News

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.

Fri
01
Aug
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Swift County Fair to begin Wednesday, Aug. 13

The 117th annual Swift County Fair is set to begin Wednesday, Aug. 13 and continue through Sunday, Aug. 17 at the Swift County Fairgrounds in Appleton.  Everyone in the county is invited to attend the Swift County Fair, which highlights the communities of Benson, Clontarf, Danvers, Kerkhoven, Murdock, Appleton, DeGraff, Swift Falls, and Holloway.
Free entertainment for Wednesday, Aug. 13 includes The White Sidewalls performing in the Chuck Brown Building from 7 p.m. to close.  Entertainment continues Thursday, Aug. 14 with the Tripwire Band from 8:30 p.m.-close, followed by the Hutchville Band from 8:30 p.m.-close, Friday, Aug. 15; the Judd Hoos Band from 8:30 p.m.-close, Saturday, Aug. 16; and the ever popular Johnny Holm Band from 8 p.m.-close, Sunday, Aug. 17.

Fri
01
Aug
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Minnesota’s crops could use more rain, heat

Thunderstorms last week brought just over six tenths of an inch of rain to the Benson area last Thursday and Friday, bringing some relief to a drying landscape. But the area is still well behind the average for July rainfall.
July averages 3.6 inches of rain, but has seen just 1.26 inches. No rain is in the forecast for the moment through Thursday and the last day of the month.
Even more than rain, what area crops need is an extended period of above average temperatures to push crop maturity along.
As of Sunday, 1,373 Growing Degree Units (GDUs) had accumulated since May 1 in the Benson area, which is 7 percentage points below average for July 27. At this time last year, the area was even a little farther behind with 1,338 GDUs, or 9 percentage off the average.

Fri
01
Aug
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Tiny Moving Parts slowly gaining national recognition

Taking a break from touring and working on a new album in the studio, the band members of Tiny Moving Parts were relaxing at home in Benson earlier this month. It was a brief respite before heading back on the road to promote their new album.
Two of band’s members are Matt and Billy Chevalier, the sons of Mark and Dorothy (Mattheisen) Chevalier who farm just east of Benson. The third member is Dylan Mattheisen, the son of Michael and Beth Mattheisen of Benson. Billy is a 2008 graduate of BHS while Matt and Dylan graduated in 2009.
Tiny Moving Parts was first featured in the Swift County Monitor-News in July 2008 after the band had won the 8th Annual Radio K Underage Underground band competition at lst Avenue in downtown Minneapolis. At the time, Billy had just graduated from Benson High School while Matt and Dylan were entering their senior year. They had already been playing together for nearly six years.

Fri
25
Jul
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Highway 29 detour in effect

Roadwork started Monday  (July 21) on Minnesota Highway 29 south.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) will be milling down 11 miles of Minnesota Highway 29 south from the Benson city limits to Minnesota Highway 40. It will also be replacing three bridges.
It is estimated the $6.5 million project will be completed in October. During the nearly four months that the work is underway, the highway will be closed.
The road construction will mean traffic on the stretch of highway will be detoured. Only residents who live within the road closure or motorists whose destination falls within the closure will be allowed to use Highway 29. The road will not be passable at the bridge replacement sites.

Wed
16
Jul
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Three vehicle accident by DeGraff

One person was killed Tuesday about 8 p.m. in a three vehicle accident on U.S. Highway 12 in Swift County.

The incident was three miles east of De Graff, according to the Minnesota State Patrol.

A car eastbound on Hwy. 12 was attempting a left hand turn when it was rear-ended by another car. The first vehicle was then hit a second time by a truck that was westbound on Highway 12.

The driver of the first vehicle was killed. The driver of the truck was not injured.  A driver and passenger in the second car were treated and released from the Swift County-Benson hospital.

 

Wed
16
Jul
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Benson studying major expansion of city cemetery

Benson’s City Cemetery is running out of space. It owns plenty of land to the north of the cemetery, but as it moves in that direction it will be encroaching on the Northside Recreation Area ball fields.
 It will also require moving the walking path between the rec area and the cemetery.
As the Benson City Council was considering an expansion of the cemetery by 400 to 500 plots at its July 1 meeting, the question was raised about whether or not that number should be doubled.
With an average of 50 burial plots purchased per year, it would only take 8 to 10 years before the 400 to 500 sites would be gone, requiring another study and another expansion. It would be cheaper in the long run to plan for the next 20 years rather than have to revisit the issue in just 8 to 10 years, it was agreed.
An unknown factor in planning for new gravesites is what the impact of the addition of a columbarium to the cemetery will have on grave plots needed.

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