News

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

Wed
11
Jun
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Help available for landowners who want to improve their prairie grasslands

Improving the quality of water in the Chippewa River Watershed starts with improving the ability of the land to prevent erosion, which reduces the amount of sediments entering rivers as well as pollutants.
But knowing what to do as well as where to turn for the help that will allow a landowner to improve a piece of grassland or prairie isn’t always easy.
That is where Mae Petrehn can help. A landowner outreach consultant with the Land Stewardship Project, she facilitates projects by helping a landowner identify what he wants to do with a piece of land and then putting him in touch with the people and programs that can help him achieve his goals.
Petrehn works with the Chippewa 10 Percent Project, which is a bigger scale program within the Land Stewardship Project. It is focused on improving water quality in the Chippewa River Watershed by getting more perennials on the landscape.

Wed
11
Jun
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Alliance gets permit for rail spur

Plans progressing for filling former Kinder Morgan tanks by rail

Wed
04
Jun
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Farmers hope drones new way to get information about their fields

By Dan Gunderson
Minnesota Public Radio
Hundreds of farmers in the Upper Midwest are collecting data about their fields with drones this year, hoping the information will make their farm operations more productive.
They’re embracing drones, even as Federal Aviation Administration rules regulating their use remain unclear.
“This is going to revolutionize the way farmers do business and the information age is here and it’s here to stay so I really hope guys adapt it and adapt it quickly,” said Kris Poulson, a distributor for Farm Intelligence, a Mankato company that analyzes the data collected by drones.
Poulson is so enthused about the prospects of using unmanned aerial systems to improve agricultural yields that he’s using them on his own farm about 30 miles west of Fargo N.D.
Ross Erickson is using the new piece of farm equipment, which has a three-foot wingspan and two cameras mounted in its belly, to photograph Erickson’s fields.

Wed
04
Jun
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Herfindahl files for District 2 county commission

With only hours left for candidates to file for office Tuesday, Benson Township farmer Grant Herfindahl entered the race for the District 2 Swift County Board of Commissioner’s seat.
His filing sets up a race with former County Assessor Ed Pederson. The district includes the north half of Benson as well as Benson Township.
Last month, current District 2 Commissioner Gary Klemm announced he would not seek re-election. He was elected to his first term in 2010. Though county board terms are for four years, he had to seek re-election to the seat in 2012 because his district boundaries changed due to redistricting based on the 2010 Census.
Commissioner Joe Fox, District 4 – Hegbert Township, has filed for re-election to the board and is unopposed at this time.

 

Photo:  Grant Herfindahl explains to school children in Glenwood, how the public "People's Garden" works.  Photo courtesy Pope County Tribune.

Wed
04
Jun
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Pioneerland Band Festival Saturday, June 14 in Benson

The 28th annual Pioneerland Band Festival is set for 6:30 p.m., Saturday, June 14 with 11 bands lined up to take part in this year’s celebration.
Bands set to take part in this year’s Band Festival are the Benson Band of Braves (exhibition only), KMS Marching Saints, Hutchinson Tigers, Litchfield Dragons, St. Cloud All City, Mankato 77 Lancers, Henry-Sibley High School, St. Anthony Village Patriots, Champlin Park Marching Rebels, New York Mills Marching Eagles, and Bemidji High School.
Judging will be provided by Tri-State Judging and the Grand Marshal of this year’s Pioneerland Band Festival is Barry Jungwirth.

Photo:  The BHS band always kicks off the parade and is not allowed as part of the competition judging.

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