News

Wed
30
Sep
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Sharp rise in COVID-19 cases in county could affect schools, sports

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Many western Minnesota counties have seen a doubling of their COVID-19 cases in the month of September, not just from the previous month, but from the total recorded in the five months from April to August combined.

Swift County saw 66 cases in the previous five months but has added 79 cases in the first 28 days of September. Neighboring Stevens County saw 47 cases between April 1 and Aug. 31 but had 58 cases recorded through Sept. 27.  

Big Stone County has added  48 cases onto its previous five-month total of 35 cases and Lac qui Parle County jumped from 15 cases to 65 in September...

 

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
30
Sep
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Prairie 5 opens store, offices downtown Benson

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

It’s like having a new retail clothing store on main street Benson filling in a large empty and very visible space on Atlantic Avenue. But this “store” is so much more.

Now through the large plate glass windows a person driving or walking by sees clothing racks, shelves lined with items for sale, and a sign for the Swift County Food Shelf. Since it’s the season, there are also Halloween decorations and costume items.

Everything in the clothing and household goods area has been donated. Items are placed on the shelves after they have been screened and priced by volunteers.

Wed
30
Sep
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Political sign thieves face fines, jail time

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Someone is stealing the campaign signs of Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden and his running mate Sen. Kamala Harris.

But it’s not just Democratic candidate signs that are being stolen. Signs and flags of President Donald Trump are also being stolen and damaged. Benson Police Sgt. Paul Larson said Monday that the department is investigating multiple complaints from residents of their signs being taken.

It is also not just a local problem. Law enforcement in communities throughout Minnesota are handling reports of damaged and stolen political signs. The thefts are a sign themselves of just how contentious this presidential election is becoming, and how  polarized Americans have become...

 

Wed
23
Sep
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Success On Field Requires Community Support

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

It will seem like a return to a somewhat normal life seeing the football field lights on in small towns around Minnesota on a Friday night. They are symbolic of town and school pride, life before the COVID-19 pandemic. Also welcomed back will be the girls’ volleyball competition, but it will be almost hidden in gymnasiums where few can watch.

The Minnesota State High School League’s (MSHSL) announcement Monday that it was reversing its early August decision to move football and volleyball to the spring was received by many athletes and coaches with excitement. Many parents of seniors who were in volleyball or football and wanted to see their kids have chance to play also cheered.

Wed
23
Sep
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County still reviewing CARES grants apps

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Swift County’s Rural Development Authority (RDA) is still studying the 69 applications that came in for grants to be awarded from $250,000 in CARES Act funds set aside for businesses adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

It will now be the county board’s Oct 6 meeting at the earliest that the announcement of what businesses will be awarded grants will take place.

In July, then Swift County RDA Executive Director Jennifer Frost told the county board that setting aside $250,000 for county businesses would allow up to 50 businesses to get $5,000 each in grant funds...

 

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
23
Sep
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Second COVID case at Scandi Haven extends safety protocols

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

When Benson’s assisted living care facility Scandi Haven Village had its first case of COVID-19 last month, it was one of the staff who had become infected.

Immediate measures were put into place to protect the residents of the facility and the other staff. As the next several weeks passed under strict guidelines mandated by the Minnesota Department of Health, staff kept all the residents safe, Swift County-Benson Health Services Co-CEO and Chief Nursing Officer Melissa McGinty-Thompson said.

“We put extra precautions in place, and it didn’t spread,” she told the Swift County Board of Commissioners at their Sept. 15 meeting. All the tests that were conducted during the period the facility was being monitored closely came up negative...

 

Wed
23
Sep
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Schools taking extra measures to keep kids safe

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Even though Benson Public Schools has been using the in-person learning model for students since the start of school in early September, which doesn’t require strict social distancing, it has had to make adjustments.

A confirmed case of COVID-19, the potentially deadly disease caused by the coronavirus, was reported at the Northside Elementary earlier this month. It resulted in both students and staff who had been in close contact with the person to go through a 14-day quarantine.

Now, as COVID-19 cases rise, school staff is taking additional measures to reduce the potential exposure of students and staff to the virus, and to keep Benson schools using the in-person model of education for its students...

Wed
16
Sep
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Ohana Foundation donates masks to BHS

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

First Security Banks, including the location in Benson, has donated facemasks to all students in the area it serves.

Overall, the Ohana Foundation has donated almost 10,000 reusable facemasks and other protective supplies to its 15 local public and parochial schools’ student and staff.  Each K-12 student and staff member will receive a reusable cloth face mask with their school logo on them.

“With locations spread throughout Minnesota, Iowa, and North Dakota, we knew we wanted to do more for our communications this school year,” said a press release highlighting the donation.  “At First Security Bank, we see ourselves as not just a location for business but a part of the communities that surround us.”

 

Wed
16
Sep
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EDA looking at four options for economic development help

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

At a two-hour Benson Economic Development Authority (EDA) meeting Monday afternoon the non-profit Community and Economic Development Associates (CEDA) out of Chatfield gave its pitch to provide its services to the city.

Benson’s EDA and city council are studying four options for economic development services.

One option is hiring a person who works directly for the city as an economic development director...

 

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
16
Sep
admin's picture

COVID-19 cases spike with local schools affected

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Swift County has seen a rapid rise in the number of COVID-19 cases reported by the Minnesota Department of Health in the past week.

The county started September with 65 cases but jumped to 96 cases in two weeks. Just over the weekend 16 cases were added with 11 reported Saturday and another five Sunday. Monday saw two more cases.

While the MDH does not report where in the county the cases were located, some could be in the Benson area after the Northside Elementary had a case identified Wednesday, Sept. 9, that resulted in some students in one grade being sent home. It also affected some staff...

 

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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