News

Wed
24
Jun
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Schools creating three plans for starting classes

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Editor’s note: The following story was written with information from the Associated Press, Minnesota Department of Health, and the Swift County Monitor-News.

Minnesota health and education officials on Thursday asked school administrators to plan for three scenarios on reopening in the fall under the cloud of the coronavirus and promised a decision by the last week of July on whether students can return for in-person classes.

The state health and education departments asked K-12 school administrators to prepare for: in-person learning for all students; hybrid learning with social distancing and capacity limits; and distance learning only. They said their decisions may change toward fall as officials determine which contingency plan will best serve health and safety and conceded that distance learning didn’t work well for all students or their families.

Wed
17
Jun
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Benson swimming pool is opening very soon

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Benson’s Family Aquatic Center now has water in it and should be opening soon.

However, its operation this  summer will be following safety guidelines required by the Minnesota Department of Health under an executive order by Gov. Tim Walz as the state tries to reduce the spread of the deadly coronavirus. COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus, has caused more than 1,300 deaths in the state since March 21.

These are different times, Benson Mayor Terri Collins said at Monday night’s council meeting where steps being taken to open the pool were discussed.

Collins pointed to the flyer that the Benson Public Schools Community Education Program has produced and said it was “awesome. It answered all the questions I had,” she told Shelly Vergin and Shelly Mikkelson. Vergin is the director of community education and works with Mikkelson in managing the pool...

Wed
17
Jun
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Benson needs citizen help to reduce water use

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Throughout this past winter, the City of Benson was working on an upgrade of the filter system for its drinking water plant. It meant taking down about half the capacity to produce drinking water but during the winter months when demand is low it wasn’t a problem.

While it was expected that the work would get done by the spring, it has taken longer than expected.

Now the area is in the second stage of a drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. And it has been hot. June has seen the high reach into the 90s three times with a record high of 99 degrees for June 7. Tuesday and Wednesday were each forecast to see highs in the 90s...

 

Wed
17
Jun
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County looks at renovation costs of LEC, offices for 6W

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

As Swift County’s Board of Commissioners moves forward with addressing building needs it is taking a cautious approach on spending and how extensive the projects it is willing to undertake.

One renovation plan before the county board from Wold Architects & Engineers projects a budget of $960,000 for renovations to the Law Enforcement Center (LEC) plus $76,000 in architect fees for a total of $1.036 million.

A separate cost projection for a new entry to the LEC was estimated at $1.236 million.

Back in February 2019, the Swift County board voted 3-2 to proceed with a study for construction of a $17.5 million justice center that would have housed a new jail and sheriff’s office, human services, 6W Community Corrections, the county attorney’s office and the Restorative Practices office...

 

Wed
10
Jun
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Schools should know more about plan for resuming in-class teaching later this month

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Parents throughout Minnesota are wondering if their children will be going back to school in the fall. It is a question yet to be answered.

Will there be a resurgence of the deadly COVID-19 disease caused by the coronavirus? Will the current downward trend be maintained if Minnesotans practice smart social distancing, wear masks and regularly clean commonly touched surfaces?

Maintaining that downward trend and preventing a spike in the fall will be critical to whether students return to the classroom.

In a call last week with Minnesota Education Commissioner Mary Cathryn Ricker, school administrators received a little better direction for how to proceed, Supt. Dennis Laumeyer told the District 777 Board of Education Monday night...

 

Wed
10
Jun
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No Swift County Fair this year

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

County fairs are becoming the latest casualty of the COVID-19 pandemic. Last week the Swift County Fair became another one of the fairs in Minnesota to make the tough decision to not hold a fair this year.

Currently, of the 94 county fairs in Minnesota, 74 have officially postponed their 2020 fair until 2021.

It was a decision that didn’t come lightly to the Swift County Fair Board, said President Jon Panzer. “The decision to cancel, made with guidance from the Minnesota Federation of County Fairs, International Association of Fairs, and local, state and federal guidance, was difficult and not made lightly as it impacts many people and organizations in our county, but we feel it is the best decision for all involved...”

 

Wed
10
Jun
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High hits 99; breaks record

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Benson broke the record high for June 7 when it hit 99- degrees around 5:15 Sunday afternoon. It was the hottest temperature the area as seen in nearly eight years.

Benson hasn’t recorded a high of 100 degrees since July 31, 2006 when it hit 104 degrees tying the all-time temperature recorded for the city. It also reached 104 degrees June 24, 1988.

Sunday’s high was the fourth time since 2006 that it has reached 99 without going 1 degree higher to reach the century mark. It hit 99 degrees twice in 2012, July 4 and July 16. It also hit 99 degrees July 1, 2007...

 

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
03
Jun
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Bars, restaurants starting to open outdoor service areas

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

At a special Benson City Council meeting last Tuesday, City Manager Rob Wolfington was given authority to facilitate a quick response to requests from local bar and restaurant owners to set up outdoor service areas.

It also passed a resolution extending Mayor Terri Collins’ emergency authority for another 60 days.

The resolution passed by the council for outdoor dining states:

“The city manager is authorized to accept, review and either approve or deny applications from local businesses that wish to expand their outdoor service during the declared emergency...

 

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
03
Jun
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Kid Day cancelled; swimming pool to be readied

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Benson’s 90th Benson Kid Day celebration will happen, but the community will have to wait until next year for the celebration.

At the Benson City Council meeting Monday night, Kid Day was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

On a positive note, the council did agree to start the process for opening the Benson Family Aquatic Center. That process was to start Tuesday and will take about three weeks...
 

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
03
Jun
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Benson sends two officers to Twin Cities

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

With protests and rioting getting out of control in the Twin Cities, a request was put out to state cities to provide short-term assistance if  possible. The City of Benson responded by sending two of its officers and a squad car.

The Minnesota Director of Public Safety had made the request for mutual aid from cities as the size of the protests grew and the amount of damage to property increased.

Mayor Terri Collins and City Manager Rob Wolfington reviewed the request for mutual aid and authorized Chief Hodge to send the two officers and a squad car...

 

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!

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