News

Fri
25
Jul
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Highway 29 detour in effect

Roadwork started Monday  (July 21) on Minnesota Highway 29 south.
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.
The road construction will mean traffic on the stretch of highway will be detoured. Only residents who live within the road closure or motorists whose destination falls within the closure will be allowed to use Highway 29. The road will not be passable at the bridge replacement sites.

Wed
16
Jul
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Three vehicle accident by DeGraff

One person was killed Tuesday about 8 p.m. in a three vehicle accident on U.S. Highway 12 in Swift County.

The incident was three miles east of De Graff, according to the Minnesota State Patrol.

A car eastbound on Hwy. 12 was attempting a left hand turn when it was rear-ended by another car. The first vehicle was then hit a second time by a truck that was westbound on Highway 12.

The driver of the first vehicle was killed. The driver of the truck was not injured.  A driver and passenger in the second car were treated and released from the Swift County-Benson hospital.

 

Wed
16
Jul
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Benson studying major expansion of city cemetery

Benson’s City Cemetery is running out of space. It owns plenty of land to the north of the cemetery, but as it moves in that direction it will be encroaching on the Northside Recreation Area ball fields.
 It will also require moving the walking path between the rec area and the cemetery.
As the Benson City Council was considering an expansion of the cemetery by 400 to 500 plots at its July 1 meeting, the question was raised about whether or not that number should be doubled.
With an average of 50 burial plots purchased per year, it would only take 8 to 10 years before the 400 to 500 sites would be gone, requiring another study and another expansion. It would be cheaper in the long run to plan for the next 20 years rather than have to revisit the issue in just 8 to 10 years, it was agreed.
An unknown factor in planning for new gravesites is what the impact of the addition of a columbarium to the cemetery will have on grave plots needed.

Tue
15
Jul
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Benson area to celebrate 84th annual Kid Day

Parade, coronation, carnival, car show, cruise, and street dance all set for Saturday

Thu
10
Jul
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Increased speed patrols on area roads, July 10-27

Summertime sees an increase in temperatures, as well as an increase in speeding motorists. The Atwater Police Department, Benson Police Department, Kandiyohi County Sheriff’s Office, Swift County Sheriff’s Office and the Willmar Police Department are conducting increased speed patrols, July 10-27, as part of a statewide speed enforcement effort. The campaign aims to combat a leading factor in deadly traffic crashes. The enforcement and education effort is coordinated by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety.
 Unsafe and illegal speed is the most commonly reported contributing factor in fatal crashes. During 2011–2013, speed was a contributing factor in 235 traffic deaths statewide.

Thu
10
Jul
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Swift County makes deep cuts to Youth Program’s budget

Editor’s note: This is the first of two stories about a proposal to eliminate or substantially reduce the expenditures associated with the Swift County program. This story focuses on the reasons why the elimination or significant reduction of the program was proposed. Next week we will publish a story on the testimony at the meeting.

Thu
10
Jul
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First sign of West Nile virus reported in state

So far, July has brought less than a half of inch of rain to the area and no one is complaining.
After 9.27 inches of rain in June and a record 19.78 inches of precipitation between April 1 and June 30, the Chippewa River had overflowed its banks in some places along its course through Swift County. Low lying areas of farm fields had turned into lakes and numerous basements were flooded.
But now the fields are drying out, leaving large bare dirt spots where crops should be growing. The Chippewa River has fallen below 11 feet at the U.S. Highway 12 bridge, down 3.5 feet from its near record height of 14.61 feet June 20.
The one “crop” that is thriving is the mosquito population. The abundance of breeding places for the pests was unlimited in June and still plentiful. The City of Benson is spraying for mosquitoes, but having a hard time keeping up with the booming population.

Wed
02
Jul
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Thursday gathering at Swift County Historical Society

The Swift County Historical Society invites everyone to join them at the museum in Benson at 1 p.m., Thursday, July 10 for the Thursday Gathering.  The topic will be “Water, Water Everywhere”.  The event will include talk about the importance of water in all of our lives and the fact that there is water in so many things that we don’t even realize or think about very often.
Guests will be invited to share in the discussion.  The program is free and refreshments will be served.

Wed
02
Jul
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Area sees wettest first six months on record

Despite 9.27 inches of rain falling in June, the month will only go down as the fourth wettest on record.  June 1952 saw the most rain with 12.5 inches followed by 1952 with 10.45 and 9.35 in 1983.
However, the area has now seen the wettest first six months of the year and the wettest April through June period.
Benson saw 19.78 inches of precipitation between April 1 and June 30, shattering the 1953 record for the three-month period of 16.79 inches by nearly 3 inches.
The city has now seen 21.98 inches of precipitation through the first half of the year, which beat the old record for the January to June period of 21.85 inches. That old record was also from 1953.

Wed
02
Jul
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Law enforcement seeing increase in scams in area

The Swift County Sheriff’s Office has received several calls regarding a common scam.  In this scam, people are receiving phone calls with the caller telling them that they have won a new car and all they have to do is pay them $500 to receive it. 
This is a scam - so do not send or give the caller any information, the sheriff’s office strongly advises.   The caller will even go as far as saying he is going to meet you at the bank, but he never shows.  Unfortunately, with the phone number cannot be traced.  Trying to call the number on your caller ID back is fruitless.
Another scam the sheriff’s office is the “Grandparent or Family Member Scam.”  This is when a caller tells you your grandchild or child is in trouble in another country and you need to wire money to them to help them out. 

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