News

Wed
05
Jun
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‘Ride for Healing’ honors Vietnam War veterans

by Reed Anfinson, Editor

Benson Vietnam War veteran Neal Thompson was among the “Ride for Healing” bikers who passed through the city last week on his way to Brainerd.

The ride was the project of the Minnesota Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) State Commander Lee Ulferts. Funds raised by the ride will be used for the Vietnam Education Center in Washington, D.C.

Ulferts said it is his passion and belief that outstate Minnesota Vietnam veterans have never had the chance to be recognized and honored for their service. The ride was an attempt to “provide them with that honor and to welcome them home and give them a chance for the healing of all the hurts they have carried these many years. It will also give the public a chance to contribute to this cause in their honor as the caravan travels through the state.”

Wed
05
Jun
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Falk, Koenen see legislative session as successful

by Reed Anfinson, Editor

As they headed to the state Capitol in January, Rep. Andrew Falk and Sen. Lyle Koenen found themselves in the majority party with a governor who was also a Democrat.

In the November election, the Democratic-Farmer-Labor (DFL) Party won back control of the House and Senate from the Republicans. With Gov. Mark Dayton halfway into his four-year term, the DFL had an opportunity to set the agenda. It was the first time since 1990 that the Democrats controlled both houses of the state Capitol with one of their own in the governor’s office.

But despite their majority rule, not all of what was on the DFL leadership agenda got through the Legislature. A minimum wage increase, a bill with more strict bullying provisions, and added gun control measures didn’t pass. However, all three are likely to end up on the legislative docket in 2014.

Wed
05
Jun
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Benson High School Class of 2013 graduation

by Reed Anfinson, Editor

Members of the Benson High School Class of 2013 stand at attention after processing into the BHS senior high gymnasium for the start of Benson High School’s 123rd commencement exercises Sunday afternoon.  From left to right are Gabi Doscher, Brandon Fifield, Angela Forsberg, Tre’ Giese, Brody Gimberlin, Andrew Hagstrom, Travis Hanson, and Gabriella Hoiland.  Sixty-five students graduated with the Class of 2013.

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.

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