News

Wed
16
Oct
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Freeze ends growing season; October 2-inch snows rare

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

It is rare for October to see snowfalls of 2 inches or more for the month – it had only happened only eight times since 1952. This past weekend’s winter storm pushed that number to nine with 2 inches of snow falling in the Benson area along with a cold drizzle and rain over the weekend.

As the temperature warmed to 37 degrees Saturday the snow quickly melted with not a trace remaining by the afternoon.

There are still 16 days to go in the month, so the 2019 snowfall total could increase. However, the forecast is for warmer temperatures through the rest of the week with no snow in the forecast...

 

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
09
Oct
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Three county men died in Vietnam War

Cpl. Kenneth Meulebroeck
Cpl. Delvin Martinson

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

In the Swift County Monitor-News story last week about Sgt. David J. Barduson being posthumously awarded The Order of Saint Maurice Medallion it was stated that he was the only fatality the county suffered in the Vietnam War.

There were actually two other young men from the county who died in Vietnam. Army Cpl. Delvin Martinson of Benson and Army Cpl. Kenneth Meulebroeck of Murdock who were both killed in action in 1969.

Barduson of West Bank Township was killed in action near Phu Bai in northern South Vietnam Feb. 24, 1968. He was 22-years-old at the time. 

Martinson was killed near Long An in the Mekong Delta in Vietnam Nov. 28, 1969. It was the day after Thanksgiving, and he was 23 at the time. He had arrived in Vietnam Sept. 1, 1969. He was the first graduate of Concordia College in Moorhead to die in the Vietnam War.

Wed
09
Oct
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Crops get a few extra days to mature

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

With the first frost of the season holding off well into October the area’s foliage still looks amazingly green and lush. That is going to change significantly later this week.

Our first frost and freeze, as well as an unusually early snowfall, are forecast for Thursday night into Friday. Friday’s high is forecast to be only 37 degrees with a low of 29. The average high for Oct. 11 is 61 degrees and the average low 37 degrees.

If it only reaches 37 degrees Friday, it will break the record for a low high for Oct. 11. The current record is 39 degrees set in 1959 and 2009. Highs are forecasted to be in the 30s Friday through Sunday. Average highs in the mid-30s are more typical of the middle of November...

 

Wed
09
Oct
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Proposed parking law would prohibit parking on lawns

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Benson’s City Council has approved the first reading of an ordinance that would govern parking in yards of not just vehicles, but fish houses, boats campers, trailers and other things that can be pulled behind a vehicle. The action took place at its meeting Monday night.

A second reading of the ordinance and a public hearing to take citizen input is set for the council’s Monday, Oct. 21, meeting. The meeting starts at 5:30 p.m. and is in the council chambers in city hall.

Several people that were at Monday night’s meeting had questions about the impact of the new parking restrictions and potential problems they could create for people...

Wed
02
Oct
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SCBHS, Carris Health lease will mean changes in governing board authority

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Swift County-Benson Health Services could see a draft of what an agreement for leasing the facility to Carris Health of Willmar will look like later this week. However, the final agreement between Carris and SCBHS is not expected to be signed until the end of the year.

Monday night the SCBHS governing board was given an update on the progress of the lease arrangement discussions. There are currently 14 committees working on different areas of how SCBHS and Carris would merge into a new operating entity...

 

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
02
Oct
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Sheriff’s Deputy Joyce injured in train accident

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Swift County Deputy Sheriff Chris Joyce, 38, was injured Thursday when the 2004 Chevrolet Silverado crew cab pickup he was driving collided with a BNSF train just west of DeGraff.

Joyce was not on duty at the time of the accident.

According to the Minnesota State Patrol accident report, Joyce was headed east on Swift County Road 14. The road parallels U.S. Highway 12 before curving left to the north just before the BNSF tracks and U.S. 12. The BNSF train was also traveling east.

The Chevrolet Silverado braked and came a stop at the tracks when the train collided with it, the patrol report says. The truck landed on its top in the east ditch of Swift County Road 14 next to the tracks.

Wed
02
Oct
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Council taking another look at Armory for city hall

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Benson’s City Council is revisiting its discussion from nearly three years ago about renovating the Armory building into a new city hall.

One significant difference between that late 2016 discussion and the current one is that the issue of displacing the Benson High School gymnastics program may no longer be a concern.

In August, the council voted unanimously to enter into a five-year lease agreement with the Benson Civic Center board and contribute $500,000 toward the renovation of the north end of the civic center. The primary use of the renovated space would be for the gymnastics program, which has operated out of the cramped space of the armory for decades.

Benson Public Schools has yet to confirm its willingness to take on the rent of the building if the renovation of the civic center proceeds. The city also has yet to get the updated costs of renovating the space...

Wed
02
Oct
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September was wettest on record for the area

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

September was the wettest on record for the Benson area with 7.05 inches of rain. The old record was 6.52 inches from 1991. September rainfall was 4.28 inches more than the averge of 2.77 inches.

The first nine months of 2019 with 34.94 inches of precipitation were the wettest first nine months on record for the area as well. The previous recorded was 34.72 inches from 1986. The January to September rainfall was 12.04 inches more than the average of 22.9 inches.

The signs of the wet weather have lingered throughout the spring and summer, and now into the fall with standing water in fields and sump pumps running constantly. The Chippewa River at Benson’s western edge is back up to 10.8 feet, more than 2 feet above where it usually sits at this time of year.

Thu
26
Sep
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September may be first month with above average temps

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

If September’s warmth continues for the rest of the month, it will become the first month of 2019 with above average temperatures.

In the Benson area, during the period from Sept. 14 to Sept. 21 highs averaged 83.3 degrees and lows 58.4. Highs were more than 13 degrees above average and lows 10 degrees above the average. Both Sept. 17 and Sept. 20 the high hit 88 degrees –the average high for the 20th is 70 degrees. The high for the month of August was 85 degrees...

 

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!

Thu
26
Sep
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County sets preliminary levy raise at 5 percent

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Swift County’s Board of Commissioners voted unanimously at its Sept. 17 meeting to adopt a 5 percent increase in the general operating levy raising a projected $5,992,702 for 2020. It is an increase of just over $285,000 from the 2019 levy.

Commissioners were required under state statute to adopt the preliminary levy before the end of September. However, the final levy does not have to be approved until the end of the year. While the county board can lower the proposed levy between now and then, it can’t raise it.

Whether or not the full 5 percent levy will be implemented depends on whether or not the county receives a grant for its sheriff’s office radio system...

 

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