News

Wed
29
Sep
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Who the ‘boss’ is at heart county board debate

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Proposed language for the job descriptions for the Swift County chief deputy and assistant county attorneys was met with stiff opposition from Sheriff John Holtz and County Attorney Danielle Olson.

The language was considered at the Swift County Board of Commissioners meeting Sept. 21. It stated that “the county board, county administrator or appropriate elected official retains the discretion to add duties or changes of duties of this position at any time,” Holtz said, reading from the proposed job description for the chief deputy.

“After checking with other sheriffs in the surrounding area, there is no wording like this in their job descriptions. I believe when you have all this verbiage it is confusing to the employee who their boss is,” Holtz wrote in a memo to the county board...

 

Wed
29
Sep
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Need to be vaccinated causes two SCBHS employees to resign

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Two Swift County-Benson Health Services employees are resigning rather than get the COVID-19 vaccine. At the same time, it has seen its already high vaccination percentage among its employees increase.

In late July, SCBHS was told by CentraCare that its staff had by far the highest vaccination rate among its employees among all its facilities at 80%. The percentage has gone up in recent weeks.

“We have had one staff resignation and one staff share their intention of not getting the required vaccine but willingness to work up until the final deadline,” SCBHS Chief Nursing and Clinical Officer and Co-CEO McGinty-Thompson told the governing board at its meeting Monday night

Wed
22
Sep
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COVID-19 cases continue to rise in area

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

While neighboring Stevens County has seen a recent substantial spike in its number of COVID-19 cases, Swift County is registering a much smaller but steady rise.

In one week, Stevens County saw its number of COVID-19 cases jump by 110 cases. Thursday saw the biggest increase with the Minnesota Department of Health reporting 48 cases followed by Friday with another 28.

It took from May 13 to Sept. 10, nearly five months, to post the past 110 cases. The county posted 48 new cases last Thursday, another 24 Friday, and then with Monday’s MDH report it added another 30. No specific reasons for the spike in Stevens County cases has been given...

Wed
22
Sep
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Benson voters asked to approve charter changes

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Early voting is already underway in Minnesota though there isn’t much on the ballot since this is an off-year election. It started last Friday.

Election day is Tuesday, Nov. 2, however, early voting takes place all the way up to Nov. 1.

There are no statewide races or presidential election this year. There are no county races or school board elections...

For more on this story, and to keep up on all the latest in area sports, 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
22
Sep
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After 70 years in Benson, Breen’s Pharmacy sold

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

After 70 years as a main street Benson business owned by the Breen family, Breen’s Pharmacy has been sold.

Large pharmacy chain Thrifty White bought Breen’s Pharmacy and Lewis Drug located in the Do-Mat’s store on west U.S. Highway 12 at virtually the same time. They have closed the Breen’s pharmacy business and moved it to what is now a Thrifty White pharmacy.

Breen’s Pharmacy’s downtown location is staying open through October as it sells off its retail goods. However, the pharmacy operation shut down effective at 7 p.m. last Friday. Monday morning, all the prescription medicine side of the business and Breen’s Pharmacy employees were at the new location...

Wed
15
Sep
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Members of the BHS Homecoming royalty

Members of the BHS Homecoming royalty are pictured above.  In front from left to right are Mya Kurkosky, Madi Wrobleski, first grade crown carriers Cassidy Buenaventura and Luis Zehringer, Angelina Buboltz, and Adysen Himley.  Back -- Grant Gunlogson, Nathan Bolduc, Levi Gunlogson, Queen Sara Evenson, King Andrew Olson, Braden Rodahl, Sam Thompson, and Elle Kletscher.

Wed
15
Sep
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Countryside continues to monitor TB cases in its five counties

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Tuberculosis is one of those diseases that most people assume disappeared long ago. Certainly, it isn’t one that residents or rural western Minnesota have to worry about it is assumed.

Well, those assumptions would be wrong.

There are seven active cases of tuberculosis (TB) in two of the five counties served by Countryside Public Health, Director Liz Auch told the Swift County Board of Commissioners last Tuesday.

“Tuberculosis continues to hit some areas of the Countryside region hard,” Auch said. In addition to the seven active cases, there are latent TB cases...

For more on this story, and to keep up on all the latest in area sports, 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
15
Sep
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Childhood immunizations seeing a ‘scary’ decline

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

“This next chart is really scary for me as your administrator,” Countryside Public Health’s Liz Auch told the Swift County Board of Commissioners at their Sept. 7 meeting.

She showed them a graph of the rates of childhood immunizations in the five counties the agency provides with public health services. They include Swift, Big Stone, Chippewa, Yellow Medicine, and Lac qui Parle.

 “Your goal should be that your zero to two-year-old little ones should be at 80% immunized,” she explained. However, Swift County is falling short of that number, and the trend is going in the wrong direction...

For more on this story, and to keep up on all the latest in area sports, 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
15
Sep
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Area has seen 9 inches of rain since Aug. 20

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

With eight tenths of an inch of rain Monday afternoon into early Tuesday morning, the Benson area has now received 2.95 inches of precipitation in September. That is 18 hundredths above the monthly average of 2.77 inches and we are only halfway through September.

If there were any doubts about the drought in the area being broken, they should be laid to rest by now. Since Aug. 20, the Benson area has received 9 inches of rain.

This is the last week of summer. It officially ends next Wednesday as the fall season arrives at 2:20 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 22...

For more on this story, and to keep up on all the latest in area sports, 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
08
Sep
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Don’t call about getting COVID-19 booster yet

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Countryside Public Health is already receiving calls from people wondering when they can get the COVID-19 booster vaccine.

 
Concern is rising among the already vaccinated in the state and region as the more highly infectious Delta variant spreads. There is also growing concern that new variants will develop that are able to evade the protection provided by the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine and two-dose Moderna and Pfizer vaccines.

Those 65 and older, and those with compromised immune systems, have been the mostly vulnerable to COVID-19, seeing the highest hospitalization and death rates. They are also the group most interested in the booster. However, it has yet to be approved...

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