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It’s been 87 years since Ardis Just’s first Kid Day

Ardis (Plackner) Just with her doll buggy. She was in the first Benson Kid Day parade in 1931. She plans to be in the 88th Kid Day parade Saturday.

Ardis (Plackner) Just participated in her first Benson Kid Day parade when she was only four years old – that was 87 years ago and was the city’s very first Kid Day celebration.

Born in 1927, Just’s mother decorated her doll buggy and made an outfit to go with it for the 1931 inaugural Kid Day. In the years that followed, her mother would come up with new designs for her to wear in the parade.

She’s not sure if the photo of her posed with the baby carriage was her first parade entry, but it was somewhere between 1931 and 1933, Just says. “I know there were a couple of them where I wore little pink outfits. One of them, mother had made a doll buggy with a doll in the middle and then made petals out from the face to make it look like a rose,” she recalls.

She continued to participate in the parade every year until she was old enough to be playing in the band. “Of course, I had to march in the band in high school.”

Fri
20
Jul
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State seeing near record growing season

Minnesota has been experiencing one of the warmest growing seasons on record, according to Michelle Margraf of the NOAA-NWS Office in Chanhassen.

For agricultural statistics keepers, the growing season starts May 1. But for many farmers, the near record cold and snowy April kept them out of the fields because of cold soils and wet conditions.

Less than 35 percent of the state’s corn crop was planted in the first 10 days of May and less than 10 percent of the soybean crop. But rapidly warming temperatures in May allowed farmers to make rapid progress with planting. Soils warmed quickly and crop development took off.

Fri
20
Jul
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School board approves civic center work bids

With a new Benson Civic Center appraisal coming in at $1.56 million, District 777’s Board of Education voted Monday night to proceed with $581,500 in renovations for the facility.

It approved the $493,000 base work bid of Kranz Construction of Milan as well as its $88,500 alternate bid for fire protection work. It left out Kranz’s alternate bids for a gymnastics pit for $130,000 and its alternate bid of $146,800 for ceiling insulation and protection.

It did agree to seek bids from local contractors on the gymnastics pit.

Because the facility is in a flood plain, under state law and local ordinance the school board couldn’t spend more than half the value of the building on improvements.  With a previous assessed market value of $822,000 improvements were limited to $411,000 - $82,000 below even the lowest base bid the board had received.

Fri
13
Jul
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Community to celebrate 88th annual Kid Day July 21-22

2018 Benson, Minnesota Kid Day poster

Benson is set to celebrate its 88th annual Kid Day Saturday and Sunday, July 21-22 with a number of activities also taking place in the days leading up to Kid Day weekend.  The theme of this year’s Kid Day is “Celebrating Kids!”.

•  The Kid Day Medallion Hunt is set to begin Monday, July 16 and continue each day through Friday, July 20, or until the Medallion is found.  The clues will be available daily on the front door of the Library, on KSCR from 7-9 a.m. each day, and on the Benson Kid Day Facebook page.  The top prize for the youth who finds the Kid Day Medallion is $100.

•  Krazy Daze in Benson is set to take place Thursday, July 19, and local businesses will be offering sidewalk sales and special offers.  Look for ads in the Monitor-News for great Krazy Daze deals.

Fri
13
Jul
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Peace run torch carriers pass through Benson last Friday

Putu from Indonesia, Nayaja from Italy, and Kshema from Ukraine run with the Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run torch as they pass through Benson last Friday.

Last Friday, the women runners participating in the local leg of the Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run passed through Benson on the way to Willmar with the eventual goal of making it to New York City.

It was in New York City where the run started April 10. Since then torch carried by runners participating in the peace run has been carried through Atlanta, GA, Santa Fe, NM, San Diego, CA, up through Seattle, WA, and to Vancouver, British Columbia. From there it headed back east going through Bowman, MT, Lemmon, SD, and Benson.

The three runners passing through Benson were from the Ukraine, Indonesia and Italy....

 

For more on this story, 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!

Fri
13
Jul
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Swift County stands by $50,000 pledge to Monte veterans home

Swift County remains committed to its promise of $50,000 to help with the construction of a veterans home in Montevideo made in February 2014 .

Backers of the project were at the Swift County board meeting Tuesday, July 3, to update commissioners on the project status and to say they would like to receive the county’s funds by Nov. 1.

“It may be a home run for Montevideo, but it is also a base hit for us because we just can’t live within county lines anymore,” Commissioner Pete Peterson, District 3-south Benson and Torning Township said. “This is something that is going to be a benefit to our citizens.” He added that it is important for the county to stand by its commitment of $50,000.

Swift County has around 900 veterans, Veterans Service Officer Dave Barrett says. Many local veterans, however, don’t use those homes because they are so far away from their families.

Fri
13
Jul
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Benson pool reopens Monday

Benson’s outdoor swimming pool was open Monday and packed with children swimming, diving, getting drenched by waterfalls, and going down the giant slide.

Monday the pool cleared all of the Minnesota Department of Health’s (MDH) requirements for addressing the potential for cryptosporidium having entered the pool.

Benson’s outdoor swimming pool was closed Thursday after the city received a call from the MDH saying an individual suspected of being involved in a cryptosporidium outbreak in the Twin Cities had been in the pool.

“We have no confirmation that it (the parasite) is there, but because it is a potential risk the city decided, along with my input, to close the pool as a precautionary measure, and to go ahead and disinfect,” Suzanne Paulson with Countryside Public Health’s environmental health department, said Friday.

Fri
06
Jul
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Civic Center bids higher than expected

When the District 777 Board of Education budgeted for improvements to the north end of the Benson Civic Center this past February, it set the expenditure ceiling at $695,600.

At a special school meeting Monday noon in the superintendent’s office, the board reviewed bids opened June 21 that were substantially higher than expected.

Just the base bids ranged from $493,000 to $800,945. However, the base bids came with three additional construction add-ons that raised the price to between $834,100 and $1.125 million. Those alternate bids included adding a gymnastics pit, adding ceiling insulation and protection, and adding fire protection.

But it isn’t just the higher cost that presents a challenge for the school board; it is also the Civic Center’s location in a flood plain. Under state law, the school board can’t spend more than half the value of a building located in a flood plain on improvements.

Fri
06
Jul
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$4 million payment coming to city next week

With Xcel Energy’s purchase of Benson Power, LLC, finalized last Friday, the City of Benson is now scheduled to receive a $4 million payment next week for future economic development efforts.

Another $16 million in payments is to follow on June 1 over the next three years. In each 2019 and 2020, the city is scheduled to receive $6 million in payments. It is to get a final $3 million payment bringing the total of the four payments to $19 million.

Those funds are intended to be used to replace the loss the city will experience in jobs, economic activity and local tax base due to Xcel’s plans to shut down Benson Power and level the site.

Fri
06
Jul
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N.D. PSC votes to let Xcel shut down Benson Power

North Dakota’s Public Service Commission  voted unanimously June 27 to approve Xcel Energy’s plan to purchase and shut down  Benson Power, LLC.

Xcel notified the City of Benson last Friday that financial closure of the deal with Benson Power’s East Coast insurance company investor owners had taken place, City Manager Rob Wolfington said.

Based in downtown Minneapolis, Xcel Energy has a single subsidiary for its electrical and gas businesses in North Dakota and Minnesota.  As that two-state subsidiary, Northern States Power Company (NSP) was the entity that petitioned the PSC for relief from the agreements governing the future of Benson Power.

The question before the North Dakota PSC was, “Is NSP’s proposal to terminate its biomass power purchase agreement with Benson Power, LLC, acquire the Benson facility and subsequently close the facility prudent?”

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