News

Mon
25
Mar
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Win District 5 VFW contests

by John Fragodt, Monitor-News Staff

Two of Benson’s entries to the VFW District 5 writing contest placed very high.  In the Voice of Democracy Essay contest, BHS senior Jessica Mooberry (left) placed second in the district contest and received a cash prize of $100 along with a plaque from the Veterans of Foreign Wars District 5.  In the Patriot’s Pen Essay contest, sixth-grader Eric Hoium (right) placed first in the district contest and received a cash prize of $150 along with a plaque from the Veterans of Foreign Wars District 5. 

In addition, Eric’s essay has been forwarded to the Minnesota Department of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, to continue in the statewide competition.  Should his essay be judged best in the State of Minnesota, he will receive an award at that level and his essay would go on to national competition. 

Tue
19
Mar

Serious injuries in Sunday head on crash

Icy-road conditions Sunday night may have led to a head-on collision on Highway 29, about four miles north of Glenwood.

According to the State Patrol, Kim Blair, 41, of Glenwood and Richard Ostendorf, 57, of Pemberton, sustained serious injuries from the collision. Both were transported to St. Cloud Hospital. Hayley Blair, 19, and Tait Blair, 41, also of Glenwood, sustained minor injuries. 

Tue
19
Mar
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City of Benson needs volunteers

A few good citizens willing to give as little as one hour a month to make the City of Benson a better place to live and work, ensure its economic vitality, and make it a more attractive community are being sought.  They are needed to fill vacancies on the city’s boards and commissions, vacancies that in some case have existed for months.

Benson’s boards and commissions keep an eye on a wide variety of city operations, taking citizen input and making recommendations for improvements to the city council.  For the five-member Benson City Council to keep on top of all that is going on in the community and all that needs to be done, and how it should be done, is a daunting task.

Tue
19
Mar
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Snow days piling up; school now extended to June 6

When that first snow day of the school year comes, students are generally happy they can sleep in, then spend the day idling away the unexpected freedom however they please.

But now that spring is approaching, and the end of school, missed days are getting to be exasperating rather than fun. For each missed day means one more day into June that students will be sitting in the classroom.

For parents with small children, the missed days mean another day making arrangements for babysitting so they don’t have to miss work. In some cases, it does mean staying home from work and losing that day’s paycheck or a day’s vacation.

So far this winter, students have lost seven days to blizzards, extreme cold, and ice. Those missed days mean going to school until Thursday, June 6.

Tue
19
Mar
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Federal government sequester could cost county about $250,000

If all the cuts required by the federal government’s sequester impasse are eventually implemented, it could mean the loss of as much as $250,000 in grants and funding for Swift County.

That is a rough estimate given to the board of commissioners at their meeting March 5 by Administrator Michel Pogge-Weaver – though he admits that it is very early to be projecting the impact.  Pogge-Weaver asked the county department heads to let him know what the sequester’s impact would be on their departments.

He expects the impacts to be very small in the next 60 to 90 days.

Human Services would be the department to see the quickest impact with its client services programs affected. Some funding for child support services in the county attorney’s office would see cuts.  The highway department shouldn’t see an impact in 2013 since those funds are already encumbered. But in 2014 there would be an impact, he said. The Veterans’ Services area should not see cuts.

Tue
19
Mar
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March 2012 and 2013 see very different temps; St. Patrick's Day revelers keep the smiles

During the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, Saturday, March 17, 2012, people lining the parade route were wearing t-shirts and shorts. The temperature was nearing 80 degrees.

Just the day before the high had hit 79 degrees setting an all-time record high for the month. As it reached mid-afternoon and the parade began winding its way down 13th Street, the temperature again hit 79 degrees in Benson. A good-sized crowd lined both sides of the street with parents bringing their young children out to gather the candy that would be thrown from the floats.

What a contrast to the 2013 St. Patrick’s Day parade!

With the temperature at 10 degrees – 69 degrees colder than the previous year – the parade route had far fewer people willing to brave the cold, made even more frigid by a 15 mph wind out of the north. The days high of 27 degrees was shortly after midnight, after which it steadily declined.

Fri
15
Mar
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Benson schools closed; icy conditions hinder travel

The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory for our area.

An upper-level disturbance will interact with a cold front on Friday to produce snow and mixed precipitation across parts of the northern Plains and Upper Midwest. Snowfall accumulations of 3 to 8 inches are expected from north-central North Dakota to west-central Wisconsin by Friday evening.

The seven day outlook for the greater Benson area is:
 

Wed
06
Mar
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Benson’s Fire Department answers 62 calls in 2012

Fire Chief Mark Schreck, along with other members of the department, gave the Benson City Council an update on the 2012 fire year and a heads-up on its future equipment needs at a meeting Feb. 19.
With the above average snowfall this winter, fire departments around the state are hoping that the spring fire threat will be lowered. But a dry March and warm weather could rapidly dry out the grasses, raising the fire threat.
Last year, Benson’s Fire Department responded to 62 calls. Fourteen of those calls were structure fires with the most serious the home fire in Benson.

Fri
25
Jan
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Cold weather, winds continue; students miss another day of school

On a day Benson school students were supposed to be making up for a day lost to a blizzard back on Dec. 10, they lost their make-up day to another blizzard.

Benson students will now be going to classes into June.

As District 777 school buses headed out on their routes early Monday morning the wind was blowing at s mild 10 mph out of the northwest. But in just 15 minutes, between 6:15 and 6:30 a.m., wind speeds pick up significantly, howling out of the northwest at between 30 and 36 mph.

The strong winds caused rapid drifting making some country roads impassable. At 6:40 a.m. a school bus was reported stuck in the country. The vehicle sent out to help get it unstuck, ended up in the ditch.

Fri
16
Dec
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Youth Conservation Corps at Wetland Management District seeks applicants

Youth Conservation Corps at Wetland Management District seeks applicants

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will be hosting a Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) Camp this summer at the Morris Wetland Management District.  
The YCC Program is a summer employment program for young males and females, 15 through 18 years of age, from all segments of society, who work, learn and earn together by doing projects on public lands.  The purpose of the program is to further the development and maintenance of the natural resources of the United States by America’s youth and, in so doing, to prepare them for the ultimate responsibility of maintaining and managing these resources for the American people.  
Applications for this program are currently available at the Morris Wetland Management District Headquarters and Benson, Chokio-Alberta, Hancock, Morris, West Central and Minnewaska Senior High Schools.  

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