News

Fri
07
Dec
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Swift County voter turnout hits 70%

In the Nov. 6 mid-term elections, Minnesota was number one in the nation for voter turnout with 64.25 percent of eligible voters casting ballots.

Swift County was among the top counties in a state that is perennially near the top, or number one, in voter turnout each election cycle.

Swift County had a voter turnout of 70 percent. There were 5,615 voters registered as of 7 a.m., Nov. 6, with another 203 registering at the polls. Of those registered in the county, 4,077 voted. “Very nice turnout,” Swift County Auditor Kim Saterbak said of the county’s voter participation.

“It’s now official: For the second election in a row, Minnesota’s voter participation was the best in America,” Secretary of State Steve Simon said. The total number of voters was 2,611,365. That means 64.25 percent of eligible Minnesotans participated in the 2018 election, surpassing the next closest state, Colorado, by more than a full percentage point.

Fri
07
Dec
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Benson sends PUC letter favoring Brightmark project

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

 

Benson Mayor Terri Collins has sent a letter to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) restating the city’s support for Brightmark Energy’s proposed biogas facility at the former Benson Power biomass electric generation site.

The letter was sent to counter BioPro Power’s (BPP) requesting that the PUC slow the process down through which Brightmark will be purchasing the site from Xcel Energy. It wants time for a proposed project of its own, which would create steam from corn stove to be considered. However, it has come to the process very late.

Xcel Energy, which owns the Benson Power site and buildings, took bids Oct. 4 from Brightmark (BME) and BPP. Brightmark was interested in the fuel hall building, the administration building, the truck washing facilities, scale and road infrastructure.

Wed
28
Nov
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15th annual Meander continues tradition of success

Pictured above is some of the artwork at this year’s Meander Upper Minnesota River Art Crawl.

The 15th annual Meander Upper Minnesota River Art Crawl had strong attendance and was well regarded by its many visitors, continuing a strong tradition in the five-county area of the Upper Minnesota River Valley.

Artists at Meander studios and galleries reported hosting between 120 and 1,500 customers during the three-day event. Art sales during the Meander totaled just over $108,000 with average sales at the studios and galleries up nearly eight percent over last year. Meander customers, traveling in groups that averaged 2.5 people, spent an average of $103 on Meander art and visited an average of 11 studios and galleries during the event.

Thirty-eight percent of those surveyed during the 2018 Meander were first-time participants, and 81 percent of those surveyed said they would return next year. Seventy-five percent said the quality of the art was excellent and 76 percent said their overall experience of the Meander was excellent...

 

Fri
23
Nov
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Daycare could be key to Benson area’s growth

Community developer and “therapist” Doug Griffiths speaks to citizens at the Benson Golf Club Thursday evening. His talk focused on the points he raises in his best selling book 13 Ways to Kill Your Community. Griffiths also met with high school students, senior citizens, young parents and the business community during his two days in the community.
Doug Griffiths talks with students at Benson High School about his years as a junior high teacher in Canada and how he motivated his students to examine their lives and the destructive behaviors that could derail their future success.

School-industry collaboration and city beautification also important

 

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher Swift County Monitor-News

Editor’s note: This is the first part of a two-part story on Doug Griffith’s two days in Benson. Next week’s story will get more into who the community seeks to bring here and what shapes a community they find attractive.

Through his two days of meetings with students, senior citizens, business people, young adults, and local government leaders Doug Griffiths was always seeking an answer to a two-part question: What is the most important thing to the future of your community and what assets do you have that will help you ensure your future is bright?

Young families moving to Benson was the first answer and excellent, affordable and readily available daycare the second.

Fri
23
Nov
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CVEC, BioPro Power ask Benson for support on its joint project

Two firms seek to use small part of Benson Power site for steam generation
 

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

 

Benson Power, Inc.’s, Foster Wheeler combustor and other assets of the plant represent the potential for tremendous economic development for the Benson area.

That was the message representatives of the Chippewa Valley Ethanol Company (CVEC) and BioPro Power (BPP) gave the Benson City Council Monday night. However, they said, they need to be given time to research the feasibility of the project and get the financing in line to move forward.

The problem is that CVEC and BPP are coming to the discussions about the future of the Benson Power site very late. They began exploring how the two could work together to repurpose part of the biomass power plant facilities to generate steam in late August.

Wed
07
Nov
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Peterson, Carruth, Samuelson, Berens win school board seats

 

Eric Peterson won the two-year term on the District 777 Board of Education beating his nearest competitor Chad Payne by 389 votes. Payne is the current chair of the school board. There was only one two-year term on the ballot. It was to fill the vacancy left by an earlier resignation.

 

Two-year term

Candidate                     Vote

*Eric Peterson                 897

Chad Payne                    508

Fri
02
Nov
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Daylight Saving Time ends Sunday; remember to ‘fall back’

Sunday morning at 2 a.m. clocks will fall back an hour giving Minnesotans an extra hour of sleep as Daylight Saving Time ends.

This coming Saturday morning the sun will rise at 8:04, but Sunday morning it rises at 7:08.

But with the earlier morning sunlight it means it will be getting darker an hour earlier in the evening.  Saturday the sun will set at 6:07, but Sunday the sunset comes at 5:06.

An easy way to remember how DST affects our clocks and daily lives is the little saying, “Spring ahead, Fall behind.”

As we move toward the winter solstice Dec. 21, the days keep getting continually shorter. We are still losing about 3 minutes of sunlight a day, nearly 20 minutes a week. Through the month of November the area loses 1 hour and 6 minutes of daylight. However, the rate of loss slows in December as we approach the winter solstice and the shortest day of the year.

Fri
02
Nov
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Community ‘therapist’ Griffiths coming to Benson

Benson has two full days scheduled for Nov. 15 and Nov. 16 with economic development and community “therapist” Doug Griffiths.

It is an event that will include the public in a community session planned for 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 16, at the Benson Golf Club.

Griffiths, who is the co-author of the book 13 Ways to Kill Your Community, calls himself a community therapist. He assesses a community’s strengths, weaknesses, misconceptions about itself, untapped potential and the built-in roadblocks it may face in moving forward.

“Strong communities are the foundation upon which prosperous families, businesses and nations are built,” is the stated vision of the 13 Ways community consulting group he helped found.

Fri
02
Nov
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Those seeking Swift County offices facing no opposition

Swift County’s two incumbent county commissioners who are up for re-election this November are running unopposed.

Swift County’s treasurer, attorney and sheriff will also be on the Tuesday, Nov. 6 ballot without opposition.

Commissioners Ed Pederson, District 2, and Joe Fox, District 4, are seeking re-election to four-year terms on the Swift County Board of Commissioners.

Fox won his first term on the Swift County Board of Commissioners in November 2006 defeating then Appleton Mayor Ron Ronning. When he ran for re-election in 2010 and 2014, he was unopposed.

Fri
02
Nov
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Miller seeks 3rd House term; Koenen seeks return to Capitol

District 17A Rep. Tim Miller, R-Prinsburg, is seeking a third term in the state House. He is being challenged by former state senator and representative Lyle Koenen, DFL- Clara City.

Lyle Koenen, a former Democratic-Farmer-Labor (DFL) Minnesota state senator and representative, is running against two-term incumbent Republican Tim Miller for the Minnesota House District 17A seat.

Miller was elected to the Minnesota house in 2014 when he defeated incumbent DFL Rep. Andrew Falk in a narrow win. He won re-election by a wide margin against Falk in a rematch in 2016.

House District 17A includes all of Swift and Chippewa counties, most of Renville County, and the four southwestern Kandiyohi County townships of Edwards, Holland, Roseland and Lake Lillian.

Koenen was elected to five two-year terms in the Minnesota House serving from 2002 to early 2012. He was elected to the state Senate in District 20 in a special election April 10 following the death of DFL Sen. Gary Kubly in 2012.

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