News

Tue
23
Apr
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Scandi Haven Village open house Sunday

Scandi Haven Village, the new facility for area senior citizens and people suffering from memory loss, is having an open house Sunday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

 “Scandi describes the new facility’s style and function,” a description of how the name came about states. It refers to the Scandinavian design both inside and out. “It references the bright, clean-and-simple, Scandinavian style of the building’s interior...
 

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Wed
17
Apr
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Dance brings out the smiles

Jazz-n-Pizzazz Dance Recital was held Saturday and Sunday in the senior high gym.

PICTURED: In front are Meridith Huston (left) and Halle Nash, while in back are Jessalee Payne and Sophia Suller, dancing with other members of the Twinkle Toes (kindergarten), performing "Smile" and instructed by Samantha Carlson and Taylor Samuelson.

Wed
17
Apr
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CareerForce seeks to meet needs of area workers, businesses

Any employer you talk with will likely tell you the same story when it comes to filling openings they have: They simply can’t find anyone to take the job, they can’t find employees that are qualified, or they can’t find people who are reliable.

The Southwest Minnesota Private Industry Council (PIC) through the CareerForce program is trying to help employers overcome those challenges. CareerForce is the new name the program that has long been known as the Workforce Initiative.

 “Right now we have a significant labor shortage in our state, across the region and in the nation,” Executive Director Carrie Bendix told the Swift County Board of Commissioners at their April 2 meeting. “For every one job opening, there is a half a person. During the height of the recession, for every one job there were about nine people. So you can see we really are having a shortage. So our strategy is, ‘All hands on deck.’”

Wed
17
Apr
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School board cuts $541,832 from its 2019-20 budget

With nearly 30 faculty and school district residents at their meeting Monday at the Benson High School, the board of education approved $541,832 in cuts as it worked to balance its budget for the 2019-2020 school year.

The planned cuts are $105,612 lower than what were considered earlier by the board as it added back $10,000 for the marching band bus trip expenses, $58,630 for business office staff, and reduced the cuts in the agriculture department by $28,800.

It placed full-time agriculture teacher Nancy Loen and full-time English teacher Heidi Davis on unrequested leave while reducing science teacher Brian Edlund’s position to 58 hundredths of full-time.

Wed
17
Apr
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April blizzard pushes winter season’s snowfall to a record

flower in April blizzard

While last week’s blizzard didn’t break the record snowfall for April with its 13 inches of snow, it did push the winter season’s total snowfall to an all-time record of 78.5 inches.

For the past 50 years that record had been held by the winter season of 1968-1969 when 76.4 inches of snow fell.

The two winter seasons are markedly different on when the heavy snowfalls came. This season, 28 inches of snow fell in March and April. In 1968-69, only 4.1 inches of snow fell in those two months.

However, in the winter of 1968-69, 53.6 inches fell in December and January, burying the community. Another 14.7 inches fell in January, deepening the snow depth with the spring warmth to melt it still a couple months away.

Wed
17
Apr
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Civic center board proposes lease agreement to school

Benson’s Civic Center board is continuing to work on an arrangement with Benson Public Schools that would allow it to renovate the facility’s north end for gymnastics as well as other athletics.

At Monday night’s board of education meeting, Civic Center Board Member and School Board Member Bill McGeary presented a proposal that would have the school lease the north end for 20 years. The starting cost would be $63,000 a year, but a 2 percent annual increase would be built in to the agreement.

With the 2 percent annual increase, the last lease payment would total $93,615 with the total lease payments over the 20-year term coming to $1.62 million.

Wed
10
Apr
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Little Putting Practice

With Monday’s high reaching 64 degrees, Taylor King and son Thomas enjoy a little putting practice at the Benson Golf Club. Below, a brief thunderstorm brings out a rainbow.

With Monday’s high reaching 64 degrees, Taylor King and son Thomas enjoy a little putting practice at the Benson Golf Club.

Wed
10
Apr
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Emerald Eve

Swift County-Benson Health Services Foundation President Jerry Peterson informs, and entertains, the crowd gathered for the annual Emerald Eve fundraising event at McKinney’s on Southside Friday evening.

Swift County-Benson Health Services Foundation President Jerry Peterson informs, and entertains, the crowd gathered for the annual Emerald Eve fundraising event at McKinney’s on Southside Friday evening.

Wed
10
Apr
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School board gets input on proposed 2019-20 budget cuts

At its April 1 meeting, the District 777 Board of Education went through the painstaking list of proposed cuts for the 2019-20 school year as it tries to balance its budget.

Based on current state funding and local tax revenues, the school district estimates it is facing a deficit of $631,900 with general fund operating income for the coming school year projected at $9,350,700 and expenses of $9,982,600.

A decision on $636,440 in cuts will be made at the school board’s April 15 meeting.

With salaries and benefits making up over 70 percent of the school district’s expenses, staff positions and course offerings are necessarily on the table for reductions.

There are two principal reasons for the projected budget deficit: The lack of state funding and falling enrollment.

Wed
10
Apr
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Citizen committee formed to study justice center proposal

Bowing to persistent public pressure over the past three months, the Swift County Board of Commissioners created a Community Perspective Committee to give it input on a proposed $17.48 million justice center.

The committee will have two people named from each of the five county commission districts. At their April 2 meeting, commissioners said they want all the names of potential committee members submitted by April 15 so they can appoint the representatives at their April 16 meeting.

A listing of the towns and township in each district is at the end of this story.

 If more than two people from a commission district apply, County Board Chair Gary Hendrickx, District 1-Appleton, said what he would look for was a variety in who is named - male, female; people for and
people against. “You do not want to stack this in one way at all,” he said.

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