News

Wed
26
Aug
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Woodland Centers reaches out with its telehealth

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

The COVID-19 pandemic has meant often providing aid to those suffering from mental health challenges through telehealth services rather than seeing them in person.

Woodland Centers has had to go to almost exclusively telehealth for its services, Woodland Centers Chief Executive Office Dr. Ashley Kjos told the Swift County Board of Commissioners at their Aug. 18 meeting.

By the middle of March, as the pandemic began to spread across the country and state, Woodlands had to make the rapid transition to offer the telehealth services, Kjos said.  “This was a huge undertaking,” she said...

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
26
Aug
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County to implement phased approach to building projects in five-year plan

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

A phased approach to maintaining its current facilities and building new ones in the future was adopted by the Swift County Board of Commissioners at its meeting Aug. 18.

It marks culmination of a process that has lasted over several years, and at one time, generated significant citizen opposition.

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...

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
26
Aug
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Winds near 90 mph damage homes, business

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

A severe thunderstorm roared through the Benson area with straight-line winds approaching 90 mph early Monday morning.

Damage wrought by the hurricane force winds were evident throughout the community as the sun rose. Many blocks had tree limbs, large and small, on cars, houses and yards. There were a few uprooted trees.

Powerlines were down in a couple places in Benson with the city electric crew working to restore power Monday morning...
 

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
19
Aug
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Benson pursuing options on development director

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Benson has four options if it is serious about pursuing retaining an economic development director, City Manager Rob Wolfington told the council at its Monday night meeting.

It can hire an employee, engage the services of a non-profit company that specializes in economic development, pursue through the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA,) or pursue a partnership with the Swift County Rural Development Authority or Upper Minnesota Valley Regional Development Commission. 

Hiring an employee would require the city to pay public employee scale wages and benefits, he said. It could also complicate the city’s ability to cut the position in the future...

 

Wed
19
Aug
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Consultant: Armory is safe for temporary use

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Benson’s Armory building is safe to use for at least the next six months environmental consultant Jason Kirwin of Environmental Scientific of Morris told the city council Monday night.

Benson City Manager had asked Kirwin to look at the building and give a report to the council so that it could accurately tell the public what the condition of the Armory was in that it was planning to use it for the next several months.

The council’s concern about using the building in the coming months stem from a special meeting it conducted Aug. 10 to discuss the need to either tear it down or spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on renovations...

 

Wed
19
Aug
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Case, Sonsteng give Discovery Kids $24,000

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

With $24,000 in donations Monday, Benson’s Discovery Kids and daycare program has been financially strengthened in its effort to maintain staff and keeping our child-to-staff ratio low, Director Carrissa McDonald said.

CNH Industrial America LLC presented  a check for $12,000 in support of Discovery Kids. “During these difficult times, CNH Industrial is pleased to be supporting our local communities,” Benson Plant Manager Jason Hausauer said. “We understand that many critical community organizations are facing challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic and we are doing our part to support the Discovery Kids through our company’s Solidarity Fund. “

Another $12,000 came for the local Sonsteng Foundation.

Wed
12
Aug
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Abuse cases rise in county as people are stuck together

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Last year, Swift County’s Safe Avenues program served 51 victims  of domestic violence and housed 27 domestic violence victims in its shelter facilities. The numbers were up from previous years.

It also provided services to 12 sexual assault victims from Swift County in 2019 and of those victims six were under the age of 18, Safe Avenues Director Jen Johnson told the Swift County Board of Commissioners at their meeting Tuesday, Aug. 4.

Safe Avenues serves the residents of Swift, Chippewa, Lac qui Parle, Yellow Medicine, Kandiyohi, Renville, McLeod, and Meeker counties. It has an office in the Swift County Courthouse. Its phone number is 320-314-8500, or 866-223-1111.

“With COVID-19, we have seen quite an increase in the number of people who are seeking protective orders and fewer people seeking shelter,” Johnson said...

 

Wed
12
Aug
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City of Benson to seek bids to tear down 1927 Armory

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Benson’s Armory could be coming down in the not too distant future.

At a special meeting of the Benson City Council Monday noon, a motion to direct city staff to have plans and specifications drafted for demolition of the Armory was unanimously approved.

Benson’s council had met to tour the Armory, then decide whether or not it wanted to fix the roof, invest in other improvements, or tear it down.

Air quality in the building is a major concern due to the mold, asbestos and lead. The lead comes from both the old, peeling paint, and from the years in which there was a shooting range in the basement. “All that lead is floating around,” Benson Building Inspector Mike Jacobson told the council...

 

Wed
12
Aug
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RDA taking business requests for grant funds

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Applications for $5,000 COVID-19 economic assistance grants through the Swift County Rural Development Authority (RDA) are open and being accepted through Aug. 24.

It is a simple application process with eligible businesses and non-profits severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic to complete. Applicants are asked to state why they need the grant funds, but no detailed financial documentation is required at this time.

The RDA is using $250,000 allocated to it by the Swift County Board of Commissioners from its $1,136,857 federal Coronavirus Relief Fund and Economic Assistance (CARES) Act funds for the grants.

 Fifty eligible businesses could be awarded $5,000 grants under the program administered by the RDA. The application for the grant funds is to be available at the Swift County CARES webpage: www.swiftcounty.com/CARES...

Wed
05
Aug
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Tweten family recognized as a 2020 U of M’s Farm Family

The Tweten family of Appleton has been named Swift County’s 2020 Farm Family of the Year by the University of Minnesota.

Greg and Kathy grew up on their own family farms in Clay County. In 1981, Greg started farming in Kittson County, growing small grains and potatoes. In 1984, Greg moved to Swift County with his father, Russell, and his brothers, Tony and Bruce, to raise potatoes. Greg and Kathy married that same year.

The Tweten farm has expanded to include corn, sweet corn, soybeans, edible beans, and sugar beets.  The family also runs a cow-calf operation that Greg and Kathy’s son, David, and his fiancé, Samantha, have taken over.  Greg also farms with his brother, Tony...

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