News

Wed
06
Apr
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School district will seek public input on arts, athletics, extra-curriculars

Henry Dammeyer performs a solo on the tenor saxophone during the Jazz n’ Stuff concert, Monday night in the Jr. High Auditorium.

When it conducted its comprehensive survey this past summer on what residents of District 777 thought needed to be done to improve not only facilities, but programs as well, they received a lot of feedback.

It led the school board and staff to take a deeper look at what it offers kids in the district from band and choir, to clubs like the Business Professionals of America (BPA) and National Honor Society, to girls and boys sports.

“The survey had positive and negative comments about what the district offered and about their quality,” Supt. Dennis Laumeyer said last week in an interview. Most of the comments had to do with sports, but some dealt with other activities as well. “They are all interconnected, however,” he added.

Thu
31
Mar
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Grant Herfindahl named state FSA head

New FSA Director Grant Herfindahl enjoys the solitude of his rural Swift County farm.

With Grant Herfindahl’s appointment to head the Minnesota Farm Service Agency, the two top positions in state agriculture are now headed by two men who grew up farming in Swift County. He joins Dave Frederickson, Minnesota’s commissioner of Agriculture, in St. Paul in serving the state’s agricultural community.

Frederickson, who served four years in the Minnesota Senate and whose district included Swift County, is a former president of both the Minnesota Farmer's Union and National Farmer's Union. He served on Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s staff advising her on agricultural issues. He was also a fourth-generation family farmer from north of Murdock, but has sold his farm and now lives in the Twin Cities.

Thu
31
Mar
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Public hearings set for Federated Telephone broadband expansion

When Swift County agreed to aid Federated Telephone Company with the expansion of broadband services to the eastern half of the county, it committed to bonding for $7.5 million.

Overall, the project is expected to cost $12.5 million with a $4.95 million state Border-to-Border Broadband Grant covering part of the cost of the project, which is to start in the coming monthsl

The proposed tax abatement bond sale will actually be for $7.785 million, Swift County Administrator Mike Pogge-Weaver told the board of commissioners at their meeting March 15. The additional $285,000 is for the cost of issuing the bonds.

While the county will be conducting the bond sale, Federated Telephone has agreed to make the payments to retire the debt. The county and Federated Telephone are negotiating on how much of the bond sale costs will be covered by the county and how much by the company.

Thu
31
Mar
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Committee passes prison bill; governor promises veto

Legislators tour the Prairie Correctional Facility in November.

Early last Tuesday morning a bus wove its way through western Minnesota picking up supporters of the reopening of the Prairie Correctional Facility in Appleton with state prisoners. It then headed for a committee hearing at the state Capitol in St. Paul.

What followed was a startling education in the highly emotional and combative politics of sentencing laws, race and prison use in Minnesota.

As the bus rolled up to the Transportation Building in the state Capitol complex, it was met by a group running up to it with coffee and donuts, but also bearing banners saying, “Don’t believe the lies of CCA! You’re better than that Appleton!” CCA stands for Corrections Corporation of America, the country’s largest private owner of prison space, including Appleton’s 1,600-bed facility.

Thu
24
Mar
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Annual St. Patrick's Day Parade

Abby Saterbak and LuLu Bach carry the Sullivan family coat of arms banner in Saturday’s parade.
Jack and Denise Lundquist, bagpipers who live near Watertown, S.D., marched in the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade in Benson Saturday. Paul Estenson sponsored the bagpipers for the parade.

The St. Patrick's Day Parade was held in Benson on Saturday, March 19. The annual parade is sponsored by Patrick’s Pub & Grill. The parade included Jack and Denise Lundquist, bagpipers who live near Watertown, S.D. Paul Estenson sponsored the bagpipers for the parade.

More photos can be found in the March 23, 2016 edition of the Swift County Monitor-News. 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!
 

 

Thu
24
Mar
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Public hearings set on broadband bond sale for April 19

When Swift County agreed to aid Federated Telephone Company with the expansion of broadband services to the eastern half of the county, it committed to bonding for $7.5 million.

Overall, the project is expected to cost $12.5 million with a $4.95 million state Border-to-Border Broadband Grant covering part of the cost of the project, which is to start in the coming monthsl

The proposed tax abatement bond sale will actually be for $7.785 million, Swift County Administrator Mike Pogge-Weaver told the board of commissioners at their meeting March 15. The additional $285,000 is for the cost of issuing the bonds.

While the county will be conducting the bond sale, Federated Telephone has agreed to make the payments to retire the debt. The county and Federated Telephone are negotiating on how much of the bond sale costs will be covered by the county and how much by the company.

Thu
24
Mar
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Bill to reopen PCF gets first hearing in Legislature

Legislation has been introduced in the Minnesota House that would pave the way for reopening the Prairie Correctional Facility in Appleton.

The bill was scheduled for its first hearing before the House Public Safety and Crime Prevention Policy and Finance Committee Tuesday morning. A delegation of Swift County, Appleton, and other area communities lobbying to get the Appleton prison opened with state prisoners was heading to St. Paul by bus early Tuesday morning to be on hand for the hearing.

House File 3223 is co-sponsored by more than 20 members of the state House including Republican Rep. Kurt Daudt, the Speaker of the House, and Republican Rep. Tony Cornish. Cornish chairs the Public Safety and Crime Prevention Policy and Finance Committee.

District 17A Rep. Tim Miller, Republican-Prinsburg, is also a co-author. However, all the co-authors of the bill are Republicans.
 

Thu
03
Mar
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Marsh Lake gets federal funding to move ahead with restoration project

U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, center, listens to DNR Regional Wildlife Manager Dave Trauba explain the $12.93 million project that will take place in 2016 and 2017 to restore Marsh Lake near Appleton, MN.
Marsh Lake has the largest pelican rookery in the nation.

A $12.9 million ecosystem renovation of Marsh Lake is moving ahead with the commitment of $7.59 million from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Saturday, Feb. 20, U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar was in Appleton to meet with Minnesota Department of  (DNR) Resources officials who will lead the project.

At one time, Marsh Lake was a prime destination for duck hunters in the fall, and fishermen in both the summer and winter. But today it lacks the habitat that encourages ducks to stop and stay for awhile and its muddy waters favor carp, not game fish like walleye and northern pike.

For more, 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!

Thu
25
Feb
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SpecSys meets needs of nine different industries

A railroad crane completed at the Benson SpecSys plant was bound for the Hawaiian Islands. It was being shipped from Benson to the West Coast where it was to be loaded on a ship.
SpecSys owner Kevin Wald spends 100 days a year on the road finding customers

Kevin Wald (pictured) spends 100 days a year on the road.

“It’s not a life for everybody, but it works for me right now,” Wald the owner of SpecSys in Benson said last week in an interview.

But Benson’s SpecSys facility is just one of the 11 facilities he is involved in in seven different communities. Finding jobs for those businesses and keeping his nearly 250 employees working is the reason Wald spends so much time in the air and on the road.

Today Wald’s businesses are involved in nine different sectors of the economy, which provides diversity for the company that keeps it going when there are economic downturns.

For more, 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, including special section like our "Progress in Benson" delivered to you!
 

Thu
25
Feb
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Paulus commission wins Grammy; Piece was performed by Holtan’s group True Concord

1989 Benson High School graduate Eric Holtan, conductor of Paulus commission

Stephen Paulus’ Prayers & Remembrances won a Grammy Award Monday for Best Contemporary Classical Composition. Sitting in the audience at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles during the ceremony where the early Grammy Awards were presented was 1989 Benson High School graduate Eric Holtan.

His Tucson, AZ, group True Concord Voices and Orchestra, recorded Prayers & Remembrances as part of a larger work entitled Far in the Heavens. Holtan was the conductor and worked closely with Paulus on the piece.

For more, 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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