News

Wed
22
Sep
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COVID-19 cases continue to rise in area

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

While neighboring Stevens County has seen a recent substantial spike in its number of COVID-19 cases, Swift County is registering a much smaller but steady rise.

In one week, Stevens County saw its number of COVID-19 cases jump by 110 cases. Thursday saw the biggest increase with the Minnesota Department of Health reporting 48 cases followed by Friday with another 28.

It took from May 13 to Sept. 10, nearly five months, to post the past 110 cases. The county posted 48 new cases last Thursday, another 24 Friday, and then with Monday’s MDH report it added another 30. No specific reasons for the spike in Stevens County cases has been given...

Wed
22
Sep
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Benson voters asked to approve charter changes

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Early voting is already underway in Minnesota though there isn’t much on the ballot since this is an off-year election. It started last Friday.

Election day is Tuesday, Nov. 2, however, early voting takes place all the way up to Nov. 1.

There are no statewide races or presidential election this year. There are no county races or school board elections...

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!

Wed
22
Sep
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After 70 years in Benson, Breen’s Pharmacy sold

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

After 70 years as a main street Benson business owned by the Breen family, Breen’s Pharmacy has been sold.

Large pharmacy chain Thrifty White bought Breen’s Pharmacy and Lewis Drug located in the Do-Mat’s store on west U.S. Highway 12 at virtually the same time. They have closed the Breen’s pharmacy business and moved it to what is now a Thrifty White pharmacy.

Breen’s Pharmacy’s downtown location is staying open through October as it sells off its retail goods. However, the pharmacy operation shut down effective at 7 p.m. last Friday. Monday morning, all the prescription medicine side of the business and Breen’s Pharmacy employees were at the new location...

Wed
15
Sep
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Members of the BHS Homecoming royalty

Members of the BHS Homecoming royalty are pictured above.  In front from left to right are Mya Kurkosky, Madi Wrobleski, first grade crown carriers Cassidy Buenaventura and Luis Zehringer, Angelina Buboltz, and Adysen Himley.  Back -- Grant Gunlogson, Nathan Bolduc, Levi Gunlogson, Queen Sara Evenson, King Andrew Olson, Braden Rodahl, Sam Thompson, and Elle Kletscher.

Wed
15
Sep
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Countryside continues to monitor TB cases in its five counties

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Tuberculosis is one of those diseases that most people assume disappeared long ago. Certainly, it isn’t one that residents or rural western Minnesota have to worry about it is assumed.

Well, those assumptions would be wrong.

There are seven active cases of tuberculosis (TB) in two of the five counties served by Countryside Public Health, Director Liz Auch told the Swift County Board of Commissioners last Tuesday.

“Tuberculosis continues to hit some areas of the Countryside region hard,” Auch said. In addition to the seven active cases, there are latent TB cases...

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!

Wed
15
Sep
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Childhood immunizations seeing a ‘scary’ decline

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

“This next chart is really scary for me as your administrator,” Countryside Public Health’s Liz Auch told the Swift County Board of Commissioners at their Sept. 7 meeting.

She showed them a graph of the rates of childhood immunizations in the five counties the agency provides with public health services. They include Swift, Big Stone, Chippewa, Yellow Medicine, and Lac qui Parle.

 “Your goal should be that your zero to two-year-old little ones should be at 80% immunized,” she explained. However, Swift County is falling short of that number, and the trend is going in the wrong direction...

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!

Wed
15
Sep
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Area has seen 9 inches of rain since Aug. 20

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

With eight tenths of an inch of rain Monday afternoon into early Tuesday morning, the Benson area has now received 2.95 inches of precipitation in September. That is 18 hundredths above the monthly average of 2.77 inches and we are only halfway through September.

If there were any doubts about the drought in the area being broken, they should be laid to rest by now. Since Aug. 20, the Benson area has received 9 inches of rain.

This is the last week of summer. It officially ends next Wednesday as the fall season arrives at 2:20 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 22...

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!

Wed
08
Sep
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Don’t call about getting COVID-19 booster yet

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Countryside Public Health is already receiving calls from people wondering when they can get the COVID-19 booster vaccine.

 
Concern is rising among the already vaccinated in the state and region as the more highly infectious Delta variant spreads. There is also growing concern that new variants will develop that are able to evade the protection provided by the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine and two-dose Moderna and Pfizer vaccines.

Those 65 and older, and those with compromised immune systems, have been the mostly vulnerable to COVID-19, seeing the highest hospitalization and death rates. They are also the group most interested in the booster. However, it has yet to be approved...

Wed
08
Sep
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SCBHS working to get all employees vaccinated

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

A vaccination deadline is approaching for employees of CentraCare Health of St. Cloud and its affiliated medical facilities, including Swift County-Benson Health Services.

Through its affiliation with CentraCare, all those who work at SCBHS are Centra Care employees now. Carris Health, in Willmar, is also an affiliate of Centra Care and works closely with SCBHS on both management input and patient care.

“August 18 Centra Care announced that vaccination would be mandatory as a condition of employment,” Chief Nursing Officer and Co-CEO Melissa McGinty-Thompson told the SCBHS governing board at their Aug. 30 meeting.

That requirement calls the first dose of the Moderna, or Pfizer vaccine be administered by Nov. 1 and the second dose by Dec. 15. The single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine must be administered by Dec. 15, she said...

Wed
08
Sep
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Benson awarded $1.035 million state DEED grant

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Benson has been awarded $1,035,000 for renovation and energy efficiency upgrade to owner-occupied housing and commercial properties by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.

Benson submitted its application for the funding last year to the Small Cities Development Program (SCDP) grant program with the assistance of the Upper Minnesota Regional Development Commission (RDC).

The SCDP program works to help homeowners by offering grants based on household size and income. There are also opportunities for rental building owners and commercial building owners...

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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