March 2016

Thu
31
Mar
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Grant Herfindahl named state FSA head

New FSA Director Grant Herfindahl enjoys the solitude of his rural Swift County farm.

With Grant Herfindahl’s appointment to head the Minnesota Farm Service Agency, the two top positions in state agriculture are now headed by two men who grew up farming in Swift County. He joins Dave Frederickson, Minnesota’s commissioner of Agriculture, in St. Paul in serving the state’s agricultural community.

Frederickson, who served four years in the Minnesota Senate and whose district included Swift County, is a former president of both the Minnesota Farmer's Union and National Farmer's Union. He served on Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s staff advising her on agricultural issues. He was also a fourth-generation family farmer from north of Murdock, but has sold his farm and now lives in the Twin Cities.

Thu
31
Mar
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Public hearings set for Federated Telephone broadband expansion

When Swift County agreed to aid Federated Telephone Company with the expansion of broadband services to the eastern half of the county, it committed to bonding for $7.5 million.

Overall, the project is expected to cost $12.5 million with a $4.95 million state Border-to-Border Broadband Grant covering part of the cost of the project, which is to start in the coming monthsl

The proposed tax abatement bond sale will actually be for $7.785 million, Swift County Administrator Mike Pogge-Weaver told the board of commissioners at their meeting March 15. The additional $285,000 is for the cost of issuing the bonds.

While the county will be conducting the bond sale, Federated Telephone has agreed to make the payments to retire the debt. The county and Federated Telephone are negotiating on how much of the bond sale costs will be covered by the county and how much by the company.

Thu
31
Mar
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Appleton Prison Should Be The Smart Choice

By Reed Anfinson

Publisher, Swift County Monitor-News

Minnesota faces a serious prison overcrowding problem. No one argues that point. It is how that problem should be addressed that is at the root of deep emotional stands on the issue. There are three basic solutions under discussion: sentencing reform, creating more prison beds, or the combination of the two. Tangled within those three solutions are passionate feelings on sentencing fairness, racial inequity in sentencing, and the difference between being tough on crime and compassionate to our fellow human beings who have violated the law.

Thu
31
Mar
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Committee passes prison bill; governor promises veto

Legislators tour the Prairie Correctional Facility in November.

Early last Tuesday morning a bus wove its way through western Minnesota picking up supporters of the reopening of the Prairie Correctional Facility in Appleton with state prisoners. It then headed for a committee hearing at the state Capitol in St. Paul.

What followed was a startling education in the highly emotional and combative politics of sentencing laws, race and prison use in Minnesota.

As the bus rolled up to the Transportation Building in the state Capitol complex, it was met by a group running up to it with coffee and donuts, but also bearing banners saying, “Don’t believe the lies of CCA! You’re better than that Appleton!” CCA stands for Corrections Corporation of America, the country’s largest private owner of prison space, including Appleton’s 1,600-bed facility.

Wed
30
Mar
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Senior, team, and milestone banners becoming the norm at local and area high schools

High school sports banners are becoming more and more popular around area high schools this year, including at KMS High School, where the banner (pictured) featured the KMS senior wrestlers.

Not many years ago, if you were out for a high school sport, you’d be lucky to see a picture of your team in the newspaper, an annual, or possibly at a class reunion.

Well, in today’s world, high school athletes are lucky to have their team photos and individual pictures made into impressive banners that adorn the inside walls of high school gymnasiums and schools.

A few years ago, one of the BHS teams made a large banner of its team and started the trend.  Now, almost all the fall and winter teams have some sort of banner made recognizing their seasons.

When I was at KMS High School this winter, I noticed four banners of senior student-athletes at KMS who were competing in wrestling, boys basketball, girls basketball, and gymnastics.  On another wall was a banner for 100-win wrestlers at KMS (it took two banners because there are so many) and two others for 1,000-point scorers in girls and boys basketball.
 

Wed
30
Mar
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Gjerde, Just, Anderson are MVPs for Saints

Samantha Gjerde (middle) sets up the KMS offense during a game this winter in Kerkhoven.  She earned the KMS MVP award this season.

The KMS girls basketball team ended the season one game under .500 at 13-14.  The Saints got above .500 a few times during the season, including 7-5 after an 80-31 victory over Hope Academy, but the Saints lost their next four and never got back over .500 the rest of the season.

KMS did win six of their final 10 regular-season games to get back to .500 at 13-13, but lost in the first round of the Section 5A Tourney to third-seeded BBE, 71-49.  “We scored the first basket of the game against BBE, but before I knew it, I was calling a timeout and we were down 11-2,” coach Brady DeBaere said.  “BBE started out making 10 of its first 13 shots and led early 22-7.  We made a run to get to within 26-18, but we were never really in the game from then on.”

BBE fell to Browerville-Eagle Valley in the sub-section finals, and Browerville-EV went on to lose to Cromwell for the Section 5A title, 73-71.

Wed
30
Mar
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Nissen among leaders for Benson girls in 2015-16

Amanda Nissen, the leading scorer for the Braves this season, puts up a shot in the lane as Victoria Pagel gets into rebounding position.

The Benson girls basketball team ended its season with a 59-19 loss to NLS in the first round of the Section 3AA Tourney.  One game earlier, the Braves snapped a 29-game losing streak with a 67-64 overtime win over Paynesville.  Benson finished the season with a 1-25 overall record for the second-straight season.

The victory over Paynesville meant the Braves avoided finishing the season without a win for the third time in program history.  The Benson girls basketball team went 0-22 in 1991-92 and also went 0-26 in 2013-14.

Benson’s previous win was a 42-37 victory over BOLD, Thursday, Feb. 12, 2015.  Benson went 0-5 the rest of the 2014-15 season and was 0-24 to start out 2015-16 before edging the Bulldogs.

Wed
30
Mar
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Leonard ‘Jim’ Thursby

Leonard ‘Jim’ Thursby
1925  • March 7, 2016

Jim was born as the only child to Leonard & Hulda “Helen” Thursby in Porter, Minnesota.  He graduated from Benson High School in 1943 and then joined the Army.  He served in the Pacific during WWII.  After the war he returned to Benson to work at his Dad’s business (Thursby Chevrolet).  

In 1947,  he met his wife Elinor from Montevideo.  They had three children: Bob Thursby of Sarasota, Florida, Tom Thursby of San Diego, & Debra (Thursby) Burns of San Diego.  

Jim was a lifelong golfer and was president of the Benson Golf Course 1952-53.  In 1956, the family moved to San Diego, CA.  They raised their children in San Diego.  In the 1960s, he managed and coached several teams for Tecolote Little League.  He helped expand and build the many baseball fields there.  He worked for San Diego County Social Services and retired at age 55.  

Wed
30
Mar
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Alda Mae Anderson

Alda Mae Anderson

1926-2016

 

The funeral service for Alda Mae Anderson, 90, of Granite Falls, formerly of Echo, will be at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, April 1, 2016, at the Rock Valle Lutheran Church in Rural Echo.  Visitation will be Thursday from 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. with a Prayer Service at 7:30 p.m. at the Sunset Funeral Home in Echo.  Visitation will continue from 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. at the church on Friday.  Interment will follow the service at the Rock Valle Cemetery in Rural Echo.

Fri
25
Mar
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Louise C. Lachmiller

Louise C. Lachmiller

Louise C. Lachmiller

December 17, 1927 – March 24, 2016

 

Louise (Ludovica) Clara Lachmiller was born December 17, 1927 in Edison Township, Swift County, Minnesota, the daughter of Louis (Ludovicus) and Teresa (Rudnick) Glisky.  She was baptized on December 24, 1927 by Rev. S. Julkowski and confirmed at the Church of the Visitation in Danvers.  Louise grew up in the Holloway, Appleton, and Edison Township area.  She then moved to Danvers and attended Benson High School, graduating in 1945.

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