News

Fri
17
May
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North Dakota horse numbers dwindling

by Reed Anfinson, Editor

The official North Dakota horse could be wiped off the state map.

A conservancy group says high hay prices caused by a prolonged drought and a sharp drop in donations have combined to limit food supplies and threaten breeding herds for the Nokota horse, which originated in what is now Theodore Roosevelt National Park.

“This is one of the most difficult situations we’ve been in since the formation of the conservancy,” said Shelly Hauge, the executive director of the Nokota Horse Conservancy, which was established in 1999. “While it’s never been easy, it hasn’t been the struggle it’s been this year.”

The group believes the dwindling hay supply could force the dispersal of the herd, which is now pastured in fields near Linton, the Forum reported. That would mean the loss of valuable breeding stock.

Fri
17
May
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Kinder Morgan receives conditional use permit

by Reed Anfinson, Editor

A conditional use permit for Kinder Morgan Cochin, LLC, that will facilitate the reversal of the flow of the company’s pipeline was approved by the Swift County Board of Commissioners at its meeting May 7.

Kinder Morgan plans to reverse its Cochin pipeline flow between Kankakee County, Illinois, and its facilities near Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, Branch Manager Bryan Williams and Manager of Public Affairs for Kinder Morgan Ryan McCreery.

To facilitate that reversal, Kinder Morgan needs to make modifications to its pumps at the Benson terminal and remove a block valve. Because the part of the facility where the work needs to take place is in the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) new flood zone, the company is required to get the conditional use permit before any work takes place.

Fri
17
May
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Southern Prairie Community Care health initiative has important 2013 goals

by Reed Anfinson, Editor

 One of Swift County’s top goals for 2013 is to see the launch of the Southern Prairie Community Care health initiative with the goal of providing better, more cost-effective care to Medicaid recipients.

Jointly funded by state and federal governments, Medicaid is managed by the states. It provides health coverage to an estimated 50 million people nationwide including the elderly, people with disabilities, children, low-income families and pregnant women.
It is a “government insurance program for persons of all ages whose income and resources are insufficient to pay for health care,” according to the Health Insurance Association of America.

Fri
17
May
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Farmers were finally able to make significant planting progress

by Reed Anfinson, Editor

Minnesota’s farmers were finally able to make significant planting progress during the week ending Sunday, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service.

Soil temperatures have warmed and wet areas have dried out allowing spring planting to get into full swing. But the first days of May were reluctant to let go of the early spring chill.

Benson set a record low temperature early Sunday morning when it fell to 23 degrees shortly after 5 a.m. The old record was 29 degrees set in 1960. A record low was tied earlier this month when it fell to 19 degrees May 3. It also hit 19 degrees in 2005.
A day after Sunday’s record low, Monday saw the high reach 86 degrees and Tuesday’s forecast was for a high near 90 degrees. The forecast for the next week is for highs in the mid to upper 70s with lows in the 50s and 60s. The average high for May 15 is 71 degrees and the average low 47 degrees.

Tue
07
May
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U.S. Highway 12 between Murdock and DeGraff now open

U.S. 12 between DeGraff and Murdock remained closed Wednesday morning following the collission of a tanker truck hauling anhydrous ammonia and a BNSF train.

by Reed Anfinson, Editor, with information from the Swift County Sheriff's Office

 

UPDATED AS OF 12:30 p.m., Thursday, May 9

At noon Thursday the Swift County Sheriff’s Office announced that U.S. 12 between Murdock and DeGraff was now open. Yesterday authorities thought the highway could be closed through Friday or even well into Saturday.

Hazmat teams, working with the Murdock Fire Department, relieved pressure from a damaged anhydrous ammonia tank to reduce the release of the dangerous chemical into the air. Drivers are urged to be alert while driving by the accident scene since there will still be clean up work going on.

Truck driver Eric Westin, Pine City, remains in St. Cloud Hospital. His condition was last reported as “critical but stable.”

Tue
23
Apr
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New Benson Chief of Police is Ian Hodge

Benson’s new Chief of Police Ian Hodge takes the oath of office Monday from City Manager Rob Wolfington while his wife, Linda, waits to pin his badge on. Linda is a Benson High School graduate and the daughter of Agnette Duncan of Benson.

 

Tue
23
Apr
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Running partners share ‘surreal’ experience in Boston

Editor’s note: Christine Fenske and Stacie (Smith) Lienemann trained for the Boston Marathon together for months, but nothing could have prepared them for what happened Monday, April 15, 2013.
Stacie is the daughter of Linda and Terry Smith of Benson. Her husband, Phil Lienemann, is the son of Steve and Barb Lienemann of Morris. They live in Cottonwood where Phil is the principal of Lakeview School and Stacie is also employed at Lakeview School as a paraprofessional. Stacie is a 1995 Benson High School graduate.

Tue
16
Apr
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City will not build dike

Large ice sheets passed through the Minnesota 9 and BNSF railroad bridge this spring without jamming up and forming a dam.

A proposed $300,000 dike to be constructed to protect northwest Benson from flooding was unanimously rejected by the city council Monday night.

It would have likely meant assessments against property owners in the Hawleywood addition whose homes were within the 100-year flood plain as designated by the Federal Emergency Management (FEMA) in 2008.

Half the cost of the project would have been paid by the assessment with the balance paid by a $150,000 grant from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Those funds will now most likely be returned to the state.

Mon
15
Apr
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Power outage Monday

Icy conditions Sunday night caused a transformer on Utah Avenue across from the federal farm agency offices to catch fire, breaking the pole. The City of Benson will be shutting off power to the north side of Benson from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Monday to make repairs. The fire caused parts of north Benson to be out of power Monday morning.

Sun
14
Apr
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April blizzard brings 6 inches of snow

Just as we were seeing brown lawns and black fields, just as a hint of spring was appearing, 6 inches of snow blanketed the Benson area. With high temperatures nearly 20 degrees below average, it feels more like early March than April.

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