News

Thu
13
Aug
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Thunderstorms and possible strong storms Thursday (today)

A severe thunderstorm with possible hail is moving into the central Minnesota area this morning. 
Strong winds and possible hail are forecast. 
In addition the pollen alert is moderate today and will be high Friday through Sunday.
 
Today
Scattered showers and thunderstorms, mainly between 10am and 4pm. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 84. Southwest wind 5 to 10 mph becoming west northwest in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 50%. New rainfall amounts of less than a tenth of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.
Tonight
Tue
04
Aug
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Repeat texting and driving offenders face stiffer penalties

REPEAT OFFENDERS OF STATE TEXTING LAW FACE HIGHER FINES THIS MONTH
Drivers who repeatedly choose texting over safety while behind the wheel risk a higher fine for violating the law as of Saturday. Under the enhanced law, drivers face a $225 fine for second and subsequent violations of the texting while driving law, in addition to the current $50 fine, bringing the total to $275.
In Minnesota, it is illegal for drivers to read, compose or send texts and emails, and access the web while the vehicle is in motion or a part of traffic. That includes sitting at a stoplight or stop sign. It is also illegal for drivers with a permit or provisional driver’s license to use a cell phone while driving, except for emergencies to call 911.

Tue
04
Aug
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SCBH considers contracting for eEmergency room services

Later this fall if you have to make a trip to the Swift County-Benson Hospital emergency room there is a good chance an experienced ER doctor is going to be monitoring your case.
SCBH is in the process of signing an agreement with Avera McKennan Hospital & University Health Center’s eCare services based in Sioux Falls, S.D.
Avera has become the nation’s leader in providing tele-medicine services to community hospitals. Though it is primarily focused on the upper Midwest states now, it services are spreading across the country.
eEmergency service provides two-way video equipment in local rural emergency rooms linked to emergency room trained physicians and specialists at a central hub in Sioux Falls 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Glenwood, Appleton, Madison and Dawson are all using eEmergency services.

Wed
29
Jul
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SCBH approves purchase of new security cameras

Swift County-Benson Hospital is spending $17,336 for the purchase of a video security system for outside its building as well as an upgrade of interior cameras.
At its meeting Monday night, the hospital governing board unanimously approved the purchase and installation of cameras that will monitor all four sides of its building.
There will be four cameras each with a 180-degree view. They will cover not only the hospital, but the Affiliated Community Medical Centers as well.
It will also take the security system off of the hospital’s computer network. Security systems linked to computers are one of the openings through which hackers can gain access to a hospital’s medical records, CEO Kurt Waldbillig told the governing board. “So we are taking it off of that network,” he said.
The system also will allow the hospital to give the Benson Police Department access to its cameras.

 

Wed
29
Jul
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County to back Federated’s broadband grant application

Swift County again has pledged bond funds to help Federated Telephone expand broadband fiber optic cable to unerved areas in the eastern half of the county. However, the costs have gone up substantially.
Last October, the county approved bonding for up to $5 million with the funds going to Federated as part of a $10 million project. Federated had agreed to make the bond payments over a 20-year period. It also agreed to pay the bonding issuing costs.
County backing was essential to the broadband grant application Federated was submitting to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) for a $5 million grant.
Federated’s grant application to the state lost out in stiff competition for limited funds. Last year DEED received funding requests for $44.2 million for 40 projects around the state, but there was only $20 million in funds available.

Wed
29
Jul
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County developing strategy for state to use Appleton prison

Minnesota’s Department of Corrections (DOC) will be seeking state approval for $85 to $100 million in bonding to add 500 beds to its Rush City prison facility in the coming year. The facility currently houses 1,000 adult males.
Before the state Legislature considers approving building new prison beds, it should consider first using the 1,600-bed Prairie Correctional Facility in Appleton, Swift County and Appleton officials believe.
 “Obviously with a closed prison facility in Appleton, we think there is a better alternative,” Swift County Administrator Mike Pogge-Weaver said at the board of commissioner’s meeting July 20. “So we made a request with CCA to discuss this. They are going to be out here in Swift County in early August so that we can kind of strategize together to tell our story. One of the things that we should look at doing is hiring a PR (public relations) and lobbying firm to help us craft that message.”

Wed
29
Jul
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‘Red Bull’ Band to conclude summer concert series

The 34th Infantry Division “Red Bull” Band will conclude the 2015 Summer Concert Series at the bandstand at Riverview Park in Appleton, with a patriotic concert Tuesday, August 4. Their concert begins at 7 p.m.
The 34th Red Bull Band is a Minnesota Army National Guard element stationed in Rosemount. The Red Bull Band provides music throughout the spectrum of military operations to instill in our forces the will to fight and win, foster the support of our citizens, and promote our national interests at home and abroad.
Officially organized April 30, 1900, the 34th Infantry Division Band has seen service in WW I, WW II, and the Global War on Terrorism, among other conflicts.

Thu
23
Jul
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Kid Day royalty named

Benson Kid Day Committee Chairman Roger Ebnet introduces 2015-16 Kid Day King Tyler Kent, son of Jesse and Lisa Kent of Clontarf, and Queen Abbey Brown, daughter of Wesley and Amber Brown of rural Appleton, during the coronation ceremonies in Roosevelt Park Saturday afternoon.

The children this year were chosen by a "blind" questionnaire on many items, including their volunteerism.

Thu
23
Jul
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Storm brings heavy rain; 61 mph wind gusts

Friday night a line of severe thunderstorms swept through western Minnesota bringing damaging winds, hail and heavy rain. At 9:40 p.m. lightening arched across the western sky as the storm rolled in with winds still relatively calm out of the east at just 7 mph.
Ten minutes later winds were out of the northwest gusting to 46 mph. By 10:15 gusts at the Benson Airport had reached 61 mph as non-stop lightening lit up the landscape, giving glimpse of the driving rain and trees bent over in the wind.
As the storms passed over the community, the city’s sirens went off warning people to take cover. No tornados were sighted in the area and there were no radar-indicated funnel clouds in the immediate area. However, the siren was sounded because straight-line winds were expected to reach 70 mph, Chief of Police Ian Hodge said.

Thu
23
Jul
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City drinking water tests high for copper

Copper levels in Benson’s water supply have tested at a level requiring action by the city to notify its citizens at multiple locations around the community.
Under the federal Clean Drinking Water Act, the city is required to test for copper and lead at sites around the community regularly. The water samples are generally taken at curb stops, the Benson City Council was told at its meeting Monday night.
In tests run a couple months ago, the levels of copper exceeded federal standards at more than a dozen sample sites. Lead levels were within the federal limits.
 Public Works Director Dan Gens told the council that elevated levels of copper had first been discovered eight months ago.  He explained the city had determined the cause to be a new formula base for polyphosphate that is put into the water pipes to main water quality and reduce copper and lead levels.

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