News

Former Benson City Council Member Gary Landmark won a very narrow victory over attorney Tara Ulmaniec in Tuesday’s election for mayor.
Landmark won by just eight votes, 394 to 286.
Terri Collins and Jonathon Pogge-Weaver were the top two voter getters in the race for two open seats on the Benson council among the six candidates in the field.
 
Terri Collins                           479
Jonathon Pogge-Weaver             359
Mike Fugleberg                        296
Dennis Minor                          190
Larry Smith                             123
Don Krumwiede                       94

Thu
19
Nov
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Les Heitke joins Heartland Girls' Ranch

Les Heitke

As Benson-based Heartland Girls’ Ranch expands its operation focusing even more on helping young girls who have been sexually trafficked, it is making changes to its management team.

A significant step in that change took place Oct. 26 when it brought on Les Heitke to serve as the new executive officer and clinical director.

Heitke is a clinical psychologist with over 30 years of experience in private practice and has served with both Woodland Centers in Willmar and Project Turnabout in Granite Falls.  He was Willmar’s mayor for 16 years.      

The addition of Heitke as CEO and clinical director finalizes a restructuring period aimed at increasing the availability of mental health services on the HGR campus, Donita Ascheman, chair of the HGR board of directors, said.

“We are excited about the additional mental health services we can provide to our girls with Les heading up the leadership team,” she said....

Wed
11
Nov
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Remember the 15 inches of snow that fell Nov. 8-9, 2014?

A year ago today Benson was digging out from nearly 15 inches of snow that fell as a winter storm passed through western Minnesota Nov. 9 and 10. The high Nov. 11, 2014, set a record low reaching only 21 degrees.
November 2014 would enter the record books as the second snowiest with 17.2 inches of snow and the second coldest. Seven times during the month the temperature fell below zero including a minus 13 low Nov. 27.
What a sharp contrast in the November’s weather so far in 2015....
 

Wed
11
Nov
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BHS Presents ‘Bye Bye Birdie’

Benson High School is set to present “Bye Bye Birdie” this Friday through Sunday in the Junior High Auditorium.  Cast and crew went through a dress rehearsal, Sunday night.  Above, two of the main characters, Rose Alvarez (played by Elizabeth Langan), and Albert Peterson (played by Dylan McNeill), come up with a great idea to turn their fortunes around, but it will also turn the entire community of Sweet Apple, Ohio, around.

Mon
09
Nov
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Deer hunter shot near Holloway Saturday

Robert Schlieman, age 36, of Detroit Lakes, was accidentally shot while deer hunting in Swift County, north of Holloway, the Swift County Sheriff’s Office reported Saturday. The incident was reported at 12:15p.m.

A deer ran in between other hunters that Schlieman was hunting with when one of the hunters thought that the deer was far enough away and started shooting at it, the report said.  One of the slugs that was fired struck Schliemann in the left abdomen side of his body.

The Appleton Ambulance, Holloway First Responders and Swift County Sheriff’s Office along with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resourses responded to the scene.  Schlieman was transported by the Appleton Ambulance to the Appleton Area Health Services hospital and then airlifted to St. Cloud Hospital. He was in stable condition, according to the sheriff’s office. The incident is still under investigation. 

Wed
04
Nov
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City commits funds to golf club

Benson’s Golf Club will get its credit line paid off at the end of the year and a $60,000 cash infusion for operations for 2016.

That credit line draw, which could go as high as $150,000, is at around $115,000 today and could be as high as $130,000 by Dec. 31. The city council unanimously approved the expenditures at its meeting Monday night.

While Benson’s Golf Club is currently managed by a board of directors elected annually by the membership, the facility belongs to the City of Benson.

Wed
04
Nov
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November starts with warm days

Bill Dethloff putts on the 16th green at the Benson Golf Course Monday affernoon as the high hit 68 degrees. The average high for Nov. 2 is 49 degrees. Joining Dethloff are Paul Tatge, center, and Steve Collins.

Though Monday’s high of 68 was the warmest Nov. 2 high since it hit 70 degrees back in 2008, it was still 7 degrees short of the record high of 75 degrees set in 1978.

Tuesday the high hit 70 degrees in Benson, 5 degrees below the Nov. 3 record high of 76 degrees set in 1978. Wednesday the National Weather Service was forecasting a high of 67 degrees with much cooler temperatures coming Thursday with the high reaching 54 degrees but then falling through the day to a low of 34 degrees. Highs the rest of the week are in the 40s.

The average high for the first few days of November is 48 degrees with a low of 29 degrees. The month averages 5.21 inches of snow.

Tue
03
Nov
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Landmark, Collins, Pogge-Weaver win election to city council

Gary Lanmark won the mayoral election by 8 votes.

Former Benson City Council Member Gary Landmark won a very narrow victory over attorney Tara Ulmaniec in Tuesday’s election for mayor.

Landmark won by just eight votes, 394 to 386.

Terri Collins and Jonathon Pogge-Weaver were the top two voter getters in the race for two open seats on the Benson council among the six candidates in the field.

 

Terri Collins                           479

Jonathon Pogge-Weaver             359

Mike Fugleberg                        296

Dennis Minor                          190

Larry Smith                             123

Don Krumwiede                       94

Thu
22
Oct
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Golf club, city face tough decisions

Members of the Benson City Council and the Benson Golf Club Board of Directors discussed the golf club’s financial, equipment and clubhouse needs at a special council meeting Wednesday, Oct. 14. Above, course Superintendent Sally Jones explains how a newly installed irrigation system works.

Benson’s Golf Club is at a pivotal point in its 90-year history.
Decisions that will be made in the coming months by the City of Benson and the Golf Club Board will determine who will operate it, how it will be financed, the quality of its facilities, and what role the taxpayers’ of the community will play.
This tipping point has arrived gradually. It has been brought on by a loss of membership and the accompanying loss of revenues. Ever increasing costs of operations and equipment have also played a role.
Last Wednesday evening, the Benson City Council and the golf club’s board of directors sat down at the clubhouse to talk about what comes next.
 

Thu
22
Oct
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Fire damages Case quad-trac tractor

Benson firemen put out the flames that engulf a Case quad-trac tractor. It is suspected that cornstalks became lodged in one of the tracks and caught fire.

Very dry conditions are making the fall harvest a little more risky as the threat of fire grows with farmers finishing the corn harvest and completing fall tillage.
Around noon Monday the Benson Fire Department was called to a tractor fire in a harvested cornfield just south of the city on the east side of Minnesota Highway 29. When the firemen arrived at the scene, the large quad-track Case tractor was already engulfed in flames.
“Field conditions are quite dry, which greatly increases fire danger to remaining cornfields, as well as to farm equipment,” Kent Thiesse writes in his column this week on Page 7. “Extreme caution is advised during harvesting, especially on windy days.”
The dry conditions are showing up on the U.S. Drought Monitor map, which now shows a growing number of western Minnesota counties “exceptionally dry.” Much of both Pope and Stevens counties are now in this area, though Swift County so far has no townships in the affected area.

Wed
14
Oct
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A generous gift for Johnny Johnson

Johnny Johnson’s new motorized scooter, courtesy of the Benson Lions and the entire community, has allowed him to get around the town with ease and allows him to venture much farther away from his home than he was accustomed to.  Despite being very independent and wanting to do things for himself, Johnny was very appreciative to everyone for the generous gift.

Cost of an off-road, motorized scooter?  About $3,500.  Cost to build a shed to house the scooter?  About $1,500.  The never-ending smile that was on Johnny Johnson’s face from the moment he saw his new scooter?  Priceless!
Yes, the Benson Lions Club, as well as other civic organizations in the community, have done a lot of great things over the years, but the most-recent project by the Lions Club to buy a new off-road motorized scooter for Johnny Johnson not only helped someone in need, it will change his life.
Johnny, a 1980 graduate of Benson High School, who has been challenged since birth, has never had it easy getting around town.  Many people in the community can picture Johnny trying to get his lawnmower around town so he could mow the post office lawn, or trying to get around with his three-wheel bike using one of his hands to propel the wheels forward.

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