News

Fri
02
Jun
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Northside Wagon Parade Celebrates reading and end of the school year

After 37 years of teaching in the Benson elementary schools teacher Donna Tatge is retiring. She waves goodbye as she is followed by her first grade class, which read “Mother Bruce” by Ryan T. Higgins. Paraprofessional Nettie Berens walks along with the class.
“The Chocolate Touch” was read by Anne Duncan’s second grade class.

Pictured, top: After 37 years of teaching in the Benson elementary schools teacher Donna Tatge is retiring. She waves goodbye as she is followed by her first grade class, which read “Mother Bruce” by Ryan T. Higgins. Paraprofessional Nettie Berens walks along with the class.

Pictured, bottom: “The Chocolate Touch” was read by Anne Duncan’s second grade class.
 

Many more photos appear in the May 31, 2017 edition of the  Swift County Monitor-News. Subscribe today to the print edition or our PDF internet edition. Call 320-843-4111 and you can get all the local news and sports delivered to you!
 

Fri
26
May
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County creates HR, payroll positions

With two 3-2 votes the Swift County Board of Commissioners will move forward with creating a full-time human resources person as well as a payroll officer/administrative assistant.

While Commissioners Eric Rudningen, District 5-Kerkhoven, Pete Peterson, District 3-south Benson, and Gary Hendrickx, District 1-Appleton, agreed the county needed to add the two positions, Commissioners Ed Pederson, District 2-north Benson, and Joe Fox, District 4-Hegbert Township, disagreed.

It is estimated the HR position would have a starting salary of $53,206. The payroll officer/administrative assistant would have a salary of $35,298, though the position might not be fulltime.

However, only one new position is technically being added. Commissioners had voted last year to hire a HR director in 2017. Also, current Assistant to the Administrator Amanda Ness is likely to fill one of the positions.

Fri
26
May
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County board sets public hearing on solar panel law

Near North Branch in Chisago County 1,000 acres of land is now covered by 440,000 solar panels that are expected to generate enough electricity to power 20,000 homes.

If you are driving east on Minnesota Highway 23, you will see 100 acres of farmland that is now home to a solar panel array that will generate 15.23 megawatts of power, enough for nearly 2,500 homes. Along U.S Highway 12 near Atwater is a 37-acre solar farm. These are just three examples of the growing number of solar energy projects underway in the state.

“Minnesota had just one megawatt of solar capacity in 2009,” Minnesota Public Radio’s Elizabeth Dunbar reported earlier this month. “Now it’s 447 megawatts, or enough to power about 63,000 homes.”

Fri
26
May
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Memorial Day parade at 9:30 with service to follow

Helen Hollingsworth, escorted by Ben Hess, lays a wreath on the Benson City Cemetery War Veterans Memorial on Memorial Day in 2016.

The Benson area’s Memorial Day service is set for Monday, May 29, at the Benson City Cemetery. It will begin with a parade at 9:30 a.m. along the traditional route starting at the Junior High School, traveling south on 13th Street North to Idaho Avenue on the north side of Roosevelt Park, then back north on 14th Street North. The band will then proceed to the Benson City Cemetery for the service, which starts following the parade.

Memorial Day celebrates the sacrifice of those who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. It began as  Decoration Day after the American Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion will lead the memorial ceremony at the Benson Cemetery. Members of the Minnesota National Guard, city dignitaries, the Benson High School and Junior High Bands, the BHS Voice of Democracy winner and Boy’s State winner will all gather for music, brief addresses and military honors.

Fri
19
May
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Bill to compensate Benson for loss of Benson Power, LLC; Dayton vetoes

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Publisher’s note: Early Tuesday morning Gov. Mark Dayton vetoed the bill that contained the langauge that would have provided Benson with compensation for the closing of Benson Power, LLC.
 

A 213-page omnibus jobs and energy bill passed the Republican-controlled Legislature Monday. It includes language to end the biomass mandate and compensate the City of Benson for the loss of Benson Power, LLC, and is now on its way to an uncertain future on the desk of Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton.

It passed the Senate 34-30 and the House 75-54; both votes were along party lines with few exceptions. Republicans control the Senate with a narrow 34-33 majority but have a commanding 77-57 majority in the House.

Fri
19
May
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Secretary of State Simon stops by Benson program

Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon, accompanied by his director of communications Ryan Furlong, met with Swift County Safe Avenues coordinator and Safe at Home application assistant Christine Thompson last Friday.

Safe at Home offers a secure space

For those who have suffered mental, physical, or sexual abuse escaping from the person who has harmed them can be a real challenge. That is especially true in small, rural communities.

But through the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State, the Safe at Home program offers victims a way to “disappear.”

Friday Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon met with Christine Thompson, coordinator for the Safe Avenues and Safe At Home program in Swift County.

Simon’s stop in Benson was part of a four-county swing through western Minnesota to meet with representatives from Safe Haven, a shelter and resource center that helps victims of domestic violence, representatives of the Safe at Home address confidentiality program, and with election officials to discuss replacing Minnesota’s aging election equipment. He had stops in Swift, Meeker, Kandiyohi, and Lac qui Parle counties.

Fri
19
May
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CNH donates $25,000 to BHS

Benson High School students and faculty pose with the staff of Case IH for a photo following the presentation of a $25,000 check. The funds will go to the machining and welding  programs.

In celebrating the 175 years of producing agricultural equipment for the nation and world this year, Case IH is making $25,000 donations to schools in the communities where they have manufacturing plants.

Benson High School was one of the schools that received a check from Case IH with the presentation ceremony taking place at the high school last Tuesday. It was attended by Benson Case staff, including Plant Manager Jason Hausauer, BHS students, and high school staff.

The $25,000 donation to BHS will go for the machining and welding classes. Case has a program through which it employs students at the high school, training them in welding and machining skills....

 

For more on this story, and to keep up on all the latest in area 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!

 

Wed
17
May
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Hospital seeks county in-kind help with assisted living project

As Swift County-Benson Health Services tries to reduce the cost of building an assisted living/memory care facility on its campus it is looking for ways to reduce the costs of construction.

It has already reduced the price of the project to near $10 million by scaling down the size of the facility. But it is also hoping to get some help from Swift County. At the county board’s May 2 meeting, SCBHS CEO Kurt Waldbillig asked commissioners to consider providing in-kind work on site preparation this fall.

Commissioners listened to the request, but want to know more about the costs of providing the service, about potential liability, and whether helping out the hospital will interfere with other county projects that need to get done. They are also hesitant to provide services that could be done by private businesses in the county.

Wed
17
May
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County to invest $92,000 more in GIS

While Swift County personnel and departments have become active users of the Geographic Information System (GIS) pictometry data that has been collected over the past three years, the county commissioners also want the public to eventually have access to it.

The county is looking at spending another $92,000 for updated aerial pictometry photos in 2018 to give it current data. The last comprehensive photo map of the county was taken in 2015 and cost $76,000.

Through the use of pictometry, Swift County has been developing a comprehensive inventory of the land and structures that cover its 752 square miles. Starting in 2015, the county contracted to have high-resolution aerial photos taken and then entered in to a computerized geographic information system (GIS) database.

Wed
17
May
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Gail & Steve Svor selected as band festival marshals

Gail and Steve Svor are this year’s Pioneerland Band Festival grand marshals.

Steve and Gail Svor have been selected as this year’s grand marshals for the Pioneerland Band Festival set for Wednesday, June 14.

With all the road construction going on downtown Benson this spring and summer some people have been wondering how much the band festival is going to be disrupted. While there will be a lot of orange cones around, some sidewalks torn up, and street work taking place, City Manager Rob Wolfington said Monday that the construction contract specifically says that work will stop for the band festival and Kid Day.

The parade route for the band festival should be the same as in previous years. It will start on west Minnesota U.S. Highway 12 by Runnings and Do-Mat’s Family Foods, proceed east on Minnesota Avenue (U.S. 12), then turn north on 14th Street North and go to the Benson High School.

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