News

Wed
18
Aug
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Plenty of exciting opportunities at Benson Schools in 2021-2022

By District 777 Schools Supt. Dennis Laumeyer

Captains practices and fall activity sign up is a sure sign that the 2021-2022 school year is fast approaching. We are excited to have students and staff back in the building and feel all of the energy and excitement that fills the hallways and classrooms.

Wed
11
Aug
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No masks, for now, when school starts in Benson Aug. 30

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

When students return to school in Benson Monday, Aug. 30, they will not have to wear a face covering. At least for now, that is the policy in place.

At its meeting Aug. 3, the District 777 Board of Education went over its 2021-2022 Healthy Learning Plan. Schools are required to have a back-to-school plan that addresses the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Supt. Dennis Laumeyer said. The school board first saw the proposed plan in June.

“There really have not been many updates to this,” he said.

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz no longer has emergency authority to dictate statewide plans, nor does the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) have the authority to make any requirements for school districts, Laumeyer said.

Wed
11
Aug
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Proposed levies for HRA, RDA okayed

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Preliminary levies for the Swift County Rural Development Authority (RDA) and Housing Redevelopment Authority (HRA) were unanimously approved by the county board of commissioners at their Aug. 3 meeting.

As of July, the HRA and RDA were placed under one executive director. It was a move made as longtime HRA Director Vicki Syverson prepares to retire Aug. 26.

Last October, Laura Ostlie was hired by Swift County as its new RDA director. Ostlie had been employed as a community development specialist with the Upper Minnesota Valley Regional Development Commission (RDC) based in Appleton...

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
11
Aug
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Fair returns after a missed year

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

The 123rd annual Swift County Fair is set to begin Wednesday, Aug. 18 and continue through Sunday, Aug. 22 at the Swift County Fairgrounds in Appleton. 

The Swift County Fair, highlights the communities of Benson, Clontarf, Danvers, Kerkhoven, Murdock, Appleton, DeGraff, Swift Falls, and Holloway.  

One of the important features of the fair each year is the free entertainment...

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
04
Aug
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Second half of July sees a rise in COVID-19 cases

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Concern is growing in rural Minnesota about the spread of the highly infectious COVID-19 Delta variant. After new cases had reached lows in June and the first half of July not seen since the pandemic first started taking hold in May 2020, they are on the rise again.

The numbers appear small but are significant. Countryside Public Health’s five counties saw just 13 cases of COVID-19 in June. The new cases numbers remained relatively low through the first half of July with 12. However, in the second half of the month another 20 cases were added.

Countryside provides public health services to Swift, Lac qui Parle, Big Stone, Yellow Medicine and Chippewa counties...

Wed
04
Aug
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CRM expanding operations with purchase of neighboring building

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Work is well underway to incorporate the former Future Products and SpecSys building into the Custom Roto-Mold (CRM) building to its west.

Corey Claussen, president of CRM, said the company closed on the purchase of the building in early June. The new CRM East will provide the company with a great deal more space for operations.

Plans to build a connecting structure that will serve as a lunchroom for the employees working in the two buildings have been drawn up...

 

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
04
Aug
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Drought conditions deepen in Minnesota

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

With each passing week, the U.S. Drought Monitor shows a deepening drought in Minnesota. As lake and rivers levels drop, crops shrivel, and lawns turn brown, the evidence of the drought is impossible to ignore – unless you live around Benson.

As most other areas missed the thunderstorms that passed over Minnesota in July, Benson seemed to be in a sweet spot. July brought 3.92 inches of rain, 23 hundredths of an inch above the average of 3.69 inches. That abundant rainfall shows in the conditions of the crops and lawns in the immediate area.

However, a glance at the mud flats that have developed in the middle of the Chippewa River as it flows through Benson tells another story, one of dry conditions in the watershed in the counties to the north. Sloughs have dried up and lake levels have fallen dramatically in the area...

Wed
28
Jul
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RDC working with area communities and businesses to recruit employees

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

In their economic and community development efforts, area cities, counties, school districts, and townships of the area have an ally – the Upper Minnesota Valley Regional Development Commission.

The RDC’s five-county region includes Swift, Big Stone, Lac qui Parle, Yellow Medicine and Chippewa counties.

It provides planning, grant writing, grant administration, comprehensive planning, research, and survey assistance. It analyzes data to help communities plan. It also helps it with promoting the region to prospective residents and businesses.

As the COVID-19 pandemic forced many people to work from home, often isolated from friends and family, they saw an opportunity to promote a rural life.

Wed
28
Jul
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COVID-19 cases low but ticking up in west central counties

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

While the rapidly increasing number of COVID-19 cases in the United States has dominated the news over the past week, western Minnesota has only seen a few additional cases.

Though vaccinations rates remain well below what public health officials would like to see, Swift County has added just five cases of COVID-19 in the month of July. Two of those cases were reported by the Minnesota Department of Health Monday and one last Friday. The other two cases were reported July 1.

Before the COVID-19 case reported last Friday, Swift County had gone 21 straight days with a reported case...

 

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
28
Jul
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Students will have to be up-to-date on immunizations

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

When students come to school this fall at the Northside Elementary School and Benson High School, they will be required to have received the state-mandated vaccinations.

Earlier this month, the District 777 Board of Education voted to enforce the required vaccinations as stipulated by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH.)

The COVID-19 vaccine is not required to attend schools at this time since it has not yet been officially approved by the Food and Drug Administration. It currently has emergency use authorization with more than 340 million doses administered. So far, 163 million Americans are fully vaccinated against the deadly disease...

 

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