March 2017

Fri
31
Mar
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Benson Schools dropping golf sports coop with KMS

Gunnar Abner putts for the Benson-KMS boys team last season.  Starting in 2018, Benson will be going it alone in boys and girls golf.

To help it be more competitive in boys and girls golf by going up against schools more its size, the District 777 Board of Education agreed to ends its boys and girls golf cooperative agreement with Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg (KMS) schools.  The action took place at the school board’s March 20 meeting and will take place during the 2018 season.

Benson High School’s boys and girls golf, volleyball, and wrestling all participate in sports for which the Minnesota State High School League has three classes.

In wrestling, BHS is in Class A. In volleyball Benson is in Class AA. In boys and girls golf, the district is also in Class AA.

Every two years, the league resections the state based on new enrollment figures at schools and the new sections should be coming out pretty soon, Schmidt told the school board.

Based on the state’s formula Benson High School’s nine through 12th grade enrollment number is 210 students, Schmidt said.  

Fri
31
Mar
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Connelly, Peterson named to All-Area team

Benson’s Layton Connelly earned placement on the All-Area honorable mention  team for 2016-2017.
KMS' Josh Peterson earned placement on the All-Area honorable mention  team for 2016-2017.

Benson senior Layton Connelly and KMS junior Josh Peterson were recently named to the West Central Tribune’s All-Area boys basketball team for 2016-17.

Connelly and Peterson were selected to the 30-member honorable mention team, while another five players were named first-team.

Selected to the All-Area first team in 2016-17 were Noah Kannegiesser, a junior guard from Hancock; Noah Slagter, a junior guard from Willmar; Matthew VanEps, a senior guard from Prinsburg CMCS; Gabe Eisenbacher, a senior forward from ACGC; and Ethan Brouwer, a senior forward from Prinsburg CMCS.

Kannegiesser is the only repeat All-Area first team selection among that group, and he’ll have a chance next season to earn his third-straight first-team honor.

The All-Area team is selected by the West Central Tribune of Willmar, and covers about 20 area schools....

 

Fri
31
Mar
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Entire team earns KMS wrestling MVP

Will Magaard (top) was a multiple awardwinner for the Saints this year, including a team-best 42 victories this season.

The KMS wrestling team had another highly-successful season in 2016-17, qualifying to the state team tourney and also sending six individuals to state.

In addition, four wrestlers earned their 100th victory during the season, making for even more highlights and memories for the very strong KMS wrestling program.

The Saints went 16-5 this season, losing only to Willmar, Litchfield, West Central Area, Pierz, and Kenyon-Wanamingo.  Four of those teams competed in the state tournament.

KMS also won the 8-team Alexandria Tourney, and placed second at the 8-team Morris Invitational.

The highlight of the season was a 43-23 victory over BBE in the Section 5A team championship, giving the Saints their fourth trip to the state team tourney in the last nine years.

KMS also qualified to state in 2009, winning the Class A title; in 2013, when the Saints went 1-2 to finish sixth; and last year when the team went 0-2.

Fri
31
Mar
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Zosels and Grussing among top awardwinners for Benson wrestling

Aaron Zosel (right), shown wrestling against KMS, won the Most Dedicated Wrestler Award for Benson and has 83 career wins heading into his senior season.

The Benson wrestling team held its season-ending banquet Sunday night at the Benson Bowler.

The Braves finished 8-9 this season, starting out 0-3, but going 8-5 over its next 13 matches before losing to Paynesville in the Section 5A quarterfinals, 57-21.

Wins this year for Benson came over Morris (40-32), BOLD (43-36), Howard Lake-WW (66-5), Minnewaska (54-24), Osakis (42-33), Ortonville (47-27), Norwood-Young America (34-33), and Minnewaska Area again in the section opener (54-30).

During invitationals and tournaments, Benson placed fourth at the WCC Tourney, fifth at the 8-team Willmar Invitational and 8-team Morris Invitational, and sixth at invitationals at BBE and Parkers Prairie.

The season came to an end at the Section 5A Individual Wrestling Tournament where Aaron Zosel, Jared Knutson, and Ross Grussing each placed third, Adam Zosel was fifth, and Hunter Mondor was sixth;

Fri
31
Mar
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County to start working on law to govern solar arrays

Solar power is rapidly growing in Minnesota and now Swift County is seeing some land owners expressing an interest in putting up the panels.

While the current proposal is small, there are some very large solar arrays coming on line around the state. In a rural area north of the Twin Cities an array covering more than 1,000 acres of land that once was planted to corn and soybeans is now producing electricity.

The Chisago County solar panel farm is producing enough power to energize more than 20,000 homes, Minnesota Public Radio reported in a story last fall.

Back in 1996, Minnesota was only producing enough solar energy to power 16 homes. By 2015, 35 megawatts of capacity was generated, or enough to power more than 39,000 homes, MPR’s story said. And last year, that capacity jumped to 250 megawatts.

The North Star project in Chisago County has the capacity to produce 100 megawatts of electricity, which it sells to Xcel Energy.

Fri
31
Mar
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City leaders fight to protect Benson Power’s future

Xcel Energy seeks to undo state’s biomass mandate

The City of Benson has been pitted in a David versus Goliath showdown at the Minnesota Legislature this week as it works to prevent Xcel Energy from pushing through a bill that could potentially lead to Benson Power, LLC, closing down.

If the proposed legislation passes, it would undo the state’s biomass mandate that is at the heart of the financing agreement that allowed the poultry-fired power plant to be built.

It would allow Excel Energy to renegotiate the rate it pays for power from Benson Power, and if it couldn’t, to offer to buyout the power purchase agreement. A buyout could lead to Xcel closing down the plant city officials fear.

Fri
31
Mar
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Jerry Johannessen inducted into Midwest Bakers Hall of Fame

Jerry Johannessen is all smiles after being inducted into the Upper Midwest Bakery Association’s Hall of Fame earlier this month. He is pictured with wife, Carol, left, and Benson Bakery employee Becky Halverson. It was Halverson who submitted the Johannessen’s nomination letter for the hall of fame. Photo provided.
Jerry Johannessen is known for his lefse making skills.

Former Benson Bakery longtime owner Jerry Johannessen was inducted in the Upper Midwest Bakery Association’s Hall of Fame during the organization’s annual convention in early March.

“The bakers hall of fame was established to ensure that memories of outstanding bakers be recognized and preserved,” the association says of its award. “It is to honor those whose hard work and dedication has been significant and outstanding achievements to the baking industry, community and the American way of life.”

Longtime Benson Bakery employee Becky Halverson nominated Johannessen for the award. By nominating him, she also took on the responsibility of speaking to the 300-person crowd about why she nominated him.

Fri
31
Mar
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Victoria Ann Thole

Victoria Ann Thole

VICTORIA ANN THOLE
JUNE 19, 1948 – MARCH 29, 2017
OBITUARY
 
Victoria Ann Thole, age 68, of Benson, Minn., died Wednesday, March 29, 2017, at St. Cloud Hospital.  Visitation will be from 6 – 8 p.m., Monday, April 3, 2017, at St. Francis Catholic Church in Benson.  Visitation will continue from 9:30 – 10:30 a.m., followed by the Mass of Christian Burial at 10:30 a.m., Tuesday, April 4, 2017, at St. Bridget’s Catholic Church in DeGraff.  Interment will be in the St. Bridget’s Catholic Church Cemetery.  Arrangements are with Zniewski Funeral Home.
 

Fri
31
Mar
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Walfred L. Hanson

Walfred L. Hanson
April 13, 1925 - March 27, 2017
GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. -

Walfred L. Hanson, 91, Golden Valley, died Monday, March 27.

Visitation will be from 10-11 a.m., followed by the memorial service at 11 a.m., Monday, April 3, at Calvary Lutheran Church in Golden Valley. Burial will be 1 p.m. Tuesday, April 4, in Calvary Cemetery in Murdock, Minn.

Arrangements by Washburn-McReavy - Glen Haven Chapel.

Mon
27
Mar
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John Thomas Hutchinson III

John Thomas Hutchinson

John Thomas Hutchinson, III of Benson, MN passed away on March 26th, 2017 at the age of 89 after a courageous battle with Alzheimer’s.  A Celebration of his Life will be at a later date.

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