News

Fri
30
Sep
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County administrator Mike Pogge-Weaver takes Carroll, Iowa job

Jonathon Pogge-Weaver resigns his Benson City Council seat

Swift County Administrator Mike Pogge-Weaver, 39, has been hired by the city of Carroll, Iowa, as its new city manager. It is expected that he will start his new job in October.

Pogge-Weaver grew up in Fort Dodge, Iowa, just 60 miles to the northwest of Carroll. The city is the county seat of Carroll County and a town of just over 10,100 people.

Swift County’s Board of Commissioners has already started the process to find a new administrator agreeing to hire Twin Cities’ professional search firm Springsted at its meeting last Tuesday.

With Pogge-Weaver leaving, the Benson City Council will also lose one of its members. His husband, Jonathon Pogge-Weaver, was elected to a four-year term on the council in November 2015 and began his term in January. He also works as a pharmacy tech at Breen’s Pharmacy.

Fri
30
Sep
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Despite rain, area harvest underway

Minnesota’s soybean and corn harvest is underway with soybean yields of 45 to 70 bushels per acre. Western Minnesota has escaped the heavy rains that have ruined crops and slowed the harvest to the south. Randy Mikkelson harvests soybeans just north of Benson Monday.
With no rain in the forecast for the coming days, significant progress should be made with the soybean and corn harvests.

It’s been a wet late summer and fall. The clouds of mosquitos that have plagued those venturing outside in the evening testify to that, as does the water standing in low areas of farm fields.

Since July 1, the Benson area has had 15.98 inches of rain – 6.19 inches above average – which places it third in the record books for the July, August, and September period. 1995 holds the record with 20.96 inches of rain with 1986 second with 17.37 inches. The three months average 9.79 inches of rain.

While southern Minnesota was flooded with torrential rains last Wednesday and Thursday, the Benson area received just 1.3 inches from the storms.

Southern Minnesota has seen historic rainfall amounts, Kent Thiesse writes in his column on Page 6 of the Monitor-News this week. A large portion of the region received 4 to 6 inches of rainfall, and some areas 10 to 14 inches of rainfall, in a 48-hour period...
 

Fri
23
Sep
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Minnesota’s waterfowl season opens this weekend

Canada geese take off to feed in the early morning hours.

Minnesota’s regular waterfowl season will open on Saturday, Sept. 24, with similar bag limits and season dates that were in place last year, according to the Department of Natural Resources.

“All signs point to this being a great year for duck and goose hunting,” said Steve Cordts, DNR waterfowl specialist. “Many hunters look forward to the duck hunting opener all year. It’s a time to get into the marsh and spend time with family and friends.”   

Duck seasons and limits -- Duck season will again be open for 60 days in each of the three waterfowl zones.

In the north zone, duck season is Saturday, Sept. 24, through Tuesday, Nov. 22.

In the central zone, duck season is Saturday, Sept. 24, through Sunday, Oct. 2, closes for five days, then reopens Saturday, Oct. 8, and runs through Sunday, Nov. 27.

Thu
22
Sep
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Golf club seeks less city funding for 2017

When the Benson Golf Club approached the city council last year with its financial troubles, it pointed out that it expected to be $60,000 short with its cash flow on operations as well as needing $40,000 for equipment.

The $40,000 has been paid, and helped greatly with updating aged equipment inventory, Golf Club Board President Jerry Peterson told the city council earlier this month.

The golf club is running just about exactly along the lines it projected late last fall for the 2016 year. It is expected on the current trajectory the club will end December about $60,000 short.

If additional revenues come in, due to an extended playing year or special events the club conducts, it might not need to ask for the whole $60,000. And, so far, it hasn’t needed city funding. But as play now starts to wind down the revenues start to slow dramatically. October, November and December are months with very little income, but ongoing operational expenses.

Fri
09
Sep
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Wentzel Family Farm named Outstanding Conservationists

Pictured are members of the Wentzel Family Farm.

The Swift County Soil and Water Conservation District has named Wentzel Family Farm as the 2016 Outstanding Conservationists. Wentzel Family Farm consists of Melvin and Elaine, Craig and Bonnie and Todd and Shari Wentzel of DeGraff.

The Wentzels farm about 2800 acres each year, which mainly consists of a corn and soybean rotation, with about 10% planted to wheat each year. Putting some wheat in the rotation enables them to more easily manage the weeds and pests that may be persistent in the fields.

The landscape that Wentzels farm is diverse and has a variety of soil types that require additional management to be able to maintain healthy soils while reducing erosion. Because of the diversity of soils and landscapes Wentzels will use less aggressive tillage equipment on lighter soils such as reduced tillage or no till in the fall. On their heavier flat soils a more aggressive tillage, like the use of vertical tillage, can be used for erosion and runoff control.

Fri
09
Sep
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Court rules in favor of GPC in long-running court battle

Corn field

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher, Monitor-News

After an eight-day court trial in Swift County 8th Judicial District Court Judge Charles Glasrud found decisively in favor of Murdock-based grain cooperative Glacial Plains Cooperative in his Aug. 16 decision.

He also sharply criticized the Chippewa Valley Ethanol Company’s (CVEC) past general manager and management for the problems that have led to the persistent legal battles between the two companies.

The court found that CVEC was in breach of its grain handling agreement with Glacial Plains Cooperative (GPC) and ordering that it “shall continue to perform its duties and obligations under the terms of the grain handling agreement.”

Fri
02
Sep
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New funding helps Benson schools expand preschool opportunities

With the help of $103,938 in new state funding, Benson Public Schools is offering free preschool for all four-year-olds in the district.

Coming into the 2016-2017 school year, Benson Public Schools had one section of full-day four-year-old classes and one half-day section for four-year-olds. But it could not afford to accommodate all those children whose parents would have like to see their children enrolled in a preschool class.

However, the new state funding has made it possible for all four-year-olds to be enrolled. “It is a great thing for our community,” Supt. Dennis Laumeyer said. “We are excited to offer that to all our four-year-olds.” The school district is also hoping that be being able to offer free pre-school to all four-year-olds, it will capture those children and their families for the whole preschool to graduation journey.

Fri
02
Sep
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The First Day of School

David Hafvenstein gives his son John a final hug on the first day of school at Northside Elementary.
Ayanna Poitra poses in front of lockers for a “first day of school” picture.

Monday, August 29 was the first day of the 2016-2017 school year in Benson.

 

To keep up on all the latest in school 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!

Pictured, top: David Hafvenstein gives his son John a final hug on the first day of school at Northside Elementary.

Bottom: Ayanna Poitra poses in front of lockers for a “first day of school” picture.

 

Did you know the Swift County Monitor-News prints photos like these?

Give us the date, page and subject of the photo and we will print it on archival quality photo paper. Makes a great gift!

Stop in, call or email us for more information or to order photo prints.

320-843-4111 or ads@monitor-news.com
 

Fri
26
Aug
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Price goes up for auxiliary gym floor; seven file for school board

While the mercury has been abated from the floor in the Benson High School auxiliary gym, the headaches it caused for the school district aren’t over.

When the school district constructed its auxiliary gym just north of the main high school gym, it installed a rubber-like floor. What it didn’t know at the time was that up until the mid-1980s during the manufacturing process mercury was added to them. It was later found that the floors would give off a potentially hazardous mercury vapor. Mercury was then removed from the process, but school districts around the country were stuck with the floors until they could afford to replace them.

Fri
26
Aug
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Decision on federal prisoners may help PCF effort

Members of the Legislature’s prison task force toured the Appleton prison last year.
Members of the Legislature’s prison task force toured the Prairie Correctional Facility last year as they considered its possible use by the State of Minnesota. Efforts to get the prison occupied again ran into opposition in Legislature as well as from Gov. Mark Dayton.

Just what the impact of the Obama administration’s announced phase out of the federal government’s use of private prisons will mean for the effort to re-open the Prairie Correctional Facility in Appleton is unknown.

But there is renewed hope that the state will consider buying the privately-owned Appleton prison, which could be for sale at a bargain price from owner Correction Corporation of America (CCA.) The corporation’s stock fell 35 percent last Thursday when the announcement was made. CCA owns 74 prison facilities and manages 11 government-owned facilities.

In a memo Thursday to the Bureau of Prisons, Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates told the bureau to start reducing “and ultimately ending” the Justice Department’s use of private prisons. The announcement follows a recent Justice Department audit that found that the private facilities have more safety and security problems than government-run ones.

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