News

Wed
05
Jun
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January to May period was the wettest on record

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

It has been the wettest January to May period on record for the Benson area with 15.75 inches of precipitation – 6.85 inches above average. The five-month period beat the old record of 15.05 inches set in 1965 by 7 tenths of an inch.

May was the fourth wettest on record with 6.58 inches of rain – 3.43 inches above the average of 3.15 inches. The year 1993 holds the record for May rainfall with 7.25 inches.

Spring’s relentless snow and rain meant one of the latest planting seasons on record for Minnesota farmers. Many saw the late planting dates for corn come and go with fields too wet to work. Some have turned to soybeans, but too many acres are likely to go unplanted in the state.

Wed
29
May
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Worsening farm economy good reason to stop justice center plans, citizens say

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

The brakes are on the proposed $17.5 million Swift County Justice Center and a county board-appointed citizens committee to study the county building needs just conducted its first meeting. Still, the county board is hearing from citizens that they need to scrap the entire idea.

The proposed two-story 38,000 square foot building on the west side of the courthouse would house a new Swift County Sheriff’s Office, an expanded jail, human services, 6W Community Corrections, the county attorney’s office and Restorative Practices.

Wed
29
May
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Summer Food Program underway

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Benson Public Schools will again host the Summer Food Service Program with meals served in the Benson High School cafeteria.

Last year, the program served meals for 66 days, however, it is proposed that meals be served 57 days, from May 28 to Aug. 16, Food Service Director Jeanine Bowman told the board of education at its meeting Wednesday, May 22. No meals are served July 4-5.

For kids 18 years old or younger the meals are free. Kids older than 18 are allowed if there is an identifiable disability and the child has been participating in school programs.  These exceptions are extended until the person is 21.

The program will also serve meals to those over 18, including parents, but they have to pay $4 per meal. Bowman told the board that some of the students involved in summer programs, or athletic camps, also came to the school for the meals.

Wed
29
May
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May’s wet, cold weather one for the record books

As May draws to a close it is likely to enter the record books as one of the coldest and wettest on record for the Benson area and much of the state.

Already May is the fifth wettest on record with 6.51 inches of rain. With the possibility of rain forecast for Tuesday night into Wednesday morning, it will take just 7 hundredths of an inch to move the month into third place and 29 hundredths to move it into second place.
The year 1993 holds the record for May rainfall with 7.25 inches.

As of Tuesday, May 2019 is the coldest on record with a mean temperature so far of 50.8 degrees. Highs have averaged just 61 degrees – by far the coldest average high recorded for the month of May since local records started being kept in 1953. Through May 28 there hadn’t been a high temperature in the 80s. Only twice since 1953 has the month of May failed to reach 80 degrees – 1991 when the high was 79 degrees and 1995 when high was 77...

Wed
29
May
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SCBHS board votes to pursue affiliation

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Swift County-Benson Health Services has voted unanimously to pursue affiliation with CentraCare Health of St. Cloud, or Carris Health of Willmar. CentraCare owns Carris at its meeting last Thursday. Carris also has a relationship with CentraCare.

Its vote came after months of study, public input, and research into the option of continuing to exist as a stand-alone operation.

Prior to last Thursday’s meeting, the health service’s Strategic Planning Committee met to go over the steps necessary to move SCBHS toward affiliation.

It discussed the possibility of affiliating and what that might look like with Bryan Lydick of Carris Health of Redwood Falls. Redwood Falls was an independent operation prior to going with Carris.

Wed
22
May
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Benson’s 129th annual commencement exercises were Sunday afternoon.

Benson’s 129th annual commencement exercises, Sunday afternoon.  More pictures and the BHS Graduation Special can be found inside.

Benson’s 129th annual commencement exercises were Sunday afternoon. 
 

Wed
22
May
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Wagon Parade set for Friday

The 28th annual Northside School Wagon Parade is scheduled for 11:15 a.m., Friday at the Northside Elementary.

The K-4 classrooms will pick their favorite books, dress up as the characters in the books, and decorate a wagon to showcase their selection.  This has become a favorite last-day tradition at Northside.

Leading the parade this year will be retiring staff members, Jon Ahrndt (4th grade teacher), Shelly Mickelson and Nathan Pederson (music teachers), and Patty Schreck (school nurse).
 
“It is our chance to honor them, recognize their contributions to our students over the years, and say a big ‘thank you!’,” school staff said.

Parents may pick up their child following the parade at their child’s classroom.

Wed
22
May
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Corn, soybean planting well behind five-year average

Soybean planting as of Sunday was 11 days behind the five-year average in Minnesota and four days behind last year.

Area farmers made good progress with planting early last week, where the soils weren’t too wet to work or plant, but still remain far behind where they should be by the third week in May.

Planting stopped as more rain fell on already saturated soils Saturday and Sunday. Benson officially had 1.82 inches of rain over the weekend bringing the month’s total to 4.35 – 1.20 inches above the average of 3.15 inches. More rain was forecast for Tuesday and Wednesday.

April saw 3.77 inches of precipitation, 1.27 inches above the average of 2.5 inches.

Minnesota farmers took advantage of the 4.5 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending May 19, according to USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. Planting progress was made for all crops in Minnesota...

Wed
22
May
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Airport building bid double the estimate

With the bid for the new Benson Municipal Airport arrival-departure building coming in at nearly double what they were estimated at, the Benson City Council voted Monday night to reject it and seek new ones.

The estimated construction cost was $450,000, but the lone bid the city received from Gopher State Contracting came in at $859,547.

City Manager Rob Wolfington told the council that he thinks the bid may reflect that contractors have all the business they want and that they are throwing out bids that are quite high as a result...

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
22
May
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Second Xcel check set to come in June

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Two Minnesota legislative sessions over and, so far, there has been no concerted effort to undo the 2017 agreement that has the City of Benson being paid $20 million over four years for the loss of the Benson Power, LLC, power plant.

The city received its first $4 million payment last July. It is scheduled to receive another $6.5 million payment at the end of next month. A second $6.5 million payment is scheduled for payment June 30, 2020, and a final $3 million payment June 30, 2021.

Minnesota’s Legislature doesn’t officially adjourn until Thursday and no one who knows government ever assumes anything is set until the final gavels sound in both chambers.

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