News

Thu
24
Aug
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Benson schools seek lease of north civic center

Benson Public Schools is moving ahead with plans for leasing the north end of the Benson Civic Center.

Benson’s CNH Industrial has leased the space for years, but this past spring notified the city that it would be moving out. That opened the possibility for the school district to use the 14,000-square-foot area for its gymnastics program as well as other events. The gymnastics program would need about half the space.

Currently, gymnastics is housed in the Benson Armory. However, the space is barely adequate for competitive events and there are safety concerns with the cramped quarters.

Wed
16
Aug
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4-Hers take part in Clothing and Presentation Day

From left to right are performing arts participants, Arianna Nagler, Noah Collins, Brianna Collins, Ericka Collins, and Abbigail Johannes.

4-Hers take part in Clothing and Presentation Day

by Alyssa Wittnebel, Swift County 4-H Summer Intern

Swift County 4-H had a full day of creative projects, entertaining demonstrations, and life performances at the annual Presentation Judging Day, Wednesday, Aug. 2 at the First Evangelical Free Church in Benson. 

In the Cloverbud Non Garment division, there were a total of three participants. Three Cloverbuds participated in the Cloverbud Clothes You Buy, Clothes You Make, and fashion revue divisions. Two Cloverbuds participated in the Cloverbud quilting division as well. One Cloverbud participated in Performing Arts, Food Review, and Demonstrations.

Fri
11
Aug
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Swift County's 120th fair set to begin Wednesday

http://www.swiftcountyfair.org/

Swift County’s 120th annual fair gets underway next Wednesday, Aug. 16, and continues through Sunday, Aug. 20, at the Swift County Fairgrounds in Appleton.

Admission to the Swift County Fair is $2 per person, $2 per car, or $10 for one person and one car for all five days.

Midwest Rides and Concessions is back to handle the midway games and attractions, which opens at 5 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 16.  Riders can take advantage of a special $1 per ride offering from 6-9 p.m. the first night.

While these prices are very low for a great evening of entertaiment, the main music events are high quality and free. The free entertainment starts with Wednesday, Aug. 16 with The White Sidewalls in the Chuck Brown Building at 7 p.m.  

Fri
11
Aug
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County will move ahead with second phase of CIP

Commissioners want to devise best plan for 6W, sheriff’s office renovations

Work will start immediately on developing the second phase of the five-year Swift County Capital Improvement Plan (CIP), which is focused on renovation or new construction of facilities used by the sheriff’s office, 6W Community Corrections, county attorney’s office, and highway department.

It will also seek up to a two-year lease on the office space it is temporarily using for 6W Community Corrections.

The county’s building committee and staff will begin discussions on how to proceed with phase two as phase one work is just getting underway on the courthouse and Countryside Public Health’s building.

This second phase is expected to cost over $5.4 million with work to take place between 2018 and 2020.

Fri
11
Aug
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Collins files for mayor; Schreck, Smith join Evenson in council race

Benson City Council Member Teri Collins, who is currently in the second year of her first four-year council term, has filed for mayor.

Mark Schreck, Larry Smith and incumbent Jack Evenson have filed for the two open seats on the council. Evenson is completing his fourth year on the council and is seeking re-election to a second term.

Not seeking re-election to the council are Mayor Gary Landmark and Council Member Stephanie Heinzig.  Filings opened Aug. 1 and remain open until Tuesday, Aug. 15, at 5 p.m.

If Collins is elected mayor, she will continue to serve in her city council seat until Jan. 2 when she is sworn in as mayor. At that point, there would be a vacancy on the council. The city council would then decide whether to conduct a special election to fill the seat or it could appoint someone to fill the remaining two years.

Fri
11
Aug
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RDA could see state funds freed for broader use

A one-time change in Minnesota law could help Swift County free up restricted funds for a broad array of economic development uses currently blocked.

Over the years, the county has received Minnesota Investment Fund (MIF) grant funds to assist businesses projects at very low interest rates. When the funds have been paid back to the county, the state has allowed it to keep the money for future projects. Some of the funds come from loans made to businesses as far back as the 1990s.

However, the uses of the funds were tightly restricted, Swift County Rural Development Authority Executive Director Jennifer Frost told the Swift County Board of Commissioners at its meeting Aug. 1.

Now changes in law could broaden how the RDA uses funds for economic development, workforce housing, housing stock renovation, and marketing initiatives, she said.

Fri
11
Aug
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Citing labor intensive costs, Swift County ends drug court participation

Despite what looked to be a successful program in helping people turn their lives around, Swift County’s experiment with the 8th Judicial District’s Drug court is ending.

County commissioners voted at their Aug. 1 meeting to end participation in the drug court due to its time intensive demands and increasing costs for a relatively few individuals.

“Staffing, time, and funding for all departments, including probation, human services, law enforcement, and prosecution are being reviewed, as increased budget requests are being evaluated due to work load increases across the county,” a memo to the board on the program stated.

Because of the intensive staff required to work with those in drug court, Swift County could only handle two individuals at a time.

Wed
09
Aug
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4-H Horse Show

Rylee Erickson, a member of the Clontarf Haymakers 4-H Club, works with her horse, Sugar Cookie, during the Swift County 4-H 2017 Horse Pleasure Show, Saturday at the Shamrock Hest Riding Arena in Benson.  The event gave the 4-H participants a chance to work on their horse showing skills before the Swift County Fair, which is set to begin Wednesday, Aug. 16.

Pictured: Rylee Erickson, a member of the Clontarf Haymakers 4-H Club, works with her horse, Sugar Cookie, during the Swift County 4-H 2017 Horse Pleasure Show, Saturday at the Shamrock Hest Riding Arena in Benson.  The event gave the 4-H participants a chance to work on their horse showing skills before the Swift County Fair, which is set to begin Wednesday, Aug. 16.

For more on the Swift County Fair, 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
04
Aug
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Drought conditions creeping into western Minnesota; June, July both short of rain

Western Swift County is now in an early drought stage, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

Crops starting to show stress, yards turning brown, water levels falling in lakes and streams – all signs that the area has seen a lack of rain over the past weeks while experiencing very warm temperatures.

June and July are the two wettest month of the year by average, but both came up short of rainfall. Combined they see an average of 7.95 inches rain, yet this year the total was 4.59 inches – 3.36 inches below average.

May saw 3.64 inches, nearly half an inch above average of 3.15 inches, giving crops a boost to start the growing season, but since then drier weather has persisted.

Abnormally dry conditions, the first level of a drought, have extended into the western edge of Swift County. But all of Traverse, Big Stone, Lac qui Parle, Yellow Medicine, and Redwood counties are now abnormally dry. Chippewa County with the exception of the far northeastern corner is also abnormally dry.

Fri
04
Aug
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Road construction wrapping up

A new layer of bituminous is laid down on Minnesota Highway 29 north of the 14th Street stoplights.

After a couple long months of road construction in Benson, the end is getting near. Crews could be done with the current tar work soon with the rest of the finishing touches complete within a couple weeks.

 

Pictured:  A new layer of bituminous is laid down on Minnesota Highway 29 north of the 14th Street stoplights.

 

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