News

Thu
24
Mar
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Bill to reopen PCF gets first hearing in Legislature

Legislation has been introduced in the Minnesota House that would pave the way for reopening the Prairie Correctional Facility in Appleton.

The bill was scheduled for its first hearing before the House Public Safety and Crime Prevention Policy and Finance Committee Tuesday morning. A delegation of Swift County, Appleton, and other area communities lobbying to get the Appleton prison opened with state prisoners was heading to St. Paul by bus early Tuesday morning to be on hand for the hearing.

House File 3223 is co-sponsored by more than 20 members of the state House including Republican Rep. Kurt Daudt, the Speaker of the House, and Republican Rep. Tony Cornish. Cornish chairs the Public Safety and Crime Prevention Policy and Finance Committee.

District 17A Rep. Tim Miller, Republican-Prinsburg, is also a co-author. However, all the co-authors of the bill are Republicans.
 

Thu
03
Mar
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Marsh Lake gets federal funding to move ahead with restoration project

U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, center, listens to DNR Regional Wildlife Manager Dave Trauba explain the $12.93 million project that will take place in 2016 and 2017 to restore Marsh Lake near Appleton, MN.
Marsh Lake has the largest pelican rookery in the nation.

A $12.9 million ecosystem renovation of Marsh Lake is moving ahead with the commitment of $7.59 million from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Saturday, Feb. 20, U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar was in Appleton to meet with Minnesota Department of  (DNR) Resources officials who will lead the project.

At one time, Marsh Lake was a prime destination for duck hunters in the fall, and fishermen in both the summer and winter. But today it lacks the habitat that encourages ducks to stop and stay for awhile and its muddy waters favor carp, not game fish like walleye and northern pike.

For more, 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
25
Feb
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SpecSys meets needs of nine different industries

A railroad crane completed at the Benson SpecSys plant was bound for the Hawaiian Islands. It was being shipped from Benson to the West Coast where it was to be loaded on a ship.
SpecSys owner Kevin Wald spends 100 days a year on the road finding customers

Kevin Wald (pictured) spends 100 days a year on the road.

“It’s not a life for everybody, but it works for me right now,” Wald the owner of SpecSys in Benson said last week in an interview.

But Benson’s SpecSys facility is just one of the 11 facilities he is involved in in seven different communities. Finding jobs for those businesses and keeping his nearly 250 employees working is the reason Wald spends so much time in the air and on the road.

Today Wald’s businesses are involved in nine different sectors of the economy, which provides diversity for the company that keeps it going when there are economic downturns.

For more, 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, including special section like our "Progress in Benson" delivered to you!
 

Thu
25
Feb
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Paulus commission wins Grammy; Piece was performed by Holtan’s group True Concord

1989 Benson High School graduate Eric Holtan, conductor of Paulus commission

Stephen Paulus’ Prayers & Remembrances won a Grammy Award Monday for Best Contemporary Classical Composition. Sitting in the audience at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles during the ceremony where the early Grammy Awards were presented was 1989 Benson High School graduate Eric Holtan.

His Tucson, AZ, group True Concord Voices and Orchestra, recorded Prayers & Remembrances as part of a larger work entitled Far in the Heavens. Holtan was the conductor and worked closely with Paulus on the piece.

For more, 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
10
Feb
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Swift County Fair’s Mitteness named Fair Person of the Year

Elaine Mitteness, in red shirt at left, has been instrumental in reviving the Swift County Fair. She was behind starting the My Dolly & Me contest, which has been growing in popularity each year.

“The fair is kind of a way of life for me,” Elaine Mitteness of Benson said last week as the Monitor-News interviewed her about winning the Minnesota Federation of County Fairs Fair Person of the Year for District 7.
Mitteness, who has served 23 years on the Swift County Fair board of directors and nine years as its secretary, was presented the award at the federation’s annual meeting in Bloomington in January. District 7 includes 19 counties from Wilkin and Douglas to the north down through Swift County to the Iowa border along the western side of Minnesota.

For more, 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
05
Feb
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“The Harvey Girls” serving meals “All the way”

  “Harvey Girls” in 1918
   Fred Harvey (1835-1901) is the originator of restaurants in railroad depots along the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway railroad lines.
     “Harvey Girls” (shown above, circa early 1900s) that worked in the dining houses were all single, and required to sign a one year contract.

The following is an article written by Kathy A. Weckwerth for the "Then & Now" column from the Swift County Monitor-News January 27, 2016 Senior Living Special Edition.

The sky was bright blue with wisps of white clouds as Dean and I boarded the original old train in South Dakota that dated from the late 1800s. We gazed through open windows, breathed in fresh spring air, and relished the view of the countryside. I, of course, imagined that I was back in time, traveling to relatives, and stopping at some old hotel for dinner.   

 “If there would have been a Harvey restaurant that would have been perfect!” I exclaimed.

 “What’s a Harvey restaurant?” Dean asked.

 “Really? Let me tell you the story,” I said, as we settled into the old leather seats and prepared for the next two hours together.

Wed
03
Feb
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Spring fieldwork may have aided bird flu outbreak

Winds gusting to 44 mph April 20, 2015, raced across fields in western Minnesota lifting soil into the air - some of that soil may have contained the avian influenza virus spreading it to turkey and chicken barns.
Workers foam a turkey barn last spring to euthanize diseased birds.

April and May saw very strong winds while farmers worked their fields

Editor’s note: Information for this story is from Minnesota Public Radio and the Swift County Monitor-News.

Farmers who actively tilled fields near turkey barns in the early days of Minnesota’s avian influenza outbreak last year may have unwittingly helped spread the virus, a new University of Minnesota study says.

Soil in those fields may have been contaminated with droppings from migrating birds believed to be a source of the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI.) The virus can survive cold temperatures in soil and tilling may have created “airborne particles that could carry the virus,” the university’s Center for Animal Health and Food Safety said in the report posted Thursday.

For more, 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
03
Feb
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Snow Week Coronation Monday

Pictured are the 10 Snow Week royalty candidates for Benson High School’s 2016 Snow Week celebration.

Benson High School is set to celebrate its annual Snow Week the week of Monday, Feb. 8 through Saturday, Feb. 13.  The theme of this year’s Snow Week celebration is “Love is in the Air.”
Snow Week coronation is set for 7:30 p.m., Monday, Feb. 8 in the Jr. High Auditorium, the Snow Week dance is set for Saturday, Feb. 13 at the Benson Bowler, and a pep fest will be held sometime during the week.

Pictured are the 10 Snow Week royalty candidates for Benson High School’s 2016 Snow Week celebration, set for Feb. 8-13.  The week includes the Snow Week coronation program at 7:30 p.m., Monday, Feb. 8 in the Junior High Auditorium, and the Snow Week dance at 9 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 13 at the Benson Bowler.  From left to right are Connor Staton, Mitch Koosmann, Hanna Lindblad, Josh Manzke, Kaley Fieseler, Beau Norby, Kamri Kalthoff, Max McDonald, Ashley Tolifson, and Courtney Johnson.  The junior and sophomore Snow Week attendants are pictured on Page 2.
 

Fri
22
Jan
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Despite governor’s opposition, local officials still see hope for prison

Efforts to reopen the Prairie Correctional Facility (PCF) in Appleton have run into a roadblock, of sorts, at the state Capitol.

In announcing a proposed $1.4 billion borrowing plan to address state infrastructure needs last week, Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton indicated he does not favor building new facilities to house large numbers of prisoners.

 

For more, 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
22
Jan
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LifeLink III now using new city helipad

LifeLink III, and other air ambulances, are now using Benson’s new helipad just a couple blocks west of the Swift County-Benson Hospital.

Sunday afternoon the sound of a helicopter passing low overhead signaled a LifeLink III helicopter on its way to pick up a patient from the Swift County-Benson Hospital.

Now that the LifeLink helicopters are using a new helipad near the Benson Civic Center rather than having to travel to the Benson airport, they come over the city a little lower than before and are considerably more noticeable to the general public.
 

For more, 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!

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