News

Fri
08
Jun
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After five years, restored jukebox returns to bakery

Toby Johannessen, owner of the Benson Bakery, holds up the jackets of two records that were on the Seeburg jukebox when it was shutdown in the 1980s: “Islands in the Stream,” by Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton, released in 1983, and Willie Nelson’s “City of New Orleans,” released in 1985. This photo was taken in 2013, when Kenny Amundson was talking with Johannessen about taking on the Seeburg’s restoration.

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher

 

This story starts with a quarter at the Benson Bakery, an old jukebox, and a child’s memory of great times growing up in the city.

“When I was a kid here in Benson more than just a few of us would go the bakery like big shots and order something and turn the jukebox on,” Kenny Amundson recalls. “You didn’t see the jukebox because it was in the basement. But we could put a quarter in the slot (of the player) on the wall and get three songs. I really remember that.”

Born at the Swift County-Benson Hospital in 1945, Amundson lived on a farm between Clontarf and Hancock. When he was five the family moved to Benson and when he was 14 years old, the Amundsons moved to the Twin Cities.

Fri
08
Jun
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Last hurdles to the purchase, shutdown of Benson Power closer to being cleared

Last Friday Benson was scheduled to get its first $4 million payment from the settlement with Xcel Energy and the Minnesota Legislature that will lead to the closing of Benson Power, LLC, later this summer.

The payment is to be followed by $6 million payments in 2019 and 2020, with a final $3 million payment coming in 2021, bringing the total to $20 million.

However, City Manager Rob Wolfington told the Benson council Monday night that there are two hurdles still to clear before the payments can start.

First, the North Dakota Public Utilities Commission has to give its approval of the purchase and closure of the 55-megawatt biomass power plant in Benson.

A work session of the North Dakota PUC was set for June 11, at which time it was going to determine whether or not it would conduct a public hearing to listen to appeals by workers at Laurentian Energy Authority (LEA) and suppliers working with Benson Power.

Fri
08
Jun
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Benson enforcing ordinance governing backyard pools

Last year five residents of Benson bought and installed above ground pools in their backyards thinking they would provide a place to cool off on a hot summer’s day and be great for kids to play in as well.

There was just one problem with all the pools – their installation didn’t comply with the Benson city ordinance. If the residents couldn’t comply with the law, they had to remove the pools.

Now, two more cases of people putting in backyard above ground pools have come up this spring. And, again, those installing them were not aware that the city had a law governing their use, City Manager Rob Wolfington told the Benson City Council at its meeting Monday night.

Fri
01
Jun
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Honoring America’s Veterans

Pictured is Veteran Conrad Urke was honored as the “special veteran” in this year’s Memorial Day parade and service at the Benson City Cemetery.

Pictured is Veteran Conrad Urke was honored as the “special veteran” in this year’s Memorial Day parade and service at the Benson City Cemetery.

Fri
01
Jun
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May ending with record heat; six days in the 90s

With temperatures reaching into the 90s throughout the Memorial Day weekend, the Benson Swimming Pool was a popular place to cool off for kids, and adults.

Are we looking at a repeat of 1988?

 

Only one other time since the City of Benson started recording daily temperature records in 1953 has there been a May with more than three high temperatures in the 90s.

It was 1988, which saw six days in May with highs ranging from 90 to 94 degrees. They were the first of what would be 48 days of 90 or higher temperatures, including 11 days with highs reaching between 100 to 104 degrees that summer.

May 2018 has nearly equaled 1988’s mark with five consecutive days reaching into the 90 degrees – May 24 to May 28. The forecast for Tuesday was a high near 90, which would make it six, tying 1988. Whether or not this month was an anomaly, or if it signals a repeat of 1988 is a story that will play out in the coming months.

Fri
01
Jun
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County backs Appleton OHV Park

Swift County is backing the purchase of land for the Appleton Off-Highway Vehicle Park (OHV) with a $50,000 commitment. The action was approved by the board of commissioners at its meeting, Tuesday, May 15.

While the county has approved the funding, the motion was simply to indicate an “intent to buy” the additional land on the part county at this time.

Appleton’s Economic Development Authority (EDA) has committed $20,000 toward facilitating the purchase of the land and the Appleton Project $30,000. However, their commitment was dependent on Swift County reimbursing the Appleton Project and the EDA at a future date.

Fri
01
Jun
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Three file for Benson council

Three people have filed for the remaining 16 months in an open seat on the Benson City Council. Lynn Jacobson and Don Lenz are filing for the council for the first time. Larry Smith sought election to the council in 2015, in a special council election in 2016, and the city’s 2017 election, but lost each time.

The open seat was vacated Jan. 2 when Terri Collins was sworn in as Benson’s new mayor. The council chose to leave the seat open, filling it with a special election rather than appoint someone to fill the vacancy.

The special election will take place Tuesday, Aug. 14, which is also the date of the state’s primary election and the date set for the District 777 building levy referendum. The state’s general election is set for Tuesday, Nov. 5. Whoever is elected to the city council will join Mayor Collins and Council Members Mark Schreck, Lucas Olson and Jack Evenson. The person will serve from late August to Dec. 31, 2019.

Fri
01
Jun
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Benson-KMS competes at sub-section track meet

Claire Ricard earned the only title at the sub-section meet for the boys and girls teams, winning the 300 meter hurdles.

Minnewaska Area and Morris Area-CA claimed team titles at the Sub-section 6A-21 Track and Field Meet at Minnewaska Area High School, Thursday morning.

The Lakers won the girls title by 37 points over runner-up Osakis, while the Tigers won the 8-team boys title by 19.5 points over Minnewaska Area.

The Benson-KMS girls finish sixth with 30 points, while the Benson-KMS boys were also sixth with 34.5 points.

Winning the only title for the Fighting Braves was Claire Ricard in the 300 meter hurdles with a personal-best time of 49.41, while placing second was the boys 3200 meter relay, Jon Tostenson in the 800 meter run, and Brady Ascheman in the 3200 meter run.

The top place finishers will be back on the track this Thursday (tomorrow) for the Section 6A Track Meet at Fergus Falls.

The State Track and Field Meet is set for June 8-9 at Hamline University....

 

Fri
01
Jun
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Arbor Day tree planting at Park View Manor

Fifth-grade students at Benson Public Schools planted trees near Park View Manor in Benson during Arbor Da

Fifth-grade students at Benson Public Schools planted trees near Park View Manor in Benson during Arbor Day.



They planted six trees this year: three Triumph Elms, and three Sugar Maples, with some help from City of Benson staff. The students took part in the entire process, from digging the hole to putting the tree in the hole to putting the dirt back in the hole to staking the tree and then giving it water.



This was the 23rd year the Benson 5th graders have planted trees during the annual Arbor Day observance.
 

For more stories like this, and to keep up on all the latest news, 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!
 

Fri
25
May
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Legislature done with Benson’s $20 million in place

Truckers, loggers and other suppliers of Benson Power, LLC, could be getting $40 million in compensation as Xcel Energy looks to shut down the biomass power plant.

$40 million for Benson Power suppliers on governor’s desk

Minnesota’s 2018 Legislature adjourned late Sunday night leaving the $20 million in payments scheduled to come to City of Benson over the next four years to compensate for the loss of Benson Power, LLC, in place.

The first $4 million payment is scheduled to come by June 30. After that, $6.5 million payments are scheduled to be made by June 30, 2019, and June 30, 2020. A final $3 million payment is due by June 30, 2021.

City officials were concerned that efforts to compensate truckers and suppliers of Benson power for lost income would cause changes to the City of Benson’s legislation affecting the payment amounts or timing of the payments.

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