News

Wed
29
Jun
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Telemedicine technology gives SCBH staff near instant access to ER doctors

Last week, the Swift County-Benson Hosptial received training in how the Avera telemedicine system works. Pictured is SCHB RN Katie Guse, and Avera’s Molly Johnson, RN Avera E-Care, who works in e-hub and the ER in Sioux Falls.
Director of Nursing Mellissa McGinty-Thomspon explains how the telemedicine system works. Pictured are SCBH Governing Board Vice Chair Patty Schreck and CFO Dan Enderson. The governing board received the demonstration during its meeting Monday night.

Swift County-Benson Hospital is now live with its telemedicine link to Avera McKennan Hospital & University Health Center’s eCare services in Sioux Falls, S.D.

Last Tuesday, the hospital conducted training for all its medical providers and nursing staff on how the system works, SCBH Director of Nursing Mellissa McGinty-Thompson told the governing board at its meeting Monday night. Hospital governing board members got a demonstration on how the system works during the meeting.

Last September, SCBH was notified that it had been awarded a $510,000 Helmsley grant to facilitate implementing the telemedicine service. Since then, cameras, microphones and screens have been mounted in its emergency room and its intensive care unit, which serves as its trauma 3 bed.

Wed
29
Jun
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Citizen’s group wants pool closing reconsidered

A citizen’s committee is hoping the school board will reconsider its decision in May to close the Benson indoor swimming pool.

Committee members met informally, Thursday, with Dennis Laumeyer, Superintendent of Benson Schools, and several school board members to express their interest in keeping the indoor swimming pool open, according to Dan Enderson, a member of the committee.  Enderson also said the group offered to take on the two challenges which are the main focus of the indoor pool issue; coming up with additional funding sources for the pool, and find ways to promote additional utilization of the pool.

The District 777 Board of Education voted to close the pool at its May 16 meet.  The board pointed to concerns about the costs of maintaining the pool, which was originally opened in 1976, and the limited use of the pool.

Wed
22
Jun
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Community celebrates 29th Pioneerland Band Festival

BHS flutes
KMS flags
Litchfield HS flags

Benson High School’s Marching Band led the 29th annual Pioneerland Band Festival Flag Day Parade on June 14. Despite threatening weather that persisted through much of the day, weather that caused two bands to decide to not make the trip, the band festival started on schedule as the weather began to clear. Pictured above in the front row are flutists Hannah Hanson, Emma Heinzig, Madison Ziegler, Danielle Sondag and Grace Lee. Behind them are Olivia Hughes, Jenna Smith and Madisen Wieber. More photos can be found on Pages 6 and 7, and Page 12 (of this week's Monitor-News.)

These are just a few of the photos from the parade. To see more, and to get all the local news and sports delivered to you, subscribe to the Swift County Monitor-News print edition or our PDF internet edition. Call 320-843-4111 today!
 

Fri
17
Jun
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City working to reduce copper in drinking water

For a more than year now the City of Benson has been working to get the amount of copper in its drinking water down to a level that the Minnesota Department of Health says is safe under the federal Safe Drinking Water Act.

A study of the city’s water at 20 different sites found that at 10 of them copper levels were above federal standards. The most likely cause of high copper levels comes from corrosion of household plumbing systems.

The same study found that lead levels in the city’s water supply at all 20 testing sites were below the federal limits. A copy of that study can be found on Page 7B of this week’s Monitor-News.

Benson is actively taking steps to reduce the amount of copper in its water.

Fri
10
Jun
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Graduation for BHS Class of 2016

Benson High School the Class of 2016

During the 126th commencement exercises at Benson High School the Class of 2016 graduated 69 students.  More pictures of BHS graduation can be found on Page 12.

Immediately following the graduation ceremony, graduates of the Benson High School Class of 2016 celebrate their graduation by throwing their hats into the air (pictured).

 

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Fri
10
Jun
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25th Annual Elementary Wagon Parade

teachers in the first wagon parade 25 years ago
Joey Wilcox and Graham Quintana.

Pictured are Kelly Crabb, Sue Hopp, Donna Tatge, Loretta Burns, Kathy Berens, Roger Ebnet, Lori Klose, Cindy Upton, Rhonda Schwendemann, Lori Martin, Kathy Arhdt and Ann Duncan; they were teachers in the first wagon parade 25 years ago.

Students pull a wagon in the the 25th Anniversary Elementary Wagon Parade while a large crowd gathered at the Northside Elementary in Benson watches. More photos can be found on Page 11. Elementary classes in kindergarten through fourth grade illustrate books they have read, and pull their creations in the parade.

Fri
10
Jun
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Vacation leads to Ascheman’s building successful business that grew through 50 years

Ron Ascheman, left, stands with Fred Barth at the old station in Danvers back in the late 1960s.

Fifty years ago Ron and Donna Ascheman packed up their kids in the car and headed out of Minneapolis for a week’s vacation back home in the Holloway area. A stop for gas in Danvers changed their lives.

While filling up, Ron Ascheman talked with Clinton (Short) Carruth who told him that he was looking to retire after 40 years as a bulk agent for Mobil Oil gas sales. He asked Ascheman if he would be interested in taking over for him.

At the time, he had a good job working for a construction company in the Twin Cities. “Donna and I went home and gave it some thought and decided to give it a try,” Ron Ascheman said.  

Fri
10
Jun
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CVEC celebrating 20 years helping farmers, area

CVEC’s board of directors

It started as the dream of a farmer and rural electric co-op manager. One wanted to see a better corn price for the region’s farmers while the other was looking to stabilize his company’s electric sales. Both were looking to improve the economic strength of the area.

John Carruth was a crop and dairy farmer living south of Danvers while the late Ray Millett was the general manager of Agralite Cooperative. With Millett and Carruth leading the effort, a group of area farmers formed a board in 1995 to begin exploring construction of an ethanol plant near Benson. Their dream was realized a year later when in 1996 the Chippewa Valley Ethanol Company (CVEC) began producing ethanol.

Fri
03
Jun
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SCBH seeks ways to finance assisted living facility

Swift County-Benson Hospital would like to start work on a $12.445 million assisted living/memory care facility on land south of Scofield Place yet this fall.

It would also like to begin work on the $5.75 million restructuring project, changing the current layout of the hospital to better serve in-patient and outpatient clients, and provide for more efficient use of staff.

How to finance the projects has yet to be figured out. At the May 23 SCBH Governing Board meeting, CEO Kurt Waldbillig said the hospital is considering using Scofield Place with its 501c3 status and sound financial history to be the lead in seeking financing for the assisted living/memory care part of the project.
 

“Honestly, where the hospital is at financially for the last three years has been an issue,” Waldbillig said of its ability to go the market to seek a loan or bonding.
 

Fri
03
Jun
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Drivdahl critically injured while fleeing police officers

As he fled Benson police, Bernie Drivdahl smashed into Juan Reyes’ pickup on 12th Street South, shoving it up against Deb Beyer’s house. Drivdahl’s pickup continued through a hedge, across an alley, and into a vacant house to the north. He is currently hospitalized in St. Cloud with multiple fractures and other injuries.

People living along 12th Street South near Minnesota Avenue in Benson were awakened just before 1 a.m. Sunday by two loud bangs.

For no one were the sounds of Bernard Michael Drivdahl’s small pickup smashing into a parked pickup on 12th street louder than for Deb Beyer. Drivdahl’s pickup blasted a parked pickup owned by Juan Reyes off the street and into her front porch before plowing through a hedge and into the neighboring house to the north. She was among the group of people gathered outside as law enforcement and the Benson Fire Department worked to ensure the scene was safe.
When Drivdahl’s pickup hit the house at 312 12th Street South, which is for sale with no one living in it, it hit the natural gas meter breaking a pipe. Law enforcement and the Swift County-Benson Hospital ambulance crew had to extricate Drivdahl from his vehicle while gas was still leaking from a broken pipe.

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