News

Wed
30
Jun
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COVID-19 cases plummet in western Minnesota

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Swift County hasn’t seen a new COVID-19 case since June 10 and has only recorded four cases in June. That is significant improvement from the 38 cases in May and the 88 in April. And it is a long way from the dark days of the pandemic when the county registered 368 cases in November.

Stevens County has seen just one COVID-19 case in June, Big Stone County two cases, Pope County four cases and Chippewa County four cases.

While these numbers are encouraging, the vaccination rates of rural Minnesota counties doesn’t hold as encouraging news.

“Looking back to April, there has been a continual decline in positive tests,” SCBHS Co-CEO and Chief Nursing Officer Melissa McGinty-Thompson told the facility’s governing board at its meeting Monday night. “That is very exciting for us. There have been two weeks without a positive test...”

 

Wed
23
Jun
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COVID-19 cases fall dramatically in area

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Three weeks into June and Swift County has only seen three cases of COVID-19 confirmed by the Minnesota Department of Health. There hasn’t been a new case since June 9.

Stevens County hasn’t seen a new case of COVID-19 since May 30. Pope County has registered four new cases in June and Big Stone County just one. Chippewa County has seen only four cases in June and Lac qui Parle zero.

After seeing 1,560 cases in November and 1,073 in December, Countryside Public Health’s five counties have seen a total of 12 cases in June. Swift, Chippewa, Big Stone, Lac qui Parle, and Yellow Medicine counties are part of Countryside...

 

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
23
Jun
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Refinancing of Federated bonds moves forward

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Swift County Commission Chair Joe Fox and Administrator Kelsey Baker were authorized to lock in the interest rate for the refinancing of the 2016 tax abatement bonds sold for Federated Telephone’s broadband project.

At last Tuesday’s meeting, the “parameter resolution” was presented to the county board. It is called a parameter resolution because it gives Fox and Baker some leeway on when to sign the agreement.

There are a few restrictions, however, George Eilertson of Northland Securities of Minneapolis told commissioners. To lock in the interest rate, the principal amount of the bonds can’t exceed $6.15 million, he said. It also says that the savings on the refinancing county must be at least a net 3%...

Wed
23
Jun
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Expanding street project means taking out trees

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Taking down mature trees is always a controversial call unless they pose a direct safety threat.

Despite knowing they would get some input on the decision, the Benson City Council Monday night agreed that 11 ash trees on the boulevard should come down as part of a larger project.

Meeting at the same time as the council, the District 777 Board of Education also agreed to go along with the expanded project...

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
16
Jun
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June’s heat sets records as drought deepens in Minnesota

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

For eight straight days, from June 3 to June 10, the Benson area saw temperatures range from 91 to over 100 degrees.

It was the second longest stretch of days over 90 degrees in June on record for the area. Benson’s daily weather records go back to 1952.

In 1976, there were nine straight days of temperatures of 90 degrees or higher, stretching from June 5 to June 13 that year.

Benson’s string of 90-plus days ended June 11 when the high only hit 81 degrees Thursday, June 1o.  During the stretch as the sun baked the parched ground three record high temperatures were broken and three record high low temperatures were tied or broken. Highs during the eight days averaged 96 degrees and lows 66 degrees...

 

Wed
16
Jun
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COVID-19 cases drop dramatically in Swift County

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Swift County has seen only three new cases of COVID-19 through the first two weeks of June, based on Monday’s Minnesota Department of Health report. Stevens County has not added a case of COVID-19 so far in June. Big Stone County has had one case in June. Pope and Chippewa counties three.

Outdoor activities, a rising percentage of people who are vaccinated and immunity conveyed to those who have had COVID-19 but not been vaccinated are likely the reasons for the new cases of the deadly disease at a near standstill.

As of Monday, 1,069, or 9.4%, of the county’s population had been confirmed to have contracted the disease. However, it is estimated that the real number of cases is as many as three times the number of confirmed cases. There have been 18 deaths in Swift County attributed to COVID-19. The last death was back on Jan. 16...

 

Wed
16
Jun
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Marrans plan to reopenthe DeMarce Theatre

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

At its meeting Monday noon, the Benson Economic Development Authority (EDA) unanimously recommended the city council approve a loan for the renovation of the DeMarce Theatre.

A loan committee of the EDA had met earlier with Randy and Pam Marran of St. Michael, and their daughter Tyler Ann Marran of Benson, to listen to their plans for opening the theatre by Oct. 1. They say the business will create one full-time job and two part-time jobs.

Based on the meeting with the Marrans, Benson’s Economic Development Coordinator Hillary Tweed said the committee was recommending that the full EDA approve a proposed loan package for the theatre...

 

Wed
09
Jun
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Pioneerland Band Festival will feature 11 bands Monday evening

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Benson’s Pioneerland Band Festival is set for next Monday at 6:30 p.m. with 10 bands saying they will participate. Benson High School’s band will make it 11 performing along the traditional route starting on U.S Highway 12 near Do-Mat’s.

The bands will turn left at joint Minnesota 29 and U.S. 12, heading north past McKinney’s and Roosevelt Park to the Benson High School.

The judges will be in Benson to observe the performance of the bands but there won’t be a formal competition that determines first, second, or third place winners. “The judges will be just judging the band, then giving comments and ratings to the band only,” BHS Director of Bands Brock Duncan told the Monitor-News last month...

 

Wed
09
Jun
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Just Chillin’ ‘quietly’ opens doors in Benson

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

The timing was just right. Tyler Timmerman, a 2020 Hancock High School graduate, was at a crossroads in his life, trying to decide about his future. His parents were also facing some decisions related to a rental property they own in Benson. The solution came together after a “heart to heart” conversation last spring prior to graduation.

Terry Timmerman, Tyler’s father and owner of Image Xperts, said his son confided in them that he did not want to go to college to pursue a business degree. He would rather just dive in and open a business, he said.  Covid restrictions also played a role in the decision.

Because there was a vacancy in the rental property downtown Benson at the corner of 14th Street and Atlantic Avenue, and Tyler had a desire to open a restaurant, they decided to act on the idea...

 

Wed
09
Jun
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Mike Hoffman named county chief deputy

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Mike Hoffman was named the new Swift County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy by the board of commissioners at their June 1 meeting.

“Mike Hoffman meets and exceeds what I am looking for,” Sheriff John Holtz told commissioners. He will be replacing current Chief Deputy Judd Latham who is retiring Aug. 15.

While the vote to hire him as chief deputy was unanimous the vote on what he would be paid was split 3-2 after a lengthy debate...

 

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!

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