News

Wed
07
Apr
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COVID-19 cases rising in western Minnesota

By Reed Anfinson

Publisher

In just the first five days of April, Swift County has seen 17 new cases of the COVID-19 disease reported by the Minnesota Department of Health. And, that number is short a day since MDH didn’t report COVID cases or vaccinations Easter Sunday.

If it keeps up that pace, it will see more than 100 new cases by the end of the month making it the third worst month for new cases during the pandemic. Swift County saw a record 368 cases in November and 184 in December. There are worries that the state is seeing another surge that will not only bring new cases, but also a spike in new deaths.

Wed
07
Apr
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Benson studying how to bring workers here to fill job vacancies

By Reed Anfinson

Publisher

Publisher’s Note: This is the second of a series of stories about the discussions on the future growth opportunities and challenges of the area.

 

Rural Minnesota faces multiple challenges now that will only get worse in the years to come. It has hundreds of businesses that are desperate for workers, but they struggle to attract new employees from other regions or large cities.

Too often, employees are simply shifting around in rural Minnesota.

Looming like a threatening storm on the horizon is impact of the retirement of the Baby Boom generation from the workforce in rural Minnesota.

Benson is not by any means alone in trying to solve the problems of attracting workers to a rural small town. There are over 19,495 incorporated cities in the United States, with 76 percent – 14,768 – having fewer than 5,000 people, according to the U.S. Census.

Wed
07
Apr
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Benson youth shines as advertising model

Lights, camera, fashion! Benson boy shines as a model

By Katherine Moore

Nathan Munsterman,15, of Benson, sits in front of the camera. He poses, he smiles, he struts. In the past year he has been stepping from everyday life of the rural Midwest into the world of modeling. But he doesn’t have the typical model origin story.

Nathan was born with Down Syndrome, a condition which causes someone to have an extra chromosome. Down Syndrome makes it difficult to communicate and interact with everyday life. Often, adults with intellectual disabilities have a hard time finding work. When it came time for the students at Nathan’s high school to talk about careers, he and his family were feeling uncertain about where to go, but they decided to pursue something they knew Nathan had strengths and interest in.

“He’s always loved the camera and the camera seems to love him back,” said Wendy Munsterman, Nathan’s mother.

Wed
07
Apr
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Benson council rejects Armory demolition bids

By Reed Anfinson

Publisher

Demolition bids for the Benson Armory were rejected Monday night by the city council and a blue ribbon committee created to explore its potential future uses over the next three months.

The committee would also develop estimates on what the costs would be to make the building ready for use, report to the council monthly on the progress of its meetings, and then present its full report at the end of the three months.

Council Members Jack Evenson and Lucas Olson will serve on the committee along with four citizens appointed by the council. A city staff member is to be appointed to assist the committee and Director of Finance Glen Pederson will be an ex officio member of the body.

Wed
31
Mar
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City Council will decide April 5 on future of Armory

Benson's 1927 Armory could be coming down this spring

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Benson’s City Council will decide whether it is going to accept bids for the demolition of the Benson Armory or reject them to pursue options and costs for its future use.
Back in October, the council voted unanimously to move ahead with the demolition of the 1927 Armory building. But now that the bids are in front of it for a decision, there have been second thoughts among some members of the council.
Rather than take action on the bids at its March 15 meeting, the council delayed the decision to its April 5 meeting. That delay gave it time to discuss one more time whether the building should stand or be leveled.
Three bids were received:
MAAC, Inc. $78,950
Jim Riley & Sons $143,775
T&K Kennedy Excavating $154,329

Wed
31
Mar
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McGeary, Dineen Bring Home Gold

State Champs!

Benson sophomore Libby McGeary became the first gymnast at Benson or KMS to earn a gold medal and fellow sophmore Thomas Dineen became the third wrestler at Benson High School to win a state title.
Sunday both were recognized with a parade through town with fans lining the streets.

Wed
31
Mar
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COVID-19 cases spiking again in Swift County, state

By Reed Anfinson

Publisher

In the first 14 days of March, Swift County saw 16 new cases of   COVID-19, however, in the last 15 days it has seen a sharp increase with 43 additional cases.
The 59 cases as of March 29 is approaching four times the number of cases seen in February when there were just 16.
Last week, Swift County-Benson Health Services performed 40 COVID-19 tests in a single day with a high positivity rate, Co-CEO Dan Enderson told the governing board at its meeting Monday night.
 Last week, it did the most testing and saw the highest number of positive results since mid-November, he said.

Wed
31
Mar
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Don’t blow your chance to go to state, get vaccinated

Imagine being headed to a state tournament with the possibility of your team winning the championship. Then a couple days before you leave, several teammates are exposed to someone who has COVID-19.
The team loses key players, and its state tournament hopes are crushed. There is a way to avoid that disheartening outcome – get everyone vaccinated.
“We are trying to get the word out there that if you become fully vaccinated, two weeks after you receive your second dose, you can avoid quarantine,” Swift County-Benson Health Services RN Clinic Manager Sarah Young told the governing board Monday night.

 

Fri
26
Mar
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It's lambing season on the Syverson farm

Josie Syverson poses with her children Ole, Justine, and Oscar, and with their lamb "Moon Pie" at the Richard (Swede) Syverson farm north of Clontarf.

By Reed Anfinson

Publisher

It’s spring in Minnesota and for those who raise sheep it is also “Lambing Season.” On the Richard “Swede” and Vicki Syverson farm it is a hectic time of year with dozens of little lambs to be delivered.

They aren’t doing it alone, however. They are in the sheep business with their son Paul and his wife Josie – when they are free from their “day jobs.” Josie is a family physician at Swift County-Benson Health Services and Paul a veterinarian with H&H Veterinary Service in Benson. There are also Paul and Josie’s three children who are more into hugging the lambs than working with them at this stage of their young lives....

Fri
26
Mar
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Benson schools celebrate Music in the Schools Month with concerts

Music in the Schools Month

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