News

Wed
14
Aug
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School board seeks answers before deciding on lease

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Whether or not Benson Public Schools will pursue a lease for the civic center is going to depend on just how the City of Benson splits the Xcel Energy funds it is expecting to receive as in-lieu-of-taxes payments.

It will also depend on the commitment of Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg (KMS) schools to financially support the gymnastics program, which will be the primary user of the civic center. It is expected that KMS students will account for 50 percent of the students involved.

And, finally, School Board Member Jim Berens said he would have a hard time taking the Xcel Energy dollars the school gets from the city’s spending them on the civic center when they should go to teacher salaries...

 

Thu
08
Aug
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Motorcycle accident claims life of Benson woman

Doreen Touhey, 64, Benson died from injuries sustained Saturday when the motorcycle she was a passenger on struck a deer on Swift County Road 15 Saturday evening.

The Swift County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call at 7:27 p.m. about a crash involving two motorcycles on Swift County 15 a half-mile north of Swift County 20 between Danvers and Clontarf.

Mike Touhey, 64, and Doreen Touhey, and Sylvia Bartells, 64, and Kenneth Bartells, 64, of Clitheral, were southbound on Swift County Road 15 when a doe and two fawns crossed the road, the sheriff’s office reported. The Touheys’ 2001 Honda motorcycle struck the doe and went into the ditch. The Bartells’ 2002 Harley tipped on its side avoiding Touhey’s motorcycle and the deer.

Mike and Doreen Touhey were transported to Swift County-Benson Health Services where Doreen Touhey was later pronounced dead. Mike Touhey and the Bartells were treated and released from the hospital.

Thu
08
Aug
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Civic center renovation to wait as city seeks answers

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Benson’s City Council wants additional questions answered before it agrees to invest $500,000 into improvements to the north of the civic center.

The funds would be funneled to the Benson Civic Center board, which would make the renovations, and then lease the facility to Benson Public Schools. The primary use of the facility would be for the school’s gymnastics program.

The work, if approved, would not be done in time for the 2019-20 gymnastics season, but would be in another year. Meanwhile, it would continue to use the Benson Armory.

There are two possible sources for the $500,000 needed for the loan that would finance the improvements to the north end of the civic center...

 

Thu
08
Aug
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Flodstrom may get one more month for repairs

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Homeowner Helen Flodstrom has been given until Aug. 29 to meeting to have a general contractor hired and building permits in hand to get a one-month extension on bringing her property up to city code.

Flodstrom appeared before the council Monday night for a continuation of a July 22 public hearing on the dilapidated home at 801 Kansas Avenue on the east side of Benson. Flodstrom had asked the council for the continuation to give her a chance to appear with her attorney.

While attorney Matt Franzese was scheduled to appear with Flodstrom Monday night, he was required to stay late for court in Traverse County, could not make the trip to Benson in time for the meeting. He requested that he be allowed to represent her by phone with the council agreeing.

Thu
08
Aug
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Crop development lags due to cool weather, late planting

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

As of July 31, the USDA’s Swan Lake Research Farm near Morris had recorded 890 growing degree days (GDDs) with a starting date of May 1. The average for the end of July is 1,467.5, which is 48.5 more than we’ve seen.

However, many of the crops in the area did not get planted until two to three weeks after May 1. Since May 15, only 1,279 growing degree days have accumulated, 188 fewer than the May 1 to July 31 average.

Growing degree days are a measure of heat accumulation during a growing season and an indicator of crop progress. Warm days speed growth along while cool temperatures can cause development to slow down. Those cool temperatures can have an impact on yield. When growing degrees days are behind average, farmers generally look for a late frost to allow their crops to reach full maturity....

Thu
01
Aug
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Sen. Klobuchar serves Benson Bakery goods in her Washington, D.C. office

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Among the treats you might be served if visiting U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s office in Washington, D.C., are baked goods from the Benson Bakery.

Bakery owner Toby Johannessen said Monday that from time to time he will get a call from the Minnesota senator’s office for an order that he then sends next day air to her offices. Klobuchar, who is also a Democratic candidate for president, makes sure everyone knows where the treats are from.

The goods from the Benson Bakery were featured at Klobuchar’s weekly Thursday “Minnesota Morning” event at her Senate office.

“Locally owned shops and restaurants like Benson Bakery are key contributors to a flourishing Minnesota economy,” Klobuchar said...

Thu
01
Aug
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Benson gives order to raze or repair home

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

It’s not often that the City of Benson issues an order for a homeowner to tear down or repair a home, but July 22 the council conducted a special meeting for just that purpose.

The meeting was set to conduct a public hearing to take comments from homeowner Helen Flodstrom as well as from neighbors living around the home at 810 Kansas Avenue on the  east side of Benson.

For several years, the house has been a source of complaints from neighbors upset with what they saw as a persistent mess that detracted the look of the neighborhood. However, the property evolved from a nuisance to a hazardous structure. After an inspection by Benson Building Inspector Mike Jacobson, a long list of deficiencies with the property were pointed out...

Thu
01
Aug
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Hands-free phone law to be enforced starting Thursday

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

It is going to be an educational process that could be financially painful for those not willing to comply with the new Minnesota hands-free phone law that takes effect Thursday.

 “Under the new hands-free law, basically the way we enforce it is if the phone is in your hand, that is a violation of the new law,” Benson Chief of Police Ian Hodge said Monday.

The new law allows a driver to use a cell phone to make calls, text, listen to music or podcasts and get directions, but only by voice commands or single-touch activation without holding the phone. Single touch means a swipe or a touch, not scrolling, or dialing or other multi-touch activities.

Wed
24
Jul
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500 bikers are coming to Benson Thursday

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Get ready for an estimated 500 bicyclists and 125 support people coming into Benson Thursday afternoon and evening. They are participating in the annual ride to raise money for the fight against Multiple Sclerosis (MS.)

Most are expected to be staying overnight in Benson, camping out at Ambush Park or staying at the Country Inn. The bikers will be coming in from Ortonville between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Many will visit the downtown area, shopping in local stores.

The community is asked to join the bikers to extend its local hospitality. The public is asked to join the bikers and their support staff at Ambush Park for free entertainment. There will also be food and a beer garden.

The entertainment includes:

4 to 5:20 p.m. – Doug Tatge with Sound Design

5:25 to 5:45 p.m. - Eleanor Habben

5:50 to 6:20 p.m. - Claire Ricard and Olivia Hoffman

Wed
24
Jul
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RDC asks county for input on critical challenges

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

With offices in Appleton, the Upper Minnesota Valley Regional Development Commission serves the planning and economic development needs of local units of government in Swift, Chippewa, Yellow Medicine, Lac qui Parle and Big Stone counties.

It helps counties, cities and townships with infrastructure planning, comprehensive community plans, zoning, grant writing and administration, recreational development surveys and hazard mitigation planning. It is funded through the State of Minnesota and by tax levies in the five counties.

After she outlined the service the RDC provides to the Swift County Board of Commissioners at their meeting July 16, Executive Director Dawn Hegland had a question for board members.

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