News

Wed
19
Aug
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Benson pursuing options on development director

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Benson has four options if it is serious about pursuing retaining an economic development director, City Manager Rob Wolfington told the council at its Monday night meeting.

It can hire an employee, engage the services of a non-profit company that specializes in economic development, pursue through the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA,) or pursue a partnership with the Swift County Rural Development Authority or Upper Minnesota Valley Regional Development Commission. 

Hiring an employee would require the city to pay public employee scale wages and benefits, he said. It could also complicate the city’s ability to cut the position in the future...

 

Wed
19
Aug
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Consultant: Armory is safe for temporary use

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Benson’s Armory building is safe to use for at least the next six months environmental consultant Jason Kirwin of Environmental Scientific of Morris told the city council Monday night.

Benson City Manager had asked Kirwin to look at the building and give a report to the council so that it could accurately tell the public what the condition of the Armory was in that it was planning to use it for the next several months.

The council’s concern about using the building in the coming months stem from a special meeting it conducted Aug. 10 to discuss the need to either tear it down or spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on renovations...

 

Wed
19
Aug
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Case, Sonsteng give Discovery Kids $24,000

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

With $24,000 in donations Monday, Benson’s Discovery Kids and daycare program has been financially strengthened in its effort to maintain staff and keeping our child-to-staff ratio low, Director Carrissa McDonald said.

CNH Industrial America LLC presented  a check for $12,000 in support of Discovery Kids. “During these difficult times, CNH Industrial is pleased to be supporting our local communities,” Benson Plant Manager Jason Hausauer said. “We understand that many critical community organizations are facing challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic and we are doing our part to support the Discovery Kids through our company’s Solidarity Fund. “

Another $12,000 came for the local Sonsteng Foundation.

Wed
12
Aug
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Abuse cases rise in county as people are stuck together

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Last year, Swift County’s Safe Avenues program served 51 victims  of domestic violence and housed 27 domestic violence victims in its shelter facilities. The numbers were up from previous years.

It also provided services to 12 sexual assault victims from Swift County in 2019 and of those victims six were under the age of 18, Safe Avenues Director Jen Johnson told the Swift County Board of Commissioners at their meeting Tuesday, Aug. 4.

Safe Avenues serves the residents of Swift, Chippewa, Lac qui Parle, Yellow Medicine, Kandiyohi, Renville, McLeod, and Meeker counties. It has an office in the Swift County Courthouse. Its phone number is 320-314-8500, or 866-223-1111.

“With COVID-19, we have seen quite an increase in the number of people who are seeking protective orders and fewer people seeking shelter,” Johnson said...

 

Wed
12
Aug
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City of Benson to seek bids to tear down 1927 Armory

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Benson’s Armory could be coming down in the not too distant future.

At a special meeting of the Benson City Council Monday noon, a motion to direct city staff to have plans and specifications drafted for demolition of the Armory was unanimously approved.

Benson’s council had met to tour the Armory, then decide whether or not it wanted to fix the roof, invest in other improvements, or tear it down.

Air quality in the building is a major concern due to the mold, asbestos and lead. The lead comes from both the old, peeling paint, and from the years in which there was a shooting range in the basement. “All that lead is floating around,” Benson Building Inspector Mike Jacobson told the council...

 

Wed
12
Aug
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RDA taking business requests for grant funds

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Applications for $5,000 COVID-19 economic assistance grants through the Swift County Rural Development Authority (RDA) are open and being accepted through Aug. 24.

It is a simple application process with eligible businesses and non-profits severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic to complete. Applicants are asked to state why they need the grant funds, but no detailed financial documentation is required at this time.

The RDA is using $250,000 allocated to it by the Swift County Board of Commissioners from its $1,136,857 federal Coronavirus Relief Fund and Economic Assistance (CARES) Act funds for the grants.

 Fifty eligible businesses could be awarded $5,000 grants under the program administered by the RDA. The application for the grant funds is to be available at the Swift County CARES webpage: www.swiftcounty.com/CARES...

Wed
05
Aug
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Tweten family recognized as a 2020 U of M’s Farm Family

The Tweten family of Appleton has been named Swift County’s 2020 Farm Family of the Year by the University of Minnesota.

Greg and Kathy grew up on their own family farms in Clay County. In 1981, Greg started farming in Kittson County, growing small grains and potatoes. In 1984, Greg moved to Swift County with his father, Russell, and his brothers, Tony and Bruce, to raise potatoes. Greg and Kathy married that same year.

The Tweten farm has expanded to include corn, sweet corn, soybeans, edible beans, and sugar beets.  The family also runs a cow-calf operation that Greg and Kathy’s son, David, and his fiancé, Samantha, have taken over.  Greg also farms with his brother, Tony...

Wed
05
Aug
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County offers $5,000 grants to help businesses

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Swift County’s Rural Development Authority (RDA) will start taking grant applications from businesses and non-profits severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic Monday, Aug. 10.

It is using $250,000 allocated by the Swift County Board of Commissioners from its $1,136,857 federal Coronavirus Relief Fund and Economic Assistance (CARES) Act funds for the grant program. Fifty eligible businesses could be awarded $5,000 grants under the program administered by the RDA. The deadline for applying for the grants is Aug. 24.

The application for the grant funds is to be available at the Swift County CARES webpage: www.swiftcounty.com/CARES starting next Monday, according to RDA Executive Director Jennifer Frost. The applications are to be completed online.

Wed
05
Aug
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School preparing for students to return to class

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Students of Benson Public Schools will be returning to their classrooms for in-person instruction if the number of COVID-19 cases within the 14-day period prior to the Sept. 8 start date stays below 10.

At Monday night’s board of education meeting, a motion was unanimously passed stating that: Unless something changes, Benson Public Schools will open for in-person elementary and high school classes Sept 8. The school administration will consult with local health officials to monitor for any changes in the COVID-19 spread in the school community.”

If there are significant changes in the education model required, the school board directed Laumeyer to consult with it. However, the day-to-day monitoring and decision-making on the model of education that will be used will be up to the school administration...

 

Wed
05
Aug
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Primary election next Tuesday

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Minnesota’s 7th District covers the western third of the state from Canada to just north of Iowa. It’s Trump country — the president won there by more than 30 percentage points even though Democrat Collin Peterson has represented the 7th for 30 years.

Before Republicans can take on Peterson once again, they need to settle a primary contest. Former State Sen. and Lt. Gov. Michelle Fischbach won the Republican endorsement.

But retired Air Force Maj. Dave Hughes says he’s “better for the people in western Minnesota in every conceivable way.” Hughes, who twice lost to Peterson, wants Republican primary voters to back him for another rematch.

 

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