News

Tue
19
Nov
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Private wells to be tested

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture plans to test 70,000 private wells in the state’s farming regions to measure nitrogen that seeps into the ground after fertilizing.
The state says the level of pollution from tons of fertilizer that’s applied each year across the southern two-thirds of the state is rising. A survey in 2011 found excessive pollution in 62 percent of the wells monitored by the state in central Minnesota.
The Star Tribune says that besides the well testing, the state hopes to persuade farmers to better control their use of fertilizer. That could include asking farmers not to fertilize in the fall when the risk to groundwater is greatest, or even taking land out of production.
Environmentalists don’t think the plan is strong enough. Critics say it assumes landowners will voluntarily protect the water.
More Minnesota land is being put into production due to high commodity prices that are driving land prices to record levels.

Wed
06
Nov
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Accident clarification

In the Oct. 30 Monitor-News it was reported that Pamela D. Uhden, 51, of DeGraff was a passenger in a one-vehicle crash Oct. 26 and had suffered minor injuries. The information came from the Minnesota State Patrol’s media web site page.

Last week, Uhden contacted the Monitor-News to say that she had not been involved in the accident, but rather witnessed it happen.  She then went to the aid of the people involved in the accident, getting blood on herself in the process. The state trooper at the scene suggested that she go to the hospital to be checked because of her close contact with the blood of those injured in the accident, she said.

The Monitor-News checked the State Patrol media web site Nov. 5 and the information stating Uhden was a passenger in the vehicle was still listed in the accident report. However, a phone call to the southwest district office of the State Patrol confirmed Uhden’s version of the story.

Wed
06
Nov
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Kittelson again for Mayor, two new council members elected

Mayor Paul Kittelson easily won a 10th two-year term on the Benson City Council, but longest serving member of the council, Gary Landmark, was narrowly edged in his run for a seventh, four-year stint. Landmark is completing his 24th year on the council.
In the three-way race for two open seats on the council, Stephanie Heinzig finished first with 570 votes, Jack Evenson second with 499 and Landmark third with 494. Heinzig and Evenson will be sworn in to their first terms on the council in January.
Kittelson won getting 669 votes to challenger Mark Anderson’s 147. Anderson challenged Kittelson for the mayor’s seat on the council back in 1999, but lost by a wide margin in that race as well.
Incumbent Ben Hess, who is completing his first four-year term on the council, did not seek re-election.

Wed
06
Nov
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Benson school referendum passes

A vote to raise District 777’s levy referendum passed with 55.7 percent of the vote 653 to 520. The levy won by 133 votes.
The new levy will raise the current levy of $720 per pupil unit by $480. The current levy raises a total of $684,853 in additional funds for education.
Not all of that $1,200 per pupil unit levy will come from local taxpayers. The State of Minnesota is kicking in 30 percent of the cost; local taxpayers will contribute $840 and get $360 from the state.
The approved levy increase means a homeowner with a $50,000 house will pay an additional $71 in real estate taxes in 2014. If your home is worth $100,000 you will pay an additional $142 and if your home is worth $200,000, an additional $284.
For farmers, the additional levy applies to the home, garage and one acre of land. Seasonal recreational property was exempt from the levy’s taxing authority.

Fri
01
Nov
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Cargill bringing agronomy center to Benson area

Cargill’s plans for an agronomy center on the site of the former GTI trucking terminal just north of the Swift County Environmental Services facility moved forward last week with approval of a conditional use permit.
Swift County’s board of commissioners unanimously approved the permit at its meeting Oct. 15. The permit allows Cargill to operate an agronomy center with fertilizer and chemical tanks at the site.
The permit had earlier been approved by the county planning commission following a public hearing, Environmental Services Director Scott Collins told commissioners. There was no opposition from township and no public opposition at the hearing, he added.
There will be no anhydrous ammonia tanks at the facility, Cargill’s Jimmy Williamson told commissioners.

Tue
29
Oct
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Fall back on Sunday morning

Fall back; spring ahead – an easy little saying to tell you what to do with your clocks and watches this coming Sunday morning.
At 2 a.m. Sunday, Daylight Saving Time ends giving you an extra hour of sleep.
Most people will turn their clocks back an hour before they go to bed while those with digital devices will simply rely on technology to automatically do it for them.
Saturday morning the sun will rise at 8:03 and set at 6:08 p.m. But with the end of Daylight Saving Time, Sunday morning it will rise at 7:06 a.m. and set at 5:07 p.m.
As we move toward the Winter Solstice Dec. 21, the days will keep getting shorter and shorter.
Evenings keep getting darker as we move into December. From Dec. 4 to Dec. 16, the sun sets at 4:40 p.m. Then, Dec. 17, the sun sets one minute later at 4:41 and by the end of December it is setting at 4:49.

Thu
24
Oct
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Accident north of Benson blocks roads

Minnesota 29 north of Benson could be blocked until at least 10 a.m. Thursday due to an accident between a pickup hauling two field anhydrous ammonia tanks and a semi-tractor trailer truck.
One person was taken to the Swift County-Benson Hospital by ambulance complaining of possible neck injuries.
The Swift County Sheriff’s Office received a call about 6:47am, of the accident about 1 mile north of Benson on Highway 29.  A pickup pulling two 1,000 gallon field nurse anhydrous tanks struck a patch of ice on the bridge and rolled into the ditch on the north side of the bridge.
At this time, most of the product has been released and there is no emergency to the immediate area, the sheriff’s office said.  Agencies responding to the scene were Swift County Sheriff’s Department, Benson Fire Department, Benson Ambulance, Benson Police Department, Minnesota State Patrol, and the Swift County Emergency Manager.

Wed
23
Oct
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Benson schools to close earlier starting Monday Nov. 4

The following letter was posted on the school's facebook page this morning, Wednesday, Oct. 23:

Tue
22
Oct
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Filipino importer delegation tours O’Leary soybean farm near Benson

Soybean, pig and corn farmer Mike O’Leary hosts trade team
Some Filipino soybean importers left Minnesota with a better understanding of how soybeans are grown here, thanks to a statewide tour.  
The group of 16 visited Minnesota Oct. 16 and 17 to see local soybean and corn farms and livestock operations. The trip included a stop at Mike O’Leary’s soybean, corn and hog farm in Danvers. Local farmers hope visits like this will encourage their companies to continue buying quality soybeans from Minnesota.
O’Leary hosted agricultural delegates who are involved in soybean meal purchasing and livestock operations in the Philippines. Their visit was part of a harvest tour to see how soybeans are harvested, to collect crop samples and visit U.S. livestock operations. The tour was planned by Ag Processing Inc. (AGP) and the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council (MSR&PC).

Tue
22
Oct
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The annual BHS Student Council Food Shelf Drive

The annual BHS Student Council Food Shelf Drive is scheduled for Thursday night, Oct. 31 (Halloween night) during normal trick-or-treating hours from 6-7:30 p.m..  In the past, BHS students have blanketed the communities of Benson, DeGraff, and Clontarf.  The event is sponsored by the Business Professionals of America and the Benson High School Student Council.   It is also an event for those who want to participate in “We Scare Hunger”, part of the Free the Children movement that involved over 50 Benson students on Tuesday, Oct. 11 (“We Day”).

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