April 2019

Wed
17
Apr
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Dance brings out the smiles

Jazz-n-Pizzazz Dance Recital was held Saturday and Sunday in the senior high gym.

PICTURED: In front are Meridith Huston (left) and Halle Nash, while in back are Jessalee Payne and Sophia Suller, dancing with other members of the Twinkle Toes (kindergarten), performing "Smile" and instructed by Samantha Carlson and Taylor Samuelson.

Wed
17
Apr
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CareerForce seeks to meet needs of area workers, businesses

Any employer you talk with will likely tell you the same story when it comes to filling openings they have: They simply can’t find anyone to take the job, they can’t find employees that are qualified, or they can’t find people who are reliable.

The Southwest Minnesota Private Industry Council (PIC) through the CareerForce program is trying to help employers overcome those challenges. CareerForce is the new name the program that has long been known as the Workforce Initiative.

 “Right now we have a significant labor shortage in our state, across the region and in the nation,” Executive Director Carrie Bendix told the Swift County Board of Commissioners at their April 2 meeting. “For every one job opening, there is a half a person. During the height of the recession, for every one job there were about nine people. So you can see we really are having a shortage. So our strategy is, ‘All hands on deck.’”

Wed
17
Apr
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School board cuts $541,832 from its 2019-20 budget

With nearly 30 faculty and school district residents at their meeting Monday at the Benson High School, the board of education approved $541,832 in cuts as it worked to balance its budget for the 2019-2020 school year.

The planned cuts are $105,612 lower than what were considered earlier by the board as it added back $10,000 for the marching band bus trip expenses, $58,630 for business office staff, and reduced the cuts in the agriculture department by $28,800.

It placed full-time agriculture teacher Nancy Loen and full-time English teacher Heidi Davis on unrequested leave while reducing science teacher Brian Edlund’s position to 58 hundredths of full-time.

Wed
17
Apr
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April blizzard pushes winter season’s snowfall to a record

flower in April blizzard

While last week’s blizzard didn’t break the record snowfall for April with its 13 inches of snow, it did push the winter season’s total snowfall to an all-time record of 78.5 inches.

For the past 50 years that record had been held by the winter season of 1968-1969 when 76.4 inches of snow fell.

The two winter seasons are markedly different on when the heavy snowfalls came. This season, 28 inches of snow fell in March and April. In 1968-69, only 4.1 inches of snow fell in those two months.

However, in the winter of 1968-69, 53.6 inches fell in December and January, burying the community. Another 14.7 inches fell in January, deepening the snow depth with the spring warmth to melt it still a couple months away.

Wed
17
Apr
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Civic center board proposes lease agreement to school

Benson’s Civic Center board is continuing to work on an arrangement with Benson Public Schools that would allow it to renovate the facility’s north end for gymnastics as well as other athletics.

At Monday night’s board of education meeting, Civic Center Board Member and School Board Member Bill McGeary presented a proposal that would have the school lease the north end for 20 years. The starting cost would be $63,000 a year, but a 2 percent annual increase would be built in to the agreement.

With the 2 percent annual increase, the last lease payment would total $93,615 with the total lease payments over the 20-year term coming to $1.62 million.

Wed
17
Apr
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Local Girl Scout sells 320 boxes of cookies

Pieper Gades (right), the daughter of Kent and Molly Gades of Benson, receives a check from Bob Cook

Pieper Gades, the daughter of Kent and Molly Gades of Benson, receives a check from Bob Cook, from the Benson VFW, for helping ship boxes of Girl Scout cookies to U.S. Troops through the Operation Gratitude program.  Pieper had a goal to sell 100 boxes last year, but ended up selling 200.  This year, she had her sites set upon selling 300 boxes, but ended up selling 320 thanks to donations from area businesses and people in the community.  The Benson VFW was kind enough to donate $505 for shipping the boxes of cookies to California where they will be forwarded to troops through the Operation Gratitude program.  The VFW also paid for shipping last year.

For more stories like this, and to keep up on all the latest news, 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
17
Apr
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Alumni Basketball Tourney

Pictured above are members of the winning team.  From left to right are Matt Ahrndt, Austin Ose, Aaron Ahrndt, Jacob Goff, Zach Maurer, Ryan Hampton, and Zach Jensen.

Members of the winning team who took part in the Inaugural Benson Alumni Basketball Tourney, Sunday, April 7 in the senior high and auxiliary gyms.  From left to right are Matt Ahrndt, Austin Ose, Aaron Ahrndt, Jacob Goff, Zach Maurer, Ryan Hampton, and Zach Jensen.  Submitted photo.

Runner-up team members were Scott Thompson, Kyle Hilleren, Brady Collins, Adam Jensen, Andrew Hughes, Dan Ohmacht, Adam Nokley, Emily (Jensen) Citterman, and Scott Collins. (not pictured)

For more stories like this, and to keep up on all the latest news, 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
17
Apr
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NLS rallies for 6-5 win over Benson softball team in opener

Pictured above are members of the Benson softball team.  From left to right are Maranda Wieber, Lauren Wrobleski, head coach Barb Schwarz, Cally Miller, Andrea Rud, Mariah Rodahl, Chloe Collins, Hannah Andrews, Rachel Berens, Matilyn Short, Marissa Connelly, Zoe Doscher, Paige Cain, Ellie Moesenthin, Abby Lundebrek, and Kaitlyn Berreau.

The Benson softball team had its first two games postponed and canceled, but was finally able to get in a game last Monday at NLS.  The Braves, coming off an 8-10 season from a year ago, led 5-4 going into NLS’ final at-bats, but the Wildcats struck for two runs to rally for the 6-5 win.

The Braves were also supposed to play at BOLD last Tuesday, and host Montevideo, Thursday, but both of those games were postponed and a new date has not been set.

This week, Benson was set to host Minnewaska Area, Monday, and play a doubleheader at Melrose Area, Tuesday (yesterday)...

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
17
Apr
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Tennis team falls twice by 5-2 scores

Peyton LeClair hits a backhand before rushing the net during a second singles’ match against Foley last Tuesday night in Benson.  The Benson-KMS boys tennis team fell to 1-2 with a pair of 5-2 losses last week.

The Benson-KMS boys tennis team lost twice last week, losing at Minnewaska Area last Monday night, 5-2, and also losing at home to Foley, Tuesday, 5-2.  The Fighting Braves, who beat Montevideo to open up the season one week earlier, fell to 1-2 overall with the two losses.

The match with Minnewaska Area had been scheduled for Thursday, but was pushed up a few days because of the expectant storm later in the week.  

Benson-KMS was also supposed to host Milbank, SD, Friday, but that match was canceled.  In addition, the Cambridge-Isanti Tournament, scheduled for Saturday, April 6, was also postponed, but a new date has not been set.

This week, weather permitting, the boys tennis team was set to host St. John’s Prep, Monday, and host a home triangular with LQP-DB and NLS, Tuesday (yesterday), beginning at 2:30 p.m....

Wed
17
Apr
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Braves shut out by BOLD, 6-0

Matthew Tolifson pitches for the Benson baseball team during a 6-0 loss to BOLD last Tuesday night on Chiefs’ Field.  There would be no more games played the rest of the week as a snowstorm hit the state mid-week.

The Benson baseball team fell to 1-1 with a 6-0 home loss to BOLD last Tuesday night on Chiefs’ Field in Benson.  The Braves were also supposed to play at Montevideo, Thursday, and host KMS, Friday, but both of those games were postponed due to weather.  The Montevideo game will be made up Monday, April 22, while the new date for the KMS game has not been set.

This week, the Braves were set to host Melrose Area, Tuesday (yesterday), but the pace of the schedule will pick up immensely next week with at least two dates (and sometimes three) scheduled for each remaining week of the regular-season...

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!

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