News

Fri
21
Oct
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Goose fall migration tells story of warming climate

It is hoped that the $9.5 million Marsh Lake restoration project will restore waterfowl numbers coming to the Lac qui Parle Wildlife Management Area in coming years.

Detailed, long-term global studies of the Earth’s temperatures point to a steady warming that has been going on for at least a couple decades. But in western Minnesota nature has been telling wildlife biologists that things are warming just by their changing habits.

“You could look at your calendar and on Sept. 13 the first migratory geese would come down from Canada,” Department of Natural Resources Regional Wildlife Manager Dave Trauba told the Swift County Board of Commissioners at their Oct. 4 meeting. But, now, that has changed.

Trauba wasn’t at the meeting to talk about geese or the climate. Rather he was momentarily sidetracked from a conversation about the need for an additional land acquisition for the Marsh Lake restoration project when he was asked about current waterfowl numbers at the WMA. Trauba served 24 years as manager of the Lac qui Parle WMA before being named to his regional job with the DNR.

Fri
14
Oct
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Pheasant numbers up from 2015, but still low

Pheasants like to escape the wet grass in the early morning hours.

Hunters going out for Minnesota’s pheasant season opener Saturday could get wet based on the current National Weather Service forecast for a rainy day. But it will also be warm, with a high forecast in the mid-60s.

And while the Department of Natural Resources says pheasant numbers are up in western Minnesota, they still are nowhere near what they were in the mid-2000s and far below what they were in the late 1950s and early 1960s.  

According DNR figures, roadside counts between 1955 and 1963 ranged between 275 to 400 birds per 100 miles driven during their annual survey. Those were years when hunters would flock to western Minnesota filling up motel rooms, packing local restaurants and bars, and shopping at local stores.

Fri
14
Oct
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BHS Hall of Fame induction ceremony

The inaugural Benson High School Hall of Fame induction ceremony took place Saturday night at the Benson Bowler.  Above are four of the inductees along with representatives for the other two.  From left to right in front are Scott Wordelman, Mary Ann Grage (representing her husband, Al Grage), and Jeena (Lamppa) Hughes (representing her brother, Ryan Lamppa).  In back are Wayne Baker, Gary Williams, and Jerry Dahl.  About 75 people attended the event.  The inductees were also recognized at halftime of the Benson and Montevideo Homecoming football game, Friday night.

 

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!
 

Fri
07
Oct
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Last of Benson grain elevators coming down

Benson’s last elevator sitting along side the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad tracks

Benson’s last elevator sitting along side the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad tracks could be coming down yet this fall.

Monday night the Benson City Council voted to purchase the concrete elevator and surrounding property that sits between the tracks and Minnesota Highway 9 west for $190,000. That purchase price includes the demolition of the elevator and its side buildings, and removal of debris from the site. It also includes covering the site with dirt and leveling it.

While owner Northern Ag Services (NAS) has 12 months to demolish the elevator, City Manager Rob Wolfington told the council that work could begin this fall...

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

Fri
07
Oct
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Pogge-Weaver resigns council seat; special election Jan. 10

Jonathan Pogge-Weaver submitted his resignation from the Benson City Council Monday night.

Jonathan Pogge-Weaver submitted his resignation from the Benson City Council Monday night with his fellow council members accepting it with regret.

Pogge-Weaver (pictured) was elected to a four-year term last November and had served just nine months. However, his husband Swift County Administrator Mike Pogge-Weaver has accepted the job of city administrator for Carroll, Iowa. He has also submitted his resignation and will be leaving Oct. 21.

A special election has been set for Jan. 10 to fill the remaining three years in Pogge-Weaver’s term.

Benson’s council has five members, four council members and the mayor. With Pogge-Weaver leaving, there would be just four until the special election to decide his replacement is conducted. With Mayor Gary Landmark expected to be gone for two weeks before the special election, council members were concerned that they might not be able to get a quorum should an emergency arise.

Thu
06
Oct
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BHS celebrating Homecoming; parade is Friday

2016 BHS Homecoming Royalty

Benson High School kicked off its Homecoming week Monday night with coronation of its king and queen. While there are events scheduled throughout the week, Friday will feature a parade ahead of the Homecoming football game between the Benson Braves and Montevideo Thunderhawks.

The Homecoming dance takes place later that night.

The parade will follow the same route as the Kid Day parade.  A pep fest is also scheduled for 1:15 p.m., Friday, in the senior high gym.

Businesses are encouraged to take part in the Homecoming parade, either with a float, vehicle, or with people walking in the parade.  One idea would be to highlight the BHS graduates that currently work for that business, or to just promote BHS and Homecoming. 

Parade lineup is at 1:45 p.m. behind the high school.  Contact Tom Foley at 320-843-2710 or tfoley@benson.k12.mn.us to register your business for the parade.

Fri
30
Sep
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County administrator Mike Pogge-Weaver takes Carroll, Iowa job

Jonathon Pogge-Weaver resigns his Benson City Council seat

Swift County Administrator Mike Pogge-Weaver, 39, has been hired by the city of Carroll, Iowa, as its new city manager. It is expected that he will start his new job in October.

Pogge-Weaver grew up in Fort Dodge, Iowa, just 60 miles to the northwest of Carroll. The city is the county seat of Carroll County and a town of just over 10,100 people.

Swift County’s Board of Commissioners has already started the process to find a new administrator agreeing to hire Twin Cities’ professional search firm Springsted at its meeting last Tuesday.

With Pogge-Weaver leaving, the Benson City Council will also lose one of its members. His husband, Jonathon Pogge-Weaver, was elected to a four-year term on the council in November 2015 and began his term in January. He also works as a pharmacy tech at Breen’s Pharmacy.

Fri
30
Sep
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Despite rain, area harvest underway

Minnesota’s soybean and corn harvest is underway with soybean yields of 45 to 70 bushels per acre. Western Minnesota has escaped the heavy rains that have ruined crops and slowed the harvest to the south. Randy Mikkelson harvests soybeans just north of Benson Monday.
With no rain in the forecast for the coming days, significant progress should be made with the soybean and corn harvests.

It’s been a wet late summer and fall. The clouds of mosquitos that have plagued those venturing outside in the evening testify to that, as does the water standing in low areas of farm fields.

Since July 1, the Benson area has had 15.98 inches of rain – 6.19 inches above average – which places it third in the record books for the July, August, and September period. 1995 holds the record with 20.96 inches of rain with 1986 second with 17.37 inches. The three months average 9.79 inches of rain.

While southern Minnesota was flooded with torrential rains last Wednesday and Thursday, the Benson area received just 1.3 inches from the storms.

Southern Minnesota has seen historic rainfall amounts, Kent Thiesse writes in his column on Page 6 of the Monitor-News this week. A large portion of the region received 4 to 6 inches of rainfall, and some areas 10 to 14 inches of rainfall, in a 48-hour period...
 

Fri
23
Sep
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Minnesota’s waterfowl season opens this weekend

Canada geese take off to feed in the early morning hours.

Minnesota’s regular waterfowl season will open on Saturday, Sept. 24, with similar bag limits and season dates that were in place last year, according to the Department of Natural Resources.

“All signs point to this being a great year for duck and goose hunting,” said Steve Cordts, DNR waterfowl specialist. “Many hunters look forward to the duck hunting opener all year. It’s a time to get into the marsh and spend time with family and friends.”   

Duck seasons and limits -- Duck season will again be open for 60 days in each of the three waterfowl zones.

In the north zone, duck season is Saturday, Sept. 24, through Tuesday, Nov. 22.

In the central zone, duck season is Saturday, Sept. 24, through Sunday, Oct. 2, closes for five days, then reopens Saturday, Oct. 8, and runs through Sunday, Nov. 27.

Thu
22
Sep
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Golf club seeks less city funding for 2017

When the Benson Golf Club approached the city council last year with its financial troubles, it pointed out that it expected to be $60,000 short with its cash flow on operations as well as needing $40,000 for equipment.

The $40,000 has been paid, and helped greatly with updating aged equipment inventory, Golf Club Board President Jerry Peterson told the city council earlier this month.

The golf club is running just about exactly along the lines it projected late last fall for the 2016 year. It is expected on the current trajectory the club will end December about $60,000 short.

If additional revenues come in, due to an extended playing year or special events the club conducts, it might not need to ask for the whole $60,000. And, so far, it hasn’t needed city funding. But as play now starts to wind down the revenues start to slow dramatically. October, November and December are months with very little income, but ongoing operational expenses.

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