News

Wed
12
Jun
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Permanent flood protection? Citizen input sought by council

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Residents of northwest Benson will have a chance to give the city council input next Wednesday on future flood control efforts during a special meeting set for 6:30 a.m. at the golf club.

As waters crept up to the Benson Golf Course service road that separates the course from the Hawleywood Subdivision and homes on Meadow Lane March 24, volunteer firemen, city staff, and council members helped construct a flood barrier on the road.

At the same time, three large trackhoes were working to clear ice floes and logs from the Burlington Northern Sante Fe (BNSF) railroad bridge spanning the Chippewa River adjacent to the Minnesota Highway 9 bridge at Benson’s western edge.

Wed
12
Jun
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County required to pay $24,414 back to CRWP

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Swift County will be writing a $24,414 check to the Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) as its share of grant funds for which there was a lack of adequate accounting.

The funds came from grants given through to BWSR for work in the Chippewa River Watershed Project area.

There are eight counties in the watershed: Swift, Grant, Stevens, Douglas, Pope, Chippewa, and Kandiyohi. It stretches from the southern end of Otter Tail County west to include Norway Lake and Lake Florida in Kandiyohi County, west to include the Hancock area, and south where it enters the Minnesota River at Montevideo. Swift County accounts for 29 percent of the watershed, second only to Pope County’s 30 percent.

Wed
05
Jun
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A Benson hero’s remains confirmed on eve of D-Day

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
And Paul Stouffer
Bill McGowan nephew

Seventy-five years after allied forces stormed the beaches at Normandy, France, by air and sea, the family of Lt. Bill McGowan finally knows for certain that he died D-Day, June 6, 1944.

 “Last week I was advised that remains recovered in Normandy during the summer of 2018 have been confirmed as those of Lt. McGowan,” his nephew Paul Stouffer of Montana wrote the Monitor-News May 28. “We finally have closure on this – and something for almost 75 years my grandparents, his then wife Suzanne, my mother (Mary Jo McGowan Stouffer) and Aunt Pat McGowan, now deceased, never heard confirmed.”

Near the small village of Moon Sur Elle in France, not far from the beaches of Normandy, there is a monument recognizing Lt. McGowan’s sacrifice. It reads:

Wed
05
Jun
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Pioneerland Band Festival set for Friday, June 14

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Benson’s 32nd annual Pioneerland Band Festival is scheduled for Friday, June 14.

President Woodrow Wilson issued a presidential proclamation May 30, 1916 establishing a national Flag Day to be celebrated each June 14. It honors the American flag, which was adopted June 14, 1777, by the Second Continental Congress when it passed the Flag Resolution stating: “Resolved, That the flag of the thirteen United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation.”

While the stripes have remained the same, the flag now has 50 stars representing the 50 U.S. states.

Wed
05
Jun
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‘Better late than never’, maybe, as farmers get crops in the ground

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

For the first time since late March the Benson area went seven straight days without measurable precipitation. Thunderstorms rolling through western Minnesota late Friday evening provided a spectacular lightening show and thunder that rattled windows in the area, but just 7 hundredths of an inch of rain.

The dry weather has allowed farmers to rush to get in crops where the soil is still not too wet to work.

Soil temperatures have also been warming, though it wasn’t until the last day of May, Friday, that they warmed to 60 degrees at both the 2- and 4-inch depths at the Swan Lake Research Farm near Morris. The high of 84 Thursday and a high of 88 Friday, with sunny skies both days, help warm soil temperatures.

Soil temperatures reached 50 degrees May 14, but slipped back into the 40s May 18 to May 20 before finally starting a steady rise through the 50s.

Wed
05
Jun
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January to May period was the wettest on record

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

It has been the wettest January to May period on record for the Benson area with 15.75 inches of precipitation – 6.85 inches above average. The five-month period beat the old record of 15.05 inches set in 1965 by 7 tenths of an inch.

May was the fourth wettest on record with 6.58 inches of rain – 3.43 inches above the average of 3.15 inches. The year 1993 holds the record for May rainfall with 7.25 inches.

Spring’s relentless snow and rain meant one of the latest planting seasons on record for Minnesota farmers. Many saw the late planting dates for corn come and go with fields too wet to work. Some have turned to soybeans, but too many acres are likely to go unplanted in the state.

Wed
29
May
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Worsening farm economy good reason to stop justice center plans, citizens say

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

The brakes are on the proposed $17.5 million Swift County Justice Center and a county board-appointed citizens committee to study the county building needs just conducted its first meeting. Still, the county board is hearing from citizens that they need to scrap the entire idea.

The proposed two-story 38,000 square foot building on the west side of the courthouse would house a new Swift County Sheriff’s Office, an expanded jail, human services, 6W Community Corrections, the county attorney’s office and Restorative Practices.

Wed
29
May
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Summer Food Program underway

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Benson Public Schools will again host the Summer Food Service Program with meals served in the Benson High School cafeteria.

Last year, the program served meals for 66 days, however, it is proposed that meals be served 57 days, from May 28 to Aug. 16, Food Service Director Jeanine Bowman told the board of education at its meeting Wednesday, May 22. No meals are served July 4-5.

For kids 18 years old or younger the meals are free. Kids older than 18 are allowed if there is an identifiable disability and the child has been participating in school programs.  These exceptions are extended until the person is 21.

The program will also serve meals to those over 18, including parents, but they have to pay $4 per meal. Bowman told the board that some of the students involved in summer programs, or athletic camps, also came to the school for the meals.

Wed
29
May
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May’s wet, cold weather one for the record books

As May draws to a close it is likely to enter the record books as one of the coldest and wettest on record for the Benson area and much of the state.

Already May is the fifth wettest on record with 6.51 inches of rain. With the possibility of rain forecast for Tuesday night into Wednesday morning, it will take just 7 hundredths of an inch to move the month into third place and 29 hundredths to move it into second place.
The year 1993 holds the record for May rainfall with 7.25 inches.

As of Tuesday, May 2019 is the coldest on record with a mean temperature so far of 50.8 degrees. Highs have averaged just 61 degrees – by far the coldest average high recorded for the month of May since local records started being kept in 1953. Through May 28 there hadn’t been a high temperature in the 80s. Only twice since 1953 has the month of May failed to reach 80 degrees – 1991 when the high was 79 degrees and 1995 when high was 77...

Wed
29
May
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SCBHS board votes to pursue affiliation

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Swift County-Benson Health Services has voted unanimously to pursue affiliation with CentraCare Health of St. Cloud, or Carris Health of Willmar. CentraCare owns Carris at its meeting last Thursday. Carris also has a relationship with CentraCare.

Its vote came after months of study, public input, and research into the option of continuing to exist as a stand-alone operation.

Prior to last Thursday’s meeting, the health service’s Strategic Planning Committee met to go over the steps necessary to move SCBHS toward affiliation.

It discussed the possibility of affiliating and what that might look like with Bryan Lydick of Carris Health of Redwood Falls. Redwood Falls was an independent operation prior to going with Carris.

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