News

Wed
06
Nov
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Benson school referendum passes

A vote to raise District 777’s levy referendum passed with 55.7 percent of the vote 653 to 520. The levy won by 133 votes.
The new levy will raise the current levy of $720 per pupil unit by $480. The current levy raises a total of $684,853 in additional funds for education.
Not all of that $1,200 per pupil unit levy will come from local taxpayers. The State of Minnesota is kicking in 30 percent of the cost; local taxpayers will contribute $840 and get $360 from the state.
The approved levy increase means a homeowner with a $50,000 house will pay an additional $71 in real estate taxes in 2014. If your home is worth $100,000 you will pay an additional $142 and if your home is worth $200,000, an additional $284.
For farmers, the additional levy applies to the home, garage and one acre of land. Seasonal recreational property was exempt from the levy’s taxing authority.

Fri
01
Nov
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Cargill bringing agronomy center to Benson area

Cargill’s plans for an agronomy center on the site of the former GTI trucking terminal just north of the Swift County Environmental Services facility moved forward last week with approval of a conditional use permit.
Swift County’s board of commissioners unanimously approved the permit at its meeting Oct. 15. The permit allows Cargill to operate an agronomy center with fertilizer and chemical tanks at the site.
The permit had earlier been approved by the county planning commission following a public hearing, Environmental Services Director Scott Collins told commissioners. There was no opposition from township and no public opposition at the hearing, he added.
There will be no anhydrous ammonia tanks at the facility, Cargill’s Jimmy Williamson told commissioners.

Tue
29
Oct
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Fall back on Sunday morning

Fall back; spring ahead – an easy little saying to tell you what to do with your clocks and watches this coming Sunday morning.
At 2 a.m. Sunday, Daylight Saving Time ends giving you an extra hour of sleep.
Most people will turn their clocks back an hour before they go to bed while those with digital devices will simply rely on technology to automatically do it for them.
Saturday morning the sun will rise at 8:03 and set at 6:08 p.m. But with the end of Daylight Saving Time, Sunday morning it will rise at 7:06 a.m. and set at 5:07 p.m.
As we move toward the Winter Solstice Dec. 21, the days will keep getting shorter and shorter.
Evenings keep getting darker as we move into December. From Dec. 4 to Dec. 16, the sun sets at 4:40 p.m. Then, Dec. 17, the sun sets one minute later at 4:41 and by the end of December it is setting at 4:49.

Thu
24
Oct
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Accident north of Benson blocks roads

Minnesota 29 north of Benson could be blocked until at least 10 a.m. Thursday due to an accident between a pickup hauling two field anhydrous ammonia tanks and a semi-tractor trailer truck.
One person was taken to the Swift County-Benson Hospital by ambulance complaining of possible neck injuries.
The Swift County Sheriff’s Office received a call about 6:47am, of the accident about 1 mile north of Benson on Highway 29.  A pickup pulling two 1,000 gallon field nurse anhydrous tanks struck a patch of ice on the bridge and rolled into the ditch on the north side of the bridge.
At this time, most of the product has been released and there is no emergency to the immediate area, the sheriff’s office said.  Agencies responding to the scene were Swift County Sheriff’s Department, Benson Fire Department, Benson Ambulance, Benson Police Department, Minnesota State Patrol, and the Swift County Emergency Manager.

Wed
23
Oct
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Benson schools to close earlier starting Monday Nov. 4

The following letter was posted on the school's facebook page this morning, Wednesday, Oct. 23:

Tue
22
Oct
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Filipino importer delegation tours O’Leary soybean farm near Benson

Soybean, pig and corn farmer Mike O’Leary hosts trade team
Some Filipino soybean importers left Minnesota with a better understanding of how soybeans are grown here, thanks to a statewide tour.  
The group of 16 visited Minnesota Oct. 16 and 17 to see local soybean and corn farms and livestock operations. The trip included a stop at Mike O’Leary’s soybean, corn and hog farm in Danvers. Local farmers hope visits like this will encourage their companies to continue buying quality soybeans from Minnesota.
O’Leary hosted agricultural delegates who are involved in soybean meal purchasing and livestock operations in the Philippines. Their visit was part of a harvest tour to see how soybeans are harvested, to collect crop samples and visit U.S. livestock operations. The tour was planned by Ag Processing Inc. (AGP) and the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council (MSR&PC).

Tue
22
Oct
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The annual BHS Student Council Food Shelf Drive

The annual BHS Student Council Food Shelf Drive is scheduled for Thursday night, Oct. 31 (Halloween night) during normal trick-or-treating hours from 6-7:30 p.m..  In the past, BHS students have blanketed the communities of Benson, DeGraff, and Clontarf.  The event is sponsored by the Business Professionals of America and the Benson High School Student Council.   It is also an event for those who want to participate in “We Scare Hunger”, part of the Free the Children movement that involved over 50 Benson students on Tuesday, Oct. 11 (“We Day”).

Tue
22
Oct
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State’s harvest progressing nicely

By Kent Thiesse
Farm Management Analyst & Vice President MinnStar Bank Lake Crystal

Fri
11
Oct
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Stars help community celebrate Northside’s success

It was a celebration that will be talked about in Benson for years to come. Star power came to the city to celebrate with the community with the Northside Elementary winning the nationwide “Give With Target” competition.
“I was kind of stunned for four days and it kind of felt like it never happened,” elementary teacher Roger Ebnet and the force behind Northside winning the Target competition, said of last week’s community celebration. “And now  it kind of feels like it happened two months ago.”
But there were plenty of reminders last week to keep him savoring the thrill of the community’s high-energy recognition by Target for being number one in the national in its “Give With Target” campaign.
“One girl in the school wore her Target glasses for the whole week,” Ebnet said with a laugh. Walking outside the school at noon hour later last week, he heard a group chanting “Target. Target. Target. The kids are still talking about it,” he said.

Fri
11
Oct
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Local federal employees furloughed; no crop reports coming

Every week during the growing season the United States Department of Agriculture’s Ag Statistics Service puts out a report on crop conditions and soil moisture levels. In the fall, they also give a report on the status of the harvest.
But if you go to the Ag Statistics web site now you get the message: “Due to the lapse in federal government funding, this website is not available. After funding has been restored, please allow some time for this website to become available again.” In other words, the harvest could be done by the time the next report comes out.
But, at least for this past week, not much happened in the fields around Minnesota. Four days of rain brought just over half an inch of rain to the area, but it was enough to bring the harvest to a halt.

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