News

Wed
26
Mar
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Highway 29 detour starts in July

Starting in July, the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) will be milling down 11 miles of Minnesota Highway 29 south from the Benson city limits to Minnesota Highway 40. It will also be replacing three bridges.
It is estimated the $6.5 million project will be completed in October. During the nearly four months that the work is underway, the highway will be closed.
That will mean traffic heading south from Benson will be detoured. The MnDot official detour out of Benson has drivers taking U.S. Highway 12 east to DeGraff where they will be detoured on Swift County 31 south. The highway becomes Chippewa County 4 7.7 miles south of DeGraff. It is then another 3 miles to Minnesota Highway 40. Drivers will take a right on Highway 40 and travel 6 miles west to where Highway 40 and Minnesota Highway 29 join.

Wed
12
Mar
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State wants to see changes in Swift County Assessor’s Office

February 14 the Minnesota Department of Revenue was in Swift County to evaluate the operations and practice of the Swift County Assessor’s Office.
“Overall, it was a very positive review,” County Administrator Mike Pogge-Weaver told county commissioners at their meeting March 4. “They noted vast improvements in the office over previous years. However, they did note that there are a number of areas that we need to improve on and recommended that the county consider adding staff in the department.
“Specifically, they recommended that the role of assessing properties in the county be transferred from the assessor to an appraiser,” he said. Their concern is that if the assessor is doing the appraisals, and there is an appeal, there could be a conflict of interest, he added.
How can it be a conflict of interest? Commissioner Gary Landmark, District 1-Appleton, asked.

Wed
12
Mar
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Entering the wet & muddy season

Minnesota Department of Transportation crews tried to repair potholes in U.S Highway 12 (Atlantic Avenue) Monday. But with the high reaching 50 degrees in Benson, snowmelt creates large pools of water on the roadway making the job more difficult.  Some of the deep potholes can catch a driver by surprise when they lie obscured under a larger pool of water.

 

Photo: The crews repaired potholes as they dodged vehicles spraying water.

Fri
07
Mar
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Benson Schools closed today - Friday; icy conditions hamper travel

Icy roads forced Benson schools to close for the day, though  with the warming temperatures, the conditions are slowly improving at midday.

A jacknifed semi by the overpass east of Kerkhoven is making traffic to be re-routed at this time (8 a.m.).

Highway 9 east of Benson is glare ice.

Roads between Benson and Maccray are also glare ice with travel under 20 miles per hour.

The state highway map "511" this morning is lit up with purple over most of the state - indicating difficult travel conditions.

Other school closings around the area include BBE (Belgrade/Brooten/Elrosa), Canby, Hancock, Lac Qui Parle, Minnewaska Area, Morris Area Schools (Morris and Cyrus) and St. Mary's School in Morris.

 

The official weather advisory:

Tue
04
Mar
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Benson Fire Department looking at replacing aerial truck

Fire calls up slightly in 2013

Tue
04
Mar
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Family with Benson ties fights to make medical marijuana legal

For one Minnesota family, the current session of the state Legislature has one issue before it that rises above all others: Will the state approve the sale and use of medical marijuana?
Among those waiting anxiously to see what the state Legislature will do are Mick and Marlys Boone of Benson. They have a seven-year-old granddaughter who suffers from debilitating and frequent epileptic seizures. The chemicals in medical marijuana have proven to be the one drug that provides hope for Greta Botker to have a better life.
Greta is the daughter of Maria and Mark Botker of Clinton; Maria is a 1994 graduate of Benson High School and the daughter of Mick and Marlys Boone. The Botkers also have two other daughters, Emma and Lora.

Fri
28
Feb
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Humane Society of Swift County gets reservation dogs

The Humane Society of Swift County has received several dogs in a new push to re-home animals from the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

The animals were picked up this past weekend and went to foster homes in the Benson area.

Nonprofit organizations in Southwest South Dakota have secured funds to help address the dog overpopulation problem at the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.
The organizations say the money will cover the costs of spaying, neutering or relocating dogs to shelters in South Dakota, Colorado, Wyoming and Minnesota.
Lakota Animal Care will have a spaying and neutering clinic at the reservation for Tuesday and Wednesdays, which will continue twice a month through the year.

The group also plans on relocating the first 40 dogs to Minnesota shelters, the Humane Society of Swift County among the receivers.

One of the "Rez Pets" that was adopted:

Wed
26
Feb
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Blocked Benson crossings lead to tickets for BNSF

For more than 20 minutes last Thursday frustrated drivers sat at Benson’s three downtown intersections as a Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) train sat motionless, blocking the crossings. The extended blockage earned the engineer a ticket.
As one startled driver waited, she was shocked to see a young person fed up with waiting crawl beneath the idle train to get to the other side.
Benson Police Chief Ian Hodge says Thursday’s ticket was the fourth BNSF has received in less than a year for blocking the three downtown crossings for an extended period.
State statute says that, “No railway corporation shall permit a public road or street crossing a railroad track to be closed for traffic by a standing car, train, engine, or other railroad equipment, or by a switching movement which continuously blocks a crossing for longer than 10 minutes. This subdivision does not apply to cities of the first class, which regulate obstruction of streets by ordinance.”

Wed
26
Feb
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Swift County committs $50,000 toward a veterans home in Monte

Swift County is committing $50,000 toward a proposed veterans home to be built in Montevideo.
At their meeting Tuesday, Feb. 18, the board of commissioners voted unanimously to commit the funds though they won’t be needed for perhaps three to four years. The amount matches pledges already made by Lac qui Parle and Yellow Medicine counties.
A delegation from Montevideo and Chippewa County met with the Swift County commissioners to ask for the financial support. They have already committed $3 million to the $33.01 million project.
The delegation was seeking Swift County support as they prepare to head to St. Paul to meet with members of the state Legislature in hopes of getting the project included in the state bonding bill. They also need Gov. Mark Dayton’s backing.

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