News

Wed
21
Jul
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Benson council election year to change in 2022

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Monday night Benson’s City Council approved the second reading of an ordinance that will change when city council elections take place.

Now the ordinance change will be published in the city’s legal newspaper, the Swift County Monitor-News, and 30 days after publication the change becomes law.

Since 1965, city elections for the mayor and council members have taken place in odd numbered years. That has often meant low turnout since it sets it apart from when most other elections take place...

 

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
21
Jul
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Nature Energy biogas plant plans moving forward

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Plans for construction of a biogas facility on the former Benson Power site at Benson’s western edge are moving forward.

Using dairy cow manure, turkey litter and some food waste, Danish firm Nature Energy’s proposed plant would produce enough renewable natural gas to heat between 11,000 and 12,000 homes.

Representatives of the company were in Benson in June to look over the site, tour the community, and meet with members of the Benson City Council.  They also discussed renewing the letter of intent between the city and Nature Energy outlining the initial obligations of both sides should the project proceed...

 

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
21
Jul
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Vaccinations lag as delta variant spreads

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

As states across the southern and south central America struggle with a new surge in COVID-19 cases due to low vaccination rates, Minnesotans cautiously watch. California is also seeing a surge.

Mask mandates are being discussed, and implemented, in some areas.

Minnesota has been fortunate, so far, probably because its citizens have done a better job of getting vaccinated. However, health officials warn that the new highly infectious delta variant will find every pocket of unvaccinated Americans wherever they live...

 

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
14
Jul
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Area gets 4.54 inches of rain over 2 weeks

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

With drought conditions worsening in late June, area farmers were looking for rain and lots of it. Over the past two weeks, they’ve gotten a lot of what they needed.

Between June 27 and July 10, the Benson area has received 4.54 inches of rain. Despite the rainfall, the U.S. Drought Monitor map last week showed much of west central Minnesota, including all of Swift, Pope and Chippewa counties in a D1 or moderate drought stage. Much of both Big Stone and Stevens counties are also in a D1 drought.

June’s heat contributed to the drought conditions with 10 days reaching into the 90s as the area endured a prolonged dry spell. July started with three more days in the 90s...

 

Wed
14
Jul
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Rural COVID vaccination levels well behind metro areas

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Swift County is well behind several metropolitan counties in getting its residents vaccinated against COVID-19 . It is also far behind Olmsted County, the home of Rochester and the Mayo clinic.

That could have consequences for the county in the fall as new more infectious variants of the deadly virus circulate. Swift County is not alone in rural Minnesota in lagging behind the vaccination rates of metropolitan areas. Many rural counties in the state and nation have low numbers.

What the impact could be for health care services, schools, fall sports, and businesses will be somewhat determined by how prevalent the new strains are in the area in the fall. It will also depend on the percentage of those vaccinated, a process that has become frustratingly slow for public health officials...

 

Wed
14
Jul
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Benson’s 90th Kid Day celebration is underway

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Benson’s 90th Kid Day celebration is now underway though the main events are scheduled for Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

After the COVID-19 pandemic caused the cancellation of Kid Day last year, the Benson’s Kid Day Committee has worked over the past months to ensure this year’s celebration is full of events to entertain young and old.

The theme of this year’s Kid Day is “Hometown Fun” and the annual featured event of Kid Day, the Kid Day Parade, is set for 10 a.m., Saturday...

 

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
07
Jul
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Rains ease drought conditions

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Through the first 26 days of June only 6 tenths of an inch of rain fell. The month was well on its way to being the driest on record. Then the area saw 2.21 inches of rain fall June 27-28.

Tuesday brought more rain as storms rumbled through in the early morning hours dropping as much as an inch or more in some areas. More rain was forecast throughout the day Tuesday as well as for Thursday and Friday. July averages 3.69 inches of rain.

The driest June on record was 1973 when only 65 hundredths of an inch of rain fell. June 1959 saw only 73 hundredths of an inch of rain and is the second driest on record...

 

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
07
Jul
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City of Benson considering going to even year elections starting in 2022

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Since 1965, City of Benson elections for the council and mayor have taken place in odd numbered years. That has often meant low turnout since few other, if any, candidates or issues were on the ballot.

General elections for president, governor, members of U.S. Congress, members of the Minnesota Legislature, and constitutional amendments are all conducted in even numbered years. These elections, particularly the presidential elections every four years, draw large numbers of local citizens to the polls.

Being out of sync with the general election of other offices has also meant additional cost in programming voting machines and hiring election judges.

Now the Benson City Council is looking at moving its election day to align with national and state elections...

 

Wed
07
Jul
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Lake Hazel church celebrates 150 years

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Editor’s note: Richard Gomer, a member of Lake Hazel Lutheran Church, wrote the first part of this story on the celebration that took place June 27.

What a perfect morning for going to church in the country! The sun was shining, the birds were singing and the setting was ideal.

The congregation was founded in 1871, making this year its 150th anniversary. After 96 years of serving this rural community north of Benson, it was closed in 1967. Every year since then a reunion service has been held each summer...

 

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
30
Jun
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90th annual Kid Day set for July 15-18

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

After taking a year off in 2020 due to COVID-19, the Benson community is set to celebrate its 90th annual Kid Day, Saturday and Sunday, July 17-18 with a number of activities also taking place in the days leading up to Kid Day weekend.  The theme of this year’s Kid Day is “Hometown Fun” and the featured event of Kid Day, the Kid Day Parade, is set for 10 a.m., Saturday, July 17.

•  The Kid Day Medallion Hunt is set to begin Monday, July 12 and continue each day through Friday, July 16, or until the Medallion is found.  The clues will be available daily on the front door of the Library, on KSCR from 7-9 a.m. each day, and on the Benson Kid Day Facebook page.  The top prize for the youth who finds the Kid Day Medallion is $100.

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