News

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.

Fri
12
Oct
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Persistent October rains slowing fall harvest efforts

Falls colors are starting to dominate the landscape. Another sign of fall is farmers in the field harvesting crops; however, persistent rains are slowing the harvest down.

Rain has again slowed the area’s corn, soybean and sugarbeet harvest. The rain has not only prevent the harvest a crop ready to take in, but has raised the moisture content of both corn and soybeans that had been drying down in the field.

Dry weather is needed to get farmers back in the fields. Warm days are needed to help reduce the moisture in crops. Starting Thursday it looks as if the dry weather will return, but warmer days don’t show up in the forecast until later next week.

Through the first eight days of October temperatures have made it feel more like late October or early November. Add in the wet, cloudy days and the unusually cold days feel even more chilling.

Highs have averaged just under 52 degrees since Oct. 1, that’s the average high for Oct.  28. Take out the high of 72 degrees Oct. 3, and the averages are closer to 48 degrees – the average for Nov. 1.

Lows have been averaging 38 degrees, the average for Oct. 13.

Fri
05
Oct
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Benson City Council supports letter of intent with BME

Benson Mayor Terri Collins looks at the former Benson Power biomass electric generation plant during a city council tour of the community Monday night.

A letter of intent that spells out “general business terms” between the City of Benson and Brightmark Energy (BME) of San Francisco was by approved at a special city council meeting last Wednesday night.

It also is the first concrete step toward what could someday be a $250 million investment in Benson at the site of what until recently was Benson Power, LLC.

Xcel Energy’s purchase of the biomass power plant earlier this year set in motion the eventual sale of removable assets on the site and demolition of the buildings. Eventually, the site was to be a bare lot the city could purchase for future economic development.

Heritage Global Partners is overseeing an auction of the former generating facility assets this month.

Fri
05
Oct
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17A’s Miller, Koenen to debate

The Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities has scheduled a candidate forum to discuss issues relevant to the Nov. 6 election in Minnesota House District 17A for Tuesday, Oct. 16, at the Swift County Law Enforcement Center in Benson.

It is scheduled from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Republican District 17A Rep. Tim Miller and Democratic-Farmer-Labor (DFL) candidate former Sen. Lyle Koenen have been invited.

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

Sara Lundquist, morning show host and program director for 93.5 KSCR Radio, Benson, and Reed Anfinson, publisher of the Swift County Monitor-News and Grant County Herald, will be the moderators. Anfinson also serves on the state’s Center for Rural Policy & Development, a non-partisan research body that advises the Legislature on rural issues.

Fri
05
Oct
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BHS Homecoming 2018: Queen Paige Cain & King Jared Knutson

From left to right in front are Mya Kurkosky, Katelyn Tolifson, Ava Nichols, Blake Larson, Chloe Collins, Isabelle Abner, and Jacquelyn Hanson.  In back are Toby Gonnerman, Cole Petrick, Queen Paige Cain, King Jared Knutson, Riley Grube, Matt Goossen, and Hunter Gonnerman.

Pictured are members of the 2018 BHS Homecoming Royalty Court.  From left to right in front are Mya Kurkosky, Katelyn Tolifson, Ava Nichols, Blake Larson, Chloe Collins, Isabelle Abner, and Jacquelyn Hanson.  In back are Toby Gonnerman, Cole Petrick, Queen Paige Cain, King Jared Knutson, Riley Grube, Matt Goossen, and Hunter Gonnerman.

 

Did you know the Swift County Monitor-News prints photos like this one?

Give us the date, page and subject of the photo and we will print it on archival quality photo paper. Makes a great gift!


Stop in, call or email us for more information or to order photo prints.

320-843-4111 or ads@monitor-news.com
 

Fri
21
Sep
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Growing season’s warmth leads to an early harvest

Minnesota’s soybean harvest is underway more than a week ahead of average thanks to a very warm growing season.

Minnesota’s very warm May 1 through Sept. 16 period has spurred crop development well ahead of average with maturities and field activities four to 11 days ahead of schedule.

All area crops, even those not planted until May 15 due to a delayed spring planting because of very cold and wet conditions in April, are also fully mature.

Corn planted May 1 reached 2,559 growing degree-days as of Sunday, 275 ahead of the average of 2,284 for crops planted May 1. It is also 209 days past the 2,350 days needed for the corn crop to reach full maturity.

Corn planted May 15 has reached 2,419 growing degree-days, 135 days ahead of the average for corn planted May 1. It was 69 days past the average growing degree-days needed for maturity even though planted two weeks late.

Sunday combines could be seen in area fields harvesting soybeans, nearly a week earlier than average for the start of the harvest....

 

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