News

Wed
16
Dec
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City’s $1.4 million grant request moving ahead

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Benson’s application for $1,413,684 in federal Economic Development Administration disaster grant funds has been “selected for further consideration” the city was notified Monday.

“Subject to the availability of funds, your proposed project, estimated to cost $ 1,767,106, will be considered for up to $ 1,413,684 in EDA funding.” The funds would come from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration under the Economic Adjustment Assistance Program, authorized under the Public Works and Economic Development Act of 1965.

The federal EDA is now asking the City of Benson for additional information as the application moves to the next step in the process...

 

Wed
16
Dec
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Countryside working on vaccine distribution plan

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

With the first shipment of COVID-19  vaccine doses across the United States Sunday, there is finally good news is the fight against the deadly disease caused by the novel coronavirus. Those first doses will go to the medical staffs that are fighting to save lives as COVID-19 cases overwhelm America’s emergency rooms and intensive care units.

Monday morning Minnesota received its allotted doses of the vaccine, just 183,000 for the month of December out of the nearly 3 million being disbursed around the U.S. Many more doses will be coming in the next couple months as production of the vaccine ramps up and as vaccines made by other drug makers are approved.

Friday drug makers Pfizer and BioNTech’s vaccine became the first to be approved the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in the United States. Moderna’s vaccine could get emergency authorization Thursday...

 

Wed
09
Dec
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Somber board gives COVID-19 Swift County Fair report to county

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

It was a somber Swift Fair board executive committee that met with the Swift County Board of Commissioners last Tuesday. For a county fair that has seen so much success in the recent past 2020 will be a year to forget.

It was a year of missed celebration for the Swift County Fair due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the departure of a mainstay of the board, and the tragic loss of an influential and hardworking fair board member.

This summer, Swift County Fair president and long-time fair board member Jon Panzer left Appleton to take a job with WDSE/WRPT Public Television in Duluth. He had spent over 30 years with Pioneer Public TV in Appleton and then Granite Falls. He held the positions of director of engineering, station manager and interim general manager with the station.

Wed
09
Dec
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County gives $1,000 more to hurting businesses

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Swift County has paid out nearly $1.18 million from its $1.22 million in federal CARES Act funds to help local healthcare, businesses and its own operations in addressing the impact of COVID-19.

At its meeting Tuesday, Dec. 1, the county board of commissioners approved two additional applications for funding, one from the Clontarf First Responders for $23,020 and the Danvers First Responders for $5,443.

 It also approved another $15,000 in $1,000 grants to the 15 businesses considered most in need of help out of the 45 that applied for CARES Act funds from the county...

 

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
Dec
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Benson, KMS reach agreement on cooperative

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

After months of discussion, the sports cooperative agreement between Benson Public Schools and Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg (KMS) has finally been approved.

It calls for KMS to pay an additional $25,000 fee annually to support facility costs in Benson. At the same time, it puts in writing the desire of KMS to see cross country practices alternated between Benson and Kerkhoven. It also expresses KMS’ future goal of possibly seeing the track or tennis programs moving to Kerkhoven.

KMS Supt. Martin Heidelberger said Thursday he was mailing the sports cooperative agreement back to Benson with the terms that were proposed. That agreement was approved by the Benson School Board Monday night...

 

Wed
02
Dec
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Swift County stays with 1% levy increase for ‘21

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Later this month, the Swift County Board of Commissioners will approve the 2021 budget and levy. As it is currently proposed, it would see a 1 percent levy increase raising taxes by about $100,000 over 2020. However, the board can reduce it to zero when it finalizes the budget and levy.

When they approved the preliminary budget in September, commissioners were looking at drawing about $150,000 from reserves because expected revenues did not cover projected expenses. However, in a line-by-line review of the proposed budget, Administrator Kelsey Baker found $48,983 in expenses for board of commissioners’ insurance and bond that shouldn’t have been there. With it removed the expected budget deficit has fallen to $104,130...

 

Wed
02
Dec
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Dooley’s two lots rezoned for business

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Benson’s City Council approved the second reading of an ordinance to change the zoning of two lots on the south end of the Shell station block from residential single family housing to business use.

It also approved a conditional use permit (CUP) that details a set of conditions for development of the block by Dooley’s Petroleum. And it approved a site plan for the new operation based on drawings that have been supplied by Dooley’s.

Approval of the zoning change required a four-fifths vote of the council, which wasn’t an issue. Council Members Jack Evenson, Lucas Olson, Mark Schreck and Jon Buyck supported the zoning change as did Mayor Terri Collins...

 

Wed
02
Dec
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Still no resolution on sports cooperative

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

While one significant hurdle in the negotiations with the Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg (KMS) school district on the cooperative sports agreement it has with Benson was settled, new points of contention and new questions were raised.

Benson pairs with KMS in girls and boys’ track, tennis, cross country, and hockey, and in girls’ gymnastics. When the sports cooperative was formed more than 30 years ago, Benson had considerably more students involved in the programs than KMS. However, now the numbers are consistently just about even.

Benson has been asking KMS for an additional $34,500 contribution to help cover the costs of  maintaining facilities at BHS.

Wed
25
Nov
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Sen. Klobuchar connects with rural business via Zoom conference call

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Minnesota U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar conducted a Zoom call with five rural Minnesotans Monday, including Jessica Wrobleski of Stony Ridge Foods in Benson, to get an idea of how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting their businesses.

Also on the call were Michelle Dagget, resident of Lakeshirts, in Detroit Lakes, Tyler Stilson of 3D CNC of Mankato and Hutchinson, with a facility in Colorado as well, and Dr. Randy Simonson, former CEO of Cambridge Technologies. Also on the call was Diane Anderson, president and CEO of the Southwest Initiative Foundation.

One of the reasons that she wanted to conduct the Zoom call with representatives of businesses in rural Minnesota was the challenges created by the resurgence of COVID-19. Businesses are again being shutdown to slow the spread of the deadly virus...

Wed
25
Nov
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County provides extra funds for healthcare

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Health providers at the front lines of the COVID-19 fight in Swift County received a financial boost from the county board of commissioners at the Nov. 17 meeting.

Commissioners allocated $75,000 each to Appleton Area Health and Swift County-Benson Health Services. It also allocated another $15,000 to Countryside Public Health.

Countryside had received $106,200 in CARES funds in July, one of the first entities in the county to get the funding. Countryside provides public health services for Swift, Big Stone, Chippewa, Yellow Medicine and Lac qui Parle counties. Its offices are based in Benson...

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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