News

Wed
07
Nov
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Peterson, Carruth, Samuelson, Berens win school board seats

 

Eric Peterson won the two-year term on the District 777 Board of Education beating his nearest competitor Chad Payne by 389 votes. Payne is the current chair of the school board. There was only one two-year term on the ballot. It was to fill the vacancy left by an earlier resignation.

 

Two-year term

Candidate                     Vote

*Eric Peterson                 897

Chad Payne                    508

Fri
02
Nov
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Daylight Saving Time ends Sunday; remember to ‘fall back’

Sunday morning at 2 a.m. clocks will fall back an hour giving Minnesotans an extra hour of sleep as Daylight Saving Time ends.

This coming Saturday morning the sun will rise at 8:04, but Sunday morning it rises at 7:08.

But with the earlier morning sunlight it means it will be getting darker an hour earlier in the evening.  Saturday the sun will set at 6:07, but Sunday the sunset comes at 5:06.

An easy way to remember how DST affects our clocks and daily lives is the little saying, “Spring ahead, Fall behind.”

As we move toward the winter solstice Dec. 21, the days keep getting continually shorter. We are still losing about 3 minutes of sunlight a day, nearly 20 minutes a week. Through the month of November the area loses 1 hour and 6 minutes of daylight. However, the rate of loss slows in December as we approach the winter solstice and the shortest day of the year.

Fri
02
Nov
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Community ‘therapist’ Griffiths coming to Benson

Benson has two full days scheduled for Nov. 15 and Nov. 16 with economic development and community “therapist” Doug Griffiths.

It is an event that will include the public in a community session planned for 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 16, at the Benson Golf Club.

Griffiths, who is the co-author of the book 13 Ways to Kill Your Community, calls himself a community therapist. He assesses a community’s strengths, weaknesses, misconceptions about itself, untapped potential and the built-in roadblocks it may face in moving forward.

“Strong communities are the foundation upon which prosperous families, businesses and nations are built,” is the stated vision of the 13 Ways community consulting group he helped found.

Fri
02
Nov
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Those seeking Swift County offices facing no opposition

Swift County’s two incumbent county commissioners who are up for re-election this November are running unopposed.

Swift County’s treasurer, attorney and sheriff will also be on the Tuesday, Nov. 6 ballot without opposition.

Commissioners Ed Pederson, District 2, and Joe Fox, District 4, are seeking re-election to four-year terms on the Swift County Board of Commissioners.

Fox won his first term on the Swift County Board of Commissioners in November 2006 defeating then Appleton Mayor Ron Ronning. When he ran for re-election in 2010 and 2014, he was unopposed.

Fri
02
Nov
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Miller seeks 3rd House term; Koenen seeks return to Capitol

District 17A Rep. Tim Miller, R-Prinsburg, is seeking a third term in the state House. He is being challenged by former state senator and representative Lyle Koenen, DFL- Clara City.

Lyle Koenen, a former Democratic-Farmer-Labor (DFL) Minnesota state senator and representative, is running against two-term incumbent Republican Tim Miller for the Minnesota House District 17A seat.

Miller was elected to the Minnesota house in 2014 when he defeated incumbent DFL Rep. Andrew Falk in a narrow win. He won re-election by a wide margin against Falk in a rematch in 2016.

House District 17A includes all of Swift and Chippewa counties, most of Renville County, and the four southwestern Kandiyohi County townships of Edwards, Holland, Roseland and Lake Lillian.

Koenen was elected to five two-year terms in the Minnesota House serving from 2002 to early 2012. He was elected to the state Senate in District 20 in a special election April 10 following the death of DFL Sen. Gary Kubly in 2012.

Fri
26
Oct
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Appleton demo bids rejected

Swift County’s Board of Commissions voted unanimously to reject the two bids it had received for the demolition of three dilapidated buildings in Appleton at its meeting Tuesday, Oct. 16.

It also moved to re-advertise the project with a new set of specifications for the job.

It wasn’t what low bidder Dennis Larson, president of MAAC, Inc., in Montevideo wanted to see from the county board. He believes the decision to rebid the job with his bid already public will lead to some outside company, perhaps one from the Twin Cities, to now come in and get the bid.

Larson’s displeasure with the county board goes back to its approval of the bid of T&K Kennedy Excavating, Inc., of Benson, at its Sept. 4 meeting despite it being $40,000 higher. Kennedy’s bid was $217,080 while MAAC’s was $177,112.

Commissioners cited two reasons for taking Kennedy’s bid over MAAC’s. They said it was more detailed and that Kennedy was local (a county taxpayer.)

Fri
26
Oct
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Wind, harvest activity increases fire danger

Area firefighters have been busy this past week responding to a grass fire, a combine fire and a rural garbage fire that threatened a nearby corn field.

Windy conditions along with clear skies over the past 10 days have helped dry out crops and soils allowing the fall harvest to progress rapidly.

However, one danger has been steadily increasing with the dry, windy days – the chance for a fire to start in a field or in a piece of machinery.

Benson’s Fire Department has responded to three fires in four days and has been joined by fire crews from Danvers and Clontarf.

Monday a John Deere combine that had been harvesting soybeans in Section 27 of Pope County’s Langhei Township north of Benson caught fire. By the time the fire department arrived, it was engulfed in flames. The black smoke billowing from the charred combine was flattened out in a long trail rushing to the southeast pushed by a northwest wind gusting to 30 mph.

Earlier Monday the fire departments had been called to a fire near Danvers. A garbage fire had gotten out of control and was threatening a nearby corn field.

Fri
26
Oct
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Eight candidates seeking four seats on District 777 school board

Editor’s note: See Pages 8 and 9A for candidate profiles.

When District 777 voters go to the polls Tuesday, Nov. 6, they will find eight residents seeking a seat on the board of education.

Four are seeking a four-year term with three seats up for election. The candidates are Brian Samuelson, Tammy Gunlogson, James Berens, and Paul Carruth. The three candidates getting the more votes will win seats.

Carruth and Gunlogson are incumbents, however, both were appointed to their terms to fill seats following resignations.

There are four people seeking one seat that lasts just two years. Only the top vote getter in this group will win election to the school board. The candidates are: Eric Peterson, Ron A. Hanson, Chad Payne and Jodi DeJong-Hughes. Payne and DeJong-Hughes currently serve on the board and are seeking re-election.

Fri
12
Oct
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Swift County veteran numbers continuing to decline

As World War II veterans pass away, the numbers of veterans enrolled with Swift County’s Veterans Service Office are dwindling.

The total number of veterans living in the county was estimated at 654 in 2017 by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, down 395 from 1,049 in 2007.

Based on local statistics, 305 veterans have died in the past 11 years. However, just between 2015 and 2017, there were 101 deaths.

The number of deaths climbed between 2015 and 2017 as a lot of World War II veterans died, Swift County Veterans Service Office Dave Barrett told the board of commissioners at their Oct. 2 meeting. There were also some Korean War veterans who died, he added.

Fri
12
Oct
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New 5G technology a challenge for rural America

Swift County is one of the rare very rural counties in America that has high-speed broadband internet service to all rural residents and businesses.

It sets us apart from many other rural areas and appeared to close the opportunity gap with residents and businesses served by high speed internet in large metropolitan areas.

In 2016, the county sold $7.805 million in general obligation bonds to finance broadband service expansion in eastern Swift County.

With the bond funds, as well as a $4.95 million state broadband grant, Federated Telephone Cooperative of Chokio expanded high-speed internet service to an estimated 600 households, 425 businesses and 75 community institutions.  The project affects 13 of the county’s 21 townships concentrated in areas just east of the Benson city limits.

Western Swift County was already served by Federated’s broadband service.

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