News

Wed
03
Sep
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Toxic ‘blue-green’ algae found in Lac qui Parle Lake

Blue-green algae, which can be toxic to humans and pets, appears to be in bloom in backwaters of Lac qui Parle Lake west of Milan. The bloom was noticed this past weekend by Minnesota Pollution Control Agency staff travelling along Minnesota Highway 40.
The MPCA advises pet owners to check water conditions when dogs are playing near lakes or slow-flowing streams. Blue-green algae “blooms” have a thick, cloudy appearance that can look like green paint, pea soup or floating mats of scum.
Some, but not all, species of blue-green algae contain potent toxins that can be deadly to dogs, livestock and other animals within hours of contact.

If possible, dog owners should keep their pets away from algae-laden water entirely.

Wed
03
Sep
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6W seeks to maintain supervision levels

Editor’s note: As 6W Community Corrections looks to balance its budget it has been studying its options in reducing staff and the number of people on probation and parole that it supervises. However, no easy fixes have appeared. Instead, 6W has gone to the counties that it serves requesting an increase in funding.
6W provides parole and probation services for Swift, Chippewa, Lac qui Parle and Yellow Medicine counties. Two commissioners from each of the counties serve on its board along with a judge.
It is expected that the agency will have a $117,000 deficit this year, requiring it to draw from its reserves to make ends meet. It is proposing a balanced budget for 2015, but that will depend on the four counties increasing their contributions by 16 percent.

Fri
22
Aug
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Crop sprayer escapes injury

Crop sprayer escapes injury when plane crashes
Shortly before 6 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 19, the Swift County Sheriff’s Office received a report of an airplane crash, south of U.S. Highway 12 near Swift County Road 39 outside Kerkhoven. The airplane was being flown by the owner, Douglas Jackson, of Benson.  He was not injured in the accident.
The initial investigation shows that Jackson, 54, was spraying a soybean field when it hit a guide wire for a power pole causing the motor of the plane to shut off.  Jackson told officials that he did not see the guide wire.  When the engine stopped, he attempted to land on the road, but ended up crash landing in a cornfield.

Wed
20
Aug
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Sportman’s Club seeks to create shooting range

Benson’s City Council has given the go-ahead for the development of plans for a shooting range at the site of the old city dump. The site, on the north side of Minnesota Highway 9 a couple miles east of Benson, is also used by the city for storing concrete and for disposing of trees and brush.
The request came for the newly formed Benson Sportsman’s Club and was present to the council by Chief of Police Ian Hodge. He is a founding member of organization, which says its top priority is to create shooting facility. The choice of the old dumpsite came after studying possible sites around the city, he said.
The Sportsman’s Club is in its initial stages of growth, a memo given to the council says, and has established a printed set of goals.

Photo:  Chief Ian Hodge at a training exercise in Benson.

Wed
20
Aug
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US farmers forecast to hit new corn production record

By Kent Thiesse
Farm Management Analyst & Vice President MinnStar Bank Lake Crystal

Wed
20
Aug
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Residents near Benson Ready Mix plant seek help from city to solve problems

Blowing concrete dust, small bits of concrete shot across the street imbedded in fences and house siding, loud truck and business operation noise early in the morning, and potentially dangerous pools of water are degrading the quality of life for residents around the Benson Ready Mix plant.
That is what a group of residents who live near the concrete operation told the Benson City Council at its meeting Monday night.
The plant sits between 13th Street North (Minnesota 9 north) and 12th Street North. While it is zoned for business, residential homes sit to its immediate east across 12th Street. Just to the northwest across 13th Street is the multi-unit housing complex of Northview Court Townhomes.
Benson Ready Mix is owned by Duininck Concrete, a division of Duininck, Inc., of Prinsburg. No representative of the company was at the meeting.

Wed
20
Aug
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Deere to lay off 600 employees in Midwest

Agricultural equipment maker Deere is announcing it will indefinitely lay off more than 600 employees at four of its factories in the Midwest as demand slumps.
The affected sites are in the cities of East Moline and Moline in Illinois, as well as Ankeny, Iowa, and Coffeyville, Kansas.
Deere & Co. said in a news release Friday that “to remain globally competitive, the company must align the size of its manufacturing workforce with market demands for products.”
Deere is the world’s biggest farm equipment supplier.

Wed
13
Aug
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Only 227 votes cast in primary

Ed Pederson and Grant Herfindahl will face off for the District 2 Swift County Commission seat in November after placing first and second in last Tuesday’s primary. Nancy Loen finished third was eliminated from the race.  Peterson received 138 votes with Herfindahl getting 68 and Loen 21.  The 227 votes cast in the primary were 737 fewer than the 964 cast in the 2012 District 2 election when then incumbent Commissioner Gary Klemm defeated Pederson who had sought election as a write-in candidate. The general election is Nov. 4.
 

Wed
06
Aug
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Klobuchar talks ag policy with CVEC

U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar was in Benson Sunday evening to meet with representatives of the Chippewa Valley Ethanol Company (CVEC).
While the discussion focused on ethanol, the subjects covered varied from biofuels, to propane shortages, to filling the need for workers in rural communities, to trains blocking the tracks in Benson.
Also at the meeting were Tom and Randy Dooley, who are partners in Alliance Energy, the company that is working to add a rail spur next to the former Kinder-Morgan propane tank facility along west U.S. 12 that will allow it to be supplied by rail car.
 

Wed
06
Aug
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Filing period for District 777 board underway

Four school board seats will be up for election during the District 777 Board of Education election, Tuesday, Nov. 4.  The filing period for filing for a school board seat opened July 29 and will close Tuesday, Aug. 12 (can withdraw by Aug. 14).
Al Pagel, Gary Williams, and Bill McGeary are currently serving on four-year terms running through Dec. 31, 2016.
Board chairman Chad Payne’s four-year term is set to run through Dec. 31, 2014, while the final two years of Jeff Guest’s term will also go up for election.  Andy Abner was appointed to serve one year of the four-year term of Jeff Guest, who resigned to accept a special education position.  The final two years of Guest’s term will run from Jan. 1, 2015 through  Dec. 31, 2016.

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