News

Wed
24
Feb
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Low interest rates hurt county funds earnings

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

“I don’t know quite where to start,” Swift County Treasurer Ron Vadnais told the County Board of Commissioners  at their meeting Tuesday, Feb. 16.

“I have been in this position for a number of years and I guess when I first came on board, the interest rate structure was in double digits to the point of it being almost loan-shark rates. Now here we are in 2021…” Vadnais said.

Vadnais was being modest when he said he had been the county’s treasurer for “a number of years.” He has been the county’s treasurer for 38 years, serving since 1982. In June 1982, interest rates peaked 21.5 percent...

 

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
17
Feb
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Benson area now ‘cradle to career’ school district

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Just what the new District 777 facilities constructed over the past two years mean to the community and its children is best illustrated in the words of those of who work with those children and work to make the area a better place to live.

The Swift County Monitor-New collected the comments of community and school leaders to give our readers insight into the immediate and lasting value of an investment of more than $30 million in our schools. Here are their thoughts:

Superintendent Dennis Laumeyer

Benson Public Schools has become a regional leader in equipping students for college and their future careers. The new spaces have provided high quality learning spaces that begin at birth...

 

Wed
17
Feb
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$30 million investment positions area for better future

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

An investment of more than $30 million in Benson Public Schools over the past two years has positioned the community not only to meet the needs of its students but also to make it more attractive to those considering moving here.

It has been an investment in families, school children, education, the arts, athletic opportunities, student safety, and economic development.

“Good schools and healthcare are vital to community economic health and economic development,” Corey Claussen, president of the Benson Industrial Development Corp., said. The building projects at Benson schools show the community’s commitment to its future, he said...

 

Wed
17
Feb
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February 2021 on pace to be coldest on record; Monday’s low was - 29

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

February 2019 was the coldest on record in the Benson area based on statistics that go back to 1953. That record may last just two years. So far, 2021 is on pace to set a new record for the coldest February unless we see a significant warming trend.

For 11 straight days the National Weather Service has issued Wind Chill Watches and Warnings for western Minnesota. For the most part, the area has been fortunate that there have been no strong winds.

With the wind at just 9 mph out of the north early Sunday morning and the temperature at a minus 26 degrees, the wind chill was a biting, dangerous minus 47 degrees. Throughout the past 10 days the wind chill has frequently fallen below a minus 30 degrees...

 

Wed
10
Feb
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2020 was challenging year for county’s Restorative Practices

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

“COVID has meant an interesting year, especially for this program,” Restorative Practices Coordinator Shelly Lottman told the Swift County Board of Commissioners at their meeting last Tuesday.

 “Restorative Practices is all about community, and meeting in person, and building up relationships,” she said. When the program had to move to remote work and meetings, none of that was possible, and it became very challenging, Lottman said.

Restorative Practices works with young people who have gotten in trouble with the law, offering an alternative to the court system...

 

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
10
Feb
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Most Benson teachers now have first dose of COVID-19 vaccine

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Incidents of COVID-19 in Benson Public Schools remains very low, Supt. Dennis Laumeyer told the board of education Monday night. “We have been very grateful to have our numbers like that,” he said.

Those low numbers have meant that Benson schools have been able to have in-person classes for much of the school year.

“We still encourage our students and staff to wear masks, to social distance, and we want to continue that process,” Laumeyer 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
10
Feb
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County to back new fair building with $200,000

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

With a $200,000 line of credit at zero percent interest, the Swift County Fair Board now has the backing it needs to proceed with new construction on the fairgrounds. The fair board will have 10 years to pay the money back.

“We have set an aggressive  schedule and we hope to get it up and built by fair time this year,” Fair Board President Eric Turnquist told the Swift County Board of Commissioner’s meeting at their meeting last Tuesday.

During the fair board’s annual report last month, Turnquist told commissioners they would like to expand the Chuck Brown Building another 60 feet to the north and build an office addition off to the west side...

 

Wed
03
Feb
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SCBHS looks to remodel ER entrance for enchanced safety

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

As part of an agreement to refinance Swift County-Benson Health Services debt last year to potentially save it $300,000 in interest payments annually, the City of Benson agreed to provide the health care facility with a $1 million grant.

For its part, Swift County has agreed to sell $7.73 million in general obligation bonds to provide SCBHS with significantly lower interest rates on its debt.

With the $1 million grant the city was providing over two years, SCBHS was to undertake capital improvements to its facility including roof repairs, upgrades of its air handlers, updating its fire alarm system, control system upgrades and boiler replacement...

 

Wed
03
Feb
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Vaccination pace picks up, COVID cases decline

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

As of Monday’s Minnesota Department of Health COVID-19 update, Swift County has seen 930 residents receive the first dose of the vaccine. That number represents 9.9 percent of the county’s population.

The report reflects 329 additional people receiving the vaccine in the past week when just 6 percent of the county’s population had been vaccinated.

Swift County saw the number of people who have received the second shot of the vaccine increase by 94 to 219, or 2.3 percent of the county’s population...

 

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
Feb
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City to share Xcel tax payment with county, school

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

When the City of Benson agreed to Xcel Energy’s efforts to shut down the former Fibrominn electric generation plant on the west side of the city, there were two parts to the financial compensation.

First, Benson would receive $20 million over four years from  Renewal Development Fund. It is funded by Xcel to promote renewable energy technology, stimulate research into renewable energy, and enhance the infrastructure for delivering renewable energy.

Over the past three years, the city has received $17 million with the final $3 million payment due in June...

 

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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