News

Wed
08
Sep
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SCBHS working to get all employees vaccinated

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

A vaccination deadline is approaching for employees of CentraCare Health of St. Cloud and its affiliated medical facilities, including Swift County-Benson Health Services.

Through its affiliation with CentraCare, all those who work at SCBHS are Centra Care employees now. Carris Health, in Willmar, is also an affiliate of Centra Care and works closely with SCBHS on both management input and patient care.

“August 18 Centra Care announced that vaccination would be mandatory as a condition of employment,” Chief Nursing Officer and Co-CEO Melissa McGinty-Thompson told the SCBHS governing board at their Aug. 30 meeting.

That requirement calls the first dose of the Moderna, or Pfizer vaccine be administered by Nov. 1 and the second dose by Dec. 15. The single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine must be administered by Dec. 15, she said...

Wed
08
Sep
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Benson awarded $1.035 million state DEED grant

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Benson has been awarded $1,035,000 for renovation and energy efficiency upgrade to owner-occupied housing and commercial properties by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.

Benson submitted its application for the funding last year to the Small Cities Development Program (SCDP) grant program with the assistance of the Upper Minnesota Regional Development Commission (RDC).

The SCDP program works to help homeowners by offering grants based on household size and income. There are also opportunities for rental building owners and commercial building owners...

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
01
Sep
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COVID-19 cases are ‘surging’ in county, region

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

COVID-19 numbers have maintained their steady climb in the past weeks hitting numbers not seen since the first week of May as the COVID-19 Delta variant continues to spread.

Swift County has added 62 new cases in August after seeing just 11 in June and July combined. Pope County saw 15 cases in June and July combined but has added 81 in August.

While the original strain of the coronavirus infected two others who came in contact with a person carrying the COVID-19 disease, the Delta variant infects five others. It’s easy transmission worries public health officials as Minnesota heads into the fall and cooler weather pushes more people to gather inside...

Wed
01
Sep
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GIS technology helps SWCD monitor buffer compliance

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

With nearly 1,800 parcels of land in Swift County required to adhere to the state buffer law, checking on them all in person would be an immense task. While some can be viewed from the road, others require walking quite a ways to visually see if they are in place and the proper width.

However, now the Swift County Soil and Water District (SWCD) has a tool handy that greatly improves the speed and accuracy with which buffer compliance can be checked.

Aerial imagery gathered this past spring has been uploaded into the Swift County Geographical Information System (GIS). With the tools available with the GIS, SWCD District Manager Andy Albertson can measure to the foot on his computer the width of a buffer...

Wed
01
Sep
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Use of county funds to assist day care operations lagging

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

In recent years, Swift County has been setting aside $50,000 to assist day care facilities with improving their homes, providing educational curriculum and equipment, and making safety improvements.

That funding has helped them meet state standards but also upgrade the quality of the facilities available to families in the county.

Funding day care facilities is also seen as essential economic development. Employers in Swift County see affordable and available day care essential to their ability to recruit new employees. It is also essential to keeping women in the workforce.

However, Swift County is now looking at reducing its budgeted amount for the day care fund with few drawings from it.

So far in 2021, only $13,738 had been spent out of the fund through the end of July. In 2019, it spent just over $38,000...

Wed
25
Aug
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COVID cases are still rising in Swift County

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Swift County has seen a steady rise in its COVID-19 numbers in August after seeing numbers in the single digits in June and July.

As of Monday’s Minnesota Department of Health COVID-19 update, the county had added 39 cases so far this month. There were only four cases in June and seven cases in July.

Nearly all of the increase in case numbers is related to the spread of the highly infectious Delta variant. While the original strain of the coronavirus infected two others who came in contact with a person carrying the COVID-19 disease, the Delta variant infects five others...

 

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
25
Aug
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Heavy rains ease drought conditions in state

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Last Tuesday afternoon kids were wading down the middle of the east branch of the Chippewa River as it passes through Benson Golf Course looking for golf balls. The water level barely rose above their ankles in many places.

Kids were also playing underneath the BNSF Railroad bridge with some fishing in the shallow pools. In some places along the river, the fish are trapped in the pools with the water too shallow for them to escape.

The Chippewa River’s flow is as low as it was back in 1988, a year of extreme heat and drought.

Early Friday evening the clouds opened up with the heaviest rainfall of the year. In Benson, 1.65 inches of rain fell in less than half an hour, flooding streets with water over the curbs low-lying areas...

 

Wed
25
Aug
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Plan for spending ARP funds proposed

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

A preliminary plan for how Swift County will spend the $1,797,084 is has received from the American Relief Plan was presented to the Swift County Board of Commissioners at their Aug. 17 meeting.

Unlike the previous federal and state COVID-19 relief funds Swift County has received, none of the funds are aimed at individual business assistance. This time around, the funds are geared more to community and local government needs.

Swift County has already received the first half payment of $898,542. The funds have to be spent by the end of 2024 with any projects they are used toward completed by 2026, Administrator Kelsey Baker told commissioners...

 

Wed
18
Aug
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COVID-19 cases are spreading in Swift County and the region

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

In response to the rising numbers of COVID-19 cases in the county and region, Swift County-Benson Health Services has re-implemented the clinic screening station located at the clinic entrance, Chief Nursing and Clinical Officer, Co-Administrator said Monday.

“We have not changed our visitor policy of the same two visitors for the length of stay but we are considering it today to dial it back based on the uptick in positive cases,” she said.

Testing has increased dramatically over the past couple weeks, she said. “We have had a couple of exposures to large groups which has also caused an increase in exposure testing, so that does contribute to some of the increase.   But we have still seen an increase in testing outside these large event exposures,” McGinty-Thompson said...

Wed
18
Aug
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Housing development is planned for Benson

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Monday night Cody Nelson of Nelson Properties of Sauk Centre met with the council on a proposed housing project for the Cottage Square area in northeast Benson.

Nelson is proposing to construct 13-duplexes, or 26 units in two phases. The first phase involves construction of four town home duplexes to be completed by Dec. 31, 2022. Work would begin next spring as soon as weather permits with some units possibly ready by October.

The second phase involves nine townhomes, 18 units, all to be completed by Dec. 21, 2027...

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!

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