News

Fri
19
Dec
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Public Meetings January 6 and 7

The District 777 Board of Education has scheduled a pair of public meetings for Tuesday and Wednesday, Jan. 6-7 to gather input from the public on a proposed facilities improvement project.
“The board will share a proposed draft of the project and seek public input; it is a simple as that,” Supt. Dennis Laumeyer said Tuesday morning.
The board has met several times already as it tries to narrow down options for the facilities improvement project, which will come before the district voters in the form of a bond referendum sometime this spring.
The board is seeking comments and ideas from members of the community before it finalizes plans for the multi-million dollar project.
Both meetings are set for 5:30-6:30 p.m. in the junior high auditorium.

Fri
19
Dec
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City approves 2.2% increase in tax levy

The Benson City Council approved a 2.2 percent property tax increase Monday night. It calls for $1,348,020 in taxes for 2015 compared to $1,321,981 this year, an increase of $26,039.
The city’s total revenues are expected to increase $78,105 to $3,623,892. Expenditures are increasing $134,909 over 2014 to $3,630,642. Whereas the city had budgeted for a surplus of just over $50,000 last year, it is budgeting for a $6,750 deficit this coming year.
One of the reasons the city is looking at a deficit is that it included a $3,500 payment out of the Tourism Board funds for the Pioneerland Band Festival.
City property owners also will be paying $75,705 in taxes to pay down the general obligations bonds approved by voters to pay for the Benson outdoor swimming pool renovation. That is an increase of $4,809 over last year.

Wed
10
Dec
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Santa Truck delights scores of youth

Thanks to a community effort led by the Benson Women of Today, the Santa truck was able to visit several communities in the Benson area.  Mrs. Claus and Santa visit with a young girl at the Santa Truck event, Saturday night at the Benson Fire Hall.  Santa visited with over 100 area youth in Benson alone, listening to their Christmas wishes and giving each a bag full of treats.  The Santa Truck also visited GLC-Meadow Lane, Clontarf, Danvers, and DeGraff.

Wed
10
Dec
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County approves funds for helipad

Swift County will contribute $13,333 toward the cost of constructing a helipad two blocks west of the Swift County-Benson Hospital.
The site is a vacant lot just to the east of the Civic Center and north of Swift County Human Services building. It is projected that constructing the helipad will cost $20,000, but planning costs will also be another $20,000. The City of Benson is picking up one-third of the  $40,000 cost with SCBH paying for the other one-third.
The city will also have to bury power lines at a cost of $75,000 to $80,000. Benson owns the land the helipad is to be constructed on and is donating for the project.
The helipad will include a 42-square foot concrete landing pad, lighting and a windsock. The city has engaged Landteam, Inc., of Alexandria to do the engineering for the site.

Wed
10
Dec
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Alliance receives loan from Agralite

Work to convert the former Kinder-Morgan propane tank facility from one that once supplied by pipeline to one supplied by rail has received critical funding through Agralite Electric Cooperative of Benson.
Alliance Midstream LLC, which was developed to keep the terminal operational, has received a $500,000 loan through Agralite to facilitate the acquisition of the longtime propane delivery terminal just west of Benson along U.S. Highway 12. Funds will also help with construction of the rail car offloading facility.
“We’re extremely pleased to be able to help Alliance Midstream keep what has long been an extremely critical propane terminal operating in our area,” Agralite Electric General Manager Kory Johnson said. “Agralite Electric members depend on this resource and it’s been an important piece of our community for decades.”

Thu
04
Dec
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Lady Storm fall twice at Willmar Invitational

The Lady Storm ran into some tough teams at the Willmar Invitational, Friday and Saturday as MBA fell to Long Prairie-Grey Eagle-WDC in the first game, Friday, 5-0, and then lost to Austin in the third place game, Saturday, 9-1.
Willmar went on to win the four-team title, beating Austin in the semifinals and LPGE-WDC in the championship game.
MBA fell to 1-4 overall with the two losses and is 1-0 in the Southwest Conference after a 5-2 win over Worthington the previous weekend.
MBA is set to host Park Rapids, Thursday, Dec. 4 in Morris before hosting Litchfield-DC, Tuesday, Dec. 9 in Benson.  After that, the Lady Storm will play LPGE-WDC for the third time this season when they travel up north, Thursday, Dec. 11.

Photo:  Lady Storm in action.

Thu
04
Dec
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Benson High School awarded $25,000 from State Farm contest

Benson High School was awarded $25,000 from State Farm through the “Celebrate My Drive” contest.  In the picture above Mark Frank (back row, third from left) presented a check for $25,000 to BHS.  Ten percent of the money is designated toward safe driving, but the rest of the money will be divided among many different BHS organizations.  In the front row of the picture from left to right are Adam Foslien, Jonas Grossman, Trevor Berreau, Kathy Ahrndt, Shannon Schmidt, Kali Geyer, and Nicole Berens.  In back are Andrew Falk, Mayor Paul Kittelson, Mark Frank, Roger Ebnet, Scott Gonnerman, Brock Duncan, Barb Schwarz, Kendra Razink and Roger Lindahl.

Thu
04
Dec
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International snowmobile race to pass through county

February will see an international snowmobile race pass through northwestern Swift County as participants near the end of a 500-mile trek that takes them from Winnipeg, Canada, to Willmar.
Racers in the 2015 Seven Clans I-500 will enter the U.S. at Pembina, ND, crossing into Minnesota in the far northwestern corner of the state near Humbolt. They then travel southeast toward Karlstad, Thief River Falls, and Bemidji. From Bemidji racers head south and a little west toward Alexandria.
From Alexandria they go by Lowry, Starbuck and Swift Falls, where there will be a fuel stop for racers as they head to the finish line in Willmar at Robins Island.
Northern Lights Trail Snowmobile Club President Brent Hill, of Benson, said that the local club will be working with the race organizers and racers to ensure their trek through Swift County goes well.

Fri
07
Nov
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School board asks Benson to consider funding walking track

As part of an extensive renovation and expansion project at Benson Public Schools, the board of education is proposing to construct a new gymnasium on the north side of the school.
That new gym will be needed as the district turns what was the old junior high auditorium into a facility dedicated to the arts. There would no longer be any sports played on the raised floor in the building.
Further, the district is looking at eliminating the indoor swimming pool and repurposing it to house the school’s gymnastics program. The room could also be used for indoor tennis, batting practice with cages for both softball and baseball, and golf practice.
The Monitor-News will publish a more detailed story on the full scope of the project that the school board is contemplating in next week’s newspaper.

Fri
07
Nov
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Benson native Aurora Whittet releases second novel

Author Aurora Whittet grew up in Benson “as a wild red-haired child in Minnesota dreaming up stories for her friends to read.” Now with the release of her second novel, she is reaching a far wider audience and providing her readers with a strong message about taking on the challenges in life.
Whittet’s first book, Bloodmark, came out in November 2013. Her second book in the series, Bloodrealms, was released last Friday and is now available on Amazon.
To get a flavor of what her books are about, you only need to read her first book’s teaser on Amazon:
“Sixteen-year-old werewolf princess Ashling Boru is different from other wolves - she was able to shift to a wolf at birth. Rather than bringing pride to her family, it brings fear, and she is sent to live in Ireland’s secluded countryside.

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