the 2017 season.  The Saints went 5-5 during the 2017 season, including a 3-4 mark within the Mid-State sub-district.

In the Section 4A Tourney, KMS was seeded sixth, but beat third-seeded Lester Prairie-Holy Trinity in the first round, 26-7, before losing to second-seeded Mayer Lutheran in the semifinals, 42-7.  

Mayer Lutheran went on to earn the section title and also won its first state tournament game to earn a semifinal game against undefeated Minneota, the winners of Section 3A.

BBE won  the Mid-State Blue sub-district with a 7-0 league mark, followed by Royalton at 6-1, Upsala-Swanville Area at 4-3, KMS, Parkers Prairie, and Browerville-Eagle Valley, all at 3-4, Kimball Area at 2-5, and New York Mills at 0-7.

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Nov
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Zosel earns All-District and All-Section for Braves

Pictured from left to right are Matt Tolifson, a member of the All-Section 5AA team, Aaron Zosel, a member of the All-Section and All-District teams, and Sam Lundebrek, selected All-District honorable mention and Academic All-State.

The Benson football team recently ended its season with a loss at Minnewaska Area in the Section 5AA quarterfinals.  Benson ended the season 0-9, losing a tough double-overtime game at KMS to open up the season.

BOLD dominated the Mid-State sub-district this year with a 7-0 record.  The Warriors reached the Section 3A finals before falling to undefeated Minnesota, 35-22.

Tying for second place in the sub-district were ACGC, Minnewaska Area, and Sauk Centre, each with 5-2 records, while Morris Area was fifth at 3-4, Montevideo was 2-5, Osakis was 1-6, and Benson was 0-7.

The Braves had seven seniors, six juniors, seven sophomores, and three freshmen on this year’s varsity team.

Seniors lost to graduation are Aaron Zosel, Shane Flower, Devin Vergin, Kaden Schmidt, Shane Grussing, Matt Connolly, and Sam Lundebrek.

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Nov
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Tostenson, Mitteness lead cross-country teams during 2017 season

Jon Tostenson (left) runs during the Benson Invitational in early October.  Tostenson went on to earn a state berth and place 49th at the state meet.
Allie Mitteness was the leader for the Benson-KMS girls cross-country team in 2017.

The Benson-KMS boys and girls cross-country teams recently held their season-ending banquet.  The Fighting Braves ended the 2017 season on a high note as Jon Tostenson earned the program’s third-straight cross-country state trip, placing 49th at the State Meet at St. Olaf, Nov. 4.

Coach of the cross-country team this year was Samantha (Goff) VanHeuveln, who graduated from BHS and was in her first year as head coach.  She earned a state track gold medal in the 3200 meter relay as a seventh-grader for Benson-KMS.

The Benson-KMS boys team had a great season, placing second at three meets (Lac qui Parle Invitational, Benson Invitational, and WCC Meet), and also placed third at the Melrose and Paynesville Invitationals, and fourth at two others.

Fri
24
Nov
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Keith Cleo Moist

Keith Cleo Moist

Keith Cleo Moist
June 23, 1969 ~ November 21, 2017

Keith Cleo Moist, 48, of Murdock, died Tuesday, November 21st in rural Spicer. His funeral service will be at 3:00 pm, Saturday at Harvey Anderson Funeral Home in Kerkhoven. Visitation will be one hour prior to his service. Burial will in Hillside Cemetery in Kerkhoven. Arrangements are with Harvey Anderson Funeral Home in Kerkhoven. www.hafh.org

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