News

Fri
22
Jun
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31st Pioneerland Band Festival

The KMS Marching Band performs in the Pioneerland Band Festival last Thursday. It was a windy evening, proving a challenge for those who had to toss flags high into the air.
Members of the Benson High School Marching Band Allie Mitteness, Logan Johnson, Bella Wolter, Brenna Knutson, and Katelyn Tolifson perform in last Thursday’s Pioneerland Band Festival parade.

Pictured, top: The KMS Marching Band performs in the Pioneerland Band Festival last Thursday. It was a windy evening, proving a challenge for those who had to toss flags high into the air.

 

Pictured, bottom: Members of the Benson High School Marching Band Allie Mitteness, Logan Johnson, Bella Wolter, Brenna Knutson, and Katelyn Tolifson perform in last Thursday’s Pioneerland Band Festival parade. Benson’s marching band led off the the parade, but did not compete as the host of 12 other bands the came to the community.
 

 

To see more color photos from the Pioneerland Band Festival parade, pick up a copy of the June 20, 2018 edition of the Swift County Monitor-News!

Fri
22
Jun
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Meeting on school building levy Monday

Next Monday District 777 is hosting the first of three community informational meetings about its $26.3 million building bond levy to be voted on Aug. 14.

The meeting will take place in the Benson High School cafeteria starting at 6 p.m. and is scheduled to last until 7:30 p.m. Meetings are also planned for Wednesday, July 18, and Tuesday, Aug, 7, at the same times.

Those attending the meetings should be aware that road construction is underway that blocks off entering the school senior high parking lot from the east or south. To get to the parking lot, take either 15th Street North by St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, or Oregon Avenue from the west and then turn north on 15th Street North.

District 777’s Board of Education turned to a citizens group made up of people representing three groups in the district – farmers and landowners, business owners and people from the community at large, and school staff.

Fri
22
Jun
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Decision on Benson Power future delayed until June 27

A decision by the North Dakota Public Service Commission Xcel Energy (Northern States Power) ending its power purchase agreements with Benson Power, LLC, and Laurentian Energy Association (LEA) is on hold until June 27.

The commission met last week but was not prepared to address ruling against appeals from truckers and loggers seeking to delay the termination of agreements. Benson Power and LEA, which serves the cities of Hibbing and Virginia, use wood chips for a power source. Benson Power also uses turkey litter.

Benson City Manager Rob Wolfington told the city council Monday night that the North Dakota PSC would decide if the truckers and loggers have standing to bring a case to stop Xcel’s plans to buy Benson Power and shut it down. A decision is now expected at the commissions June 27 meeting.

Fri
15
Jun
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Montevideo Veterans Home one step closer to reality

Marv Garbe, chair of the Montevideo Regional Veterans Home Committee, along with Montevideo Assistant City Manager Angie Steinbach and District 17A Rep. Tim Miller, R-Prinsburg, dicussed bonding approved for the facility during the 2018 Minnesota Legislative session.

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher

 

With the Minnesota Legislature’s passage of a bonding bill that includes $9.4 million for a proposed Montevideo Regional Veterans Home the 11-year-old journey to get the facility built is closer to becoming a reality.

Still, it will likely take another four years before construction can begin on the $44 million, 70-bed facility that would provide nearby veterans a health facility.

Another $5 million in financing is pledged toward the project with $3 million from Chippewa County and $650,000 from the City of Montevideo and its economic development organizations.

Swift County has promised $50,000 toward the project, as have Yellow Medicine and Lac qui Parle counties.

The City of Montevideo is also donating 13.5 acres of land valued at $707,850.

The City of Benson passed a resolution supporting the construction of the facility, but did not pledge any funds.

Fri
15
Jun
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3 inches of rain drench area Monday

Low areas in fields in western Minnesota were turned into ponds Monday as thunderstorms brought more than 3 inches of rain.

Thunderstorms forming and reforming over South Dakota, then making their way through western Minnesota during the morning and early afternoon Monday, brought just over 3 inches of rain to the Benson area.

Monday’s rainfall was 3.1 inches and brought June’s total to 4.4 inches, one hundredth of an inch over the month’s average of 4.39 inches. It is only June12.

Sunday the Chippewa River level as monitored at the U.S. Highway 12 bridge west of Benson had fallen to 8.48 feet. By Tuesday morning it was up to 11.75 feet – a rise of 3.27 feet. The volume of water flowing down the Chippewa had more than tripled from 0.444 cubic feet per second to 1.62 cubic feet per second.

The heavy rainfall closed the back nine of the Benson Golf Course due to standing water, postponing Tuesday’s men’s league play this week.

Fri
15
Jun
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Supreme Court rules CVEC-GPC grain contract can end

Since it was constructed in the mid-1990s, the Chippewa Valley Ethanol Company has received its grain from Glacial Plains Cooperative, which constructed its grain handling facilty adjacent to the plant. The Minnesota Supreme Court has ruled that CVEC can end what GPC thought was a permanent contract.

Minnesota’s Supreme Court ruled June 6 that the contract for corn supply between the Chippewa Valley Ethanol Company (CVEC) and Glacial Plains Cooperative (GPC) is not of perpetual duration, overturning an earlier ruling from both the 8th Judicial District Court and state Court of Appeals.

It has remanded the case to the district court to now determine what is a “reasonable” amount of time for notice to end the grain handling contract.

“CVEC argues that given the 20-year length of the contractual relationship thus far, ‘as a matter of law’ the contract must have already lasted a reasonable time. We disagree,” the Court stated in its findings.

Fri
08
Jun
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After five years, restored jukebox returns to bakery

Toby Johannessen, owner of the Benson Bakery, holds up the jackets of two records that were on the Seeburg jukebox when it was shutdown in the 1980s: “Islands in the Stream,” by Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton, released in 1983, and Willie Nelson’s “City of New Orleans,” released in 1985. This photo was taken in 2013, when Kenny Amundson was talking with Johannessen about taking on the Seeburg’s restoration.

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher

 

This story starts with a quarter at the Benson Bakery, an old jukebox, and a child’s memory of great times growing up in the city.

“When I was a kid here in Benson more than just a few of us would go the bakery like big shots and order something and turn the jukebox on,” Kenny Amundson recalls. “You didn’t see the jukebox because it was in the basement. But we could put a quarter in the slot (of the player) on the wall and get three songs. I really remember that.”

Born at the Swift County-Benson Hospital in 1945, Amundson lived on a farm between Clontarf and Hancock. When he was five the family moved to Benson and when he was 14 years old, the Amundsons moved to the Twin Cities.

Fri
08
Jun
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Last hurdles to the purchase, shutdown of Benson Power closer to being cleared

Last Friday Benson was scheduled to get its first $4 million payment from the settlement with Xcel Energy and the Minnesota Legislature that will lead to the closing of Benson Power, LLC, later this summer.

The payment is to be followed by $6 million payments in 2019 and 2020, with a final $3 million payment coming in 2021, bringing the total to $20 million.

However, City Manager Rob Wolfington told the Benson council Monday night that there are two hurdles still to clear before the payments can start.

First, the North Dakota Public Utilities Commission has to give its approval of the purchase and closure of the 55-megawatt biomass power plant in Benson.

A work session of the North Dakota PUC was set for June 11, at which time it was going to determine whether or not it would conduct a public hearing to listen to appeals by workers at Laurentian Energy Authority (LEA) and suppliers working with Benson Power.

Fri
08
Jun
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Benson enforcing ordinance governing backyard pools

Last year five residents of Benson bought and installed above ground pools in their backyards thinking they would provide a place to cool off on a hot summer’s day and be great for kids to play in as well.

There was just one problem with all the pools – their installation didn’t comply with the Benson city ordinance. If the residents couldn’t comply with the law, they had to remove the pools.

Now, two more cases of people putting in backyard above ground pools have come up this spring. And, again, those installing them were not aware that the city had a law governing their use, City Manager Rob Wolfington told the Benson City Council at its meeting Monday night.

Fri
01
Jun
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Honoring America’s Veterans

Pictured is Veteran Conrad Urke was honored as the “special veteran” in this year’s Memorial Day parade and service at the Benson City Cemetery.

Pictured is Veteran Conrad Urke was honored as the “special veteran” in this year’s Memorial Day parade and service at the Benson City Cemetery.

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