News

Thu
19
Feb
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Amazing Race show premiere in Benson

Bergen Olson can’t tell you yet if he won the $1 million prize offered to the winning couple of the 26th episode of CBS’s Emmy Award winning television show The Amazing Race.
But the 2009 Benson High School graduate can tell you about the unforgettable experience of participating with 10 other couples as they raced more than 35,000 miles around the world visiting eight countries on five continents. Among the countries they competed in were Japan, Namibia, Monaco, Germany and Thailand.
“The Amazing Race 26 Will Be The Most Extreme Blind Date Ever,” the CBS promotional material about this year’s season says. “How would you feel to be set up on a blind date? What about if you and your blind date were about to travel across the globe together on an amazing adventure? Ten singles are about to find out!”

Tue
10
Feb
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As corn prices fall, Minnesota farms worry

By Mark Steil
Minnesota Public Radio

Corn is Minnesota’s biggest cash crop, and in recent years it has delivered big returns to the state’s farmers.
But this year, most corn farmers are expected to lose money. That’s causing a lot of concern among farmers as they negotiate spring planting loans with lenders.
“It’s a bad situation here this year,” said Duane Ommodt, who farms in Watonwan County southwest of Mankato. “Virtually everybody is going to lose money. It’s a bad deal.”
Ommodt said some farmers could lose as much as $300 on each acre of corn they plant. If that happens, even medium-sized Minnesota farms could see the revenue they earn from selling the crop fall more than $100,000 short of what it cost to plant the corn.
The problem is unprofitable crop prices. Several years ago, corn prices were as high as $8 a bushel, and soybeans nearly $18 a bushel.

Tue
10
Feb
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First farm program deadline Feb. 27

The deadline to finalize decisions on base acre reallocation and updating payment yields at local Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices is Feb. 27. The deadline for producers to complete the farm program choice on each farm unit, and potentially on each eligible crop, is March 31.
There have literally been hundreds of farm program information meetings held in the Upper Midwest in recent months, as well as print and on-line articles, spreadsheets, etc., on enrollment in the new farm program. However, even with all that information available to farm operators and landowners, there is still some confusion and misinformation regarding the various farm program decisions.

Tue
10
Feb
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School to seek voter approval for $18.2 million bond

District 777’s Board of Education unanimously voted to seek voter approval May 12 for an $18.2 million facilities improvement project. The board has sent the bond levy referendum proposal to the Commissioner of Education for approval.  
After months of discussion and meetings, the school board finally approved the bond levy amount, which it hopes will solve many of the educational needs facing the school district as it heads into another decade of education for District 777 students.
The board plans to meet again at 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 17 and at that time, if the state commissioner approves the bond levy, the school board hopes to formally approve the bond levy amount, along with outlining the voting dates, places, and times.
That gives the school board almost three months to conduct several public hearings, intended to give district voters more information about the project, along with time to answer any questions.

Tue
10
Feb
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Icy roads cause two-hour delay for Benson students

Benson schools started two hours later Tuesday morning due to icy roads throughout western Minnesota. A freezing rain in the early morning hours coated streets, sidewalks, trees and power lines with ice as the temperatures hovered in the upper 20s.
After a very cold start to February, temperatures warmed into the upper 20s and lower 30s over the weekend and into the start of the week. However, the National Weather Service issued a Winter Weather Advisory for western Minnesota late Monday as a low pressure system moved in across the Dakotas, bringing rain, snow and ice along with strong winds.
Tuesday’s early morning freezing rain was supposed to be replaced by snow. Wednesday could see winds of 20 to 25 mph with gusts of 35 mph or more whipping the newly fallen snow around and reducing visibility on highways.
As the system moves through, temperatures are expected to drop to a minus 8 degrees by Wednesday night.

Wed
04
Feb
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USDA creating more bird habitat areas on irrigated farmland

The Conservation Reserve Program now will encourage more bird habitats to be established in irrigated farmland regions, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) Administrator Val Dolcini announced last week.
Declines in upland bird populations, such as the northern bobwhite, pheasant, and prairie chicken, led to the creation of new Conservation Reserve Program features to help restore habitats for these species in these agricultural areas. Since the program’s creation in 2004, more than 240,000 acres of marginal cropland has been converted to native grasslands, spurring an increase in upland bird populations.

Wed
04
Feb
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Prairie 5 has rejected a request by the City of Benson

Prairie 5 Community Action Council has rejected a request by the City of Benson to consider taking over dispatching services for its bus system.
“The agency has had many discussions on this, both recently and in the past, and at this time we feel that it would not be in our best interest to do a contract for dispatching services,” Program Manager Ted Nelson said in a letter to City Manager Rob Wolfington.
At Monday night’s council meeting, Wolfington said that he was “not surprised” by the response.
Benson’s City Council had reached out to Prairie 5 to provide dispatching services out of a concern that its bus drivers were being potentially dangerously distracted as they performed their jobs.

Wed
04
Feb
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Facilities improvement project planning moving along

The District 777 Board of Education is set to meet again at 5:30 p.m., Thursday in the senior high library to continue discussion on the upcoming facilities improvement project.
Architect Paul Youngquist will be on hand to share the latest drawings and figures with the board.  Discussion on the improvement project will be the only item on the agenda.
The board is hoping to finalize its plans and figures for the proposed bond levy referendum, which could possibly be approved at the Tuesday, Feb. 17 meeting, set to begin at 5:30 p.m.  That would put it on schedule to come before the district voters with a bond levy referendum May 12.  However, if the board is not able to come up with the final plans by that time, it may add another meeting in February and push back the bond levy referendum vote later in May.

READ MORE ABOUT THIS STORY AND MORE IN THE COMPLETE VERSION OF THE MONITOR NEWS.

PURCHASE ON-LINE OR PAPER COPIES.   THANKS FOR READING!

 

Thu
22
Jan
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Miller wants local school boards to be given more power

As one of his first actions as a new member of the Minnesota House of Representatives, Tim Miller, R-Prinsburg, is authoring legislation that would give local school boards the authority to decide when school starts or how many days a week there will be.
Currently, the Minnesota Commissioner of Education decides what day the school year starts as well as whether or not a district can go to a four-day week.
Miller’s interest in the issue is homegrown. The combined school district of MACCRAY is made of the cities of Maynard, Clara City and Raymond, all three of which are in his District 17A. The district includes all of Swift and Chippewa counties, most of Renville County, and the four southwestern Kandiyohi County townships of Edwards, Holland, Roseland and Lake Lillian.

Thu
22
Jan
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BHS indoor pool stays as facilities project takes shape

Benson High School’s indoor swimming pool will stay.
That decision was made by the District 777 Board of Education at its meeting Tuesday, Jan. 13, as it considered a comprehensive facilities improvement project that will cost in the range of $15 million to $16 million.
During the meeting, architect Paul Youngquist answered questions and helped the board develop a timeline for the project as it narrows down its plan to put in front of district voters in mid-May. Youngquist is with the Archtects Rego + Youngquist, Inc., of Minneapolis.
Last Tuesday the board also decided to look into building a two-story classroom wing north of the high school auxiliary gym, which would house not only classrooms for the 4th thorugh 6th grades and support offices, as well as new classrooms for the Area Learning Center, Heartland Girls Ranch, and Chippewa River Day Program.

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