News

Mon
23
Dec
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Bitterly cold temps sink into region; Monday night will be even colder

More frigid weather has descended from the Arctic sending temperatures plunging below zero. After a low of a minus 6 degrees, Sunday’s high reached just zero before sliding back into negative numbers.
Early Monday morning the temperature fell to a minus 17 degrees with winds gusting to 22 mph out of the northwest dropping the windchill to a very dangerous minus 42 degrees. The high was forecast to struggle to make it to a minus 8 degrees.
Though Monday’s high would be the coldest high temperature of the winter if it only reaches a minus 8 degrees, it isn’t going to be close to the record low high temperature for Dec. 23. That was set back in 1983 when the high was a minus 16 degrees and the low minus 28 degrees.
By Christmas Eve day the high is supposed to reach a relatively balmy 18 degrees, but that won’t be until after the low reaches a minus 24 degrees early Tuesday

Wed
04
Dec
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Winter storm creates hazardous driving conditions in some areas

With nearly 5 inches of snow on the ground and winds gusting to 30 dropping windchills to a minus 25 degrees, Benson Schools started two hours late Thursday.
Road conditions throughout the area were poor with pack snow and ice creating slick conditions. The Swift County-Benson Ambulance and Benson Fire Department were called to assist at the scene of an accident 3 miles east on U.S. 12 shortly after 11 a.m. Thursday. No report has been issued yet on the status of those in the vehicle.
With the temperature at 3 degrees and the wind gusting to 31 mph at the time, rescue personnel were enduring 20-below windchills.

Fri
29
Nov
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Kerkhoven ambulance gets cash infusion

Kerkhoven’s ambulance service will be getting a $102,698 check from Swift County for the purchase of a new ambulance. The board of commissioners approved the payment at its meeting Nov. 19.
Commissioner Eric Rudningen, whose District 5 includes the Kerkhoven area, abstained from the vote because he is currently the director of the ambulance service for the community.
Commissioner Gary Hendrickx, District 1-Appleton, moved that the county board approve the expenditure of $102,698 with a second by Commissioner Pete Peterson, District 3-south Benson. The motion passed with Peterson, Hendrickx, Commissioner Gary Klemm, District 2-rural north Benson, and Commissioner Joe Fox, District 4-Hegbert Township, voting in favor.
The expenditure for the ambulance was in the county’s budget and is part of a rotating program that helps the Kerkhoven, Appleton and Benson ambulance services with the purchase of new vehicles.

Fri
29
Nov
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Low temperatures hang around the area; portable houses on Lake Minnewaska

Saturday morning’s low of a minus 2 degrees tied the record low for Nov. 23, which was set in 1985. It fell to a minus 2 at about 5 a.m. and bounced between 0 and 2 below zero until 8:30 a.m. November 23, 1985, the high only reached 8 above; last Saturday’s high was 16.
It was the first time this late fall that the temperature has fallen below zero. Last year, the first minus temperature wasn’t recorded until Dec. 10 when it fell to 14 degrees below zero. In 2011, the first below zero reading came Nov. 20 when it fell to a minus 6 degrees, setting the record for the date.
While temperatures are forecast to be below average this week, there are no more below zero days in the forecast. There certainly aren’t any forecasts that would bring temperatures that would break any more record lows in the coming days. The average high this fourth week in November is 32 degrees with a low average of 17 degrees.

Fri
29
Nov
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School board vacancies filled

The District 777 Board of Education filled the two vacant seats on the school board during a regularly-scheduled meeting last Monday night.  The board has had three people resign from the school board in the last few months, including Jeff Guest, Shelly Vergin, and Stan Claussen.
Guest’s seat has already been filled by Andy Abner, who was appointed to serve the next year of his term, while the board was considering what to do with the remaining year of Vergin’s and Claussen’s terms.
Marlene Molden and Jodi DeJong-Hughes were appointed to fill the two open board seats.  The appointments are for one year each.  Since both seats expire December of 2014, both will be up for election in November of 2014.

Sat
23
Nov
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Benson High School wins education money from State Farm

Thanks to thousands of safe driver commitments made in support of Benson High School, the Celebrate My Drive program awarded $25,000 to the school. 

Benson's school was in the top 100 in the nation-wide program and in the top 50 in the small schools division.

In addition to collecting the commitments to drive safely, the program recognizes the important occasion of teens learning to drive.

According to a State Farm press release, car crashes are the number one killer of teens, the first year of being on the road as the most dangerous.

 

Local State Farm owners Cindy (pictured) and Mark Frank were happy to help facilitate the winning check ceremony which happened Friday morning at the school.

(submitted photo)

 

Tue
19
Nov
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New guidelines could put more people on statins

By Lorna Benson
Minnesota Public Radio

For nearly a decade, many physicians and patients have lived by the mantra of driving down so-called “bad” cholesterol.
But under new guidelines from the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiologists, a patient’s LDL cholesterol doesn’t matter as much.
Instead doctors are being urged to consider using cholesterol-lowering statins on more of their patients to prevent heart attacks and strokes - a revised treatment plan that likely will place many more Minnesotans on drug therapy.
The two heath associations released the new guidelines after conducting an extensive review of recent medical studies. The findings of that review show that the long-held emphasis on reducing LDL cholesterol wasn’t based on much evidence.
Dr. Randy Thomas, director of the Cardiovascular Health Clinic at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, said the new guidelines are a dramatic shift in thinking.

Tue
19
Nov
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EPA proposes to lower gallons of ethanol required in 2014

Friday’s announcement by the Obama administration that it will consider reducing the amount of ethanol in the nation’s fuel supply for the first time was met with strong opposition by farm state members of Congress, farm organizations and the nation’s ethanol industry.
Under the proposal, ethanol production for 2014 would reduced from 14.4 billion gallons to closed to 13 billion gallons.
The action isn’t approved, yet. The Environmental Protection Agency proposal has to be published in the Federal Register, and then a 60-day public comment period starts.
As the EPA proposed reduction in the ethanol mandate was announced, farmers across the nation were completing the harvest of the nation’s largest corn crop ever.
Corn futures, which had been falling due to the size of the crop, fell even further last week after the EPA announcement due to fears that demand for corn will fall.

Tue
19
Nov
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Private wells to be tested

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture plans to test 70,000 private wells in the state’s farming regions to measure nitrogen that seeps into the ground after fertilizing.
The state says the level of pollution from tons of fertilizer that’s applied each year across the southern two-thirds of the state is rising. A survey in 2011 found excessive pollution in 62 percent of the wells monitored by the state in central Minnesota.
The Star Tribune says that besides the well testing, the state hopes to persuade farmers to better control their use of fertilizer. That could include asking farmers not to fertilize in the fall when the risk to groundwater is greatest, or even taking land out of production.
Environmentalists don’t think the plan is strong enough. Critics say it assumes landowners will voluntarily protect the water.
More Minnesota land is being put into production due to high commodity prices that are driving land prices to record levels.

Wed
06
Nov
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Accident clarification

In the Oct. 30 Monitor-News it was reported that Pamela D. Uhden, 51, of DeGraff was a passenger in a one-vehicle crash Oct. 26 and had suffered minor injuries. The information came from the Minnesota State Patrol’s media web site page.

Last week, Uhden contacted the Monitor-News to say that she had not been involved in the accident, but rather witnessed it happen.  She then went to the aid of the people involved in the accident, getting blood on herself in the process. The state trooper at the scene suggested that she go to the hospital to be checked because of her close contact with the blood of those injured in the accident, she said.

The Monitor-News checked the State Patrol media web site Nov. 5 and the information stating Uhden was a passenger in the vehicle was still listed in the accident report. However, a phone call to the southwest district office of the State Patrol confirmed Uhden’s version of the story.

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