News

Wed
02
Oct
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SCBHS, Carris Health lease will mean changes in governing board authority

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Swift County-Benson Health Services could see a draft of what an agreement for leasing the facility to Carris Health of Willmar will look like later this week. However, the final agreement between Carris and SCBHS is not expected to be signed until the end of the year.

Monday night the SCBHS governing board was given an update on the progress of the lease arrangement discussions. There are currently 14 committees working on different areas of how SCBHS and Carris would merge into a new operating entity...

 

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
02
Oct
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Sheriff’s Deputy Joyce injured in train accident

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Swift County Deputy Sheriff Chris Joyce, 38, was injured Thursday when the 2004 Chevrolet Silverado crew cab pickup he was driving collided with a BNSF train just west of DeGraff.

Joyce was not on duty at the time of the accident.

According to the Minnesota State Patrol accident report, Joyce was headed east on Swift County Road 14. The road parallels U.S. Highway 12 before curving left to the north just before the BNSF tracks and U.S. 12. The BNSF train was also traveling east.

The Chevrolet Silverado braked and came a stop at the tracks when the train collided with it, the patrol report says. The truck landed on its top in the east ditch of Swift County Road 14 next to the tracks.

Wed
02
Oct
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Council taking another look at Armory for city hall

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Benson’s City Council is revisiting its discussion from nearly three years ago about renovating the Armory building into a new city hall.

One significant difference between that late 2016 discussion and the current one is that the issue of displacing the Benson High School gymnastics program may no longer be a concern.

In August, the council voted unanimously to enter into a five-year lease agreement with the Benson Civic Center board and contribute $500,000 toward the renovation of the north end of the civic center. The primary use of the renovated space would be for the gymnastics program, which has operated out of the cramped space of the armory for decades.

Benson Public Schools has yet to confirm its willingness to take on the rent of the building if the renovation of the civic center proceeds. The city also has yet to get the updated costs of renovating the space...

Wed
02
Oct
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September was wettest on record for the area

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

September was the wettest on record for the Benson area with 7.05 inches of rain. The old record was 6.52 inches from 1991. September rainfall was 4.28 inches more than the averge of 2.77 inches.

The first nine months of 2019 with 34.94 inches of precipitation were the wettest first nine months on record for the area as well. The previous recorded was 34.72 inches from 1986. The January to September rainfall was 12.04 inches more than the average of 22.9 inches.

The signs of the wet weather have lingered throughout the spring and summer, and now into the fall with standing water in fields and sump pumps running constantly. The Chippewa River at Benson’s western edge is back up to 10.8 feet, more than 2 feet above where it usually sits at this time of year.

Thu
26
Sep
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September may be first month with above average temps

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

If September’s warmth continues for the rest of the month, it will become the first month of 2019 with above average temperatures.

In the Benson area, during the period from Sept. 14 to Sept. 21 highs averaged 83.3 degrees and lows 58.4. Highs were more than 13 degrees above average and lows 10 degrees above the average. Both Sept. 17 and Sept. 20 the high hit 88 degrees –the average high for the 20th is 70 degrees. The high for the month of August was 85 degrees...

 

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!

Thu
26
Sep
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County sets preliminary levy raise at 5 percent

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Swift County’s Board of Commissioners voted unanimously at its Sept. 17 meeting to adopt a 5 percent increase in the general operating levy raising a projected $5,992,702 for 2020. It is an increase of just over $285,000 from the 2019 levy.

Commissioners were required under state statute to adopt the preliminary levy before the end of September. However, the final levy does not have to be approved until the end of the year. While the county board can lower the proposed levy between now and then, it can’t raise it.

Whether or not the full 5 percent levy will be implemented depends on whether or not the county receives a grant for its sheriff’s office radio system...

 

Thu
26
Sep
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Stricter laws on parking, fences proposed

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Parking and fences would be more tightly regulated if two amendments to City of Benson ordinances are adopted in the coming weeks.

At Monday night’s city council meeting it was proposed that new language be added to the city parking restricting where vehicles can be parked. The goal of the new language is to end the spreading practice of vehicles parking in residential yards. It would also address the storing of fish houses, trailers, campers and other things that can be pulled behind a vehicle.

Some people park vehicles in yards for convenience, others to get them off the street during snow emergencies, and some because it is a place to store a vehicle they aren’t using. A few park near their front or side stairs because they have difficulty walking...

 

Thu
26
Sep
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Standing by Dollar General decision

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

As the Swift County Board of Commissioners was about to adjourn its Sept. 17 meeting, Pete Peterson, District 3-south Benson and Torning Township said he had point he would like to make to the public.

 “It is pretty much public knowledge that we denied a tobacco license at our last meeting. I feel we had very good grounds for taking that action if you take into consideration the public health mission statement,” he said.

Peterson was referring to the county board’s 4 to 1 vote Sept. 3 to deny a tobacco license to the new Dollar General store in Kerkhoven. The store is across North 15th Street from the Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg School.

Wed
18
Sep
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First 9 months of year already among wettest

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

September’s rainfall has already hit an unofficial 5.27 inches making it the seventh wettest on record with nearly two weeks yet to go in the month. The wettest September was recorded in 1991 when 6.51 inches of rain fell. September’s average rainfall is 2.76 inches...

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
18
Sep
admin's picture

Purchase of Xcel site to give city development options

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

With the former Benson Power generation building nothing more than a pile of metal rubble, Xcel Energy has reached out to the City of Benson to do a walk-through of the site as a preliminary step toward its purchase of the site. It is expected that the demolition and site restoration work will be completed by Thanksgiving.

After a phase one environmental assessment is done on the property this fall, the city plans to buy the 77-acre site and buildings from Xcel Energy for around $1.7 million, Benson City Manager Rob Wolfington told the Economic Development Authority (EDA) at its meeting Monday morning.  While the generation building is gone, the large fuel hall building is still in place as well as the administration building. The road infrastructure and weight scale will also remain. The purchase should take place by the end of December...

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