News

Fri
12
Oct
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Swift County veteran numbers continuing to decline

As World War II veterans pass away, the numbers of veterans enrolled with Swift County’s Veterans Service Office are dwindling.

The total number of veterans living in the county was estimated at 654 in 2017 by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, down 395 from 1,049 in 2007.

Based on local statistics, 305 veterans have died in the past 11 years. However, just between 2015 and 2017, there were 101 deaths.

The number of deaths climbed between 2015 and 2017 as a lot of World War II veterans died, Swift County Veterans Service Office Dave Barrett told the board of commissioners at their Oct. 2 meeting. There were also some Korean War veterans who died, he added.

Fri
12
Oct
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New 5G technology a challenge for rural America

Swift County is one of the rare very rural counties in America that has high-speed broadband internet service to all rural residents and businesses.

It sets us apart from many other rural areas and appeared to close the opportunity gap with residents and businesses served by high speed internet in large metropolitan areas.

In 2016, the county sold $7.805 million in general obligation bonds to finance broadband service expansion in eastern Swift County.

With the bond funds, as well as a $4.95 million state broadband grant, Federated Telephone Cooperative of Chokio expanded high-speed internet service to an estimated 600 households, 425 businesses and 75 community institutions.  The project affects 13 of the county’s 21 townships concentrated in areas just east of the Benson city limits.

Western Swift County was already served by Federated’s broadband service.

Fri
12
Oct
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Persistent October rains slowing fall harvest efforts

Falls colors are starting to dominate the landscape. Another sign of fall is farmers in the field harvesting crops; however, persistent rains are slowing the harvest down.

Rain has again slowed the area’s corn, soybean and sugarbeet harvest. The rain has not only prevent the harvest a crop ready to take in, but has raised the moisture content of both corn and soybeans that had been drying down in the field.

Dry weather is needed to get farmers back in the fields. Warm days are needed to help reduce the moisture in crops. Starting Thursday it looks as if the dry weather will return, but warmer days don’t show up in the forecast until later next week.

Through the first eight days of October temperatures have made it feel more like late October or early November. Add in the wet, cloudy days and the unusually cold days feel even more chilling.

Highs have averaged just under 52 degrees since Oct. 1, that’s the average high for Oct.  28. Take out the high of 72 degrees Oct. 3, and the averages are closer to 48 degrees – the average for Nov. 1.

Lows have been averaging 38 degrees, the average for Oct. 13.

Fri
05
Oct
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Benson City Council supports letter of intent with BME

Benson Mayor Terri Collins looks at the former Benson Power biomass electric generation plant during a city council tour of the community Monday night.

A letter of intent that spells out “general business terms” between the City of Benson and Brightmark Energy (BME) of San Francisco was by approved at a special city council meeting last Wednesday night.

It also is the first concrete step toward what could someday be a $250 million investment in Benson at the site of what until recently was Benson Power, LLC.

Xcel Energy’s purchase of the biomass power plant earlier this year set in motion the eventual sale of removable assets on the site and demolition of the buildings. Eventually, the site was to be a bare lot the city could purchase for future economic development.

Heritage Global Partners is overseeing an auction of the former generating facility assets this month.

Fri
05
Oct
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17A’s Miller, Koenen to debate

The Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities has scheduled a candidate forum to discuss issues relevant to the Nov. 6 election in Minnesota House District 17A for Tuesday, Oct. 16, at the Swift County Law Enforcement Center in Benson.

It is scheduled from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Republican District 17A Rep. Tim Miller and Democratic-Farmer-Labor (DFL) candidate former Sen. Lyle Koenen have been invited.

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

Sara Lundquist, morning show host and program director for 93.5 KSCR Radio, Benson, and Reed Anfinson, publisher of the Swift County Monitor-News and Grant County Herald, will be the moderators. Anfinson also serves on the state’s Center for Rural Policy & Development, a non-partisan research body that advises the Legislature on rural issues.

Fri
05
Oct
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BHS Homecoming 2018: Queen Paige Cain & King Jared Knutson

From left to right in front are Mya Kurkosky, Katelyn Tolifson, Ava Nichols, Blake Larson, Chloe Collins, Isabelle Abner, and Jacquelyn Hanson.  In back are Toby Gonnerman, Cole Petrick, Queen Paige Cain, King Jared Knutson, Riley Grube, Matt Goossen, and Hunter Gonnerman.

Pictured are members of the 2018 BHS Homecoming Royalty Court.  From left to right in front are Mya Kurkosky, Katelyn Tolifson, Ava Nichols, Blake Larson, Chloe Collins, Isabelle Abner, and Jacquelyn Hanson.  In back are Toby Gonnerman, Cole Petrick, Queen Paige Cain, King Jared Knutson, Riley Grube, Matt Goossen, and Hunter Gonnerman.

 

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Fri
21
Sep
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Growing season’s warmth leads to an early harvest

Minnesota’s soybean harvest is underway more than a week ahead of average thanks to a very warm growing season.

Minnesota’s very warm May 1 through Sept. 16 period has spurred crop development well ahead of average with maturities and field activities four to 11 days ahead of schedule.

All area crops, even those not planted until May 15 due to a delayed spring planting because of very cold and wet conditions in April, are also fully mature.

Corn planted May 1 reached 2,559 growing degree-days as of Sunday, 275 ahead of the average of 2,284 for crops planted May 1. It is also 209 days past the 2,350 days needed for the corn crop to reach full maturity.

Corn planted May 15 has reached 2,419 growing degree-days, 135 days ahead of the average for corn planted May 1. It was 69 days past the average growing degree-days needed for maturity even though planted two weeks late.

Sunday combines could be seen in area fields harvesting soybeans, nearly a week earlier than average for the start of the harvest....

 

Fri
21
Sep
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Benson bringing development specialist to city in November

As the City of Benson works to develop a strategic plan for how it will invest the $20 million coming its way over the next four years from Xcel Energy, it is focused on ensuring three groups that it is doing its due diligence in spending the money wisely.

It wants to show the Minnesota Legislature and the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission that it has a developed a detailed plan with specific goals, spending priorities and sought-after outcomes that will meet the need to replace the loss of Benson Power, LLC.

Benson’s council also wants to show the citizens of the community that it will spend the money wisely following a plan laid out with the input of civic and community leaders. It wants citizen input on the challenges that need to be met to make the community more successful as well.

Fri
21
Sep
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School board to hold off on proposed HVAC levy

Benson Public Schools will not pursue a levy for heating, cooling, and air conditioning (HVAC) improvements to the senior high school at this time.

The decision to delay action on what could have been a $4.6 to $5 million bond levy for the HVAC work at the senior high appeared unanimous as no school board member disagreed with the delay.

Unlike the $26.3 million levy approved by the district’s voters Aug. 14 by a nearly 70 percent margin, this levy would not have needed voter approval.

It was very appropriate for the board of education to explore the options for funding HVAC improvements to the school in conjunction with the voter-approved building levy, Supt. Dennis Laumeyer said Monday night.

There were efficiencies to doing it now, he added, as a reason for exploring the possibility for the additional levy.

Fri
21
Sep
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RCW rallies for 3-2 win over Saints

Mallory Rudningen (3) and Haylee Johnson go up for a block attempt as KMS coach Joquel Molenaar looks on from behind during the Saints’ five-game los to RCW last Tuesday night at home.

Renville County West rallied from a 2-1 deficit to beat KMS in five games during a Camden Conference volleyball match in Kerkhoven last Tuesday night.  A couple nights later though, the Saints rebounded with a four-game win at Lac qui Parle.

Lydia Wagner had 16 kills during the loss to RCW, while Lauren Krieger had a team-high 13 kills during the win over LQP.  The Saints are 5-4 overall and 2-2 in the conference through the first third of the 2018 schedule.

KMS had two important conference matches this week at home.  The Saints were set to host Canby, Tuesday and host Dawson-Boyd, Thursday....

 

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!

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