News

Fri
04
Apr
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Fabric shelters need to be gone by May 1

Last October, the Benson City Council voted to give property owners in the city who have erected fabric shelters until May 1 to remove the shelters. That deadline is now less than a month away.
At its October meeting, the council voted to send the following letter to city residents with the fabric structures on their property:
“In an effort to improve the conditions of our city, the city council has decided to step up enforcement of its zoning ordinance.
“This letter is being sent to make sure you are aware of one of the provisions of the zoning ordinance, section 154.025 subdivision G(2), which states, “Accessory buildings constructed primarily of canvas, plastic fabric, or other similar non –permanent building materials shall be prohibited.”

Fri
04
Apr
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BNSF challenges city right to issue tickets

As parents living south of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) tracks were getting ready to pick their children up at the Northside Elementary School, a slow moving train came to a full stop on the tracks.  
It is about 2:40 in the afternoon Thursday.  A heavy wet snow was falling, creating slushy conditions on roads and sidewalks.
The Northside students, children in pre-kindergarten through fourth grade, get out of school at 2:57 p.m. Students at the middle school and high school get out at 3:01 p.m.
As the students grabbed their backpacks and coats, heading for the doors and a ride home, the train still sat blocking the three downtown Benson crossings. The line of cars and trucks backed up on either side of the tracks were now a several blocks long. That line on the north side of the tracks grew longer as departing high school students added their vehicles to it.

Wed
26
Mar
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Miller gets Republican endorsement; will challenge Falk in District 17A

Republican Tim Miller will get another chance to unseat incumbent Democratic-Farmer-Labor Rep. Andrew Falk in Minnesota House District 17A this fall.
Miller, a resident of Prinsburg, was endorsed by Republicans Saturday at their district convention in Benson. He won the endorsement over retired MACCRAY High School teacher and coach Gary Nelson receiving 66 percent of the vote on the first ballot.
District 17A is made up of Swift and Chippewa counties, most of Renville County, and the four southwestern Kandiyohi County townships of Edwards, Holland, Roseland and Lake Lillian.
Falk, of rural Murdock, won a third term in the Minnesota House defeating challenger Miller in the November 2012 race. It was the first election in the newly-drawn state House districts based on the 2010 Census. Falk won two elections in the old District 20A House district.

Photo:  Tim Miller will challenge Rep. Andrew Falk.
 

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.

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