News

Thu
08
Aug
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Crop development lags due to cool weather, late planting

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

As of July 31, the USDA’s Swan Lake Research Farm near Morris had recorded 890 growing degree days (GDDs) with a starting date of May 1. The average for the end of July is 1,467.5, which is 48.5 more than we’ve seen.

However, many of the crops in the area did not get planted until two to three weeks after May 1. Since May 15, only 1,279 growing degree days have accumulated, 188 fewer than the May 1 to July 31 average.

Growing degree days are a measure of heat accumulation during a growing season and an indicator of crop progress. Warm days speed growth along while cool temperatures can cause development to slow down. Those cool temperatures can have an impact on yield. When growing degrees days are behind average, farmers generally look for a late frost to allow their crops to reach full maturity....

Thu
01
Aug
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Sen. Klobuchar serves Benson Bakery goods in her Washington, D.C. office

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Among the treats you might be served if visiting U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s office in Washington, D.C., are baked goods from the Benson Bakery.

Bakery owner Toby Johannessen said Monday that from time to time he will get a call from the Minnesota senator’s office for an order that he then sends next day air to her offices. Klobuchar, who is also a Democratic candidate for president, makes sure everyone knows where the treats are from.

The goods from the Benson Bakery were featured at Klobuchar’s weekly Thursday “Minnesota Morning” event at her Senate office.

“Locally owned shops and restaurants like Benson Bakery are key contributors to a flourishing Minnesota economy,” Klobuchar said...

Thu
01
Aug
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Benson gives order to raze or repair home

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

It’s not often that the City of Benson issues an order for a homeowner to tear down or repair a home, but July 22 the council conducted a special meeting for just that purpose.

The meeting was set to conduct a public hearing to take comments from homeowner Helen Flodstrom as well as from neighbors living around the home at 810 Kansas Avenue on the  east side of Benson.

For several years, the house has been a source of complaints from neighbors upset with what they saw as a persistent mess that detracted the look of the neighborhood. However, the property evolved from a nuisance to a hazardous structure. After an inspection by Benson Building Inspector Mike Jacobson, a long list of deficiencies with the property were pointed out...

Thu
01
Aug
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Hands-free phone law to be enforced starting Thursday

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

It is going to be an educational process that could be financially painful for those not willing to comply with the new Minnesota hands-free phone law that takes effect Thursday.

 “Under the new hands-free law, basically the way we enforce it is if the phone is in your hand, that is a violation of the new law,” Benson Chief of Police Ian Hodge said Monday.

The new law allows a driver to use a cell phone to make calls, text, listen to music or podcasts and get directions, but only by voice commands or single-touch activation without holding the phone. Single touch means a swipe or a touch, not scrolling, or dialing or other multi-touch activities.

Wed
24
Jul
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500 bikers are coming to Benson Thursday

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Get ready for an estimated 500 bicyclists and 125 support people coming into Benson Thursday afternoon and evening. They are participating in the annual ride to raise money for the fight against Multiple Sclerosis (MS.)

Most are expected to be staying overnight in Benson, camping out at Ambush Park or staying at the Country Inn. The bikers will be coming in from Ortonville between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Many will visit the downtown area, shopping in local stores.

The community is asked to join the bikers to extend its local hospitality. The public is asked to join the bikers and their support staff at Ambush Park for free entertainment. There will also be food and a beer garden.

The entertainment includes:

4 to 5:20 p.m. – Doug Tatge with Sound Design

5:25 to 5:45 p.m. - Eleanor Habben

5:50 to 6:20 p.m. - Claire Ricard and Olivia Hoffman

Wed
24
Jul
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RDC asks county for input on critical challenges

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

With offices in Appleton, the Upper Minnesota Valley Regional Development Commission serves the planning and economic development needs of local units of government in Swift, Chippewa, Yellow Medicine, Lac qui Parle and Big Stone counties.

It helps counties, cities and townships with infrastructure planning, comprehensive community plans, zoning, grant writing and administration, recreational development surveys and hazard mitigation planning. It is funded through the State of Minnesota and by tax levies in the five counties.

After she outlined the service the RDC provides to the Swift County Board of Commissioners at their meeting July 16, Executive Director Dawn Hegland had a question for board members.

Wed
24
Jul
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Heat index hits 107 in Benson

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Sultry air to compare to a tropical jungle settled over Minnesota Friday creating dangerous heat index temperatures.

When the high temperature reached 91 degrees in Benson, the dew point had reached an extraordinarily rare 79 degrees creating a heat index of 107 degrees. But it was even hotter to Benson’s southwest.

Madison saw a high of 93 degrees combined with a dew point of 81 degrees for a heat index of 113 degrees. Appleton’s high of 91 degrees combined with a dew point of 81 degrees for a heat index of 110 degrees.

The heat index is a measure of how hot it feels to your body. When dew points are high it is more difficult for the body to sweat and cool itself...

Wed
24
Jul
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Prairie 5 is possiblity for GROW building

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Before Swift County’s Board of Commissioners can decide whether or not it would like to see the Prairie 5 Food Shelf and clothing facility go into the former Lewis Drug store, it has to learn more about its future building needs.

Commissioner Pete Peterson, District 3-south Benson and Torning Township recently met at the building on Atlantic Avenue in downtown Benson with Swift County Rural Development Director Jennifer Frost, Prairie 5 County Director Angela Nissen, Region Prairie 5 Executive Director Deb Larson and County Administrator Kelsey Baker.

Wed
17
Jul
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Julie Urke and ‘Smackers’ honored for therapy work

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

For Benson resident Julie Urke the benefits of working with her dog Smackers in canine a therapy program has been “unreal. It has filled a void in my life that I didn’t even know existed.” If Smackers could talk, he would he would echo her heart-felt sentiments.

Those she and Smackers work with see it the other way around - the two are filling voids in their lives, easy pain and loneliness, calming anxiety and fear, and providing companionship.

Her work with the Carris Health Rice Hospice Training program, and her outreach to others who need a therapy dog, earned Urke the 2018-2019 Outstanding Hospital Volunteer of the Year award from the Minnesota Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Auxiliary Department. It was presented at the at the VFW State Convention June 14 for her devotion to veterans.

Wed
17
Jul
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Benson celebrates 89th annual Kid Day this weekend

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Benson’s 89th annual Kid Day officially takes place this Saturday and Sunday, however, activities for the community event are also planned throughout the week.

The theme of this year’s Kid Day is “Celebrating Kids”.

•  The Kid Day Medallion Hunt started Monday and continue each day through Friday,or until the medallion is found.  The clues are available daily on the front door of the Benson Library, on KSCR from 7-9 a.m. each day, and on the Benson Kid Day Facebook page.  The top prize for the youth who finds the Kid Day medallion is $100.

•  Krazy Daze in Benson is set for Thursday with local businesses offering sidewalk sales and special offers.  Look for ads in this week’s Monitor-News for great Krazy Daze deals.

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