April 2017

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Fri
28
Apr
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County hurting for STS workers

Through the years Swift County Environmental Services has used people serving time in the county’s Law Enforcement Center jail to help sort recyclables and other waste.

Working under the state’s Sentence to Service (STS) program, the inmates can work time off their jail time and earn money to pay off fines. In return, the county gets relatively cheap labor.

Offenders in the STS program can work off fines at the rate of $8 an hour for their labor and get one day off their sentence for every 16 hours worked. The fines get paid first, then the time gets reduced.

But now the recyclables are piling up and the facility is falling behind on other necessary work, Environmental Services Director Scott Collins told the county board of commissioners at their meeting April 18 due to a lack of STS workers. There hasn’t been a single STS worker at the facility so far this year, he said.

Fri
28
Apr
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County preparing for move to Lewis Drug

Swift County offices based in the courthouse will be moving to the Lewis Drug building on Atlantic Avenue downtown Benson the week of June 26-30. The move takes place ahead of a $4.5 million renovation of the courthouse that could last into early 2018.

The move will include 30 staff people working in the Swift County Land Records, Auditor, Assessor, Administrator, Emergency Management, Treasurer, Veteran Services, Extension, Housing & Redevelopment Authority, Information Technology, and Rural Development Authority’s (RDA) offices.

Eighth Judicial District Court Judge Dave Mennis and court staff will be moving to space in the basement of the Swift County Law Enforcement Center.

Fri
28
Apr
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Hospital receives $500,000 RSF grant

In what should become the first of many significant grants awarded in the community in the coming years by the Robert Sonsteng Foundation, Swift County-Benson Health Services will be receiving $500,000.

The grant, which will be given out in $50,000 increments over the next 10 years, was announced at the hospital’s governing board meeting Monday night. The grant funds will go toward the hospital’s assisted living and memory care facility with construction on the facility likely starting this summer.

Robert Sonsteng was a bachelor farmer who lived on a farm just over the Swift County line north of Benson in Pope County. He attended Benson Public Schools, and after serving in the military, returned home to farm with his brother and parents. After his parents passed away, Murien and Robert Sonsteng continued to live in the family home, neither ever having married. Upon Murien’s death, Robert Sonsteng lived on his own on the family homestead.

Fri
28
Apr
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Track teams compete at LQP Invitational

Makenna Wieland was fifth in the 100 meter hurdles at the Minnewaska Area meet last Tuesday night.

The Benson-KMS track and field teams competed at the LQP-DB Invitational, Thursday with the boys team placing third of seven teams with 68 points, and the Benson-KMS girls placing fifth with 38 points.

LQP-DB won the girls meet by 25 points over runner-up Montevideo (165-140), while the Thunderhawks easily won the boys meeting, doubling up the runner-up LQP-DB team (237.5-119.5).

This week, Benson-KMS was set to host the second of three home invitationals, Tuesday (yesterday).

•  Benson-KMS did not win any individual titles, but during the boys’ meet, Josh Bailey did place second in the 3200 meter run (10:45.35) and third in the 1600 meter run (4:45.42).

Jon Tostenson added a fourth in the 1600 (4:50.87) and fourth in the 800 meter run (2:07.27), while JayEven McGee was fourth in the 400 meter dash (1:00.17), and Max Peterson was third in the triple jump (36-6 3/4) and fourth in the 200 meter dash (24.76).

Fri
28
Apr
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KMS falls to LQP, but also wins twice

Jake Magaard had one hit and pitched one inning of relief during last week’s win over Tracy.

The KMS baseball team had a busy week last week, playing three games within four days.  The Saints opened up last week’s action with a 7-0 win at Renville County West last Tuesday night.  KMS fell to a late Lac qui Parle rally two nights later in Sunburg, 4-2, but the Saints came back one night later to beat Tracy Area in another home game, 7-1.

Weston Gjerde and Josh Peterson both had four hits during last week’s three games, while Brandin Dahl and Kyle Meyer both had three.  Earning wins on the mound for the Saints were Brandon Rasmusson and Caleb Collins.

KMS, 3-1 in the Camden Conference and 5-1 overall, goes on the road for its next three games, including a game at Canby, Thursday (tomorrow), at BBE, Friday, and at Prinsburg, Tuesday, May 2....

 

Fri
28
Apr
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Boys tennis team tops Milbank, 5-2

Peyton LeClair (right) smashes a shot at the net during second doubles’ action against Foley last week.  In the background is Kyle Reese.  The Braves picked up their first win last week during a home match with Milbank.

The Benson boys tennis team earned its first victory of the season with a 5-2 win at home over Milbank last Monday night.  The Braves swept the four singles’ matches to pull out the win.

One night later, Benson lost to Foley at home, 6-1, and the Braves also played at Lac qui Parle/Dawson-Boyd, Thursday, losing 6-1.

Benson, 1-6 overall and 0-2 in the WCC, has a very busy stretch in the schedule coming up with seven scheduled dates over a 12-day span.

The Braves were set to play at NLS, Tuesday before hosting MACCRAY, Thursday, and hosting Litchfield, Friday.  The following week, Benson is set to host Minnewaska Area, Monday, May 1, play at St. John’s Prep, May 2, and host Yellow Medicine East, May 4.
Eric Hoium, a sophomore playing at first singles, is off to a 5-2 start for the Braves this season....

 

Fri
28
Apr
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Saints sweep doubleheaders from MACCRAY and DB

KMS senior pitcher Sam Gjerde is off to a great start for the Saints, picking up her third and fourth wins of the season last week with 21 combined strikeouts and only one walk.

The KMS Saints rebounded from their first conference loss in seven seasons with a pair of doubleheader sweeps last week.

KMS swept a doubleheader at MACCRAY last Tuesday night, 8-3 and 11-0, and then came back three nights later to sweep a home doubleheader with Dawson-Boyd, 10-0 and 13-3.

The Saints improved to 7-1 overall and in the Camden Conference with the four wins.

Alexis Lamecker is off to a great start this season.  She was 11-for-12 last week, including a stretch of 10-straight hits, and is an unofficial 21-for-28 so far this season.

This week, KMS was set to play at doubleheader at Minneota-Canby, Thursday before getting ready for a doubleheader at Renville County West, Tuesday, May 2....

 

Fri
28
Apr
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Gladys Evelyn (Johnson) Kliche

Gladys Evelyn (Johnson) Kliche

Fri
28
Apr
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Braves still searching for first victory

Shawn Aarhus (left) slides in safely ahead of the throw to the Morris Area catcher during an 8-4 loss to Morris in the first game of a doubleheader.

The Benson baseball team had a tough week last week, losing three WCC games.  The Braves had their chances to win at least one, but Morris rallied for a doubleheader sweep over Benson last Tuesday night, 8-4 and 4-1, and Sauk Centre routed the Braves in a league game at Sauk Centre, Friday, 11-0.

Benson, which fell to 0-6 overall and 0-5 in the conference, has three more games scheduled this week, including a home game with Montevideo, Tuesday and a doubleheader at Minnewaska Area, Thursday.

The following week, the Braves have three home games against NLS, ACGC, and Hancock....

 

For more on this story, and to keep up on all the latest in area sports, subscribe to the Swift County Monitor-News print edition or our PDF internet edition. Call 320-843-4111 and you can get all the local news and sports delivered to you!

Wed
26
Apr
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Benson Power could be closing by summer of 2018

Employees of Benson Power have been told employees they plan to sell to Xcel Energy and that the plant could be closed by the summer of 2018.

By Reed Anfinson

Publisher

Swift County Monitor-News

Employees of Benson Power, LLC, were notified Tuesday that the company owners are in negotiations with Xcel Energy for sale of the plant.

With that announcement a process is being put in place that could lead to the power plant shutting down by the summer of 2018. Its shutdown would mean the loss of 45 jobs at the plant as well as up to another 100 jobs at businesses that support the operation of the biomass facility.

Benson Power generates 55 megawatts of power by burning turkey litter and wood chips to generate steam that powers the plant’s turbines.

Benson Power is currently owned by a group of East Coast investors including major insurance companies Prudential, Hartford, John Hancock, Nationwide, Beneficial, and CRT Capitol Group.

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