News

Wed
12
May
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Supporters of clocks for courthouse will have to find funds for them

“I think the fundraising has to be done before we make up our minds,” Swift County Commission Chair Joe Fox, District 4-Hegbert Township, told Jim Hilleren at the board’s meeting last Tuesday.
“If you raise the money, we can do something. For me, I am not going to use any tax money on this right now. We got other problems going on right now. That is my opinion.”
Hilleren was before the county board again asking that they consider updating the non-functioning clocks in the three faces of the courthouse clocktower.
In 1897, Swift County dedicated its new limestone and brick courthouse that featured a tall clocktower...

 

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Wed
12
May
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Early planting could mean good yields

Benson sets record low at 23 degrees Tuesday morning

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Farmers have made good progress with planting their crops this spring and that could mean some very good yields during the fall harvest.
“Historically, early planting of corn usually results in higher-than-average corn yields in Minnesota,” Farm Management Analyst Kent Thiesse writes in his column on Page 7. “In six of the eight years that 50 percent or more of the state’s corn acres have been planted in April, Minnesota has set a record corn yield.”
Based on the May 2 USDA Farm Planting Progress Report, more than 60 percent of the corn crop was in. As of Sunday, 85 percent of the corn crop and 65 percent of the soybean crop were planted.
“Similar to corn planting dates, research does show that with favorable growing conditions, there is a yield advantage to planting soybeans in late April or early May,” Thiesse writes.

Wed
12
May
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Pioneerland Band Festival set for June 14

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
There will be a Pioneerland Band Festival June 14, Supt. Dennis Laumeyer told the District 777 Board of Education at its meeting Monday night.
That also means there will be Benson High School marching band practice ahead as students who haven’t practiced marching for more than a year learn their steps.
Some of the younger students, who should have had their first year of marching band last year along with the group now coming up, will be practicing marching for the first time.
BHS Director of Bands Brock Duncan said Tuesday morning that there are 11 bands planning on coming to Benson Monday, June 14 – Flag Day. However, he added that those attending the parade will have to be prepared for a different look due to the lack of time to practice and COVID-19 rules.

Wed
05
May
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Benson to seek $600,000 grant for Armory

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
As much as $600,000 in financial aid from the State of Minnesota through the CARES Act could be used to preserve and renovate the Benson Armory.
At Monday night’s Benson City Council meeting, the city’s Economic Development Director Hillary Tweed said that she would need to spend considerable time between now and the end of the month writing the grant application for the funds. She asked the council to approve her devoting time to the grant application. The deadline for submitting the application is June 1.
Tweed also said that if the funds are awarded, the city will be required to adhere to the Davis-Bacon federal wage scale for the project. There will be other requirements as well that could take up to four hours of her time per week to track, she said.....

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Wed
05
May
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City approves $200,000 loan for CRM expansion

Loan is part of proposed $2.5 million project

Wed
05
May
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Area's fourth Prairie Five food distribution

The fourth Prairie Five free food distribution event took place last Wednesday afternoon.  A  total of 443 households were served during the most recent food distribution.  Another food distribution event has been set for May 26.

Wed
05
May
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Jazz-n-Pizazz Dancers

Friday, Saturday and Sunday area parents, grandparents, and friends were able to watch the Jazz-n-Pizazz Dancers perform their routines. This group features the kindergarten group: Back Row - Ana Olson, Kendall Kellner, Emma Petrick, and Kenlie O’Leary. Front Row - Adleigh Foss, Cora Kellner, Emma Schliep, and Gabriella O’Leary.

Wed
28
Apr
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Finding people to vaccinate a growing challenge

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
While Swift County-Benson Hospital recently saw a significant rise in the number of COVID-19 tests performed, there was good news in the results.
“We had a pretty significant rise in testing with just over 150 tests performed,” SCBHS Co-CEO and Chief Nursing Officer Melissa McGinty-Thompson told the facility’s governing board at its meeting Monday night. “However, we had the lowest positivity rate we have had for probably a couple of months. We were down to about 9.86 percent.”
McGinty-Thompson told the governing board that she didn’t believe the spike showed an increase in community-wide COVID-19 transmission but rather was the result of a couple focused exposures that required testing for close contacts....

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Wed
28
Apr
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Kerk-Murdock group moving ahead on trail between the communities

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
With the extraordinary patience and persistence required, the KMS Trailblazers group from the Kerkhoven and Murdock areas area gradually are pushing forward their dream of a trail between the communities.
For three years now they have gradually moved the project step by step closer to reality.
At the Swift County Board of Commissioners meeting last Tuesday, April 20, Dave Barrett gave an update on the progress of the effort. Barrett along with Alison Nelson, Terri Barrett, Pam Nelson, Naomi Lindquist, Bev Henjum, Janet Demuth, Jan Otto, Riley Bergstaller, and Shelly Lottman make up the group spear-heading the effort.
“This trail idea came up after a Blandin Community Leadership program approximately three years ago,” Barrett told commissioners. The program involves seven days of training and a retreat where community leaders come together to learn how to be more effective in moving their communities forward....

Wed
28
Apr
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County may create public works department

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
As it looks to the future organization of county government, the Swift County Board of Commissioners may be taking a new direction in the merging of two departments.
At its meeting last Tuesday, commissioners voted to eliminate the Parks, Drainage & Wetlands supervisor position. Rather than a supervisor, the county plans to hire a drainage inspector to replace current Supervisor Mike Johnson when he takes early retirement June 30.
Swift County may also be on the verge of ending its shared highway engineer position with Yellow Medicine County and create its own department of public works. A fulltime county highway engineer would then oversee highways, parks, drainage, and wetlands.

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