News

Tue
07
May
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U.S. Highway 12 between Murdock and DeGraff now open

U.S. 12 between DeGraff and Murdock remained closed Wednesday morning following the collission of a tanker truck hauling anhydrous ammonia and a BNSF train.

by Reed Anfinson, Editor, with information from the Swift County Sheriff's Office

 

UPDATED AS OF 12:30 p.m., Thursday, May 9

At noon Thursday the Swift County Sheriff’s Office announced that U.S. 12 between Murdock and DeGraff was now open. Yesterday authorities thought the highway could be closed through Friday or even well into Saturday.

Hazmat teams, working with the Murdock Fire Department, relieved pressure from a damaged anhydrous ammonia tank to reduce the release of the dangerous chemical into the air. Drivers are urged to be alert while driving by the accident scene since there will still be clean up work going on.

Truck driver Eric Westin, Pine City, remains in St. Cloud Hospital. His condition was last reported as “critical but stable.”

Tue
23
Apr
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New Benson Chief of Police is Ian Hodge

Benson’s new Chief of Police Ian Hodge takes the oath of office Monday from City Manager Rob Wolfington while his wife, Linda, waits to pin his badge on. Linda is a Benson High School graduate and the daughter of Agnette Duncan of Benson.

 

Tue
23
Apr
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Running partners share ‘surreal’ experience in Boston

Editor’s note: Christine Fenske and Stacie (Smith) Lienemann trained for the Boston Marathon together for months, but nothing could have prepared them for what happened Monday, April 15, 2013.
Stacie is the daughter of Linda and Terry Smith of Benson. Her husband, Phil Lienemann, is the son of Steve and Barb Lienemann of Morris. They live in Cottonwood where Phil is the principal of Lakeview School and Stacie is also employed at Lakeview School as a paraprofessional. Stacie is a 1995 Benson High School graduate.

Tue
16
Apr
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City will not build dike

Large ice sheets passed through the Minnesota 9 and BNSF railroad bridge this spring without jamming up and forming a dam.

A proposed $300,000 dike to be constructed to protect northwest Benson from flooding was unanimously rejected by the city council Monday night.

It would have likely meant assessments against property owners in the Hawleywood addition whose homes were within the 100-year flood plain as designated by the Federal Emergency Management (FEMA) in 2008.

Half the cost of the project would have been paid by the assessment with the balance paid by a $150,000 grant from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Those funds will now most likely be returned to the state.

Mon
15
Apr
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Power outage Monday

Icy conditions Sunday night caused a transformer on Utah Avenue across from the federal farm agency offices to catch fire, breaking the pole. The City of Benson will be shutting off power to the north side of Benson from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Monday to make repairs. The fire caused parts of north Benson to be out of power Monday morning.

Sun
14
Apr
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April blizzard brings 6 inches of snow

Just as we were seeing brown lawns and black fields, just as a hint of spring was appearing, 6 inches of snow blanketed the Benson area. With high temperatures nearly 20 degrees below average, it feels more like early March than April.

Tue
09
Apr
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On the Road with the Benson Bakery

KSTP On the Road host Jason Davis was in Benson last week to do a story on the 80th year of the Johannessen family serving the people of the area the best in baked goods, cookies, candies and pies.

Three generations of the family have owned the business with a fourth generation coming up.  The story should air in the coming months.

 

Tue
09
Apr
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Hospital Foundation’s Emerald Eve Friday

by Reed Anfinson, Editor, Publisher

For over 100 years the Swift County-Benson Hospital has served the people of the area. Friday night the SCBH Foundation will celebrate that century of service at its annual Emerald Eve fundraising event.
The theme of the foundation’s 18th annual fundraising event is titled  “Celebrating a Century of Caring.” Proceeds from this year’s fundraiser will be used to purchase a replacement analyzer for the new laboratory, which is part of the hospital remodeling project underway, according to CEO Frank Lawatsch. The project includes construction of a new clinic.

Tue
09
Apr
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City gets input on proposed dike

By Reed Anfinson, Editor, Publisher

Nearly 50 people gathered in the Benson Fire Hall Saturday morning to learn about the proposed construction of a dike around the northwest corner of the city.

It was also the chance for citizens to ask questions about the dike plans as well as give the Benson City Council their thoughts about whether the $300,000 dike project was needed or an unnecessary expenditure of taxpayer money.

Based on the input it gathered Saturday, the council will be voting at its meeting Monday whether or not to proceed with a dike. That public meeting starts at 5:30 p.m. in the council chambers across from the utility billing counter.

Background on flood designation

In August 1984, FEMA placed Benson in what it then called its Flood Zone C.

Thu
28
Mar
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School looks at $650,000 in cuts

District 777's board is looking at deep cuts in scool funding.

By Reed Anfinson

$650,735 In Proposed Cuts

2013-14 school year

 

Reductions                                         Savings

 

Capital outlay                                                   $100,000

      Delay roof work

      Delay computer lab purchases

      Delay other possible expenditures

 

Delay bus purchase                                            $85,000

The school district has been on a rotation of buying a new bus every other year. That keeps the fleet in good shape. However, Westrum said he thought the district could delay a year since its most recent bus purchase was made the end of last year and that new bus only has one year of service on it.

 

English teaching position                                   $73,800

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