News

Wed
25
Jun
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Severe storms, excessive rainfall plague many areas

By Kent Thiesse
Farm Management Analyst & Vice President MinnStar Bank Lake Crystal

Large portions of Southern Minnesota, Northern Iowa, and Eastern South Dakota have been affected by severe storms and have received excessive rainfall during the week of June 14 to 20.
This has caused some property damage from strong winds, and caused considerable crop damage due to wind, hail, and standing water in fields. Most of the affected region received 3 to 5 inches of rain during the week, with several locations receiving 5 to 8 inches or more during the past week.
In some areas of central Minnesota, farm operators had not completed their 2014 corn and soybean planting prior to the heavy rainfall events in mid-June.

Wed
25
Jun
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Kid Day Selection Night set for Sunday

Events leading up to Benson’s annual Kid Day celebration July 19 get underway this coming Sunday with the annual selection night to choose the coming year’s royalty. This year’s Kid Day theme is “Imagine Benson.”
The crowning of the Kid Day royalty and coronation are taking on a new look this year with the coronation taking place prior to the Kid Day parade. In the past, the previous year’s Kid Day royalty rode in the parade after having been crowned in the closing event of the annual community celebration.
Because of the transition, there will be two courts in the parade this year - the current 2013 royalty, and the first day for the new 2014 royalty.

 

Photo:  Last year's crowning ceremony.

Wed
25
Jun
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Tornado causes only minor damage

Shortly after 4 last Thursday afternoon tornado sirens in Benson began to wail as multiple sightings of funnel clouds were reported to the Swift County Sheriff’s Office dispatcher.
Perhaps as many as three tornadoes formed near Benson late Thursday afternoon. At least one caused minor damage at the north end of Ambush Park and the Benson Golf Course.
At approximately 4:02 p.m., the sheriff’s office received the first report of a funnel cloud west of Benson from a trained weather spotter. “Over the next 45 minutes, multiple reports of funnel clouds were received,” a statement from the sheriff’s office said. “There were confirmed touchdowns extending from just south of Benson to north and northwest of Benson.”
At the golf course, the tornado uprooted two large pine trees and snapped several trees. There was also a report of siding being blown off a building.

Wed
25
Jun
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Precipitation record shattered

The April to June precipitation record for the Benson area has not just been broken, it has been shattered – and there are still six days left in the month. Thunderstorms are forecast for Thursday and Friday.
Over the past three months, 19.55 inches of precipitation has fallen. That is 2.76 inches more than the previous record of 16.79 inches from 1953. That year, June saw 10.45 inches of rain. In 1993, 16.51 inches was recorded with both May and June seeing heavy rainfalls.
June has now seen 9.04 inches of rain, which ranks it fourth overall for the month in records that go back to 1952. June 1952’s 12.5 inches of rain is at the top of the list with the 10.45 inches that fell in June 1953 second.

Photo:  A corn crop disappears into the flood waters of the Shakopee creek south of Benson.

Fri
20
Jun
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VFW splits with Madison and Morris

The Benson VFW baseball team split a pair of league games last week with Madison and Morris.  Benson, which is 2-1 after its first full week of action, beat Madison last Tuesday night, 11-5, but then fell at Morris, Friday, 10-5.
Benson, coached by Adam Foslien, was set to host Starbuck, Tuesday (yesterday) to begin a five-game homestand before hosting Montevideo, Monday, June 23, and entertaining the Alexandria 16s, Tuesday, June 24.

Benson 11, Madison 5
Benson pulled out an 11-5 victory over Madison last Tuesday night thanks to a couple of big innings in the third and fifth.
Benson trailed 2-0 before scoring three runs in the third inning on a wild pitch, fielder’s choice by Brett Sulier, and RBI-singly by Nick Miller.
Madison went back up with three runs in the fifth inning, but Benson took the lead for good with six runs in the fifth.

Fri
20
Jun
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Band parade gets rained on

Nick Collins (foreground) plays the tuba as other members of the Benson High School marching band perform in front of the judging stand and in the pouring rain during the 2014 Pioneerland Band Festival, Saturday night.  Only seven of the 11 bands were able to perform due to the wet and soggy conditions.

Parade goers needed an umbrella and coat to view the Pioneerland Band Festival - and many stayed to watch despite the weather.  Rains held off for most of the day until right before the start of the parade at about 6:15 p.m. 

Color guard members of the Champlin Park band were probably wishing they were somewhere else as they knelt in the water with their band to start the routine in front of the judging area.
 

Fri
20
Jun
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City to spend $20,000 studying crossing options

Benson will spend $20,000 in the coming months to study options for reducing the public safety hazard and general inconvenience of trains blocking the three city downtown crossings.
The city is putting in $10,000 and asking Swift County to match that.
In its 2014 budget, the Swift County Board of Commissioners set aside $25,000 to create the  “Swift Planning Grant” fund. The purpose of the fund is to encourage cities and townships in the county to complete comprehensive or strategic planning activities. Grants of up to $10,000 can be requested.
The City of Appleton has already been approved for a $10,000 grant to develop its comprehensive plan.
Council members agreed that the problem of trains blocking the tracks in Benson, and blocking emergency vehicles, is an issue important to residents of the county as well as the city.

Thu
19
Jun
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Tornadoes by Benson Thursday; water at the Benson golf course

Late Thursday afternoon Gracie Lens took this photo southwest of Benson.

That funnel was apparently one of several swirling around the city as tornado warnings were issued from Benson to Kerkhoven.

At 4:05 yesterday law enforcement confirmed a funnel cloud north of Danvers.  That started the next hour of cloud watching as several funnel clouds west and southwest of Benson formed and retreated.

Tthe sirens sounded in Benson as several other funnels were spotted by county personnel on the south edge of town.

Downtown employees streamed into the streets to look as a funnel bounced up and down, missing Benson entirely. 

As the dark clouds moved east there were twin funnels snaking in the distance as DeGraff issued a tornado warning and the warnings continued east on highway 12 to Kerkhoven.

Thu
19
Jun
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Special weather statement, possible hail and thunderstorm Thursday

THUNDERSTORMS MOVING OVER CHIPPEWA,
SWIFT AND YELLOW MEDICINE
COUNTIES THROUGH 915 AM CDT...

AT 819 AM CDT...WEATHER SERVICE
RADAR WAS TRACKING STRONG
THUNDERSTORMS ALONG A LINE
EXTENDING FROM 4 MILES SOUTH
OF LAC QUI PARLE STATE PARK TO
8 MILES NORTHWEST OF COTTONWOOD.
THESE STORMS WERE MOVING NORTH AT 40 MPH.

PEA SIZE HAIL AND WINDS UP TO 30 MPH ARE EXPECTED WITH THESE STORMS.

* LOCATIONS IN OR NEAR THE PATH OF THESE STORMS INCLUDE...
  CLARKFIELD.
  HAZEL RUN.
  MILAN.
  MONTEVIDEO AIRPORT.
  HAGEN.
  DANVERS.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

REMEMBER...IF YOU CAN HEAR THUNDER...YOU ARE CLOSE ENOUGH TO THE
STORM TO BE STRUCK BY LIGHTNING. SEEK SAFE SHELTER IMMEDIATELY.

* * * * * * *

Wed
11
Jun
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Grain prices more challenging for state’s farmers

by Kent Thiesse, Farm Management Analyst and VP, Lake Crystal

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