News

Wed
11
Nov
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County gives additional $1,000 grants to businesses from its CARES funds

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

With a continued strong focus on using its CARES Act funds to support businesses suffering due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Swift County Board of Commissioners has now paid out $270,000 in grants to 45 business.

In the first round of grants last month, it gave 30 county businesses $5,000 grants each from the Coronavirus Relief Fund and Economic Assistance (CARES) Act funds. At its meeting last Tuesday, it approved another 15 businesses for the $5,000 grants.

In all, the county board had agreed to allocate $250,000 from its $1,221,134 in federal CARES funds for business help. However, in reviewing the 69 applications that were  submitted for grants, it found only 45 met all the qualifications for need and that submitted the required information...

Wed
11
Nov
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COVID-19 cases are surging in rural Minnesota

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

With 73 new cases of COVID-19 in the first nine days of November, Swift County is on the way to shattering its past monthly high for cases of 93 set in October.

Swift County isn’t alone in seeing a rapid rise in the number of positive cases of the potentially deadly disease caused by the coronavirus. Throughout western Minnesota case numbers and deaths are on the rise.

Swift County saw its third COVID-19 death this past week, a person in his 90s, and Pope County saw its first death...

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
11
Nov
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Trump wins county, loses state, US

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

For decades Swift County was a reliable Democratic county, but in the past eight years it has fundamentally changed into a Republican county.

In a political change that can be baffling to some, voters who cast ballots for Democrat Barrack Obama in 2008 and 2012, were strong supporters of Donald Trump in 2016 and 2020.

However, despite winning 75 of Minnesota’s 87 counties in the Nov. 3 election, incumbent President Trump lost to Democratic challenger former Vice President Joe Biden. Biden received 52.4 percent of the vote to Trump’s 45.3 percent, and won by 233,111 votes. Trump had 1,484,894 votes and Biden 1,718,005.

In the 2016 election, Trump won Swift County decisively taking every city and 20 of 21 townships while getting 59.9 percent of the vote. He beat Democratic presidential candidate former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton 2,962 votes to 1,679...

 

Wed
04
Nov
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Council votes 3-2 to purchase elevator

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

With a 3-2 vote Monday night, the Benson City Council agreed to purchase the concrete elevator and attached buildings for $25,000 from NFG, LLC.

Finalizing the purchase of the property that sits at the western edge of the city’s downtown will allow Benson to move forward with its demolition, removing a persistent health and safety threat to the community.

In a memo to the council, Benson Chief of Police Ian Hodge said there have been over 20 incidents at the elevator property in the past seven years. Drug use, sexual assault, and vandalism are among the crimes that have been investigated at the property...

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
04
Nov
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Western Minnesota sees surge in COVID-19 cases

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

If you want to keep our community’s children in school, if you want them to be able to continue to have sporting events, please, please wear a mask, Countryside Public Health Director Liz Auch is pleading with area residents.

Practice social distancing, wash your hands frequently, use hand sanitizer, stay home if you feel sick, and get tested if you suspect at all that you might have had COVID-19, she urges.

Countryside Public Health saw the number of COVID-19 cases in its five counties soar by 639 in October, eclipsing the September’s previous record number of 492 cases by 147...

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
04
Nov
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Council approves comprehensive plan change

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

With approval of an amendment to the City of Benson Comprehensive Plan Monday night, the city council set stage for a possible zoning change to the block on which the Shell station sits.

Should the zoning change be approved, it would facilitate Dooley’s Petroleum’s plans for a new gas station and convenience store on the site.

“Our plan is to completely take down the existing site, take all the tanks out, the piping, and relocate the store to the southern half of the property,” Randy Dooley told the city’s planning commission last week. “All new tanks, pumps, and canopy will be put in. we have owned this store for about five years now. The tanks and pumps are 30-some years old. They are in need of being replaced...

Wed
28
Oct
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County approves $150,000 in CARES business grants

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Swift County’s Board of Commissioners approved $150,000 in loans for 30 businesses through its CARES Act funds at its meeting Oct. 20. Those 30 businesses were eligible for up to $5,000 each. The county board anticipates that it could be approving another group of business loans at its Nov. 3 meeting.

In all, Swift County set aside $250,000 from the $1,221,134 it received in federal Coronavirus Relief Fund and Economic Assistance (CARES) Act funds for small businesses. The funds were allocated to its Rural Development Authority (RDA,) which reviewed applications and then made recommendations to the county board on who was to get funding.

Wed
28
Oct
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SCBHS is seeing fewer positive COVID-19 tests

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

SCBHS saw its all-time high of testing with 100 to 125 administered over a two-week period back in early September, Co-Administrator and Chief Nursing Office Melissa McGinty-Thompson told the Swift County-Benson Health Services (SCBHS) governing board at its meeting Monday night.

There was a big spike in people getting tested back then, however, with SCBHS seeing a 34.7 percent positive rate, which was pretty significant at the time, McGinty-Thompson said.

Now even while COVID-19 cases are rapidly increasing in western Minnesota, with Swift County also seeing a steep increase, the positivity rate has dropped 8.5 percent of the tests...

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
28
Oct
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Record cold, snow dominate October

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

October 2020 will go in the record books for both cold and snow, even though there are still three days left in the month. Already more than a dozen cold temperature records have been broken this month.

The 7.0 inches of wet snow that fell Oct. 20 broke the month’s record snowfall by itself. That previous record snowfall came during the Halloween Blizzard of 1991, which brought 6.6 inches of snow to the Benson area.

Another one inch of dry snow fell Sunday, bringing the month’s total to 8 inches. Since daily local records started being kept in 1953, there have only been four years now with more than 4 inches of snow in October. Only 10 Octobers since 1953 have seen more than 2 inches of snow. Most Octobers see no snow at all or just a trace.

In the past week, the National Weather Service issued two Winter Storm Watches. Winter is officially 55 days away.

Wed
21
Oct
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James A. Johnson, political, financial power, dies at 76

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

James A. Johnson, a 1961 Benson High School graduate who rose to the pinnacle of political and financial power in Washington, died Sunday morning at his D.C. home.

Johnson is survived by his wife, Heather Muir Johnson, a managing director at Deutsche Bank in New York. He is also survived by his son Alfred Isaacs Johnson, his wife Emily, and their son Ray Arthur Johnson. Alfred Johnson is his son from his marriage to Maxine Isaacs. Isaacs was Mondale’s press secretary when he was vice president. He is also survived by his sister Marilyn Johnson LaMourea and her husband, Andre, of Duluth.

When it is safe to conduct an in-person memorial for Johnson, the Kennedy Center has offered to host it. In the meantime, the family is planning a virtual memorial for friends and family...

 

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