News

Thu
09
Oct
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Power outage in Benson today

Benson City Manager Rob Wolfington said a problem with Great River Energy (GRE) outside of Benson caused an outage in the city for nearly 15 minutes this morning.

Just after 11 a.m. the power went out and both residences and businesses in the town were dark, leaving many to scratch their heads after a city announcement earlier this week warned of power glitches possible on Monday or Friday of this week.

Wolfington said the power company is looking into causes for the outage, but no word has been received as yet.  He explained that a surge of some sort opened up the city's breakers. 

After doing the usual safety check with city personnel and GRE, the city's back-up power was turned on and provided power once again.

Around 2:30 p.m. today the city is again experiencing flickers in the power, but it has not gone out.

Thu
09
Oct
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Petition rejected, but motion unanimously rescinded

Monday night Benson’s City Council unanimously rejected a petition that had been submitted in opposition to an amendment to city code addressing residential structures considered in disrepair.
But with the next motion the council also unanimously rescinded the amendment, which was set to become law Oct. 17.
Opponents of a proposed amendment aimed at addressing blighted and dilapidated residential properties gave the petition to the city council at its Sept. 22 meeting. Their goal was to force the city to take the proposed change in city law to the community’s voters Nov. 4.
The council had passed the amendment defining conditions under which the city could issue tickets for buildings and properties allowed to fall into disrepair at their Sept. 8 meeting. The proposed change was published in the city’s legal newspaper, the Swift County Monitor-News, Sept. 17. Under state law, published ordinances or amendments become law 30 days after publication.

Wed
24
Sep
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Swift County Fair 4-H winners published

Congratulations to all 4-H members that participated in the Swift County Fair to make it a successful event. The results of the 2014 Swift County Fair are listed by 4-H club.

BBA - Big Bend Aces         
BGG - Busy Go Getters
CLH - Clontarf Haymakers  
CC - Cool Club        
DV - Dublin Victory            
HK - Hayes Kildare   
HW - Hegbert Winners        
LHEB - Lake Hazel
MC - Mighty Clovers          
ME - Moyer Eagles
SFW – Swift Falls Winners

The lists of winners is in this week's Swift County Monitor-News, available at many stores in the Benson area or by on-line subscription.

Photo:  Pictured is Corbin Holmquist, the winner of the Dog Agility contest at the Swift County Fair.

Wed
24
Sep
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Petition challenges proposed ordinance

Opponents of a proposed City of Benson ordinance addressing blighted and dilapidated residential properties presented a petition to the city council Monday in an effort to force it to a vote.
Nita Flodstrom handed the petition to the council at the start of its meeting saying there were 130 signatures on it. Nearly a dozen supporters were in the council chambers with her.
Mayor Paul Kittelson acknowledged receipt of the petition and said the council would act on it as required under law.  City staff and the city attorney’s office will review the petition to see if it conforms with requirements set down in the city charter and if the names of the signers are all legitimate residents and eligible voters in the city.   Photo:  File photo.
 

Wed
24
Sep
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Assisted living, memory loss facility being pursued

For the past several months the Swift County-Benson Hospital Foundation has been researching the possibility of building an assisted living facility that would include independent living quarters as well as a dementia unit.
Last Thursday, foundation representatives met with the Benson Economic Development Authority (EDA) to give it an overview of the proposed project and ask it to consider playing a key role in the initial financing. At its meeting Monday night, the council discussed the role Benson could play in facilitating the project through its EDA.
The idea for the facility started with a discussion at a SCBH Foundation meeting.
 “At one of our meetings, a member of the foundation board mentioned that people in the area had expressed concern that loved ones had to leave Benson when they could no longer live in their homes,” Foundation President Jerry Peterson said.

Wed
24
Sep
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Pharmacy burglary in Starbuck prompts police warnings

One Overdose is already linked to Drugs Stolen from Starbuck, Minn. Drug Store

The Starbuck Police Department responded to a report of a burglary at Samuelson’s Drug Store on Tuesday, September 16.
The Starbuck and Morris Police Departments are now warning the public about very potent prescription medications that were stolen during the burglary. One overdose is reportedly connected to the stolen drugs.

Tue
09
Sep
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Area’s crops could use some warm weather to mature

Increasing moisture levels helped improve pasture and row crop conditions for many Minnesota crops, but farmers would like to see warmer conditions to advance row development, according to USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.
Temperatures have been slightly below average throughout the summer with the area only seeing two days reach 90 degrees. The cold weather forecast for the second half of this week is not going to be a help at all as highs fall to near record lows in the low to mid-50s.
Highs should be averaging 73-74 degrees during the middle of September, but there are no 70s in the forecast until next week.
Topsoil and subsoil moisture levels have significantly improved since this time last year when the area was suffering drought conditions. But rather than looking to the skies for more rain, area farmers would rather see blue skies and warm temperatures for a few weeks this September.

Tue
09
Sep
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Benson schools’ enrollment expected to be just over 800

Benson Schools’ enrollment for the 2014-2015 school year is just over 800 students in grades kindergarten through 12th grade.  That number does not include the students in Heartland Girls Ranch, the Chippewa River Day Program, and the Area Learning Center, which has another 50 students enrolled to start the school year.
The Benson schools’ total includes 372 students in grades 7-12 for an average of 62 students per grade, while the enrollment in kindergarten through 6th grade is 431 students, or an average of just over 61.5 students per grade.
Grade 9 has the lowest enrollment number with 53 students, but 2nd grade (54), 4th grade (55), 8th grade (56), 5th grade (57), 3rd grade (59), and 11th grade (59) are also all in the 50s.
The 6th grade class leads the way in enrollment with 76 students for the 2014-2015 school year, while the 12th grade (72) and 10th grade (71) also have over 70 students.  

Tue
09
Sep
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Council adopts blighted properties ordinance

With a unanimous vote Monday night the Benson City Council approved the second reading of an amendment to city code addressing blighted and dilapidated residential properties.
The amendment will now be published in the city’s legal newspaper, the Swift County Monitor-News. Thirty days after publication it becomes law unless citizens challenge it by petition, forcing it to a vote.
A valid petition must have enough city resident signatures to represent 15 percent of the people who voted in the 2013 city election. There were 830 votes cast, so a petition would have to have a minimum of 125. The names must be people who are currently eligible voters in the city. The referendum is conducted at the next general election, which would likely be Nov. 4.
Though the vote was unanimous, some members of the council were hesitant to adopt it as worded.

Wed
03
Sep
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DU receives major gift in memory of Mike Commerford

Four Corners WMA Dedicated by Conservation Partners
Ducks Unlimited Major Sponsors Honored
The Four Corners state Wildlife Management Area (WMA) was dedicated by Ducks Unlimited with a ceremony and bronze plaque Aug. 23. It is near Sherburn in Martin County in far south central Minnesota.
Establishment of the WMA was made possible in part by a major gift to Ducks Unlimited made in the memory of Mike Commerford of Danvers. He died April 19, 2013, at the Swift County-Benson Hospital at the age of 49. He was the son of Norm and Marie Commerford of Danvers.
Project partners attending included the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Fox Lake Conservation League, the Martin County Conservation Club, and Ducks Unlimited.  They celebrated the acquisition of the 309-acre WMA and Ducks Unlimited’s subsequent restoration to a native prairie pothole complex. 

READ MORE ABOUT THIS BY SUBSCRIBING TO THE SWIFT COUNTY MONITOR NEWS.

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