News

Fri
20
May
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Highways 9, 12 & 29 will be torn up in 2017

MnDOT gave the Benson City Council an overview of the work that will be done.

Next year the Minnesota Department of Transportation will be doing an extensive highway reconstruction project through Benson resurfacing Highways 12, 9 and 29. It will also be enlarging the intersections at both stoplights for better turning radiuses. Another part of the project will be bringing all the sidewalks along the highways up to current Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards.  Monday night Justin Knoph, an engineer with the MnDOT’s District 4 office in Detroit Lakes who will over see the ADA portion of the project, gave the Benson City Council an overview of the work that will be done.

To continue following this story, 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
11
May
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BHS students win national BPA title

Benson High School students Courtney Johnson (second from left), Krista Hilleren, Hanna Lindblad, and Ashley Tolifson (second from right) on the awards podium after being announced as the National BPA champions.

Benson High School won another National BPA title during the National BPA Leadership Conference, May 5-9 at Boston, MA.

Winning a national title this year was the Administrative Support Team of Krista Hilleren, Ashley Tolifson, Courtney Johnson, and Hanna Lindblad (pictured).

Benson High School also had a second-place winner in Olivia Vergin, who placed second in the Integrated Office Applications contest, and a few more top-10 finishes, including Anneka Duncan in Fundamental Accounting; Erin Dubbels in Intermediate Word Processing; Rachel Ecklund in Advanced Word Processing; Marta Zurn in Integrated Office Application; Jaydon Smith in Advanced Spreadsheet Applications; Elizabeth Langan in Administrative Support Research Project; and Beau Norby in Digital Publishing.  

A complete recap of the BHS students’ success at the National BPA contest will appear in next week’s Monitor-News.

Wed
04
May
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School board faces tough future spending questions

Early childhood class space, junior high, pool all part of discussion

As it refines its $11.5 to $14 million comprehensive maintenance and upgrade 10-year plan for District 777’s school buildings, three key questions will have to be answered by the board of education.

Does the district want to invest over $2 million in junior high classroom space that was constructed in 1928 and 1950, or tear it down and build new classrooms?

Does it want to invest in new early childhood classroom space at the Northside Elementary to meet the growing need for providing education to the youngest children in the community? Such an investment is seen as key to attracting, and keeping, young families in the community.

And, what does it want to do with an indoor swimming poor that is underutilized but expensive to maintain?

Wed
04
May
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Northside will see parking restrictions

Benson Northside in Benson, MN

To make picking up and dropping off children at the Northside Elementary School safer and easier, the City of Benson will be expanding the no parking area in front of the building as well as across the street.

Though the curb in front of the school is painted yellow, indicating that it is a no parking area, Chief of Police Ian Hodge to the city council Monday night that people would often leave their vehicles there for extended periods. Some people leave their cars for the day while others might be parked for 15 or 20 minutes.

When cars are parked across the street from the school, and others stopped for extended periods in front of it, it makes the lanes of traffic even more narrow and congested. It is a problem that is especially challenging in the morning hours when people seem to be in more of a rush, Hodge told the council.

Fri
29
Apr
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County going ahead with bonding for broadband

Questions raised about security of loan to Federated

The sale of $7.805 million in general obligation bonds to finance broadband service expansion in eastern Swift County is a step closer to taking place following two public hearings on the sale last Tuesday.
With the bond funds, as well as a $4.95 million state broadband grant, Federated Telephone Cooperative of Chokio, plans to expand high-speed internet service to 600 households, 425 businesses and 75 community institutions, in the coming year.  The project affects 13 of the county’s 21 townships concentrated in areas just east of the Benson city limits.

The area in Swift County included in the project is most of each of the following townships in the eastern half of the county: Kerkhoven, Hayes, Pillsbury, Dublin, Kildare, Camp Lake, Benson, Torning, Cashel, Swenoda, Six Mile Grove and Clontarf.

Fri
29
Apr
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Over 70 community members attended BHS Co-Curricular Project meeting

Over 70 community members attended a BHS Co-Curricular Project meeting Monday night in the senior high cafeteria to discuss results of a community survey of BHS staff, parents, and students, while also trying to develop a mission statement, vision, and specific goals of BHS fine arts and activity offerings at BHS.  Bruce Miles, of the Big River Group, LLC, of St. Cloud, was on hand to lead the two-hour workshop designed to provide the school board with guidelines they will use in the coming months to help improve the vitality of extra-curricular offerings at BHS.  More on the meeting next week.

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!
 

Fri
29
Apr
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Rain slows spring planting, but moisture is welcome

Minnesota farmers made good progress planting between rain showers during the week ending Sunday, according to USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. Despite only 3.8 days suitable for fieldwork, current year planting progress continues to make gains against the five-year average for most crops.

Though topsoil moisture levels are very good throughout much of the state, west central Minnesota farmers welcomed the rains that came Sunday night and Monday. The U.S. Drought Monitor showed the western two-thirds of Swift County in an abnormally dry area with both Big Stone and Traverse counties to the west in a moderate drought.

The U.S. Drought Monitor also showed western Pope County, all of Stevens County and western Chippewa County in an abnormally dry area.

Fri
22
Apr
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April’s quick warmup gets spring planting underway in Minnesota

Area farmers were out doing fieldwork and planting prior to Monday’s rain as April’s temperatures went from very cool to nice and warm.

After a very cool start to April, temperatures warmed up dramatically the past week allowing farmers to start spring planting.

Through the first 12 days of April, highs averaged just 45 degrees, but between April 13 and Monday, April 18, highs averaged 75 – 30 degrees warmer. Lows during the first 12 days of April averaged 23 degrees, but over the past week they have averaged 47 degrees – 24 degrees warmer.

Those higher temperatures have warmed the soil considerably over the past week. At the Swan Lake Research Farm in Stevens County the average soil temperature from April 1 to April 12 was 37 degrees at both 2 inches and 4 inches. As of Monday, the soil at 2 inches had warmed to an average of 53 degrees and at 4 inches to 50 degrees.

Fri
22
Apr
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Fewer blocked crossings promised

BNSF double train engine in Benson, MN

For well over a year Burlington Northern Sante Fe Railway has been working to install automatic switching gear on the tracks that run through Benson. The goal was to eliminate the need for manual switching – requiring a person to physically throw the switch – a process that slowed down how quickly trains could move through the community.

Last week Amy McBeth, with BNSF public affairs, informed City Manager Rob Wolfington that it was putting its new power switch into operation in Benson.
“This means that trains can pass through town and won’t have to stop and hand throw the switch,” she told him in an email. “It should help to reduce the time trains are there and alleviate some of the issues we’ve had there with motorists trying to traverse the crossings.”

Wed
13
Apr
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Emerald Eve raises $50,000

Some of the 222 people who attended Emerald Eve Friday night bid on items being auctioned by Bob Zielsdorf.
The Lloyd and Barbara Amundson Charity Foundation gave the SCBH Foundation $15,000 to be used toward its planned memory care and assisted living facility. Above, from left are, First Security VP Tom Jenson, Assistant Cashier/Loan Officer Maryls Boone, First Security President Brent Grube, Foundation President Jerry Peterson, Foundation Treasurer Jan Goff and Foundation Vice President Ron Laycock.
Lloyd and Barbara Amundson’s foundation gave $15,000 to SCBH for its assisted living-memory care facility. The Amundsons are the owners of First Security Bank in Benson.

Emerald Eve raises $50,000

With the help of a $15,000 donation from the Lloyd and Barbara Amundson Foundation Charity Foundation, the Swift County Benson Hospital Foundation raised over $50,000 at its Emerald Eve event last Friday evening.

The 222 tickets sold were the most in the 20-year history of the foundation and raised nearly $10,000 alone. The live auction conducted by Benson area auctioneer Robert Zielsdorf raised over $24,000. Funds were also raised from the more than 80 items on the silent auction.

Emerald Eve funds are going toward a planned assisted living-memory care facility that the hospital’s governing board and SCBH Foundation have been working on for the past couple years.

SCBH CEO Kurt Waldbillig told the crowd Friday night that the board of governors is still in the design phase of the project. The next step once the project design is in place is to send out for bids for construction, he said.

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