News

Fri
10
Jun
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CVEC celebrating 20 years helping farmers, area

CVEC’s board of directors

It started as the dream of a farmer and rural electric co-op manager. One wanted to see a better corn price for the region’s farmers while the other was looking to stabilize his company’s electric sales. Both were looking to improve the economic strength of the area.

John Carruth was a crop and dairy farmer living south of Danvers while the late Ray Millett was the general manager of Agralite Cooperative. With Millett and Carruth leading the effort, a group of area farmers formed a board in 1995 to begin exploring construction of an ethanol plant near Benson. Their dream was realized a year later when in 1996 the Chippewa Valley Ethanol Company (CVEC) began producing ethanol.

Fri
03
Jun
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SCBH seeks ways to finance assisted living facility

Swift County-Benson Hospital would like to start work on a $12.445 million assisted living/memory care facility on land south of Scofield Place yet this fall.

It would also like to begin work on the $5.75 million restructuring project, changing the current layout of the hospital to better serve in-patient and outpatient clients, and provide for more efficient use of staff.

How to finance the projects has yet to be figured out. At the May 23 SCBH Governing Board meeting, CEO Kurt Waldbillig said the hospital is considering using Scofield Place with its 501c3 status and sound financial history to be the lead in seeking financing for the assisted living/memory care part of the project.
 

“Honestly, where the hospital is at financially for the last three years has been an issue,” Waldbillig said of its ability to go the market to seek a loan or bonding.
 

Fri
03
Jun
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Drivdahl critically injured while fleeing police officers

As he fled Benson police, Bernie Drivdahl smashed into Juan Reyes’ pickup on 12th Street South, shoving it up against Deb Beyer’s house. Drivdahl’s pickup continued through a hedge, across an alley, and into a vacant house to the north. He is currently hospitalized in St. Cloud with multiple fractures and other injuries.

People living along 12th Street South near Minnesota Avenue in Benson were awakened just before 1 a.m. Sunday by two loud bangs.

For no one were the sounds of Bernard Michael Drivdahl’s small pickup smashing into a parked pickup on 12th street louder than for Deb Beyer. Drivdahl’s pickup blasted a parked pickup owned by Juan Reyes off the street and into her front porch before plowing through a hedge and into the neighboring house to the north. She was among the group of people gathered outside as law enforcement and the Benson Fire Department worked to ensure the scene was safe.
When Drivdahl’s pickup hit the house at 312 12th Street South, which is for sale with no one living in it, it hit the natural gas meter breaking a pipe. Law enforcement and the Swift County-Benson Hospital ambulance crew had to extricate Drivdahl from his vehicle while gas was still leaking from a broken pipe.

Thu
26
May
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Plan calls for adding classrooms for early childhood education

School board focuses on work at Northside school

After looking at a maintenance and construction 10-year plan that could have totaled $11.5 to $14 million District 777’s Board of Education is now looking at plan that is closer to $8.4 million to $11.9 million.

The current proposal presented by Supt. Dennis Laumeyer has the board taking no action in 2016 to ask property taxpayers for additional funding. However, in 2017 it will be seeking funding for both a new operating levy and for construction of an addition to the Northside Elementary School for early childhood classrooms. The plan also calls for a substantial renovation of the Northside’s kitchen and the addition of a lunchroom.

It is estimated that the addition of six pre-school classrooms to the Northside would cost around $3.2 million. “If you put on a preschool facility, you are making a commitment to Northside for many, many years,” Laumeyer told the board at its May 16 meeting.

Fri
20
May
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BHS Senior High Spring Concert

Brock Duncan directs the Concert Band during its portion of the senior high (grades 9-12) Spring Concert.

Pictured, Brock Duncan directs the Concert Band during its portion of the senior high (grades 9-12) Spring Concert, Monday night in the Jr. High Auditorium.  Also included in the concert were the Varsity Band, Concert Choir, and Freshman Girls’ Choir.

For more coverage of school events and sports, as well as local and regional news, subscribe to the Swift County Monitor-News print edition or our PDF internet edition. Call 320-843-4111 and you can get all the local news and sports delivered to you!

 

Did you know the Swift County Monitor-News prints photos like this one?

Give us the date, page and subject of the photo and we will print it on archival quality photo paper. Makes a great gift!
Stop in, call or email us for more information or to order photo prints.
320-843-4111 or ads@monitor-news.com
 

Fri
20
May
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Benson is offered elevator for $190,000

Owners of the large concrete and wood grain elevator along Minnesota Highway 9 west have approached the City of Benson about buying the site.

Owners of the large concrete and wood grain elevator along Minnesota Highway 9 west have approached the City of Benson about buying the site.

For $190,000, the owners have said they will level the elevator to bare ground and turn the site over to Benson, City Manager Rob Wolfington told the city council Monday night.

The purchase is not essential for any city project, he told the council and a decision is not needed any time soon. But Wolfington said he wanted to put it before council members for them to think about.
Benson’s council has looked at the property in the past, but the permits alone to tear it down would cost $20,000 with the demolition another $120,000 or more.

For more, subscribe to the Swift County Monitor-News print edition or our PDF internet edition. Call 320-843-4111 and you can get all the local news and sports delivered to you!
 

 

Fri
20
May
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Highways 9, 12 & 29 will be torn up in 2017

MnDOT gave the Benson City Council an overview of the work that will be done.

Next year the Minnesota Department of Transportation will be doing an extensive highway reconstruction project through Benson resurfacing Highways 12, 9 and 29. It will also be enlarging the intersections at both stoplights for better turning radiuses. Another part of the project will be bringing all the sidewalks along the highways up to current Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards.  Monday night Justin Knoph, an engineer with the MnDOT’s District 4 office in Detroit Lakes who will over see the ADA portion of the project, gave the Benson City Council an overview of the work that will be done.

To continue following this story, subscribe to the Swift County Monitor-News print edition or our PDF internet edition. Call 320-843-4111 and you can get all the local news and sports delivered to you!
 

Wed
11
May
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BHS students win national BPA title

Benson High School students Courtney Johnson (second from left), Krista Hilleren, Hanna Lindblad, and Ashley Tolifson (second from right) on the awards podium after being announced as the National BPA champions.

Benson High School won another National BPA title during the National BPA Leadership Conference, May 5-9 at Boston, MA.

Winning a national title this year was the Administrative Support Team of Krista Hilleren, Ashley Tolifson, Courtney Johnson, and Hanna Lindblad (pictured).

Benson High School also had a second-place winner in Olivia Vergin, who placed second in the Integrated Office Applications contest, and a few more top-10 finishes, including Anneka Duncan in Fundamental Accounting; Erin Dubbels in Intermediate Word Processing; Rachel Ecklund in Advanced Word Processing; Marta Zurn in Integrated Office Application; Jaydon Smith in Advanced Spreadsheet Applications; Elizabeth Langan in Administrative Support Research Project; and Beau Norby in Digital Publishing.  

A complete recap of the BHS students’ success at the National BPA contest will appear in next week’s Monitor-News.

Wed
04
May
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School board faces tough future spending questions

Early childhood class space, junior high, pool all part of discussion

As it refines its $11.5 to $14 million comprehensive maintenance and upgrade 10-year plan for District 777’s school buildings, three key questions will have to be answered by the board of education.

Does the district want to invest over $2 million in junior high classroom space that was constructed in 1928 and 1950, or tear it down and build new classrooms?

Does it want to invest in new early childhood classroom space at the Northside Elementary to meet the growing need for providing education to the youngest children in the community? Such an investment is seen as key to attracting, and keeping, young families in the community.

And, what does it want to do with an indoor swimming poor that is underutilized but expensive to maintain?

Wed
04
May
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Northside will see parking restrictions

Benson Northside in Benson, MN

To make picking up and dropping off children at the Northside Elementary School safer and easier, the City of Benson will be expanding the no parking area in front of the building as well as across the street.

Though the curb in front of the school is painted yellow, indicating that it is a no parking area, Chief of Police Ian Hodge to the city council Monday night that people would often leave their vehicles there for extended periods. Some people leave their cars for the day while others might be parked for 15 or 20 minutes.

When cars are parked across the street from the school, and others stopped for extended periods in front of it, it makes the lanes of traffic even more narrow and congested. It is a problem that is especially challenging in the morning hours when people seem to be in more of a rush, Hodge told the council.

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