News

Thu
09
Jan
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Influenza vs. ‘Stomach Flu’; Cases of both showing up

by Gloria Tobias
DPC & EP Coordinator, Countryside Public Health

How many times have you hear others tell you they have the flu? Now what do they mean by that - do they mean influenza or “stomach flu?” 
Both are viruses but the influenza is a respiratory illness with symptoms of coughing, sneezing, fever and body aches.  Stomach flu, as society has called it for years, is gastroenteritis most often caused by a norovirus. Here in Minnesota, areas of the state are experiencing an increase in the number of these two illnesses.
Norovirus is a very contagious virus. You can get it from an infected person, contaminated food or water, or by touching contaminated surfaces.

Fri
03
Jan
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Cost of mailing a letter going up

First-class stamps to cost 49 cents as of Jan. 26

Fri
03
Jan
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City keeps tax increase to 4.5%

After reducing taxes by 11.7 percent for 2013, the Benson City Council voted a 4.5 percent increase for 2014.  That increase raises the city’s tax levy by $60,716, from $1.261 million in 2013 to $1.321 million for 2014.
City taxpayers also will be paying $70,896 in taxes to pay down the general obligations bonds approved by voters to pay for the Benson outdoor swimming pool renovation.
The council approved a budget for 2014 that calls for $3,545,787 in revenues and $3,495,733 in expenses. The budget has a projected surplus of $54,054.
State tax law allows the cities to tax specifically for certain operations including police department wage and benefit costs and library operations. The city also taxes to recover for a tax abatement given to Claussen Properties as part of an economic development project.

Tue
31
Dec
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Amundson Violin to be on Pioneer’s ‘Postcards’ program

Sunday at 7 p.m,  Pioneer Public Television will air the fourth installment of the fifth season of Postcards -- a weekly regional art, culture and history program.  
The episode will feature stories about an internationally recognized contemporary artist living in Spicer, a highly regarded violin maker and repairer in Benson, an up and coming filmmaker in Montevideo and a state wide Rural Arts and Culture Summit in Morris.
The 30-minute episode will be repeated Monday, Jan. 6th at 1:30 p.m. and Thursday, Jan. 9 at 7:00 p.m. The program will also be available for online viewing after January 5th through the station’s web site:  www.pioneer.org/postcards.
Brian David Downs is the subject of the first segment of the Postcards program.  Downs is a contemporary artist with national clients living in the small town of Spicer, MN (pop: 1,180).  

Tue
31
Dec
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Amundson Violin to be on Pioneer’s ‘Postcards’ program

Sunday at 7 p.m,  Pioneer Public Television will air the fourth installment of the fifth season of Postcards -- a weekly regional art, culture and history program.  
The episode will feature stories about an internationally recognized contemporary artist living in Spicer, a highly regarded violin maker and repairer in Benson, an up and coming filmmaker in Montevideo and a state wide Rural Arts and Culture Summit in Morris.
The 30-minute episode will be repeated Monday, Jan. 6th at 1:30 p.m. and Thursday, Jan. 9 at 7:00 p.m. The program will also be available for online viewing after January 5th through the station’s web site:  www.pioneer.org/postcards.
Brian David Downs is the subject of the first segment of the Postcards program.  Downs is a contemporary artist with national clients living in the small town of Spicer, MN (pop: 1,180).  

Mon
30
Dec
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Cold nights remain

While a trace of snow was predicted today, with Benson thought to be on the edges, a few inches of the powdery stuff fell in the city.  Benson shopowners cleared the walks as a balmy 3 degrees was reached this afternoon.

The evening, however, could again hold the chill that has had us in its grip for several days:

Tonight (Monday): Partly cloudy with chance of light snow. Lows around -18°F. Wind chill around -33°F. Northwest wind to 8 MPH. Chance of precipitation near 20%.

Tuesday, New Years Eve, Dec 31
Scattered Snow Showers    Day: Mostly cloudy with scattered snow showers. Highs around -4°F. Wind chill around -14°F. North wind to 5 MPH. Chance of precipitation near 45%.
Scattered Snow Showers    Night: Mostly cloudy with scattered snow showers. Lows around -9°F. Wind chill around -24°F. East wind to 8 MPH. Chance of precipitation near 50%.

Mon
23
Dec
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Benson-KMS gymnastics team continues strong

The Benson-KMS gymnastics team continued its strong season, winning a home meet with Long Prairie-Grey Eagle during Parent’s Night, Thursday in the Benson Armory, 129.85-117.675.
The score was a season-high for the Fighting Braves, who have just three seniors and juniors on this year’s team.
MiKaylie Hagen won the all-around for the Fighting Braves with a score of 33.95, while Shayla Burns was third, and Caitlin Flower was fourth.
The Benson-KMS gymnasts, who are 4-0 overall and 1-0 in the conference, have the week off to prepare for their next meet set for Saturday, Jan. 4 at the Marshall Tourney.
Benson-KMS has two more home meets over the course of the season -- Tuesday, Jan. 14 against Willmar, and Friday, Jan. 31 versus Morris Area-CA.

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.

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