News

Fri
25
Nov
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Four candidates file for Benson council

Four people have filed for the three years remaining in the Benson City Council seat from which Jonathon Pogge-Weaver resigned last month. A special election for the seat is set for Tuesday, Jan. 10.

Mike Fugleberg, Brad Johnson, Larry D. Smith and Lucas Olson filed for the council.

Pogge-Weaver was elected to a four-year term last November, but resigned from the council in October when his partner, Swift County Administrator Mike Pogge-Weaver, was hired by the City of Carroll, Iowa, as its new city manager.

The person elected to the seat will serve through Jan. 5, 2020, when a council member elected Nov. 5, 2019, will take office.

After accepting Pogge-Weaver’s resignation in October, the council named former City Council Member Sue Fitz to fill the seat until the Jan. 10 election. Fitz served on the council from 1995 to 2015 before retiring.

Fri
18
Nov
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Blizzard shuts down western Minnesota

The Benson area recorded 6 to 8 inches of slushy snow during last Friday's blizzard. As the low pressure system that brought the storm moved through Minnesota, tempeatures fell into the low teens. The heavy, wet snow was responsible for power outages in the area Friday and numerous broken branches on trees.

Fri
11
Nov
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City of Benson continues to work to reduce copper levels

Joint city-school board meeting set for Nov. 15

Over the past two years, the Minnesota Department of Health has been closely monitoring the City of Benson’s drinking water for levels of lead and copper.

While lead levels have never been a problem, copper content in the water continues to exceed levels at which the state requires corrective action. In late October, the department of health again notified the city that its copper levels were too high at 13 sites it tested in the community.

Just where those sites are is not made public under a state law that was passed back in 2004. However, law also requires that the homeowners at sites that test high for copper levels to be notified by mail or hand-delivered letter within 30 days of the test results coming back. The city must also provide information on the possible side effects of drinking water with higher levels of copper in it.

Fri
11
Nov
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$18.5 million in county highway work set for next five years with federal help

Swift County has nearly $18.5 million in roadwork planned for the next five years with one project set for next year accounting for one-third of that cost.

Swift County Highway Engineer Andy Sander presented the county board of commissioners with a five-year highway plan at their meeting Nov. 1.

The big project for 2017 is Swift County Highway 6 from Minnesota Highway 29 to Kerkhoven, which is just over 13 miles. It is a $6.8 million project with $4.5 million coming from state aid, $2.1 million from federal funds and $200,000 from municipal aid.

The roadway will be paved with concrete. Once it is paved, there will be no traffic on Swift County Road 6 for seven days as strength tests are conducted on the roadway, Sander said.

Fri
11
Nov
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Near record warmth through first week of November

Jase Messenbrink runs gleefully through a cloud of leaves tossed by his grandmother Susan Casey.  He is the son of Lindsey Erickson and Jake Messenbrink of Benson. Jim Maus watches with a smile.

Western Minnesota enjoyed a glorious first week of November with well above average temperatures and sunny skies dominating.

For the first times since weather records started being kept for the City of Benson in 1952, three consecutive days of temperatures reaching 70 degrees or higher were recorded in November.

When the high hit 73 degrees Friday it tied the record high for Nov. 4 set back in 1975. The high reached 72 degrees both Nov. 5 and Nov. 6, but both highs fell short of the records, which were 76 degrees in 1975 and 75 degrees in 2001 respectively.

Through the first seven days of November high temperatures averaged 66.4 degrees. That was 20.3 degrees above the average high for the first week of the month of 46.1 degrees and the highest average in city records. Lows averaged 37.4 degrees, which was 9.7 degrees above the average of 27.7 degrees.

There hasn’t been a temperature below 32 degrees since Oct. 24.

Fri
11
Nov
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County reaches contract with LELS

The Swift County Board of Commissioners approved a contract agreement with the Law Enforcement Labor Services (LELS) union at their Nov. 1 meeting. There are still three other unions with which the county is negotiating contracts.
All of the labor agreements expire as of Dec. 31. A tentative agreement has been reached with LELS Local No. 10.

The major changes in the contract includes:

Wed
09
Nov
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Langan joins McGeary, Abner and Williams on school board

Andy Abner, Gary Williams and Bill McGeary all won re-election to the District 777 Board of Education and will be joined by Mary K.W. Langan who won her first term. The only incumbent unseated was Alan D. Pagel.

Seven candidates were running for the board of education with four seats open.

 

 

Election results

Candidate                 Votes            Percent

x-Andy Abner             1,986            19.70

x-Gary Williams         1,602            15.89

x-Mary KW Langan     1,584            15.72

x-Bill McGeary           1,563            15.51

David Nagler              1,462            14.51

Alan D. Pagel             1,253            12.43

Larry Smith               608              6.03

Write-ins                   21                0.21

Fri
04
Nov
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County board members unopposed

Swift County voters will find three incumbent commissioners up for election Nov. 8, but none has an opponent. That was also true four years ago when Gary Hendrickx, Pete Peterson and Eric Rudningen ran for election.

There was one active write-in campaign in 2012 as Ed Pederson sought to win the District 2 seat. Though he lost, he won the seat in the 2014 election when his name was on the ballot.

Due to redistricting in 2012, Klemm and Commissioner Joe Fox, District 4-Hegbert Township, had to run for re-election after having won four-year terms in 2010. Because their district boundaries had changed with redistricting, they had to run for re-election in 2012. However, Klemm didn’t seek re-election to another term in 2014. Commissioners Pederson and Fox are now serving four-year terms that do not end until December 2018.

Hendrickx was first elected to the county board in 1996 representing the Appleton area serving District 1.

Fri
04
Nov
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Zombie 5K Fun Run/Walk/Bike

Even zombies have to stay warm.  Volunteer zombies Catie Lee (left) and Brian McNeill warmed up while waiting for the arrival of the Zombie Fun Run/Walk/Bike participants at the NS Rec Area.

Even zombies have to stay warm.  Volunteer zombies Catie Lee (left) and Brian McNeill warmed up while waiting for the arrival of the Zombie Fun Run/Walk/Bike participants at the Northside Rec Area.  The Zombie 5K Fun Run/Walk/Bike was a fundraiser for the Washington, D.C. trip and Benson Prom Afterbash.

To see more photos from the Zombie 5K Fun Run/Walk/Bike, pick up a copy of this week's Swift County Monitor-News at our office, or any of the following locations:

In Benson: Breens Pharmacy, Lewis Drug, DoMat’s, Glacial Plains, Runnings, Shell, SuperValu, Holiday, & Benson Bakery.

In Kerkhoven: Lamecker’s General Store & Super America.

In Murdock: Dooley’s.

In DeGraff: Country Pet.

In Appleton: Ascheman Uni-mart.

 

Thu
03
Nov
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Seven seek four school board seats

Seven candidates are seeking election to the District 777 Board of Education Nov. 8. There are only four seats open on the seven-member board. The four school board candidates who get the most votes will begin their terms in January.

The seven candidates are incumbents Gary Williams, Alan Pagel, Andy Abner, and Bill McGeary along with challengers Mary K.W. Langan, Larry Smith and Dave Nagler.

Benson’s schools face critical funding decisions in the coming years that will affect the number and variety of classes students will have available. District voters are also likely to make decisions on levy referendums that have an impact on the quality of the facilities in which students will be attending class.  

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