News

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.

Wed
06
Nov
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Kittelson again for Mayor, two new council members elected

Mayor Paul Kittelson easily won a 10th two-year term on the Benson City Council, but longest serving member of the council, Gary Landmark, was narrowly edged in his run for a seventh, four-year stint. Landmark is completing his 24th year on the council.
In the three-way race for two open seats on the council, Stephanie Heinzig finished first with 570 votes, Jack Evenson second with 499 and Landmark third with 494. Heinzig and Evenson will be sworn in to their first terms on the council in January.
Kittelson won getting 669 votes to challenger Mark Anderson’s 147. Anderson challenged Kittelson for the mayor’s seat on the council back in 1999, but lost by a wide margin in that race as well.
Incumbent Ben Hess, who is completing his first four-year term on the council, did not seek re-election.

Wed
06
Nov
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Benson school referendum passes

A vote to raise District 777’s levy referendum passed with 55.7 percent of the vote 653 to 520. The levy won by 133 votes.
The new levy will raise the current levy of $720 per pupil unit by $480. The current levy raises a total of $684,853 in additional funds for education.
Not all of that $1,200 per pupil unit levy will come from local taxpayers. The State of Minnesota is kicking in 30 percent of the cost; local taxpayers will contribute $840 and get $360 from the state.
The approved levy increase means a homeowner with a $50,000 house will pay an additional $71 in real estate taxes in 2014. If your home is worth $100,000 you will pay an additional $142 and if your home is worth $200,000, an additional $284.
For farmers, the additional levy applies to the home, garage and one acre of land. Seasonal recreational property was exempt from the levy’s taxing authority.

Fri
01
Nov
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Cargill bringing agronomy center to Benson area

Cargill’s plans for an agronomy center on the site of the former GTI trucking terminal just north of the Swift County Environmental Services facility moved forward last week with approval of a conditional use permit.
Swift County’s board of commissioners unanimously approved the permit at its meeting Oct. 15. The permit allows Cargill to operate an agronomy center with fertilizer and chemical tanks at the site.
The permit had earlier been approved by the county planning commission following a public hearing, Environmental Services Director Scott Collins told commissioners. There was no opposition from township and no public opposition at the hearing, he added.
There will be no anhydrous ammonia tanks at the facility, Cargill’s Jimmy Williamson told commissioners.

Tue
29
Oct
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Fall back on Sunday morning

Fall back; spring ahead – an easy little saying to tell you what to do with your clocks and watches this coming Sunday morning.
At 2 a.m. Sunday, Daylight Saving Time ends giving you an extra hour of sleep.
Most people will turn their clocks back an hour before they go to bed while those with digital devices will simply rely on technology to automatically do it for them.
Saturday morning the sun will rise at 8:03 and set at 6:08 p.m. But with the end of Daylight Saving Time, Sunday morning it will rise at 7:06 a.m. and set at 5:07 p.m.
As we move toward the Winter Solstice Dec. 21, the days will keep getting shorter and shorter.
Evenings keep getting darker as we move into December. From Dec. 4 to Dec. 16, the sun sets at 4:40 p.m. Then, Dec. 17, the sun sets one minute later at 4:41 and by the end of December it is setting at 4:49.

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