News

Fri
27
Nov
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Annual Turkey Trot raises food, funds for Food Shelf

The Blue Stem Dental (formerly Benson Family Dental) annual Turkey Trot took off at 8 a.m. Thursday morning with runners,and walkers, donating funds and food for the Swift County Food Shelf.

Sat
21
Nov
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Swift County wins $4.95 million state broadband grant

Minnesota’s Lt. Governor Tina Smith (in red), presented Swift County and Federated Telephone Cooperative with a broadband grant check for $4.95 million Friday. Above are, from left, Mike Pogge-Weaver, Swift County Administrator; Erick Rudningen, Swift County Commissioner, District 5-Kerkhoven; Jennifer Frost, Swift County Rural Development Authority director; Lt. Gov. Smith; Kevin Beyer, General Manager of Federated Telephone; and Gary Hendrickx, Swift County Commissioner, District 1-Appleton.

Swift County and Federated Telephone Cooperative have received the highest award in this year’s latest round of funding for expansion of broadband services in Minnesota.

Friday the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) announced that Federated and Swift County had been awarded $4.95 million.

The project will deliver high-speed Internet service to 600 households, 425 businesses and 75 community institutions, DEED said.  The project affects 13 of the county’s 21 townships concentrated on area just east of the Benson city limits.

The area in Swift County included in the project is most of each of the following townships in the eastern half of the county: Kerkhoven, Hayes, Pillsbury, Dublin, Kildare, Camp Lake, Benson, Torning, Cashel, Swenoda, Six Mile Grove and Clontarf.

Thu
19
Nov
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City cemetery adding a columbarium

Benson’s City Council approved spending $34,770 to purchase a columbarium for the city cemetery. It will have to spend another $7,000 or more for sidewalks, a crane to unload the columbarium and other work around it when it is installed.

A columbarium, most of which are constructed of granite, is designed to hold the ashes of people who have been cremated.

Last year, the council set aside $40,000 in its 2015 budget for the purchase of a columbarium and associated work. It then tasked its cemetery committee to study columbariums and possible sites in the city cemetery where one could be located. Monday night the committee brought its recommendation to the council....

Thu
19
Nov
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Robert Grussing dies in accident Tuesday

 

At approximately 3:28 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 17, the Swift County Sheriff's Office received a 911 call of a vehicle in the ditch south of DeGraff on 70th St SE. 

The driver of vehicle, identified as Robert Grussing, 59, of DeGraff, had apparently died at the scene. 

It appeared from the investigation that the pickup was traveling northbound on Swift County Road 31.  His vehicle then apparently went into the southbound lane and into the ditch hitting 70th St. SE coming to a rest in a drainage ditch on the north side the road.  The cause of death is still under investigation. 

There were no other vehicles involved or any other people in the vehicle. Grussing was transported to the Ramsey Medical Examiners for an autopsy.  Responding agencies were Swift County Sheriff's Office, Murdock Fire, Murdock First Responders, Kerkhoven Fire and Rescue and Kerkhoven Ambulance. 

 

Thu
19
Nov
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Les Heitke joins Heartland Girls' Ranch

Les Heitke

As Benson-based Heartland Girls’ Ranch expands its operation focusing even more on helping young girls who have been sexually trafficked, it is making changes to its management team.

A significant step in that change took place Oct. 26 when it brought on Les Heitke to serve as the new executive officer and clinical director.

Heitke is a clinical psychologist with over 30 years of experience in private practice and has served with both Woodland Centers in Willmar and Project Turnabout in Granite Falls.  He was Willmar’s mayor for 16 years.      

The addition of Heitke as CEO and clinical director finalizes a restructuring period aimed at increasing the availability of mental health services on the HGR campus, Donita Ascheman, chair of the HGR board of directors, said.

“We are excited about the additional mental health services we can provide to our girls with Les heading up the leadership team,” she said....

Wed
11
Nov
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Remember the 15 inches of snow that fell Nov. 8-9, 2014?

A year ago today Benson was digging out from nearly 15 inches of snow that fell as a winter storm passed through western Minnesota Nov. 9 and 10. The high Nov. 11, 2014, set a record low reaching only 21 degrees.
November 2014 would enter the record books as the second snowiest with 17.2 inches of snow and the second coldest. Seven times during the month the temperature fell below zero including a minus 13 low Nov. 27.
What a sharp contrast in the November’s weather so far in 2015....
 

Wed
11
Nov
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BHS Presents ‘Bye Bye Birdie’

Benson High School is set to present “Bye Bye Birdie” this Friday through Sunday in the Junior High Auditorium.  Cast and crew went through a dress rehearsal, Sunday night.  Above, two of the main characters, Rose Alvarez (played by Elizabeth Langan), and Albert Peterson (played by Dylan McNeill), come up with a great idea to turn their fortunes around, but it will also turn the entire community of Sweet Apple, Ohio, around.

Mon
09
Nov
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Deer hunter shot near Holloway Saturday

Robert Schlieman, age 36, of Detroit Lakes, was accidentally shot while deer hunting in Swift County, north of Holloway, the Swift County Sheriff’s Office reported Saturday. The incident was reported at 12:15p.m.

A deer ran in between other hunters that Schlieman was hunting with when one of the hunters thought that the deer was far enough away and started shooting at it, the report said.  One of the slugs that was fired struck Schliemann in the left abdomen side of his body.

The Appleton Ambulance, Holloway First Responders and Swift County Sheriff’s Office along with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resourses responded to the scene.  Schlieman was transported by the Appleton Ambulance to the Appleton Area Health Services hospital and then airlifted to St. Cloud Hospital. He was in stable condition, according to the sheriff’s office. The incident is still under investigation. 

Wed
04
Nov
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City commits funds to golf club

Benson’s Golf Club will get its credit line paid off at the end of the year and a $60,000 cash infusion for operations for 2016.

That credit line draw, which could go as high as $150,000, is at around $115,000 today and could be as high as $130,000 by Dec. 31. The city council unanimously approved the expenditures at its meeting Monday night.

While Benson’s Golf Club is currently managed by a board of directors elected annually by the membership, the facility belongs to the City of Benson.

Wed
04
Nov
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November starts with warm days

Bill Dethloff putts on the 16th green at the Benson Golf Course Monday affernoon as the high hit 68 degrees. The average high for Nov. 2 is 49 degrees. Joining Dethloff are Paul Tatge, center, and Steve Collins.

Though Monday’s high of 68 was the warmest Nov. 2 high since it hit 70 degrees back in 2008, it was still 7 degrees short of the record high of 75 degrees set in 1978.

Tuesday the high hit 70 degrees in Benson, 5 degrees below the Nov. 3 record high of 76 degrees set in 1978. Wednesday the National Weather Service was forecasting a high of 67 degrees with much cooler temperatures coming Thursday with the high reaching 54 degrees but then falling through the day to a low of 34 degrees. Highs the rest of the week are in the 40s.

The average high for the first few days of November is 48 degrees with a low of 29 degrees. The month averages 5.21 inches of snow.

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